Classic Batman Cavalcade: ‘Batman: Blink’ Is The Underrated Bat-Gem You’ve Missed
by Tony Thornley
The Batman is in theaters now and other comics sites are running pieces on stories the film is based on or could adapt in sequels. But in a special edition of Classic Comics Cavalcade, we’re going to look at a story that probably will never be adapted into another medium, but that every Bat-fan needs to check out.
Batman: Blink was originally published in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight towards the end of the series’ original run. The first part- Blink- ran through issues #156-158 and the second- Don’t Blink- ran through issues #164-167. The two stories came from Dwayne McDuffie, Val Semeiks, Dan Green, James Sinclair, Kurt Hathaway, and with covers by Bryan Stelfreeze.
This collected edition tells of Batman’s two encounters with a metahuman named Lee Hyland in his first year in the cowl. In Blink, he helps Batman break-up a group of serial killers who sell the footage of their crimes as snuff films. In Don’t Blink, Batman asks for his help after helping him escape a sinister government program. From there everything goes wrong from there, putting Hyland’s life in danger.
McDuffie wrote a story that embodies the whole idea of Legends of the Dark Knight incredibly well. It’s firmly set in year one or year two of Batman’s career, but it’s not dependent on that time. Gordon is called Lieutenant several times but there’s little else to establish the time, making it a story that can be picked up and read any time.
Semeiks, Green and Sinclair’s art is clean and dynamic. They combine for a book that’s visually distinct from the rest of the Legends of Dark Knight (which classically hewed a little closer to Vertigo’s house style), but makes it a bit of a standout.
The story is equal parts tense thriller and character piece. Hyland is an interesting and fully formed character immediately. Though we barely get to see his conman side, he’s a great counterpart of Bruce and Gordon. The noble thief is a common trope, and its used really well here.
It also makes me wish the late, great McDuffie had done more Batman. As he usually did, he stepped into this part of the DCU without any hesitation. Not every Legends story was this deft, and McDuffie made it look effortless.
This might be a story you’ve never heard of, but you should change that today. It’s jumped up my list of Batman stories I would always recommend.
Batman: Blink is available in print and digital editions from DC Comics.