Batman tagged posts

Batman The Brave and the Bold 12

Happy Halloween from Four Color Holidays.

More importantly, happy Halloween from Batman, Zatanna, Cain and Able and the House of Mystery.

Batman enlists the aid of Zatanna to help in the mystery of the transformed Cain.

Not all is as it seems and Zatanna must call in the clairvoyant cavalry to save the eve.

Batman The Brave and the Bold 12

Batman The Brave and the Bold 12

Batman: The Brave and the Bold premiered Nov. 14, 2008 on Cartoon Network. It marked the first cartoon since Batman the Animated Series. Rather than follow the critically acclaimed series in a similar vein, B&B chose a more tongue-in-cheek approach.

Each episode teamed Batman with A- and B-list characters from the DC Universe. Everyone from Adam Strange to Vicki Vale.

Brave and the Bold was cancelled after three seasons in 2011. The next series returned Batman to a more serious tone.

B&B was resurrected one last time in 2018 with the straight-to-video BluRay release of Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

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DCU Halloween Special 2010

Though it never reached the heights its predecessor achieved, the 2010 DCU Halloween special made a respectable showing.

It followed more of a supernatural Brave and the Bold or DC Comics Presents format. Batman and Robin co-star with I…Vampire, Flash and Frankenstein team together, Wonder Woman meets Deadman, the Teen Titans side with Klarion the Witch Boy and Superman is aided by the Demon.

DCU Halloween Special 2010

DCU Halloween Special 2010

The Scarecrow is on the other side of his fear toxin in “Trick for the Scarecrow.”

Damian Wayne sides with Batman to take on a legion of vampires.

Flash and Frankenstein work together to stop a killer in “Time or Your Life.”

“A Night to Remember” gives Deadman a chance to experience some of his past life courtesy of Wonder Woman.

Teen Titans team with Klarion, the Witch Boy, in “Medusa Non Grata.”

The Demon helps Superman in “Fears of Steel.”

Again, not on par with the previous year, but still worth the time.

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DC Universe Halloween Special ‘09

Unlikely book emcee Bizzaro Superman proved to be a very officious host for the 2009 special. His “Unhappy Halloween” story arc bracketed the remaining 12 tales of terror.

“Halloween the Guy Way” takes a deeper and more disturbing look at the Guy Gardner’s past. An ass of astronomical proportions at times, the story reveals a life paved with disappointments and degradation. It’s actually a very good story about a man who isn’t very nice.

DC Universe Halloween Special ‘09

DC Universe Halloween Special ‘09

The Creeper stars in a one-page throw away that can be skipped.

“Seeing is Believing” resurrects the vampire myth with the Outsiders starring as the Van Helsings.

Absent from the Outsiders in the tale that came before, Batman takes center stage for “Trick and Defeat.” The Killer Moth returns to rob Wayne Manor. Unmasking the heroes proves a surprising turn of events.

Damian Wayne is the Robin in the next story, “Cavity Search.” Kinda wish this one was longer. It has the makings of a good psychological thriller. Damion earns a spot at home with this one.

Red Robin’s “Our Father’s Sins” is a bit sappy for the holiday.

“Lady Down the Lane” stars Ravager. Her reputation precedes her.

The rest of the book finishes strong. Anabolic steroid strong.

“Mirror Games” is another that wouldn’t have suffered from a higher page count. Kid Flash, Mirror Master and a group of teenage girls take on the myth of Bloody Mary. Writer Joe Harris knows his stuff.

Beast Boy has a quick gag page in “Never Too Old.” He shares the spotlight with Cyborg.

Wonder Woman is spooked by reality television and the gentler gender of the Teen Titans in “Haunted or Hoax?”

Maybe not a word associated with Halloween, cute is the best term to describe “To the Finish Line.” Superman and Flash race one more time.

“My Turn to be Scary” is a fun read. The cliché ending makes the reader wonder if they would be disappointed with or without it.

Overall, Halloween 2009 was represented in a grand manor. Maybe the best of all Halloween specials.

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Batman Li’L Gotham (2012) 1

Cover dated Oct. 31, 2012, the title says it all: “Halloween.”

On patrol Halloween night, Batman learns his son, Damian, has never experienced trick or treat. Like a scene from the 1966 Batman television series, Damian is not allowed to eat his collected candy until after supper.

Batman Li’L Gotham (2012) 1

Batman Li’L Gotham (2012) 1

In a show of compassion, Batman foots the bill for his rogue’s gallery’s dinner while the Gotham Police wait for them outside.

