Feb 8, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 349: Batman - Legends of the Dark Knight #2, December 1989

I'm going to admit something now that it an unpopular stance to take with regard to superheroes: I'm not really a big fan of Batman. I recognize his importance to the genre, and I recognize the importance of his various titles to the industry. I even recognize the importance of his varied transmedial appearances. But, when it comes down to it, I've just never been a big fan. Much like Marvel's Wolverine, I've always considered him to be an alright hero who gets more play than he needs.

Which is why this series has, so far, been such a lovely surprise. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I don't know Dennis O'Neil's work that well, but I'm absolutely sure of one thing: he knows Batman. The story is a great mystery, it's poking about at the more spiritual aspects of Bruce's transformation into Batman, and it's got Alfred delivering some of the sassiest Alfred lines I've heard. It's all just so good. Edward Hannigan's art is spare and restrained, certainly well in keeping with the aesthetic of DC at the end of the 1980s. It offers a vision of a world that I could absolutely see Gaiman's Sandman and Ostrander and Mandrake's Spectre inhabiting, along with their costumed brethren.

There is the troubling appellation of Native American people as "Indians" here, though it seems to fit the era that the series is chronicling. I'm excited to see where the story goes, and to have found a Batman that I actually quite enjoy.


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