In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating with the official celebration of Batman’s anniversary at the end of July. The last installment will deal with Batman stories, but this month will be about Batman’s writers and artists (40 artists and 35 writers).
You all voted, now here are the results! Here is a master list of all the writers and artists featured so far. We begin with Batman writers #35-31.
NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.
NOTE #2: I made the same transcription error on both the writers list and the artists list, so as it turns out, Ty Templeton did not actually make the Top 35. I’ll leave him here as an honorable mention.
Kelley Puckett and Ty Templeton
Ty Templeton narrowly edged out Kelley Puckett, but both JUST missed the list. It is fitting that they were next to each other as they were both the main writers for DC’s marvelously entertaining series of comics based on the Batman: The Animated Series. These comics were mostly written by Puckett (who was the original writer on Batman Adventures) and Templeton (who followed with Batman: Gotham Adventures as well as writing the most issues of the follow-up series after that, Batman and Robin Adventures).
Both Templeton and Puckett has an impressive knack for telling all-ages tales that still were both heartfelt and, most importantly, affecting (while still often a good deal of fun).
A great example of their work was the final three-part story in Batman Adventures which began with part 1 by Puckett, part 2 co-written by both and then part 3 by Templeton. The story was about Hugo Strange, whose son David was murdered by one of Rubert Thorne’s men. Strange is so distraught by the memory of his dead son that he develops a means of eliminating bad memories. He uses his device on Batman. The amnesiac Batman is taken in by Catwoman who makes him her partner in crime and he is thrilled about it. Even when he is convinced that he is really Batman, he is a carefree and happy Batman. Eventually he realizes that he needs his memories to be effective, so he uses Strange’s machine to bring the painful memories back (it’s a great scene – I featured it on the Artists countdown for Mike Parobeck, artist of the three issues). Strange, though, has also used the machine, but remembers enough to know to kill the Rubert Thorne bodyguard who killed David. He thinks he is saving David, but obviously it is too late to do so as David is already dead. Thorne’s OTHER bodyguard is about to kill Strange when Batman and Robin show up…
See? Touching, heartfelt, all ages without being too childish but at the same time, with a nice little touch of fun thrown in with Catwoman. Great, great stuff.
35. France “Ed” Herron
Ed Herron wrote for a lot of DC Comics during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s (he was the main writer for Green Arrow throughout the decade), but he did not do a lot of work on Batman. The issues he did do, though, were very influential, as Grant Morrison used both Herron’s Man-of-the-Bats idea…
as well as the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh
during Morrison’s acclaimed Batman run. Herron returned to the title to do a more regular stint on the books at the start of the “New Look” Era of the Batman titles. He passed away after only a few years of stories, but he was a big piece of the revitalization of Batman in the 1960s, leading to the successful Batman TV series (did you know that the Batman TV series was very similar to the comics of the time? The Green Hornet TV show, though, was darker because the source material for the Green Hornet was darker, as well).
34. Paul Pope
The amazing thing about Paul Pope to me is that he had a strong legacy of great Batman stories before he even put together his greatest Batman work, Batman Year 100. His take on what if Batman had been created in Berlin during the late 1930s is stunning.
His take on Robin and Batman’s relationship in “Teenage Sidekick” during Pope’s Solo issue was clever and brilliantly told. Then he did his Batman masterpiece, the four-part Batman Year 100 storyline, detailing a world where there are cameras everywhere and no privacy for anyone -and yet the Batman still exists. Pope creates a stark future where the world needs someone like Batman more than ever and because of the starkness, the sheer over-the-top adventure of Batman stands out even more than usual.
33. John Wagner/Alan Grant
Wagner and Grant only worked together on Detective Comics for five issues, but in just those five issues they brought a real breath of fresh air to the title. Their first story line introduced the classic Batman villain, the Ventroloquist, and set up an epic run between Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle when Wagner left the title after issue #587.
32. Alan Brennert
Alan Brennert did not write a whole lot of Batman comics, but his percentage of stories written that turned out to be classic Batman stories is right up there with the very best of them. Besides his acclaimed Elseworlds graphic novel, Holy Terror (what if Batman is a rebellious priest on a world where the Church rules the world?), Brennert wrote the classic Batman anniversary issue in Detective Comics #500 that lets Batman save his parents in an alternate universe and explores whether Bruce Wayne would have become Batman even if his parents HADN’T been killed…
as well as the striking Brave and the Bold issue detailing the relationship between Earth-2 Bruce Wayne and Catwoman.
31. Neil Gaiman
For years, Neil Gaiman had not written a single issue of Batman or Detective Comics and had still had a significant impact on the Bat-Universe through his work on Batman’s villains. He revamped Riddler a bit in the pages of Secret Origins and he dramatically revamped Poison Ivy in Black Orchid and then Secret Origins. The modern Poison Ivy is essentially a creation of Gaiman’s.
He finally got his chance to take on the Bat-books when he wrote a two-parter after Batman “died” during Grant Morrison’s run. Gaiman came on to do his take on “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” with “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader,” an out-of-continuity examination of Batman’s life and death through a sort of Canterbury Tales approach of Batman’s friends and foes coming together at his funeral to tell the story of how he died. It’s an excellent tribute to Batman’s history (and some of the finest work Andy Kubert did on Batman)…