Friday, April 30, 2010

It's All Fun Until It Ends in Tears Friday!

I'm not a big fan of practical jokes, because they're rather mean-spirited. F'rinstance:

Why, Robin, you've caught me with the old.... tie a rope around my foot and tie the other end to a fire hydrant gag! A classic! You scamp!

Seriously, what the heck was that?

Although that doesn't hold a candle to this one:

Why, Robin! You crouched behind me so that when I was struck, I would lose my balance and impale myself onto this over sized tack! I'm hemorrhaging with laughter, I am! Now, would someone please summon medical help before I bleed out?

This is really unpleasant. We'll start over Monday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Which We Bid Adieu to World's Finest Thursday!

I mentioned yesterday that rarely is a comic cancelled at the height of it's popularity. Actually, there was a comic that was quite popular that was cancelled nonetheless. At the time of its cancellation, Brave and the Bold was the best selling Batman comic on the stands. However, the monthly "Batman plus a different guest star" team-up book was given the shaft to make way for Batman and the Outsiders, wherein Batman would head up a new team with regular members (that is, until Batman himself was removed from the book.... ah, sweet irony).

And if you haven't watched the Batman: Brave and the Bold series on Cartoon Network, you're missing out. It's great fun.

What wasn't great fun was the last few years of World's Finest Comics. Let me give you the high points and spare us all.

First, you have Swordfish and Barracuda:

You know. Swordfish and Barracuda. Teamed up with Null and Void and the Master Pirate?

There! See? Did I lie? Isn't it hard to decide whether you're more excited about Swordfish and Barracuda, the return of Null and Void, or the Master Pirate? Well, thanks to World's Finest Comics, you don't have to choose! Just enjoy!

Yeesh. This is like those last few seasons of M*A*S*H.

Oh, and we had Sonik:

He was ready to take the eighties by a storm, as evidenced by that bitchin' break-dancer outfit and his mis-spelled name. Mis-spelled names are edgy, don'tcha know. He actually appeared in two different issues, which gives you an idea of how hard up things had become.

No, the highlight was this awesome goof:

You see, in World's Finest #314, we see Alfred picking up Bruce Wayne so he can change into Superman.

Wait, what?

Yup. That was a total error. A later editorial tried to blame it on the colorist, but as you can see, there is the yellow "s" shield on the cape, so the colorist simply did his job and colored what had been drawn. People always try to blame the little guy. Anyway, Batman lept out of the limo in his Batman costume, so I'm not sure how that got past the artist, the inker, the colorist and the editor. But it was the highlight of the later years.

The highlight certainly wasn't Lowjack:

Don't ask. But when it takes both Superman and Batman more than one issue to kick Lowjack's ass, you are really stretching things out.

Finally, someone shoots the lame horse in World's Finest #323, ending the title's 45 year run:

This was around the time of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, which changed a lot of things. Superman and Batman were no longer pals, which made sense considering they were complete opposites in every way. At best, Batman and Superman would co-exist in the DC Universe for almost the next two decades before reuniting the two in the awesome Superman/Batman, which is in its seventh year of publication and still going strong.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Fun to Say "Tonatiuh!" Wednesday!

A comic book series is a lot like a television show. The plan is often to keep churning out episodes and keep the premise going until the thing simply jumps the shark and no one cares any longer. Rarely is a popular series with high sales revenue retired. When the creative team that gave a book a strong run quits or otherwise leaves, the natural maneuver is to implant a different creative team and hope no one notices.

Here's a fun fact: We always notice.

World's Finest Comics, as you may have noticed over the past few months, were hardly the world's finest comics. It never had a particularly strong run, but it had Superman and Batman in it, so at least it was a figurative restaurant in a good location.

But see if you can tell at exactly what point the book started winding down:

Null and Void? Surely even the most casual comics reader remembers Null and Void?

Tonatiuh? Doesn't that sound like an awesome super-foe? Move over, Galactus!

The Moondancers? Who, I presume, are now available for bachelor parties and fraternity beer bashes?

What about Zeta? You know, he was part of the Pantheon? Who was the Pantheon? I honestly couldn't make it through the three issues it took to tell me who they were or why I should care.

But as you can see, the series was starting to sag. To the best of my knowledge, none of these awful villains ever saw the light of day again. If I find out to the contrary, I'll let you know, because I know I don't want to miss an appearance of the Moondancers!

It's not like I'm that hard to please, either. Consider:

I don't care if the pages inside are blank. I can tell you that, based on the merits of the cover alone, this is one bitchin' comic.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheap Equipment, Winged Tigers and Fire-Breathing Iguanas Tuesday!

Let's say you're Green Arrow. You fight crime with arrows. You'd think that, because your ability to fire an arrow is critical to your survival, you would probably invest in a pretty strong bow.

You'd think that:

Now, I know that Green Arrow is going to have some pretty mighty biceps and all. He's not superhuman, but all that archery is going give you some muscle development. I had the same thing happen to me when I was fourteen and worked at a Baskin-Robbins. The only problem is, I only developed the muscles in my "dipping arm." But I digress.

