Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groove's Faves: "Bat-Murderer!" by Wein and Aparo

What it is, Groove-ophiles! Ol' Groove is in the mood to share one of his all-time fave stories. But first...

When Archie Goodwin ended his tenure as editor of Detective Comics and Julie Schwartz returned to that coveted seat, most of us Bat-fans figured we'd be back to Bat-business as usual. Little did we know what the Dean of DC Editors had in store for us: Len Wein. Jim Aparo. Talia. Batman wanted by the police. Grim. Gritty. Excellent writing. Masterful artwork. Young Groove and his compadres were floored by Detective Comics #444...

Bet you're floored, too, huh?


  1. Man, Aparo was in the zone during the mid 70's. I would put him up against anybody else drawing back in those days. Yes, I was floored, too. That was a great series.


  2. Great stuff, shame DC can't get their great stories into print these days.

    Your pal, Jim

  3. Thanks (again!), Groove. I was such an unsophisticated teen that I actually enjoyed this issue more than I did the Batman-Manhunter team-up in the previous issue. Now I'm old enough to appreciate what Archie Goodwin did---but I STILL like this story!

  4. I agree that this is great art by Jim Aparo, but I cannot understand why you think the writing by Len Wein is any good at all. Very overly purple/melodramatic writing that was overdone even for its day, with a hackneyed plot, etc....even when I bought and read this at the age of 12 or 13, I knew it was a stinker. Comparing this favorably to Goodwin's writing the issue before is ludicrous - Goodwin wrote Batman in character and Len bent Batman's personality to fit the needs of his awful plot. Boy that Commissioner Gordon sure narrates poetically, doesn't he? Batman not recognizing Talia's voice? Gordon filling in blanks he couldn't possibly know about in the flashback/framing scenario, which serves no purpose other than to have that "shocking, unexpected" end to the first chapter of what would turn out to be a boring, predicatable and cliched story? I really like this website, Groove, but sometimes I think you praise a thing just because you liked it as a kid; not EVERYTHING we liked as children stands the test of time and holds up well in the light of today.

    1. Hey, Jeff, I agree with your right to disagree with my opinion, but remember--I'm stating MY opinion (did I ever say otherwise?). If my opinion doesn't jibe with yours, fine, differences in opinion are what make life interesting. I don't expect everyone to like what I like just 'cause I like it--that'd be stupid on my part.

      You're positively right about one thing: I do-indeedy-do praise things I liked as a kid--if I still like 'em. I feel pretty strongly that the things I liked as a kid are superior than what's out there today--especially in "the light of today". That's the point of the blog, dude!

      Still, you could tone down on the judgemental 'tude, Jeff. You have your reasons for not liking Wein's story, I have mine for liking it--what makes your opinion superior? Disagree all you want, but don't condescend, please.


  5. Well, I don't see the superior attitude or condescending tone that you do, but, fair enough - after all, this is your site. I mean, you've referred to me as "judgemental" as well as having a "superior opinion" (think about what that really means - I don't think it means what you think it means) and I apparently "condescend," and yet, nowhere in my first post did I hurl any such criticisms at you - I only criticized Wein's writing. Did I suggest anything about you in my condemnation of Wein's story?
    We DO agree that comic books nowadays are not appealing (have you read Waid's Daredevil? Not bad...). That's why my money usually ends up going for hardbounds and trades that reprint "the good, old stuff."

    1. I guess I took "...but I cannot understand why you think the writing by Len Wein is any good at all..." personally, Jeff. If you didn't mean it that way, my bad. But "Groove, but sometimes I think you praise a thing just because you liked it as a kid; not EVERYTHING we liked as children stands the test of time and holds up well in the light of today." sure made me feel like I was being talked down to.

      Ah, life's too short to waste it arguing. I still like the story, you don't, big deal. Like you say, we agree more than we disagree, so let's shake and move along, okay?

      And yeah, I enjoy Waid's DD more than most of what's out there, but I still wish it wasn't so decompressed. Love the tone and experimentation with the storytelling, though!

  6. Thank you,Mr Groove!
    I for one believe that Batman did kill Talia.
    He killed Silver and Selina and...and all of Bruce Wayne's
    Yeah,that's the ticket!
    Batman is a massmurderer!Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!
    /Mr Anonymous
    p.s.Kidding aside,Jim Aparo is da bomb!

    1. Mr A, you are one funny dude! Thanx for the laugh!

  7. i'm with you all the way groove dude,the bat-murderer storyline definitely captivated me as a teen at that time.Interesting plot.awesome aparo art,can't imagine why dc hasn't reprinted it.



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