The Way of the Word

30. July 2011

Review: The Mis-Adventures of Adam West #1

Publisher: Bluewater Comics. Cover Price: $ 3.99. Written by Reed Lackey. Art by Russell Dauterman.

Actor Adam West has problems: his values and ideas are out of fashion, and because he refuses to compromise them he doesn’t get any more work. But then something amazing happens: a strange amulet that he gets in the mail not only makes him young again, it also transports him into a spy adventure — which he eventually recognizes as one of the scripts he had recently rejected.

Like most of my generation, I have a soft spot for Adam West. Which is why I broke my rule of not spending more than $3.00 on any one comic, and impulse-bought this one. I was rewarded with a charming little story of a man who feels his time has passed, and who (apparently) is about to get the chance to prove everyone wrong.

The writing is competent and rather nostalgic. It manages to evoke sentiment in the reader — if you’re like me, you’ll feel with Adam West because you agree with him; if not, you’ll probably scoff at his old-fashioned notions. But you will react in some way.

The bad thing about this comic is the art. Invoking the Shooter Test, it’s servicable. You can tell what happens in each panel even if there were no words. But it is no more than that. The art is a bit too simple, too bland to excite. And frankly — if your comic is officially licensed by Adam West, then you should draw him in a way that the readers will recognize him even if you don’t say, “This is supposed to be Adam West.”

All in all, The Mis-Adventures of Adam West is a charming comic, and the only reason I won’t get the next issue is the price tag. I’ll keep an eye out for the TPB, though.

Verdict: mildly recommended.


3. April 2011

Awesome Ideas That Will Never Be

A couple of years ago, the Joker beat Robin, whose civilian name was Jason Todd, to death.

Some time later, Jason Todd returned from the dead in a covoluted and fairly silly way. The less said about that, the better.

Jason Todd took on the identity of Red Hood in order to wage a war on crime. This choice of alias was fairly bizarre, considering that the Joker used to be Red Hood before he became the Joker.

As it turned out, Jason, who hadn’t been the most stable of personalities to begin with, had become even more balanced. Death and resurrection will do that to you, I suppose. You could even say that he had become downright crazy.

During one of his clashes with one of the Batmans, Jason happened to find a time machine. Now, what do you do when you find a time machine? You’d probably go back in time to set things right. The classic “Kill Hitler before WW2” scheme.

For Jason, the matter was personal. He didn’t care about Hitler, but think of how many lives could be saved if The Joker had never been. Most likely, Jason’s own life would have been far far happier. Sadly, nobody knew who Joker had been before he had been Joker. Well, except that Jason knew, from Batman’s files, that Joker had been Red Hood. Jason also knew when Joker had become Joker.

Setting the time machine for that date, Jason went back. With his knowledge of the events, he made short work of Red Hood’s gang.

Only, Red Hood wasn’t there. Or rather, the only Red Hood who was there was he, Jason.

Batman didn’t know that. All Batman knew was that Red Hood was on a killing spree, murdering his own gang. Jason knew he couldn’t talk to Batman. Batman was too OCD about this killing thing. Even if Jason told Batman, Batman would still insist on bringing Jason in.

Jason ran.

Batman gave chase.

Until they got to a dead end. Jason hesitated. He was down to three options. One was to surrender to Batman. No. Not an option. One was to fight Batman. Also, not an option. He knew that Batman was a much better fighter.

That left the option of jumping into the vat of chemicals. Jason was sure he would be all right. The helmet he wore had a built-in air supply for just a case like this. He could dive in and get away.

So he did. But the chemicals seeped into his helmet. And they burned. Oh, how they burned.

Somehow, Jason Todd survived. He climbed ashore somewhere farther down the Gotham River. He made his way to a flophouse.

Why did he feel so strange? He lay down on the bed, not bothering to even clean himself up.

The next morning, when he stumbled into the bathroom, the face he saw in the mirror was not his own. It was chalk-white face, topped by a mop of unruly green hair. A face that he knew too well, a face that haunted his nightmares every night.

Destiny had played a cruel joke on Jason Todd. But  a funny one. Jason laughed.

And he would never stop laughing. Not even when, years later, he would beat his younger self to death to punish him for being so stupid.

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