I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got 1 new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Buffy Season Eight – 8
  • Frank Miller The Complete Spider-Man Hardcover (I couldn’t leave the shop with just one comic so I looked around and this is what I found)
  • And now for some reviews of things I’ve read this week.

  • Batman: Strange Apparitions
  • I’m not really a Batman fan. Never have been. Even as a kid but especially now. To me he’s become half a crazy person and half a Wolverine knockoff. Kind of ironic being that he was around long before Wolverine. Sure there are some good Batman stories (I like “Long Halloween” and “Year One”) but overall I’m really tired of everybody’s post “Dark Knight Returns” take on the character. “Dark Avenging Creature of the Night”… yawn… somebody wake me when it’s over.

    So here is a pre “Dark Knight Returns” story that is generally considered one of the better Batman runs from the 1970’s. This book reprints the Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin, Steve Englehart run on “Detective Comics” from 1978-1979. Plus there is some Steve Englehart, Walt Simonson, Al Milgrom early in the book and some Lein Wein written stuff in the end. Not being a Batman reader as a kid in the 1970’s I haven’t read anything but a single issue of the Wein written stuff. It was all new to me.

    Y’know what? These are some of the stronger Batman stories. I like when things live up to their reputations. I can see why these issues are fondly remembered. There’s nothing I can point to that’s great but there is a certain type of magic going on in these stories. It’s the Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin, Steve Englehart ones that I’m talking about. The others are okay but there is not as much magic going on.

    It’s one of those comics where it looks like everyone was trying to do their best, had some talent, and were learning and getting better all the time. They cared in a way beyond it just being job and things clicked. I got into these comics. The stories and characters seem fresh and new even all these years later. That’s not easy to do.

    I won’t even bother to go into the specifics of the plot because they’re almost not that important. It’s really just another super hero tale. It’s that elusive magic that matters. And Batman in an actual human being in these stories too. A nice change of pace from him being an “icon” (that’s what it’s called when a cliché is heavily marketed).