The Renegade Robins Club is on the lookout for the KGBeast! And we think we’ve spotted a few Manhunters, too! Plus, we’re getting two Two-Faces for the price of one! Oh, and in case you’re still worried about that nasty gunshot wound Jay took last time…
The Crime Doctor’s issue is missing, but he is important to this week’s Two-Face arc. Dr. Thorne appeared in Detective Comics #77 and Batman #18 in 1943, and he returned in 1980 for Detective Comics #494-495. As his name implies, he’s the go-to doctor for criminals. Mike Barr would revisit the character in his contribution to BTAS, Paging the Crime Doctor. There, Dr. Thorne would be identified as the brother of Bronze Age villain Rupert Thorne.
Paul Sloane was one of a number of impostor Two-Faces introduced after Harvey Kent/Dent had successfully reformed in Detective Comics #80. Sloane appeared in Batman #68.
I love this story. It’s never mentioned, and I don’t even know if underrated is the right term, so as much as under read. The story took place a few short months before “A Death In The Family” and that could be why it flies under the radar. I love the writing by Starlin in his run. His writing is probably one of the main reasons I gravitated towards Batman so much. He had this thing he did where he would write Batman’s inner dialogue during a fight or chase scene or what not, and he used this technique brilliantly during the “Ten Nights Of The Beast” story. I love how Batman is analyzing these encounters with the Beast throughout, and the follow up story with the NKVDemon utilizes the same sort of inner dialogue. As does “Death”, my favorite being his fight with Shiva. It’s almost unspoken in today’s Batman comics. We all know he’s doing it because he’s Batman, but I wish current writers would take this approach. It helps to appreciate just how much analyzing Bruce actually does, and helps us realize why Batman ultimately comes out on top, rather than just accept that he does. I love the whole, “there was a time I would have jumped at the chance to test myself against you, but now, there’s no need. You’ll be arrested and pay for your crimes.” It shows Bruce is about accomplishing the mission and not just winning a fist fight. He doesn’t care if the Beast thinks less of him as a warrior. There’s no ego there. Batman accomplished his mission. Although, I want to who opened that door and took Beast into custody. Batman had a hard enough time with him, so what poor “regularly” trained people
were left to open that door? Lol
I don’t think Marv Wolfman gave it much thought when he wrote that throwaway retcon line in Year Three (thus absolving Batman of the guilt of killing the Beast), but maybe Batman held off on informing the police until the assassin was in no condition to stand up, let alone pose a threat.
It seems that DC had finally caught on to the potential of the trade paperback “graphic novel.” Around this time, they were collecting Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight” miniseries and his “Year One” four-parter into their own single volume editions. They were also releasing the one-shot stories Son of the Demon and The Killing Joke when these issues were coming out. Starlin’s own prestige format miniseries, The Cult, was on its way, too. My guess is that they were already pre-marketing the trade edition of Ten Nights of the Beast with that logo.
Another reason I love the story. It’s implications for the industry went beyond cannon. It was one of the pioneers of the business model of taking arcs within a solo ongoing book, and putting them in a collected volume. Of course Crisis was going to get a collected volume, but the model “Ten Nights” created was one in which interested readers could get their hands on the story without having to backtrack and find the individual issues. Definitely more than just an under read story.
Yeah, the model proved more successful with A Death in the Family, where they were able to sell it on the controversy. They tried it again a few issues after that with John Byrne’s three-part 1989 story The Many Deaths of the Batman, but that one may be even MORE obscure!
The other upside of this trend was that it made the issues more accessible to readers. Let’s face it: you might not want to jump in to Detective Comics #598, but you might be willing to take a risk on “Blind Justice, Part 1 of 3.” On top of that, I may remember that the first Grant & Breyfogle story was called “Fever” if I really think about it, but there’s no way I’m forgetting the name of their later four-part story “The Mud Pack.” Branding helps!
Hello and welcome to “Making Up For My Lack Of Activity In This Club By Making A Overly Long Post I Didn’t Actually Mean To Make THAT Long!”
