The comic book community lost a legend recently with the passing of artist Tim Sale. Sale not only made an impact at DC Comics but also at Marvel while teaming with Jeph Loeb on stories involving Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Captain America. For today’s TBU Five Things, I wanted to celebrate an impactful comic legacy by listing my favorite Batman panels that were drawn by the great artist so we can take some time remembering Tim Sale.
#1: The Villain Team-Up at The End of The Long Halloween
There have been a lot of panels drawn by artists over the years that show Batman’s rogues gallery altogether, but for my money, this is the definitive one. It comes at the end of The Long Halloween (my favorite story). It is a panel of the villains confronting Carmine Falcone, and it’s the moment that the costumed criminals have finally taken over Gotham.
This panel has all the villains and showcases unique takes on Joker and Poison Ivy, Joker with the exaggerated chin and teeth, and Ivy with the wild leaves as her hair that’s reminiscent of a tree. I have also always enjoyed the true cat-like mask that Sale put on Catwoman, too.
#2: The Candlelight Oath
This is another classic panel that has been recreated many times. The candlelight oath that Dick Grayson takes with Batman to never swerve from the path of righteousness. Another unique thing Sale did was draw Batman so much larger than Dick Grayson. Batman looked truly larger than life next to Grayson. Sale also added a bit of circus flair to Dick’s Robin costume that I haven’t really ever seen elsewhere. It was a nice touch.
#3: The Pumpkin Batsignal
This comes from the often forgotten and underrated Batman story from the Dynamic Duo of Loeb and Sale, Haunted Knight. In all of his Batman work, Sale was always putting Batman in front of the Bat-signal in cool ways. This shot is especially cool because the Scarecrow vandalized the Bat-signal to make it look like a jack-o-lantern. It’s just a cool Halloween shot that I’ve always liked.
#4: Catwoman/Batman Chase
This is from a short story called “Date Knight” written by Darwyn Cooke. It’s just a classic tale of Batman stopping Catwoman during a robbery, but Catwoman is actually leading Batman on a chase through Gotham. It’s her version of a “date.” This panel is interesting because of how Catwoman forced Batman to almost “cuddle” up to her.
#5: Classic Batman Panel
This is a recent one from The Long Halloween Special that recently came out. Sale has drawn a lot of classic Batman shots. The last page of The Long Halloween comes to mind. Sale was always great at drawing characters, especially Batman, in the shadows. All we see here is Batman’s chin, his white eyes, the belt, and some of the Bat emblem on his chest. Batman in silhouette is always a great choice, and no one did it better than Sale.
I know it’s not Batman, but this is my favorite Superman panel ever from Superman: For All Seasons that Sale worked with Loeb on, so I just wanted to share it here as well.
Tim Sale was a true legend, and no matter who your favorite character is, I’m willing to bet he worked on that character. Sale and Loeb are on the short list of greatest writer and artists teams. These were some of my favorite panels from Tim Sale but what are yours? Be sure to share them wherever you can and we can together spend time remembering Tim Sale.