Reviews Archive
Rupert Thorne Saga  
Rupert Thorne Saga
  Detective #506-507, 509-513, 515- 520, Batman #339, 341-346, 348-356,
A huge story arc from Gerry Conway that took place in both "Detective Comics" and "Batman" over the period of a year and a half, the Rupert Thorne saga functioned as a sequel to the popular "Strange Apparitions" story from Steve Engelhart. The main focus of the plot is on the gang boss Rupert Thorne's attempt to get his stooges elected into the mayor's office, his continuing attempts to learn Batman's identity, and his fears of vengeance from the ghost of Hugo Strange. Aside from that there's a heckuva lot of other things going on though, the return of Man-Bat, a plot from Poison Ivy to rob Wayne Enterprises, and even Batman struggling with vampiric bloodlust! Its a smart, twisting tale with lots of memorable action (the poison Ivy story especially is a high point for the villainess) and even some mild political commentary.
Fear For Sale  
Batman Fear for Sale
  Detective Comics #571
Another fun issue from Mike Barr and Alan Davis' run. The story has Scarecrow reversing his fear toxin to create a new drug that has the opposite affect, it instills a blind recklessness and overconfidence in its victims, usually causing them to get themselves killed. Batman is hit with the toxin to humourous effect as he tries to rescue Robin. One of the more memorably amusing Batman stories.
The Riddler  
The Riddler
  -Detective Comics #140
This 1940s issue of Detective comics heralded the first appearance of the Riddler, one of Batman's most famous foes. The Riddler is shown as a smart but lazy and unscrupulous guy who uses riddles to try to misdirect Batman away from the scenes of his crimes. The classic duo of Bill Finger and Dick Sprang provide us with one of the more detailed and fully formed villains of the time period, giving him a proper origin that goes back to his childhood, and a strong personality.
The Hungry Grass  
Batman The Hungry Grass
  -Detective Comics #629
Another memorable done-in-one issue, this time from Peter Milligan, a UK writer who made his name writing for the illustrious British comic 2000AD. Its a supernatural tale about a type of grass taken from cursed land that causes violent events to replay if left in the proximity of where they occurred, often having fatal consequences for those nearby. The antagonist is a mistreated individual out for blind revenge who's actions are indefensible, but still warrant the reader's empathy. A good idea for a story with a memorable villain.
Batman Meets Bat-Mite  
Batman meets Bat-Mite
  -Detective Comics #267
The story that introduced Bat-Mite, most likely the oddest addition to the Batman mythos in the history of the comic! Bat-Mite is a reality-warping inter-dimensional traveler who just happens to be Batman's greatest fan! The story has him causing trouble for the Dynamic Duo when he starts using magic to try to make things a little more entertaining for himself...
The Last Arkham  
The Last Arkham
  Shadow of the Bat #1-#4
The Last Arkham launched a new Batman comic created specifically for Alan Grant named "Shadow of the Bat", the comic couldn't have hoped for a better start. Last Arkham was a Silence of the Lambs-style thriller with a new villain, the sadistic serial killer Victor Zsasz, a man who cuts a notch into his own skin to tally every kill. Batman's been looking into some murders that have Zsasz's name all over them, but the loon is currently detained in Arkham Asylum so he decides to get himself committed to investigate the situation there. A strong story that gives us a great new villain and some more insight into the asylum and its ownership over the years.
Silent Night of the Batman  
Silent Night of the Batman
  -Batman #219
This short 1970s story is a festive classic for Batman that has Commissioner Gordon talking him into hanging out at Gotham Police Department on Christmas Eve. Is an upbeat and positive holiday story of optimism and good will. Neal Adams and Dick Giordano provide some stellar artwork that is a master class in visual storytelling and should probably be studied by any budding artists out there.
Batman Fever
  -Detective Comics #583-584
Fever heralds the first appearance of The Ventriloquist and his puppet Scarface, one of the most quirky and original Batman rogues to come from his later years. Arnold Wesker a quiet, bespecled, unassuming man creates a secondary personality free from the stresses and confines of his ordinary life and projects this onto his puppet, a stereotypical gangster that kills and steals without remorse or fear. So effective is this combo of Wesker's intelligence and Scarface's ruthlessness that he manages to take over a large part of the Gotham underworld! The Ventriloquist's first story involves the villain putting out a dangerous new designer drug on the market. An entertaining and often funny outing for the caped crusader which was a brilliant start for Alan Grant's run on Detective Comics.
Two-Face Strikes Again  
Two-Face Strikes Again
  -Batman #81
In this over the top classic from the 1950s a freak accident undoes Two-Face's reconstructive surgery and sends him off the deep end yet again, with him taking it as a sign that he's destined to be Two-Face. The comic shows Batman at its absurd and surreal finest! with the dynamic duo fighting villains on big statues and scrambling around on giant oversized pool tables, I mean, it ends with the two being tied to a giant coin balanced on a flipping mechanism! lots of crazy fun.
Red Rain  
Batman Red Rain
  -Batman & Dracula: Red Rain GN
Red Rain is an Elseworlds story where Batman becomes infected with vampirism after investigating some recent blood-curdling murders. Bruce soon meets up with another cursed vampire hunter who has managed to fight off her hunger for human blood, the two go on a mission to kill Dracula himself! An imaginative gothic tale with suitably grim and stylised artwork from Kelley Jones.
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