To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Batman (#Batman80, #LongLiveTheBat), AFJ has decided to join in the fun with columns, lists, and reviews from now until Batman Day (Sept. 15th, 2019). The incredible thing about 80 years of Batman, in pop culture, is that we can literally feature anything from comics to movies to the Wayne Casinos. Yes, the Wayne Casinos (Google them Millenials). Today, we turn our attention to a comic book story from 1993. Enjoy Junkies! #AFJ4LIFE

Written by Rick Alaia

This week we're going to be looking at one of my favorite Batman stories, Batman: Venom, written by Dennis O'Neil. Now I know what you are saying to yourself and no, this isn't a Marvel/DC crossover. There is no symbiote in this story.
This story was originally released in 1993. I remember the thing that had captivated me the most, was the cover on Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #18. It has a disheveled Batman. He's skinny, has a long beard and is dumping pills to the floor. Of course, since it was part 3, I said to myself I had better grab 16 and 17. It was a good decision lol.
Venom is the origin story of the drug that eventually creates Bane. Batman, at the beginning of the story, is on the trail of a kidnapping victim. He tracks her to a sewer that is slowly filling with water due to a water main break. He descends into the sewer to rescue her. He finds her but the way is blocked by debris and a giant boulder. It's a race against time as the water is rising and the little girl is tied up. He struggles to move the boulder but eventually does move it. He peers over the boulder, but it was too late. The girl had drowned. He goes to tell the father of the girl who drowned. He's a doctor of some sort and is very nonchalant. The doctor explains that they weren't looking for money, but for his super pills. Batman, still being hard on himself explains he wasn't strong enough. The doctor offers Batman a pill to improve his strength. Batman considers but eventually throws the pill back to the doctor.
Batman is haunted by this girls death. He tries desperately to increase his strength but hits a wall after he injures himself trying to lift more weight. He decides to try the pills and his strength is increased dramatically. However, the Venom causes madness and loss of intelligence.
Batman realizes that the medicine has him in its grips and he locks himself in the Batcave to beat his addiction to Venom. Does it work? What's the doctor's role in this? You gotta read it to find out.
I will say that this book humanizes Batman like no other. It shows that he is a man after all. Considering the character that this drug creates, it's important to read this and see Batman's first-hand experience with Venom. You won't be disappointed. #LongLiveTheBat

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