Podcast 129: Christmas Gab Bag

Direct Download (2:21:31)

Happy holidays! George, of the now defunct George and Tony Entertainment Show, returns to finish out the year to talk about some Christmas, or Christmas adjacent, comics. Specifically, we discuss:

Fantastic Four #4

New Adventures of Superboy #39

Brave and the Bold #184

Batman Family #4

Fast Willie Jackson #3

DC Comics Presents #67

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Thanks for listening!

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RandoMonday: Robin III: Cry of the Huntress #2

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

Robin III: Cry of the Huntress #2 by Chuck Dixon (story), Tom Lyle (pencils), Bob Smith (inks), Adrienne Roy (colors), Scott Peterson (asst. editor), Denny O’Neil (editor), and Stuart Immonen, Bob K. LeRose & Mike Zeck (cover)

Robin has long been a favorite character of mine, whether it was Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, or Damian Wayne occupying the costume. So when DC started publishing Robin mini-serieses, I was ecstatic. This issue, part of the last set of mini-series before Tim Drake got his own ongoing (and before Nightwing did, iirc, which never sat well with me), features Tim basically screwing everything up. He’s lied to his dad and Batman, and was unable to save a girl from being kidnapped by the KGBeast not her father from being murdered by the Russian assassin. Not to worry though, because Huntress shows up to help, but seems a little miffed that Batman hasn’t told Robin about her. She agrees to help Robin, however, in exchange for…? Probably a favor to be collected down the road, I’m sure. The issue ends with Tim being called into his high school councilor’s office, where he’s asked if Bruce Wayne is abusing him. Why? Because of the cuts and bruises he comes to school with–way to go Timmy.

This was not my favorite mini of the three. I recall being annoyed at Huntress (keep in mind that I haven’t read this series since 1993), and Tom Lyle’s and Bob Smith’s faces all pretty much had the same round look to them. I am really curious, though, why DC put the effort into three mini-series before they pulled the trigger on an ongoing. Regardless, if you’re a Robin fan like me, you can probably find these issues (they’re not collected as far as I know) pretty easily.

RandoMonday: Worlds’ Finest #10

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

Worlds’ Finest #10 by Paul Levitz (writer), Kevin Maguire (artist), Rosemary Cheetham (colorist), Carlos M. Mangual (letterer), and Maguire & Cheetham (cover)

While this series hasn’t exactly set the comic book world on fire, there’s something about these two characters as written by Paul Levitz that I’ve enjoyed (despite that awful Power Girl costume which, thankfully, was changed later). The Kevin Maquire art didn’t hurt (though he’s no longer working on the book–more’s the pity). In fact, Maguire does some interesting viewpoints this issue, and the looks on Power Girl’s face that he draws in this issue are funny and expressive. Not much goes on in this issue: something about the duo looking for intel on Michael Holt, and then, weirdly shoe-horned in is a “Requiem” sequence where Huntress grieves over her not-brother Damien’s death. Like I said, not something that is great by any means, but I enjoy these two characters.

RandoMonday: The Brave and the Bold #184

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

Brave and the Bold #184 by Mike W. Barr (w), Jim Aparo (a & cover), and Adrienne Roy (c)

Ok, I cheated a bit. This is not an issue that was picked by the randomizer, but I pulled out a few Christmas related/themed issues from my collection in preparation for a guest spot on the Heroes and Villains podcast and this was one of them. So I “randomly” chose it to spotlight today.

This is one of my favorite late Bronze Age Batman stories, mostly for the appearance of the Earth-2 Huntress. The story opens with Batman having just dropped off a bunch of presents at the Gotham Childrens Home. Holy St. Nick, Batman! Anyway, Huntress visits her “Uncle” Bruce because she doesn’t want to spend the holidays alone (what does that say about her relationships back home, eh?). (Side note: I love how Mike Bar and Jim Aparo take two panels to explain the whole multiverse concept to a possible new reader, and you know what? I think it works perfectly and simply. Take that multiverse detractors!) She appears just in the nick (see what I did there?) of time because Batman, after apprehending a thief who stole some accounting records belonging to a mobster, discovers that his father bankrolled the very same mobster, “Spurs” Sanders. Batman has a crisis of faith, but after talking to Helena, they go off to investigate. After talking to a Wayne family accountant whose records seems to corroborate the claim that Daddy Wayne was EVIL, Bruce decides that he can no longer be Batman. Of course, this doesn’t last long, and he figures out that his father was framed by the very same accountant he spoke with earlier via a very flimsy finger tapping tick the accountant has that Bruce remembers from when he was a boy–yeah, I find that hard to believe as well. Regardless, at the end and with Huntress nearby, Batman stands at his parents’ graves and rededicates his life to “warring on all criminals”. On the last page is also a scroll listing the names of DC staffers who wish us a Merry Christmas. I wonder how many other comics out at the same time has this scroll?

I loved looking through this dog-eared issue (I need to buy a replacement copy some time) because of the Jim Aparo art–his Batman was MY Batman for many years. No one can draw Batman so simply and effectively as Aparo in my mind. And Adrienne Roy’s skill as color artist graced many a comic I read from this time period–the industry is much poorer without her.

What comics will be featured in 2014? Tune in, same Bat-day, same Bat-blog to find out!

Snapshot … Huntress Costumes

Huntress

A look at the various Huntress costumes through the years (from Boyblue’s DC Universe page). I’m partial to the one on the far left–it makes no sense for a nonsuperhuman street crime fighter to expose skin!

Which is your favorite?