BATMAN #251: How Fans Reacted to the Return of THE JOKER

It remains a classic nearly 50 years later — but what did readers think at the time?

Hey, we all know that 1973’s Batman #251The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge! by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams — is an outright classic and one of the greatest Batman stories ever. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best single issue in the Caped Crusader’s history — and I’m not alone in thinking that.

But it’s always fascinating to see what contemporary readers thought about a comic that has been lionized for nearly 50 years.

Well, jump ahead to Batman #254 and you’ll see what the fuss was about when the Clown Prince of Crime returned to Gotham after a years-long hiatus.

Right on:

Almost universal praise, though reader Michael Sloan — where is he now, I wonder — was a bit all over the map.

But hey, they had hot takes even then.


— BATMAN #251: Towering Evidence the Bronze Age Is the True Golden Age. Click here.

— How Fans Reacted WHEN ROBIN LEFT FOR COLLEGE. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


  1. I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to our current state of “modern” tales and the reactions of fans to the return of the “real” world of Gotham. The story today has gotten so far removed from what I recognize as the real Gotham. I wish we could go back to that world.

    Post a Reply
  2. How the hell did Schwartz misspell Neal’s first name? Maybe a typesetting mistake? I remember being blown away at this when Ibread it as a kid…

    Post a Reply
  3. I had fun reading this article. The Joker is one of Batman’s many adversaries. 🙂

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: