Classic Batman Analysis: "Faces" from BATMAN ANNUAL #13 (1989)

1989, from what I can tell, was a weird year of transition for DC Comics. Post-Crisis, Post-Watchmen, Post-Dark Knight Returns/Batman: Year One... they had entered a new era, but it seems like they weren't exactly sure what the hell that MEANT. Batman especially seemed to be affected, and we'll get to that in a moment, but he wasn't the only one. 

Take Green Lantern, for instance. After the main series Green Lantern Corps was canceled, the adventures of Hal Jordan were moved over to Action Comics Weekly (itself a misbegotten attempt at an anthology series filled with such fascinatingly flawed and oddball stories such as Wild Dog and the Secret Six team that nobody remembers, alongside more standard heroes like Deadman and Nightwing), and Hal's new adventures were immediately off to a rocky start. This is truly the most ignominious and forgotten period of Green Lantern history, featuring such career lows for Hal such as Star Sapphire deciding to just up and slaughter Katma Tui for no good fucking reason, the revelation that Hal is fearless because he was LOBOTOMIZED by the power ring, and lowest of all, a story which can only be described best as "Hal Jordan Has No Friends," in which everyone--from Green Arrow to Clark Kent to frickin' ALFRED--pretty much just tell Hal to fuck off.

The the first and third instances were written by James Owsley (later to become Christopher Priest), who, in 1989, wrote a story in Batman Annual #13 which inadvertently served as a companion piece to "Hal Jordan Has No Friends." Think of this story, Faces, best described as, "Batman, I Don't Even KNOW You Anymore." It's set in the period where Batman just began his transition into becoming an aggressive jerkwad and everyone is disappointed in him, especially Jim Gordon and even Harvey Dent.

Oh, and another thing about 1989? The quality of printing and coloring for DC Comics seemed to be at an all-time low. The scanner actually does these pages some favors, but by and large, be prepared for subpar quality throughout. I'd love to see this one remastered down the line, even if it's less of a brilliant story and more of an interesting character study for a Batman in transition...
... Continued over at!

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