Remembering Norm Breyfogle: 5 Iconic Batman Moments

A visionary artist gone too soon.

DC Comics

Anyone who read Batman during the 1990s will always remember Norm Breyfogle's art. It was dynamic - an explosion of dark shadows and intense fluidity. Batman's movements, whether falling through the air or punching out the Joker, popped off the page with the feeling of high impact that Breyfogle managed to capture. His run also saw a number of innovations that changed The Dark Knight forever.

Writer Alan Grant partnered with Breyfogle for a classic run in the nineties which saw the creation of a number of new Batman villains that have since been regarded as classics. Old characters were made fresh with bold new designs bringing them into the modern age. Perhaps Norm's biggest innovation was his part in creating a DC Comics in-house brand that endures to this day.

Norm Breyfogle passed away last week at the age of 58, following years of struggling health since a 2014 stroke. To celebrate his life and illustrious career, here are five of the most iconic moments from his legendary run on Batman.

5. The Last Arkham

DC Comics

Batman: Shadows of the Bat, a new ongoing book by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, debuted in 1992. Their first story, The Last Arkham, was a psychological thriller that started off with the most shocking sight - the Dark Knight chained like a madman deep within the bowels of Arkham Asylum. There have been a series of gruesome murders, and no one, not even Batman, is above suspicion in this mystery.

The series established two new characters, Dr Jeremiah Arkham & Victor Zsasz. The creation of Dr. Arkham expanded the mythology of Arkham Asylum, as Jeremiah is the grandson of the original founder, who eventually went mad himself. The doctor wages a battle of the wills against the Dark Knight, standing in the way of Batman's true pursuit - Zsasz.

Most Batman villains, even the scary ones like the Joker, are at least a little quirky.

Not Victor Zsasz.

Whereas The Penguin and Riddler often represent criminal mental illness as almost quirky rascals, Zsasz is the cold harsh reality of the dangerously disturbed; no costume; no trick umbrellas or novelty fish that resemble him - he is a serial killer who carves himself a mark for each life he takes. The character has become iconic in the Batman mythos, and even appeared twice in live-action adaptations such as Batman Begins and the Gotham TV series.

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