web stats

CSBG Archive

75 Greatest Batman Stories: #10-7

1 2
Next »

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 #10-7!

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.

10. “Knightfall” (Batman #491-500, Detective Comics #659-666)

The basic gist of Knightfall (written by Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench with art by Jim Aparo, Graham Nolan, Norm Breyfogle, Jim Balent and a bunch of inkers) is that a fellow named Bane shows up in Gotham City with basically one goal – “break” Batman.

To achieve this, Bane frees all the inmates of Arkham Asylum to force Batman to capture them all before they can do too much damage.

This results in a frantic series of stories as Batman hunts down all the escapees, allowing writers Moench and Dixon to feature the whole gamut of cool Batman villains.

Meanwhile, the man formerly known as Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, has been training with Robin to be a hero.

When Batman finally captures all the villains, he is naturally exhausted. Unknown to him, though, this is the time that Bane chooses to strike, and he ultimately deals Batman a tragic blow.

batstory10a

batstory10b

batstory10c

batstory10d

This leads to Jean-Paul Valley taking up the mantle of Batman, giving Bane quite a surprise!

This story was a bit of a social experiment on the part of Batman editor Denny O’Neill. He wanted to show just why Batman was so special, and to do so, he would have a “Batman for the 90s” show up, all the better to contrast with the original (and, of course, hopefully this new character could be spun off into his own book when Batman returned, which is just what happened).

9. “First Tale of the Demon” (Batman #232, 235, 240, 242-244 and Detective Comics #411)

The storyline does not really HAVE a name, although I guess you might call it “Daughter of the Demon,” but since it is collected in Tales of the Demon with another Ra’s al Ghul story, I figure “The First Tale” is an appropriate enough name!

Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano are the only constants in this storyline. It begins in Detective Comics with a Bob Brown penciled issue, then the story continues to Batman, where Irv Novick and Neal Adams draw three issues apiece (although Adams draws more total story pages, as two of Adams’ issues are full-length stories while none of Novick’s are).

An interesting aspect of the first stories involving Ra’s Al Ghul by Denny O’Neil and friends is the fact that the Batman within these stories is barely recognizable to the super-competent Batman of today. The Batman of the first Ra’s story really needs the help of other practically ordinary people to help bring down Ra’s.

Ra’s and Talia had been around for a little while before the famous first duel between Batman and Ra’s took place.

Batman fakes Bruce Wayne’s death and takes on the identity of Matches Malone for the first time (Malone is introduced and is killed in these issues, leaving the identity available for Batman to use). He teams up with a scientist who had worked with Ra’s (not of his own volition) and they race to stop Ra’s and Talia from unleashing a deadly plague. Through the story, Batman gets aid from some unlikely sources, like a famous skier!!

Ultimately, Batman tracks them down only to discover Ra’s dead. He takes Talia into custody but is then confronted by Ra’s – this is the first time we see the use of the Lazarus Pit. Batman is quickly subdued and Ra’s and his daughter take off.

This is probably the first “wow, Batman is tough” scene, as Batman manages to catch up with them and confront them again in the desert. Ra’s is suitably impressed.

We then see one of the most amazing four-page sequences in superhero comic book history…

batstory9a

batstory9b

batstory9c

batstory9d

Absolutely stunning work by Adams. This absolutely DEFINED Batman comics of this era. Heck, this pretty much defined Batman for the entirety of the 1970s!

Go to the next page for #8-7!

1 2
Next »

56 Comments

surprised to see knight fall miss the top five for its another of my choices. for it not only gave batman a new rogue member in bane but bane figured out the secret to how batman can be beaten. the first rhas al ghoul story. still love the look on rhas face when after getting the antidote by talia batman comes a calling. hush been wondering when it would show up for hush if done right is a new interesting baddie for batman espicilly since he has known batman since child hood and how he operates. batman rip and once again grant batman take ranks high on the list espiclaly when the story shows that no matter what batman gets put through some how he will keep going and he has a plan for every thing.

