Sunday, September 30, 2007

TPS is the Big Oh-Three!

Today is Trusty Plinko Stick's third birthday. Blogday. Bloggyversary. Whatever you call it, I've been at this blogging business for three whole years now. Considering I initially expected to lose interest and abandon this thing within a month, I think I've done pretty well. I'm not one of the big movers and shakers in the comics and/or general pop culture blogging worlds, but I get an audience of more than just my wife, and I think that's pretty cool.

I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who stops by, be they the regulars, the occasionals, or the people who wander here by accident somehow. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read my silly little blog.

Kicks!

I'm pretty utilitarian as far as shoes go, and generally don't put a lot of thought into the sort of shoes I want beyond the questions "Are they comfortable?," "Are they affordable?," and "Are they anything but gleamingly bright white?," but yesterday Erin bought me the sweet slip-on Chuck Taylors I've been coveting lo these many months, and now I'm a happy-footed man with an incredibly awesome wife.

Yup, this is what passes for excitement at Trusty Plinko Stick World Headquarters. Admit it, you secretly wish you were me.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

DIY Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told


Still have Bats on the brain. Blame the kiddo. I've seen that Adam West movie about two and a half times this week, and since tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and I'm home with him all day, I expect the number to go up still. But it's made me think about comics, and that's never a bad thing.

Anyway, this book on the left here? It's pretty groovy, and the title doesn't really lie. The contents of this book really are some of the best Batman stories ever published. But they aren't all necessarily my favorites, you know? So if I were to put together my own Bestest Batman Yarns Ever Put Down On Paper collection, this is what it would most likely contain (in no order other than that in which I think of them):

  • "The Joker's Utility Belt" (Batman #73) - probably my favorite Joker story, and one of the better episodes of the TV show.
  • "The First Batman" (Detective #235?) - The idea of Thomas Wayne's Halloween costume inspired the Batsuit is cheesy, but fun.
  • "The Origin of the Superman/Batman Team" (???) - There were a couple different versions of this, but I like the one on the cruise ship the best. Too dumb to not be enjoyable.
  • Pretty much the entirety of the Batman: Strange Apparitions trade paperback, which reprints the Englehart/Rogers/Austin run in Detective Comics #s 469-479. Seems like a lot, but these are basically the perfect Batman stories, so much so that they should be the main text for BAT 101 - Intro to Batman Studies.
  • "Death Haunts the Skies" (Detective Comics #442) - The Alex Toth art alone makes this a must.
  • "Interlude on Earth 2" (Brave and the Bold. Vol. 1 #182) - Batman ends up on Earth 2, confusing the hell out of the older Robin and Batwoman there (since Earth 2 Bats is dead at that point).
  • "The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne" (Brave and the Bold Vol. 1 #197) - The Earth 2 Batman and Catwoman get hitched. I like a happy ending.
  • "The Doomsday Book" (Detective Comics #572) - The 50th anniversary of Detective Comics, in which Batman, the Elongated Man, and Slam Bradley solve a case with the last second intervention of the greatest detective of all.
  • "Batman: Year One" (Batman #s 404-407) - I don't like everything Miller did in this (making Catwoman start off as a hooker, for instance), but on the whole, Damn Fine Comics going on here.
  • "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight" - The prototype for the billion or so Elseworlds stories that would later follow, starring an "alternate" Victorian-era Batman. The moody Mignola artwork is what really sells this one.
  • "Batman/Grendel: Devil's Riddle/Devil's Masque" - Batman and the original Grendel, Hunter Rose, are an intriguing match-up. Kinda makes me wish Grendel could've been a recurring Batman rogue (or Batman a recurring Grendel adversary, I suppose).
  • "Batman & Dracula: Red Rain" - One of the better Bats Elseworlds story, and though the first part of a trilogy, it stands alone quite well. Kelley Jones's artwork always looked too weird on the regular Bat books, but it works very well here.
  • "Batman & Captain America" - Both an Elseworlds and an intercompany crossover, but despite those two yokes thrown on top of it, the story is a blast. John Byrne clearly had fun here, and the Joker's reaction to the Red Skull is priceless.
  • A Riddler story I don't remember the name for (Detective #s 705-707) - Riddler tries to get Cluemaster blowed up real good for stealing his shtick. Not great comics, but entertaining.
  • "Batman Adventures: Mad Love" - Probably my most favorite Batman story ever, as well as the story that bumped Harley Quinn up from sidekick to star villain in her own right.
  • "Where is the Justice League?" (JLA Classified #s 1-3) - So much to enjoy here - man-eating gorillas, JLA robots, Batman's sci-fi closet, and a star turn for Beryl Hutchinson, the Squire, who became a favorite character based on this story alone. Brilliance from Grant Morrison and Ed McGuinness.
You know, there's more I could probably name, but good lord, that's quite enough for now, don't you think?

