[personal profile] lego_joker
Some of you may remember the time I posted that one story where Bruce is depicted as a completely realistic corporate CEO. Well, more realistic than almost any other take, anyways. Good times, good times.

Many of you rightfully called out that portrayal as terrible, and that pondering the "realistic" foundations of Wayne Enterprises misses the whole point of Batman very, very badly. This recent article from Chris Sims on that very topic got me thinking: what would be the total, polar opposite of Batman: Tenses? What story would have Bruce's boundless charity and philanthropy play a central role, not just be relegated to a plot convenience or a fuzzy-wuzzy epilogue?

Ladies and germs, I believe I've found the answer. And the answer may shock you to your very core!



Behind the cut: (the) Batman tackles the real issues )
[personal profile] lego_joker
This is sort of cheating the theme a bit - the Ventriloquist isn't really my favorite comic-book villain today, but he was the first one I ever developed an obsession with, so I thought it fitting to pay a small tribute to him today.

Here are some pages from old Arnold Wesker's debut story, courtesy of John Wagner and Alan Grant (the two-part storyline was in fact their very first Batman story, which is quite impressive; not many writers create an instantly memorable villain on their first try). Even now, rereading it gives me a surreal sense of vertigo. It's not easy to believe that such a silly-seeming villain had so much violence surrounding him.

Don't ever ask him for a gottle 'a geer. )
[personal profile] lego_joker
Back in ye goode olde days, Gotham villains didn't need no stinkin' telekinetic powers or rotting corpses to do their bidding. No, they got by through bein' tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties, and makin' it square. Well, as square as drug-running, arms-smuggling, "protection"-selling, and cold-blooded murder can be, anyways. Of course, the sheer snazziness of their character designs didn't hurt, either.

Like most of you, I imagine, I can't muster up any enthusiasm for the new Ventriloquist running through the pages of Gail Simone's Batgirl. As dull as I'd found Peyton Riley's story, I'd happily take her (preferably written by Paul Dini) over this SAW-wannabe any day.

But, as with many things in life, none can compare with the original.

Old guys playing with dolls, behind the cut! )
thehefner: (Two-Face: FOREVER!!!)
[personal profile] thehefner
This is a big one. Grab a snack.

I've been putting off reviewing Batman: Face the Face for five years now. Every time I started, my criticisms melted down into curses and incoherent ranting, until my computer screen became obscured by rabid spittle. Okay, it wasn't THAT bad, but still.

In some ways, it's actually an ideal introductory trade paperback to get into Batman. Like Hush, it's a murder mystery that also serves as a tour of Gotham's inhabitants, and it was immediately followed by Grant Morrison and Paul Dini's runs. Unfortunately, it's also deeply frustrating, especially if you're a fan of Harvey Dent.

This was the first story to use the character in the three years since Hush, since Loeb supposedly had plans for Harvey hich kept him in limbo until those plans would reach fruition. They never did, and I think folks at DC wanted their precious status quo back in place. I also understand that Two-Face is Dan DiDio's favorite villain, which may have been a factor. In any case, Face the Face is one of the most significant Two-Face stories in canon, and also one of the most painfully frustrating. After five years, I finally have the words to explain just why.





The lost year of Gotham's Unknown Protector, Harvey Dent )




Batman: Face the Face can be purchased here if you wish to read the story in full, including the Tim Drake subplot, several other Rogues doing their Rogue things, and the entire issue dedicated to Harvey and Two-Face's discussion. As mentioned above, it also serves as a gateway to the comics which are coming out today, leading directly to Dini's Detective Comics and Morrison's Batman.
thehefner: (Two-Face: FOREVER!!!)
[personal profile] thehefner
Two-Face: Year One was a mess.

I don't know any other way to describe the most recent retelling of Harvey's origin, released to coincide with the release of The Dark Knight. The odds were against it from the start, as the main problem with retelling origins is that you've got to interest people in reading a story they already know, or at least think they know.

They may have read it multiple times in flashbacks and expositions, or maybe they just have one specific version they adhere to as the definitive version. For me, the definitive Harvey story is Eye of the Beholder, by Andrew Helfer and Chris Sprouce. For most others, it's The Long Halloween, by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Either way, TF:YO was met with opposition and apathy before it was even released, and in the years since, it's shown no signs of being embraced by fans nor creators nor canon any more than Michael Green's recent Joker origin Lovers and Madmen (BUNNY!) managed to escape the shadow of Alan Moore's Killing Joke.

This isn't to say there shouldn't be new attempts at retelling origins. When it comes to Harvey, if they held steadfast to the classic Golden Age origin (or even the tweaked Bronze Age origin), we never would have gotten Eye of the Beholder in the first place. The question is always "What's this new take going to bring to the old story?"

To its credit, TF:YO had a couple novel and intriguing aspects to bring to the table. Unfortunately, for a slew of reasons, the final story was problematic to say the least. Maybe that's why it was seemingly ignored upon release, getting virtually no coverage from comic sites/blogs (I don't recall seeing a single review), or maybe the truth is more depressing than that: maybe people just didn't care.

But while I certainly cared, I also found myself alternately annoyed and bored, particularly by the poor pacing and awkward misuse of flashbacks. It read like a movie hacked apart and frankensteined together by a bad editor.

So in the interest of a cohesive story, I've decided to try something a bit different with this Two-Face Tuesday, and present the story edited into chronological order. Thus today, I offer you Two-Face, Year One: The Hefner's Cut!






A different look at a different look at Harvey Dent, behind the cut )
icon_uk: (Robin Joker Another day....)
[personal profile] icon_uk
A friend attempts, every year, to get me a couple of Robin based commissions as a Christmas present, and my 2009 presents just arrived, so I thought I'd share

First up is a delightful Hembeck re-do of this classic, cracktastic Irv Novick cover from 1968- Batman 209



"Don't you know who I am? What are you dense or something? I'm the Goddam Tony the Tiger!"

You'll need to click to see both the pics! :P )

tags suggestions

medium: commission
in-joke: bondage
char: batman/bruce wayne
char: robin/nightwing/dick grayson
char: robin/red hood/jason todd
char: ventriloquist/arnold wesker
comic: batman
creator: fred hembeck
creator: briz
creator: irv novick

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