I voted for “First Tale of the Demon” (as Brian refers to it) which is one of my all time favorite multi-part Batman stories. It’s riveting, suspenseful, exciting, and just a heck of a lot of fun. Ra’s Al Ghul is an amazing character, an adversary who shares many of Batman’s ends but who is all too willing to use very different, drastic means of achieving them. I’m fortunate enough to have gotten my copy of the Tales of the Demon trade paperback autographed by both Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams.

And, y’know, I much prefer the human, fallable, vulnerable Batman that Denny O’Neil wrote (and later edited) to the uber-confident, aloof, utterly humorless “I have a contingency plan to take down God Himself” version of the character that has been prevalent for the past decade and a half.

I can only repeat myself and say I am astonished to see the ranking. Hush and Knightfall this high is surprising. While I am a Jim Lee follower, Hush was a nice concept but far from other stories. Knightfall drags on endlessly and it was a burden for me to finish it. Just shows how varied tastes are.
I love the Ra’s story, impressive art by Adams, the defining Batman artist.

R.I.P. was such a letdown since that was the story that was supposed to kill Batman but didn’t actually kill Batman. That happened in the train wreck that was Final Crisis.

Knightfall was definitely the best of the “KnightX” stories.

I just had a hard time reconciling all those spread out Ra’s stories as “one” story. But they are great. If for nothing else, the art itself.

And I? Am I also to be imprisoned?

With that art it’s a question even a Batman has a hard time answering….

I guess All-Star Batman and Robin isn’t showing up…damn you csbg voting audience!

Huge fan of Morrison’s Batman run, but I don’t like RIP. Its Tony Daniel’s horrible artwork, is the thing. But I already said as much about much preferring the similar Batman and Robin Must Die, which also made the list, so its all good.

The first Ra’s Al Ghul story was my #4 choice, so I’m pleased (but not surprised) that it placed in the Top 10. It feels a lot more epic than all the 20+ issue events that have come since. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams hit it out of the park, with the other artists also doing fine work.

I don’t get the popularity of Hush at all, though. It reads like a “Batman’s Greatest Hits” compilation and just coasts on readers’ memories of stories that were done more effectively elsewhere. It has all the resonance of a flashback episode of “Family Ties.” I bought it at the time, but I can’t say I’ve gotten the urge to reread it. At least it tries to do something to build up the Riddler as a legitimate threat, but even that breaks the “Show, Not Tell” rule of storytelling.

I have never been a fan of Bane.
I liked “Hush”. I think both show how difficult it is to tell a fresh, original – monthly – stories for a character that has been around as long as Batman has. Especially for a character that appears in so many comics a month, every month.

“Tales of the Demon” was my #5 and Knightfall was my #2. I love me some classic O’Neil and in concert with Dixon and Moench, he pulled off a great experiment with Knightfall.

I didn’t think much of “Batman RIP”. Frankly, I never found Dr. Hurt to be that much of a menace and was unable to suspend my disbelief that those guys could get into the Batcave so easily without Bruce noticing. Not to mention the absurdity of his “back up personality”, the grids of the city, etc. This and Final Crisis was like a one-two-punch of ridiculousness. I do, however, like how the Joker was used (outside of cutting his tongue to be a forked tongue), and how he basically called out the Black Glove for being a group of losers who don’t know Batman well enough.

“Hush” was one of those popcorn cinema experiences, except in comic form. Just a basic “let’s cram in as many characters as we can and string their cameos together with a mystery” kind of story. After Long Halloween and Dark Victory, this didn’t really live up to Loeb’s capabilities. It was especially mean spirited toward the end, too, regarding Harold.

John, I think you explained the popularity of Hush right there. A stripmining of Batman highlights, drawn by one of the most popular comic book artists of all-time, in one story. Its like a 12-year old’s dream version of a Batman story.

