Did you know?

Batman once fought a thief that was a human/yeti hybrid. True!

Batman, vol. 1 #337

In Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas’s Batman #337 Gotham City suffers from a spate of burglaries in which bystanders have been frozen. Bear in mind that this is 1981 and a few years before Mr. Freeze returns from creative limbo, so there are no go to suspects for the readers, Batman, or the police. Long story short: because his mother did the mountain-nasty with an abominable snowman in the Himalayas , Klaus Kristin (an albino bearing a striking resemblance to Wonder Man) must steal to travel to cold climes throughout the year. Why Kristin doesn’t live in a part of the world where the temperature would suit him all year is never explained. Why he travels to warm climates at all is never explained. Why Batman travels to the Alps to handle this one burglar is also left to readers’ imaginations. Fret not, two things are explained. The first is a full page of narrative boxes over Jose Garcia-Lopez art. This narration waxes poetically about winter time in Gotham City.

A typical evening in Gotham City: under a sky heavy with the threat of snow, the city sparkles… And nowhere does it sparkle more brightly than here on Gotham Avenue, where, during the daylight hours, the rich and near-rich throng to gawk and spend.

Conway’s scripting here is a love letter to his favorite imaginary street in his favorite imaginary city as it can be seen in imaginary winter.

The other thing explained in greater detail than necessary? How and why Klaus Kristin’s mother got himalaid in the Himalayas by a yeti. Two pages of a 17 page story are devoted to explaining how a tall hairy stranger saved her, was seduced by her, drove her mad, and gave birth to his child with inexplicable freeze powers.

So why did I buy the book? It was cheap and the cover featured art by Jim Aparo wherein Batman was doing something reasonably unBatman like.

In the final analysis, can I recommend this book to someone that wants to read a good Batman story? No. Can I recommend this book to anyone that wants to see Batman on skis? Yes. There’s plenty of ski action. Can I recommend this to anyone that wants to know where albino children with freeze powers come from? Absolutely. This is, to my knowledge, the definitive text on human/ yeti breeding.


DAMN, Emma Frost!

I’m glad the days of Fredrick Wertham are behind us, where paranoids found dirty drawings in every nook and cranny.  And I really have no problem with the realism in comic art today, where artists take it to draw every zipper and seam in a costume (or uniform, if you’d prefer).

But I was reading Uncanny X-Men #534.1 and came across this panel…

…and I can’t help but think that’s no seam.  I have no idea how this made it into a Marvel comic.

A very special birthday message

Although an electronic web log, our office in Opal City gets a surprising amount of fan mail via the U.S. Postal Service. Since it’s my day to open and answer mail, I opened a briny smelling envelope addressed to Jesse. In it were birthday wishes all the way from Atlantis! What follows is a scan of the birthday card/ greeting/ autographed picture. I too would like to take this moment to wish Jesse a happy birthday.

Were you aware of it?

Animals have been used for military purposes practically since the invention of war. The most obvious examples would be the horses in a cavalry unit or homing pigeons to send secret messages. However, one of the most bizarre and extreme examples occurred during the War of 1812.

The British were eager to capture Washington DC because it’s access to water. The reason for this was that they needed a sufficient port to unload their secret weapon: King Colosso!

King Colosso was unleashed and immediately told to destroy the monarch-hating yanks. Undoubtedly the war would have ended differently had Colosso managed to capture New Orleans, having sacked Washington DC and decimated forces in a southward fashion. Much to the surprise of the redcoats and King Colosso, the American forces under the command of General Andrew Jackson had discovered Colosso’s weakness. Old Hickory had learned that Colosso’s hide could only be pierced by cannonballs fired from the mouths of alligators. The reptilian artillery kept the giant beast at bay. While the British returned home, Colosso was forced into the wilds of Tennessee to lick his wounds. It was years later that he was captured by the frontier hero known as Tomahawk.

Sorry guys and gals, no list this week. I’m actually sending this post into the future from Wednesday!

Eine kleine nachtlesung

If you’ve never been over to comicbookresources.com, you’re missing a world of great columns and news. Even if you check regularly, it’s easy to miss things because there’s so much. With that in mind, I want to highly recommend Jason Aaron’s new column.

Aaron, who has written some killer Ghost Rider and Wolverine stuff recently, writes a weekly column about the practical side of the craft with the pitfalls and the peaks. His most recent column (as of this posting) looks at a week in the life of a comic book writer. It’s well written, feels honest, and is practical minded. Check it out and check out some of his books while you’re at it.

Were you aware of it?

It is generally assumed that character actor Ron Perlman created the role of Vincent in television’s cult classic “Beauty and the Beast.” This is not, in fact, the case. The strange truth of the matter is that suffering from the effects of red kryptonite, a leonine Superman was enticed to help out a Hollywood producer with a new television series. While the first pilot has been lost, stills show that long time girlfriend Lois Lane played the role of Assistant District Attorney Catherine Chandler. Test audiences found Lane too unlikeable. She was quickly replaced by Linda Hamilton. After six episodes, the kryptonite’s effects wore off. This left the producers in a bad situation. It was the Metropolis Marvel himself that suggested Perlman take over the role; the rest is television history.

Were you aware of it?

Although many superheroes have won Olympic medals here on Earth, Batman is the only “Earthman” to win medals at the Olympic Games OF SPACE. A world class pugilist, the Caped Crusader took a year off from fighting crime to participate in the Olympic Games OF SPACE; it was Batman’s hope to use his high profile status to raise awareness of the importance of the Olympic Games OF SPACE.

More disturbing still, the Dark Knight was accused of cheating. Unbeknownst to her, when Xargax Vryenok shouted that accusation in the arena, she lit the spark that would become the conflagration known as the Rann/Thanagar War.

Were you aware of it?