Friday, May 12, 2006

Composite Composition

I've seen some pretty creepy things in comics: Vertigo horror scenes, Jonah Hex body counts, and the costumes designs of Todd McFarlane.

But I have never


seen a panel that creeped me out more than this one, a panel that still haunts me decades after first seeing it:

That's not the Joker in the foreground; it's the nightmarishly powerful Composite Superman himself, disguised as a statue of the Joker housed in the Batcave.

You can criticize the drawing technique and anatomical accuracy of the Old Comic Masters all you want ... but they understood composition. Oh, yes.


Dave said...

I haven't seen this in years, but boy, do I remember it.

Actually, my favorite part is that determined look on Robin's face.

And what's with Batman's ears? As good as Swan was, he never could quite get Batman right.

Sleestak said...

Tose are Adam West Batman ears. Swan got them correct as far as that goes.

Anonymous said...

This story actually predates the TV show by about a year and a half.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was a big story during my childhood. One guy with the powers of the entire legion? Could things get any better than this!

T said...

*shudders* that really is one of the creepier pictures of the Joker I've seen, even if it's not really the Joker. Yeeee

Anonymous said...

Wasn't that the way several artists were drawing Batman's ears then?

Bully said...

Bat-ears of the same style in this panel were around waaaaay before Mister Adam West:

Batman #103, 1956
Batman #106, 1956
Batman #113, 1958

Tee-hee. We're discussin' bat-ears.

Anonymous said...

Haunted are you, you cackler!!

Using composition to show the story better. Good example. Like directors of black and white film - painting with light instead of color.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Large Ruffled Collars = Terror.

Simple as that.


Anonymous said...

You know, I used to wonder why the Composite Superman didn't simply turn invisible, rather than hiding the Joker statute and impersonating it.

Now I realize: so Swan could draw that panel.

J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter said...

Off topic, but when did Devon post here?