Q: Generally, what's the difference between Batman and Detective Comics? I've heard right now Detective is going to focus more on the Batman Family, has that always been true? -- Anonymous, via tumblr
A: This is a very interesting question, because it doesn't just have to do with how the Batman titles work. It has to do with how every character with multiple monthly titles works, and the question of whether it's necessary to make those multiple titles distinct or just have them form a single ongoing narrative. It's something that you can see approached in almost every way you can approach it across multiple characters and creative teams from different eras, from Superman and Spider-Man to the X-Men, and it has a lot to do with how the approach to superheroic storytelling has changed over the past 75 years.
But let's be real here. If you've read this column before, then you already know that we're mostly just going to be talking about how it works for Batman.
With only two issues out already, Detective Comics has already become the standout title of DC's Rebirth line. The focus on the Batman family has not only put together a team of characters that I don't think we've ever seen together, but it's opening up the door for some bold new relationships --- and the return of a few that we haven't seen in a while.
And when the third issue hits next week, that's exactly what we're getting. As Batman is brutally attacked by the seemingly unstoppable soldiers of the Colony, Batwoman is questioning her pace in training the next generation of Gotham City's vigilantes --- and she talks through her problems in a visit from Renee Montoya. Check out a preview!
If you love a good Bat-Family crossover, you’re in luck, as later this year Steve Orlando and Riley Rossmo will take over three ongoings for Batman: Night of the Monster Men, which sees the classic Batman foes updated for the modern day and turned into giant kaiju-like beings which are set to wreak havoc on Gotham City.
Announced in an interview with Steve Orlando at GameSpot, the crossover will take place in Batman, Detective Comics, and Nightwing, as the Batman Family comes together to face off against the impossible odds of giant monsters attacking the city.
With Detective Comics #934, James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Marilyn Patrizio ushered the Batman Family into DC's brand-new Rebirth era --- but it's not exactly a version of the Batman Family that we've ever seen before. Instead, with a new villain in town targeting Batman's sidekicks, partners, and associates, the Dark Knight put together a new team led by Batwoman to train them to survive a conflict that has already left Azrael critically injured.
But with a new team that includes classic sidekicks, new versions of old favorites, and at least one supervillain, it raises the question of just how these characters were put together. So with the second issue of his new run just over the horizon, ComicsAlliance spoke to Tynion about his choices for the new roster, his goal of redefining the relationship between Batman and Batwoman, and who his all-time favorite character is.
One of the more interesting things about DC's practice of throwing out its existing continuity every once in a while and starting over with a new reboot is that it never quite gets to Batman himself. Sure, there are bits and pieces that are changed --- as the years go by, you lose elements like Joe Chill and Carter Nichols, until someone decides they want to bring them back again, for instance, and you might even get something as extreme as Zero Year coming along to supplant Year One --- but there's never really the kind of clean break with previous continuity that you see with Superman or Wonder Woman.
Instead, the core of what's going on with the character always carries over into a shift in focus, a new direction that brings one of those elements to the forefront in a new way. And this week, when Detective Comics returned to its original numbering under James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas and Marilyn Patrizio, that's exactly what happened. It's the same Batman that we had before Rebirth, but with a new emphasis on his relationship to his extended family of sidekicks and partners. And it turns out that it's exactly what I wanted out of a Batman comic.
Despite every attempt I've made to stop it, there's still a discussion that crops up every now and then about Batman's methods. There are people out there, people that I will never understand, who for some reason think it would make for a better story if Batman gave all of his money to charity instead of spending it on bat-shaped airplanes and rocket cars, as though there are problems that can't be solved by owning a bat-shaped airplane.
But even though I definitely don't agree, I will concede that the Dark Knight's crimefighting methods are occasionally a little dubious. Like, say, that time that Batman investigated an attempted murder by pretending to be a ghost and then yelling at someone about a bad review in the latest issue of Consumer Reports. That one was pretty weird, even if it's hard to argue with the results.
Steve Englehart was born on this day in 1947. By his mid-twenties, he was reshaping the Marvel Universe. At thirty, he was reinventing Batman. Englehart is easily one of the greatest comic book writers of all time, and probably the definitive writer of the 1970s.
One of the interesting things about Englehart is that he doesn’t get credit for creating that many interesting characters. In fact, he’s probably most strongly associated with Mantis, a character he introduced in Avengers and held onto (in an incognito form) even when he moved to Justice League of America and beyond. But while Englehart certainly created some peculiar characters, what he was really great at was perfecting characters that already existed.
DC Comics hosted a special livestream event at WonderCon in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to unveil the creative teams behind its DC Rebirth event, which relaunches the entire DC Universe line with new issue #1s and multiple double-shipping titles. The relaunch will set the future course of DC Comics at a time when fans are wondering whether the company will embrace a new and diversifying audience or double down on serving a shrinking core audience.
The event was introduced by DC All Access host Tiffany Smith, with DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and chief creative officer and Rebirth chief architect Geoff Johns introducing and interviewing the creative teams as they joined them on stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
This week DC kicks off the crossover event story "Robin War" in a comic book entitled, appropriately enough, Robin War #1. The storyline will wind through this month's issues of Grayson, Detective Comics, We Are Robin and Robin: Son of Batman, while this month's issues of Gotham Academy, Red Hood/Arsenal and Teen Titans will all tie-in to the events of the storyline. It all wraps up in next month's Robin War #2.
To help you tell your Red Robin from your Red Hood, and your Robin, singular, from your The Robins, plural, we've assembled a handy guide to the major players in "Robin War"...
Many of comics’ most popular characters have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most significant characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Joker comics.
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