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The ’00s Revisited: Detective Comics #826

detective_comics_0826Slayride

Writer: Paul Dini
Penciller: Don Kramer
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover: Simone Bianchi
Assoc. Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: February 2007
Cover Price: $2.99

Hard to believe even this issue was published OVER 12 YEARS AGO, but then, it’s been 8 since the announcement of The New 52, and it’s been a decade longer SINCE Tim Burton’s Batman than IT was from the ’60s series. Time flies. This issue is from a period where I’d largely stepped away from the Bat-books, before I came back for Batman RIP and Battle for the Cowl and such. So though I obviously knew Detective Comics was out there, I was not buying it regularly in 2006/2007. I actually found out about this issue from a post on Facebook with a discussion of "favorite Tim stories," and decided to track it down. Sort of surprisingly, the very first place I looked for it, I found it–for about $4, or "only" $1 more than cover price, and perfectly in line with what would be paid for a contemporary 2019 new comic!

This issue opens on Robin–Tim Drake–speeding away, being chased and shot at after winding up in the middle of rival drug gangs. As his bike is totaled, a minivan pulls up and someone throws the passenger door open, calling to him by name. Not looking a gift-horse in the mouth, Robin leaps in…to be greeted by The Joker! When Tim awakes from the Joker’s gas, he’s bound to his seat, the heat in the vehicle is on, the seat-warmer is on, and the original owners of the vehicle are dead in the back. Tim’s in for a hell-ride with one of those most deadly individuals he’s come up against, as the Joker drives over pedestrians and generally tortures Tim with his inability to DO anything. We get some flashbacks to some "human" moments Tim has with Dick…that also lend context to Tim’s eventually distracting Joker enough to escape. Unfortunately, he’s unable to capture the Joker. Batman appears, and the two leave the scene, knowing this is anything but the end of their old foe.

I don’t know if I’d consider this the greatest Tim story ever–but for reading it as a sole, single issue, completely out of any context of issues surrounding it, and getting a complete story in one issue…this is definitely an excellent issue TO get as a one-shot!

Adding to my enjoyment of this issue was having just watched a couple episodes from early in Batman: The Animated Series. Perhaps that this issue was written by the same Paul Dini that wrote those episodes, this had a certain vibe that fit right in with that…especially for being a complete story told in a short amount of time!

The cover is primarily black-and-white…with only the title logo "Detective Comics" in red. Bianchi is a hit-or-miss artist with me…but for a cover, this works very well! It also helps that the cover is actually RELEVANT to the CONTENTS of the issue–something that seems to all-too-rarely be the case in 2019, where "variants" rule and the cover doesn’t often seem to matter.

The interior art is quite good as well. I would not say I’m familiar with Kramer‘s work by style or name, but I was able to follow the story quite well and "get" what was going on, with no great distractions to yank me out of the story. If the art doesn’t "blow me away" with sheer awesomeness, then I greatly appreciate when–as with this issue–it recedes to the background and simply does its job. BY receding to the background it’s better as it becomes part of the story, the issue, and doesn’t take anything away. That said, this is probably one of the best-looking Jokers I’ve seen, and I WOULD welcome this art for the Joker in more contemporary stories!

Story-wise, the writing is very good, and along with presenting a solid story about Tim as Robin–facing and surviving The Joker–it gets into character moments/downtime with the character, and manages to give us a complete story in a single issue! Nowadays something like this one issue would be stretched to at least 3 issues, if not somehow 6 to be a full graphic novel, if one wants a "complete story." While it might be slightly toned back, this would be an excellent episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

Having thoroughly enjoyed this issue, I’m reminded that I may have read that there was a time with the title where Dini was doing a bunch of done-in-one issues…and I will definitely have to "investigate" that as that’s something I would almost certainly enjoy reading more of!

If you’re a fan of Robin, of Tim Drake, of Joker stories, or just getting a full story in a single issue of a comic, I’d highly recommend this! I consider it to absolutely be "worth" $4 or so…and anything under that is a bargain!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 06, 2019

February starts out with a medium week. Not huge, not tiny. Though it’s another with an issue missing from the week before, picked up amidst the bunch!

