The Untold Legend of the Batman mini-series
Even back in 1980 DC was having continuity problems, as this mini-series strives to summarize everything that did and didn’t happen to Batman throughout the golden and silver age. Inside, you will find a mystery (characteristic of most silver age Batman stories) and re-told origins of Batman and all of the supporting cast (Alfred, Robin, Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon, Lucius Fox, Two-Face and the Joker). Of course, all of this becomes ret-conned and irrelevant post-Crisis, but is still very entertaining to read.
Bombshells that are dropped:
- Young Bruce Wayne was the original Robin
- After being orphaned, young Bruce Wayne lives with his Uncle Philip
- Alfred only becomes Bruce’s butler much later in Bruce’s life
In 1989, to coincide with the Batman movie marketing bonanza, it was reprinted and each issue had an accompanying audio cassette that contained a dramatic reading of the story. It was also reprinted again in a smaller format as a premium for the Batman breakfast cereal.
The first issue was penciled by John Byrne, the remaining two by Jim Aparo.
One of my favorite Batman historians to read is Chris Sims. He has his own blog, Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog, and he is a regular contributor to Comics Alliance. Very well-versed in the realm of Batman and many other comic book-related things.
This is one of those books which I’d consider utterly essential reading for any true Batman fan, since it’s pretty much all of Pre-Crisis Batman condensed into a single short narrative over three issues. It also features some of Aparo’s very best Batman art ever. Why it’s not in print is beyond me. Track these issues down however you can.