NOTE: In order to say more about these comics and because after this there are some huge story arcs, I’m abandoning the 100 words limit and just seeing how much I have to say about each.
16. A Lonely Place of Dying (1989) – Written by Marv Wolfman, Art by George Perez and Jim Aparo.
As this Big Batman Read is more of a history of the graphic novels than the comic books, events like the death of Jason Todd have very little repercussions that aren’t fixed one book later. In this case we have a post-Jason Batman becoming unhinged and reckless while an unknown character looks on. Eventually, this character reveals himself as Tim Drake, Bruce Wayne’s neighbour who has deducted everyone’s secret identities and wants to help out. This is what separates Tim, the young detective, from Jason, the hinted-at sociopath. There is a sense that Drake is, unlike Dick Grayson, a young Bruce Wayne and a natural successor for Batman. Grayson’s role was always to keep Batman sane by being a more light-hearted version of a superhero (an idea that reaps dividends later during Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin run) while Drake is more of a Batman Junior. As I said at the top, without reading every issue of the comic between Jason’s death and this story it can feel rushed as the story begins with Batman heartbroken and then ends all smiles with a new Robin hired. And this is fine, there’s only so much Batman moping I can take and this comic has the perfect amount. Also it introduces Tim Drake, one of the best Robins.