Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Elongated Man's Stretchable Sleuth



Ralph Dibny was fascinated by contortionists as a kid, and found that one thing they all seemed to have in common was an addiction to the soft drink Gingold. Why, it would take quite a detective to put that together, based on a fixation with pliability. Could this convergence possibly lead to Ralph's isolating the active ingredient in Gingold, dosing up on the stuff regular, and enhancing his performance to become a second rate Plastic Man? Indeed!

Unlike Eel O'Brien, Ralph was only thought to be a crook when he made his debut as the Elongated Man, making fast friends with the Flash. I guess he lacked that certain something though, because he wasn't offered more than a back-up series, and it took years to land a spot on the Justice League. In the meantime, Ralph gained fame enough to attract the attention of a delightful heiress, and his marriage to Sue Dibny was about the most original and noteworthy thing about him.

From second banana to background team player, Elongated Man rode his association with the Justice League until their first volume was canceled. Even with the slim pickings available, Justice League International still left Ralph on the shelf for two years, until they needed to staff a spin-off team. Once they burned the engine up on that one, Elongated Man was retired until such a time as he and his wife could be used to fuel the tragedy in a crossover, and they were both permanently laid to rest.

Solo Blog
Ralph Dibny, the World-Famous Elongated Man

Ductile Detective
Who's Who Vol.VII: The Elongated Man (9/85)
The Top 10 Elongated Man Covers
Ralph Dibny Can't Keep It Together (Identity Crisis #1, 2004)

22,300 Miles above the Earth
Justice League of America #133-134 (8-9/76)
Justice League of America #221-223 (12/93-2/84)
Blue Devil #4, #5 (10/84)

"Oh, NO! Lake Michigan!"
Justice League of America Annual #2 (1984)
The New Teen Titans #4 (1/85)
Justice League of America #233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238,239, #241, #242, #243
JLA Classified #23 (Late July, 2006)
JLA: Incarnations #5 (11/2001): 1st Story, 3rd Story
Infinity Inc. #19 (10/85)
Justice League of America #244 (11/85)
Justice League of America Annual #3 (1985)
Justice League of America #246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 257
Legends #1 (11/86), #2
Justice League of America #258 (1/87)
Legends #3-6 (1-4/87)

Europa
Justice League Spectacular #1 (1992)

Identity Crisis
The Flash #208-209 (May-June ’04)
Identity Crisis #1 (8/04), #2-5 (Sep-Dec. 2004), #6, #7
JLA#115, #116
Batman and the Outsiders #1-5 (December 2007-May 2008)
Green Lantern #43 (Early September 2009)
Blackest Night #1, #2, #3

Elseworlds
Detroit League in JLA/Avengers (2003)
Justice #5, #6, #8

Signed Glossies

One Word: Plastics

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2005 Zatanna Art Book Piece by Brandon Peterson

Click To Enlarge


I really hated Peterson's work when he first started out as a generic Jim Lee/Art Thibert clone, but the guy really grew into an incredible artist in his own right. This was partly due to incorporating a greater variety of influences, but one Image contemporary I don't recall noticing in Peterson's previous work was Whilce Portacio, though this piece definitely recalls him.

More Selections from Brandon Peterson's 2005 Artbook!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Motor City Links

BRIGHTEST DAY #21-22
Written by GEOFF JOHNS & PETER J. TOMASI
Art by IVAN REIS, PATRICK GLEASON, ARDIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK & JOE PRADO
Covers by DAVID FINCH
1:10 Variant covers by IVAN REIS
As the end of BRIGHTEST DAY approaches, our returned heroes and villains begin converging in one area as the ultimate protector reveals itself against the ultimate menace!
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #21 on sale MARCH 2
Issue #22 on sale MARCH 16
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
The great Aquaman preview series is almost done, and whatever crap Martian Manhunter got up to should be wrapped up, as well.

BRIGHTEST DAY VOL. 2 HC
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and PETER J. TOMASI
Art by IVAN REIS, PATRICK GLEASON, ARDIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK and JOE PRADO
Cover by DAVID FINCH
Once dead, twelve heroes and villains were resurrected by a white light expelled from deep within the center of the earth. Now, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Deadman, Jade, Osiris, Hawk, Captain Boomerang and Zoom must discover the mysterious reason behind their return and uncover the secret that binds them all.
In this second volumes, which issues #8-16 of the series, find out whether Deadman is truly destined to wield the White Lantern and who the new Aqualad is. Plus, Firestorm’s dueling alter egos take a bizarre journey, while Martian Manhunter returns to Mars to learn about the strange creature that’s stalking him.
On sale MAY 4 • 240 pg, FC, $29.99 US
The second hardcover collection of meandering, repetitive story snippets by artists that don't compliment each other drawing characters seemingly drawn from out of a hat.

AQUAMAN


"H Is for Holocaust!" from Adventure Comics #442 (August 1975)

Aquaman Rules

Stray Thoughts on an Aquatastic Episode of Smallville!

Amazing new diving suit turns wearer into Aquaman

FISHCLIX

CITIZEN STEEL

JSA ALL-STARS #16
Written by MATTHEW STURGES
Art and cover by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II
The mystery of “The Puzzle Men” concludes! Only by piecing together clues and weaponry from the past will the All-Stars be able to get to the bottom of Arthur Pemberton’s master plan!
On sale MARCH 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

MARTIAN MANHUNTER

When a Martian meets a woman

Koma Designs Martian Manhunter Resin Model Kit

The Comic Reader #219 (September, 1984)

ZATANNA

ZATANNA #11
Written by PAUL DINI
Art by JAMAL IGLE
Cover by ADAM HUGHES
Satanic sorcerer Brother Night lost his magical powers when Zatanna defeated him atop Mount Diablo. But in prison, he’s forged a bloody pact that could make him the most dangerous nemesis she’s ever faced! Last time, her friends barely escaped with their lives; this time, they might not be so lucky!
On sale MARCH 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Zatanna #7 (2011)

BATMAN

DC COMICS PRESENTS: BATMAN – IRRESISTIBLE #1
Written by TOM PEYER
Art by TONY HARRIS, WADE VON GRAWBADGER and WAYNE FAUCHER
Cover by TONY HARRIS
In a 3-part tale from BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #169-171 featuring art by Tony Harris, The Dark Knight encounters Frank Sharp, an exceptionally ugly man who has the ability to make people do whatever he wants just by shaking their hand. Sharp is out to make a name for himself in Gotham City’s worlds of politics and crime — if Batman doesn’t stop him first. Plus, a tale illustrated by Harris from HOURMAN #22, guest-starring Young Justice!
On sale MARCH 16 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US

Cool Stuff BONUS! 1966 Batman "Blue" Cards, Part 1!

Daily Batman: Mime-hating Bruce Wayne edition

Cool Stuff BONUS! 1966 Batman "Blue" Cards, Part 2!

The Bronze Age Batman Boogie

Cool Stuff BONUS! 1966 "Black" Batman Cards, Part 1!

Daily Batman: Break-in at Tiffany’s by the truly incomparable Adam Hughes

Cool Stuff BONUS! 1966 "Black" Batman Cards, Part 2!

Bruce … Is It Really You?

Cool Stuff: Bar-Bar-Bar, Bar-Bar-Barella and Batman Stuff!

Daily Batman: Enter Batgirl

1957: Batman Predicts the Quiz Show Scandal

Batman: Odyssey #4 - Dec. 2010

Neighbor from hell Catwoman on MadTV.

The Justice League XXX – Another Studio Joins The Superhero Porn Bandwagon

Daily Batman: The Bat and the Cat, Interrupted

Batman: Odyssey #5 - Jan. 2011

Batgirl is shocked –shocked!– by the homosexuality

WTF? Wednesday: Boys Will Be Boys

Daily Batman: A naked leg being the invitation, or, “Who’s your Dada?”

Travel Posters for Your Favorite Superhero Cities [Art]

Daily Batman: The name game

SENATOR BATMAN!!!

Daily Batman: the little Robin has a holiday package to share

Monday, December 20, 2010

Justice League of America #178 (May, 1980)



The Atom and Aquaman arrived aboard the Justice League Satellite via an instantaneous transporter tube. They were met by Zatanna, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary and Superman. “How come everyone looks so glum?” Aquaman replied, “I think ‘grim’ is a more appropriate word, Atom… and I expect your expressions reflect the reason for this emergency meeting!”

Zatanna explained that through her monitor duty, she realized the various attacks on League members by giant animated chess pieces had to be connected. “Isn’t it obvious what’s happening? You were in the opening gambit of some cosmic chess game, manipulated by some unseen force! A force that can attack again, at any moment, without warning!”

Ollie Queen, self-important boob that he was, denied that any of this affected his role as Star City’s “ordinary folk” protector. The bishop that materialized in a transporter whose high-density plastisteel booth was shattered by a staff that subsequently put Green Arrow on his sorry ass made a convincing counter argument. Superman and Batman were subsequently struck by eyebeams of kryptonite and lightning, respectively. Black Canary tried to kick the bishop, which sounds like a naughty game, but nothing came of it. The Atom shrunk into Aquaman’s palm, then was tossed into the bishop’s featureless face for a two-fisted atomic punch. The bishop then showed the Mighty Mite the backswing of his pimp staff.

As the bishop fired eyebeams at Zatanna, the Heiress of Magic stood firm with her arms crossed. “Dleihs mrof-- tcetorp em morf sih syar!” The star-shaped shield held. “Dleihs hcaer tuo-- tcetorp ym sdneirf-- tel meht thgif tuohtiw raef…” Aquaman benefited from the protection, as he ran up and slugged the bishop. “I may be an Atlantean out of water, Black Canary, but I was born to endure the pressures of the ocean depths-- and few things, living or unloving, can stand a blow that might well stun a whale!” Sure enough, the sea king cracked the chessman in half, with Black Canary delivering a sonic “coup d’grace” that blew the bishop to pieces.

The Atom studied the debris, and concluded it was of extra-terrestrial origin and “That chesspiece was more powerful than all of us combined. It let us win… but don’t ask me why!”

A silence fell over the room. Green Arrow then broke it with the accusation that new member Zatanna froze up in battle, which he would only know from hearsay since his bitch ass was down before the first round. “I… sensed a presence surrounding that ‘chesspiece’ …an identity… familiar, but unknown… and somehow I knew… it meant us no real harm…” Ollie was dyspeptic over Zee’s reply, but she had no time for his bull, sensing something important was waiting to be found in the monitor room that may “unlock this entire mystery…”



In a spaceship hovering over Mars II, Despero had forced J'onn J'onzz into a deadly game of chess against his Justice League friends, with the lives of his surviving Martian people hanging in the balance. “I knew you could see reason, J’onn! That’s why I chose you for this little enterprise, after I finally managed to escape from the Krill… Now… shall we begin again? Just pick your piece, and I’ll use my third eye to teleport its larger counterpart into the Justice League’s presence…" However, the knight that was teleported found an empty Satellite, seemingly costing Despero the game by default. Despero protested, until he was attacked by one of his own Justice League chess pieces, which turned out to be the actual Atom.

As it turned out, the Justice League had arrived through the magic of Zatanna, who had disguised the heroes as Despero’s gameplay replicas. The Martian Manhunter explained, “I hoped you’d notice-- I had my ‘bishop’ destroy the memory bank record for every Justice League member-- active or inactive-- except my own!” The League got the message, then began fighting all of Despero’s pieces en masse, without the benefit of J’onzz’s benevolent guiding hand. The heroes began to falter, until the Atom called, “Superman! We’re in trouble-- but we’ve got maybe one small chance! And when I say small, I mean me! Remember I said these chess pieces were made up of independent atoms? Well, maybe I can knock those atoms into a series of chain collisions-- if I hit them small enough, and fast enough! I tried something similar with Aquaman-- but he didn’t have your speed!” Superman feared the move might be suicidal, but went along, casting the Mighty Mite at another bishop. In a microcosmic game of billiards, the Atom managed to set off a reaction that destabilized all of the chessmen, causing them to explode. Despero called out no’s while Atom recited yeses at this turn of events. “Face facts, Despero, you’ve just been hustled-- courtesy of the master chessman of Mars!”

Under the moons of Mars II, Despero was escorted away in chains by two Martians in heavy blue robes. “I-- and my people-- owe much to your sensitivity, Zatanna,” as well as the League’s might. Zee had caught the Martian Manhunter’s clue, which prompted Superman to scan Mars II with his telescopic vision, and the Heiress of Magic did the rest. “Simple matter or not, the deed deserves a reward, and you all shall have it… a celebration at the palace of heroes… as my ever-honored guests!” Of course, in the midst of this revelry, Green Arrow had to make it all about hi m by whining to Black Canary that he was far from Star City and the people who actually needed his worthless self. Ollie walked in the opposite direction from his fellows to mope as Dinah looked on...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

1990 Mayfair Games DC Heroes The Justice League Sourcebook: Steel - Deceased




So who did we miss? Well Zatanna, who did not receive a character card in 1989, as she was only making occasional appearances in the Spectre's series at the time. I figure she's doing plenty fine for herself these days though, so I think we'll skip her this year. Thanks to Zatannadays, she's had a disproportionately heavy presence on this blog for some time, anyway.

