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  1. #1
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    Default Post-Crisis, Pre-52 Appreciation Thread

    Roughly 1986 to 2011 is one of the strongest periods of Batman's comic book history, though definitely not without a ton of flaws. Thanks to ComiXology and the DC Universe app, I've been able to easily re-collect and re-read this period recently, and it's also the period I read when I first started reading comics when I was around 10 years old.

    The amount of books in the Batman franchise exploded from two titles — Batman and Detective Comics — into a whole library of spin-off books.

    —Shadow of the Bat
    —Legends of the Dark Knight anthology book
    —Catwoman
    —Azrael
    —Robin
    —Nightwing
    —Birds of Prey
    —Batgirl
    —Gotham Central
    —Gotham Knights

    Major storylines

    A Death in the Family
    -Batman: Year Three
    -A Lonely Place of Dying
    -Robin Mini-Series

    Knightfall
    -Sword of Azrael
    -Vengeance of Bane
    -Prelude to Knightfall
    -Knightfall
    -Knightquest Crusade
    -Knightquest Search
    -KnightsEnd
    -Prodigal
    -Troika
    -Vengeance of Bane 2

    Contagion
    Legacy
    Zero Hour

    No Man's Land
    -Cataclysm
    -Road to No Man's Land
    -NML

    New Gotham
    Officer Down
    Gotham Central
    Bruce Wayne: Murderer?
    Bruce Wayne: Fugitive

    Hush

    War Games
    -Book 1 and 2

    Under The Hood

    One Year Later
    -Face the Face
    -Paul Dini's Detective Comics

    The Morrison Epic
    —Batman & Son
    —Batman R.I.P.
    —Batman & Robin
    —The Return of Bruce Wayne
    —Batman Inc.

    There's a lot of great work by some great writers who I think haven't really received as much praise as they deserve. We hear a lot about Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Dennis O'Neil, Steve Englehart, Marv Wolfman, Jeph Loeb, but there's not as many Gotham landmarks named after folks like:

    —Chuck Dixon
    —Doug Moench
    —Alan Grant
    —Devin Grayson
    —Gail Simone
    —Kelley Puckett
    —Ed Brubaker
    —Greg Rucka
    —Andersen Garbych
    —Judd Winnick

    But collectively, this group did a TON of work to develop Batman and Gotham in some pretty significant ways. It's pretty interesting to look at this continuity as one big story. It wasn't engineered to be that way, exactly, but that's kind of the way it worked out.

    This era is kind of all about Batman's World — the Post-Crisis continuity begins by killing Robin/Jason Todd, and ends with Batman having a worldwide network of Robins in Inc, while also burying a third Robin (Jason, Stephanie, Damian): his own son.

    At the same time, Batman's stability is tested nonstop in every way — mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually — throughout this period. He really does not ever get a break in this timeline! Everyone around him is dying, crumbling, and leaving. Especially by the end of War Games/War Crimes, he's at one of his most isolated and lowest status quos ever. Then Red Hood / Infinite Crisis / One Year Later props him back up a little bit, then Morrison's arc miraculously brings everything to a comprehensive conclusion.

    There's plenty to criticize, and plenty to appreciate... in this thread, we'll do both, but keep the criticisms comparative instead of wholly dismissive.

  2. #2
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    You missed a few great stories/runs:

    Before Knightfall there are:

    1. Batman: Year One
    2. Batman & the Monster Men + Batman & the Mad Monk
    3. The Man Who Laughs
    4. Batman: Prey + Batman: Terror
    5. Legends of The Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle
    6. Batman: Haunted Knight
    7. Batman: Snow
    8. Batman: The Long Halloween + Batman: Dark Victory + Catwoman: When in Rome
    9. Batman Chronicle: The Gauntlet
    10. Robin: Year One
    11. Batman: Tales of the Demon
    12. Batgirl: Year One
    13. Arkham Asylum: A serious house on a serious house
    14. The Killing Joke
    15. A Death in the familly + A lonely place of dying
    16. Batman: Anarky
    17. Batman: Shaman
    18. Batman: Gothic
    19. Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City
    20. Batman: Prey
    21. Batman: Venom
    22. Batman: Ego and other tails
    23. Batman: Faces
    24. Batman: Other Realms
    25. Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight


    after Hush you have Batman by Paul Dini:

    • Batman: Detective
    • Batman: Death and the City
    • Batman: Private Casebook
    • Batman: Heart of Hush
    • Batman: Streets of Gotham, Vol. 1 - Hush Money
    • Batman: Streets of Gotham, Vol. 2 - Leviathan
    • Batman: Streets of Gotham, Vol. 3 - The House of Hush


    Before and after War Games you have:

    1. Batman: War Drums
    2. Batman: War Games
    3. Batman: War Crimes


    Before Morrison's run you have the return of Jason Todd:

    1. Batman: Red Hood (aka Batman: Under the Red Hood)
    2. Red Hood: Lost Days


    Morrison's run goes as follow:

    1. Batman: The Black Casebook
    2. Batman and Son
    3. Batman: The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul
    4. Batman R.I.P.
    5. (Final Crisis)
    6. Batman: Battle for the Cowl
    7. Batman & Robin vol.1: Batman Reborn
    8. Batman & Robin vol.2: Batman vs Robin
    9. Batman: Time and The Batman
    10. Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
    11. Batman & Robin vol.3: Batman & Robin Must Die
    12. Batman Incorporated
    13. Batman, Incorporated, Vol. 1: Demon Star
    14. Batman, Incorporated, Vol. 2: Gotham’s Most Wanted


    During Morrison's run you have Scott Snyder's first Batman run:

    1. Batman: The Black Mirror
    2. Batman: Gates of Gotham

  3. #3

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    This Era is my favorite, simply because the DC universe felt truly connected and there was a legacy there.

    Nevertheless, No Man's Land made me love the Bat Fam, it showed their true importance to the mythos.

    And of course the intro of Cass and Harley

  4. #4
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    I've started reading Batman somewehere between July and August of the last year, and of course with the Modern Era Year One. Since then I've been following a modern era chronological reading order I've found in two places and making some changes on that order myself.

    There are a lot of great stories, my favorites so far (I'm now reading Blind Justice and it's being a great story) are Long Halloween + Dark Victory, The Cult, Gothic, The Killing Joke and Death in the Family.

  5. #5
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    It was a great time. Yeah, there was some trash stuff as well, but the batverse was large, cohesive, but didn't feel overstuffed.
    Pulls: Batman, Detective Comics, Flash Forward, and Young Justice.
    My runs: Batman #260- and Detective #500-

  6. #6
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    One of my gaps in this timeline is Birds of Prey which I'm beginning now on the DCU app. Chuck Dixon is one of my favorites of this era so I'm looking forward to the read.

    Reread a bunch of the big crossovers and it's wild how integral Tim Drake was to everything compared to where he's at now after 52 and Rebirth. And what a great Spider-Man-like role that he filled, as the legacy Robin... Tim really is the heart of the story throughout the era, in the longview, and a lot of that is because Dixon was writing so many of the titles and he clearly had such affection for Drake's world.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    One of my gaps in this timeline is Birds of Prey which I'm beginning now on the DCU app. Chuck Dixon is one of my favorites of this era so I'm looking forward to the read.

    Reread a bunch of the big crossovers and it's wild how integral Tim Drake was to everything compared to where he's at now after 52 and Rebirth. And what a great Spider-Man-like role that he filled, as the legacy Robin... Tim really is the heart of the story throughout the era, in the longview, and a lot of that is because Dixon was writing so many of the titles and he clearly had such affection for Drake's world.
    You're in for a treat with Birds of Prey especially when you get to Simone's run which is the G.O.A.T.

