In my previous two Bat-articles, I have discussed specific periods in the evolution of The Caped Crusader. Two weeks ago, I covered the earliest Batman stories, while last Monday I looked at how thirty years later, Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams redefined The Dark Knight. Today, I would like to move forward in time again to 1990 and examine an assortment of Batman and Detective Comics issues which roughly covers a year. With this time jump, I shall be entering the period where I was buying Batman comics off the racks as new releases. Some of these stories I read at the time, some I skipped over, though I haven’t looked at any of them for a couple decades.
I am also going to alter my format a little, and break my piece into capsule discussions of the different storylines. There is a fair bit of material here by a variety of creators, and this strikes me as the best way to give everyone their fair share.
Continue reading Batman Enters the 90s
by Mike Costa and Andre Araujo
You ever notice while you are reading a comic book you have a parallel memory running in your head. That’s what happens to me. Even crazier, as soon as I notice it, I can’t really remember how the memory relates anymore. My name is Dean Manness and when I get bored or frustrated…happy or excited…hungry or sleepy, I read comics.
Spider-verse #1 is of course another Secret Wars tie in. However, as each book does, it brings it’s own twist to the characters. The Spider-verse is home to a number of Spider-Men and Spider-Women. It appears they are all having an identity crisis. None of these Spidey’s knows who they are or what they are doing in Battleworld. The oversized issue is focused on Gwen Stacey as she opens the issue as well as closes it. Each Spider-Man has their own way of dealing with the confusion, which was the most interesting part of the story line. Costa has taken multiple characters, who seemingly are all going through the same loss in memory and given them all unique voices, along with different ways of handling their unfortunate situation. One Spider-Man is using his scientific mind to figure out a way to not only use his confusion to aid his spider sense but also to find out what connects them all. While another is actively searching for answers in the workplace of her killer.
There are two internal monologues, one by Gwen and one by Pavitr. Both give you a sense of what is going on inside the heads of these confused heroes. Gwen’s monologue, which I parodied above, expresses how she gets faint reminders of her life, but then they fade and she is left to try and fit together the fuzzy pieces of the world she is in, a world where she is presumably dead. Pavitr talks of deja vu and presque vu meaning “already seen” and “almost seen” respectively. He relates his gut feelings as a “if you build it, they will come” moment. A moment that only the movies can teach you about, although he isn’t entirely sure that movie he is referencing even exists. These internalized thoughts mixed with a handful of witty Spider-Men make for an enjoyable issue.
Spider-Gwen is the star here. I will leave you with one of her quotes to prove my point.
“I spent two whole weeks working out the angles of the cameras. I even used a protractor. Have you used a protractor once since the eighth grade? Of course not. You’re not a kick-butt super hero.”
Spider-verse isn’t just fun and jokes, we are going to be lead on an emotional awakening with these characters. This book is better than you thought it would be.