That leaves Steel, who had been placed in a vegetative state in 1987, and Gypsy, who went inactive that same year to return to home life as a high school student. However, in 1990, Despero returned to take what life Hank Heywood the third had left, and kill Gypsy's family besides. This was all recorded in their entries in the 1990 League sourcebook, and represented here for your information. Once again, I used a blank character card to award virtual standing to the second erroneously dubbed Indestructible Man, this time with art taken from a Luke McDonnell panel that frankly looks a little too good to ring true. I guess this balances out for my Vibe card, which was a little too poor, even by Mayfair original art standards. I'm kicking myself after having found another McDonnell panel that would have been perfect.

Oh, you're still worried about Gypsy? Well see, there's still time for her to turn up elsewhere on the internet...

STEEL — DECEASED
Dex: 6
Str: 9
Body: 7
Int: 5
Will: 6
Mind: 5
Infl: 5
Aura: 4
Spirit: 5
Initiative: 16
Hero Points: 40


•Powers:
Density Increase: 1, Extended Hearing: 2, Skin Armor: 3, Ther­mal Vision: 5
• Limitations:
Density Increase is Always On at full AP value.
•Advantages:
Buddy (Dale Gunn); Connec­tions: Justice League of America (High), US Military (High); Rich Family (Hank Heywood I)
•Equipment:
JLA Signal Ring (see page 121)

•Alter Ego:
Henry (Hank) Heywood III
•Height:5'll"
•Weight: 379 lbs.
•Eyes: Blue
•Hair: Red
•Motivation: Unwanted Power
•Wealth: 6
•Occupation: Adventurer
•Quote: "I'm not that stupid and neither are you." (Justice League of America #249)

•Background:
Hank Heywood III was the grandson of the original Hank Heywood, who operated as the hero known as Commander Steel during the Second World War. When the younger Hank was in his mid-teens, his grandfather forced him to undergo the same series of painful operations that he himself had undergone in the early 1940s. Commander Steel wanted to spare his grandson the death that had befallen his son during the Viet Nam War by making him a superhuman. These operations replaced all of Heywood's bones with case-hardened steel supports and supplemented his musculature with hydraulic motors that increased his strength and stamina.

When the elder Heywood learned that the Justice League had disbanded and reformed, he offered the team the use of his "Bunker," a futuristic fortress that he had built in Detroit, on the condition that the team accept his grandson as a member and tutor him in the use of his superhuman abilities. Having just lost their satellite headquarters, the League quickly accepted Commander Steel's offer and jetted out to their new HQ.1

Although he harbored a great deal of resentment toward his grandfather for subjecting him to the painful enhancement operations, Steel proved an eager student and served the League well in its struggles against the Cadre,2 Anton Allegro,3 and Amazo.4 Steel's feud with his grandfather came to a head during the Crisis On Infinite Earths, when the elder Heywood decided that the newly reformed Justice League was influencing Hank to rebel against his grandfather's wishes.5 The Heywoods fought a terrific battle that ended when Steel was catapulted through a time warp to the far future. After an encounter with the JLA's old foe, the Lord of Time, Steel returned to the present and discovered that his grandfather had evicted the JLA from the Bunker.6

Sadly, Steel was killed by one of Professor Ivo's androids during the insane scientist's campaign to eliminate the Justice League, which followed in the wake of Darkseid's attempt to rob the Earth of its "legends."7

•Personality:
Steel was one of those inexperienced, volatile heroes. He would plunge into the thick of battle without really considering the possible repercussions. While he was tough enough to emerge unscathed most of the time, this overzealousness was what ultimately cost him his life.

Although he seemed eager enough to accept the advice of Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter when it came to heroics, Steel always had a hard time accepting authority and authority figures. This attitude isn't really surprising when you take into consideration his maniacal grandfather, who was obsessed with having his grandson remade into a cybernetic fighting machine in his own image.

ENDNOTES
  1. Justice League of America Annual #2
  2. Justice League of America #233-236
  3. Justice League of America #231-239
  4. Justice League of America #241-243
  5. Justice League of America #244
  6. Justice League of America #245-246
  7. Justice League of America #260

As Mayfairstivus drew to a close, these final gifts were presented:

Belated thanks to Tom Hartley, whose offering of a batch of about 30 character card scans was the taste I needed to seek more. He then sold his box set for a very reasonable price to a poor student to facilitate this crossover, because I just had to scan them all for myself.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1990 Mayfair Games DC Heroes The Justice League Sourcebook: Vibe - Deceased

What kind of Mayfairstivus would this be without setting aside a glass of wine for fallen Justice League members and uttering the immortal (est. 1986) phrase, "next year, in Detroit..." No wait, that's an unforgivable bastardization of the Passover seder. Anyhow, Paco Ramone had gone to a better place in 1989 (surely getting on John Lennon's nerves daily,) so he didn't receive a character card in the 1989 Mayfair box set. However, I decided to use a card blank to create one for him, bleaching the color from a tiny Val Semeiks panel where he drew Vibe running so that his right leg was obscured by his body. It seemed an appropriately awkward and inept shot of the world's most sexually satisfying Puerto Rican. The stats are from the same glorious 1990 League sourcebook that brought us Dale Gunn...



Dex: 6
Str: 3
Body: 4
Int: 5
Will: 5
Mind: 5
Infl: 6
Aura: 5
Spirit: 5
Initiative: 19
Hero Points: 35


•Powers:
Vibe: 8

•Skills:
Artist (break dancing): 3, Mar­tial Artist: 5, Thief: 6

•Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Detroit streets); Connections: Justice League of America (High), Street (Low)

•Equipment:
JLA Signal Ring (see page 121)

•Alter Ego: Paco Ramone
•Height: 5'9"
•Weight: 170 lbs.
•Eyes: Blue
•Hair: Black

•Motivation:
Thrill of Adventure

•Wealth: 3
•Occupation: Former Gang Leader
• Quote: "Word's out on the street is chu guys are the Chustice League. I figure, guys like chu and me, we should be on the same crew." (Justice League of Amer­ica Annual #2)

•Background:
Vibe's career as a Justice Leaguer was too short. It began shortly after Aquaman disbanded the original League. When young Paco Ramone heard that a new Justice League was forming in his own backyard of Detroit, he decided to give up his position as the leader of the El Lobos, a local street gang, to join the JLA and become a superhero.1 This would have been impossible if it weren't for the fact that Vibe had been born with the metahuman abil­ity to emit powerful vibratory shockwaves.

