Comic Vine News

56 Comments

Off My Mind: Why DETECTIVE COMICS Needs to be More Like ACTION COMICS in The New 52

With so much unknown about the 'early days' of the DC heroes, one of the many Batman titles could easily focus on them.

Batman Batman Batman. We can never get enough Batman. There has always been multiple Batman titles. When DC Comics started the 'New 52' and relaunched all their titles, they gave us BATMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS, BATMAN AND ROBIN and BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT. Bat-fans have been lucky in there haven't been major changes in the Bat-universe.

Despite this, there are still some ripple effects that are bound to show up. Changes in titles like JUSTICE LEAGUE or others involving characters Batman interacts with will cause little changes in Batman's history. First encounters and the changing of origins are happening.

2123861-bat7c.jpg

Because we have four different Batman comics, plus his appearances in JUSTICE LEAGUE and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL, isn't there room for one of the existing Bat-titles to tell the tales of Batman's earlier days just like ACTION COMICS is doing with Superman?

== TEASER ==
2123876-b1.jpg

Back in September, I brought up the question of how much of DC's history is lost with 'The New 52' back in September. Most of the current Batman books haven't focused on the classic villains. We have seen some of Joker and Two-Face, but what about their first encounters with Batman? Scott Snyder did mention in an interview that all the writers talked about possibly making some changes with the villains but, in the end, agreed they didn't need any changes.

That still doesn't mean that the earlier days are still the same. Did Batman still get his back broken by Bane? Did Contagion still happen? What about Cataclysm? When did Batman and Superman discover each other's identities? There are so many questions that we don't have the answers to.

Because the mood in the DC Universe is anti-hero, that means the way Batman has had to operate has been different. That would also change the way the villains operate and the way Batman would interact or meet others for the first time. ACTION COMICS has given us some pretty big changes while not necessarily changing who Superman is or will be in the current time in SUPERMAN. Events have, first interactions between characters and some origins have changed a tiny bit. Regardless, we are still getting some great stories out of ACTION COMICS and the same could happen with Batman in his earlier days.

Did this or other events ever happen?
Did this or other events ever happen?

Before the 'New 52' we had BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL which gave us unseen adventures from Batman's early days. A problem with that title is the stories didn't feel like they actually mattered. They were mainly lost stories that couldn't have any real impact on the current titles because there was never any mention of the events or any new characters introduced.

With the 'New 52' titles, it has been said that the writers are working closely together. They might be sharing stories and ideas but there isn't exactly a tight feel between the books. (This is a good thing because you can enjoy each book separately without having to worry about events from another title).

Because each book has a separate feel, there is room for one of the titles to shift its focus onto the past. The reason DETECTIVE is singled out is because that was Batman's first comic, the same way that ACTION COMICS was Superman's first.

In order to make these stories from the past matter more, writers could still work together on these events. If something is going to happen in the past, there could be repercussions seen in another title taking place in the present. This is the time to go back and look at those early days. JUSTICE LEAGUE took place five years ago but what was Batman up to before meeting Hal Jordan for the first time?

The Golden Age and Silver Age gave us some really great (and sometimes crazy) stories. It would be great to see some of those ideas updated instead of being buried in the past and erased from continuity. There's always going to be plenty of Batman stories to tell but when there's four ongoing monthly titles plus his appearances in JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL and any other guest appearances, it can be too much at one time. Readers are forced to overlook the question of how Batman can be having so many adventures and be in so many places in one month. If we're going to have four ongoing Batman titles, lets have one focus on his younger days to get some stories with a different feel.