I love these alternative designs that Fabio Castro came up with for four Batman graphic novels. Seriously, I want to trade in my current editions of Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns for these. And I’d buy The Killing Joke and Under the Red Hood just to complete the set.
But it got me wondering; especially Under the Red Hood, which doesn’t seem to belong in the same collection as those others. I suspect that Castro included it simply because he wanted something to fit a red cover. I’m not picking on him. Maybe I’m wrong and Under the Red Hood is absolutely a classic, but even if it’s not, I still love Castro’s cover. It just got me thinking about what the truly great Batman stories are. Year One and The Dark Knight Returns are no-brainers, and while I don’t especially care for The Killing Joke, I understand how its writer and the effect it had on Barbara Gordon make it “important.” But what other Batman stories deserve to go next to those? Hush? A Death in the Family? Knightfall?
I’m genuinely asking. What’s the Batman canon? Sound off in the comments.
[In case you were wondering, my coverage of the new DC solicits will appear here next week.]
If thissuperhero-canonstuff focused on influence, and not craft, I imagine there would be little argument that “Flash Of Two Worlds” (from The Flash vol. 1 #123, September 1961) would definitely compete for the top spot. It kicked off the era of the DC Multiverse (1961-1985); and it remained an important milestone in the shared universe which followed. Still, although we’re not talking about influence here, I think “FOTW” has earned a spot among the best superhero stories for its approach to DC’s first “intergenerational” team-up.