Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Batman Week continues with Gene Colan !

This is my second Doug Moench related post BUT it´s more of a spotlight on Gene Colan´s tenure on the Bat - books since there is some material from DETECTIVE COMICS 512 which was written by Gerry Conway. However the main part of this post is DETECTIVE COMICS 533 which was written by Doug Moench and it is included in the second volume of TALES OF THE BATMAN - GENE COLAN which just hit the comic book stores Yesterday.

And really, it´s Doug Moench´s fault that this post didn´t go off as smooth as planned. You see, the initial idea was to just pick 23 of the best original pages then find the colored versions for the post. So what went wrong ?

Well, I had some original pages of DETECTIVE COMICS 533 so when I had found all of the pages in color I made the mistake of reading it. And it contained so many elements that I love and which are completely missing from the current version of Batman that I could not help it but include the complete issue. So what should have been one of my usual black and white posts is now a post with one full issue and parts from another issue.

But before we come to DETECTIVE COMICS 533 let´s talk about issue 512. The story is a continuation of the preceding issue in which Batman has the final showdown with Doctor Death with the life of Robin hanging in the balance. Metaphorically speaking and quite literal since he is hanging unconscious from a helicopter handcuffed to Gotham´s caped crusader.

Mind you, this Robin is not Dick Grayson but Jason Todd and going through all the old issues made me realize that he got kind of a bum rap by the younger generation. Yes, you heard me right. I think it´s time to redeem Jason Todd which is one of the resaons why I am glad that DC is finally reprinting Gene Colan´s Batman stories. You see, Today Jason Todd is only known for three things nowadays : being kind of an ungrateful sidekick, getting killed by the BATMAN readers and returning as the Red Hood.

Which is all fine and well but what most people forget is that BEFORE the now classic A DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Jim Starlin, Marv Wolfman and Jim Aparo or the seeds that were laid when they changed Jason Todd´s origin from what was basically Dick Grayson´s origin to a spoiled street urchin who tried to steal the hub caps of the Batmobile - Jason Todd was actually an interesting and likeable character and a decent partner for the Batman.

Okay, I have to admit, when those Batman stories came out I wasn´t the biggest fan of Gene Colan´s art and the whole storyline where Batman and Nocturna squabble over who gets custody of Jason didn´t score many points with a teenage Subzero. The whole legal hassle courtroom drama that was just a cheap ploy by Nocturna to get Batman to marry her was just boring for me since it reminded me of all those cheesy Silver Age stories in which Lois Lane tried to trick Superman into marrying her.

I´m also not sure if the writers actually knew into which direction they wanted to go with the whole story because once Batman and Nocturna were together the whole thing lost a lot of its excitement and it was over very quickly. I don´t exactly recall how it ended but afterwards Batman acted as if it was just a small tawdry affair, some kind of infatuation.

And Nocturna ? Don´t you miss her ?

I won´t lie. She held precisely the same fascination for me as for poor Marsh. Fortunately, I still had someone solid to pull me back from the edge.

Wow. That doesn´t sound at all like somebody who has just lost a woman he professed to be in love with. There´s the whole explanation that it was all her black dust which supposedly is some kind of drug that made men fall in love with her. But come on, Poison Ivy basically has the same schtick that gives her power over all men and Batman never married her.

It makes you wonder if Batman ever had any real feelings for her or if he just married her because it was the easiest way to get custody over Jason. Either that or he´s just a cold blooded son of a bat. Even Jason was more shook up over the death of his surrogate mother than Bruce.

Which brings us back to Jason Todd. If you only know post - Crisis Jason Todd you will be surprised to read about this version who is not very obnoxious - except for his zest to become Batman´s sidekick which is understandable in these circumstances - and struggles with finding his place in the world and coming to terms with his new surrogate parents.

There are instances where he is quite charming and you start rooting for him, like when he tries to steer a new girl at school away from bullies and developing a drug habit. And his status of Batman´s new sidekick is also cleverly worked into the issues. We get a full issue ( DETECTIVE COMICS 566 ) where Jason Todd is brushing up on Bat villains and the story is just an excuse for Gene Colan to draw lots of pin ups of Batman´s rogue gallery.

So if you are thinking about buying the second volume of TALES OF THE BATMAN - GENE COLAN be prepared to encounter a different Jason Todd.

