ratcreature: RatCreature is buried in comics, with the text: There's no such thing as too many comics.  (comics)
One day I'll write this long, self-indulgent post about all the ways in which comics were and are important to me. It will be filled with anecdotes telling fun childhood moments and adventures of the teenaged Emo!RatCreature (all probably slightly embellished in my memory over time, the way anecdotes tend to be), like the one about the comic which gave me the final push to realize that I am truly an atheist, on the night before my confirmation no less. In case you're wondering, it was "Le Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel" by Grzegorz Rosinski (artist) and Jean Van Hamme, in the German translation though. (I felt actually awfully guilty for lying while saying the Credo in that ceremony, I mean, at that point I knew I didn't believe, whereas when I started with the lessons two years earlier I was merely unsure, and I still said the opposite in a religious ceremony, which kind of felt disrespectful.)

Or the one with the comic workshop for teenagers which I found through a flyer in the public library, where I met kids from really different backgrounds and ventured into areas of the city I had never been to alone before. You see, the flyer didn't make that clear to me then, but looking back I realize that this was actually intended as some social project to prevent "at risk" kids from hanging out on the streets and doing drugs, or something like that. Which was why it was first at this inner city culture center near the central station and later at some slightly run-down youth center that had band practice rooms and billiard tables, a ton of anti-drug posters, and these postings with rules that spelled out that you'd be thrown out if you brought alcohol, drugs or weapons inside, and it was all very strange for me (but hey, it didn't cost anything, unlike "art courses" and things like that). Anyway, despite that the workshop was run by a social worker and an art pedagogue together, they never made it feel like a social project, which I guess is important in that line of work (because which teenager would want that?), and most likely something these people learn in their training for working with teenagers or something. Anyway, despite that slight feeling of being out of place, and the fact that I was also one of the youngest and one of only two girls, I learned a lot during the IIRC almost two years I went there, and I had far more fun there than with, say, my classmates who weren't comic fans. Besides it actually resulted in me finishing some comics, being part of an exhibition at a local comic festival (even if it was as a "youth project thing"), and a zine publication (also I never got my originals back from that exhibition *grrr*).

Other fun moments would be young RatCreature travelling alone for the first time to visit a comic con, listening to public university lectures for the first time because the culture studies department did a lecture series on comic art (I didn't understand half of the stuff these people were talking about, despite actually daring to ask questions), creating comics for the school paper, making stickers from cartoons mocking teachers, and distributing them throughout school (that really helped my popularity quite a bit I think)...

Um yes, actually this post was supposed to have another point, namely that I wanted to talk about the comics I liked well before I started reading superhero comics. There are a ton of those of course, some of which I listed some years ago in a post that was actually part of a discussion involving lists of books and stuff, but this is besides the point as well (all comics on that list are well worth reading btw, even though I don't believe in the value of trying to assemble lists of literary canon or reading lists assigning value that way in general, which is why I have disclaimed that list like mad back then too).

Anyway, I finally come to what was supposed to be the content of this post, i.e. André Franquin. I have actually no idea how famous he is outside of Europe, but considering that he was one of the most influential comic artists of the Franco-Belgian style, that he created the Marsupilami and Gaston Lagaffe I can't imagine that he isn't well known. Despite that, I actually couldn't find an English edition of his Idées Noires in a casual search, and if there truly wasn't one that would be rather sad.

I don't own an edition of the French Idées Noires, only a German translation, so I couldn't show you scans of the original, however if you read French, some of the pages are available on the official Idées Noires site I linked above. The humor in them can be rather bleak, sometimes cynical, and sometimes even depressing, despite being funny. When you read interviews or biographies the question inevitable pops up whether the Idées Noires are an outgrowth of the depression with which Franquin struggled and which caused him to be unable to work for some times during his career, in the same way that people look fo ways in which the depression might show in the Spirou and Fantasio comic QRN sur Bretzelburg (Franquin stopped working on it between 1961 and 1963), or in the ways Gaston got progressively darker.

Originally most of the Idées Noires were published from 1977 to 1982, first in Trombone Illustré (a Spirou magazine supplement) then in Fluide Glacial until his depression caused him to stop drawing. Behind the cut are scans of ten pages I like a lot, with a translation (I can't guarantee for its total faithfulness to the original, seeing how I only have a German translation of the French to go on).

page scans from the Idées Noires )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Batman (batman)
After reading about Huntress, I've now read the 2000 retcon of her origin story myself, Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood (written by Greg Rucka, pencils and inks by Rick Burchett, except in #5 and #6 which have inks by Terry Beatty), and overall I liked the story. I was of course spoiled by reading summaries, but I have to say that from just knowing Huntress from guest appearances in BOP and such, and the Nightwing/Huntress series, I wouldn't have expected her to act like this.

Even having read summaries, the end still had something of a sucker punch effect on me. I mean, she doesn't do it herself, but she arranges for Santo Cassamento, the man who ordered her family to be wiped out and also her biological father, to be killed, because she wants revenge, because "blood cries for blood." She asks her uncle Tomaso Panessa for a favor, and while we don't hear her words then (I guess mostly so that it'll hit you harder as a reader later on), it becomes clear that she asks him to kill Santo, and tells him where he'll be able to find him, or something to that effect. Then she arranges it so that Santo has to be at that drug shipment personally, by beating up on his goons, meets Santo outside, letting him believe that he's still blackmailing her with his knowledge of her identity, calmly takes off her vigilante garb after he went inside, and stands by outside while he is murdered, not swayed in the least by the Question/Vic's pleas to stop it either. She also placed an anonymous tip so that Tomaso will go to jail. And as her final act we see her throwing her crucifix down into the water by the pier (which, as far as I can see doesn't reappear in her guest appearances in Batman and Detective after this series, even though she still wears her old costume, not the current one).

I think what hit me, is how she takes off her costume before standing by his murder, as if she somehow doesn't want her vigilante persona tainted by this revenge killing she arranged. It was a really powerful scene, but it changed my view of her.

Unrelated to the Huntress stuff, what's up with Tim and Barbara in this series? Here Barbara knows Tim's identity, when she didn't in BOP #19 which was published the same month as #2 of this series. It's not so much that I have a problem with her knowing, I mean, in a way it's kind of weird that we were supposed to believe she didn't in BOP #19, despite things like Tim's rescue from NML, which should have made the connection between Robin and Tim quite obvious to Oracle, I think. It just doesn't fit.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
I've read Marvel Knights Spider-Man #2 (written by Mark Millar, pencils by Terry Dodson, inks by Rachel Dodson) and...
cut for the spoiler phobic, because it's very recent )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Batman (batman)
I adore A Lonely Place of Dying for many reasons, for example it has some of my all time favorite Batman art. I adore the art because it uses art for storytelling to its full effect. A while ago, in this post to [livejournal.com profile] scans_daily I posted examples for panel transitions, covers, and intercuts I really like, but another awesome effect is how we see events from Tim's viewpoint, without knowing who Tim is, and that he stalks Batman and Nightwing only because he wants the best for them.

It's incredibly creepy to see with the eyes of a stalker, to watch Batman from a distance with cameras and binoculars, to browse through a scrapbook with all those photos, something which is made even creepier because it's put inbetween the intimate scene of Alfred caring for the injured Bruce, so that even the snapshots and clippings we see get an intimate quality. For a long time we only see his hands, holding binoculars, and cameras as he spies on Batman, watches Kory and the other Titans, rifling through photos and articles, opening the door to Dick's apartment even...

And it gets to me every time. I know it is Tim, I know it's not an enemy stalking them, uncovering their identities, and still it gets to me, because even knowing it's Tim and seeing through the "stalker's" eyes I still somehow identify with the "prey," I think, even as I reread it.
ratcreature: WTF!? (WTF!?)
This takes the term "Batmobile" way too literally. (the panel is from the sword & sorcery Elseworld "League of Justice")
ratcreature: WTF!? (WTF!?)
Jon Jonzz the "Slim Green Lord of Glam Rock"
teen-angst balladeer Bruce Wayne of the Pennyworths

I have no words.

