It’s a beautiful summery Friday here in Gotham City, and we have a new Rachael Reads video to start the weekend right! Today we follow Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy on a very special adventure, but be warned - this story is definitely not for children!
Posts Tagged ‘Joker’
Good evening, Gotham City!! Happy Canada day to those in Gotham North, and Happy Independence Day to my friends south of the border! This hot weather puts me in the mood for a cool drink and a comicbook, and lucky for me there are a few good ones coming out today. Before I get to that, though, a costume update — as I’m sure everyone will be glad to hear, my Bat-dress is ready to go! It’s about time, since the San Diego Comic Con is next week! I don’t have any full costume photos to share quite yet, but here’s a blurry iPhone shot that gives you an idea of what the utility belt looks like:
Yes, those are Bat-sunglasses, we creatures of the shadows don’t do too well with California’s bright sunshine. Enough costume talk, here’s what I’m reading this week:
Batman: Earth One – Batman’s origin story, the official DCnU version! Some people may think it’s redundant, but I love a good origin and don’t mind reading Batman’s again! With a storyline that’s as well known as this one, it’s always interesting to see what the writer adds, changes, or removes altogether. I think Geoff Johns has enough history with the character to do it justice, and although I’m not very familiar with Gary Frank’s art, I’ve liked his recent Justice League work. Although I don’t normally buy hardcover graphic novels when they first come out, this was a birthday present that I’m definitely looking forward to reading (and thanks again!!)
Earth 2 3 – Still mad at DC for calling it Earth 2 instead of Earth Two. And don’t tell, but I may have neglected to actually read issue 2 (despite enjoying issue 1)… This isn’t technically a Bat-book anyways, but I have to read it for gay Alan Scott if nothing else!
Detective Comics 11 – I’ve seen a lot of hate for Tony Daniel’s run in this series, and I didn’t really agree because I’ve generally enjoyed D.C. lately (especially issue 10, I thought it was great, though it’s possible that most of what I enjoyed was the art…) Then it occurred to me that the main problem I have with D.C. was how they started big with the Joker (insert Nic Cage quote here) and then didn’t follow through, we haven’t seen Mister J all year. I’m thrilled to bits that the Batman team will be writing a Joker storyline, but whose fault is it that we had to wait this long? Of course, I don’t know what goes on behind the doors of DC Comics (and I get the sense even that people working there don’t plan ahead sometimes) but maybe if Daniel had done something with the Joker, he’d be writing Detective Comics for more than a couple more issues.
World’s Finest 3 – The continued adventures of Huntress and Power Girl! I really enjoy the inversion here: the “World’s Finest” title starred Superman and Batman for so long, it’s great to see two women taking up that title and all the symbolism that goes with it. We’re early in the series, still getting to know the characters and learning how they relate to each other and the world they find themselves in. I’m most interested to see how Helena Wayne goes from being Robin to being Huntress, and how she grieves the loss of her father, the Batman of Earth 2.
Batwing 11 - The villain here is a gangster named Long, who just happens to be a dragon. Not a man in a dragon costume, no. An actual dragon. This is why I read comics! What is the point of having a guy in Bat armor running around fighting crime if not to have him fight a dragon? Exactly. Add in Marcus To’s art and I’m definitely sold; take a look at this cover – I love Long’s antlers, and Nightwing is just perfect!
Let’s talk about DC’s recent announcement that a well-known character will come out as gay this June. This is a very exciting step! I want to see the world I live in reflected in the comics I read, although of course I also want the fantastic, impossible, magical elements that I can only dream about in real life; an important part of my world is the diversity of the people I interact with. Race, age, size, gender, sexuality – these are all sites of difference that can shape who we are and how we interact with others, and when these differences are reflected in the art that we create and consume it enriches both the reader and the art. It’s great to see DC comics embracing that diversity in the characters it portrays, and hopefully this marks the beginning of further diversification in DC’s creators and who they market to as well.
The announcement specifically uses the word “reintroduced”, which suggests that this character has not been active since the relaunch, but they’re also “major” and “iconic”, which rules out lesser known characters. After some in-depth lunchtime discussions with my Bat-fan coworkers, these are my top three picks for who might be the new gay hero, keeping in mind that my first choice (Tim Drake) is disqualified because he’s already been very busy in the DCnU and thus can’t be reintroduced.
