Recently, the subject of rotating art teams in superhero comics reached a tipping point, and people have started to wonder if the concept does more harm than good in the long run. With double-shipping in superhero comics becoming more prevalent and artists’ contributions are becoming seen as interchangeable, it’s important to stop and ask: Are rotating artistic creative teams good for comics in the long-run, or does it start us down a path of recognizing the writer’s contributions as inherently more important to the finished product?
So you've decided to read about Batman! I would definitely applaud this decision, as I have spent the majority of the past thirty years doing exactly that, but I also know that it can be pretty daunting to figure out where to get started. There have, after all, been thousands of Batman stories published since he first debuted from Bill Finger and Bob Kane in 1939, and despite a few missteps along the way, he probably has more classic and definitive stories in print than any other superhero.
But don't worry, ComicsAlliance is here to help with a list of ten essential Batman stories. Read these, and you'll (hopefully) come away with a solid foundation for understanding the Dark Knight and how he works.
Earlier this month, X-Men fans were treated to Logan, a Wolverine movie … without Wolverine. A sort of adaptation of the comic Old Man Logan (although more in tone than plot), the movie imagines a future where mutants are nearly all dead, and a barely hanging on Logan is low-key doing chauffeur work to take care of a decrepit Charles Xavier. When some bad guys go after a young girl named Laura suddenly in Logan’s care, the ex X-Man takes a road trip to get her to safety --- while killing a lot of people who get in their way.’
While some are comparing Logan to Deadpool, the other R-rated film starring a Marvel hero from the past year, we should be looking at its similarities to another superhero film from 2017 instead; The Lego Batman Movie.
Batman: The Animated Series is one of the most celebrated shows ever made. It had a huge impact on all of the DC Universe, and all the animated series that would follow. After a few seasons, the show was rebooted with a new look and a new dynamic as The New Batman Adventures, where it continued to be just as amazing as ever (although featuring a slightly less cool looking Joker). With a better budget and more experience, the team behind Batman: The Animated Series was ready to create some of the best episodes of --- not just the DCAU's Batman, but for the DCAU entirely.
The retro-TV adventures in DC's digital-first line just keep getting cooler, particularly in Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77. If you haven't been reading the crossover series by Marc Andreyko, Jeff Parker, and David Hahn, you've been missing out on a decades-spanning-epic. The story began in the 1940s, with WWII-era Wonder Woman meeting a young Bruce Wayne. Then it continued in 1966, with Batman and Robin following Ra's al Ghul's trail to Paradise Island.
Here in Chapter Nine, available digitally March 22, the story jumps forward again, to 1977, as Wonder Woman rides her motorcycle to Gotham City in search of Batman. But this is a decade after Batman's heyday, and things have changed in the years since. Check out an exclusive preview of chapter nine.
I don't want to be an armchair editor here or anything, but you'd think that if you're doing a story where Batman crosses the dimensional barrier from Gotham City to hang out in New York --- specifically the NYC that's home to the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles --- you'd have to take a page or two for him to ask questions, right? "Where are all the abandoned warehouses," he asks, scowling, "And why isn't there a single Playing Card And Chemical Factory on the entire island of Manhattan? And why are your sewers so... livable?!"
While DC Rebirth has reinvigorated the entire publishing line, the Batman family of titles have been solid-to-great since Mark Doyle took over as group editor several years ago, and with talent like Tom King, Rafael Albuquerque and Hope Larson helming the books, it's no surprise they're so successful.
Ahead of the full release next week, DC has provided us with an exclusive first look at some of June's Batman family titles, highlighting what's to come in the pages of Batman, All-Star Batman, Batgirl and Super Sons.
The Batman of the '80s was certainly skewing darker than the previous eras, but that was also a time where all the leftovers from the Silver Age were still more or less directing the story. That's how you get lengthy sagas like Batman having a custody battle over Jason Todd against a straight up vampire, and it's also how you get a story where the Monitor hires Calendar Man to murder Batman.
Q: Can you please explain this picture? — @settlechaos
A: I actually can! But I'll warn you right now, friend, the actual answer does not involve a bunch of superheroes hanging out on a patio eating chocolate cake while ignoring Jimmy Olsen's cries for mercy in the background.
For as long as there have been comic books full of men and women dressed in bright colors performing heroic deeds, there have been comic books involving giant mutant gorillas standing in their way. It was established in the Silver Age that if you put a gorilla on the cover, you would sell more copies of that comic, so there's a wealth of amazing covers with noble apes front-and-center. This gallery collects some of the best.