Tag Archives: Tea Party

The Allan Keyes Classic Comics Creview: Batman, A Death in the Family

10 Jun

June 1o, 2013



I had occasion to re-read this last week (in other words, I was out of books and needed to grab something off the old pile to read in the bathroom) and a few things about this “classic” really smacked me that never were noticed back when I first read this as a kid.

As you all know, this is the book that is famous because they killed Robin. And there’s precious little else to recommend this outside of the snuff film factor.


Load of Crap #1: The entire story! Moody, pre-menstrual Jason Todd (Robin) finds out that his mother was really his step mother, and sets off to find his true parent. Ok, fair enough. But we find out that his mother is one of three people:  An Israeli secret agent, Lady Shiva (one of the deadliest assassins in the DC Universe, a Batman-level fighter) or some broad running famine relief in Ethiopia. So let’s get this straight: We’re to believe that Jason Todd’s father, who was a minor skell working for Two Face, not only knew but bagged an Israeli secret agent, the worlds’ deadliest assassin (pre-Deathstroke) and some other broad whom the reader with a functional IQ of above 15 immediately pegged as the mother by page 3 . And we didn’t have the benefit of the Bat-Computer. WOW, being a two-bit henchman really helps you put up numbers if you know what I mean and I know that you do!

Mr. BTR ADDS: Amazingly, and this is true, all those women are listed under “S.” I’d love to see some of the other pages, like “P” with Diana Prince listed, “K” containing Selina Kyle, and I’d bet “L” featuring Lane, Lois and Lemaris, Lori.

Load of Crap #2: By an amazing ko-inky-dink, we find that all three women are in the same part of the world- the middle east!  How convenient for young annoying Jason, who goes running off on his own. And it turns out to be convenient for Batman too, because due to Load of Crap #3, the Joker escaping Arkham and running off to the mid-East to sell a nuke to terrorists, he amazingly runs smack into Robin, because the terrorists the Joker is selling his missile to are the SAME terrorists prospective mother #1 (the secret agent) is infiltrating. HOW ABOUT THAT! And those very same terrorists are being trained by prospective mother #2, lady Shiva. HOW ABOUT THAT! Gimme an effing break, eh effendi? The Middle East is millions of miles of land, and everyone on the planet is congregating in the same tiny dinky town in Lebanon.  Um……………..NO

Anyway, Load of Crap #4– Not only does the Joker know prospective mother #3, but she’s also as crooked as an IRS worker (hey, I can do topical also!) and has a shady past the Joker can exploit! So when Batman and Robin go to the family reunion, guess who’s waiting! Note to Jim Starlin: A CONTINUING SERIES OF COINCIDENCES IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOOD STORY. Anyhow, you know the rest – Robin’s mother pulls a patented NWO Swerve (Mr. B will explain) on her little boychik, and  the Joker clubs the little b*tch like a baby seal. Explosion cliffhanger, he finally dies THANK GOD, setting the stage for thousands of issues of bat-angst.


Mr. BTR EXPLAINS: In the old WCW, there was a huge group of wrestlers called the NWO and they were insanely popular. However, they were also as predictable as a Mets loss. Seemingly every week, they would come out to the ring and talk about how they were pissed at one of their own teammates and were going to kick the crap out him during his match and help his opponent and invariably, not only would they not kick the crap out of him, they would join him in beating up his opponent. And EVERY WEEK the opponent thought this would be the week where the NWO would actually turn on one of their own guys. It NEVER happened yet FOR MONTHS people expected it. So Robin’s mother turning on Robin was something we could see coming two miles away.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the art:  IT SUCKS.  I mean look at this:


The Joker’s face is drawn like an inverted isosceles triangle. It’s asinine. He’s clearly not a human.


Robin gets snuffed. LOVE IT! But this is also the Joker at his most out of control homicidal. At the time, in recent continuity he had just shot Barbara Gordon and crippled her, and this storyline was a great escalation of that. Besides racking up a body count and killing Robin, he has bigger plans:

1)      He sells a nuke to terrorists to pop off at Tel Aviv

2)      To replenish his funds, he steals Ethiopian famine relief and replaces it with cases of his laughing gas.  Hundreds of crates, each w/ enough lethal poison to spread over four acres. HE’S PLANNING THE GENOCIDE OF THE ENTIRE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE!!! And he smirks and tells the aid worker to look on the bright side, there will be less mouths to feed. WOW. Note the tan makeup he’s wearing to blend in. Looks like a demented George Hamilton.

3)      He tries to murder the entire United Nations General Assembly.

Mr. BTR EXPOUNDS: (!)! Go back to Allan Keyes' previous point about the art. Now that he is a more normal color, you can see how ridiculous the Joker's anatomy is. What's up with that chin? Even Plastic Man is usually drawn more realistically.

Mr. BTR EXPOUNDS: (!)! Go back to Allan Keyes’ previous point about the art. Now that he is a more normal color, you can see how ridiculous the Joker’s anatomy is. What’s up with that chin? Even Plastic Man is usually drawn more realistically.

