Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 14: Cult of Handgunosity

Have we featured The Cult here yet? You really can't do Batman's Got a Gun Month without spotlighting Batman: The Cult, a comic that wants to be The Dark Knight Returns so badly that it's actually kinda cute. Who wants to be a big grown-up Frank Miller book? You do! Awwww, you do!

(Click picture to tank-size)

Anyway, if you want an armed Dark Knight, here you go.

Panels from Batman: The Cult #2 (1988), script by Jim Starlin, pencils and inks by Bernie Wrightson, colors by Bill Wray, letters by John Costanza

And let's face it, The Cult #4 may be titled "Combat," but it pretty much could be just all called "Batman's Got a Gun."

Cover of Batman: The Cult #4 (1988), painted art by Bernie Wrightson

Panels from Batman: The Cult #4 (1988), script by Jim Starlin, pencils and inks by Bernie Wrightson, colors by Bill Wray, letters by John Costanza

Today in Comics History, May 14: Happy Birthday, Bobby Darin — we miss you

from (left) Patsy Walker #92 (Marvel, December 1960), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Al Hartley, inks by Sol Brodsky (?), letters by Artie Simek, and
(right) "The Disc Jockey's Delight!" in Kathy #22 (Marvel, April 1963), script by Stan Lee, pencils and inks by Stan Goldberg

Bobby Darin, one of my very favorite vocalists, would have been 80 years old today.

from "Bobby Darin" in Ms. Tree [Rock & Roll] Summer Special #1 (Renegade Press, August 1986), script by Max Allan Collins, pencils by Terry Beatty

Much of Max Allan Collins's narrative of his love for Darin's music in this touching story parallels my discovery and love for the work of Darwyn Cooke, a great comics creator who died today.

It occurs to me that our generation and fandom will define our aging by our discovery of, love for, and the deaths of our comics creator icons, who pass mostly unknown by the general public but mourned and beloved by our close group, united by awe and admiration.

May we remember, every time we hear a song by Bobby Darin or one of our favorite musicians passed, or read the comics of Darwyn Cooke or another lost creator, the joy and excitement of our first discovery of them, a epiphany that followed throughout our fandom.

Bobby Darin

from DC: The New Frontier #6 (DC, November 2004); script, pencils, and inks by Darwyn Cooke; colors by Dave Stewart; letters by Jared K. Fletcher
Click panel to Darwyn Cooke-size

Darwyn Cooke

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 135: Maximum Carnage, now delivered free to your office

Panels from "Maximum Carnage, Part 1: Carnage Rising" in Spider-Man Unlimited #1 (May 1993), script by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Ron Lim, inks by Jim Sanders III, colors by Nel Yomtov, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Friday, May 13, 2016

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th: Boids is joiks

from The Fox and the Crow #49 (DC, June 1958), creators uncredited and unknown

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 13: Big gun number one

Panels from "Bullet-Hole Club!" in World's Finest Comics #50 (February-March 1951), script by David Vern, pencils by Dick Sprang, inks by Charles Paris

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 134: We're thinking of you, Darwyn Cooke

I'm sure you probably already know that Darwyn Cooke is now receiving palliative care following a bout with aggressive cancer. Let's take a moment to keep him and his family and friends in our thoughts, and appreciate his fine artwork on the greatest character of them all.

Panels from Spider-Man's Tangled Web #11 (April 2002), script and pencils by Darwyn Cooke, inks by Jay Bone, colors by Matt Hollingsworth, letters by Comicraft

Not to mention the supporting cast and friends of the Daily Bugle and the Coffee Bean:

I have always enjoyed Mister Cooke's work, especially since he draws a nifty version of me:

And I gotta say there are lots of other reasons to admire his art:

Seriously, we're all thinking of you, Darwyn, and please know that you are much loved.

Today in Comics History, Friday the 13th: And this is how Tish has proper time to brush up on her French

The New Yorker panel cartoon by Charles Addams (1964)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 12: Mother Superior Jumped the Gun

Panel from Batman and Robin Eternal #1 (December 2015), story by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder, script by James Tynion IV, pencils by Tony Daniel, inks by Sandu Florea, colors by Tomeu Morey, letters by Tom Napolitano

Today in Comics History, May 12: Rebecca Cross's mother had better things to do over the past month

from Alias #11 (Marvel/MAX, September 2002), script by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils and inks by Michael Gaydos, colors by Matt Hollingsworth, letters by Richard Starkings and Jason Levine

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 133: "Perry White's lawyer on line 1, Mister Jameson."

Panel from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #41 (October 1966), script by Stan Lee, pencils by John Romita Sr., inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Artie Simek

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 11: Match wits with Batman, and see if you can figure out...why he didn't shoot a floor!

Last night, I promised that I'd reveal how Batman escaped from a deadly deathtrap that he would not survive unless he shot a floor.

Panels from "The Deadly Web of the Crime Exchange!" in Detective Comics #453 (November 1975), script by David Vern, pencils by Ernie Chan, inks and letters by Mike Royer

But The Batman has swore...sworn?...sweared?...swearengended? never use a gun! Especially not against an innocent civilian floor. So, he dedices to use the gun to throw it at the Crime Exchange's kick-ass Samsung JS9500 Series 88"-Class 4K SUHD Smart 3D Curved LED-TV! (I'm just throwing that in there so Samsung will send me one for mentioning them). Fact!: shattering a viewscreen shorts out all the electricity in a room and plunges the place into total darkness! Well, that works well!

