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Abhimanyu

Batman GNs

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I've been rereading some of my old Batman favourites and was wondering, are there any comparatively new Batman OGNs, GNs, comics etc that are really good on the lines of the brill old classics like Killing Joke or Year One or Dark Knight Returns? Batman is by far my favourite conventional superhero but all the stuff I enjoy reading of his character is from the 90s!! I have never really even followed the regular monthlies.

 

Any suggestions?

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90s? All the books you listed are from the 80s.

 

Have you read Ed Brubaker's run on "Batman"? I'm not sure if there's a Trade or not. I know all of his issues haven't been traded. They were by far my favourite ongoing Batstories since the 1980s.

I'm sure you've probably read all of the "Legends of the Dark Knight" stuff under #65, as it was all from the 90s? There's almost all gems in those stories.

I'm guessing you also read Jeph Loeb's "Long Halloween" also?

David Lapham's current work on "Detective Comics" is worth checking out.

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90s? All the books you listed are from the 80s.

 

Have you read Ed Brubaker's run on "Batman"? I'm not sure if there's a Trade or not. I know all of his issues haven't been traded. They were by far my favourite ongoing Batstories since the 1980s.

I'm sure you've probably read all of the "Legends of the Dark Knight" stuff under #65, as it was all from the 90s? There's almost all gems in those stories.

I'm guessing you also read Jeph Loeb's "Long Halloween" also?

David Lapham's current work on "Detective Comics" is worth checking out.

 

Yeah I know those ones were from the 80s - I neglected to mention the ones from the 90s that I read. I've read all the Knightfall stuff, and yes, I've read Long Halloween.

 

What I'm looking for is stuff available as TPBs/OGNs and such. I dont have the time or the money to hunt up individual issues. I'm going to obtain stuff through the NY public library system which is excellent for traded comics and graphic novels and such.

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I've read all the Knightfall stuff

 

You have my deepest sympathies.

 

If you're not paying for them (libraries are great), the No Man's Land saga, collected into 5 trades, is well worth reading - as a whole, it's a mixed bag, but the good bits are excellent, and there are definitely more than enough of them to warrant a look.

 

There are no trades of Brubaker's Batman outside of the Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive books. Those are possibly worth a look, since they're the only real chance you're likely to get to read any of Brubaker's Batman work, but they're far from great as a whole. Bloody crossovers (mind you, speaking of crossovers, the Officer Down trade is readable).

 

Greg Rucka's Evolution isn't bad, collecting the first 8 issues or so of his work on Detective Comics - sadly, it captures his run before he really hit his stride, and it's the only trade available. Bumnuts.

 

Ed Brubaker/Doug Mahnke's prestige format one-shot Batman: The Man Who Laughs is a not-half-bad 'sequel' to Year One, detailing Batman's first run-in with the Joker - it suffers in comparison to the superior original, and to Brubaker's other, better (and untraded) work on Batman and 'Tec, but as far as recent Bat-stories go, it's probably the best.

 

If you enjoy 100 Bullets, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's Broken City is well worth a look. It's not perfect (like most of Azzarello's non-Bullets work, it suffers from an underwhelming climax, and some of the hard-boiled noir-isms are overdone), but it's far and away the best work I've seen Azz do with a 'mainstream' character, and Risso's art is, if anything, even better than it is on 100 Bullets.

 

So, in short, the answer to your initial question is "no, there aren't any recent Batman TPBs/OGNs which are even close to as good as Year One/Dark Knight Returns". The ancilliary titles, however, are a very different matter. If you want really, really good Batman-universe stories, you should hie thee as fast as possible to the following books, none of which are, strictly speaking, Batman stories, but all of which are thoroughly superb.

 

Gail Simone's Birds Of Prey (glossy, hi-octane superheroics, but hugely entertaining with it). There are two trades available so far: Sensei & Student and Of Like Minds.

 

Ed Brubaker's Catwoman was, for the first 24 issues or so, hands-down the best superhero title DC were publishing. Sadly, with #25 it took a nose-dive - Paul Gulacy took over the art, and turned one of the best-looking, most distinctive books on the shelf and turned it into an inconsistent, ugly T&A extravaganza, and the quality of the stories began to slide too. Fortunately, those first two years' worth of top-quality comics are available, in their entirety, in the following trades: The Dark End Of The Street, Crooked Little Town, Relentless, and Wild Ride. Read'em in that order (although the first volume is the weakest, and the third the best, for my money).

 

At this stage, I really don't need to say any more than I already have about the utter, shining magnificence of Gotham Central, do I? Trust me, Abhi, you'll love it. Two trades available so far - In The Line Of Duty and the superlative Half A Life. A third volume, collecting two more arcs (including the best Joker story of the past decade or more), is due soon.

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There are no trades of Brubaker's Batman outside of the Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive books. Those are possibly worth a look, since they're the only real chance you're likely to get to read any of Brubaker's Batman work, but they're far from great as a whole. Bloody crossovers (mind you, speaking of crossovers, the Officer Down trade is readable).

I've just got this out of the library. Abs Dark Knight Strikes Again and one with Green Lantern and Green Arrow.

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The really frustrating thing about Murderer/Fugitive is that there are some excellent ideas, and a couple of very good issues (Batman #603 is one of my favourite Batman stories ever, for example), struggling to be noticed against the background of an overlong, badly-paced and ill-thought-out crossover "event". It's worth reading for the best parts, and I've read far worse Batman crossovers, but as a whole it's a definite missed opportunity.

