100 Page Giants (2018 Walmart Exclusives)

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.

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Batman / Grendel (1993)

A two-part Batman/Grendel crossover, Devil’s Riddle and Devil’s Masque, was written and drawn by Wagner and colored by Wagner at the time of the Comico series, but was delayed by Comico’s bankruptcy. It was finally published by DC in 1993.

The story assumes that Hunter Rose and Batman live in the same fictional universe and are contemporaries. Bored with Argent the wolf and the NYPD, Hunter Rose comes to Gotham City to challenge the city’s protector to stop him before he commits an audacious crime. Hunter Rose becomes increasingly impressed with Batman but is still able to pull off his crime. However, Batman’s interference proves to be more trouble than he expected and Grendel winds up unintentionally endangering the life of a child and indirectly causing the death of a person he did not consider an enemy. Grendel and Batman’s final battle ends with the assassin just barely escaping Gotham, his arm broken by the Dark Knight in the process.

Although this story can be seen as out of continuity, Hunter Rose is depicted with a broken arm in the “Devil’s Advocate” short, featured inGrendel: Black, White, & Red.

Batman (Golden Age)

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.

Batman V1 #6 F+

Sword of Azrael (1992)

Azrael first appeared in the 1992 series Batman: Sword of Azrael as Jean-Paul Valley.

He then became a supporting character in the monthly Batman titles, eventually taking over the role of Batman through the “Knightfall,” “Knightquest,” and “KnightsEnd” story arcs. One of the creators, Denny O’Neil, admitted to having difficulties with Azrael’s transition from villain to hero: “If I’d known he was to become a monthly character, I might have set him up differently … The problem is that I had to turn a bad guy into a real hero, not just an anti-hero or lead. It’s possible to do that, but it’s difficult to retain the original characterization. You almost have to change his personality.”

Batman Family (1975)

The Batman Family ran twenty issues from September-October 1975 to October-November 1978 and featured solo and team-up stories starring Batgirl and Robin. The lead story in the first issue teaming Batgirl and Robin was originally intended for publication in an issue of 1st Issue Special. The series additionally featured reprints of Golden Age and Silver Age stories. Many issues of Batman Family featured Batman supporting characters such as Alfred Pennyworth, Vicki Vale, the Elongated Man, the Huntress, and Ace the Bat-Hound. Writer Bob Rozakis introduced the Duela Dent character in issue #6 (July–August 1976) and revived the original Batwoman in issue #10 (March–April 1977). The series began featuring only new material as of issue #11 (May-June 1977)  and Man-Bat began appearing as a regular feature. Batman Family converted to the Dollar Comics format with issue #17 (April–May 1978).

Batman Family #1 F- $9
Batman Family #1 F- $9

Superman / Batman (2000’s)

Superman/Batman was a monthly series published by DC Comics that features the publisher’s two most popular characters: Superman and Batman. Superman/Batman premiered in August 2003 and was an update of the previous series, World’s Finest Comics, in which Superman and Batman regularly joined forces.

Superman/Batman explored the camaraderie, antagonism, and friendship between its titular characters. Jeph Loeb, the series’ first writer, introduced a dual-narrator technique to present the characters’ often opposing viewpoints and estimations of each other, which subsequent series writers have maintained. Before the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, the two iconic characters were depicted as the best of friends. Frank Miller‘s landmark series The Dark Knight Returns was the first DC story that depicts the heroes at odds with each other, as opposed to pre-Crisis incarnations. This dynamic became DC Universe canon with John Byrne‘s The Man of Steel, a Superman reboot published in 1986.

Batman V3: Rebirth (2016)

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.

Batman/ Judge Dredd – Judgement on Gotham (1991)

Judge Death makes a dimensional jump to Gotham City, murdering two lovers and a police officer. Batman defeats Death, who flees in spirit form. Among the remains of his host body, Batman finds a dimensional jump belt that he accidentally activates, transporting him to Mega-City One, where is confronted by Mean Machine Angel. As Mean Machine attacks Batman, they are both confronted by Judge Dredd. Mean Machine flees to Gotham using the belt, then wanders into the city looking for Judge Death.

Batman - Judge Dredd Judgement on Gotham  NM 5
Batman – Judge Dredd Judgement on Gotham NM $5

Superman: Speeding Bullets (1993)

Baby Kal-El crashes into Earth, where he is discovered by Thomas and Martha Wayne. The couple decide to adopt Kal-El, and name him Bruce. One night, Thomas and Martha are gunned down by a mugger. Bruce incinerates the mugger with his heat vision and discovers his superpowers, but it is too late to save his parents. He decides to hide his powers in shame.

Bruce decides to create a secret identity for himself many years later. As the Batman, he begins to brutally strike back at the criminals in Gotham. Meanwhile, criminal Lex Luthor is on the run and is caught in a horribly disfiguring accident. Lex becomes this dimension’s version of the clown prince of crime, The Joker.

Bruce is eventually persuaded by Lois Lane that a more hopeful superhero is needed than his dark, violent Batman persona, giving rise to his new, more heroic identity of Superman.

Superman: Speeding Bullets NM $12
Superman: Speeding Bullets NM $12

Detective Comics (2000’s)

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).