However the really disturbing images come later when they do Silver age spoofs in the "Hall of Silver Age Elseworlds First Pages", like Robin as Squid Wonder, Gorilla Grodd as Christoph Columbus, or Batman as Adam with the Joker as snake.

(The pages are from the 80 page Elseworlds Giant from 1999 that was never published in the US but some shipped to the UK, apparently it's really hard to get and quite expensive, however I downloaded a copy, and now have to cope with the consequences. The images in my brain. Ack.)

ETA: I fixed the link to teen-angst balladeer Bruce Wayne...


Apr. 15th, 2004 21:55
ratcreature: WTF!? (WTF!?)
Did you ever want to see Dick Grayson in a curly, blond wig? No? Me neither. Not that this stopped the creative team of Flash #142 from doing just that. But the whole next page with Wally and Dick is great friendship stuff (though you'd think Dick knew how to fasten a wig so that it doesn't shift just because of a hug), and I like that Dick is Wally's best man.

Also, Wally & Linda preparing for their wedding: so very cute and adorable!!!

Still. The Wig.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Flash (flash)
So my Easter-time Flash binge reading continues, and I found this costumed criminal in Flash #130, The Fashioneer ... No really that's his name, and apparently fashion houses pay him to use his "time power" to "send styles back in time so that designers can get a jump on their competitors." And okay, I find it odd that he wouldn't simply get game scores or lottery numbers for himself, but what I am really wondering is, what kind of fashion house would trust someone dressed like that to pick out the successful styles from the future collections he sees?!?
ratcreature: RatCreature as Flash (flash)
Am I the only one who finds it oddly amusing that in Flash's suit the Justice League call-button is located between his belly button and his crotch? (the panel is from Flash #127)
ratcreature: RatCreature as Flash (flash)
Who comes up with these kinds of "supervillains"?? Okay, so they're called "Rogues" in Flash comics, but still -- Rainbow Raider?!? (also notice Trickster's fearsome rubber chicken, which I suppose could be some kind of deadly weapon in disguise with Trickster, and yet, it looks very silly nevertheless)

And just when thought that this had to be a low for villain names, I get introduced to one called "Crazy Quilt". WTF?

In case you're wondering, where I came across these... um... colorful characters, I'm reading Underworld Unleashed.
ratcreature: RatCreature begs, holding a sign, that says: Will work for food, with "food" crossed out and replaced with  "comics". (work)
First the bitching: this series is seriously overpriced. Even with 64 pages and no ads the price of $6.95 per issue is too much. I mean, I prefer stapled comics to the prestige binding, because you can easily see double pages without hurting the spine, so I actually don't mind that, and don't wish the format was different, but it's just too expensive for 64 pages. The reason I'm nevertheless buying the single issues is because I suspect DC is going to release it as HC edition before publishing it as trade, and with eventually six issues of 64 pages each, i.e. 384 pages, they even might publish it in two trades, so it's not certain that I'd end up paying less than for the single issues, and I prefer collecting single issues.

However, once you forget about how much money you handed over -- which happened quickly enough in my case -- the series is a lot of fun, and I think it's well worth reading. I'm not very familiar with the Silver Age DCU, and haven't read the stories New Frontier draws upon and retells, and there are many characters I don't recognize, but it stands very well on its own. I guess the reading experience becomes more layered the more background you know, but it's not necessary to have that knowledge.

Basically New Frontier takes the Silver Age DCU and transplants it from the goofy and campy comic reality of that time as which it was first published into the real world of those times (well a more "real" world anyway), transforming it in the process. And it's fascinating, one of the rare cases in which the mixing of real world politics and superhero comics actually works for me. Usually it's something that I think tends to end in a narrative disaster, and more often than not unintended utter ridiculousness, because the assumptions and internal logic of the two just don't mesh without some serious effort. But IMO it works here, and totally it sucked me in.

You get the comic elements like giant dinosaurs combined with McCarthyism, the KKK, and the build-up to the Vietnam war, J'onn J'onzz learning about humanity through television (and it was a great sequence to see him try out shapes, and to see him as Bugs Bunny) and watching 1950s space invasion movies, the historical "space race" combined with (behind the scene) covert ops of the DCU Suicide Squad and the like... and it works. And I like Cooke's versions of the characters, too.

I'm very curious how the different narrative strands will come together in the second half of the series. New Frontier takes its time to establish the characters and the setting, but it doesn't read slow or drags. And I'm impatiently waiting for the next issue to come out, as its unfortunately on a bi-monthly publishing schedule now, which isn't surprising with the length and just a single writer and artist (except for the coloring which is by Dave Stewart).

Anyway, I like this way of paying tribute to the DC Silver Age a lot more than resurrecting it one piece at a time in the main continuity.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Superman (superman)
That Jeph Loeb is fond of the Silver Age isn't exactly news. For example, IIRC it was him who brought back Krypto in 2001. Which always reminds me of Morrison's meta-run on Animal Man, where Buddy is at that place where comic characters that are written out go until they come back, and it's said that the animals have really bad chances of returning -- apparently not quite that bad, at the current rate I wouldn't bet anything important on that we'll never see Super-Turtle as part of any Silver Age revival, or that the Legion of Super-Pets is really gone for good.

And it's not just Krypto, Loeb did these stories about Krypton that from what I've seen draw from the Silver Age Krypton a lot, he obviously likes the World's Finest team-up, which is why we now are back to Superman and Batman being fairly close, if not quite like pre-Crisis, as of Superman/Batman #6 Lex Luthor seems to be back to his "mad scientist" persona, and now in Superman/Batman #8 we get Kara back, though it's not quite clear yet whether she's truly a Kryptonian relative like the pre-Crisis version. Not to mention that in Superman/Batman# 8 we also get Batman picking up Red Kryptonite, and when exactly did that come back into the comics?? I wonder how long it'll be until the gold, white and blue kryptonites come back. In the end it doesn't even matter all that much whether this Kara Zor-El is truly from Krypton (it's not as if there weren't enough Supergirls and Power Girls with confusing origins already), for this overall trend to chip away at the Superman reboot from 1986.

It's not that I don't find a lot of this Silver Age stuff charming and all, but well-- while I'm not the greatest fan of Byrne's Man of Steel mini series, I think it was a good thing to get away from all the Kryptonian super clutter. It's simply more powerful when Superman is truly the last and only survivor.

Thus I'm kind of torn about the Superman/Batman series, especially with Loeb once again writing Superman soon. I love the double POV and the whole take on the World's Finest Team and their relationship, and while I wasn't that fond of Ed McGuinness cartoony style, I think Michael Turner's art is gorgeous. I'd have bought #8 for the Gotham skyline in the splash page alone, but I don't think we really needed another Supergirl. I guess I'll be okay as long as she doesn't get a horse with a cape. Or hangs out with Streaky the Super-Cat.
ratcreature: RatCreature begs, holding a sign, that says: Will work for food, with "food" crossed out and replaced with  "comics". (work)
I think the primary reason why there's so little personal stuff in this blog is because inertia rules supreme in my RL and it would be really, really boring if I were to write at length about how the most activity-like thing I've done the last days was to try out the bread baking machine my siblings got me for my birthday last Sunday (in short: bread is really much easier to make with such a machine, and it turns out better too). Also it's kind of embarrassing. Ahem.

But on to more interesting topics, namely: Comics!

Birds of Prey #62-65 (written by Gail Simone, pencils by Ed Benes and Cliff Richards, inks by Alex Lei)

So far I enjoy the Sensei & Student story a lot. I like how Simone writes the characters, but I like even more that the story has me hooked with its plot. I want to know how it turns out, there's plenty of suspense: the as of yet mysterious threat/attack Oracle's computer system faces is creepy, I'm curious whether Black Canary will accept Lady Shiva's offer despite her apprehension (btw [livejournal.com profile] kerithwyn has put up some scans of Dinah's nightmare of the consequences of accepting), I like the plot with Chesire and the senator... Also I'm really starting to like Lady Shiva, and I gained at least some appreciation for Chesire. In the unlikely event that anyone even remotely interested in these characters isn't getting this, IMO you really should.

