[World of Bats] Two-Year Anniversary Super Spectacular! Comics, Discussion and More!

Hello Gothamites and welcome to this most special edition of the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

Yes you read that right! This August will be the two year anniversary of this fun little book club! Hard to believe we’ve been going for this long.

So first off, I want to thank everyone who’s participated in the discussions and activities we’ve done along the way. This club may not have lasted this long without your contributions and support.

I also want to thank my fellow co-founders, @AquamonC137 and @BatJamags. When we saw that there was a Wonder Woman and Superman Book Clubs, we each individually thought, “Hey, why isn’t there one for Batman” and while Aqua was the one to finally bite the bullet and make the thread, we all decided to work together. While the other two had to move on for their own reasons, their contributions are still felt, and I’m glad to have shared this with them. :slight_smile:

So, all the mushy stuff aside, what’s happening for this celebration? Well, in terms of reading, I thought what would be more appropriate than some big ole’ anniversary issues? So for the next couple of weeks, we’ll be covering some of the big anniversary issues for Batman characters during the (cursed) year of 2020.

So we have Detective Comics #1027!

Light the Bat-Signal, because Detective Comics #1027 is here! In honor of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27, this special, book-size celebration brings you the biggest names in comics as they chronicle the most epic Batman adventures Gotham City and the DC Universe have ever seen! The World’s Greatest Detective has a mountain of cases to crack: Who murdered Gotham’s most corrupt police officer? What does The Joker’s annual visit mean for Bruce Wayne? And most importantly, what WayneTech mystery will sow the seeds of the next epic Batman event? All this and more await you within the pages of the biggest Batman issue of them all!

Link: DC UNIVERSE INFINITE

The Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular!

DC Comics celebrates Robin the Boy Wonder’s 80th anniversary in style with an all-star creative team representing each iteration of the iconic character across eight decades of history! From the high-flying adventures of Dick Grayson to the tragedy of Jason Todd, the enthusiasm of Tim Drake and the arrogance of Damian Wayne, the persistence of Stephanie Brown and the rebelliousness of Carrie Kelley-the mantle of Robin has been worn by many, but always represents one thing: a hero.

LINK: DC UNIVERSE INFINITE

The Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular!

Our gal Catwoman is turning 80 next year (and looking very good, if we meow say), and DC is celebrating with nothing less than with a huge soiree, invite only, packed with creators who mean the most to her and to whom she means the most! Stories featured in this 100-page spectacular include a tail-sorry, tale-that takes place at the end of the Brubaker/Stewart Catwoman run, in honor of artist Darwyn Cooke. Plus, Catwoman is caught by an exotic cat collector, runs into a wannabe thief trying to prove himself as her apprentice, encounters a mystery involving memorabilia from alternate continuities, and of course some Bat/Cat fun.

LINK: DC UNIVERSE INFINITE

The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular!

The Clown Prince of Crime celebrates 80 years of chaos! The Joker has been the greatest villain in comics since his debut and to celebrate we have a who’s who of comics’ finest talent giving the Harlequin of Hate the birthday roast he deserves. The stories feature a range of terror and anarchy, showing how the Joker has impacted Gotham City from the police to Arkham Asylum, from the local underworld to the Dark Knight and his allies! Make sure to RSVP to this birthday bash-you wouldn’t want to wake up with a Joker Fish on your doorstep, would you?

LINK: DC UNIVERSE INFINITE

Now, you might be thinking…“Damn, that’s a lot of comics.” And you’re right. But don’t worry – not only will we be doing this one for two weeks, this is a pick and choose deal: If you want to read all four, go you, you absolute mad lad. Want to just pick and choose from characters you particularly like? Totally cool!

And with this special edition of the WOB, I’m bringing something back: Discussion Questions! Not for the issues themselves, but for the Book Club in general. So I’d like to know:

  1. What stories that we’ve covered have been your favorite so far? If you need a refresher, I have in the

  2. What would you like to see the club cover in the future? It could be a story in the archives, something that’s yet to come, a focus on a certain character (without stepping on the toes on some of the other clubs in the Bat-Family of Book Clubs!).

Like I said, this book club reading will last from 2021-07-31T05:00:00Z2021-08-13T05:00:00Z, but as always, you can always come back and share your thoughts on these issues and the book club in general!

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[Leaving this spot open for Shoutouts to other Batman-Family Book Clubs here!]