If a non-superhuman person can snap a bow, I'm prepared to say you're using some dangerously cheap equipment. I don't know whether Ollie picked it up off Craigslist or what, but until you have a bow that you can't just snap in the middle using nothing more than your upper body strength as you're falling upside-down, it's time to upgrade. I'm just saying.

Ugh. I'm tired. Let's just see Batman riding a winged tiger and call it a day:

Ahhhh. Thanks, World's Finest #282! While I've got you here, how about Superman fighting a dragon that looks like an iguana?

Comics, no wonder we love you so.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Ears are Full of Sugar and Coffee! Monday!

It's action-packed mayhem from Detective Comics #82!

It's not that comics these days are just bursting with realism, but can you imagine the amount of force Batman would have to put into a kick to get that kind of height and distance? It just seems like unless this guy is wearing a suit made of helium, he'd be more likely to just get knocked forward a foot or two. Then he'd probably turn around and angrily accuse Batman of trying to give him unnecessary back problems in later life, which would admittedly be a dick move on Batman's part.

And now, Fun with Out of Context Dialogue! (tm!):

All right, Starbucks, you've won this round....

And a Moment of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!):

I don't know exactly why that tickled me, but it did.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why No One Just Hung Out in the JLA Satellite in the 80's Friday!

You say you buy comics for the heroics and non-stop, over-the-top action? You just like to get away from your problems for a while and escape to a world where you can see larger-than-life characters engage in battles of good versus evil?

Well, it sure must have sucked to be you if you picked up World's Finest #275:

My wife left me!

Well, MY wife is DEEEEAAAADDD!

You know, it's not like us comic book geeks has a lot of hope that we were going to have women in our lives ourselves. Could we at least see someone have a relationship with a woman? Or could someone start beating up on someone?

Oh, here we go:

I'm not sure what "snapped" just then, but this was nothing compared to what Hawkman would do to the Matter Master almost 25 years later, when he would chop the Matter Master's right arm off with an axe without giving it a second thought. I'm not kidding. You don't screw around with Hawkman these days. He's badass.

See you Monday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Seem 'Flaid Thursday!

I haven't really yet tapped the campier Batman years in Detective Comics. Thank goodness for the Crimson Avenger.

I heard a noise!

You want me stop giving you neck rub, Mist' Mark?

Did I tell you I want you to stop giving me a neck rub?

Hey! Someone has a new logo!:

This is an usual thing, because the Crimson Avenger normally had a round chest insignia that was later revealed to represent a bullet hole, which would have made more sense if he actually fired a gun instead of running around without any weaponry or super-powers whatsoever.

In any respect, the "flaming sword" is not only phallic, but I can't imagine just a picture of a sword on some guys chest striking panic into my heart. Then again, I'm not a startled thug. Maybe that makes all the difference.

Hey! It's Wing! Enforcing Asian stereotypes wherever he goes....

And I'm pretty sure he was known as "Wing" in his civilian identity as well. Kind of like Captain America's "Bucky." Frankly, I'm surprised Wing lasted as long as he did.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Batman is Good Enough, Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People LIKE Him Wednesday!

Please be advised that Batman....

.... has more important things to do than make speeches.

However, if you'll note the panel in the center of this page:

Batman apparently gives a lecture daily. By the oiled pectorals of Fabio, how lame is that?

This was a classic moment where Batman gets his feelings hurt by lack of public support. Because if the public won't support you, what's the point of being a masked vigilante operating outside the law?

Even at the end of the story, Bats is fishing for compliments:

In all the psychoanalytical articles I've read about Batman's issues, I've never seen anyone touch on this crippling self-esteem situation. It's kind of sad, really. Someone needs a hug!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Probably Untrue Batman Trivia Tuesday!

Although a big hoopty-do is made out of Batman's refusal to ever fire a gun, it happened a lot. But I think I've finally figured out the reason for the inconsistencies:

See? Batman probably wanted to use a gun, but couldn't past the firearm safety training. The man could throw a batarang five hundred feet and trim your fingernails, but he couldn't hold a gun without taking off someone's toe. It all makes sense to me now!

Check out Batman's badge!:

I have a hard time with the notion that Batman even had a badge, and even if he did, that's not exactly the manliest thing I've ever seen. No wonder he kept it hidden most of the time. Now I'm expecting him to be hiding a pinky ring under those gloves.

Hey! It's time for Fun with Out of Context Dialogue!(tm!):

And no, he wasn't referring to Robin, thank goodness.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kick Me in the Pants Without Asking Any Questions Monday!

CMNS has a pretty decent percentage of non-comic nerdlingers as readers, but I'm sure most of you just bleep over my informative scribblings just to get to the funny stuff. But here, my most seasoned of comic book geeks, are a few things that not even you probably knew about the Batman!


is a very aggressive Philatelist.

