Sunday, October 30, 2011

Direct Currents: Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ivan Brandon Leaves DC Comics’ Men Of War After Issue 6

The book, despite internal leaks to the contrary, is not cancelled and will continue.

UPDATE: New Photos of Henry Cavill on the Man of Steel Set

Photographer Susan Gittins snapped these shots (via YVRShoots) of Henry Cavill filming a rescue scene for Zack Snyder's Superman movie Man of Steel in Vancouver. Even better photos are expected to surface as the paparazzi was there as well.

Superman, DC Comics v. Pacific Pictures Corp, And The Toberoff Timeline

With this case, we’re getting a glimpse behind curtains that don’t usually get parted.

Brian Azzarello on Crime and Superheroes

“I don’t change my approach to anything, and I approach everything the same way;” Brian Azzarello says. “To come up with a story that, hopefully, is different than what you expect.”

The Super-Rich Super-Heroes Respond To #OccupyWallStreet: We Are The (Fictional) 1%

Comic Book Legends Revealed #302

Alan Moore on BJ & the Bear

Comic Book Legends Revealed #338

Burton's Vicki Vale, Storm's mohawk, and Loboless R.E.B.E.L.S.

How Did Wonder Woman Lose Her Pants?

Artist Clint Hilinski has decided to answer this question by way of a piece of original art being sold on eBay…

October 30 is Women of Wonder Day, Benefiting Victims of Domestic Violence

20 Awesome Comic Book Themed Jack-O'-Lanterns!

10 Amazingly Bad Retro Halloween Costumes: What Exactly Was Wrong With Your Parents?

With their unintentionally terrifying masks and bizarre plastic coverall-style suits, the Halloween costumes produced by Ben Cooper, Inc. have become downright iconic in American pop culture through sheer awfulness. From the '50s to the '80s, they were a staple of Halloweens across the country and are still valued as vintage collectibles, despite the fact that they are -- and this is putting it nicely -- hilariously awful.

21 of the Best, Worst and Weirdest Halloween Costumes For Kids

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 10.03.11

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - 10.11.11

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week) - New York Comic Con Edition!

Cosplay Photo Highlights From New York Comic Con 2011

Awesome Art Picks: Dark Phoenix, Venom, Jonah Hex & More

Some of this week's coolest comic book art you won't see in comic books.

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 10.07.11

Best Art Ever (This Week) - 10.14.11

Best Art Ever (This Week) - Year Two Begins Here!

Best Art Ever (This Week) - Halloween 2011

In honor of Halloween, we've compiled the darkest and spookiest selections from Best Art Evers past.


The Absorbascon

The Aquaman Shrine

Being Carter Hall
Read: Hawkman v.1:no.2.2
Read: Flash Comics #21

Brian Bolland's Blog
Detail of the day: Camelot 3000

DC Fifty-TOO!
AMETHYST #1 by Jon McNally
ANGEL AND THE APE #1 by Scott Faulkner
THE DEMON #1 by Adam Watson
HECKLER #1 by Benjamin Birdie
KLARION #1 by Jemma Salume

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
1992 Wonder Woman #68 Unused Cover Concept Sketch by Brian Bolland
2010 Wonder Woman Redesign art by Brett Booth

Diversions of the Groovy Kind

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
I guess now that Barbara Gordon has gone back to being Batgirl...

Firestorm Fan

Girls Gone Geek
Mary Marvel by Kris Anka
Friday Favorite: Wonder Woman
Bride of Frankenstein by Ming Doyle

The Idol-Head of Diabolu

J.M. DeMatteis's Creation Point

Jim Shooter
SUPERMAN – First Marvel Issue!
Son of Items of Interest

Justice League Detroit
Dragon*Con 2011 Vixen Cosplay
2006 "Princess & King" Wonder Woman and Aquaman Commission by Eric Canete
2010 Zatanna Convention Sketch by Ted Naifeh

Kevin Nowlan
Batgirl pin-up
Batman pin-up: Inks over David Finch pencils
Supergirl sketch

Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine

Power of the Atom
The Top 20 Atom Covers of the 1960s

Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man

Silver Age Comics
What's that the Challengers are Drinking?
The Curious Case of the Time Trapper

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
More Suicide Squad members make debut in Young Justice episode "Revelations"
I year for this blog today, time for a vacation

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

The Thought Experiment

Review Section

Comic shop comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care by Diabolu Frank

Monday, October 24, 2011

1992 Glonth Alien Parasite Form Character Design by Arthur Adams

Click To Enlarge

Let's Glonth again, like we did that summer! Yeah, let's Glonth again, like we did in that year (1992!) Since Glonth was one of the best and most prolifically employed Bloodlines parasites, I'm surprised it took so long to finally locate a model sheet for his alien form. Now I've almost got a complete set to show off for this blog, but Pritor remains ever elusive!

