An issue-by-issue exploration of Englehart and Rogers’ seminal Detective Comics run with the writer himself…
Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers’ landmark run on Detective Comics in the late ’70s is, simply put, the greatest Batman story ever told.
I love Batman: Year One. I love The Dark Knight Returns. I love the original Ra’s al Ghul saga. I love The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge!
Each is a masterpiece and each has an enormous and profound legacy.
But the Englehart-Rogers run — called variously Shadow of the Batman, Strange Apparitions and, by the creators, the original Dark Detective — is the only Batman story that gives you everything want.
It’s not an origin story. It’s not a final story. It’s not a globehopping adventure that takes Batman out of his natural environs. And it offers much more than even a spectacular single issue could provide.
It’s Batman at the height of his powers, in Gotham, with new and familiar allies — Robin, Alfred, Gordon and Silver St. Cloud — and new and familiar adversaries: the Joker, the Penguin, Hugo Strange, Deadshot, Dr. Phosphorus and Rupert Thorne.
It too is a masterpiece with an enormous and profound legacy.
The complete story has finally been collected for the first time in hardcover and in the way Englehart envisioned it. It’s part of a collection called Tales of the Batman: Steve Englehart and with the book newly released, the time is perfect to go back and look at the story from every conceivable angle.
There have been a million interviews about this run. I’ve talked to Englehart myself about it in the past. So why is this different? Because for the first time, the writer is giving his commentary an issue at a time — in some cases panel by panel.
So welcome to INSIDE THE BATMAN: THE STEVE ENGLEHART INTERVIEWS. Every weekend throughout the summer, Englehart and I will discuss all eight chapters of the story in detail. His comments, culled from three hours of discussion over two nights, are thought-provoking, revealing and greatly entertaining.
We’re kicking things off with a prelude that revisits how the entire project came about. Click here to check that out.
And we’ll be updating this post with links throughout the series, so make sure you bookmark this.
Now, let’s light up the Batsignal.
— PRELUDE: STEVE ENGLEHART: ‘I Wanted to Do the Definitive BATMAN’. Click here.
— PART 1: DETECTIVE COMICS #469 — DR. PHOSPHORUS and the Rise of a BATMAN Classic. Click here.