Batman Comic Books

Detective Comics #934-Bat Signal

Detective Comics #934 Comic Book Review

Detective Comics #934 Comic Book Review   As a part of the new DC Comics Rebirth movement, the new Detective Comics #934 is a powerful re-launch of the original Batman title, with Batman forming a new team of Bat-Heroes, with Batwoman (Kate Kane), in a leading role on the new team.   Coming on the heels of the new Batman: Rebirth #1, this latest Detective Comics, issue (titled “Rise of the Batmen: Chapter One”), sets itself (as a title and series) apart from the “solo” Batman title, in that here we see Batman realize he faces a danger that is targeting not just him, but the other “vigilantes” of Gotham City.  Basically, this issue shows the process whereby Batman assembles a team of Bat-Heroes who are already active in Gotham (plus one surprise addition–we will get to that in a bit), to face this new and mysterious threat. Detective Comics #934-Batwoman Overall, this comic is pretty darned interesting!  The art by Eddy Barrows is perfect for these Bat-Characters, and the writing of James Tynion IV, (see Batman Eternal), is great.  And now, for our usual SPOILER warning…   At this point, we warn you, we write about the plot and details of the story, i.e. BAT-SPOILERS ahead (and not just the character named Spoiler, if you get our drift…) Detective Comics #934-Spoiler   We open the issue seeing Azrael being hunted down by a bad guy, whose silhouette makes  him look a lot like Batman, to the point that when the real Bats shows up and asks “Who did this to you?” Azrael responds with “You…YOU did.”  Additionally, Batman finds a drone that is, as he says, at least ten years more advanced than anything he or the military could put together.  All of this greatly concerns Batman, who, of course, has a plan on how to deal with the situation. Detective Comics #934-Batman and Azrael We then see Batman begin recruiting other heroes to his banner (err, I mean his Bat-Signal), to deal with this issue.  Plus, as he points out, the drones are also following his allies. His first recruiting visit is with Kate Kane, AKA Batwoman, and the dialogue and interactions between them are very well done, as he reveals to Kate why he trusts her…(If you REALLY want to know this big old SPOILER, then scroll down to see the last image on this page.  Longtime Batwoman and Batman fans probably already know the connection between these two characters, but this is a significant development in the relationship between these two). Detective Comics #934-Batman and Kate Kane Batman then basically tells her that she is not to be a subordinate to him, but a co-leader, and that he wants her to train the others on his recruitment list.  He mentions that he has already “taken in…Duke Thomas,” (in Batman: Rebirth #1), and we then see Batman and Batwoman meet up with the others on the list: Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan (Cassandra Cain) and, the most intriguing of all, the villain Clayface (Basil Karlo). This is a bold move by Tynion to add a classic Batman villain (first appearing in Detective Comics #40, in June of 1940) to the roster of his new team.  Batman and his new team approach a rather pitiful-looking Clayface, who accidentally terrorized the patrons of  a movie theater because he wanted to watch an old movie starring himself before he became Clayface.  In this scene, James Tynion effectively puts a “human face,” as it were, on a character who is usually presented as a stereotyped villain.  Given a chance at redemption, Clayface agrees to join up.  We use the word redemption here very purposefully.  Note the panel where Batman finds Azrael in a church (shown above).  The crucifix and image of Christ (often referred to as “The Redeemer”), is a used as central image.  And now, we find Batman offering a chance at redemption to a long-standing villain.  Again, the partnership and synergy between the writer and artist is compelling, and this Bat-book is filled with religious symbolism. Tynion’s college major was Creative Writing, and anyone who has studied American or English literature is aware, inserting religious symbolism, Christ imagery, and related analogies and metaphors is a common means of showing the struggle between good and evil.  I fully expect future issues to hint at a devilish imagery of the villain, as we get to know more about him.  Overall, this is a great re-launch of the Post-New 52 Detective Comics, and, as a long-time DC fan, I am very pleased to see this title (and also the new Action Comics), revert to the old numbering system that hearkens back and connects these titles to their origins in the late 1930s. Pick up Detective Comics #934.  It is a very good read!   Detective Comics #934-Bruce Wayne and Kate Kane  

