Batman

Detective Comics #38

by Alan Rapp on January 13, 2015

in Comics

Detective Comics #38After Batman saves Wayne Tower from exploding, the Anarchy storyline continues as the villain decides to enlist the people of the city to help create the chaos he so desperately wants to achieve. It’s hard not to think about V for Vendetta (the so-so movie not the terrific graphic novel) as Anarchy somehow leaves blank masks on every doorstep in Gotham enlisting others to redefine themselves and fight back against the system. The derivitive plot twist isn’t helped by the final panel where the police gun down an innocent kid… which somehow becomes Batman’s fault? Um, what?

On the plus side Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato offer some beautiful panels, but even the tease of what the Mad Hatter‘s story has to do with Anarky isn’t enough to keep my interest once the masks are put in the hands of the people of Gotham. As I’ve already seen this story maybe I’ll take a break from the comic for a few months to see what it might have in store after the Dark Knight Detective after this arc runs its course. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $3.99]

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  • Title: Batman – The Thirteenth Hat / Batman Stands Pat
  • wiki: link
  • wiki: link

Batman - Batman Stands Pat

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we continue to look back at the more memorable moments of the 1966 Batman TV-series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. Based on a 1964 comic story, “The Thirteenth Hat” would introduce fans of the show to another Batman villain with David Wayne making his first appearance as the Mad Hatter. Despite offering the show a menacing villain with a different bag of tricks and motives (which work despite not being at all tied to Alice in Wonderland), the character would only make one more two-part appearance later in Season Two.

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Batman ’66 #17

by Alan Rapp on December 24, 2014

in Comics

Batman '66 #17Lost in his delusional state as King Tut once again, the history professor turned super-villain unleashes an ancient plague upon Gotham turning the local populace into mindless zombies for their new pharaoh to control. Thankfully for the city’s inhabitants, Batman is up on his Egyptology and exploits an obvious flaw in the villain’s latest mad scheme.

King Tut seems to be a favorite of the Jeff Parker and other writers and artists as the villain makes yet another appearance in the comics while several other classic characters have seen far less attention. Much like his previous appearances, the standard set-up applies as Batman and Robin outwit the deranged pharaoh and conveniently knock the man on the head leading to him recovering his wits once again (almost as conveniently as the original hit which transformed him back into Tut at the beginning of the comic). The zombie plague is a bit bizarre, but Parker has fun with the concept having the mindless citizens bury the Dynamic Duo alive leading to their triumphant resurrection in time to foil the villain’s plans once more. For fans.

[DC, $2.99]

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Detective Comics #37

by Alan Rapp on December 15, 2014

in Comics

Detective Comics #37After taking down a delusional Mad Hatter, Batman turns his attention to a crime that Harvey Bullock has been persuing for weeks without any real leads other than graffiti left as a signature for each crime. The death of a Wayne Enterprises’ executive brings the detective and Batman both to Wayne Tower just in time to discover what explosive situation Anarky has left for them.

After a couple of months off, Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul return to Detective Comics with the opening of this new arc. I’ve never been a huge Anarky fan, but the villain does have his uses especially if (as this issue suggests) this is the first time he’s been active in Gotham City.

The method which the super-villain uses to turn the office building into a bomb works (at least for a Batman comic book), although we still don’t know why he has chosen to target a building full of Bruce Wayne’s employees or what Anarky’s end game might be. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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  • Title: Batman – A Riddle A Day Keeps The Riddler Away / When The Rat’s Away, The Mice Will Play
  • wiki: link
  • wiki: link

Batman - A Riddle A Day Keeps The Riddler Away

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we continue to look back at the more memorable moments of the 1966 Batman TV-series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) returns to Gotham to cause more mischief by stealing the diamond tiara of the recently crowned Queen of Beauty during the Miss Galaxy Pageant and kidnapping a visiting dignitary (Reginald Denny) while dropping clues for Batman and Robin as to the villain’s real endgame.

