Batman spolers wanted!

I was an enthusiastic comic book collector in the 1970’s and thought Batman just super, so to speak. I sold my collection before going off to the army in 1980. Upon my return to civilian life, I picked up a few issues of Batman comics, but never got back into it on a continuing basis. Now for the spoilers I want:

  1. There was a story line at the time involving Hugo Strange (who I knew as a villain from Batman’s earliest days) and Boss Thorne. Thorne had Strange killed and was slowly losing his mind because Strange’s ghost was apparently haunting him. How was that resolved? Was Strange really dead? What happened to Thorne, in the end?
  2. Batman was dating a babe named Silver St. Cloud, who was really hot. What ever happened to her?
  3. I’ve picked up from this board that there is some hostility between Dick Grayson and Batman. When I quit buying, Dick was off on his own (I think he still retained the Robin identity) and Batman was a solo act. Whence the hostility?
  4. When the movie with the Bane character came out, friends told me that he had defeated Batman in a rather long continuing story that sprawled over several titles. Can anybody give me a brief summary of what happened?

I have purchased and read some of the more important “one off” kind of stuff over the years e.g. “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Year One” but haven’t followed the regular monthly titles at all. How much have I missed, quality wise?

Wow. I probably have many of the issues covering what you missed, but to be honest, I just haven’t read them recently enough to remember most of it.

Dick’s problem with Batman is ongoing… they get along okay, but he and Bats just have different methodologies and philosophies.

The Bane thing, though… essentially, big bad Bane comes into town to establish himself as a mob boss - running afoul of Batman. There is an arranged breakout at Arkham… resulting in Batman having a very long night trying to round up everyone… before dragging himself back homewards, only to encounter Bane, who snaps the fatigued Batman’s back like a twig.

Batman picks Jean-Paul Valley as a stand-in … Valley was trained by the Monks of St. Dumas to become an elite assassin known as Azrael, but Batman had defeated and sort-of adopted him as a protege.

Well, Jean-Paul’s assassin nature causes him to become progressively more ‘extreme’ in his battle against crime in Gotham … while Batman begins to recover from hsi spinal injury.

After undergoing some grueling re-training, Batman returns to Gotham and takes down his substitute, who had grown beyond controllability.

The entire Bane arc is available in Trade Paperback form. ‘Knightfall’, I believe.

Amazon has more summaries.

Sword of Azrael - Introduces Azrael.


Knight’s End - Batman reclaims his mantle.

There was also a storyline where Bruce Wayne was charged with murdering his girlfiend, Vesper Fairchild (I think), and a whole ordeal with Bruce’s new bodyguard, and a bunch of fun stuff in Batman: Fugitive and Bruce Waye: Fugitive.

and then there was the massive cross-over, 5 year, multi-title story arc about how Bat-Hound gained the power of Galactus and tried to destroy the Universe.

Don’t tell me you missed that?


Thanks for the synopsis of the Bane story arc. I’ll have to pick up the trade paperback editions of it. Can anybody fill me in on the end of the Hugo Strange/Boss Thorne plot thread?

Silver St. Cloud struck out on her own, first hanging around shopping malls and eventually lesbian bars. She went overseas with her faithful compainion, Butterfly, to Switzerland and spent some time acting in dinner theater. After breast-enhancment surgery, she had a splendid costume made, and following the Bruce Wayne model, created an alter-ego Super Heroine and International Banker persona. She specialized in busting origami smugglers. Growing weary of the European Jet-set, she abandoned Butterfly and the crime-fighting game and moved to Pahrump, Nevada.

A “Born Again” Christian and three-pack-a-day smoker, she is currently living in a trailer-home with six cats and dealing blackjack.

Fagjunk theology: Not just for Sodomite Propagandists anymore.

That’s Bruce Wayne: Murderer? and Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, by the way.

Dick and Bruce have reconciled although they still get on each others respective cases from time to time. (About a year or two ago, Bruce officially adopted Dick). Dick has been Nightwing for a while now, with Tim Drake as the current Robin.

