Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan Review

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Gene Colan was an incredible artist, known for his dark shadows and his fantastic ability to portray the seedier sides of the comic world. Guess which character that’d be perfect for? Batman!

Gene illustrated Batman on and off for six years in the late Bronze Age, and the first third or so is collected here. It’s fantastic work, and along with Gerry Conway’s writing, it collects some of the best of 80s Batman comics. Go read it! Enjoy!

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Batmobile vs Jokermobile in Suicide Squad onset videos and photos

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Suicide Squad is the 3rd movie in the DC Cinematic Universe, and is coming out a few months after Batman vs. Superman. Some of the main cast are Batman villains (Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Hugo Strange), and Batfleck was spotted on set.

Now, some new videos were released to confirm the rumors of Batman’s (at least partial) role in the film. IO9 has some cool stuff, so check it out!

Coming Up on BAB

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1. I recently purchased a full run of Batman and the Outsiders, by Mike W. Barr and the always amazing Jim Aparo. That review’s coming up as soon as I’m done reading it.

2. Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan will get a review soon.

3. Four new Favorite Batman creator posts are coming. 1st up: Denny O’Neil (anyone who’s been reading this blog knew this was coming).

4. Awesome website to check out: Gotham Calling

Bye!

Who Did What: Dennis O’Neil

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Alright. Where we left off, Batman was absolutely nothing like, well, Batman. He had the look, the gadgets, and the brain, but the character was unrecognizable. This is where Denny comes in. One thing that I like to say that best sums up what he did is that while others created Batman (the superhero), he created Bruce Wayne (the character).

Personality: This was a very different Batman. He was a man who hated all criminal “scum”, and was far less forgiving of those duped by them. He often worked outside of Commissioner Gordon’s knowledge and jurisdiction, disappearing with barely a word. He could get very angry, sometimes snapping at his allies while frustrated. However, he wasn’t always like this.

When he wasn’t angry, he was pleasant enough, though he didn’t diddle-dalley.  He was very kind and compassionate to those who were unfortunate (those who didn’t turn to crime), and was never too busy for a soul in need. This balance, while sometimes clumsily handled, was for the most part very fun and interesting.

Training: He learned acting and science in college courses, and was a self-taught gymnast. He weight-lifted. He took courses in criminology in college, where he was a pole-vaulter and a javelin thrower. From martial-arts masters, he learned many fighting styles, effortlessly switching from kung fu-judo-aikido-nujitsu-fistcuffs.

Skill: This man was a highly skilled fighter. He lasted in a sword-fight with an immortal ninja cult leader for nearly a full day (he was stung by a scorpion before the opportunity to beat him could arise), he could take down ten men in one minute (rough estimate), and he won plenty of fights.

He was also a skilled detective, adept at guessing criminal’s motives, while dealing with slightly more rational crimes. He helped the police invaluably, and found clues where no other would be smart enough to look.

Tools: Standard night: Batarang, rope, tear gas capsules, Batmobile remote control.

Next Up: Steve Englehart

Bronze Age Contributions Prelude

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Alright, for this list to be effective, and to make you see how different he was pre- and post-Bronze Age, I’m going to start with what was already established:

Personality: Batman, aside from a few dark spots, was generally a cheerful and kind fellow. He would sign autographs, obtain search warrants, and even talk to reporters. He was nearly inseparable from his pal, Robin, and worked hand-in-hand with Commissioner Gordon.

Training: Batman learned how to throw a boomerang at a circus with a circus entertainer. He learned acting and science in college courses, and was a self-taught gymnast. He weight-lifted. He took courses in criminology in college, where he was a pole-vaulter and a javelin thrower. It was unknown where he learned jujitsu and boxing (the two fighting styles he used most).

Skill: He sucked He often lost to groups of five or more men due to the fact that he only had the aforementioned skills. As a detective, however, he was great, often solving nearly impossible cases with almost elementary logic.

Tools: If he needed it, it would magically appear.

Okay, next time, the good stuff: Denny O’Neil comes by!

Who Did What: A Series of Bronze Age Contributions

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You know what I hate? I hate when someone says, “Frank Miller took Batman, who was a campy character at the time, and reinterpreted him into the grim avenger of today’s comics.” (By the way, I’m not quoting anyone, although find a review of one of his books and the author probably says those words in some way). It’s mind-blowing how ignorant that is, and it’s completely disrespecting the writers of the Bronze Age, who made up about 75% of that process. In honor of my annoyance those underappreciated men and women, I’m starting a new series of posts detailing who added what to Batman (in the Bronze Age).

1st installment tomorrow!