75 Greatest Batman Stories: #75-66
68. World’s Finest (World’s Finest #1-3)
World’s Finest was a prestige format mini-series written by Dave Gibbons with artwork by Steve Rude.
The series was mostly centered around what happens when Lex Luthor and Joker strike up a bargain….
It is very well remembered for how astonishingly good Steve Rude’s artwork is in the series. As you can see from these sample pages. However, I thought Gibbons also did a very nice job on the character work, which this series was heavy on – this was a slowly delivered series – lots of room to dwell on the little character interactions between the various Superman and Batman cast members.
And, of course, we got this awesome gift sequence…
67. Batman vs. Predator (Batman vs. Predator #1-3)
Dave Gibbons is on the list again! Again with a prestige format mini-series, although this time it is almost more impressive because it is a inter-company crossover and those rarely turn out well (but when they do, wow, are they memorable!). This was a good one as the Batman/Predator match-up is such a clearly cool one.
Andy and Adam Kubert combine to do the artwork. The story is a simple but effective one – Batman fights the Predator and gets his ass kicked. So he has to make some…adjustments…
66. “Zero Year” (Batman Vol. 2 #21-27, 29-current)
I would imagine that as time goes by, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Danny Miki’s Zero Year will only rise in voters’ minds, but it is understandable for a story that has not yet actually finished that people might not be ready to judge it fully. However, in just the issues that HAVE been released we’ve already been treated to a powerful epic, split into three parts (Secret City, Dark City and the current Savage City).
This is sort of a re-telling of Batman’s origins, but it is SO much more than that. It is a man still learning how to be the best symbol that he can be, but it is also one of the Riddler’s most notable stories of all-time. The basic gist is that the Riddler has been manipulating people and events to the point where he basically has taken over Gotham City, cutting it off from the rest of the world. This runs through the background of Secret City and comes to a head in Dark City, leading to Savage City, where Riddler is in charge and Batman has seemingly failed. However, you know that can knock the Bat down, but you can’t KEEP him down…
Greg Capullo has been outstanding on this series and Snyder just keeps upping the ante with more and more outrageous sequences like the ones I showed you above. He has really taken a hold of all the freedom that comic book writers have of not having to worry about special effects budgets and logistics to just tell an endlessly surprising and entertaining series of stories that simply keep building and building and just when you think that they have to plateau – they keep building! It’s been a hell of a ride and I look forward to seeing how it all ends.