stig: "It Was A Boojum..." (Default)
[personal profile] stig posting in [community profile] scans_daily
From Joker #8, a couple of good reasons not to get mixed up in the battle between two Super-Criminals, in this case our favourite circus maniac and his psychiatrist counterpart, the Scarecrow. As it was the big J's first solo series, he actually comes off as incredibly fun and full of ingenious plans...





(Six Pages from Joker #8, reprinted in the 160-page Batman: Scarecrow Tales.)

The Joker, being a smart bloke, realises that simply APPEARING to be the Scarecrow can cause people to become pathologically afraid due to the Pavlov's dog effect. And just in time, as STAR labs has, for heaven knows what reason, been developing a fear gas more powerful than that of Doc John Crane...



(That trampoline...call it a fixation.) Anyway, along the way we get acquainted with this week's Henchmen Du Jour, 'Tooth', 'Southpaw' and 'Sonny November'. As you'll hear, Sonny's just gotten out of jail. The Scarecrow has just gotten back from STAR labs in his mini-helicopter, angry to discover he (his pet fear-inducing Raven, 'Nightmare') got there second...





...You'll admit, that IS a pretty clever move on the part of the writers...less so than 'That Crooked Entomologist We Know'. I'm sure the world of Butterfly collection is as intertwined with sex, drugs and violence as two pythons on a hot day in mating season.

Joker lures Scarecrow to the scene of his next job by leaving a message and address on his hideout wall (Crane thinks to himself 'It's Darn White Of Him To Tell Us!'). Diverting the crowds at Gotham Zoo with fear-stained moths, he has his remaining henchmen take away the 'beautiful' decorative wall of the Hyena enclosure - just as the Scarecrow turns up! Leading to this response...





(He'll knock off six kindergartens before breakfast, but Ravens are endangered...)

After some more scuffling, the Joker's STAR Labs gas canister is broken. "You'll have to answer for this, Scarecrow..."



Left helpless before Joker's 'special giggle gas' due to his usually dour character, Crane sits down to chortle at the approaching cops as Joker hi-jacks his mini-copter, leading to another bit of clever ingenuity...



Date: 2010-08-08 12:11 am (UTC)
thehefner: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thehefner
Why the hell hasn't this run been collected?

Date: 2010-08-08 07:38 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Read all together it's a slightly weird read, since the CCA required that the Joker never be allowed to prosper from his crimes and ALWAYS had to brought to justice at the end of each story. So his escapes at the start of every issue just amplified the revolving door policy of Arkham.

Date: 2010-08-08 01:26 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
Yeah, IIRC there was one issue where The Joker was beaten by an actor who got hit on the head and thought he was Sherlock Holmes.

Date: 2010-08-09 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cricharddavies
No, he was beaten by an actor who played Sherlock Holmes, but there was no head injury or personality derangement involved.

Date: 2010-08-08 07:38 am (UTC)
yaseen101: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yaseen101
It's too good a run, obviously.

Date: 2010-08-08 01:17 am (UTC)
jlroberson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jlroberson
I can see why the Joker manages to keep getting more henchmen--the fatality rate is high but he's the biggest steady source of work in crime. The turnover rate means Henchman Local 109 can get you hooked up with a job right away.

Straight Line lasted as long as he did because he preferred showy, theatrical cosplay stuff that the Joker found too amusing to risk in lethal tasks.

Date: 2010-08-08 05:10 am (UTC)
jkcarrier: me, at my old office (Default)
From: [personal profile] jkcarrier
IIRC, "Tooth" and "Southpaw" were recurring characters throughout the run of the series. How they managed to stay on the boss' good side, despite occasional screw-ups, is a mystery lost to the ages.

Date: 2010-08-08 07:31 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Because filling in all the paperwork for the Employment agency to send over new henchmen was a LOT more work?

Date: 2010-08-08 08:22 am (UTC)
jlroberson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jlroberson
And then all the arguments. "Sir, that's not what 'kill fee' means."

