Batman by Brian K. Vaughan

batman by brian k vaughan cover trade paperback
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Fun to see Vaughan work on other titles

Scattershot of stories isn't very expansive or deep

Comic Info

Comic Name: Batman (Volume 1)/Detective Comics (Volume 1)/Batman: Gotham City: Secret Files & Origins/Wonder Woman (Volume 2)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan

Artist: Scott McDaniel/Rick Burchett/Scott Kolins/Marcos Martin

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2017

batman #589 cover matches malone

Batmaan (1) #589

Reprints Batman (1) #588-590, Detective Comics (1) #787, Wonder Woman (2) #160-161, and Batman:  Gotham City:  Secret Files & Origins #1 (April 2000-December 2003).  Batman deals with his secret underworld identity of Matches Malone and suffers a break in reality when another Matches Malone shows up on the scene.  Wonder Woman finds herself facing off against Batman’s villain Clayface who has special interest in Diana and her past.  The Mad Hatter kidnaps his doctor from Arkham and utilizes Dr. Kirk Langstrom to enact his plan.  Meanwhile, a mysterious villain called the Skeleton plots against Batman.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, Batman by Brian K. Vaughan is a writer comic book collection.  The volume collects stories from Batman:  Gotham City:  Secret Files & Origins #1 (April 2000), Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #160-161 (September 2000-October 2000), Batman (Volume 1) #588-590 (March 2001-May 2001), Detective Comics (Volume 1) #787 (December 2003) and features art by Scott McDaniel, Rick Burchett, Scott Kolins, and Marcos Martin.  Issues in the collection were also featured in Batman:  False Faces.

I love the creator based collections.  Series like The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Superman, and Batman have really benefited from them.  Generally the collections are part of a large swath of stories that come from long-runs of creators like Geoff Johns or Mark Waid, but Batman by Brian K. Vaughan is a smaller, less connected collection.

detective comics #787 cover mad hatter

Detective Comics (1) #787

Brian K. Vaughan was never a regular writer on Batman so the collection is a scattershot of Batman based stories (Batman never actually appears in two of the stories).  His stories are generally shoehorned in-between bigger story runs.  As a result as a “Batman” collection, the series is rather weak.  The first storyline involving Matches Malone (aka Batman’s underworld identity) clears up how Bruce Wayne established Matches and why it still works in the modern day.  The second Batman story comes from Detective Comics and features Batman going after the Mad Hatter.  It is a relatively simple story which is improved by the fun art of Rick Burchett.

The other stories in the collection circle around Batman.  In the Wonder Woman issues, Wonder Woman faces off against Batman villain Clayface.  I always like when superheroes “switch up” their villains because it provides not only a unique encounter, but it also usually finds different ways of dealing with the threat.  The second “Batman-less” stand-alone story is more of a mystery.  Vaughan introduces “The Skeleton” who has big plans for Bruce Wayne…so much so that he impersonates the Joker, Mr. Freeze, and the Riddler.  The story never was followed up.  The character seemed rather interesting and there have been villains made from a lot less, so it will be interesting if some day someone will decide to resurrect the Skeleton and reveal his plans for Bruce Wayne.

Batman by Brian K. Vaughan is a short and sweet collection.  It isn’t Vaughan’s best work and it isn’t the best Batman stories but it still has some moments of interest.  If you are a fan of Vaughan’s other work and a completionist, it is a quick read that shows some of Vaughan’s work outside of his titles for which he is known.  So many writers have touched Batman over their careers, and it is interesting to see how he is portrayed by each.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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