Author: Nate Crocker

Review: ‘Batman Cacophony’ #1

Review: ‘Batman Cacophony’ #1

The eagerly anticipated [[[Batman: Cacophony]]] #1 finally hit shelves this month, and, on many levels, it did not disappoint.  The three-issue series is authored by famous screenwriter/director Kevin Smith, and his signature style is evident.   Smith, as always, manages to weave in a healthy dose of crude, sexual humor, and it is surprisingly successful coming out of The Joker’s mouth.   The tone of the book, however, is not as dark as one would think.  The atmosphere created by the creative minds at work is more a cartoonish, brightly colored Pulp Fiction than the noir-esque Batman of years past.   A color palette of burnt oranges, yellows, and primary colors adorn the pages in the book, and this tone nicely compliments Kevin Smith’s clever, quick witted humor. 

On the topic of art, the book is drawn by illustrator Walt Flanagan, making his DC debut.  Although he shows promise, his style is definitely that of a rookie and not a seasoned veteran.   The drawings lack the stylistic flair that many accomplished comic artists have mastered.   While the absence of pop in the drawings can be distracting, Smith manages to set the stage for what is sure to an interesting story.  He is weaving together a tale that links the Joker to a ring of Greek mobsters and designer drugs which is also peppered by the presence of the always fascinating villain Onomatopoeia, not seen since Smith introduced him during his short run on [[[Green Arrow]]].   Onomatopoeia happens to be one of the characters that is drawn very well by Flanagan, and the story lines are sure to collide and provide solid entertainment for any reader who shows interest.

Michael Jelenic is ‘The Brave & The Bold’

Michael Jelenic is ‘The Brave & The Bold’

Batman’s next animated incarnation will take on the form of Batman: The Brave and the Bold debuting on the Cartoon Network wnext Friday night.   This is based the DC Comics titles that evovled into a team-up title between super-heroes and ultimately featured Batman as its co-host from issues #73 though its cancellation with issue #200 in 1983. The animated series targets a younger demographic than the most recent animated incarnation. 

Each episode will introduce Batman to a partner and a villain from the DC universe.   Fans of Frank Miller’s comic book Batman and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movie franchise should take note that this particular series focuses on the more jubilant and innocent aspects of the iconic character.   The color palette seems to be brighter than the animated series of the mid nineties, and viewers can expect a throwback to the golden and silver age DC Comics.  

After speaking with Story Editor Michael Jelenic, it became clear that this series was a throwback to an older more simple time for comics and super-heroes.  Jelenic  said that the dark, brooding Batman had become the norm, and by creating this series they were doing something different that the hardcore comic heads and kids could all enjoy together.  

“Previous incarnations of Batman were serious.  This was an opportunity to go into a new series, and see how Batman interacts with different characters from the DC Universe.”  These different characters all come from the extensive DC mythos, and many of these characters have never appeared in cartoon form before.  Animated versions of the rarely seen Blue Beetle and Red Tornado will make their small screen debut with Brave and the Bold.  When asked if this new take on the Batman will affect die hard fans of Frank Miller’s Batman or Christopher Nolan’s movie version, Jelenic responded by saying, “You will always have people that think you got it wrong.  Anytime you deal with icons you run that risk, but if the series doesn’t talk down to the viewer, then you can get it right.”