Now this actually has a ton of benefits! 1) I get to save some money, and 2) we get to look at some old stuff I've had on my "to blog" pile! Hooray.
Strap yourself in, guys, 'cause I had way too much fun with my scanner today.
Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1
by James Robinson, Marcos Martin, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Published by Timely Comics, Inc.
I bought this on impulse maybe a month ago, mainly because A) the cover has Captain America punching a portrait of Adolf Hitler. . . in the face, and B) Marcos Martin is doing le art, and C) this comic book is total fanservice. Referring to Marvel's original incarnation, Timely Comics? Total fanservice. Steve Rogers using a trash can lid as the shield of America?
BLONG! Total trashtastic fanservice. Bee-yootiful double page spreads that play, "Where's the Human Torch?" with you? Total fanservice.
I feel like a story like this should have had a more universal appeal, and the little nods to the fans were a bit forced, but all in all it was pretty goo-
OH MAN! Spidey on a skateboard! I would totally hang ten with you, webhead.
There's a reprint with a 1941 story by Cap's original creators, and it's absolutely genius. If you ask me, it's worth more than the first story by a mile.
Steeee-rike three! You'reeeeee DEAD! The story is like something out of Scooby-Doo, where a local, fictional threat appears to be terrorizing the top baseball stars. . . and it's up to Cap' and the gang to solve the mystery!
Detective Comics #853
"Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert
This thing took way too long to get out to the stores, and I'd argue that it isn't really worth it.
I mean, it's nice and all, and it does a great job of martyrizing The Legend of Batman, but, y'know what? He doesn't really need it. He's Batman.
One of the great things about the arc is that it refers to so many different tales of Batman. You can spot Bill Sienkewicz Batman, Jim Lee Batman, All-Star Batman (with special Bat-stubble!), and even Adam West Batman. It's craaaaaazy the amount of references they stick in here, but it's both a strength and a weakness!
Comic books these days are impenetrable anyways, and you already have to know way too much to be able to access one of them. One by Neil freakin' Gaiman shouldn't have such liberal use of it.
A funeral is nice and all, but it's not really anything special, especially in comics. If you ask me, this arc was all about the art. It's just so fun to see Andy K. drawing in all these references, in all these crazy panels of Batman himself. Plus, at the end of both issues are some of Andy's sketches. BatMite could've made it into the story!
Personally, I don't think this really belongs in the pantheon of Bat-classics like "The Long Halloween," or "Year One." Referring to so many other Bat-tales without trying to make its own makes it feel generic, so I don't think it has any real value by itself. You'd have to have read a ton of other stuff to really "get" it, so I think only Bat-fans to begin with would really like this.
I wish this were as thought-provoking as some of Gaiman's other stuff, but I guess he can't swing a home run all the time.
(Batman hit a steeeee-rike three! He's DEAD!
sorry. I am so, so sorry.)
sorry. I am so, so sorry.)