Detective Comics #934-Batman Family

James Tynion IV Comicography of the Batman Books

James Tynion IV Comicography of the Batman Books     Batman and Batman-Family related comic books and comic book runs written by James Tynion IV. Tynion (born December 14, 1987 in New York City) is a writer for DC Comics and is best known for his work writing various Batman titles.  Though he was born in New York, he grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended Marquette University High School. Tynion studied Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, where he met comic book writer Scott Snyder, who encourage Tynion to write for DC Comics. Tynion began writing back-up stories for the New 52 Batman series, beginning with Batman #8 in 2012. His best-known story arc to date was the Batman Eternal series, which began in 2014. His most recent (2016) work is the re-launch of Detective Comics #934 (with the series returning to the original numbering which had been stopped with the advent of the New 52 in 2011).  This issue is a part of the DC Comics “Rebirth” reboot.   Detective Comics #934-Bat Signal Batman Books by James Tynion IV Detective Comics #934- (2016-Ongoing Series) Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-6 (2015-2016) Batman and Robin Eternal #1-26 (2015-2016) –written along with Scott Snyder, Tim Seeley, Steve Orlando, Genevieve Valentine, Ed Brisson, Jackson Lanzing, and Collin Kelly Batman Annual #4 (2015) Batman Eternal #1-52 (2014-2015) NOTE: This was a weekly series written with Scott Snyder, Ray Fawkes, Tim Seeley, John Layman, and Kyle Higgins, 2014-2015) Batman #0, 8-16, 18-25, 28, 35-39 (2012-2015) Batman Annual #3 (2014) Red Hood and the Outlaws #19-28, Annual #1 (2013-2014) Talon #0-14 (2012-2013) Batman and Robin #23.2 “Court Of Owls (2013) Batman and Robin #23.3 “Ra’s al Ghul” (2013) Detective Comics #0, 12, 19 (2012-2013) Batman Annual #1 (2012) -Co-written with Scott Snyder

Batman: Rebirth #1 Batman on Cover

Batman: Rebirth #1 Review

  Batman: Rebirth #1 Review Batman: Rebirth #1 is both interesting and confusing at the same time.  More precisely, as a stand-alone Batman story (or, rather, the beginning of a new story arc), this issue is full of clues, dialogue, and mysteries that should satisfy both a new and a veteran Bat-Fan.  But it is confusing if you expect this issue to follow the events of the very good DC Universe Rebirth #1 that came out on May 25.  More on that later. Batman: Rebirth #1-Cover Batarang Looking at this issue just as a Batman title, with no expectation of a “Rebirth” connection, it works.  A newer reader is introduced to our title character as Bruce Wayne the billionaire, as well as to Batman as a savior to Gotham, as well as to Batman the detective and long-term planner. At this point, we are entering the “Spoiler-Cave,” full of details that may, or may not, spoil things for you.  You have been warned… Writers Scott Snyder and Tom King, and artist Mikel Janin, show different aspects of a very multi-faceted character.  We see Batman facing off against one of the less well-known members of his Rogues Gallery, Calendar Man (and he is presented as very, very weird and scary), who has found a way to unleash terror and destruction on Gotham.  Batman does his “savior of Gotham” routine, not once, but twice, in this issue, both times showing that he is willing to risk his life to protect others. Batman: Rebirth #1-Batman vs. Calendar Man We also see him as Bruce Wayne, the rich business man, working with Lucius Fox, the man who really runs the Wayne empire. Here we see a somewhat cavalier Bruce, both in terms of how he looks at his finances, and in how he shows off his physical training, more or less while hanging around where people could see him. This scene strikes me as both necessary and as odd and out of character for Bruce.  First, we see that he delegates pretty much all of his business dealings to Lucius.  Good idea.  But we also see an inkling of the “Wayne tradition” of helping others as Lucius talks about Bruce’s father’s way of seeing responsibility.  This part is all good.  What disturbs this reviewer is the dangerous work-out regimen that Bruce is undertaking at his office tower’s helipad.  He is doing things here that only a trained acrobat or…The Batman…could possibly do and not get killed or put away in the looney bin.  Really, where is the un-serious, semi-alcoholic, skirt-chasing, lay-about version of Bruce that many generations of Batman writers have presented as a part of Bruce’s “I am not Batman” camouflage?  All it would take is one news helicopter to get video of him doing this crazy exercise routine for people to start putting two and two together. Despite that, the story shows off a lot of the usual Batman items: Alfred, stately Wayne Manor, the Bat-Cave, etc.  We also see Duke Thomas, a character who has been a semi-sidekick to Bats before, being made an offer.  This offer, as we see, comes in the form of training and working  with Batman and the introduction of what looks like a new, non-Robin sidekick costume/uniform. Batman: Rebirth #1Duke Thomas Costume Again, this issue is all about laying the groundwork for a continuing Batman title, so we expected a lot of introductory work here, and that is pretty much what we get.  This is a book any Batman fan should pick up and read. Now, onto the Rebirth connection.  Well, as far as we can see, there is none.  After reading the DC Rebirth #1 one-shot, a reader could have expected Batman to try to find out why that one bloody item (not saying it here, since you REALLY should read that comic) was in the Batcave, and the mystery of the three different versions of [insert major Bat-Villain’s name here].  But no, there does not appear to be any connection to that Rebirth comic here.  Maybe in Detective Comics #934, which comes out on June 8.  We shall see… In conclusion, this is a good, solid introductory Batman book, with good dialogue, characterizations, and good, clean, solid art.  And a creepy villain.  That always makes the day go better.  Seriously, though, if you like Batman, read this comic!   Did you like this review of Spider-Man/Deadpool #5?  Then please consider supporting this website by donating through Patreon.  If so, please visit our Patreon donation page.

