Saturday, June 03, 2017

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Night 3: The Silent Treatment

Panels from "The Man Who Falls" in Secret Origins of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes trade paperback (1989), script by Denny O'Neil, pencils and inks by Dick Giordano, colors by Tom McCraw, letters by John Costanza

365 Days of Defiance, Day 154: So much for the tolerant left

Cover of The Challenger #1 (Interfaith Publications/T.C. Comics, 1945), pencils and inks by E. C. Stoner

Friday, June 02, 2017

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Night 2: Thomas and Martha Wayne: Who they are and how they came to be (shot)

Hey, since you mention it, my handy Thomas and Martha getting shot Excel spreadsheet reminds me that I've never actually featured the first time (of many) that they got killed by Joe Chill (as opposed to being chilled by Joe Kill):

Panels from "The Legend of the Batman — Who He Is and How He Came to Be!" in Batman #1 (Spring 1940), script by Bill Finger, pencils and figure inks by Bob Kane, background inks and letters by Sheldon Moldoff

Oh, okay, if you pressure me or bribe me with Oreos, I'll admit I have used these panels before, but the comic being spotlighted was Mark Martin's Happy Birthday Gnatrat. So I stand by putting these up again! Plus, I found a less garishly-computer colored reprint than last year's, since I can't locate my copy of Batman #1. Anyway, a good origin story demands an encore! So long, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne!

Hey everybody, listen carefully, a bad habit starts casually

Panels from The Djinn story "Terror!" in Coyote #9 (Marvel/Epic, December 1984), script by Steve Englehart, pencils by Steve Ditko, inks by Art Nichols, colors by Petra Scotese, letters by Tom Orzechowski;
and from Angel Love #1 (August 1986); script and pencils by Barbara Slate, inks by John William Lopez, colors by Bob LeRose, letters by Bill Yoshida

365 Days of Defiance, Day 153: Know this child will be gifted with love, with patience, and with faith

Panels from Wonder Woman (1987 series) #1 (February 1987), co-plot and script by Greg Potter, co-plot and pencils by George Pérez, inks by Bruce Patterson, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by John Costanza

Thursday, June 01, 2017

There Is No Hope in Crime Alley, Night 1: You may not have known this, but Bruce Wayne's parents were shot

Now, you may not be aware of this, as it's seldom mentioned in the comics, animated cartoons, or movies...but didja know that Bruce Wayne's parents were killed when he was a young boy? I know, right! It surprised me as much as it does you. That actually goes a long way towards defining his personality and his crimefighting techniques. Hey, maybe that's why he doesn't use a gun!

Actually, if I might be serious for just a moment (clears throat, adjusts necktie, pops monocle back in), the brutal shooting of Thomas and Martha Kent Wayne has been depicted and examined many, many times in the funny books. How can I tell? Because I've been doing a "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley" feature ever June since 2012. (Here's 20122013201420152016) And the series has gotten so extensive that I actually had to start keeping an Excel spreadsheet list to ensure I don't repeat panels from year to year. That has happened a few times, but not a lot: there's quite a bit of fictional history and a huge number of comic books in which the tragic death of the Waynes has been depicted — sometimes with dramatically different effects over the past 78 years.

Well, I say 78 years, but thanks to the sliding scale of DC Universe time, Bruce's parents died twenty-five years ago. The same year Queen Hippolyta got out her Play-Doh and made herself a little star-spangled Amazon baby! (Yeah, I wanna see the Snopes page on that feat, too). That means the year Diana turned twenty-five, Bruce Wayne had been twenty-five years without his parents. I'm guessing that really put the damper on Diana's big birthday bash up on the JLA satellite, 22,300 miles above the Earth. If you ignore sliding time, that means the Waynes got shot in 1992, so the movie they were probably seeing and inspired Bruce in his decision to become a caped crimefighter was 1992's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Other probable '92 movie suspects include: Under Siege, Patriot Games, 3 Ninjas, or Captain Ron. Apparently to restore the original concept of the Waynes' movie night out, we'll have to wait until 2023, twenty-five years after the release of Antonio Banderas's The Mask of Zorro.

So let's kick off 2017's "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley" by reminding you that the death of Bruce Wayne's parents is so vital to his history that it's in the drop-colored background to the Who's Who entry for both Batman I of Earth-2 and Batman II of Earth-1! Yes, DC history is just that confusing!

Entries for "Batman I" (top) and "Batman II" (bottom) from Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985 series) #2 (April 1985); text by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Mike W. Barr, and Gary Cohn; pencils and inks by Dave Gibbons (Batman I) and Dick Giordano (Batman II); colors by Helen Vesik, Shelly Eiber, Tatjana Wood, and Bob LeRose

The Adventures of Bully: Bagel Bull to the Rescue

I'm on my way to bring you a rainbow bagel! It's a great way to kick off Pride Month!

365 Days of Defiance, Day 152: Stark Raven Mad

Panels from The New Teen Titans (1980 series) #8 (June 1981), co-plot and script by Marv Wolfman, co-plot and breakdowns by George Pérez, finished by Romeo Tanghal, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by Ben Oda

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Panel from The Life of Pope John Paul II one-shot (January 1983), script by Steven Grant, pencils by John Tartaglione, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Jim Novak

365 Days of Defiance, Day 151: Where have you gone, Carrie Fisher? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you

Panels from Star Wars: Rebellion #11 (January 2008), script by Jeremy Barlow, pencils and inks by Colin Wilson, colors by Wil Glass, letters by Michael Heisler

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Greatest Superhero Quotes of All Time


Panel from "The Oxnalian Revolution" in Superman (1939 series) #15 (March-April 1942), script by Jerry Siegel, pencils and inks by John Sikela


Pin-up from Strange Tales (1951 series) #127 (December 1964), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, colors by Stan Goldberg (?), letters by Sam Rosen


365 Days of Defiance, Day 150: E Pluribus Daucus Carota

Today's one-hundred-and-fiftieth (trust me, it'll all come together at some point) Day of Defiance is brought to you by Randy Sims, America's Only Sims Interested in Comic Books! Actually, I'm not entirely sure that's true, but I hoist my tiny mug of A&W Root Beer to you today, Randy! He suggested I feature one of the Greatest Covers of Civil Disobedience ever:

Cover of Flaming Carrot Comics #11 (March 1986), pencils and inks by Bob Burden, colors and letters by Roxanne Starr

Oh man, somebody collect and reprint the entire Complete Flaming Carrot soon, please! (Lookin' at you, Fantagraphics, or you, D+Q!) Because there's so much vegetable-based rebellion in this one issue I want you to go out and read it right now! Here's just one example:

So for this finest in anti-Russian propaganda at exactly the right time, we thank you, Flaming Carrot #11! And Спасибо, Comrade Randy Sims!

Monday, May 29, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 149: Don't tell your poppa or he'll get us locked up in fright

Panels from Starman (1994 series) #51 (March 1999), script by James Robinson and David Goyer, pencils by Peter Snejbjerg, inks by Keith Champagne, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by GWC, letters by Bill Oakley

Sunday, May 28, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 148: If you ever need the names of those you couldn't save, you'll find them on the walls of the cave

Panels from Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye #7 (June 2017), story by Gerald Way and Jon Rivera, script by Jon Rivera, pencils and inks by Michael Avon Oeming, colors by Nick Filardi, letters by Clem Robins