Published by DC Comics in 1986, Resurrection Night is an epic Batman story featuring a wealth of the Caped Crusader’s most iconic foes. Written by Doug Moench and illustrated by a whopping 21 artists (see below) the story first appeared in Batman issue #400 and saw the Dark Knight face countless foes, all of whom are working for Ra’s al Ghul.

In addition to the main story, when Resurrection Night was initially released it was accompanied by a special introduction by author, Stephen King. King’s intro – Why I Chose Batman – discussed his interest in the Dark Knight.

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What artists illustrated Batman: Resurrection Night?

Image: ©DC Comics

The 21 artists who worked on Resurrection Night included:

  • John Byrne – Opening page
  • Steve Lightle – Chapter I
  • Bruce D. Patterson – Chapter I
  • George Perez – Chapter II
  • Paris Cullins – Chapter III
  • Larry Mahlstedt – Chapter III
  • Bill Sienkiewicz – Chapter IV + cover 
  • Art Adams – Chapter V
  • Terry Austin – Chapter V
  • Tom Sutton – Chapter VI
  • Ricardo Villagran – Chapter VI
  • Steve Leialoha – Chapter VII
  • Joe Kubert – Chapter VIII
  • Ken Steacy – Chapter IX
  • Karl Kesel – Chapter X
  • Rick Leonardi – Chapter X 
  • Brian Bolland – Chapter XI
  • Mike Grell – Pin-up
  • Michael W. Kaluta – Pin-up
  • Steve Rude – Pin-up
  • Berni Wrightson – Pin-up
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What happens in Batman: Resurrection Night?

Image: ©DC Comics

Chapter I: Trading Darkness

A note has been left in the Batcave. It reads: ‘Know Your Foes!’ But which foes and who left the note? As Batman ponders these questions, a scheme is unfolding just outside Gotham, and it involves the inmates at the state penitentiary and patients at Arkham Asylum.

Chapter II: The Master Below

An array of Batman’s most deadliest foes have been freed from their respective prisons. Half of the foes simply want to disappear into the darkness, while the other half are keen to learn the identity of the man that freed them.

Led to a seemingly abandoned windmill, the rogues meet their mysterious benefactor and agree to work with him. Pleased, he provides them with transport to Gotham City, to put his plan in place.

Chapter III: First Steps

The first stage of the plan is in full swing: Kidnap people connected to Batman/Bruce Wayne. Julia Pennyworth, Harvey Bullock and Vicki Vale are taken.

Ra’s al Ghul approaches Batman and admits that he is the mysterious puppet master that freed the Caped Crusader’s foes. Ra’s then offers Batman a deal: join forces with him and he will kill every villain, leaving Batman free from his duty as Gotham’s protector.

Chapter IV: The Tempting 

Batman refuses to take Ra’s up on his offer. As such, Ra’s leaves the Caped Crusader to face what is coming.

Chapter V: Pinocchio and Jonah’s Too!

Batman and Robin encounter Poison Ivy, Riddler, Black Spider, Catman and Scarecrow. Meanwhile, Alfred Pennyworth is kidnapped.

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Chapter VI: Barred

A gang of foes, led by Penguin and Joker take over the headquarters of the Gotham City Police Department. Taking police officers as hostages, Penguin and Joker instruct Commissioner Gordon to contact Batman so he can mount a rescue.

While Batman and Robin contemplate their next move, Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Talia enters the Batcave. Talia wants to join forces with the Dynamic Duo to foil her father.

Harvey Bullock is being held captive by Poison Ivy, Riddler and Scarecrow. Bullock tries to make his escape, but Ivy gets the drop on him.

Chapter VII: A Small Itch Scratched

Catwoman attempts a rescue, but is overwhelmed by the trio of foes.

Chapter VIII: The Big Sticking

Batman heads to The Belly of the Whale bar to look for information. He finds a clue that will lead him to Poison Ivy’s location.

Chapter IX: Branches Like Bones

Batman frees Catwoman, Bullock, Vicki Vale, and Alfred and Julia Pennyworth from the Scarecrow. Then, with help from Catwoman the pair are able to defeat Ivy, Croc and Riddler.

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Chapter X: The Dark Trade 

Batman, Talia, Robin and Catwoman storm GCPD HQ to free Gordon and the rest of the hostages. Once inside, Batman discovers that some of the rogues have already turned on themselves.

Explaining to Joker that he is being double-crossed by Ra’s al Ghul, Batman requests the Clown Prince’s assistance. Joker agrees, but once Batman has the information about al Ghul’s location, the Caped Crusader double-crosses the Joker.

Chapter XI: Under the Wind

Batman takes the fight to Ra’s al Ghul. Despite al Ghul’s enhanced strength, (following submersion in the Lazarus Pit), the Caped Crusader is able to defeat him.

Epilogue: Fated Fete 

Batman returns to the Batcave, along with Robin, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Bullock, Alfred, Julia, and Vicki. Although everyone is keen to celebrate their victory, as well as Batman’s crime-fighting anniversary, the Dark Knight begins to brood – aware there are still many foes loose in Gotham.

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Which villains feature in Batman: Resurrection Night?

Image: ©DC Comics
  • Ra’s al Ghul
  • Talia al Ghul
  • Joker
  • Penguin
  • Poison Ivy
  • Riddler
  • Black Spider
  • Catman
  • Killer Croc
  • Scarecrow 
  • Catwoman 
  • Killer Moth
  • Mad Hatter
  • Dagger
  • The Cavalier
  • Deadshot 
  • Killer Croc

The above list of villains play a significant role in Resurrection Night, but they are not the only rogues to appear in the story. Villains such as Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, Black Mask, Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee, Black Spider, Calendar Man and Crazy Quilt (amongst others) also put in brief appearances.

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Is Batman: Resurrection Night a good read?

Image: ©DC Comics

Resurrection Night is a fun Batman tale, filled with arguably one of the best elements of the Batman mythology – the villains! And because there are so many villains all in one story, the excitement and suspense never lets up!

What’s perhaps most surprising about this story is just how long it feels. Thanks to the way the tale is structured (with individual chapters and an epilogue), writer Doug Moench and his team of talented artists make this feel like a huge, sprawling story spanning more than its mere 65 pages.

Those who enjoy big Batman stories, filled with villains (Knightfall, Hush etc), will find much to enjoy in Resurrection Night. Plus the sheer amount of art on offer, from all the different artists, is enough to keep every reader entertained.

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Has Resurrection Night been adapted for film?

Resurrection Night has not been adapted for film. It certainly would make for a great movie, be it in live-action or animation.

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I hope this information on Batman: Resurrection Night has proved useful. Should you want to read more posts about Batman, please take a look through I’ll Get Drive-Thru, or alternatively check out one of the recommended reads below.

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