Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Little Cool Things: Are you a chick who fell in from outer space?

Superhero comic books focus on the big: the boistrous, the loud, the bombastic. But don't forget to focus past the action to check out the background details: the elements that aren't integral to the plot but which are delightful little bits of stage dressing. In other words: keep your eyes peeled for the little cool things.

Let's peek in on everybody's second favorite Batgirl, shall we?:

Cover of Batgirl v.3 (January 2010), pencils, inks, and colors by Phil Noto

Great cover, nice action, cool costume, fantastic Batgirl! Stephanie "I'm Not Dead Yet!" Brown's tenure as Batgirl was, like her employment as Robin, much too brief, a solid series shelved to make way for the New 52. Ah well...we still have the back issues, and issues #2-8 have those wonderful Phil Noto covers like this one. But did you spot the Little Cool Thing?

Why yes, Batgirl's antagonists are indeed members of the Mutant Gang from a little comic book you may not have heard of: Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight. I know not many people have read it, but look it up sometime: it's actually a pretty fantabulous Batman comic. And, it has these guys:

Panels from Batman: The Dark Knight (1986), script and pencils by Frank Miller,
inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Lynn Varley, letters by John Costanza

Yep, that's Rob "Balls Nasty" Mutant there at the top, star of his very own popular website.

So you've passed the first level of Little Cool Thingology...but you have not finished your studies, Young Grasshopper! Where's the other L.C.T. on this cover? Why, it's as plain as the broken nose on Don Mutant's face!

If you got this reference, consider yourself at least a freshman Student of Batmanology 101 (your certificate will be in the mail from Doctor Sims presently): that quote is directly from Batgirl's theme song in the third season of the 1960s live-action Batman TV show. But why simply describe this momentous musical masterpiece, when instead you can experience it with your eyes and ears, starring Batgirl herself, the delightful Miss Yvonne Craig!

Wow, that's a great song that goes on about thirty-five seconds too long.

Well, we've got Babs back now, which is definitely cause for celebration. But I can't deny I very much miss Cassandra Cain (my favorite Batgirl) and Stephanie Brown, the girl who tried so hard to impress Batman that...whaddaya know...she finally did! She's the girl who never got a display case in the Batcave after her death (mainly because she wasn't actually really dead). But she does have a memorial we can all enjoy: twenty-four really good comics of her adventures and escapades that we can enjoy long after she's been retconned!

So in conclusion: to answer the song and the question, she comes from Gotham City, and her scene is kicking criminals in the face. And that's another Little Cool Thing.

1 comment:

Delta said...

LOL, oh man. Thanks for that.