Debriefing #35 ‘Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 1 (2012)’

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Legends of the Dark Knight Vol 1 (2012)
Writers: Damon Lindelof, B. Clay Moore, Steve Niles, T. J. Fixman, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Jeff Parker
Artists: Jeff Lemire, Ben Templesmith, Trevor Harisine, Christopher Mitten, Phil Hester, Gabriel Hardman

Edgar: Here is a very interesting project for us to discuss as a debrief: a collection of one-shots written by a host of talented writers (not all of them typically related to the domain of comics and graphic novels) as well as a bevy of different artists to brings these tales to life on the page. For the most part since we’ve started this project James, we’ve reviewed large volumes that featured stories spanning multiple issues. Perhaps the only time we discussed a series of one-shots, if memory serves, was when we read the very first collection of Batman stories in Batman Chronicles volume 1.  I’d like to start off by knowing what your sentiments are with one-shot issues in general, their strengths and weaknesses, and then slide into your thoughts on this particular collection. Continue reading

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Debriefing #29: “Under the Hood”

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Batman: Under the Hood
Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Eric Battle, Shane Davis

NOTE: This discussion is spoiler heavy from the onset.

Edgar: If there is one thing you can almost always count on when it comes to important comic book characters, it’s that when a writer decides to kill him or her off, there is a remarkably high chance that they will return in some form some issues later, maybe even months or years laters. It just seems to be the way these books work for better or worse. How fitting then that, mere weeks after reading the controversial Death in the Family storyline we find ourselves discussing Under the Hood, an important story in Batman lore that raises Jason Todd from the dead in spectacular fashion (again, for good or ill). I feel like starting the conversation by asking a simple, if loaded, question to you James: Should Jason have stayed dead or not? Continue reading

Debriefing #25: ‘Batman Chronicles Vol. 1’

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Batman Chronicles Vol. 1
Writer: Bill Finger
Artist: Bob Kane

James: With a character as popular and long-lasting as Batman, I think modern audiences are quick to take elements of the character for granted. Batman is such an iconic, legendary character that it’s easy to assume that he emerged as a fully-formed character. The truth, as we see from going back to the first appearance of the Bat, is a bit different. However, there are still a lot of recognizable elements here. My question to you is what do you make of the similarities and differences? Was it cool to see Batman still in incubation or did you find these early stores a crude shadow of what is to come? Continue reading

Debriefing #22: ‘The City of Owls’

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Batman: The City of Owls
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo

After narrowly escaping the judgment of the Court of Owls, Batman now faces the full force of the organization as they attempt to forcibly take over the city. Even in his own home, Bruce is not free from the talons of the Court of Owls. As Batman battles the court in his own home, the Court targets people of influence and power around the city. Batman is also force to confront his past and face down a foe with a personal vendetta. Continue reading

Debriefing #21: ‘The Court of Owls’

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Batman: The Court of Owls (2012)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo

After Bruce Wayne announces a new plan to revitalize Gotham City, a mysterious assassin attempts to take his life. When Batman begins investigating this assassin, he’s forced to face one of Gotham’s deepest legends: The Court of Owls. Legend has this secret organization has worked throughout Gotham’s history but Batman remains skeptical that anything that big could remain hidden in his city. Continue reading

Debriefing #20: ‘Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth’

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Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dave McKean
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino

After Joker takes over Arkham Asylum, Batman comes in for a visit unlike any other. As he tries to negotiate with the madman, the events in Amadeus Arkham’s life are recounted, what led him to make the asylum and his ultimate fate. As Batman ventures through the madhouse, he’s forced to confront his own past and his own sanity is brought to the brink as he faces the house of horrors. Continue reading

Debriefing #16: ‘Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty’

Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty
Writers: Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker
Artists: Michael Lark
Colourists: Noelle Giddings, Matt Hollingsworth, Lee Loughridge

Note: This is a discussion of the 2011 paperback of Gotham Central Book One: In the Line of Duty which includes issues 1-10 of Gotham Central

While Batman may be Gotham’s most famous crime fighter, the city of Gotham features more than a few hard-working detectives who abide within the bounds of the law to fight crime. Gotham Central follows the lives and the cases of everyday officers. They may not have bat-shark repellent or multi-million dollar equipment, but that won’t stop them from going up against the nastiest of what Gotham has to offer. Continue reading