Q: What is the definitive Christmas comic? — @Koltreg
A: "Definitive" is a pretty tricky requirement to meet. You have to find a comic that's not just definitively Christmas, with all that goes along with it, it has to be definitively comics, too --- and if you think it's difficult for people to agree on what Christmas is all about, just wait'll you try getting them to pin down one single issue that defines comic books as a medium. At least religion has centuries of scholarship; comics just has loudmouths writing columns about them on the Internet.
That said, I do think I've found one that's as close as we're going to get: 1989's Christmas With The Super-Heroes #2.
Q: Would you like to write a miniseries about the Batman from the end of "To Kill A Legend?" -- @TByrne75
A: Hm. Hmmmmmm. You know, as much time as I've spent thinking about Batman, this is one thing I've never actually considered.
When you get right down to it, the real question here is whether I think that particular take on Batman is strong enough on his own to carry a story, and on the surface, that seems like a pretty easy one to answer. There are enough alternate versions of Batman floating around that it's pretty clear that you can do almost anything with that character, from recasting him as a grumpy old man to just straight up making him a vampire. But the thing about "To Kill a Legend" that stands out, the thing that really defines that take on the character, is that he doesn't have any of the things that define the Batman we already know... except Batman himself.
Of all the strange transformations Superman has undergone in his 78-year history, none has been quite so derided as the year where his familiar costume and powers were replaced with a blue and white "containment suit" and a tenuous relationship with electricity. But that raises the question, was it really all that bad? Two decades later, we want to find out, so ComicsAlliance is taking a look back at the Electric Blue Era of Superman to find out not just what worked, but if anything worked. This is... Electric Bluegaloo.
This week, the Electric Blue era officially comes to a close in Superman Forever, but we're never actually sure why.
Though perhaps not celebrated as widely as some of his peers, penciller, inker and editor Dick Giordano is one of the key figures in the history of superhero comics.
Richard Joseph "Dick" Giordano was born in Manhattan on July 20, 1932. He attended the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan, and at the age of 20 he got a job pencilling for Charlton Comics. He drew for Charlton for over a decade, and one of his panels from a 1964 Strange Suspense Stories issue was used by Roy Lichtenstein as the basis for his Brushstrokes series of paintings.
Despite every attempt I've made to stop it, there's still a discussion that crops up every now and then about Batman's methods. There are people out there, people that I will never understand, who for some reason think it would make for a better story if Batman gave all of his money to charity instead of spending it on bat-shaped airplanes and rocket cars, as though there are problems that can't be solved by owning a bat-shaped airplane.
But even though I definitely don't agree, I will concede that the Dark Knight's crimefighting methods are occasionally a little dubious. Like, say, that time that Batman investigated an attempted murder by pretending to be a ghost and then yelling at someone about a bad review in the latest issue of Consumer Reports. That one was pretty weird, even if it's hard to argue with the results.
Last week, one of the questions that came in for my Ask Chris column came from someone who was curious about how Batman celebrated New Year's Eve, and really, that's a pretty interesting question. I mean, we have plenty of comics, cartoons and even one goofy-ass movie about how he spends Christmas, but stories that address whether or not he watches the ball drop and toasts a cup of kindness are significantly harder to come by. Fortunately, we have Batman #247, a classic from the Bronze Age that addresses exactly this question.
As it turns out, Batman spends his New Year's Eve punching out criminals. What the hell did you think he was going to do?
For the most part, mainstream comics don’t care about fashion. But sometimes, something sneaks through and reminds us all of why this matters. Sensation Comics #7, illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage from a script by Sean E. Williams, is that rare, trembling shaft of light into the dank, Dragon Ball Z-print-button-downed basement that is the state of fashion in comics.
This week marks the premiere of Gotham, the new Fox television show focusing on Jim Gordon's first year as a cop in Batman's hometown, and the origins of young Bruce Wayne and the people who will one day become the greatest enemies of his war on crime. That the show exists at all is a testament to how strong Jim Gordon and the rest of the Gotham city Police Department are as heroes in their own rights.
So if Gotham has you in the mood to read about Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the rest of the GCPD -- or if you just want to dive into some solid Batman comics where the spotlight isn't entirely on the Dark Knight -- then I've got some suggestions for great comics about Gotham's top cops!
Based on a 1976 Detective Comics story by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Giordano, "Appointment in Crime Alley" is a memorable and heartfelt episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Gritty and sorrowful, the episode is centered around the anniversary of Thomas and Martha Wayne's murder in Park Row 30 years ago, and Bruce Wayne's annual appointment to visit the site of their death. We also learn more about Dr. Leslie Thompkins, the longtime friend and colleague of Thomas Wayne who consoled young Bruce on the night his parents were murdered. We realize Leslie's life was also greatly affected by the tragedy, and the two share a unique bond.
Are Bruce and Leslie enacting a healthy coping method by commemorating the Waynes every year in "Crime Alley", or is this a sign of prolonged grief and their inability to move on? In this episode of the Arkham Sessions, we discuss how some people who experience trauma and negative life events can get "stuck" on bad thoughts which keep them from overcoming the tragedies in their lives.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
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