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As you may have heard, Saturday is Batman Day.  By what could only be sheer coincidence, there’s a Batman Day  digital sale going on right now.  And there is a LOT to sort through.

Let’s go through some of the highlights and start back at the dawn of the Bat.

Batman: The Golden Age Vol’s 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the original run of Detective Comics and Batman starting from the beginning.  They’re fairly thick volumes and Vol. 1 is only $4.99, if you like the original material.

For ’60s Batman, you’re looking at Tales of the Batman: Carmine Infantino, which is to say, the “new look” Batman with the yellow circle on his chest.

There are a couple of good choices for the 70s.  Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin technically isn’t all 70’s material, but that’s where his work with Batman started and Archie Goodwin was one of the finest comic writers, period.  While it technically starts in the 60s (and it you want the Denny O’Neil material, start with the second volume), there’s Batman: Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1, 2 and 3.

Here’s the thing about 80s Batman – this is where it started to turn into more a bi-weekly story with Batman and Detective sometimes having the same continuing story and sometimes not.  That makes it a little choppy trying to to follow the artist-based books.  Tales of the Batman: Gerry Conway starts out with some 70s material and then begins his 80s run.

90s Batman started out with Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, for whom Shadow of the Bat is representative and ended as the BIG Batman family Events like No Man’s Land were in full swing.

The 00’s started out with Greg Rucka’s Batman – the Batman: New Gotham Vol. 1 and 2 in Detective and the superlative Gotham Central with Ed Brubaker.  They ended with Grant Morrison.

The ’10s have thus far been defined by the Snyder/Capullo era and the current King era.

Those are the highlights of what’s on sale in terms of the primary Bat-titles through the years.  One of the interesting thing about Batman is how often he’s reinvented and tweaked.  For these titles, I prefer the Goodwin, O’Neil/Adams (i.e., V. 2 & 3 of the Neal Adams collection) and Rucka material.  You might prefer Morrison and Snyder.  Batman is a flexible character.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The noughts is the definitive run – they broke gotham and built it back up again. It was like the HBO years. War Crimes was balls though.

  2. That Archie Goodwin volume is mostly “Manhunter” with Walt Simonson, which is okay because “Manhunter” is awesome. There’s also the very good “Night Cries” OGN with Scott Hampton, a few ’70s Detective stories, a good annual from the late ’80s (early ’90’?), and a “LotDK” arc with art by Marshall Rogers that ended up being mostly scripted by James Robinson after Archie passed away. It’s my favorite “Tales of the Batman” volume because it presents a real diverse view of how Batman can be used– every story has its own style from high adventure to superhero action to a horrific story of child abuse. Definitely recommended, even if you’re not a big fan of Batman.

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