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While I despise the $3.99 price point AND that DC is NOT doing digital codes with the books regularly/predictably, I think I’m pretty much ‘sold" on the Wonder Comics stuff, at least for checking out the first issue or two for each of the titles. This week had Young Justice #2, which was a no-brainer for me, given the way I enjoyed the first issue. This one didn’t hit me quite the same way, but was still enjoyable in itself!

We get the first chapter of The Price [of Justice] in Batman #64, beginning a 4-issue 2-per-title crossover with The Flash, written by the writer of The Flash (rather than Tom King, the regular on Batman).

From the previous week is the $9.99 Mysteries (of love) in Space, a giant-size special playing off the classic Mysteries in Space title. As a sucker for these giant-size issues, I snagged it. Where I’m "ok" with DC doing $10 issues and NOT OK with Marvel is that DC has the decency to have them be standalone issues and NOT part of a regular series. Get the special, don’t get the special…one isn’t "penalized" by a gap in their collection or feeling "forced" to buy the issues!

Adventures of the Super Sons is over the halfway point of its run; GI Joe: A Real American Hero sports one of THE highest-numbers in American comics (coming behind Spawn‘s #294 or so) and I’m giving these Marvel Action books a chance, if only for the "novelty" of being major Marvel properties published by IDW (and thus semi-immune to gated/ratioed/EXCESSIVE variants and crappy continuity stuff).

Finally, I tend to follow Blake Northcott‘s work, so of course snagged her Aspen Visions: Fathom issue. I think this is a one-shot, but time’ll bear that out, I suppose.

I missed the Man and Superman giant-size special, but hopefully it’ll be back in stock this upcoming Wednesday.

…Which will itself hopefully not be too huge a week, as I’ve had a couple other huge non-comics purchases within the current paycheck, and another planned for the next!

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Toys in the Wild: DC Primal Age [Addendum]

I posted the other day about the DC Primal Age toys from Funko.

Regarding the Joker Beast, I’d said

Of all the characters, The Joker is the one who gets a "ride" or in this case, I guess more of a "mount."

In visiting a different Target, I spotted an unfamiliar toy and looked closer!

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Apparently the Joker Beast is the "bad guys’ mount" while the "good guys" get Ace the Bathound. Seems I neglected to look at the back of the box for the Joker Beast, or I’d’ve realized there was one figure I had not seen!

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The back of the Ace the Bathound box shows the eight "solo" figures as well as Ace and Joker Beast (though the art shows the mounts with their riders, the riders do NOT come with the mounts!).

If there are more than the eight figures, two mounts, and Batcave in terms of the toys, I’m presently unaware. And while I’d really like a Superman for this line…if he’s some sort of "exclusive" ANYwhere (convention or otherwise) that will–to me–be a HUGE red slash AGAINST Funko and this line as a whole!

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There’s also a fun little bit that apparently got past whoever approved the box-art/design for print. "Collect the all!"? As opposed to "Collect them all!"

For something of this scale, this mass-market (albeit Target-exclusive), that strikes me as a rather significant error to make it past the QC stages and into production! (Especially given my recent job-hunting and the requirements "asked for" with anything involving editing/proofing/etc.!)

So hey, if this was Bleeding Cool and not a personal blog, I’d urge you to snap these up while you can as–if the mistake is caught for any later waves/printings, these could be "collectors’ items!" (albeit a ridiculously stupid thing to differentiate or make something such).

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DC Gallery: Shazam!

A couple weeks back–January 16–I noticed a new statue on a display shelf at Comic Heaven. Captain Marvel! (Well…legally/officially "Shazam" but that’s a whole other post/series of posts).

Anyway…a new DC Gallery statue from Diamond Select!

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I’d known this was "coming soon," but was thinking it was due at the end of the month, January 30 or so. But seeing it in front of me…and having suspected I’d be quite interested in it when I saw an image of it some weeks earlier–I bought it on the spot!

