Comic Books

BATMAN #20

• A strange visitor comes to Gotham City when tragedy delivers the team-up you’ve been asking for since the start of The New 52!

Story by Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, & Alex Maleev
Colors by FCO Plascencia
Letters by Comicraft
Cover by Greg Capullo & FCO Plascencia

Price: $3.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 12.3%

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  1. that cover is straight out of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2

  2. Just finished #19, definately on of the best so far IMO and great palette cleanser from the Harper Row issue. Ready for part 2!!!

  3. I wish Snyder did more smaller arcs like this. I do like a big epic story, but it seems like all of his Batman stories are like that. It gets a little long winded sometimes. But I’ll take what I can get.

  4. Been thinking about it since the start of Death of the Family and after last issue it’s time to drop this. Sorry Mr. Snyder, I’m a big fan but I need a little break.

    • What do you need a break from? Awesomeness? 😉

    • Ha! Just too much awesome!!

      Honestly me dropping this is more a causality of my attempting (usually unsuccessfully) to stay within my comics budget. I’ve picked up a bunch of new books recently and though I truly enjoyed every issue in the first year of this run I’ve really found it leaving me kind of cold since the start of Death of the Family. That feeling coupled with my already overbudget amount of books has sadly lead to a drop.

    • I feel ya brother, I’ve had to pair down my own pull list the last few months (thanks to Marvel NOW! putting out so many stellar titles) but Batman survived the cut.

    • I’m switching to trades after this issue — it’s not like this book needs my money on a monthly basis for survival, so that part of my budget could be more helpful elsewhere. And given my personal experience with Court of Owls and Death of The Family, I suspect I’ll get more enjoyment out of Year Zero by reading it all at once. And if I get antsy and change my mind, there’s always the $1 digital price drop after a month!

    • I’m switching to the digital format as of this issue. All DC and DarkHorse digital. That dollar drop( which means something else in a strip club 😉 ) is too sweet to pass on and I buy enough DC and DH for that to make a difference. That way I can buy more comics( or lap dances 😉 )
      I’ll still buy my Image and Marvel books in floppy form.

    • @sitara119 – Image drops by a dollar too.

      @KenOchalek that is what I’m doing but DC is slow to put out trades. Pretty much worst than all other companies.

    • @AmirCat
      That’s awesome. Marvel needs to pull the stick out of their asses and get with the program.

  5. Not so happy with the cover, but definitely looking forward to this issue!

  6. Really looking forward to this and the backup feature.

  7. To think I almost dropped this after that Harper row issue. BAD! Bad me! Go sit in the corner.

  8. I’m down for more straight up, fun action in a Batman book by Snyder/Capullo. We haven’t got any of that since this run started so it’s good to see a break from a ‘epic’ story line from them once and a while.

  9. I wish Snyder would focus on small 2-4 issue story arcs, rather than the massive ones he’s done thus far.

    • I feel the same way too, then I realize that two of the Bat-books I’m reading are exactly like that, smaller arcs with an overarching bigger arc: Detective Comics by Layman and Batman And (…) by Tomasi! So I really don’t mind Snyder doing bigger, more epic arcs! 😉

    • Ok, can we talk about this massive arc misconception with Snyder? Court of the Owls was roughly 11 issues I’ll give you that, but DotF went from 13-17, which is 5 issues. 0, 12, the Annual, and 18 were stand alone stories. And I hated 12 and 18 BTW, so almost half of these non massive issues I hate. And yea, Zero Year is gonna be 12 issues that is long, but besides that and dealing with the Court, the rest is not objectively long.

    • @IthoSapien: His first arc in DETECTIVE COMICS, “The Black Mirror” was 11 issues. So…

      The Black Mirror – 11
      Court of Owls – 11
      Death of the Family – 5
      Zero Year – 12

      Three of his four major arcs were over 10 issues long. I think it’s safe to say that he tends to lean towards longer story arcs in his Batman work. Nothing wrong that it, but it’s the truth.

