Final outing, everybody. For the past month, I’ve been looking over The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, a paperback collection released in 1988 to capitalize on 1989’s Batman movie directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. This collection was a massive treasure trove of Batman stories covering from his earliest adventures to the then recent mid-eighties. In our past two columns we’ve looked at twenty of the collected stories, with the first column covering the 1930s through the 1950s, and the second covering the 1960s through the late 1970s. Today, we’ll be looking through the final five stories collected in the paperback as well as some stories released in the last 30 years that might fit in naturally. So for one last time, come with me and let’s light the Bat-Signal.
10. The Deadshot Ricochet
Detective Comics # 474 (1978)
Good old fashioned Headshot story, folks!
Deadshot himself first appeared way back in the 40s but he didn’t gain his personality and distinctive costume until this issue. In the story, Batman is preoccupied by his relationship with Silver St. Cloud, a woman whom Bruce Wayne has been dating. And it seems that Silver is figuring out his secret identity.
Meanwhile, Penguin has just arrived in jail and is about to break out when Floyd Lawton steals his means of escape and breaks loose himself. And this is when he attacks the Dark Knight with a spiffy new outfit. If there’s one thing I was shocked by, it’s how little of this comic actually has Deadshot in it. It’s maybe six pages. But they are an amazing six pages.
That costume is an all time great and Floyd’s personality may be bare, but it’s enough of a skeleton for Ostrander to build an incredible character on to. The final fight on the giant typewriter is glorious and well worth the price of admission.
One of the Greatest Batman Stories of All Time?: Hard to say. The Deadshot pages are definitely up there, but too much of the comic revolves around other matters for me to really fairly count it.