Batman: The Cult #1 - Bernie Wrightson art & cover

Bernie Wrightson
span style="font-weight: bold;">Batman: The Cult v1 #1, 1988 - In Gotham, the homeless go missing and criminals are mysteriously murdered. Clues lead the Batman into the city's sewers, where the charismatic Deacon Blackfire resides. Bernie Wrightson illustrates the mini-series with weight and solemnity. His brushwork is looser than previous works, lacking definition in a few panels here and there. He compensates with well designed sequences, starting with the Batman's nightmarish encounter with the Joker (see interior page below). Overall the art is appropriately dark, somber and disturbing. Interestingly, Wrightson teamed up with writer Jim Starlin once before on the Hulk/Thing graphic novel. This is number 1 of 4 Batman The Cult issues with Wrightson art and/or covers.
- - - - - - - - - -
Wrightson painted cover = ***
"Ordeal" Wrightson story pencils and inks 45 pages = ***
Wrightson inside back cover and facing page pencils and inks = **

Bernie Wrightson
- - - - - - - - - -
Home / Wrightson / Batman: The Cult
>this issue >Wrightson


  1. Just recently found your blog & is now one of my favorites.
    I heard that Wrightson got carpal tunnel from working on "Frankenstein" & would explain his "diminished inking skills" on the Cult & everything after.
    I do agree that Redondo probably had less involvement with Rima #7 as previously thought.
    Probably ghosted by various Redondo Studio artists?
    My two all time favorite comics, at least from the point of view of the art,
    are Steranko's story from Tower Of Shadows #1 & P.Craig Russell's original Dr. Strange Annual.
    I consider these masterpieces.
    I take it you're not a fan of P.Craig Russell's art? I'd love to see your review of the Dr. Strange Annual.
    Also would like your review of Arthur Suydam's obscure early efforts on House Of Secrets #119 "Carnival Of Dwarfs" & House Of Secrets #131 "Island of Crawling Flesh".
    Thank you for turning me on to great books I wasn't aware of. And keep up the great work!

  2. My "Top 10 Steranko issues" post puts his Tower of Shadows issue at the top, so I'm in agreement there.
    Regarding P. Craig Russell, his bronze age work (including Dr. Strange annual #1) is not among my favorites. He struggled to find his voice while being too much influenced by Barry Windsor Smith. Over the next decade, his art vastly improved, and I was impressed whenever I came across it (Sandman #50 is a masterwork that comes to mind). I think his work mid-1980s onward is terrific, including his story adaptations, and he remains one of the most distinctive artists today. Thanks for your comments and please continue to share your opinions.