“…and then he and Catwoman FINALLY make out its sexy as fuck, and then he sword fights Ra’s in the desert, and then he contemplates killin the Joker because this is the last straw man, and he totally kicks Superman’s ass cuz he’s such a lame and Batman always prepares, and its all a big murder mystery by a new mastermind bad guy who quotes poetry and is totally awesome”

Its the most indulgent Batman story ever.

@John & Jeremy

Doesn’t that describe every other Batman story of the past decade. Death of the Family had an whole issue that read like Arkham Asylum with basil exposition.

I voted for Knightfall. So, yeah, that means I liked it.

The first cycle of Ra’s al Ghul stories is very impressive, especially for the art. It’s too bad so many substandard Ra’s al Ghul stories have made the character such a boring cliché. Most subsequent Batman writers seem to have had “Ra’s al Ghul” on their story checklist whether they had any new ideas or not.

“Hush” has really nice art. I was glad I checked it out of the library because it is fun just to flip through it and admire the art. But then you read it and you say to yourself: “That is really nice art.”

I’ll say this for Grant Morrison: He’s a better writer than Jeph Loeb.

I just finished reading Hush. It’s not a terrible story, but I’ve found with both it and The Long Halloween, Jeph Loeb’s logic only really works in his head.

This time around I was just going to bite my tongue about “Hush.” But then John Trumball chimed in with this observation…

It reads like a “Batman’s Greatest Hits” compilation and just coasts on readers’ memories of stories that were done more effectively elsewhere.

Yes, that is EXACTLY what “Hush” is. It is “Batman’s Greatest Hits” as drawn by Jim Lee. I absolutely think that if pretty much any other artist in existence had penciled “Hush” no one would really have cared too much about it. But it was Jim Lee and so many people reacted along the lines of “It’s Jim Lee drawing every single Batman character in existence! Plus it has Batman vs Superman, with Batman winning! And Batman finally scores with Catwoman! Yes, this is the coolest thing ever in the history of the entire world!”

I would have to say that “Hush” is pretty much the equivalent of a comic book series by Michael Bay.

I can’t blame Loeb or anything either. You get one of the most popular comic book artists of all-time to draw a 12-issue Batman epic, you got carte blanche to use ANY character you want, you goddamn right you have him draw all the fanboy moments you can fit into one story.

Only thing I hold against Lee is that awful, tacky re-design of Huntress that she was stuck with in her otherwise excellent portrayal in Justice League Unlimited and Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey. The one with the belly button midriff and booty shorts straight out of the 90s superhero design handbook.

I still don’t get how Knightfall placed this high, but I wasn’t a Batman reader in the 90′s, so I can’t talk I guess.

And at this point, I believe there’s only Season 1 of Batman Incorportated missing, but Grant Morrison’s entire Batman run is in this list now. That’s quite impressive.

anyone know what else might be there?

“Captives of the Alien Zoo”?

I understand why Jim Lee is so popular, even if I find him kind of soulless, but I think we can all agree he should not be allowed to design costumes.

I would have voted for Knightfall and the Ra’s Al Ghul saga if I’d thought they needed my help, so it’s good to see them get their due. Sad that Ghost of the Killer Skies isn’t going to make it – I don’t know that there’s any other comic boom character where you could compile a solid top 75 and still have to leave out so many amazing stories.

Finally, a collection of stories that I have read every one of! I imagine that will be true for the top six as well.

I can’t blame Loeb or anything either.

I honestly think Loeb could have done a much better job at making the mystery of Hush, well, a genuine, actual mystery, as opposed to introducing one incredibly obvious suspect.

Jacob T. Levy

July 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Wow. As far as I’m concerned, #s16-40 were almost all classics… but in the 7-15 range, only RIP, Mad Love, and “First Tale of the Demon” have any appeal.

Opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one. Thankfully they’re all different, even though some people think their arsehole is more insightful than others.

