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Batman bind ups?

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Besides Mad Love (which appears to be out of print and going for silly money on ebay and Amazon Marketplace), can anybody recommend any collections from this side of the '90s which are worth a look?

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DC has been miserable about collecting GOOD Batman stories.

Well, there haven't been a ton of readable Bat-books in the 1990s anyway.

No Ed Brubaker Trades.

I'm sure some people will point you to the Greg Rucka Trades. Eh, I wasn't a fan of Rucka's run, at least not as compared to the Brubaker material that was going on at the same time. But, you might look to the Rucka Trades.

Batman:Evolution by Greg Rucka.

 

There's a few Legends of the Dark Knight collections. Most of the issues Traded are worth reading. some of the collections have stories by Alan Grant, and one of the issues is by Jamie Delano.

Here's the ones you should read (I got the list off of Wikipedia):

Batman: Shaman (#1 - 5), by Dennis O'Neil and Ed Hannigan, ISBN 1-56389-083-6

Batman: Gothic (#6 - 10), by Grant Morrison and Klaus Janson, ISBN 1-40121-549-1

Batman: Venom (#16 - 20), by Dennis O'Neil, Trevor Von Eeden, and José Luis García-López ISBN 1-56389-101-8

Batman: Faces (#28 - 30), by Matt Wagner ISBN 1-56389-126-3

Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight (#32 - 34, 38, 42 - 43), ISBN 1-56389-147-6

Batman: Other Realms (#35 - 36, 76 - 78), by Bo and Scott Hampton, ISBN 1-85286-977-1

Batman: Dark Legends (#39 - 40, 50, 52 - 54), ISBN 1-56389-266-9

Batman: Going Sane (#65 - 68, 200)

Batman: Monsters (#71-73, 83-84, 89-90)

 

Going Sane is by DeMatteis is the BEST. Amazing take on the Joker.

 

The only good collection of the ongoing flagship titles DC has done is the Steven Engelhart material.

No Alan Grant. No Marv Wolfman. No Denny O'Neil...although they might get around to O'Neil with the Showcase books soon.

 

Oh, but if by "Batman" you refer to any Bat-books, there's the Ed Brubaker Catwoman series.

I'm not sure how many Trades of that there were, but there are some at least.

OK, checking on Amazon, it looks like the entire run was collected, and it looks to be the first four Catwoman Trades, starting with "Dark End of the Street".

That's great stuff.

There's also Gotham Central by Brubaker and Rucka. That's essential.

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Can I list Nightwing? Chuck Dixon's run was very good. Most, if not all, should be in trades.

 

Yeah, I remember Rucka writing Detective back in the day, right? With Shawn Martinborough doing art. It was colored in drab grey tones with bit of color tossed in. Good stuff.

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Yep, those are the Rucka Detective issues.

There was just the one Trade. I'm not sure how long his run actually was.

 

You should not be able to list any Chuck Dixon books, no.

he he

I hate Dixon's writing, but I've never read his Nightwing.

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So I can never ever mention C*$^k D@*$%^

 

I think he has good grasp at writing Robin or Nightwing, but not so much else.

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Most of the stories mentioned before, especially Going Sane and Venom imo, are a must if you like a good Batman story.

 

Also, Alan Grant had some great stories in Shadow of the Bat until he got sucked into those silly crossovers.

The Last Arkham (#1-4) and a few other ones with Norm Breyfogle (#5 The Black Spider, #13 The Nobody) and Vince Giarrano (#19-20 The Tally Man and #11- 12 The Human Flea) were pretty amazing.

I'm not sure how many of them got collected, but if you can get a hold of them, you will not regret.

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Thanks, guys (apart from Chas, who can go to the naughty step). Going Sane sounds promising.

The Englehart's this sequel to Strange Apparitions him and Marshall Rodgers finally got around to doing three or four years back?

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The Englehart/Rogers Dark Detective is a disappointment, albeit a disappointment with some absolutely glorious art, which may or may not be sufficient reason to buy it. The core idea is a good one, but it's ultimately wasted, and the attempts to tie the story into then-current Bat-continuity, rather than simply leaving it a loose sequel to the '70s stuff, is a huge mistake. Still...Marshall Rogers. Your call, really.

 

You are correct about Chas' suggestion. Sorry, dude, but as with our Doctor Who discussions, it seems safe to say that we have very, very different tastes. Or, less charitably, I think you've been taking the crazy pills :tongue: . There are a couple of very good stories scattered throughout the ghastly five-trade mess that is No Man's Land, and since I got the entire series of trades for ten quid second-hand, I don't regret buying them. But short of finding a bargain of that magnitude, they're absolutely not to be recommended to anyone with critical faculties.

 

I don't rate Going Sane quite as highly as Christian, but it's still a must-read, a long-overdue trade for one of the better Batman stories released in the last decade or two. Christian is also completely, 100% correct about both Gotham Central and Brubaker's Catwoman, far and away the most 'essential' Batman-related titles of the decade. Read Catwoman only until Cameron Stewart's departure, though - the final Brubaker trade, with Paul Gulacy on art, is shithouse, and the penultimate volume wraps the story up perfectly well without it. No such caveats for Gotham Central, just get it all. Some stories are better than others, but the whole book was pretty much brilliant from beginning to end.