Batgirl #48-50 (written by Dylan Horrocks, pencils by Rick Leonardi, inks by Jesse Delperdang)

Horrocks doesn't quite write Batman like I see him, however I really like the art team, and I'm shallow enough to enjoy pages and pages of fight scenes when they're done like this. The story about the improved Soul drug made from corpses is kind of wacky, IMO, and I'm a bit dubious about Batman's tactic of fighting as therapy, though I guess I can see him act like that if I squint a little, especially if he was partly under the influence of Soul-- I have a hard time seeing how he would cause a huge explosion on a bridge with all those innocent bystanders otherwise, and I hope Bruce Wayne is going to make some generous donations or something to make up for blowing up a bridge to fix Batman's relationship problems. As many others have noted the Batman/Batgirl smiling and cuddling gave us some weird visuals. Though #50 had some good lines, like Barbara to Batman after he explained his "therapy": "You're crazy." Batman's reply: "So they say. But it works."

Flash #80-83 (written by Mark Waid, pencils by Mike Wieringo, inks by Jose Marzan Jr.)

I'm reading Flash back issues kind of randomly and out of order, which probably doesn't help me follow the sometimes convoluted storylines any better, but at the moment I'm just buying those stories of which my store happens to have all backissues available, and this leads to some haphazard selection. This story features Flash's ex-girlfriend Magenta, and reading up on her background just made my eyes glaze over (I got lost somewhere around Raven in an evil form implanting parts of Trigon's soul into her, I guess you just had to be there for the relevant Titans issues...), but that didn't turn out to be that important for the story anyway. The story, "Back On Track", has Wally working together with Kory and Nightwing to fight some intergalactic arms dealers who set up shop in Keystone City, and it was fun to read. I'm missing something of the Titans background causing Dick to have some kind of existential angst, but taking place, I think, around the time when Batman chose Azrael as replacement during Knightfall can't help with his self-doubt either. I thought it was sweet how Wally tries to involve him to cheer him up. Also we get lots of panels with Wally carrying Nightwing piggyback, which no matter how sensible it is, still looks kind of dorky, and IMO alone makes this story worth picking up.

Finally a totally random domestic Superman scan, which I uploaded for my feedback to [livejournal.com profile] corinna_5's funny SV/QEftSG x-over, but which is just so cute that I'll link to it here too. It shows Superman being really sweet, and cooking macrobiotic special dishes for Lois in his Superman costume. (In case anyone's interested, the story the panel is taken from is in the Superman 80-Page Giant from 1999.)
ratcreature: RatCreature begs, holding a sign, that says: Will work for food, with "food" crossed out and replaced with  "comics". (work)
What is it with DC and this dog collar fetish? You might remember my recent posts with the collared Lex and the one before with the bondage-gear Batman... Well this isn't nearly as extreme (but then it isn't from an Elseworld either), but I still wonder why in the splash page/panel from Flash #169 the Flash wears a collar when he doesn't wear one anywhere in the actual story (though he is tied down in a guillotine at the beginning). This continues the habit from the previous issue where again the splash page/panel shows the Flash in far more elaborate chains, than he wears at any time in the actual story.

I mean, I get that Flash looks pretty in chains and all, no argument here, and yet-- somehow I find this weird.
ratcreature: RatCreature begs, holding a sign, that says: Will work for food, with "food" crossed out and replaced with  "comics". (work)
I've decided to get over myself and just ignore that huge pile of comics, which I all wanted to talk about at some point, but which is just getting more intimidating, while my recollections of what I wanted to say fade.

Instead I'll just talk about two comics from last week. I wanted to comment on two more (Legends of the Dark Knight #177 and Nightwing #91), but it's getting close to four a.m. here and my head hurts (not from the comics, probably from staring on my monitor too long though).