Very little here that impresses me.
Hush is enjoyable as a big sprawling multi-parter with lots of villains. That’s about it but I did enjoy it. And reading it for the first time a couple of months back, I really liked the scenes with Bruce and Dick.
Bane never impressed me enough to swallow the climax of Knightfall.
Hate Batgod. Much prefer fallible Batman. But I just can’t get into Denny O’Neil’s writing (an important and influential writer but I’ve never thought him a very good one)–it’s too dangerous to let Dick go up against R’As but he’ll take a scientist and a skier? But Neal Adams art justifies a high ranking, for sure.

And Hoosier, you’re crazy. Number one will totally be The Zebra Batman.

And Hoosier, you’re crazy. Number one will totally be The Zebra Batman.

Or “Batman Battles the Living Beast-Bomb!” from Detective #339!

Given that they O’Neil and Adams won their respective writer/artist polls last month, I was sure the Ra’s Al Ghul story would place in the top 5.

I’ve only ever read the first issue of it (technically, it was #1 of the reprint “Saga of Ra’s Al Ghul” miniseries. I hope to read it all someday.

Still have never read Knightfall, hopefully I will someday.

I almost voted for Hush. It is a fun romp through Batman’s rogues. Although I just reread it and it does kind for fizzle out towards the end…throwing in a weird twist on a character I’d never heard of but who a lot of people had liked…so kind of alienating new and old readers in equal measure.

Voted for RIP. Very intense, some fun Morrison villainy, and a nice capper to the Morrison run (phase one of it, anyway).

Now it’s time to play “what order are the obvious remaining choices going to be in..?”

Since you aksed Chris. Don’t know if Brian still deleting. As for teh other two look at the other polls

As Biran siad Dave McKean was on the artists list for only one story and it is written by Morrsion.

As for the other story Englehart #5 Rogers #7 enough said.

Still amazing The Killing Joke, a major part of Zero Year, and Under the Red Hood and the story that spawned all three is nowhere in the top 75.

Ben Herman:”And, y’know, I much prefer the human, fallable, vulnerable Batman that Denny O’Neil wrote (and later edited) to the uber-confident, aloof, utterly humorless “I have a contingency plan to take down God Himself” version of the character that has been prevalent for the past decade and a half.”

Totally agree. To me, the Batman who can be taken out by a redneck with a shovel or by an overweight cop with a rifle is a hell of a lot more interesting than the Batgod that Morrison writes about.

Looks like three fron my list won’t make it. Detective 400 Challange of the Man-Bat, Detective 163 under Dr Harvey and Mr Bullock(I knew this one wouldn’t but I loved this inside look at Bullock?

batgod! na na na na na na na na baaatgooooooooood!

Opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one. Thankfully they’re all different, even though some people think their arsehole is more insightful than others.

We are in complete agreement on this point.

I agree with the above re: Hush.

The identity of Hush is so obvious, it sort of ruins the story. I know it’s built up to suggest he is Jason Todd, and in reality, that would have been a far more exciting / satisfying ending to the story.

In reality, right from the start you’re thinking “hmmm who is this brand new Tommy character who’s just been introduced specially for this story, and why are there constant flashbacks about him EVEN AFTER HE’S SUPPOSEDLY DIED???? I wonder…”

Opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one. Thankfully they’re all different, even though some people think their arsehole is more insightful than others.

We are in complete agreement on this point.

—-

Some people’s opinions ARE more insightful than others!!! Eg. A comic historian who has read every Batman story probably has a more interesting opinion on the best Batman stories than someone who has read two.

I love Morrison’s idea of Batman being SO prepared that he even has a backup personality. The execution was a little confusing (mostly due to the artwork, but also because good old Grant is a little too long-form sometimes), but overall I think Batman RIP caps off the first big peak for the title. What came after this (especially Batman and Robin) was fabulous and beautifully executed.

Jeremy:
John, I think you explained the popularity of Hush right there. A stripmining of Batman highlights, drawn by one of the most popular comic book artists of all-time, in one story. Its like a 12-year old’s dream version of a Batman story.