Oh, and the Joker gained Mr. Mxyzptlk’s powers and, after doing away with Darksied, Dr. Fate and all the gods, made himself the emperor of the universe.

Ah, you’re right. Sorry. :smack:

Eh, just so I don’t have to start another thread about the subject, may I open up a little hijack?

What exactly are Batman’s views on killing people? I was watching Tim Burton’s movie with some friends and when I expressed the irony in Bats blowing up the factory with all the goons inside when he’s apparently against killing, they all jumped and screamed “He’s got nothing against killing.” I always thought that was another one of his things, you know?

Batman wins if he’s prepared.


Batman doesn’t kill. Witness Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, where even this jaded, darker Batman hesitates when it comes to killing the Joker … who ultimately kills himself.

That said, back in the Golden Age, Batman would sometimes be shown to kill or use guns … but the Silver Age and Beyond Batman views both of those as no-nos.

OK, I’m not the world’s expert here, but I think I can answer this one.

In the original storyline, Dick Grayson grew up, and became NightWing, still friends with Batman. Meanwhile, Batman had Robin#2 a circus boy called Jason Todd with an origin story suspiciously similar to Dick’s.

Then Crisis came along, altering the history of the DC Universe.

One of the first post-Crisis comics was a story called Did Robin Die Tonight? Dick got shot and almost killed, film shown on the news. Batman refused to put Dick in danger again, told him there is no Robin anymore. After arguing, Dick left home to become NightWing on his own. He and Batman weren’t speaking.

Shortly after he left, Batman took on an orphan living on the streets called Jason Todd, and began training him as Robin#2.

After NightWing encoutered Robin#2, Dick went to confront Bruce to ask him what was going on. Bruce’s reply : “I missed you. I was lonely. Now get out of here”

A little later Jason Todd was killed (hooray, everyone hated him) and Batman went crazy for a while.

In steps young Batman admirer Tim Drake, who has worked out Batman’s and Nightwing’s secret identities. He manages to reconcile the two, becoming Robin#3 in the process.

Have you seen The Killing Joke, one of the best comics I’ve ever read?

Yes, I have. I thought it was excellent, although I didn’t really need to see Jim Gordon’s dick.

Thanks to all who gave informative answers to my questions. Thanks also to those who made attempts, however unsuccessful, at being funny.

In the end, I went to and purchased several things. The Hugo Strange/Boss Thorne story proved to be available in a paperback collection. Also found out that there were two sequels to Red Rain which I also purchased. Since I was spending some money, I also bought myself a Del Rubio Triplets CD. They haven’t a blessed thing to do with Batman, but what the hell.

Frank Miller also wrote a sequal called The Dark Knight Strikes Again that is a fair addition to the Batman story line. Many say the first one was better, but this was a very good read IMO. It’s a futuristic storyline that you can read for yourself in the link. :slight_smile:

The books arrived and I read them. The Hugo Strange/Boss Thorne collection was interesting, but didn’t really anwer the questions I had about the ultimate fates of Strange, Silver St. Cloud, or Boss Thorne.
The sequels to Red Rain were just kind of grotesque. I can’t say that they were even grotesque in an entertaining way.

Spoilers for DKR belowMaybe I’m missing something everyone else has noticed, but it sure looks like to me that Batman kills in DKR. On pages 7-8 of the second issue when Batman is saving the heir to the Ridley chewing gum fortune he shoots a guy who is threating the kid. The last panel on page seven shows Batman firing the gun, and the first panel on page eight shows the guy dropping the baby with a bullet hole and a seeming blood stain on the wall behind him.

However, regardless of whether or not Batman actually kills in DKR that was a pretty extreme situation Bats was in and thus it can be argued that Batman had no choice but still has a strong prohibition towards killing.

I’ll have to give it a look-see… but it could be consistent with Batman of that series’ tendency to maim and grossly wound his opponents.

Well, I think the reason that people don’t like DKSB as much as DKR is because it was poorly billed. DKSB is NOT a Batman story. It’s a Superman story.