Monday, October 25, 2010

Rainbow connection? No, Deadman connection.

It's funny, but I figure the vast majority of Batman fans probably would name a Neal Adams or Jim Aparo (or god forbid, a Jim Lee) as the artist they most associate with Bats. And for me, it's straight-up Norm Breyfogle or today's pick: Kelley Jones. From Batman #530, "The Deadman Connection, part one: Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon." Written by Doug Moench, pencils by Kelley Jones, inks by John Beatty.

I wasn't going to do a full write-up on this issue, but I love Jones' crazy-long bat ears on Batman. It's artistic license, but the ears are longer than Batman's skull in some panels, and the cover for #530...hey! There were two covers for #530-532, since there were glow-in-the-dark versions as well, different than the others! (Presumably, direct sales had the gimmick, while newsstands got a separate, plain cover; although comic shops may have stocked both.) Let's slap that into the scanner and see how it turns out:

Hmm, not bad. My copies were in a box, so they aren't especially glowy right now, although that wouldn't show on a scan anyway.

Jones had previously done a Deadman prestige format two-issue series with Mike Baron; and I believe he was the first to draw the ghost as a dead man: instead of looking like a fit acrobat in a silly suit, Boston now looks like a desiccated a silly suit. Batman even mentions it, although he's almost tactful about it: this issue, Moench takes a couple of liberties with Deadman. He appears as a ghost to Batman, by virtue of concentrating really hard; previously, Deadman was always invisible. Also, Deadman possesses a corpse for much of this storyline, something I don't think he's done before or since. (It doesn't matter, now that he's 'Aliveman' in Brightest Day...)

Back to Batman's ears for a second:
Geez, don't choke up on that club there...
They're...floppy? That's something you don't see every day...

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