Ed and Jim are here to examine how during the Detective Comics #471-476 run which started August 1977 and ended April 1978, illustrator Marshall Rogers collaborated with writer Steve Englehart on a famous Batman series that served as a major inspiration for the 1989 film Batman as well as the 1990s animated series.
In 2010, DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz note how Steve Englehart and penciller Rogers’s Detective run featured an unmistakably homicidal Joker…in noirish, moodily rendered stories that evoked the classic Kane-Robinson era. This was arguably fans’ favourite version of Batman in the mid-1970s.
In their tale “The Laughing Fish,” the Joker is audacious enough to deform fish with a rictus smile and then hope to be given a federal trademark on them. However, after learning that such a claim on a natural resource is illegal, the Joker begins murdering officials who attempt to clarify this.
During Rogers’ stint on Detective Comics, the supervillain Deadshot also had a full makeover into something approaching his deadly modern form.