01 September 2009

2009 - The Year of Graphic Novels - Update #3: Batman

I didn't appreciate how much more Ed Brubaker I had in store for me during my plunge into Batman. Not that I minded, as between Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Chuck Dixon, I had a veritable bevy of all-star writers spinning the tales of the Dark Knight. That reminds me to be sure to get to Rucka's Whiteout series before TYoGN comes to an end. I also need to score Volume 4 of Queen and Country for the library.

31. Bruce Wayne - Murderer? by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka
32. Bruce Wayne - Fugitive V1 by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Chuck Dixon
33. Bruce Wayne - Fugitive V2 by Greg Rucka and Devin Grayson
34. Bruce Wayne - Fugitive V3 by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka
35. Batman - War Drums by Bill Willingham et al.
36. Batman - War Games 1 - Outbreakby Ed Brubaker et al.
37. Batman - War Games 2 - Tidesby Ed Brubaker et al.
38. Batman - War Games 3 - Endgameby Ed Brubaker et al.
39. Batman - War Crimes by Bill Willingham et al.

Despite the unrelatedness of these maxi-series, I've grouped them together because they kind of blur together in a haze of multiple good guys, multiple bad guys, and brooding Bruce Wayne/Batman. I'm not saying I want a campy Batman, but I prefer storylines that are more World's Greatest Detective vs. 1 Bad Dude (and possibly a few henchmen). These megatales are the popcorn of the Batman universe; I guess I was hoping for a nice ribeye.

40. Batman: Detective by Paul Dini

I'm glad I didn't pay for this book, because outside of the cover, it's a waste. Weak, disconnected stories. Small wonder it's already out of print.

41. Batman and Son by Grant Morrison

I don't want to hate on GM, but this was not his best effort.

42. Batman - Dangerous Dames and Demons by Paul Dini

One of my great regrets is not being a regular watcher of Dini's Batman Adventures cartoon and its descendants. Every episode I've seen has been wonderful and works a great balance between the Dark Knight and kid's sensibilities. Dini's collection here is meta to the max as it's a comic based on a TV show based on a comic, and it shines. The two Harley Quinn stories, including the heralded Mad Love, are worth the price of admission alone.

43. The Batman Adventures by Kelley Puckett and Martin Pasko

More adventures based on the TV show art.

44. Joker/Mask by Henry Gilroy

This little mini series put the Mask on the Joker to see what happens. It's an interesting take on what a supervillian becomes when he is too powerful. Fun stuff.

45. Batman - Digital Justice by Pepe Moreno

I suppose the artwork in this volume was cutting-edge when it came out in the early 90s, but as it says in its own forward, it's pretty dated by today's standards. Overall, though, it was a pretty good William Gibson-inspired tale, and a good value for $0.25 from a closing used-book store in Wheaton.

46. Batman Black and White by Various Writers

A nice codicil to my surfeit of Batman (am I mixing my metaphors?). This is a simply wonderful collection of short stories of the Dark Knight, all, unsurprisingly, in black and white, or at least in shades of grey. This and Dangerous Dames and Demons are probably the only two of the Batman books listed here that I'd recommend for purchase. So go out and buy them!

I think I'm done with TDK for awhile. Up next: the Bone nonology.