Favorite Batman Sequence (YouTube tag)

I was tagged by friend Travis (https://www.youtube.com/user/oddfellowsthoughts/) to talk about a favorite Batman sequence, which is from Batman and Robin #18.

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Thoughts about Suicide Squad

After a couple of weeks of waiting, I was finally able to see Suicide Squad. Here are some of my quick thoughts about the movie, so be warned if you haven’t seen it because I will divulge spoilery things.

I really, really wanted to see this film after that first trailer hit. It seemed like the perfect tone for a movie about a bunch of DC super villains that didn’t take itself too seriously (like those other two films). But then the movie dropped, and so did the negative reviews. I heard it was a mess. This is not what I wanted to hear after the lackluster Batman v Superman. I had such high hopes for Suicide Squad. So, were those hopes dashed? Well….

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Podcast Episode 102: DC Rebirth with sleepyreader666

Direct Download (1:01:25)

I chat a bit with Damian, sleepyreader666, about the wonderful comic books shops we visited in Portland, OR, before we dive into the first offerings of DC’s Rebirth.

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via iTunes.

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RandoMonday: Batman #7

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Batman (2011) #7 by Scott Snyder (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), FCO (colors), Richard STarkings and Jimmy Betancourt (letters), Katie Kubert (asst. editor), Mike Marts (editor), and Capullo and FCO (cover)

The Court of Owls storyline was one of the–if not THE–strongest storyline with the launch of DC’s New 52. The issue opens with a flashback of the night that Bruce gets his inspiration to become a bat. But then we’re shown the bat that inspired Bruce be attacked and devoured by an owl. Unlike that unfortunate flying mammal, Batman has escaped the Court’s clutches. Back at the cave, we are shown just how badly the Batman was affected by his recent imprisonment because when he sees a “dead” Talon that Alfred secured for analysis, Bruce reacts with fear, backing away from the Talon. When I read this scene originally, my first thought was “Batman wouldn’t react that way!”, but I’ve since come to appreciate the take and evolution of the character as evidenced by those few panels. Later, Dick shows up to check on Bruce. Bruce proceeds to tell Dick that the Talon in the batcave is Dick’s great-grandfather. They have a disagreement about the information that Bruce isn’t sharing, prompting Bruce to hit Dick, knocking out a tooth. It turns out that Dick had been chosen to eventually become a Talon and working for the Court of Owls but fate, and Batman, intervened. I’ll tell you, I hated that scene. It’s supposed to be dramatic and perhaps showing that Bruce isn’t reacting intellectually, but unlike the previous scene that I came around on, this one I don’t buy at all.

Capullo, Glapion, and FCO do a great job at conveying the moodiness in general, and the fear and simmering anger that Bruce feels as the issue progresses in particular. If you haven’t read the Court of Owls story, I highly encourage you do so.

RandoMonday: Best of the Brave and the Bold #5

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Best of the Brave and the Bold #5 (cover by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez)

Batman and the House of Mystery, “Red Water, Crimson Death” by Denny O’Neil (writer), Neal Adams (artist), Petra Scotese (colorist), and Murray Boltinoff (editor)

Viking Prince, “The Ghost Ship” by Robert Kanigher (writer), Joe Kubert (artist), and Petra Scotese (colorist)

The Golden Gladiator, “Captive Champion” by Bill Finger (writer), Russ Heath (artist), and Petra Scortese (colorist)

Robin Hood, “The Secret of Sherwood Forest” by Robert Kanigher (writer), Russ Heath (artist), and Petra Scortese (colorist)

This is the fifth issue of a six-issue reprint series spotlighting Batman team-ups, but as you can see, there are also some backup stories from the Silver Age. While those were interesting to read and I particularly liked Russ Heath’s art in the two stories, I’ll focus on the Batman story (originally printed in Brave and the Bold #93).

This might be a weird one to modern Batman fans. It starts off with Batman having a close call with a thug, followed by Commissioner Gordon ordering Batman to take a vacation to Ireland (“You’re no good to me dead!”). Also, Gordon gives Batman a ticket on a steamship–how did that work exactly? After all, it’s Bruce Wayne who is the passenger. After saving a young boy who tried to kill himself by jumping into the Atlantic (because the kid was trying to join his dead grand-da), Bruce opens up his suitcase to find his Batman uniform in it (maybe Customs worked differently back then?), scolds Alfred in absentia, and then he throws it into the ocean (“Until I regain my health, the Batman is dead!”)! Later, a mystery presents itself, and Bruce deliberately ignores it: “No, blast it! I’m thinking like Batman again. I’m Bruce Wayne… and I’m on vacation!”. Ignores it until a ghost wakes him up, he suddenly has his Batman costume on, and the kid he saved earlier is wandering off into the Irish countryside in his PJs. Long story short, a local fishery owner is attempting to convince the island populace that the area is haunted so that he can take over (?). In one of the fights, Batman gets poisoned and the villain offers him a chance (for some reason) by pointing out two beakers, one of which contains the antidote. Logical Batman, however, sees the portrait of the ancestral king on the wall pointing to a test tube nearby, and so he dives forward and drinks the liquid from it that actually does contain the antidote. And for the second time in this story, Batman gets lucky against a guy with a gun to his head when the portrait of the king falls from the wall, killing the fishery owner. Cain, from the House of Mystery, who has been our narrative guide for this story, let’s us know that the spirit of the king caused all of these unexplained occurrences (which we knew already because we clearly see the ghost in several panels).

The story may not make much sense (weird for weird’s sake–but that is a staple of the House of Mystery stories, I guess), but the Neal Adams art is good, as expected. It’s especially good when Adams is drawing Cain.