  8. #8
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    One of my favorite storylines was the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive story. Loved how it started with the ten cent comic and went into full bore mystery. I prefer just about post-Crisis/pre new 52.

  9. #9
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    I think War Games was the only major crossover/event that got a bad reputation during this period, or at least the only one that didn’t later receive a slight resurgence as time crept by. It kind of hit the perfect storm of a bad editorial mandate (“Make Stephanie Brown a Robin for a few months then kill her”), a rough time with one of the arcs it was crossing over with (Devin Grayson’s Nightwing run, which neither helped War Games or was helped by War Games), a displeasing denouement (Leslie Thompson’s supposedly letting Steph die to teach Bruce a lesson) that fans rejected as well...

    ...And then was promptly and immediately overshadowed by Under the Hood in Batman, Cass Cain’s book hitting an actually decent climax before OYL tried to one up the angry Steph fans with Evil!Cass, and then Morrison’s arrival pretty much overshadowed everything, even the undoing of War Games’s events, and then it was forgotten hard, especially with the late renaissance Morrison brought to basically all characters even indirectly right before the New 52.

    This time period could largely be described as “Holy crap, the Bat books went on for a decade plus just being awesome, and expanded so well, then had one small series of hiccups they got over quickly, got damn good again pretty much all across the board... then Dan Didio interrupted it for his marketing ideas, screwed up a handful of the cast with his mandates, delayed Batman Inc’s continution because of his stupid obsession with hating Stephanie Brown.”
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I think War Games was the only major crossover/event that got a bad reputation during this period, or at least the only one that didn’t later receive a slight resurgence as time crept by. It kind of hit the perfect storm of a bad editorial mandate (“Make Stephanie Brown a Robin for a few months then kill her”), a rough time with one of the arcs it was crossing over with (Devin Grayson’s Nightwing run, which neither helped War Games or was helped by War Games), a displeasing denouement (Leslie Thompson’s supposedly letting Steph die to teach Bruce a lesson) that fans rejected as well...

    ...And then was promptly and immediately overshadowed by Under the Hood in Batman, Cass Cain’s book hitting an actually decent climax before OYL tried to one up the angry Steph fans with Evil!Cass, and then Morrison’s arrival pretty much overshadowed everything, even the undoing of War Games’s events, and then it was forgotten hard, especially with the late renaissance Morrison brought to basically all characters even indirectly right before the New 52.

    This time period could largely be described as “Holy crap, the Bat books went on for a decade plus just being awesome, and expanded so well, then had one small series of hiccups they got over quickly, got damn good again pretty much all across the board... then Dan Didio interrupted it for his marketing ideas, screwed up a handful of the cast with his mandates, delayed Batman Inc’s continution because of his stupid obsession with hating Stephanie Brown.”
    I'm glad you brought up War Games because I think it's easier to appreciate looking back on it. It is a really rough time for the heroes. Everyone is losing nonstop in so many ways, with Batman being both the catalyst for the losses and has one of the hardest losses of anyone, losing his entire support system again.

    It works better knowing that Morrison's run comes a bit later to more fully address Batman's string of losses in this era (even though his run doesn't actually mention War Games in any way iirc)... although since One Year Later is a soft reboot within this timeline before Morrison's, though, the true climax of the era is Under The Red Hood, which is perfect since the continuity truly begins with A Death In The Family.

