Batman: Strange Apparitions is the name retroactively given to creators Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers' fan-favorite run on Detective Comics. Steve Englehart actually only worked on Detective Comics #469–476, an
Batman: Strange Apparitions is the name retroactively given to creators Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers' fan-favorite run on Detective Comics. Steve Englehart actually only worked on Detective Comics #469–476, and Marshall Rogers Detective Comics #471–479, but in collected works all of the issues are encompassed into the title. Englehart worked on his first two issues with artist Walt Simonson, and Rogers finished off underneath writer Len Wein.
The storyline was published in 1977 and it is notable for reintroducing forgotten Golden Age characters like Hugo Strange and Deadshot, while also introducing new and relevant characters to the Batman mythos like Doctor Phosphorus, Rupert Thorne, Clayface III and what could be considered one of the best romantic partners of the Batman, Silver St. Cloud.
The run also included the epic storyline "The Laughing Fish" and "Sign of the Joker", which are considered among the best Batman stories ever told.
Strange Apparitions deals with a number of elements coming to a head at one point in Batman's life. A new villain appears in Gotham City, Doctor Phosphorus, who terrorizes the town by contaminating the water supply. He also blackmails the city council (whom he had previously held ties to), demanding that they remove Batman from his path. This political pressure is fronted by Rupert Thorne, local corrupt boss. Along with the two new ones, an older, forgotten Batman foe appears, the nefarious Hugo Strange, who both discovers Bruce Wayne's identity, and usurps it. Batman also comes into conflict with Deadshot and The Joker. All of this is made much more complicated by Wayne's introduction to Silver St. Cloud, a local socialite who just might be the first person to truly penetrate his emotional barriers.
- Detective Comics #469 – (By Death's Eerie Light! and The Origin of Doctor Phosphorus)
- Detective Comics #470 – (The Master Plan of Doctor Phosphorus!)
- Detective Comics #471 – (The Dead Yet Live)
- Detective Comics #472 – (I Am the Batman!)
- Detective Comics #473 – (The Malay Penguin)
- Detective Comics #474 – (The Deadshot Ricochet)
- Detective Comics #475 – (The Laughing Fish)
- Detective Comics #476 – (Sign of the Joker!)
- Detective Comics #478 – (The Coming of... Clayface III!)
- Detective Comics #479 – (If a Man be Made of Clay)
- Englehart and Rogers would eventually work together again on a mini-series called Batman: Dark Detective (Volume 1).
Links and References
- Collected Edition review at Line of Fire Reviews
- Steve Englehart at Wikipedia.org
- Marshall Rogers at Wikipedia.org
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