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Batman: Dark Detective Paperback – April 12, 2006

2.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Englehart and Rogers' mid-1970s stint on Batman was the basis for the 1989 film Batman, the one with Jack Nicholson, and is fondly remembered by fans. They reunite for a new story, reprising what made their fan favorite so popular: an updating of primal elements of the Batman legend. They revisit the tragic murder of young Bruce Wayne's parents; field revitalized versions of Joker, Two-Face, and Scarecrow; and revive Silver St. Cloud, the most memorable of Wayne's many girlfriends. As the new story opens, Silver is engaged to a gubernatorial candidate whose campaign is derailed by a sudden dark horse: Joker, whose slogan is "Vote for me or I'll kill you." The Englehart-(Marshall) Rogers approach hasn't changed much. Writer Englehart presents a more human version of the Dark Knight than has been seen recently, and Rogers' architecturally precise illustration style has loosened up a bit. Their now old-school version is refreshing after the morbidly grim realizations of Batman during the years since their first go-round with him. Gordon Flagg
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (April 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401208983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401208981
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,185,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In DETECTIVE COMICS #469 - 479, the writer/artist team of Steve Englehart and Marshal Rogers (with inker Terry Austin) made a big impression with a handfull of Batman stories that were considered instant classics; indeed, those stories, collected in the trade paperback BATMAN: STRANGE APPARITIONS, are for many readers the definitve Batman. These creators obviously understood the classic appeal of Batman, redefining his style and look for the late '70s and returning him to his roots as the dark detective of Gotham City. The problem was, the team of Englehart & Rogers arrived with guns blazing, amazed everyone, and then bolted from the scene before many folks even knew what was going on! After those superb 11 issues, Batman just didn't seem as enjoyable anymore.

Well, 25 years later, and here they come again! BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE reunites that amazing creative team, reprinting the 6-issue miniseries which features Batman battling the Joker, Two-Face, and Scarecrow, and all while having to deal with the return of his old flame Silver St. Cloud. Silver is now the fiancee of Evan Gregory, a US senator now compaigning for governor. But even though she once left Bruce, due to her not being able to handle his dual identity, the attraction is still there, and it gets her up to her neck in the Joker's deathtraps.

It's great to see that these guys are at the top of their game, maybe even better than they were on the original stories. Englehart's writing portrays Batman as an even-tempered super sleuth, instead of the arrogant, belligerent sociopath with whom we've had to suffer for the past 20-odd years. And his Joker is not just a deadly criminal, but a true madman - he's seldom written better.
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There has been some criticism here about the storytelling here - that it's old school, etc. It's SUPPOSED to be that way. This is a sequel to Englehart and Rogers' classic run on DC's Detective Comics from the late '70s.

One criticism was that the lettering was done by hand. Well, back in those days, it was done that way. You could tell back then just by looking at a word balloon or caption who did the lettering. It was distinctive, unlike generic lettering done by computer.

If you liked the classic stories from the '70s, this is a fine reprise of that period's storytelling conventions (thought balloons, expository captions, etc). If you are looking for a modern approach to the Batman, there are several alternatives that can be found here.

Enjoy this story for what is - a fun, colorful revival of a great period in comics storytelling by the people who were there in the first place.
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I am a bit jaded on this review as Marshall Rogers was my favorite artist in comics back in the seventies, and his Batman run with great stories by Steve Engelhart which became the standard that I judged every Batman run after, this book falls a bit short of those glory days. A fun read,with excellent characterization, and with beautiful graphic work, it just falls a little short of the past classics. Or....is it the fact that I have gotten much older and the magic doesn't work as much as it used too? Worth your reading time if you are a Batman fan, otherwise pass this one up if not.
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By Dovile on January 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
I gave this 2 stars only because it's not complete garbage, but it's not something I'd recommend, unless 60's-70's Batman comics are your all time favorite. The drawing style and the writing quality is very similar to the Batman comics of that period, meaning it's cheesy, not very believable and not very good. Having almost every character's thoughts in thought bubbles was also unnecessary.

The story itself seems to be set after War Games storyline though, which makes for some continuity discrepancies: in regular Batman comics of 2005, Bruce Wayne has a thing going on with Selina Kyle, and a few years back he was kind of in love with one or two other women, so you'd think he'd be over Silver already. Not to mention, Batman's cape should be black, not blue.

Don't waste your time on this one.
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Format: Paperback
Batman: Dark Detective re-teams the trio of writer Steve Englehart, penciller Marshall Rogers, and inker Terry Austin on Batman where they made their mark with a memorable run on Detective Comics nearly 30 years ago (God! Has it been that long?) on issues 469 through 476. This trade paperback collects the 6 issue Dark Detective mini-series and shows just how good sequential comic book work can be if placed in the right hands. The first that stands out that there are honest to goodness panels of art. Not just two or three per page, but several. This is nearly a lost art with today's younger, splash page obsessed artists. What a concept! Englehart was always one of my favorite writers of the 70's and this book not only shows he can still tell a good story, but it's also a tribute to that era as Englehart drops several names throughout the story that old-timers will recognize like (Joe) Giella, (Irv)Novick, (Mike Friedrich) and (Frank) Robbins. Nice touch, Steve...

Dark Detective concerns the Joker's decision to run for Governor with a slogan of "Vote for me or I'll Kill You!" I'd say that was pretty convincing. Furthermore he makes his announcement at a fund raiser for another candidate, Evan Gregory, and demands one million dollars from the attendees. When a couple of them turn up very dead, we know the Joker is serious. Gregory's fiancée just happens to be Batman's old flame Silver St. Cloud and this event brings the two back together again.

Not everyone is happy about the Joker's campaign bid, however. Harvey Dent, AKA Two-Face, maintaining a strange sense of honor, thinks the Jokers bid is not a good idea and tells him so.
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