Vibe's presence on the team caused Aquaman and the Mar­tian Manhunter to harbor some strong doubts about the new JLA, particularly after he got the League involved in a rumble with a rival gang called the Skulls over the El Lobos' turf.2

However, Vibe soon proved his mettle during the League's battles against Anton Allegro,3 the Cadre,4 and Amazo.5 He stayed with the League during the Crisis adventure, when Commander Steel evicted the League from the Bunker,6 and his powers played a vital role in de­feating Despero.7 During Darkseid's assault on Earth's "legends," Paco left his JLA com­rades to seek the familiar solace of the streets. Vibe was attacked by one of Professor Ivo's androids, and despite a valiant effort, be­came the first Justice League member to be killed in the line of duty. The Martian Manhunter brought Vibe's body back to the League's mountain sanctuary, where Vibe was laid to rest in a cryogenic chamber.8

Vibe's brother recently devel­oped a similar set of vibratory powers and joined Booster Gold's team of heroes, the Conglomer­ate, using the code name Reverb.9

•Personality:
Vibe was stamped out of the care-free, wisecracking mold. He was fun-loving, street smart, and uninhibited.

ENDNOTES
  1. Justice League of America Annual #2
  2. Justice League of America #233
  3. Justice League of America §233-236
  4. Justice League of America #237-239
  5. Justice League of America #241-243
  6. Justice League of America #246
  7. Justice League of America #254
  8. Justice League of America #258
  9. Justice League International Quarterly #1

Sunday, December 5, 2010

1989 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Elongated Man Character Card



This is a good looking card, no? I like when Ralph is shown to have solid muscle/anatomy that is only distorted when he elongates with a specific purpose (beyond perpetually looking goofy.) He's got an heroic face that recalls Jim Aparo, which is hardly ever a bad thing, and I much prefer the purple & white suit.

You know, I've long felt that stretching characters deserve more respect than they get. Elongation is a fantastic power that could be used for reach, strength, evasion, acrobatics... the list goes on. So what do the great minds of comics come up with? Rubber balls, parachutes, and twitching noses. Ugh.



Check that Dexterity of 12. That is massively effective in the role-playing game. The Stretchable Sleuth may not have a lot of muscle behind his blows, but he can connect with great facility. That rare appearance of Detroit favoritism rears it's sunny head again, because Elongated Man owns Plastic Man in this game. Ralph's bodily durability is better suited to street crime than League levels, but it's still nothing to sneeze at. I'd say Ralph's I.Q. is about right, especially given the separate Detective Skill of 6, but his so-called Emotional Intelligence is too much. You don't need an Influence of 6 when you're second string in the Motor City League. Maybe Gerry Conway favored his own creations, but when Vibe and Steel consistently show you up in pure personality? Double ugh.

Belated thanks to Tom Hartley, whose offering of a batch of about 30 character card scans was the taste I needed to seek more. He then sold his box set for a very reasonable price to a poor student to facilitate this crossover, because I just had to scan them all for myself.

Friday, December 3, 2010

1989 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Vixen Character Card



I don't know why the Mayfair illustrators were inspired to give the Detroit League the extra effort to look so nice, but I'm happy they delivered such a noble Vixen image (even with those booties.) It's a shame she was robbed on strength and Animal Mimicry, a power she schooled Animal Man in using, and he got a 13. Buddy became more powerful, but this was still '89, y'know?  The 8 in Dexterity is good though, and the Martial Artist helps. There's plenty here to work with, is what I'm saying, and Mari deserves every bit of it.



Belated thanks to Tom Hartley, whose offering of a batch of about 30 character card scans was the taste I needed to seek more. He then sold his box set for a very reasonable price to a poor student to facilitate this crossover, because I just had to scan them all for myself.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1990 Mayfair Games DC Heroes The Justice League Sourcebook: Dale Gunn

Dale Gunn is only a footnote in Justice League history, but he was a great supporting character who I enjoyed reading about more than several members of the Detroit team. I was pleased to find his role-playing stats in a 1990 League sourcebook, and thought I'd share them in the Mayfairstivus spirit...



DEX: 4
STR: 4
BODY: 4
INT: 5
WILL: 5
MIND: 4
INFL: 3
AURA: 4
SPIRIT: 4
INITIATIVE: 14
HERO POINTS: 15


•Skills:
Gadgetry: 6, Martial Artist: 4, Medicine: 3, Vehicles: 5, Weaponry: 4

•Advantages:
Connections: Justice League of America (High); Scholar (Architecture)

•Motivation:
Upholding the Good

•Height: 511"
•Weight: 1901bs.
•Eyes: Brown
•Hair: Black
•Wealth: 8
•Occupation: Architect
•Quote: "Hank reminds me of me. Cool outside, burning inside." (Justice League of America Annual #2)

• Background:
Dale Gunn, an old army buddy of Henry Heywood II (father of Justice Leaguer Steel), was sent to Detroit by Henry Heywood I (aka Commander Steel) to build a secret fortress known as "the Bunker" while Heywood I was busy subjecting his grandson to a series of painful operations which resulted in his becoming the heroic Steel. After Steel joined the Justice League and the League took over the Bunker as its headquarters, Gunn hung around for a while and helped the League with its cases, breaking into the super-powered arena by assisting the JLA in its battles against the Cadre1 and a revivified Amazo.2 During the Crisis On Infinite Earths, Commander Steel convinced Gunn that it would be best to allow young Steel to completely break from the people and places of his past, so Dale stopped aiding the Justice League shortly after the group vacated the Bunker.3

•Personality:
An experienced level-headed Viet Nam veteran, Dale Gunn was temporarily one of the League's most powerful assets. He was tough, fair, and sympathetic. Naturally, Dale had a soft spot for Steel, the son of his best friend (Steel's father died in Viet Nam).

ENDNOTES
1. Justice League of America #233-236
2. Justice League of America #241-243
3. Justice League of America #246

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 "Minimalist Batman" by Declan Shalvey

Click To Enlarge


It's BaTuesday, and I'm in the mood for something with a Mazzuchelli beat. Can Declan Shalvey rock it on the Year One tip? I believe so...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2009 Zatanna Barf Bag Sketch by Andy Kuhn

Click To Enlarge


Maybe she overate thinking about her parents this Thanksgiving. Poor dear. Check out KUHNART, Andy Kuhn's art blog, for more.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Motor City Links

BRIGHTEST DAY #17-18
Written by GEOFF JOHNS & PETER J. TOMASI
Art by IVAN REIS, PATRICK GLEASON, ARDIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK & JOE PRADO Covers by DAVID FINCH & SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:10 Variant covers by IVAN REIS

The BRIGHTEST DAYS are numbered as this best-selling series heads toward its shocking conclusion, and fans won’t want to miss a single page of the action! “Aquawar” breaks out with Aquaman, Mera, Aqualad and a surprise guest star facing off against the terrorist forces of Black Manta and Siren to keep the vast waters of the world from sinking the United States!
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

Issue #19 on sale FEBRUARY 2
Issue #20 on sale FEBRUARY 16
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
I'm sure we'll have a grand finale involving Hawk, Dove, Deadman and the white lantern, but am I alone in thinking Aquaman was the big winner on this book? The whole thing was like an extended preview for a bad ass new Aquaman ongoing, and I will buy it if this creative team sticks with the character.

