Good Book Readin'!

Here is were I will be reviewing a variety of comic books in my own inimitable style. Which hopefully is good.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Silent but deadly . . . For Real!

This issue: Max Allan Collins makes his lasting addition to The Batman's rogues gallery. You guessed it, she's a mime! The Mime! This is actually a pretty fun issue, but c'mon, don't cover-blurb it like it's a new villain we will ever care about seeing again. We really won't. Before I move, Kevin Nowlan once again draws someting really well. That guy's great!

To begin: Someone robbed a church. That's low. The Batmobile has a swell novelty plate. Wait, that's on the back. That's a real license plate. I guess it helps to have friends in law enforcement . . .

Turns out, it's the Mime's been doin' crimes! Not the biggest revelation, really. Why do comics even have covers, if all they do is spoil surprises? Anyhow, I think Collins only wrote this so he could use all the mime jokes in his repertoire. Funny thing is, I get the impression Batman is being dead serious right now.

Not so much here. Here he's just chillin' in the commish's office while Gordon laments having to round up a bunch of literal clowns for the witness to identify. Didn't work out. Where's Batman's toothpick? He needs a toothpick here.

And that repertoire of mime jokes is exhausted already. Seriously, the oldest mime joke in the world is "Mime's are lousy." Come on. Batman offers some sage words of wisdom.

In the end, they save heavy rock group "Blister Twister" from the Mime's insidious acts of quiet terror and let them get on with covering Simon & Garfunkel (seriously). Then Batman questions everything he stands for in order to illustrate the generation gap.
thanks to Batman # 412 (Oct. 1987) Written by Max Allan Collins, penciled by Dave Cockrum, inked by Don Heck

Sunday, March 25, 2007

From the Company Who Gave You "Lady Cop" . . .

An interstellar space-cop from a whole 'nother planet with it's own ways and customs, an alien to both our world and culture, on duty pursuing a serious case fraught with dangerousness, but if she's a girl she sure as dammit's gonna be carrying a mirror. Still, it did save the day. It's just like that issue of Detective I can't find where Batgirl foils criminals by having a run in her tights. See, girls have their little foibles, but they come in handy at times.

Still, maybe naturalist and museum employee Mavis Trent can show a more independant, capable side of womanhood. Nope, she's too busy slavering over both Hawkman and Carter Hall (her boss), unaware that they're the same dude but quite aware that they're both in commited relationships. But she's not giving up until she's trapped one of them in tight bonds of matrimony! Pretty much makes '60s Lois Lane look like an under-achiever. Still, this is a fine collection on nice paper with sterling reproduction and a swell painted cover by Li'l Joey Kubert. You could do worse.
from a 1989 Hawkman trade paperback, this story originated in The Brave and the Bold #36 (June-July 1961) written by Gardner Fox, drawn by Joe Kubert, and splendidly recoloured by Tom Ziuko

Friday, March 23, 2007

"Murder Comes In Black Boxes!"

In this issue, Batman is a very understanding man who avoids flying off the handle at people whose boyfriends were just killed. But hey, a guy gets defensive sometimes . . .

He solves some mysteries, uncovers new ones, and decides to go to Hungary.

He also tries out some catchy british slang he picked up watching late-night PBS. Later he buys some flowers and puts on a beard. There's an old man and some barrels. To be continued.
The issue, that is. I'm done.
found within the pages of Batman #281 (Nov. 1976) with a story by David V. Reed and an art by Ernie Chua & Tex Blaisdell

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Amazing Tale of Bruce Wayne's Aunt Agatha

In this issue, Batman gets an aunt. He carries an umbrella around. She dresses up as the Joker. There's a train.

found reprinted in Batman # 233 (July-August 1971), originally in Batman # 89 (Feb 1955), credited only to Bob Kane, for what it's worth . . .

Friday, March 02, 2007

Ghost Taxi Passenger!

In honour of his box-office smashery, here's a little look at Ghost Rider's very first issue of his own title: Ghost Rider #1. Yep, finally in his own book, time for comicdom's premiere motorcycling hero of the night to really show his stuff . . .

. . . by taking a cab. While in "fiery skeleton" mode. That seems pretty straightforward. Cabbies get demonic passengers all the time. Perfectly normal.
Unfortunately, my copy is missing the middle pages, but if you take it upon yourself to track it down, you can see ol' Burny Skull actually get in the taxicab and completely fail to impress the driver. Well, he is mildly ecxited to have a minor celebrity in his car, but that's all. Also Ghost Rider had absolutely no secret identity in those days. Yup, everybody knew who he was. That's a good idea.
Anyhow, turns out lots of Ghost Rider comics aren't that good.
panel courtesy of Ghost Rider #1 (Sept. 1973) written by Gary Friedrich, Pencilled by Tom Sutton, Inked by Syd Shores