Friday, March 27, 2015

Batman Works at a Grocery Store and Superman... I'm Not Sure What That was All About

Hey, gang!

I'm going to take a little staycation next week, so no new posts.  Sorry!  I'll be back Monday, April 6th with more silliness.

For a great detective, Batman sure didn't have much of a poker face:

Why are you looking at each other like that?

Like what?

When I said that Bruce Wayne was next in line, it's almost like gigantic punctuation marks appeared over your heads.


And in issue #191, we see why it was necessary for Batman to be independently wealthy as opposed to working a normal job:

Wait!  Wait!  I got this!  DON'T punch customers, DO punch bank robbers!  I got it mixed up, but I'll get it right next time!

And sometimes it wouldn't even be Batman's fault:

See?  I can't imagine that looking good on the old performance review.

Meanwhile, from Robert Gillis, here's a little bit of disturbing Fun with Out of Context Artwork from Lois Lane #73:

We weren't sure what the title of this panel would be, but I think we agreed on:

 Fifty Shades of Grey Kryptonite.

Yeah, we have too much time on our hands.

Anyway, I'll see you guys April 6th!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Man Who Rubbed Out Batman... But Not in a Dirty Way.

You can't be talking about weird things in comic books without mentioning The Eraser:

Yeah, he doesn't actually do that.  Which is kind of a shame, because that would be hella cool.  Wasn't there a character somewhere that did that sort of thing?  Well... although it should have been The Eraser, because... you know, THE ERASER.... this is more of a metaphorical image than what actually does.

This is more along the lines of what The Eraser actually looks like in combat:

Which is why they went all existential on the cover, because that image sure wouldn't have sold comics.

Why is he The Eraser?

So he was an eraser like the character in that Schwarzenegger movie, only this guy dressed the part.  And I've got to tell you... when Robin is calling you out on your ridiculous get-up, you have crossed a line what isn't going to be erased.

Get it?

His awesome raison d'etre?

Really?  You must be completely incapable of taking criticism for it to drive you to a life of crime like that.

Okay, what does that have to do with erasing things?  Cheater.

That's the problem with having your weapons on your shoes:  There's no way to attack someone without being completely off balance and looking silly.  Like this guy.

Robin: A One-Man Sound Effect Theatre! (tm!)

Yeah... if you go around wearing that get-up, expect it to get smushed on your head.  You gave up on dignity the minute you wore an eraser on your head and dressed like a Number 2 Yellow.

And now, Advice Not Worth Repeating (tm!)!

This has been Advice Not Worth Repeating! (tm!)

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Tragic Tale of Gaggy, The Joker's First Sidekick

Sorry about missing yesterday's post, Dear Ones.  I get into work mode and I just can't focus on anything else until I've solved it.  Let's make up for it with the kinda awesome but kinda sad story of Gaggy, the Joker's original sidekick:

Yup... long before Joker would have his emotionally-abusive relationship with Harley Quinn, he had Gaggy.  Yes, "Gaggy" sounds like The Ventriloquist saying the word, "baggy."  But that's the hand we're dealt, and we're playing it:

Gaggy even had super-powers.  Well, at least one super power:

Where did that come from?  No one knows.  If you find that annoying, check out the origin story:

Why was he a refugee?  Why did he resort to crime?

We would learn years later that Gaggy was a tightrope walker in the circus.  He lost his job and was put in a freak show, which understandably soured him.  But for now.... eh, comics were 12 cents.

Isn't that sweet?  And it kinda makes sense.

Yeah, that really does a great job of hiding your identity, Gaggy.  You are truly a Master of Disguise! (tm!)

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

Yeah, I'm not proud of that one, but there it is.

Anyway, Gabby was surprisingly effective:

Yup.  This guy whooped on Robin, fair and square.

And that's not just a random thing.  Gaggy has a serious hate for Robin:

So why was that?  Again... it was never explained.  Again: 12 cents.

Gaggy's go-to move was apparently to climb up Batman's back and cover his eyes:

Waitaminute... doesn't he have a debilitating screaming power?  I mean, he's right by Batman's ears.


Followed by a ton of sound effects:

But Gaggy took it well, as long as he had the Joker's approval.

What's sad is that Gaggy wouldn't appear again for dang near five hundred issues.  Yup.  Five hundred.

And even then, it was a flashback story.

So, what was the rest of the story?

Well, Gaggy would resurface again in Gotham City Sirens #4-6.  It turns out Gaggy's time as the Joker's cellmate was short-lived.  After the Joker killed six people and got sent to Arkham, the two lost touch (which was surprising, considering Gaggy had proven to be dang competent in battle).  Gaggy would later attempt a return to his glory days.... days which didn't include Harley Quinn:

Gaggy also mentioned that he didn't understand why he hated Robin so much.  I suppose it could have simply been "sidekick rivalry," if that's a thing.  But more likely, it was because (as we learned 500 issues later in Batman#682) Gaggy lost his job at the circus when the Flying Graysons came along. Did Gaggy recognize Robin as one of the former Flying Graysons in some way?  Was he just fated to hate them, whether he recognized them or not?  It's an interesting idea.

