MY PARENTS ARE DEEEAAAD!!! (But that's ok!)

[personal profile] espanolbot 's post about Martha Wayne's underrepresentation in Batman stories inspired me to post pages from Greg Rucka's and Klaus Jansen's 2003 miniseries Batman: Death and the Maidens.



Rucka's run on the regular Batman titles culminated with Batman realizing that he's still Bruce Wayne at his core, and that he should be nicer to his family for the x time.

When Rucka came back to write "Death and the Maidens" he simultaneously reinforced his previous points while attempting to plug one of Bruce's other persistent wells of angst and drama: the perpetual mourning over his parent's death.

And in doing so, he gave Martha one her most extensive roles in a Batman story that I can think of.

Read more... )

Fun times with nineties Batman comics!

In my never-ending quest to prove that 90s Batman comics weren't the mess of gloom, doom, and violence that everyone says they were, I present several instances from the Bat-comics of that period that genuinely made me laugh. These cover all three periods of the nineties - early, mid, and late.

Civic-minded serial killers, killer sandwiches, and Swords of Damocles behind the cut! )

skjam: (gasgun)
[personal profile] skjam2012-12-01 20:59

Nighthawk's Brain! 6/6

In the previous issue, we were introduced to the new Red Guardian, Arthur Nagan was an asshole, Chondu got a makeover, and Valkyrie got arrested.

So now it's time for the final chapter of the Nighthawk's Brain saga, The Defenders #36.



Five pages of seventeen, and an ad.

A Garden of Earthly Demise )

Your thoughts and comments, especially as this is the end of the post series?

Next time--something that isn't Seventies Marvel.
SKJAM!
skjam: Ghost cat in a fez (fez)
[personal profile] skjam2012-11-28 15:50

Nighthawk's Brain! 5/6

In the previous issue, Nebulon unveiled his plan to help humanity through Celestial Mind Control, which manages to be even skeevier than it sounds. Valkyrie voiced her objections to strip-searching, and Chondu demonstrated that being in the body of a fawn doesn;t make him harmless.

So, five pages from seventeen of "The Defenders" #35, plus a Hostess ad.



Arthur Nagan is an asshole. )

Next time: The conclusion of the Nighthawk's Brain plotline.

Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM!

Daredevil: End of Days

 Wow, it must have been years since this was first announced. Now we're finally getting it starting in October. I'm very excited.

It's basically the "final" Daredevil story with Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack writing and Bill Sienkiewicz and Klaus Janson on art. More info can be found here.

Art under the cut... )
icon_uk: (Default)

"Paging Doctor Death, Doctor Death to the grey courtesy Batphone..."

Now, I did consider posting a couple of pages of Batman inc. to empahsis just how much I didn't enjoy it (Especially the Bruce/Damian interactions), but as I've said before, I don't want to be that sort of a person on s_d (though I'll particiapte in such debates) so it's time for another "Accentuate the positive" posting...

And this is something I promised [personal profile] thehefner I would dig out ages and ages ago.



So, from 1982, comes....

The wonderfully titled 'The Diabolical Doctor Death' )
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (justice)
[personal profile] skjam2012-01-15 19:19

Superman Arrested--Film at Eleven

Let's switch gears for a moment and return to the Bronze Age of comics, specifically Action Comics #556. We'll be looking at 7 2/3rd pages of the 23-page story, "Endings."



Not really a very good cover, but it does come pretty close to the events inside.

A bit of background: Vandal Savage was originally from Earth-Two, where he fought the Golden Age Green Lantern, and later the Justice Society of America. Thanks to the JLA/JSA teamups of yore, Mr. Savage learned of the existence of Earth-One and how to get there. He also learned that he apparently had no counterpart on that parallel world, which gave him an idea.

Vandal Savage comes to Earth-One where he has no criminal record. He somehow gets enough resources to build Abraxas Industries, and become a legitimate businessman. Since he has no criminal record, people are willing to give Mr. Savage the benefit of the doubt, despite Superman's warnings about his past behavior on Earth-Two. But just being free from the threat of prosecution isn't good enough for Vandal Savage, and he begins a plot to discredit and perhaps destroy the Man of Steel.

We join that plan already in progress. )

Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM!
icon_uk: Sad Nightwing (Sad Nightwing)

BTAS - When "noir" became "pitch black"

Batman Adventures Annual #1 features five short stories by Paul Dini, about various Batman villains trying to go straight and how and why they fail (mostly)

One of the beauties of Batman: The Animated Series, was that it could handle the light and it could handle the dark.

Now the series, in the early years, was limited by what was permitted to be shown in cartoons at the time (Which is why, for example, the Joker never killed anyone in the early episodes). The comics, however were not. They didn't go to the "grim" often, which made the times it did all the more powerful.

