Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Single Issue Hall of Fame: Detective Comics Annual #4
The whole Armageddon 2001 thing at DC really caught my attention back in 1991. I was between my last year of high school and first year of university so I had a lot of time on my hands to read comics. In the end, it was a pretty big letdown - but I must admit to having been swept away during the build up. As a kid, I loved 'What If?', so it was nice to see some great imaginary stories in these Annuals. This one is superb - the kind of epic story that can only be told in an over sized Annual. It begins with Batman sustaining permanent injuries during an escape from Ra's Al Ghul's henchmen (essentially - he breaks his back). Tim Drake has a some really bad luck while replacing him, and Bruce is forced to don the cape and cowl after doing some cybernetic adjustments. Like many of these Armageddon 2001 stories - it doesn't end well, but that's the beauty of this non-canon stories. It's certainly grim and gritty - but Louise Simonson's script has a lot of heart. To this day, I am still supremely impressed by Tom Grindberg's artwork on this Annual. It is 50+ pages of near perfection. At times I feel that he is intentionally channeling Neal Adams, while at other times (especially some of the fights), I feel like he's trying to recreate the fluidity of Marshall Rogers. This one is a keeper and worth tracking down as a stand alone Batman Elseworlds story.