Based on Batman: The Animated Series, the first series ran for 36 issues, 2 annuals, and 3 specials (Mad Love and Holiday Special, which were both adapted into episodes for The New Batman Adventures, plus an adaptation of the Batman: Mask of the Phantasm movie). The first annual introduces Roxy Rocket, who would later appear in The New Batman Adventures episode “The Ultimate Thrill” and the Superman: The Animated Series episode “Knight Time”. Most of the issues were written by Kelley Puckett, and illustrated by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett, though Ty Templeton did the writing and art on a few issues. Mad Love was written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Bruce Timm, while the holiday special was written and illustrated by a number of creative people who had worked on the animated series, including Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Glen Murakami, Dan Riba, and Kevin Altieri.
A Prestige miniseries finds the Clown Prince of Crime agreeing to be psychoanalyzed…on live television! Can the Dark Knight stop the unorthodox session when he doesn’t even know where it’s taking place?
The Joker’s time in Arkham Asylum has sent him madder than he was before by making him watch the Barry Dancer Show. He breaks out of there and is approached by the desperate show host, but is unable to speak due to his confinement.
The title’s 500th issue (March 1981) featured stories by several well-known creators including television writer Alan Brennert and Walter B. Gibson best known for his work on the pulp fiction character The Shadow. Also used during the 1980s was the use of serialization of the main Batman story, with stories from Detective Comics and Batman directly flowing from one book to another, with cliffhangers at the end of each book’s monthly story that would be resolved in the other title of that month. A single writer handled both books during that time beginning with Gerry Conway and followed up by Doug Moench. The supervillain Killer Croc made a shadowy cameo in issue #523 (Feb. 1983). Noted author Harlan Ellison wrote the Batman story in issue #567.
Writer Mike W. Barr and artists Alan Davis and Todd McFarlane crafted the “Batman: Year Two” storyline in Detective Comics #575-578 which followed up on Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One“. Writer Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle introduced the Ventriloquist in their first Batman story together and the Ratcatcher in their third (#585). Sam Hamm, who wrote the screenplay for Tim Burton‘s Batman, wrote the “Blind Justice” story in Detective Comics issues #598-600.
The new Giant line of comics — which will run across four monthly titles — will mix all-new original material by some of DC’s top creators with reprints for a 100-page package.
Creators working on the new material include such fan-favorites as Tom King, Brian Michael Bendis and the Harley Quinn writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, each working on characters outside of their traditional range in the regular DC line, with Bendis working on his first solo Batman material in September — a 12-part story beginning in Batman Giant No. 3 — and Tom King taking on Superman with artist Andy Kubert for their own yearlong epic beginning in Superman Giant No. 3. Not to be left behind, Palmiotti and Conner will launch a 12-part Wonder Woman story in the third Justice League issue.
World’s Finest was initially a 96 page quarterly anthology, featuring various DC characters – always including Superman and Batman – in separate stories. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Pairing Superman and Batman made sense financially, since the two were DC’s most popular heroes.” When superheroes fell out of vogue in the early 1950s, DC shortened the size of the publication to that of the rest of its output, leaving only enough space for one story; this led to Superman and Batman appearing in the same story together starting with World’s Finest Comics #71 (July 1954). The series continued to feature Superman and Batman team-ups until issue #197. Noted Batman artist Neal Adams first drew the character in an interior story in “The Superman-Batman Revenge Squads” in issue #175 (May 1968).
In early 1939, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at National Comics Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created “the Bat-Man”. Collaborator Bill Finger recalled that “Kane had an idea for a character called ‘Batman,’ and he’d like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane’s, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of … reddish tights, I believe, with boots … no gloves, no gauntlets … with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign … BATMAN”. The bat-wing-like cape was suggested by Bob Kane, inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci‘s sketch of an ornithopter flying device as a child.
Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves; he also recommended removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character’s secret identity: “Bruce Wayne’s first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock … then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne.” He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk‘s popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was also familiar.
In June 2016, the DC Rebirth event relaunched DC Comics’ entire line of comic book titles. Batman was rebooted as starting with a one-shot issue entitled Batman: Rebirth #1 (August 2016). The series then began shipping twice-monthly as a third volume, starting with Batman vol. 3, #1 (August 2016). The third volume of Batman was written by Tom King, and artwork was provided by David Finch and Mikel Janín. The Batman series introduced two vigilantes, Gotham and Gotham Girl.
DC Comics ended the Rebirth branding in December 2017, opting to include everything under a larger “DC Universe” banner and naming. The continuity established by Rebirth continues across DC’s comic book titles, including volume one of Detective Comics and the third volume of Batman.
During the 1980’s serialization was used in the main Batman story, with stories from Detective Comics and Batman directly flowing from one book to another, with cliffhangers at the end of each book’s monthly story that would be resolved in the other title of that month. A single writer handled both books during that time beginning with Gerry Conway and followed up by Doug Moench. The supervillain Killer Croc made a shadowy cameo in issue #523 (February 1983). Noted author Harlan Ellison wrote the Batman story in issue #567.
Writer Greg Rucka and artist Shawn Martinbrough became the creative team as of #742 (March 2000) and created the Sasha Bordeaux character is #751 (Dec. 2000). Issue #800 (Jan. 2005) was written by Andersen Gabrych and drawn by Pete Woods. Paul Dini became the writer of the series as of issue #821 (Sept. 2006) and created a new version of the Ventriloquist in #827 (March 2007).
World’s Finest featured Superman and Batman team-ups until issue #197. Noted Batman artist Neal Adams first drew the character in an interior story in “The Superman-Batman Revenge Squads” in issue #175 (May 1968). The title briefly featured Superman teaming with heroes other than Batman in the early 1970s beginning with issue #198 (November 1970). That issue featured the first part of a two-issue team-up with the Flash. The series reverted to Superman and Batman team-ups after issue #214, initially with a unique twist, featuring the children they might one day have, Superman Jr. and Batman Jr. These characters, billed as the Super-Sons, were co-created by writer Bob Haney and artist Dick Dillin in issue #215 (January 1973).