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My favorite of these issues is Catwoman’s 80th favorite story from it Helena =).
favorite story from Detective comics 1027 Rookie.
Need to read Robin 80th and do not really desire to read Joker 80th.
Of the 80th anniversary issues not released here Batman: The Bat and The Cat 80 Years of Romance :grin: favorite from that issue Brave and the bold 197

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Oh this will be fun! Love these anniversary specials! Especially Robin!

I’d love to cover some things like Rucka’s New Gotham, or the leadup to Knightfall (or NML), or arcs of Legends of the Dark Knight like Shaman, Gothic, etc.

Are we reading only these two weeks, or reading and discussing with spoilers?

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I agree – I’ve been rereading these specials for the club and I’ve been enjoying them a lot so far. Hardly a stinker in here. :slight_smile:

In terms of Legends of the Dark Knight, we have covered some of the ones you mentioned. In fact, it was some of our first!

And early on we also covered some of the lead up to and issues of Knightfall:

I think discussions with spoilers should be fine – these are smaller stories without a lot of big twists. Maybe if there’s something one feels truly needs to be read from the story, you can be vague or put spoiler tags. :slight_smile:

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Probably my favorite thing the club has covered was Batman: Arkham Asylum a Serious House on Serious Earth. That discussion was pretty fun and I thought it was quite insightful. I also liked when we did those Denny O’Neill stories (I believe that Ra’s al Ghul’s first appearance was covered and Night of the Stalker). I also want to shout out War Games, it was my first appearance in these discussions.

I don’t have the depth of comic book knowledge some of the others have, but I quite enjoy the bronze age stuff. (I have been slowly reading through Jason’s early appearances, collected by @AlexanderKnox for the Renegade Robins, and I’ve gotten to the time Nocturna tried to adopt Jason and succeeded).

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Thanks, I’ll get started on that discussion, then! :slight_smile:

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I have read Detective 1027 so far. My favorite story was the mystery with most of the Bat family together. Congrats on 2 years of this club. I only just joined, so I can’t really answer the first question. As far as what should be covered in the future, I will be happy with whatever gets picked. I just love reading comics, and getting to discuss them with others is even better!

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I wonder which covers people collected if they bought these comics in hard copy?

I bought the Artgerm Batwoman cover for Tec 1027, the Frank Cho cover for Catwoman, and the Derek Chew Steph cover, the Yasmin Putri ALL the Robins cover, and the main Lee Weeks cover for Robin (cause it’s my very favorite and gotta represent the Steph love on TWO covers!)

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Oh yeah, that was a fun discussion! That is a personal favorite of mine and I’m glad others had a good time examining it. :slight_smile:

There are some absolute classics there. I know that in the next year I’m going to try to add in some more classic era runs in there.

Damn, that reminds me that I never finished reading that event for the club! :sweat_smile: That’s an event I never was a big fan of, but I ought to try that again, might post my thoughts on the thread if I think I have anything noteworthy to say. :slight_smile:

Cool! I did the same thing for Renegade Robins and the Doug Moench run has low-key become a favorite run of mine of Batman/Detective, so shout out to @AlexanderKnox for doing such an incredible job there. :slight_smile:

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! :slight_smile:

I hear that – gotta love those moments when the Bat Family all come together. :slight_smile:

Thank you! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on whatever we post next. :smiley:

To be honest, I’ve gotten all my copies so far on digital. :sweat_smile: Without a comic store that’s convenient for me and not a lot of space in my living area, it’s hard to pick up physical stuff like that sometimes.

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I’m starting with Robin because…you know.

  1. “A Little Nudge” by Marv Wolfman
    I’m a bit divided on this one. On the one hand, there are some things that bug me. For instance, what in the world is Zsasz doing in this story?! I know that he was already incarcerated when he first appeared in Shadow of the Bat, but it just doesn’t sit right with me that he’d be a Dick Grayson-era villain (especially pre-Flashpoint, which seems to be the setting of this story based on Dick’s costume–in fact, it feels distinctly pre-Crisis, too). On the other hand, I appreciate that Wolfman tries to mitigate the whole “Dick quit because Bruce is a jerk” thing by offering an alternative explanation.

  2. “Aftershocks” by Chuck Dixon
    Meh. There’s not enough here to warrant much comment. It’s just a random scene from the lead-up to “No Man’s Land.”

  3. “Team Building” by Devin Grayson
    This story is cute and all, but again, it just feels like a deleted scene from an earlier story.

