Reviews Archive
Batman Shaman
  -Legends of the Dark Knight #1-5
Set during, and shortly prior to Frank Miller's acclaimed "Year One" Shaman has Bruce collapsing in the snow in Alaska after a manhunt goes bad. Found and healed by a local Shaman using indigenous traditional medicine, Bruce swears to not tell anyone about what he's experienced but ends up going back on his word. Shaman is a story that fills in a lot more of the gaps in Batman's early career, written by one of the premier writers to have worked on the character, Denny O'Neil. Its an interesting story that touches on themes of cultural encroachment and exploitation.
Batman Faith
  -Legends of the Dark Knight #21-23
A story set in the early days of Batman's career, Faith opens with an addict hitting his lowest point after being sold a bad batch of drugs and then near beaten to death, he lays broken on the ground when Batman saves him and leaves him with Crime Alley Doctor Leslie Thompkins. After recovery the man decides to turn his life around and he forms a vigilante group taking inspiration from Batman. Bruce doesn't know how to react to this new factor, unsure of whether it is a good thing or not. Faith explores Bruce and Leslie's relationship over the years and how his double life creates tension with those he cares about, the story is full of interesting scenes and milestones that often help to explain Bruce's later actions.
Judgement on Gotham  
Judgment on Gotham
  -Judgement on Gotham GN
This team-up sees Batman and Judge Dredd joining forces to take down the Scarecrow and Judge Death. The Dark Judge teleports to Gotham (where he immediately starts to create havoc) whilst Batman accidentally ends up stranded in Mega-City One and has to talk the Judges into helping him get back. This has to be one of the best team-up stories of all time, Dredd and Batman, and their contrasting personalities and principles just make for a perfect combination of action and laughs, and writer Alan Grant has worked on both heroes before so he knows them inside and out.
Bat-Mite Meets Mr Mxyzptlk  
Bat-Mite meets Mxyzptlk
  -World's Finest #113
in this 1960s issue of World's Finest, Bat-Mite, and Mr Mxyzptlk (Batman and Superman's trouble making reality-warping inter-dimensional tormentors) both meet up and get into an argument about who's stalking the superior superhero! Unfortunately Its up to Batman and Superman to try to clean up the ensuing mess. A memorable, offbeat story with lots of wackiness and surreal elements.
Am I Really Batman?  
Am I Really Batman?
  -Batman #112
In this early issue Bruce wakes up to find himself in a padded cell, nobody believes that he's Batman, and there's another Batman and Robin patrolling Gotham. Bruce breaks out of the asylum seeking to find out if he's going mad or if there's some kind of sinister plot afoot. Its a clever and engaging idea for a story that keeps you guessing till the very end, and the amount of times the central premise has been reused to great affect, such as in "Mask" ,"Identity Crisis" and the animated "Perchance to Dream" (all of which are also superb) show its enduring influence on writers.
Batman Versus Predator  
Batman Vs Predator
  -Batman Vs Predator #1-3
Another fantastic crossover story, this one pitting Batman against a Predator when it comes to Gotham looking for new challenges. For anyone who doesn't know, Predator's are an alien species with advanced tech that are obsessed with trophy hunting, so its hardly surprising that one would want the legendary Batman's head to decorate his wall! The story is pretty much just an exciting fight to the death between the two characters as they attempt to outfight and outwit each other, but Its a surprisingly high quality production through and through with fantastic artwork that fills the whole thing with lots of atmosphere.
The Cape and Cowl Deathtrap  
Cape and Cowl Deathtrap
  -Detective Comics #450
A local senator is murdered and Batman sets out to track down the culprits, meanwhile the hitman himself is trying to steal Batman's cape and cowl, setting up an elaborate trap. The Cape and Cowl Deathtrap is an elegantly plotted classic from the Batman archives, a clever, well-written story that stands the test of time, even getting its own adaptation in the classic Batman animated series of the 1990s.
Holiday Special  
Batman Holiday Special
  -Batman Adventures Holiday Special
Christmas special from the classic team of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, known for their work on Batman: The Animated Series. The special contains a variety of Christmas themed stories. We get to see Bruce having to play along with being kidnapped by Harley and Ivy, a plot that sees Clayface appearing to begin using children as sneak thieves in his crimes, and Mr Freeze on a rampage (among many others). A classic festive issue full of charm.
My Beginning and My Probable End  
My Beginning and my Probably End
  -Detective Comics #574
Opening with a shocked Batman holding an injured Jason Todd in his arms, this 1980s story has Bruce scrutinising his life and the decisions he's made whilst Doctor Thompkins strives to save Robin's life. The two discuss Bruce's time as Batman so far, the things he's gone through, his years of training and his controversial decision to take on teen sidekicks over the years. The story reasserts Bruce's dedication to the mission and the life he's chosen for himself. A great done in one issue with some awesome art from Alan Davis.
Son of the Demon  
Son of the Demon
  -Son of the Demon GN
A quality graphic novel from Mike Barr, Son of the Demon has Batman and Ra's Al Ghul teaming up together to take down Ra's ruthless godson, Qayin, a man who betrayed and fled the League of Assassins after inadvertently killing Ra's wife. Batman, Ra's and Talia work closely together during their missions, and Talia falls pregnant with Bruce's child (an event which would later be revisited by Grant Morrison). A very polished James Bond-esque outing for Batman that would end up having big ramifications for him later on.
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