    • Yea Snyder does tend to go with the longer arcs, that’s why I didn’t bring up “Swamp Thing”. Maybe I need to amend my thesis but I stand by my point; this series being full of long arcs is kinda overblown. I see “The Black Mirror” as having an over-reaching arc told over several issues, instead of Batman taking on just one villain (The Court, The Joker, whoever he fights in Zero Year), plus wasn’t Detective Comics written by Tony S. Daniels after that? You can’t really tell me both CotO and DotF are long can you? CotO is 11 issues, DotF is only 5, 1 more than @Scarlet-Batman was suggesting. Isn’t it common for GNs to collect a 6 issue arc as welll? So yea, we have CotO and ZY which I’ll agree are long; but we do have plenty of shorter stories in-between like 0,12,18,19,20, and the Annual (6) plus DotF was only 5 too. So that’s 11 total short form stories, versus the 11 issue arc of Court of the Owls. Zero Year will make that count 23, but until then this run of Batman goes short:11, long:11. Fair enough?

    • So there have been 19 issues released so far, 11 of which were of one arc. So over half the issues Snyder has done of Batman were one arc. I guess that’s not long?

      Oh and I almost forgot, who fucking cares?

    • @IthoSapien: “You can’t really tell me both CotO and DotF are long can you?” and then two sentences later “So yea, we have CotO and ZY which I’ll agree are long”

      I’m not sure how that reconciles, but the math from my last comment stands: it’s clear Snyder likes long Batman arcs. Again, nothing wrong with it.

    • @Uspunx, you’re forgetting the Annual and the 0 issue, which makes 21 total. Clearly you care BECAUSE YOU FUCKING COMMENTED! You wanna drop the book, drop it. I won’t stop you, but clearly you care about it.

      @ConorKilpatrick, I admitted Snyder likes the long arcs. No there’s nothing wrong with it. Thats beside my point, this title hasnt been compiled solely of long (10+ issues) story arcs. I’m sick of people complaining about this series being full of long arcs when it’s split the down the middle right now. After Zero Year, it may balance out again. But 5 issues is not a long arc, it’s almost the average length of GNs. So DotF is not long, it only ran 5 issues in Batman. So again, long arcs run 11 issues so far, shorter ran 11 as well.

      If people are just gonna get hostile then I’ll leave this topic, I don’t need the frustration and I wasn’t trying to provoke that response. I was judging trying to get my point across and possibly acknowledged.

    • @IthoSapien: You’re right that “Death of the Family” was not a long arc. I said as much in my first comment. You’re not right that Snyder’s run on BATMAN (and, by extension, his whole run with the character Batman going back to DETECTIVE COMICS) hasn’t been *mostly* long arcs. It has been. You can’t discount “The Black Mirror” and you can’t discount “Zero Year” (because it’s been announced) because both of those contribute to the impression that people have, and the reality that that impression is based on, that Snyder likes to write long Batman arcs.

      So by the time that “Zero Year” is over, 34 of 42 issues will be from three arcs. If you want to add in the annual and the zero issue, then it will be 34 of 44. (Technically, you can add the zero issue to the “Zero Year” story since Snyder has said it will be related, which would make it 35 out of 44, but I’ll keep it out for purposes of this discussion.) That’s 77% of his run starting with DETECTIVE COMICS.

      I don’t believe that anyone has said that Snyder’s run has been SOLELY long arc. Plainly, that’s not true. But it’s been MOSTLY long arcs and that’s why some people–people who want shorter arcs–gripe about it

    • Yet again you are the one getting hostile as soon as someone questions your point, not anyone else. Connor even said twice “nothing wrong with it” yet you keep acting like there is something wrong. And I didn’t mean who cares about Batman, I meant who cares if it’s been more long arcs or short arcs. I don’t care if they’re long or short as long as they’re good.

    • @conor: Well that was amazingly well said. But somehow I doubt that will end this thing…

      But either way I’m out! It’s been not fun at all talking about this so I’m done.

    • @ConorKilpatrick; youre not wrong, that’s very well thought out and logical. Alot more constructive than “Who the hell cares?”.

