Monday, 30 January 2012

Batman The Dark Knight #5

Was in my local shop the other day picking up my comics and i thought i'd dip me toe into another Bat-title, just to see what it was like.
I've read conflicting views on this one, but thought i'd give it a go as the art looks nice and i've always liked the Scarecrow.
So i read it and its a pretty humdrum, seen it tons of times before tale of Bats suffering the Scarecrow's fear gas while the baddie gloats over him.
With an appearance of Superman near the end that Batman almost beats in a fight - though i'm unsure whether it really happened quite that way or is another halluncination of the Scarecrow's.
So, humdrum its is, saved massively though by the execllent art by David Finch.
His Rogue's Gallery is excellent (though Catwoman seems to be about 12 here):

And his Scarecrow is even better, whether the trippy version or the real world:

So, didn't mind buying it, and will sure get the next one.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Batman 197

Just bought this quite cheaply, which was a real surprise considering its hailed as the first appearance of the modern-age Catwoman.
That's a classic 60's cover right there and, of course, has the best ever Bat-header, this time done in a fetching purple. As i've said before, that logo is incredibly evocative to me, but something also here almost has the same impact - the one shilling stamp.
So, great cover - but shame about the inside...
We're well and truly in the midst of the TV show at this point and the tale could almost be an episode, being the story of Catwoman going straight to ursurp Batgirl in Batman's feelings, with wedded bliss being the ultimate aim.
Its by-the-book, going the TV show route of following cat related clues to their conclusion, with story and art veering around all over the place.
Like i say, a classic cover, but what immediately follows couldn't be described like-wise - a shot of Batman with that odd head to big for the body and Bat logo that looks superimposed over his chest that even the 5-year-old me found odd, coupled with possibly the longest monologue from Catwoman setting the tale up. I'd retype it for you, but i want this post to all be on the same page:

Other things of note art-wise is this really strange depiction of Bruce unmasking:

Did folk think the cowl actually worked like that?
We find out later why he was taking it off - he's painted his face black to keep his identity secret just in case Catwoman knocks him out and tries to take a peek.
Which she does.
She never removes the paint though as she's sure "some special chemical must be needed to remove it".
But never tries.

Nowhere near the best from this time period and not the best example of the the explosion of the TV show silliness, just ok.
BAT-RATING: 3 out of 10
Highlight for me is this ad for Major Matt Mason. I had the dorky looking exo suit and can still feel the longing for that walking thing.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

This month in... 1979

Behind a really rather nice cover, we get a really rather duff Scooby Doo/Zip Nolan style detective riddle to solve, being who's killing vagrants by putting poisoned gold coins on thier eyes (really).
Seems that its the dead father of the bloke who owns the coins, which had been stolen shortly before.
Except its not - its the son disguised as his father, a ruse that's rumbled by Batman noting shoe heel sizes.
Which is why we keep getting blatant shots of the son sitting there showing off the bottom of his shoes.

Subtle its not.
Along the way we also get terribe racial stereotypes, with an Irish guy called Shamrock spouting every cliche going and an English woman straight out of Mary Poppins - "its the bloomin' Batman".
We also get that very 70's situation of Bruce living at Wayne Foundation, with his penthouse Batcave.

Really a totally forgetable tale, which i'll give 3/10. Things of most interest is this Superman competition, with prizes including Christopher Reeve's actual cape and pages of art.
Where are they all now?