Ben Herman:
Yes, that is EXACTLY what “Hush” is. It is “Batman’s Greatest Hits” as drawn by Jim Lee. I absolutely think that if pretty much any other artist in existence had penciled “Hush” no one would really have cared too much about it. But it was Jim Lee and so many people reacted along the lines of “It’s Jim Lee drawing every single Batman character in existence! Plus it has Batman vs Superman, with Batman winning! And Batman finally scores with Catwoman! Yes, this is the coolest thing ever in the history of the entire world!”

I would have to say that “Hush” is pretty much the equivalent of a comic book series by Michael Bay.

Yeah, I guess you’re right. Maybe it’s because I’m rather lukewarm on Jim Lee in general, but I have a tough time seeing the big appeal of HUSH if you’ve read any of the original stories Loeb & Lee are cribbing from. Especially since a lot of those original stories are readily available in reprint.

I mean, if I have an urge to read about Batman sword fighting Ra’s Al Ghul, I’ll pull out the finale of the original Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams story above. If I want to read about Batman & Catwoman getting romantic, I’ll read issues of BATMAN & DETECTIVE COMICS from the 1980s. If I want to read a Batman/Superman fight, I’ll read THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or Darwyn Cooke’s NEW FRONTIER one-shot. And if I want to read a multi-issue storyline with lots of different Batman villains, I can even read Loeb’s own LONG HALLOWEEN or DARK VICTORY. Heck, even Hush’s backstory of knowing Bruce Wayne as a kid was first used when the Black Mask debuted in the 80s.

That’s the thing that mystifies me about HUSH at the end of the day. I can’t think of anything it does that wasn’t done much better somewhere else years before.

Only thing I hold against Lee is that awful, tacky re-design of Huntress that she was stuck with in her otherwise excellent portrayal in Justice League Unlimited and Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey. The one with the belly button midriff and booty shorts straight out of the 90s superhero design handbook.

Absolutely agreed, Jeremy. That thing makes no sense for the character, and it went totally against the aesthetic that Bruce Timm & co. used on the JLU. It boggles my mind that it’s lasted as long as it has.

I guess All-Star Batman and Robin isn’t showing up…damn you csbg voting audience!

Surely not! I haven’t enjoyed a batman story as much as ASBAR the early 90s. (Milligan’s in case you we’re wondering).

we know Tony D. is not a great artist, but his art in RIP is far from terrible.
Combined with the coloring, i think it works really well, producing numerous striking images throughout the story.

Reading it month to month, i never anticipated a comic more.
“WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?” (the most important aspect of storytelling, where most writers fail, to be honest)

Opinions about Hush have always seemed very divisive, but that said I’m not at all surprised to see it this high up. I imagine it was the first Batman story a lot of people had read, and in some ways it’s not a bad introduction (though I’d argue Year One is THE place to start with Batman). I read it about a decade after it was published, and it was one of the first slightly deeper cuts I’d read after having read the bare essentials. It was a mixed bag for me. There was some stuff I liked, more that I didn’t. The bit that gets to me most is Clayface. I was so let down by that. I had Hush’s identity pegged, but for a little bit it seemed like Loeb had thrown one hell of a red herring at my face. I walked away from this thinking Hush wasn’t a very compelling character, and I’d probably still think that if it weren’t for Paul Dini and Heart of Hush.

Hush really does feel like the type of story that was dreamed up primarily as an excuse to have Lee draw as much Batman stuff as possible, but to Loeb’s credit he’s been quite open with admitting that. But that’s also about as superficial of a reason for a story to exist as there ever was, and I can understand why people say they don’t like it for that reason. It’s not the trainwreck it could (and probably should) have been. There is some good stuff in it, and I can see the workings of a good story within these pages, but I ultimately walked away from it with mixed feelings and some disappointment. At the very least, Lee lived up to his end of the workload. It’s a very good looking story.