Please be warned, this post contains material that may be triggering for rape or sexual assault.

Even supervillains have standards )
[personal profile] keeva2011-05-16 13:53

Happy Miracle Monday!

Today, the third Monday in May, is that mysterious holiday that nobody can quite remember, but which fills us with joy and peace -- Miracle Monday!
For Earth humans everywhere it was a special day, the third Monday of the month: Miracle Monday.

On Miracle Monday the spirit of humanity soared free. This Miracle Monday, like the first Miracle Monday, came in the spring of Metropolis, and for the occasion spring weather was arranged wherever the dominion of humanity extended.

On Uranus's satellites where the natives held an annual fog-gliding rally through the planetary rings, private contributions even made it possible to position orbiting fields of gravitation for spectators in free space.

On Titan, oxygen bubbles were loosed in complicated patterns to burst into flame with the methane atmosphere and make fireworks that were visible as far as the surface of saturn.

At Nix Olympica, the eight-kilometer-high Martian volcano, underground pressures that the Olympica Resort Corporation had artificially accumulated during the preceding year were unleashed in a spectacular display of molten fury for tourists who walked around the erupting crater wearing pressurized energy shields.

At Armstrong City in the Moon's Sea of Tranquility there was a holographic reenactment of the founding of the city in the year 2019, when on the fiftieth anniversary of his giant leap for mankind the first man on the Moon returned, aged and venerable, to what was then called Tranquility Base Protectorate, carrying a state charter signed by the President of the United States.

The prices of ski lift tickets on Neptune inflated for the holiday. Teleport routes to beaches and mountains on Earth crowded up unbelievably. Interplanetary wilderness preserves became nearly as crowded with people as Earth cities.

Aboard the slow-moving orbital ships that carried ores and fossil materials on slowly decaying loops toward the sun from the asteroids, teamsters partied until they couldn't see.

On worlds without names scattered throughout this corner of the Galaxy, where Earth's missionaries, pioneers and speculators carried their own particular quests, it was a day for friends, family, recreation and - if it brought happiness - reflection.

In this story from Superman #400 (1984) by Elliott S! Maggin, a family in the year 5902 prepares to celebrate Miracle Monday with a traditional dinner:
3 pages from a 10 page story )

What is Miracle Monday? Read the novel by Elliot S! Maggin which introduces Kristin Wells (who was later the Superwoman of the pre-crisis Bronze Age) and her investigation into the very first Miracle Monday, or check out this article on Comics Alliance by Chris Sims. (WARNING: spoilers for the novel!)

Two-Face Tuesday! The final tragedy of Harvey Dent in Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns"

When people talk about some of the greatest Batman comics of all time, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns is usually listed as number one.

I used to agree, but the older I get, the more I find TDKR to be unbearably ugly. Conversely, I find that Miller and David Mazzucchelli's Batman: Year One gets more powerful and humane with each passing year. I think it's because comics creators learned an awful lot of bad lessons from Miller and Janson's TDKR, and I can't read that book without seeing all the negative influences it's since had on Batman and comics in general. Regardless, TDKR a historic work, filled with scenes and moments that burn into a fan's memory.

But in all the retrospectives and articles I've seen about TDKR, I've noticed a distinct lack of mention for the Harvey Dent subplot. Sad thing is, I can understand why. Even for a fan like me, Harvey's story (and what it means to Batman) slips between the cracks when it comes to stuff like the Mutant mud-pit fight, the sounds of the Joker breaking his own neck, and the climatic battle with Superman. I suppose it's because those scenes are visceral, the kind of moments you can sense on several levels, whereas Harvey's story is more of a psychological portrait. Not even that: he's just there to serve as a reflection to Bruce's psychological portrait.

So let's shine the spotlight expressly upon this neglected subplot of a great work, to see what Miller had to say about who Harvey was, what Two-Face is, and just how exactly he relates to Batman.





We must BELIEVE in Harvey Dent behind the cut )



If you're one of the few who's not yet read The Dark Knight Returns, it can be purchased via Amazon.com, but you're also likely to find it at most libraries that carry trade paperbacks and graphic novels. It's one of the standards, after all.

Behind the (Black) Mask: the Rise of Roman Sionis

If there's one classic* Batman villain I've come to hate over the past ten years, it's Black Mask.

Thanks to his prominent roles in War Games, he dominated the Bat-books for a couple years, getting big parts in Nightwing, Catwoman, and Under the Hood, thus also appearing in the last one's DVD adaptation, as well as Teh Batman. So I really shouldn't be surprised that this one-dimensional, nasty, pointless, generic, hollow non-character actually has fans. Not surprised, but disappointed.