The trouble is doubly odd because art from this design turned up not only in the Bloodlines trading card set, but in almost every DC Comic cover dated June 1993. Glonth was shown tearing through the editorial page "DC Universe 8," which while a cute breaking of the fourth wall, is kind of self-defeating from a marketing perspective. You see, Glonth obscured copy related to the Bloodlines event, when he maybe should have veered toward the "Metropolis Kid" or the announcement about DC's rotissery baseball league. Also worth noting was that Glonth was colored differently both times (the ad coming closer than the card.)

There's a batch of Bloodlines Parasite scans taken from reference material sent out to creators on the annual event, and they're courtesy of "The Online Home of Chuck Dixon," THE DIXONVERSE!. Check out all of his offerings in this gallery!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Direct Currents: Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm finally back to calling them "Direct" Currents, since many of these blogs are current to the month of October, and I'm catching up wit them what ain't...


The Absorbascon
Heads up, DC!

The Aquaman Shrine
Underoos Commercial - 1978
Black Manta Character Designs by Joe Prado
The Fire and Water Podcast: Episode 3
Aquaman Logo - 1988
Young Justice #5 - Aug. 2011
Happy 70th Birthday Aquaman!
Aquaman Character Designs by Ivan Reis

Armagideon Time
The Astonishing Yeast Menace
Nobody’s Favorites: The Ghost Patrol

Being Carter Hall
Savage Hawkman Sketch by Philip Tan!

Brian Bolland's Blog
Detail of the day: The cover of Camelot #11 and an unpublished Superman page
Comicon 76
Detail of the day: Camelot 3000 pencils

Comics Make Me Happy!
For those of you who just can't understand Adam Strange, this won't help

DC Fifty-TOO!
BIG BARDA #1 by Sean Esty
IMPULSE #1 by Tracie Mauk
THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM #1 by Evan Shaner
WEIRD WESTERN TALES #1 by Evan Keeling
WONDER WOMAN #1 by Nathan Fox

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
Dragon*Con 2011 Wonder Girl Donna Troy Cosplay
2011 Wonder Woman Unreleased NBC Pilot Pictorial Review

El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker
Composite Spy vs Spy?!

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
Action Comics Weekly #610: The one where Nancy Reagan gets called out
This week's link post, now fortified with NYCC announcement reactions
DC's January previews reviewed

Firestorm Fan
More Firestorm Custom Statues
Super Friends Firestorm Interviewed!
Rogue’s Gallery: Firestorm’s Nuclear Nemeses
Rogue’s Gallery: Deathstorm Fan Art
Rogue’s Gallery: Bug & Byte
Stuart Moore: Exclusive Interview with FIRESTORM FAN
Todd Nauck Firestorm Sketches

Girls Gone Geek
Dragon*Con 2011 Photo Album
Lucifer by Chris Moeller
WTF? Wednesday: Punishing Diana
Harley Quinn by Marcio Takara
Spider Jerusalem

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
2011 B'rett Comicpalooza Color Art by Nick Pitarra
2011 Mongul Comicpalooza Commission by Isaac Mardis
2011 Miss Martian “Puppy Love” art by Ryan Bullard
2011 Mister V Comicpalooza Commission by Phil Hester
2011 Flashpoint Martian Manhunter designs by Kevin Nowlan
2011 Martian Manhunter Icon Wallpaper by Richard Manship
New Beginning, Again

Jim Shooter
Fatal Five design drawings, 1966
Writer/Editors Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Justice League Detroit
The Top 10 Aquaman Covers of the 1960s
2011 DC Fifty-TOO! Plastic Man #1 by Jon Morris and Stephen DeStefano
2005 The Falcon & Vixen art by Peter Temple

Kevin Nowlan
Cover art: The War That Time Forgot #7
Wonder Woman #50 pin-up
Batman: Sword of Azrael TPB cover art
WildC.A.T.S / Aliens page 28

Power of the Atom
2011 The Golden Age Atom art by Andrew Willis
2010 Teen Titans Zero Hour in color art by Bill Walko

Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man
Showcase Presents: The Elongated Man, vol. 1
The Many Names of Randolph W. Dibny
The top 20+ Rubbery Rivals of Ralph
Top 20 Elongated Man Deviantart
Kid Flash Meets the Elongated Man!

