Underrated Creator Runs- Marvel part 2

In the last part I looked at Geoff Johns’ Avengers, and this part is somewhat similar, in that the writer is also a big name for other projects, and the character is pretty popular.

In the early part of the 2000’s, Marvel launched their Marvel Knights line, which was headlined by Kevin Smith writing Daredevil, with art by Marvel Knights editor/comic artist/eventual Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, which saw Bullseye, Daredevil’s longtime enemy, kill Karen Page, Daredevil’s longtime girlfriend. Following their run was the hugely popular, highly acclaimed run by Brian Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, which saw Daredevil get married to a blind girl named Mila, Daredevil ‘dethroning’ the Kingpin and getting both Kingpin and Bullseye arrested. Oh, it also had Daredevil’s secret identity as blind attorney Matt Murdock revealed to the world. Following up their run would take something special, and maybe just as importantly, someone willing to pick up where Bendis left off, namely having Matt Murdock disbarred and placed in prison for being Daredevil.

Enter: Ed Brubaker. His first arc, ‘The Devil in Cell Block D’, is as good a Daredevil story as you can find.

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The 5 Best Batman Stories You’ve Probably Never Read

So everyone knows about Year One and the Dark Knight Returns.  A lot of people know about The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, and most people who have ever read a Batman comic know about the Killing Joke (after Year One, my personal favorite). But those have been discussed, dissected, and praised into the ground.

I’d like to tell you about 5 Batman stories that you probably have never heard of, much less read before. One of them is an “Elseworlds” story, which was an imprint DC Comics used to tell stories about their characters in completely different situations than you would normally find them, much like Marvel’s “What If…?”. For instance, in an Elseworlds story you might see Batman become a vampire and fight Dracula, or see what would have happened if Kal-El’s rocket ends up being discovered by a young Gotham couple before they ever have a son of their own, a couple named Thomas and Martha Wayne… Another of the stories I’m going to talk about isn’t an Elseworlds story, but it doesn’t really ‘count’ in the Batman continuity, as it takes place 100 years after the Batman first showed up in Gotham. The others take place in completely different periods in Batman’s career, from the beginning to the ‘dark period’ of the 1980’s to more or less the present.

I present my 5 Batman stores you’ve probably never read.

5. Batman: Year 100

BatmanYear100100 years after Batman first began stalking the streets and rooftops of Gotham city, and things aren’t so great. Big brother is watching everyone all the time, everything is run by gigantic corporations that own and control governments, and there isn’t anybody standing up for the people in Gotham. The police have the capability, but are largely crooked beyond belief. One of the honest Gotham cops, a Lt. Gordon (the great grandson of the Commissioner) does what he can, but it’s not enough. Then there is a gun fight, and a federal agent turns up dead, and the police are shut out of the case. Nothing adds up from the outside, and Gordon can’t figure out what’s going on. Everything seems strange, especially when you add in the bizarre reports of some kind of creature with giant, leather wings that can’t be killed by bullets, is inhumanly fast, and impossibly strong.

We all know who that sounds like….

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Paul Pope writes and draws this entire story, and his artwork is incredible. You see every wrinkle, every fold in Batman’s suit. When he uses gadgets you can see every nut and bolt. The details are great.

 

The story is a little strange as you get into it, as you don’t really know who Batman is until the end, and while it’s a cool reveal, it’s also a bit of a head scratcher, because it’s hard to believe that this person would still be alive after all this time. Regardless, it’s a really interesting take on the Batman mythology, and in my opinion every bit as valid of a possible future for Batman as the Dark Knight Returns was.

 

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