    If you look at the broad view of the mega-story as being all about Batman's Legacy / Batman's Hubris, then the structure of it is like this:

    Inciting Incident A Death In The Family —(Robin dies; Batman's first real loss in his career)

    Escalation —The majority of the run — (As Batman's family expands to replace the loss of Jason, Batman suffers the loss his body to Bane; the loss of his city, to plague and natural disaster; and after testing the limits to Gordon's patience throughout Knightfall past NML, finally Batman suffers the loss of his police support when Gordon retires in Officer Down)

    LowpointWar Games — (Batman loses a second Robin, the new crime boss is worse than ever, and he's also without Tim, Alfred, Gordon, Barbara, Cass, Dick, and now Leslie; he's back to being alone like he started)

    ClimaxUnder The Red Hood — (The dead Robin returns to confront Batman)

    Morrison's arc is essentially the long resolution, addressing the psychological ramifications of this mega story, and pushing Batman's Legacy and Batman's Hubris to logical endpoints.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I'm glad you brought up War Games because I think it's easier to appreciate looking back on it. It is a really rough time for the heroes. Everyone is losing nonstop in so many ways, with Batman being both the catalyst for the losses and has one of the hardest losses of anyone, losing his entire support system again.

    It works better knowing that Morrison's run comes a bit later to more fully address Batman's string of losses in this era (even though his run doesn't actually mention War Games in any way iirc)... although since One Year Later is a soft reboot within this timeline before Morrison's, though, the true climax of the era is Under The Red Hood, which is perfect since the continuity truly begins with A Death In The Family.

    If you look at the broad view of the mega-story as being all about Batman's Legacy / Batman's Hubris, then the structure of it is like this:

    Inciting Incident A Death In The Family —(Robin dies; Batman's first real loss in his career)

    Escalation —The majority of the run — (As Batman's family expands to replace the loss of Jason, Batman suffers the loss his body to Bane; the loss of his city, to plague and natural disaster; and after testing the limits to Gordon's patience throughout Knightfall past NML, finally Batman suffers the loss of his police support when Gordon retires in Officer Down)

    LowpointWar Games — (Batman loses a second Robin, the new crime boss is worse than ever, and he's also without Tim, Alfred, Gordon, Barbara, Cass, Dick, and now Leslie; he's back to being alone like he started)

    ClimaxUnder The Red Hood — (The dead Robin returns to confront Batman)

    Morrison's arc is essentially the long resolution, addressing the psychological ramifications of this mega story, and pushing Batman's Legacy and Batman's Hubris to logical endpoints.
    Eh, I still think War Games winds up more as a misstep than a low point... but that’s mostly because of execution, and because of how, in hindsight, OYL let them pretty mich ignore almost all of it’s repercussions, and then it was kind of finished off by later events - Dixon bringing back Steph and Leslie, and Black Mask’s profile only really being raised for Under The Red Hood, then promptly being forgot about before he dies at Catwoman’s hands.

    The “Low Point” feels to me like it would all fit NML or Bruce Wayne: Murderer better, if not several moments before that. NML was a far more seismic event across all the books, Gotham as a city, and even the DCU at large (President Luthor, anyone?). Bruce Wayne: Murderer led to greater chaos in the Batfamily that people could kind of believe thanks to Bruce’s refusal to answer question and self-imposed exile from his Bruce Wyane Identity. Both NML and BW:M deal better with Bruce’s hubris and leading to dire consequences, and if we go back before that, he walked himself into the Knightfall situation and it’s Knightsend fallout out of his reaction against DITF and TKJ... and that’s if we don’t want to call your inciting incident a much greater low point caused by hubris.

    War Games biggest issue in that setup, though, is mostly just how bad the execution is for what was always going to be a limited premise for a low-point in the wake of NML, BW:M, and all that stuff. We mix a limited premise with a lot of storytelling decisions that turned out to be liability’s rather than dramatic assets.

    A “gang war” story just has some mundane elements for a Batman story that don’t match up well against “Earthquake-derived Mad Max scenario,” “plague of Biblical proportions unleashed by Ra’s Al Ghul,” “inability to be Bruce Wayne because of a strong murder charge against him,” or “paralyzed, demoralized, and replaced by a psychotic successor.”

    War Games needed stone cold execution to really make that idea work.

    And the execution wound up actually hurting the premise.