Na na na na na na na na BLACKOUT! The Batman whips out his glown-in-the-dark sound effect cards and beats the stuffing outta those crooks! Then, he escapes! But how?!? How did the Batman escape, the story pauses to ask us?

Well, I'm guessing, story, that because he's the Gosh-Darn Batman, he's strong and fast and clever enough to slip out of the room and actually already be sitting in the Batmobile logging his mileage on MileIQ and sipping his Sonic Creamery Milkshake because that's what Batman does, right? Except, just as the story lept...leaped?...leporidaed? a huge conclusion in deciding Batman couldn't actually harmlessly shoot a floor, here's how Batman escaped. The clues are all there if you know where to look (specifically, in the panels I've posted above). Explain it to Gordon just like he was Dr,. Watson, Batman!

Oooookay. That was a clever trick but kind of complicated, and, as I would like to remind you, one Batman could have avoided simply by firing a gun into the floor. But, shooting the floor would make him no better than the criminals themselves or possibly some drunk guys at a Texas Home Depot. I think we've all learned the lesson this story can teach us:


366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 132: Everybody's a critic

Panels from Spider-Man: Sweet Charity one-shot (August 2002), script by Ron Zimmerman, pencils by Darick Robertson, inks by Rodney Ramos and Darick Robertson, colors by Avalon Studios, letters by Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Well Done, World Wide Web!

...which is not at all inspired by The Onion's The A.V. Club's perpetual feature "Great Job, Internet!" No, this post or its title has no relation or inspiration and anyway you can't prove it.

Tonight, since you've already seen Captain America: Civil War anf yet you've been suitably warned not to see X-Men: Apocalypse, why not split the difference and enjoy another Marvel Cinematic Masterpiece that features the only reason you wanted to see that new X-Men movie anyway, Jubilee! Yes, tonight's Million Cookie Movie is 1996's Generation X, starring Jessica Jones's celebrity pal James van der Beek's ex-wife Heather McComb as Jubilee, not English-cross-country-skier Finola Hughes as Emma Frost, and Edison Carter as the bad guy, I dunno, might even be Magneto, who knows? Let's find out together!

And now, with limited ice cream sundae interruption, Marvel's Generation X!

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 10: Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Floor

Na na na na na na na na request night!

Well, not really! But after I punctually posted a plum panel earlier today for pal Joecab in our 366JJJ series, I couldn't resist continuing the theme by digging into the Bully Vast Underground Vault o' Comics to tug out of its Mylar sleeve Detective Comics #452 (and the following issue) by request of very faithful reader and frequent commenter Blam! the man who's a sound effect and a blogger (you oughta check out his aptly named "Blam's Blog," elsewhere on this very same internet!

Blam wrote:
Ooh... I betcha one of my first-ever comics is in here: Detective Comics #452, dated October 1975 — It's Yaktastic!

Cover of Detective Comics #452 (October 1975), pencils and inks by Ernie Chan, colors by Tatjana Wood

And it's Yakariffic!

No, no, no,...not a real yak (altho' I bet Batman's met one or two of them on his travels), but a criminal mastermind known as the Yak, who is, unlike his namesake, remarkably unhairy. Must be on of those ironic Gotham villain names like The Cluemaster or Thomas the Tank Engine (of Crime) or The Guy Who Never Gets Caught By Batman. A page or so into the book and Batman is already yakking it to the Sock — wait: strike that, reverse it — until the Yak orders his underling "get the gun!" Also ironically: that underling was not named Annie.

Panels from "Crackdown on the Crime Exchange" in Detective Comics #452 (October 1975), script by David Vern, pencils by Ernie Chan, inks by Mike Royer

Uh uh, that's a big no thank you on the guns, according to Batman, who probably could have deflected a bullet with his Kevlar cape or taken a shot without too much physical damage, the same Batman who is knocked out of the building by a water cooler. Now what will the Yak and his pals gather around on Monday mornings to discuss the plot twists of sex and the City now, huh?

In a later scene, the Yak, who works for a investigative unit-style of task force to help criminals, discusses sociology and urban crime theory with the Vice President of his organization, the aptly named Veep. Good heavens, Miss're...not beautiful at all!

But is that Yak-tually our criminal cueball? Nope! It's of course The Batman!

..., concealing his spring-loaded cowl ears underneath a realistic looking rubber mask that Alfred made in the Batcave using the Mattel VAC-U-FORM!

(I had this dangerous electrical toy as a wee bullster and boy do I miss it.)

...and Batman is immediately caught on the next page. Good going, World's Greatest Detective! He, not unlike St. Peter not Parker denies that he's actually the Batman (conveniently forgetting, of course, that he has a Batman costume on — well, it's more complicated than that, but you get the gist), so the Veep challenges him to fire a gun to prove he's not Batman. Fire a gun. Into the floor. let me repeat those three words. Into...the. FLOOR.

Will Batman shoot an innocent floor? Tune in tomorrow, same 'Tec time, same 'Tec station, for the next issue and the answer! Persons of a nervous disposition, and linoleum flooring pieces, are advised not to watch.