Published: August 1st, 1995
Written by: Neil Gaiman, Mark Waid, various
Art by: Bernie Mireault, Joe Matt, Matt Wagner, various
DC Comics, 192 Pages
Ever since reading one of my favorite collected editions of all-time The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told, when I got it back in 1989, I’ve wanted other big collections of Batman’s best villains. In recent years, DC Comics released some villain collections under the Arkham title. But before getting into those, I picked up this, which was a special release around the time that Batman Forever came out in theaters in 1995.
By the title and the cover, this obviously focuses on Two-Face and Riddler stories. It does also feature one Penguin tale too, as one of the tales collected here was the Original Sin sin story written by Neil Gaiman, which appeared in the Secret Origins Special #1 in 1989.
Like The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told, this trade paperback covers Two-Face and Riddler stories as far back as 1941 up through the early 1990s, just before this was released.
It gives the origin stories of both supervillains. In the case of Two-Face, we actually get to see three different variations of his origin. While names and details may conflict, it fleshes out who he is really well.
The only real negative is that this is pretty short at less than 200 pages. Therefore, there is more emphasis on origin stuff and not much in regards to just regular stories and run-ins with Batman.
The Arkham series of trade paperbacks will rectify that for me, as each one is much bigger than this book and focused solely on one villain per volume.
Still, if you are a fan of Two-Face or the Riddler, this is something you should add to your collection, as it gives you their first stories and shows how they have evolved over the decades.
Pairs well with: The villain anthologies under the Batman – Arkham banner.