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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Ohlerking Collection of Batman Comics

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1975-2001
Creator: Ohlerking, Ryan
Extent: 11.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MsC0932
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Collection of Batman and Batman related comic books.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection was donated by Ryan Ohlerking in February 2012.

Preferred Citation: Ohlerking Collection of Batman Comics, The University of Iowa Libraries.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

At the time of his donation of the collection (2012), Ryan Ohlerking was an instructor in The University of Iowa’s Intensive English Program. Ohlerking received his Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and his Bachelor’s degree in English from Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU). Prior to his position at Iowa, Ohlerking taught supplementary composition courses at NWMSU and taught at the Intensive English Program at UIUC. Ohlerking has traveled extensively throughout East Asia, Europe, and the U.S. He has lived in South Korea, where he taught English at a public elementary school, middle school, and Soon Chun Hyang University.

Inspired by a film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, Japanese graphic artists created the first costumed superhero, the Golden Bat (Agon Batto), as early as 1931. The U.S. fictional comic book character Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and appeared in the May 193[i]9 [/i]Detective Comics #27, and soon gained its own title and runs. Vowing to become an extralegal crime fighter after the murder of his parents, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne dons the costume and assumes the persona of Batman to clean Gotham City of vice. In his crusade he is helped by a variety of secondary characters including his family's butler Alfred and his sidekick Robin, and he uses secret Bat-enhanced technology to fight crime. Among his villainous opponents are the Joker, Two Face, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman.

In terms of periodization, a part of the collection dates to the "Bronze Age" of American comic books, which began between 1969 and 1971 and endured until the 1986 introduction of Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore's Watchmen both published by DC Comics. These two comics, with their darker and grittier artwork and themes inaugurated the so-called "Modern Age" or as the fans called it, the "grim and gritty era" which produced the bulk of our collection. This period also saw the emergence of a profitable series of Batman blockbuster feature films with Hollywood and other stars in the leading roles. The collection attests to the comic industry's business practices of issuing various runs to test popularity and generate collector's items, as well as to the multiplication of storylines, dimensions, character trials and spinoffs, and the intensification of art and story engaging with strong moods and emotions.
This collection consists of 11 linear feet of comic books given to the libraries by Ryan Ohlerking. Note that the issue numbers and date-spans listed in the finding aid for each title indicate the spread of dates for which we possess issues. While many of our titles are nearly all consecutive, they do not indicate uninterrupted runs.
Other comic book collections in the University of Iowa Special Collections include the Comic Books of the Bronze Age, which is comprised of mainstream U.S. comics of the 1970s and early 1980s; The ATCA Comics Collection (MsC 780), which consists of Artists' and underground comics 1969-1979; the The Jen Wolfe Collection of Female-Driven Comic Books (MsC 879), which contains comics from 1948-2006; and The Papers of Thomas Ollive Mabbott Burton Pollin Illustrated Poe Addendum (MsC 429), which includes many comic book editions of Poe's short stories.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BATMAN
Series 2: BATMAN ANNUALS
Series 3: THE BATMAN CHRONICLES
Series 4: ROBIN
Series 5: ROBIN ANNUALS
Series 6: ROBIN PLUS
Series 7: ROBIN PLUS IMPULSE
Series 8: ROBIN II
Series 9: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
Series 10: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUALS
Series 11: BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS
Series 12: BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUALS
Series 13: BATMAN MINI SERIES
Series 14: BATMAN ONE SHOTS
Series 15: BATMAN - SHADOW OF THE BAT
Series 16: BATMAN - SHADOW OF THE BAT ANNUALS
Series 17: CATWOMAN
Series 18: CATWOMAN ANNUALS
Series 19: AZREAL
Series 20: AZREAL ANNUALS
Series 21: BATMAN - GOTHAM KNIGHTS
Series 22: ANARKY
Series 23: NIGHTWING
Series 24: BATMAN DARK KNIGHT, DARK CITY
Series 25: SEEKERS
Series 26: DEATH-THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
Series 27: HELLBLAZER
Series 28: THE TRENCHCOAT BRIDAGE
Series 29: WINTER'S EDGE
Series 30: THE SANDMAN

