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Batman: Strange Apparitions [Paperback]

Steve Englehart
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1 1999 Batman Beyond (DC Comics)
Journey inside the mind of the Dark Knight Detective in this collection featuring the best of 1970s Batman stories.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning... June 3 2003
This collection of Batman tales remains one of the most engaging, fun, and brilliantly wrought sagas of the Detective's long and storied history. Steve Engleheart pens a classic with the Joker fish, and Silver St.Clair stands as one of the more memorable and alluring love interests that the Batman has had over the years. However, as has been said before (yet cannot be emphasized enough) the real attraction here is the artwork, which (sadly enough) marked the pinnacle of Marshall Rogers' career, and remains one of "the" definitive renditions of the character (alongside such luminaries as Neal Adams, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Alan Davis, and Dave Mazzuchelli- look for their work). Ably abetted by Terry Austin in the height of his prowess (see Essential X-Men vol.2 for more of his very best work with joltin' Johnny Byrne), the Batman as presented in this collection is truly awe-inspiring and larger than life. Or, in other words- THIS BOOK IS BEAUTIFUL! An "art-fan's" delight. Not only that, if you are looking for "classic" Batman- the gentleman detective-cum-player, the swingin' bachelor with a keen intellect and a penchant for fisticuffs, well, you can't go wrong with this one. Top drawer, people, top drawer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pages Alive With Atmosphere! March 27 2002
It was a dark and stormy night. (or should that be Knight?) "It's Joker weather," says Commissioner Gordon. "True Commissioner," says Chief O'Hara, "But it's also tailor made for him!" The Batman is a character who needs lots of atmosphere. Darkness, rain, lightning, tall dark buildings, smoking gangsters, skinny trees bereft of leaves, all this and more fill the very affordable paperback collection of some of the best Batman stories ever produced. BATMAN: STRANGE APPARITIONS collects the beautifully drawn and superbly written DETECTIVE COMICS 469-476 and 478, 479 from 1977-1978. Some have called these issues "the definitive Batman." It was these stories that got the ball rolling on making a big budget and serious Batman movie and you can definitely see that many of the ideas from that movie came from these stories.
These pages are alive with atmosphere! Artist Marshall Rogers' panels literally drip down the page and capes slither behind the storyboards. Rogers sometimes lets the design of his panels tell the story as much as the art within them. When characters talk on the phone the panel's edges are drawn like phone cords. Sometimes panels rest on top of full-page illustrations that most artists would weep before covering up. Rogers is teamed for the most part with the incredibly talented inker Terry Austin. Together they provide pictures that are at once moody and sharp and exquisitely defined. When Batman menaces a thug you believe it. When Bruce Wayne has a nightmare you feel it. This artwork is a joy to look at and if the story were rotten it would still be worth buying this collection just to see the Batman look like the Batman should!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Batman? Sept. 29 2000
Certainly one of the best runs ever on the Batman - portrayed appropriately by writer Steve Englehart not as a psychotic, vengeful terrorist of some sort but as an adventurer/detective born of a lifelong desire to see that no child would come to the end of their childhood as violently as he had. Justice being the goal, but not at the expense of life (any life), he adopted this identity to work with law enforcement, in a manner which they could not. Artist Marshall Rogers appropriately renders the Batman with the build of a gymnast/martial artist - fitting for one skilled in all manner of each and inker/embellisher Terry Austin brings further character and mood to these renderings. There might well be a better depiction of the Batman, but one would be hard pressed to find it. Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" from the mid-1980's (which is said to have inspired the Batman films in the late 80's) is often cited as the height of the Batman's lore, but was intended as a tale outside the current Batman stories - a story of a possible future, 10 years after his retirement and a tale of hope and redemption mired in a dark, grim and gritty world. Unfortunately, those who followed Miller focused solely on the "dark, grim and gritty" and superimposed that mood upon the character of the Batman. "Strange Apparitions" by Engelhart and Rogers is, in my own opinion, a much better rendition of the Batman. Beautiful art and engaging story for juvenile fiction fans old and young alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Look For The Batman Jan. 13 2000
By A Customer
This came out before Dark Knight and Englehart and Rogers developed a definitve look for the Batman. The artwork is stunning and you get a lot of insight of the man behind the mask (my life goes crazy sometimes). Even Robin, the Joker, and Penguin look great. The Penguin is written as a true criminal mastermind instead of as the comic relief character he is often portrayed as. The Joker story is chilling and is a landmark story for the Clown Prince of Crime (this is why a lot of his pinups have Joker fish on them). Englehart and Rogers did a great job on the run of the Batman and it is too bad that they never collaborated on Batman stories again. They had a great understanding of the characters and their histories (the use of oversized props and an obscure early character Hugo Strange). Buy this today, as this belongs on any Bat-lover's bookshelf.
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