The Joker

The Joker’s First Appearance-Review of Batman #1

The Joker’s First Appearance-Review of Batman #1 The Joker first appeared in two stories in Batman #1 in April, 1940.  We review those first Joker stories for you, and we take a look (in our attached video review) at some of the artwork by Bob Kane and the writing of Bill Finger, the co-creators of Batman, Robin, Joker, and many more.   As we all know, the Joker is perhaps the most iconic and well-known supervillain in the DC Comics Universe, and perhaps in all of comics. This Harlequin of Hate first appeared in Batman #1, published on April 25, 1940. At this time, America was still in the throes of the Great Depression, and over a year and a half away from entry into World War Two.  Batman had first appeared in Detective Comics #27, published in 1939, and had quickly gained fame and recognition.  By the Spring of 1940, DC Comics (then called National), decided to give him his own title, while also continuing his star turn in Detective Comics. Joker 1st Appearance   While Joker was not the first code-named villain to fight Batman, he was perhaps the most maniacal.  In Batman #1, we find five separate stories.  The first, a short re-telling of Batman’s origin, sets the stage for the other four stories, all of which feature soon-to-be iconic Batman villains.  The second and fifth stories feature the Joker, a crazed, white-faced, green-haired murderer with a penchant for stealing jewelry and art.  He is also a scientific genius, using his chemistry lab to concoct his now-famous Joker Gas (kills victims and leaves their bodies with a crazy Joker-like smile, referred to in the comic as the “ghastly grin, the sign of death from the Joker!”) and knock-out gas. The third story features the second appearance of Dr. Hugo Strange, while the fourth story shows the first appearance of a female jewel thief called “The Cat.”  This of course, is Selena Kyle, the Catwoman. But, back to the Joker.  These first two stories with Joker are connected, as the second Joker story picks up two days after the first story.  In their first encounter, Joker gets Batman’s attention by killing several well-known citizens of Gotham by various secret means, using several poisons of the Joker’s design, as well as a handgun.  Batman and Joker’s first battle takes place in Joker’s red car as he attempts to escape, and on a bridge, where Joker manages to physically best Batman and kick him into the water. Robin, who is in his third comic book appearance here, follows Joker to his lair, where he is captured (of course), and tied up by Joker.  Batman, who followed Robin’s trail by means of the “luminous chemical that glows only in the light of the Infra-Red Lamp,” (another Bat-Gadget created by Batman), that Batman and Robin coat their footwear with, rescues Robin and battles the Joker again, knocking him out and capturing him.  This first Joker/Batman story ends with Joker in jail. Joker-Batman #1 1940 In the second Joker story in Batman #1takes place, according to the narration, two days later, where we see Joker is still in jail, wearing purple prison clothes, and plotting his escape by means of two false teeth in his mouth, where, Joker says, “inside each tooth is a chemical which when mixed together, forms a powerful explosive,” which he uses to blow up the jail. We see Joker enter his secret underground laboratory (hidden in a cemetery), where he again plots his crimes.  As in the first story, we see citizens listening to their radios when Joker interrupts the show with a threat to kill the Chief of Police. Joker succeeds in killing Chief Chalmers, and two more citizens (while stealing art and jewelry).  As Joker attempts to rob the Drake Museum, Batman intervenes, and again is bested by the Joker in a fistfight. Just as Joker is about to kill Batman, the arrival of police reinforcements causes him to flee.  The police find the unconscious Batman and begin to unmask him, when Batman regains consciousness and knocks out the police.  Remember, at this early stage of Batman’s career, he is a vigilante operating outside of the law, and is wanted by the police, to the point that one policeman tries shooting Batman as he flees out a window. Joker vs Batman-Batman #1 Joker continues his murderous crime spree, and to set a trap, Batman meets with Commissioner James Gordon in his guise as millionaire socialite Bruce Wayne.  Wayne and Gordon are friends, and, since Batman is still a fugitive, Batman’s plan to trap the  Joker has to come from Wayne, who gives Gordon an idea of how to lure Joker into a police trap. Joker falls for the trap, which is not a very good one from the police perspective, as Joker kills several officers before fleeing.  Robin follows Joker and they fight, with Robin knocked off a roof, seemingly to fall to his death.  Here we see Robin’s acrobatic training (he was, after all, raised as a circus acrobat in his pre-Robin career), as he saves himself by grabbing onto a flagpole. On the ground below Robin, Batman and Joker is about to shoot Batman (and, in reference to the first Joker story, Joker remarks, ” I know you wear a bullet-proof vest…this time I’m going to shoot at your head…the Joker is still trump card.”  Robin then drops down onto Joker, knocking the gun from his hand.  Batman then starts hitting Joker, who then draws out a knife.  Batman’s punch knocks Joker into a wall, causing the knife he is holding to pierce his own chest. Batman and Robin leave the scene, believing that Joker is dead.  Later, in the ambulance, a doctor tells a policeman that the Joker is still alive. Interestingly,  we see the Joker’s body in the ambulance with his jacket and shirt off.  The skin of his torso and arm are clearly as pasty-white as his face, indicating that his odd coloring is not due to clown makeup, but is perhaps his actual skin color.  At this point, we do not have any hint of  an origin story for the Joker. The Joker would survive (of course), and appear again in Batman #2, where he teams up with The Cat. To a reader living in the […]

