Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wolf Week #2: Who he is and how he came to be

So, how did a werewolf wind up running around Gotham? Well, if you are asking that question you are already a more apt detective than the stupid Bronze Age Batman! Once upon a time there was an athlete named Anthony Lupus. Lupus? Gee, I wonder where THAT's headed.

MEMORY: In the Bronze Age, narration boxes often began with inelegant capstone words that made you think that the author pictured himself to be a screenwriter, or maybe a robot.

He was a very proficient athlete and became a rich and famous person, which is the goal of amateur athletics.

But then something awful happened to him. Not as awful as being in
Can't Stop the Music or marrying a Kardashian, but still fairly unpleasant. He got really bad headaches. For no apparent reason. The same lack of apparent reason for which werewolves climb up skyscrapers, in fact.

Headaches so bad that they cause
YOUR ENTIRE HEAD TO FALL OFF THE BACK OF YOUR SHOULDERS. Thank goodness for Tony's olympic-level reflexes or he'd be pulling a Pantha. Pity the Legion of Super-Heroes didn't exist yet; he could have applied. So Tony went to many doctors, in vain, to solve his headaches-so-bad-they-cause-your-head-to-fall-off problem.

Then, in a clever and efficient Neal Adams montage, he winds up scraping the bottom of the medical ethics barrel....

More on HIM tomorrow.


CobraMisfit said...

Lupus must have really had his brains cooked with those Pantha Pains because how in the world could you trust a mad scientist..um, doctor that looks like that? The bowl cut, the beaker of questionable liquid, the "ah, another unsuspecting victim...uh, patient!" gaze.

Stupid Bronze Age side-characters.

Scipio said...

I think it's really the damaged window shade that's the most damning. Damaged window shades are always a red flag in comic books.

Bryan L said...

... MILO!

If the utterance of that terrifying word doesn't strike fear into your heart, you're just not paying attention. Screw Darkseid. "Milo" should make you faint from sheer terror.

And considering the "on-the-nose" nature of Wein's naming conventions, maybe Tony is simply suffering from an auto-immune disorder?

Scipio said...

Hm. I actually just meant that one is ALWAYS surprised when Prof. Milo shows up in something; he's the Sam Rockwell of the DCU. It had never occurred to me that his name is less-than-intimidating. But perhaps that is intentional, in a way: Prof. Milo is DC's chief 'bully-geek'.

ronald said...

Checking Wikipedia, I see that Prof. Milo has been around since 1957. I *did* not know that.

BTW, following the story under discussion, Anthony Lupus next appeared in Detective Comics #505 (1981), when Batman had to find him to provide a bone marrow transplant for Lupus's sister Angela (*Angel*a LUPUS, sort of a mixed theme name there).

That story is also memorable (well, to me, anyway, for whatever reason) in that anti-Batman politician Arthur Reeves confronts him as he's leaving the hospital where Angela is -- having heard that Batman has been sighted at the hospital, Reeves hurried there for the express purpose of making comments like "What are you doing here, Batman, terrorizing the patients?!" or words to that effect -- and proceeds to get up Batman's nose to the extent that Batman actually slaps Reeves up side the head right there in front of reporters on the hospital steps, a photo of which incident subsequently making the front page of the Gotham Whatever.

Incidentally, throughout his storyline, it is clear that Reeves is not just playing politics, he sincerely believes that Batman is a dangerous criminal, so the fact that he did that ANYWAY proves, well, something, I suppose.

Scipio said...

That Reeves was both and asshole AND stupid, I'd say ;-)

ronald said...

In case anyone's interested:

Reeves (a city councilman, I just checked and found out) later ran for Gotham City mayor against Hamilton Hill (who was in contrast running on a "Commissioner Gordon is all washed up" platform or something like that). Hill was in league with "Boss" Rupert Thorne, who provided Reeves (who was willing to cooperate with one criminal (Thorne) to as he saw it bring down a bigger criminal (Batman)) with photos "proving" that Batman was secretly gangster -- uh, lemme check here -- "Big Jack" Johnson (how pedestrian). Buying into this hook line and sinker, Reeves used the photos in his campaign but THAT went over like a lead balloon and exit Reeves at some point in 1982. Proving his "sincerity" to the end, when confronted by Batman about the photos, Reeves sincerely believed Batman was going to kill him over the hoax and literally ran away screaming, but Batman caught him and "convinced" him to confess Thorne's involvement, so Batman and Gordon found THAT out, anyway.

Thorne was subsequently driven insane by -- it would be really something if it was Professor Milo, wouldn't it? but no -- by Professor Hugo Strange because they were enemies in some earlier storyline.

With Thorne out of his hair, Hill was Gotham City's Evil Mayor for a while. In fact, it was Hill who brought none other than HARVEY BULLOCK into the regular Batman cast, and thus his legacy lives on to this day.

Scipio said...

Yeah, Bullock was brought on to 'bring down the Bat'. Imagine my shock when both Hamilton Hill and Arthur Reeves turned up in Batman: the Animated Series.

Although of this has anything to do with Prof. Achilles Milo; more on Milo tomorrow.

Bryan L said...

Scipio, the absurdity of "Finally, there was ... MILO!" had me in stitches. I actually heard the "dum, dum, DUM" sting in my head. Between that and the Moe haircut it seems like a complete parody, only, well, it's NOT.

SallyP said...

Clearly, this gentleman's name is not Lupus. Obviously, it is...Hal Jordan! When he's not being Hal, OR a Green Lantern, he's a werewolf with headaches. Probably from staring at himself in a mirror.

And that's not Milo. It's Guy Gardner with a bad dye job, and Hal's about to get one huge surprise.

John said...

While I like this Batman much more than the obnoxious thug hacked up by Miller, something I don't miss are character histories written in the second person.

If I am an Olympic decathalonisterman or whatever, the Olympics are in big trouble.

Also, aspirin, Tony. Or is that the big twist explaining the grunge pharmacy? I forget.

TotalToyz said...

"Lupus" is cause for comment, but all of Geoff Johns' painfully obvious charactonyms aren't?

Bryan L said...

Focus, TT. We must focus on the case at hand. If we start chasing down those Geoff Johns rabbit holes, we'll never finish up with Tony Lupus.