[World of Bats] Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-6 Featuring "The Last Arkham"

Hello Gothamites, and welcome to a new week of the World of Bats, the Batman book club!

This past week marked the start in the current comics of the weekly Detective Comics event “Shadows of the Bat,” which made me think that now’s a good time to look at a classic story that started the book that inspired the name. So this week we’ll be reading the first six issues of Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-6, written by Alan Grant, with the first five issues drawn by Norm Breyfogle, and the sixth by Dan Jurgens.

Here are the links to the issues:

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #2
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #3
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #4
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #5
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #6

Reading will last from 2022-01-08T06:00:00Z2022-01-14T06:00:00Z, but if you find yourself trapped in an insane asylum, you can always come back later.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these issues!

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Also, don’t forget to check out the Casefile that’s running throughout the month about the Batman issues during last year’s starting event Future State!

Also, Renegade Robins is covering throughout the month of January and February the entire even of Joker: The Last Laugh!

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I didn’t know Alan Grant also wrote comic books; I mostly know of him as a paleontologist :grin:

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Just don’t ask him to babysit. :rofl:

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So I read these issues via a digital trade I got on Comixology a long time ago (back when DCU was curating their comics library and not having as much available as they do now) and the trade includes an interesting introduction from back when they just collected “The Last Arkham” that has some cool behind the scenes details.

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I enjoyed reading these. Batman going undercover in Arkham was interesting, although definitely risky for his secret identity. Nice to see Nightwing work with him, even if Dick had that 90s mullet at the time. The 2 standalone stories were good as well. The Black Spiders loss and sacrifice were very sad.

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The first appearance of Victor Zsasz is an enjoyable one. I just wish the character had been used more often after Knightfall.

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Just finished “The Last Arkham”, I didn’t realize that this was Zsasz’s first appearance. It’s a good read, the stakes felt real and Zsasz felt like a legitimate threat. Something about the writing and the art seemed to strike the right tone

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The Black Spider was such a tragic story; I think it was good and the whole thing felt elegiac. The Ugly American had a similar sort of feel. Both stories had their action moments, but I got a kind of melancholic vibe from each one. I also feel like both stories could have been published today and be just as relevant.

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Now that you mention it, I don’t think he’s really had a big story since. I think the only other big story I can remember him really being a big villain in is the issue of Detective where Steph as Robin does a Mike Tyson on him to get out of his grasp, and the Streets of Gotham issues where he was putting kids in pit matches and being sliced and diced by Damian. Outside of that, he’s more an incidental character.

You would think they would have at least thrown him in a Gotham book arc around the time of Birds of Prey’s release for that sweet, sweet market synergy.

I definitely felt that vibe too – like, Black Spider and his girlfriend’s drug of choice might be updated to something like prescription pain killers and/or fentanyl, but outside of that, they could legit still work today, which is cool in one sense, but mostly kinda sad.

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It’s definitely tragic that society is still dealing with the same problems from 30 years ago.

On the other hand, it’s kinda neat to think that people really haven’t changed much since they stepped onto the scene. Romans graffitied :eggplant: jokes onto their walls and people in the middle ages loved toilet humor

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