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70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Old 03-13-19, 12:35 AM
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70's & 80's Batman TPB's

OK, as I'm collecting various TPB's, Omnibuses (Omnibi?), and Masterworks, I'm still looking for specific titles for some characters and eras.

For this thread, let's focus on Batman.

The era I'm most interested in collecting is the 70's, and maybe the 80's. What trades and compilations of comics from that era are particularly good? DC doesn't seem to have done as good of a job with compiling comics as Marvel has (like the Masterworks or Epic Collections - the comics compiled in order).

Are there any Batman Trade Paperback or hardcover collections that are recommended?

If so, what are the titles?

Thanks!
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Old 03-13-19, 06:36 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

DC has been collecting Batman runs by artist & writer in a series of hardcovers called "Legends of the Dark Knight" and "Tales of the Batman". Some good ones from the 70s & 80s include:

Jim Aparo
Michael Golden
Norm Breyfogle
Marshall Rogers
Alan Davis
Don Newton
Gene Colan
Len Wein
Archie Goodwin
Gerry Conway
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Old 03-13-19, 08:02 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

The inability to read pre-crisis Batman straight through chronologically without jumping through myriad hoops is maddening. I HATE the writer/artist specific collections. That said, other than the great bronze age Brave and the Bold omnibi, it's the best you'll do. The Marshall Rogers one is a must for the the Englehart/Rogers run. I'm not sure if it's available in a smaller collection. The Len Wein one is good as well. The Neal Adams books contain some of the most essential material, but Adams insists on recoloring all of his art and ymmv on how well that works for you. I personally think it sucks, but its the only option unless you go vintage.
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Old 03-13-19, 09:05 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Hmmmm...

How is it that Marvel gets this stuff right and DC doesn't? It can't be that hard to put out collections that are chronological/numerical in order.

Having said that, I now get why I haven't been able to find era specific collections. It's artist/writer specific collections instead? OK...

It is funny, though, that Marvel's been doing the Masterworks thing for about 30 years, but DC hasn't done a good job of emulating that series. That huge back catalog of titles just sitting around waiting for them to make money off of it and they're not taking full advantage of that opportunity.
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Old 03-13-19, 01:34 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

As I understand it, starting around the Bronze Age DC royalties work differently from Marvel’s so the “creator collections” work better for them. The sucky part is that some not only skip issues but don’t include parts of multi-issue stories. The GA/SA/BA collections are the equivalent of Marvel’s releases so I’ve been buying them all and hoping they continue, since Bronze Age is my favorite.

I believe you said in a past thread that you like BA B&B so you might like Batman and the Outsiders, also with Aparo art.
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Old 03-13-19, 03:47 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

When are we going to see late 50s early 60s Sci-Fi Batman Omnibuses?
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Old 03-13-19, 04:19 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

It's not going to get any better, there was a recent bloodbath of firings in DC's trades department and has been permanently downsized. Many projects have been put on hold or canceled outright. Supposedly "lesser" stuff will only see digital releases going forward.
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Old 03-13-19, 06:11 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
It's not going to get any better, there was a recent bloodbath of firings in DC's trades department and has been permanently downsized. Many projects have been put on hold or canceled outright. Supposedly "lesser" stuff will only see digital releases going forward.
Sounds like they're just sitting on properties that could be generating revenue. That sucks.

Last edited by B5Erik; 03-14-19 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 03-13-19, 09:44 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
As I understand it, starting around the Bronze Age DC royalties work differently from Marvel’s so the “creator collections” work better for them. The sucky part is that some not only skip issues but don’t include parts of multi-issue stories.
Yes, that’s the problem.

It’s also why DC never reprinted any 80s material in their black and white Showcase volumes (equivalent of Marvel’s then contemporary Essential line) even though stuff like Batman, Detective, post-Crisis Justice League, New Teen Titans, and others would have sold like crazy.

The problem is that the royalty rates they need to pay out for that material are so high that it not only made the budget “Showcase” volumes of that material cost prohibitive, but also stuff of limited interest (such as the Wolfman/Perez Titans, Justice League, all of the b-list and non-marquee Batman and Superman material) as well. As such you don’t see a lot of Batman material from that era getting TPBs outside of stuff like “Death in the Family” or “Batman Year One” that they know will move sufficient numbers to cover the royalties.

There’s a certain irony in there, as the creators got a really good royalty deal, but at the same time it makes anything that isn’t a-list material a money loser, so instead of earning the creators royalties it just sits in the vault collecting dust.
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Old 03-14-19, 12:54 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Yeah, they changed the royalties in 1976:
http://earthb.blogspot.com/2006/04/sh-sh-sh-showcases.html

In this thread, former DC collected editions editor Bob Greenberger revealed something that many of us did not know (quoted here because this thread will likely disappear eventually) :

DC pays a royalty based on a percentage of the cover price to writers, pencillers,and inkers to all material published prior to 1976 and after 1997. For the period in between, the vouchers that were in use called for a set reprint fee to be paid. In some cases, the amount of contractually obligated reprint fees makes the budget for a proposed collection unprofitable. In those cases, DC will either scrap the project or ask the talent involved to waive the reprint fee in lieu of the standard royalty arrangement. If the parties agree, then everyone benefits.
I want to say that digital reprints weren't considered as reprints until they revamped the royalty system in 2014, so maybe that's why there's a lot of stuff from that era in digital format.

Also this is off topic but to throw this in there with how creators are compensated, Mark Waid discusses how DC royalties work when it comes to stuff like MoS taking a bunch of ideas from the comics:
http://thrillbent.com/blog/how-dc-contracts-work/

Last edited by fujishig; 03-14-19 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 03-14-19, 01:38 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

I greatly enjoyed GERRY CONWAY's run on Batman and Detective.
Two vols of his BATMAN work has been released and supposedly the 3rd and last vol will be out in the fall.
Includes artwork by Don Newton, Irv Novick, and Gene Colan.