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #53
Written by MARC GUGGENHEIM
Art and cover by JERRY BINGHAM

Indebted to a super-powered team called The Zhuguan, Bruce Wayne repays the life-altering favor they bestowed upon him by joining their ranks against their most deadly foe! Marc Guggenheim (JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA) and classic Batman artist Jerry Bingham (BATMAN: SON OF THE DEMON) present “Super-Powers” part 4 of 5!

On sale FEBRUARY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
So this thing is still going on, presumably with the retro JLofA back-ups. The art inside wasn't as bad as the covers, but still a far cry from Bingham's best.

AQUAMAN

AQUAMAN T-Shirt
by Neal Adams

From the deep blue sea comes the new Aquaman T-Shirt. Features classic art by Neal Adams screenprinted in full-color on a stone-washed blue, 100% cotton heavyweight shirt. When things smell fishy you can always count on Aquaman to clear the air!
MSRP: $17.95-20.95

CITIZEN STEEL

JSA ALL-STARS #15
Written by MATTHEW STURGES
Art and cover by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II

The All-Stars race against Arthur Pemberton to gather the scattered pieces of an ancient magical creation! As Citizen Steel confronts the reality of his metallic form and Roxy makes a very dubious ethical choice, one question remains: Who are the Puzzle Men?

On sale FEBRUARY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

ZATANNA

I was going to move The Mistress of Magic in this listing due to her ever increasing monthly workload, but realized she is already right ahead of spacehog Batman, so it was unnecessary. I guess the next step will be bringing Aquaman down here...

ZATANNA: MISTRESS OF MAGIC TP
Written by PAUL DINI
Art by STEPHANE ROUX, KARL STORY, CHAD HARDIN and WAYNE FAUCHER
Cover by STEPHANE ROUX
Zatanna has long made her home in San Francisco, but right under her nose a sinister threat has developed: a crime boss who dominates the criminal underworld with dark magic. The terrifying Brother Night is making his play for the City by the Bay, and the police force – including hunky detective Dale Colton – turn to Zee for help. But Brother Night is a whole new kind of criminal, and if Zatanna thinks she can backwards-talk him down, then she’s in over her top-hatted head!
Magically collected from ZATANNA #1-6!
On sale MARCH 9 • 160 pg, FC, $17.99 US

ZATANNA #10
Written by PAUL DINI
Art by CLIFF CHIANG
Cover by STEPHANE ROUX
Zatanna’s at the end of her rope – or, more precisely, her strings! Oscar Hempel is free to kill again, and Zee’s been transformed into the thing she hates the most! What will it take to put Hempel back where he belongs, and get Zatanna back to reality?
On sale FEBRUARY 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Chang = Pretty.

DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES #10
Written by LEN WEIN
Art by JESUS SAIZ & KARL STORY and GARY FRANK with SCOTT KOLINS
Cover by JESUS SAIZ
1:25 Variant cover by GARY FRANK

In this final issue, another Crisis looms before the collected heroes of the DC Universe – with the mood of the people (human and super-human alike) growing more and more bleak! And in the co-feature, all hope seems lost for the DC Universe as the Blue Beetle charges off to confront Max Lord concerning his part in the DCU’s dark future!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

On sale FEBRUARY 16 • 10 of 10 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
It's swell how much Zee's stock has risen at DC in recent years, and I guess this appearance will revisit the Identity Crisis blame game that helped raise that profile.

BATMAN

DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #1-2
Written by TONY BEDARD & MARV WOLFMAN
Art by HOWARD PORTER & LIVESAY and ADRIANA MELO & NORMAN LEE
Issue #1 wraparound cover by ED BENES
Issue #1 1:10 Variant cover by RYAN SOOK
Issue #2 cover by ED BENES

The DC event of the year begins, coinciding with the release of the wildly anticipated DCU MMO! Get ready for the ride of a lifetime with this immense, 26-issue biweekly series!

In issue #1, Lex Luthor’s obsession with destroying Superman reaches fever pitch when he cuts the ultimate Devil’s deal with Brainiac...but with the shake of a hand, has Luthor consigned humanity to genocide?

In the startling second issue, The Lex Luthor of a post-apocalyptic future scrambles to escape Brainiac’s invasion of Earth, but he must gather an army to stop the invasion. Who will he recruit? And in the present, Brainiac’s first assault on Earth has begun, which recaps the incredibly rare DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #0!

Comic book legend Marv Wolfman joins fan-favorite writer Tony Bedard and artist Howard Porter to tell the ultimate DC Universe Super Hero tale of good versus evil!

Retailers please note: Issue #1 will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #1 on sale FEBRUARY 2
Issue #2 on sale FEBRUARY 16
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

DETECTIVE COMICS CLASSICS
Written by GARDNER FOX, MIKE FRIEDRICH and ELLIOT S. MAGGIN
Art by FRANK SPRINGER, SID GREENE, GIL KANE, MURPHY ANDERSON and MIKE GRELL
Cover by JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ
Previously available only in the DETECTIVE COMICS ACTION FIGURES BOX SET from DC Direct, this collection features classic tales from DETECTIVE COMICS #377 and #384-385 and BATMAN FAMILY #1! Features an appearance by The Riddler, plus a team-up tale starring Robin and Batgirl!
On sale FEBRUARY 16 • 50 pg, FC, $5.99 US

Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome: A BBC Full-Cast Radio Drama
Michael Gough, Garrick Hagon and Bob Sessions star in this thrilling radio drama featuring the Batman! The Batman is dead. Police Commissioner Gordon has received a recording by the Batman that reveals his real identity. But who is the occupant of Wayne Manor? It soon becomes a desperate journey into the background of Gotham City’s famous vigilante to find out who killed the Dark Knight.