Anything you think I left out that deserves inclusion (and no, I didn't forget Dark Knight Returns or Killing Joke, so don't bother bringing them up), or anything I should check out that I might not have? Suggestions always welcome.

He crimefighting covers up a basic insecurity.

For no other reason than because I think it's really funny, here's the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the Jet Jaguar theme song from Godzilla Vs. Megalon:



One of these weeks is going to have to be Jet Jaguar week. I just know it. I'll start with a new banner in the meantime. Look up top! Ooooh, Jet Jaguary.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Missing some Essential bits?

So I started Essential X-Men Vol. 5 the other day, and am totally loving it thus far. It's overwritten and ridiculously melodramatic, but it's addicting. Unsurprising, as the X-Men, especially at their 80s zenith, are essentially a soap opera on paper. You know it's not technically good, but it's still a lot of fun.

This point in the series, though (starting in the 180s as most of the team gets zapped off to the Secret Wars), is when things start getting problematic. This is when the X-Men stopped being a single book and started branching out into a franchise - first you get the New Mutants, and then you start getting the various tie-in mini-series, and then we all know how convoluted it got from there. It's not nearly that bad at the point where I'm reading now, but the groundwork is clearly being laid out. Events in Uncanny X-Men spill over into New Mutants, but we don't get those New Mutants issues included in this book, so we're only getting tiny little bits of the story. Kitty Pryde tags along to protect Doug "Why bother? I'm gonna die soon anyway." Ramsey on his trip to the White Queen's school, and of course she gets captured herself, but it's To Be Continued in New Mutants! Then, next time we see her, everything's all done, and she's none the worse for wear, but she's about to traipse off into the events of the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine mini, which we also won't see in this book. And then Rachel Summers shows up out of nowhere, except it's not out of nowhere, it's out of yet another New Mutants issue we don't get.

Now, I can understand why they're not included, I suppose. We're paying for Essential X-Men, not Essential X-Men and New Mutants and a Bunch of Other Books, Too. And since New Mutants was also being written by Chris Claremont, it probably had its own labyrinthine set of subplots that would make the stories unreadable out of context. But still, when you reach the Avengers/Defenders War in Essential Defenders, you get all the Avengers issues in there, too. When Nova crosses over into Amazing Spider-Man, Essential Nova gives you that Amazing Spider-Man issue. I guess I've just been spoiled by earlier volumes?

And frustratingly, it's not likely I'm ever going to read those New Mutants issues, either, since Marvel's reprinting them in their overpriced line of "Classic" trade paperbacks, rather than in the Essential line. I'm sure the Sienkiewicz stories will look awesome in color when they get collected, but they'd be a lot more likely to get my money if they just made an Essential book instead.

Not sure what I intended with this, or if I got where I wanted to go, but I just wanted to rant a bit. Mission accomplished. But despite the flaws, the book's still a lot of fun.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pretty Sketchy Twofer - Golden Age Green Lantern & Static



One backing board, two sketches... goodness abounds.

The top is the Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, by his creator, the late, great Mart Nodell (easily one of the nicest folks I've ever met in my life). On the bottom, we have Static, as depicted by one of the artists on the series, Wilfrid Santiago (Static's hat says "Maine '94," since that was when and where he was drawn). Both sketches acquired at NostalgiaCon 5 in Bangor, ME, the last of the shows put on by my favorite local comic shop of yore, Nostalgia Ink.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Still with the Batman over here.



So the new season of the WB's CW's cartoon The Batman kicked off this weekend, continuing with the introduction of the Justice League begun at the end of the last season. In the two-part season premiere, we get to meet this show's version of Superman and company (Lois, Jimmy, Lex, and so on), and I have to say, it was pretty good.

What I saw of it, anyway.

