Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 25: Chariots of Firing Guns

Panels from "The Mystery of the Space Olympics" in Detective Comics #260 (October 1958), pencils by Sheldon Moldoff, inks by Charles Paris

What? Baffled? Bewildered? Bewitched? Batman with a gun, at the Olympics? (Well, the Space Olympics.) You can read more about it at your local library in pal Chris Sims's classic Olympic-year post over at ComicsAlliance: "Batman Dominates 'The Olympic Games of Space' Because Of Course He Does":
Batman turns out to be super awesome at shooting guns! You’d think he’d give that event a pass, but when the honor of an entire planet is at stake, I guess you just have to get past childhood trauma and a life-long moral code.

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 146: And now, a free monologue for one actor, by J. Jonah Jameson

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #180 (May 1978), script by Len Wein, breakdowns by Ross Andru, finishes by Mike Esposito, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Joe Rosen

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Today in Comics History: Unhappy Halloween! Or...AM it? (No. It am.)

Happy Bizarro Halloween! from the planet known as Htrae! (Pronounced "hu-tray.")

Panel from "The Halloween Pranks of the Bizarro-Supermen!" in Adventure Comics #294 (March 1962), script by Jerry Siegel, pencils and inks by John Forte

Then, Bizarro No. 1 joins his "buddie-pals" for Halloween celebrations. Say, shouldn't that be "enemy-foes?" Also, instead of join, shouldn't that be "tear apart?" And instead of "then," should it be, "before?" Man, Bizarro World confuses me with its half-assed approach to being completely in reverse.

Ah, the good old days when Bizarro World was off somewhere in the same cosmos as Earth-1. No, according to Multiversity, it's the alternate dimension of Earth-29! Or, at least it will until midnight tonight, when it all gets blown up by Rebirth. BOOM! The New DC Universe...there's no stopping us now...from trying to undo every story since 1935.

So, Happy Halloween, guys! Trick's on you!

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 24: You Can Shoot a Lot at a Dummy

Panel from "The Cop Who Hated the Batman!" in Detective Comics #65 (July 1942), script by Joe Greene, pencils by Jack Burnley, inks by George Roussos, background inks by Ray Burnley, letters by Ira Schnapp (?)

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 145: For this they pre-empted Ed Sullivan?

Panels from X-Men/Spider-Man #1 (January 2009); script by Christos Gage; pencils, inks, and colors by Mario Alberti, letters by Jared K. Fletcher

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 23: A Salute to One of My Favorite Commenters

Panel from "The Joker Announces Danger" in Batman (1940 series) #97 (February 1956), script by Bill Finger, pencils by Sheldon Moldoff, inks by Charles Paris, letters by Pat Gordon

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 144: Another trip to the cardiac ward for JJJ

Panels from Civil War #2 (August 2006), script by Mark Millar, pencils by Steve McNiven, inks by Dexter Vines, colors by Morry Hollowell, letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 22: Final appearance, Fat British Riddler

Panels from Batman Confidential #13 (March 2008), script by Tony Bedard, pencils by Rags Morales, inks by Mark Farmer, colors by I.L.L., letters by John J. Hill

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 143: Sittin' in a hospital bed, frustration goin through my head / Turn off the TV set, take some drugs so I can forget

We'd like to wish a speedy and healthy recovery to J. Jonah Jameson, who's in the hospital for various spider-aggrevated tension, hypertension, amazingtension, spectaculartension, and weboftension.

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #71 (April 1969), plot and layouts by John Romita Sr., script by Stan Lee, finishes by Jim Mooney, letters by Sam Rosen

Still, he's under good medical care at the Hospital of Our Lady of Perpetual Fictionality, and he's unlikely to suffer any setback for any reason, right?

RIP J. Jonah Jameson, 1919-1969

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 21: Bruce Wayne's Got a Gun!

Well hello, "W.T.F." (Wayne Trusts Firearms) Month at DC Comics, where all the cover gatefolds provided a shocking surprise once you opened them! What will the Joker poison Gotham City with? Who is the secret master of the Green Lanterns? Where did Oliver Queen go for lunch? The answer, of course, is Colonel Sanders. For all three.

Here, is the surprise that Bruce Wayne's mortal enemy is not a guy who dresses up like an Antarctic waterfowl or a giant punctuation mark, but his long-time hetero lifemate, Jim Gordon? Or is the shocking twist that Bruce draws a gun so quickly that Jim's jumps out of his hand in suicidal surrender as if it were springloaded? No, it is none of these things. It is that Jim Gordon is a middle-aged man, who, twenty issues later, will be young and buff enough to become Batman himself. Big mistake, guys! Now you have to reboot the entire universe to cover up that mistake. Boy, I sre hope whoever made that blunder got fired for it.