On CD for the first time, this fantastic full-cast adventure stars Michael Gough as Alfred, Garrick Hagon as Bruce Wayne, Kerry Shale as Dick Grayson, Lorelei King as Selina Kyle, and Bob Sessions as The Batman, and it comes from renowned producer Dirk Maggs. This stunning audio production was first broadcast on BBC Radio, and this all-action adventure can now be heard remastered—complete with dazzling sound effects.
MSRP: $14.95

DC Comics Final Crisis [Audio CD]
The novelization of the superhero event starring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the heroes and villains of the DC Comics Universe Victorious at long last against his enemies on the world of New Genesis, Darkseid has unleashed the forces of Apokolips on Earth. With the secret of the Anti- Life Equation at his command, Darkseid now possesses the ability to eradicate all free will from humanity-and usher in an end to the age of super heroes. Facing an ever growing army of mindless slaves and corrupted heroes, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the remnants of the Justice League of America find themselves consumed by the ever spreading darkness. They remain humanity's only hope-the only light that will not be extinguished in the world's darkest hour. Copyright (p) & © 2010 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved. All characters, their distinctive likenesses, and related elements are trademarks of DC Comics.
MSRP: $19.99


Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics
Behind the amazing tales of legendary super heroes is the equally amazing story of the company that told them. So many heroes, so many stories to tell--stories of DC Comics' 75 years of challenges, creativity and triumph. This DC Comics Original Documentary is both a compelling insider's tale and a celebration seen through the inkwell of those who created and lived it, balanced with insights from key historians and filled with interviews, archival footage and a dazzling parade of riveting and splashy DC covers. From the bans to the breakthroughs, from humble pulp beginnings to the literary rise of the graphic novel, the story holds a mirror to an ever-evolving enterprise and the society reflected in its comic book pages. It's an American story.

"A Monster Walks Wayne Manor!" from Detective Comics #438 (September 1973)

Batman #307 (January 1979)

Gorgeous never-before-seen photos of the original Catwoman

In Defense of the Riddler

Batman: Brave and the Bold #22 - Dec. 2010

Daily Batman: Sk8 or die edition

Grant Morrison Discusses 'Batman Inc,' Lord Death Man, and the Alan Moore Interview

Massive Aerial Batman Symbol Strikes Fear Into the Heart of Google Maps

Double Entry Review- Batman XXX: A Porn Parody Vs BatFXXX: Dark Knight Parody

Read: The Brave And The Bold #186

Batman: Brave and the Bold Marathon

WTF? Wednesday: Fab Foolishness

Superhero Cake [Geeky Cake]

Tim Drake was Batman's partner for a longer period of time than Dick Grayson??

BATFXXX: Batman Porn Comes for 'The Dark Knight'

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2010 "Minimalist Batman" by Andy Kuhn

Click To Enlarge


I haven't managed to pull off a "BaTuesday" in a while, so here's another stripped down aesthetic applied to a Detroit alum, this time by Firebreather co-creator Andy Kuhn. A nice if somewhat odd fellow, Kuhn did me up a Doctor Trap commission earlier this year for my Martian Manhunter blog.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1993 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Role-Playing Game Third Edition Batman Entry



Visit my other blogs to get details about these ratings, as it's easier to compare other people to Batman than vice versa. Really nice art here, but I'm not sure who to credit. Stan Woch or Don Newton, maybe? Batman and the Joker were also on the foil-enhanced cover by Kevin Maguire (along with Wonder Woman and Doomsday.)



More Mayfair 3rd Edition for Today:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

2008 DC Direct Ame-Comi Zatanna Vinyl Figure

Click To Enlarge

Introducing the Ame Comi Zatanna Vinyl Statue, designed by Udon Studios' Ekoms Raeppa! DC's mystical magician casts a spell on the world of Ame Comi, as she becomes the latest vinyl statue in this stellar line! The Zatanna PVC statue is a limited-edition, hand-painted piece that is 9" tall. This non-articulated plastic display figure comes with a base, is packaged in a four-color window box with J-hook, and is manufactured to order.
Release Date: October 2008
MSRP: $49.99

Read More here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Justice #8 (December, 2006)



Still under the influence of the Lasso of Truth, Batman explained to Superman that there was little difference in their methods, only their effectiveness. Since Superman makes a point of letting everyone know how omnipotent he is, nobody in Metropolis wants to commit a crime based on the assumption the Man of Tomorrow knows all. The Dark Knight tried to make a parallel to the League's false assumption of safety, but Kal-El blew him off to chill out in space. Once there, he recognized the handiwork of Brainiac in the black sphere cities.

The Flash delivered Captain Cold to the Fortress of Solitude for questioning. While the rogue sat in a Plastic Man chair, sweating under a light, Batman threatened the icy villain with his own pistol. When Batman extorted information out of Cold at the potential expense of his larcenous digits, the lasso made clear it was no bluff.

Elongated Man bounced into a meeting elsewhere in the fortress to announce Batman's findings, as well as to enlarge an eye to inspect one of Brainiac's mind-controlling worm creatures under study. "Hmmm. Carter found this? Leave it to a bird to find a worm. And can someone tell me why I wasn't attacked? What's wrong with me? I have a lot of power. I'm formidable."



In a conference hall, Batman explained that the Legion of Doom had suffered reoccurring nightmares abut the world coming to an end despite (or perhaps partially because of) the Justice League's best efforts. "And so, our enemies have formed an alliance to either stop the coming end of life, or prepare a remnant of humanity to survive it." This involved killing off the heroes, seizing power, and "healing" people through the mind-controlling worms.

Zatanna materialized at the fortress, with Martian Manhunter, the Doom Patrol, and the revived Aquaman in tow. The Sea King immediately chastised the heroes for hiding in the fortress...

The Joker, pretending to be some sort of Amish preacherman, managed to score a ride to one of the black sphere floating cities.

Elongated Man decided to confront Plastic Man about his non-League presence. Eel retorted, "...Another one of those talks, is it? I'm sorry you're not the only stretchy guy... I wasn't attacked either. Maybe none of us are important. Feel better now?" Plastic Man kept trying to chill Ralph out, but Elongated Man kept insisting that the League didn't need this particular two of a kind. Eel rightly refused to leave, pointing out the similarities between Captain Marvel and Superman. Ralph insisted on being a jerk, while Plas thought maybe Elongated Man could take the form of "something the League actually needs one of these days."



Mera had Lord Yuko govern Atlantis while she searched for her missing son, beginning at the Fortress of Solitude. Elongated Man helped Mera inside, where she was reunited with her husband. Learning about the kidnapping, Superman wondered which other loved ones of the super-heroes were in danger.

Zatanna had asked the Phantom Stranger to find the missing Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and both returned from the furthest reaches of uncharted space. Zee thanked the Stranger for his aid. "It was a privilege, my dear. Perhaps now he really will be the greatest Green Lantern of them all one day." The Emerald Gladiator used his power ring to extract all the worms from Batman's body.

Aquaman stated his pleasure about everyone else being all right, but worried about his kid being in the hands of the enemy. "J'Onn told me that he had learned that Brainiac cut me open in an attempt to discover a means to control Grodd." The Sea King was furious with the Coluan and his war on all life. "He's a machine. Only a machine. And maybe that's for the best. Because I'm going to kill him."

Meanwhile, Aqualad had joined other mind-controlled teen heroes in kidnapping the supporting casts of heroes that matter (i.e. not the Martian Manhunter.)