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While the face is somehow a bit off, and short of actual light-up effects, the lightning isn’t going to be spot-on…I still like the design of this overall; it captures the character for me–more of the new, perhaps, than the classic…but I didn’t really come to be much of a fan of this character until a couple years into the New 52 era. So I’m naturally going to be more accepting of changes if I notice them at all. And of course, there’s the simple matter of taking what I can get!

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I continue to really like this line of statues. They’re solid without being too heavy; light without feeling stupid-cheap.

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This piece joins several of my Marvel Gallery statues from the last few months, as well as an unpictured-here Batman: The Animated Series Robin that resides with a bunch of other Robin stuff in my collection.

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Toys in the Wild: DC Primal Age

As with many toys based on comics, it IS the comics that spark my interest.

Of course, it doesn’t seem all that often that there’s a sort of "original property" to come of it in quite this way.

Funko had (has? I don’t know if they’re still making them) a line of vintage-style action figures–just small, basic figures on a little card; then they’ve done some larger figures, and their Mortal Kombat ones especially caught my eye (though the price put me off).

Then Bleeding Cool ran a piece about a new Target-exclusive 100-page comic with a similar trade dress to the Walmart-exclusive books…and the "completist" in me decided that yeah, I would be seeking it out.

Apparently this Target one is based on a new toy line or such. And in seeking out the comic I found an endcap display of what seems to be the entire toy line!

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In an age where it seems some entire toy lines are relegated to 2-3 pegs, period…it’s cool to see this line get at least an initial larger endcap display! Here we have 4 pegs of the figures, a t-shirt, lunchboxes, the comic itself, and the Batcave playset. (With a Joker Beast on a shelf below these).

toys_in_the_wild_dc_primal_age_comic

For me, the "main attraction" is the comic. I was somewhat surprised at its basically $10 price ($9.99 or $9.95…) but that’s in line with this sorta thing; I imagine it’s bulk that helps allow the Walmart books to be "only" $5.

This DC Primal Age or DC: Primal Age feels a lot like an Elseworlds thing, or like something out of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (except featuring a lot more characters in "a past").

That it’s a comic–essentially an "original graphic novel" but cheaper, and "supporting" (or supported by?) a toy line makes it a bit more "special."

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There are old-style lunchboxes. I’d be sorta interested except that I don’t need yet another sort of item to collect. I dig the look of this one’s art, though…and something about it reminds me a bit of He-Man or even Conan the Adventurer (the animated one, not the live action).

And then there are the figures themselves:

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Maybe my favorite of the bunch is Batman…though unfortunately there’s no Superman. I’m not sure if I feel better about it having read the comic and Superman at least being there, than if he wasn’t even (at least) acknowledged there.

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Green Lantern’s another one that’s rather appealing, and works well here. He’s at once familiar yet fits this alternate reality.

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I’ve got mixed feelings on the look of Aquaman…but I really like that we get an apparently-’90s-inspired "hook for a hand" take on the character.

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This Wonder Woman is one of the more "normal"-looking ones of the bunch; also smaller and far less bulky than most of the others.

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I’m not overly keen on this look for Scarecrow…something to it is fitting of the character/name, but also looks rather generic to me.

toys_in_the_wild_dc_primal_age_mister_freeze

Mister Freeze is an interesting one…almost like an old, blue Conan; I can go with the "ice-gladiator" look, but there’s something slightly "off" to me. At the same time…this would be the first of the villains I’d get!

toys_in_the_wild_dc_primal_age_king_shark

King Shark is an interesting character…on one hand, doesn’t seem to fit–a "fish out of water" and all that–but then, on the "primal" theme and "knowing" sharks are rather ancient…it’s kinda fitting.

toys_in_the_wild_dc_primal_age_joker

While perhaps one of the more "iconic" characters, I’ve gotten rather tired of–and bored of–umpteen different Jokers. Still…like Batman, Joker seems to work well with numerous interpretations.

toys_in_the_wild_dc_primal_age_joker_beast

Of all the characters, The Joker is the one who gets a "ride" or in this case, I guess more of a "mount." It fits, sure, but I’m not overly keen on it. Then again, as a display piece, it’d make a nice addition. I’m just not sure about its $20 price!

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The Batcave seems like a neat thing; sort of the "ultimate piece" to the toy line. $60 may not be horrible for it, but it’s something quite impractical for me as I’d have nowhere to display it, and at this size, displaying is far less versatile than "just" the figures themselves!

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The card backs all seem to be the same…which works; I definitely like that they show "all" the figures.

As mentioned above, though, I’m disappointed that Superman was not included…though I’d hope perhaps there are plans for a second wave of figures that might include him!


While the photos above were taken in the store, I did wind up deciding to buy one for now.

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Here’s a slightly-larger look at the art-depiction of the entire line (another nice throwback touch).

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And here is Batman himself, out of the package and armed with his sword and carrying his shield.

The figure is not particularly-well articulated…but for me at least, that is definitely part of the charm of this sort of figure, in an age of hyper- and over-articulation in figures, it’s great to get some basic figures that just simply look cool and that have some basic poses.

Like a lot of stuff out of the ’80s and my childhood.

Still, at roughly $12/figure I don’t really see trying to get them all; though if they last in the stores long enough, maybe I’ll snag one here and there and eventually end up with them all. I picked up Batman, and am definitely interested in Green Lantern and Aquaman, as well as a villain, so likely Mister Freeze or King Shark. So time will tell.

It’s also very refreshing to see a line such as this with just ONE version of each character; and a good MIX of "good guys" AND "bad guys," where often it seems like there’s not much of a mix with maybe "just" some "good guys" or umpteen variants of a main "good guy" and one or no villains.

I enjoyed the comic–despite its size, I read it basically in one sitting, and I’d say it’s a large reason why I’d enjoy getting some of the other characters! This feels like something that could totally be a cartoon series…and I guess that’s where the comic sort of takes the place of the cartoon, giving stories involving the characters and to provide further interest in the figures.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of January 16 & 23, 2019

Looks like these Weekly Haul posts are becoming more of a biweekly thing than weekly, despite best of intentions otherwise. And broken record as I feel on saying that.

Here are the previous couple of weeks’ worth of new comics…with another new week now just a couple days away!


Week of January 16, 2019

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Detective Comics is really ramping up toward the 1,000th issue! I was amazed at how quickly the first two chapters of this story read, and this one itself seemed a pretty fast read. Loving the art, but the story makes it seem like it’s going to be so much better as a singular "graphic novel" in collected form.

Superman finally–about nine months in–gives us the story of the "missing" time and we now have a mid to late teens Superboy in Jon…which really is not my cup of tea. Perhaps it’ll be undone by the end of this current arc, but I doubt it…we’ll see where it goes, though!

Then we have Supergirl and the TMNT issue of IDW‘s series of 20/20 special issues celebrating the publisher’s 20th anniversary. This TMNT 20/20 jumps forward 20 years, and proved a too-quick read with too little space to really do any justice to the story…and there’s loads of potential here!

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The DC Walmart-exclusive 100-page giants seem to have thrown the 2-every-2-weeks schedule out the window, and are landing all-4-at-once again…right about the 4 week mark since the #6s! And it turns out that #7 is the final issue for both the Justice League of America and Teen Titans iterations…they’re being replaced with Wonder Woman and Titans respectively, starting with new #1s while adding Swamp Thing and Flash to the lineup (apparently Batman and Superman get to continue with their existing numbering.


Week of January 23, 2019

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The most recent week of new comics brings us a non-Black-Label issue with Batman and Constantine; I need to catch up on reading this title, and really look forward to reading this issue! I snagged the second issue of Geoff JohnsShazam! title, even though it’s several weeks late. I have yet to read the first issue, and as my usual trap seems to be…I get a subsequent issue so when/if I finally get to reading one issue, I’m not "stuck" having to "hunt down" another issue.

I lucked out and the local Target had the DC Primal Age exclusive issue. I had a rude surprise in thinking it was going to be like the Walmart issues at $5, but this one was $10! Still, that’s in line with DC‘s own non-Walmart such issues, so…c’est la vie. At least it’s DC and not Marvel

TMNT hits its 90th issue; and we get the third issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero – Silent Option. And for the heckuvit, I opted to try the IDW 20/20 issue of Jem and the Holograms. It’s a one-shot, and given my own age, I figure it might be interesting to read about the characters 20 years older than "usual," as it puts them into my own real, current age range.

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Despite swearing off of the latest Uncanny X-Men iteration due to pricing, frequency, and event-orientation (with Age of X-Man and such) I couldn’t quite bring myself to pass up this Annual given the focus on–and return of–Cyclops. And I was firmly set on NO MORE DARK HORSE Aliens minis due to variants and the like…but when I recognized Tristan Jones‘ art on this variant…I gave in and got it, since it IS #1, so at least it’s not just another variant-on-any-old-issue-nothing-special. Maybe I’ll suck it up and buy the rest of the mini…especially or at least if he’s got variants on the whole thing.

I snagged this free Isola Prologue issue cuz hey…"free." And we have the weekly Comic Shop News, this one focusing on Age of X-Man: Alpha…something playing on nostalgia (1995’s X-Men: Alpha). If Marvel does some sort of omnibus for the event, has a single-volume of Uncanny X-Men 1-10 and such and I can get then for a decent price…I might snag ’em. Otherwise I’ll wait for conventions later in the year and see if the singles can be had for half price for standard covers…if reviews and word of mouth bear ’em out as worthwhile.

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I’m not actually sure anymore what IDW‘s schedule is for print and digital releases as it almost seems like they’re releasing stuff early digitally with print coming the following week. And I’m not sure how I feel about Spawn Kills Everyone 2 being $3.99 an issue for a 4-issue mini-series…but I threw in with Spawn several years ago, and have decided to at least "stick it out" through the 300th issue. And that includes this mini, given the original special a year or two ago, whenever it was.


All in all, not a huge haul for new comics for the couple weeks…though some other stuff I bought more than made up for the comics spending. Buuuut I’ll get into those as the week progresses!

And as usual…here’s to hoping the new week of new comics is small-ish…

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Reign of the Supermen…26 Years From Page to Screen

Last week–maybe the week before as well (but this last week for sure) I was greeted with a pleasant surprise in an ad. Most advertising is frustrating, deceptive, or otherwise just bugs the sheer heck outta me. This was one of THE BEST ads I can think of in a number of YEARS.

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See…THIS ad prompted me to ACTION. It informed me of this two-day event. Reminded me that this was happening, as I believe I’d seen SOMEthing about it some time back. And it was well-timed, being the Wednesday before the event–providing me with several days to consider and make plans and actually attend the event!

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The Death of Superman came out last July or so, and I enjoyed it overall. It was certainly far superior to 2007’s Superman: Doomsday (which I still hold as primarily worthwhile for its retrospective documentary on the actual comics event).

This "do-over" was good, catching a number of good points from the original comics…while updating, modifying, and adjusting stuff in such a way as to fit it–essentially–into the New 52 continuity, as the last few years of these DC Universe Movie features have been–some based directly on those comics, others drawing inspiration from, and so on.

For me, probably the most stand-out thing about this The Death of Superman was the way it pulled off addressing Lex Luthor as he’s generally been known, and yet the Luthor at the time in the comics was vastly different. I remember that moment in here leaving me chuckling–like "Alright, I was wondering, and that’s good, I like that, that’s awesome!"

In its Return of the King style multiple "epilogues," it also drew from what I feel is one of THE absolute KEY moments of Funeral for a Friend/World Without a Superman, the heart of that story, and in some ways maybe the entire reason one could do this sort of story. It gives us a voiceover of Bibbo praying, talking to God, asking how it is that He would take Superman…while a washed up old roughneck like him goes on living. It was a scene in the comics that made me cry in 1993, it’s a scene that has brought tears to my eyes multiple times since in re-reading the comics, and darned if it didn’t have my eyes wet in the theater the other day!

[SPOILER WARNING! I’m gonna get into spoilers below with Reign of the Supermen!]

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The biggest draw here for ME, of this double-feature, though, was Reign of the Supermen. Not only the chance to see these on "the big screen," but the fact that it was a chance to see this one a couple days BEFORE the "digital-only" "window" that I so thoroughly DESPISE that has been such a trend lately/for years.

I’m still trying to decide what I think of this one, and perhaps as I’m typing this I’ll better settle it out.

————— [Again, spoiler warning! Stop reading if you care about knowing nothing really about it going into Reign of the Supermen!] —————

Something that really stood out to me quite a bit was the way that the Justice League was involved, as well as the very presence AT ALL of Darkseid.That more than even just the costumes rooted this as a sort of New 52 version of The Death and Return of Superman stuff.

It worked–having Doomsday be a weapon of Darkseid, and Darkseid having been behind Hank Henshaw, and all that. In context of Darkseid being THE big Justice League foe of the New 52 and all that; being the driving force of the "origin" of the League, etc.

But it also turned this into a Justice League story in which Superman had died…rather than being fully at its heart a Superman story.

While I can "appreciate" certain stuff with Darkseid and even like certain visual interpretations…on the whole I just do not care for the character and find the character to be vastly over-used and uninteresting.

We still had key moments adapted into the film. Steel still had a momentary subplot with weapons; Superboy hitting on women; the "visored Superman" still used deadly force; the Cyborg still saved the president and was recognized as the real, one, true Superman; and so on. Scenes had some clever nods to comic covers in montage mode that I really liked. To "just anyone" it was a montage; someone like me that read the individual comics each week as the story originally unfolded across much of 1993, it was an excellent way to acknowledge the original comics without being hung up on them and their story.

While Superman, the Supermen were a primary driving force…I just strongly feel that this could have been just as easily Justice League: Invasion II or some such.

In the end, though, I enjoyed this, especially as I decided that for me at least it’s simply the New 52 version of the death and return story, updated and adapted for the New 52 such that it fit the altered continuity and such, while keeping many of the moments from the comics that were important and informative of the characters. Unfortunately, the biggest disservice was probably done to the Eradicator, with virtually no real character exploration nor explanation. (Why the visor??? The visor wasn’t even really acknowledged! except his being "the visored" Superman)


I’ve missed at least a couple other Fathom Events presentations of DC Universe movies. I’d been very interested in and planning on going to see the Batman: The Killing Joke back in 2016, but was laid off days before and still in a bit of "shock" over the whole situation, and didn’t go. And I’m pretty certain there was at least one other "premiere" in theaters in 2017 and/or 2018.

But it feels "fitting" to see these…and all the better a value for having both together. I think the listing I saw indicated the combined thing was 2 hours 45 minutes or so–which makes for a "longer movie," with an individual 70-74 minute animated feature "short" and a "full length" film running closer to 120 minutes. But unlike most of these "longer movies" in theaters, having these as two movies but back to back…there was a whopping 5-minute "intermission," which was more than enough time to go to the restroom and grab a quick drink. I certainly wish more films would be a bit longer BUT (such as on a cliffhanger) have a brief intermission for using the restroom and such.

I despise this "digital window" on movies. I have never ONCE decided to blow $20 on a digital-only film JUST to have it 2 weeks before it would be available on physical media. It just pisses me off. If "digital" were a completely separate thing and there were NEVER "DVD + Digital" or "Blu-Ray + Digital" or "Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital" combo packs, that’d be a different thing. I refuse to "convert" to digital-ONLY when it’s basically the same price to get the physical media WITH a digital code. (Or for $2-3 difference–cheaper than a single issue of a comic book–it’s negligible for a huge benefit/convenience!)

Even having bought and watched The Death of Superman last year, and even just having seen Reign of the Supermen in the theater…I’ll still be buying the latter in a couple weeks when it’s available.

If you’ve bought/watched The Death of Superman this is a solid continuation. And even if you’re not really a Superman fan but dig Batman and the rest of the Justice League, this is also very much a Justice League thing, and fits with the other recent Justice League animated features, references the Teen Titans, and generally works in that continuity.

It’s taken 26 years…from the original comics to this animated (double) feature. I’m glad to be able to have ’em, all the more as they make a 25+ year old story "new" and "current" again for an entirely new generation!

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