X here with something a little bit old, and a little bit new. You see, after my marathon weekend where I posted 16 new reviews between Friday and Sunday(wow, that's a lot even for me!) I've just about finished off my new comic pile. Sure, I have a few books in there still(an issue of Weird Worlds, an issue of Uncanny X-Men, a few Wolverine: The Best There Is comics, etc), but nothing I'm really jumping out of my skin to read. So instead of reading/reviewing something I just wouldn't have my heart in, I've decided to combine two of my old, abandoned blog ideas, the vaunted Retro-Review, along with the beloved Picto-Review... You know, I REALLY suck at coming up with names for things... “Retro-Review” and “Picto-Review”... *shakes head* Anywho, I wound up reading three old issues of Batman recently and figured they'd be a blast to review. Oddly enough they all feature the DREADED Crazy-Quilt as their lead villain... That sounds like the kind of name I'd come up with actually... Well, instead of gibber-jabbering about it, let's get to the comics! Oh, before I get started, a quick note... I'm not going to bother giving any of these comics a score. I'll just say that I enjoyed them all and leave it at that.
Batman #316(Oct. 1979).
We get underway with Batman and Robin(at this point, still Dick Grayson, even though he was LONG overdue for a costume change...) catching up to some feeb who set a fire in a hospital. The feeb immediately surrenders, and Bats and Robin take the arsonist to Commissioner Gordon, who's aimlessly wandering around the smoky hospital.
Damn that crusty old Commish!
From there Crazy-Quilt breaks into STAR Labs and steals a prototype laser intensifier. Batman and Robin happen to stumble across the scene and end up getting schooled by Crazy-Quilt... Really?!
Um, if you're not that crazy, why would you name yourself CRAZY-Quilt? Why not Slightly-Deranged-Quilt, or Mildly-Unhinged-Quilt?
Having escaped from the rather inept Dynamic Duo, Crazy-Quilt continues his crime-spree by kidnapping some doctor from his home.
“You may call me--Crazy-Quilt!” “The only thing I'm calling is the police!” Oh burn!!!
Naturally, Crazy-Quilt tells the doctor his life story, because that's what any comic book super-villain SHOULD do! He was a painter-turned-crime boss(there's something you don't see very often...) who was nearly blinded when a rival gangster shot at him. Thanks to the bullet, all Crazy-Quilt sees is very bright lights, thus concluding one of the more bizarre villain origins EVER! With the help of the doctor, the laser intensifier and the hospital that was torched earlier, Crazy-Quilt plans on getting his eyesight back. Upon learning that the doctor had mysteriously disappeared, Batman figures out that he was kidnapped by Crazy-Quilt and taken to the hospital so Crazy-Quilt could use the laser intensifier to restore his vision... Wow, he figured all that out just by some random doctor being kidnapped?! Bats and Robin head to the hospital where Crazy-Quilt is being operated on and run afoul some of Crazy-Quilt's traps...
Oh no! It's the spinning lights of Eternal Damnation!!!!!
Needless to say, the Dynamic Duo manage to pass Crazy-Quilt's light based traps(it was a spinning light! How could they NOT get passed it?!?) and enter the room just as the surgery ends, and yes, it was a success. This causes another fight between the Dynamic Duo and Crazy-Quilt, which leads to Dick BLINDING Crazy-Quilt and Batman gently smacking Crazy-Quilt upside the head.
Sure, blind the poor guy again... What a dick...
Needless to say, Crazy-Quilt doesn't take kindly to the whole re-blinding thing, and begins firing wildly around the room, hitting nobody and emptying his guns. Now no longer a threat, Crazy-Quilt is crestfallen(yes, crestfallen!) over this turn of events, because, in the overly dramatic words of the Batman, “Crazy-Quilt is blind, Robin--And this time... It's FOREVER!!”
That's right, FOREVER!!!!!!!!
Batman #368(Feb. 1984).
Yeah baby, we've entered the Jason Todd era! Jason has just helped Bruce take down Poison Ivy, and the two are trying to figure out a name for the fledgling hero.
Yes the title of this story is, “A Revenge of Rainbows”... And?
Eventually Dick Grayson arrives... Dick Grayson and a mysterious box!!! Sorry, I must still be channeling the Batman from that last issue I read... While that scene plays out, a mad scientist helps restore Crazy-Quilt's eyesight... Well, kind of. It seems that the mad scientist has drilled holes into Crazy-Quilt's head(hence the “mad” attached to scientist) and has rigged Crazy-Quilt's helmet to bypass his “dead eyes”, allowing Crazy-Quilt to see via his helmet. Crazy-Quilt repays the mad scientist by killing him... Yeah sure, kill the ONE guy who was able to cure your blindness... Methinks they should call him Stupid-Quilt! ZING!
