Friday, June 02, 2006

Pantha Takes Out Widow-Maker Week!

Hello, everyone! The Rolling Head of Pantha here!

Scipio asked me to wrap up "Widow-Maker Week" for him. Why? Because I'm the symbol of all the awful meanness and violence of the Modern DC Comic Book.

Just the opposite of a story like the "Widow-Maker"! A story of fun and wacky innocence from a more delicate time. A story in which the principal villain killed 7 people off-panel before the story begins. In which the same villain dies a horrible fiery death in a carwreck ... on-panel. You may not have exactly seen 'the Rolling Head of Willi Van Dort', but I'm here to tell you, he's no less dead for it. But it must be okay, because on the next page, the two heroes are laughing their heads off! Figuratively, I mean.

Oh, and I'm also here to show you the final page of this happy, light-hearted comic. Despite the incredible amount of activity in the main story, there was still an extra page in the book:

Still room for the fun-loving one-page story you see in this post.

A lovely little tale about a guy in an ambulance.

Trapped, helpless, and uncomprehending.

For fun, we young kids, the kinds of readers who buy Hot Wheels and Aurora racing models, get to tune in to his thoughts and identity with him as ...

his finally realizes that he's dead.

Now, isn't that much more fun than I, the Rolling Head of Pantha? Oh, how I miss those cheery days of old!


crowdedhouse said...

Awesome and an excellent rebuttal to everyone who says the DCU is "too dark," but the main reason I'm commenting is to say this: Scipio, we desperately need a Rolling Head Of Pantha Signal, something to shine across the comics blogosphere whenever pretentions need deflating. C'mon Scipio, the world needs a symbol of hope in a time of madness. You've given it to us, now let it shine across webpages everywhere.

Bully said...

Someone needs to sit Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis down and force them to write 100 one-page stories each (all unrelated, no continuing continuity) to teach them the skill and craft of writing tightly.

I like a long-stretched out story as much as anyone, but not all the time. The days of the masters cutting their chops on seven-page backups are long-gone, and their modern-day successors have no idea how to write tightly, succintly, and without a rolling severed head bouncing through the panels.

Tim said...

Am I supposed to feel trumped now if I say that a moody piece of psychological terror like the ambulance bit still has the advantage over the drive-in slasher flick gore? I mean, this last sequence would not be out of place on an episode of Twilight Zone. I'm not saying it's genius, but it would not be out of place there. In fact, unless there's more gore than you've shown us on the panels you've chosen, this whole story could be an episode of some cheesy 70's TV detective show (Hmmm...comic book writers trying to break into screenwriting? Is that possible? I wonder if that happens today). Don't get me wrong, comics should strive to be more than a Barnaby Jones episode, and the last people in the world I'm worried about are the children. Those bloodthirsty savages would be perfectly happy if every comic was that one sequence from Miracleman. But if your point is that it's hypocritical to attack Geoff John's use of buckets of blood and mutilation, I don't think the two are equivalent.

Is this boring racing comic supposed to be cheap tittilation for young thrillseekers? Yes. So is Pantha, that's a wash. Were they both hackily written? Yes, another tie. But this ambulance sequence, or the place the ambulance sequence was ripped off from, if any, has to get some credit for smarts over just a spray of blood and a flying head.

Sorry, no sale. If you want to convince me that older comics are as bloody as today's, it can be done, but I think you need to look earlier than the 70's. If you're trying to convince me that one dull Bronze Age comic is worse than the kitschy laughs of single, out-of-context, Silver Age panels, sure, I'll buy that, but that's as far as I go for now.

I'm not trying to make an argument or set you up for a 'gotcha,' but when did you have that first falling-out with comics that we all have? Mine was the 90's. I think I've caught up with the best stuff in trades, but everything from the 90's starts with a strike against it in my book. I just associate the whole decade with chicken scratch art and lousy anatomy.

The Fortress Keeper said...

Maybe the rolling head of Pantha would feel less bitter if she read an EC Comic.

And lets not confuse "too dark" with objections about writers who don't have enough imagination to do anything else than dismember class-3 characters on-panel.

Comic books have always been violent, but I'd agree with Tim by saying the "corpse" sequence wouldn't really be out of place on a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode.

Heck, even The Night Gallery would have used that one...

Is the Bronze age really better than now? It's about the same to be honest - 80 percent crap, 10 percent OK and 10 percent brilliant.

The Bronze Age did give us the Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter, Englehart/Rogers Batman and the excellent Simonson/Pasko Metal Men too...

Scipio said...

Trumped? I don't even know who you are and I'm not trying to "sell" you anything.

I'm presenting my own viewpoint ... which is what I thought this blog was for.

Brainiac6 said...

You know, I was kind of impressed by the Emily Dickinson reference made by the dead guy - ah if only he payed attention during that poetry unit in English class, he'd have realized that hearing a fly buzzing doesn't make you alive!

I have to say Scipio, I've thoroughly enjoyed the Widow Maker posts ;)

Steven said...

Trumped? I don't even know who you are and I'm not trying to "sell" you anything.

I'm presenting my own viewpoint ... which is what I thought this blog was for.

Sadly, no. It turns out when you say what's on your mind and express your personal thoughts, you are actually pressing your agenda on an unwilling, captive audience, who must defend themselves with angry denunciations of you and your opinions and jokes. Fact!

On another note, did you see Manhunter was uncancelled?

Chance said...

Well personally, I consider everything I say up for argument by anyone at any time.

Wait for it...

"No, you don't!"

Scipio said...

"an unwilling, captive audience"

LOL! Indeed.

As for Manhunter, I did; called Devon at the convention in Philly to tell him.

What's that, Todd? Tell everyone to buy Manhunter? Yes, Todd; I will tell everyone to buy Manhunter.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm spending all my money on THE BRAVE & THE BOLD PRESENTS: THE WIDOW MAKER!

Scipio said...