  4. “The Lesson Plan” by Tom Seely and Tom King
    This story runs the risk of falling into the same trap as the last two, but it stands alone a little better because of Dick’s flashbacks to his training with Batman.

  5. “More Time” by Judd Winick
    It’s Winick writing Jason Todd. Of course I’m on board. And it feels like a complete short story, albeit one that requires the reader to be aware of the characters’ strained relationship in the present (which I guess would be circa Countdown).

  6. “Extra Credit” by Adam Beechen
    This one’s another solid standalone story. But of course, it’s also one of those “Tim Drake is perfect at everything” stories, which were far too common. :stuck_out_tongue:

  7. “Boy Wonders” by James Tynion
    This story would have been a nice one to use as the Rebirth one-shot for Tynion’s 'Tec run. It’s a tad less interesting after the fact, but not bad.

  8. “Fitting In” by Amy Wolfram
    Okay, can we just drop the whole Anniversary Spectacular thing and do a “Stephanie as Robin” maxiseries? I’m left again feeling frustrated that her tenure as Robin was so short-lived. Needless to say, I absolutely adored this story.

  9. “My Best Freind [sic]” by Peter Tomasi
    Well, now I’m just going to get ticked off again about Jon being aged up. It’s a bit odd that this story is from his POV, though.

  10. “Bat and Mouse” by Robbie Thompson
    When I started reading this one, I thought, “Another Damian story told by someone other than Damian? Seriously?” But then he got his own narration boxes, and I eased up a bit. That said, this is another one that doesn’t stand well on its own.

Carrie Kelley gets nothing more than a pinup. Boo.

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I just finished Detective 1027 and I think that there’s something to like about all the stories; the whole collection was quite enjoyable. I will shout out a few favorites:

Master Class: it was fun to see so much of the bat crew in one place

Rookie: a really great story from Rucka. It felt really personal

Ghost Story: a fun team up with Deadman and a touching story from Bruce’s childhood

Legacy: felt to me like an awesome exploration of who Batman is

Generations Fractured was a really cool start of a story and I was disappointed to see it end on a cliff hanger

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Well, you’ll be happy to know then that it continued on in a series of two 80 page giants, one that’s already on DCUI called Generations Shattered, and another called Generations Forged, which should be on the service within this month. :smiley:

Here’s the link to the first issue: DC UNIVERSE INFINITE

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I’m going to be doing my Robin thoughts last, because it’s my favorite, but I also really want DC to give Steph a proper run as Robin. Whether a flashback, or an alternate continuity (like we were robbed of in Smallville Season 11 (Stephanie Brown | Smallville Wiki | Fandom), I really wish they would just give Steph the chance she deserves.

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Starting with Tec 1027:

  1. Blowback - Tomasi and Walker - well, unlike Tomasi’s stories in Robin, Tec 1000, and Action 1000, it is at least a story, and not just a series of splash pages with a loosely defined “plot.” I still don’t really enjoy it that much, though I will admit that I am not a fan of Tomasi’s writing in general, though I think he is quite talented. Weirdly, though I like Brad Walker on Aquaman a lot, I don’t really enjoy what he did on Tec.

  2. The Master Class - Bendis and Marquez. Partly because it’s the story that includes Steph, but also because it focuses on the Batfamily, and I love them, and think Bendis did a solid job with them here, this is probably my favorite of the stories here. And Marquez is just phenomenal on art. Though now I am very sad because of the current Tim Urban Legends story and what it means for some of the relationships here…

  3. Many Happy Returns - Fraction and Zdarsky - honestly, I don’t really enjoy stories that are just a joke with a punchline at the end. With the possible exception of Batman #67, but even that it lesser than the pieces around it, and the primary pleasure I get from it is the art and emotion, not the joke.

  4. Rookie - Rucka and Risso - this felt like a beautiful start to a sequel to Gotham Central, though I wish they’d gotten Michael Lark or Kano to do the art. Risso is, of course, very popular, but he’s very much not to my taste. I wish Rucka were around writing backups or something, so we could see more of this new rookie character.

  5. Ghost Story - Tynion and Rossmo - this story contains a lot of stuff I normally am not interested in - ghosts and Batman, Dick as Robin (much prefer him as Batman or Nightwing) - but Tynion makes it a very warm, sweet story, and I like to read it as a semi-sequel to the last major Batman collaboration between Tynion and Rossmo, Batman #52.

