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Batman: Strange Apparitions (Batman Beyond (DC Comics)) Paperback – December 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Batman Beyond (DC Comics)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; Gph edition (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563895005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563895005
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It was a dark and stormy night. (or should that be Knight?) "It's Joker weather," says Commissioner Gordon. "True Commissioner," says Chief O'Hara, "But it's also tailor made for him!" The Batman is a character who needs lots of atmosphere. Darkness, rain, lightning, tall dark buildings, smoking gangsters, skinny trees bereft of leaves, all this and more fill the very affordable paperback collection of some of the best Batman stories ever produced. BATMAN: STRANGE APPARITIONS collects the beautifully drawn and superbly written DETECTIVE COMICS 469-476 and 478, 479 from 1977-1978. Some have called these issues "the definitive Batman." It was these stories that got the ball rolling on making a big budget and serious Batman movie and you can definitely see that many of the ideas from that movie came from these stories.
These pages are alive with atmosphere! Artist Marshall Rogers' panels literally drip down the page and capes slither behind the storyboards. Rogers sometimes lets the design of his panels tell the story as much as the art within them. When characters talk on the phone the panel's edges are drawn like phone cords. Sometimes panels rest on top of full-page illustrations that most artists would weep before covering up. Rogers is teamed for the most part with the incredibly talented inker Terry Austin. Together they provide pictures that are at once moody and sharp and exquisitely defined. When Batman menaces a thug you believe it. When Bruce Wayne has a nightmare you feel it. This artwork is a joy to look at and if the story were rotten it would still be worth buying this collection just to see the Batman look like the Batman should!
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Format: Paperback
Certainly one of the best runs ever on the Batman - portrayed appropriately by writer Steve Englehart not as a psychotic, vengeful terrorist of some sort but as an adventurer/detective born of a lifelong desire to see that no child would come to the end of their childhood as violently as he had. Justice being the goal, but not at the expense of life (any life), he adopted this identity to work with law enforcement, in a manner which they could not. Artist Marshall Rogers appropriately renders the Batman with the build of a gymnast/martial artist - fitting for one skilled in all manner of each and inker/embellisher Terry Austin brings further character and mood to these renderings. There might well be a better depiction of the Batman, but one would be hard pressed to find it. Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" from the mid-1980's (which is said to have inspired the Batman films in the late 80's) is often cited as the height of the Batman's lore, but was intended as a tale outside the current Batman stories - a story of a possible future, 10 years after his retirement and a tale of hope and redemption mired in a dark, grim and gritty world. Unfortunately, those who followed Miller focused solely on the "dark, grim and gritty" and superimposed that mood upon the character of the Batman. "Strange Apparitions" by Engelhart and Rogers is, in my own opinion, a much better rendition of the Batman. Beautiful art and engaging story for juvenile fiction fans old and young alike.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book "Strange Apparitions" is an anthology of a section of Detective Comics in the 1970's. There are stories featuring the Joker, Clayface, Dr. Phosphorus, Hugo Strange, and the Penguin. Reading the book shows that this was one of the high points of the Batman series.

Also this book contains the classic Joker story, "The Laughing Fish." This is one of the best Batman plots of all time. The Joker commits one of the most unusual and inventive crimes of all.

This also explains how Hugo Strange came to know the identity of Batman. Some of the episodes of "Batman: the Animated Series" are inspired from these comics. If you are a fan of the animated show from the '90s, you'll also appreciate these comics, the inspiration for some of those cartoons. On a side note, the animated series is one of the greatest works of television, fictional or non-fictional, I have ever experienced. The comics from the "Strange Apparitions" era provided much of its inspiration.

So this is a good sampling of the Batman and his exploits.
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Format: Paperback
During the late 1970s, DC managed to entice writer Steve Englehart aboard on Detective Comics. At Marvel, Englehart had repeatedly proven his skills and imagination on titles such as Avengers, Captain America and Incredible Hulk. Teamed up with Marshall Rogers on pencil and coloring, they created classic stories where today, their version of Batman is regarded as one of the authoritative alongside that of Frank Miller, Dennis O'Neil & Neil Adams, Dick Sprang and of course, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and Bill Finger's.

The first instalment starts off with the introduction of Dr. Phosphorous and the corrupt Gotham City Councillor, Rupert Thorne. Englehart also presents us a new love interest for Bruce Wayne, Silver St. Cloud. The good doctor has made very few appearances since then (notably in Starman) but Thorne has become a feature villain in the animated television series while St. Cloud served as the template for Vicki Vale's persona in Tim Burton's blockbuster film. Both characters also serve as important elements throughout Englehart's epic run on Detective Comics.

Unfortunately, the first two instalments in Strange Apparitions is not representative of excellent pencil work on behalf of Walt Simonson. Perhaps the fault can also be attributed to inker Al Milgrom but the result is art that is flustered, flat and lifeless. Do not expect the type of visual which made Simonson's Thor, Fantastic Four and Orion memorable masterpieces. However, the events and characters' presentation solidly sets up the stage for the next seven chapters in Englehart's story arc.

Marshall Rogers pencilled back up features in Detective Comics #466, #467 as well as a full length story in issue 468 prior to being assigned as regular artist on the duration of Englehart's tenure in '77 & '78.
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