Tag Archives: Joker

70 Aspects of Batman: 34

JOHN ROMITA JR.

From Wikipedia:

John Salvatore Romita, Jr. (born August 17, 1956) is an American comic book artist best known for his extensive work for Marvel Comics from the 1970s to the 2000s.

Romita was born in New York City, the son of John Romita, Sr., co-creator of several notable Spider-Man stories in the 1960s and 1970s.

He began his career at Marvel UK, doing sketches for covers of reprints. His American debut was with a six page story entitled “Chaos at the Coffee Bean!” in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #11 (1977).

Romita’s early popularity began with his run on Iron Man with writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton which began in 1978. In the early 1980s, he had his first regular run on the Amazing Spider-Man series and also was the artist for the launch of the Dazzler series. Working with writer Roger Stern on Amazing Spider-Man, he co created the character Hobgoblin. From 1983 to 1986 he had a run on the popular Uncanny X-Men with Dan Green and author Chris Claremont which was well-received. He would return for a second well-received run on Uncanny X-Men in 1993.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Romita enjoyed an extended stint on Daredevil with writer Ann Nocenti and Eisner Award-winning inker Al Williamson, noted for its creation of long-running Daredevil nemesis Typhoid Mary. His work on Daredevil was well-received, with Romita Jr. further refining his style.

Romita later collaborated with Frank Miller on a Daredevil origin story entitled Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a revisiting of the character’s origin. He worked on a host of Marvel titles during the 1990s, including The Punisher War Zone, the Hulk, the Cable mini-series, The Mighty Thor, a return to Iron Man for the second Armor Wars written by John Byrne, and the Punisher/Batman cross-over. Klaus Janson was a frequent inker.

In the 2000s, Romita had a well-received return to The Amazing Spider-Man with writer J. Michael Straczynski. He drew Marvel’s Wolverine with author Mark Millar as part of the character’s thirtieth-anniversary celebration. In 2004, Romita’s creator-owned project The Gray Area was published by Image Comics. Romita’s art has since appeared in Black Panther, The Sentry and Ultimate Vision, a backup story featured in the Ultimate line, written by author Mark Millar.

In 2006, Romita collaborated with writer Neil Gaiman on the reinterpretation of Jack Kirby‘s The Eternals in the form of a seven-issue limited series. Romita worked with Greg Pak on the five issue main comic of Marvel’s 2007 crossover event, World War Hulk.

In 2008, Romita again returned to Amazing Spider-Man. He is also collaborating once more with Mark Millar, for a creator-owned series, Kick-Ass, published by Marvel’s Icon imprint. The Filming of the Movie: Kick-Ass, began in September 2008. Romita, one of the producers, made his directorial debut by directing an animated flashback sequence in the film.

Romita is the regular artist for Avengers, which relaunched the franchise in May 2010.

John Romita Jr. may be the best pure superhero artist working in comics today. Over the course of his over 30 year career he has worked almost exclusively for Marvel Comics, so any images of characters from other companies by him. Fortunately, in the mid-90s before Marvel and DC became parts of huge conglomerates and were still open to crossovers, Romita Jr. drew a Batman/Punisher one-shot. For a reader used to Romita’s work only appearing in Marvel comics, seeing the denizens of Gotham City drawn in his style creates a certain cognitive dissonance…but once the brain adjusts, it’s a great visual experience. To date, apart from a sketch or two, Romita Jr. hasn’t drawn Batman since, which is a shame as his style has become more stripped down and direct as time’s gone on…kind of like this sketch below, done years after the one-shot:

I love this sequence from Batman/Punisher…it’s a well drawn sequence that flows and says a lot about the characters portrayed in it:

G.

UPDATE . . . . . . Warner Bros. DC . . . ohhhhhhhh

Okay, I just watched Batman (like you’ve never seen him before) from 1989 and that is NOT an A movie. This throws my entire Warner Bros. DC list into doubt. I first saw this movie when I was 10 and loved it so hard I had sex with it. I’ve seen it many times but I guess maybe not for several years before tonight. I’m thinking I either watched it with a really critical eye for the first time or maybe The Dark Knight is just so good that this movie looks silly but whatever! The point is – this movie ain’t that great.

I can tell you what I loved about this movie when I was 10 – the Batsuit, the (few) hand-to-hand fight scenes, and Joker’s kewl one-liners. Well, now I realize that this batsuit is kinda clunky. For one thing, the head is really big. In the few shots where you can see Batman from the feet up, it’s pretty obvious as the head and shoulder pads are huge and then you look down and see Michael Keaton’s cute little chicken legs poking out from underneath the cape. The fights are pretty short and not as cool as they could be but they’re still okay. I’ll describe them now: 1) A swordsman swings his swords all over the place and Batman kicks him in the face. 2) In a cathedral, this dude does 30 backhandsprings before flying toward Batman with blades protruding from his boots (which is pretty cool) but Batman gets him in the nuts with his EXTENDING PALM . 3) A guy jumps at Batman and falls through the floor (pretty funny). 4) A big guy beats the shit out of Batman and then Batman’s Batchickenlegs pull him down a staircaise to his death.

The biggest issue with this movie is that it has no plot. I’ll sum it up for you: Gotham is turning 200 years old. There’s gonna be a party. Crime Boss’s Henchman is humping Crime Boss’s lady so Crime Boss sets up Henchman. Henchman becomes Joker, takes over crime and randomly does stuff that is bad. Batman randomly opposes him. Police do FUCKING NOTHING EVER. There’s a scene where Joker kills a dude on the courthouse steps and in the background you can see 2 cops just standing there doing NOTHING (and then they get shooted). Wait, is that part of the plot? In the newest movie, Joker basically does bad stuff randomly but at least he explains that he just thinks it’s fun. In this old movie, Joker seems half-crazy and half-just like any other crime boss.

This movie is campy, too, just like the old Batman TV show. When I was a kid I thought that the “new” 1989 Batman was dead serious and grim and awesome and the old show was silly but no, the 1989 movie is just silly in an ’80s way. I already mentioned the silly EXTENDING PALM on Batman’s glove. PS – Why did he implement such a feature? Was he really expecting to have to whack a guy in the nuts to avoid boot blades at some point? There’s a part where Batman flies in his Batwing jet and uses SCISSORS on the front of the jet to collect some parade balloons. ARGH! What was he planning for when designing the jet that he decided it should have scissors?

I dunno, man. This movie is a C.

kicknz