  6. Fore - DeConnick and JRJR - this was a decent story, but doesn’t really stand out as something that hasn’t been done before. JRJR’s art is fun and full of energy, but I kind of preferred his work on Batman #80

Awesome pinup by Jamal Campbell - I kind of hope that he’ll become the next Jorge Jimenez, and in about 5-10 years, we’ll get an amazing Batman run from him!

  1. Odyssey - Wolfman and Lupacchino - adore Lupacchino’s art as usual, but the story felt too big for the space allotted, and thus a bit unfinished or incomplete.

  2. Detective #26 - Morrison and Burnham - this is like the Fraction story - it feels like it’s all a joke leading to a punchline. I don’t enjoy the meta commentary very much, and I don’t find the character all that interesting, so it’s another letdown for me.

  3. Legacy - King and Simonson - the art is very energetic, but I have to admit, compared to King’s other short stories in these anniversary collections, this one falls really flat, especially because it feels like it contradicts Batman Annual #2

  4. As Always - Snyder and Reis - I really think Snyder’s not very good as a short story writer. He needs room to really setup and expand his plots, and his characteristic weakness with endings is exaggerated by the brevity, where the ending is so much more important. Reis does fine art, but it doesn’t really stand out. I wish he could get a miniseries or run on one of the main Bat titles to really show what he could do, like he did on Aquaman.

  5. Generations Fractured - Jurgens and Nowlan - I read a bit of the Generations stories, and I’m just not a huge fan of this type of story or this part of the DCUniverse. It’s perfectly fine, just not for me.

  6. A Gift - Tamaki and Mora - I have to admit, when I first read this story, I didn’t know how much I’d come to love Tamaki and Mora on Tec. This story is good setup, and great art, but it still doesn’t quite hit me as hard as they’ve been doing on the main title this past 6 months.

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For the Robin stories, I thought they were all fine and it was kinda neat to see the different takes on the characters but I don’t think any of them was a homerun. A Little Nudge and Fitting In were probably my favorites of the bunch.

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Yessss, more Fitting In love :slight_smile:

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I’m curious what the end of this question is :slight_smile:

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Oh! What I was trying to say (after waking up and guzzling coffee down my gullet to make my brain-gears turn) was that the WOB Club Room thread has a bunch of links to almost everything we’ve read since the start of the club forming. I say “most” because I’ve kind of forgotten to keep updating it back in April. :sweat_smile:

Here’s the thread:

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Joker time!

  1. Scars - Snyder and Jock - This story actually has a decently crafted ending, unlike most of Snyder’s shorts, but I really hate the message that you can’t come back from trauma.

  2. What Comes After a Joke? - Tynion and Janin - very much my favorite story of this collection. I was really on the fence about Punchline until this story, but the thoughtful, intense story of radicalization really drew me into the ideas that Tynion (and later Sam Johns) are playing with for Punchline’s place in Gotham. Janin does really solid art, too.

  3. Kill the Batman - Whitta/Miller and Mora - this was kind of a clever and funny little take on “what if the Joker actually won”. Mora’s art was good, though not as jaw dropping as it’s been on Tec recently.

  4. Introducing the Dove Corps - O’Neil and Garcia-Lopez - Perhaps O’Neils’ penultimate story in life (last published was the Green Lantern story), this was clever and clearly crafted by two masters, but felt hollow at the end - which perhaps was the point, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked. But honestly, given that I am not a fan of the Joker at all, that’s not really surprising.

  5. The War Within - Tomasi and Bianchi - I…don’t get it. Tomasi’s playing with the idea of Batman and Joker’s mirroring of each other, but it just doesn’t make enough sense to me.

  6. The Last Smile - Dini and Rosmmo - Dini and Rossmo create a nicely disturbing but also kind of cute Joker story, with a Harley and Ivy tag at the end which gives a nice cap.

  7. Birthday Bugs - Taylor and Risso - Risso actually brings Taylor down a bit to earth from his normal candy-coated types of stories (despite all their death and violence). It’s quite clever, even though I don’t really like Taylor’s stuff that much.

  8. No Heroes - Medeiros and Albuquerque - the terror of someone caught in one of Joker’s attacks is quite well conveyed here.

  9. Penance - Daniel and Morey - a clever story, with some odd storytelling missteps in the finale, where Joker’s attack is unclear (maybe to avoid being too violent, but I think it could have been clearer without increasing the rating).

  10. Two Fell Into the Hornet’s Nest - Azzarello and Bermejo - I don’t want to get too heated, but I think writing a whole story to complain about the Batman Damned situation is beyond immature, and pretty frustrating that DC published it.

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