Comic Legends Revealed: The Neil Gaiman Batman Story That Never Was

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and twenty-seventh week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week's legends.


Neil Gaiman and Simon Bisley were going to do a Batman graphic novel in 1990.



The period following the release of the 1989 Batman film were crazy, as the graphic novel, Arkham Asylum, by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean, had exploded in sales popularity due to its release in conjunction with the Batman film. DC Comics, naturally, wanted more books like Arkham Asylum to sell.

Therefore, in 1990, they signed a deal with their up-and-coming star writer on Sandman, Neil Gaiman, along with the awesome artist, Simon Bisley, to do a graphic novel in the vein of Arkham Asylum.

Gaiman later recalled:

There’s a story that I signed a contract with DC to write called The Night Circus which is all about Batman going to the circus and that was meant to have been a painted book with Simon Bisley many, many years ago. Whether it will happen or not I don’t know, but it would be a lovely story to do.

Bisley, of course, then did the Batman/Judge Dredd crossover in 1991.

However, Gaiman also noted elsewhere back in 1998, "it was started back then, and then Simon signed an exclusive deal with tundra, and the whole thing was forgotten."

Gaiman and Bisley, of course, did a cool Batman: Black and White story in 1996, showing an artificial Batman/Joker relationship...

I don't think you need me to tell you that a Neil Gaiman/Simon Bisley Batman graphic novel would be amazing to see. Maybe some day we'll see it! Gaiman's Superman/Green Lantern crossover eventually came out, years after Gaiman initially wrote it, so why not this?

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: Which famous Breaking Bad character was only created because another cast member wasn't available for an episode due to a scheduling conflict?

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

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Here's my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. -- half of them are re-worked classic legends I've featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

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See you all next week!

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