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Literature / The Further Adventures of Batman

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An Anthology series, featuring many different authors (mostly Speculative Fiction and Crime Fiction mainstays) trying their hand at Batman prose stories. Martin H. Greenberg acted as acquiring editor.

All of these books were published by Bantam Books, mostly throughout the 1990s, all as tie-ins to the film series.

Anthology titles:

  • The Further Adventures of Batman (1989). Released to tie-in to Batman (1989) and the character's fiftieth anniversary.
  • The Further Adventures of The Joker (1990). Released to tie-in to his fiftieth anniversary.
  • The Further Adventures of Batman Volume 2: Featuring the Penguin (1992). Released to tie-in to Batman Returns.
  • The Further Adventures of Batman Volume 3: Featuring Catwoman (1993). Released to tie-in to Batman Returns.
  • Adventures of the Batman and Tales of the Batman (1995). Released to tie-in to Batman Forever. Purely reprints from the earlier collections, now in hardcovers.
  • Legends of the Batman (1997). Released to tie-in to Batman & Robin. Mostly reprints like the prior two, but features two original stories by Dennis O Neil centered on Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze.

Works in the anthologies:

    The Further Adventures of Batman 

    The Further Adventures of The Joker 

    The Further Adventures of Batman Volume 2: Featuring the Penguin 

    The Further Adventures of Batman Volume 3: Featuring Catwoman 

Tropes from the anthologies:

