Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Rocky Grimes Week #3: Rocky's Five-Way Revenge

So with his newfound obsession, Rocky Grimes intends to revenge himself on his former gangmembers who left him as their amnesiac fall guy.

Rocky's first target is "Lefty Slade", the one who stayed in the thieving business and became 'a big-time crook'.  Now that he's insane, Rocky's plotting involves the kind of free association that Batman & Robin used to do on the 1960s show to deduce where the supercriminal would strike next.  Like a campaign speech, it makes no sense, but has a certain flow that obscures that fact if you do it fast enough.

Hm.  That’s rather stretching it a bit, isn’t it, Rocky?  What are you going to do, lure him to Pennsylvania and shoot him there?

Turns out luring this 'big time crook' to his doom is easier than you'd expect.  Rocky basically calls him up as says, "Hey, you don't know me, but go stand and wait for me under a particularly unstable stone archway until I kill, -er, I mean, CALL you."
Remember, kids; older = more evil.

Wonder who called you? Actually, the real wonder is “How in evil’s name did you survive as a criminal in Gotham for the last twenty years if you’re sap enough to bite on every anonymous tip that tells you to go wait under a stone arch?”  Some sort of god of evil has obviously been preserving this schmoe for 20 years just so Rocky can triumphantly exalt, “AH HA! IT IS I, ROCKY GRIMES, COME TO EXACT MY STONE-THEMED REVENGE UPON THEE!”

Oh.  Or Rocky won't say anything.  Rocky will just topple an archway on him so he never even know what hit him, let alone know that Rocky was responsible.  Oh, Rocky; what happened to the vainglorious guy we loved, the one who used to shout his name out loud as he shot bank guards?  It’s sad how we all lose our youthful idealism, isn’t it?  Plus, you just fell back several pegs on the "Potential Villain" cribbage board.

Still; the after-effect is pretty impressive.

THIS, in case you Philistines don't recognize it, is ART. Like, Tarot-card worthy art.  We really need a Tarot deck of people dying in Golden Age comics. Oh, yeah; the Five of Cops; the Three of Debacles; I can see it all now.

The inscribed “I FINALLY REMEMBERED” stone? Yeah, that’s first-class stuff, there!  Do they sell those on-line? I'm sure Gotham City has a store where you can buy revenge-themed inscribed items, called "Wrongs Remembered".
Once the deed is done, however, Rocky is naturally mortified and comes to his senses.

I am sure making that face hurts your eyes.  But I'll bet it feels like it's worth it at the time.

Ha! No. Just kidding.  That is not the face of a man who has come to his senses.  That's the face of man who's drunk on pure mania.  "I'll give him a touch,too ... A TOUCHSTONE! WHEEeee-NYA-HAHAHAHAHAHAGGA-URK!"
This proves quite easy to do.

True story: Golden Age comic book writers, long before there was an internet, used to write weird facts like "Basanite/touchstone: used to check metal purity" on index cards and keep them for later use in stories.  It's easy to make fun of their stuff now, but these men were dedicated to their craft.  And proud of their ability to turn any bizarre trivia item into MURDER.

And that spells FIN for 'Fin' Gonzy! Ha! Ha ha!

See? That's the kind of triumphant speech of revenge we were hoping for.  A little clunky, perhaps, but Rocky's new at the ironic revenge game.  By the way, note that Rocky's chief weapon, other than a fanatical devotion to stones, is the multiple mixed metaphor. 
ART, people. Beautiful, haunting, corpse-filled art. 


Bryan L said...

Oooh, I see Rocky's finally gotten the hang of Gotham's floor-mounted spotlights. That's truly the next step in his villainous journey.

I am impressed that he was able to remove his disguise and snatch the lethally sharp touchstone from the doomed Fin and dispatch him effortlessly. No doubt Fin was startled into immobility by the dramatic reveal.

Finally, and without being the least bit sarcastic, I am always impressed by the trivia Golden Age writers included in their stories. Those guys didn't have the Internet. Nowadays you can't even get artists to Google reference photos (sometimes I think I'm the only person on the planet who knows how to nock an arrow on a bow), but these guys were squirreling away facts like demented rodents hoarding for a nuclear winter. Sorry, that simile sucked. But you get my point.

Scipio said...

Indeed. As much as I make fun of them for their long sidebar into the scientific details of Batman's (and I'll be doing that a lot this week), their dedication to insuring that the stories were informative, even educational, was very impressive. Particularly in an era where information was very difficult to come by.

SallyP said...

Look! A Stabby Stone!

Hoosier X said...

Hooboy! I sure hope this issue of Batman had a good Joker story or a good Catwoman story to help make up for this!

Iguess I could look it up ...

Hoosier X said...

Well, there is a Joker story - there's always a pretty good chance there is a Joker story in a 1940s Batman comic - and it has a guy named Pretty Boy Dugan.

But the highlight of this issue MUST be the first story because there is a villain called the Thumb!

CobraMisfit said...

"When I get through touching you, you'll have to pay--with your life!"

Eesh, Rocky. That's not how you romance someone!