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Nostalgia November Day 02 — Batman: Shadow of the Bat #63

Each day in November, I will read and review/discuss/whatever one comic taken from a box of some of my childhood comics. Today, it’s Batman: Shadow of the Bat #63.

shadowofthebat63Batman: Shadow of the Bat by Alan Grant and Dave Taylor is the second part of “Janus,” a Two-Face story where a new vigilante named Janus has popped up in Gotham, targeting Two-Face’s men. Janus wears a gold mask that has two bearded faces and shoots to kill. In this issue, he makes two appearances and is a relatively unimportant.

As far as stock Batman stories go, this one is fairly mediocre. Tim suspects Alfred of being Janus despite it obviously being Two-Face… Two-Face hijacks a nuclear sub and threatens to kill half of Gotham if he’s not paid two billion dollars… Also, Two-Face has apparently taken over completely and the Harvey Dent half of his personality is no more, which makes the Janus twist make a little more sense. However, it’s all very by the numbers with little innovation. The only interesting part of this issue is the information on the number 2 that Two-Face reads in a book.

Dave Taylor’s art has always been to my taste, although it’s a little static here. It’s a very clean, slick style. Clear cartooning — the colouring really works well with it.

Oh, and it turns out that Alfred was taking ballroom dancing lessons. That’s why he would disappear without explanation at times and why Tim suspected him of being Janus.

A short post today, but I imagine many of these will be very short posts.


Why in the world would Alfred ever need to *take* ballroom dancing lessons?

It’s a chance to meet women. (That’s the actual explanation…)

Jesus, I know I’m the designated old guy around here, but when THIS is one of your ‘childhood’ comics it makes me feel really decrepit.

Well, I was 14… so not quite CHILDhood, but from my youth, at least…

So far these “nostalgic” after I was old enough to buy my own liquor.

Off to Amazon to shop for a walker and bifocals.

(I am enjoying the columns, though)

Well, these are from my era, too.

Did this one come out before that episode of the animated series with “The Judge”? Could this be an influence?

I can’t remember this issue being particularly memorable. However, I do tend to think that Alan Grant doesn’t get enough credit as a Bat-writer (or a Lobo writer, for that matter).

I agree with Greg Hatcher, that book ain’t that old!

So is this going to be another masturbatory Superhero column from “COMICS should be Good”?

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

November 2, 2009 at 10:51 am

This did indeed predate the “Judge” episode as far as I know. Alan Grant always frustrates me on Shadow — the plot ideas are clever and there’s a lot of thought being put into the story premise, but the execution is somehow always a bit cliched, as with the Alfred red herring in this story.

Kevin — Forgive my younger self for focusing on superheroes in his purchasing… because most kids are known for their breadth and depth of reading material.

I apologize for coming on strong. I’m just trying to find the point of yet another column all about superhero comics. There are more comics, for kids, then superheroes.

I agree that if this is from your childhood, it makes me feel really old.

I’m so greatful for Kevin to come over to tell us poor unenlightened fools that comics can be about more than superheroes. I had no idea.

How would a person such as Kevin (or, I for that matter) go about doing a Nostalgia month of non-superhero comics for the site?

I think that this is a really good idea. And, while my November is really busy, am considering using it to do the same over at my LiveJournal in Dec.


Kevin — Yes, there are, but we’re not talking about kids as a broad concept, we’re talking about me as a kid. Also, it’s been TWO DAYS… how do you know what comics I’ll read next? How do you know it’s a box of superhero comics and nothing but superhero comics?

…wait, do Transformers count as superhero comics?

I believe I’m a year older than you (I’m 27) and if we’re looking at my collection it would be nothing but X-Men comics until 1996 and then just Avengers and Ironman. So @Kevin, we could be having a month of X-Force #3 followed by X-Men #32 then Captain N #2 finished by Chip & Dale #5 (okay I fibbed a bit before I started collecting comics in ernest I picked up a copy of a Captain N comic and a Chip & Dale comic).

Isn’t nostalgia supposed to be a positive feeling? Alan Grant on Shadow of the Bat’s best left to the past, I’d say. :-)

Jesus, Kevin, I’m sorry a superhero comic touched you in your no-no place as a child, but if you don’t want to read another column about them, might I suggest not clicking on links that say: “Batman: Shadow of the Bat”?

Comics SHOULD be good!

just tho’t that i’d add to the debate.

i’m sure that Maus or Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers will be discussed next.
or maybe Space Beaver or Peepshow or Luba or whatever else Kevin reads

[…] November Day 01 — The Punisher 2099 #1 Nostalgia November Day 02 — Batman: Shadow of the Bat #63 Nostalgia November Day 03 — Superman annual #3 Nostalgia November Day 04 — Batman annual #15 […]

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