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75 Greatest Batman Stories: #40-36

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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 75th anniversary of Batman on July 23rd. We’ve done Batman covers, Batman characters, Batman creastors and now, finally, Batman stories!

You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 75 Greatest Batman Stories! Here are #40-36!

Enjoy!

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.

40. “Dark Knight, Dark City” (Batman #452-454)

In this storyline by Peter Milligan, Kieron Dwyer and Dennis Janke, the Riddler finds himself possessed by the demon Barbathos, who has a unique connection with the history of Gotham City…

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How amazing was that time lapse sequence by Dwyer? Just outstanding. I love the slow burn on this story, as the Riddler’s actions are just SLIGHTLY off until we realize why he is acting like such a maniac – the dude is possessed!

Grant Morrison directly used this story as the basis for the Return of Bruce Wayne.

39. “Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed?” (Batman #290-294)

David V. Reed, John Calnan and Tex Blaisdell (talk about a veteran team of creators at the time) told this Canterbury Tales style story where Batman’s greatest foes argue for the right to be deemed the TRUE killer of Batman…

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It’s such a clever idea that it really stands out, especially during a time period not known for its long-form stories.

38. Gotham by Gaslight

Brian Augustyn, Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell got together to give us the comic that pretty much launched the Elseworlds line of comics, as this graphic novel tells the story of Batman in the time of Jack the Ripper, with outstanding artwork from Mignola and Russell (a dream team if there ever was one)…

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Go to the next page for #37-36!

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33 Comments

scarletspeed7

July 16, 2014 at 5:50 am

All right, there’s one of my nominations! I love Dark Knight, Dark City to death, and that’s thanks to the Greatest Peter Milligan Stories Ever Told list from a few years back on this site. It’s since become a personal favorite Batman story of mine; I guess I have you to thank for that Brian!

“Dark Knight, Dark City” may very well be my favourite Batman story. “Prey” is a great one too, probably the best of the Year One-era bat-tales (not including Year One itself, obviously).

“Gothic” has a very similar tone and feel to DKDC, but the story is a bit too meandering.

I voted for both “Dark Knight Dark City” and “Prey.” I was expecting “Prey” to show up somewhere on this list, but I honestly thought I might end up being the only person to vote for “Dark Knight Dark City.” I’m happy to see that both those great stories rank so well in this poll.

While I didn’t vote for “Gotham By Gaslight” or for “Gothic,” I agree that both of them are also very, very good. I’ve never read “Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed?” but now I want to. Has it ever been reprinted?

I’m gonna consider Dark Knight, Dark City a vote for the whole Peter Milligan run on Batman/Detective Comics, however shortlived that was. We all knew And the Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels and The Bomb weren’t gonna be here.

Prey was in my top 15, just got edged out. Clearly my favorite of all the post-Year One/early day stories like the Loeb/Sale collabs or the Matt Wagner books. Its really reminds me of Nolan’s TDK, a dense crime drama with interesting psychological underpinnings that doesn’t skimp on the superhero action when the time comes for it.

Gotham by Gaslight is one of the better elseworlds, if nothing else for the incredible combination of Mignola and P. Craig Russell.

Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed? seems to be the only story by David V. Reed people admit to enjoying unironically.

Where Were You When Batman Was Killed? was indeed collected in a trade called “The Strange Deaths of Batman that came out in the late 00s, around the time of Batman: RIP. It’s still available through Diamond, so your comic shop should be able to order it.

I preferred Matt Wagner’s take on Strange in Monster Men: All that anti-Bats psychologizing was just a cover so Batman would look bad if he went after Strange.

I like a lot of Reed unironically. Not deep, but fun little detective stories, and he did a good job handling Bruce’s playboy image. The “emergency gift box” from one story was a nice touch (it turns out Bruce has a big box of jewelry so if he forgets the girl-of-the-week’s birthday, he has plenty of presents handy).

I’ve got three of my votes in now, with Batman #400, the Wrath special, and “Where were you the night Batman was killed”. Gotham by Galight is another nostalgic memory from the 80s that I’ll have to reread someday.

@Ben Herman: “Where were you..?” is reprinted in a Batman anthology along with a few similarly themed stories…I think it’s called “The Many Deaths of Batman” or something like that. I know its cover is a nice reworking of the funeral image at the top of this post.

@dhole: Thanks for the info. I’ll keep an eye out for that trade paperback.

This is BY FAR the best batch of stories yet and that one cover is such a classic.

Yay! “Where Were You the Night Batman Was Killed?” is awesome! It was on the stands the same time as the Englehart/Rogers/Austin issues of Detective Comics. Such a great time to be reading comics!

I still have the issues I bought fresh from the spinner rack at Moore’s Drugstore when I was 13.

interesting for gotham by gaslight thought would not be on the list till some time in the top twenty. plus also love that where were you the night batman died made the cut for not only are most of batmans big guns under one roof but also it includes lesser rogues like firefly and even single man as the jury. plus prey is another batman story i expected to not show up till way in the top twenty or even maybe close to the top ten almost.

“Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed?”
My favorite chapter belongs to, of all people, Lex Luthor. But I’d rather not say more for spoiler reasons.

Gotham by Gaslight
Ever notice they make Gordon look a bit like Teddy Roosevelt? I think that’s deliberate since for a period back in the gaslight era Teddy Roosevelt wasPolice Commissioner (of New York City).

Gotham by Gaslight got a vote from me. It lived up to the promise of its premise: World’s Greatest Detective vs the most notorious uncaught killer of all time

Legends of the Dark Knight really was a very strong book. Almost all the stories in the first, say, fifty issues are outstanding, and the majority of the first hundred as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another couple show up higher up, too. When you think how many more issues of Batman and Detective comics were published than LOTDK, the number of stories from the latter getting nods on this awesome list of awesomeness really speaks to its quality.

