Episode 39 – Starlin’s Batman Part 1

Welcome to the thirty-ninth episode of The Overlooked Dark Knight. The is a non-index index show where the hosts, Andrew Leyland and Michael Bailey, look at Batman comics that rarely, if ever, get talked about.  In one episode they will talk about Bat books from the late seventies and early eighties.  In another episode they will talk about the animated Adventures titles that DC published in the nineties.

Sometimes they talk about whatever strikes their fancy.

Which is what they are going to do starting with this episode.

For several years now (since 2012 actually) Mike has been wanting to cover the Jim Starlin run of Batman and now that Ryan and Chris over at Batman: Knightcast have changed the remit of their show, Mike thought the time was right to finally talk about these comics.  Andy is an agreeable sort of fellow, so it wasn’t a hard sell.

So, starting in this episode and continuing for the next few month, the guys are going to look at every issue of Jim Starlin’s run (which spanned Batman issues 414-430, as well as the four issue Batman: The Cult prestige format series) and discuss them.  This time out they start with issue 414, which begins a mystery regarding a serial killer in Gotham that, surprisingly, doesn’t get resolved at the end of the issue.  Then they talk about issue 415, which was a Millennium crossover story and because of that they didn’t have much to say about it.  Finally, before reading some feedback, they briefly touch on issue 416, which they actually covered several years ago, so it doesn’t get the full synopsis and discussion treatment.

Below are the covers and select pages from the books discussed in this episode.

Andy and Mike want your feedback on this episode so they can read it on an upcoming show!  You even have options in how you leave your feedback.  The most direct way is to leave a comment right here on the site.  You can also send all questions, concerns, fears and trepidations to [email protected].  Then there’ the Facebook page, where you can also leave a Batman related question for Andy and Mike to answer at the beginning of the show.  If you talk about this show on the social medias please include a #overlookeddk so the guys know where to find it.

If you want to subscribe to the show here’s the RSS Feed and the Apple Podcast link.  If you use iTunes please leave us a review.  Not only will we read that on the air like the other feedback but it really helps the show out.  The show is also available on the Google Play Store and Spotify.

Next Time: The Starlin’s Batman Run coverage continues with the first two chapters of Ten Nights of the Beast!


  1. Great episode, guys. I loved your coverage of these stories. In fact, I loved it so much that it made me jealous. I think Chris and I will go back to our original plan to cover these on Knightcast. That means you must stop. I’m filing an injunction. You must immediately cease and desist talking about the Starlin/Aparo run. Zero Nights of the Beast for you!

    Until then, however…

    I’ve often wondered if Starlin was inspired by the Thomas Harris novel RED DRAGON, or the Michael Mann adaptation, MANHUNTER, which would’ve come out just a year or two prior to this story. That novel starts with the FBI director reaching out to his special profiler only after a serial killer has struck multiple times. Maybe that was in Starlin’s mind when he had Gordon bring Batman onto the case after the third victim was discovered.

    As for the art, I kind of agree with both of you. On the one hand, I think Jim Aparo is one of the finest Batman artists that ever lived, and even though I don’t think DeCarlo was his best inker, I also don’t think he ruins it. It’s not Aparo’s best, but it’s not terrible. On the other hand, I too have always felt that Batman suffered for not having a clear delineation of pre- and post-Crisis eras “Year One” was the closest we got, but it was so brief and surrounded by the Collins run that felt and looked like late Silver/early Bronze Age and the Mike Barr/Alan Davis issues that were in their own separate world.

    Batman should have had a top tier writer and artist or combo like Superman had with Byrne and Wonder Woman had with Perez and even Green Arrow had with Grell. The question you posed then was: who? Who was available? I think it had to be someone who wasn’t associated with the Batman previously, so no Aparo. If we operate on the premise that Miller and Mazzucchelli weren’t available after BATMAN #407, then I think Starlin’s 80s crime drama would’ve worked best with John Romita, Jr. as Andy suggested. My second choice would be Paul Gulacy. Beyond them, though, most of the possible, available choices, like a Steve Lightle for instance, while capable, all kind of had a similar house style at the time.

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