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STEVE ENGLEHART

Reading List: The Ten Essential Batman Stories

Batman: Year One, DC Comics
Batman: Year One, DC Comics

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.

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Good Thing: Valkyrie Is The Best, In Any Medium

Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

Valkyrie is one of my favorite Marvel characters, even if she's always been a bit of a B-lister. She's a woman warrior who's never afraid to be aggressive and take what's hers. Indeed, it would be easier just to say that's she's never afraid, period. She's a mainstay of my favorite Marvel team, the Defenders, and she's also probably the only Marvel Asgardian who never stood in Thor's shadow.

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Eisner Hall Of Fame Announces Inductees And Nominees For 2017

HG Peter / DC Comics
HG Peter / DC Comics

The Will Eisner Comic Awards are the most prestigious in the comic book industry, and within the decorated history of winners there is no greater honor than being named to the ceremony's Hall of Fame. Today, the nominees for the 2017 awards have been unveiled, alongside four creators who have earned automatic entry into the Hall of Fame.

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This Magazine Kills Fascists: Captain America And The Secret Empire

TMKF-Cap

Captain America was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby to fight Nazis, but by the '70s the kind of threats the world faced were more subtle and complex than the time he was created. In 1974’s “Secret Empire,” by Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich and Sal Buscema, Captain America and The Falcon learned the hard way how easily swayed a populace can be, and how high a corrupt politician can rise through the ranks.

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The Strange Library: Ten Essential ‘Doctor Strange’ Comics

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Doctor Strange is a second-tier character in the Marvel pantheon, but he's making the leap to the big leagues thanks to the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. To help get you up to speed with the character, we've compiled a list of ten of the best Doctor Strange stories ever published. These are the stories that will introduce you to his major foes and his main supporting cast, and get you acquainted with all the many great talents that have worked on the character over the years.

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Cast Party: Who Should Star In A ‘Beast’ Movie?

beast_featured

The spooky season marches on, and I've been looking for comic book monsters to build movies around. And of course my favorite Marvel monster (at least of the superheroic variety) is Hank McCoy, the Beast. So today I'm imagining a movie based on his solo run in Amazing Adventures back in the early '70s, which was written by Gerry Conway and Steve Englehart, with art by Tom Sutton. This is the story in which he goes from a bouncy human-looking guy with big hands and feet to an actual furry monster.

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Who is Mantis? A Comics History of the New ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Star

mantis_featured

We recently learned what fans had already suspected, that the character Pom Klementieff is playing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is none other than Mantis, a character who has been featured prominently in the Guardians comics. But who is Mantis? We still don't know much about what she'll be like in the movie, but she's existed in comics for 43 years, so we know that version of her pretty well. And looking back at her history may give us some insight about what to expect from this new version of the character.

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Herald of the Bronze Age: Celebrating Steve Englehart

englehart_featured

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.

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Ask Chris #277: Where Does ‘Strange Apparitions’ Sit In The Batman Canon?

Ask Chris #277, background art by Marshall Rogers

Q: Why is "Strange Apparitions" the best Batman run? - @IanGonzales

A: See what I mean about these questions that include their own answers right there in the premise?

I have to say, though: You're not wrong. Of all the great Batman runs that have helped to define the character, the six issues that Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers spent on Detective Comics back in 1978 stand out as one of the all-time greatest. It's intricately crafted, beautifully drawn, and while Englehart's claim that it more-or-less invented the Batman of the Modern Age might seem a little overblown at first glance, it's hard to argue that it's not at least a major part of the foundation of how the Caped Crusader would evolve over the following decade. As for just what makes it so great and why it stands the test of time, it all comes down to how they were able to build on the past while creating something that still feels modern almost 40 years later.

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The Evolution of the Joker: Best Joker Stories by Decade

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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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