      My thing about the “Black Mirror” is that it was Detective Comics, not Batman (also pre-New 52). I think Snyder said it’s part of his Bat-Mythos? It was long, 11 issues, but after that Detective got a new writer (none of that I read, maybe it was shorter arcs after Snyder left, IDK). So Detective wasn’t long arc after long arc. This title isn’t either; after the Court (11 issues) we had #12, the annual, DotF (13-17, 5 issues), #18,#19,#20. So that’s 11 issues which I think means CotO was 10 months ago…

      Wait, 44? Are you saying that “The Black Mirror” is included in this series? Seems alittle unfair, has Snyder said the whole book translates into the New 52 Batman? Seems shaky, does “Gates of Gotham” factor in? Look, Snyder loves the long arcs, most of his work is made of of it I agree. But “Black Mirror” was 2009 I think, and CotO was at least 10 months ago. So complaining about the long arcs right NOW, doesn’t make sense to me. I totally get why people are sick of them, but DotF shouldn’t count as long to other people (I can’t think of what other story they could be referencing). Let me use the current Flash series as an example; almost every arc is 5-6 issues long, back to back. Besides the Flash 0 issue, I don’t think there’s been any one-and-dones. When someone complains about that, I don’t say anything (just when they dismiss the quality). Snyder has given us a few one-and-dones tho. Add the 0 issue to ZY if you want, the last long arc was 10 months ago and we’re not in ZY yet. So saying “I’m sick of these long arcs” at the present is just kind of silly. Yes a long one is coming up, but the last one was months ago. Maybe I’m misreading everyone else’s posts.

    • @ithosapien: I know I said I’d stay away but I just couldn’t after this last post. Where did anyone in this thread say “I’m sick of these long arcs?” You used quotes so I am assuming you are, you know, quoting someone. I don’t see a single post anywhere here of someone saying anything like that. Just people expressing their opinions that they prefer either shorter or longer arcs (both opinions are expressed in this thread).

      Once again, there really isn’t a need to turn everything into an argument.

    • I think maybe the two of you are just coming at this from different angles, neither one being wrong from the way you each are tallying the arcs.

      IthoSapien is designating each arc as being either short or long and comparing the total number of short arcs (not taking into account the number of issues in each arc) to long ones. By his count, the numbers are about equal.

      Conor is also distinguishing between short and long arcs, but taking into account the number of actual issues belonging to each arc. Therefore by his reckoning, Snyder’s run is composed predominately of long arcs.

      Neither one of you is doing the math wrong, but this is apples and oranges to some degree. There is no way to say that one method of tallying is better than the other, it is just different ways of looking at it.

    • @Uspunx, I may have put words in people’s mouths with that phrase. It hasn’t shown up on this thread yet, but I have seen it before on earlier Batman threads. I started the conversation on this post because @Scarlet-Batman said “I wish Snyder would focus on small 2-4 issue story arcs, rather than the massive ones he’s done thus far.”. So yea, no one said they were sick of the longer stories in those exact words, but I feel like thats what they mean.

      @MasterDestructo, I was actually trying to do both; designate short arcs/long arcs and count up the issues that compose them. Sometimes I don’t articulate my points very well. But by issue or arc count, Snyder’s stories are predominately long no question. What I was trying to say was that we haven’t had an actual long arc for awhile, I’m counting stuff like “Court of the Owls” or “The Black Mirror” which are 11 issues each. I consider “Death of the Family” as a short arc since it was only 5 issues long. I feel that we haven’t had a long or “massive” arc since “Court of the Owls” (which was almost 10 months ago) and since then we’ve had shorter arcs (“Death of the Family”) or one-and-dones (#12, #18,#19,#20, and the Annual). @ConorKilpatrick considers #0 as part of “Zero Year”, I don’t know what to make of it yet, it probably will end up as a prelude or part 1 of “Zero Year”. So hopefully thats crystal clear and all.