1. Alan Scott (Green Lantern, Earth 2). We saw Scott at the end of Earth 2 issue 1, so his reintroduction is happening right now. He’s iconic, having been the very first Green Lantern, but unlike Hal Jordan (Ryan Renolds in the Green Lantern movie) or John Stewart (on the Justice League cartoon show) he hasn’t had much exposure outside of comic books and so there’s less attachment to a certain version of the character. Coming out would probably give this older character a much-needed boost into the modern world.
2. Vic Sage (The Question). He’s an iconic DC character, in that he’s been around forever and lots of readers know him, but he’s also less popular and has less cultural baggage than someone like Batman or Superman. He appeared very briefly in the Free Comic Book Day issue that DC put out this May, so we know the Question is a part of the relaunched universe, but very little other information was given. Plus, maybe there’s something about the Question mask that carries a certain gayness with it… Renee Montoya, who was The Question prior to the relaunch, was a lesbian.
3. The Riddler. It could be a villain, and of any villain, the Riddler is probably the gayest! I know, don’t worry, I’m not saying that the Joker’s straight, but Mister J’s more queer than gay. The Riddler is well known, not specifically written as straight (unlike the Penguin, who’s already had a tragic romance storyline), and hasn’t really done anything since the relaunch. We did get a few glimpses of him with the other inmates of Arkham Asylum in Batman 1.
One problem with my list is that it’s three men, but I didn’t want to include a woman just for the sake of having a lady on the list, and these are the characters that made the most sense to me as possibly the one. Also, it’s often easier or less controversial for a woman to come out as lesbian or bisexual than it is for a man to do the same thing. That’s problematic (to say the least), but this isn’t the right time or place to get into that whole conversation.The point is, the DCnU can use more diversity all over and having a gay man in the scene will help. I’m looking forward to watching this story unfold, and would love to read your comments about these three possibilities and whoever else you think might be getting ready to come out.
Good evening Gothamites! Tonight Rachael continues her Batman book reviews with a different type of book, and I must say, I want one like it for myself! I forsee a Batman colouring book shopping spree coming up soon…
Thanks again to the ever-charming Rachael, and have a great weekend.
Good morning dear readers! Today we have a special treat, and I’m hoping it will turn into an ongoing series! My good friend Rachael, who has the wonderful food and travel blog Glass of Win, sent over this video. Take a moment to enjoy this tale of intrigue and mayhem with our favourite caped crusader, and have a wonderful Friday!
Good evening Gotham, it’s new comic book day again! There’s another unusual title in my pull file this week, Batman makes an appearance in the series Hawk & Dove. I mentioned how much I enjoy crossover comics and so it almost feels like DC knows its market by providing them to me, but being a woman who reads comics I guess I really can’t say that at all. On the blog DC Women Kicking Ass you can read an interview with Janelle Asselin, former editor at DC comics. As the title says, they discuss women, comics, and marketing, and it’s a fascinating article that I definitely recommend checking out. When you’re done with that, here are the comics I’m reading this week:
Batwing 6 – Batwing heads to Egypt where he finally faces down Massacre. Meanwhile, we learn more about his troubled past and how he came to Batman’s attention. I’m interested to see where that goes, but a bit concerned about Ben Oliver’s artwork. So far Africa’s looked pretty much entirely the same, so I hope he gives us more sense of location and detail in the backgrounds in this issue.
Detective Comics 6 – Batman’s following the trail of a man called Snakeskin, who has the ability to change his own face at will, but their path will intersect with the Penguin when Snakeskin and his girlfriend Chase pull a heist at Penguin’s Iceberg Casino. We all know how much I enjoy this series, but what’s with the lack of Joker? There was such a big deal made about the opening issue and what that could possibly mean for the Joker’s future, but that seems to have just not gone anywhere. Maybe I just need to be a bit more patient.
