Podcast 134: Retro Review: The Brave and the Bold #182

Direct Download (49:07)

Pulled from the longbox, I talk about one of my favorite issues in my collection: The Brave and the Bold #182 (cover date January 1982).

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

Thanks for listening!

Want to know more about the 1982 planetary convergence and the The Jupiter Effecthttp://mentalfloss.com/article/76906/why-some-people-thought-world-might-end-march-10-1982

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.

Thanks for watching.

Podcast Episode 92: New Teen Titans Spotlight



To commemorate the New Teen Titans 35th anniversary (better late than never!), I talk about my favorite comic book series of all time!

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.

Thanks for listening!

Links:

Direct Download (56:50)

RandoMonday: All Star Batman and Robin #9

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

ASBaR 9

 

All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder #9 by Frank Miller (writer), Jim Lee (penciller), Scott Williams (inker), Alex Sinclair (colorist), Jared K. Fletcher (letterer), Brandon Montclare (asst. editor), Bob Schreck (editor), and Lee, Williams, and Sinclair (cover)

Man, this series was either loved or despised. I thought it was an over-the-top, fantastical romp, a parody of the Batman mythos, sort of like the Batman ’66 tv series for the modern, angry age, not to be taken seriously, and I enjoyed the Lee/Williams/Sinclair art. This issue, the penultimate it turns out (or was it?), details the argument between level-headed Hal Jordan (in a switch to how the character has been portrayed since the New 52 began) and the antagonistic, borderline sadistic, Batman, with some punk-ass comments from the new Boy Wonder. Ultimately, a fight ensues between Robin and Hal because Robin has lifted Hal’s ring. Batman watches in awe of Robin’s abilities, including his quickness in mind and body, and then reacts–badly–when Robin goes too far and nearly kills Hal with a jab to the throat. Batman realizes that Robin hasn’t gone beyond the Anger part of grieving, and he takes Robin to his parents’ graves. The issue ends with a crying Dick Grayson in Batman’s arms.

I didn’t mind the fun that Batman and Robin were having at Hal’s expense, including painting the entire room they were in yellow–they even painted themselves yellow!–and serving lemonade, just to twist the knife a little bit more. I liked how Batman admired Dick for his innate skills, but Miller went too far when he had Dick crush Hal’s throat. Then, to make matters worse, Batman punches the twelve-year-old after throwing him into a wall. We all gloss over the child abuse factor of Batman having an underage sidekick, but this blatant abuse was disturbing, and I don’t get the sense that Miller was making commentary, just being crass. Given the events of Dark Knight II and this series, it almost seems as if Miller hates Dick Grayson and enjoys punishing the guy whenever possible, the scenes where Batman calls Dick a genius and hugs him notwithstanding.

I want to end on some praise, however. Sinclair’s coloring here is deceptively simple, given the limited color palette. Sixteen pages are mostly yellow (aside from Hal’s presence), but it’s not just brush on one hue of the color and that’s it–there’s some depth and range brought to the pages that maybe were more difficult to complete than if this was colored more traditionally (I think?). Lee also has some fun with background action. There’s one panel in particular where Hal decks Batman, causing the Dark Knight to drop his glass of lemonade. In the background, Robin catches the glass. In the next panel, there’s a close-up of Hal hitting Batman in the jaw, while Robin pours another glass that he offers Batman on the next page. See, that was fun comics.

RandoMonday: DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #3, the Justice Society

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

DC Special 3

 

This is one of my very favorite issues in my collection. It is the comic that introduced me to the DC multiverse, and where I fell in love with the Earth-2 concept and characters.

“The All Star Super Squad” by Gerry Conway, Ric Estrada, and Wally Wood: This “double-length novel!” (from All-Star Comics #58-59) introduces us to some younger E-2 heroes–Star Spangled Kid, Robin, and Power Girl–and is the first appearance of Power Girl. Despite the heavy fire-power of the JSA (Doctor Fate, Green Lantern, Flash, and a few others), it takes these three younger heroes working together to defeat the machinations of Brainwave and Degaton. What a way to be introduced to these characters! I loved the differences between the Earth-1 characters that I knew and these “doppelgängers”. Hawkman had that goofy mask instead of the helmet. Robin is working for the U.N. to report about the apartheid policies in South Africa (well before pop culture started its anti-apartheid stance), and Robin had a costume with long sleeves and pants! I loved that design and wished “my” Robin could have something similar. The introduction of Power Girl was really interesting because she was not as powerful as Supergirl, which made her struggles seem a little more heroic to me. Plus, the Estrada and Wood art was fantastic, especially how they drew Power Girl.

“Five Drowned Men” by Gardner Fox, Irwin Hasen, Joe Kubert, Lee Elias, and Frank Harry: I think that this was my first Golden Age story (from All-Star Comics #36). As was the style of the day, this JSA story was a series of individual characters stories with a frame involving all of them. I found it very interesting that the villains of the issue (who were only “bad” because of a drug that “deadens a man’s conscience”) had no superpowers but were still able to defeat or elude the JSAers. The art took some getting used to, but I have a fondness for the various artists now.

Dr. Fate (from 1st Issue Special [1975]) by Martin Pasko and Walt Simonson: So in comparison to the first story of the digest, this made me really love Dr. Fate. A lot of that had to do with the Simonson art and somewhat for the Egyptian connections. I would have loved a Dr. Fate series by this team.

At the end of the digest is a few pages explaining the parallel Earth concept (with art by Ross Andru and I’m guessing that the text was written by Paul Levitz), which was helpful. However, because of one panel showing Earth-1 and Earth-2 counterparts, I thought for a few years that Dr. Fate was somehow a counterpart to Aquaman–that was on me being a poor reader because the text clearly states those characters are unique (but there was a Golden Age Aquaman–was this my first experience with retconning?).

I really love this comic, and my copy of this digest is well read, so I’m on the prowl for a better copy of this special digest.