Anyway, Gaggy would make a cameo in Batman #686.  Other than the story arc in Gotham City Sirens (which was an awesome series), his only other appearance of note was ... you guessed it... in Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series:

Best. Animated Series. Ever.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Batman Rolls His Golf Balls of Justice!

And now, courtesy of Batman #182, another installment of...

Stuff that Only Happens in Gotham City (tm!)

Batman fights a group of guys who dress up like owls wearing business suits by rolling a giant golf ball at them while they respond with a giant prop swordfish.

This has been... Stuff that Only Happens in Gotham City! (tm!)

Hey!  Random Slap! (tm!)

I like Robin, but in the Silver Age there were many moments where I wanted to see him slapped.  And I'm obviously not the only one who felt that way.

Speaking of which... check out the official moment that the original Robin lost his street cred:

That's correct... Robin started fighting crime with Tinkling Gold Skate Charms on his belt.

This was not a proud moment for sidekicks.  I've forgiven a lot of things Robin said and did as relics of an era gone by, but this is just sad.  Turn in your testicles, Robin... you won't be needing them.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Batman... Beware of... Poison Ivy!!

Hey!  Let's check out the first appearance of the eventually-awesome Poison Ivy from Batman #181!

Well... any time there's trouble between fellas, a dame is always the cause.  You can take that one to the bank.  But it seems like the Disembodied Floating Heads (tm!) have focused their anger in the right direction.  I mean, Robin looks like he's literally about to bite her.

Hmmmph.  I'm not a fan of seeing Batman smitten.  It just seems off somehow.  Granted, Bats has undergone many personality changes over the years, but he's always supposed to be above that sort of thing.  Read his dialogue in Matthew McConaughey's voice and you'll see what I mean.

No, Batman!  You are not human!  You are the freakin' Batman, so quit jerking me around.

And when I was a kid, I had no idea why a cold shower was necessary.  I remember from Laverne & Shirley that Shirley had Carmine Ragusa take cold showers on a regular basis, but I didn't really get it.

Which, for some reason, reminds me of my sophomore year of college.  It was my first year at that school and (as many universities do), they had a rule where you had to live on campus for the first couple of years.  

Unfortunately, they were way overbooked, so they had a bunch of us at a low-end motel for a month or two.  That wasn't great (two people in a single motel room with everything they owned wasn't very comfortable) so they moved four of us into an apartment meant for the apartment building's manager (in other words, designed for a single person).  I could have lived with that, but that particular apartment didn't get hot water.

My friends, you have not lived until you wake up on a cold November morning, snow outside and ice on the windows, knowing that you are going to have to take an icy cold shower.  I would wake up and want to cry (and I'm pretty sure some mornings I did).  I would heat a pan of water on the stove just so I wouldn't have to wash my hair in the cold.  When they finally got us into regular apartments at the start of the next semester, a hot shower never felt so good.

It's amazing the nonsense we put up with when we're young.

Where was I?  Oh, yes... Batman:

Robin sure is quite the puritanical sort, isn't he?  I mean, I don't like seeing Bats swooning either, but you don't try to harsh on someone while they're getting some smooching?  That's just man code, Robin.  Learn it.  Live it.

If I kissed a girl who used ketchup instead of lipstick, I'd probably have a sudden craving for burgers.  Don't test my resolve, Ivy.

Hey, can she do that?  I don't remember that at all.

Yeah, Ivy needed some work before she would become a major player, to be sure.  This version reminds me of Poison Ivy from Batman and Robin.  And anytime someone says, "This reminds me of something from Batman and Robin," that's not a good sign.

Before we go, let's take a look at Red Band Comics #1:

If you look at the cover, the Bogey Man looks like a precursor to the Phantom Stranger:

Yeah... the Phantom Stranger looks a little too much like the Bogey Man, but it's safe to say the Bogey Man was in the public domain by the time the Stranger appeared in 1969 (almost 25 years later).  UPDATE: Whoops!  He appeared in 1952.  Still, well after the Bogey Man had disappeared from the funnybook landscape.

But getting back to the Bogey Man, check this out:

Notice he wears the exact same suit and tie in his "secret" identity that he apparently wears... well, pretty much everywhere.


Yeah, he was a mystery writer who solved crimes.  Only he went one step further and did the arresting himself.  In that regard, he makes that chick from Murder, She Wrote look downright lazy.

Anyway, criminals start taking it personally and try to kill him using one of the murder methods he had written himself:

But having been "murdered," he sees an opportunity:

Wait a minute.  Isn't this pretty much the same origin of Wil Eisner's "The Spirit"?


The Spirit... who was a guy everyone thought was dead who undertook a secret identity to fight crime... wore a domino mask... blue suit... red-bordering-on-orange tie....

Like this:

Yup.  The Bogey Man is basically the Spirit, who came about five years earlier.  Why no lawsuit came about, I don't know.... other than the fact that Bogey only appeared in a handful of comics before disappearing forever.  Maybe the character came and went before anyone knew he existed.

Is that how you spell "Bogey Man"?  Because I think it's "boogeyman."  "Bogey Man" should be... well, Bogey:

Who would look a lot like "The Bogey Man" if you put a mask on him.  Don't act like you don't see it.

Wow... we were all over the place today, weren't we?

See you Monday!