Speaking of volume two of TALES OF THE BATMAN - GENE COLAN, one of the reasons why I´m pimping this although I haven´t ordered it myself yet ( as those who read my last post know I just ordered volume two of BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS ) is that I missed my chance to order the first volume. It was at amazon Germany with a substantial discount but I thought it was still too much for that small amount of pages ( DC still has some hefty prices for some of their reprint collections that are totally unjustified by the low page count ) and then it went back to the old price. And now it´s out of print so you can´t find it at comic shops and at amazon you pay such ridiculous prices like 110 EUROS to up to 220 EUROS.

The regular in store price for the second volume is 40 Dollars but right now you can get it at amazon Germany for 30 EUROS including packaging and postage. So don´t wait too long because this price will probably not last.

That was a longer introduction then I thought so without any further ado let´s get to the original pages of DETECTIVE COMICS 512 by Gene Colan.

You are probably already tired of reading so you might want to skip this but I just know that there are some readers who expect me to give at least a short explanation about what made the story of DETECTIVE COMICS 533 so special and what exactly are those things that are missing from the current Batman stories. Well, besides having the right look - which is the yellow Bat symbol - it is a nicely written story with Police Commissioner Gordon in the hospital while Batman and Barbara Gordon trying to stop some thugs from killing him. Besides the main action we get Bruce Wayne having a nice chat with Jason Todd as a real person and not the Bat - God that Grant Morrison turned him into who is prepared for anything except human emotions, we have Harvey Bullock being concerned about his old friend James Gordon who back in the day was not only fat but a slob with a really ugly mug but most of all we see Barbara Gordon being the devoted daughter and hero that she always has been. Mind you not the super hero but the hero. Because any way you slice and dice it and no matter if she was Bargirl or Oracle or just plain Barbara Gordon she was always a hero.

With all the political correctness, SJW b.s., NEW 52, REBIRTH, restarts and retconning where THE KILLING JOKE never happened or they insist that on top of shooting Barbara Gordon and taking pictures of her naked while she was slowly bleeding to death the joker also raped her DC has managed to f - word up one of their best characters. So, yes, one of the reasons why I decided to post the full issue is that it takes me back to the days when Barbara Gordon wasn´t considered something that had to be fixed.

Now the only Gene Colan links I have are for an obscure Archie comic he did way back that involves Jughead and time travel ( I guess you never thought you´d hear those two words in one sentence ) that has been getting a lot of attention lately but it´s such a weird thing that I would be doing my readers a big disservice if I would just squeeze it in here instead of giving it a proper post like it deserves. There will be a few post about Gene Colan´s comics in the next months as I´ve finally had the time to sit down and read Silverblade and Night Force is the next book on my list.

So we go straight to Today´s birthdays and korean Grace Park who turns 43. She strutted her stuff on Hawaii Five O after playing the toaster every guy would love to use for breakfast in bed on new Battlestar Galactica.

Now because I already wrote about Battlestar Galactica the last time I mentioned Grace Park on the blog it´s high time to talk about her on Hawaii Five O especially since that´s where I have seen her most. With Battlestar Galactica I lost interest at the end but Hawaii Five O still seems kind of interesting. Since my mom took the tv hostage I am not up to date where they are in Germany right now but I think the last time I saw some episode they were reruns. The show is often on the same time slot as other big shows so I´m mostly following it by getting the seasons on DVD and binge watching them. So yes, a few of the last episodes were full with SJW stuff with Alex O´Loughlin and James Caan more acting like a gay couple than partners in law enforcement but maybe that was just a fluke.

As for news I am always behind but while doing the research I found some articles which say that both Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim left the show because CBS didn´t pay them as much as Alex O´Loughlin and Scott Caan. Which is just ridiculous in my opinion. First off it´s always a bad idea if you have an ensemble cast and you pay some actors more then others because there is bound to be friction. Secondly both Daniel and Grace were both heavily featured in the advertising so the producers knew how important they were to the success of the show - especially Grace Park.

I mean, you have three guys and one hot babe. What did the producers think how many guys watched that show because of the male actors and how many watched it to see Grace wiggle her whotsit ? You do the math.

To be honest I can´t really imagine Hawaii Five O without Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. The show is those two, Alex O´Loughlin and James Caan.

Their adventures, their stories, their backstories and their friendship. Their lives and what happens to them. There were some cast members that came and went away again but those four were the core team. And now I hear that Alex O´Loughlin also quit ? What is the show going to be about ? Dano and his fantastic hanger ons ? Man, the same happened on Castle where Stana Katic left and then Tamala Jones said goodbye and it wasn´t the same show anymore. For me it was all about the story of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett and Castle without Beckett just isn´t interesting.

I have no idea how that series ended - or if it ended at all in Germany - because obviously the murder per minute ratio was too low for my mother and it had too many distracting things like jokes so she quit watching it.

In any case I´m curious how they are going to send off Daniel and Grace´s characters on Hawaii Five O, if they will kill them off ( which is what lazy writers do on tv shows and in comic books ) or if they will just have some other actors who take over their roles. I mean, at least for one season we had Kono not being a part of the main story and being on the run from the Yakuza. So maybe they would do a storyline where Chin and Kono have to assume new secret identities and thus get plastic surgery. What a mess.

Keeping the asian sexsation theme going Kiana Tom celebrates her 53rd birthday and the sexbomb who owes her exotic look to her mixed heritage of chinese, hawaiian and irish surely had no need of plastic surgery to make men drool on Flex Appeal, which is what she is best known for.

As an actress her most famous part was in Universal Soldier 2 or Universal Soldier - The Return how it is sometimes called were Kiana Tom´s short erotic bit part at the beginning is the only redeeming value of the flick.

In the scene Jean Claude Van Damme and Kiana Tom´s character Maggie are running an exercise run against the other universal soldiers. They are separated and Kiana Tom is captured by wrestler Goldberg. Now I don´t know where the logic is here as he´s supposed to be some kind of cyborg but he does what any healthy man would do in his situation. Namely tie the helpless Kiana Tom whose shirt reveals a really huge bulge to a tree.

But it gets even better as Goldberg ( named Romeo in the movie which might explain why he tries to get it on with Kiana ) rips open her shirt !

Now that´s what I call entertainment : we´re only six minutes into the movie and we already see Kiana´s bra - clad melons exposed ( sadly she doesn´t go bra - less although she definitely has the hardbody to pull it off, but since she doesn´t show more skin it is the erotic highlight ). It is just a quick glimpse, but you can see that Kiana really doesn´t have much to be ashamed of because those perfect heavenly hangers look amazing !

Which makes it even less understandable that she didn´t do a nude scene in Universal Soldier 2. It´s not like Kiana has any problems with nudity since she not only posed naked for PLAYBOY, no, she also did it when she was at her physical prime. Too many actresses or female celebrities get the urge to do nude pictures when they are older or they want to show that they are still hot but most of them didn´t do naked photos in their younger years and so their new pictures are useless because we have nothing to compare. But Kiana did it right and her pictorial is awesome !

As for her role in the film, Maggie is hardly used ( no pun intended ) and many reviewer bemoan that she didn´t get naked. I don´t know where the producers are coming from as they fumbled one of the biggest pulls of the movie when they decide not to make her a bigger part of the movie.

Really guys, which producer in his right mind passes up an opportunity to get a body like this naked ? Let´s just be realistic here. If a hot exotic hasian sexbomb like Kianna with a pornstar hardbody that just won´t quit was my co - worker I´d spend all my free time slam - banging the daylights out of her until I had tamed her to become my personal blow up sex doll.

Kiana Tom has gotten her own cult siren entry in 2014 with re - posts in 2016 and 2017 where I mostly tweaked a few things here and there as I´m never satisfied with my posts or usually find the best stuff afterwards. For this year there is nothing I want to add so since I addressed most of the important stuff just briefly go to one of Kiana´s main posts to read more.

Nevertheless I wanted to add another video from Flex Appeal and while I didn´t have the time to go through my old posts I think I haven´t posted this one yet. I think I really found a good one since it´s not only in good quality but has Kiana wearing a small leather top that is obviously too tight to properly contain her impressive chest muscles. She´s really working it.

One reason why I did so many re - posts for Kiana is that there are never enough opportunities to post her videos. Which tend to vanish from YouTube rather quickly. So for those who can´t get enough of Kiana you might want to check the infamous Bodyshaping Bikini Workout ( part 1 / part 2 / part 3 ) that YouTube already took down once as long as you still can. Probably because besides Kiana Tom you also get the no less stunning Kimiko Tanaka who is an exotic mix of american indian and japanese. So you get two hasians wearing tiny bikinis for the price of one which must have lead to countless guys getting the mother of all nosebleeds because of oppai overload. Plus in the second part Carla Dunlap substitutes Kiana Tom. And speaking of bikinis here is another video from Bodyshaping with Kiana Tom in a nice pink bikini and it also features the hot Kimiko Tanaka.

