Batman: Shaman
by Dennis O'Neil, Edward Hannigan
(DC Comics, 1993;
originally published in 1989-90 as
Legends of the Dark Knight #1-5)

DC Comics attempted to cash in on the advent of Batmania, following the release of the first successful Batman movie starring Michael Keaton, with the launch of a new monthly series, Legends of the Dark Knight. Still going strong more than a decade later, the series got off to a good start with Shaman, a story arc tied to native bat lore and the importance of masks.

Bruce Wayne, during his formative years of training abroad, spent a portion of his time in cold Alaska climes with a famed tracker and bounty hunter. Their mission didn't go as planned, but it did land Wayne in the tender care of a native shaman and his beautiful (of course) daughter -- for whom the healing process involves the telling of a legend of Bat and Raven.

Flash to Gotham City, where Batman begins his fight against crime. He soon finds himself embroiled in a clash between religious fervor from north and south -- and an apparent manifestation of angry gods.

The story, writen by Dennis O'Neil, shows a Batman not yet secure in his abilities and coming to terms with his new identity. It bodes well for the future of the series -- a future that, to date, has unfolded rather well.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 25 October 2003

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