    Black Mask simply wasn’t a good mastermind character. Stephanie Brown becoming Robin, losing the job, screwing up, and then dying wound up being a painful combination of telegraphing a character’s incoming death, cheaply trying to wring false emotions out of it, and then dragging a character through the muck while ignoring her character arc. And after Bruce pulled a disappearing act at the start of NML, and just refused to defend His own name in BW:M, there was no real weight to the small dissatisfaction the comics *tried* to have the family treat him with.

    If anything, I think War Games wound up being the “disconnect” moment between the original Post-Crisis story, and the eventual Morrison-Snyder-Dini Renaissance right before the New 52; the twilight years of the timeline struck gold *in spite* of War Games’s screwups... largely by retconning and ignoring those screwups... so War Games becomes the skippable major event before Infinite Crisis and OYL.

    I mean, Dixon could roll out the “Batman didn’t put up a memorial for Steph because he always knew she wasn’t dead” trick in Robin... and nobody complained in the fan base. Heck, her own time as Batgirl kind of just brushed over that whole part.

    War Games may not have been bad as an overall crossover event compared to some f the stuff Superman and Wonder Woman got dragged through pre-New 52... but it was still pretty bad by Batman standards.
    Last edited by godisawesome; 01-22-2020 at 04:27 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Eh, I still think War Games winds up more as a misstep than a low point... but that’s mostly because of execution, and because of how, in hindsight, OYL let them pretty mich ignore almost all of it’s repercussions, and then it was kind of finished off by later events - Dixon bringing back Steph and Leslie, and Black Mask’s profile only really being raised for Under The Red Hood, then promptly being forgot about before he dies at Catwoman’s hands.

    The “Low Point” feels to me like it would all fit NML or Bruce Wayne: Murderer better, if not several moments before that. NML was a far more seismic event across all the books, Gotham as a city, and even the DCU at large (President Luthor, anyone?). Bruce Wayne: Murderer led to greater chaos in the Batfamily that people could kind of believe thanks to Bruce’s refusal to answer question and self-imposed exile from his Bruce Wyane Identity. Both NML and BW:M deal better with Bruce’s hubris and leading to dire consequences, and if we go back before that, he walked himself into the Knightfall situation and it’s Knightsend fallout out of his reaction against DITF and TKJ... and that’s if we don’t want to call your inciting incident a much greater low point caused by hubris.
    The reason I think War Games works as the Low Point in the Mega/Meta Story isn't necessarily for its relative quality, but for when it occurs and how it reflects on how Batman handles his business vis-a-vis the Robins.

    As you point out, Batman's blind spots are a major running theme throughout this era, and they're his "kryptonite" in all of the stories mentioned above. But regardless of how canon afterwards treated it, not even NML/Fugitive is as brutal to Bruce's psyche as War Games, because only in WG does he (once again) lose a Robin.

    It mirrors the beginning of the continuity with ADTIF moreso than other stories where Batman's allies are estranged (Knightfall, NML, Fugitive). And as much as he tries to avoid accepting full responsibility for it, it's clear to the reader that it really is Bruce's fault for putting so many combustible elements in place but not expecting them to catch fire.

    What I'm trying to say isn't that War Games is well done, but that it is better when it's viewed in the context of this larger story, rather than viewed as an isolated story, if that makes sense.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    The reason I think War Games works as the Low Point in the Mega/Meta Story isn't necessarily for its relative quality, but for when it occurs and how it reflects on how Batman handles his business vis-a-vis the Robins.

    As you point out, Batman's blind spots are a major running theme throughout this era, and they're his "kryptonite" in all of the stories mentioned above. But regardless of how canon afterwards treated it, not even NML/Fugitive is as brutal to Bruce's psyche as War Games, because only in WG does he (once again) lose a Robin.

    It mirrors the beginning of the continuity with ADTIF moreso than other stories where Batman's allies are estranged (Knightfall, NML, Fugitive). And as much as he tries to avoid accepting full responsibility for it, it's clear to the reader that it really is Bruce's fault for putting so many combustible elements in place but not expecting them to catch fire.

