Batman In The Eighties

September 13, 2004 | Trades


Batman In The Eighties
Len Wein, Doug Moench, Mike W. Barr, Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman, Barbara J. Randall, Alan Brennert, Michael Golden, Alan Davis, Paul Neary, Gene Colan, Klaus Janson, George Pèrez , Romeo Tanghal, Don Newton, Alfredo Alcala, Walter Simonson, Dick Giordano, Trevor Von Eeden, Rodin Rodriguez, Jim Aparo, Mike DeCarlo
DC Comics
$30.95.$19.95 US (Paperback)
** 1/2 (out of five)

Some of the greatest Batman stories ever told were created in the 1980s.
Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke, which saw the definitive Joker origin tale; A Death In The Family, the tragic demise of the second boy to be called Robin; and The Cult, which saw veteran creators Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson unite to have Batman’s spirit broken by an evil preacher are among some of the best-ever tales of the Dark Knight.
And then, of course, there’s the big two: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns, both by Frank Miller, with help from Klaus Janson and David Mazzuchelli. They are the alpha and omega of the modern Batman, the story of how he got started and how he ended up. Both are generally agreed upon not only as being the best Batman stories ever, but are ranked high among the best comics ever.
Yes, the 1980s were clearly a high-water decade for the pointy-eared detective. It’s a shame that all that success isn’t represented in Batman In The Eighties.
This collection of nine Batman tales from the decade is devoid of all the issues of renown, likely because all of them are still in print and there’s just no point in duplication. But the powers that be still could have made more of a book worth having by giving readers some landmark tales that have never had the fortune of being reprinted.
In the extremely detailed introduction and cover galleries, the highlight of this volume, mention is made of the landmark final issue of The Brave And The Bold, the first few comics featuring the second Robin, several 50th anniversary commemorative issues and several others that would have made this book an essential.
As it is, it’s a decent retrospective with a bunch of mismatched stories that unfortunately isn’t nearly as reflective of the decade that spawned them as it could be.

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