A Joker Thanksiving

Have a Batman Thanksgiving!

In the DC comics universe, we have the “Batman Family,” most of whom are not actually related, of course.  But a family it is.  Sometimes functional, often dysfunctional. Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, food, and football.  Not always in that order. Even superheroes (and their villains), need to eat.  So here are some images of Batman (and Joker) Family Thanksgivings.  Enjoy! By the way, who can identify that white-looking thing in the water? Thanksgiving with the Batman Family (or are they Bat-Pilgrims?) And, of course, Joker and Harley hosting a Bat-Villain Thanksgiving feast! Who do you trust with the knife? A Joker Thanksiving

Batman: Eternal #3 Cover

Villains in the Batman: Eternal Series

Villains in the Batman: Eternal Series Batman: Eternal #3 Cover In the New 52, DC Comics has continued using tried and true villains such as The Penguin and Carmine Falcone.  In other instances, DC has created new villains, such as Dollmaker and the Imperceptible Man.  Here you can find information on the villains that appear in the popular new Batman: Eternal series that began publication in April, 2014. NOTE:  If you have not read through Batman: Eternal #3 yet, some of these appearances may be spoilers…You were warned!  [xyz-ihs snippet=”TextLinkHorizontal”] Professor Pyg (Lazlo Valentin) First appearance: Batman #666 (July 2007) First New 52 Appearance: Batman #1(2011) Firefly-There have been two known Firefly characters: Garfield Lynns and Ted Carson. The Firefly in the New 52 Continuity appears to be the second Firefly, Ted Carson Firefly 1: Garfield Lynns First appearance: Detective Comics #184 (June 1952) Firefly 2: Ted Carson First appearance: Batman #126 (1959) First New 52 Appearance: Nightwing Annual #1 (October, 2013) Lockup- Lock-Up (Lyle Bolton) is a DC Comics supervillain and an enemy of Batman. He first appeared in one episode Batman: The Animated Series and was incorporated into DC’s mainstream continuity Robin #24 (January 1996). His compulsion/motif is to lock up criminals and his conflicts with Batman, Robin, and Nightwing are usually when they attempt to save his victims from torture and death. First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series episode “Lock-Up” (First Aired on Television: Nov. 19, 1994) First Comic Book appearance: Robin #24 (January, 1996) First New 52 Appearance: Batman Eternal #3 (April, 2014) Signalman- The Signalman (Phillip “Phil” Cobb) was a criminal who came to Gotham with plans to make it big in the Crime world.  As a nobody, all the other crooks laughed at him when he tried to form a gang. He decided to become a costumed supervillain after realizing that society was governed by signals and symbols, and so he became the Signalman, using signs and symbols as his motif.   First appearance: Batman #112 (December, 1957) First New 52 Appearance: Justice League of America #3 (January, 2012) Cluemaster (Arthur Brown)-Arthur Brown is a failed television game show host, who, when he turned to a life of crime, felt the compulsion to leave behind clues to his crimes, He is also the father of Stephanie Brown (who, in order to stop her criminal father, becomes the hero Spoiler. She later briefly served as one of the Robins, later becoming the third Batgirl). First appearance: Detective Comics #351 (May 1966) First New 52 Appearance: Batman Eternal #3 (April, 2014)   Penguin-Oswald Cobblepot, who has a similar appearance to a particular short, fat, and waddling Antarctic bird, took the codename Penguin as his moniker as a criminal in Gotham City.  