With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Six: Mud and Money, Money and Mud, The Batman’s Boots are Caked In Blood…

Batman’s dealt with his fair share of Sociopathic Crud. However, none were as monumentally enchanting as the Goopy Goonies identified as the Mudpack, as drawn by the underrated artist who took Detective Comics’ readers into the 1990s…Mr. Norm Breyfogle.

I purchased three copies of Detective Comics #604: one for enjoyment, one for the collection, and one for the surgical excision of the advertised poster insert, seen below:

I love the cover of Detective Comics #604, as its creepy simplicity (simple creepiness?) is a delightfully murderous throwback to the cinematic thrillers & chillers of the 1930s-1940s, the Era of Evil for Basil Karlo, the original Clayface. Karlo orchestrates the release from incarceration of Preston Payne, Clayface III, with the assistance of Sondra Fuller, Clayface IV. The excitement of resurrecting arguably the most popular Clayface, the shape-shifting Matt Hagen, slithers from Karlo’s pestiferous paws like protoplasmic inchworms, as science cannot restore the fricasseed Hagen (remember his one-panel demise in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12? His death was a foreground affair shared with the zap-from-continuity of the Bug-Eyed-Bandit!! This ancillary treatment is one of Comicdom’s Most Notorious Injustices). Karlo, Payne, and Fuller inevitably lose their battle against Batman & Looker, but Clayface III & IV initate a legendary comic romance and eventually produce Clayface V (don’t cite me on that appellation). “Batman vs. The Mudpack” was a wild storyline that certainly kept me racing to the local comics shop (now a Pep Boys…grrrrr…) and was The Last Great Batman Story of the 1980s.

I discovered Norm Breyfogle with the “Fever” storyline of Detective Comics #583 & #584, the introduction of the Ventriloquist. The artist depicted Gotham City and its residents in Non-Stop Rage: fluid motion, loud imagery, vivid and profound insanity — Gotham City on Red Bull. I don’t believe this interpretation, so true to our thoughts of Daily Life in Gotham City, had yet been provided by previous Bat-Artists. Perhaps Breyfogle, before Alex Ross and the return of Neal Adams, gave us Reason to Stare, Awestruck, at the Comic Book Pages…”oh, a story? Are you saying there is a story amidst this madness? OK, I will find the story…later…” Further along in his Detective Comics Days, he contributed to the advent of Anarky and Zsasz. Mind you, chickadees, I had Norm Breyfogle’s Gotham City guiding me out of the relative misery and misunderstanding of my Indefensible Teenage Years; the origins of Anarky of Zsasz, sewn together, presented as they were, mayhaps kept me off a Precipice or Twelve when I was Mentally A-Tilt. Breyfogle’s Batman remains my Standard of Excellence for the Caped Crusader. I’ve written about Jim Aparo, and I will not discount the Unparalleled Congruent Ferocity of Neal Adams, but Breyfogle’s Batman is the Bat-Guy and his Turf in a Blender agitated by the collective speed of all the Running Men (and Women) of the DCU…each swirl selling real estate in Beautiful Downtown Gotham. Hey – bite on this:

One final observation: Sometimes, a turkey can soar higher and more magnificently than an eagle. Proof?

Links for the Long Weekend

– Time to start digging around in your couch: there’s a $450 Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary collection for you to buy!  Of course, since it’s only being offered in Japan, you’re going to have to scrounge up plane fare as well.  Attention anyone who is living in Japan: buy a bunch, ship them to me, I’ll sell them, we’ll split the profits.

– As if you needed another reason to stay indoors: Troma Films has released 150(!) films for free on YouTube that you can start watching right this very minute (finish reading this post though).

– How many games have you struggled through for the sole purpose of the big payoff at the end  and when you finally do get there you get “Thanks for Playing!” and a starwipe? Well, Joystiq feels your pain and is  going to help you relive those incredibly  disappointing endings with their look back through “A History of Whimpers: Infamous endings throughout video game history“.  For my money, I think the ending to Contra was kind of shitty.  Come to think of it, so was Borderlands.  The worst/most recent offender? Rage. PEE-YEW WHAT A STINKER. What a beautiful, soulless game.

– Have you read Ready Player One yet? No? FOR SHAME. If you read this site on a quasi-regular basis, do yourself a solid (besides telling your friends about MB!) and pick up a copy of RPO at your local analog book repository , whether it be for FREE at your local library or for human monies at a bookstore.  The book is, at it’s broadest, a search for the ultimate Easter Egg in a devastated world.  Well, the author chose to do something similar IRL, someone won and drove away with a DeLorean for their trouble.  SEE? Reading is important. In a very similar vein, check out The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoHot damn that is a good book!

– Can I just buy all the ReMovies posters now? For those that don’t know (ed. note: sniff.) ReMovies are movies with one letter missing from the title.  Check some out after the jump.

– Completely unrelated but still super interesting: two gents are in the process of making every recipe from the Gourmet magazine archive. Every! Recipe! I read a calculation that says it’s going to take them 15 years to complete! Do you know how bonkers that is?

– Now this is cool: Apparently at some point in the last decade or so Phil Jiminez pitchedTransformers/Justice League crossover event. Sadly (ed. note: that’s a lie. You’re not sad. Not one bit.) while the event never came to fruition, some art did surface. Check it out (click to enlarge):

Optimus Lantern?All together now

– For those of you have been reading ModernBorefare diligently (which we very much thank you for) know that it’s no secret how much I am looking forward to Borderlands 2. So the news that a new 7 minute trailer was released tonight at PAX is both super awesome AND super depressing.  Awesome, because the game is right around the corner. Depressing because, like any movie that I am dying to see, I go into complete avoidance mode.  I want the experience to be fresh and new, not watered down & ruined with a bunch of featurettes and behind-the-scenes pieces and trailers that reveal everything! I want to be surprised and that’s almost impossible now. Running a website that purports to pass along news and be able to talk knowledgeably about it doesn’t help the situation either. So here’s the deal: the trailer is below.  If you’re on the fence about Borderlands 2 or never played the first one, you should watch it.  It will catch you up on the happenings on Pandora and whet your appetite for the madness about to come down the pike. Brace for impact lads, we’re going in!*straps on helmet, passes out*.

I’ll be away from my computer for the majority of this holiday weekend (ed.note: what? No you aren’t! This was NOT approved!) gorging on beer & seafood down in the Baltimore area. But I’ll be back Monday, bloated and sunburnt, to catch up on all the happenings that have uh happened. Have am awesome weekend people! — IR

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