I really like RIP. A lot. I should have voted for it, and I’m regretting not doing so. It admittedly wasn’t the easiest story to read at first. I just rolled with it the first time through, especially the Batman of Zurr-En-Arrh stuff. It’s much better, and makes more sense, on a reread. That Batman didn’t die until Final Crisis is a complaint that’s always been lost on me (nevermind the fact he doesn’t really die in it anyway). For all intents and purposes he does die in this. RIP (and really Morrison’s run as a whole) deals with one of the most basic concepts of the Batman mythos: who, or what, is “Batman”? Other stories have explored the idea of Batman continuing on with other people putting on the cowl, or what Bruce would be like had he never become or stopped being Batman. The point being is that what’s left over isn’t, well, “Batman.” Bruce Wayne can exist without Batman, and Batman can exist without Bruce Wayne, but “Batman” cannot exist without Bruce Wayne AND Batman. RIP examines what happens when “Batman” is something that ceases to exist because Bruce Wayne has been removed from the equation and all that’s left is Batman. RIP suggests that when Batman is all that’s left, what you get is the Batman of Zurr-En-Arrh. It’s an even more abstract facet of an already abstract concept, and one that’s admittedly a bit difficult to wrap the head around at first, but it’s one that’s essential to the question of “who, or what, is “Batman”?” It’s also the type of concept that’s right in Morrison’s wheelhouse. It’s a wonder that he pulled it off as well as he did, let alone that it’s one of my absolute favorites and one of the best I’m ever likely to read.

For those that don’t want to read/deal with Final Crisis, check out RIP: The Missing Chapters in Batman #701 and #702. If all you care about is Batman’s storyline, those two issues are all you need. They bridge the gap between RIP and FC, setup The Return of Bruce Wayne, and cover the Batman parts of FC better than FC does while also providing some more background info on his role in that story.

And not all of Morrison’s run is on here, but I think it’s fair to say the best parts are represented.

For those that don’t want to read/deal with Final Crisis, check out RIP: The Missing Chapters in Batman #701 and #702.

Plus the two earlier tie-in issues, which were excellent.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Morrison’s run, but RIP: The Missing Chapters was easily my least favorite part of it. It just felt like housekeeping, and of course it didn’t help that I didn’t like Final Crisis at all.

It’s weird – I’m trying to think if there’s a similar concept in other media – those two issues were a waste for anyone who already read Final Crisis, but when Morrison’s Batman run is collected, they make it so that you can plug in those two issues and explain what happened to Batman after R.I.P. and before Batman and Robin, so they definitely have a purpose – just a weird purpose.

I don’t like the Missing Chapters, but I LOVE the two issues right after RIP(682 and 683) going through the entire history of Bruce Wayne that doubles as him getting out of his own booby trapped brain from Darkseid’s minions. “What kind of man can turn even his life memories into a weapon!?”

Yeah, those two issues are probably the best parts of Morrison’s run not to make it on to this countdown. Oh wait, no, the Batwoman arc from the first volume of Batman Inc. is probably a little bit better. But then those two issues.

InformationGeek

July 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

RIP is… mediocre to me honestly. Bland artwork, moments so ridiculous that it took me out of the story, the story ultimately just abruptly ending, the enormous disconnect between me and Jezebel Jet (I could not care for her in the least bit and she was so not remotely interesting in the slightest that I did not care when she was “kidnapped” or turned out to be a traitor), moments that felt like padding, and more. It had good moments (Batman getting out of that coffin was great), but everything else was… just so weak. So wish Batman & Robin Must Die was here.

Otherwise, I’m fine with most of these choices. Batman: Hush was a lot of fun and like people said, it was Batman’s Greatest Hits, but you know what? It was a lot of fun and its the kind of story that I would recommend to most people wanting to get into Batman comics. It’s easily accessible, fun, good moments all around, and great artwork. I’m so-so on the ending, but luckily Paul Dini ended up fixing a lot with Hush so all is good.