 

It is a massive shame that Greg Rucka's absolutely sublime run on Detective Comics remains mainly untraded - the two 'New Gotham' trades probably aren't really worth it on their own, since they're such a tiny part of a much bigger, much better story. He was on the book for, as I recall, over 40 issues, and almost all of them were gold. Brubaker's simultaneous Batman run wasn't bad either - the only notable trade collections for either are the 'Bruce Wayne: Furderer/Mugitive' crossovers, which really don't capture the era at anything like its best, and are worth avoiding.

 

Brubaker's Year One Joker follow-up, The Man Who Laughs, is terrific, though - fairly thin story, but very well told, and with gorgeous Doug Mahnke art. I believe the current trade of that comes with a three-parter from Brubaker's all-to-brief Detective Comics run which came immediately after Rucka's, which would be another reason to pick it up.

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I think Chas was joking. (Well, I hope Chas was joking, anyway.)

Thanks, Mark.

Is the Azarello/Risso story any good? I think that one's been collected.

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Depends on how much you like Azz/Risso, really - I was disappointed at the time, and still don't think it's especially great, but if you're as keen on Risso's art as I am, it's probably still worth a look. Very much Azzarello in self-parodying "uber-noir" mode, with his dialogue tics at their most irritating. Still, beautifully-drawn and coloured.

 

I'm not especially up to speed on which Legends of the Dark Knight arcs have been traded - I've got them all in a longbox, and only rarely duplicate-purchase trades - but odds are, if it's from that title in the '90s, you'll probably be in for something good. The hit-rate was exceptionally high, overall.

 

There are also the Matt Wagner Year One-era "monster" books, with the Mad Monk and the Monster Men - I didn't like them quite as much as some, but they're still a very enjoyable take on the subject matter, and well worth picking up.

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Cool. I'm sure I'll be able to find something, then.

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Batman:Nine lives and Arkum Asylum:Living hell are both worth a read.Nine live is a noir Elseworlds,recasting the Batman and his villains gallery in somewhat obvious roles(Croc is a circus freak,Joker is an asshole card player,etc.)but the interaction and scheming between these characters and the references to DCU history is what keeps the story fun.Michael Lark was born to draw this book,he does an amazing job.

 

Living hell,starts out as a typical con man goes to the nut house to get out of jail time riff,problem is,he did it in Gotham county.Dan Slott does a great job of scripting everyone at Arkum,from the doctors and staff to B grade villains,who he has a knack for writing.Ryan Sook does a great job of grounding the weirdness of the later parts of the script with some really solid pencil work.

 

Both of these books only feature the Batman in brief appearances,but I've always thought he can be an incredibly effective character,when written in cameo mode.I also heard good things about Batman:Ego by Darwin Cooke,so I ordered a copy,haven't read it yet.

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Yeah, Arkham Asylum: Living Hell is worth a read. It's the story that made Dan Slott's career.

It's pretty violent and messed up for a DCU title.

 

Rak, I'd like to hear your review of Batman:Ego. I've never known if that was worth buying or not.

 

On a different note, looking online, it seems that DC has allowed Batman:Strange Apparitions to go out-of-print and it's now rare.

Way to go DC!

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The name "Darwyn Cooke" strongly suggests that Ego would be well worthy of time and money, but I haven't read it myself yet. Should really get round to picking it up, given how much I've enjoyed just about everything else Cooke's done.

 

I'll second (third?) the recommendation for Slott's Arkham Asylum mini, too. It turned into something very different from what I'd been expecting in the second half, but divorced from my original expectations, it's a decently-entertaining read. Lovely art, too.

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That's a striking image. Isn't that the lad who was on the Mike Carey forum on the former DC Boards?

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I dare anyone to look at that picture and try to argue that Batman doesn't have the best rogue's gallery in all comics!

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Not a bad point. It's either him or Spiderman, I'd have said.

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Yeah, Spider Man would have to be a close second.

Outside of those two, there's only indiviudal villains who are interesting.

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What of Flash's Rogues Gallery? Although, I would suggest they were made much more interesting thanks to Mark Waid and Geoff Johns.

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What of Flash's Rogues Gallery? Although, I would suggest they were made much more interesting thanks to Mark Waid and Geoff Johns.

Good point.If it weren't for Waid and Johns,Flash would still be a distant third,as it stands now,I believe his bad guys are neck and neck with Spidermans.

 

Hey Dom,Mad Love was recently rereleased in hardcover with tons of great extra stuff,(it seemed to me to be a best of Dini & Timm)well worth tracking down.Also,all the praise you hear about Gotham Central is accurate,also since they started releasing it in big ol'hardcovers,the trades have been selling for some crazy low prices on Ebay,that's where I got most of mine.It's basically a continuation in themes and style of Nine Lives,if you like Gotham Central,you'll like Nine Live and vice versa.

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Thank you. I'll keep an eye out for that one as well.

I thionk I'll wait for the new version of mad Love to appear as a softback, though.

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What do you guys think of the Batman as a vampire Elseworlds stories? Batman-Dracula and Red Rain.

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