As you probably know, there is another Lois Lane, who is quite famous among musicals buffs: the “bad girl” character from “Kiss Me Kate” (played in the movie by Ann Miller). As that character was created in the forties, did DC ever notice, did they do anything about it, and if yes, how was the situation resolved?
I don’t know if anyone at DC noticed at the time the show debuted on Broadway or if they tried to do anything about it. (If they did, they must have been unsuccessful since the character still has the same name.)
The name was certainly something I noticed back when I was in high school (a lot of years ago). “Kiss Me Kate” was the summer production of our Theater Arts program and I was the Student Producer.
In one scene, Lois goes to make a phone call backstage; in most productions, the phone is on the wall, but we had a full-sized old-fashioned telephone booth. Add to this the fact that I wore horn-rimmed glasses and had a t-shirt with a Superman “S” on it. It did not take much thought to come up with an obvious ad-libbed gag.
On the night of the performance, I showed up with the t-shirt under my regular shirt. When the curtain opened, “Lois” was going to be on her way to make the phone call. I would come out of the phone booth, just starting to button up my shirt. I would say, “Hi, Lois.” She would reply, “Oh, hi, Clark.” And I would walk off the stage. Nothing more…just a quick bonus laugh.
Well, it didn’t happen. As the scene was being set up and I was heading onto the stage, I found my path blocked by the Student Director and her assistant. “No way are you going on that stage!” they told me. “We’re not letting you ruin the show!” Since I was not about to start a fight with them in the middle of the show, I stayed in the wings and the audience never saw my planned cameo appearance.
We did eventually use the gag, however. Some of my pals and I filmed a monster movie for the variety show in our senior year. In one scene, the damsel-in-distress who is fleeing the monster tries to get into the phone booth to call for help. She is shooed away by the person inside and finally runs off as the monster approaches. Then we cut back to the booth where I emerge, buttoning up my shirt and scratching my head.
DEADMAN #s 5 and 6: “Death and the Maiden” by Steve Vance, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Josef Rubinstein.
These days there are too many regular comic books that are worth reading; certainly there aren’t many with a complete story told in an issue or two. This is a well-plotted tale in which Deadman tries to solve the mystery of a serial killer and ends up falling in love with the ghost of one of the victims. There are some clever plot twists and beautiful art by Garcia-Lopez and Rubinstein. An excellent read!
THE HUMAN TARGET: FINAL CUT by Peter Milligan and Javier Pulido (96pp — $29.95)
Like the Deadman story, this is a mystery with some interesting twists and turns, as master of disguise Christopher Chance impersonates the potential victim of a serial murder of Hollywood stars. This leads him into the case of a kidnapped child star and an identity crisis of his own. Some interesting plot twists, but Chance becomes yet another DC character who has gone through a life-rending trauma. The art is acceptable, but the hefty price tag will probably turn off potential readers.
WONDER WOMAN: THE HIKETEIA by Greg Rucka, JG Jones and Wade von Grawbadger (96pp — $24.95)
Here’s a suggestion for anyone writing a book involving an Amazon ritual, especially one with an unpronounceable name. Explain it in plain English to the reader at the beginning of the story. Yes, I realize it’s explained on the dust jacket, but that is not where a reader should have to look. (I ignore dust jacket copy until after I read the book anyway; I don’t want anything given away by the hype.)
Yet another serial killer is the focus in this book. This time it’s a young woman who has been on a killing spree in Gotham City. Batman tracks her down, but through a couple of un-Batmanlike mistakes, she eludes capture. To wit, he swoops down upon her on a bridge, grabs her off her motorcycle and then allows her to fall into the river far below.
How the girl manages to survive the fall into the freezing river and make it to Wonder Woman’s doorstep in New York City is not explained, but she does, where she offers herself up as a supplicant in the aforementioned ritual. Accepting her, Diana takes on the responsibility of protecting her from anything and everything, including a justice-seeking Dark Knight.
What should have been an interesting conflict for Wonder Woman gets watered down in the resolution. Still, the art is nice to look at.
CATWOMAN: SELINA’S BIG SCORE by Darwyn Cooke. (96pp — $24.95)
Cooke has an art style reminiscent of Frank Robbins’ work on Batman in the 70s. I was never a fan of it back then, but I found that I enjoyed to it here.
No serial killers in this story; instead we have a tale of an out-of-cash Selina Kyle looking for a way to steal $24 million from the mob. Cooke switches the point-of-view from Selina to her partner-in-crime Stark to detective Slam Bradley in the chapters and manages to keep the story flowing smoothly throughout. The story is well-constructed and has some nice twists.