Silver Age Comics
Inflation Since the Silver Age
The Secret Origin of the Atom (Ray Palmer)

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Superman Family Statue
Review: DC Retro-Active Superman 1990's
Mike Maihack' Supergirl/Batgirl Book
Anj's DCnU Pull List
Review: Superman Beyond
Review: Action Comics #1

The Thought Experiment
Daily Batman: the irretrievably lost world inside
Daily Batman: All the news that’s fit to meh!

Review Section

Comic shop comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Comics Of The Weak by Tucker Stone

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care by Diabolu Frank

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: My Greatest Adventure #1

My Greatest Adventure #1, the new DC anthology book, came out last week and featured the new Robotman of the DCnU.  Now I have talked about my love of the Doom Patrol here at Bloodlines in the past and the team has been covered here extensively. My Greatest Adventure was the first book the Doom Patrol appeared in way back in the Silver Age and with Robotman as one of the stars, I thought I'd review the book.

This book is the direct continuation of the recent Weird Worlds anthology book and the other two characters featured here, GarbageMan and Tanga, are back to continue their stories. Lobo, the weakest feature in Weird World was dropped in favor of the Robotman feature. I think it is worth mentioning that the GarbageMan and Tanga features literally pick up where Weird Worlds left off. New readers picking up MGA are joining a story mid-stream. If I were DC, I might have at least done a recap page or paragraph.

But I am concentrate mostly on the Robotman story here, written by Matt Kindt and drawn by Scott Kolins. It is hard to know if the Doom Patrol has existed in the DCnU. There is no mention of the team anywhere here. In fact, I am assuming that this Cliff/Robotman is Cliff Steel. The new look of Robotman is a bit evocative of Joe Staton's version in the "New" Doom Patrol seen in Showcase.

So right from the start, we realize this isn't the typical Robotoman. The opening action sequence shows a flying Robotman, composed of nanobots, his body unfolding into new configurations. He pretty effortlessly sinks a drone battleship.

I have to say I don't like a flying Robotman. One of the things about the older versions of Cliff is that he needed to plod along. As the most 'grounded' member of the team, that seemed appropriate. I do like the bug-like head ...nice design.

This Cliff runs a 'Adventure Agency', a place where he takes interesting cases to solve. The latest one is to track down a missing scientist named Dr. Turing.

Despite having a close co-worker, there is a feeling of isolation here. The headquarters is a lone tower in the Nevada desert, the land terraformed by the nanobots into an oasis. People don't just wander by.

The co-worker is a low level telepath named Maddy Rouge. Hmmm ... some relation to Madame Rouge the stretchable villain in the Brotherhood of Evil? Regardless, she senses something isn't quite right in this Turing case.

How these two got together isn't revealed yet, although some event has happened in Utah is hinted at, one which weighs Maddy down with guilt.

These scenes show Cliff's body literally unraveled and being tuned up, a very odd and off-putting picture.

That sense of isolation ... of otherness ... is pervasive here. While the old Cliff tried to remain linked to humanity as much as possible, this one seems to have simply given up. He continues to point out why he isn't human but the veiled pain in these lines shows some humanity still exists.

But the old Cliff wore pants and a shirt, a way to feel more a part of humanity. This one remains naked, unfolding to reveal more and more inner mechanics.

The case for Turing leads Cliff to Cuba where he is attacked by Zombies which begin dismantling him. Nice Cliff-hanger.

I don't know ... I miss the Doom Patrol. I enjoyed the recent Giffen book and have always had an affinity for the characters. I wonder when/if the Patrol will reappear in the DCnU. As for this Cliff, it is a sort of new take on the character, although the 'am I human' piece of Cliff remains a big part of his characterization. Kindt is able to drop us into the character pretty neatly and quickly here. And Kolins art is smoother than I have seen in the past and looks nice

But Robotman is only 1/3 of the book.