    What I'm trying to say isn't that War Games is well done, but that it is better when it's viewed in the context of this larger story, rather than viewed as an isolated story, if that makes sense.
    I guess my counter argument is that that the ease with which it’s core consequences were rejected and undone means that, for me, when viewed as part of the larger story... it’s the misstep, the mistake, the imminently forgettable detour.

    HOWEVER!...

    That’s because I’m not looking at a larger story centered around Bruce’s successes and failures with the Robins with Jason Todd’s death as the inciting incident. For me, it’s much more a story based around Bruce Wayne being deprived of his first family as the inciting incident with the impact it had on his psyche, with his broken and isolated nature featured with the mess of a human being he is in Batman: Year One, with his losses from Jason’s death and Babs’s crippling alongside the issues caused by himself, countering his growing status and healing as a found family patriarch... and ending with the Batman family from right before the New 52.

    Understand: a lot of this has to do with a kind of visceral disgust I’ve got towards War Games and stuff that followed behind it, when I started to hear more about Dan Didio ordering things done in the Batman universe, or when the Bat books seemed adrift outside of a handful of stellar-but-not-headlining stuff.

    I literally don’t want War Games, Evil Cass, that Nightwing Annual that had Dick sleep with Babs after she got paralyzed then a week later invited her to his wedding... stuff like that popped up much more frequently around that time, and I’d rather “prune the bushes” of that timeline - something like “instead of reading War Games and this entire era... stop reading Robin and Batgirl for a while after Infinite Crisis, *do* read Under the Red Hood and anything by Paul Dini... and just start checking back in piecemeal when Morrison and Chuck Dixon pop back up to ease back into new Robin and Batman’s evolving family, and by the time Fabian Nicieza is on Robin, And Batman RIP is starting up, get ready to bask in quality work for a long time.”

    There’s a reason I called the Batman-RIP-And-Affiliated-storylines era a “Renaissance;” it fits my idea of a “rebirth” of quality Batman Family stories in the Post-Crisis era after an era of considerably more dubious and wasteful decisions where the quality stuff was more sporadic and spread out.

    The fact that my favorite Robin and Batgirls got the short end of the stick for part of the era is playing a major part in my issues with it, I’ll confess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    I guess my counter argument is that that the ease with which it’s core consequences were rejected and undone means that, for me, when viewed as part of the larger story... it’s the misstep, the mistake, the imminently forgettable detour.

    HOWEVER!...

    That’s because I’m not looking at a larger story centered around Bruce’s successes and failures with the Robins with Jason Todd’s death as the inciting incident. For me, it’s much more a story based around Bruce Wayne being deprived of his first family as the inciting incident with the impact it had on his psyche, with his broken and isolated nature featured with the mess of a human being he is in Batman: Year One, with his losses from Jason’s death and Babs’s crippling alongside the issues caused by himself, countering his growing status and healing as a found family patriarch... and ending with the Batman family from right before the New 52.

    Understand: a lot of this has to do with a kind of visceral disgust I’ve got towards War Games and stuff that followed behind it, when I started to hear more about Dan Didio ordering things done in the Batman universe, or when the Bat books seemed adrift outside of a handful of stellar-but-not-headlining stuff.

    I literally don’t want War Games, Evil Cass, that Nightwing Annual that had Dick sleep with Babs after she got paralyzed then a week later invited her to his wedding... stuff like that popped up much more frequently around that time, and I’d rather “prune the bushes” of that timeline - something like “instead of reading War Games and this entire era... stop reading Robin and Batgirl for a while after Infinite Crisis, *do* read Under the Red Hood and anything by Paul Dini... and just start checking back in piecemeal when Morrison and Chuck Dixon pop back up to ease back into new Robin and Batman’s evolving family, and by the time Fabian Nicieza is on Robin, And Batman RIP is starting up, get ready to bask in quality work for a long time.”