Gotham Central #17 (written by Greg Rucka, art by Greg Scott)

I have to admit that even after 17 issues I'd still love to have an overview, from something like an SF&O issue, just listing all the cops, their first names, last names, nick names, ranks, and with whom they are partnered. I know I've said this before, and I admit it is getting better, and I like that each arc seems to highlight some character(s) so that gradually we get to know them better -- but honestly, on the top of my head I couldn't list even half of them with full names and ranks. I don't know whether it's my scattered brain, or something intrinsic to the stories, but it is starting to seriously bug me.

This issue also showed the quiet, tedious part of police work rather well, and because of the personal plots interwoven with it, it wasn't actually boring to read, but personally I like some more action. I guess I'm juvenile that way. Though I liked the cliffhanger with Huntress showing up at Vincent's place. See, already I can't remember his last name *looks it up* del Arrazio, Vincent del Arrazio, it's like learning frelling vocabulary in school, I always hated that too. The people writing the "Next month in..." bits also seem to have problems, because there it says 'The action focuses on Detective Azeveda who gets a surprise visit from an "old pal" who just happens to go by the name "Huntress."' when the last panel this issue shows Vincent and Huntress meeting, and I doubt she also knows Josh Azeveda. (And yes, I had to look up Azeveda's first name, because I didn't remember that either.) Finally I think this habit of putting the title and credits at the end should be stopped, I want to see the title of a story in the first couple of pages.

JLA #94 (written by John Byrne and Chris Claremont, art by John Byrne and Jerry Ordway)

After reading a few older JLA issues, and some feeble, in the end futile internal resistance, I've finally resigned myself to being interested in the comic Justice League, and I figured I might as well start getting the new ones. I'm neither a particular Byrne nor a particular Claremont fan (I don't dislike them either, I just haven't read much by either), but a new story is usually a good time to start getting issues, and since DC would want it to be attractive to people into Byrne and/or Claremont who haven't read the previous JLA issues it probably would be enough of a standalone for me to get the story without major confusion, and ease into the on-going JLA. And I was mostly right about that. I mean, of course I experienced the by now all too familiar confusion, like I have no idea who this Manitou Raven guy who (seemingly?) died on page two is, but overall I had no problems.

So a great evil threatens (whatever, I wasn't that impressed with the foreboding, but then generally magic stories are my least favorite, so I'm biased), children with low-level meta potential are disappearing, Batman notices a pattern, the JLA investigates, and Clark gets mind-controlled by some cult (apparently those who abducted the children), and then bitten by its vampire leader. So far I'm not really exited about the story. For example somehow mind-controlled and even vampiric Superman here is much less creepy/scary than I think he could be.

Still it's early in the story, and I liked the art, which in a way was charmingly retro. I think a lot of the "retro feel" is due to the use of thought balloons and additional omniscient narrator boxes, which has become unusual. I mean, if you get internal thoughts, the most common way these days seems to be to have the thoughts of the POV character in the narrative boxes and no thought balloons. Still, I liked the retro. And on the completely shallow side, with my new found Flash appreciation I noticed that Byrne draws a rather cute Wally West (or you can see both the retro thought balloons/narrative boxes and Wally here).
ratcreature: RatCreature is buried in comics, with the text: There's no such thing as too many comics.  (comics)
Recently I commented in [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana's LJ and shared a couple of pictures from Elseworlds, some wackier than others, and some rather freaky, and I thought I might as well turn it into an entry in my own blog, because some of those images you really shouldn't miss...

There is a rather freaky Elseworld comic from 1998 called "Batman: I, Joker" (written and illustrated by Bob Hall), about a future Gotham ruled by a Batman cult, in which we see CultLeader!Batman fight a weird bondage gear Batman (and anybody who thought the regular Batman outfit couldn't possible get any more fetish-like is proven wrong). In case you're interested in some context, and some more disturbing pictures: The cult ruling Gotham has a ritual once a year where others can challenge The Batman (who is thought of as a god) to become the next one, and to win that right to fight, first they have to bring down one of the supervillains who are resurrected and let loose in the city for that ritual. Actually they are not so much resurrected, as that they take normal people, erase their memories, disfigure them and implant them with wrong memories of the supervillain they are to represent. You can see this exposition with the cult in action on the pages 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. The weird Batman in that SM outfit is a challenger who managed to kill the Riddler, and actually in that story the guy they chose to play the Joker happens to have been a member of some underground guerrilla, and managed to beat the false memories and challenge the Batman, and it ends with Joker (well someone who had his mind wiped, Joker's personality implanted, and been given the face of Joker) as the next Batman though he's a good guy and determined to end the cult in what I guess counts as a wacky (and somewhat disturbing) happy ending.

