Monday, September 12, 2016

At least give him an executive producer credit. It's meaningless, but still.

I actually bought this issue only a couple weeks after getting the previous chapter, but scheduled this for further out. From 2003, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #163, "Auteurism II: Electric Boogaloo" Written by John Arcudi, art by Roger Langridge.

When last we saw down-and-out underappreciated comedian (and hopeless crank) Buddy Kantor, he had been dragged along with the Joker on a bank job. Even though he was a drunk, Buddy isn't so far gone that he's up for that; but he needn't worry, even though Batman shows up. The Joker plays it especially hammy, even for him, but his performance is as phony as his crime: the "bank job" only takes place outside the bank, with fake money and set pieces.

The Joker gets Kantor boozed up again, so he can rant on camera again: Joker considers Kantor the only genius who could portray him on film. Even if Kantor is consistently off-script and going on about who knows what, the Joker plans on committing a few crimes, filming Batman to be edited in later, and voila! The crimes are fake, but Joker has wild animals released from the zoo, knowing Batman would have to leave him to deal with them instead. Meanwhile, Kantor has watched some of his footage, and finds it good: the Joker may be his muse, but he doesn't want to hang around and get thrown in jail. Running into Batman while fleeing, Kantor spills his guts; and Batman has him pretend to be a cop, so he can catch the Joker trying to escape.

Incidentally, Batman mentions the truck the Joker had been using in his fake crimes, still had the name of the warehouse he was using as a hideout on it. And filmed footage of the Joker's crimes sends him back to Arkham, fake or not. Alfred wonders, though: only two reels of Kantor's film were taken into evidence, but much more was filmed...

Later that year, Kantor accepts the Oscar for best documentary film, for "Sound and Fury: the Buddy Kantor Story." As his acceptance speech goes long, railing against the unoriginal thinkers who kept him down; in Arkham the Joker still appreciates him...even if he's mad about not getting a screen credit.

You don't see this style of Joker story much anymore--especially with the fake crimes!


SallyP said...

That's some pretty great artwork too.

Dale Bagwell said...

Huh, no kidding about the art @Sally, they made the Joker look like his godfather of sorts, Conrad Veidt.
I might have to check this out if I ever stumble across it.