[World of Bats} Batman Book Club: Batman-Strange Apparitions (May 2-15)

Half bumping for others to see, half for my own thoughts.

Right now I’m right up to #475, aka the Joker Fish story, and I’m really enjoying it. Like @AlexanderKnox said, this feels in a lot ways like they were pushing Batman more into what Marvel was doing in the bronze age, with its serialized stories and more melodramatic parts. However, it still pays tribute to what was done in the past. I liked the conversation between Bruce and Silver where they mention Golden Age elements like Bruce being friends with Gordon and going to crime scenes because he was “bored and curious,” as well as Alfred being an amateur detective.

Also, the fight between Batman and Deadshot on the giant typewriter was really fun.

2 Likes

Yeah I loved the giant type writer fight. Good old fun right there! I meant to change the dates for this to being a 2 week installment (will do now) sorry for any confusion, I’m actually wrapping up #475 today.

2 Likes

Might want to add the “fan club discussion” label so it shows up there as well. :blush:

Oh, a thought I had: lots of people talk about Joker Fish and how it was adapted for BTAS, but I think the initial issue with Bruce at the spa was the inspiration for “The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne.”

2 Likes

So I finished up all the issues and overall I really liked it, though I feel like some of the luster went away when Englehart left and Len Wein took over. For some reason I was thinking there would actually be some sort of resolution to the whole “was Strange a ghost” plot outside of the reprint. The Clayface story was okay, but this starts the really complicated legacy part of the character when I just prefer Matt Hagen.

Reading this story also reminded me of a missing chunk that should be digitized and brought back, which is Englehart and Rodgers sequel “Dark Detective.” It also has one of my favorite Joker covers – and fitting, because it is an election year…

2 Likes

This really was a great Batman run. It definitely deserves its place as a classic.

I agree that the last few issues by Len Wein aren’t quite as good, although the Clayface 3 story is one that has always stuck with me for some reason.

Does anyone know how Hugo Strange eventually comes back and if they ever resolved how he was a ghost?

1 Like

As I mentioned earlier, this is something that is picked up in the Gerry Conway run. Rupert Thorne returns at the end of 1981 to meddle in the mayoral race between Hamilton Hill and Arthur Reeves, and Strange is back to haunting him throughout 1982 (see Batman #341-342 for the start of this storyline). The Thorne element of the story is resolved in Detective Comics #520 and Batman #354, and after a few issues of side-drama with Catwoman, the arc reaches its conclusion in Batman #356.

Needless to say, Strange is still very much alive and has been messing with Thorne’s head. Strange pops up one last time to cause Bruce and Jason some grief in Batman Annual #10.

2 Likes

AHH! Spoiler!!!

Just kiddin’.

2 Likes

@Jay_Kay, @ralphsix hey! :smiley: Glad y’all enjoyed it. Yeah I agree about the change when Wein came on board. Reads @AlexanderKnox post…Thorough as always, thanks for breaking that down for us. :smiley:

2 Likes