  10. I like the massive arc’s more, they have more of an effect in shaking batman and his world around him up. Also they are remembered more and are better stories (Love the court of owls!). There are plenty of other books on the shelf that do shorter stories and not many that do big risk taking stories. I thank Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo for putting out an amazing book each month and judging by the sales and the fact that it’s still no 1 most pulled puts the nay sayers to rest.

    • “…Puts the nay sayers to rest.” So, because a book sells well it invalidates someone’s opinion? Just because millions of people buy Justin Bieber’s albums doesn’t mean that his music is good.

    • Thats true. Justin Bieber is crap. But in most other medium’s sales are reflective of quality generally. Especially when it’s still on top 20 issues into the run.

    • Yeah, Bieber sucks. Wait a minute…are we invalidating the opinions of millions of Bieber fans? 😉

    • Batman to Bieber. How did that happen?

    • Gonna have to disagree about Bieber, he’s got some good stuff. His “Beauty and a Beat” and “As Long As You Love Me” are pretty awesome!

      (shields head from pelting of rocks and rotten veggies)

    • Now I’m envisioning Bieber dressed up as Batman, that is going to be an image that is going to fester…..

  11. “But in most other medium’s sales are reflective of quality generally.”

    Just… no.

    • I concur. In libraries, the “best-sellers shelves” are often paid out by the publishers to have the best available spot in the bookstore and telling the customer that it sells well and they should read it cause, you know, if it’s a best-seller it’s most likely good… Putting the best-seller machine into overdrive. Think Twilight compared to a masterpiece like 1984 by Orwell…

      Stephanie Meyer gets owned by George Orwell.

      So, no, sales doesn’t equate to quality. It’s not exclusive, but it’s certainly a genuine and universal fact! 😉

    • it’s not quality it is general interest. People will read/ watch things they are generally interested in. If something or someone have sustained success then we assume quality. When in a lot of places it is loyalty instead. look at Star wars episodes 1-3 those were not quality they succeeded because of loyalty. I went to see episode 3 only out of loyalty to star wars when IMO episode 2 sucked. And although I have really enjoyed Batman I’m sure some are reading out of loyalty, like I am with justice League.

  12. Good god Capullo’s art on this is out of this world. Was this the type of shit he was doing on Spawn?

    • I didn’t read his Spawn, but I recently stumbled upon an old issue of Quasar in my longboxes, and was surprised to see Capullo on art. I’ll just say he has improved exponentially.

      Has anyone ever drawn a better Clayface? I don’t think so.

    • Its a great Clayface rendering (lol – couldn’t resist). I hope this version of Clayface becomes the default version for the next few years at least.

      However, I’ll also say that Quique Alcatena’s work on Alan Grant’s ‘Legends of the Dark Knight’ story ‘Clay’ was also superb.

      Plus, I have a 1962 Issue of ‘Detective Comics’ with a Sheldon Moldoff Clayface that is also absolutely wonderful.

      Capullo deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as these other artists, his Batman work is outstanding.

  13. This is my favorite issue in this series so far. Any time you have a Batman Beyond Easter egg you get my POW.

    • True dat! I squealed with glee at that moment. Quite literally. My girlfriend had to ask me what was going on.

    • But if the suit was so.cost ineffective, why would it have been thrown away and not stored? I wanted to think it was a cool Beyond Easter egg, but it made no sense.

    • It was being thrown away because that’s what you do with failed prototypes you don’t want to save for a later date. They have the schematics for the suit on file. Why would they need the prototype?

    • The supposed “failed” bat bots were sitting around. Bruce had never even seen the suit. It seemed to work well, and a physical suit is easier to tweek on than building multiple cost ineffective prototypes. @ scarlet Batman you don’t find there to be an excessive amount of convenience in these issues? There are many ways to put cool stuff into comics without literally finding it in the trash. I don’t want to be negative, trust me, I’m excited with every issue and then left empty.

  14. I’ve always loved Clayface, and I was really glad to see him get some decent action in the last few issues. He’s easily one of the most underestimated and underused rogue in the gallery.

    And man, Capullo is a fucking beast.

    Good issue.

