Monday, July 20, 2009

Black Hand Week 1

OOOOooo, Black Hand is SO creepy!

But that's a credit to Geoff Johns and what he does best (the reinvention and revitalization of characters). Since most of you have probably never read a Black Hand story before his recent reappearance, you may not realize what a staggeringly impressive accomplishment this is.

Why? Well, it's one thing to make Hal Jordan cool again. Okay... cool for the first time. Hal was
never cool. Hal was always a moron. But he did have a rockhard Ryan Reynolds body, a hotshot job as a pilot, and a nearly omnipotent power ring that could do or make anything his tiny little mind could come up with. Even young Scipio liked Hal "Rockhead" Jordan. I can remember being a lad and pretending to be Green Lantern in my little green Garanimals suit, pretending the swing set was a rocket ship. My parents put a stop to that after the third trip to Children's Hospital to patch up the head injuries.

But Black Hand...?

Black Hand was a total goober.

His shtick was perfecting the art of crime. He was the Crook Who Couldn't Fail. Why?

Because he wrote down everything he learned in a little notebook.
I bet you think I'm making that up. I'm not... .

One wonders how many mistakes and trips up the river Black Hand had to take before he filled his Criminal Trapper Keeper with enough hard-won info to dodge the bulls. I'm guessing he's at least a ninety-seven time loser.

Hey, Black Hand, newsflash: real supervillains don't use Cliff Notes. Real supervillains commit crimes that spell out their names or form some kind of a pattern on a map of the city. Real supervillains have cars with their faces on them and thematic weaponry. Real supervillains rob trains on the fly using nothing but a paper clip, stolen chopsticks, and some Teaberry gum. You're a squinty-eyed, Gil-Kane-uglified accountant with a terrible barber. You're just a supervillain manque, a poseur, and a total tool.

See? I told you it was a Trapper Keeper.

So, what's with the "penny saved" nonsense? Where did he get that pointless costume?

Why is he going on about his family? And who on Earth-1 is he talking to...?

You'll soon find out, in part 2 of Black Hand Week!


Doctor Polaris said...

Real supervillains commit crimes that spell out their names or form some kind of a pattern on a map of the city.

I've done that a couple of times.

farsider said...

Thanks, scipio. Very timely. Just the other day I looked up Black Hand in the DK "DC Comics Encyclopedia" He didn't even get an entry. I had to go to the index to find him. He got one sentence and a 1 inch square picture under "Amazing Weapons." "Black Hand, a methodical criminal who learned all his skills from books, developed many electonic gizmos, including one that could absorb the energy of Green Lantern's ring."

Scipio said...

"I've done that a couple of times."

Oh, haven't we all, Doc!

Unknown said...

I wish Scipio was an editor. That is some keen character insite he delivers. It is easy to forgive him his disapproval of Gil Kane.

Jeff R. said...

So...what's up with 'Coastville'? Some sort of unincorporated suburb of Coast City? Was it part of Engine City, or is it where everyone moved to who survived that nonsense?

[Have you done a Fictionopolis piece on Coast yet, BTW? What is it's defining characteristic? Small objects that might fall dangerously on someone's head?]

Citizen Scribbler said...

The only Black Hand stories I've ever read were when he was running an adult movie theater and flipped out because he saw Guy Gardner there and then proceeded to receive a serious beat down until Ice convinced Guy to just let him fire his silly little gizmo which just puttered a bit. That feels totally in line with Scipio's profile on this clown.

Later, he and Guy decided to open up a bar together in I Can't Believe It's Not The Justice League, but I guess he decided to become the focal point of a major company crossover- good for him! I'm sure next up will be Penguin- Age Of A Thousand Umbrellas or something like that.

I'm surprised Doctor Polaris is taking it all in stride. After all, with how popular Magneto is over at Marvel, you'd think his time to shine as a major villainous player would've gotten here before...the Black Hand (snicker).

-Citizen Scribbler

SallyP said...

That issue with Guy and Ice from the old JLI is hilarious. I'm finding it a little hard to reconcile the old pathetic version of William Hand with the new creepily menacing version. I keep waiting for him to utter an aphorism.

Anonymous said...

Black Hand, the uber-goober.

TotalToyz said...

I keep waiting for him to utter an aphorism.

"It's hard to soar with the eagles while you're being eaten by vultures"?

"Take life one decay at a time"?

"A friend RIP'ed is a friend indeed"?

"People in glass coffins shouldn't throw headstones"?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for some background on the Black Hand.

Your work on the Human Flame made
Final Crisis and Final Crisis Aftermath: Run much more rewarding.

Scipio said...

oh, thanks... I'll be stealing that photo...!

Bryan-Mitchell said...

So I wonder if the German-speaking Gremlins are going to have anything to do with Black Hand or what?

Third World Diplomat said...

Cliff Notes of criminality. And I thought the Crime Bible was weird enough. What's next, Crime-a Sutra?

Martin Gray said...

Oh darn, what was the photo, tis gone!

Was it Goober and the Ghost Chasers?