When did Batman stop being the campy fun loving superhero personified in the 1960s sitcom and become the Dark Knight we know and admire today (or fear, but only if you're evil)?
Sure the metamorphosis began with Frank Robbins and Irv Novick on Batman #217 when Robin went off to college leaving the caped crusader to fight crime on his own. Some would argue that within a few short but brilliant years, Denny O'Neill and Neal Adams created the definitive story arc for "The Batman" (HEY!, where did that definite article "the" come from-- sounds cool!) with the Ra's Al Ghul epic. Many writers followed over the years and added their stamp to our brooding detective, but it was Frank Miller with his two pivotal mini-series--The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One that cemented the characters as we know and love them to this day.
The Dark Knight Returns is set in a not-to-distant future, that may or may not occur within the same universe as the monthly Batman comics; but Batman: Year One has become the anchor upon which all continuity follows.
This is truly a seminal work and well worth our time.
Possible topic for discussion:
• Who is the main character in the book? I can think of three off the top of my head who could be considered
• The use of humor in the book
• Why is David Mazzucchelli storytelling a cut above the rest (or if not, why not)?
• The purpose of Selina Kyle within the story's framework
• How does the book hold up after 20 years?
• The old standby: Should ALL superhero stories be told in mini-series fashion instead of an on-going continuity?
• Dozens of other topics as well!!! Let us know what you want to discuss!
Lastly: Should Batman be an all ages book? On that particular topic, we hasten to add that this book is labeled "all ages", but we strongly urge you read (or re-read) it before you decide if it is proper for your kids. It gets a bit rough in spots.
This month's Heroes Discussion Group will happen in the store this Monday, May 19, at 7pm! And if you don't already own Batman Year One, you can get it for 10% off by mentioning the Heroes Discussion Group discount, up until we meet!
See you there, we can hardly wait!!! We promise we will make it worth your while!!