A Whole Bunch of Words
SO MANY PUNS. That aside at the beginning of the story Batman making a pun like Jason was adorable. And Jason is still so eager and happy to prove himself (he was so proud of his two-face impersonation and it probably takes a lot of strength to disguise yourself as your father’s killer). I totally understood why Jason was still angry at two-face even after it was seemingly reconciled in the first story he encountered two-face in. But Jason overcame his anger and came to see that Harvey really is more of a tragedy than a pure monster. Although that doesn’t make the crimes Harvey has done any less his fault. Overall I really enjoyed the story
I’m not usually one for alien/space stories, especially in Batman, if I want to read a space adventure I’ll read Green Lanter or something I come to Batman because it feels much more real and impactful for a superhero story. BUT I really enjoyed this story.
Jason acting like a loyal dog that doesn’t want to tell its owner that it ripped up the pillow is adorable:
“How are you doing locating Scarecrow?”
"The investigation is…progressing nicely!"
“Do you know where he is?”
" ʸᵉˢ ˢᵒʳᵗ ᵒᶠ " While nervously avoiding eye contact.
“He’sinthenextroom!” While looking at Bruce with puppy dog eyes.
And then Bruce and Alfred remarking how impressive it is that Jason brought in Scarecrow BY HIMSELF. But Bruce decides to not tell him so he doesn’t encourage that behavior. I understand but… Bruce tell your son you’re proud of him darn it!!! Jason using the scientific classification of the name Robin for his code name is fantastic and simply so Jason. The fact that Bruce BATMAN taught Jason how to shoot a gun is just… poetic.
Dick stop being so hard on your little brother, I understand it hurts but cut him some slack, you have a new happy independent life now! I know it’s rough being replaced (but at least you weren’t replaced after you died haha…ha…). Poor Jason being so scared that being Robin… being the best thing that ever happened to him, is going to get taken away from him. Not a big fan of the post-crisis having Dick be fired instead of him leaving of his own free will, but I guess it gives a bit more justification for him being angry at Bruce. It does mostly makes up for it by having Dick reconcile with Jason. I would have LOVED to see them working together more Jason and Dick’s sass together would have been amazing.
“You’ll grow into it in a few years.” deep breathsobbing
Hold on for a moment while I scrub the memories of KGBeast causing Ric Grayson.
I enjoyed the story a ton, I liked the fact that it had a bit more of a detective vibe to it. I can’t take the fact that the program is called the star wars program and the KGBeast’s outfit too seriously haha.
Jason saves Jim disguised as the president, what can’t this boy do? Nothing, he’s amazing.
While I have enjoyed all of Jason’s stories as Robin, giving him his own personal, much more down to earth origin makes the story feel so much more real and personal. It makes you really root for Jason to pull through and be successful, and makes most of his stories hit harder than when his origin was a copy of Dick’s. Not that I didn’t enjoy pre-crisis Jason or his stories, I did enjoy them a lot but Jason now has a much more realistic motivation and struggle and I really like that.
Joker: Appears on panel
Me: takes out spray bottle NO IT’S NOT TIME YET, IT’S NOT EVER TIME GO AWAY!
Reading Jason’s Robin stories always make me smile ad laugh like an idiot, but they also make me very sad afterwards. I really wish Jason had had more time with Bruce, Alfred, and Dick. Honestly it’s awful that we didn’t get nearly any time with post-crisis Jason at all. It’s also sad that people at the time of publishing didn’t appreciate Jason just because he took Dick’s place as Robin. It’s honestly annoying and upsetting that such a great character was killed because some annoyed fans were angry that their character was replaced and because some writers liked to take that out on Jason’s characters in A Death in the Family. The horrid (at least in my opinion) writing for the situations Jason was put in in that story definitely affected how some people voted against Jason.
The Star Wars program was a real thing, though that wasn’t the official name for it:
(But with Reagan’s propensity for making movie references in his speeches, it’s almost surprising that he wasn’t the one to coin that name.)
Yeah, lines like that really sting in retrospect. On top of that, there’s so much unintentional foreshadowing in these stories. Jason was constantly in peril from the moment Doug Moench took over from Gerry Conway, but once Denny O’Neil became the editor, it seemed that every other story was hinting at a possible dead end for poor Jay.
That line gets me every time I read that story. It’s a punch to the gut.
Unfortunately it also paved the way for the “writing for trade” mentality that writers work under these days, which has lead to padding out stories in order for them to fit “nicely” into a trade format. Trades work well for some stories that lend themselves to that format already but all to often I run across stories that just don’t and that would have perhaps been much better ones without that “writing for trade” mentality.