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Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been telling some really big stories in the current BATMAN series. We just saw the finale to the fight between Batman and Joker in Endgame. Before that, we had the massive Zero Year, Death of the Family, and the Court of Owls story. But those aren't the only stories being told in the BATMAN series. There has been several side stories in between or during these arcs and now they are collected in the latest hardcover volume, Graveyard Shift.

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It's easy to just get caught up in the bigger stories. There have been several other important ones that shouldn't be overlooked. If you've been collecting the hardcover releases, you may have noticed some of these stories missing.

In a lot of ways, having a collection of the single and side stories is great. While we love the long epic stories, sometimes you just want a shorter one to bite into. Scott Snyder is capable of writing these shorter stories and the collection also contains some of the back up ones by James Tynion IV.

BATMAN #0

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The volume fittingly begins with the zero issue. This gave us our first glimpse of Zero Year. With the Red Hood Gang terrorizing Gotham, we saw a young Bruce Wayne attempt to infiltrate the gang before he fully established himself as Batman.

Seeing this version of Bruce and his tense relationship with Alfred, and even Gordon, was a bit of a surprise.

The zero issue back up by Tynion follows. Here we get to see Barbara, Tim, Jason, and Dick before they were pulled into Batman's life.

BATMAN #18

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This was the Requiem issue after a Damian was gone. Each of the various Requiem told a different stage of grief. With Harper Row and her brother, Cullen, returning to the pages here, it's kind of weird seeing them back then as they, or at least Harper, has rose up in Batman's inner circle.

The story also featured art by Andy Kubert. The back up from this issue was co-written by Snyder and Tynion with art by Alex Maleev.

BATMAN #19 & 20

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What?!? Why is Bruce Wayne holding a gun and why is he pointing it at Gordon?!?

This was the two-part story that had that big shocking gatefold cover. The explanation was interesting and even took that particular character to a different level.

These two issues also contained a two-part back up by Tynion with art by Alex Maleev having Batman and Superman team up against the supernatural.

BATMAN ANNUAL #2

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Co-written with Marguerite Bennett with art by Wes Craig, this story introduced us to a character by the name of Eric Border. Little did we know the true story behind this character. It's a little weird going back and reading this story, seeing his role in the big catastrophe that takes place at Arkham. It might make you scratch your head a little.

BATMAN #34

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This story was co-written by Gerry Duggan with art by Matteo Scalera. This darker story didn't feature one of Batman's colorful villains. Instead, the gritty story featured a serial killer targeting a certain portion of Gotham. We also get another look at Eric Border in this story as well. You start to see some of the pieces fall together before Endgame and ARKHAM MANOR begins.

BATMAN #28

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This was the big Spoiler issue. In the midst of the Zero Year arc, this issue gave us a peek into the future of Batman with a look at what we could expect during the weekly BATMAN ETERNAL series. There were quite a few shocks contained here as we saw Harper's role with Batman, what Catwoman's new status was, and of course, there was a certain character that showed up at the end that made many cheer.

The volume also contains some of the variant covers for the issues above.

Is this volume for you? Of course if you've been buying the other hardcover volumes, you'll want to this add to your collection. Chances are, you've already read these stories in the monthly issues. It could also make a good gift for the newer comic book/Batman reader looking for some smaller, more digestible stories that can be read in small doses.

BATMAN Volume 6: Graveyard Shift is now on sale in comic shops and on sale in book stores and online on May 5.

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#1 Posted by AllStarSuperman (43136 posts) - - Show Bio

A trade for just filler issues? Thats a little weird.

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#2 Posted by CaptainHoopla (1974 posts) - - Show Bio

I enjoyed issue 34. Having Matteo Scalera draw it was an excellent treat.

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#3 Posted by UltimatePower6 (609 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm really excited for this, with just recently shifting to trade-waiting, and being a complete completionist, this trade of the missing issues are like the ten commandments (although not as important) handed to you personally. I was so ticked off that I would somehow buy the missing issues with just the singles, but now I can start reading Batman again! (and no I didn't wait until they published this just to read batman, I like the soft covers and I wanted to buy vol 5 and 6 together since its one long story arc)

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#4 Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

@ultimatepower6: @captainhoopla:Exactly. Even though these issues weren't part of a huge story arc, they were good and had their importance. It's funny, you see some people complain that Snyder's stories are too long. Then when he does a single or two-part story, people complain about those either. I think this is a pretty cool collection with smaller tastes in the overall Batman series.

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#5 Posted by Surza7 (353 posts) - - Show Bio

@g_man: it reminds me of that Batman TAS episode of Legends Of The Dark Knight and I really dig the stories.

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#6 Posted by superior_prime_maybe (1360 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool!

Except for the damian one i liked them all.

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#7 Edited by Kingthunder99 (164 posts) - - Show Bio

loved this book especially the part when Damian and Batman beat Reaper and they have that heart felt moment about sniffing the flowers and Damian being embarrassed that he was poisoned awwwwwww just loved it was so worth picking it up.

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#8 Posted by Randomtask (36 posts) - - Show Bio

Ahhh I was hoping DC was going to release these issues eventually, they may not maje as good a collection as Zero Year or Death Of The Family but they're part of Snyder's run and all have their own merits.
Shame we don't have the Snyder story in Detective #27, especially considering the cover, and the Fawkes/Snyder Futures End which was a kinda prequel to that

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#9 Edited by That60sGuy (318 posts) - - Show Bio

@g_man I've switched to buying the softcover TPBs after the first Zero Year story arc and none of the ones I'm waiting for are out yet. Do the TPBs include full issues including backup stories? I know the first two TPBs that had Court of Owls stories had the backups.

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#10 Edited by Battle_Forum_Junkie (10331 posts) - - Show Bio

@captainhoopla said:

I enjoyed issue 34. Having Matteo Scalera draw it was an excellent treat.

It had a very "Legends of the Dark Knight" feel to it. I quite liked it as well.

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#11 Posted by Squalleon (9994 posts) - - Show Bio

Ι would buy it for issue 34 only :P

The others are welcomed extras.

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#12 Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

@that60sguy: I'm pretty sure the TPBs have the same content. You could always check someplace like Amazon that lists the number of pages.

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#13 Edited by kennybaese (1241 posts) - - Show Bio

I kind of wish that these random issues had been tacked on to the other trades, but as a trade waiter I'm glad that they're being released one way or another.

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#14 Edited by nickxh (371 posts) - - Show Bio

Bought this on Free Comic Book Day. Issue 34 was definitely my favourite. issue 28 and The Clayface two parter (19-20) were also great short stories. Definitely had a Saturday morning cartoon vibe with each stories being self contained and it was a nice breather between Zero Year and Endgame (when it comes out on trade in September or October). By the way, why isn't Matteo Scalera drawing more Batman? It is an absolute crime that he is not on a Batman book.