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Remember to Forget – That Time Batman Tried to Starve a Guy to Death

by  in Comic News Comment
Remember to Forget – That Time Batman Tried to Starve a Guy to Death

In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are likely best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.

Today, we take a look at how Batman just tried to starve one of his villains to death…

Few writers in the late 1980s were quite as influenced by Frank Miller’s take on Batman than Jim Starlin, who seemed to really enjoy the energy that Miller brought to the character, as well as the more “adult” take on the character. This was present in Starlin’s Batman work before he even took over writing the regular series, as he did the series The Cult with artist Berni Wrightson that was practically an ode to Dark Knight Returns.

When Starlin was given the ongoing series, one of the ideas he had that worked really well was the notion of “mini-series within a series,” as he did the four-part story “Ten Nights of the Beast” from Batman #417-420 with artists Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo. The trade dress made the story feel like it was its own mini-series. Mike Zeck drew the covers (the whole “mini-series within a series” idea was almost certainly inspired by Kraven’s Last Hunt, which Zeck drew the year earlier for Marvel)…

The story was about a Russian assassin named the KGBeast who is in Gotham to kill a bunch of high-ranking American officials, including President Ronald Reagan, who is in town for a visit. Batman must work with the CIA to stop him.

Early on, we see how vicious and good at killing the Beast is…

Throughout the story, Starlin really lays it on that the Beast is one scary dude…

At the end of Batman #418, Batman even remarks that the Beast is BETTER than him…

In the following issue, we see even MORE how much of a badass the KGBeast is! The dude CHOPS HIS OWN HAND OFF! And he does this even though the rope is right there. But nope, he’s in trouble so off goes the hand.

Dude then gets a freakin’ GUN HAND! With a blade, too, to boot!

This sets up the final confrontation at the end of Batman #420, which you can check out on the next page…

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