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
"Chapter Eight" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 "DCUniverse Vol.7: The Injustice Gang" Black Manta by alexmax

Click To Enlarge


Deviant Artist alexmax has done a series of themed DC Universe group shots that I quite like, and even created an all-encompassing wallpaper that pays homage to the underrated Marvel Universe Series III card set. Of "DCUniverse Vol.7: The Injustice Gang" he said:

More Villains. This time, it's the Injustice Gang. I wanted to make a lineup with, what I feel are, the most iconic arch-enemies for each of these guys. Inspired in large part by what Grant Morrison did during the Rock of Ages storyline...

Alessandro also included Batman villains the Joker and (my favorite) Ra's al Ghul, but I always prefer to focus on Detroit Leaguers who aren't so insanely overexposed. Besides, Manta is one of the all-time great super-villains!

For more spotlights from this mural, see the following:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Justice #7 (October, 2006)



The Martian Manhunter fretted as he made his way to the location Red Tornado had determined was Aquaman's last whereabouts. Using J'Onzz as a magical anchor, Zatanna materialized at his location. She remained hopeful against J'Onn's crestfallen pessimism, and was horrified at the state in which they found the Sea King's body. "What have they done to him, J'Onn? What have they done to his brain?"

Batman, still held in check by the Lasso of Truth, flew to the Fortress of Solitude with Wonder Woman. They were forced to wait outside until Superman arrived to lift his massive key.

Outside Atlantis, Aqualad fled the eye lasers of the Black Manta.

As other heroes arrived at the Fortress of Solitude, Batman apologized to Red Tornado for the damage he had wrought. Superman arrived to let everyone inside.

"People of magic should never be required to wait," griped Zatanna to Martian Manhunter at the headquarters of the Doom Patrol. She was concerned that Caulder couldn't "do more than he was able to do for Cliff Steele." Robotman took offense to that remark, while the Chief explained that there was nothing that needed to be done for Aquaman. While Caulder and J'Onzz compared notes on why Arthur had been assaulted in this manner, Zee thought, "The hole doesn't seem so large anymore. Did you replace some of the tissue?" Caulder assured her he had done nothing. Instead of offering a proper answer, the Chief directed his staff to place Aquaman in a healing tank he'd prepared. Zee asked Cliff "Is Niles always like this?" Robotman responded, "What, having three different conversations at once? Yeah, pretty much."



As part amphibian, Aquaman could regenerate the portion of his brain that had been removed. "He really is a man of untapped potential. Extraordinary." While Beast Boy covertly brushed against Zee's legs in cat form, the Sea King was revived with a name on his lips. "Mera...?"

Aqualad made his way to the royal palace to warn Mera about Black Manta, or so it seemed. Instead, Garth punched the queen out cold, then took her infant son from her arms. Clearly under someone's mental thrall, Aqualad fled the city to deliver Arthur Jr. to his father's greatest enemy. "I can't tell you how happy this is going to make Brainiac."

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
"Chapter Seven" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Top 10 Amazo Covers

Professor Anthony Ivo is one of the greatest threats the JLA have ever faced, and the single most deadly foe of the Detroit era. Ivo has plagued the League since before they received a series, and his involvement in the deaths of Vibe and Steel brought their book to a close. However, Ivo is rather cover shy, understandable given his disfiguring condition. His android Amazo, possessed of the powers of the League's founders and a Detroit enemy in his own right, seems much more photogenic.



Dishonorable Mention:
Justice League Quarterly #12 (Autumn, 1993)

More of Today's Cover Countdowns!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Motor City Links

BRIGHTEST DAY #17-18
Written by GEOFF JOHNS & PETER J. TOMASI Art by IVAN REIS, PATRICK GLEASON,
ARDIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK & JOE PRADO Covers by DAVID FINCH & SCOTT WILLIAMS
Variant cover by IVAN REIS & OCLAIR ALBERT
1:10 Variant covers by IVAN REIS
Hawkman and Hawkgirl pay a visit to the Star Sapphires, but with the Hawks’ connection to the cosmic corps, it looks like this meeting may end in bloodshed. And more even more blood may be drawn as Captain Boomerang hunts down Deadman and Dove!
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
Issue #17 on sale JANUARY 5
Issue #18 on sale JANUARY 19
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
The Aquaman symbol doesn't wow me, but it's a good cover.

AQUAMAN

Geoff Johns on Aquaman, a New Lantern Corps title, and Spirituality [NYCC]

VIXEN

SUICIDE SQUAD VOL. 1: TRIAL BY FIRE TP
Written by JOHN OSTRANDER
Art by LUKE MCDONNELL, DAVE HUNT, BOB LEWIS and KARL KESEL
Cover by LUKE MCDONNELL and KARL KESEL
When Super-Villains get caught, it’s up to the government to keep them in captivity. Amanda Waller, a tough-as-nails federal agent, has other plans. She’s heading up Task Force X (a.k.a. The Suicide Squad) as an ultimatum to the world’s biggest villains. Join her shady, near-impossible missions in the name of democracy, or rot in jail. And one other thing: Most operatives don’t make it back alive!
This volume collects the first eight issues of SUICIDE SQUAD, along with a tale from SECRET ORIGINS #14.
On sale FEBRUARY 9 • 232 pg, FC, $19.99 US
I think Vixen shows up after this trade, but you won't get a volume 2 if this one doesn't sell.

ZATANNA

ZATANNA #9
Written by PAUL DINI
Art by CLIFF CHIANG
Cover by STEPHANE ROUX
“Pupaphobia” continues with Zatanna discovering a memory long repressed from her childhood on the road... the memory of the night that sadistic puppeteer Oscar Hempel tried to kill her! But while she thought her father’s magic cut Hempel’s strings long ago, he’s back and out for vengeance — and Zee may have no choice but to reverse his curse and set him free to kill again!
On sale JANUARY 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Wait-- Zee's iconic symbol is a clip art top hat? Was this by the guy who redesigned the Gap logo a few weeks back?

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #19
Written by PETER CALLOWAY
Art by ANDRES GUINALDO & BIT
Cover by GUILLEM MARCH
With Talia al Ghul’s treachery behind them, Zatanna approaches Selina with an offer Selina never even dreamed of – erasing Batman’s secret identity from her mind! The question sends Selina on a spiritual journey to learn what it means to love and live and how significantly memory plays into both.
On sale JANUARY 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Does Zee co-star in this book? She isn't on the cover, but it's been months worth of guest appearances now...

BATMAN

BATMAN: EUROPA #1
Story by BRIAN AZZARELLO & MATTEO CASALI
Written by MATTEO CASALI
Layout art by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Painted art and cover by JIM LEE
1:10 Variant cover by TBD

Superstar artist Jim Lee returns to The Dark Knight with this painted issue! The impossible has happened and Batman is on the verge of being taken down by an enemy he cannot defeat: a virus for which there is no cure! And his only possible hope for salvation is The Joker! Who infected Batman, what does the Clown Prince of Crime know, and how will The Dark Knight get that information? Together, the enemies crisscross Europe, desperate to find answers before time runs out.

Co-conceived by Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS) and Matteo Casali and written by Casali, this 4-issue miniseries event will feature painted art by many of the industry’s top talents over layouts by the incomparable Giuseppe Camuncoli (HELLBLAZER, Dark Wolverine)! Future artists providing stunning overlay paints will include Diego Latorre (DANTE’S INFERNO) and Jock (DETECTIVE COMICS), with the first issue painted by none other than Jim Lee!

Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale JANUARY 5 • 1 of 4 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
This thing was due in a previous decade by additional creators. It should have shipped back when I might have been interested.

The Bat-Cycles

Batman #307 (January 1979)

BATMAN LOSES: An Amazing Unauthorized Comic By Ulises Farinas

Theme Sketchbook: Batman Getting Hit in the Balls

"The First Batman" from Detective Comics #235 (1956)

Robert Ball's Superman and Galactus Look Powered by the Super FX Chip [Art]

Superhero Cake [Geeky Cake]

Super-Hero Hoarders: The 7 Biggest Pack-Rats In Comics

Tim Drake was Batman's partner for a longer period of time than Dick Grayson??

Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: A Pair Of Twos

"Private Eye Man-Bat" from Batman Family #20 (July 1978)

DC Hypes Five Batman Titles for November in New Ads

Review: Superman/Batman:Apocalypse

The 10 greatest all-nude fight scenes in comics

'Superman/Batman: Apocalypse' Is A Faithfully Flawed Adaptation [Review]

You Can Own The Batmobile: Full-Sized Replicas On Sale Now for $150,000

The 7 Best Bat-Songs From 'Guano: The Uncollected Batman Songs of the '60s'

Rating the Justice League of Snack Cakes: Flash Cakes and Glo-Balls

The 14 Best Title Cards From 'Batman: The Animated Series'

Fearful Symmetry

Render unto Cesar…

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Justice #6 (August, 2006)



Dr. Jonathan Crane used a special solution to allow the blind to see in an impoverished land. Super-villains in civilian guise continued these miraculous acts around the world, while the media (including Vicki Vale) wondered what had become of the status quo enforcing super-heroes who had gone missing. The Joker, left out of the fun, continued his inquiries.

The Martian Manhunter helped Hawkman and Hawkgirl find Toyman in Metropolis.

Batman was bound in his newly amazonian Batcave by Poison Ivy, when he was appropriately rescued by Wonder Woman. However, the Dark Knight was being mind controlled, and return the favor with an electrocution attempt. The Lasso of Truth restored the Caped Crusader's psyche, and he made short work of Ivy. Super-Gorilla Grodd, speaking through the still-bound Alfred Pennyworth, cursed the stupid human animals. "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to dance on your bones. I will feast on your flesh. You have no idea what's coming."

"Shut up, Alfred. Are you okay, Wonder Woman? I'm so sorry." The Amazing Amazon was feeling raw, but Poison Ivy and Batman each had to be secured. "Your lasso is the only thing that's keeping whatever's inside me from controlling me... I need to be free to make sure whatever did this to me pays for it."

Elongated Man called in Green Lantern John Stewart from off screen.

Zatanna was quite busy this issue, despite not actually appearing. She was just in time to magic what was left of Red Tornado off the soon-to-explode League Satellite and send him to Doc Magnus for repairs. Aquaman's location was still locked in the android's head. Zee also guided John Stewart to Ferris Aircraft in Coast City to aid his search for Green Lantern.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:
"Chapter Six" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

1991-92 Impel DC Cosmic Cards #47- Elongated Man



Why do stretching heroes have such a bad rap? Plastic Man was one of the biggest characters during the Golden Age of Comics, and outlived almost all of DC's stable by maintaining a solo series into the 1950s. Elongated Man was one of the first Silver Age heroes, created so that DC could have a Plastic Man of its own, and proved popular enough to push Martian Manhunter out of Detective Comics and take J'Onn's place in the Justice League. In fact, Ralph appeared in far more issues of that team's book than J'Onn, at least until the late '90s. Plus, cast an eye towards Marvel, and you'll see Mr. Fantastic is an institution over there, so what gives?

"Comedy." Someone decided somewhere along the way that stretching heroes should be "funny." All evidence clearly points to the contrary, the take consistently fails, and yet creators insanely stick to the sour formula. Plastic Man was Woozy Winks' straight man. Sue Dibny was Ralph's foil. So why are we stuck with Elongated Man as a nose-wiggling lame-o instead of getting drawn by Bart Sears doing something bitchin'?



More Impel DC Cosmic Cards

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vamp/Vixen Character Design from JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS by Jerome K. Moore

Click To Enlarge


I always wondered whatever happened to one of my favorite but least prolific pin-up artists of the mid-80s, Jerome K. Moore. Turns out he moved over to DC's parent company Warner Brothers, where I'm sure his gift for likenesses came in handy. He's done a ton of work on Harry Potter materials, and has served up designs for animation projects like DC's made-for-DVD Crisis On Two Earths...

On an alternate Earth, versions of our heroes are twisted and villainous. The evil version of Vixen is called Vamp, and she has the ability to transform into various animal shapes. Adding another level to her evil, I designed her clothes as various animal skins. So, whereas Vixen respects and reveres the beasts by whom her powers are inspired, Vamp merely exploits them. This is a detail, a subtlety that is expected to get lost with such a minor character. But in Character Design, there should be no lapse in effort or thought, no matter the final application. Every step in the process of collaborative art can and should be imbued with storytelling, and the standard of quality must remain as high as possible. Otherwise, it's so easy to lose interest in the work when creativity does not flow with an imaginative freedom.

* I was dissatisfied by the colors applied in the final screen version, and so I'm presenting my personal revision here.

With that kind of professional ethic, it's no wonder Moore's art is such a delight! Check it out at his Deviant Art gallery!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1991-92 Impel DC Cosmic Cards #79- Amazo



Today I'm uniting all my blogs through the posting of villain-centric trading cards from the '92 Impel set. Vixen, Zatanna, Vibe nor Steel have their own solo foes, at least in this set. Gypsy could lay claim to Despero or Vandal Savage, but my Martian Manhunter blog already beat her to it. I don't recall which Flash enemies the Elongated Man has fought, and I guess I could do Sonar, but I'm not gonna. I was surprised that Rob Kelly hadn't gotten around to Ocean Master that I could tell, but he covered Black Manta already. That pretty much leaves Amazo or bust, featuring art by Kevin Maguire and Dave Cooper.



More Impel DC Cosmic Cards Posted Today