Dennis (Denny) O’Neil (1939~2020)

“Make me laugh. Make me cry. Tell me my place in the world. Lift me out of my skin and place me in another. Show me places I have never visited and carry me to the ends of time and space.”
–Dennis O’Neil

Dennis O’Neil pictured with his ‘DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics’

I was very sad to hear the news today of the passing of Dennis (Denny) O’Neil. I got to know his work back in the late 1980s when I started buying comic books. At that time, O’Neil was editor of the two main Batman titles: Batman and Detective Comics. I used to buy them regularly. I remember being excited to hear that a new Batman title was going to launch in November 1989. That title was Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight. Denny O’Neil wrote the opening five-part story: Shaman.

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Catwoman 80th Anniversary Special (2020) by Various Artists

If you are a fan of the character or a fan of comic books, you will very likely enjoy this. I did, and I recommend it to all comic book fans out there. It’s a good chance to sample a variety of stories written and drawn by some of the current creative teams in comics in 2020.

Speaking of the creative teams, they feature in the ten stories in this 100-page special. The writers are Ann Nocenti, Will Pfeifer, Tom King, Ed Brubaker, Paul Dini, Jeff Parker, Chuck Dixon, Ram V, and Mindy Newell. The artists are Ty Templeton, Jonathan Case, Steve Rude, Lee Garbett, Tim Sale, Pia Guerra, Kelley Jones, Fernando Blanco, Robson Rocha, Jim Balent, Emanuela Lupacchino, Tula Lotay, Mikel Janin, and Cameron Stewart.

Released with a whopping 23 variant covers, I ordered the 1970s variant with gorgeous art by Frank Cho & Sabine Rich. I’ve always had a soft spot for that purple and green costume. I’ll post some images of the main variants below. Please let me know which one you would choose!

1970s Variant Cover by Frank Cho & Sabine Rich
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Detective Comics #1000

I’m on holiday in Manchester so this will be a short post.

Owing to lucky timing, I was able to get my hands on a physical copy of Detective Comics #1000, released March 27th 2019. I used to collect this comic many years ago when I was a young teenager living in the UK. I remember buying issue 600 and being impressed with that number. Well, here we are at the thousandth issue.

It’s a wonderful issue with some very fine stories by writers and artists including Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Denny O’Neil, Becky Cloonan, Warren Ellis, Paul Dini, Tony S. Daniel, Joelle Jones, Kelley Jones, and Tom King.

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Graphic Novels Digest #1

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Batman and Son (2007) by Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert & Jesse Delperdang

Batman discovers he has a son called Damian. And Commissioner Gordon has been poisoned by the Joker!  Could this be a bad omen for the Dark Knight?

Wow, is it already 11 years since this first came out? I was still buying the Batman comic book back then and I remember Grant Morrison taking over the writing duties. Love him or not, his writing is rarely ordinary and never dull.

 

I enjoyed this back in 2006~2007 and I’ve really enjoyed re-reading it. It’s exciting, clever and laced with black humour. The ninja man-bats are a brilliant idea! I also respect Morrison for writing Damian the way he did. His initial interactions with Alfred and Tim Drake’s Robin are priceless. Hate him or love him, he’s a compelling character. I’ll leave you to enjoy this story without spoiling any more.

This comes highly recommended. Continue reading

All-Star Batman, Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy (2017) by Scott Snyder & John Romita Jr.

“If you think I’m dying in a group hug, you can pick your favorite opening and shove that right–“

Scott Snyder returns to writing Batman in this first collection of the DC Rebirth title ‘All-Star Batman’. For the opening storyline, Snyder has chosen to focus on Two-Face, pitting Batman against the schizophrenic Harvey Dent for five action-packed issues. Accompanied by John Romita Jr.’s meaty artwork and Dean White’s soft pastel colors, Snyder lets rip with an exciting and violent Two-Face tale.

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Batman is on a mission to cure Harvey Dent of his homicidal tendencies, dragging him on a road trip out of Gotham and deep into the country. All he has to do is get Dent to the secret location of this “cure”, a location known only by the two of them. The problem is Two-Face has put a huge bounty on Batman’s head inviting anyone and everyone to take him down. This brings a large group of villains out of the woodwork including Killer Croc and the deadly KGBeast (remember him?). Continue reading

Batman Vol. 2: I Am Suicide (2017) by Tom King & Mikel Janin

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Batman needs to spring Psycho-Pirate from the island prison Santa Prisca. The problem is Bane is running the prison, making it almost impenetrable. To make an impossible mission possible, Batman puts together his own Suicide Squad comprising of Catwoman, the Ventriloquist, Bronze Tiger, and Punch and Jewelee. Considering Batman’s broken history with Bane, is this mission too suicidal even for him? Continue reading

Batman: Night of the Monster Men (2017)

“Mother of — Those things’ll kill us! Get out of my way!” (p.47)

 

Co-written by Steve Orlando, Tom King, Tim Seeley, James Tynion IV. Art by Riley Rossmo, Roge Antonio, Andy MacDonald.

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Graphic Novel Cover by Riley Rossmo

The first crossover storyline from the DC Rebirth titles ‘Batman’, ‘Detective Comics’, and ‘Nightwing’. A massive storm approaches Gotham City, prompting Batman and his newly-formed team to evacuate some of its citizens. At the same time, something is stirring in the city’s morgue, something strange …

This is a Batman Rebirth tale for Halloween. It has huge, sumptuously-designed monsters running amok in Gotham City. Batman, needing all the help he can get, joins forces with a team of heroes including Batwoman, Nightwing, Duke Thomas, Gotham Girl, Spoiler, Orphan, and a reformed(?) Clayface. It is an interesting crew of characters carried over from the recent Detective Comics Rebirth storyline: ‘Rise of the Batmen’.

As the Bat-team pits their fighting skills and wits against the mutant monsters, Gotham’s citizens become increasingly aggressive in their evacuation site. Could this have anything to do with a briefly-glimpsed villain from Batman’s past? Or is it something from the storm that is affecting them? Continue reading