Oh Batman, will you ever find love? If it’s not a slightly amoral cat burglar or the daughter of an international eco-terrorist, it is, as Bob Haney and Jim Aparo so heartbreakingly chronicled, a business rival who shacks up with a hundred year-old robot in an effort to destroy your company.
Bob Haney, y’all. The Gold Standard of Crazy Comics.
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you may already be aware that I’ve been dealing with a week of the miserable hell that is computer failure over the past few days, and as a result, I haven’t been able to do my usual shameless self-promotion here on the ISB. Then again, if you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ve already seen some of this stuff anyway, so… You know what? Let’s just get to the stuff I wrote this week.
Bizarro Back Issues: Batman and Kamandi’s Post-Apocalyptic Team-Up: I’ve been doing these Classic ISB style posts on specific issues that I think are hilarious lately, and in honor of DC finally putting out that Kamandi hardcover last week, I wrote a little about a Haney/Aparo joint where Batman went to the future and pretended to lead a gang of gorillas. It’s a pretty good one.
X-Men Schism: Long after I thought I was immune, I have totally been sucked into an X-Men Event, thanks to the magic of Jason Aaron. Read up on why I think Schism has been great. HINT: Robots.
Flash #1: Just so you don’t think I’m a straight up hater of the New 52 (and not just a, you know, 4/5 hater), here’s another review of a first issue I really did like: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelato’s Flash #1. Even Boring Allen (get it?!?!?!) couldn’t slow this one down.
Ask Chris #74: Super-Pets A-Go-Go! Once again, I get asked about DC’s Silver Age super-animals, and I make a judgment call against the Dog Knight. Do people call Ace that? The Dog Knight? Because they should.
As long-time ISB readers will already be aware, I am a huge fan of the legendary Bob Haney and the insane adventures he crafted for characters like the Teen Titans, Metamorpho and Batman. That’s why I was glad to hear that this year, he’s finally — and unfortunately posthumously — getting the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Eisners.
But despite my tireless work, there are still some people out there who might not be familiar with his ouvre, which is why I’ve put together a rundown of his seven craziest comics, from Batman selling his soul to Satan to JFK being replaced with a shapeshifting mod from outer space and beyond. Some of ’em (okay, most of ’em) are already familiar to you guys, but it’s never the wrong time to read about Batman’s dead body beating up crooks.
Today at ComicsAlliance, I’m reacting to the news that DC’s going to be bringing back letter columns (offsetting one of the two pages of story they’re cutting out of their comics) by pointing out the absolute heights of discourse that have appeared in lettercols over the years, starting with the charming missive above!
I owe a lot to my friends for pitching in with these (Mike, Andrew and Bully have covered a lot of this stuff before and provided a wealth of ’em), so go check ’em out and learn that while the comics might’ve changed, the fans never, ever do. Plus, as an added bonus, a reminder that Ebony White from The Spirit was straight up racist.
And as a bonus, here’s one sent over by Andrew that I couldn’t fit into the actual piece, because it’s totally awesome. I’d forgotten about this, but back in the day, the letters to Metamorpho were answered in-character by Rex “Metamorpho” Mason himself. And as I’ve said before, he was a straight-up pimp:
Further evidence that Metamorpho was the greatest book of its time.
…is kind of a drama queen.
—The Brave and the Bold #113, 1974