I was asked about Batman – here is what I have

The background is that someone asked me, “Who are all those Robin’s?” and can you recommend some titles.  I wrote the following and thought it is a good cheat for a blog entry.

Bruce Wayne is dead (sorta). He died in Batman R.I.P and Final Crisis (both available in trade) about a year ago. He will be coming back in a mini-series starting next month.

There have been four Robins.
Dick Grayson – he grew up and became Nightwing and led the Teen Titans/Titans. He has recently taken over the Batman mantle and is fighting crime in Gotham and is a member of the JLA.

Jason Todd – He was killed by the Joker. Batman kept his costume on display in the batcave to show respect and to caution against endangering minors. Todd came back to life as a complicated side effect of Infinite Crisis. He is a bit mad and is now the villain the Red Hood.

Tim Drake – Proved himself capable by discovering Batman’s identity when he was young. Currently calling himself Red Robin and trying to find a way to bring Bruce Wayne back – he doesn’t believe he is really dead.

Damian Wayne – Son of Bruce and Talia ah’Ghul (Talia is the daughter of Ras al’Ghul). He was born and raised without Batman’s knowledge. Talia recently brought Damian to Bruce. Damion is acting as the current Robin to Grayson’s Batman.

In an interesting turn – Damian as Robin is the hard-bitten focused one and Grayson as Batman is the optimistic carefree type.

In order: Todd comes back in Infinite Crisis, Bruce finds out about Damian in Batman comics, Batman dies in R.I.P and Final Crisis,  new status quo with new Batman, Robin and Red Robin following the Battle for the Cowl.

The Dark Knight Returns and Dark Knight Strikes Again is a different continuity. The Robin there – Carrie Kelly  has never been a Robin in the main timeline.

Other major players in Batman – Batwoman, Oracle, Huntress, Batgirl, Azrael, Commissioner Gordon.

Other than Tommy Elliot and Red Hood most of the Batman villains are mostly the same. Riddler is now a private detective and Penguin runs a legitimate nightclub. Then plan to kill Batman was done by a group called the Black Glove and headed by a Dr. Hurt.

OK – I’m not a huge Batman reader, so some of this is sight unseen. I’ll star the stuff I’ve read and like.

The titles are mostly of the collected storylines.

Current:

  • *Batman and Robin (flagship title)
  • *Batwoman (in Detective Comics)
  • Red Robin
  • All-star Batman and Robin (different continuity)

(There should be at least one collection out for each of these titles)

Foundational:

  • *The Dark Knight Returns
  • *Batman: Year One
  • *Arkham Asylum
  • *The Killing Joke

(Almost all of current Batman builds from these.)

Other Foundations:

  • *The Long Halloween
  • Son of the Demon

Recent:

  • Heart of Hush
  • *R.I.P
  • The Black Glove
  • Hush
  • *Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader
  • *Broken City

In the last 10 years:

  • Officer Down
  • No Man’s Land (4 volumes)
  • Fugitive
  • Murderer
  • Dark Knight Strikes Again (Sequel to the Dark Knight Returns)

Batman’s Family:

  • *Catwoman:The Dark End of the Street and Crooked Little Town
  • *Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score
  • *Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty
  • Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds

Any comic store should carry these trades. I didn’t go for anything too rare. I’d recommend Wizard’s. Alternatively, I hear Happy Harbour is also good.

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8 thoughts on “I was asked about Batman – here is what I have

  1. I should mention tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day. I don’t believe there will be any free Batman Comics. But still – Free Comics!

  2. No free Batman, but we have quite a selection of Batman trades for you to read. We do have most, if not all of these in stock, although some of them are just in hardcover, and in the case of Batwoman… everyone is still in for a slight wait for the first collection of that, which is going to be a super gorgeous hardcover edition.

    And hey, you can nab a couple of free Iron Man comics, a Superman, and a wide ranging smattering of other really good comics. Personally, I’m excited for the new Oni book the Sixth Gun – done by the same creative team of their awesome “The Damned” minis. That thing is going to be fantastic, I just know it.

  3. David Silvestri says:

    Forgot Stephanie Brown and the plethora of Robin’s in the multiverse… but that doesn’t help explain anything. 🙂

    Batman Full Circle is also very good. There is also the JLA storyline by Morrison where Batman’s plans to “take out” his friends is exploited. Very cool… but not something one should start with.

    Hoping to hit Wizards tomorrow with my oldest for FCBD. Might also pick up a essential Peter David Hulk trade… or maybe something new.

    Plus I seemed to have been missed one of my titles on Wednesday.

  4. Mythi says:

    I’m liking the concept of reversing the personalities of Batman and Robin, even if they are now different characters.

    • Bruce Wayne Batman isn’t very approachable. He is all hard edges under a veneer of sophistication. But Dick Grayson Batman is different. He still has the martial prowess, detective skills, and a batcave, but he is aware that a batcave is pretty cool!

      And Damian is all hard edges with no veneer at all. They are a good contrast.

      Still Batwoman is my favorite of the new characters. I highly recommend the Detective Comics stories staring her. (At least the Rucka written ones, we’ll see what follows.)

      • Mythi says:

        Cool! Which Batwoman would the new one be?

        • Kate Kane. She debuted in a DC series called ’52’, but most of her history has been as the lead in Detective Comics since #854 (I had to look the number up.) The detective Comics issues are some of my current favorites being published. Unfortunately, the creative team just fell apart and it was a large part of the chemistry that made Batwoman work. Sigh. Apparently, Batwoman will be getting her own self-titled series soon, but until I see a couple issues I am hesistant to recommend.

          Batwoman shouldn’t work. When she was introduced (and indeed for her first few appearances before Detective Comics) the only things known about her was that she was a lesbian crime fighter in impractical heels. But the creator and writer Greg Rucka was always insistent that there was a character there. Since she started headlining Detective that has been promise realized. She has a truly quirky and scary rogues gallery, an evocative backstory replete with additional story launching points and a personality that extends far beyond her sexuality.

          And the primary artist has been J.H. Williams. He is one of the few artists in the industry whose work in must buy for me. Normally I follow writers – not characters or artists, but Williams is an example. Incredible layouts and a versatile style – it is very exciting.

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