GarbageMan continues the story of this 'trash encrusted mockery of a man'. There is a bit of a Swamp Thing feel about this strip as the character tries to come to grips with his new life as a monster.

This issue gives some back story showing Richard (GarbageMan) Morse's prior relationships, his failed marriage, his flirting with his co-worker. The chapter ends with GarbageMan in Gotham, which might lead to an interesting encounter with Batman.

Aaron Lopresti writes and draws the script. I am a huge fan of Lopresti and think his work is stunningly beautiful.

But for me, the best part of the book is Kevin Maguire's Tanga strip. Tanga is sassy, powerful, short tempered, but heroic in the end. She'll save innocents but then wants to get drunk in the nearest bar. The current story has her feuding with a local hero named Za who is basically a powerless fraud but wants to bed her. (In the end I think he wants to drain her of her power.) This is a fun strip and I hope eventually gets collected as a trade. I love Maguire's work too.

So overall, this is a decent sci-fi/horror anthology with some great talent and some very good stories. It is $3.99 but is full of story and great art.

Overall grade: B/B+

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

InDirect Currents: Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ann Nocenti to write GREEN ARROW

Grant Morrison’s Wonder Woman Series Planned For 2012 “Or Thereabouts”


The Absorbascon
1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #12
Green Arrow #1 Review
Rage of the Red Absorbascon....!
The Madness of Queen Jean Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Editor's Interlude Part 4

The Aquaman Shrine
DC Super Heroes Trading Card - 1982
The New 52: Swamp Thing #1
The Fire and Water Podcast: Episode 1
The Fire and Water Podcast: Episode 2
The Aqua-Family @ Dragon*Con 2011!
Justice Kids! by Justin White
Aquamen by Jean Sinclair

Armagideon Time
Nobody’s Favorites: The Protector
Nobody’s Favorites: Jason’s Quest
Nobody’s Favorites: Scarlett

Being Carter Hall
Hawkman and Hawkgirl Cosplay At DragonCon
More Cosplay From DragonCon 2011
Savage Hawkman #1 Review Roundup!
Philip Tan & I on Twitter
Read: The Savage Hawkman #1
Savage Hawkman Revealed!

Brian Bolland's Blog
Here are some step-by-steps.
COVER STORY The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland
Detail of the day

Bronze Tiger

Comics Make Me Happy!
Laura Hudson says it better than I can

DC Fifty-TOO!
BIRDS OF PREY #1 by Amy Mebberson
BLACKHAWKS #1 by Scott Godlewski
KID ETERNITY #1 by Neal von Flue
LOIS LANE #1 by Anthony Vukojevich
SUPERGIRL/BATGIRL #1 by Mike Maihack

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman
2011 DCnÜ Wonder Girl Design Sketch by Brett Booth
2011 Rejected DCnÜ Wonder Girl Concept Art by Brett Booth

Every Day Is Like Wednesday
Supergods: Not quite an industry tell-all, but closer than usual
I am going to discuss Catwoman and Batman’s sex lives in great detail, because DC Comics asked me to*

Firestorm Fan
Firestorm Rubik’s Cube
Firestorm Elemental Tattoo
Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom Exclusive Interview
Justice League and Justice Society Pin-up by George Perez
Firestorm in DC Comics Ultimate Character Guide
Before They Were Stars – Ed Brubaker
Rogue’s Gallery: Brimstone

Girls Gone Geek

Gone & Forgotten
And don't let the big gold door hit you where the good Rao split you.
Crisis On Infinite Earths in the Front, Party in the Back!