See, our local CW affiliate also showed some college football game on Saturday, and the pregame show aired in the timeslot when Batman should have been on. They were nice enough to reschedule the show to air after the game, but when was the last time a televised football game actually ended on time? And so the rest of their day's programming wouldn't get messed up, they joined up with Batman "in progress," so I ended up missing the first half of the show.

I'm 31 years old, and my cartoons are still being pre-empted by sports. I'm sure that speaks poorly of me, confirming for all time my manchild status, but I choose to think it reflects even more poorly on television. Better for the esteem, you know.

Anyway, the show itself (what I saw of it) was good. I thought it was kind of silly to basically rehire all the people who voiced the Superman characters over on Justice League Unlimited (George Newbern, Dana Delaney, Clancy Brown) to re-do the roles here - I would have preferred new people, since this is an unrelated show and everything, and this just plays to heavily to the JLU fanboys (which I admittedly am, but still) - and Black Mask will, never, ever be an interesting villain, but it was fun. I'm anxious to see how the rest of the story, and the rest of the season (which promises more Justice League appearances) pans out. Provided the stupid football people let me, anyway.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It needs to be said: baseball edition.

So as I type this, the Boston Red Sox hold the lead in the American League East division by a slim 1.5 games over the New York Yankees. At one point in the season, they were at least 13.5 games ahead of Evil Empire from the Bronx. The Sox have won one game out of their last 6. It's not quite a freefall, but it sure seems close to me. Management is trying to spin the situation by saying that they're more concerned with post-season play than winning their division; since they'd probably be a lock for the Wild Card spot if they did lose the division race, they'd still make the play-offs, anyway.

Honestly guys? Bullshit. Leading the division - often intimidatingly so - for an entire season, only to lose in the last week? To a team that's your hated rival? A hated rival that you were more than a dozen games up on for a really long time? That's both demoralizing and completely pathetic. Plus, as my wife likes to point out, before you can actually focus on any sort of post-season play, you actually need to win a little bit more in the regular season.

Plus, and feel free to call me old-fashioned here, I like to believe that you go out and actually try to win every game you play, whether you're in first place or last, whether it's March or October. Just writing off games because you've got better things to worry about? That's neither demoralizing nor pathetic. That's just insulting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bleh.

Sickness has descended upon our house. Just a cold, but still, it's an ass-kicker to be sure. So posting will be light, possibly even non-existent for the next few days (even by Trusty Plinko Stick standards). So in the meantime, here's Lightining Lad and Saturn Girl in their totally mod, not even a little bit outdated even though they're in the future nosirreebob wedding outfits.



A thousand years from now, "Ice Capades Chic" will be the look.

(And no, that's not an Official BeaucoupKevin Jauntily Tilted Image (tm), I just sort of suck at lining things up properly in the scanner.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lazy Sunday linkblogging and commenting go!

Everyone in the world has already posted and linked this, but one more bit of attention won't hurt:

Mary Marvel by Colleen Coover (from both the Periscope blog and Colleen's LJ). This makes me happy. A Mary comic (even just a one-shot) from Colleen and her hubby, Paul Tobin, is probably too much to hope for, but even just a print of this would be pretty awesome.




In other comics-related stuff, having now finished the second Blue Beetle trade paperback, I think I can pretty much say that this is probably the best regular continuity book DC is publishing today, and I was a fool - a fool, I say! - to not read from the beginning.

Now comes the dilemma... to start picking up the issues, or stick with the trades? Because it reads fantastically in trades, I must say. Both definitely showcase an ongoing narrative, but still offer complete in-themselves stories with clear beginnings, middles, and endings. And then they throw in a nice little - well, not really a cliffhanger, maybe more like a little stinger - to grab your interest and make you look forward to the next story. And yet, I definitely get the feeling it needs the monthly help in order to make the eventual trades a reality. And no, I can't afford both. It's a puzzlement to be sure.




I don't celebrate, but to those of you who do, Happy Holy Pasta Week!

(For more info as to what this is all about, check out the Wikipedia entry.)

(And for the record, I agree with the cause, but, you know, I have a two-year-old. It's hard enough to chase him and keep up with the extant holidays, much less new ones. Though if you replaced the week's climax, "Talk Like a Pirate Day," with "Stalk Like a Ninja Day," I might be inclined to clear my schedule.)




Watched the Doctor Who episode "Blink" on Sci-Fi on Friday night.

