[World of Bats] Detective Comics #800-808, 811-814 "City of Crime"

Hello and Welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

These next couple of weeks(!) we’ll be looking at the epic arc “City of Crime,” written by the acclaimed David Lapham and drawn by Lapham and Ramon Bachs.

As the Dark Knight tries to shut down a drug ring turned deadly, Bruce Wayne must contend with a wayward 14-year-old who is dangerously close to Gotham City’s underworld!


Detective Comics #800 (Specifically the back-up issue at the end)
Detective Comics #801
Detective Comics #802
Detective Comics #803
Detective Comics #804
Detective Comics #805
Detective Comics #806
Detective Comics #807
Detective Comics #808
Detective Comics #811
Detective Comics #812
Detective Comics #813
Detective Comics #814

Digital Trade (For Ultra Members)

Like I hinted at earlier, this will have a longer reading window – I’m thinking for this club to extend all the entries going forward from one week to two weeks, to give people more time to read and to discuss the story itself. If you like this idea or have other ideas for more discourse, please let me know!

So like I said, reading will last from 2023-07-01T05:00:00Z2023-07-14T05:00:00Z

Looking forward to discussing these issues with you all! :batparrot:

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“City of Crime” could easily just be the name of Detective Comics in the 2000s. We’re coming right off everyone’s favorite Bat tale here: War Games. And so the obvious thing to do after that interminable crossover is to jump into a 12-part story arc, right? (And if anyone wonders why we’re skipping issues #809-810, that’s because they’re part of War Crimes, which itself might be a war crime against Leslie Thompkins.)

I’ve thought about recommending that myself, especially since you’re now doing this club solo, but, you know, I didn’t want to sound like I was trying to dictate how another leader should run a club. :stuck_out_tongue:


Is this considered like a reviled or bad storyline? I honestly haven’t seen much conversation about it. I remember reading this from the library WAY back in the day but didn’t remember much about it. This should be interesting to see.

And yeah, War Crimes is legit one of the worst Batman stories I’ve ever read, IMO. I forget, did you ever cover that for your Steph stuff?

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Yeah, I hyperlinked the discussion in my post above. I basically just said, “This is the thread to talk about War Games and War Crimes. And by talk, I mean complain.”

I think this is a good idea, too. I know a lot of thought goes into picking the readings and I appreciate you doing that work. Also sometimes I feel a little bad when life gets in the way and I’m late contributing to the discussion so a little longer should help

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We’re over the one week mark! One more week left to discuss (though of course you can always share your thoughts if you’re reading this from the future)!

How far along are you guys? What are you thinking about it so far?

Personally, I’m about 2/3rds through it and finding it very interesting. I feel like this story goes far more into the sort of street/civilian life in Gotham more than many other Batman stories I’ve read.


City of Crime was great and made 'Tec my go-to core Bat-book in the summer of 2005.

In addition to being a great tale on its own merits, City of Crime is also what introduced me to David Lapham and made me a fan of his.


Definitely – I read the first arc of Stray Bullets recently because it was available in a nice Humble Bundle. That reminds me that I need to go back and continue on that series…

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But is no one going to talk about the real star of these issues: The Barker?


That was a fun little read and I enjoyed it. I think I liked the Alfred back-ups a little better, though

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There’s some good stuff in this run. I finished it this morning and took some time to let it marinate in my mind. It’s interesting to look at from a visual standpoint; the art really suits the tone of the story. The Mr. Freeze section was really good. I thought it was an interesting way to look at his character. I actually feel like the story really gets bogged down shortly after this. I would probably say after Penguin exits the story. We get a lot of Bruce going undercover, which I like, but it went on a little too long for my liking.

I’m sorry to say that overall, I didn’t especially care for this one. The tone is a little too dour

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I don’t remember seeing this, I can’t believe I missed it

Huh, I’m gonna be honest, I read this via the digital trade, so I didn’t see any of the back-ups, but those do sound intriguing, especially the Afred ones! I might have to go back to take a look at those…

Agreed there – part of me wishes we could have gotten Lapham to draw the issues as well, but Ramon Bachs does a great job.

That said, I found out from reading the deluxe edition trade that initially this story was going to be drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, and now I’m a little depressed. Like, two legendary artists working together, that would have been amazing!

I can see that – like, I think reading it one big tome like I did back in the day and now, it works fairly well, but I have to imagine that there were people outside of @Vroom who were reading this monthly and were like getting impatient.

Also fair – like, Batman stories naturally tend to veer to the dark, but this story goes to some dark places. I think the next batch of reading should be a hell of a lot lighter, more in keeping to standard levels of Batman dark. :smiley:

No worries! If you want to talk about it now or after you finish reading, you can always bump this topic back up! :smiley:


If anyone is curious, the digital trade offered some sample pages that Sienkiewicz did.


That would have looked amazing