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  1. #31
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Best "fair play" mysteries?

    The first story in Morrison's JLA is a fair play mystery that Batman solves. There are fair play mysteries in Morrison's Bat-run, too, but they're mostly misdirection (like the clues and mystery of "The Island of Doctor Mayhew"). Peter Milligan did some good fair play mysteries during his time with Batman, including "The Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels" which is just amazingly good. Kia Asamiya's Child of Dreams was a fair play mystery. "Run, Riddler, Run" and unless I'm confusing it with something else, "Room Full of Strangers".

    Arkham Asylum: a Serious House on Serious Earth and Catwoman Defiant are both awkwardly fair play and not fair play mysteries, as we require information the detective on hand doesn't have to see it coming, same for "Last Rites".

    Most Batman stories tend to be adventure stories before anything else, with mystery, horror, or soap opera relationship stuff taking a very secondary or assisting role. There are very few fair play whoddunits or howdunnits.
    Last edited by T Hedge Coke; 10-15-2012 at 10:31 PM.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Vidocq's Avatar
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    Yeah, the "World's Greatest Detective" thing is really Marketing more than reputation (Even though, like I mentioned, Forensic Files of Batman is AWESOME). Kind of makes me laugh when people want to lump Batman with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poriot as one of the best detectives in literature, usually citing Long Halloween which is really not a good mystery, it's kind of a thriller, I guess, but it's still more of a Supervillain showcase, same with Hush.

    Dini's run on Detective was good, was really good in fact. He made one and done mysteries for Batman to solve and they were always puzzling and entertaing. I wish he had stayed as long as Morrison did or simply that they had given him Earth One instead of Johns, That Batman could really benefit from bringing in the detective books crowd.

    Azzarello's and Russo's story, City of Crime, I think. That was also fun, Neo-Noir story. Should be checked out for those who want a cool out of canon Batman mystery.

    The Gotham by Gaslight Batman was also a detective, found out who Jack the Ripper was and everything (it was kind of handed to him, but still)

    . And of course Forensic Files of Batman, even though it's a novel, Moench's Best work as far as I have read and the only one who made a concious decision to make Batman an actual contender for the World's Greatest Detective title in a world of Tony Hills and Lisbeth Salanders.
    ...And does Mr. Goddanm Batman says so much as ''Thanks''? OF COURSE not. That'd hardly be GRIM AND GRITTY, would it?

    The jerk...

    -DKU's Jim Gordon.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Vidocq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Hedge Coke View Post

    Arkham Asylum: a Serious House on Serious Earth and Catwoman Defiant are both awkwardly fair play and not fair play mysteries, as we require information the detective on hand doesn't have to see it coming, same for "Last Rites".
    How is Arkham Asylum a fair play mystery? I am about to reread it.
    ...And does Mr. Goddanm Batman says so much as ''Thanks''? OF COURSE not. That'd hardly be GRIM AND GRITTY, would it?

    The jerk...

    -DKU's Jim Gordon.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vidocq View Post
    Azzarello's and Russo's story, City of Crime, I think. That was also fun, Neo-Noir story. Should be checked out for those who want a cool out of canon Batman mystery.
    Azzarello and Russo did Broken City. It was David Laphman along with Ramon Bachs and Nathan Massengill that did City of Crime.

    Also I agree on your assessment of Batman's World's Greatest Detective status but I would say the hyperbole is a necessary evil at times because it keeps writers perpetually on their toes so they will focus on the Detective aspect of the character. Though if it were up to me I would make him one of the World's Greatest Detective rather than the premier one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverYoung8 View Post
    There was a zero hour issue (Batman #0, if I recall) that was a lot of fun. Batman uses Matches Malone, and does some 'tec work to find the bad guy. Comparing muddy boot prints, cigarette butts, etc.

    Of course, being a zero issue, it also recounted his career (this was right after he came back from a broken back) in the same issue, but the parallels were fun. Nice little contained story in a single issue.
    I remember that. It was one of the first Batman stories I read, that was a good one too.

    I've read a lot of Mike W Barr's stuff on scans_daily and most of his stuff are mystery stories. They are pretty good and he's evidently a fan of the genre.

  5. #35
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Max Alan Collins had to've done some straight up fair play mysteries during his Bat-tenure, yeah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vidocq View Post
    How is Arkham Asylum a fair play mystery? I am about to reread it.
    The spoilers:
    Cavendish
    end of spoilers whoddunit can be reasoned out via clues in the modern setting, while the other whoddunit (spoilers:
    Arkham
    end of spoilers) and the impetus for why spoilers:
    Cavendish
    end of spoilers is doing what they're doing, requires information outside of Batman's contemporary experiences to guess at accurately. But, even that spoilers:
    Cavendish
    end of spoilers is responsible and why is made easier to guess by those flashback scenes. We receive more clues, faster, than Batman does, so it's (in the classical understanding of a fair play mystery) unfair.

    Catwoman Defiant does the same thing, basically; we can guess from clues we're given, and the characters can guess from clues they're given, but we're being given different clues than they are. Which, technically, is a no-go in fair play mysteries, as is by some reckoning, the fact that the initial crimes are spoilers:
    essentially bluffs to position the elements for a larger/different crime
    end of spoilers.

  6. #36
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Of course the rules for a fair play mystery are given very differently by different people and Ronald Knox specifically wrote "No Chinaman shall appear," which is... yeah.

    SS Van insists the crime be murder at minimum, and that there be no side stories, descriptive flourishes, or characters not directly pertaining to the mystery.

    But, then the idea of the fair play as that is essentially just the game, and as with most games, the more rules you pile on the less fun it is for non-obsessives, and it's non-obsessives reading and writing Batman comics for the most part.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vidocq View Post
    Azzarello's and Russo's story, City of Crime, I think. That was also fun, Neo-Noir story. Should be checked out for those who want a cool out of canon Batman mystery.
    You mean "Broken City," and what makes you think it's out-of-canon? It was first published in the main "Batman" monthly (the first six issues to follow "Hush," I believe).

  8. #38
    Senior Member adkal's Avatar
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    I think some of the Black & White shorts had some good detective stories among them.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the endorsement of The Forensic Files.

  9. #39
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    Secret of the Waiting Graves from Detective #395, which has been reprinted several times.

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