Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
12. Alan Moore
Besides appearances by Batman during his Swamp Thing run (and, of course, Batman’s visit to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude for Superman’s birthday), Alan Moore has only really written two Batman stories. One of them was a neat Clayface story for an Annual. The other, of course, happens to be one of the most famous Batman stories of all-time.
The Killing Joke deals with the Joker assaulting Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara, crippling her with a bullet to the stomach. The Joker then kidnaps Gordon, all with the intent of proving that anyone can go insane if they have had a bad enough day…
The Batman/Joker dynamic would never quite look the same after The Killing Joke.
11. Scott Snyder
After impressing readers with an excellent run on Detective Comics featuring Dick Grayson during his stint as Batman, Scott Snyder moved over to the main title when the New 52 launched.
Scott Snyder’s Batman is a compelling one for a number of notable reasons, one being the way that Snyder makes Gotham City a major player in the comic, more so than most other writers have ever done so (he wrote a mini-series, Gates of Gotham, that underscored this approach before he put it into full view in his Batman run). The introduction of a secret cabal called the Court of Owls that was nested within Gotham City’s own infrastructure for over a century was a striking addition to the Bat-mythos.
Another way that Snyder’s Batman stands out is how HUMAN he is – this is not a Bat-God, this is a relatable human being being thrust into practically unrelatable experiences. This was a major aspect of Snyder’s take on Dick Grayson but it worked just as well with Bruce Wayne. When the Court of Owls capture Batman and break his mind down, it isn’t one of those things where Batman is just playing with them – they actually DO break him down. He is not infallible, after all. However, what makes him the hero he is is the way that he fights back AFTER being broken down. He falls to the lowest place he can go but he manages to drag himself back up. And Synder’s Batman not only drags himself back up, he does so with panache…
How badass is that? It reflects his never-say-die spirit as well as the fact that he IS part of Gotham City. He represents the city and is tied to it in ways that few people are to their respective hometown. Snyder is currently exploring Batman’s humanity, his indefatigablity and, of course, his ties to Gotham in the epic Zero Year storyline in Batman RIGHT NOW! Go check it out!
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