I also pointed out some of the cliche and/or genre Elseworlds (because I love Elsewords, just like I love AUs, so I read them quite a lot, though honestly those below are not my favorites, just evidence that there is probably nothing these poor characters didn't have to go through):
- Cave!Batman (from Legends of the Dark Knight #35, and okay, that is actually, in the story, supposed to be a Viking!Batman, but does that look like a viking to you?!)
- Pirate!Batman (from Batman Chronicles #11)
- Vampire!Batman (there's a series, but this image is from Batman: Bloodstorm)
- Batman as a were-bat because of some gypsy curse (also from Batman Chronicles #11)
- Batman in the wild west (cover of Batman: The Blue, the Grey, and the Bat)
- as King Arthur's knight (cover of Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table #1)
- Samurai Batman and Robin in medieval Japan (from Robin Annual #3) which by the way ends with Robin comitting ritual suicide, because he broke his word to Batman and avenged his death when he swore he would not.
- Batman as Egyptian Bat-God (which I haven't read because it sounded like a bad SG-1 x-over)
- Bruce Wayne as gay artist in the 1930s in Berlin (from Batman Chronicles #11, which features an amazing amount of bad writing for just one comic). Personally, I think neither the pink house coat nor the lipstick (well it *looks* like lipstick anyway) suits him, though it makes sense in a weird way, that in this universe Robin is female, just like in the regular comics with the heterosexual (officially anyway) Batman Robin is a boy...

Finally, not (quite) an Elseworld but a really good (and creepy) story, Mask by Bryan Talbot in LotDK #39/40, where Bruce Wayne is in a mental hospital, and only imagines running around as "Batman" in his fantasy world, in reality his costume is a ridiculous outfit made from junk and he's institutionalized. Of course in the end it turns out a supervillain plot after all, but that really isn't the point of the story. I mean it could've been an Elseworld if it hadn't turned out to be a supervillain scheme.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Superman (superman)
So I'm kind of spamming my blog tonight, sorry about that, but why hasn't anyone *looks at [livejournal.com profile] cereta* told me that during the Intergang/Soames storyline in Nightwing there was an Action Comics tie-in, i.e. Action Comics #771 (written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Pascual Ferry, inks by Alvaro Lopez), with Nightwing coming to Metropolis and working with Superman? Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cereta I really like the two together, and think we don't see them side by side nearly enough, or I just don't know about it, like I didn't know about this one.

Superman catches Nightwing because at first he thinks he's a suicide, but of course Nightwing is just being his usual airborne self, and then carries him in his arms (Nightwing: Now can you put me down before you start calling me "Lois"? -- Superman: Hm.), then they're on a stake-out together with Superman calling Nightwing a nickname, "'Wing", of course they also successfully beat up bad guys together, and at the end they promise each other to keep in touch. (Superman: "If Intergang has taken an interest in Blüdhaven you may need some heavy lifting." Nightwing: "I might take you up on that. Not sure what I could do in return." "Just keep me in the loop. This little episode would have slipped by me. I'm glad you're more trusting than your mentor." "He's got a more suspicious nature, Superman. And he's never taken the time to get to know you.") That made me feel all fuzzy, because really Batman and Superman have been working together for a long time, yet Nightwing claims he's gotten to know him better. *squee*
ratcreature: RatCreature as Batman (batman)
Somehow I found this scene from this story (Nightwing and Robin: Partners, written by Doug Moench, art by Bob McLeod) in Showcase '93 #12 really amusing, thus I'm sharing scans of two pages. Nightwing and Robin are hassled by two cops, who hate "flashy ginks" and "skintight spraypainted showoffs" and are angry that "our Halloween party boys had a little fun here on the docks"...

