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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #122

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC pulled an issue of Batman: Gotham Knights after it was solicited because it was too graphic.

STATUS: True

Reader Matthew Lazorwitz sent me the following urban legend...

There was an issue of Batman: Gotham Knights written by Devin Grayson that editorial found so disturbing that they dropped it after it was solicited and replaced it with a random fill-in. It's in regards to Batman: Gothan Knights #12, a part of the unfortunate "This Issue: Batman Dies!" month. It was supposed to focus on Mr. Zsasz, the knife-wielding lunatic introduced by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle in "The Last Arkham" story. The solicitations in Previews showed up with the description of the story and the cover. But when the issue came out... it was an issue about Oracle. I read somewhere on some message board (making me think it was an urban legend) that the issue was just so creepy, and Zsasz portrayed as so monstrous, and his "murder" of Batman so perverse, that they canned the story and replaced it with a fill-in.

Here is the published issue...

I posed the question to Bob Schreck, who edited the issue in question, and here is what he had to say...

It was an issue that was started by Denny O'Neil, actually, and his then assistant, Frank Berrios, was diligently waving a red flag all the way through production trying to warn Denny and myself (as I was beginning to take over the Bat titles at the time) that it might not pass muster. As I was new, I didn't feel I should interfere with a book that Denny had commissioned, as he and Devin had established a strong editorial relationship over the years. I loved the story. She did a great job of writing it as did the rest of the team bringing to the comics page.

It was decided after solicitation that the tale was a little too gory for an all ages book.

Not all that exciting as the "urban legend" version.

Here is a detail from the solicited cover in question...

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