Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas With The Caped Crusader: Epilogue

Before we move on, I want to address a couple of the comments on my "Christmas With The Caped Crusader" series.  The first is on my piece about Batman and the Outsiders #19:
...I'm a little surprised you went with this one as part of your "Christmas with the Caped Crusader" series, since the story is primarily about Geo-Force. It does, however, reinforce the fact that Mike Barr does indeed love Christmas stories.
First off, I really like Batman's role in this story, even though it is rather small, at least in terms of on-panel time.  He goes off and does what he does best, gathering evidence against Raeburn, while Superman does what he does best, charge in throwing punches without thinking.  I especially liked his admonition to Geo-Force, "When the system works, use it, Geo-Force!  When it doesn't--or it can't--that's what we're for!"  That little bit of dialogue nicely sums up the Batman's philosophy, and I like the way this issue emphasizes his roles as detective and mentor to the Outsiders.
As for this being more Geo-Force's story than Batman's, I will remind you that I also included in the series "The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus" from Justice League of America #110, which focuses mainly on John Stewart and Red Tornado.  Furthermore, it can be argued that the real star of "Wanted: Santa Claus--Dead or Alive!" is Boomer Katz, and that Batman #309's "Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas" is actually Kathy Crawford's story.  And BATO #31 is all about Looker, which is just the way she likes it.
Then there's this observation tacked on to the item about BATO #8:
I've always seen BATO as a natural progression from The Brave and the Bold. Both featured Batman in a team-up situation and both featured the artwork of Jim Aparo.
A good point, and made even stronger when you consider that BATO writer Mike W. Barr wrote more issues of The Brave and the Bold than anybody other than Bob Haney.  BATO also maintained a link with B&B by including Metamorpho, one of Batman's most frequent B&B co-stars, on the team. That's another reason I've always thought Green Arrow should have been an Outsider.  The Emerald Archer appeared in B&B, with or without Batman, more than any hero other than the Caped Crusader himself.  The real reason I think GA should have been in BATO is that  he was the one who was always carping about how the JLA was getting too focused on the cosmic stuff and forgetting about ordinary people.  So, when Batman quit the League after they refused to get involved in the war in Markovia, Ollie really should have stood up and followed Bats into the teleporter. 
This aspect of Ollie's character was nicely captured in the first episode of Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited series.  In fact, that series as a whole perfectly captured Green Arrow's character in every episode he appeared in.
Finally, I got a comment in person from Jonathon Riddle, who was disappointed that in my post on "Silent Night of the Batman" I failed to include any images of the Batman actually singing Christmas carols. Well, I'm going to rectify that error now:
Nice of them to include the words so that the readers can sing along with Batman.

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