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Welcome to the four hundred and forty-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and forty-eight. This week is a special theme week! All legends related to the classic Batman storyline Knightfall! Was Knightfall really a response to the Death of Superman? Was the intent behind Knightfall always that Bruce Wayne would return as Batman? And finally, how did a health scare for Azrael’s creator keep Azrael from being killed outright?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Knightfall was inspired by the success of The Death of Superman
A common fallacy that we often see (and which comes up in Comic Book Legends Revealed quite frequently) is the notion that just because something came after something else, then it was influenced by the first thing.
This is particularly clear when it comes to Knightfall and the Death of Superman.
The Death of Superman made major waves in November of 1992….
Well, four months later, Batman had his back broken by Bane in Batman #497…
before Azrael took over as Batman in Batman #500…
Now, naturally, looking back at the situation, it seems like DC decided to follow up their success with killing Superman by “breaking” Batman and replacing him with another character.
However, that was not the case.
The whole Knightfall storyline was obviously in play in the Bat-books long before the actual crossover began.
It “officially” began with Sword of Azrael #1, which came out BEFORE we first saw Doomsday’s fists hitting a door as he tried to escape.
What happened was a simple matter of the Superman books having their own little group and the Batman books having their own little group and the two groups both independently came up with plans that sort of mirrored each other.
Had they known about each other’s plan, I would bet that one of the two groups would have delayed their storyline, but alas, it was not until it was too late that they learned of each other’s plans.
Denny O’Neil explained as much to Jek Tezak, in a great interview that I will be citing two more times today!
Mike Carlin did not copy me, nor I him. I didn’t know about the Superman storyline until we were some months into Knightfall, and Mike was equally ignorant of my stuff.
Thanks to Denny and Jek for the information!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Did 20th Century Fox hide the fact that Miracle on 34th Street was a Christmas movie when they released it in 1947…in May?!