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My Review of Wayne of Gotham, by Tracy Hickman

27 Dec

December 27, 2018

I guess there is only one Batman story possible, because in Wayne of Gotham we’ve seen it all before. Batman reopens the Wayne murder case. Again. Thomas Wayne may have been mixed up with criminals, or been one himself. Again. A rift between Bruce and Alfred. Again. The writing was good enough to keep me reading but the plot? Nah. And the characterization? Since when does millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne disguise himself as an invalid and have Alfred push him around in a wheelchair, in the privacy of his own estate, in the hopes that a paparazzi will jump a fence and snap his picture a ‘la Howard Hughes? When was Alfred promoted from butler to Bruce Wayne’s public relations flack and a high level Waynecorp officer? To be fair, this book suffers from coming out within just a few short years of Grant Morrison’s amazing Batman run, which dealt with the Wayne murder and Bruce’s backstory in a much more interesting way. (DC is once again dealing with this in their current comics.) It is just a shame that Hickman felt that the same ground had to be covered yet again. Where is the originality?

Now that I have finished the book, I have a few questions. When did this take place? It claims to be Batman’s final case but there is no sense of where this occurs in his career. Where were Dick Grayson or any of the regular supporting Bat-cast? And worse- did Tracy Hickman know anything at all about Batman before starting the book? Batman has always been about the man inside the suit, not about the Batsuit, yet Hickman seemed enamored of the technology. Tons of words were wasted on the gyros in the Batsuit, the power cells in the utility belt, the way the Batmobile connects to the power grid. Is this Iron Man or Batman? In Iron Man the technology is a vital part, in Batman it is merely there. The Joker’s quote from the 1989 movie had it right- “where does he get those wonderful toys?” They are just toys, tools, nothing more; yet to read this book, you’d think it was Tony Stark in the Batman outfit.

This Batman was full of doubts and paranoia. He had none of the confidence of the Batman we have known for years. I found myself not caring about him.

The Joker had a tiny, bit part, probably because Hickman assumed the Joker turns up in every single Bat story. He was used to zero effect here. And again, does Hickman know anything about the Batman universe? The Joker was described as wearing old, cracked white greasepaint. No, the Joker’s face is white already, no paint needed. How did an editor let that slip by?

By the end, the plot had grown confusing and uninteresting, the characters were either unlikable or poorly characterized, and the writing average. I give the book one star because aside from all my criticism, the real problem with the book is that the plot was horrible and not only did not hold my interest, it seemed designed to confuse and annoy the reader.

 

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Fonzie Eats a Can of Ravioli Over a Hot Plate. A Christmas Tradition.

22 Dec

December 22, 2018

Christmas is a time of traditions, and nothing is more of a tradition here at Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride than this Christmas episode of Happy Days. As for the Grinch among you, who think this is just an excuse for me to post a rerun, that’s simply not true. This marks the seventh time I’ve  posted this since 2010, (skipping only 20015 and 2016) and it is all because, year in and year out, this is one of my most searched and most viewed posts during the holiday season.  

All New 2018 Fonzie Christmas Meme!

From December 24, 2010

I can’t let the holiday go by without everyone’s favorite 30 year-old teenager, the Fonz, making an appearance. You can have your Frosty and your Rudolph, this is my TV yuletide.

This is a classic piece of Christmastime must-see television around my house. (I’m sure that says a lot about my house. We also love Godzilla at Thanksgiving. It’s a bit hard to fit in the oven but trust me, it tastes delicious.)  In this clip from the early days of Happy Days, everyone is getting ready for Christmas, except poor Fonzie, who has nowhere to go. This was before Fonzie moved in above the Cunningham’s and he was going to spend a lonely holiday in his garage. Watch as The Fonz sits on a greasy toolbox, heats up a can of ravioli on a hot plate, and sets out a pathetic little holiday card for company. Were the Aloha Pussycats out-of-town? Where was Paula Petralunga? And what about the Hooper triplets, Pinky Tuscadero, or a dozen loose cheerleaders? Ponder that as you watch with someone you love.

The 2017 Fonzie Christmas Meme

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