"Batman" Fans and Experts Alike: I Need Your Help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Leonard, May 22, 2002.

  1. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    I've recently begun to renew an interest in comic books/graphic novels, more specifically the world of Batman. After reading some of the works of Alan Moore (From Hell, The Watchmen), I was inspired to pick up his contribution to the Batman legend, The Killing Joke. Mightily impressed with the comic, I decided to further explore the Caped Crusader. As of right now, this is what I own (and have greatly enjoyed):
    The Killing Joke
    The Dark Knight Returns
    Batman: Year One
    Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight (on the way)
    So the question is: where do I go from here? As you Batman experts can tell from the list above, I like the darker tales a bit more than the lighthearted ones, though if the story is well-written and the art decent, then I'll be happy either way. [​IMG]
    Any and all recommendations are welcomed.
     
  2. Shaun Lynde

    Shaun Lynde Auditioning

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    Well there is a sequel to Frank Miller's fantastic Batman: Dark Knight Returns called Batman: The Dark Knight strikes again. however they are not collected yet in a single book but, seperate releases. 3 individual books I believe.
     
  3. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    Good god, please don't pay for the "Dark Knight" sequel. It's one of the worst comics I've ever read, bar none.

    Other Bat-books? I don't read the monthly titles anymore, so I'm not sure what's going on there these days. It sounds like you've already hit the high notes with Year One and Dark Knight.

    Batman is one of my favorite comic characters, but I can't really think of any standout stories I'd recommend you seek out. If I were you, I'd check out the monthly titles and see what I like.
     
  4. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    DC has hardcover books and trade paperbacks of "The Best Joker Stories Ever Told" and "The Best Batman Stories Ever Told".

    One of those (probably the Joker one) had a couple of excellent stories in it -- "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge" (Joker hunts down his old hirelings to kill them; Batman tries to stop him, mostly without luck), and "The Laughing Fish" (the Joker's creative attempt to use copyright to "finance my frankly hedonistic lifestyle").

    I believe the animated Batman series drew on both of those story lines (take part of "The Laughing Fish", add a modified version of the ending of "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge") for one of its episodes. But the originals are even better.

    There are also a couple of Superman stories that are very much worth tracking down. "For The Man Who Has Everything" (reprinted in "The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told") and "The Last Superman Story" (ran across two issues of two different Superman titles just before the Byrne "reboot"; I don't know where you'd find a reprint). Both are by Alan Moore (of "Swamp Thing" and "Watchman" fame), and both have a rather dark edge. (Who would have believed that
    Mr. Mxyptlyk
    would prove to be more evil than just about all of Superman's other enemies combined? Yet it makes perfect sense in the context of the story.)

    "So Alby guessed part of my joke. A pity he didn't realize that the explosive in the cigar was nitroglycerin. Rest in pieces!!!!" -- Joker, celebrating the demise of one of his former employees
     
  5. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Id recommend the Batman/Grendel crossover(This will also expose you to Grendel[​IMG][​IMG]). 2 issues by Matt Wagner. However make sure you get the first one not the sequel.Ask someone at the store you go to for the correct ones.
    I got rid of most of my Batman comics years ago, but there were alot of good stories. Its true Miller revitalized the character in 86, but there were plenty of darker Batman stories before Miller. I remember some of the Batman comics I had in the 70s really scared the hell out of me.
    Try to find some sort of site on the net that goes through his history with issues listed and just look and see what looks interesting to you.
    I also really remembering really liking some of the Detective Comics Gene Colan had drawn during the 80s.(But I may be biased I was always a fan of his).
     
  6. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Kevin,
    I'm familiar with the first three books you listed and enjoyed them quite a bit. Another mini-series that I'd recommend is Batman: The Cult written by Jim Starlin, who I've thought was overlooked as a writer for Batman. It's also drawn by Berni Wrightson, who always does good work. I vaguely recall Son of the Demon as decent work but maybe not as dark as you'd like (If someone has this, am I right?)
     
