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Author Topic: Which Batman era is your favorite?  (Read 21012 times)
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nightwing
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« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2006, 01:57:56 PM »

The 80s were a very mixed bag for me.  They started off great with Wein and Simonson's "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker" and then went downhill fast.  Too much of the decade was dominated by Doug Moench's scripts and art by guys like Gene Colan and Tom Mandrake, neither of which appeal to me.  Batman turned into a vampire, lauched an endless series of BORING romances with Selina Kyle, Vicki Vale and Nocturna and in just about every respect became what Frank Miller termed "fat and happy," a too-comfortable, generic superhero type who desperately needed the Dark Knight series as a kick in the pants.

Jason Todd started as a too-close imitation of Dick Grayson and was re-booted as an unlovable snot.  Max Allen Collins' run was suprisingly disappointing, Jim Starlin's stuff was way too brutal for my tastes and Jim Aparo's art, in my humble opinion, became every bit as boring and repetitive as people accused Curt Swan's of being (only Aparo somehow got a pass, while Curt was blasted and finally fired).

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the "jams" in Batman #400 and Detective #500 and the wonderful "6 Days of the Scarecrow" in 'Tec 503. Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle rarely disappointed during their run on Detective and Mike Barr and Alan Davis' run on that book, though brief, was a total joy for me.  And even those icky Moench stories often had artwork by the dearly missed Don Newton, a guy born to draw Batman if anyone ever was.  Brave and the Bold gave us Alan Brennert's wonderful "Interlude on Earth-2" in issue 182 and the unforgettable "Autobiography of Bruce Wayne" in issue 197, but otherwise was nowhere near as fun as it had been in the 70s.  "Batman and the Outsiders" was a dud.  

I agree with Rao that "Messiah of the Crimson Sun" made for a great annual, and VonEeden is another artist I'd like to see more Batman from (I even bought the dreadful "Bloodlines" tie-in the 90s just to see him do Batman again!). The Alan Moore/George Freeman Clayface tale in Annual #11 was also a winner.  Oh, and of course Batman: Year One! (the greatest thing about this one was that it appeared in the regular monthly, as opposed to the current habit of making anything at all "special" a mini of its own).
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TELLE
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« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2006, 05:31:17 PM »

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« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2006, 07:39:32 PM »

Quote from: "nightwing"
The 80s were a very mixed bag for me.  They started off great with Wein and Simonson's "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker" and then went downhill fast.  Too much of the decade was dominated by Doug Moench's scripts and art by guys like Gene Colan and Tom Mandrake, neither of which appeal to me.  Batman turned into a vampire, lauched an endless series of BORING romances with Selina Kyle, Vicki Vale and Nocturna and in just about every respect became what Frank Miller termed "fat and happy," a too-comfortable, generic superhero type who desperately needed the Dark Knight series as a kick in the pants.


As a huge fan of Doug Moench's incredible MASTER OF KUNG FU, I do seriously agree with you about his later works...it was like he made a conscious decision not to ever be excellent ever again. Of all the seventies Marvel writers (Mantlo, Englehart, Wolfman) his later stuff was the worst.

Though I have to disagree with you about how stylish Gene Colan's art was; he brought the old TOMB OF DRACULA spit and polish atmosphere to the Bat-books, and Englehart and Rogers showed that Batman is well off with atmosphere.

As for Jim Starlin...a serial killer foe like Abattoir (comics increase your WORD POWER!) would be interesting provided he was given a decent story, preferably one involving the Bat-Copter. He lacks the panache of someone like Signalman, but both stories have a different focus, and there was something neat about the idea of a crime where a man eats the hearts of a thousand white doves (TEMPLE OF DOOM, eat your heart out).

Quote from: "SuperMonkey"
Whaaa? I didn't cuss at all, actually this message board is rigged so that cuss words are automaticlly censored, if it misses any, I will delete them when I catch them, tell your dad that this is a family site and proud of it! All the words that I used in that post could be use in any Disney cartoon, so relax. You have nothing to worry about.


Listen to this guy, squirt. Man, does the language thing ever get my goat. Like Red Foxx, I have a filthy soul.

