Comic Report: Batman Chronicles–The Gauntlet

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I got back the laptop I use for the art corner but I haven’t had time to work on my comic or do some other stuff I wanted to set up on the old thing. That was my project this week, but probably not very interesting to you guys. So here’s another recent “Scanning My Collection” article from the other site so you have something worth reading. And in light of the recent Titans streaming series on DC’s new streaming service even more appropriate now than when I first posted it.¬†Enjoy.


 

The art of the sidekick is dead or dying. Merriam-Webster defines the sidekick as “a person closely associated with another as a subordinate or partner“. Often mistaken for just being comic relief the sidekick is learning from the hero or is there to provide back-up for the hero. In the world of superheroes, sidekicks are…or were…receiving training from the hero but not yet good enough to go completely on their own. From Robin the Boy Wonder to Kid Flash to Bucky Barnes, the sidekicks can graduate to take over a mantle or become their own hero, but they start out aiding their mentors.

Nowadays that doesn’t happen. The Robin of today is already highly trained by assassins and an equal to Batman despite his young age. If he’s learning anything, Damien has to respect others, including and especially his teammates. But as Tim Drake noted, Robin also served another purpose. He keeps Batman from going too far over the edge, from falling into the proverbial abyss. Meanwhile, Batman chose the first Robin before the memory of his parents’ murder ruined Dick Grayson the way it did Bruce Wayne. We all know how Batman trained Dick Grayson to become the first Robin, but do you know the story of his final exam?

Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet isn’t some huge, Earth-shatteringly epic story. It’s a one-shot story in a short graphic novel. It’s the story of Robin’s “final exam”, the last step in proving he’s ready to become Batman’s partner. It’s one of my favorite Robin stories. So why does it stand out for me?

“Shadow puppets? Really, Bruce?”

Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet

DC Comics (1997)

WRITERS/ARTIST: Bruce Canwell & Lee Weeks

COLORS/SEPARATIONS: Matt Hollingsworth

LETTERER: Albert DeGuzman

EDITOR: Darren J. Vincenzo

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Quick Project: Comic Shifting

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This wasn’t the project I planned to do this week. I wanted to take my steno book and make a listing of the PC software I have and list what goes to which computer (my desk and laptop) and further divide them by games, productivity, creativity, and standard drivers and stuff. But I’ve lost the steno book. I don’t even think I can blame this one on the clutter. I put it somewhere and now I don’t know where. Luckily this isn’t an important project right now. I’m just upset I lost my steno book. Remember, it has all my video game scores and other listings on there. So until I figure out where I put it that project’s on hold.

So I did the project this week I was saving for next week. As I continue to go through my comic collection I’ve pulled out a bunch of comics from my collection, leaving a big gap in at least one longbox. So this week I moved some comics around, putting a few more in the box and condensing the collection. So at least I did something this week, and considering how hot it is in Connecticut (and thus hotter in this attic) I’m lucky I was able to do that.

By the way, for my fellow Americans, have a happy Independence Day!

Free Comic Book Day

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photo of Mark Marderosian at Free Comic Book D...

photo of Mark Marderosian at Free Comic Book Day, That’s Entertainment, Worcester MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t do any clutter cleaning this week because Saturday was Free Comic Book Day. You can read about what I picked up over at my other website. I was going to do an article introducing my next project, but after starting that article later than I had planned I didn’t have time and I didn’t get to do anything during the week due to other things going on. It won’t be as big as one of the comic organizing project phases, but it will be at least two days of trying to figure out where to put stuff. So instead of a preview hopefully you’ll simply see the results. I just need to actually work on it next week because I have the whole week to do it.

Mini-Comic Report: Transformers Armada vol. 4

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I know I was going to review my last Alternator this week but I haven’t had a chance to go over it. Next week is going to be hectic but I’m going to try and get it done then. In the meantime I’m crossposting the next Armada minicomic from my other website that hasn’t been posted here yet.


Previously we’ve looked at the first three Transformers Armada minicomics Dreamwave produced for Hasbro, but there’s one more to go. So it’s time to finish this series. Dreamwave also produced minicomics for Energon so we aren’t done yet but we’ll put this series to bed.

At this point the toyline introduced the subline “The Unicron Battles”. This featured the first ever Unicron toy, long desired by those who grew up with the original toyline and Transformers: The Movie. While the toy had been planned twice in the past, once when the movie came out and once by Takara for the Japanese-exclusive line Beast Wars Neo, neither were ever produced. Finally for this line we got our Unicron and it was worth the wait seeing as the other two designs didn’t really capture the essence of the big villain Simon Furman re-imagined into a god of chaos nearly as well. (When it comes to Unicron I’m actually neutral as to which origin is better, cartoon or comic, but I still prefer the Quintesson origin over Primus.)

It was decided to make Unicron the big threat of the subline and tie the version of him in this continuity to the Mini-Cons, and so the “Unicron Battles” began. And this was the comic that introduced the idea to toy buyers who didn’t see the show or read the regular Dreamwave comics. So how does it do? The first two comics were not that great since they had to force three translations of the same dialog into the panel. The third issue was better for only needing one language but still not that great, so what does this series end on?

“Hey Galactus, the rest of us want to see, too. Wanna move to the back seats?”

Transformers Armada volume 4

CREATED BY: Dreamwave for Hasbro

PUBLISH DATE:  2003

WRITER: Chris Sarracini

PENCILER: James Riaz

COLORISTS: Felipe Smith & David Cheung

Only TWO colorists, Dreamwave? Are you finally realizing you don’t need five colorists on one book, especially a minicomic? Since none of the Energon minicomics have credits we’ll never know.

LETTERING: Dreamer Design

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Matt Moylan

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Comic Report: Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey

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I just finished reviewing another trade collection on my other site but only the individual issues. Here I’ll be looking at the final collection, so we’ll take a week off from Transformers. I’ll resume the Alternators reviews next week with Side Swipe.

 

The Death and Return of Superman

The Death and Return of Superman video game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doomsday is name that…well, should be familiar to everyone who speaks English because “doomsday” is a rather well-known word. But for Superman fans Doomsday also refers to the giant monster that killed him in one of the most famous story arc in comics. “The Death And Return Of Superman” is a multi-arc storyline dealing with Superman sacrificing himself to stop the only threat besides Darkseid who is Superman’s physical equal. All of his other enemies have to outwit Superman only to learn he’s more cunning than they thought. The storyline deals with his death, how the world is changed by his disappearance, and his ultimate return because no way is DC giving up what was their flagship character at the time, although it seems Batman has recently usurped that role. Which as much as I like Batman says more about the world at large than Superman himself. He’s still my favorite superhero.

The original storyline was huge, but it lacked any kind of actual origin for Doomsday. He just shows up one day and kills Superman. 1994’s Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey is a three-issue miniseries that brings us that origin. Where did Doomsday come from? Why did he want to kill Superman? Those answers were finally revealed, and then collected in a trade collection the next year. I’ve already reviewed the three issues, and will link to those reviews if you want a deeper analysis, as well as the actual issue where Superman and Doomsday fought to the death, which isn’t in this collection but I thought you might be curious. While I will go over my thoughts on the miniseries this is The Clutter Reports, so my focus will be on the collection more than the story itself.

You might want to look behind you, Doomy!

Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey

collecting issues one-three of the 1994 miniseries

DC Comics (1995)

WRITER/LAYOUTS: Dan Jurgens

FINISHED ART: Brett Breeding

COLOR GUIDES: Greg Wright

COLOR SEPARATIONS: Android Images

LETTERER: Bill Oakley

“SUPERMAN” CREATORS: Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

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Comic Re-Integration Finale + Bonus Projects

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There’s nothing more satisfying than a completed project, especially a big one that needed four weeks to complete. But complete it is. I wanted to sort my comics so they flow in a better order to properly go through them all, and I succeeded. I ended up finishing before the week was out so I took on some smaller project that I could only do once the comic re-integration project was complete. Let me take you on a short journey through my week and all I accomplished.

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Comic Re-Integration Project: Week 3

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This is going to be a short report. This week I was more interested in finally finishing my Christmas comic…which as you can guess from the posting date is already a few weeks left. If I can get it done for tonight I’ll be very happy. Not that I didn’t do anything. I did organize my letter “T” titles, which included two big ones: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with at least four different continuities to sort separately) and some Transformers comics I came across, some of which I already pulled out since I know I don’t want them. Not that they’re bad (though some of them are) but IDW took the franchise in a direction I don’t care for, which is the opposite of what they did with the Turtles comics. And there’s still the border marking, mixed with my removable tape running out. I have to use regular tape and hope the bag doesn’t rip the next time I go to read the comics down this way. Removable tape is hard to find, if they still make it.

The plan is to finish off this phase of the project this week and move on to another project while I continue to slowly go through the collection, finding the comics I still enjoy and want to read again versus the ones I don’t care for and willing to go away, thus cutting down my oversized collection. We’re almost done with this one.

Comic Re-Integration Project: Week 2

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I needed a few days break before I resumed the project on Thursday. But I got quite a bit done in three days, and now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I’m done with this I have to organize my records, then I can put the table away and have room to take down my Christmas decorations. So I want to get through this as fast as my body can go through. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve accomplished this week.

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Comic Re-Integration Project: Day 5 (Week 1 wrap-up)

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table

There really isn’t much to report on today’s work. I sorted my Sonic The Hedgehog comics, and found there’s a few missing somewhere because of course there is. I found a couple of series I want to get rid of, but one of them needs to be reviewed on my other site first for completeness sake. I marked myself one week to complete this project, and I didn’t. There is still more sorting and organizing to do before my comics are in a proper order. That doesn’t mean I failed, though.

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Comic Re-Integration Project: Day 4

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It was time to break out the table again. Today was all about sorting comics. That was the plan…but the plan didn’t require me to hate myself for what I’ve done to myself! As I’ll get into I had to seal with one section of comics totally out of order and having to be sorted more than I thought, and other titles and letters I thought I was done with! It was a huge exercise in frustration and I only have my past self to blame! But I got through it and that’s what matters!

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