Friday, August 26, 2011

Groove's Faves: "The Warrior in a Wheel-Chair" by Haney and Aparo

Nick Cardy's far-out cover!
Today's my birthday! Nah, nah, nah, nah nah! Gonna have a good time! Okay, I'm sure all of Groove-dom has been on needles and pins(ah) wondering what far-out comic Ol' Groove is gonna spotlight in the Faves Finale for this week. Well, I'll level with ya. This isn't the best Batman tale ever written. Brave and the Bold #100's (November 1971) "The Warrior in a Wheel-Chair" is, though, my all-time fave B&B Batman tale. Why? Many are the reasons, Groove-ophiles, but I'll just lay a few on ya.

First of all, consider the art. It's only Jim Aparo's second (of nearly 100) issue, and already he owns The Batman. Even though the Dark Knight spends 99% of the ish in a wheel-chair, Aparo still makes him look cool. (And I know, we look back at it now and wonder "Why is Batman in costume--even wearing his cowl and gloves while undergoing surgery? That's not realistic!". Put on your "good time glasses" kiddies--this is the Groovy Age--it's about fun and clarity. Realism is ever only a plot device!) Aparo has no problem making GL, GA, and the Canary look cool, but hey, they look cool no matter what. But (boy) wonder of wonders, J.A. even makes Robin look cool. Very few artists could do that! But it was Aparo's opening page, fight scenes, and best of all that dream sequence on pages 20-21 that really blew my mind, baby!

Next on the list of reasons I really dig this ish is Bob Haney's story. My fave Batman stories are either really moody/creepy or showcase the Darknight Detective's superior intellect. The way Haney used the spider and its web as a metaphor for Batman using his 4 FAMOUS GUEST-STARS to spin a web to catch a fat-cat drug dealer was inspired. He also nailed what made Batman so cool: he ain't crazy, he's persistent, baby. The Batman doesn't quit, no matter what.

Finally, I was one of those fans who thought Green Lantern/Green Arrow was one of the grooviest mags going, so bringing them in (along with Black Canary, natch) as guest-stars was fanboy heaven for Young Groove.

I'd like to say I read this mag 'til the cover fell off, but my copy came in one'a those cellophane-wrapped "comics packs" (three for a quarter)--so it didn't have a cover to begin with. But I read it a lot. Still do. Hope you dig it, Groove-ophiles!


  1. Happy Birthday, Groove! Have a great day!!

  2. Ahh I have great memories of this comic - I had recently finished taking some exams at school and as a reward to myself I picked this issue up on my way home. I remember that day very well as it was a real scorcher (living in Scotland you remember the hot days lol)I actually did read this comic so much that the covers fell off my copy - I actually picked up a "new" copy of this last week. this issue was rounded of my an excellent New Adams Deadman strip reprint also. McSScooty

  3. I loved the Aparo B&Bs as a brat, and pretty much anything else Aparo worked on. Even Mike Grell couldn't make me read Aquaman, but Jim Aparo could. I even suffered through Mike W. Barr's B&B replacement, Batman and the Outsiders, until it became unbearable.

    It's interesting to note that Green Arrow kills a petty thug here and no one gives a poot. Oh, but hey, put an end to a mass-murderer who's supposedly one of the most dangerous villains in the DCU and that bothers everyone and your wife dumps you and you get kicked out of the League again.

    Low point: HUH HUH HUH STOOPIT CANARY'S GOT TO DRY HUR HURR, HURR HURR HURR! GET BACK IN DUR KITCHEN, YUH DUM WOMAN, HURR HURR HURR yeeeeesh God. Not as bad as that old Batman/Batgirl/Wonder Woman team-up that turned into a love triangle, but still.

  4. THANKS, Groove. This issue is my favorite of the original "Brave and the Bold" title.

  5. Happy Birthday! I couldn't think of a better birthday treat than reading this gem.

  6. Happy Birthday Groovy One!
    I always loved everything Jim Aparo drew. Especially his Batman in the B & the B. His Spectre rocked too! Have a great b-day & Keep on Truck'in!I can't believe I'll be 50 myself in a little less then a month! YIKES!

  7. A great "anniversary" issue that should have run yesterday (Aparo's birthday!). I agree, this is a classic--it was my first Jim Aparo comic book, and it began my lifelong love for the man and his work!

  8. Happy Birthday, Oh Groove-Meister.

    Yes, I've been looking at buying this one for a while. While I like Aparo initially, his art tended to all look the same after a while. I do like when Robin comes across looking nice, big fan of the Teen Wonder. Not many besides Adams or Cardy who can do that.

    THANKS for the wonderful posting today!!

  9. Happy B-day! Love the Aparo version of Batman. This one reminds me of my fave story from Brave and the Bold #115, "The Corpse That Wouldn't Die" guest starring the Atom. A great comic I loved as a kid,and still have to this day.

  10. Thanks for the birthday wishes, fellas! Thanks for sharing it with me via DotGK and B&B #100! This one will be hard to top!

  11. lovely stuff. my favourite B&B issue's always been "May The Best Man Die!", the one where the Joker puts Batman and Wildcat in the ring to duke it out for the life of the likkle doggie. top Haney-Aparo nonsense.

    have a great one, fella. may the Gods of Groovy shine bright upon you this day!


    I recall in his first Comics Journal Frank Miller was quite critical of this point, especially since the Canary was wearing a wig!

    And in another interview with someone else (can't remember who) the point was made about Arrow killing someone and showing no concern, and yet less than a year later (in the back-up strip appearing in The Flash) he shot somebody and pretty much gave up his Arrow identity.

    PS Happy birthday, young Groove...may your blog long continue :-)

  13. That was a fantastic issue. Can we have some more like that one please. Oh and Happy Birthday!



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