Batman as a pirate? Why the fuck not. This is the first part of my multi-part series where I’ll be going through a bunch of Elseworlds Annuals that I picked up at Comicpalooza.
This is the story of Leatherwing who is a pirate in service of the King of England (King James II). While it appears that Leatherwing gives all of the treasure he collects on the high seas back to England he actually keeps a portion for himself in order to buy back his lands and family fortune which was taken from him. Leatherwing is captain of the Flying Fox (a Zorro reference) who he sails with his first mate Alfredo.
The story starts with Leatherwing (Batman) saving a Panama (Panamanian?) Princess Quext’chala from Spanish pirates. After rescuing the Princess he returns her to her father and the Princess gives Leatherwing a bracelet as a gift of gratitude. Unbeknownst to Leatherwing this is actually an engagement ritual and the Princess now believes herself to be married to him. Leatherwing takes the Princess back to his secret port to deal with this marriage misunderstanding at a later time. Leatherwing has no intention of marrying the Princess but does not wish to offend the King of Panama.
While Leatherwing is stopped in Kingston the street urchin Robin Redblade sneaks on to the Flying Fox. While hiding out on the ship Robin learns that some of the men are planning to mutiny. Robin tells Leatherwing of this plot which Leatherwing shows his gratitude by allowing Robin to be a Buccaneer on the ship.
Next we cut to Capitana Felina (Catwoman) whose crew is in the midst of mutiny. She finds an unlikely ally in the Laughing Man (The Joker) who intervenes and kills off the mutinous crew mates. To pay him back for his help Felina agrees to seduce Leatherwing and tell the Laughing Man the location of his secret port.
The Laughing Man has Felina walk the plank of his ship knowing that Leatherwing is near by and would intervene. Leatherwing does just that and saves Felina just as she is about to be eaten by a shark.
Now a guest on Leatherwing’s ship Felina has a change of heart and begins to develop real feelings for Leatherwing. Before returning to Leatherwing’s secret port Felina decides to betray the Laughing Man and stay with Leatherwing. However, once the Flying Fox returns to port Princess Quext’chala throws her arms around Leatherwing and kisses him. Felina sees this and is shocked. She asks a crew member who this woman is and they answer that this is Leatherwing’s wife. Felina, feeling betrayed, leaves the secret port to give its location to the Laughing Man after all.
Robin follows her and is captured by the Laughing Man’s crew. Once captured Robin berates Felina for betraying the man who loves her. Felina explains that he betrayed her by romancing her while he was already married. Robin explains the situation with the Princess and tells Felina how she means nothing to Leatherwing. Felina understanding what she just did rebels against the Laughing Man and frees Robin. Felina fires off a Cannon near Leatherwing’s secret port in order to give them warning of the impending attack.
With Felina’s warning shot Leatherwing is able to get to the Flying Fox and attack the Laughing Man’s ship. After some fighting Leatherwing eventually straight stabs the Laughing Man in the chest and kills him. Felina explains what happens and apologizes and Leatherwing and Felina sail off to the sunset together.
Overall the story is ok, but I never really got into it. What I like about these Elseworlds stories the most is when they really flush out a universe. This story had a lot of Batman elements in pirate form but I never felt that any of it really had legs of its own. It was just “here’s pirate Robin, here’s pirate Alfred, here’s pirate Catwoman”.
There story felt like it was just a once over coat of paint. It looked ok on first glance but if you really picked it apart there’s not much there. For instance why was Batman so loyal to the English crown? He was giving away the large majority of his pirating to the crown while only keeping a small portion to himself to rebuild his family fortune. In the comic he says that he is pirating specifically because his parents were killed and all his titles / fortune were stripped by the crown. It just doesn’t make sense.
Again the overall story is feels fine, I just wish they had worked on the details more. While this issue isn’t available digitally if you are interested in Leatherwing there is another adventure in Batman Chronicles Issue 11.
1 Comment | tags: 1994 annuals, alternative universe, batman, catwoman, Comic Books, Comics, dc comics, detective comics, detective comics annual, elseworlds, felina, joker, laughing man, leatherwing, robin redwing | posted in Comic Books, Elseworlds
If you are a fan of DC Comics Bombshell Variants from last June (June 2014) then strap in, because you are in for a treat. First up will begin releasing a new Digital first series centered around the Bombshell characters. It will be written by Marguerite Bennett and have art by Marguerite Sauvage. The series “Introduces retro-bombshell versions of Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl in an alternate reality where super-powered female heroes are on the front lines in WWII (DC Comics).” The series will begin releasing digitally first in July with the first print version released August 12th.
I assume the series will be like most of their other digital first series where digital versions will be released weekly for 99 cents and print versions will collect every three to four digital issues and release for 2.99 to 3.99. This isn’t the first time DC has released a comic series based on one of their lines of figures. Back in 2012 they had a Digital first series based of the Ame-Comi statues that was actually pretty good (check it out here on Comixology).
There will also be new Bombshell statues! DC released pictures of the first two featuring Killer Frost and Cheetah.
