Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Oracles

(SPOILER ALERT, I guess. Don't read this post if you haven't read last week's Brave and the Bold #33 yet but intend to in the new future, and want to be surprised by its ending)

The other day I talked a bit about The Brave and the Bold #33 by J. Michael Straczynski and Cliff Chiang, featuring a story entitled "Ladies' Night" about Wonder Woman, Zatanna and then-Batgirl Barbara Gordon going out for a night on the town.

In one of those weird juxtapositions one sometimes finds in super-comics, the very last page of the story (which is set in the present, after Barbara Gordon had given up her Batgirl identity to become Oracle), is on a page facing a house ad for the new volume of the series Birds of Prey.

The result is that readers get to see the character drawn in two very different styles by two very different artists at the same time.

Here's a better look at the house ad, featuring Benes' muscular, buxom Oracle, with a face completely identical to that of Black Canary (They even have the exact same little identation between their upper lips and noses, which catch the light in the exact same way!):

And here's Chiang's Barbara Gordon from within the story:
I don't really care for Benes' work much, but it's kind of neat to see his version of the character side by side with Chiang's like this. They look like the same person, so its not like either artist did anything radical in terms of character design, and yet the two artists render the character completely differently.

That is, both Barbara Gordons look like Barbara Gordon, but through very different aesthetic lenses.

(By the way, if you haven't read the issue and have no interest in ever doing so, at least read the dialogue JMS wrote for Oracle in that last panel, and try not to laugh).


Michael Hoskin said...

"I was dancing. I was beautiful. I was dancing."

"There is no way out of here. It will be dark soon. There is no way out of here."

Johnny Bacardi said...

I'm sorry, Caleb, I have one of those sense of humor things, honest I do...but I don't find the dialogue amusing at all.

Guess it's a tomato/tomatoe kind of thing.

Jacob T. Levy said...

I think it's a "laugh at the wretchedness," not a "laugh with the amusingness."

I still can't bring myself to laugh, though. Worst comic book I've actually paid money for in quite a while.

jamesgatsby said...

Maybe I'm just getting old -- but I didn't find it bad or funny. I found it heartbreaking....

Matter-Eater Lad said...

The only thing sadder than Ed Benes' BOP art is Gail Simone's defenses of it.