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Nostalgia November Day 04 — Batman Annual #15

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 annual #15.

The Nostalgia November archive can be found here.

batmanannual15Batman annual #15 by Alan Grant and Jim Fern is another “Armageddon 2001″ tie-in, this time Waverider looks to Batman’s future to determine if he’s the hero who goes bad, becoming Monarch. Titled “The Last Batman Story,” it’s not as ambitious or compelling as yesterday’s Superman story, but it’s not bad. I hadn’t intended to do two Alan Grant Batman stories during the first four days, but I also have been just grabbing whatever looks interesting.

Even when I was younger, the only thing about this issue that really grabbed me was the cover, a gorgeous painting by Scott Hampton of Batman in cuffs. In this issue, someone is killing off Batman villains and, after a confrontation that results in the Penguin dying, Batman is arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. Before this, the Joker was released from Arkham, declared sane. Can we all see what happened? Yeah, it’s a bit obvious in its plot development and doesn’t really say anything of value as the Joker arranges his own release, gets a talk show, and is obviously just as insane as ever — and is the person responsible for framing Batman.

The look into the future here does have some nice/odd touches:

* In the year 2001… mayors have the power to determine if the death penalty is used in their city. They also have the power to stay executions.

* In the year 2001… 12 million have died in a war over oil.

* In the year 2001… Killer Croc wrestles Batman and Robin on TV every week.

* In the year 2001… Tim Drake quits being Robin to run for the senate after he sees that putting on a costume and beating people up may not be the best way to fix society.

* In the year 2001… Batman, though innocent, will allow himself to be executed because he believes in the rule of law that much.

* In the year 2001… Alfred got really, really, really old.

* In the year 2001… Batman and Robin have rocket-boots.

* In the year 2001… Batman watches Catwoman die and then shakes his fist at the sky, screaming “THIS IS IT, JOKER! TONIGHT IS IT!

* In the year 2001… the heavy favourite in a senate campaign can visit a convicted murderer who dresses as a bat in prison without anyone wondering why.

* In the year 2001… the Joker can using his Joker Gas on an audience and kill a guest by drowning him in a giant toilet and no one questions his sanity.

* In the year 2001… the world looks rather bad, because it’s drawn by an artist who doesn’t really rise above mediocre.

Not a bad comic, but yesterday’s selection was better. No idea what’s on tap for tomorrow.

18 Comments

Wow, that just sounds… terrible. Just terrible. I did enjoy the “nice/odd touches”, as in my head I kept hearing the Conan O’Brian year 2000 bit.

When I read this, I remember nothing really making it a “last” Batman story. There’s no resolution to Bruce’s life as Batman, and nothing to make us believe that he’d quit after the story ended.

I’m really liking this feature as it covers my own adolescent comic-reading heyday.

I always hated Jim Fern’s art, and this wasn’t the best Alan Grant Batman story by about 38974785 miles… I remember the Detective annual from this year being pretty interesting however…

CW — That was my intention — glad to see it worked.

Is this the one that prominently featured Anarky, or am I thinking of one of the other Armageddon 2001 Batman annuals?

I remember a Batman annual, I think it was a “Special”.
I can’t remember who wrote it, but Michael Golden drew it.

It was about Batman up against a mirror-counter-part who was every bit his equal in wits, and brawn.

I remember a scene where his counter-part knifes Batman in the side.

A good issue in all.

Tom: that was Batman Special 1, by Mike W. Barr. It introduced the Wraith, who has been experiencing a resurgence lately.

Anarky shows up in this one, providing Batman with a means of escape as they switch places.

never cared for the amageddon crossover. not to menton tthe joker being considered sane in the story and batman willing to die because of his beliefs in the system as the joker whacks the other rogues. the story did not work for me

More like “Armageddon Outta Here.”

The Crazed Spruce

November 4, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I remember buying as many of the “Armageddon 2001″ annuals as I could find. Loved the Eclipso ones, too. The Bloodline ones, not so much, but at least they gave us Hitman, so that’s something, at least.

The problem is, I don’t have a comic shop in my town, so I had to rely on the newsstands, and for some bizarre reason they didn’t carry the Batman annuals (even though they carried the regular series).

Just wondering, did you get the one where Superman became President?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 4, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Going by the Justice League Armageddon 2001 annual, in the year 2001, Guy Gardner is a religious leader.

The Detective Armageddon Annual was much better as I recall. Just don’t bring up the Hawk & Dove Annual as it directly contradicts the ending to the mini series.

Does Batman, pretty much via his whole existence, explicitly not believe in the rule of law that much?

Also, isn’t Gotham home to like four dozen convicted mass murderers? And the decide to execute the one guy that they think might be killing supervillians? Remember Bernie Goetz? Wouldn’t half the city be trying to throw him a parade?

How’d they explain Waverider touching everyone, yet seeing different futures? Or are all of the “future” stories supposed to take place in a shared future? And how’d they do multiple Bats and Supes annuals? Did he touch Bats and Supes multiple times, or touch their supporting cast/villains?

After he saw that Batman’s future and Superman’s future contradicted each other, he decided to try them again. Batman’s other one had Batman retiring due to injuries until Tim Drake, who took over, was killed. Superman had him become President, marry Maxima (after Lois dies in childbirth), and try to get rid of nukes

The Crazed Spruce

November 6, 2009 at 10:55 am

As I recall, Jeff, they said that the very act of observing the future changed the future. (That was especially true in the Flash annual, where in Wally’s future he met a woman, fell in love with her, got married, gave up being a superhero, went into witness protection to hide from her ex (who was a mob boss with psychic powers), and had a kid with superspeed (but without Wally’s protective aura, so just running across the room could kill him). But in the end, he wound up missing his meeting with her, because Waverider distracted him for about half a second.)

[…] November Day 02 — Batman: Shadow of the Bat #63 Nostalgia November Day 03 — Superman annual #3 Nostalgia November Day 04 — Batman annual #15 Nostalgia November Day 05 — Transformers #57 Nostalgia November Day 06 — TaleSpin #7 Nostalgia […]

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