The Batman stories of one of Oklahoma's greatest comic-book writers have been collected in the book “Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin.”
The book, released last month, collects for the first time all of Goodwin's “Batman” stories, including stories from “Detective Comics,” “Showcase '95,” “Batman: Black and White,” “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight” and “Batman: Night Cries.”
Goodwin, who died in 1998, was an influential comic-book writer and editor.
As a writer, he created the Paul Kirk “Manhunter” character with artist Walter Simonson. He was named best writer (dramatic division) in the industry in 1973 and 1974 by the Academy of Comic Book Arts. The “Manhunter” stories, included in this volume, show Goodwin's mastery of pacing in stories that were originally released in eight-page segments.
“Manhunter” is an international spy conspiracy thriller, featuring Paul Kirk, former big-game hunter and intelligence officer. When he's trampled by an elephant, Kirk is left for dead, but he's frozen, then brought back to life by the international cabal known as the Council. Kirk turns against his would-be masters in this adventure that mixes sci-fi and espionage for a compelling story that was a fan favorite in the 1970s. The silent epilogue story written for the 1999 “Manhunter” collection is also included.
Another noted story in the collection is “Death Flies the Haunted Skies,” from “Detective Comics” No. 442, drawn by Alex Toth.
Other stories in the volume feature art by Jim Aparo, Sal Amendola, Marshall Rogers, Scott Hampton, Dan Jurgens, Gene Ha and Howard Chaykin.
Goodwin was an editor of Warren Publishing's comics magazine anthologies “Creepy” and “Eerie.”
He was Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief from 1976-1978. He was the founding editor of Marvel's creator-owned “Epic” line.
Later, as an editor at DC Comics, he shepherded James Robinson's acclaimed “Starman” and the award-winning “Batman: The Long Halloween.”
In his career, he also wrote for the comics “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.” He wrote comic strips including “Star Wars” and “Secret Agent X-9.” And he adapted the films “Alien” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” for comics.
Goodwin attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa and considered himself a Tulsan, although he was born in Kansas City, Mo. Goodwin was posthumously honored with induction into the Oklahoma Comic Creators Hall of Fame in 2007, and in 2008, was awarded the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing.
“As a writer, he stood atop his profession longer than anyone,” said Paul Levitz, then DC Comics' publisher, following Goodwin's death in 1998.