Is This The Most Underrated Comic of All Time?
I have been hitting the trade paperbacks pretty hard these days. At one point I was averaging a graphic novel a day for a little over a week. All of them centered around my favorite superhero, my source of inspiration and strength, Batman.
Being an aspiring comic artist myself, I currently search for new stories based almost solely on its artist (although I am also a comic writer too). The world lost an enormous talent this past March 18th when the great Bernie Wrightson passed away.
While an admirer of his work, I had yet to read a full story he had done. Then I stumbled on "Batman: The Cult". I bought it and read it in about an hour and a half. Please go and read it if you consider yourself a fan of Batman or comics in any capacity.
Outside of an IGN list of The 25 Greatest Batman Stories Ever (where it is placed at 6th), it seems hardly mentioned and at least for the time being it remains a hidden gem.
At least some of this has to do with its lone, and unfortunately fatal flaw- the unnecessary and overly obvious references to The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.
Don't get me wrong, TDKR is my favorite story and the greatest one ever published, but the use of storytelling through news reports is almost trademarked by Miller's 1986 classic. As is the traumatic, painfully slow flashback of the murder of the Waynes which is so similar to the source, it almost reads as plagiarism.
While these flaws do take away from the story, you are still left with one of the best Batman stories ever.