Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Next X-Event?

Cover of "Evil matriarchy guides an unwitting world to its doom" by George Ratcliff, 1953.

Billionaires DO Have Greater Political Access!!

Ha! You can keep your old "red phone," Commissioner Gordon!!

Batman has a phone line that is much more important!



I wonder how many other world leaders Batman has on speed dial...

From Detective Comics #939 (2016)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Finally, The True Origin Of The Joker?

Let us travel back to ye olden days in Europe...







See?!? That's so obviously the Joker, that--

Oh. Never mind.

Still, this brings to mind a question--is the Joker the last major character (recent creations excepted) to not actually have an origin, to have his creation myth shrouded and hidden from the readers?

Wolverine's origin wasn't revealed for decades, but Marvel got to it (eventually)--hell, they even made a movie out of it!

The Phantom Stranger's beginnings were deliberately kept cloudy--famously, there was an issue of Secret Origins in the 1980s that coyly posited 4 different possible origin stories for the Stranger, without committing to any of them being the actual "truth".

Of course, once the nu52 came along, literal-minded DC ended all that: "He's Judas--deal with it!"

Yet despite insisting on ending the mystery of the one character whose mystique perhaps depended on mystery, DC has insisted on keeping the truth of the Joker's origin mum. He was Red Hood! He was a failed comedian! He was a vicious criminal! He's a super-genius whose spine is filled with mysterious fluid that can turn anyone into a Joker! He's immortal! He's a floor wax! He's a dessert topping!

Of course, we're now at the point where Geoff Johns has made it canon that there are 3 Jokers, without any explanation. (I picture Johns grinning foolishly at that little turd he left in DC's bowl as he walked away from writing comics, knowing that no one there would have the guramba to flush it away or do anything with it...)

Does it serve any purpose to keep the Joker's origin so shrouded? At best, it allows unrestrained writers to keep making The Clown Prince Of Crime more and more powerful, as he's escalated from a bank robber with a shtick to an insane nihilist to Maximus The Mad, trying to bring down all society and powerful enough to take out the whole Justice League (but not Batman--he's the bestest!).

That's one symbol of what's been going on at DC the past decade--we must completely define the Phantom Stranger, but we must keep the Joker free to grow more and more powerful and dangerous to better show off how cool Batman is.

So, since DC won't give us a Joker origin--for any of the three (!)--feel free to use the story above. Except for the "he died" part...

From The Beyond #8 (1952)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Your Tax Dollars At Work--Anti-Mosquito Propaganda!!

In 1943, Theodor Geisel was a captain in the U.S. Army...

At the time, the U.S. was sending a lot of troops to various tropical areas...

...so the War Department had good old Dr. Seuss draw up a pamphlet educating soldiers on the dangers of malaria!



It was a pretty elementary effort, as you can see...

...but Seuss drew great mosquitoes!




OK, so it ain't War And Peace...


Huh...Dr. Seuss writing about "strip teasers"!!




Ahhh!!!

Sure, it was cheap and rudimentary...but it's more than Congress is willing to spend these days on fighting insect-born disease....

This Is Ann is from 1943

Bold Fashion Choices--The Clothes Make The Music!!

Swell news, Archie gang:

Mr Lodge has hired your band to play one of his swanky parties!!

Oh, but there's one catch...





Well, it's not that bad, right?








Well, that didn't go well...

Yet, as the kids change their clothes...




And so...



And that's why KISS dressed up. Can you imagine how bad their music would be if they something else because someone told them to?!?

From Archie Annual #23 (1971)