Joe Quinones' art keeps the quality from the previous issue: well done if somewhat streamlined, with somewhat vague likenesses of the actors. It is curious that much of the unofficial, personal art he has posted regarding the Batman movies over the last several years looks much more detailed with pin-point likenesses of the actors. It seems like Sam Hamm continues to be more influenced by Daniel Waters' Batman Returns script than his own 1989 script. He is also making the same mistakes DC made with their Batman '66 comics, by abandoning what made it what it was, and trying to graft elements of modern DC continuity onto it. In the case of Batman '89, we are introduced to Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Unfortunately we also get a lot of the current political climate grafted onto the story. Sorry, but I'm not a fan of this approach. When I read a comic that is supposed to embellish and follow the spirit of the Michael Keaton Batman movies, the last thing I want is preaching about political and social issues that are constantly on the news in 2021. I want to get lost in that timeless movie world, not be hammered by Hamm-fisted opinions and commentary about 2021 topical sociopolitical issues. Batman '89 is quickly becoming a huge disappointment. This issue gets a C-.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Friday, August 27, 2021
The second story, written by Todd Livingston, deals with the boys taking a vacation on a Fantasy Island-esque island, and, hold on to your grouses, attempt to make Larry a romantic leading man by giving him a love interest, perhaps inspired by his leading man turn in the boys' first Columbia short Woman Haters. The art by Diego Tapie mimics the art from the later Dell comics. After the text pieces and a misplaced "sneak preview" of Three Stooges Thru the Ages, which was published ages ago, there is an announcement there will be an issue #3 later this Fall. It looks like the comic book may last longer than the original cartoon series did.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
I hate to compare the first issues of Superman '78 to Batman '89, but in many ways the Superman issue gets things right where the Batman issue stumbled. Superman '78 #1 was a very fun and entertaining read, and could easily be envisioned as an installment of the Christopher Reeve Superman movie franchise. This issue earns an A.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Batman '89 #1. Written by the 1989 film's writer Sam Hamm, with art by Joe Quinones. Something I have been waiting for. But did the anticipation drive up expectations so that reading the actual comic book falls short?
The first part of the issue is essentially a set up to get the reader back into the Batman '89 mindset. Except it quickly becomes obvious this is not really Batman 1989, i.e. a bridge between Batman and Batman Returns. No this is more like Batman '94, set some time after Batman Returns. And in a lot of ways, this issue seems to have a lot more in common in tone and character portrayals with the Daniel Waters penned Returns than with Sam Hamm's own 1989 script.
Harvey Dent is the main character of this issue, and we open on his marriage proposal to Barbara Gordon. Wait... what? Yep, you read that right. Now, I'm not much of a Barbara Gordon fan. It seems like whenever she pops up in a franchise, things go down hill. The 1960s Batman TV Series. Batman The Animated Series. Batman & Robin (although technically that was "Barbara Wilson"). So to see her right off the bat in this comic... eh. Harvey's fixation of a double headed coin, not referenced at all in the 1989 movie, is heavily explored here, and then we get a great Batman action sequence that involves a giant penny. Harvey visits Bruce at Wayne Manor to try to get him to join with him to rid Gotham of Batman, and force Commissioner Gordon out of the police force. This seems vaguely like a rehash of the Max Schreck story line from Batman Returns. We get more background, sort of an origin, on Harvey. Then Batman attempts to stop a robber who stole diapers and baby food for his kid, and Batman is ambushed by another costumed figure who is obviously going to turn out to be either Barbara Gordon or Drake Winston.
Joe Quinones' art is excellent, but only Billy Dee Williams' likeness is truly captured. All the other characters, like Bruce, Jim Gordon, and Alfred, have a more vagueness to them. Bruce, in particular, is far too gray. Perhaps DC couldn't get clearance to use the actors' likenesses... but do they need permission if they own the original material? Gray area, I know. Quinones puts in a lot of Easter egg callbacks to Prince's Bat Dance video.
Sam Hamm's script is, frankly, a far cry from his 1989 movie script, or his unused script for Batman II, but it is still miles better than most of the Batman comic book scripts of the past decade or so, and after this six-issue miniseries ends, I'd love to see Hamm and Quinones become the regular creative team on either Batman or Detective. However, making Barbara Gordon such a major character so quickly in, and the rumors the comic will utilize the Batman Returns concept of Marlon Wayans as Drake Winston/The Kid, a choice that was widely and universally panned, instead of the actual 1989 concept of Ricky Addison Reed as Dick Grayson/Robin, factors into the answer to the question I asked at the beginning of this review. Does this issue fall short of the anticipation and expectations? In a word, yes. This issue earns a C+.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
As for this comic book, the first story by S.A. Check and Phillip Murphy takes a subtle jab at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with artwork that is very faithful to Maurer's original character designs. The second story by Jordan Gershowitz and Jorge Pacheco has more of a vintage Mad Magazine flavor in both story and artwork. The issue concludes with some special feature articles of the history of the Robonic Stooges and interviews with this issue's creative teams. Another good and fun outing from American Mythology, and even though they usually only do one-shot specials with the Stooges, I wouldn't mind seeing an actual issue #2 of The Robonic Stooges.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
There has been a flurry of activity and casting announcements over the last couple weeks regarding both the Shazam! sequel and the long gestating Black Adam movie. (Shouldn't that be ShazAdam movie?)musical, and Pierce Brosnan was cast as Dr. Fate in ShazAdam or Black Adam or whatever it's going to be titled.
But to be perfectly honest... I really don't care. You see, they screwed up Shazam! so bad that I really don't have any interest in the sequel, and frankly, I don't even care about Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam anymore, even if it does introduce the Justice Society of America. But truthfully, it's not really the legendary JSA. It's more like Dr. Fate, Hawkman, and a few 3rd tier Infinity Inc. characters.
If both movies end up premiering on HBO Max, like all of Warner's 2021 films, I'll probably give them a peek, but I'm not planning on going to a theater to see either of these movies.
I think what sums it up is what David Sandberg posted: "Though I can confirm with ~90% certainty that Shazam will appear in Shazam 2. So if you’re a fan of that character you might enjoy Shazam 2." That's just it. I am not a fan of New52 Shazam. I'm a fan of the Original Captain Marvel. So I guess I'm just out of luck until the reboot happens, and hopefully is done right.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Next up is a story by Todd Clarke and Diego Tapie that has Moe, Larry and Curly in a sport fighting tale reminiscent of their shorts Punch Drunks and Grips, Grunt, and Groans. Clarke's script is fun, and Tapie's art is cartoon-inspired and top notch.
The third story is by Jordan Gershowitz and Jorge Pacheco, and has Moe, Larry and Curly-Joe DeRita as movie actors in a situation similar to the DeRita era where the boys were making watered down feature films aimed at children.
Unfortunately there was no story featuring Joe Besser, who was superior to the lackluster DeRita, nor was there a story with the comedic genius who essentially created the Stooges, Ted Healy. Perhaps a future one-shot will give some time to Healy and perhaps even Besser (but I wouldn't mind if we don't see DeRita anymore).
The issue concludes with a check list of the past five years of Stooges comics, and a fun interview with Larry's great-grandsons and Curly's grandson. This issue is a good and fun read, and I look forward to the next one.