Sunday, August 12, 2018

On The Shelf: Batman comes to Riverdale, and other silliness

I realize this report's a wee bit late, but let's get to it.

The conclusion of the 2-part Archie's Superteens vs. Mighty Crusaders miniseries came & went, and, well, if you didn't see the twist ending coming, you probably hadn't been reading the last Jughead series. If I've interpreted the script correctly, the two teams didn't really meet, or did they? That's the question the reader is left asking. In all honesty, having read the last Superteens appearance in Jughead a couple of years ago, I should've seen it coming. That said, it's not really a bait & switch, just a means for the publisher to remind readers that they don't believe the campy Superteens should be part of Archie canon more than 50 years later. Ms. Vanity (Veronica Lodge) is a more recent creation, introduced about 20-odd years ago, and a friend of mine designed her costume.

Still, seeing as how Archie has also brought back Cosmo, The Merry Martian and Li'l Jinx in recent times, there's room for the Superteens. After all, they did an Archies miniseries earlier this year.

Rating: B.

Meanwhile, the latest Batman '66 miniseries sends the Caped Crusader and friends (and enemies) to Riverdale. That's meant to be delightfully silly by design, and a better story, to boot. Part of the plot borrows an idea from a Batman episode. I'm sure Bat-fanatics will know which one. Issue 2 comes out this week, and the first issue is still readily available.

Rating: A.
There has been much to-do online over the casting of Ruby Rose as Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, for this season's Arrowverse crossover (Supergirl, Arrow, Flash). Kate is gay, and so is Ruby. I recall reading that the casting call required someone from the LGBT community, but Rose has deleted her Twitter account because of a bunch of morons resorting to cyber-bullying because they're butt-hurt about something. Part of it is the fact that Kate is also Jewish, but Ruby isn't. Ok, I get it. We have a bunch of anal-retentive imbeciles who still don't understand how the casting process works in Hollywood.

Genre shows such as Arrow are aiming at not just comics fans, but a wider audience of casual viewers as well. By casting the wide net in terms of viewership, Warner Bros. & CW knew they'd get some kind of negative feedback no matter how the part was cast. It just happens that you have a few loose screws with nothing better to do raising a stink to upset the applecart. To those idiots, I say, shut up, get a life, and move on.
If you only know of The Owl as an old enemy of Daredevil, then you've never read of a more heroic version of the character.

The heroic Owl first emerged on the scene at Dell back in the day, then was revived at Gold Key during the camp era of the mid-60's. Apparently, he wound up in the public domain, and, as a result, was acquired by Dynamite Entertainment to be included as a player in their Project Superpowers book. About five years back, Dynamite decided to try out The Owl in a miniseries, explaining away his re-emergence in the 21st century with a plot contrivance that ripped off other heroes, such as Captain America, for example. The "man out of time" gimmick isn't used that often, and when it is, it's usually leading to a good story. In this case, Owl meets the offspring of his former partner, and gets a rude education into the grim-dark world of crimefighting in the 21st century. All I can say is, more please.

Rating: A.

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