Cover of Batman (2011 series) #19 (June 2013), pencils and inks by Greg Capullo, colors by FCO Plascencia

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 142: Spider-Man Bombs Pearl Harbor!

The strrrrrrrrretching timeline of the Marvel Universe means that pretty much all the events of the MU have taken place in the last, say, 12-15 years. My usual criteria for determining how many years they've been adventuring are the relative ages of Franklin Richards, who was "born" in 1968, and Kitty Pryde, who was 13½ in 1980 and turned 14 in space in Uncanny X-Men #165. And yet Franklin's still at least under 10, and Kitty's old enough (21) to bartend in Mekanix #1 (2002). Which only goes to prove: don't try to apply real-world aging logic to the Marvel Universe.

The real problem happens when stories try to tie events in the Marvel Universe to real-life events or persons. If Captain America got frozen in 1945, then the Avengers unfroze him in Avengers #4 in 1963. That means he's barely eighteen years a man out of time. But if we guesstimate that in today's Marvel Universe, Capsicle got thawed circa 2000 at the earliest — well, he missed a whole a lot more, including the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who, according to canon, got turned into a snake under his watch (Cap #344, 1988). That means that Ben Grimm and Reed Richards, who began their careers described as WWII veterans...ain't. Not anymore.

Which explains how, in 1973, you could actually believe that J. Jonah Jameson had been around the Daily Bugle since the war years, right?

Panels from Sgt. Fury #110 (May 1973), script by Gary Friedrich, pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by Vince Colletta, letters by Herb Cooper

There's some other small references elsewhere in the book, which also shows that Nick Fury knows Jameson:

So, it's canon, fanboys: J. Jonah Jameson is functionally immortal because he has taken the Infinity Formula.

Glad I could clear that up for you.

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 20: Robot Death Call!

Cover of World's Finest Comics #164 (February 1967), pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Ira Schnapp

Look out, Genia, Mistress of Malice, in a story that is not called "The Broken Code" but is instead titled "Brainiac's Super Brain-Child!" Well, I've gotta say, that second one has a little more je ne sais quoi to it, doncha think? In any case...look out, Genia! Superman and Batman are going to shoot you with hair dryers!

Panels from "Brainiac's Super Brain-Child" in World's Finest Comics #164 (February 1967), script by Leo Dorfman, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein

Aw, cool yer jets, Greyson. It's the Silver Age, where nobody ever dies at the hands of a superhero — not even Hitler in the confusingly titled "Aquaman Kills Hitler" in Adventure Comics Annual #2. Instead, she's been banished by whoever is the quicker draw to the exile of their choice! In the original version of this series Wonder Woman also guest-starred and fired a gun that shot Genia into a very liberal all-girl's school on Paradise Island, but they cut that bit out because they were afraid it would upset readers of a nervous disposition... But not me, I can tell ya.

No, instead Superman sends her, via illegal torrenting, into the bottle city of Kandor, where everyone is always incredibly earnest and also dress like Legion of Superheroes cosplayers. Here they will "re-program" her criminal tendencies by drilling into the skull just below the temple, scooping out...oh wait, I forgot she's actually a robot. Yeah, they're actually re-programming her. Which will make her a valuable ally of Superman the next time she appears!

Genia, of course, never appears again.

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 141: Spider-Man: Hero or Publisher?

Panels from Spider-Man: Christmas In Dallas one-shot (December 1983), script by Jim Salicrup, pencils by Alan Kupperberg, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Marie Severin, letters by Rick Parker

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Month of... Batman's Got a Gun, Day 19: Deathstroke Double-Dog Dares Dark Knight

Cover of Detective Comics #710 (June 1997), pencils and inks by Lee Weeks, colors by Patrick Martin

Thanks to Deathstroke (The Terminator Who's Not Arnold™), Batman's trapped in the puzzling paradox known as the Spanish Prisoner...or maybe the Greek Interpreter?...would you believe the Russian Tea Room?!? The only way he can stop a deadly criminal is by shooting him! But Batman has sworn to never use guns! (Not even on a floor.)

Panels from Detective Comics #710 (June 1997), script by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Graham Nolan, inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, colors by Gloria Vasquez, letters by John Costanza

Decisions, decisions!

Whoa, he shot the gun right outta the gun's hands! Batman: DEADSHOT. Well, not literally, because that's a whole 'nother character.

So, Batman can shoot a gun, and pretty well. It just makes him feel uncomfortable.

NEXT, IN DETECTIVE COMICS #711: Batman shoots everybody!

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 140: It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap

Panel from Ms. Marvel #1 (January 1977), script by Gerry Conway with Carla Conway, breakdowns by John Buscema, finishes by Joe Sinnott, some background inks by Dave Hunt, colors by Marie Severin, letters by John Costanza