Jul. 23rd, 2014
BATMAN #600, the final part of "Bruce Wayne: Murderer" had Batman say "There is no Bruce Wayne," get into a fistfight with Nightwing, and then run away to one of the mini-caves around Gotham. Also, Jason's memorial case got smashed because that's what happens when there is a fight in the Batcave. And then "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" starts This is to provide context.
( Batman visits the East End )
Case in point: Detective Comics #638, written by one of Batman's most under-appreciated scribes: Peter Milligan. Now, Milligan is typically far more famous in Marvel/Vertigo circles, but pound for pound, the handful of Batman stories he did are almost all treasures. Even "Dark Knight, Dark City", decried by many as being a needless grimdarking of the Riddler, has its charms as an old-school horror story, and the Riddler's atypically violent behavior is not only explained, but pretty explicitly temporary.
But we're not here to talk about that today. No, we're here to talk about a far more obscure story known simply as... "The Bomb".
( A tale of destruction, doubt, and double-crosses behind the cut! )
From the cover of Wimmen's Comix #4 (1974; art by Shelby Sampson)
By 1970, the underground comix field had come into its own as a creators' alternative to Comics Code restrictions on language, art and subject matter. This freer, "anything goes" environment was a positive development for comic books overall (otherwise I wouldn't be making all these posts about it). But it also had a darker side: an increased emphasis on content that was brutally degrading to women, and the exclusion of women creators from the most popular comix titles.
( Feminist cartoonists to the rescue! (Trigger warning for sexism/misogyny) )