Hawk and Dove 6 – I’ve never read Hawk and Dove, and had only heard of them tangentially – mostly because the series has been cancelled and there will only be two more issues after this one. After extensive research I’ve learned that Dove’s power is that she can turn into a dove, which I have to say does not seem to be particularly well-suited to a life of crimefighting. On the other hand, I spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about a man who dresses up as a giant bat, so I shouldn’t make judgements. All that aside, Rob Liefeld was both writer and artist on this issue and I do quite enjoy the cover:
Hello and happy Wednesday! Did everyone have a good New Years celebration? I got to spend the evening with some other Bat-fans, and we had a lovely time. There may even have been champagne and fancy dresses! This week a few exciting comics came out, here’s what I found in my pull file tonight:
Batwing 5 - I enjoyed issue 4 and definitely want to see where this storyline goes. Will Batwing get the jump on Massacre before another former superhero is killed? Will he need Batman’s help to do so? We’ll find out! I also noticed that there was a different artist for issue 4; Ben Oliver drew issues 1 – 3 and also 5, but Chris Cross drew issue 4. I appreciated that Cross gave more detail in the backgrounds, which was my main criticism of Oliver, but now that I’ve had a change, I’m actually sort of leaning towards preferring Oliver’s treatment for this particular bat-title.
The Huntress 4 (of 6) – I love this book! Huntress is a really interesting character, and although I don’t know much about her backstory at this point, I like how she handles herself and the fact that she’s working against crimes like human trafficking. Also, she’s so fashionable! In this issue, Huntress has to decide if she’s willing to kill for her cause, it should be very interesting to see how she comes to her decision.
Penguin: Pain and Prejudice 4 (of 5) – I wrote about how great the art in this book is, so it’s exciting to have a new issue to read. Now that Batman’s in the picture, I wonder when he’ll take a more active role in the situation? I’m also looking forward to seeing what happens when Cassandra finds out that Penguin is not exactly the man he’s presented himself as being.
Detective Comics 5 – The Joker is still at large, and this issue opens with protesters out in force to support Joker and call for Batman’s arrest or worse. I’ve really liked Detective Comics so far, it’s been great. One odd thing – I notice that Szymon Kudranski (who is the artist on the Penguin miniseries) is credited on the cover of this issue, but not on the title page inside. Does anyone know what’s up with that? Here’s the cover, by Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey:
Last night some friends and I saw the Dark Knight Rises prologue, and it was amazing! Even with all the leaked set photos I’ve seen online there were things in the 6 minute prologue that I was not expecting and not prepared for. How on earth will I be able to stand waiting until July?? I’m going to have to console myself with comics, so here’s what I’m picking up tonight:
Batgirl 4 – Barbara continues her journey back to full Bat-power. I enjoy this book, but I want to know more about how Babs got from point A to point B. It almost feels unfair to focus on her past instead of her present, but I feel like we need to know before we can move on. Actually, there’s an interesting parallel between her road to recovery and vigilantism and the reader’s own growing knowledge of Batgirl’s story. Plus, she’s awesome.
Batman and Robin 4 – My favorite bat-title! This will make up for a long day working at Wayne Enterprises. The last issue ended on quite a cliffhanger, so today we’ll find out how Batman and Robin get out of that situation. Also, in issue 3 Robin defied Batman’s explicit orders to stay home from patrol, and that was part of an escalating pattern of bad behavior. How will Daddy Batman react to that?
Suicide Squad 4 – Regular readers will know that I haven’t been following this series, but @zuzuhaha has been reading it so I’ll give it a try. The story is going to cross over with the Dollmaker plot in Detective Comics, and that should be fun. I’d like to understand the Joker’s connection to Dollmaker more clearly, and I’m both nervous and excited to see how this version of Harley Quinn interacts with her Mister J.
Batwoman 4 – This book has been consistently engaging, exciting, and gorgeous, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading it tonight. I just looked at the first few pages and the artwork is beautiful, different styles juxtaposed in a way that uses the possibilities inherent in the comic art form to its great advantage. I also love the use of bright orange and reds, it’s refreshing. Here’s the cover, by J. H. Williams III;
So that’s what I’ll be doing with the rest of my night. In other news, my scanner is still broken, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post actual updates about the comics that I’ve been reading. I also have ambitious plans to write more Matches Malone and a few other things, so wish me luck!