For $24.95, though, couldn’t they have gotten a better letterer instead of allowing Cooke (presumably) to do the job? Some of the balloons are fuzzy and more than once SELINA looks like SEUNA. And did anyone allow DC’s ace proofreader Arlene Lo an opportunity to go through this. She knows where to place commas, something lacking throughout the story. (“What do you mean Selina?” requires one after the word “mean”… as does every other sentence in which someone is addressed.)
I am a Pat Broderick fan and the site that you sent us to doesn’t seem to be him, since he seems not to have any jobs before 1990 when he graduated from art school, and there is not a single mention of comic book work, so I would imagine this is another Pat Broderick.
Sorry about that. Guess we’ll have to put Peerless Pat on the list of folks we’re looking for information about.
From my official unofficial researcher John Wells comes some additional information…
There was one other benefit of the yellow oval around the bat that only seems to have occurred to everyone in retrospect. A bat icon couldn’t be trademarked but a bat in a yellow oval could.
For the record, the new look symbol debuted in 1964’s DETECTIVE #327 and BATMAN #164 and the “old look” returned in the post-”No Man’s Land” titles, the first of which was 2000’s DETECTIVE #742. The explanation that the yellow spotlight manipulated gunmen into aiming for Batman’s armored shirt originated with Frank Miller in 1986’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #1 (page 43, specifically).
There was also a back-up in 1977’s GREEN LANTERN #100. The Green Arrow & Black Canary story (postponed from FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL) was by Elliot S. Maggin (script), Mike Grell (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Anthony Tollin (color), Ben Oda (lettering).
Re: Ace the Bat-Hound. Following the origin in 1955’s BATMAN #92, John Wilker continued to loan Ace to Bruce Wayne through several stories (BATMAN #s 97, 103, 123; DETECTIVE #254) before he was finally written out altogether. In 1959’s BATMAN #125, Wilker took an out-of-town job and left his dog in the permanent custody of Bruce Wayne.
Ace’s Silver Age appearances consisted of these issues: BATMAN #s 92, 97, 103, 123, 125, 130-131, 133, 140, 143, 146, 152, 156, 158, 162; DETECTIVE #s 254, 280, 287, 294, 306-307, 318; WORLD’S FINEST #s 134-135, 143. BATMAN #92’s origin has been reprinted in BATMAN FROM THE ‘30s TO THE 70s, BATMAN FAMILY #5 and BATMAN IN THE FIFTIES.
The modern incarnation of Bat-Hound (referred to only as Ace) debuted in 1991’s BATMAN #s 462-464 but disappeared after issue #500.
— John Wells (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks, as always, for the detailed information, John.
SOMEBODY SELL THESE PEOPLE SOMETHING DEPARTMENT:
Hi, Bob. We are compiling a directory to vampire comics. It contains over 4,500 titles but we have not been able to find a complete set of Pre-Code comics to check. Can you help?
— Rob (email@example.com)
…I’m trying to find the following product: OCT002253 BARRY LEVINE LTD LITHO #2 KISS EMPIRE STATE BLDG $39.95. Any ideas where I can buy it?
— Jon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
…Where can I find the first 23 issues of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, and issue #1 of ROXY?
… Is there any place that I can obtain a list of recently-purchased CGC-graded Silver Age DC comics? At $25+ to grade each comic, I would like to know if it would be worth it. I have been collecting for over 40 years and have thousands of comics. Most are VF or better.
— Robert Olson (email@example.com)
…I am looking for a copy of THE PARENT TRAP comic book from the 1960s. Any idea?
— Gary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
…Do you have any idea where can I find wav sounds for my computer of Aquaman? I used to watch the cartoon in the late 60s and early 70s.
— Brian Hickey (email@example.com)
…Can I buy Vol. 2 #8 of THE DAMAGE with on the cover “God strikes back”.
— Guy Van Humbeeck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
…Where can I find NEW Green Goblin comics!
— Clay (email@example.com)
I don’t sell anything here nor will I recommend a specific store or dealer. I am printing these letters to allow anyone who can help these folks out to do so. However, I cannot and will not guarantee the veracity of anyone who contacts those of you whose letters appear above. Caveat emptor.
And on that note, I am out of here till next week. Don’t forget my daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Need some answers from the Answer Man?
Ask BobRo at It’s BobRo’s Answer Board.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.