I think I've made it pretty clear over the past few years that I'm something of a connoisseur of strange comic book stories. I love comics where things get weird with that sort of cheerful rejection of all logic, where things don't quite add up, but the truth is, I sometimes get to a point where I think I've seen it all. I start to get jaded, and think that nothing can ever match the weirdness that I've already seen. But every time, I run across a story that makes me realize that in all my years, I've only hit the tip of the iceberg of bizarre stories. And it usually happens when I'm reading a Bob Haney comic.
Case in point: Bob Haney and Jim Aparo's "How To Make A Super-Hero," where the World's Greatest Detective decides it would be a good idea to let a homeless Plastic Man fill in for him while he's out of Gotham City, and guess what? It goes horribly wrong.
A couple weeks ago when I was writing about why the Penguin has never been one of my favorite Batman villains, I mentioned one of my earliest favorite comics: An issue of The Brave and the Bold that was nominally a Penguin story, but was more focused on the Joker. The main point then was that the Penguin was kind of a bit player even in one of his own stories, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that there might be some subtle nuances to this story that would be worth a closer examination.
There aren't. I mean, it's a mid-80s issue of Brave and the Bold, and those things are about as subtle as a brick upside the head. But it is a pretty great issue, and as an added bonus, it features a handy guide to everything you should not do if you're running a business in Gotham City.
After a blockbuster video game that thoroughly explored Arkham Asylum and a follow-up set in a section of Gotham City that featured every significant landmark from Crime Alley to Ace Chemicals, you might be wondering where they could go next. This week, we found out, when Batman:Arkham Origins producer Guillaume Voghel revealed that they wouldn't just be taking Batman back to the past, they'd be packing him up and sending him off to Ninja School.
Well, the term they used was "a monastery in Asia" and not "ninja school," but if you'd rather think of shadowy intrigue and instruction on poisonous darts than an owl bringing young Bruce Wayne his acceptance letter to Kirigi's School of Ninjacraft and Ninjary, that's your problem.
With a run on Detective Comics in the late ’80s that includes some of the best Batman stories of all time and other work that includes Son of the Demon and the co-creation of Batman and the Outsiders, it’s no exaggeration to say that Mike W. Barr is one of my all-time favorite writers. Recently, he returned to Batman alongside artist Tom Lyle for a three-part tale of Batman, Robin and deathtraps in DC’s digital-first Legends of the Dark Knight, and ComicsAlliance decided to mark the occasion with an extended interview about his long history with Batman.
Today, continuing from part one, Barr talks about the creation of Batman and the Outsiders, The Maze Agency, and his new Legends of the Dark Knightstory.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That's why every week, Senior Writer Chris Sims puts his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions!
Batman is not exactly what you'd call a normal man. In pretty much every respect, he's at least steps beyond the average guy, and when he has problems, they go beyond the average too. For example, a normal people develop a crush on someone and not be sure how to express their feelings, or have the object of their affection spurn their advances, but that's generally where the problem stops
Who's the most normal member of Batman's vast supporting cast? Well, even during the most bizarre years of Batman's career -- the age of Bat-Mite and Bat-Hound, the Zebra Batman, King Batman the First, Rip van Batman, and travels to alien worlds and different eras in time -- at least one element of the Batman comic books remained relatively Earthbound: Batman's pal Commissioner James Gordon. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson were zipping around the world
This week, DC is releasing a hardcover omnibus of Jack Kirby's Kamandi, and it's something I'm really looking forward to. As much as I love Kirby's work, especially during the his time at DC when was creating Sandman, The Demon, and the Fourth World saga, Kamandi's always been one of those books that I just haven't had the chance to sit down and read.
That's not to say that I'm completely unfamiliar with the
This year, the Eisners are honoring the legendary Bob Haney with the 2011 Bill Finger Memorial Award for Excellence in Comics Writing, and if you ask me, that's long overdue. In a career that spanned five decades, Haney's contributions to the DC Universe included co-creating the Teen Titans, Metamorpho and Eclipso and a long run as the writer of The Brave and the Bold, working with artists like Neal Adams and the incredible Jim Aparo.
And he also wrote some of the craziest comic books I have ever read, like the time Batman sold his soul to the devil, the the time they retconned the JFK assassination with shapeshifters, and the time the Atom resurrected a man from the dead by doing gymnastics on his cerebellum.Haney didn't just embrace the wild, anything-goes attitude of the Bronze Age, he strapped a jetpack on it and rocketed it to a headquarters at the center of the sun. He set the gold standard for an entire era of DC comics, writing stories in which no premise was too insane to make a grand adventure and no character was off-limits for a team-up with Batman. So with the award being officially handed down next month, ComicsAlliance has decided to show you just why he's so great with a look at Bob Haney's Craziest Stories!
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