  7. James Slade

    James Slade Second Unit

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    I second the cult, a must read/own
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams issues of Batman from the 1970's were really great (Thomas touches upon those stories with his "Joker's 5-way revenge" recommendation). Neal Adams' art brought Batman into being a realistic character grounded in the real world. Then there is the run on Detective comics by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers ("The Laughing Fish" came from that run). Marshall Roger's art from that time period was phenomenal, some of the shots of Batman swing around Gotham City have stayed with me to this day.

    The major problems with Batman stories these days are the incessant multi-title/multi-months crossover sagas. Who can afford to spend $50 to get all the pieces of the latest Batman saga over the course of 3 months? I gave up.
     
  9. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "The Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams issues of Batman from the 1970's were really great"
    YES!!! Couldnt remember the names[​IMG]
     
  10. Andrew Chong

    Andrew Chong Supporting Actor

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    For sheer artistic brilliance, try 'Batman: War On Crime' fully painted by (the genius of) Alex Ross and written by Paul Dini.
    more info and a cover image
     
  11. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    There's a really good graphic novel called "Batman: Arkham Asylum" that got me back into Batman and comics in college.
    It's also quite dark and twisted. I don't remember the Author's/Illustrator's names tho. [​IMG]
    Rafael
     
  12. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Batman: The Long Halloween is my favorite Batman graphic novel out of all the ones I've read (including Dark Knight Returns).
     
  13. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    There's also a graphic novel by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham which features Batman and Ras Al Ghul and his daughter Talia. It has the word "Demon" in the title, but I can't remember the title.
     
  14. Jarrod_L

    Jarrod_L Stunt Coordinator

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    The Long Halloween and Dark Knight are a must for any Bat-fan.

    Personally, I prefer the out of continuity Batman stories, like Dark Knight or Arkham Asylum, or else you get wrapped up in multi-part, multi-title, multi-year storylines that keep going and going and going (Like KnightsEnd, KnightQuest, etc, ect).

    There is a very interesting JLA graphic novel out now called "Tower of Babel" that is a great read for Bat-fans. In it, precautionary secret files that Batman has been keeping on the worlds greatest heroes (just in case they ever go psycho and he has to take them out) falls into the wrong hands, and the bad guy uses Batman's own ideas to nearly destroy big guns like Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Flash.

    Batman is the central figure in the storyline.
     
  15. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! [​IMG]
    I received my Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight today, and I noticed a timeline in the back that listed several issues, mini-series and graphic novels that were deemed "important" to the Batman legacy. Along with the recommendations in this thread, I'll be sure to have plenty of potential reading material in the future.
    (And as a sidenote, I am also not into the monthly series of any comic character. At times--like Patrick Sun noted--it just gets too hard and expensive to keep up with everything. I really only buy collections and graphic novels.)
     
  16. Calvin Watts III

    Calvin Watts III Supporting Actor

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    I'd take a look at some of the Elseworlds novels.
    These are "What If" alternate reality stories that can really explore different aspects of a carrier. Two I'd recommend off the top of my head are:
    Gotham By Gaslight
    &
    Red Rain.
    Calvin
     
  17. Steve Enemark

    Steve Enemark Second Unit

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    Oh yeah, I love Elseworlds. Check out Batman: Holy Terror for a very dark story where religion dominates the USA.

    I'll second Batman: War on Crime, some of the most beautiful comic book art I've ever seen.
     
  18. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    For elseworlds books, Gotham by Gaslight is also interesting-a Victorian era Batman.

    Anything by Alan Moore piques your interest, eh? If so then check out ANY of the America's Best Comics titles for some Alan Moore-ish goodness. Best of all, there's compilations out of all the titles right now. A quick breakdown:

    Tom Strong-A book done in the classic Pulp hero style. Kind of like Doc Savage crossed with Superman.

    League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-The greatest heroes of the 19th century together in one book. An odd concept, but the book works surprisingly well (love the way it stays in character the whole time).

    Top 10-A cop book where everyone in the city (and on the force) just happens to have some extraordinary ability. Very well done book.

    Promethea-A more mythology driven book about a female heroine. Vol. 1 of this ended a little abruptly, but I enjoyed what I read-more would have been better (come on vol. 2).

    I think that's all of em. At least enough to keep you busy...
     
  19. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Patrick,
     

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