For a while now, I've been meaning to revise and update my posts on the entire Batman comic strip from 1989-1991 with bigger scans, better commentary, and all of the color Sundays I've managed to find thus far. As of today, I have completed my overhaul of the strip's first storyline by Max Allan Collins and Marshall Rogers! When I originally posted those strips, I was thinking less about being critical and more just going "OH MY GOD THESE ARE AWESOME I NEED TO SHOW THEM TO EVERYBODY NOW NOW NOW JUST IN CASE THE INTERNET BLOWS UP OR SOMETHING," but I've since had three years to think about these stories, so it's a pleasure to revisit and lovingly dissect them as they deserve.
Of course, with this good news comes sad news as well. Just as I begin this working on this side project, DC legend Carmine Infantino passed at age 87. Considering that Infantino illustrated the vast majority of the strips, this will certainly cast a pall over my revisions. I will try to do the great man justice in my revised posts, even though--as it turns out--he hated working on the strip, in no small part because he hated Batman in general! Turn out, apparently personally knowing Bob Kane will do that to a person. I'll go into that more when I revise his run.
Next item: Scott Snyder's upcoming new take on Batman's origin, Batman: The Zero Year, will indeed be featuring an appearance by Harvey. According to the DC solicits for July: The second chapter of “Zero Year” delves into Bruce Wayne’s past with the Red Hood Gang and his run-ins with aspiring District Attorney Harvey Dent! And in the backup story, a secret moment from Bruce’s training abroad is revealed for the first time!
As far as I'm concerned, this will be the real moment of truth when it comes to seeing how Snyder can handle writing Harvey. His scene with Leatherface!Joker in Death of the Family was not at all good, no, but in its way, it was no worse than any of the dozens of mediocre takes on Two-Face that we've all seen. If he screws up pre-scarring Harvey, however, then I'll be really steamed. A bad Two-Face is annoying, but a bad Harvey Dent is so much worse, and Snyder will almost certainly be adding some new original twist to Harvey's character and/or backstory. Heck, if he's an "aspiring District Attorney," then what does he do for a living? And what kind of "run-ins" are we talking about with Bruce, here? There's potential for this, but so far, I don't have too much faith given Snyder's track record both with villain origin reboots and Two-Face. I hope to be proven wrong.
In other news which may not seem related in any way to Batman villains, I've been thinking about Psycho II lately, probably due to the existence of the questionable prequel show, Bates Motel. As some of you may know, I adore the 1983 sequel to Hitchcock's classic adaptation of Robert Bloch's novel, and while Hitch's version is the better film all around, I personally prefer II overall. I mean, just look at the premise: an infamous, insane, costumed serial killer is sent to a mental institution, rehabilitated, and released into a world intent on driving him insane again when all he wants is a normal life free from his own demons. Gee, I wonder why that might appeal to me? If you suspect that it might also appeal to you for the same reasons, then good news, the entirety of Psycho II is up here on YouTube, broken into several parts! It's worth watching not just on its own merits, but also for those of us who love the Batman villains as tormented individuals, many of whom just want to have a normal life but find their efforts thwarted by monsters both within and without.
Similar to that, has anyone been watching Breaking Bad? Besides the fact that it's one of only things that really gets me excited anymore, it's also a stealth long-form supervillain origin, one which has helped me see many other villains in a whole new light. The final eight episodes are coming out this summer, and I'm anxious to watch them and geek out with fellow fans, and since you folks are awesome for discussion, I thought I'd toy with the idea of opening up episode discussions either here or at my even-more-neglected personal LJ, thehefner. If you'd like to catch up on the show but don't have access to the DVDs and/or Netflix, I will be happy to try and point your way to places online where episodes are streaming. Again, this show is really the only thing that I'm jazzed about these days, seeing as how new comics are a depressing place, so I'd love to share the geek joy (and turmoil) with y'all on this while we wait for comics to get better.
Finally, speaking of comics, has anyone else been keeping up with Without Sin, the Legends of the Dark Knight digital storyline by Dan Mishkin and Tom Mandrake? I have, and I think I'm going to hold off on reviewing it until it's over, just to see how it plays out. The way it has utilized Two-Face has been both fascinating and disappointing, and I want to see if Mishkin is going anywhere with this even as I suspect that it's not going to get any better. If you've been reading it and have any thoughts, do let me know.