    There’s a reason I called the Batman-RIP-And-Affiliated-storylines era a “Renaissance;” it fits my idea of a “rebirth” of quality Batman Family stories in the Post-Crisis era after an era of considerably more dubious and wasteful decisions where the quality stuff was more sporadic and spread out.

    The fact that my favorite Robin and Batgirls got the short end of the stick for part of the era is playing a major part in my issues with it, I’ll confess.



    They're my favorites too. I know what you mean.

    Let's switch gears and do some rankings. I think these are my Top 5 favorite runs of this era.

    1. Batman & Robin by Grant Morrison
    2. Robin by Chuck Dixon
    3. Knightfall by Dixon & Doug Moench & Alan Grant
    4. Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka
    5. I'm going to snub Dixon's Nightwing run in favor of his Detective Comics run with Graham Nolan... loved that version of Bruce/Tim/Dick/Babs
    Last edited by gregpersons; 01-23-2020 at 12:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    [/B]

    They're my favorites too. I know what you mean.

    Let's switch gears and do some rankings. I think these are my Top 5 favorite runs of this era.

    1. Batman & Robin by Grant Morrison
    2. Robin by Chuck Dixon
    3. Knightfall by Dixon & Doug Moench & Alan Grant
    4. Gotham Central by Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka
    5. I'm going to snub Dixon's Nightwing run in favor of his Detective Comics run with Graham Nolan... loved that version of Bruce/Tim/Dick/Babs
    I’d probably go this way:

    1. No Man’s Land. To me, that’s how you do a crossover/status quo change, and I love how it had multiple little sub arcs that I loved, like Cassandra Cain’s introduction, Nightwing infiltrating Blackgate, the Gordon and Batman conflict that gets resolved in Gordon’s backyard, Huntress’s stand against Joker and Petit, Bane’s cameo appearance in alliance with Luthor, and “Auld Lang Syne.”

    2. Paul Dini combined runs from Detective Comics and Streets of Gotham. It’s kind of ironic; as much as I love the things that Grant Morrison did for Batman, his actual run never quite appealed to me as much as Snyder and Dini’s concurrent runs... but especially the latter. Dini reinvented Hush, told maybe the best Batman/Catwoman relationship in comics to an extent that some of my coolness towards King run springs up from comparison to it, and he did a lot of “pinch-hitting” to sell Morrison’s status quo changes for those thrown off by Morrison’s style.

    3. I’m with you totally on Knightfall and Knightsend; this honestly felt like the first really modern crossover event of the Batcomics, and it’s not a coincidence that it helped launch the first major Bat-Book takeoff: Robin and Catwoman launched during it, and it reintegrated Noghtwing in preparation for his book’s launch.

    I’m, uh, probably going to have some ties for both 4th and 5th place...

    4. FabNic’s Robin/Red Robin run, Bryan Q. Miller’s Batgirl, and Gates of Gotham. To me, these are the things that made the Pre-New 52 Renaissance something special, feeling like a genuinely new generation of Batman stories, that in combination with Dini and Snyder’s work... kind of meant that I didn’t have to actually read Batman Inc to actually like the era. Like, I can argue why Morrison’s work is a Masterpiece... but I didn’t really get into it, and I would still call this the best Batman era because of the stuff around it.

    5. Dixon’s runs on Robin and Nightwing, plus Batgirl Vol. 1’s entire run, all writers involved. Dixon basically simultaneously built up two different settings, ensemble casts, and villain galleries, and was on such a roll that he *accidentally* made Stephanie Briwn a cult favorite - not that surprising, considering he’s the same guy who forgot that he wrote one of Cassandra Cain’s last good appearances pre-Batman RIP. And speaking of Batgirl... Cassandra Cain’s first run as a solo hero didn’t need a reboot to go as long as it did, and honestly should have been adapted into a cartoon by now.
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