Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Batman and Bad Company

Here's how this works: I finish reading something, and I tell you about it, and I try not to bore you to death. This time, reviews, of sorts, of Showcase Presents Batman volume three (DC, 2008) and Bad Company: Kano (Rebellion, 2007).

More of the same. Depending on your opinion of mid-to-late 1960s Batman, agonizingly more of the same. The book features several television-friendly villains, even ones they never used in the 60s TV series such as the Cluemaster and the Getaway Genius, but sometimes in grandiose schemes that could never have been realized on that show's budget. It features the old-styled, retarded Catwoman who was obsessed with stealing anything with "cat" in the name, be it catamarans or catawba grapes. There's some nice artwork from the likes of Carmine Infantino and Gil Kane, but you'll probably like this book a lot more if you're one of us who love the show.

Oh, I wish I could recommend this a little more strongly. The first series of Bad Company, back in 1986-87, was really amazing. Peter Milligan's been a really uneven writer, ranging from utterly compelling (as seen in that first series and, say, Enigma), and then there's well, the last two years of Shade the Changing Man and most of this. The book reprints two storylines. The first, in which the battle-scarred Kano attempts to retire to a farming community beset by ghosts and by creatures in the forest, has elements of genius, but it's completely undermined by Brett Ewins' artwork, which is even more stiff than usual and colored in that garish watercolor he seemed to be using throughout the early 1990s. The second features far better, more vibrant black and white work that recalls the earlier adventures, but the story is Milligan on autopilot. There's very little here which will convince new readers just how amazing that first series was.

(Originally posted September 02, 2008 at hipsterdad's LJ.)

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