    • Really glad you guys enjoyed the issue – I’d love to do some smaller arcs once Zero Year is done! And I truly hope you enjoy ZY – put a lot into it. Know it’ll cause discussion for being a new take, but look forward to it either way. Thanks so much

    • I’m excited to see what you and Greg have up your sleeve.

      Keep it up, man.

  15. Jumping on with Zero Year. Hesitant about another origin, but, after browsing a couple issues in the shop, I figured I should really give it a go.

  16. Capullo is a fucking monster. What incredible stuff by him this week. The motorcycle chase scene alone worthy of this (almost) being POTW. I wish we could get more of this type of work from Snyder. I’m not saying his epic, 10+ issue arcs aren’t good. But man he shows that doing a smaller story is just as entertaining as those. I loved how he twisted the end of this to make slightly depressing with Damian. Some great work overall by these two,

    The back up finished nicely too. Although Maleev’s art was kinda rough in a lot of places. Let’s have more Superman/Batman team ups though….Well we’ll get it anyways in Pak’s book.

    4.5/5

  17. tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

    It must be opposite week for me because it seems like everyone else liked it and this is my least favorite issue of this series so far. I even liked part one, but I felt the art in this wasn’t up to the standards I’ve seen previously. The story just seemed to be one long slugfest featuring some hellaciously long speeches by Clayface. Bring on another long Snyder arc; I prefer those.

  18. Yet another great issue. I’m happy to see Clayface involved in something, I always considered him one of the more interesting enemies for Batman.

    The art is a-mazing and the story is exactly what I was hoping to read after DotF. I dont know if Snyder reads minds but the dude knows what he’s doing with these characters.

    My POTW for sure.

  19. Can anybody tell me what to expect from ‘Zero Year’?

    I’ve tried reading all the interviews I can find, but they always seem to avoid the issue of whether or not this story will remove ‘Year One’ from canon.

    I don’t mind the odd continuity readjustment here and there, but ‘Year One’ is, as far as I’m concerned, untouchable.

    On the one hand, I love the book and the creative team, on the other, I don’t want to see one of my favorite stories removed from continuity. The knock-on effect of that could have most of my other favorite books (such as ‘The Long Halloween’, ‘Dark Victory’ and ‘Prey’ amongst others) pushed out of continuity. If that’s gonna be the case, I’d sooner just not buy it.

    Can anybody help me out here?

    • Scott Snyder has said that they tried to match it up to YEAR ONE as much as possible, but too many things in The New 52 are different now and don’t make sense in that context–people’s ages, Catwoman’s story, etc. So there will be some different things.

      Not that “canon” makes any logical sense anyway when you think too hard about it. Just make your own continuity and don’t worry too much about what is and isn’t “in continuity” because none of it really fits together anyway. Do you like YEAR ONE? Do you want it to be in your Batman continuity? Then it is.

    • Thanks Conor, I really appreciate the reply and the help.

      I have been building a ‘personal Batman canon’ this year (it was my goal since Christmas time) that would include all of the key moments, villains and stories of The Batman’s career. I’ve invested a hell of a lot of my time and money into it. So far, its actually worked out incredibly (surprisingly) well. I’ve found that everything fits (for the most part, there are, of course, minor details that need ignoring) and I’ve had a blast indulging myself. I’ve found that even Silver Age stories still follow thematically, even if you use ‘Year One’ as the starting point. Morrison’s run is the thread, as it allows for the sillier/lighter stories to coexist with the darker, more contemporary tales.

      Its been great because its helped me to build a more rounded picture of my favorite superhero.

      I’m just worried that I’ll pick up ‘Zero Year’ and find that its too radically different, the changes could then ripple out from there and ruin my little project (which includes tales from all 70+ years of Batman’s continuity). I know its a really silly thing, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about it.

      Big love for Snyder & Capullo, however it all turns out.

      Thanks again, Conor.

    • It’s the New 52’s Batman Origin story. Year One, for the most part, isn’t going to be canon any more. Which is reasonable considering just how different the New 52 from the Post -Crisis on Infinite Earths world.