One of Batman’s oldest and most intractable foes, the Penguin is one of the more durable and ruthless crime lords in Gotham.  Unlike many other Bat-Foes, the Penguin is not insane.  He is simply a criminal out to make a buck and accumulate power in Gotham’s criminal underground.  He is a mortal enemy of Carmine Falcone, another of Gotham’s crime czars. [xyz-ihs snippet=”whitetexthalfbannerforcontent”] First Appearance: Detective Comics #58 (December 1941) Among Penguin’s henchmen: Imperceptible Man- First Appearance: Detective Comics #6 (April, 2012)   Mr. Mosaic First Appearance: Detective Comics #5 (March, 2012) Hypnotic First Appearance: Detective Comics #6 (April, 2012)   Mr. Combustible First Appearance: Detective Comics #6 (April, 2012)   Carmine Falcone- Carmine Falcone is a mafia crime boss in Gotham City.  As such, he is a significant foe of Batman and other costumed crime fighters in Gotham.  He is frequently the villain in the background; he devises plots and conspiracies to increase his power in the city and to weaken or defeat Batman.   First Appearance: Batman #404 (1987) First New 52 Appearance: Batman Eternal #2 (April, 2014) The Return of Carmine Falcone in Batman: Eternal  

Carmine Falcone-The Roman

Carmine Falcone: The Roman

Carmine Falcone   Carmine Falcone-The Roman   Character Name:  Carmine Falcone Codename/Alias:  The Roman   First Appearance:  Batman #404 (1987) First New 52 Appearance: Batman Eternal #2 (April, 2014) Creators: Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli Carmine Falcone is a mafia crime boss in Gotham City.  As such, he is a significant foe of Batman and other costumed crime fighters in Gotham.  He is frequently the villain in the background; he devises plots and conspiracies to increase his power in the city and to weaken or defeat Batman. [xyz-ihs snippet=”whitetexthalfbannerforcontent”] In the Batman mini-series The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Falcone and his family were intentionally patterned after Don Corleone (played by Marlon Brando) in the Godfather movies, according to Loeb. In the pre-New 52 continuity, one story line involving Catwoman laid the foundation for the (alleged) connection between Selina Kyle and Falcone.  It was said (though not proven), that Catwoman was the daughter of Falcone.  The scars on Falcone’s face are from Catwoman’s claws. Movie-goers will recognize the character from the Dark Knight Batman movies, and was played by actor Tom Wilkinson.   Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) in Batman Begins Carmine Falcone in the New 52 Continuity: Falcone’s first appearance in DC Comics’ New 52 continuum, came at the end of Batman Eternal #2 (2014), as he walks out of the shadows (literally) while talking with Gotham Mayor Hady.  The events of the first two Batman: Eternal issues (the framing of Commissioner Gordon, etc.) are part of Falcone’s plot to regain control of Gotham.