O’Neil and Adams’ complete, original Ra’s al Ghul saga is set for a first-ever hardcover release…
One of the absolutely, undeniably greatest comics stories ever – Batman’s original, early-’70s Ra’s al Ghul saga – is finally coming back to print.
Not just that, it’ll be in hardcover for the first time.
Batman: Tales of the Demon – by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Dick Giordano and a coterie of other contributors — is set to return to shelves in March 2020, according to an Amazon listing.
Check out the official description, along with the placeholder cover art:
Meet the Demon’s Head in Batman: Tales of the Demon, featuring one of Batman’s most formidable adveraries, the founder of the League of Assassins, the one they call Ra’s al Ghul!
Batman scales the side of the Statue of Freedom for a secret meeting with an informant inside the torch. During the meeting the informant is assassinated, leaving Batman with his final words instructing him to find a person called Darkk on the Soom Express. Finding and confronting Darkk Batman is assaulted, leaving him unconscious, and finds himself in a dungeon unmasked. There he meets the Daughter of the Demon, Talia who jump-starts his journey in finding the League of Assassins and it’s founder, Ra’s al Ghul.
This volume collects the earliest Ra’s al Ghul stories written by Dennis O’Neil and illustrated by artists Neal Adams, Michael Golden, Irv Novick, Bob Brown and Dick Giordano.
Collects Detective Comics #411, #485, #489-490, Batman #232, #235, #240, #242-244 and DC Special Series #15.
Now, this is welcome news because the story – like Englehart and Rogers’ Detective Comics run – should be eternally available.
Both are crucial to the foundation of modern Batman and every generation should be able to get its hands on them in easy, durable fashion. (Digital comics are fine and all, but there’s really nothing better than comics in print, am I right?)
Now here’s how it breaks down: The original Ra’s saga – which has no official, overarching title – includes Detective #411 and Batman #232, #235, #240 and #242-244. It was reprinted in the ’80s as a miniseries – but the four most important chapters were immortalized in one of the greatest treasury editions ever: Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-51. (Click here for more on that.)
Side note: I’m amused that the placeholder art DC is using notes “NOT FINAL COVER.” Gotta tell you: It better be final, since that piece by Neal Adams – which was the cover to LCE #C-51 – is the greatest cover he’s ever done:
Now, in case you’re wondering why you have to wait until March, the reason’s pretty simple. Neal Adams’ new miniseries – Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul, which will now debut in September – is due for a hardcover release around the same time. (Click here for info on that mini.)
— Tales of the Demon – which includes additional Bronze Age confrontations between the Darknight Detective and the Demon’s Head — has actually been released twice already in paperback, but it’s been about 15 years since the last time. So, its return to print is long overdue.
— Our blue-ribbon panel of experts – including Adams himself and former DC chief Paul Levitz – voted the original Ra’s saga Number 4 in our 80th Anniversary TOP 13 BATMAN COUNTDOWN. You can click here to read all about that – you’ll dig it.
— The book lists for $49.99, but you can usually get editions like this for a lot less if you shop around.
— It must be noted that DC has not formally solicited this book yet, which means everything is subject to change – especially since over the last year or so, the publisher has yanked a few titles it had originally planned to release. Keep your eyes peeled.
— Don’t forget that the Batman #232 Facsimile Edition is due Aug. 21. Click here for more info.
— NEAL ADAMS’ 13 Greatest BATMAN Covers – RANKED. Click here.
— DENNY O’NEIL Talks the Origin of Ra’s al Ghul. Click here.