Every now and then, the new version makes me realize why little Brit kids would so famously hide behind their sofas while watching this show. Let's just say I'll never trust statues again.

Also - Possible Spoilers Here - older Billy tells Sally Sparrow that the woman he married after being trapped in the past was named Sally, too. And Kathy Nightingale, after being sent further back into the past, named her youngest child Sally. It's never explicitly stated, but can we all agree that they're both the same girl? Nice bit of cosmic/temporal coincidence there.

Also also, Sally Sparrow? Freakin' adorable. I really hope she comes back someday. Swoon.




Dave Campbell has discovered an entirely new field of study: Nostalgiametrics, the Science of Today for Yesterday's Crap. Using a carefully constructed point system, you can determine if the television you liked as a kid was actually any good or not (unsurprisingly, Airwolf ranks pretty highly). Science rules.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Adorable" and "Nerdy" are not mutually exclusive.

I'm probably the only one who hasn't seen this yet, but Erin showed this to me tonight, and it's pretty much the cutest thing ever - the video for "Signal Fire" by Snow Patrol from the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack:



Best. School Play. EVER.

Oh man, I'd love to have these for real.

The new Lego Mini-Mizer 3.0 + MS Paint x Boredom =



The Marvel Family... minifig style!

Pretty Sketchy - Jade by Jamal Igle

Jade by Firestorm & Nightwing (among other books) artist Jamal Igle. He drew this for me at a comic show in Boston back in 2003, IIRC.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Dig List: 9/12/07

You know the drill - theoretically quick (though occasionally rambling) responses to things I've read or watched.

Blue Beetle Vol. 1: Shellshocked - Okay, wow, I really should have been reading this all along. I'll definitely be following along in the trades from now on, though. This and All New Atom are probably the best "in continuity" books DC is publishing right now; certainly the most fun to read, anyway. It's the epitome of fun teenage superhero action, probably the best successor to that early Spider-Man feeling since those first few years of Static. Why did I overlook this? I must be slipping in my old age. And I was admittedly probably too hung up over Ted Kord getting punked to give this a fair shake. But I'm along for the ride now. And the best part is, I already have the next trade - I picked up a copy at a local shop for half-price because the corner was dented. Score.

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks - I always find it to be strangely gratifying when a book really is as completely insane as advertised. As I mumbled on Comic Geek Speak, whatever substance motivated Hanks to write this stuff, it couldn't have been completely legal. I can see why most of this stuff was lost to obscurity - the writing is pretty offbeat, and heroes who cannot be defeated by any means whatsoever don't lend themselves to dramatic tension very well - but the sheer lunacy of a lingerie-wearing zombie jungle queen or an 8 foot tall super wizard with a penchant for throwing dudes into space and enough specialized "rays" to make Space Ghost jealous certainly makes for compelling reading all the same. Plus, the man invented the lumberjack comic; imagine what could have happened had that genre taken off. As evidenced by the story of Fletcher Hanks, Jr., in the rear of the book, Fletcher Sr. was a giant raging rectum of a man, but if we can all enjoy listening to "White Christmas" every December while knowing that Bing Crosby beat the living hell out of his kids, I guess we can learn to separate the man from the work in this case, too. It's not easy to do, but you really do need to see this stuff to believe it.

Essex County: Tales from the Farm Vol. 1 - You know, I kind of hate reading universally praised books, because I usually seem to end up not liking them and then feeling like I missed something that everyone else got. And while Tales from the Farm is certainly a well-produced book, and certainly an interesting read, I just didn't see what all the fuss was about. The ennui, the retreat into fantasy, the coping with different levels of loss, the awkwardness of interaction... I get all that, but in the end, I come away just thinking, "And... ?" There's a review quote from Kevin on the back comparing the book to Faulkner. I definitely see the comparison, and maybe that's part of the problem - I absolutely loathe Faulkner. I didn't loathe this, and in fact thought it was actually kinda alright, and may even give the eventually Volumes 2 and 3 a read, but it didn't set my world on fire. In the end, it was something I read, and that's that.

