Archive for July 30th, 2012

July 30, 2012

Year 100 – must read Batman stories …12

The name says it all. This is Batman, set a hundred years after the original’s Gotham debut. Sadly, Gotham City is no better than it was a century ago. The police are still ravaged by corruption and too much of the city is gripped by poverty. But there is hope. There is a Batman. At least, that’s the myth. No, this isn’t Bruce Wayne at 120 years old. This is a new man in the suit, with a new Robin. But as we learn, the cape and cowl have become part of a legacy. A legacy most of Gotham has forgotten. Well, they’re about to get a reminder.

Year 100 is different. Not just because it’s set in the future. This is the rare Batman story that doesn’t try to hang tight to the Bruce Wayne version of Batman. It’s fresh and new and exciting. And yet, it has some very clear connections to Batman: Year One, keeping this wild fantasy of a futuristic Dark Knight tethered to the core mythology.

July 30, 2012

Gotham By Gaslight – must read Batman stories …13

Set in the Victorian era, the origin of Batman hasn’t changed much in Gotham By Gaslight. Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered, he travelled abroad to train so that he could return to Gotham as its protector. Only catch is that while Bruce was in London, a madman was on the loose cutting up prostitutes. And when Bruce returns home to Gotham, the murders follow him. If you’re going to suspect someone of slashing up ladies with a scalpel, why not the eccentric son of a doctor? After all, can Bruce Wayne explain his nocturnal habits?

Gotham By Gaslight is a tightly woven mystery that never tries to do too much. Sometimes Elseworlds tales throw in every bit of Batman lore and the Cray computers to boot. Wisely, Augustyn sticks to what makes sense for the story and pulls off one of the better tales in Batman’s long history.

July 30, 2012

Black and White – must read Batman stories …14

Here’s a novel concept: Take the best writers and artists in comics, give them only a handful of pages to work with, and ask them to create complete and compelling stories about the Dark Knight. The result is the fascinating, varied, and sometimes hilarious Batman: Black & White. If Batman’s legend were a diamond, this book would show you every facet.

Some of the stories in B&W are larks, some are very serious. Each shows a slightly different side of the Batman. My personal favorite is the Neil Gaiman/Simon Bisley romp “A Black & White World” which imagines Joker and Batman as actors playing out parts within the pages of a comic book.

Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

SS24 - in search of the bull !

one who is going upstream ......

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