The Idol-Head of Diabolu
My Funny Martian
2011 Martian Manhunter Comicpalooza Commission by Nick Pitarra
Creators of Mars: Gene Colan
Miss Martian and the New World Order
2011 B'rett Comicpalooza Commission by Nick Pitarra
The Magnificent Seven Revised Again

Jim Shooter
Superman, the Playboy Club, Decorating Higgins, the Secret Theater and More Strange Tales
The Secret Origin and Gooey Death of the Marvel/DC Crossovers Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, the Last

Justice League Detroit
2008 The Vixen art by larthosgrr8
2008 The Vixen art by Marsonite
2009 The Vixen Digital 3-D Pin-Up by Gustavo
2006 "A Call to Arms, Part 5" by Darryl Banks

Kevin Nowlan
Old Superman and Batman commission
Batman Gargoyle
Martian Manhunter designs
Batman specialty piece

Power of the Atom
2011 Ryan Choi Atom art by Andrew Willis
2009 Evan “Doc” Shaner's Justice League

The Quality Companion Companion
About The Quality Companion

Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man
Mystery of the Elongated Man!
The Elongated Man's Secret Weapon!
The Elongated Man's Undersea Trap!
Squeaky wheel: Elongated Man in Justice League Unlimited
The Elongated Man's power control
The Space-Boomerang Trap!

Silver Age Comics
Wonder Woman 155
Green Lantern #24
Repetitive Plots in Sgt Rock
Our Army At War #175

Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD (Task Force X)
From Darkseid to iran's ayatollah khomeini, whatever evil you fear most
Everybody was Kung Fu fightn: Bronze Tiger vs. Batman plus, the 3 reasons Bronze Tiger is a badass you never knew about!
Suicide Squad #2 review. Be warned I spoil everything!

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Review: Justice League Of America #60
Back Issue Box: Detective Comics #509
Streaky In Grant Morrison's Animal Man
Review: Supergirl #67
Review: Action Comics #904
Back Issue Box: Detective Comics #510

The Thought Experiment
Daily Batman: A story in stills, “The Electrical Brain” edition

Tommy Tejeda
Wonder Woman vs. Captain America...rough...
Wonder Woman vs. Captain America

Weekend Review Section

Comic Judgment by Girls Gone Geek

Comic shop comics by J. Caleb Mozzocco

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care by Diabolu Frank

Comics Of The Weak by Tucker Stone

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Action Comics #1 (November, 2011)

Metropolis was a city where well armed fat cats made their own "law" through financial leverage and gun barrels. For six months, a young vigilante in a blue t-shirt and red cape had been been trying to bring justice to town and a level playing field for the common man. Of all the wheels in this town, Glenmorgan was the biggest, but his night had finally come. Police pursued the so-called "Superman" (so dubbed by reporter Lois Lane) to Glenmorgan's penthouse, and found its owner dangling over the balcony. "I'll put him down... Just as soon as he makes a full confession. To someone who still believes the law works the same for rich and poor alike." Failing that, Superman jumped off the balcony with Glenmorgan, and managed to cushion their impact on the street below to avoid a lethal finish. Glenmorgan crawled to the police waiting below. "I'm guilty! What do you want me to say? ...I used illegal cheap labor... no safety standards... I bribed city officials... I lied... I lied... to everyone..."

Superman was still a wanted man. After warning Detective Blake about a throbbing ulcer detected through x-ray vision and literally catching a bullet, the Man of Steel was back on the run. From a secret base, General Sam Lane and industrialist Lex Luthor observed, plotting a means of capturing the increasingly powerful and problematic Superman. A wrecking ball against an inhabited tenement halted Superman's getaway, as he stopped to rip it free of its crane. He was next hit with an electrified net, but ripped free. Superman wielded the loose wrecking ball like a mace and smashed a tank that had been leveled against him. The bomb's blast of a second take dealt Superman real damage, but citizens rescued from the tenement took to the streets to form a human shield. Superman warned them not to put themselves in danger, but made use of the opportunity to get back home.

On the roof of his rundown apartment, a bulky sweater and round spectacles made a Clark Kent out of Superman. Landlady Mrs. Nyxly worried about the beating Clark had taken, explained as retribution from a story run about Intergang. Mrs. N saw Kent as an inspiration thanks to his fearless articles, which were read by everybody, but she needed the past two weeks rent, which Clark supplied. They both also liked Superman for going after neo-Nazis, wife batterers, and the like.

Clark rang his best friend Jimmy Olsen. Lois Lane, a reporter for a rival newspaper, had joined Jimmy in following Glenmorgan's ex-enforcer Gus Grundig onto a subway train that wasn't supposed to be running. Clark warned them off, but Lois ignored him. "Don't you just love how he tries to sabotage our stories?" Unaware, Clark called in a story to his editor on his cell phone, but upon learning his advice had been ignored, raced after the train. On board, Jimmy and Lois found themselves at gunpoint. Off board, Superman literally caught the train, blood streaming from his ears and the bullet continuing to fly. Up ahead, an explosion took out the tracks.

