Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle benefit collection solicited

Monday, January 26, 2015

A couple of (much appreciated) Collected Editions readers have written to alert me of the new Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle currently being solicited. This was not in DC Comics's Spring 2015 releases list, so it looks like this is indeed a rush solicitation.

As you all likely know, Breyfogle unfortunately suffered a stroke in December. Fundraising efforts have been started to help pay hospital costs, but Comic Book Resources reports (in a comprehensive column that also lists many of Breyfogle's accomplishments) that the family has not yet been able to raise the amount they requested. (Visit the family's official fundraising page at the link.)

Breyfogle continued to draw for DC at the time of his stroke, but he's likely best known for a long run as artist and co-creator on a long run in Detective Comics and Batman in the early 1990s, often with writer Alan Grant (continuity note, Grant and Breyfogle's Batman run follows right after writer Peter Milligan's, about to be collected in Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City, so it's increasingly possible to read a good chunk of this Batman era). Among a variety of incredibly notable 1990s Batman stories, Breyfogle's work includes the "Mudpack" Clayface story; the first appearance of Anarky; a variety of formative Robin Tim Drake stories, including the fate of Tim's parents and a battle with King Snake; and the introduction of Harold. I read a good number of these stories in single issues when they came out and remember them clearly.

This is all to say that a Norm Breyfogle/Alan Grant collection would have been an exciting release and a worthwhile buy all on its own, but is of course especially important considering how royalties from the book will help Breyfogle and his family. Content information on Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle is spotty right now, but I encourage everyone to give it a look; if the volume is as comprehensive as I expect, it's going to be a hell of a Batman read aside from supporting a good cause.
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  1. Thanks so much for covering this!

    I've been waiting for this collection FOREVER so I'm super tremendously excited.

    And I'm glad to know we can all help Norm thru this HC and donating to that site. I saw Norm at a convention last year and he's such a great guy.

  2. Do you know if any of these stories are in other collections already? Or is this a huge amount of not collected stuff? Excited, nonetheless.

    1. Breyfogle's work is in Knightfall, Batman: Blind Justice, Shadow of the Bat: Last Arkham, Robin: Hero Reborn, Robin: Tragedy and Triumph, and Anarky. But that's maybe three or four issues per collection, out of about a four year run on Tec/Batman. I know there's some additional Robin Tim Drake stuff that hasn't been collected, Vicki Vale stuff, and the War of the Gods issue pictured above, among others.

  3. Norm did not do Blind Justice, Cowan did (unless Norm maybe did a cover). There will likely be some overlap (including stories already collected), because this collection is such short notice, but I would guess this collection will have plenty of yet uncollected material too. Because there is a lot of his Tec/Batman runs that is not collected yet.

    1. Sorry if I flubbed one of those. Maybe he was an inker in one of Blind Justice's parts? Or drew a pin-up?

    2. Not inking, I think Norm just did some pin-up art as extras for the Blind Justice single issues.

      As far as his late 80s/early 90s Batman stuff, the only trades are pretty much just The Last Arkham, some Knightfall, Robin: Hero Reborn, Robin: Tragedy and Triumph, and Anarky, and Birth of Demon and Holy Terror.

      The first and second Scarface & Ventriloquist arcs are not collected yet. Neither is the first Ratcatcher story. The Lask Arkham (Zsasz's first app arc) is long out of print, as are the Robin trades. Mudpack is not collected yet. First app arc of Cornelius Stirk is not collected.

      So many great little one shots or two-parters were part of Norm's work and are uncollected like Detective #590 where Batman faces an Islamic terrorist. Grant and Norm's run was like a Batman version of Miami Vice, basically propaganda public service announcements on drugs and gangs and other vices.

  4. As much as I absolutely LOVE Birth of the Demon with its gorgeous paintings by Norm, it was just recollected in 2012 with others in its loose trilogy of GNs.

    I really hope DC focused on the yet uncollected stories from Alan & Norm's Detective Comics run. Mudpack is a must. Scarface's first app arc is a must. I hope they start from the beginning and do multiple volumes covering all the way up to Shadow of the Bat work.

  5. This is wonderful news. Breyfogle is the Batman artist I grew up with and I hope that he can get the help that he needs. I checked and contributed towards the fundraiser and they're under half their goal with 34 days to go.

    As for the contents of the book, since this is a Vol. 1, there is plenty of content before December, 1992's Birth of the Demon. According to comicbookdb.com, Norm's work on Batman before BotD includes: 'Tec # 579, 582-594, 601-621, a backup in 627, Batman # 455-466, 470-476, backups in Batman Annuals # 11-12, the Holy Terror OGN, Shadow of the Bat # 1-5, and some pinups and covers from various issues. He also did parts of four different crossovers: The Penguin Affair, The Idiot Root, Destroyer, & The Return of Scarface. It's a pity the non-Breyfogle issues probably won't be included though since he wasn't the penciler. That's roughly 60-ish issues before Birth of the Demon and we know there won't be that many in this collection, so it would be extremely dissapointing if the did choose to reprint BotD.

  6. Five crossovers I think. Detective #617 about The Joker is technically connected to Batman #450 & #451 by Wolfman and Aparo. However, it's not terribly connected.

  7. Of minor note, Spain already collected Norm's work in 5 volumes, these were the contents: I'd bet my life these quite won't match ours
    Vol 1: Tec 579, Tec 582-594, Tec 596-597 (597 is in vol 2 actually, oddly enough)
    Vol 2: Tec 601-614
    Vol 3: BM 448, Tec 615, BM 449 (The Penguin Affair), Tec 616-621, and BM 455-459, and just Breyfogle's tale from Tec 627
    Vol 4: BM 460-471, The Idiot arc which is BM 472,Tec 639, BM 473, Tec 640, and the Detroyer arc which is BM 474,LOTDK 27, Tec 641
    Vol 5: Return of Scarface which is BM 475, Tec 642, BM 476...then SOTB stuff such as 1-5, 13, 50, 66-67, and finally BM 556

    1. Looks like the first American version (Vol. 1 of a few, hopefully) will collect most of Vol. 1 of your edition.

    2. Am.I correct in thinking the Spanish releases are in Spanish?
      Might sound obvious but some countries release English comics.
      I ask as the vol 3 of the Spanish one appeals to me but Amazon says its in spanish

  8. Will this be available in digital format (comixology or similar)?

    I live in a complicated zone of the world, and would love to help Norm.
    I grew up with his awesome Batman style together with Grant's prose.

    His batman remains uniquely dynamic and iconic to me.

  9. Some news about Volume 2? The first one was incredible!!