  20. Solid issue as always. I love how Batman tricked Gordon into believing he had tricked Clayface with those lip stickers.

  21. The only problem I am having with this is the end moment about Damian. Let Tomasi handle that in Batman and … He’s doing an expert job, and this book is showing him as having a very different response to the situation.

  22. I really don’t get it. This issue was as average as it gets.

  23. A decent issue, a nice break before the Zero Year. Didn’t care for the backup though.

  24. I loved this issue. It was deep with the references to Damian, the images of all the rouges while Batman was fighting clayface. This didn’t feel like filler to me it felt they were building character depth. The art is incredible as always.

  25. consafo80 consafo80 (@consafo80) says:

    Brilliant issue and maybe I’m being soft but was struggling to hold back the tears at end. Don’t want to damage my book. POTW

  26. ochsavidare ochsavidare (@ochsavidare) says:

    I think I almost liked the backup more than the main story. I really liked the interaction between Bats and Supes.

  27. This issue was weak. The art was good, but not for Capullo (I miss your inks Jonathan) and the story was more of the same surface-level Batman that I keep hoping is going to change. What happened Snyder? Your Batman (starting back in ‘Tec) was SOOO good. Now its boring. I’m no longer challenged as a reader, the plots are shallow and the escapes all leave me rolling my eyes. Even the backup (which I loved last issue) didn’t pay out. I’ve been reading through some old LOTDK issues from the 90’s that I bought for a dollar, and they blow these latest Batman issues out of the water. So much more creative and original. Unless I’m wowed, next issue looks to be my last. I’m done with disappointment on this title.

    • To be fair, 90’s LOTDK was a wonderful book, full of great stories by great creators. You’re setting the bar pretty high there. Most creators would struggle to meet the highs of the 90’s LOTDK.

      – I recently picked up Issue 54 (I think) with the Dan Raspler/Mike Mignola story ‘Sanctum’ which was a superb ‘one and done’ story. Have you got that one?

    • Thats SO funny! It was one of the books I picked up, and I literally just pulled it out of my short box and am going to read it tonight before bed. I love Mignola’s Batman and am super stoked. i’ll let you know how it is. Crazy coincidence. They really are some great books though. Ted McKeever’s “engines” was a strange stand-out story for me too, its a 2 parter (74/75 or 75/76). About Snyder though, I have heard him called “God’s gift to Batman” and other such crazy praises so the bar is already up there. Its not a horrible book, but I really wish some of the ways the stories played out were different- more creative, less shock, more challenging. I feel like Batman has lost his roots with Snyder and its sort of disheartening. Inc is almost done, Detective is good, but not great, whats the best Batman book out there right now? Feels like slim pickens, so I’ve been going back in time. Im picking up the first issue of ZY just to see if you’re right about the villain if its Hugo Strange 🙂

    • Of course, time will tell if it IS Hugo…He is my all-time favorite Bat-Rogue. I love him because he’s so delightfully perverse. I think ‘Prey’ from LOTDK is possibly my all-time favorite Hugo story…Although the scene in ‘Terror’ where he f*cks a mannequin is so disturbing that I possibly rank it among my favorites just for that.

      I also really liked the ‘Gotham Knights’ (Issues 8-11, I think) story ‘Transference’ that Devin Grayson and Roger Robinson did with him. When he’s handled correctly, Hugo’s threat level is actually higher than almost any other rogue.

      Another personal favorite is Doug Moench and Denys Cowan’s ‘Down to the Bone’, (‘Batman Annual 10’ if I’m not mistaken, but I’m working from memory) with the Pre-Crisis Hugo actually bankrupting Bruce Wayne and taking over both Wayne Manor and the Batcave (and then losing it again) – all in one issue! – 80’s comics, you so crazy!

      That’s so weird that I asked about ‘Sanctum’ just as you picked it up! Mignola is one of my all-time favorites. I really like a lot of his Batman covers.

