icon_uk: (Robin Don Newton)
icon_uk ([personal profile] icon_uk) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-12-08 07:46 pm

Batman Bites, and Dick Dates the Undead... Part 2

It was pointed out in the last part that Gene Colan's strengths lie in the eerie, weird and supernatural, rather than the more straightforwardly superheroic.

There is a degree of truth to this, Colan has an ability to make the strange seem real, give shadows depth and, for wont of a better term, personality which has never been matched. Technically, his superhero work is never less that excellent, but there are times when it just doesn't seem quite "right" for the genre.

Okay, when we left our brightly clad hero HERE , he was sneaking around his ex's house, had just been clonked unconscious and was looking all cutely vulnerable at the foot of a flight of stairs.

Batman, meanwhile has been pursuing a case in Los Angeles (a city he hates patrolling because of the absence of decently cramped together skyscrapers and tenements) but rings home... and finds he's getting no answer, which is strange as it's after 10pm Gotham time...

I love her monologue here, it's moody and evocative and straight out of a horror film. Dala clearly IS mad, but since she's also tied up and gagged a Robin, she's mad, but not instantly in an instantly BAD way, from my POV at any rate!

I love this whole sequence for obvious reasons, but there is a small, nagging little part of me, that would have LOVED to see the tied up Dick Grayson Robin sequence by Newton (Who got plenty of experience drawing cute gagged guys over in Captain Marvel) rather than Colan.

The rest of it by Colan is perfect, as we're ramping this up into a horror story rather than crooks and criminals, but c'est la vie. Anyway, back to the bondage.

He has a point, you CAN just here Vincent Price chuckling in the background, can't you? :)

I like that Dick is so used to the situation he's in it's got to the point he tests his bonds absent-mindedly, y'know, just on the off-chance.

I think at this point he's clearly come to realise that she's a little past "kinky" and probably would ignore any safety words anyway. (This is also about the only time that college age Dick was gagged as Robin, tied up aplenty, but rarely gagged. Just for those completists amongst you)

We cut away to a subplot which doesn't have much bearing here (but is fun in it's own right. Alfred hires Christopher "Human Target" Chance to impersonate Bruce Wayne, because Vicki Vale has used her photographic knowhow to compare photos of Batman and Bruce Wayne and deduce they're the same person.... but as he doesn't want to spoil Bruce and Vicki's thing, he's trying to do this without telling Bruce, it's complicated, but fun) And this is also the only page of original art I have from this run, but it's a great one (I did try and find out if any of the other Robin pages were available, but I've never found any.)

Dick also get's a chance to show he's thinking things through (and that villains really SHOULD learn to tie a Robin's ankles as well as his wrists)

Go on DO IT! DO IT! (Ahem, sorry, caught up in the horror movie feel of it all)

So all is well, our hero is freed (sob, but he looked so PRETTY all tied up) and the day is saved... Yeah, riiiiiight!

This is THAT moment in the horror film where the hero discovers just how deep in the doodoo he really is. Remember that BROTHER she mentioned???

Now HERE Colan is playing to his strengths!

Yeah, you might want to rethink that.

Robin runs, but straight into a bit of grand guignol horror wherein he finds a couple of bloodsplattered bodies strapped to large inverted crucifixes and looking very much the worse for wear (Sorry, cutting it fine on the pagecount as it is). Robin, detective to the core, notices...

Get used to that pose from the Monk, he uses it a lot.

Again, I love the prose here, the description of the screaming wolf sets the mood very well

The priest (Father Green, you'll be seeing more of him) mercifully for any passing Catholics like me, does not live up to any unfortunate stereotypical assumptions about a priest finding a scantily clad young man on the road, but takes him to a hospital, where he notes that he wants it kept quiet because of the wounds on the boys throat, the mark of.... THE VAMPIRI!!!!

Stay tuned for what happens next!

Oh, and a minor note, count how many times you can actually see that Dick is wearing his briefs in these pages. I count exactly once in the whole thing, just as he's jumping out the window (and even that's debatable). You can see the tunic, and the bare legs, but everything else is in convenient shadow all the time. Now, go and re-read it, bearing this information in mind, and ask yourself WHY Dala and the Monk might have wanted Robin, the Teen Wonder, sans briefs and tied to a chair, were they tired of biting necks all the time perhaps?

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