Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Somehow, my Oldest has an almost complete run of John Byrne's Blood of the Demon, pulled from the quarter boxes. I really should've sprung the cover price for the last issue, to see if any of the plotlines were wrapped up. How to sum them up? It's not bad, but not something I would've paid full price for. More entertaining than Byrne's Doom Patrol, certainly. The art's not bad, but not his best, and a little sketchy in parts. The story seemed to be going somewhere in the issue I read yesterday (#3, guest-starring Batman) but...

This may seem harsh, and someone has to have made this analogy before: Byrne and Claremont were like Lennon and McCartney. Together, they had a body of work of almost insurmountable quality, the classics. Separately, they went on to some pretty impressive work, before eventually sliding out of relevance, at least as far as new work goes. In relative terms, a new album from McCartney or a new comic from Byrne might be nice, but it would never be thought to be as good as the old stuff; and would definitely not be greeted with the same enthusiasm. (Even the most hardcore of McCartney fans would have to admit Memory Almost Full, regardless of it's strengths, isn't going to be A Hard Day's Night.)
Bad hair day for Alfred, and Batman's nose is almost peeking from below his cowl.
It's somehow off to see Byrne draw Batman without the yellow oval, though. Both Bats and Alfred seem almost based on old model sheets, like here:

Even though he'd just done a ton of reading about him, Batman seems to have just plumb forgotten the Demon has super strength, which seems kind of obvious, especially when Etrigan's kicked Batman's ass sideways on multiple occasions. Seems like something you'd remember, yeah...
Who would've thought a monster in short pants would be so strong?
Zatanna also makes a guest appearance this issue, but she spends it in her bathrobe at her apartment, offering magical technical support to Batman. Then, worried that the Demon is too much for him, she tries to call in for help from the Justice League:
Doesn't the JLA have like 90 guys in reserve? Send Blue Jay or something.
Jeez, they don't all look that busy: Superman's apparently fighting Doc Ock, which shouldn't hold him up for more than five minutes. Green Lantern seems to be flying drunk; Aquaman's just swimming--little tip, Zatanna: he's not busy, he's always swimming. Plastic Man looks like he's going to do something to those crooks that everyone's better off not seeing. Y'know, Zat, you could just put on some pants or your fishnets or whatever and go help Batman yourself. Just a thought.

Fortunately for Batman, he's got it pretty much sewn up by the next page:
And he'll try to kill him with a forklift! Little MST3K flashback there, sorry.
Yeah, you can tell Batman didn't plan this, or that bulldozer would've had little Bat-symbols all over it.

I do like the Demon as a character, even though I tend to prefer the DC animated version, that of a 'good' monster; over the barely contained evil one. I'm running late, though, and want to watch House later, so we'll save two (or more, if I stumble across them) more Demon appearances until tomorrow.


CalvinPitt said...

It seems odd to me Batman saying "You're strong" out loud. Superman I could see saying that, but with Batman, it sounds like he's admitting he miscalculated. Which he did, but it's hard to picture him admitting it out loud.

That's what thought balloons are for.

Also, what is with the little tuft of hair in the middle of Alfred's head? It looks ridiculous. Come on Al, you can look more classy than that.

SallyP said...

Does Batman have a Bat-dozer? If not, then he certainly should! How handy would THAT be for emptying out the bat-guano from the cave?