Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at the last issue of Peter Milligan’s original run on Detective Comics, #643, the great “Library of Souls,” with art by the late, great Jim Aparo.
Now, let me note beforehand that my mother is a librarian, so this issue’s plot resonates a bit more with me than it perhaps does with others, but I think even if you have no interest in libraries you would still get a kick out of this (sadly never reprinted) issue, which ended Milligan’s great run on Detective Comics (which alternated between one-off issues like this and longer stories).
The issue opens with an old woman finding a skeleton in her bathroom, which coincides with a flurry of similar skeletons popping up around Gotham City…
The killer is discovered dropping off a fresh victim…
Yes, folks, the killer is killing using the Dewey Decimal System!!!
We gain a little insight into his madness…
To stop him, Batman must team up with…a librarian!!!
What a great offbeat and spooky tale!
It was a real throwback story to the times when Batman comics would be based on solving mysteries that involved knowing stuff like when the Norman Conquest was. I especially love how it is not just that the killer is killing based on the Dewey Decimal System, but based on a specially-designed IMPROVEMENT on the system!
What a cool send-off for Milligan (and, of course, it doesn’t hurt that he had one of the most legendary Batman artists of all-time doing the art for the issue).
You should be able to find this issue in the back-issue bins for not too much money! Go look for it!