Monday, June 27, 2022

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Night 27: There Is No Hope at Haley's Circus

As we saw a few days ago, the death of Dick Grayson's parents occurred on June 27 — a day after the anniversary of the death of Bruce Wayne's parents. Maybe he went to that circus to cheer himself up?

from Nightwing (1995 series) #1 (DC, September 1995), script by Dennis O'Neil, pencils by Greg Land, inks by Mike Sellers, colors by Cathi Bertrand, letters by John Costanza

Naturally, that means that June 27 is a major day in the life of Robin/Nightwing, and even more than Batman, his friends gather around him to support him on those days.

from Identity Crisis #1 (DC, August 2004), script by Brad Meltzer, pencils by Rags Morales, inks by Michael Bair, colors by Alex Sinclair, letters by Ken Lopez

But hey! Identity Crisis?! No way, Dick Gray! (son) Let's focus instead on a good comic book that shows his titanic pals coming to Robin's support on this day.

from "Regarding Robin" in Teen Titans Go! (2004 series) #47 (DC, November 2007), script by J. Torres, pencils and inks by Michael Chang, colors by Heroic Age, letters by John J. Hill

First Cyborg, then Beast Boy, is attentive to his mood. Somewhere in there I hope they offered to make him waffles. Raven is especially attuned to his mood. Well, considering who her father is, she probably wishes he had died in a freak circus accident. "Oh no! The amazing Trigon had fallen from the Big Top!"

Awwwwwwww. Your heart must be made of stone if you don't feel just a little bit sad about this scene.

And good for Starfire! Using her Tamaranean empathy (and cute big green eyes) to comfort Robin.

Maybe this isn't something Batman oughta be spying on, ya voyeur, Bruce.

Seriously, a sweet story, and a reminder that there is hope in Titans Tower.

Today In Comics History, June 27, 1993: Anty Charity Event? What is this, a charity for ants?

from Aztek: The Ultimate Man #7 (DC, February 1997), script by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, pencils by N. Steven Harris, inks by Keith Champagne, colors by Mike Danza, letters by Clem Robins

Sunday, June 26, 2022

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Night 26: there?

Tonight, June 26, at 10:48 PM, is the anniversary of Joe Chill killing Bruce Wayne's parents in Crime Alley.

from Batman (2016 series) #63 (DC, March 2019), script by Tom King, pencils and inks by Mikel Janín, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by Clayton Cowles

When I've counted down this event in previous Junes, I've generally reserved the actual anniversary for not only yet another scene of the Waynes dying, but also the hope that sprang from that moment, as personified by Leslie Thompkins.

from Batman: Madness one-shot (DC, November 1994), script by Jeph Loeb, pencils and inks by Tim Sale, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Todd Klein

If Joe Chill made Bruce Wayne into Batman, I believe there are three characters who made Batman into Bruce Wayne, preserving his humanity. The first is Dick Grayson, Robin:

from "[Robin the Boy Wonder]" in Detective Comics (1937 series) #38 (DC, April 1940), script by Bill Finger, pencils by Bob Kane, inks and letters by Jerry Robinson

The second is Alfred Pennyworth — who didn't even become a part of Bruce's childhood until after the universe reset in Zero Hour, more than fifty years after Batman's debut:

from Batman (1940 series) #0 (DC, October 1994), script by Doug Moench, pencils by Mike Manley, inks by Joe Rubinstein, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by Ken Bruzenak

But the third — and I think often sadly overlooked — influence in young Bruce Wayne's life is Leslie Thompkins the woman whose existence completely negates the familiar maxim of "there is no hope in Crime Alley."

To me, Leslie is as important an element to the Batmythos as the Batmobile and Bat-Mite: you can't truly have the rich and lush tapestry of the world of Batman without her.

from Batman: Madness

Tonight we mourn Thomas and Martha Wayne yet celebrate Dr. Leslie Thompkins. With her, there will always be hope in Crime Alley. With the Batman, there will always be hope in Gotham City.

Tomorrow, June 27: We'll wrap this month up with Dick Grayson. Or: There Is No Hope at Haley's Circus.

from Detective Comics #38

Saturday, June 25, 2022

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Night 25: Is this loss

from Batman/Superman (2019 series) #1 (October 2019), script by Joshua Williamson, pencils and inks by David Marquez, colors by Alejandro Sánchez, letters by John J. Hill
(Click top picture to aAlley-size)

Today in Comics History, June 25: Hoberman has been poked; had his dog shot at; is bugged

from "The Sins of the Father..." in Action Comics Weekly #606 (DC, June 28, 1988), script by Martin Pasko, pencils and inks by Dan Spiegle, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by Carrie Spiegle

Today in Comics History, June 25, 1876: In the dictionary, this is the picture next to the phrase "famous last words"

from Picture Stories from American History #4 (EC, Summer 1947), script by Jerry Coleman, pencils and inks by Allen Simon

Meanwhile a hundred years later, this remarkably stupid military decision retconned to be meddling by...I dunno, a fifth-dimensional imp or something.

from "Man of Molten Steel!" in Superman #263 (DC, April 1973), script by Elliot S! Maggin, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by Murphy Anderson

Today in Comics History, June 25, 2035: Capitalism wins again

from "The Man Who Owned the World" in Chamber of Darkness (1969 series) #4 (Marvel, April 1970); plot, pencils, and inks by Tom Sutton; script by Denny O'Neil; letters by Jean Simek

Hey, that's writer/artist Tom Sutton in the lower left-hand corner!

