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Aug 21

Comic Book Foe

Posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 in Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Values

Some people like “bad guys.” I might admire their intellect, courage, determination, creativity or leadership, but I never liked “bad guys.” So when people tell me that they love a “bad guy” I’m a little perplexed. One of the favorite “bad guys” is the sociopath adversary “The Joker.”IMG_0292

This series of pages from Batman: The Killing Joke. This comic was written by Alan Moore with art by Brian Bolland and John Higgins. Batman: The Killing Joke, illustrates why I love heroes instead of villains.IMG_0293

Though The Joker was a murdering killer Batman still saw some virtue in him.
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Jun 29

Batman’s The Black Mirror

Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 in Reviews

BlackMirror_p37_65pIn “The Black Mirror,” a series of brutal murders have occurred in Gotham City, Batman’s home town.

The Black Mirror – written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Jock and Francisco Francavilla – was originally a story arc in Detective Comics 871-881. The artwork is very good, the writing is even better.

Like Scott Snyder’s story arc The Court Of Owls (which I’m reading now), Snyder’s Gotham City somehow corrupts its inhabitants. It’s an interesting perspective. It’s as-if the city literally has the power to corrupt in and of itself.

Jun 23

Batman: The Man Who Laughs

Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2013 in Reviews

BatmantheManWhoLaughsIn 1987 Frank Miller rewrote the origin of the Batman in Batman: Year One.

In The Man Who Laughs – written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Doug Mahnke and David Baron – they re-wrote the origin of The Joker and the Joker’s first encounter with Batman.

Brubacker’s Joker is violent and sadistic from the first page forward. Captain James Gordon and other officers are investigating a building filled with mutilated corpses. The Joker follows that with a trip to the Williams Medical Center. After killing the security guards, he arms the inmates and releases them on the streets. Batman must stop them. Stop him, and bring the sociopathic Joker to justice.

Apr 13

Batman: Heart of Hush

Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Reviews

HushLast year when I read Batman:Hush it immediately became one of my favorite graphic novels. Written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Jim Lee it set a high benchmark.

I just finished reading Batman: Heart of Hush, written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen. It is not the masterpiece Batman:Hush was, but it is a rich, emotionally complex followup story.

Originally in Detective Comics #846-#850, the story has been republished in the story “The Heart of Hush.”

Surgeon Thomas Elliot is now a manipulative sociopath, known as Hush. Elliot has returned to humiliate and kill Batman.

Feb 9

All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder

Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 in Reviews

Frank Miller has written some great stuff.
Jim Lee is one of my favorite artists.

Enthusiastically I opened up All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder a graphics novel by Frank Miller, Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

Page after page Lee’s art popped.
Page after page Miller’s worked plummeted.

To new all-time lows.

I’ve read or watched Batman since I was a kid. I read back issues from before I was born. Some better than others.  I have my favorite portrayals  of Batman, but now I have a new least.

Nov 11

I Turned 50 Today!

Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

I turned 50 today.

Before this year I never though much about fifty. 

As I look back, look within, and look forward I feel grateful.

– Grateful for all those who carried me in the past

– Grateful for all those who support me, encourage me and follow my example.

– Grateful for all the great role models who travel ahead of me.

God reminds us, “In the same way, younger people should be willing to be under older people. And all of you should be very humble with each other. ‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.’ ” [1 Peter 5:5, NCV]

Oct 30

Batman, Superman & Perspective

Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Reviews, Social, Values

“If you support _____ immediately delete me.”

That was posted on Facebook, tweeted and repeated passionately in the last few weeks leading up to our national election.

It’s interesting how much anger and vitriol arises during election years.

I see it everywhere.

Even among comic book readers.

At the risk of alienating fans of other fans I’m only going to refer to two set of loyalists, the Batman and the Superman fans.

Recently I read a graphic novel called Trinity by Matt Wagner featuring Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman. In the Trinity there is a conversation between Wonder Woman and Superman about Batman.

Oct 29

Batman: Hush

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2012 in Reviews

If you need a change in your usual reading list let me recommend Batman:Hush.

  Batman:Hush is a well-written, suspenseful graphic novel written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Jim Lee.

The story depicts a mysterious observer who seems intent on sabotaging Batman through subtle and manipulative use of a large number of Batman’s greatest villainous foes.

Hush leads us through parts of Bruce Wayne’s personal life including untold pieces of his childhood and an exploration of a romance with between Batman/Bruce Wayne and Catwoman/Selina Kyle.

I was impressed with the rich and compelling mystery.

Jul 20

Risk-Taking In The Real World

Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 in Education, Emotional, Financial, How To, Intellectual, Social, Values

The Dark Knight Rises opened last night. He’s a brave risk-taker.
But, I’m not a multimillionaire, so I’ll never be like Bruce Wayne.

The Amazing Spiderman opened a few weeks ago. He’s a brave risk-taker.
But, I’m not going to be bit by a radioactive spider, so I’ll never be like Peter Parker.

What kind of hero — what kind of bold, heroic, risk-taker — might you and I become?

Real World Heroes = Risk-Takers

Yesterday I had an hour-long conversation with a university professor who teaches potential risk-takers; she teaches entrepreneurship. It was a fascinating discussion about the challenges of taking great ideas and creating great opportunities.