Saturday, 24 August 2019

Batman: Interlude On Earth-Two



Jim Aparo would've been 86 today, and d'you know what? Different fans have different tastes, but I've never heard anyone say: 'Jim Aparo? Eh. He wasn't all that...'
So here's a Brave & The Bold that may've slipped some of us by. As the title makes clear, it's set on Earth Two, which normally I'm fairly uninterested in. To me, it's like nothing that happens there ever really counts.
But in this tale we have 'our' Batman meeting up with 'their' Robin and Batwoman, all trying to deal with the fact that they've just lost 'their' Batman, while we've just lost 'our' Batwoman. Got all that? Don't worry, it'll all become clear, as Alan Brennert's tale is all about the characterizeration, up to and including villain Hugo Strange. And of course, Jim is great. As always.



















26 comments:

  1. I was never excited about Jim Aparo. Felling he was a bit of a poor man's Neal Adam's on Batman. HOWEVER, when he drew Aquaman & wasn't yet aping Adams his work had almost an Alex Toth look & I preferred that.

    I *was* very amused by the B&B issue Aparo drew where he is on the cover at gunpoint while drawing the panels. Sgt. Rock was the guest star.

    Regards,
    Chris A.

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  2. God love ya, Chris, I couldn't disagree more, but you're entitled to your opinion!

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    1. Yes, we're all wired differently. I mean, if you liked frogspawn as a schoolboy who am I to argue? ;)

      Regards,
      Chris A.

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  3. Frogspawn were a great band. Kinda lost it after the first couple of albums though...

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  4. Maybe it's me, but something about Aparo's version of Batwoman's costume looks very "off-model" to me.
    Even her mask, which is more or less accurate, doesn't seem to fit comfortably on her face.

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    1. I can sort of see what you mean, Gene, actually. But to be honest, I'm just swept up in Jim's awsome page layouts..

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  5. One good thing about earth-2 is that "their" Robin has a much better costume than "our" Robin. Actually, I kinda dig earth-2 stories, though I guess they don't "count" as much as earth-1 stories.

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  6. He definitely does actually yeah, but I always liked that Wally Wood style open mask with the hair showing look personally. Like when Hawkeye became Goliath, it's just a great visual for a superhero.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this Pete, especially on Jim Aparo's birthday! I'm currently reading a few Brave and the Bolds that I picked up in London last week-end and thoroughly enjoying them. This issue is no exception. Some of the panels are very dynamic and the vibrant colours just leap off the page at you. Can't wait to add this issue to my collection. For the record, I always have and always will LOVE Jim Aparo's Batman. (with apologies to Sean who has been led to believe I've never read a DC comic in my life)

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  8. Jim is the leveller for every non-DC fan, Dave, as we know. I've read most of B & B and, even when ( very occasionally ) the stories aren't that great, Aparo ALWAYS delivers. All this reminds me I must put up some more of his Phantom work for Charlton too...

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    1. Excellent! I've never seen that!

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    2. Today DC, tomorrow Charlton... before long it'll be Atlas Dave, and he'll have you reading Iron Jaw.

      -sean

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  9. After BRAVE AND BOLD was cancelled, Aparo got penciling duties on one or more of the regular Bat-series, but I never thought his work was as dynamic there as on the B&B work.

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    1. I'd agree that Batman & The Outsiders wasn't as good as B & B, for sure.

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  10. Funnily enough Pete, to me it seemed like it was the regular DC stories where nothing counted - they were never going to change the basic set-up of their best known characters, right? - while the Earth Two stuff could well be more interesting.
    Sure, they're imaginary stories... but then aren't they all?

    Got to say I do tend to agree with Chris on Aparo...

    -sean

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    1. I'm actually reading through Rascally Roy's All-Star Squadron and reasonably enjoying it ( though clearly not as much as Roy! ) but still can't help feeling like none of it really matters. Actually, it's really like going round Roy's house and having him go through his collection of Golden Age comics with you: 'Look at this one! And have you seen this one!!' which is no bad thing..

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    2. Roy Thomas nostalgia usually wears thin fairly quickly with me, but I do recall enjoying a few issues of All-Star.
      Partly because of Jerry Ordway, but also the Earth Two thing made it more interesting than, say, the Invaders or (yikes!) the Liberty Legion.
      But maybe alternate Earth stories are a future Podium topic...

      -sean

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  11. I'm apparently in the minority here as I never really paid attention to who the artists were other than Kirby who I loved especially during his Kamandi years! I just enjoyed the comics in their entirety and they way they took me to another world for a brief moment. I liked the Freedom Fighters who were from Earth X/2 and landed here. If you've read Kingdom Come you may have seen the Human Bomb's cameo of "Pull my finger"! This was a good Batman story and I liked the characters and the varying mental aspects they all had to deal with during the issue. I'm just happy to be able to see all these old comics again and especially ones I haven't seen!

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  12. Man, I really LOVED this Robin costume. It inspired me, as a kid, to design my own costumes for existing heroes.

    As for Earth-2, I loved it. I felt like even the normies knew about Superman, Batman, Metropolis, etc., but Earth 2 was something only a die-hard fan knew or cared about. I also liked how these characters' stories could take paths that the mass-market characters couldn't. (Spoiler... Earth-2 Batman marries Catwoman and dies!) All-Star Squadron was a favorite of mine.

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    1. That's all true, but I dunno, it just never mattered to me, I don't know why. As a kid I was like: Batman's dead? No he isn't, that's not the 'real' Batman.
      A subject for a future Pete's Podium, as Sean said, I think.

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  13. Yes, All-Star Squadron is competing with the Legion of Super-Heroes as my all-time favorite DC comic.

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  14. Well, nothing beats The Legion, but I'm certainly enjoying All-Star Squadron more than I did at the start, but again, not as much as Roy was!

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    1. True, Roy obviously did enjoy writing that series, and it showed, which may help explain why it was so good. I do agree with you that nothing beats the Legion, though.

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