Here, I edited the panel to make it as up-to-date as today's headlines — Today in Comics History Headlines, that is!

Today in Comics History, June 25, 1954: The Creation of SPAAAAAAACE FOOOOOORCE!

"NRL Rockets" from Space War #6 (Charlton, August 1960), creators unidentified and unknown

Today in Comics History, June 25: No One's Going to the Prom with You, Peter Parker

from Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #7 (Marvel, July 1999), script by Joe Kelly, pencils by Bart Sears and Andy Smith, inks by Mark Pennington, colors by Joe Rosas and Mark Bernardo, letters by Benchmark Productions

Today in Comics History, June 25: Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics calls the Black Panther; T'Challa rejects call because caller was pretending to be an Asian man

from Marvel Premiere (1972 series) #53 [Black Panther] (Marvel, April 1980), script by Ed Hannigan, pencils by Jerry Bingham, inks by Al Gordon, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Gaspar Saladino

Friday, June 24, 2022

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Night 24: It was Joe all along

from Detective Comics #578 (September 1987), script by Mike W. Barr, pencils and inks by Todd McFarlane, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by Todd Klein

Today in Comics History, June 24: Happy birthday, Ryan Stegman!

Today! Join in the birthday celebration for comics writer and artist Ryan Stegman (She-Hulks, X-23, Superior Spider-Man, Inhuman, Uncanny Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, King in Black and more)!

Sadly Ryan was born too late to attend the Superman/Muhammad Ali prize fight like nearly everybody else in comic books, but here's the next best thing: can you spot a comic book convention! Bonus points for all the other creators you can find! Hint: most of 'em have nameplates!

from Faith (2016 series) #3 (Valiant, September 2016), script by Jody Houser, pencils and inks by Pere Pérez, colors by Andrew Dalhouse, letters by Dave Sharpe
(Click top picture to Oh no, I'm not gonna say "Faith" here-size)

Happy birthday, Ryan!

Today in Comics History, June 24, 1999: Don't you dare spill that Super-Cola on my collectibles

back cover of Superman, Inc. one-shot (DC, December 1999), pencils by José Luis García-López, inks by Kevin Nowlan, colors by Dave Stewart, cover design by Steve Vance

Today in Comics History, June 24: Happy birthday, Peter Milligan!

Celebratin' a birthday today is comics/TV/movie writer Peter Milligan: scripter of 2000 AD, Shade the Changing Man, X-Force/X-Statix/X-Cellent, Detective Comics, 5 Ronin, Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel, Hellblazer, Animal Man, Red Lanterns, Tank Girl and others; co-creator of Azrael, Doop, X-Force, etc.

from DC/Vertigo Comics cover-dated (left) March 2009 and (right) September 2009

Today in Comics History, June 24, 1972: Today, nothing was said

from Back to the Future (2015 series) #25 (IDW, April 2017), plot by John Barber and Bob Gale, script by John Barber, pencils by Marcello Ferreira and Athila Fabbio, inks by Maria Keane, colors by Jose Luis Rio, letters by Shawn Lee

Today in Comics History, June 24: Happy birthday, Mike Wieringo!

Born today in 1963: much-loved late comics artist Mike Wieringo: artist on Adventures of Superman, The Flash, Fantastic Four, Sensational Spider-Man, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, Spider-Boy, Tellos, (his own co-cretion with Todd Dezago), and more. Photographs of Ringo (on the right) with Dezago ("me") and Thierry Mornet at the Angoulême International Comics Festival 1999:

from Tellos #7 (Image, May 2000)

Today in Comics History, June 24, 1950: Then...Korea!

from "A Baby!" in Frontline Combat #10 (EC, January 1953), script by Harvey Kurtzman, pencils and inks by Wally Wood, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Ben Oda

Today in Comics History, June 24: Happy birthday, Doreen Frederick!

Born on this day: 1980s Marvel production manager's assistant Doreen Frederick!

from Marvel Age 54 (Marvel, September 1987); text by Mike Carlin, pencils and inks by Ron Zalme. colors by Paul Becton

Here's a li'l cartoon Doreen plus an explanation of what everybody does in the Marvel production department!

from Marvel Age #46 (Marvel, January 1987)

So, a very happy birthday to you, Doreen!

(And hey, Marvel? Please stop telling women they should smile, Marvel.)

from Marvel/New Universe Comics cover-dated August 1987

Today in Comics History, June 24, 1972: Zemeckis preserves his PG rating

from Back to the Future (2015 series) #24 (IDW, October 2017), script by John Barber, pencils by Marcelo Ferreira and Athila Fabbio, inks by Maria Keane, colors by Jose Luis Rio, letters by Shawn Lee

Today in Comics History, June 24: Happy birthday, Denis Rodier!

Born on this day: comics artist Denis Rodier! You know him from a lotta Superman books (Action Comics, Superman, Superman Forever, Superman: The Wedding Album, Adventures of Superman, Superman: The Man of Tomorrow, DC One Million, and more), which is why he got invited to Clark and Lois's wedding! Can you find him?

from Superman: The Wedding Album one-shot (DC, December 1996), pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Jerry Ordway, colors by Glenn Whitmore, letters by Bill Oakley
Click top picture to honeymoon-size

Happy birthday, Denis!

Today in Comics History, June 24: Maybe you shoulda said something beforehand, Commissioner Gordon

from "The Spectral Stones" in Ghosts #68 (DC, September 1978), pencils and inks by Ruben Yandoc, letters by Esphid Mahilum