Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Passive aggression in the comics: Spectre Vs. Batman

Here, from the recently published Showcase Presents: The Spectre collection, is a wonderful panel (originally published in The Brave and the Bold #75, cover dated January 1968) in which the ghostly superhero The Spectre really lets Batman have it for mucking up his wonderful astralplan:

It's disconcerting to see Spectre talking like my mother.


Daniel K said...

Not surprised to see you reading such fine material. I thought the two panel sequence in the second Showcase issue, where The Spectre throws a punch that goes to the universe and then curves round (because the universe is curved) and then whacks the baddie on the back of the head was one of the finest things I've ever seen in a comic, or possibly ever seen anywhere.

Daniel K said...

I meant "the end of the universe".

It has a fantastic cover too.

Ricky Sprague said...

One of the great things about reading the old comics reprinted in the Showcase editions is the massive numbers of ideas they packed into a single-issue's worth of story-- ideas that could fill an entire issue are discarded in a single panel. Writers like Gardner Fox, Otto Binder, Robert Kanigher, et. al. didn't hold anything back, and they couldn't use the "decompression" or "future trade paperback collection market" as a storytelling crutch. More often than not, their plots went into nonsensical territory, but when they were on, it was magic.

Yes, that Gardner Fox-Murphy Anderson sequence is a beautiful masterpiece of creativity. The Aparo-Fleischer stuff is also terrific, for different reasons. And Neal Adams has some great stuff in there as well (including one of the best titles ever of a comic book story: "Stop That Kid... Before he Wrecks the World!").

Yet, the book also features some spectacularly dull stuff. I mean, the book is kind of all over the place, but very much recommended.

Daniel K said...

I bought the Aparo-Fleischer stuff as back issues many moons ago. They cost 1 pound sterling each, probably 20 years after they'd been published. Very enjoyable.

Agree re: millions of ideas. I love the absurdity of some of those early ones.

I kind of dig early 70s "occult" comics in general. Ghost Rider was great when it was all about Satan, motorbikes and Indian rights; shit when superheroes started showing up.