That poster disturbs me to no end for some reason... Dick sure did show A LOT of leg, didn't he?
Back with Bats, Dick and Jason, Dick reveals the contents of the box, a used Robin costume... Yuck. Dick has decided to FINALLY move on from being Robin, and Jason happily pulls on the Robin costume officially for the first time.
“And minutes later, Jason Todd looks great.” You KNOW that's what Bats was thinking while licking his lips...
With that, Dick leaves, and Bats tells his new Robin that from this point forward he'd be adding to the Robin legacy. In other words, try not to toss crooks off balconies or get blown up by the Joker! Oh wait... Anyway, Bats and Robin head out into the night and take a bite out of crime... Wait, shouldn't Bats at least... I don't know, TRAIN with the kid a little bit first?! By the end of the night, the two are officially an item again. Hey, don't look at me, Vicki Vale said it!
Kiss him... Kiss him...
The next day, Jason begins to realize the enormity of the legacy he was taking up and gets a visit from Bats...
I... I don't even have anything witty to say about that panel... That's just... I mean... Goddammit Bruce! That's just plain creepy!!!
After what I shudder to think about happening in the Batcave, the Dynamic Duo head out into the Gotham night... Dammit, that last panel is really disturbing! *sigh* Pull it together X... Anyway, Crazy-Quilt has learned that Bats and Robin were an... ugh... item again and decides to take out his vengeance on Robin for the whole “blinding him forever” thing. Out on patrol with Robin, Bats spots Crazy-Quilt's tri-colored lights shining off in the distance and fearing for his latest boy toy's safety, tells Robin to stay put while he investigated. Unfortunately for Bats, Crazy-Quilt had anticipated that Bats would do that(wait, how?!?) and beats Jason up with a garbage can lid?!
Okay, I get that he was blind for most issue #316, but are you seriously telling me that Crazy-Quilt can't tell the difference between the presumably 13-ish Jason for the almost 20 year old Dick Grayson? Hell, the voice alone should be a dead giveaway!
Anyway, this issue ends with Bats discovering Jason battered and beaten in an alley, sadly the way he usually found Jason...
Wow, Bats was a real drama queen back in the day...
Detective Comics #535(Feb. 1984).
This issue gets started with Bats carrying Robin home, stripping him, dressing him in a pair of hospital scrubs and putting a massive bandage on his chest to deal with his beating from Crazy-Quilt... Um, okay... That'll fix everything... Robin wakes up and recounts how he was beaten by Crazy-Quilt before zinging Bruce and shuffling off to the Batcave to rest up.
Yep, this definitely deserves a “ZING!”
That night, Robin emerges from the Batcave and smacks Bats in the face with Joker's scepter, knocking Bats out cold... HA! It seems that Robin had been hypnotized during Crazy-Quilt's beating the night prior and was told to knock Bats out and find Crazy-Quilt once the opportunity presented itself.
No means no, Batman!
Robin heads straight for a warehouse in Gotham and discovers Crazy-Quilt there. Crazy-Quilt sics his goons on Robin just as Batman wakes up, finding the Joker's scepter laying next to him with a note attached. The note tells Bats where Robin headed, and he soon arrives, spooking Crazy-Quilt's goons by simply walking in the door... Good help is SO hard to find... Crazy-Quilt blasts Bats to show his goons that Bats wasn't anything special, but Bats and Robin manage to hide in the shadows while Crazy-Quilt is scolding his lackadaisical goons. Panicked by Robin's disappearance, Crazy-Quilt takes off his helmet(which apparently has REALLY long wires) and hangs it on a pillar to draw out a confused Robin. Upon spotting Robin, Crazy-Quilt smacks him in the head with a pipe... D'oh!
Man, Jason really takes a lot of blunt trauma to the head these two issues...
Batman stops Crazy-Quilt from bashing Robin's brains out with a well placed Batarang, but manages to accidentally knock Crazy-Quilt INTO his helmet... Wow, that's just terrible luck. Now back in his helmet, Crazy-Quilt begins to school Batman.
“palette of pain”? “Masterpiece of death!”? Crazy-Quilt's dialogue is beyond awesome!!
Before Crazy-Quilt can kill off Bats, Robin wakes up and hypnotizes Crazy-Quilt with a mini-fan with some foil attached to the blades... Yes, really. With Crazy-Quilt now under his power, Robin commands Crazy-Quilt to smash his helmet, ending the threat of Crazy-Quilt... FOREVER!!! Really, I don't think Crazy-Quilt has done anything substantial since this issue! Sure he's had a few cameo appearances, but THIS was the pinnacle of his criminal career... Sad.
I guess you shouldn't have killed the mad scientist, should you have, jerk?
And thus ends what can only be called The Crazy-Quilt Trilogy. Here's hoping you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed typing it up. That's it for me today, until next time, X out.