I’ve already discussed some aspects of Detective Comics 2, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another important event in that issue – an Arkham Asylum breakout! Although we don’t get to actually see it happen, we learn from Batman’s inner monologue that sometime between issues 1 and 2 Joker has escaped from Arkham. Here’s the title page to Detective Comics 2:
As you can see, it’s a two-page spread. I love the Bat-cycle and how the cape on the left balances the bike’s headlight on the right, that works really well in the wider image format that two pages allows. What we see of the subsequent investigation focuses on the police work, which makes sense since Detective Comics intends to focus on the detective work and on Batman’s relationship with Jim Gordon.
Shortly before the relaunch there was a storyline where Dr Arkham was an evil villain, so of course I don’t trust him now although he seems to be running the Asylum again (I guess we could say he’s committed to it, but in a different way). Harvey Bullock shows up to continue the investigation (anyone know what his title is? Is he a detective?), I’ve always had a soft spot for him.
Batman and Gordon discuss the case, and that’s about it for this Arkham Asylum breakout. The other thing that I wondered was if the same breakout was being used for storylines in various comics, making it a bit more plausible (one breakout in a month makes more sense than three), although of course it’s still unclear how the timing fits together. In any case, the breakout in Batman 1 was actually a rogue guard who opened the doors, and in Batman: Dark Knight 1 it centred on Two-Face and went down pretty differently, so I think it must have been a separate situation. For a maximum-security insane asylum, they really don’t do a very good job of keeping inmates secured!
Arkham Asylum Breakout Score:
Batman – 1
Batman: The Dark Knight – 1
Detective Comics – 1
Writer: Tony Daniel
Artist: Tony Daniel and Ryan Winn
Date: Nov 2011
My Rating: An exciting story with gorgeous art, showing us what Detective Comics will be in the DCnU.
Detective Comics 1 is a great re-introduction to the series. If we consider that this issue represents everything the series will come to be, what elements are involved? Batman, of course, and his detective work; his relationship with Jim Gordon and the Joker; Alfred. That’s pretty much it, and Tony Daniel did warn us – we barely even see Bruce Wayne in this issue.
So, what kind of Batman do we have here? He’s driven and intense, and certainly not afraid of anything Joker can throw at him. In fact, speaking of throwing things, we get a glimpse of the kinds of Bat-toys we can expect to see – Batman refers to this one as his “Ro-Bat”:
But Batman also remembers what his Mission is and why he’s doing it – here, just as he’s on the verge of catching Joker after a month-long hunt, he still turns aside to save a child:
As for his relationship with Gordon, it seemed to me that Daniel’s setting up a parallel between the two of them. I feel like Gordon and Joker both represent certain aspects of Batman himself, although very different parts of him. When Batman comes to discuss the case with Gordon, the two of them have a conversation that flows, they’re on the same wavelength, though we don’t know how long they’ve been collaborating. The art also conveys that connection, showing their faces in the same position, or as left and right halves of the same face.
And of course I love that we have a classic “Jim Gordon Is Alone” moment. Daniel seems to really like that over-the-shoulder shot, he uses it several times throughout the book.
The Joker is also his ultimate self, what with the crazy laughter, the iconic costume, the trickery, and the mayhem. He’s not as strong as Batman but definitely represents a challenge, both physically and mentally, as Joker always should, and he already has his own toys. Joker uses his toxin on Batman in a crowded subway car, and it seems that Batman hasn’t yet learned to carry a gasmask:
Batman’s internal dialogue is fascinating, with moments like “I own the night”, and “I can take it – I’m Batman.” Is he psyching himself up by reminding himself that he’s Batman? Sounds like it, and I guess that makes sense, he has to keep that secure in his mind in order to be as menacing as possible.
For those of you who’ve read the book, I’d love to hear what you think about how it ends. As my friend @zuzuhaha said on Twitter, “The Joker is MUCH too vain to ever do what he did in Detective Comics #1 today.” I agree, I’m definitely not convinced that Joker would have done that, but I’m also open to seeing what Tony Daniel has in mind and looking forward to following this series in the DC New Universe!