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Ah! Thanks Mark. I was just coming in here to post a thread about which order the Catwoman trades are in (they don't have them numbered), but that cleared things up. I'll be checking that one out, I believe.

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I absolutely adored "Catwoman" by Brubaker!

I still can't believe I'm saying that.

I heard some good word-of-mouth about the book, but kept thinking, "It's fucking Catwoman! Come on!"

One day, I had some extra money and wanted some comics to read and couldn't find anything I wanted to buy, so I picked up a few issues of Brubaker's "Catwoman" to read.

The next day, I was back at the store buying up the rest of the Brubaker issues of "Catwoman" that they had.

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It's just such a shame that, after a mere two years' worth of absolutely impeccable stories, the title suddenly and mysteriously came to an end.

 

Trust me, a world in which this is true would be a better place than one occupied by the Gulacy-illustrated third year of Catwoman.

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The really frustrating thing about Murderer/Fugitive is that there are some excellent ideas, and a couple of very good issues (Batman #603 is one of my favourite Batman stories ever, for example), struggling to be noticed against the background of an overlong, badly-paced and ill-thought-out crossover "event". It's worth reading for the best parts, and I've read far worse Batman crossovers, but as a whole it's a definite missed opportunity.

 

603 is a great little story but I think my own favourite stuff in there are the Allen & Montoya bits that Rucka wrote in Detective. Those almost work as a lead in to Gotham Central and that character development is probably why they are still the two best characters in that book. Oh and anything that Rucka wrote with Alfred, he writes the best Alfred this side of Miller.

It is kinda sad though that you have to judge a Bat-crossover on how good individual issues are in rather than the overall story. But I've read too many of these things to expect anything better. :rolleyes:

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Oh, yeah - the introduction of the characters who would go on to form the core of Gotham Central is one of the best things about Rucka's Detective run.

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Oh, yeah - the introduction of the characters who would go on to form the core of Gotham Central is one of the best things about Rucka's Detective run.

 

Definitely, that and the way he wrote the rogues gallery, particularly Two Face and Poison Ivy are why that's by far my favourite run on any of the batbooks in recent years.

Except maybe Brubaker on Catwoman.

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Aw shit, am I going to have to start buying Detective now? Is it worth it if my main interest in Gotham Central is the cops and not Batman? Are the stories as good as those in Gotham Central?

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Relax...this is Detective Comics from several years ago we're talking about. None of the relevant issues are available in trade, either, except for a few which are included in the Bruce Wayne: Furderer/Mugitive crossover extravaganza, and that's got too many shitty bits to recommend just for the few good issues, unless you really love Batman. Which you don't. So don't worry about it.

 

You should give Brubaker's Catwoman a try, though. Nothing to do with Gotham Central, but excellent.

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If we're talking recent trades and you're willing to go elseworlds you might be interested in Batman Nine Lives. It's set in the thirties with a P.I Dick Grayson and has the best art Michael Lark's ever done. Well worth a look. I also liked the recent Batman Superman Wonder Woman: Trinity which I think recently came out in paperback but I'd probably buy Matt Wagner's shopping list. Wagner's Faces has just been reprinted again but it came out in Legends of the Dark Knight in the eighties so you may have read it. It's good though. Darwyn Cooke's Batman: Ego is a good oneshot from a couple years back but it may be hard to find.

Y'know I just realised how much crap Batman stuff they've done in the past few years, I'm really depressed now :icon_frown:

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Since I'm still obsessed with it, I'ma say Rucka's Batman: Death and the Maidens.

 

It's a fascinating book with great Klaus Janson artwork. Basically, a weakened Ra's comes to Batman to offer something he's always wanted in exchange for a Lazarus Pit. Also, a new villain with relation to Ra's comes back to haunt everyone.

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Since I'm still obsessed with it, I'ma say Rucka's Batman: Death and the Maidens.

 

It's a fascinating book with great Klaus Janson artwork. Basically, a weakened Ra's comes to Batman to offer something he's always wanted in exchange for a Lazarus Pit. Also, a new villain with relation to Ra's comes back to haunt everyone.

 

Bollocks! I knew I'd forget somthing, Jansons art is stunning, what did you think of the end though? (he says trying desperately not to spoil it)

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Personally? I loved it. I don't think there was one thing about that book that I didn't absolutely adore. It's probably my favourite Batman story within the past ten years, and very close to being my all-time favourite Batman story (although Arkham Asylum edges it out).

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You know what Batman Elseworlds book I really liked?

"Batman: Dark Allegiances" by Howard Chaykin

 

It's hard to find, but I really enjoyed it. I don't enjoy a lot of the Elseworlds stuff.

 

Any of the "Legends of the Dark Knight" Trades are worth picking up.

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I remembered Shaman (the first LOTDK arc) as being arse-kicking. So I dug out the issues last week and re-read them, and it's mediocre. Ed Hannigan's art is nicely subdued, which I think suits Batman, but it's a bit amateurish in places; and Denny O'Neil's script is quaint, like the stuff he was writing in the 70s.

 

Worse is the Grant Morrison arc Gothic, in which both script & art ranged from forgettable to preposterous.

 

Both stories impressed me in 1990, when their approaches seemed fresh and original, but they don't stand up to re-reading. Maybe it's the Citizen Kane effect: groundbreaking in its day, but a bit dated now.

 

Abhi, you might care to avoid Hush, which was overhyped and a bit poo.

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Batman : Venom and Batman : Shaman were great too...

 

Maybe they were, once. But reading them now, both are more than a bit shonky.

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