Date: 2010-08-08 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brandiweed.livejournal.com
Aside: the use of "white" in the context you give is a slang usage I've read in stories by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-- and it's one thing to see it in the '20s and '30s, but in what looks to be '70s stories?

[Note: I have no idea if it's supposed to have racial connotations or not. Context usually makes it sound like "white" stands in for "honest/honorable", which may make it as racist (or non racist) as the use "white knight" or "white hat".]

Date: 2010-08-08 11:38 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
It indeed has racist connotations I believe. If a person of colour performed an act which the, shall we say narrow minded, white bigot though was impressive, it was viewed as being a compliment to describe their attitude as being almost worthy of white peoples actions.

I know I've heard it used by white folk in Westerns when referring to Native Americans. IMDB has it listed as a quote in1969 Western; "Tell them Willie Boy was Here". I'm pretty sure I've heard it in dramas set in various parts of the British Empire too.

Date: 2010-08-08 02:38 pm (UTC)
leorising: (batvibe)
From: [personal profile] leorising
Growing up in Detroit in the 60s and 70s, it was common to reply to a compliment or a favor, "Thanks, that's mighty white of you." If you were white, and amongst white people, of course.

Date: 2010-08-08 03:58 am (UTC)
thanekos: Kouhei " Principal Garren " Hayami, the Libra Zodiarts, is bugged. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanekos
best one was the Luthor issue; Lex and the Joker go out to get a burger, a one-panel Hal Jordan cameo, and insanity giving Lex an insight into a potential Grand Unified Theory.

Date: 2010-08-08 01:28 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
So once again we find Hal Jordan's fate inexorably tied to cheeseburgers.

Date: 2010-08-08 07:38 am (UTC)
yaseen101: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yaseen101
Dear Lord, this is beautiful. The art is the best thing out of the whole thing and of course the story is awesome as well.

Date: 2010-08-08 11:39 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Irv Novick did some vastly underappreciated Batman stuff in his day.

Date: 2010-08-08 11:42 am (UTC)
yaseen101: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yaseen101
I'll say.

Is he still around, doing work like this?

Date: 2010-08-08 11:52 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Mr Novick passed away in 2004 at the age of 88.

Date: 2010-08-08 11:58 am (UTC)
yaseen101: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yaseen101
I...wow...didn't know that. RIP, Mr. Novick.

Date: 2010-08-08 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
It's a good Joker story, all right, but it's probably the least menacing the Scarecrow's ever been. You left out the scene where he busts into the Joker's hideout, raven flying alongside him, loudly proclaiming that 'the Scarecrow and his pal Nightmare' are on the scene. I'm sorry, I just can't be scared of someone who is that vocally affectionate towards his beloved pet birdy. Endearing, yes. Scary, no.

Date: 2010-08-08 11:55 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
That's the thing though, thanks to his chemicals the Scarecrow could come in wearing harem pants and a gold lame tank top singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" and you'd STILL be terrified of him!

BTAS had him drawn as a wimpy, scrawny, middled aged college professor, who should be about as scary as tapioca pudding, and as Crane he was, but as the Scarecrow, EVERYONE cowered..

Date: 2010-08-08 11:56 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Well, all right, that would be frightening in and of itself, but even so...

Date: 2010-08-08 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Well, he's never been physically imposing, no, but he should always be at least a bit creepy. It's the fear gas that really gives you the heebie-jeebies, but he's still 'the Master of Fear' - there should always be something about him that makes your skin crawl. There have been stories where he's reduced people to cowering wrecks through pure psychology - the man is GOOD at what he does, in or out of costume. Sure, he COULD just come barging onto the scene in a burst of fear-gas and have it do the work, but he shouldn't have to - he takes his role seriously enough that he can scare you through his mere presence. He should NOT, in other words, be blathering on about his palsy-walsy little birdy - that's NOT scary, and it would take a crapload of fear-gas to MAKE it scary.

Date: 2010-08-08 02:40 pm (UTC)
leorising: (batvibe)
From: [personal profile] leorising
"Urgphh?"

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