This all-ages funny book is just that, a fun book. The artwork is classic watercolor, mixing enough dark with light to temper the story’s mood.

Damian Wayne, aka Robin, is still being worked into the DC Universe at this point. Grant Morrison’s introduction of the character in Batman 655 left many readers unsympathetic. As time and writers passed Damian became more of an accepted son of Batman even co-starring in Super Sons with Superman’s progeny.

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Detective Comics (1937) 27

It’s hard for those outside the fold to understand the kinship we fans feel toward these two-dimensional, fictional creations.

But, it exists.

At times it’s almost tangible.

Especially for one who predates many of us. Who has survived – and thrived – after a congressional castigation, network neutering and public pandering. Who is an American institution.

This is why we have National Batman Day.

I can’t remember the first Batman story I read. There have been so many. So many adventures and years since that first one.

Detective Comics (1937) 27

Detective Comics (1937) 27

All I know is I was introduced to a character draped in the dark of night, eyes veiled behind white slits hiding windows to hell. That was the Batman Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams/Irv Novick were resurrecting in the early 1970s.

It was a good time to be a Batman fan. He was allowed to return to the shadows, but readers weren’t too removed from the day and twilight that came before.

Reruns of the 1966 psychedelic series were still airing in the afternoons. Adam West and Burt Ward were live-action heroes for half an hour.

Then the fad faded.

It was time to go back to Batman’s roots. As mentioned above, this about when I came into the picture.

The 1970s settled and the ‘80s dawned. A relative newcomer to the field not only redefined Batman, but knighted him in ebon. Frank Miller created two seminal works that examined both ends of the spectrum. The Dark Knight Returns came first. It looked at the end of days for the Caped Crusader.

Batman:  Year One stepped back to look at his beginnings.

As the decade ended so did Jason Todd’s career as Robin. Tim Burton took Batman to Hollywood.

The 1990s were not as adventurous. Instead the franchise was mined for the fanboys’ dollars. Gimmicky covers and story arcs designed to have readers buying multiple issues were the norm.

Where Batman shown again was on the small screen. Bruce Timm crafted a new look out of the old with a timeless backdrop in Batman the Animated Series. It would spin off The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond along with two feature films. The first was given a theater release in Mask of the Phantasm. The second was direct-to-video, Batman & Mr. Freeze:  Subzero.

The comic book industry rebounded from the 1990s speculators and continues to thrive both on and off the page.

The Batman legacy is strong as ever. His celluloid career continues and Detective Comics just celebrated its 1,000 issue. A fine compliment to the Caped Crusader’s 80th birthday.

Batman has evolved and revolved with the times. His image has been tweaked and tarnished at times, but overall it remains as timeless as his mission to avenge his parents’ deaths.

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Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Finally, the last labor of Wonder Woman’s 12 labors.

I say finally, but issue 222 is based on enough urban myth to make it interesting.

Wonder Woman finishes her labors in a sinister Disney World clone. The villain this issue is a thinly veiled version of Walt Disney called Wade Dazzle.

Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Wonder Woman (1942) 222

Dazzle is ensconced in a bunker below Dazzleland. From there he engineers his nefarious plan to kidnap people and steal their life force. This is all done without detection due to a miracle contraption that allows Dazzle make duplicates of people.

That includes himself.

Dazzle is dead, body and soul, except for brainwaves he can use to manipulate his clone. His corpse is frozen in a huge chunk of ice hung on a wall Han-in-carbonite style.

Wonder Woman inadvertently destroys the Dazzle doppelganger as well as her own to save the day. By unanimous vote, she is reinstated as a member of the Justice League of America with the promise, “Next: The first chapter of Wonder Woman’s NEW life begins with a saga so shocking we dare not reveal its title!”

Thanks to the comicbookdb.com we see it was called “Welcome Back to Life…Steve Trevor!”

Happy Labor Day.

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Hallmark Holiday ornaments

It’s too early for Christmas, but Four Color Holidays is not about judging anyone. Not to their face, anyway. So, let’s look at the new Hallmark ornaments available today at your finer Hallmark retailers.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Mini-DC Justice League Aquaman Ornament

Mini-DC Justice League Green Lantern Ornament

DC Comics Batman Ornament

DC Comics Wonder Woman Invisible Jet Ornament

Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame Infinity Gauntlet Ornament with Light

Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame Thanos Ornament

Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame Captain America Ornament

Marvel Iron Man Metal Ornament

 

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7-11: Free Slurpee Day

Okay, this one may be a bit of a stretch, but I love Slurpees. I grew up with Slurpees. 7-Eleven and Slurpees with a comic book, or however many I could con mom and dad into from the rack.

I grew up in Middletown, VA. Back when it was abbreviated Va. In Middletown there was a 7-Eleven. That was where you went for snacks and one of the best two-fers ever created: comic books and Slurpees.

One of the first of those delicious semi-frozen treats I can remember came in a DC superhero cup. It may have been the Joker or Batman. Maybe Alfred, but it was one of the Bat family. Which suited me just fine. Batman was my favorite hero. Still is in the DC Universe.

7-11: Free Slurpee Day

7-11: Free Slurpee Day

I would beg to go back time and again. Get a Slurpee and a superhero cup. The bad thing is they failed to hold up in a dishwasher. The images and writing would fade after just one wash cycle.

If they survived that long.

Usually they were dropped and would break or shatter. Like our childhood, it was not meant to last.

If you remember these or have a mild interest in these oddities, check out The Dork Review:  1970s Slurpee Checklist for DC and Marvel.

If you don’t care and just want a free Slurpee, head to your local 7-Eleven and enjoy. They don’t carry comic books anymore, but the Coca-Cola slush mix will still freeze your brain if you’re not careful.

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Not forgotten, Ol’ Chum

Today is the first anniversary of the passing of Adam West. He will forever be typecast as Batman.

For many he was their first Batman. Their only Batman.

For me he was a Batman. Not my first. That would be Denny O’Neil with either Neal Adams or Irv Novick.

Then reruns of the 1960s The Adventures of Batman and my Mego’s Greatest Super Heroes eight-inch likeness. That and some imagination.

Mr. West and his interpretation would be my third Batman. The one I watched after school on a black-and-white, rabbit-eared television in my bedroom. With two episodes back-to-back. None of this waiting a coupla days to tune to the same Bat-channel at the same Bat-time for a conclusion.

This was during the mid-1970s on UHF channel 20 outta Washington D.C.

In those days camp was what you did in the woods. In those days Batman 1966 was high entertainment. It was bif, bam pow – all with exclamation points.

As time passed and innocence was washed from my eyes I learned another definition for camp. The series became somewhat of an embarrassment. To me. To the industry. To Batman.

By 1989 a Robin had died, Frank Miller christened him the Dark Knight and Tim Burton was taking Batman back to the big screen. This time in a serious manner.

It came and went. As did Batman Returns and the inevitable sequels chasing after fanboys’ money.

These became the embarrassments. The big-budget, effects-laden movies that were to lay the 1966 series to rest.

What happened is many of us grew to appreciate the old again. Accept it for what was and will always be:  fun entertainment. It represented – and still does – a simpler time for most of us. For me it was afternoons with my Mego super heroes and villains. Playing in my bedroom, waiting for the call to supper.

It was – and still is – a piece of our childhood we should cherish.

Watching it now with my son in HD on a huge television screen is different than how I experienced it to begin with. But, Dylan’s different. The times are different.

But, Batman is still Batman. He has as many masks to charm us with as gadgets in his utility belt. Each one is as meaningful as the one before and the one that follows.

Thank you, Mr. West, for wearing one of those masks. One we can enjoy over and over again.

 

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The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

Comic book shops were common place by the beginning of the 1990s, but original graphic novels and trade paperbacks were not.

The Might Marvel holiday Wish List, sporting a caroling Spidey, Hulk and Cap, was a festive gift guide for the comic book fan. What could be simpler? Make a check beside the corresponding title, hand it to the gift giver and wait for Christmas morning.

Looking back at this pre-internet solicitation reminds me of how far the industry has come. Of course I forget this is 30 years ago.

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

The year 1990 doesn’t seem that long ago. Saying 30 years does.

Anyway, 30-years ago trades and collections were not the norm. Marvel had its high-end Masterworks and DC its Archive editions. Those were available in most comic book shops and retail book chains. They were just pricey for the day.

Trades were much more reasonable, but still a novelty. That’s why it’s so odd looking at the ad paper and seeing so few story arcs collected.

Readers must also remember this was a time when stories were written from beginning to end with no worries about how they would fit in a trade.

As much as I love Neil Gaiman and Sandman, I blame the wordsmith for the advent of trade-length story arcs. He invented the four- to six-issue story arc with a few one-and-dones in between that seem to have become the industry standard for trades.

So, sit back and check out the Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List – in full – courtesy ComicBookDaily.com. It’s a nostalgic look at the not-so-distant past.

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