about_faces: (Two-Face... FOREVER!!!)


Harvey is popping up in the latest (digital) issue of Legends of the Dark Knight, which is the first of six parts, thus making it the longest storyline yet to run in the digital LotDK revival. To make matters more interesting, the story is by old-school DC veterans Dan Mishkin, co-creator of Amethyst and Blue Devil, and Tom Mandrake, legendary Spectre artist and co-creator of Black Mask, plus he also has experience with Two-Face.

Since each installment of LotDK, like all digital releases, only constitutes 1/3rd the length of a typical 20-22 page comic, the first part of Without Sin (which will run in six parts, thus making it two issues) is mostly set-up and exposition. Harvey doesn't even get to do much, but his appearance here is damn intriguing, and it could potentially lead to an excellent story. Since there's not too much to go on here, I can't really review anything other than to go, "Huh, interesting, let's see where they're going with this," but let's nonetheless take a quick look at the first part of Mishkin and Mandrake's Without Sin.

I'm a changed man, Father... )

I don't know if I'll be able to keep up weekly reviews for the other five parts as they come out, but so if the story becomes less remarkable, I might just stop and wait to review the whole thing at the end. We'll see how the story goes, and if my own free time in real life will be cooperative. In the meantime, I wholeheartedly recommend buying this issue at Comixology (only 99ยข! Cheap!). This could potentially be a damn good Two-Face story, and hey, you'll be supporting two industry vets, so that's win-win.
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Whew, made it! And just in time for Twelfth Night, too!

Doing this series of posts has been one of the most exhausting, draining, frustrating, and goddamned fun projects I've ever done on this blog. It's a shame that it has to end this way, with an assortment that largely covers some of my least favorite Batman eras and characters.

That's not to say there isn't anything I love about Batman from 1997 to 2006. Sure, the days of the great Bat-trio of Moench/Grant/Dixon were starting to wind down, with many good stories hindered by one big crossover after another after another. The fact that they were all fired to make way for the next big crossover would haven been bitterly misguided if that crossover hadn't been No Man's Land. Far as I'm concerned, NML the highest achievement for Batman since Batman: Year One, since it was an event that was mostly focused on character rather than... well, events. It wasn't perfect, but it was better than any other major Batman crossover I have ever read, and thus I was greatly excited with the prospect of NML mastermind Greg Rucka continuing to write the ongoing Detective Comics.

While I loved Rucka's run, as well as Brubaker's Batman and Devin Grayon's Gotham Knights, the changes they made to Batman's character and supporting cast led the series down a path that I didn't necessarily like, but stuck with because I trusted the creative teams involved. And then they were all gone, with Loeb and Lee giving us Hush. After that, new writers followed the threads left by Rucka, Brubaker, and Grayson, and it all went to hell. The stories that followed left me cold, and much as I rag on Grant Morrison's run, I think I might honestly prefer it to the era of Black Mask. Don't force me to choose, please.

So now, at the end of a project that I started to celebrate the characters I love, I shall see if I can muster any of the same kind of enthusiasm for some of my favorite and least favorite eras alike.


Rassum frassum get off my lawn behind the cut )


So here's to another year for about_faces. The output will be infrequent, but I'm not going anywhere. There are too many stories left to look at, too many stupid things to rant about, too many comics and characters and ideas worth celebrating. Hope you'll stick around, and as always, keep the comments coming. You're the smartest damn bunch of fans I know, and that's no lie, no flattery, it's the damn truth. So thank you, and be seeing you.
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By 1990, I suspect that DC was tired of the increasingly-crappy printing quality they were giving to their Who's Who books, and probably wanted to step things up for the collector's market. This is pure speculation on my part, just going by the fact that the new editions of Who's Who were a much higher quality, with better coloring and slick, glossy paper. The biggest change for these profiles was that they came in looseleaf tear-away binding with holes so you could organize them in a three-ring binder any way you wanted: by character name, by heroes and villains, by all Batman/Superman/cosmic characters, etc.

While we had snazzy new updated Who's Who profiles, very little actually happened to most of the characters since they were last written about in previous entries. Aside from the art, the written entries (many by Mark Waid!) were largely identical. Bear in mind, this is just before Batman: The Animated Series, Knightfall, and other stuff which would have greatly affects the biographies of the Batman villains. If DC had waited another year or three, the many profiles would have had more to say rather than pretty much rehashing everything we know already.

Nonetheless, the new art makes the lack of new information plenty worthwhile. Many of these portraits and stellar and timeless, perfect for use in your average wiki entry as a definitive take on these rogues.


A spiffy new bunch of Who's Whos, plus a couple new Who's Thats, behind the cut )

Man, I didn't intend to begin and end this part with Grant/Breyfogle creations! Maybe it's a sign that I need to finally collect that entire run and read it through, as well as the early Shadow of the Bat stuff. Grant's work is rarely what I'd call stellar, but it's proving more interesting, remarkable, and entertaining than I used to believe. If you folks have some favorite Alan Grant stories, let me know if the comments!
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Man, I had a lot to say about today's characters. I also had leftover Christmas turkey, so see if you can trace the point where the tryptophan coma kicks in!

In Soviet Russia, Whos Who YOU behind the cut! )

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