Doomsday: Year One is a 1995 comic book one-shot annual, which tells stories about the character of Doomsday. Thus far, it is the only comic book released which is entirely about Doomsday. In this issue, Doomsday meets Darkseid for the first time and fights the Green Lantern Corps.
Frank Miller‘s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (February–June 1986), which tells the story of a 55-year old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated the character. The Dark Knight Returns was a financial success and has since become one of the medium’s most noted touchstones. The series also sparked a major resurgence in the character’s popularity.
That year Dennis O’Neil took over as editor of the Batman titles and set the template for the portrayal of Batman following DC’s status quo-altering miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. O’Neil operated under the assumption that he was hired to revamp the character and as a result tried to instill a different tone in the books than had gone before. One outcome of this new approach was the “Year One” storyline in Batman #404–407 (February–May 1987), in which Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli redefined the character’s origins. Writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland continued this dark trend with 1988’s 48-page one-shot Batman: The Killing Joke, in which the Joker, attempting to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, cripples Gordon’s daughter Barbara, and then kidnaps and tortures the commissioner, physically and psychologically.
The Batman comics garnered major attention in 1988 when DC Comics created a 900 number for readers to call to vote on whether Jason Todd, the second Robin, lived or died. Voters decided in favor of Jason’s death by a narrow margin of 28 votes (see Batman: A Death in the Family). The following year saw the release of Tim Burton‘s Batman feature film, which firmly brought the character back to the public’s attention, grossing millions of dollars at the box office, and millions more in merchandising.
One year after the events of Infinite Crisis, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman reunite in the Batcave to re-form the League in Justice League of America #0, the kick-off for a new series by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes. The series featured a roster which included Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Black Canary, Red Arrow (Green Arrow‘s former sidekick), Red Tornado, Vixen, Black Lightning, and Hawkgirl. The first arc of the series focused upon Red Tornado and pitted the team against a new intelligent incarnation of Solomon Grundy and the rebuilt Amazo. The new incarnation of the team has two main headquarters, linked by a transporter. At the first site is The Hall, which in the mainstream DC Universe is a refurnished version of the Justice Society of America and the All-Star Squadron‘s former headquarters located in Washington, D.C.. Black Canary is elected as the first official Chairperson after the fight against Amazo and Solomon Grundy, and led both the Justice League and Justice Society in a complex quest to reunite time-lost members of the pre-Crisis Legion of Super-Heroes, who had been sent back in time to free both Bart Allen and Flash from the other dimensional realm of the Speed Force. Meltzer left the series at the end of issue #12, with one of his subplots (Per Degaton, a pre-nuclear fire mutation version of Despero, and a circa 1948 version of the Ultra-Humanite gathering for an unknown plot) resolved in the pages of Booster Gold.
Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, also known as DK2, is a 2001-2002 DC Comics three-issue limited seriescomic book written and illustrated by Frank Miller and colored by Lynn Varley. The series is a sequel to Miller’s 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns. It tells the story of an aged Bruce Wayne who returns from three years in hiding, training his followers and instigating a rebellion against Lex Luthor‘s dictatorial rule over the United States. The series features an ensemble cast of superheroes including Catgirl, Superman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, The Flash, and the Atom.
In February 2016, DC Comics announced that as part of the company’s continuity relaunch called DC Rebirth, Detective Comics would resume its original numbering system with June 2016’s #934. Before the New 52, Detective Comics volume 1 had 881 issues, and the New 52’s 52 issues, which ran from 2011 until 2016, were then added back into volume one, making Detective Comics #934 the premier issue following the events of 2016’s DC Rebirth. Writer James Tynion IV and artists Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez are the creative team on the series which is published twice monthly. The series features a team initially consisting of Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Clayface, led by Batman and Batwoman, with Batwing (Luke Fox) and Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley) later recruited following Tim’s apparent death and Stephanie leaving the team.
This set was issued in 1995 and was limited to 5000 sets. It is easily one of the most sought after Vertigo Items ever produced. The cards, loosely based on characters from DCs Vertigo comic imprint, are among the most uneasily beautiful interpretations I’ve ever seen. This particular set is still factory sealed and in excellent condition.
In Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #1 (September 1994), writer James Robinson and artist Tony Harris introduced Jack Knight, the son of the first Starman. He wields a cosmically-powered staff, but refuses to wear a costume, instead preferring a T-shirt, leather jacket (with star emblem on the back), a Cracker Jack prize sheriff’s star, and light-shielding tank goggles. Jack briefly joined the JSA, but soon retired at the end of the Starman series, passing along his cosmic rod to the JSA’s young heroine, Stargirl. He starred in this critically acclaimed series from 1994 until 2001.
Batman: The Cult is a four-issue mini-series. It was published by DC Comics in their prestige format books and released in 1988. It was written by Jim Starlin, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, colored by Bill Wray and edited by Denny O’Neil.
The story follows the machinations of Deacon Blackfire and his band of homeless followers who have kidnapped Batman before the events of this story. Following a lengthy period of captivity Batman slowly succumbs to brainwashing. Batman is eventually freed from the cult but takes a long time to recover from his treatment at their hands. The story also delves into other territory. Gotham City politicians are assassinated by Blackfire’s party of followers. An attempt on Commissioner Gordon‘s life is tried by Blackfire’s group, leaving the commissioner in a hospital. Beyond Gotham authorities to protect the city, the national guard is called in, then the military and martial law is declared on Gotham. The series also features the second Robin, Jason Todd.
52 debuted on May 10, 2006, one week after the conclusion of the Infinite Crisis miniseries. The series was written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid, with layouts by Keith Giffen. 52 also led into a few limited series spin-offs.
52 consists of 52 issues, published weekly for one year, each issue detailing an actual week chronicling the events that took place during the missing year after the end of Infinite Crisis. The series covers much of the DC Universe, and several characters whose disparate stories interconnect. The story is directly followed by the weekly limited series Countdown to Final Crisis. It was the first weekly series published by DC Comicssince the short-lived anthology Action Comics Weekly in 1988–1989.
On July 16, 2013, DC announced that a new Harley Quinn ongoing comic book series would begin publication in November 2013, co-written by Amanda Conner and her husband Jimmy Palmiotti, cover illustrated by Conner, and story illustrated by Chad Hardin. The series has notably become distanced from the “Batman Family” of DC publications in both tone and premise, with Harley no longer having any significant connection to either Batman or the Joker following the “Death of the Family” storyline. In the series, Harley Quinn has become a landlady at Coney Island, is a part-time member of a roller derby team and has returned to her work in psychology under her real alias, indicating that Harley’s real identity is not public knowledge in the new status quo.