Quips From A Clerk: The Batman Essentials

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

tumblr_lxlq0eIiID1r6f9lbo1_400We all know the big characters out there, but do we know how to start them? How does a new reader learn about characters that have been around for 75 years? There are the collection books that both DC and Marvel have created, collecting the golden age books, but is that enough? Is that really the “Essential” book to read? I don’t believe it is. I think there are stronger stories, ones that will really show the true character that we are used to. That isn’t to say that the collected classics aren’t listed, but they aren’t always the first book you would hand over to a new reader. Sometimes the style or the art just doesn’t translate in modern age, which is fine. We all respect the classics, but what would you suggest?

I went to Twitter and Facebook for help on this weeks topic: Batman. There are just so many stories that he is in, along with him being in television and movies, its hard to not know who he is. But where do you begin reading?

The most popular vote was for Batman: Year One (written by Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, colored by Richmond Lewis and lettered by Todd Klein.) It was published in 1987 in issue numbers 404-407 of the main Batman comic. This is available in trade paperback, as well as animated film. This story follows Bruce Wayne upon returning to Gotham from his martial arts training and Jim Gordon who has just transferred to Gotham from Chicago with his wife. Almost immediately you are introduced to Holly Robinson and Selina Kyle. From there Bruce and Jim also face encounters with Harvey Dent, Gillian Loeb, Carmine Falcone, and Sarah Essen. The most widely known villain, The Joker, also has a mention in this story. Not only does Year One give you a sense of history with Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon, it gives you a sense of understanding with other characters you didn’t realize you knew.

The second most popular vote was for The Long Halloween (written by Jeph Loeb, illustrated by Tim Sale, colored by Gregory Wright and lettered by Richard Starkings.) It was published in 13 issues in the same title from 1996-1997, originally inspired by Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials. This story also sparked two sequels, Batman: Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome. I would not consider the Halloween Specials “essential” reading, but I would strongly encourage Long Halloween.  The origin story of Two-Face is a selling point to me, but it is also a very well written story that shows both Bruce and Batman, how one person can be two people being so different yet the same. I feel like this shows more of the detective side as well.

There was a lot of recommendations, including Hush and The Killing Joke, while both are remarkable books that I would consider to be essential reading, I would have a hard time giving them to someone who has no history of Batman. To prerequiste Hush I feel like I need to give them Death In The Family (not to be confused with the more recent title of Death Of The Family, another Joker story.) Dark Knight Rises was also mentioned a few times, with the debate of is it actually an origin story or is it just a good story. It does set the stage for what the more recent Batman has become, but it would be hard for someone who hasn’t read before to pick up right away. A Court of Owls from the New 52 is also mentioned, but again without the good foundation to start on it might be a little harder to pick up one. I solidly agree with the two popular votes of Year One and The Long Halloween for first time readers, but I would definitely push any of the recommendations listed as second reads.

What books would you consider essential to your Batman collection? Which book would you hand a new reader first?



Naki ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Throughout her lifetime Naki was a volunteer at conventions and trade shows, working behind the scenes to make shows run smoothly. In 2011 she began working with ReedPop, becoming the stage manager for the IGN Theater. She now travels the country helping out as much as she can. You can see her at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East, Dev and Prime, Star Wars Celebration and New York Comic Con. In 2012 launched a new side of things as Naki began venturing more into the internet, starting a podcast with Nerds of the Roundtable creator Chris Ferrell and The Adahy. The podcast is called All Things Good and Nerdy (ATGN), which streams live on Sundays at 10am Central Time on YouTube, also available on iTunes, Stitcher and Player.fm. You can check it out at atgnpodcast.com, or for the livestream at live.atgnpodcast.com

Tags:

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Comment

 

— required *

— required *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

ATGN 266 – Salty Willie
Posted June 25th, 2017 -
The full crew is back this week for your wacky weekend morning show.  Naki has the news that Ron Howard is directing the next Star Wars solo flick, Chris is geeking out over the early buzz on Spider-Man ...
PCC Multiverse Episode #21
Posted June 23rd, 2017 -
On todays episode Josh Pederson and Gerald Glassford are providing some insight into the Han Solo spinoff mess with analysis on what the director change might do for the Star Wars franchise Were also talking ...
GonnaGeek.com Show #197 – Chris’s Magic Wand
Posted June 23rd, 2017 -
In this week’s show we discuss how there is massive confusion on the future of Sony Spider-Man related properties and their involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We also discuss how Canada ...
Friend of the Family 33 Not Okay Cupid
Posted June 23rd, 2017 -
sNu presents   Friend of the Family Season 3 Episode 3 Not Okay Cupid!   In tonight’s episode of Friend of the Family Alice Belford goes on her first real date ever! Asmodeus, the Vampire says ...
Episode 071 – No One’s Slick As Zuby
Posted June 22nd, 2017 -
From Standard bannings to why the Ixalan leaks are not bad at all and just a bunch of hype and blow up. Join Zuby as he discusses not only Magic, but DnD as well along with some musical theater! Also the ...
Pop Culture Cosmos Episode #42
Posted June 22nd, 2017 -
On this weeks episode were talking the viability of the Cars and Transformers movie franchises as both possibly head toward their final chapters Were also talking to George Mahaffey and Justin Sloan of ...
PCC Multiverse #20
Posted June 22nd, 2017 -
Josh Pederson and Gerald Glassford are at E3 2017 with interviews on the show floor from some of the biggest games at Indiecade plus we chat to James Boehm cocreator of Mixer about this awesome new streaming ...
Legends of S.H.I.E.L.D. #182 Legion Chapter 2 (A Marvel Comic Universe Podcast)
Posted June 21st, 2017 -
The Legends Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Stargate Pioneer, Agent Haley, and Agent Lauren discuss the Legion premiere episode “Chapter 2.”   THIS TIME ON LEGENDS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:   Legion “Chapter ...
Episode 93 – Paint That Dick
Posted June 21st, 2017 -
On today’s show we talked about the following: – We give our thoughts on Wonder Woman – Fantastic Four may get another reboot from Fox – We give our thoughts on the Black Panther ...
Legends Podcast #327; Alien Covenant (Alien)
Posted June 21st, 2017 -
We are back in space where no one can hear us podcast but we are just happy to watch Alien Covenant. Ridley Scott is back at it with his 3rd Alien movie and this time with more alien than the last. Could ...
Legends Podcast #327; Alien Covenant (Alien)
Posted June 21st, 2017 -
We are back in space where no one can hear us podcast but we are just happy to watch Alien Covenant. Ridley Scott is back at it with his 3rd Alien movie and this time with more alien than the last. Could ...
Better Podcasting #084 – How Long Should Your Podcast Run?
Posted June 20th, 2017 -
This week we ask the question HOW LONG SHOULD YOUR PODCAST RUN and what are good indicators that it might be time to end that podcast of yours? We also discuss the recent changes to podcasting announced ...