Lois and Jimmy managed to tie up Grundig, but the train was soon skidding down a city street after falling off an overpass. In secret, Sam Lane raged over his daughter having been imperiled, but you can't argue with results. Superman had stopped the train, but was left pinned and unconscious against a building.

"Superman Versus the City of Tomorrow" was by Grant Morrison, Rags Morales, and Rick Bryant. I liked the art, and since a Treasury Edition of Superman #1 was one of my first comics, I dug the return of a lower powered Man of Steel as social avenger. Still, folks giving this glowing reviews must be totally high off All-Star Superman, because this baby is paced like manga. It's two action set pieces sandwiching a few pages of Peter Parker Clark Kent scraping by. Nice update, lots of potential, but don't you dare ask me four bucks a month for something so slight as this, especially when acting under the guise of working class heroism in a bitterly recessive economy.

DC New 52

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Huntress in "Trial by Fire" (October/November, 1978)

The Huntress woke up tied to a chair in a burning building. Using this to her advantage, she threw herself backward, shattering her wooden seat. Still bound by rope, she hung her bonds over the fire, though she also set her cape ablaze. Leaping up to a barred window, the Huntress used her vanadium steel crossbow as a wedge bar to pry herself free.

After taking a shower and leaving her robe open to the navel while arching her back and propping her legs on a desk (is "sideass" an internet term yet?) Wayne decided that she would have to remain presumed K.I.A. until Councilman Gresham made his next move. There was also something about the likelihood of the Councilman having peeked under Huntress' mask and recognizing Wayne, whom he'd previously met at a fundraiser, underneath. Helena threw a blade at a wooden bureau though, just so we didn't forget how tough she was.

A week later, Councilman Gresham finally showed back up in public in anticipation of his touring South Gotham with federal authorities to assess the need and degree of government aid needed in the district. The Huntress set a literal trap for Gresham on the tour so that he could be caught with a bomb actually in his hands. The Councilman slapped the damned thing away, denying everything but his desire to kill this chick already. The bomb was set off by impact from their tussle, Gresham was burned alive, and the Huntress snuck off so no one knew what a boner she'd pulled.

Later, the government aid rolled in, and Councilman Gresham even got a memorial building out of the deal. Police Chief O'Hara, ever on the ball, assumed the bombing was purely accidental, although Gresham's aide Jason Kelshaw took flight before he could be questioned. No further mention had been made to Wayne's potentially compromised identity, and she wasn't shedding any tears over that involuntary manslaughter of hers. Besides, her anthology title had been canceled, so bygones.

This story from Batman Family #20 was by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, & Bob Layton, marking the end of the artists' uneasy collaboration. While sometimes an awkward pairing, it still meant future installments would be purer grade Staton, rarely a good thing. I think my contempt for this idiocy came through in the synopsis, so I'll pass on elaborating, beyond mentioning I put down my copy of the Darknight Daughter trade paperback for a long while after this farce.

DC Retroactive

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Comic Reader Résumé: March-May, 1982

ré·su·mé [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey]
1. a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

March, 1982 was a decidedly off month for me. My copy of Conan the Barbarian #135 by Steven Grant, Mark Silvestri & Josef Rubinstein came out of a grocery store three pack purchased by my father four or five years after publication. I probably bought The Saga of Swamp Thing #2, but only because I was a sucker for photo covers, and that might have just come out of a cheapie bin as late as 1989. I have no recollection of either story.

I definitely picked The Warlord #58-61, because I was really into Mike Grell's riff on The Man in the Iron Mask. I'm just as confident I bought them a year or two after the fact at the flea market, and that I could never force myself to read the Arion back-ups.