  • Series 1: BATMAN
  • Box 1:
  • #206, 225, 226, 251, 254, 258, 260, 262-267. - November 1968-April 1975
  • #269, 270, 273, 274, 283, 288, 289, 293, 300, 313, 315-317, 319, 327, 329, 330, 353, 359 - November 1975-May 1983
  • #366-368, 373, 374, 377, 380, 383, 387-392 - December 1983-February 1986
  • Box 2:
  • #393-403, 408-416 - March 1986-February 1988
  • #421-425, 430-442 - July 1988-1989
  • #443-451 - January 1990-July 1990
  • Box 3:
  • #455-467 - October 1990-August 1991
  • #468-471, 474-481 - September 1991-July 1992
  • #482-492 - July1992-May 1993
  • Box 4:
  • #493-500 - May 1993-October 1993
  • #500/2-514, 533, 534 - October 1993-September 1996
  • #553-570 - April 19989-October 1999
  • Box 5:
  • #571-584 - November 1999-December 2000
  • #585-630 - January 2001-September 2004
  • Box 21:
  • #515-529 - February 1995-April 1996
  • #530-552 - May 1996-March 1998
  • Series 2: BATMAN ANNUALS
  • Box 5:
  • #9 - 1985
  • #11 - 1987
  • #13-17 - 1989-1993
  • #0 - 1994
  • One Million - 1998
  • #18-24 - 1994-2000
  • Series 3: THE BATMAN CHRONICLES
  • Box 6:
  • #1 Gallery - 1997
  • #1-3, 5-12 - Summer 1995-Spring 1998
  • #13-20 - Summer 1998-Spring 2000
  • Series 4: ROBIN
  • Box 6:
  • #1-16 - November 1993-April 1995
  • #17-36 - June 1995-December 1996
  • Box 7:
  • #37-53, 55, 86 - January 1997-July 1998
  • Series 5: ROBIN ANNUALS
  • Box 7:
  • #1-6 - 1992-1997
  • #0 - Oct-94
  • One Million - Nov-98
  • Series 6: ROBIN PLUS
  • Box 7:
  • 1996
  • Series 7: ROBIN PLUS IMPULSE
  • Box 7:
  • 1997
  • Series 8: ROBIN II
  • Box 7:
  • #1-4 - 1991
  • Series 9: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
  • Box 7:
  • #4, 11,21-36 - February 1990-August 1992
  • Box 8:
  • #37-56 - September 1992-January 1994
  • #57-64, 69-78 - February1994-December 1995
  • #79-101 - January 1996-Decembere 1997
  • Box 9:
  • #102-115 - January 19988-February 1999
  • #116-137 - April 1999-January 2001
  • #142-153 - June 2001-May 2002
  • Box 22:
  • #50 - Sep-93
  • Halloween Special #1-3 - December 1993-1995
  • Series 10: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUALS
  • Box 9:
  • #1-7 - 1991-1997
  • 0 - Oct-94
  • Box 21:
  • #6-10 - April-August 1990
  • Series 11: BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS
  • Box 10:
  • #255 (Silver Age Classics Issue - 1992
  • #521, 526, 528, 532, 534, 540, 545, 555, 559, 563-566, 569 - December 1982-December 1986
  • #570-571, 573, 579-584, 586-590 - January 1987-September 1988
  • #591, 593, 595, 597-600 - October 1988-May 1989
  • Box 18:
  • 374, 403, 405, 415, 417, 429, 473, 479, 481-483, 486, 500, 503, 504 - April 1968-June 1981
  • Box 11:
  • #602-617 - June 1989-July 1990
  • #618-632 - July 1990-July 1991
  • #634-638, 641-644, 646-650 - August 1991-September 1992
  • Box 12:
  • #651-664 - October 1992-July 1993
  • #665-678 - August 1993-September 1994
  • #679-690 - November 1994-October 1995
  • Box 13:
  • #691-708 - November 1995-April 1997
  • #709-728 - May 1997-January 1999
  • #729-744 - February 1999-May 2000
  • Box 14:
  • #745-758 - June 2000-July 2001
  • Box 22:
  • #472, 473, 640 - December-January 1992
  • Series 12: BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUALS
  • Box 14:
  • #2-10 - 1989-1997
  • #0 - Oct-94
  • One Million - Nov-98
  • Series 13: BATMAN MINI SERIES
  • Box 14:
  • Thillkiller Batgirl and Robin, #1-3 - 1997
  • Batman vs. Wildcat, #1-3 - 1997
  • Batman Toyman, #1-4 - 1998-1999
  • Bane of the Demon, #1-4 - 1998
  • Batman & Superman - World's Finestm #1-10 - April 1999-January 2000
  • Box 15:
  • The Long Halloween, #1-9, 11-13 - 1996
  • Batman vs. Predator, #1-3 - 1991-1998
