Let's talk about... BATMAN

The BATMAN has been around since the the thunderin’ thirties!

What era’s have you read stories from?

  • The 30’s
  • The 40’s
  • The 50’s
  • The 60’s
  • The 70’s
  • The 80’s
  • The 90’s
  • The 2000’s
  • New52
  • Rebirth
  • Post Metal
  • Every Wednesday a book with a Bat on it comes out!

0 voters

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I’ve read at least a couple stories from every era up through Rebirth (well, Detective Comics #1 is all I’ve read from the New 52), but haven’t read anything since Metal and I’m not subscribed to anything currently being released.

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I’ve read to many to wrap my head around. Why isn’t there a 2030s option?


I’m pretty sure I’ve read Batman comics from every era, but most of my reading has been since the 80s considering comics older than this tend to be expensive.


A person future vision–

I think early Bronze Age, 1970s, really is the quintessential Batman. Much of the character is grounded in it’s subtly. Still relying on deduction, a bit of a vigilante, but not to far, a touch gothic but not beating you over the head with it, serious but still the occasional bit of lightheartedness. He a great hand to hand combatant, but not the best on the planet, he develops tactics based on inference and deduction, he’s not the dues ex machina. He s fallible, at least on occasion. More suspense than horror.

He is a subtle Batman, not overstated. The most well balanced version. If Hitchcock and Rod Serling had teamed up to direct/write Batman, this is what he would be.


Excellent summary of 1970s Batman.

I do miss Batman smiling. I get the damaged and brooding bit and believe it should be part of his character, but it should be an element of him not the entirety of him. The dude has barely smiled since the early 90s. Come to think of it, maybe it was even earlier. When was the last time Batman smiled every couple issues? Was it the 1970s?

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I’ve read very little of the early stuff (a reprint of Detective Comics #27, a trade of “Greatest” Bat stories). I’ve got some single issues of 80’s and 90’s, and regular purchases of Batman, 'Tec, Robin, Nightwing, and a few other related titles from the late 90’s into the 00’s. Some of those got canceled by the time of the New52, and I kept buying some of the renumbers, until either cancellation (Batman & Robin) or I just got tired of it (Batgirl vol. 3). It was down to just Batman and 'Tec until just before Rebirth, because, well–things happened. [shakes fist angrily]

I remember reading some story, possibly 80’s, where Bats was just walking the streets, casual-like, and there were a couple guys on the street corner that said hello. His response was simply, “Gentlemen,” and he moseyed along. No threats, no sneer. Looking back, it seems like a novelty. Though I’ve oft preferred a world where Batman is spoken as a myth not everyone believes in–damn, that feels like a long time ago.


It certainly wasn’t after TDKR. So early 80s at best.

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I always think of the Christmas issue where Batman stayed with some people, I think at a police party, and sang Christmas carols in costume while all the criminals decided Christmas was not a good night for crime. Silent Night, I believe. Nice fell good story. Early 80s?

The reason I originally said early 90s for a happy Batman is that I feel like he was a bit brighter before Knightfall. He wasn’t cheerful, but it seems like it was after this that they really leaned in to his obsessive tendencies and grumpy attitude. Early 90d Bats was serious, but he wasn’t always pushing people away and measuring Bat Dongs with a everybody. At least this is how it felt to me.

Two things:

First, I just realized Detective Comics #1000 was post-Metal, so add that to my list.

Second, I also miss when Batman was not so tryhardy. Like, he should still be spooky and stoic, but the whole point of the character is that he’s someone who sees the darkness and violence in Gotham and says “No, nobody dies today.” A lot of modern depictions are all Dark and no Knight. And so you end up with him being an infallible Bat-God, this Machiavellian puppy-kicker, just generally an angry jerk to everyone for no reason, or, in the worst cases, all three. And it wouldn’t kill them to have the World’s Greatest Detective solve a mystery now and then, either.


That a good point about mysteries. I’ve enjoyed King and Tynion’s runs with the character immensely, but neither of them particularly highlighted or even utilized the detective skills.

I’ve mostly read Batman from the '90’s as well. Now that I’m on DCU, been reading some of his Golden and Silver Age stuff.

I really prefer a more grounded Batman. Experienced and prepared, but not invincible or infallible. The “I know everything, and every little thing is foreseen and accounted for”, just isn’t compelling.

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I’ve read a little bit of everything when it comes to Batman, but the era that’s appealed to me the most is the 80’s/90’s. The LOTDK books in particular, make for great reading if you’re looking for a Batman who’s not all-powerful and practically omniscient.

My two great loves are Golden Age Batman and 1980s Batman (coincidentally, the two periods where he was the most cavalier about his no-killing rule), but I have read stories from every decade and era. The 1950s stuff can get pretty rough when Bill Finger isn’t writing it. The 1960s mark a mild improvement, especially once Bats gets his New Look.

The early 1970s are a step in the right direction, but most of its iconic stories have since been topped by later ones that took inspiration from them. The real turning point is 1977-8 with the “Strange Apparitions” arc, which set the stage for the more involving (and yes, more soap opera-ish) runs of the following decade.

I’d argue that “A Death in the Family” began a minor slump that carried on until Knightfall, but it’s really when Knightquest started that everything crumbled. It’s as if they couldn’t commit to their own premise of an X-TREME Batman, and even when Bruce returned, he didn’t seem all that different than AzBats. He also seemed to become a metahuman at this point, and I’ve had trouble identifying with him since then.

That said, I do like Morrison’s and King’s runs. :wink:

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