What Happened In Gotham Knights That Had 'Never Been Done Before in Comics'?

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There was something else different planned for Batman: Gotham Knights.



Batman: Gotham Knights was a cool series launched in 2000 by Devin Grayson, Roger Robinson, Paul Ryan and John Floyd...

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One of the hooks of the book was that each issue would have a short black and white back-up story by some of the top talents in comics, like the first issue's tale by Warren Ellis and Jim Lee...

But perhaps the main initial hook of the series was that each issue would be narrated by a mystery person who was keeping close tabs on Batman and his psychology...

Over the next few issues, these files would also expand to covering his allies, like Batgirl...

and Oracle...

The files cut really deep and pulled no punches at all in their analysis of Batman.

When Hugo Strange was introduced into the book, it seemed likely that HE was behind the files...

Things got crazier when Hugo tried to take over as Batman while Bruce Wayne didn't remember he was Batman at all!

Eventually, Bruce returned to being Batman, as he had hypnotized himself into forgetting he was Batman so that he could counteract Strange's knowledge of Bruce's secret identity. If Strange came to truly believe that Bruce didn't know he was Batman, he would eventually doubt it himself...

Bruce then shocked Nightwing by revealing that the files were written by Batman himself, analyzing himself in the third person as a distinct entity from Bruce Wayne...

It's shockingly clinical and also makes you wonder just how healthy it can be to be able to disassociate himself that well.

Anyhow, really good series that I'm glad is finally being collected. Well, reader Steve W. also thought it was a really good series, but he was confused by the following comments that Denny O'Neil made to hype the series up...

"And in Gotham Knights? Well, that's a bit more complicated. You could call this one Batman and... Batman and Nightwing. Batman and James Gordon. Batman and Azrael. Batman and Catwoman or the Huntress. Batman and the guy who delivers Bruce Wayne's newspaper. Batman and...another character in an adventure. That's part of it. But writer Devin Grayson has something more subtle planned, something that's never been done in comics before. If I told you exactly what, I'd ruin your pleasure in the surprises Devin is going to deliver and that wouldn't be fair to either Devin or you. Trust me...no, trust Devin: Gotham Knights will be the most unusual mainstream comic book published in America."

Steve was confused as to whether Denny was talking about something that was later cut out of the series.

I asked Devin Grayson about it and she was gracious enough to explain that no, O'Neil was just referencing the whole "Batman keeping files on himself separate from his Bruce Wayne" deal, which was part of her series pitch. She joked that O'Neil must have been asked to write something up on the series and just kicked into marketing hyperbole. In other words, nothing was changed about her pitch.

Great question, though, Steve! Really good catch! And thanks so much to Devin Grayson for the information!


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