Voted for Hush and Knightfall. The comparison to a Michael Bay film for Hush is pretty right on….only Hush for me is like The Rock, the one good Bay film. Knightfall got me into Batman. Not my favorite tale, but a solid interesting read.

We all should know the top 6. I’m curious which order 6-3 will be and also the order of 1 and 2.

Disappointed with this batch. Mostly stories that I found overrated.

The hate is strong in this comment section. Some of you seem like you completely hate these classic stories. You people need to sit back and read these stories for entertainment (what theyre meant for) and stop nitpicking everything.

Anonymous, you overlook that some of us don’t find these stories that entertaining, so we can’t read ‘em for that.
Generally I don’t find this group to be haters. A lot of disagreement, but more civil than many parts of the web.

@Anonymous –

RIP and Hush I couldn’t get into, though I wouldn’t call either “bad”. Knightfall was just weak and I’m shocked it’s in the top 10. The other one was solid though and I expected it to be higher.

Opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one. Thankfully they’re all different, even though some people think their arsehole is more insightful than others.

What exactly is your point with this contribution? What point were you trying to make?

I can’t blame Loeb or anything either. You get one of the most popular comic book artists of all-time to draw a 12-issue Batman epic, you got carte blanche to use ANY character you want, you goddamn right you have him draw all the fanboy moments you can fit into one story.

There are plenty of writers throughout superhero comic history who got to write 12 issues with some of the most popular comic book artists of all-time and didn’t just use that opportunity to primarily cram in as much fanwank as humanly possible at the expense of all coherence. Let’s not act like this is a tactic any writer would or should optimally and inevitably pursue when getting such an opportunity to work with a popular artist and with carte blanche. Many of the smartest comic masterpieces were written under those exact same conditions.

scarletspeed7

July 22, 2014 at 8:13 am

Hey Brian, I remember last year you did a list for X-Men stories and X-Family stories. Any chance we’ll have a chance to participate in a list for the Bat-Family (ie: Robin, Nightwing, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, etc.)?

All this talk about Hush, and I’m not saying it would have made it great or it wouldn’t still be bad, but….a big part of the lack of lasting value to the story is that it is undercut by the stories that come right after it. The whole idea that Hush was obvious and not that surprising a character fits, because the story reveals that it was actually the Riddler who was bad ass the whole time. Finally moving that character from his not taken seriously motif. It wasn’t a “Hush is a cool new bad guy story” but a “NOW let’s take the Riddler, a cool villain, seriously again.” But immediately after the Riddler is made into a joke (for what reason??), and we’re destroying Prometheus and other bad guys just to make a red herring villain seem tough. It makes the post Morrison X-Men retcons seems to make sense.

Travis Pelkie

July 23, 2014 at 3:04 am

The post-RIP/pre-FC issues were my #4, I believe, because of that quote of Jeremy’s (and Alfred’s badass “they will look away for just a fraction of a second and he will defeat them” bit), so where did they end up on the list?

I have to go through the whole list versus my list, but looking at these last couple I see what’s up top (and again, that GREAT stuff that everyone seems to do about speculating on the rest of the countdown — SHUT UP ABOUT IT UNTIL IT’S POSTED!) and I see that my choices did decently. More discussion later!

I have loved and hated reading this list (which I forgot to vote on, so I can’t comment), but this BY FAR is my favorite thing I have read so far:

Jeremy said:

“one of the most popular comic book artists of all-time, in one story. Its like a 12-year old’s dream version of a Batman story.

“…and then he and Catwoman FINALLY make out its sexy as fuck, and then he sword fights Ra’s in the desert, and then he contemplates killin the Joker because this is the last straw man, and he totally kicks Superman’s ass cuz he’s such a lame and Batman always prepares, and its all a big murder mystery by a new mastermind bad guy who quotes poetry and is totally awesome”

Its the most indulgent Batman story ever.”

So on point and I really did laugh out loud reading it.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives