The missing issues, 13 and 14 were done by another poster so I´m not including them here. They were, however, great reads. GA #13 "The End of the Threatening Three!" is really a heartbreaking tribute to Archie Goodwin AKA Mr Nice. GA #14 "Masks of Love: A Harley Quinn Romance" continues the plotline from GA #10, Harley´s exploits as a novelist. It is also Ty Templeton´s last issue and his good-bye letter was a nice extra, you don´t usually see that from people leaving a book. I agree about the part of writing the "real" Batman too! ;)

But on to the reviews!


Gotham Adventures #12 "Never an Option"



Since this is an issue with a "2" it traditionally features Two-Face as the villain. Only this time, Harvey isn´t really a villain. Since his latest escape from Arkham, he´s been sabotaging his own crimes, delivering his henchmen to the police and now he´s even heroically solved a hostage situation at the airport. Batman´s hope that Harvey´s good side is coming out again is dashed by Harvey´s psychiatrist Dr. Sloane, who discloses that not only has Two-Face´s coin been exchanged for a trick coin that always comes up with the good side, but that she fears that the "Judge", Harvey´s third persona, will take over again, and maybe make another attempt at executing the death penalty he had previously imposed on Two-Face.

This references another episode of the BTAS: Judgement Day. If you have the time I´d recommend watching it, it´s very dramatic. I like how it focuses on Batman´s need to save everybody, especially Harvey, whom he still sees as his friend.

http://www.animeflavor.com/index.php?q=node/35958

In the comic, Batman gets not only badly hurt in a fight with Two-Face, but also a first hand impression how far gone Harvey already is. So, in spite of his injuries, Bruce deduces where Harvey will go next and sets after him a second time. After a desperate fight in the skies he manages to save Two-Face from himself.
The last panel is truly heartbreaking. When it comes to a person he cares about, even Batman is not immune to wishful thinking. :cry:

Speaking of panels, there´s one on page 9 that shows a very creative use of the cape to catch a crook!



Gotham Adventures #15 "Cash´n the Hood"



From this issue on Scott Peterson takes over the writing duties and Tim Levins is the regular penciller. I am quite partial to Levins´ Batman. His expression is less grim, but more ... melancholy, sometimes almost sad. I´m probably projecting, so whatever. :lol:

The cover does a good job of demonstrating how not to use photoshop textures, I don´t think it was ever done again in the series.

On to the story! Bane is robbing banks in broad daylight and he´s getting away. Nobody knows to where, and nobody is willing to give his hideout away. Of course, you can´t hide from Batman, but when the team of Batman, Batgirl and Robin arrives at Bane´s house in the poorest neighbourhood in Gotham, they are in for a surprise. The kids they thought were being held hostage have actually found a home and care there, and when the police come to arrest Bane the neighbours protest, claiming Bane had done much good for a neighbourhood nobody else cared for.

Batman is baffled about Bane´s motives. Has he really done it for selfless reasons? Or is he much more cunning than everyone believes him to be? (We find out in a later issue of GA!)
Alfred´s suggestion that Bane might indeed be trying to give those children a family he himself never had leaves the Batfamily pondering in silence.

It seems to me Scott Peterson has yet to find his stride. The pacing is sometimes a bit slow (I don´t think 4 pages of Bane robbing a bank were really necessary) and the storytelling is very linear.
There are a few very nice character bits though: Bruce and Tim attend a soirée of the Gotham Heart Association and the socialite he talks to finds it incredulous that Bruce is only there because he supports the cause. Another page shows a hardened criminal unfazed by Robin´s or Batgirl´s threats, but in hysterics just at the sight of Batman. Well, WE already knew that, but every comic is someone´s first, so ... :wink:

In the letters pages we witness the birth of a legend: the real Elise Archer writes an enthusiastic letter about the Harley Quinn story.

Gotham Adventures #10 "Mightier than the Sword"




BTAS Harley was a wonderful character, of course she was presented as a psychopath, but underneath the mania there were so many authentic feelings that I always felt she was the most flesh and blood character in the show.

The Harley and Joker relationship is disturbing, a lot of "funny" stories are if you translate them into reality. In this one I was really impressed how towards the end, from page 20 onwards, the comedy comes to a stop. Harley´s tears and her moment of truth are truly touching. Her righteous anger even overshadows Joker´s clownerie. All of a sudden it sinks in that an abusive relationship is not funny, and I find myself almost hoping she´s over it. Until the last panel, which takes you right back into toonland.

There were a few names dropped in the issue, like Salman Rushdie and Gertrude Stein, so I wondered if Elise Archer was a reference to a real person too. Seems like this time reality imitates fiction!

http://tytempletonart.wordpress.com/tag/elise-archer/



Gotham Adventures #11 " The Oldest One in the Book"




Riddler has escaped Arkham! But this time, he´s not letting Batman catch him, he´s not crazy, is he?
His first move is to force Gotham entrepreneur Charles Baxter into letting him stay in the penthouse suite of Baxter´s new hotel, the Cleopatra. From there, the plan is to provide Gordon and Batman with clues to the whereabouts of other criminals. This way, he thinks, he can match wits with his caped nemesis but stay out of his grasp. In the course of the story we see Batman and Nightwing do quite a bit of nifty combination work on Riddler´s riddles, even Gordon is impressed enough to say so.
What is really impressive though, is that Batman sees clues that Riddler never intended to be there (and some that weren´t even there at all!), and while the poor delusional fool still thinks he can pull Batman´s strings, he has already tied himself up in his own.
Like Harley in the issue before, Eddie has a moment of insight in the end. Poor crazy Riddler.


Gotham Adventures #9 "A League of His Own"



This is a story that impressed me very much for the way it handles the problem of firearms.
We know Batman won´t touch them - for personal reasons - but he also discourages his allies from carrying them, and here we see why.
The story starts with Bruce and Barbara in the Tibetan Himalayas, searching for the hideout of the Sensei. They are attacked by their guides (Tibetan freedom fighters - what??) who get away with their equipment but leave behind a pistol. Barbara admits to being scared to walk into the headquarters of the League of Assassins and that she is taking the gun with her. Batman tells her to get rid of it repeatedly, but Barbara refuses to give up the seeming advantage.
Surprisingly, the alleged headquarters are the luxurious private home of the Sensei, and the old man has an important guest... Batman and Batgirl are spotted on arrival and Batman is severely beaten up by the Sensei. Just before he can deliver the fatal blow, Batgirl draws the weapon. Sensei has no trouble at all turning the weapon in Barabara´s hand into her greatest weakness. It is so simple and and logical and delivers the point to the audience so well - brilliant!
I think you can guess who the mystery guest the Sensei was entertaining is: it´s Ra´s al Ghul! He intervenes in the fight between the Bats and the old man and orders Sensei to surrender. He hints at having "... important plans that require Bruce Wayne to remain alive". Sensei, however, chooses to withdraw instead in a rather final fashion. Or so it seems.
Click on the pic to be taken to Giancarlo Volpe´s tumblr and the complete comic. It gives interesting insight into the workings of the animation industry. It is also proof (as if anyone still had delusions about this) that there are far too many people who don´t know what they are talking about and have too much to say.



Now, where were we? Ah, it´s

Gotham Adventures #7 "Dagger´s Secret"



Tim Drake´s tenure as Robin has only started in this series, his debut was covered in Lost Years #4, with a preceeding little one panel cameo in the first issue.

In the first pages we are introduced to Charlie "Dagger" Dixon, an ex-member of Two-Face´s gang. He´s keeping company with some rather suspicious looking individuals, but claims to have gone straight after being caught by Batman twice. A Batman tattoo on his right forearm serves him as a reminder to keep on the right side of the law.
Enter Batman and Robin, searching to arrest a murderer, who feels too safe in the company of a roomful of goons to give up without a fight. The inconceivable happens: in the middle of the fight Dagger Dixon recognises - and saves - Tim in the Robin costume! It turns out that Dagger was Steven "Shifty" Drake´s partner in crime. Dagger does the math: Tim´s adoption by Bruce Wayne was all over the news (we learn that Dick was Bruce´s adopted son too from there), so the big secret is out and Dagger has enough criminal energy left in him to try to take advantage of his findings. The situation escalates when Penguins gets wind of Dagger´s plan to blackmail Bruce Wayne and it all leads to a showdown in Wayne Manor.

I won´t spoil how the situation is resolved, it is actually quite clever, but I will say that I find it remarkable that Dagger Dixon survives in this story.

I was wondering if the cartoons have more on Tim and his life before he met Batman. If there was an explanation of this "new" Tim Drake, I´ve completely forgotten it.


And now:
Écoutez bien les enfants, je vais vous raconter l´histoire de l´Homme Chauve-Souris de Paris!

Gotham Adventures #8 “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”




Before I start with the story I´d like to point out how much I like the detailed and moody rendition of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral in the background of the cover.

Batman and Batgirl follow the trail of the League of Assassins (see Deadman issue, GA #6!) to Paris to meet with Inspector Anton Legere of the Paris Sûreté, an old acquaintance of Bruce´s. Legere looks a bit like Jean Reno playing a typical Frenchman, scruffy beard, droopy eyes – the works. He leads them to the hideout of one of Sensei´s henchmen, a killer who is not at all impressed by Batman´s appearance. The planned interrogation gets a bit out of hand due to Legere´s temper tantrum and the killer´s subsequent cunning escape, but then a new player appears – the Batman of Paris, in a way. Take that, Grant Morrison!
The issue is by and large an introduction to the Hunchback, how he came to be and what may become of him.

A fun issue overall, a nice change of surroundings and a lead in to the next issue, where Batman and Batgirl continue to pursue the Sensei.


Happy Birthday today to some of my favourite people!

Happy Birthday Michelangelo Buonarotti!
March 6, 1475




Happy Birthday Will Eisner!
March 6, 1917





and
Happy Birthday David Gilmour!
March 6, 1946



You people rock my life! :)





Here´s a glass of Vivency, Brut de Loire, to you!


You may think whatever you like about old man Moore, but this is enlightening as well as entertaining.

The Last Alan Moore Interview?


The short version of the last part by the ever fabulous Ty Templeton:

http://tytempletonart.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/fussin-and-feudin-bun-toons-yay/



Nick Drake

Sep. 10th, 2013 05:35 pm
Is there anything more haunting and sadly beautiful?

Nick Drake Way to Blue from1969




Blue Italics: response to co-poster´s review, all else my own review.

Gotham Adventures #5




I saw the BTAS of course when they aired over here, but that was 10, 15? years ago! The episodes Cold Comfort and Deep Freeeze belong to the later seasons that were never made available for Europe. :(
It does explain why this story always seemed to be a bit truncated to me. There is one panel explaining the Mr Freeze basics and you get a very condensed version of the backstories of Grant Walker and Francis D´Anjou via the conversation of the characters, so I didn´t feel completely clueless, but I was aware that there was some allusion to a more elaborate backstory. I wonder why the BTAS episodes aren´t mentioned anywhere in the issue? I´ve made a note on the backer board of my issue now.

Nevertheless, there were a few points I did like quite a bit about the story.
I thought the attack on Bruce and Tim´s rescue effort were very well done. Bruce is caught beneath the ice for almost two and a half pages, and I must admit it felt agonising. I liked that he wasn´t just able to shake it off and left the case for Batgirl and Nightwing. I liked the exchange between Gordon and Bullock.

Two asides:
1) Ever since I saw what Mr Freeze did in Gotham Central I have a lot more respect for that cold schtick of his.
2) Somehow the BTAS version of Nightwing hasn´t grown on me yet, but I am completely in love with this Batgirl. Was it ever mentioned how old she was compared to Dick?

Back to the story. Victor´s contempt for everyone, especially those who are trying to help him, stands in stark contrast to his selfless love for his ex-wife. I agree this point would have worked a lot better if it had been revealed why they were no longer together.
It´s interesting that Dr D´Anjou helps Victor escape with the same words and for the very same reason Victor was compelled to save the doctor´s life: "Because she loves him".

That Nora must be a very special lady.


To tell the truth, I have only 2 Gotham Central trades and was too depressed by what I read to want to get the whole story. For me, the gritty realistic cop show realism doesn´t mesh convincingly with the fantasy world of costumed vigilantes. I was impressed with the Michael Lark art though.
In that title, you see what might really happen when a body gets deep frozen: there´s no way the victim would survive this, the deep frozen body parts would just shatter to pieces. In the story, you saw the body of an attacked policeman broken apart in the middle, the way it was shown was shocking to me.






Gotham Adventures #6


I have to confess I went into this story a bit biased. I usually don´t like the idea of everybody who turns up in a story having some special relationship to the hero. I like a universes as a tapestry with loose ends and fringes, not tied together like a Gordian knot. So I wasn´t thrilled at the idea that Deadman was murdered in the presence of Dick Grayson.

But! Just to play on the safe side, I looked at the wiki entry on Deadman and saw that there´s a story in Batman & Robin Adventures #15 called “Second Chances” that is basically a prequel to GA #6. I´m glad I dug out that issue, because it´s a) a wonderful story and b) it made my respect for Ty Templeton grow exponentially. No way could he have known he´d have a chance to follow up his earlier story almost two years later. I´m thinking he must have this very clear idea of the universe he´s writing in to make the pieces fit so perfectly. Kudos, Mr Templeton!

The cover of B&RA #16 is the billboard advertising the return of Flying Dick Grayson and the updated version, with an older, long haired Dick, features in GA #6 as a billboard in the story.
I liked the art in this very much, especially the scenes in the circus. The artist really managed to convey the height the performers worked in.
The cover leading directly into the story was also something I don´t recall ever seeing before. Neat!
The ending was very good, wasn´t it? I liked how “open” it was. And somehow comforting, given the grim subject.

On an aside, I just finished reading Neal Adam´s “Odyssey”. Deadman plays an important role there too, which isn´t surprising given Adam´s work on the character. The Sensei is still responsible for the murder of Deadman, and there is a connection to the Flying Graysons too, but it´s a bit different. :wink:


Those little finds make me appreciate the creators so much more. At first reading I liked the later issues written by Scott Peterson better than the ones by Ty Templeton. It is a bit embarrassing since this is a children´s book after all, but I sometimes had difficulties seeing the point Ty Templeton was trying to make. I think my main mistake was reading the issues completely out of order and not seeing the connections to previous issues and the cartoon episodes. I really have to try to find the DVD sets of the later series. And I wonder how the Peterson issues will hold up on second and more thorough reading.

Issue #4 was reviewed by me, the passages in blue italics are my responses to my fellow poster "N".



GA #3 was a very fun issue!

The little hero, Jason, is really a very sweet kid. I think if my mom had turned off the TV in the middle of the show I´d have thrown a tantrum. :lol:
He is a bit of a loner, it´s clear that the way he lives in a world of fantasy he won´t have too many friends in the real world. But unlike a lot of little nerds and geeks he won´t let himself be pushed around and bullied, I love how the theme of "inspired by Batman" plays out here.
The way the story seamlessly weaves in and out of "reality" is done very cleverly. At first it takes time to realise you´re jumping from audience into Justin´s POV, then in the bank scene you´re all too easily misled to thinking this was just another daydream. Turns out this time Batman really shows up -- or does he? How can a little boy´s Grey Ghost costume fit a big guy like Bats? But then, in the last panel you see a swish of the cape little Justin isn´t aware of, soooo ... :)

By the way, the incident where Justin actually meets Batman is shown in Batman Adventures #33. "Just Another Night" was also written by Ty Templeton, and it´s a very nice Bruce Wayne story. It´s interesting to see how the art style changed in those three years.











Gotham Adventures #4 „Claws“

It´s Catwoman!

This story is written from Selina´s POV, in the narration boxes we are told to expect a story of heartbreak.

In the middle of Batman´s furious chase and fight with four car hijackers Catwoman makes a grand entrance. This is her last appearance in her old costume and it breaks my heart to see how exceptionally cute she looks in it.
One of the gang members makes a run for it. He is easily cornered by Catwoman, but it looks like he´s not as dumb as he looks. He bargains his freedom with the disclosure of an illegal testing lab. Why Selina would lie to Batman about this is something I can´t understand. I can only guess that the legal route he´d have taken would have taken too long to free those animals, so she gives in to her impulse and goes on a rescue mission by herself.

Selina´s next mistake is a really bad mistake. Amy Mercedes, the owner of Mercedes Cosmetics and thus the person responsible for the illegal testing, is shown to be a heartless, self -righteous and unbearably arrogant witch with no redeeming qualities at all (I like how Rick Burchett manages to make her look botoxed), but Catwoman´s plan to kidnap her to make her “pay” goes horribly wrong. Not only does Amy Mercedes show no remorse at all, but Batman is on the kidnapping case too. It seems to me he goes through great lengths to make sure it´s really Catwoman that is behind the crime, since the clues point to her from the very start.

The last four pages really bring this emotional ride to a crescendo.

Of course Batman finds Catwoman and her kidnapping victim, it´s the old hideout from the BTAS. Batman´s words to Catwoman are as near to a confession of love as I´ve ever seen from him. But it doesn´t seem to reach her over her anger, and when Amy Mercedes shows her ugly cruel side once more, humiliating Selena in front of Batman, it´s too much. Selina runs her claws over Ms Mercedes´ face, and honestly, I couldn´t help cheering for her. I loved how Batman caught the poor kitty instead of restraining Selina!
I don´t know if Selina´s assessment of Batman´s emotional reaction to her deed was correct. Coiled with rage? I don´t know, why rage? He doesn´t look it. In her ensuing attack he doesn´t seem to defend himself much either, he clearly lets her get away. I´ll just imagine that his heart broke just as much as hers in that moment.

At the bottom of the last page we see Selina, with short black hair now, wearing her new Catwoman costume.
But it will be a long time until we see her again in the Gotham Adventures, until issue #24, if I´m not mistaken.


They are the legendary star-crossed lovers, aren´t they?

The new costumes and chracter designs in the later BTAS worked for me on varying degrees. I liked the new Batman costume and that Bruce Wayne at last got something more classy to wear. Although I did miss the floppy hair. :lol:
I think the characters that changed the most were the Joker and Catwoman. They were abstracted to a point where they no longer looked human to me. I got used to the new Joker, somehow I found his creepiness and inaccessibility were enhanced by the new design. But Selina just lost most of what made her dear to me: her femininity, her vulnerability and, sadly, her attractiveness.


"N": Here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34BCAAbTZ_U


Ah, I´ve never seen that before!
But that´s definitely not Catwoman, is it? That must be JokerCat or something. :?
Your description of the new look is absolutely accurate, "mean and vicious" is spot on.

I loved the floppy hair! Bruce was such a big, brawny guy in the first series, much bigger than I´d imagined him to be. The hair made him look a bit softer, almost boyish. I thought it fit with the softer voice he had out of costume.




 
 




A while go I reviewed the 60 issues of the Gotham Adventures series featuring the DCAU versions of Batman, Robin (Tim), Batgirl (Barbara) and Nightwing on a message board together with another Animated Batman fangirl.
Now since I did the majority of the reviews I thought I´d collect those over here before they are buried under tons of MB idiocy.

GA #1 was done by my fellow poster, so what you see here in blue print is merely my response post to her review. GA #2 however is my own honest to goodness spoilery review.


 
Gotham Adventures 1


 
This was a great way to introduce the Bat-family and three iconic villains, of course with the Joker as the star of the show. Every character has their own unmistakeable voice, the status of their relationship is established with just a few lines of dialogue.

Two more things that stand out for me:

The Joker´s lines are all pretty funny of course, but I was really amazed how the nuances of his neverending act changed depending on the situation and who he was with. At first he´s just cracking jokes, but he gets increasingly obnoxious. Alone with Barbara, he quickly switches to creepy, unsettling. He tries the same routine with Batman, but Batman doesn´t play along, the Joker´s act is stopped in its tracks and we´re reminded of the pain he´s inflicted on the Reid family. I think it´s a great moment in the comic.

I thought the panels that showed the Reid tragedy worked very well, I felt genuinely affected.
I`m generally very fond of plots that include "normal" people, citzens of Gotham, and situations and issues a normal reader can identify with.

The Joker´s easy escape had me rolling my eyes a bit. But if he hadn´t we´d never have seen Alfred´s awesome butlering!

I found Nightwing´s reproach that Batman is too trusting a bit odd. Isn´t Batman supposed to be the paranoid one?

All in all, a very enjoyable story, lots of action and suspense without gratuitous violence and a believable story about human nature.
And "Never the End", wasn´t that Bob Haney´s line?

The cover is indeed beautiful. Ty Templeton is a very talented man.


Gotham Adventures  2



The second issue is, as is tradition in the DCAU, dedicated to Two-Face.
Only in this case it´s more of a story about Harvey Dent. Two-Face´s tragedy gets a new facet added, that of a victim of an abusive, gambling father. His personality disorder and even the fixation on the coin are explained with this new backstory. Now it seems Harvey, the "good" persona, and Two-Face have united and are out to get revenge on his father, one way or the other.
Batman comes into play because Harvey wants to humiliate his father in front of a TV audience and Alfred seems to take a guilty pleasure in watching mindless game shows, which is a bit odd on both counts. Batman and Batgirl first save Dent sen. from Harvey, then Harvey from his enraged henchmen and then leave without further ado. I would have expected some sign of compassion at least from Bruce, since Harvey was his friend after all.
The story ends on a somewhat ambivalent note - fittingly I guess. Revenge is exacted, but unlike the first story, this one ends on a rather hopeless and depressing note.

I find the individuals are described rather well, the game show host is a grinning fool, the goons are opportunists and Lester Dent is a selfish, greedy and remorseless brute.
In contrast to the last story with its fast and furious romp from one colourful location to the other, this is more of a chamber play in a rather dreary set.

Maybe a last thought on the story and Harvey´s characterisation, feel free to ignore this though if you don´t want to hear anymore about the issue. Often, talking to someone just makes me realise points about a story I didn´t see clearly before.

Whether they were inherited or caused by the abuse trauma, Harvey´s own anger issues probably pave the way for the final break-down after being disfigured. While his father finds a pretext for giving in to his violent disposition in his bad luck, Harvey finds an excuse for his own violence in his quest for revenge. The coin is just a link to the past, I don´t see Harvey as a gambler himself at all.



To end on a positive note, the longer I look at the cover the more I appreciate the clever layout.



 


 
Somewhere around the early 1980ies Mike Barr got his wish and introduced a darker, edgier version of Batman in the newly created Outsiders title. Why that talentless fanboy gone hack was entrusted with reimagining Batman post COIE is anyone´s guess, but lo! the Batjerk was born.
Of course something had to be done about the friendship with Superman, which had undoubtedly gone a bit overboard with Doug Moench´s "Kryll Way of Dying" where Superman and Batmen all but lie in each other´s arms crying.  :D  So a mere four issues later we see the friendship gone and the heroes bitching and drama-queening like an old divorced couple.
The fans obviously did not take favourably to this, by the time the utterly pointless and seemingly endless Pantheon Saga had finished the new editor had to admit that she had no letters to print in the lettercol. We see some frantic backpedaling by the time WF hits #300, and for a time at least, we get Supes and Bats serving us their mutual feelings on a silver platter.

So here Random Girl (who also happens to be Bruce Wayne´s girlfriend of the week) gets to wax lyrical about Batman´s awesomeness, which leads right to the next page of Batman fanboying over Superman.






Joey Cavalieri, Stan Woch " The Network" in World´s Finest Comics #312, 1985


Too early to be having anything but coffee, even though just thinking about Mike Barr makes me want a drink.
"That's a fine motorbike.
A girl could feel special on any such like"




D::
Ladies, Lois Lane is a sharp dresser.

And this cover not only shows us a flagrant case of Superdickery...



Lois Lane #71, Kurt Schaffenberger, Jan 1967

...but also reminded me that I had that very same costume hanging in my closet.




I need a Pillbox hat!

Woo, boy, did DC ever catch the flak for this one.

Not that the Boy´s Club there ever had the faintest clue about what to do with their female cast without wading neck deep into dickery territory, but this time I guess the Black Canary´s fans just got exceedingly tired of seeing poor Dinah always get patronised by the male hero (which would usually be Green Arrow whose default mode is Male Chauvinist Pig anyway) or forever play the Damsel in Distress - or both, like in this story.

Penguin has escaped Arkham and is killing off stool pidgeons who have sought safe haven in Star City. Batman and Star City´s own heroine, the Black Canary, team up in a frantic race to find the stoolies before the Penguin can.


Well, to be realistic, how scary would a cute little blonde in a bathing suit and fishnets appear to Max, the hardened heavyweight criminal scumbag? How intimidating is even THIS cleavage in comparison to a guy with a monster mask whose every flexed muscle spells "ouch"?
You know what? I think size does matter. O_O

Well, on we go.
Our team is too late, two men die at the Penguin´s slimy flippers. But then our villain decides to take a break from the goons and kill Batman first because it´s more fun that way.



Ha, small wonder they were able to fit a whole story into 17 pages in the good old days: thought-bubbling the whole detective work part to the rhythm of Batman clobbering goons and the melody of half naked Black Canary eye candy does the trick.
Yes, right, Dinah ends up being Penguin´s pretty hostage, and not even establishing the fowl fiend as a seriously ruthless killer (in drag no less!) makes that part any better.


Brave and the Bold #166, Michael L. Fleisher, Dick Giordano, Sept 1980

At least Dinah makes herself look a bit useful. And she gets to kiss Batman. And wear his cape. What a weird back Batman has, though.
Some girls have all the luck. :(

Currently drinking: hot lemon tea. Made by my baby :-p

Batwalk

Feb. 11th, 2012 08:45 pm
So once again I squish my valuable (as if!) back issues into the scanner to present more Bob Haney goodness to a public struck with  amazement and disbelief in the face of



Brave and the Bold #139 by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo, Jan 1978

Yes, Gothamites seem quite hard to impress, not a face turning towards the mysterious darkly garbed figure of the Batman taking a walk in bright daylight with his buddy Jim Gordon, in the middle of the shopping district. You know, if a guy in a spray painted suit with a physique like that strolled by me I´d ogle the hell out of him, but I guess I´m weird.

B&B can be considered a bit of a Silver Age sanctuary in the Bronze Age. Nothing really makes a lot of sense, thankfully nothing is ever referenced in terms of continuity, but it´s amusing most of the time, sometimes unintentionally hilarious and occasionally genuinely touching.

This one is a story where you are happy that Haney´s B&B exists in a world of its own. See, turns out the good Commish shot and killed an alien, hid the body and never ever told anybody about it back in his rookie days, and now an avenger from outer space is out to get his bloodied hide.
Oy.
Well, his vengeful plans are not only foiled by Batman and Hawkman, the Commish is also vindicated and the alien bounty hunter is so impressed by our heroes´ resolve to protect life that he decides to give up the proftable business of intergalactic executions. YAY!!


This post´s enthusiasm was markedly hightened by a glass of Bocca di Lupo. Castel del Monte Aglianico 2005 from the province of Puglia, Italy.

What??? The Boy Wonder flunking in Math? Teacher calling in to Wayne Manor? The world coming to????



Brave and the Bold #167, October 1980, Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum


Oh. Oh!
Earth II.
Whew.
Close one, Dickie.

I guess I need a drink now.

Hello, it´s been a while.
(Note to self: never let yourself be persuaded to do ANYONE a "favour" that ends up costing you endless irrecoverable hours of your life doing something you loathe EVER AGAIN!!!)

So while nuDC´s heroes plod onwards in their new booties, alas, with no discernible reason or plan, I´ve indulged in a back issue splurge or two, going deeper and deeper into pre-COIE and even the dread Silver Age. And it´s fabulous.
I have so many goodies I hardly know where to start. Luckily, all of them are gloriously continuity free, fun, heart-rending, mind bending, crazy done-in-ones, so I´ll just post whatever I fancy.  Like anyone cares, right? :-p

In Brave and the Bold (Vol. 1) #164 (July 1980) Batman teams up with Hawkman.
Did I say team up? Looks more like fighting in this fun sequence by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez ...



... full of well observed, credible fight moves, a far cry from "generic superhero posing".
And Batman gets to wear a spare set of Hawkman´s wings and anti gravity belt! How cool is that?! Too bad Bats has that ugly oxygen mask over his face, but hey ... wings!

The rest of the issue is more pretty art (Shiera Hall never looked more beautiful), a cracky mystery by J. M. DeMatteis complete with weird space magic and noble alien energy beings that almost kill everybody, noble heroes doing the right thing and Batman in detective mode and all around awesome. Yay!!

This post was written under the influence of Weber Pinot Meunier Dry. Red, in case you´re wondering.


Outgooned

Jul. 26th, 2011 08:14 pm
In an otherwise rather mediocre Superman/Batman story from 1977, this page caught my eye and then my liking.


World´s Finest #244 "Three Billion Targets", written by Bob Haney, art by José-Luis Garcia-Lopez, 1977


I´m especially drawn to that very last panel. Clark´s pose has cocky written all over it and Bruce, standing above the freaking  goons, turning around to look at Clark with a smirk you can almost see. Their eye contact seems to imply that they are putting up this little show just for each other. Sweet!

This proof of trust between Superman and Batman is foreshadowing the trust issues later in the story, when all evidence Batman unearths in a case seems to point at Clark being the culprit in a series of killings. Clark is mortally offended by the accusations lodged against him by Commissioner Gordon, but Bruce never even doubts for a second that Clark is innocent and goes on to prove it by himself, while Clark is held in honour custody.
In the end, together they once again save the world - 3 billion people, what a small world it was then, LOL! - and all is well. Yay!

The setup made me think of the Bruce Wayne Murderer storyline, where Tim suspects Bruce of being guilty of the murder of Vesper Fairchild until Bruce´s innocence is proven beyond a doubt. Rucka or Brubaker or whoever came up with the plot tried to explain it as a virtue, as Tim´s great talent for detective work, not letting his feelings distract him, not cancelling out anyone from suspicion. I understand this was a plot device to unsettle the reader´s certainty that Bruce would never do such a thing, but in the end, it just made Tim look like a major dick. I was relieved to see at least Dick and Clark believe in Bruce´s innocence without a shred of doubt.

Obviously, in "Three Billion Targets" Bruce trusts himself to find the truth without turning into a cold hearted jerk, and that is something I love about Bob Haney´s Batman.
What I could have done without was Haney´s really obtrusive use of colloquial or youth language in this issue. No, I really don´t think Batman would tell Jim Gordon he´d "...flip his badge..." over anything.



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