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Old 03-14-19, 01:47 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Bummer about the royalty thing. Looks like the contracts designed to help the creators really screwed them.


Well, I'm still looking for the best of what's available. I did order these...





Vol 3 is really expensive, but I may get it. Of course, if I found the Omnibus at a good price that would cover the content of all three, right?

But I found the first two in hardcover for $12 each, so I thought I'd give them a shot...
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Old 03-14-19, 08:20 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
Bummer about the royalty thing. Looks like the contracts designed to help the creators really screwed them.
I wouldn't say it screwed them. DC was working with them to try to renegotiate the contract where applicable. And it was much, much better than earlier, when Jack Kirby had to sue to try to get some of his original artwork back.

For the consumer, it kind of sucks, much like how we hate watching TV shows on DVD without the original music.
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Old 03-14-19, 09:10 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I wouldn't say it screwed them. DC was working with them to try to renegotiate the contract where applicable. And it was much, much better than earlier, when Jack Kirby had to sue to try to get some of his original artwork back.
Yeah, but it doesn't help the artist when they make zero money off their older work because the royalty rate is so high that the publisher can't afford to publish the reprints/collections.

Something is infinitely better than nothing.

For the consumer, it kind of sucks, much like how we hate watching TV shows on DVD without the original music.
Totally. So everyone get s screwed.
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Old 03-14-19, 09:18 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
Yeah, but it doesn't help the artist when they make zero money off their older work because the royalty rate is so high that the publisher can't afford to publish the reprints/collections.

Something is infinitely better than nothing.
But if you look at what I quoted above, DC actively works with them to renegotiate the contract when they want to reprint something. So it's not like the creators are locked in to this and can't do anything. They basically have the right of refusal.

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Old 03-14-19, 09:23 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
But if you look at what I quoted above, DC actively works with them to renegotiate the contract when they want to reprint something. So it's not like the creators are locked in to this and can't do anything. They basically have the right of refusal.
The problem that contract has created, though, is that if they want to do chronological/numerical order collections without skipping issues or parts of longer story arcs they have to get ALL of the writers and artists together agreeing on the new contract. If one holds out, the others are screwed.

At the very least you must admit it's made the process more difficult than it should be.
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Old 03-14-19, 03:12 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

It's why they've released Batman by author or artist volumes from the 1970s and 1980s. Those creators willing to take a reduced royalty rate have seen their stuff published, DC cuts deals for publishing trades if the artists agree to lower their royalty rates.
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Old 03-14-19, 04:11 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
It's why they've released Batman by author or artist volumes from the 1970s and 1980s. Those creators willing to take a reduced royalty rate have seen their stuff published, DC cuts deals for publishing trades if the artists agree to lower their royalty rates.
And that's a partial solution, but for those of us who want chronological, numerical collections with all the parts of the stories included - we're out of luck.

Having said that, I'll buy what I can get from DC. Something is better than nothing, but the current collections appear to be lacking.
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Old 03-14-19, 04:15 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

I am looking forward to the Neal Adams books, and I'll get the Gerry Conway books (he's great), and maybe some of the others.

I just wish they would or could do more numerical Omnibus or Masterworks type collections.
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Old 03-14-19, 04:50 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
And that's a partial solution, but for those of us who want chronological, numerical collections with all the parts of the stories included - we're out of luck.

Having said that, I'll buy what I can get from DC. Something is better than nothing, but the current collections appear to be lacking.
Unless they abandon the current Omnibus line they'll get to the Silver and Bronze Age eventually. They started at the very beginning and after several Omni are still in the 1940s. What slows it down further is that each Omni has to cover both Batman and Detective.
Royalty costs haven't interfered with Brave and Bold and JLA Omni going up to 1980.
One beef I have. Brave and Bold Bronze Omnibus One starts in Silver Age with first issue that Batman team-ups became every issue. They didn't include the handful of Batman team-ups that were intermittent in the months previous.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:35 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

I would wager that the high prices of the omnibus volumes cover the royalty fees, so reprinting material in them from 1976-1997 isn’t an issue. It seems like these books typically break down to about $3 per issue.

They also began reprinting the 1980 New Teen Titans in the Archives a while back.
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Old 03-16-19, 07:51 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Showcase Batman vol 6. Contains the first Ra's Al Ghul and Talia arc. Stories in this collection were used as inspiration for various episodes of the animated series.




Might want also to check out: Showcase Brave and The Bold vol 2 & 3.

Last edited by ddrknghtrtns; 03-16-19 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 03-17-19, 01:43 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by ddrknghtrtns View Post
Showcase Batman vol 6. Contains the first Ra's Al Ghul and Talia arc. Stories in this collection were used as inspiration for various episodes of the animated series.

Might want also to check out: Showcase Brave and The Bold vol 2 & 3.
Bummer about this one (Showcase Vol 6) - that series is apparently in black & white. No color, no sale. (It's not like they were originally in black and white and colorized later on, these stories were intended to be seen in color.)
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Old 03-17-19, 07:24 AM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
Bummer about this one (Showcase Vol 6) - that series is apparently in black & white. No color, no sale. (It's not like they were originally in black and white and colorized later on, these stories were intended to be seen in color.)
For Batman, the lack of color does help set a noir tone.




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Old 03-17-19, 12:33 PM
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Re: 70's & 80's Batman TPB's

I prefer color, but I did get that Showcase 6 because it had issues that I didn’t own in collections.
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