The two pages these quotes are from, so that you can see the homophobic superherophobic cops for yourself:

Read more... )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Daredevil (daredevil)
The pile of comics I want to comment on is starting to get huge and intimidating. Obviously I have to make small steps...so here are my comments on the two latest Daredevil issues #54 and #55, which marks the end of David Mack's Echo storyline. Actually my comments are more about the whole than about these individual issues.

kind of longish comments, in particular on why think Mack's art style works to illustrate Echo's deafness, plus I linked to scans of some pages from the comic so that you aren't totally confused by my rambling )


Dec. 30th, 2003 00:02
ratcreature: RatCreature as Superman (superman)
Some things just have to be shared, like this cover scan from the promotion give-away "Superman meets the Quik Bunny" (the comic is from 1987). Somehow I find the combination disturbing.

the image... )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Superman (superman)
I knew of course about super pets, but I had no idea that there was a Legion of Super-Pets, consisting of Krypto, Streaky the Super-Cat, Comet the Super-Horse, Beppo the Super-Monkey (who had been used by Jor-El for rocket testing)and Proty II, a weird something that seems to be able to change its shape and looks kind of like the cross between a goat, a blop and one of those Enterprise aliens with antennae. (I've just seen a picture with a caption so I'm not sure exactly who/what Proty II is.)

If you want to look at Krypto, Streaky, Comet, Beppo and Proty II, here's a picture of them taken from the DC Who's Who Vol. 13:

Legion of Super-Pets image )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
Okay, so I found this scan of a page from a Daredevil/Spider-Man x-over short story (from Daredevil Volume 2 #20). And it's just too slashy not to share, so I uploaded the page to my webspace for you to take a look. In the panel Daredevil and Spider-Man are sitting in a bar, Spider-Man has his arm around Daredevil, talks about tossing him, and another guy at the bar thinks: "That Daredevil -- wotta waste! If I looked like him I'd have a babe on each arm, instead of shmoozing with another superhero!"

a scan of the page, about 160K )

Now I so want to read some Daredevil/Spider-Man buddy slash, where they both happen to be in some relationship woes at the same time and turn to each other for some uncomplicated buddy sex. Any recs? Anyone?
ratcreature: RatCreature as Batman (batman)
I got The Batman Chronicles #11, an issue with three Elseworlds stories. The best of the three (which isn't saying much) was for me the third, "Curse of the Cat-Woman" written by Kieron Dwyer, art by Lee Loughridge. However, the main point of this entry is that I found entertainment value in the art of the first two, though I didn't like the stories. The first one by Paul Pope puts Batman into Berlin 1938, and it suffers both from lack of research as well as from a weak story, but -- Bruce Wayne looks really, really gay as a Cubist artist wearing some pink house coat with a fluffy collar. In the second one (which isn't really a comic, more one illustration each page with text), "The Bride of Leatherwing" by Chuck Dixon and Quique Alcatena, we get a swashbuckling version of Batman, like what would Batman look like as a pirate. This also looks very, very odd.

For your enjoyment I put scans of both behind the cut-tag... )
ratcreature: RatCreature as Batman (batman)
I really liked Giz and Mouse in Hunt For Oracle, and now I've just read Nightwing #55, the scene where Blockbuster lets the contract killers and other villains fight against Shrike, to see who's the "fittest" to get Nightwing. Giz and Mouse are on the sidelines as Shrike beats Stallion to pulp, and I just love the third panel on page six: Mouse looks away, Giz covers his eyes with his hand and also turns his head, his distressed squirrel covering his head trying to hide, and Mouse says "Giz..." then Giz "I know Mouse, this is not our scene." the squirrel "chee!" And later they (predictably) pass fighting Shrike. Somehow Giz and Mouse are just, uh, "cute" in a way. Likable, and not totally messed up. I have to find out in what other comics and series Giz and Mouse have appeared so far and track down copies of those issues...

Uh, just sharing my delighted "squee" moment, I guess.

ETA: I scanned the panel I described. You can see it behind the cut-tag )

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