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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 192

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the classic Batman story from Detective Comics #439, “Night of the Stalker,” by Vin Almendola, Sal Almendola, Steve Englehart and Dick Giordano (from a Neal Adams idea).

Enjoy!

This story is SOO simple, yet its simplicity is at the heart of the power of the story.

Some crooks murder a man and his wife in front of the couple’s child as the crooks are making their escape from a bank robbery.

Batman is suitably disturbed by seeing effectively his own parents’ murder re-enacted in front of him once again…

So he heads off to, well, stalk them.

The Almendola brothers worked out the plot for the story together, and Sal drew the story. Englehart was brought on to dialogue it, and the Alemdnolas intended the story to have no dialogue from Batman. Englehart has told the story of how he actually DID add dialogue, but editor Archie Goodwin removed it, and boy, does it more or less MAKE the story (Englehart himself concedes that, yeah, it was definitely the right call).

Check out how effective Batman can be when you highlight the eeriness of a dude dressed as a bat hunting you down…

The story has a intriguing ending, one that you would NEVER see in a post-Frank Miller Batman world, but it’s still pretty interesting to see. You can find it reprinted in the first of the two current Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told volume from DC.

4 Comments

Travis Pelkie

July 12, 2010 at 1:58 am

I was going to ask if it was in one of the “Greatest Stories Ever Told” books, and so it is. So I’ve read this, but it’s not coming to mind about the ending. Man, I’m getting old.

That bull-like charge was more like a jack-in-the-box-like charge, since it lifted Batman ten feet into the air.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

July 12, 2010 at 8:00 am

Interestingly, Englehart seems to have riffed on this story in West Coast Avengers #29, which is basically “Night of the Stalker” with Moon Knight in the Batman role and a very different ending.

Darwyn Cooke did his own take on this story in his issue of solo. Good stuff.

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