But why? How the hell did this character become a thing, while better gangster-style villains (the Penguin, Harvey, the Ventriloquist and Scarface) got shoved to the side?

So, as I was already writing about a related Two-Face story from 1985, I decided to check out the original Black Mask appearances by Doug Moench. What I was surprised to discover was that Moench's original Mask in no way, shape, or form resembles the version which DC rose to prominence a few years ago.

I'm not saying he's a good character, mind you. But he's a far more interesting (and cracktacular) character. Hell, just look at the cover blurb:





So yes, prepare for the ultra-modern Batman villain who makes all the other villains look like CRAP! At least, according to Doug Moench.

Push it to the limit (LIMIIIIIIIT) behind the cut )

When Selina killed Roman a second time, I reacted with a weary "finally." But now, after reading Moench's originally stories, I feel disappointed for Ed Brubaker and subsequent writers for wasting what little potential there was for this character, and further distaste for anyone who actually likes the skull-faced version of Black Mask.

Finally, a question: anyone else think that Jeph Loeb ripped off Black Mask when he created Hush? Really, everything that Loeb tried to say with Tommy Elliot, I feel like Moench already said better with Roman Sionis. Just another little way that Moench's original creation has been swept under the rug by DC.




*I hate Hush and Dr. Hurt more, but they ain't "classic" just yet.
icon_uk: (Robin Don Newton)

Batman Bites, and Dick Dates the Undead... Part 1


Whilst my esteemed associate [personal profile] thehefner has been dealing with some Batman stories from the early 1980's detailing Batman's battles with Hugo Strange, he mentioned in passing a vampire subplot which ran through the stories at around the same time, and I recalled I'd posted them way back on S_D 1.0, but a lot of folks might never have seen them, so it seemed time to do something about that.

Now this is from an odd era in Bat publishing history. Batman and Detective comics had their own stories, but had underlying elements spanning both, so this story features elements from them both. As one had the smooth art of Don Newton, and the other had the less smooth, but deeply atmospheric, art of Gene Colan, the switch can be a little jarring at times, but bear with it.

Dating the undead Pt1 )

DAREDEVIL #192: "Promises", by Alan Brenn

The year was 1983. Frank Miller had just ended his first run on the title that shot him to prominence. After its mysticism-shot climax ("Resurrection") and nail-biting finale ("Roulette"), the tale now focused on more quiet matters. It's often been said that Miller's take on Daredevil was inspired by The Spirit, and while I find that ... implausible, at best, it's impossible not to see the influence ofthe master on the tale that immediately followed his.

Seven pages of twenty-two, herein )

30 Days of Scans Meme day 3: Batman and Jim Gordon

Somebody mentioned these two as a possibility in an earlier post, and I realized I knew just the scene I wanted to post. It's from No Man's Land, when Bats and Jim have a midnight confrontation in the Gordons' back garden. Some context: Bruce was stuck outside of Gotham when the government cordoned off the city and made it No Man's Land, and so Gordon was stuck shoveling the shinola without Batman's help for some time. Batman calls Jim his "partner," sparking a rant on the equitable nature of partnership, and Bats can only respond with this:



And Gordon's response is why he's maybe the only perfect friend for Batman. )

Jim Gordon hates hippies!

From Gordon of Gotham #1 and #2, approx 2 and half pages.

Read more... )

But he is quite partial to flame-haired Irish men

Read more... )

And can anyone please tell me what the heck his wife Barbara is going on about here because I really have no clue.

Read more... )

tags - char: jim gordon, char: batman/bruce wayne, creator: dennis o'neil, creator: dick giordano, creator: klaus janson, publisher: dc comics

Jason in 'Tec Comics

I've saved a lot of random bits of Jason adventures in 'Tec Comics over the last couple of years and upon reviewing them, there are some interesting points and foreshadowing, so after #571 was put up, I thought I'd put these up as well. Some of them are on the crisis cusp (just before, just after) so be aware of that. Let's start with what Jason's cape was used most often for:



About 30 scans of varying sizes from varied issues under the cut. )

No Man's Land Vol.4 - Bruce reveals himself to Gordon

From No Man's Land Volume 4, chapter title 'Falling Back'.

Written by Greg Rucka. Art by Rick Burchett, James Hodgkins and Klaus Janson.

This scene was anonymously requested on another post and as I'd previously uploaded these scans to a different comm I thought I'd share them here too. Am I right in thinking that I can't link to the post with the whole scene elsewhere because it's against the rules?

Anyway, I absolutely adore Batman and Gordon so my love for this particular scene knows no bounds.