NML Crossing

NML Crossing, Episode 069 – Batman #566 (1999)

NML Crossing, Episode Sixty-Nine

Batman #566 (June, 1999)
“The Visitor”
Writer – Kelley Puckett
Pencils – Jon Bogdanove
Inks – Eduardo Barreto
Colors – Richard & Tanya Horie
Letters – Willie Schubert & John Costanza
Edits – Illidge, Gorfinkel, O’Neil
Cover Price: $1.99

In which a strange visitor arrives in Gotham City to try his hand at saving the place… only to find out that he might just be completely out of his element. Superman puts a band-aid on a broken bone and expects it to set!

The Bada-Bin!

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2 thoughts on “NML Crossing, Episode 069 – Batman #566 (1999)

  • Superman cosplaying as Captain America may be my favorite line of any commentary I have ever heard. You cracked me up with that one.

    For me, this story harkens back to the simpler stories from Superman’s earliest adventures. I’m talking about stories where Superman would intimidate a slum lord into fixing up his run down tenement. Superman just seems to not be seeing the consequences of his good deeds. He is out of his element and out of his league in the No Man’s Land.

    There is a second visit from Superman later in No Man’s Land, so that may be the one you are thinking of.

    The placement of this issue right after Batman loosing his territory in the Claim Jumping story seems misplaced. This feels like it should have happened before Claim Jumping along with the other one and done stories. After the major shift in the No Man’s Land dynamic in Claim Jumping this fell flat for me.

    Over on The Bada Bin Show the question was asked (and answered), “Who is the best Superman artist?” Let’s tweak the question here and ask, “Who is the best Batman artist?”
    For me it will always be Jim Aparo. I started reading Batman and the Outsiders before I ever read any solo Batman series, so Aparo’s Batman is what I see when I picture Batman in my mind.

  • I listened to a few episodes over the weekend and jotted down notes on my phone of things I wanted to add in the comments here, but I didn’t specify which episode each note was for, so I’m putting them all here, which I think is where most were from anyway:

    1) I had and have similar feelings about Bogdanove as you do. Growing up, I didn’t like it much, thought it looked a little ugly. But now I like it a lot and think he’s a great storyteller. This dynamic reminds me of another 90s artist that I think you’ve said something similar about: Stroman on X-Factor.

    2) My canon is definitely just head canon at this point, although I will say that I at least have a better idea of what is considered canon at Marvel compared to DC (not saying they always respect that or play off it in all universe titles, just that there seems less confusion because of not having all the DC reboots).

    3) Superman in this issue felt off to me. As you said, he seems too naive and somewhat dumb here. I do think he’s more naive than Batman, but I also think he’s very smart and worldly – can’t write those great articles and books without it, let alone come up with some of the plans he does in any era – and I would say he’s more optimistic than naive.

    Given that optimism, it also seems wrong to me that he would relatively give up after one shot at trying to help Gotham (keeping the second appearance Chris mentioned above in mind, maybe he doesn’t actually give up, but he certainly frames it as that in this issue, and even if he only gives up after that second issue, two attempts also doesn’t seem to match his character). Also, as much as he respects Bruce, I don’t think that respect would be why he’d stop trying to help Gotham, because his optimism and need to help would override that.

    4) This last point is something I thought of more around episode 20 of NML Crossing, then didn’t remember to add to a comment to here. Early on in Cataclysm, Aftershocks, and No Man’s Land, you had made a comment that the Batman parts of NML/NML build up were the lease compelling elements. The parts that focused on the Gordons, Batgirl, Penguin and black martket, etc … were all more compelling generally. I definitely agree with this for the early part of this era, although I think it becomes less true as the era goes on (not completely false, just less true).

    It reminds me of the Death/Reign/Return of Superman storyarc, which I also love but also was more engaging by mainly focusing on everyone but Superman: the supporting cast and Superman’s overall effect on them but also his death’s effect on them. Part of the reason I love this storyarc and 90s Superman is because the supporting cast is so important and interesting. I have a similar perspective on NML and this era of Batman.

    Interstingly, if only because this storyline also came out in the early 90s, while Knightfall does develop Batman’s supporting characters, I think it focuses on Batman/Bruce (even after his back’s broken and he’s out of the suit) more than the Death/Reign/Return of Superman. Not sure why or if that was even a conscious choice on DC’s part, but it makes me think at least.


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