Sunday, December 17, 2017

A little help here.

I just recently read Batman/The Shadow: The Murder Geniuses, the collection of DC and Dynamite's six-issue crossover miniseries (plus a short story from Batman Annual #1) by writers Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando and artist Riley Rossmo. Perhaps unsurprisingly given some of the names involved in its production, it was an excellent comics story, particularly for this sort of inter-publisher, franchise-mingling crossover event series. In fact, Batman/The Shadow sets a new standard for such inter-company crossovers, and one can only hope future DC crossovers can meet that high standard.

The particular story fits well into themes and motifs that Snyder has repeatedly touched on throughout his long and healthy run on the Batman character, particularly the way he keeps returning to Batman's origins and finding new aspects to reveal that change without contradicting them. In a neat bit of meta-commentary regarding the pre-comics pulp hero The Shadow and his influence on many of the crime-fighting characters that would follow, Batman more than many others, Snyder and Orlando's plotting revolves around the idea of The Shadow having secretly trained Batman throughout his life and career, essentially grooming him to one day replace him. Evidence mounts throughout the series, and while Batman is never entirely convinced, it's a particularly fun idea that not only makes the real-world history of the characters part of the adventure story being told, but manages to elevate this crossover to one of particular importance hen compared to others of its kind.

Additionally, it's a fantastic showcase for Rossmo's always-impressive skills, and Snyder and Orlando give one of the better Batman artists working today the opportunity to draw a very large swathe of Batman characters, particularly in a scene in which Batman and The Shadow follow their enemies The Joker and The Stag to a place where much of Batman's rogues gallery has gathered to battle them.

Perhaps it is because Orlando, who has made a habit of name-dropping and cameo-ing obscure characters in his body of work, is involved, but that means there are a lot of rather deep cuts among the characters who appear in that Batman and Shadow vs. everyone scene, and an even earlier one in which The Shadow tells Batman that he is but one of many heroes he has secretly groomed.

How deep are some of these deep cuts? So deep that I can't recognize them all. Perhaps some of you can.


Within these panels are various characters that The Shadow says are his army of soldiers and secret students, each a potential replacement. Keeping in mind that the guy with the horns and the knife is the villain The Stag and the guy in the Batman costume is Batman, there nine other characters here.

I see...

1.) Miss Fury (although you'd be forgiven for thinking she's Catwoman), 2.) The Woman In Red, I think...?, 3.) The Whip, 4.) Green Arrow, 5.) Some Guy With a Hat I Couldn't Even Attempt to Guess The Identity Of, 6.) Seriously No Idea Who This Guy Getting Stabbed Is Supposed To Be, 7.) Crimson Fox (Though my scan cut her out), 8.) The Reaper (ditto) and 9.) Acro-Bat.


As I mentioned, the Batman villains include some rather minor ones from all eras, including Hellhound, a pre-Flashpoint version of The Wrath, a redesigned Zebra-Man and an original design Magpie. There's one character present, though, who I can't identify. That's him above, standing between Man-Bat and The Joker.

Anyone know who that guy is...?

Thanks in advance for your help! And, if you haven't read it yet, I'd strongly recommend Batman/The Shadow: The Murder Geniuses.

2 comments:

K Tam said...

I googled "grass man batman" and came up with. . . Floronic Man! The B:TAS depiction is fairly similar to the drawing.

David page said...

looks like a really radical redesign of the floronic man to me

i don't wanna say the guy getting stabbed is the red bee.....buuuuut

no clue on the hat guy tho