  • All Just a Dream:
    • "The Joker's War": This story is revealed to have been a dream of the Joker's, brought on by shock therapy at Arkham Asylum,
    • "Masks": This story turns out to have been dreams the Joker is having, an effect of a new chemical that triggers nightmares in the victim, which he tried to use on Batman but accidentally dosed himself with.
  • Anthology: The stories are primarily about DC Comics characters, focusing on Gotham, but some of the stories approach the subject in a more oblique method.
  • As You Know: In "Subway Jack", when Bruce is explaining rather obvious things to Alfred, such as mud getting tracked in by the murderer, he gets treated to a bit of snark.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The premise of "Northwestward" by Isaac Asimov contains a Bruce Wayne who was an actual person assisting the police by solving crimes, creating the basis of the comicbook character from Batman. That is only true within the fictional world of the Black Widowers.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Some stories certainly don't hold back when it comes delving into the gruesome. One such example (and possibly the most notable instance) is Will Murray's "Bone", in which the Joker removes people's faces on live television.
  • Continuity Nod: Most of the stories contain a reference to Robin's death, which occurred in the then-recent storyline, A Death in the Family.
  • Enemy Mime: In "The Sound Of One Hand Clapping", the Joker, Batman's notorious Monster Clown antagonist, falls in love with Camilla Cameo, also known as "The Mime". She wears mime makeup and the only sounds she ever makes is one scream and one peal of laughter. Quite a Foil for the garrulous Joker.
  • Epistolary Novel: "The Batman Memos" is written as a set of memos internal to Selznick International Studios during 1942, as they attempt to create a Batman film with the support of Wayne Enterprises.
  • Exact Words: In "Northwestward", by Isaac Asimov, Henry requests clarification on if Mr Pennyworth said "northwest" or "northwestward" because one means a particular direction and the other has several possible meanings.
  • Fairplay Whodunnit: In "Northwestward", the clues are all presented during the grilling, and The Summation doesn't start until the diners turn to Henry for advice. The only missing clue is that there used to be a popular airline company named Northwest Airlines.
  • Fan Convention: In "Northwestward", Mr Wayne isn't feeling well enough to attend as a guest for a convention in Minneapolis, so he sends his trusty butler Mr Pennyworth, instead.
  • Fancy Dinner: In "Northwestward", the Black Widowers club meets every month at the Milano, a fancy restaurant in New York City. Tonight, they're served crableg cocktails, veal marengo, baked Alaska, brandy, and coffee.
  • Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue: In "Northwestward", despite including a fair bit of activity by the characters and describing their food and drink, the Milano is left relatively bereft of description.
  • First-Person Perspective: "Subway Jack" is written from several different perspectives, including having narration from inside Gordon's head or Batman's case files.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: In "Wise Men Of Gotham", Bruce Wayne is at a costume ball and disguised as Batman (admittedly looking shabby due to his recent late-night activities), along with about three other people who are also pretending to be Batman.
  • Framing Device: In "Northwestward", the Fancy Dinner and grilling provide a location and characters to hear about the mystery second-hand, allowing the deductions by Henry the waiter to be more impressive.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Invoked by Batman in "Double Dribble" in that the Joker's murderous crimes were less about profit than just showing Batman up. His final act was to use gas to wipe out a convention of hypnotists as a twisted game which Batman barely stopped.
    Batman: He was willing to kill over 200 innocent people just to make me look bad. It's hard to accept a monster like that can exist in our society.
  • Hologram: In "Death Of The Dreammaster", while the Joint Chiefs are meeting with the President about a possible weapons contract, Batman demonstrates that it isn't really him by walking through the hologram. Between Batman and Nelson, it's clear that the hallucinations Bruce had been seeing were actually more holograms.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "Deadly Prey" revolves around a quartet of hunting enthusiasts who eventually turned to this and decide to use Catwoman as their next target. It backfires, fatally, for all four of them.
  • Idle Rich: In "Northwestward", Mr Wayne is retired, and describes himself as "very well off". Multiple houses are mentioned, as well as multiple servants and a museum of Batman memorabilia.
  • The Jeeves: In "Northwestward":
    • Henry is as unobtrusive as ever, deftly serving baked Alaska and solving the mystery for Mr Wayne.
    • Cecil Pennyworth is the butler to Mr Wayne, and nephew of Alfred Pennyworth. His elliptical manner of mentioning his flight plan causes the mystery of the plot.
  • Koan: In "The Sound Of One Hand Clapping", the Joker's solution to the titular koan is "a slap across the face".
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In "Brothers In Crime", the viewpoint character is Fast Eddie Giddings, a crook in Blackgate, who winds up sharing a cell with Penguin for a few months before Penguin finally informs him that they're maternal half-brothers (Penguin's mother married Giddings' father after her first husband died), and the two break out of prison and go on a crime spree together. Ultimately subverted when it turns out Penguin was lying about their being related, and was just using Giddings.
  • MacGuffin: In "Northwestward", Mr Pennyworth is carrying the most valuable part of Mr Wayne's Batman memorabilia in a single suitcase. Although he doesn't lose it, he does have a couple of close calls.
  • Mr. Smith: In "Northwestward", Mr Wayne reveals that he has a house in North Dakota, northwest of the convention in Minneapolis, where the people who care for the place in his absence know him as a 'Mr Smith'.