Anyway, complaining about language...on the internet? I thought the internet was one gigantic 24/7 German Sex Club.
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« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2006, 08:56:12 PM »

Gene Colan is okay on the right book, I guess.  For me, his work has a murky, muddled quality, almost as if his figures are dissolving from human beings into some sort of liquid or maybe gaseous form and disintegrating before our eyes.  That sort of thing looked great on Dracula, a character who can turn to mist anyway if memory serves and at least has the ability to merge with the shadows.  I also didn't mind it on Dr Strange, whose tales have an other-wordly, dreamlike quality at times (and anyway, how many guys can draw Ditko's Dali-esque dreamscapes and not have it look like Ditko?  At least Colan was different).

On Batman, though, I tend to prefer solid anatomy and a bit of "realism" for lack of a better word.  Dick Sprang's stuff was highly stylized, but his Batman always had a heft and weight (if no neck!) that made him seem solid and real to me.  Neal Adams, Mike Golden, Marshall Rogers and Jim Aparo all went in wonderfully different directions with their Batman art but all managed to convey the image of a lithe, athletic protagonist, a flesh-and-blood human being under the cape and cowl.  I guess I just prefer that sense of solidity and physicality to my Batman art, and Colan draws characters like they're undulating puddles of ink with capes on.  This is the same reason I never dug him on Daredevil, another very physical character who cries out for an artist who can show a well-defined human body doing amazing, acrobatic things.

As for "atmosphere," I agree Batman needs it, but Don Newton managed to fit in almost as many blacks as Colan (which is a LOT!) while still maintaining that sense of "reality" I like.
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Richard Grayson
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« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2006, 03:39:28 AM »

Sorry I didn't write back right away. I was out of town.

Looking back now, I don't find any bad language besides h*ck. (which many people don't consider a bad word.) I guess that's a good thing. Sorry Super Monkey, I never meant you. I know you keep your posts clean.

Quote
Wha...? Why was I thinking you were older than most of us? Or were you making a joke like when Johnny Carson said to an 80-something George Burns, "You've had an amazing career, haven't you? Going all the way back to vaudeville!" and George answered, "Yes, my parents are very proud of me!"


No joke. I'm the same age Jim Olsen was in the 40's. I just happen to like old comics and radio shows.

By the way, what happened to the original Robin? (Dick) Did I hear he got fired? That doesn't sound like something the Batman I know would do.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2006, 03:53:02 AM »

Quote from: "Richard Grayson"
No joke. I'm the same age Jim Olsen was in the 40's. I just happen to like old comics and radio shows.

Make sense to me.  I discovered old time radio shows when I was around 12 years old.  Great stuff.
Quote

By the way, what happened to the original Robin? (Dick) Did I hear he got fired? That doesn't sound like something the Batman I know would do.

I could swear we just talked about this a month or two ago...  I must be going senile in my old age.

S!
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
dto
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« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2006, 07:19:52 AM »

Quote from: "Richard Grayson"

By the way, what happened to the original Robin? (Dick) Did I hear he got fired? That doesn't sound like something the Batman I know would do.


The "firing" of Dick Grayson was a post-Crisis retcon (as was the street punk version of Jason Todd).  Here's a summary of the issue in question, part of the "Batman: Year One" re-telling of the Bat-mythos:  

Batman #408 [1987]: As Batman and Robin battle the Joker, Robin is shot and almost fatally wounded. Rather than see Dick be further endangered, Batman "fires" his partner, sidelining the Boy Wonder for a time. Months later while in Crime Alley, Jason Todd literally runs into the Batman.

You can read the earlier account of Dick Grayson's "resignation" at:

http://www.titanstower.com/source/whoswho/dgrayson.html

Also check out the Jason Todd entry, particularly the bottom of the page which deals with the original Earth-1 Jason:

http://www.titanstower.com/source/whoswho/robin2.html
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« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2006, 03:38:18 PM »

Quote from: dto
You can read the earlier account of Dick Grayson's "resignation" at:

http://www.titanstower.com/source/whoswho/dgrayson.html

Also check out the Jason Todd entry, particularly the bottom of the page which deals with the original Earth-1 Jason:

http://www.titanstower.com/source/whoswho/robin2.html

Also these two stories excerpts:

http://bat.mulu.nu/robinnomore/
http://bat.mulu.nu/nightwing/

In between, Dick decides to give his Robin costume (and mantle) to Jason.  There are also a couple of Jason Todd stories in the Batman section.


S!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2006, 05:21:32 PM by Great Rao » Logged

"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
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