Batman Issue 1: The Strange Case of Dr Strange

Batman got introduced to his arch enemy Joker in the very first issue of the comic book, and the second story puts Dr. Strange in the mix.


Plotline

The issue starts with Dr. Hugo Strange, who is put in prison by Batman himself, escaping from his current scenario in life with a couple of other prisoners. He also goes to the insane asylum and breaks out a couple of more asylum inmates. Batman gets a wind of this, and even before he begins to investigate, the town is attacked by giant monsters.

Much to their dismay, the police officers find out that these monsters aren’t hurt by bullets too. What kind of insane danger is facing the city now? Well, Batman decides to find out the answer to the question that must have surely cropped in every reader’s mind.

Batman witnesses the giants laying the town waste and then follows them to their lair, only to be captured by giants, who are none other than Dr. Hugo Strange’s creation. Dr. Strange reveals that he has created a concoction that allows men to grow high and mighty. And as they unleash havoc on the city, his other minions plan to rob banks. Make hay while the sun shines, as they say.

Batman is knocked down, and Dr. Strange injects Batman with the same serum and locks him up. But the Caped Crusader comes to his senses just in time – a few hours before the serum would work on him – and gets to work. Because the baddies took away his utility belt from him, Bat has to rely on the chemicals he has in his boot heel to blast through his makeshift prison. He then clobbers Hugo, and intelligently defeats all the monsters that are in Hugo’s lair.

Bat then takes his batplane and does away with the truck that was carrying the monsters, as well as those who were planning to break the bank. While nothing is told about the serum working on Batman,we are assuming Bat went to his cave and solved the issue for himself.


Discussion:

The second story in the Batverse introduces us to Hugo Strange, who makes his appearance in the DC Comics Game, Injustice: Gods Among Us too. Hugo is also a central character in the Batman: Arkham Origins game.

Again, this story takes he typical ‘mad scientist’ route, and is proof of how medical science was still a great mystery, and therefore a fear to the general public.

In this issue, Batman professes to killing at least three people, which is a far cry from the ‘oath of not killing’. This just goes to say how comics have evolved through time.

Graphic Novel Review: JLA The Greatest Stories Ever Told

Being a Green Lantern fan that I am, I bought and read Green Lantern The Greatest Stories Ever Told and was satisfied by the stories in it. So I thought I might as well get JLA The Greatest Stories Ever Told. JLA stands for Justice League of America, sometimes known only as Justice League. JLA or Justice League of America is a comic book published by DC Comics. It is a superhero team comprised of DC’s biggest names like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and the list goes on. The roster is not permanent. From time to time, some members leave while new characters join. The comic book had been entertaining its readers since the sixties until now.

So JLA The Greatest Stories Ever Told is a compilation of some of the team’s greatest stories or adventures. Though I would have to say that the term “greatest” is subjective, I still found my way to appreciate this comic book compilation.

I guess one of my biggest expectation from this book is reading the original issue with which this team or group of superheroes come together and became a team. I’m talking about The Brave and the Bold #28 from 1960. I would really love to read that original story. The team’s beginning story that was included in this book was from issue #200 with the title “Origin”. It was a story of how its founding members come together to battle invading alien forces and formally establish the group.

Well, the short origin story made way for other pages wherein interesting stories fill in.Stories like “The Super-Exiles of Earth”, “Snapper Carr- Traitor”, and “The Great Identity Crisis” among others. Each of these stories (eight stories in total including “Origin”), had some key events in the long history of the team which included revealing each members’ secret identities to one another, betrayal from one of its members, overcoming their own selves, undergoing transition with its new members, and heeding the advice that might be the key to saving the world from total alien domination.

Among these stories, I guess the best that I’ve read was “Star-Seed”. It was originally presented in JLA Secret Files #1, September 1997. The story was written by Grant Morrison and Mike Millar. In the story, Blue Valley was attacked by an alien threat. Flash was first to address the situation but he was also among the first to fall under the invader’s control. Superman called a meeting with Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter as the alien invader’s made it public that they are up to conquer the world. During their planning process, The Spectre intervened and warned them from getting involved. The superheroes were however

reluctant to follow the unsolicited advice so the Spectre gave them a view of things to come should they follow through with their plan. The result of their action would be them falling under the control of the alien threat. And being the super-powered being that they are, the rest of the world were no match to them. Seeing the probable outcome, they had come up with a solution: penetrating through the enemy territory deprived of their superpowers. with their powers gone, they would be a lesser threat should they indeed fall under control. Despite being powerless, the group succeeded in subduing the alien threat, keeping the world safe again.

Again, there are eight stories in this compilation book and each story offers a different take and point of view (as interpreted by each story’s respective creative writers) in the lives of these great superheroes. Aside from the great stories, as comic books, each stories also showcased great art from great artists that had shared their talents in each page.

Teckno Comixs – What Went Wrong

The Tekno Comix company was founded by Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein as a division of their publicly traded company, Big Entertainment. The Tekno Comix brand was discontinued in 1997.

Though books featuring the same characters were still published with Big Entertainment branding for the rest of that year in 1997. Tekno Comix tried to expose themselves as much as possible from 1994 to 1997, but the comic book competition proved to be too stiff for the upcoming company and they disbanded.

Tekno Comix publications featured many characters and many different comic book situations created by some celebrity authors and others in the comic book world, but were primarily scripted and illustrated by comics creators for hire by the Tekno Comix.

Some of their comics included:

Gene Roddenberry’s Lost Universe (later renamed Xander in Lost Universe),

Isaac Asimov’s I-Bots,

John Jakes’ Mullkon Empire (six-issue limited series),

Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals,

Mickey Spillane’s Mike Danger,

Neil Gaiman’s Lady Justice,

Neil Gaiman’s Mr. Hero the Newmatic Man,

Neil Gaiman’s Phage: Shadow Death (six-issue limited series).

I was one of the lucky ones to have attended a Comic Book Convention in the Sawgrass Mills Mall in

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on or about August 1994 and was able to meet most of the above listed, it was a pleasure to have met some of those people and have them share their views of where the comic book company was headed. Unfortunately their timing was not conducive to their company performing well, as I recall it, Comic books were taking a backseat to sports collectibles at least in the State of Florida.

The newly formed Florida Marlins, were taking over the spotlight locally and I believe that the comic book industry nation-wide was taking a hit indirectly to sports. 1990’s marked the overproduction stage of the comic book industry and watered down versions of an incredibly large amount of comic titles. Both of the major companies to blame. I can remember the over production of Spider-Man, the Mcfarlane saga, which by the way is the reason the comic book is worthless today. All the companies and their greed led in part to the demise of Tekno Comix.

Some of the Tekno Comix were fun to read, I was a fan of Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals and I have a nice piece autographed on my blog, yours for the viewing. If anyone would like an expired phone card from Gene Roddenberry’s Lost Universe, just send me a note and a self-addressed stamp envelop and I will send it, send me a note first I only have about 10 left.

1970’s quote “Keep on Trucking”…