A History Of Harpers Row In Batman #12

A History Of Harpers Row In Batman #12

Posted by August 8, 2012 Comment

In 1962 Harper & Brothers merged with Row, Peterson & Company to become Harper & Row. In 1990, the firm merged with its Britsih publisher to become HarperCollins and then just Harper.

The earlier name seems to have stuck with writer Scott Snyder. Here she is in Batman #1.

Here she is, in a different attire, in Batman #7. They seem to have a history…

And now in Batman #12, we get to find out more. And exactly why Batman was on her case…

No, no, it wasn’t stealing food from issue 1’s banquet…

That’s right, it was “helping” Batman when he had his own agenda. C’mon, when was the last time a Batman book even looked a little like it was from the same world as Scott Pilgrim?

Anyway, so yeah, never get in the way of a Bat agenda. You never know what his plan is.

It’s a great little (or rather, big) issue this one. Some people have complained that Becky Cloonan‘s work is not like Greg Capullo and that this is a terrible thing and shouldn’t be allowed as a fill in. Well that’s the point, it’s not a fill in. Greg Capello is an amazing comics artist, but his work has the veneer of fantasy. Great for the Court Of Owls, less great for Harper Row’s world and totally unsuitable for this issue. Becky’s work feels far more grounded, far more real. Also, Becky didn’t draw all the book, there’s a scene where Batman, absent for most of this issue, suddenly appears for a superhero fight and Andy Clarke‘s art kicks in, because suddenly we are in superhero territory. It’s jarring, but it’s jarring for a reason. It’s rare that books use separate artists like this, Dave Johnson and Travis Charest on WildCATS is a good example, and it doesn’t pan off as well as that example, but it’s an effective rarely used device.

Becky Cloonan is the first female artist on Batman or Detective Comics. Doesn’t that feel a little weird?

(Last Updated August 10, 2012 4:50 pm )

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About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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