  • Multilayer Façade: "Death Of The Dreammaster" establishes that Bruce Wayne has multiple false identities that he uses so that his "Bruce Wayne" persona isn't connected to Batman. Gordon and Nelson seem to have connected that “Charlie Morrison” is also Batman, but nobody realizes both are aliases created by Bruce Wayne.
  • Mugging the Monster: In "Batman In Nighttown", someone decides to attend one of Bruce Wayne's elaborate charity soirees while everyone is in costume. Their costume is Batman, and they proceed to rob several guests of their expensive jewelry and hotwire one of Bruce's cars. Bruce finds the entire adventure disorienting, especially when he tries to unmask the imposter.
  • Non-Powered Costumed Hero: In "Northwestward", it's an Invoked Trope, because Mr Wayne, tonight's dinner guest, claims that the character Batman (of Batman) is "restricted to entirely human abilities" because of his insistence.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: During "Bats", Batman pretends to be having mental issues so that the psychiatrist he's investigating is able to use pharmaceuticals to help him cope. The psychiatrist then uses his hypnotized minion to convince Gotham that Batman has finally gone completely insane. Naturally, after their first session, Batman created an antidote to the drugs and pretended to be hypnotized until he got the doctor's confession on tape.
  • Oddly Named Sequel: The first anthology is named The Further Adventures of Batman. The second anthology did not reference the first, merely replacing one titular character for another (the Joker). But the third anthology uses the same title as the first, and adds Volume 2: Featuring the Penguin. Averted by the fourth anthology, which continues the trend set by the third.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Invoked at the end of "Double Dribble." The Joker had bought the Gotham Knights NBA team and used them (thanks to a disguised double giving him an alibi) to pull off robberies. After Batman stops him, the Joker escapes, calling out "how well can you hit a screwball?"
    Gordon: What do you think he meant by that?
    Batman: Well, he's screwball enough. I just hope...this doesn't mean he's going to pull this all over again when baseball season starts!
  • Secret-Keeper: During "Bats", Alfred's promise to keep Batman's private identity a secret gnaws at him, so he decides to use a typewriter for some cathartic monologuing.
  • Secret Shop: In "Neutral Ground", Kittlemeier's shop doesn't have times, an open/closed sign, or even a number for mail to be addressed to. Despite this, he maintains a brisk and expensive business as the source of equipment and costume for many of the Gotham residents.
  • Self-Parody: "Bats" has Batman apparently going insane, showing up to be filmed as "Fatman", an overweight version of himself, "Hatman", a Mad Hatter version of himself, and "Splatman", a suicidal jumper.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: "The Fifty-Third Card": While Batman is out of town, Jim Gordon starts seeing a pattern in murders. A singing group called "The Four Aces", a "king of comedy," a "queen of cosmetics," etc. At first, he seems paranoid but as more victims pile up, others realize all these victims are somehow connected to playing cards and thus it has to be the Joker. The final victim is to be the king of a small European nation visiting Gotham but Batman returns in time to stop it. The Joker is seen running off to a helicopter only for it to crash. Talking to Gordon later, Batman delivers the startling news that this was never the Joker at all. Rather, the king's cousin, Herbert, wanted the throne himself but knew just killing the king would be too suspicious. By making it look like the king was the victim of a wild Joker spree, Herbert could take the crown without suspicion. Gordon is rocked that 51 innocent people were killed to cover up a regicide but Batman then reveals that the helicopter crashed because it was sabotaged.
    Batman: Herbert was trying to kill the entire deck of cards. But he forgot one important thing: Every deck has two Jokers.
  • Servile Snarker: "Subway Jack" features an Alfred in fine form, passive-aggressively scolding his boss for not eating enough and threatening to attack him if that's what's necessary to get him to eat.
  • Staging an Intervention: "Death Of The Dreammaster" has Batman breaking into the home of an oil baron and weapons manufacturer. Recently, the man has started drinking and secluding themselves to avoid their problems. Batman points out that having a superhero there to stop your problems is a really good reason to stop drinking.
  • Stock Unsolved Mysteries: "Subway Jack" is clearly based on the historical case of Jack the Ripper, and there is a strong implication that the "God of the Razor" was the entity behind the Ripper's murders.
  • Suicidal "Gotcha!": "Bats" has Batman apparently going insane. In one case, he declares he's Splatman and jumps off a ledge to the road below... stopping only because of some Batwire tied to his ankle.
  • Switching P.O.V.: "Subway Jack" is written like instructions for drawing/writing a comic book, sometimes writes from the third-person limited perspective and sometimes from the First-Person Perspective, and said perspective changes between Jack Barrett, James Gordon, and Bruce Wayne.
  • Hyperaffixation:
    • "Death Of The Dreammaster" has several gimmicky-named tools available to Bruce, such as the BatHoist for ascending ropes.
    • "Bats" includes the typical fare of mundane items renamed with a portmanteau to Batman; Batcave, Batmobile, and Batwire.
  • Wham Line: In "Wise Men of Gotham", Batman finds himself accosted by a homeless man who thinks something is odd about Batman's eyes. In a fight with the Riddler, the homeless man takes a fatal stabbing to save Batman's life. As he dies in Batman's arms, he rasps "the eyes...the eyes of...the kid...who watched me...shoot his the stick-up..."
  • Your Costume Needs Work: In "Wise Men Of Gotham", Bruce admits his own suit isn't as good as some of the others that are also pretending to be Batman.
    • Played with in "Batman in Nighttown" when, at another costume party, Batman sees someone in a very good replica and muses that if that's how he looks to others "the effect is even better than I'd hoped."
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: In "Neutral Ground", Kittlemeier owns a Secret Shop that builds the equipment and costume for several characters, such as Batman, Riddler, and Catwoman.