Ed Pinsent’s ‘Illegal Batman’ Returns For ‘The Forgotten Batman’ Mini-Series

by Richard Bruton

The Illegal Batman returns! Oh yes, Ed Pinsent‘s legendary fan-art series is back with a new 3-part series, The Forgotten Batman!

Ed Pinsent is something of a British comics legend and he’s been making these Illegal Batman comics off and on since 1989. It’s one of those strips/comics that many know about, yet few actually own. Suffice it to say that it’s such a brilliant, bizarre thing, as wonderfully idiosyncratic, as all of his other work.

Obviously, these are effectively fan-art books, following a long history of comics pastiching other works and, as Pinsent points out on each of these releases, “Batman copyright and trademarks are owned by Warner Brothers and DC Comics. Illegal Batman was written and drawn by Ed Pinsent and is a work of fan art” – that should cover it.

The original Illegal Batman book by Ed Pinsent, 1989

When it came to the underground/ self-publishing scene in 80s/early 90s Britain, Ed Pinsent was a name on the scene, alongside Eddie Campbell, Glenn Dakin, Woodrow Phoenix, and pretty much everyone who worked for/at Escape Magazine, including Paul Gravett. Pinsent is a hugely important artist in the history of Brit comics and also a key player in the Fast Fiction movement of the 80s/90s, taking over the edits on Fast Fiction magazine from Phil Elliott in 1984 and running the Fast Fiction mail order & distro service from 1987-1990, taking over that role from Paul Gravett.

In The Forgotten Batman, the Illegal Batman has attained the high summer of Illegal Batmandom, he’s beloved, nearly all criminals are vanquished, Gotham City is full of smiles and sunshine. With his life’s mission over, Illegal Batman feels in something of a funk, renounces all gadgets and Bat-wizardry, becoming ineffectual and useless.

Illegal Batman: The Forgotten Batman book 1


“A strange time for an Illegal Batman who finds himself somehow infected by a cloud of unknowning. It affects his behaviour, he grows a beard, and changes his costume such that he resembles a 19th-century dandy. His crime-fighting suffers, he feels himself to be irrelevant, and we see the rise of an organised criminal syndicate, led by the hideous crook Monster Pig, operating from The Big Sty. At the same time, the ambitious Officer Sanford tries to make a name for himself by pushing new technology as the answer to everything.” – Ed Pinsent on The Forgotten Batman

Art from the original Illegal Batman book by Ed Pinsent, 1989
Art from the original Illegal Batman book by Ed Pinsent, 1989
Art from Illegal Batman in the Moon by Ed Pinsent, 1989

Illegal Batman: The Forgotten Batman book 1 of 3 by Ed Pinsent is available right now from Pinsent’s Lulu page, a 28 A4 black & white pages. And as Ed points out – ‘I am making zero profit on any sales, and the cost of ordering / shipping reflects the prices Lulu.com charge for creating the book and sending it to you.’ So DC, no legal stuff please, it’s a parody, it’s a pastiche.

Pinsent’s other books are available through his webshop.

And you can get free digital downloads of Illegal Batman (1989) here and Illegal Batman in the Moon (2011) here.


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