Cosmo’s Recommendation …Tales of the Batman Alan Brennert HC
“There is a long list of talented authors who have written for The Dark Knight, and Alan Brennert deserves to ranked as highly as any of them. This long overdue hardcover collects all of his Batman stories in one place, including “To Kill a Legend” & “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” which are two of the best Batman tales ever. You also get some additional The Brave and the Bold team-ups and fan favorite Elseworlds The Holy Terror. Artistic collaborators include Jim Aparo, Norm Breyfogle and Joe Staton. What else do you need?”
“Everyone whose life has ever been touched by random, tragic chance has come away from it changed . . .” –Alan Brennert
In 1989, as part of their celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Batman, DC printed a series of testimonials about the enduring importance of The Dark Knight. These ran in the back pages of Detective Comics #598-600 as postscripts to Sam Hamm and Denys Cowan’s Blind Justice serial. Most of the remembrances covered the familiar territory of how Batman stood apart as the non-powered hero who was most relatable to the average reader. A couple stood outside the pattern, though. Stan Lee, as if he were auditioning to write a Demon series, turns in a rhyming poem which somehow manages to be silly and grandiose at the same time. Adam West reflects on the then rare privilege of playing a superhero on screen. Writer Alan Brennert took a different track. His focus is not on the tragedy of Bruce Wayne, but the ideals of the Batman. For him, the hero’s sense of justice is what makes him so popular. It is not the anger which defines him; it is how he “channel[s] that anger into something constructive.” Batman is a creature of justice, not madness.
Alan Brennert has had a long career writing for different mediums. His most prominent work has been as a producer/writer in television, where he won an Emmy for L.A. Law. He has authored several prose novels as well. His contributions to comic books are sparser, yet, significant. His handful of issues include two of the all-time great Batman tales: “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” and “To Kill a Legend.” “Autobiography” (The Brave and the Bold #197, 1983) remains the best treatment of the long, tangled relationship between Batman and Catwoman. “To Kill a Legend” appeared in 1981 as the lead tale of Detective Comics #500. In it, Brennert delves deep into the origins of The Dark Knight, emerging with a fresh, fascinating take on the iconic character.
Last week, I discussed the earliest adventures of Catwoman, aka The Cat. Today I shall continue my celebration of Catwoman’s 75th Anniversary with an examination of Alan Brennert and Joe Staton’s classic revisiting of Selina’s Golden Age days.
In 1983 Alan Brennert wrote “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” for The Brave and The Bold #197. Brennert is mainly a television writer, who wrote a handful of comics, most prominently some Batman tales. One of these “To Kill a Legend” from Detective Comics #500, is a classic which deserves an article of its own sometime (the ending is a compelling statement on the nature of Bruce Wayne and the role of fate in his life). “Autobiography” revisits the past, presenting itself as “a very special tale of The Golden Age Batman.” The narrative conceit is that an older, retired Batman is writing his memoirs. “The Autobiography” centers on a specific incident, a late career adventure with the Catwoman. Continue reading The Golden Age Catwoman, Part 2: The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne→