Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

Posted Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 by Barry

Justice League of America (1960) 43

National Solitaire Day celebrates its inaugural anniversary today, courtesy of Microsoft and all those participating in the card game that’s already passed its bicentennial birthday.

Solitaire, or Klondike, features an addictive play utilizing all 52-playing cards. Participants are challenged to arrange those 52 cards from lowest to highest in the four different suites for victory.

It can also mean any tabletop game played by one person, sometimes even including dominos. For our purposes, we’re using the solitaire everyone knows.

Justice League of America (1960) 43

Microsoft first included a digital version of the game with its Windows 3.0 version. In addition to creating a craze, it aided people in the use of learning how to manipulate the mouse and became the most played video game in the history of computers.

Representing the four-color community is the Royal Flush Gang.

These card suited villains were first introduced in Justice League of America (1960) issue 43. Using a playing-card based theme, each of the members used a codename based on the cards needed to form a royal flush in poker: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10.

The original gang only appeared twice. A second Royal Flush Gang debuted in Justice League of America (1960) 203 as part of Hector Hammond’s devising. Their motif was the house of Spades.

A third gang surfaced in the post-crisis DC Universe. Rather than decking themselves in all the same suit, this group chose to utilize hearts, clubs and diamonds as well as using codenames from the lower cards.

With the advent of the New 52, the Royal Flush Gang returned in the Forever Evil storyline. They would resurface in DC’s Rebirth period as well.

Solitaire is believed to have been created sometime in the late 1700s in northern Europe.

While Klondike Solitaire is the most commonly recognized version, other popular interpretations include Spider, Yukon and FreeCell.

Of course, the most common way to celebrate the day is to grab a deck of cards or mouse. When you’re frustrated enough with that, grab a vintage Justice League or variation and give the criminal cards a read.

Posted Saturday, January 29th, 2022 by Barry

Detective Comics (1937) 140

Sometimes life is puzzling enough, so here’s a day to celebrate our confusion.

National Puzzle Day was created in 2002 by Jodi Jill, no stranger to creating conundrums. Jill is a professional quiz and puzzle maker, offering her handiwork to classrooms.

Our representative is one of Batman’s colorful rogue’s gallery, The Riddler. Created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang in 1948, Edward Nigma first appeared in Detective Comics (1937) 140.

Nigma delights in leaving puzzles and riddles prior to conducting his crimes to foil the Caped Crusader. The obsession usually leads to his capture.

During his early years in the waning days of the Golden Age, The Riddler was a straight up costumed criminal matching wits with Batman and Robin. His modus operandi continued into the Silver and Bronze ages until he would be updated for new breed of readers in modern times.

Detective Comics (1937) 140

Detective Comics (1937) 140

Nigma would become more of a broker of information until his reformation following a blow to the head resulting in the Riddler falling into a coma. His new profession was that of a private consultant helping to solve a murder. He would later become a detective.

Another head trauma returned Nigma to his villainous ways just prior to The New 52. In both this reboot and DC Rebirth, the Riddler spends a good portion of his time in Arkham Asylum, until his eventual escape.

For long-time fans, the Riddler will forever be Frank Gorshin and his live-action antics on the 1966 Batman television series. The veteran actor received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal.

Cory Michael Smith was the living embodiment for the Gotham series airing 2014 to 2019.

The late Ted Knight voiced the Riddler in Filmation’s Saturday morning The Batman/Superman Hour. Michael Bell did the honors in Hanna-Barbera’s Challenge of the Super Friends as well as the 1980s version of Super Friends.

John Glover gave the character voice in Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond.

Freddy’s Robert Englund was the voice of the Riddler in 2005’s The Batman. John Michael Higgins did the honors during the Batman: Brave and the Bold run.

He was given life by Jim Carrey in Batman Forever in 1995. The big screen box office bomb is a forgettable appearance.

What to do for National Puzzle Day shouldn’t be as, well, puzzling. Catch up with a crossword in the local paper, find a digital dilemma online or just read up on the green-clad cad with the penchant for puzzles.

Posted Friday, January 21st, 2022 by Barry

Batman Incorporated (2012) 1

Continuing with the celebration of International Hoof Care Week, we introduce Bat-Cow, one of Grant Morrison’s more bizarre re-creations.

And, that’s saying something.

Batman Incorporated (2012) 1

Batman Incorporated (2012) 1

She was originally featured as part of the Tiny Titans’ Pet Club and the Just Us Cows. An ordinary cow, she stole a cowl from the Bat Cave. Thus, she began her career as Bat-Cow.

Bat-Cow’s in-continuity debut was Batman Incorporated (2012) issue one. While the updated Dynamic Duo trailed Professor Pyg, they found the soon-to-be bovine bat-family member. Believing the beast to be tainted with a mind-altering toxin, Batman took it back to the Bat Cave for testing.

Robin, Damian Wayne, took a liking to the animal and made it a pet. She now lives on the Wayne estate in a barn.

Bat-Cow has no super powers, but is distinguished by a bat-shaped patch on her face and star-shaped brand on her side. Her nick name is the Battlin’ Bovine.

Dairy cattle spend much of their life standing. They require special treatment so they do not become lame or experience sore feet, foot rot or toe injuries. Those who specialize in the care of hooves are known as farriers. They care for hooves by trimming them and putting shoes on them, if necessary.

The American Farriers Journal began hosting its annual International Hoof-Care Summit in 2003. The American Journal also founded National Farriers Week, held the second week in July.

International Hoof Care Week is held the third Tuesday in January, running through Friday.

To celebrate, read more about Batman’s bovine buddy in Tiny Titans issues 17, 21, 23, 28, 38, 40, 43, 45, 48 and 50; Batman Incorporated (2012) 1, 3, 6, 7, 9 and 13; Robin Son of Batman 1, 9 and 10; and Batman and Robin 35 and 40.

Posted Saturday, December 25th, 2021 by Barry

The Joker Bronze Age Omnibus (2019)

Anyone who knows me or has read much on the Web site knows Christmas and Batman are symbiotic. For me, at least.

Growing up, Batman was my favorite hero. Not Adam West. Nothing against the dearly departed, but I learned to love Batman from the source material.

Batman was a grinning goof of Golden Age reprints or the soon-to-be christened Dark Knight living in the shadows of the Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams era I grew up with. Toss in some Carmine Infantino with the new look and they were my Batman.

And, who is the Batman’s greatest villain?

His rogue’s gallery is only rivaled by the Flash’s or Spider-Man’s. This is a fanboy’s dream argument; who has the best rogue’s gallery?

That’s for another time and forum.

For our purposes, let’s talk about the Joker.

Ah, yes, the Joker. That evil clown to scare children. A psychopath to scare the adults.

Plus, he’s Batman’s oldest recurring nemesis.

It just all fits.

So, to give me an omnibus of Batman’s greatest villain during the Bronze age in which I discovered both and it’s one of the best comic related Christmas presents ever.

Thank you, Jeff.

Looking at this, people are gonna ask what the Joker omnibus has to do with Christmas. It’s not a Christmas comic book nor does it contain even one holiday story.

No, it’s a Christmas gift.

Much like the Batman issue 260 I droned on about in 2018, this is a gift that will always be associated with Christmas.

When I first learned of the omnibus, I wasn’t sure if it was worth $99.99 to me. There are so many good stories, but I have all but Justice League of America (1960) 77, Wonder Woman (1942) 280-283 and the unpublished The Joker issue 10.

The unpublished issue was tempting, but I just couldn’t justify a Benjamin for that one comic book.

I do love that series. I bought several when the first hit the stands in the mid-1970s and finished the series sometime in the late 1990s.

Just looking at the other issues, included is Batman 251 with the rebirth of the killing Joker. Detective Comics issues 475 and 476 is the Laughing Fish story. Brave and the Bold (1955) 111 is one of the first Batman/Joker stories I ever read and has one of my favorite Batmobiles.

And, so many, many more stories.

This is a treasure in so many ways. I’ve loved the excuse to re-read these classics. As much as I’ve enjoyed reading the new material. My greatest pleasure, snuggled under the covers, my wife tucked beside me and cats warming my legs; has been the unpublished Joker story. It may be continued and I’ll never know the ending, but to have an unread Bronze Age Joker story is a rare treat that will probably never be repeated.

So, thank you, again Jeff, for this gem of a gift. Amid the year of Covid and lack of guests, it shone as bright as my super hero Christmas tree in 2020.

Posted Thursday, August 26th, 2021 by Barry

Batman (1940) 92

Founded in 2004 by pet lifestyle expert (is there such a thing?) Colleen Paige, National Dog Day is commemorated to recognize man’s best friend.

Last year’s emcee was Krypto the super dog. This year Batman and Robin’s sidekick Ace, the Bat-Hound, is the spokes dog.

Ace first appeared in Batman (1940) issue 92. Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff are the creators of the colorful canine. Taking a nod from such famous four-legged sleuths as Rin Tin Tin and Ace the Wonder Dog, the duo made the four-color Ace a German Shepherd.

Batman (1940) 92

Engraver John Wilker was Ace’s original owner. Following the kidnapping of his master, Ace was recruited by Batman and Robin to find Wilker. Because of a distinctive star-shaped marking on Ace’s forehead, he was masked when working with Batman and Robin.

Ace became a permanent resident of the Bat Cave when Wilker willed his pet to the crime fighters. He would continue exploits into the beginning of the Silver Age before disappearing for two decades.

He returned briefly as a service dog in the early 1990s. Then he was returned to limbo following the No Man’s Land storyline.

Ace became part of the DCU again under the New 52 banner. Damian Wayne would adopt the kennel find, though he would be named Titus.

Most recently, Ace has found a home with the Waynes once again. His origin this time had him serving as a guard dog for the Joker. Each of the pooches had a card symbol; Ace, of course, had an Ace. Butler Alfred Pennyworth rescued him from the pound. Despite his employer’s wishes, Alfred trained the dog and presented him to Bruce Wayne, complete with mask, for Christmas.

Ace has appeared in the animated DCU as well. He was a faithful companion to Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond, cameoed on Static Shock, guested on Krypto the Superdog and Batman: The Brave and the Bold and starred in various DC Nation Shorts.

To observe National Dog Day, participants are encouraged to honor their furry companions and even consider adopting one.

Posted Thursday, July 8th, 2021 by Barry

Video Game Day

Need we say more?

Well, we’re gonna.

There’s no real history for the day, but there are a plethora of games that can be sampled. Rather than bore you with a lengthy dissertation, we’ll let Nixian’s YouTube offering on the Evolution of Superhero games give you a sampling.

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Posted Thursday, April 22nd, 2021 by Barry

Batman Brave and the Bold (2009) 4

Batman and Aquaman spend Earth Day chasing around the time stream, fixing what Dr. Cyber has undone. Rip Hunter, Time Master, makes a guest appearance.

Menace of the Time Thief!, a Matt Wayne, Andy Suriano production; is a bittersweet reminder of Batman: Brave and the Bold that ran on Cartoon Network from Nov. 14, 2008 to Nov. 18, 2011.

Brave and the Bold may have seemed an odd choice to follow Batman the Animated Series, but, at the opposite end of the spectrum, proved cathartic. The tongue-in-cheek, deadpan humor, as delivered by Diedrich Bader, leapt from television screens and into fanboy’s hearts.

The series lasted three seasons with 26 episodes for seasons one and two and 13 episodes for season three.

Fans were treated to a reunion – of sorts – in 2018 when a feature-length animated movie went straight to video co-staring Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc.

Earth Day was established March 21, 1970 by peace activist John McConnell. His mission was to honor the Earth and the concept of peace. Earth Day is celebrated annually April 22 around the world.

Be kind to mother Earth and let’s all pause a moment to remember a series that shown a bright light on the Dark Knight in the best possible way.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #4

 

Posted Friday, April 9th, 2021 by Barry

Batman (1939) 433

A National Day of Silence bounces around the calendar, but its meaning is loud and clear. The day asks persons to respect the choices made by others and cease bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

We recognize the day with the first true story arc following the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin, in Batman issues 426-29. Issue 430 was told through a visual depiction of events rather than modified with dialog or exposition.

Batman (1939) 433

Batman (1939) 433

Todd replaced Dick Grayson after the elder ward became Nightwing in the Teen Titans. Todd first appeared in Batman 357 and donned the costume in Batman issue 366.

Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, Todd’s character was tweaked. Fans still disliked who they felt was a usurper. They had their say in Batman 427 when the editorial staff allowed readers to choose the fate of Todd who had been severely beaten and left in an exploding building by the Joker.

In a close count, Todd was written out of the DCU.

For a time.

Under the Red Hood was a story line that brought Todd back over a period of time under the guise of new anti-hero. Depending on whether his return is followed in comic book form or the animated, direct-to-video movie, Todd was back among the Bat Family.

But, in 1988 Batman was still stinging from Todd’s death. Writers were unsure how to continue with the character allowing John Byrne to pencil the silent issue.     The Many Deaths of the Batman, as the story arc was dubbed, lasted three issues, putting Batman back on the streets of Gotham.

To observe this National Day of Silence, take a vow of silence to demonstrate how bullying silences a victim. Or, promote the day, making others aware there is a problem.

The day was first observed and organized by a body of students from the University of Virginia.

Posted Friday, January 1st, 2021 by Barry

New Year’s Evil (2019) 1

Rotten Tomatoes gives New Year’s Evil a 14-percent score.

I give New Year’s Evil at least a 90-percent score.

Wait, we’re talking about two different things. Apples and, well, tomatoes.

New Year’s Evil was originally a 1980, low-budget slasher starring Roz “Pinky Tuscadero” Kelly.

DC Comics adopted the title in 1997 releasing eight one-shot specials featuring a who’s who of rogues.

The most current incarnation of New Year’s Evil came in my stocking of comic books from Jeff in 2019. Yeah, a little late with this one, but I wanted to save it for the big day.

And, here it is.

New Year’s Evil (2019) 1

New Year’s Evil 2019 features another plethora of villainy from the DCU.

First up is the Joker in The Amateur. New Year’s Eve is spoiled by someone other than the Clown Prince of Crime. Batman and the Joker must come to terms with accountability.

Superman foils the Toyman in Slaybells Ring. His attempt at monopolization of Christmas is thwarted by those he hoped would follow.

Bright and Terrible shows a different side of Sinestro when his past is misconstrued.

Poison Ivy learns she can’t change people in Auld Lang Ivy.

Wonder Woman cautions Ares his mercy may be misguided in Winter’s Root.

A surprising show of good intentions allows Black Adam to bring some tenderness in A Coal in My Stocking.

Calendar Man remains in Arkham Asylum courtesy of his own demons in New Year, New You.

The best of the lot is a surprise unveiling of Chronos’ childhood in Father Christmas.

A Prankster New Year! is just as the title reads.

New Year’s Evil closes with Harley Quinn in Little Christmas Tree. An act of kindness does not go unpaid.

Posted Thursday, December 31st, 2020 by Jeff

So long 2020. Thank goodness.

This is my traditional FourColorHolidays.com New Year’s Eve post – Batman and Commissioner Gordon sharing a quiet moment before the new year begins.

This year – of all years – the message seems even more poignant.

Cheers, everyone. Here’s to a safe and healthy 2021.

– Jeff

Batman and Gordon