Neon Talking Super Street Bat Luge…Activate!

I never got into the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series as the show was a bit too campy for my tastes. Not that I had anything against it. I think it was a fun cartoon and certainly found an audience of fans both young and old. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

However, by coincidence I caught this week’s episode, which just happened to be the series finale. And wow, what an amazing ending to a fun, wacky show! Titled “Mitefall,” it featured Batmite, the imp from the 5th dimension with an unhealthy obsession with Batman, trying to get the “goofy” show cancelled to make room for a darker, edgier, “more dramatic” Batman series. Fanboy stand-in, anyone?

Anyway, Batmite’s strategy is to alienate the show’s viewing audience by making it “jump the shark” (which he does both literally and figuratively). He gives Batman a precocious little daughter, a Scrapy-Doo like canine sidekick, switches Aquaman’s voice actor to Ted McGinley, and introduces several ridiculous Batman outfits based on the toy lines we’re all familiar with (things like arctic explorer Batman). Oh, and then there’s the aforementioned Neon Talking Super Street Bat Luge.

Series writer Paul Dini turned in a fantastically subversive, self-referential script, both acknowledging and ridiculing many of the real world entertainment and business aspects of a show like this. I’m talking about demographics, toy lines, ad executives, ratings, etc. The episode wasn’t just meta, it was hyper meta.

Oh, and it also featured Ambush Bug.

Anyway, whether you were a fan of the show or not, I’d highly recommend this episode, if only for the in-jokes and meta-commentary. And the faux new Batman CGI cartoon hinted at in the end.

Bonus for Craig: in the opening sequence, Batman teams up with Abraham Lincoln to defeat a steampunk John Wilkes Booth!

Classy…Not!

I spotted this ad on a comic news site:

I believe that’s the textbook definition of irony.

For future reference, I think it’s safe to say that no art featuring women ever produced by J. Scott Campbell can accurately be described as “classy.” Porny, maybe.

Spoof Comics: 90s dreck at its best (worst)

Recently, while looking for comic covers to post as part of the Weekend Versus feature on my other blog, I ran across several more books from a publisher called Spoof Comics. You may remember them from this previous edition of Weekend Versus, featuring their oh-so-clever Wolverbroad vs. Hobo book, or this one, featuring Spider-femme vs. Denim.

Well, I’m here to tell you that judging by the covers of their other books, it’s a testament to the strength (and insanity) of the 90s era speculative market that they lasted as long as they did. Again, I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t read a single one of these comics, but honestly, I can’t imagine any of them actually being funny. For example, we’ve got O-X: Cow O’ War:


Because nothing’s funnier than recasting Valiant’s successful X-O: Man O’ War as a cow. Cow’s have udders, which are funny, right? Ugh. Or how about The Punish-her Score Journal:

First of all, the character’s name doesn’t even make sense, other than it’s the best they could come up with that would somewhat rhyme with Punisher. I don’t even want to know how they wove in the theme of dating and sex and “punishment,” because I have a feeling it’s a bunch of frat house juvenile humor. But hey, check out the early Dave Johnson cover. At least he went on to bigger and better things.

And speaking of great cover artists, the folks at Spoof Comics were at least smart enough to know they’d have a better chance of selling their books if they put some recognizable talent on the covers. My guess is the interiors of these comics were drawn by hungry, naive young artists with way more enthusiasm to “break in” than actual alent. You know, the Bluewater model. So if you can get some nice looking covers, you may at least trick some unsuspecting souls into buying your crap comics. Case in point, Swamp Thang:

Oh, Kelley Jones, you must have had a car payment to cover that month. But at least it’s a really good cover. And then there’s Spider-femme:

That’s right, despite the normal looking (and sized) breasts, that’s pinup artist extraordinaire, Adam Hughes. Incidentally, the above cover is from their anthology series Spoof Comics Presents, which, get this, lasted 19 issues! And in that year and a half of publication, they gave us such gems as Daredame:

…Vertigo parodies like Dame Patrol:

…and the super-innuendo of Green Lanterns:

(by the way, I’m pretty sure that’s a Cully Hamner cover on GL)

…and so many other comedy classics, from Justice Broads to Wet Shirts. I’m telling you, Spoof Comics was a veritable (un)funny factory, churning out not just comic book spoofs, but also those of celebrity rock bands. Behold, Kisses:

But even in the early stages of their careers, guys like Adam Hughes and Kelley Jones probably charged too much for a cover (and by too much, I mean “not free,” which seems to have been Spoof Comics’ payment standard), so their other books looked more like this:

That’s right, Youngspud. What’s funnier than a parody of Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood book, than a bunch of potato superheroes? God, I can just imagine all the funny lines in that book: the heroes drink a lot to get “mashed,” or maybe they fight a French supervillain knows as The Fry?

Well, I’m afraid that’s about as much as I can stand to write on this topic. But before I go, I’ll leave you with the best of the bunch. Behold teh funny of Soul Trek:

I don’t even want to know.