Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dick Giordano, RIP

He did not have a terribly long run on Batman as a penciller, although he did quite a few covers, especially in the mid-1970s. I'm pretty sure he was more noted as an inker. But what he did do, was choice. For example, he illustrated the opening story in Detective #500, To Kill a Legend, which is an absolute classic. The Phantom Stranger offers Batman an odd opportunity. On a parallel world, time is lagging about 20 years behind. Thomas and Martha Wayne are about to be murdered. Does he want to prevent the murder?

But Robin tags along anyway. And it appears to be a good thing as he discovers something odd about this other world:

Gradually, he comes to realize that this may be the parallel world's one chance to develop a superhero tradition. Is Batman going to prevent that from happening?

But Robin notices something else:

In the end, though, Batman wins the argument:

He prevents the murder of the Waynes and his sudden appearance has a surprising effect on young Bruce:

Just a wonderful story, with a terrific ending.


  1. One of the best Batman stories of all time. Thanks for spotlighting it! Giordano is indeed in top form here, but it should also be noted that Alan Brennert was one of the best writers ever to handle the character. Even though he only did a scant handful of Batman tales, every single one of them is amazing, a claim very few (if any) other writers can make.

  2. An excellent "twist" ending. Overall, a fine story.

    My mind does well and truly boggle, though, at a human world without any heroic myths, legends or tall tales. Especially if the world does have crime and danger in good supply. It didn't seem to be a vile, evil-rules-the-Earth like that under the Crime Syndicate, so there must be police and other officers of the law. Cops, soldiers, athletes...there will be the best of the best and thus figures to inspire folks to heroics.

    Maybe they just refuse to indulge in SUPER heroic nonsense. Any heroes are within human design specifications. Of course, if Krypton doesn't even exist, there has to be some cosmic party-pooper pulling strings in the background to squelch all possibilities of anyone having powers beyond those of mortal men.

  3. That story sent a chill up my spine when I first read it when I was a kid... continues to do so. Thanks for sharing.

    Fr. Dan

  4. The Twilight Zone meets Batman - how can you go wrong? Love the last panel, too.

  5. In Detective #500, Robin worries what will happen if the parallel world doesn't have a Batman or Superman. In Batman #336, crime in Gotham rises while Batman is out of town. And in ASM #50, "gangs start operating" when Spider-Man is out of commission. Somebody has to protect society from crime, and, as all comics fans know, that somebody is never the police.