Doctor Who: Human Nature and The Family of Blood - Back when it was airing on the Beeb, I read a description of Season 3 that said that it starts of strong, goes through a short lull, and then comes back and kicks your ass. Yup, definitely getting my ass kicked now. This two parter was definitely this year's "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" or "The Girl in the Fireplace;" that story which is not just the midpoint of the season, but the highlight, and not just the sort of story that you wish every episode of this series would live up to, but every episode of every TV show ever as well. Paul Cornell adapted his original novel beautifully, and if anything, he may have even surpassed himself (and though I had my doubts, Martha subbed for Benny wonderfully). Brilliant performances from David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, and the kid from Love Actually, but the real show stealers were the Baines kid once he went all evil and Jessica Hynes from Spaced*, who was just fantastic and heartbreaking at the same time. And the Doctor's final solutions to the problem of the Family? Damn, Jethro, but that's some cold shit. I have some thoughts on that, but that's an exceptionally nerdy post for another day. Anyway, long story short, not just brilliant Who, but brilliant TV period. I think I still like "The Girl in the Fireplace" a bit better, but still, just amazing stuff here.




*And while we're on the subject, who do I have to kill to get Region 1 Spaced DVDs produced already?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm glad I remember, but I'll always wish I could forget.

There's no chance in my lifetime that this date is ever just going to be another day on the calendar, is there?

I mean, it's not like I was filled with dread or anything, or had the desire to go and hide under a blanket all day and just try to forget all the images and feelings etched into my memory. I'm past all that now, though it did take me a while.

I just wish we could go back to a time when the only thing we had to remember about a September 11th was a dentist appointment or something.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two bits of online comicky goodness you really oughtta see, sez I.

From the makers of Batgirl Meme Versions One and Two (or one of 'em, anyway - Dean Trippe) comes the Draw Stephanie Brown Meme! Lots of great Steph drawings so far, depicting her in her original identity of the Spoiler, in her all-too-brief time as Robin, and a few (including the one by Trippe himself) kind of combining the two. Trippe's is my favorite, but there's some really outstanding stuff being posted, so check 'em all out and appreciate a character killed entirely too soon (and pointlessly) by the usual editorial edict to pop sales via literal character assassination (as well as an attempt to put Black Mask over as a major villain, which, honestly? Will. Never. Work. Black Mask is, as they say on the information superhighway, teh suck.)




Marriage proposal comic. I always think it's cool when people do stuff like this, and I really wish I had the talent to have done something like this myself. I mean, don't get me wrong, my approach - just, you know, asking - worked pretty damn well, but still, this sort of thing is just damn cool.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I'll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon.

Busy at home, super busy at work... it's just one of those weeks where the blogging just doesn't fit into things too well. So in the interest of having something here content-wise, here's the original video for Weezer's "El Scorcho" (a bit different than the director's cut version found on the Weezer DVD and also over at YouTube, though that one can't be embedded). Enjoy.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bop-ba, this is the sound of rambling. Bop-ba, bop-ba.

Hey there, internet, now you have the opportunity to listen to me ramble on incoherently, instead of just reading me do so! I'm the "Call Me" guest on Episode 290 of the Comic Geek Speak podcast (which you can download here or via iTunes), and they let me (badly) expound upon my hatred of Identity Crisis and my theory of the sort of substances that helped Fletcher Hanks create his Stardust comics, among other topics. I'm on after the guy from Library Binding Company in Waco, Texas, who has created a nice little sideline for himself binding comic books for fans who want to make DIY collections. It's sort of fitting, really... he binds periodicals for libraries (and now comic fans), and I'm a library guy, so, you know, cool. You'll have no problem telling us apart. He sounds like the most literate cowboy ever, and I sound like a Muppet.

I did manage to plug this blog a couple of times, though, so if you've come over because of that, welcome! Have a look around, and enjoy the Joe Besser picture I posted yesterday.



In other news, look up top! Ooh, a new banner. It's all new. And bannery.

Okay, it's not the best ever, but I got tired of the old one. Plus, Batroc the Leaper (or, if you prefer, Batroc ze Lepair!) rules. There aren't nearly enough super-villains written with sub-Maurice Chevalier Franglais dialogue these days. Anyway, suggestions for improvement are always welcome, but I enjoy the general idea of it, and I'm sure it'll stick around until I either get tired of this one, too, or I get the inevitable cease-and-desist order.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I do get a bit verbose, don't I?

Okay, so The Dig List is supposed to be made up of short reactions to stuff I read and watch. Sometimes I forget that. I do tend to run off at the mouth (or fingers) sometimes... just ask Erin.

Anyway, I appreciate everyone suffering through all that text. Here's a picture of Joe Besser for your troubles.

Joe Besser ruled. As I've stated before, some days are just Joe Besser days.

The Dig List: 9/2/07 (The "Kids Are Back For a New Semester so I Had to Park in Guam" Edition!)

Two Dig Lists in one week; I must like things lately. That makes for a nice change.

Marvel Adventures Avengers Vol. 2: Mischief TPB (Target edition) - Again, I love those Marvel collections sold at Target - oversized and a price point that works out to $1.25 an issue. What a great way to help get kids (and, apparently, me) into more comics. Anyway, this reprints issues 5-8 of what right-thinking people know better as "the good Avengers book," this time around written by Tony Bedard. Not quite as good as the Jeff Parker stories that bookend these issues - and in fact, the story follows the same basic arc as the first four issues: fights against various villains in the first three stories who then team up to thump the Avengers in the fourth - but still pretty decent reading, and I do enjoy Bedard's characterization of the overall Big Bad for the story, Loki. Like Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation, he's pretty much all-powerful, but he enjoys the game too much to just wipe everyone out with a thought. It's not the newest approach in the world, but it's one I haven't seen taken with Loki too often before - odd since he's a god of mischief - so I appreciated it. In short (too late), the Parker stories may be better, but this is still worth your time, particularly at that sweet Target price point.

On a related note, I feel sort of bad for Tony Bedard sometimes. Lately, he seems like he's a professional "The Other Guy." He's not Jeff Parker, he's not Mark Waid, he's not Gail Simone, but he has to come in and follow the incredibly great work they did on their respective titles. It can't be easy. It must be like having to go on at the Improv after some big name comedian comes in for a surprise set and just absolutely kills. Bedard's a decent writer, but coming in after Parker, Waid, and Simone just killed? Well, he's just this Other Guy.

But I digress... moving on:

Teen Titans #50 - I don't think I've read an issue of this book since the crossover that sent the Reboot LSH off to their kinda-sorta doom, but this got such good word of mouth that I figured I'd pick it up, and I'm glad I did. The wholesale slaughter of Bart Allen is, was, and will always be an incredibly stupid idea on DC's part, but at least he's being treated with some reverence by the writers (if not editorial), and he gets a nice send-off here. And as I find myself liking the new Blue Beetle more and more over time, I'm glad to see he's joining the team, even if it ends up on being a part-time basis. Jaime (and his book) needs all the support he can get, so anything that gets him a little more face time is okay by me.

The real treat, though, was that Sean McKeever actually got me to care about sub-plots in a book I don't normally read. How chillingly fitting that those two return at the end, but what are the up to? Why did Miss Martian do that, anyway, and why does Robin's happiness mean so much to her? Why is Supergirl cool in every book but her own? I really want to know the answers, so I'm sure I'll keep reading now, even if only in trade. The art was a little wonky in places - Ravager needs a sandwich, STAT! - and I think I'd be better off remembering the Wolfman and Perez run than actually seeing it revisited briefly (old Raven bores me, and Gar looks like he was partially transformed into a chipmunk the whole time), but on the whole, it was a good read. Plus, Tiny Titans!

Brave and the Bold (Vol. 1) #116 - You've gotta love DC 100 Pagers, especially when they're about 75% Sheer Bob Haney Insanity. You've got a (then) new team-up with Batman and the Spectre, beautifully drawn by Jim Aparo, which makes no sense at all and features Commissioner Gordon constantly insulting Jim Corrigan (Commish, have you read any of those 70s Spectre stories? That guy will f--- you up, and no Batsignal in the world will save your ass that day). Then we get a Haney Teen Titans reprint (they fight some trippy other-dimensional aliens in a high school), an older Haney B&B story (Wonder Woman and Batgirl pretend to fall for Batman in order to confuse Copperhead somehow, then actually fall for him. 100% Grade A Haney Insanity ensues.), and a Bob Kanigher Silent Knight story which is odd, sure, but actually pretty sedate for a guy who was probably Haney's chief rival in the "Check Your Brain at the Door" Storytelling Awards (though how the hell a bird carries an entire suit of armor to and from various trees is beyond me; though maybe if it was an African Swallow...). It's 100 pages of just utter nonsense - even by superhero comic standards - but it's a fun read if you can tolerate this sort of thing.