  • Batman vs. Predator II, #1-4 - 1991-1998
  • Batman vs. Predator III, #1-4 - 1991-1998
  • Gotham Nights, #1-4 - March-June 1992
  • Gotham Nights II, #1-4 - March-June 1995
  • Batman Black and White, #1-4 - June-September 1996
  • Batman Tarzan, #1-4 - September-December 1999
  • Turning Point, #1-5 - 1-Jan
  • Batman 80-Page Giant, #1-3 - August 1998-July 2000
  • Box 16:
  • GCPD, #1-4 - August-November 1996
  • Gordon's Law, #1,3-4 - December 1996-March 1997
  • Vengeance of Bane - 1993
  • Vengeance of Bane IISspecial - 1995
  • Two Faces, #1 - Nov-98
  • Knightfall Two Face Showcard 93, #13-14 - 1993
  • Secret Files & Origins, #1 - October 1997, December 1999
  • The Joker Showcase 95 - January-February 1993
  • Joker's Apprentice - May-99
  • Blackgate - 1997
  • Blackgate - Isle of Men - April 19989-October 1999
  • Jazz #1-3 - April-June 1995
  • Dark Knight Gallery - January 1996-December 1997
  • Knight Gallery - 1995
  • Men-Bat, #1-3 - February -April 1996
  • Arkham Asylum, #1 - May-98
  • Arkham Showcase 94, #1 - Mar-94
  • No Man's Land, #0-1 - December 1998-March 1999
  • Justice League Task Force, #5-6 - October-November 1993
  • Green Arrow, #134-135 - July-August 1998
  • Series 14: BATMAN ONE SHOTS
  • Box 16:
  • The Saga of Ra's Al Ghul, #4 - Apr-88
  • Birds of Prey, #27 - 1-Mar
  • Death of Innocents - Nov-96
  • Outlaws - 2000
  • Run, Riddler, Run #3 - 1992
  • Batman Returns - 1992
  • The Brave and the Bold, #200 - Jul-83
  • Secret Origins feat. Batman vs. The Mudpack - Sep-89
  • Box 17:
  • Devil's Asylum, #1 - 1995
  • Scarecrow, #1 - Feb-98
  • Batman/Hellboy/Starman, #1 - 1999
  • Mask of the Phantasm - 1994
  • Day of Judgment, #1 - Nov-99
  • Seduction of the Gun, #1 - 1993
  • Batman Plus Arsenal #1 - 1997
  • Batman/Huntress/Spoiler: Blunt Trauma, #1 - May-98
  • Series 15: BATMAN - SHADOW OF THE BAT
  • Box 17:
  • #1-3 - June 1992-June 1993
  • #14-28 - July 1993-June 1994
  • #29-41 - July 1994-August 1995
  • Box 18:
  • #42-57 - September 1995-December 1996
  • #58-72 - January 1997-March 1998
  • #73-94 - April 1998-February 2000
  • Series 16: BATMAN - SHADOW OF THE BAT ANNUALS
  • Box 18:
  • #1-5 - 1993, 1996-1997
  • #0 - Oct-94
  • One Million - Nov-98
  • Series 17: CATWOMAN
  • Box 19:
  • #1, 6-7, 12-13, 17-21, 25-30 - August 1993-March 1996
  • #31-32, 36-37, 44-51, 56-60, 63-65, 90 - March 1996-March 2001
  • Series 18: CATWOMAN ANNUALS
  • Box 19:
  • #2-3 - 1995-1996
  • One Million - Nov-98
  • Catwoman plus#1 - 1997
  • Series 19: AZREAL
  • Box 19:
  • #1-20 - February 1995-August 1996
  • Box 20:
  • #21-44, 46 - September 1996-October 1998
  • Series 20: AZREAL ANNUALS
  • Box 20:
  • #1-2 - 1995-1997
  • One Million - Nov-98
  • Azrael plus, #1 - 1996
  • Series 21: BATMAN - GOTHAM KNIGHTS
  • Box 20:
  • #1-16 - March 2000-June 2001
  • Series 22: ANARKY
  • Box 20:
  • #1-4
  • Series 23: NIGHTWING
  • Box 21:
  • #1-4; Miniseries 1,23,53; Annual 1997; One Million; Alfred's Return
  • Series 24: BATMAN DARK KNIGHT, DARK CITY
  • Box 22:
  • Miniseries, #1-3 - August -September 1990
  • Series 25: SEEKERS
  • Box 22:
  • #1-5 - January 1996-April 1997
  • Series 26: DEATH-THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
  • Box 22:
  • Miniseries #1-3 - April-June 1996
  • Series 27: HELLBLAZER
  • Box 22:
  • Miniseries #1-2 - December 1997-January 1998
  • Series 28: THE TRENCHCOAT BRIDAGE
  • Box 22:
  • Miniseries #1-4 - March-June 1999
  • Series 29: WINTER'S EDGE
  • Box 22:
  • #12 - 1998-1999
  • Series 30: THE SANDMAN
  • Box 22:
  • #70-75 - August 1995-March 1996

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.