Though the story is weak, it does contain one of the greatest end issue splashes EVER.  A rage-filled Batman is goaded to meet the Joker for a final confrontation at the UN, and what does he see? Joker is the fricking Iranian Ambassador!!!!! And not only that, Superman is there to make sure Batman doesn’t get him, because diplomatic immunity. AWESOME cliffhanger.  It’s so over the top insane I can almost forgive Starlin for the rest of this story.


Mr. BTR rants: Keyes should have also included the next page in which Batman cradles his fist like a ragdoll and whines “I think I broke a couple of knuckles” in the most uncharacteristic Bat-manner you’ve ever seen. Totally ruins the impact of this otherwise cool page.

What the heck, I did it for him. Is this Batman? Batman would not show any weakness in front of Superman even if a badger had gnawed off his wiener.

What the heck, I did it for him. Is this Batman? Batman would not show any weakness in front of Superman even if a badger had gnawed off his wiener.

Still an awesome cliffhanger.

Still an awesome cliffhanger.

On a bit of a social note, it’s kind of refreshing to read a comic that treats Middle East terrorists as……villainous scumbags.  You even have Batman referencing the Iranian Embassy takeover as a reason to ignore Iran’s international rights! You will very rarely see this kind of moral clarity in comics today, if we ever really have.  The industry is wussified (except for Garth Ennis) and you’ll see the likes of Captain America fighting the greatest threat to the world today: the Tea Party http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2010/02/captain-america-vs-tea-parties/20207/, or Superman indulging in nonviolence vs. these same Iranians:


Effing stupid wusses who populate the industry today. They’re under the impression the S on his chest stands for “Sally” </rant > 

Finally…..to my knowledge, this is the only comics appearance of Ayatollah Khomeini (outside of his own Iranian-published title, Jihad-Joe. See what I did there?)


I had forgotten they put him in. I reflexively spat on the page when I saw it.

Anyway, you know the rest of the story.

The verdict: A good bathroom read, but massively overhyped.

In Search of… Atlantis

17 Aug

August 17, 2011

Atlantis is the fabled sunken city. First described by Plato in 360 BC, it has fascinated scholars and adventurers alike. To this day, its very existence is debated.

Is Atlantis real?

How should I know?

Where was Atlantis?

It all depends on who you ask. Theories abound that place Atlantis anywhere from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic to just off the Florida Coast. However, the theories all agree on one important point. Atlantis is underwater. 

Atlantis has historically been hard to find. Before the age of underwater breathing apparatus, most of the explorers searching for Atlantis got to a depth of about twenty feet before they could hold their breath no longer and had to come up for air. The ancient philosopher Crantor wrote in his texts that “be it in humble surf or raging torrent, Atlantis is farther than I can throw a rock at a seagull. Oh brave seeker, row out a little farther than the end of the jetty.” One thing is for sure- Atlantis is farther out than you could comfortably wade, and most pleasant beaches have long been thoroughly explored, though that fact does nothing to discourage the may Atlantis seekers who get large grants and then spend the summer in the islands “searching for Atlantis” in the sun.

What was Atlantis?

Again, it depends on who you ask. Classical mythology holds that Atlantis was a major naval power that conquered many cities. Other accounts hold that it was a center of arts and philosophy. Still other accounts claim that it was an inter-dimensional alien city. Trust me, what ever it was, it was not that.

Why did it sink?

Theories abound, most of them a little kooky. They range from earthquakes and natural disasters to wrath of god or evil aliens, or, according to Nancy Pelosi, the Tea Party. (In her speech of July 2011, Ms. Pelosi said that “voting for the Republican debt plan is what sunk Atlantis.” New York Times) Most classical accounts claim that it took only a day to sink, which seems a little hasty. On the other hand, look at Pompei.

Who were the people of Atlantis? 

Is there any proof of Atlantis?


Are there other sunken cities?

There are legends of many other sunken cities across the globe. Other than Atlantis, the most famous sunken city is R’lyeh. Noted explorer Howard Phillip Lovecraft and famed cartographer August Derleth have different opinions of R’lyeh’s location.

Lovecraft said that R’lyeh is located at 47°9′S 126°43′W in the southern Pacific Ocean. August Derleth later placed R’lyeh at 49°51′S 128°34′W in his own writings. Both locations are close to the Pacific pole of inaccessibility (48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W), the point in the ocean farthest from any land. Derleth’s coordinates place the city approximately 5,100 nautical miles (9,400 km), or about ten days journey for a fast ship, from the real island of Pohnpei (Ponape). Pohnpei also plays a part in the Cthulhu Mythos as the place where the “Ponape Scripture”, a text describing Cthulhu, was found.

It is recommended that sailors avoid R’lyeh as it is the home of the evil god Cthulhu.

The city is a panorama of “vast angles and stone surfaces … too great to belong to anything right and proper for this earth, and impious with horrible images and disturbing hieroglyphs.” The geometry of R’lyeh is “abnormal, non-Euclidean, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours.”

R’lyeh is sometimes referred to in the ritualistic phrase “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”, which roughly translates to “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming”.

Do you have any final words about Atlantis?

Yes. Thank you for asking.

You’re welcome.

Either Atlantis is a sunken city rich in gold and ancient artifacts or Plato was full of it. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Assuming Atlantis was real, it was most likely a slum. Leave it alone.

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