This time, we’ll be looking at some selected oneshots from each decade of the Dark Knight’s history! After the first four turned out to be 'Tec issues, I decided to make it a theme. We can return to the same gimmick for the Batman series some other time.
The selection looks a little intimidating, but a few of them should be quick reads.
Our selections for this week are:
Detective Comics #31 (stuck on the end of #30 in the scans DCU has for reasons unknown)-32 (#33 has likewise been appended to #32, so don’t read that - unless you want to, of course) (1939)
Detective Comics #140 (1948)
Detective Comics #156 (1950)
Detective Comics #327 (1964)
Detective Comics #411 (1971)
Detective Comics #549 (1985)
Detective Comics #703 (1996)
Detective Comics #826 (2007)
Detective Comics #950 (2017)
Also, I got punchy and about half of the questions are jokes (and at least one is a riddle, but not my riddle - if you want to cheat, google search “difficult riddles” and click the first link), so feel free to add general thoughts.
THRILLING THIRTIES: DETECTIVE COMICS #31-32
OK, so I cheated and gave you two issues, but since all we’ve got are the Batman stories, it’ll still be a quick read for you. And honestly, I mostly picked this because I love #31’s cover. Is that not awesome? No, that’s not the question.
1: What do you think of Batman’s first superpowered villain? Are Batman and vampires two great tastes that taste great together?
FANTASTIC FORTIES: DETECTIVE COMICS #140
And here we meet unquestionably the greatest Batman villain of all time, the Riddler! Shut up, he’s awesome.
2: I’m never scared but can be petrified, I can’t make a bird but can make a bat, and I don’t live in a house but would die to build one. What am I?
FIGHTIN’ FIFTIES: DETECTIVE COMICS #156
The introduction of the classic Dick Sprang Batmobile, ten years ahead of anything else on wheels! Let’s take it for a spin!
3: Did you spot the Batmobile, Batmobile Spotters? If so, which comic Batmobile is the best? (The placement of this question should tell you my vote.)
SPECTACULAR SIXTIES: DETECTIVE COMICS #327
The New Look! Ain’t it wild?
4: Yellow oval: Yea or yea? There is no nay.
STUNNING SEVENTIES: DETECTIVE COMICS #411
Alright, I confess: I cheated again. This is technically part two of a story, but since we don’t even have the first part on DCU, and it stands alright on its own, I’m assigning it as a oneshot.
5: So, how about this “Talia” character, huh? She seems pretty trustworthy to me. I bet that father of hers won’t be important.
EXCITING EIGHTIES: DETECTIVE COMICS #549
Almost all of the 'Tec issues from the '80s I’ve read were from the Post-Crisis era, and I’ve already assigned all one of the issues from that era that I liked, so here’s the only one from Pre-Crisis '80s 'Tec that I’ve actually read! This is a good issue, though.
6: What do you think of Bullock’s little secret?
NEVER-DULL NINETIES: DETECTIVE COMICS #703
OK, fine. That adjective was a bit of a stretch. Sue me.
Uh, right, anyway, this is technically a tie-in more than a oneshot, but it stands on its own, is my favorite done-in-one 'Tec issue from the '90s (and I’ve read a lot more '90s 'Tec than '80s), and my new avatar comes from this issue, so it seemed like a good one to pick
7: Do you think the talk show host is right to be pessimistic, or should the citizens of the DCU be able to trust that things will work out by this point?
DANGEROUS DOUBLE-0S: DETECTIVE COMICS #826
And this one is here because it’s my favorite oneshot. Basically, this is an incredibly self-indulgent book club.
8: The most important question raised by this issue: Marx Brothers or Three Stooges? (Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello are acceptable answers if you must, but Chaplin, Lloyd, and Keaton are sort of a different category. )
TERRIFIC TENS: DETECTIVE COMICS #950
Here, I’m foiled not so much by a lack of reading (I’ve read most of Rebirth 'Tec) so much as writing for the trade. There were pretty much three genuine oneshots to choose from. Detective Comics #1000 is huge, and there’s nothing particularly notable about #982.
9: I know some people are very opinionated about this subject, so I’ll light this fuse: Tynion’s take on Cassandra Cain - good or bad?