And Batman....

.... has co-dependency issues.

And Batman...

..... um, has asked Robin to literally kick him in the bum on at least one documented occasion.

I'd say we all learned a little something new today. You're welcome.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm Definitely a 10, Maybe an 11 Friday!

Longtime readers of CMNS will note that Green Arrow was a character from the 40's that never quite went away. He and Aquaman both survived as back-up features for Superman and Batman, two of the rapidly dwindling number of super-heroes who could still sell comics after World War II.

As you may recall, the original Green Arrow and his sidekick Speedy were rather bland Batman and Robin knock-offs. It wasn't until Justice League of America v1 #75 that the character lost his fortune, changed his costume, grew a beard, ditched Speedy, and became the DC Universe's resident liberal troublemaker, challenging the morality of other heroes who he felt enforced the status quo of an unfair society.

As one might expect, this was a character that now had a very unique perspective and enjoyed a newfound popularity since his late 60's rebirth, including seeing the character portrayed in the live-action WB show Smallville.

All that being said, he is also quite the man-whore:

hmmmmm.... So if I get involved, I may be able to help myself to... I mean, help this woman!

Such a sly dog.

He is also the only character that, to my knowledge, once changed into his costume via a port-a-potty:

That was from World's Finest #270, for those of you who want to run out and buy your own copy. And yes, that is an official CMNS Moment of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)

I've been wrong before, so if you have other characters changing from their civilian identities in a port-a-potty, please let me know in the comments. I think this is something we really should be keeping track of.

Hey! It's Jimmy and Lois!

Lois! Superman's reeling! And based on my facial expression, I am so stoned! Do you have any Doritos?

Well, today was just silly.

See you Monday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The World is Full of Jerks Thursday!

When we think of disastrous kid sidekicks, we normally don't think of Robin. Robin generally had a level of competence that one might expect Bruce Wayne to demand of anyone he took alongside him in his war on crime.

But that doesn't mean that Robin didn't have a terrible immaturity that made him quite the schmuck.

Consider Detective Comics #56:

And then the very next issue with Detective Comics #57:

Do you see where I'm going with this? No? How about Detective Comics #58:

As much as I liked Robin in his "teen wonder"/college years, Dick was surprisingly cruel in his early days for a kid who ran around in short pants. Perhaps he was overcompensating. You know, it's always the little guys who want to start a fight.

And you'll note in the third panel that Bruce is every bit the lousy parent you would expect him to be. Laughing along with a child who is mocking the physical appearance of others.... well, let's just say I think I see where Dick gets it. You can usually trace this sort of behavior back to the male role model.

That was the first time they ever saw the Penguin, for you history buffs. Oswald Cobbelpot, driven to antisocial behavior after being taunted by an uncaring society, which obviously consisted of Batman and Robin themselves. So, you know what? Every time I see the Penguin, I'm rooting for him to take out Bruce and Dick. They contributed to the problem, so if they end up being food for seagulls.... well, they really have no one to blame but themselves.

And not that I want to make a habit of bashing Robin, but what's up with this scene from Detective Comics #54?:

Yeah, don't interfere while Bruce gets sliced to ribbons, Dick. You know, if he didn't want you to help him out when he was in a jam, don't you think Bruce would have left you at home?

It's every nerdlinger's dream to find a girl nerdlinger who shares our love for comics. I got a nerd girl who tolerates my love for comics and is willing to watch the movies, so that's close enough. You don't want a girl who loves comics as much or more than you. Heed the Gospel of Peanuts from 1953:

That's right. Don't let her near the valuable stuff until she signs a pre-nup. You have been warned.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lady Lunar Has the Last Laugh! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Wednesday!

You never know when a lame villain will get an overhaul. We haven't even gotten around to Cat-Man yet.

But we have gotten around to Lady Lunar!:

Sometimes, you just have to know that you don't have a winner on your hands. I'm sure that at some point in the editorial meetings and the actual writing, penciling, inking, coloring and editing of this comic, the thought "This character will never see the light of day again."

And, believe it or not, they would be wrong!

As terrible a character as she was (and believe me, this cover shot was as good as she got), Lady Lunar would appear again in the awesome Justice League Unlimited, which ran for 96 episodes from 2004-2006 on Cartoon Network. Don't believe me? I give you Exhibit "A":

Yes, she appeared here and very briefly in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Yet, 20 years later, there she is sitting next to Luthor. There are no small roles, people!

But, as you can tell from her cover dialogue, she was a terrible character. Just terrible. Off to the Character Hall of Shame with her.

But she gives me hope that other characters might see the light of day.

So, cue the half-man/half-bees!:

and what the heck, give us the gigantic caterpillar creature thingie!:

Yes! All hail Lord Insectus!:

Because gigantic insect creatures are awesome. Almost as awesome as gorillas.

And if Lady Lunar got some air time in the last ten years, we can certainly hope someone recognizes the bitchin' factor of Lord Insectus.

See you tomorrow!