It´s back to comics with Mike DeCarlo who turns 61 and whom I always got mixed up with the late pin up and Archie artist Dan DeCarlo. Mike had his most prolific time in the 80s where he inked Greg LaRoque on Legion Of Super Heroes, George Perez on The New Teen Titans ( The Judas Contract ) and Crisis on Infinite Earths and Jim Aparo in several key storylines : Ten Nights Of The Beast which introduced the KGBeast, the aforementioned A Death In The Family in which the readers voted to kill the second Robin Jason Todd and A Lonely Place Of Dying which was a crossover with just New Titans how it was called that introduced the third Robin, Tim Drake.

This being a Batman related post you probably expected me to include a Batman video but there will be many more videos during BATMAN WEEK ( one of them about Jim Aparo on THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD since I still haven´t commented on the third reprint volume which may just be the worst and the best at the same time and I just realized while looking for an appropriate BATMAN page for Mike DeCarlo how much Jim Aparo stuff I haven´t posted ) and while The New Teen Titans trumps Batman nothing beats out The Legion Of Super Heroes. Especially now that there are finally some videos about the Legion on YouTube which we have to thank Supergirl for as all the comic newbies want to know more about them.

And it´s been a while since I posted one of the ever popular Top Ten lists.

Another comic veteran is retired comic artist Stephen R Bissette´s who celebrates his 62nd anniversary. That´s right, I said retired because in 1999 Stephen saw the generational shift coming that put so many of his fellow contemporaries out of work so he left comic books to pursue lecturing and editing and publishing Green Mountain Cinema, a trade paperback journal devoted to the independent cinema scene in his home state of Vermont. When he was still doing comics a lot of his work went into the horror genre he is best known - and rightly so - for his collaboration with writer Alan Moore and inker John Totleben on DC´s re - imagined Swamp Thing.

Now you probably expect me to pimp Alan Moore´s run on Swamp Thing as the best thing ever but while it is a must read for every comic fan that is worth his salt I am not going to say you should start with this. I know that it is en vogue to bow down to Alan Moore and it is almost sacrilegious to not constantly praise him but if you are just starting out with reading comics don´t start with this version. Because you will do yourself a great disservice if you don´t check out the original Swamp Thing issues by Len Wein and the late great Bernie Wrightson. You have to read those issues to understand how groundbreaking the initial first stories were and to see what an impact they had on horror comics so that for years nobody got a real handle on the book until Alan Moore came around. So far I haven´t had the time to do a remembrance post for Bernie Wrightson but there definitely will be a post on the now almost forgotten OG Swamp Thing.

Music legend Quincy Jones celebrates his 85th birthday and I tried to go over the complete list of his songs but after being halfway through my mind just switched off. I also don´t have the energy to go through all my bookmarked videos from YouTube a third time but luckily Quincy also was the producer of mega successful 80s hit show The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.

Of course a big part of that show´s success and continued appeal around the world ( there are probably only a few people on the face of the planet who can´t recite the lyrics to the title song in their sleep ) is Tatyana Ali who grew from a cute little girl into an incredible sexbomb over the course of that series and who got to show her musical skills.

Much to the chagrin of the show´s producers she really bOObed all out in later movie appearances like The Clown at Midnight or Fall Into Darkness .

Now as good as animated GIFs are - I know how much work goes into them because I had to make these myself as I could not find GIFs of good quality - in this case they are no substitute for the real thing. To let you enjoy Tatyana Ali´s vocal skills here is a video with her best bits from The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and it´s not easy finding one of those in high quality.

And to prove that Tatyana still looks smoking hot here is a clip from 2017.

We come to the last video of the post and for those who are still waiting for a Batman video - well, you are going to be disappointed. I´m also not posting another chapter from the Swamp Thing cartoon because I have already posted the first episode and there are more important cartoons to post. Which brings us to Battle Angel Alita. I do not know the german release date for the James Cameron version but there are a few videos that tackle that topic which I will include in upcoming posts so that for the sake of us all being on the same level here is the original OVA. It would be better if everyone had also read the manga series but I think that is illusory. Man, with this video tackling one of the newest movie releases, the main post being about a recent comic reprint and me mentioning Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson´s Swamp Thing which was just released as an omnibus last year this blog hasn´t been so up to date since I covered the NEW 52 fiasko way back when. It makes you wonder what I have planned for my next post. We´ll see if I can make my 925th post something special.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

I´m a man, not a number.

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