Detective Comics (1990’s)

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 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’sBatman: Year One“.

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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.

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.”

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.

Blackest Night – Batman (2009)

Who Burns Who is a Blackest Night tie-in featuring the Batman Family, written by Peter Tomasi and illustrated by Ardian Syaf. It’s published in the three-issue Blackest Night: Batman mini-series. The story deals with resurrected agents of the Black Lantern Corps attacking Gotham through personal ties with its heroes, wielding dangerous power rings that reanimate them and feed off life energy through human hearts. There is a companion piece written as part of the Morrison’s Batman saga titled Blackest Knight, dealing with the resurrection of Bruce Wayne.

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/ 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

World’s Finest (1970’s)

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).

Detective Comics (1980’s)

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’sBatman: 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.

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