75 Greatest Batman Writers and Artists: Writers #35-31
In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating with the official celebration of Batman’s anniversary at the end of July. The last installment will deal with Batman stories, but this month will be about Batman’s writers and artists (40 artists and 35 writers).
You all voted, now here are the results! Here is a master list of all the writers and artists featured so far. We begin with Batman writers #35-31.
NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.
NOTE #2: I made the same transcription error on both the writers list and the artists list, so as it turns out, Ty Templeton did not actually make the Top 35. I’ll leave him here as an honorable mention.
Kelley Puckett and Ty Templeton
Ty Templeton narrowly edged out Kelley Puckett, but both JUST missed the list. It is fitting that they were next to each other as they were both the main writers for DC’s marvelously entertaining series of comics based on the Batman: The Animated Series. These comics were mostly written by Puckett (who was the original writer on Batman Adventures) and Templeton (who followed with Batman: Gotham Adventures as well as writing the most issues of the follow-up series after that, Batman and Robin Adventures).
Both Templeton and Puckett has an impressive knack for telling all-ages tales that still were both heartfelt and, most importantly, affecting (while still often a good deal of fun).
A great example of their work was the final three-part story in Batman Adventures which began with part 1 by Puckett, part 2 co-written by both and then part 3 by Templeton. The story was about Hugo Strange, whose son David was murdered by one of Rubert Thorne’s men. Strange is so distraught by the memory of his dead son that he develops a means of eliminating bad memories. He uses his device on Batman. The amnesiac Batman is taken in by Catwoman who makes him her partner in crime and he is thrilled about it. Even when he is convinced that he is really Batman, he is a carefree and happy Batman. Eventually he realizes that he needs his memories to be effective, so he uses Strange’s machine to bring the painful memories back (it’s a great scene – I featured it on the Artists countdown for Mike Parobeck, artist of the three issues). Strange, though, has also used the machine, but remembers enough to know to kill the Rubert Thorne bodyguard who killed David. He thinks he is saving David, but obviously it is too late to do so as David is already dead. Thorne’s OTHER bodyguard is about to kill Strange when Batman and Robin show up…
See? Touching, heartfelt, all ages without being too childish but at the same time, with a nice little touch of fun thrown in with Catwoman. Great, great stuff.
35. France “Ed” Herron
Ed Herron wrote for a lot of DC Comics during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s (he was the main writer for Green Arrow throughout the decade), but he did not do a lot of work on Batman. The issues he did do, though, were very influential, as Grant Morrison used both Herron’s Man-of-the-Bats idea…
as well as the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh
during Morrison’s acclaimed Batman run. Herron returned to the title to do a more regular stint on the books at the start of the “New Look” Era of the Batman titles. He passed away after only a few years of stories, but he was a big piece of the revitalization of Batman in the 1960s, leading to the successful Batman TV series (did you know that the Batman TV series was very similar to the comics of the time? The Green Hornet TV show, though, was darker because the source material for the Green Hornet was darker, as well).
34. Paul Pope
The amazing thing about Paul Pope to me is that he had a strong legacy of great Batman stories before he even put together his greatest Batman work, Batman Year 100. His take on what if Batman had been created in Berlin during the late 1930s is stunning.
His take on Robin and Batman’s relationship in “Teenage Sidekick” during Pope’s Solo issue was clever and brilliantly told. Then he did his Batman masterpiece, the four-part Batman Year 100 storyline, detailing a world where there are cameras everywhere and no privacy for anyone -and yet the Batman still exists. Pope creates a stark future where the world needs someone like Batman more than ever and because of the starkness, the sheer over-the-top adventure of Batman stands out even more than usual.
33. John Wagner/Alan Grant
Wagner and Grant only worked together on Detective Comics for five issues, but in just those five issues they brought a real breath of fresh air to the title. Their first story line introduced the classic Batman villain, the Ventroloquist, and set up an epic run between Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle when Wagner left the title after issue #587.
Go to the next page to see #32-31!