It is no secret that the of the DC Comics Variant Cover theme months the most popular by far has been the Bombshell themes. Since their release DC has put their Bombshell characters on statues, glass wear, t-shirts, lip balm, you name it. So it’s pretty exiting then that DC have just announce that they will be releasing another set of 21 Bombshell variant covers this August! Not only did they just announce they are coming out but they also released them all on their website! So check them out and start saving your money now!
1 Comment | tags: action comics, aquaman, august comics, august covers, batgirl, batman, bombshells, catwoman, cheetah, Comic Books, Comics, DC, dc august 2015, dc bombshell, dc bombshell variant covers, dc bombshells, dc comics, detective comics, justice league, killer frost, superman, The flash, variant covers, wonder woman | posted in Comic Books
This is a great comic to start with because it’s a batshit (pun intended) crazy. First of all its part 20 of the of 88 “No Man’s Land” crossover event that took place during the entire year of 1999. Let’s take a minute to let that marinate. There was a crossover Batman event in 1999 that took place across 13 titles and various one shot comics. So if you were trying to follow along in this series back in 1999 you would have had to buy 88 issues costing roughly $175 dollars. Even though that’s over an entire year that’s a hell of a lot of comics if you want to get the entire series. It also means is confusing as shit if you were to be a new reader trying to get into a certain comic.
It’s intimidating enough when you see a number like 734 next to a book. If you are new to comics you are going to ask yourself, “Do I need to read 733 issues to know what’s going on?” Not only that but this is part two of a two part story, “No problem!” you exclaim, “I’ll just buy Detective Comics 733 and all will be well.” So you go to Detective comics 733 but when you do its list as “Crisis of Faith” not “Mark of Cain”. No “Mark of Cain” part 1 is in Batman Comics issue 567. And not only is Detective Comics 733 not the first part of the story you were looking for but it also is part 16 of No Man’s Land not part 19. So within one month you have lost three parts of the No Man’s Land arc.
This is a perfect example of why it’s so hard to break into comics if you are an outside reader. Of course with the internet its easier now to find out what is happening with comics month to month but it’s still pretty damn difficult. If comic book companies are scratching their head to why people don’t buy comics this serves as a huge example. First it’s a huge crossover that involves close to 100 books, second they are spread out randomly across 13 titles, and third within a year afterward none of the events of No Man’s Land even mattered. I get the need to keep the status quo when it comes to a character like Batman. You can’t really kill or injure characters and so that happens the impact that stories are going to have. But to have an event like this that last an entire year and involve so man titles have all most no lasting impact in the Batman or DC universe, its little wonder how this kind of thing can lose more readers than it gains. It’s another example of the comic industry desperate for sales squeezing as much money from their base as possible rather than do something that might gain new readers.
Ok enough rant back to the comic itself.
So needless to say it’s a little confusing coming straight into this book. You get a one sentence blurb kind of describing what No Man’s Land is and then it jumps right in. Cain is trying to kill Commissioner Gordon and his daughter tackles him out a window to stop him. Batman saves the both of them holding on to Cain with a rope and Cain holding on to his daughter by the hands. He drops her and it picks up with Cassandra (his daughter) in a graveyard (hanging out not cause she’s dead) not exactly explaining how she survived the fall.
Batman then talks to Cassandra for a while (no explanation why or how he got there) and finds out that Cassandra can’t speak any language, she only knows the language of violence.
Are you shitting me? The language of violence… I know enough about Batman to know that Cassandra Cain later will become Batgirl. I have also read enough Batgirl that they use this whole she can’t speak thing for a while in the comics. It leads to interesting stories but she understands language she just can’t speak it. I don’t know how this kind of thing works but it seems to me if you can understand English perfectly you should be able to speak it to some extent. It lead to some interesting stories but they winded up dropping the whole thing by a very random contrived method. They had some random meta-human who we have never met and never see again. He has the ability to fix peoples brains and he happens to run into Cassandra, fix her brain, and leave. So from then on Cassandra can speak and write. It was a total cop out and you can tell it was only done because the writers were tired of skipping around how she couldn’t speak and picked an easy out. So knowing what I know about the character this whole section about Batman’s shock at her only knowing the language of violence is pretty lame.
Back to the story, Batman finds Cain and fights him while Cassandra dons a black mask and attacks/steals money from Two Face. It cuts back to the Batman/Cain fight and right before they land a devastating blow on each other Cassandra breaks up the fight distracting them by throwing the money she stole from Two Face at them. Then it cuts to Batman introducing Cassandra Cain to Barbra Gordon (Original Batgirl) who thanks her for saving her father and tells her she was once Batgirl. It ends with Batman saying to Oracle “Oracle. Call them”, with no explanation of what that means.
Over all it’s not a bad comic just really hard to follow completely out of context. I luckily had some history about No Man’s Land and Cassandra Cain but which helped a lot. Had you just picked this up without any context it would probably be a lot of non-sense. Overall I give it a 6 out of 10.
Here are a couple of my favorite vintage ads from it.
Leave a comment | tags: batgirl, batman, Comic Books, comic books and cats, Comics, dc comics, detective comics, mark of cain, mystery comics, no man's land, woot | posted in Mystery Comics