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Batman – Two-Face

by Alan Rapp on November 22, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: The Animated Series – Two-Face
  • wiki: link

Batman - Two-Face

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen with another episode from Batman: The Animated Series. Originally created in 1942 Harvey Dent (originally named Harvey Kent) was Gotham’s good looking District Attorney who lost his sanity after having acid thrown into his face during trial. Having already established a friendship between Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) and Harvey Dent (Richard Moll) in “Pretty Poison,” the two-parter focuses on Harvey’s transformation into one of Batman’s most dangerous villains. One of the more interesting choices the writers of Batman: The Animated Series made when introducing Harvey Dent was to give the character pre-existing mental problems well before his transformation into Two-Face (something later comic versions have chosen to adopt as well).

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Batman ’66 #16

by Alan Rapp on November 11, 2014

in Comics

Batman ’66 #16In an issue overloaded with eggcelent puns, Batman and Robin are forced to match wits with a more highly-evolved Egghead who has used his Eggcelerator to enhance his brain to resemble that of someone from the 40th Century (whom he just assumes are really, really smart).

Gifted with telekinesis and a sixth sense of danger, Egghead uses his new-found superiority to defeat not only the Dynamic Duo, whom he devolves into cave men, but also steal scores from other Gotham City criminals as well and in short order takes over the city.

Although more supernatural than the old television show ever got, Batman ’66 #16 certainly feels like a comic of that time period. Eventually the Cro-Magnon Duo find a way to outsmart the super-villain, who has grown weary with how easy his life has become, and restore his brain, their likenesses, and Gotham, back to the status quo. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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Batman: Be-Leaguered

by Alan Rapp on November 3, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Batman: Be-Leaguered
  • wiki: link

Batman: Be-Leaguered

Despite refusing to join the Justice League, Batman is forced to investigate when the various core members begin mysteriously disappearing beginning with Superman. Much like the LEGO Batman games LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Batman: Be-Leaguered features the same humor and LEGO-style action fans have come to love. And I was also pleased to discover the classic take on all members of the Justice League rather than the New 52 versions which apparently be making their first appearance in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

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Detective Comics #35

by Alan Rapp on October 12, 2014

in Comics

Detective Comics #35I’m not going to lie, Detective Comics #35 suffers from the absence of the creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. Taking place inside the Gotham airport, Bruce Wayne‘s flight is halted by an out-of-control 747 crashing into the terminal in an emergency landing.

Batman’s choice to open the plane and investigate turns out to be the exact wrong move as the Dark Knight Detective spreads the virus that killed all the passengers on-board into the terminal and perhaps beyond. When and eco-terrorist claims responsibility for the attack it’s obvious Batman has only a few hours left to live to solve the mystery as the villain doesn’t want ransom but only to watch the people die.

Of the guest team, I’m a little more impressed with the writing of Ben Percy than the art of John Paul Leon, but that may just be my expectation to see Manapul’s exquisite art and getting a far different style. I’m on the fence about picking up the conclusion to the two-issue arc or waiting for Manapul and Buccellato to return. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

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Batman ’66 #15

by Alan Rapp on October 9, 2014

in Comics

Batman '66 #15When the Penguin teams up with the Black Widow and literally traps the Caped Crusaders in the spider’s web it’s up to Batman‘s quick thinking to play on the Penguin’s insecurities and get the villain to switch sides before all is lost.

In another nice mix of action and camp (the citizens of Gotham actually help the police track down money blowing through the streets from the villains’ bank robbery), the latest issue puts a more comic book spin on a villain who only made a single appearance on the television show in one two-part episode. Relying less on gadgets than chemicals and animal attraction (and one of the first villains not to be drawn distinctly different than the actor who played her on television), the woman earns her super-villain name as she gets as close to any of Batman’s villains in her attempts to kill The Dark Knight Detective and Boy Wonder. The result is an entertaining issue that offers readers the rare opportunity of seeing one of Batman’s oldest enemies fight beside Batman and Robin. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

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