Batman Family

Influential 1970's series featuring the whole roster of Batman-related characters.

Batman Family ran for twenty issues in the 1970s and featured original lead stories teaming Batgirl and Robin, but backed up by reprints from older Batman-related books. It was eventually outselling Detective Comics, which had a hard time staying afloat during the 1970s with low sales and frequent possible cancellations dangling over its head. When an actual order came down to quit publication on Detective, a compromise was enacted that merged the better-selling Batman Family with DC's old flagship book (After all, DC Comics is called "Dee See" because of Detective Comics) and this effectively created a hybrid comic featuring Batman and Batman Family material. (Eventually Detective shed the Batman Family infusion.)

Among the hardcore Batman fans who eschewed distractions like Robin, Batgirl, Batwoman, Bat-Dog, etc., Batman Family was a bit of an abomination, containing storylines that veered toward the emotional inter-relational tales that were coming out of Marvel Comics and other books that had more soap opera to fill out the background of the action.

The irony is that the under-selling Detective Comics featured the kind of obsessive solo-Batman tales that Frank Miller would heavily refurbish into Dark Knight Returns.

The Batman Family storylines are arguably an early template for the 21st century Batman comics, personality-based tales with a growing roster of cast members that complicate Bruce Wayne's life and his single minded war on crime.


Original Page Oct 2013| Updated April 2016