My favourite Milligan story got a vote from me too: identity Crisis. But they were all excellent. Very individual, idiosyncratic and memorable

“Another of us committed suicide, another lost his life at Saratoga, Thomas Jefferson threw himself into politicks.”

Ha! That’s pretty funny.

The first few years of LOTDK were outstanding, it had kind of a Vertigo ethic in those days. Just wish there was a Bat title of that quality around today.

Well, it appears as though I wasted my top two votes. I voted for Death and the Maidens and Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood. Not because they’re my two favorite Batman stories, but because they are excellent, and I wanted to see them represented on the list. No dice. Cry for Blood is reasonably well-liked, but I feel like no one else has even read Death and the Maidens, much less loved it as much as I did.

Don’t know all Batman stories, who does, so quite a few I’ve never come across, but I must say that I’m pretty astonished that Gothic and Prey rate relatively low, as they are some of my all time favourites.

Great idea and very intersting votes here. Can’t wait for the rest.

Dark Knight Dark City is about my third favourite Peter Milligan Batman story from that era – and it got my #7 vote – but yes I realise that my other two votes probably won’t make this list. The problem is it’s such a great run of consistently excellent stories that there aren’t particular stand-out ones to go for and most people aren’t going to vote for all of them because they like to spread it around a bit.

I like a lot about Gothic, but it never felt completely successful to me.

Prey has the distinction of being the only Doug Moench story I like – and it really is very good.

Gotham By Gaslight is good too. IMO just before Mike Mignola really bloomed as an artist.

Well, it appears as though I wasted my top two votes. I voted for Death and the Maidens and Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood. Not because they’re my two favorite Batman stories, but because they are excellent, and I wanted to see them represented on the list. No dice. Cry for Blood is reasonably well-liked, but I feel like no one else has even read Death and the Maidens, much less loved it as much as I did.

I don’t think Cry for Blood has a chance, not because it isn’t good, but because it’s a Huntress/Question story and Batman is barely in it. I was a pretty cheap tactic to stick Batman’s name on the cover just to boost sales a bit.

Death and the Maidens was read by a lot of people as far as I’m aware. I just don’t think many people liked it.

Did Paul Gulacy or Terry Austin sneak in Selina Kyle’s nipple in the LofDK story?

I found Gotham by Gaslight to be overrated. Completely predictable story.

“Prey” really is outstanding. Gorgeous Gulacy artwork (including the first part’s cover being one of the best pieces of art featuring Batman I’ve ever seen), Moench firing on all cylinders (He can be unpredictable as a writer but when he’s good he’s very very very good).

Seriously if Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises was an adaptation of this, the movie would be much much better.

Dark Knight, Dark City is a great story, and one of my favorite Riddler stories. I’m looking forward to grabbing the new collection of it.

Only story I’ve read mentioned here is Gothic. It was one of the first stories (maybe even the first) I read that had Batman dealing with the supernatural (unless you want to lump Ra’s in the supernatural category). I don’t remember a whole lot of specifics about the story itself (it was awhile ago), but I do remember liking it. Going to have to reread it, I guess.

I haven’t read #290-294, but the premise sounds similar to “Almost Got ‘Im” from The Animated Series, which is one of my favorites of the series. I suppose I’ll have to track this story down at some point.

I also found ‘prey’ to be an excellent story which is why I decided to also read the sequel to it called ‘terror’, which was quite a good story as well. However, unlike ‘prey’, ‘terror’ seemed to cry out for a sequel of its own which as far as I know was never written. Does anyone know if there was a sequel to that storyline?

I’d really appreciate any input on this as I feel that these storylines greatly enhanced the identity of Hugo strange and his subsequent adaptation in the batman: arkham city video game. Asides from this I’m looking forward to the rest of this countdown.

“Gotham By Gaslight” was my number three. I like that THAT much. Great plot gimmick, excellent script, and fascinating artwork.

All these years later, I still find myself distracted by the fact that Selina dresses by putting her boots on first. So odd.

I agree with The Eye. Paul Gulacy’s cover artwork for Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #11 is stunning…

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090105160644/marvel_dc/images/7/75/Batman_Legends_of_the_Dark_Knight_Vol_1_11.jpg

Wow, I forced myself to find a spot for Prey just because I didn’t think anyone else would vote for it. Glad to see it IS fondly remembered.

And not just for the “titillation” it afforded a growing boy. ;-)

What I wouldn’t give for an omnibus collection of all of these so far. I’m realizing I’ve missed a lot of great stuff in my years away from DC comics.

Great to see Dark Knight, Dark City on the list.

That storyline was the first Batman story i bought myself, after reading the stories from the sixties/seventies from my dad. Because of this storyline i got into comics more and have been reading them non-stop since then.

Finally…I voted for 2 covers from Prey (LODK 13 and 15) in the covers poll – none of my 10 made the top 100
I voted Paul Gulacy as my first choice in the artists – he didn’t make it
Prey is my third choice of story to make the list

I suspect another LODK story I voted for, and another Moench/Gulacy story won’t make it

It seems a few of us had started with Dark Knight, Dark City. Oh how I cherished it. and really miss Legends of the dark knight, great run. I sort of stopped Batman titles in general last year when it just became too much and too young, but god to check out if any are good on here and see where that goes.

While i didn’t have a chance to vote I did think of my list and most appeared here :D another two that i still reread are a hugo strange story where they make batman think he is crazy and one where he meets a girl in limbo. I think both are LOTDK too but I haven’t read them I a while.

Cheers

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