      LOTDK was a perfect book. Just perfect. Even better is that you can pick up nearly every issue for next to nothing on eBay! My next ‘Legends’ purchase will probably be ‘Siege’ by Archie Goodwin, which I’ve never read, but I’m told is great. The current incarnation of ‘Legends’ is lacking somewhat by comparison, but still worth a read.

      As for Mr. Snyder, he does get a lot of fan praise, but I don’t think he’s ever referred to himself as ‘God’s gift to Batman’. He’s certainly not the best Bat-scribe ever (that honour goes to Denny O’Neil, in my humble opinion) and I agree that he could be a little less shocking and a little more challenging.

      However, is that what sells comics these days? Origin stories and shock revelations are playing big throughout the entertainment industry, DC and Snyder have to follow the gravy train to at least some extent. For me, ‘Zero Year’ feels a little unnecessary as a concept, but then again, it may well draw in a lot of new readers, which is what the ‘New 52’ initiative is all about, really.

      In either instance, you’re absolutely right, fan hype has set the bar way to high for Scott’s Batman run.

    • Sanctum was excellent! Such a creepy comic and Batman actually kills someone and we get to see his inner turmoil over it (maybe). The art was perfect for it! Seems supernatural Batman was pretty popular back then. Dark Knight Dark City (with Mignola covers) is a good read. I read the first issue of the new Legends, but my 3.99 can be spent better elsewhere, so I’ve been passing on it. That quote I took was definitely not from Snyder, he seems like a way more down to Earth guy than that, I saw it on a comment board, but its been set very high, and you’re right he sure sells a lot of books. I’m going to have to look into more Legends books though because I’ve been very impressed. Looks like I need to read some more Hugo Strange stories too! Thanks for all the recommendations.

    • You’re very welcome indeed for recommendations. 🙂 Any you want to send my way?

      How do you feel about classic Batman stories (i.e from the 70’s & 80’s)? Because there is some real gold there if you know where to look for it. One famous run that absolutely lives up to the hype is the classic Steve Engelhart/Marshall Rogers ‘Strange Apparitions’ series. Its every bit as good as its’ purported to be.

      Off the top of my head, excluding those I already mentioned, my favorite LOTDK stories are:

      ‘Venom’ by Denny O’Neil & Jose Luis Garcia Lopex et al (16 – 20)
      ‘Blades’ by James Robinson & Tim Sale (32 – 34)
      ‘Hothouse’ by John Francis Moore & P. Craig Russell (42 – 43)
      ‘Clay’ by Alan Grant and Quique Alcatena (89 – 90)
      ‘Freakout’ by Garth Ennis & Will Simpson (I only have part 3, which is issue 93, but that one is excellent).
      ‘Snow’ by Dan Curtis Johnson, J. H Williams III & Seth Fisher (192 – 196)

      …And of course the Halloween specials by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale (that you can get in the ‘Haunted Knight’ trade), which made up the first Batman trade I ever owned.

  28. I love 70s-80s Batman, but some of them are EXPENSIVE so I’m kinda limited on them. I actually picked up Detective 472 quite awhile back (my first Hugo Strange story) because I really liked the cover. I read it and realized I was missing some parts so I’ve piecing it up. I just recently got 469-471 so now I just got to read it. There’s a twist in there I think, so I’m looking forward to it. I got some of the Wein issues too, so I’ll keep plugging away. I’ve heard its good. I grabbed “Prey” up today and really like Snow. The atmosphere is awesome.
    I saw both “Blades” issues too, maybe I’ll grabem up.

    As far as suggestions go most are gonna be from “Batman” cuz that’s what I mostly have. I really like Annual #8 from 1982, its a Ras Al Ghul story, and of course Annual #11 from 85- its got the Alan Moore Clayface story- a twisted tragic look at Clayface. I’m also a big fan of Batman 361-368 and the Detective tie-ins. The run has Riddler, Nocturna, Joker, and Poison Ivy. It’s the run where Jason Todd becomes Robin (for the first time). It’s not a cheap run to collect, but it has some really cool stories.

