Panels from Wolverine: Origins #23 (May 2008), script by Daniel Way, pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Matt Milla, letters by Cory Petit
You wanna know the impressive part? Deadpool got his fingers cut off just before telling this joke. You think that's easy? Well, let me remind you: Bob Newhart, Lenny Bruce, Robert Klein, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Bill Hicks, Eddie Izzard...not one of these greats have performed without their fingers. If James Doohan had done stand-up comedy, he might be one-tenth as impressive as Deadpool. But he didn't. So there you go: another superhero who can tell a joke better than Batman.
Join us again next week when Storm recites dirty limericks better than Batman!
Splash page from Uncanny X-Men #341 (February 1997), credits are right up there on the page, look 'em up yourself
This is, of course, a riff on an earlier, splash page from [Uncanny] X-Men #98 (which I talked about a little during 24 Hours with Jack Kirby) Sure, this earlier one's a pretty good splash by the great Dave Cockrum...but does it have Hank McCoy? It does not.
My point...and I do have one...is that if you're going to hang around Rockefeller Center, make it either with Hank McCoy or with Liz Lemon. Or, for maximum fun, both.
Ladies and gentlemen: meet Colonel Steve Trevor: jerk:
Panels from Wonder Woman #130 (May 1962), script by Robert Kanigher, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Mike Esposito
Wait a minute, why is Diana even asking Steve to go out if he's already scheduled something with Wonder Woman? Is she just testing him? Is she trying to play with his mind? Is she as jerky as he is? Why, yes. Yes. And yes.
Well, that's certainly no way to behave on a date, huh? That's like going out to dinner with Clark Kent and just talking about how wonderful Superman is. And I think we've all done that. (Lookin' at you, Lois.) But is vivacious, modern, ambitious military woman Lt. Diana Prince gonna sit back and take this? Why, yes. Yes, she is. Pretty much, yes.
But, in a rare moment when Diana isn't accidentally stabbing herself on the edge of her glasses, and in a common moment when Robert Kanigher is continuing to write sexist captions, Diana puts aside her plot for hidiously demeaning revenge and instead accepts a date from Steve. A date that tells her exactly how worthy she is in Steve's eyes...one hundred dollars, worth, in fact. (And that's in 1962 money!)
Now, if you had any doubt in your mind that Steve Trevor is a cold-hearted snake, just look into his eyes! He's been telling lies; he's a lover boy at play! He don't play by rules, so Diana, don't play the fool! (Also, don't dance with that cartoon cat...he's only in it for the cheezeburgers.)
Let's just skip all the in-between boring bits with a carnival and magic mirrors that show weird reflections of a person's personality and Wonder Woman acting like Bouncing Boy and a high-tech theft plotted by...heh heh heh...Angle Man...hee hee!...and just skip right to The Revenge of Diana, shall we?
Next issue: Lois Lane and Diana Prince: catfight! Or, so Kanigher promises us.
Panels from Detective Comics #780 (May 2003), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils by Tommy Castillo, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Jason Wright, letters by Todd Klein
Ummmm...no, he doesn't.
On the other hand, every stand-up comic sometimes has a bad audience. What happens if Batman practices his stand-up routine on a guy who appreciates a good guffaw?
Panels from Detective Comics #781 (June 2003), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils by Tommy Castillo, inks by Wade Von Grawbadger, colors by Jason Wright, letters by Todd Klein
Ah, there you go! Batman was just playing to a tough audience. If you're ever attending Batman's comedy act in front of the brick wall down at the Chuckle Hut, make sure you laugh. You don't want to be that guy. Don't be...the Heckler!
Panel from The Heckler #2 (October 1992), co-plot and pencils by Keith Giffen; co-plot by Tom Bierbaum and Mary Bierbaum; inks by Malcolm Jones III, colors by Tom McCraw, letters by Bob Pinaha
So remember: Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious, and easily-amused lot.
Also, don't work blue. Isn't that right, Superman?
Panel portion from Marvel Digital Holiday Special #1 (December 2008), script by Jim McCann, pencils and inks by Todd Nanck, colors by Christopher Sotomayor, letters by Dave Sharpe
(Click picture to see the whole tableaux in holly-jolly-size)
Okay, everybody, you know the lyrics, sing along!:
Here come the animals
You'd better hide
They're going to stampede
Hey, there's a monkey
Watch where you step
I think he's just peed
Tonight, on another exciting installment of "Our Animal Pals" (as seen in comic books throughout history), we spotlight...a freak of nature? Awww, is that any way to talk about our pal, the Voltron of the natural world, the platypus? (No. No, it is not, Charlton Comics. In retaliation, we will sell your characters to National Periodicals and later turn Captain Atom into a galactic super-tyrant. Justice...for the platypus...is served!)
"Freaks of Nature!" from Blue Beetle v.2 #1 (June 1964), writer and artist unknown
So, ladies and gentlemen: the platypus. The Platypus.
Next time on "Our Animal Pals": either the baby kangaroo, or a giant mouse. We haven't figured out which one it is yet.
As we gear up for the greatest holiday of the year*, let's try something a little bit different in the mural department tonight. Let's not look at a cover mural...ah, c'mon, stop with the boos. (I'm too young to drink it!) Instead, feast your oculars upon comics' first four-page interconnected spread, from the mega-mind of Jim Steranko and his ground-breaking and senses-shattering work on the Nick Fury series in Strange Tales:
Four pages from Strange Tales #167 (April 1968), script, pencils, and colors by Jim Steranko, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Sam Rosen
(Click picture to secret-volcano-lair-size)
Whoa. My little stuffed mind is officially blown. But let's let Jaunty Jim Steranko (and his pal Stan) explain it all for you:
And how cool is Jolly Jim? So cool that he brings us another two-page spread at the end of the story:
Huh...I'm beginning to suspect that that guy on the left is the same dude who I used to always lose to in Saturday Morning Chess Club. You know, I don't care what he haltingly told me...I don't think that's really Chess Grandmaster Lev Alburt after all!
*December 23: the birthday of Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.*
*Several Hippopotamuses Impersonating Elephants to Liqudate Dumbo