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  1. #1
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Default Pre-KNIGHTFALL, when were we first shown that something was wrong with Batman?

    Officially, KNIGHTFALL didn't kick off until BATMAN # 490 or # 491 (depending on how you view it), but Batman/Bruce had been deteriorating physically and emotionally for some time before Bane released the inmates at Arkham and really got the ball rolling. Before that point, however, what was the absolute earliest indication that things weren't quite right with Batman/Bruce?

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    faze (v.): to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; to stun

    phase (n.):
    a stage in a process of change or development

    Get it right, people.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Robotman4's Avatar
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    maybe when he started refusing help from the Batfamily a little more than he usually does. he was really pushing everyone away.

  3. #3
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robotman4 View Post
    maybe when he started refusing help from the Batfamily a little more than he usually does. he was really pushing everyone away.
    Can you nail it down to a particular issue of BATMAN or DETECTIVE COMICS from the era?

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    faze (v.): to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; to stun

    phase (n.):
    a stage in a process of change or development

    Get it right, people.

  4. #4
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buried Alien View Post
    Can you nail it down to a particular issue of BATMAN or DETECTIVE COMICS from the era?

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    Only briefly after Jason's death.

    Before that, the first in-continuity suggestion something was psychologically off about Bruce came (unsurprisingly) from Frank Miller's Year One (mirrored from his earlier DKR). Little Bruce fell into a hole and met a giant bat. Miller suggested that something broke in Bruce that day.

  5. #5
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stk View Post
    Only briefly after Jason's death.

    Before that, the first in-continuity suggestion something was psychologically off about Bruce came (unsurprisingly) from Frank Miller's Year One (mirrored from his earlier DKR). Little Bruce fell into a hole and met a giant bat. Miller suggested that something broke in Bruce that day.
    Bruce has always been a bit "crazy" in that sense, but I'm thinking more specifically the point where he became notably off his usual Batman game and was moving inexorably towards Bane's breaking him.

    I personally ascribe it to Vicki Vale leaving him in an issue of DETECTIVE COMICS that was on the shelves maybe six months before KNIGHTFALL officially started, but I don't know if there might be another starting point.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    faze (v.): to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted; to stun

    phase (n.):
    a stage in a process of change or development

    Get it right, people.

  6. #6
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buried Alien View Post
    Bruce has always been a bit "crazy" in that sense,
    You mean "always, post-Crisis"?

    Because he wasn't always crazy pre-Crisis in that way at all. Even a bit.

  7. #7

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    I think people are really quick to call Batman's action "crazy".

    If you really look at the comics Superman is a much better case for psychotherapy.

  8. #8
    Don't do the Limbo sunofdarkchild's Avatar
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    I think he never got back to 100% after fighting a venomed up Riddler shortly before. Then he caught a bad flu right before Bane sprung everyone from Arkham.

  9. #9

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    I'm reminded of an interview (introduction to a tpb?) with Doug Moench who stated that the only thing he would do differently about Knightfall was not starting his story thread so soon. 'Sword of Azrael' and 'Vengeance of Bane' had set the table and soon after Moench's Batman started exhibiting signs of fatigue. Throwing a dart at the board (because my memory is only so good and the issues are buried in a long box somewhere) 'Batman' #486, the Metalhead issue, is when I remember momentum picking up.

    Also, the lame Metalhead costume gets a payoff later with Jean-Paul Valley's lame training costume and Bruce wondering if perhaps the two being so similar helped push JPV's fragile psyche towards AzBats mania.
    Who wants to save the world? That's what misers do...

  10. #10
    Hater booyah's Avatar
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    I think it was Detective Comics issue...27? A socialite friend of the police commissioner who fights crime on the side? Must have a screw loose.
    Too broke for a pull list.

  11. #11
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyah View Post
    I think it was Detective Comics issue...27? A socialite friend of the police commissioner who fights crime on the side? Must have a screw loose.
    I don't think that makes him crazy. Just eccentric. Because he was so outlandishly wealthy, he was able to indulge his odd whims, like all the super-rich do. If he'd been born working class, he would've had to simply get over his parents' death like a normal person.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stk View Post
    I don't think that makes him crazy. Just eccentric. Because he was so outlandishly wealthy, he was able to indulge his odd whims, like all the super-rich do. If he'd been born working class, he would've had to simply get over his parents' death like a normal person.
    I'll accept that. But I think going out at night fighting criminals with expensive gadgets is, at best, living out little kid dreams, and that takes a certain kind of naivete that could be considered some form of crazy.
    Too broke for a pull list.

  13. #13
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    I would say, the first pre-KNIGHTFALL issue of BATMAN to get the big picture, would be BATMAN #484, because A) Scans_Daily says so, and B) Batman #497, in the "flashes" of his life before his eyes as Bruce was getting pulped by Bane, included many of the escaped Arkhamites in earlier parts, as well as his struggles against Black Mask's False Face Society in Batman #484-485, Metalhead in #486, and Headhunter in #487.

    http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/3917213.html
    Last edited by ngroove; 11-30-2012 at 08:20 AM.

  14. #14
    Marked for Redemption David Walton's Avatar
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    Dick Grayson made the case that the cracks were showing when Bruce locked KGBeast in the sewers, thinking he had left him there to die.

    That said, I tend to think Bruce is the sanest man in the DCU.

    Re-reading Knightfall, his mistakes are mostly attributable to fatigue and a bit of hubris, but it's that very hubris that keeps him going when everyone else cashes in their chips.
    "I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself." -- G.K. Chesterton

  15. #15
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that Denny O'Neil's entire plan to reboot Batman post-Crisis was based on the concept and commercial success of Dark Knight Returns, and it's implied that, for a long while, the plan was for DKR to be a possible future for the post-Crisis Batman (when Jason Todd died, though, and Bruce didn't retire in response, the continuity was broken).

    Point being, the post-Crisis Batman was always supposed to be disturbed on some level, and there were clear signs Bruce was disturbed as early as Year One. He clearly indicates as much when he says "...all sense left my life" in response to his parents' death, at which point young Bruce Wayne merely looks angry, not anguished or in shock.

    Fast forward to Mike W. Barr's run, and we clearly see Batman snap at least once per issue, and later Starlin has Batman on edge with the dumpster killer and the KGBeast long before Jason starts becoming troubled.

    Of course, continuity was a full blown mess under O'Neil's tenure in those first three years. Continuity doesn't really straighten out until Death in the Family, at which point, Batman's teetering on the edge is attributed entirely to Jason's death.

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