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Batman and Robin
The Strips

Martian Manhunter & J. Hex New!

Superman and The Flash New!

Justice League of America

Jonah Hex

Green Lantern


Green Arrow and The Flash


The Flash


Gotham City Police Dept.

Johnny Thunder and Shazam!

Batman, Green Lantern,
and The Flash


Metal Men

Pete Ross and Lana Lang

Superman & J'onn J'onzz

Charles M. Jones

Batman and Robin

The Flash and Zatanna

Jor-El and Lara

DC Prez Jenette Kahn


Clark Kent and Lois Lane

The Haunted Tank

Superman and Lois Lane

The Unknown Soldier

The Vigilante

The Private Life of Clark Kent

Green Arrow and Black Canary

Sgt. Rock and Easy Company

Witching Hour

Green Arrow, The Human Target,
and Superman

Super Friends

Lois & Clark

Green Arrow & Black Canary

Superman & Jimmy Olsen


Batman & Shazam!

Justice Society of America

Phantom Stranger and
Phantom Girl

Batman and Robin

Black Lightning

Private Life of Clark Kent

Green Arrow and The Warlord

Eclipso / Mr. Mxyzptlk

The Flash & Adam Strange


Lightning Lad & Chameleon Boy

Justice League of America

Wonder Woman

Zatanna and Professor Zoom

Firestorm, the Nuclear Man

Swamp Thing

Gotham City Police Dept.

Bizarro World

The Atom

The Flash and The Mirror Master


The Batman and the Joker

Lex Luthor and Brainiac

The Flash

Enemy Ace

Green Arrow & Black Canary

Hawkman & the Flash

The Phantom Stranger

Legion of Super-Heroes

Green Lantern


Batman and Red Tornado

Green Lantern and the Flash

The Creeper

Robin, the Boy Wonder

Justice League of America

Legion of Super-Heroes

Elongated Man and Plastic Man

Superman Family

The Flash and the Spectre

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen


Hawkman & Hawkgirl


Wildcat & Dr. Fate

Batman & Robin


Plastic Man

Bob 'Answer Man' Rozakis

Batman & the Flash

Green Arrow & Green Lantern

The Atom

Batman & Robin

Coming soon

Jimmy Olsen & Lois Lane

Steve Trevor


Steve Savage

The Flash

Johnny Thunder

Sgt. Rock & Easy Company


Johnny Cloud

Green Lantern

Lois, Clark & Jimmy

Plastic Man

Perry White & Jimmy Olsen

Martian Manhunter

Madame Xanadu

Bruce Wayne


Swamp Thing

Fred Hembeck

Batman and Robin
Uploaded March 1, 2002

DC went back to its roots a few months ago by publishing a ten-cent Batman comic as a promotional experiment. Strictly speaking, the buying power of a 1938 dime was comparatively much greater than that of a 2002 dime, which makes this experiment all the more impressive. DC presumably took a big hit on the financial side to make this happen (one also wonders about negotiations aimed at compensating the creative folks involved for lost royalties), but it was great to read accounts of retailers buying truckloads of the thing to give away as promotional freebies. I hope that this turns out to have worked well for all concerned.

It's certainly made an impression with DC's competition. Marvel tried to snag a bit of the spotlight on the heels of DC's efforts by announcing a nine-cent Fantastic Four book. It's funny, actually, how Marvel's current prez and editor-in-chief keep trying to make noise by insulting DC's business decisions, only to turn around and emulate them seemingly at every turn. Their 'things to do' list to revive Marvel read more like a laundry list of DC's accomplishments, not the least of which has been the significant success of DC's hardcover and trade paperback lines.

Tangent over.

The ten-cent Batman book launched an extended storyline called 'Bruce Wayne: Murderer', in which Batman's alter ego finds himself accused of murdering a girlfriend and imprisoned pending a trial. I had fairly high hopes for this; DC seemed to tout this as a real whodunnit, but having read the twelve chapters, it's been more of a character effort so far, focusing primarily on the reactions of the supporting Batman cast to the arrest and incarceration. The next phase of the story is 'Bruce Wayne: Fugitive'; my hope is that the 'Murderer' phase will have served, in retrospect, as simply the establishment part of the story, with the larger proportion of the plot development (and detective work!) still to come.

There are classic crime noir elements feeding this. The 'innocent man fleeing persecution while searching for the true culprit' is a familiar theme in crime fiction and cinema. Blending this with the super-hero/secret identity element, with the specific psychological dimensions of the Batman character, is a nicely inspired move. I really think that this could be a remarkable achievement in storytelling for DC this year. Thinking ahead a bit, if the Batman Year One feature (based on the story by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli some years back) turns out to be a success, this Murderer/Fugitive/etc. story could make a ready transition to the big screen as well.

As for the real culprit behind the crime for which Bruce has been accused, I think I've got it sussed out. I'm not going to say anything here, for fear of ruining things if it turns out that I'm right, but there are some familiar patterns in the story being told that feel significant. Once the whole thing is over, I'll tag an addendum onto the bottom of the page in which I will either gloat or suck it up and admit to being wrong.

(Hopefully, it will be the former; I got a nice bit of practice gloating on the weekend over the Team Canada win during the gold medal hockey match. With glowing hearts we see thee rise...!)

Addendum: I was wrong. It wasn't Hugo Strange.

- NP

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