    Later stories that I really like are “the idiot root (B 472-473 and Det. 640-641?)” and “dark knight dark city (B 452-454)” written by Peter Milligan. Idiot root has some trippy moments where Batman takes a hallucinagen. B 450-451 is a cool “Joker” story- I’ll try not to spoil it if you haven’t read it. The “Riddler” prestige one-shot by Matt Wagner is also a worthy read. Have you read “Going Sane” in LOTDK? That’s REALLY good, I read it the other day.

    Anyways, thanks a bunch and happy reading, and let’s hope we get some good stories in the future to put in our favorites piles.

    • Oh yeah Batman 408-410. It’s the “new origin” of Jason Todd is great IMO.

    • I adore 408. That opening rooftop seen with the Joker, brief as it was, is classic and one of my favorite drawn Jokers of all time.

    • Sitara – As usual, you’re bang on the money, that’s a great scene for me as well.

      WAC1 – Wow, you’re really talking my language there! You’ve mentioned a lot of books that I really like. In fact, you mentioned a lot of books that I was going to recommend to you.

      I recently got the Alan Moore Preston Payne Clayface story (Batman Annual 11) and I loved it (along with the Penguin story at the back). It really ran with the character that Len Wein created in the 70’s. The next evolution for that character is the emaciated, diseased version seen in Grant Morrison’s ‘Arkham Asylum’ OGN. I love how good writers always take him one step further than before.

      As you said, Doug Moench did a great 80’s run with Jason as Robin, Nocturna, Julia Pennyworth and so on, which actually works fine when read alongside the Post-Crisis Batman. The scene in one issue (I forget which) where Jason and Nocturna casually dispose of a dead body really shows how different Jason was as Robin, even with the copycat origin story. Its delightfully twisted.

      As for ‘Dark Knight, Dark City’ I’ve only read bits of it because I didn’t like that portrayal of The Riddler. Also, I’m not really a big Peter Milligan fan, personally.

      I actually didn’t know that Wagner did a Riddler story, I love Wagner, so I’ll be sure to track that down. I’ve got both parts of ‘Dark Moon Rising’ – which I love and I’m getting LOTDK’s ‘Faces’ by him soon.

      Anything (and I do mean ANYTHING) written by Gerry Conway and drawn by Don Newton is awesome.

      ‘Blades’ is really cool, especially if you’re a Tim Sale fan I highly recommend it. Also – ‘Haven’ by Len Wein & Don Newton (Detective 514) is a superb 1-shot (and arguably my favorite Maxie Zeus appearance to date).

      I’d also recommend the Mike W. Barr/Alan Davis ‘Detective Comics’ run, especially 570 – 574. 574 has a great explanation for why Bruce took Jason in, as well as a nice ‘Bruce Wayne: The High School Years’ sequence. Alan Davis’ artwork is, as always, superb.

      Ah yeah, on that subject, ‘Blind Justice’ is great, as is ‘The Many Deaths of the Batman’ both are required reading if you want to know more about Batman’s origins. The 80’s was an amazing decade for Batman, wasn’t it? Everyone knows about ‘Killing Joke’ ‘DKR’ ‘Year One’ and ‘Arkham Asylum’ but we also had ‘Son of the Demon’ ‘The Cult’ ‘Death in the Family’ ‘Blind Justice’ and consistently good monthly titles.

      Cheers for the list, really brought a smile to my face! 🙂 (by way of illustration)

  29. Finally got to reading this issue in my stack. Soooo great, loved the Batman Animated series vibe emanating from it and it felt fresh to read a two-part Batman story. I read Scott’s answer in the comments above that he’d love to do some short arcs once Zero Year is done and I’d say: go for it man!

    Also, as a huge fan (like man of us!) of the Timmverse, the “Batman Beyond” prototype suit made me smile so damn hard, the reference was just perfect and I hope we eventually get to see it in action some other day in the main New 52 continuity! 😀 Those kind of nods and winks show that Snyder and Capullo are hugeeeeee fans first and creators second and it blends splendidly!

    Solid issue 5/5!

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