By comparison, April of 1982 was boffo. DC Comics Presents #47 came home with me because it was the first Masters of the Universe comic book tie-in, and I was totally into He-Man at the time. Paul Kupperberg's story was okay, I guess, but I totally hated the art by Curt Swan and Mike DeCarlo. I could have sworn Skeletor was killed when He-Man threw his sword into the villain's chest, so I was confused when he turned back up again in another comic. When Conan stabbed somebody, they tended to stay dead. I always found super-heroes mingling with licensed properties weird, and I was somehow savvy enough even then to recognize instances like this where it occurred. I have absolutely no memory of the back-up, "Whatever Happened to Sandy the Golden Boy?"

The Rose and the Thorn had an origin recap in The Brave and the Bold #188, and the multiple personality disorder feminist angle tripped out my unsophisticated brain. The cover and interiors by Jim Aparo were striking, and writer Robert Kanigher had me hooked with the title, "A Grave as Wide as the World." The Nemesis back-up by Cary Burkett and Dan Spiegle was less impressive, as I found the art ugly and a disservice to the reservedly cool look of Nemesis, sort of a Steve McQueen type.

I recall looking through a buddy's copy of Marvel Fanfare #3 with the sweet Michael Golden art, which was likely my introduction to Ka-Zar and the Savage Land. I also really dug my pal's Avengers #221 because of the novel voting ballot cover to select two new team members. I distinctly recall reading Avengers #222 at the beauty salon where my grandmother got her hair done. The team of Jim Shooter, Steven Grant, Greg LaRocque & Brett Breeding did a fine job by my standards, as I retained a soft spot for Masters of Evil Moonstone and Tiger Shark for years. I especially thought Whirlwind was cool, aside from the dippy helmet, because he could deal so much damage while protected by his tornado. Egghead was the odd man out, a wimpy scientist amongst scary villains.

I guess I was a bimonthly reader. I don't believe I bought anything in May, except perhaps the second part of the Rose & Thorn team-up in The Brave and the Bold #189. Just as likely, I fished it out of a back issue box years later. It had nazis, who were pretty ubiquitous thanks to Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it didn't not stick to my brain like the first part.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Huntress in "Gotham Town Is Burning Down!" (August/September, 1978)

The Huntress returned to the alley where she had previously lost her suspect, and after tossing aside some crates, found a passage to a slum. She deduced that this might be a neighborhood base of operations for the arsonist, and staked it out until a stray light caught her attention. Watching from the windowsill, the arsonist was conveniently situated where he could work on bombs without being seen. Worse, the Huntress wasn't discrete enough to keep her own cover, and shots fired sent her diving off the ledge (yet somehow too slow to catch up with a man forced to run down several flights of stairs to a getaway car.)

Helena Wayne returned to work, where Cranston took her obvious fatigue as a sign of how seriously she took her partnership in the firm. Meanwhile, Roger Demerest was once again insufferable as he took advantage of the only TV in the building, situated in Wayne's office, ignoring her protests. Councilman Gresham was on the tube, announcing that he was seeking government funds to help rebuild his increasingly burned out district. Roger thought this was the type of guy the firm should be backing, and Wayne agreed. Over a dozen nights, the Darknight Demoiselle fought fires by night, her firm aiding the councilman by day.

Wayne's penthouse apartment was outfitted with furniture that concealed an elaborate gym in plain sight. After a workout, Wayne watched a televised debate between Councilman Gresham and Roger Demerest with enough pregnant comments to make obvious a connection to the arsonist. "My God! After all my hunting, is it really as simple as all that? Did I just have to turn on the television to find the clue I needed?"

The Huntress broke into the Councilman's office in search of private papers, but was heard and caught at gunpoint by Gresham. He admitted that he was the arsonist, and after missing her in the slums, planned to write off the heroine's death as a burglary attempt. Huntress threw a stylized disc to disarm him, but Gresham's towering Nubian manservant Jason knocked her out with one punch to the back of the head. Now there would be time to kill her in a way that would in no way implicate them...

This story from Batman Family #19 by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, & Bob Layton was the exact kind of crap that was on network TV constantly at the time. It felt like an adaptation of one of those awful Marvel Comics TV shows where fantastic heroes shared mundane enemies with the likes of Barnaby Jones and Columbo. Worse yet, it took three chapters to wrap this lame case, where one would hope the Batman's daughter wouldn't be such a klutzy dolt as to fail repeatedly against a politician crazy enough to make his own bombs! I guess all those titillating shots of Huntress prancing around were meant to distract from equal number of gaping plot holes...

The Bronze Age