WC #1 – Batman

Wednesday Comics #1 (Batman)

Writer – Brian Azzarello
Art – Eduardo Risso
Colors – Patricia Mulvihill
Letters – Clem Robins
Edits – Mark Chiarello

What is a fella to do when he… misses blogging, but also still hates the format with which his blogging platform operates?

Hey everybody… it’s been awhile!  Well, it’s been awhile for actual written content, anyway.  I hope everyone’s been well – and I apologize for the shift from words to audio… and from DC Comics to X-Stuffs.  I know the X-Books aren’t for everybody…

So yeah, I’ve been wanting to write again, for a long time… but, every time I set to do so, I’m reminded of just how un-user-friendly Blogger has become since last year’s “upgrade”.  It is such an astonishing pain in the ass to do what I used to do here… that, if this were the way it was back in early 2016, I can guarantee that this blog would have never made it past a day or two.

So, here’s a new project… that will hopefully mask enough of the Blogger negatives to make it worthwhile… and also facilitate me finally getting around to a reading project I’ve been dying to get to for over a decade at this point.

Folks, it’s Wednesday Comics!  An initiative run by DC Comics for twelve weeks during the Summer/early Fall of 2009.  For folks who have been following this blog for awhile, I’ve mentioned a few of my “hiatuses” from comics… and, how I was out of work from early 2008 until the end of 2009.  During that time, the wife and I lost just about everything we had… very nearly lost each other, asamattafact.  That wasn’t a sensation novel to me and mine… plenty of families were struggling and in a bad way back in 2008 – to the point where, if you say “2008” to anybody… you’ll usually get a response not unlike “Nuff Said”.

That said, I missed out on Wednesday Comics back then… and, due to their unique composition, it doesn’t usually pop up in the cheap-o bins… or, the regular back-issue bins, for that matter!  Except for issue #6… I always seem to see that one in the wild… not sure why!

Anyway… I’ve wanted to discuss this strange and fun little run for ages now… just wasn’t quite sure how to go about doing so.  I figure this will be kinda like “Superman Day” from our Action Comics Daily endeavor… just, well, everyday.  I’m not going to be including the entire strip here… as, that would be me just sharing this entire little collection… hopefully, I can shake off enough of the “blog rust” and choose decent images to compliment the discussion… what little of it there may actually be.

Oh well, that’s enough pre-ramble… I’m hoping to get one of these out every day (not sure about weekends just yet), with a compilation post to wrap it all up at the end.  There are fifteen strips here… and, naturally, it starts with Batman.

We open with Batman arriving atop the GCPD where he meets with Commissioner Gordon who had summoned him there via Bat-Signal.  Gordon mentions that he feels like a failure every time he has to flip that switch.

Batman asks what’s up… and learns that an Investment Banking bigwig named Franklin Glass has been kidnapped… with the threat that he’ll be murdered at midnight.  Batman asks about a ransom… to which, Gordon explains that the kidnapper didn’t bother to ask for one.

Batman realizes that the clock has just now struck midnight… which, ya know… is too late to save the fella.  We wrap with a man, who I’m assuming is Franklin Glass having his nose plugged while gagged by a large goon.

Not a bad way to start this off!

I think one of the most interesting bits about this entire Wednesday Comics endeavor will be seeing how our creative teams manage to “stick the landing” in writing using the “comic strip” format, rather than long-form storytelling.  Especially looking at if though the 2009 prism where decompression and writing for the trade was becoming something of an artform.

As we saw when we looked at the Superman two-pager each week during Action Comics Weekly… this definitely isn’t the easiest format to work with.  There’s only so much room to play with… where basically every single panel has to count.  I think this will be a fun little dive – and I’m looking forward to it.

Let’s talk story… what little there is of it.  I do want to preface here that Brian Azzarello has never really been a favorite of mine.  He’s a writer who caused me to drop both Superman and Batman within a single year during the mid-2000s – so, hopefully this little outing will fare better for me personally.

Now, this opens the way any number of Batman stories could have (and have) opened.  Batman responding to the Bat-Signal to check in on what Jim Gordon needs.  Here though, Jim comes across a bit different… defeated.

He comments that he feels like a failure having to turn to Batman for… well, I suppose calling it “an assist” wouldn’t be quite right in this instance, would it?  Here, it’s more like he called Batman just to not be alone when the clock struck twelve.  It’s odd.

We don’t know how long Gordon has known about the Glass kidnapping and ultimatum… and, if he’s known for a little while, why he didn’t call Batman sooner?  We’re building a mystery here… and, I gotta say – I enjoyed it.  It’s quick and breezy… which, I mean – they’re basically all going to be… but, it’s definitely a promising start to this neat little project.  I can immediately see why folks still remember the Wednesday Comics experiment so fondly.  Hopefully I won’t be singing a different tune as we continue!

Worth noting, the art is very nice too.  The large newspaper format really gives the art room to breathe… and allows for us to, well… just plain see it so much better.  Great start!

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