It’s hard to overstate the impact of Dwayne McDuffie on the DC Universe. He wrote and produced iconic animated series like Justice League Unlimited, created beloved characters like Static, co-founded the creation of Milestone Media, and wrote countless comics for countless characters which earned him a total of three Eisner nominations through his career. With a legacy like that, it’s pretty difficult to zero in on just one thing to read—and rest assured, you could pretty much throw a dart at McDuffie’s bibliography and come up with some excellent stories—but I’m here today to talk about one of my favorites. It’s called Batman: Blink, and though you can find it collected as a trade now, it was originally published in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #156-158 and #164-167.
Blink is a good ol’ fashioned detective story for Batman and Gordon, featuring a mysterious serial killer stalking the streets of Gotham. Bruce is working alongside the GCPD to try and put the pieces together when something strange happens—a blind man by the name of Lee Hyland arrives at one of the murder scenes one day and inadvertently makes himself a suspect.
But naturally, there’s more to it than just dumb luck or fateful accidents. It turns out Hyland has a remarkable ability to see through the eyes of the people he touches. It doesn’t last forever—just a few hours, maybe a day. But it ultimately allows him a window into their lives. Of course, this is Gotham, so Hyland’s been using his gift to scam people until he winds up using it on the wrong person and witnesses a murder. That’s how and why he arrived on the scene, but now he has to convince Batman and Gordon he’s not guilty and help lead them to the real killer.
We already talked about McDuffie’s legacy, so it won’t surprise you to know that this book is fantastically written, but McDuffie’s scripts are elevated by the lines and color of a phenomenal writing and coloring team. Val Semeiks, Dan Green and James Sinclair join forces across the issues. Their work brings a bright, graphic look to the grit and grime of an otherwise noir story. This book looks and feels like pure, early-aughts Batman—and we mean that in the best way possible. Also, Brain Stelfreeze provided the covers for the issues, so make sure you don’t miss out on them.
A Few Reasons to Read:
- If you like Batman as the World’s Greatest Detective, look no further. This is your quintessential Batman mystery, with interesting twists, a (mostly) grounded flavor, and plenty of moments that will keep you guessing to the very end. It also introduces a handful of brand new, very colorful characters to populate the story. They may not be major players like the Joker or Catwoman, but they’re certainly memorable!
- McDuffie’s work on animated TV shows earns a lot of well-deserved praise, but this story drives home his skill as a writer in a brand new way. If you only know him from things like Static Shock or Justice League Unlimited, this is the perfect stepping stone to bridge the gap.
- Looking for a Batman story that requires absolutely no catching up? Look no further! This Weekend Escape is exactly that—you don’t have to be caught up on any current storylines and it requires no prior knowledge of any sort of continuity. You can start from absolute zero and still enjoy every page.
- Have you already read and memorized other classic Batman mysteries like Hush or The Long Halloween and now want something that will offer up the same pulp-y true crime vibes? Give Blink a shot!
Why We Think You’ll Love It:
There really is nothing better than a good Batman murder mystery and this one’s got everything anyone could ask for: grisly murders, hard-boiled detective action, plenty of weird and wonderful surprises that only a city like Gotham can deliver, all wrapped up in a punchy, easily digestible shell. Blink is a Batman book for everyone, from brand new readers who have maybe only seen the animated TV shows or watched a movie or two, to long time veterans who are looking to fill in the gaps in their knowledge. It’s the very definition of a Weekend Escape—perfect for a quiet Saturday or Sunday evening at home.
Batman: Blink by Dwayne McDuffie, Val Semeiks, Dan Green and James Sinclair is available through bookstores, comic shops, libraries and digital comic retailers. It can also be read in full on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.
Mason Downey writes about comics, movies, TV and the history of superheroes for DC.com. Look for more of his writing on IGN, GameSpot and Polygon, and follow him on Twitter at @rustypolished.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Mason Downey and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.