They should redo this book in, like, Minecraft graphics.

§ May 22nd, 2023 § Filed under batman § 15 Comments

Just a very quick follow-up on last week’s postings about naughty words in comics…I of course found this panel almost too late to use, which I think you’re agree is perfect:

Found this while flipping through Pepe Moreno’s Batman: Digital Justice graphic novel. I’d posted it on the Twitters, and I felt like it’d been long enough since it was released that I had to explain, no, this was an actual thing that was officially released by DC and not an A.I.-generated abomination. It was a human-made abomination, thank you very much!

But I tease Batman: Digital Justice, which was hailed as a ground-breaking concept, and it was, in a way, in that computers are used in pretty much every level of comic book production. Only things don’t look quite so…computer-y nowadays. Unless they do so on purpose, natch. But Digital Justice was a leap beyond something like the computer-crafted comics Shatter, the look of which I think still holds up in its pixelated retro fashion.

It’s honestly been a while since I’ve read this, but I did read it…it came out in 1990, when you just had to slap a Bat-logo on something and people bought it. And people did buy this graphic novel by the truckload, at least at my former shop. In the decades since copies have popped up in collections now and again and the book is…not the easiest sell now. It’s not primitive-looking enough to be kitsch like Shatter, but just polished enough to look odd to the modern eye. I don’t know if the story itself holds up…Joker gets computerized something something and I’m sure every inch of this book is very much Of Its Time, but then you can say that about pretty much any Batman comic.

So share a kind thought for Batman: Digital Justice, one of the very few Bat-books that will probably not get reprinted anytime soon. But if you ever need a copy, thankfully they’re not hard to find.

Also, when I posted the above panel on Twitter, I thought for certain someone would respond with a certain other panel, but nobody did. Thus, it is up to me:

The circle is complete.

15 Responses to “They should redo this book in, like, Minecraft graphics.”

  • Sean Mageean says:

    If it is actually true that Marvel has ROM again, they need to work on getting The Micronauts back next!

  • LouReedRichards says:

    I have a copy of Digital Justice that a friend gave me when he got rid of all the Bat stuff he bought around 1989-90.

    I remember seeing it in Comics Scene back in the day and thinking “who’d buy that?” I’ve never bothered to take it out of it’s bag.

    For some reason he wouldn’t part with “The Cult” which I merely wanted for the Wrightson artwork, my thirstiness must have made him think it was somehow valuable.

  • LouReedRichards says:

    Also: Seems weird to go through all that effort to make the computer art, and then not bother to center Robin’s text in the balloon.

  • Chris V says:

    Sean-I don’t think Marvel has the rights to use ROM again. I think it’s that Marvel got Hasbro to agree to allow Marvel to reprint their original ROM comics.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Chris V:

    Thanks for the clarification…but as Hasbro currently owns the Micronauts as well, even letting Marvel reprint the classic first twelve issues of the Micronauts as a graphic novel would be a win!

  • Wayne Allen Sallee says:

    I have no depth perception and Digital Justice hurt my eyes. I can’t see in 3-D, and when I worked at Chaos in Print, looking at that cover on the front shelf just hurt. Looking back, I’m sure it was all the white and blue on the cover. Or it could be that we had really bad lighting in some areas of the store.

    TCM is currently running the BATMAN serials from the 40s. DJ Robin looks like the serials, because that Robin looks to be about thirty years old.

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    Grant Morrison homaged Digital Justice during their Batman run, because of course they did.

  • Sean Mageean says:


    There were two different actors who played Robin in the two Batman serials–are you referring to the first or second one?

    I’ve never read Batman: Digital Justice, but what’s up with the weird looking bat symbol on Batman’s chest and is it made out of Kryptonite to repel Superman…it sure looks repelling!

    Looking at just the isolated panel, I would have guessed that it was from a Batman parody story…it almost has a Kurtzman and Elder Little Annie Fanny vibe, but with subpar art.

  • Wayne Allen Sallee says:

    There was too much white and blue on the glossy front. I never read the book because for some reason they were shrink-wrapped. That could be because several customers on our pull list only wanted graphic novels. So we had maybe two for sale on the shelf.

    I’ll look re: the serials. But its washed out a lot, scenes in the Batcave are really bright.But Robin looked like Mickey Dolenz from The Monkees.

    Good thing: fifteen minutes of Batman, 15 of The Three Stooges. Sunday’s episode was “Boobs in Arms”. Times past.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “It was a human-made abomination, thank you very much!”

    As well as a high-priced (for the time) graphic novel! glad i never bought it, the art looks atrocious!

    “certain other panel”

    Miller/Lee Batman IS the Goddamn Batman!

    “For some reason he wouldn’t part with “The Cult” which I merely wanted for the Wrightson artwork, my thirstiness must have made him think it was somehow valuable.”

    You can still get them for a reasonable price! The art is great! the story is… OK.

  • Oliver says:

    Early-90s CGI could have an endearingly eccentric quality, such as the music video for Peter Gabriel’s ‘Steam’. This was just a clumsy cash-in — and I refused to buy it even though at the time I was working (briefly) in a comic shop with a substantial staff discount.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Yes! It looks like o.g. Micronauts is finally going to get a complete omnibus! And a facsimile for the first issue!

    Honestly, Micronauts no. 1 is a better comic story with better art than Star Wars no. 1!

  • Martin Wisse says:

    Digital Justice was done by the same guy who did Shatter, right? I remember the Comics Scene hype, which did made it sound interesting but I never saw it in my neck of the woods, fortunately.

  • Mikester says:

    Martin – Mike Saenz did Shatter, Pepe Moreno did Digital Justice. I had them confused at first too before I starting writing the post!

  • Pj Perez says:

    I don’t know how I had the money to buy that book when I was 13 or 14, but I did, the moment it came out, and at a release signing by the creator, no less (one lucky aspect of living on the East Coast at the time is that my local comic shop had great creator signings almost weekly). And I LOVED it. The story is nonsensical, the dialogue is stiff (fair enough, the author’s first language isn’t English), but the computer-generated aspect was just so friggin’ cool. The fact that the guy (sorry I can’t remember his name right now and am not jumping mid thought to look it up) did things like scanning a circuit board to create the Gotham cityscape of the future. I was so inspired by this book (and the other, less polished CG efforts of the time) that I tried doing my own fully CG comics. But, of course, all I had was a primitive Tandy PC with something approximating MS Paint before MS Paint was a thing, and a black dot matrix printer. So, not quite the results I was looking for. But still!