Why Can’t Batman be a Hero?

Batman No. 32 cover.
Blood on his hands: Batman is worse than his adversaries these days in the DCU.

In the new DC Comics miniseries, “Batman: White Knight,” the Caped Crusader’s vigilante methods have turned so brutal, an apparently sane Joker vows to defend Gotham City and stop his reign of terror.

In the current arc playing out in “Detective Comics,” a Batman from the future has stepped back to the present convinced he can prevent his timeline from ever coming into play by murdering Batwoman.

In the “Dark Nights: Metal” series, powerful, sadistic versions of Batman have escaped from the dark universe to destroy earth.

What do all these stories all have in common?

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Gold in the Dollar Bin

My local comics shop is a rarity in the Boston area.

It has massive tables loaded with dollar boxes, ones that are replenished regularly.

I’ve been spending a lot of time there, much more than at the new arrival shelves.

I’ve recently come across great runs of such titles as “The Warlord,” “Night Force,” “The Outsiders” and “West Coast Avengers.”

Most of the comics are from the ’80s and ’90s, but I often find books going as far back as the ’60s, such as a “Sub-Mariner” or a Gold Key “Zorro.”

And then there was the latest gem I came across:

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DC Gets its Freak on with the Doom Patrol

Negative Man! Elasti-Girl! Automaton? The Doom Patrol debuted in 'My Greatest Adventure' No. 80.
Negative Man! Elasti-Girl! Automaton? The Doom Patrol debuted in ‘My Greatest Adventure’ No. 80.

Like many fabulous things, the Doom Patrol was born out of desperation.

It was late 1962, and DC’s “My Greatest Adventure” faced cancellation.

Started in 1955, “My Greatest Adventure” was one of DC’s many anthology books that ran amok with weird sci-fi tales, such as “I Was the Hunted Man-Bird of Mystery Mesa!” (in issue No. 75) and “Cure Our Robot Ruler – or Die” (in issue No. 77).

Gee, you’d think with stories like that, the comics would be flying off the shelves.

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Did Warner Bros. License a Wonder Woman Sex Doll?

 

“Previews” is the monthly catalog for comic book stores and their fan-boy and fan-girl customers to peruse upcoming merchandise. The thing runs over 600 pages a month, and is a look into what’s going to be hot (or not) in comics and related merchandise.

In the latest issue, amid the ads for new comics, graphic novels, trading cards and Funko figures, there appeared the most curious solicitation: 

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