This month, Rand Bellavia takes a look at his growing longbox, and reflects on comics released in July 2016.

Batman 2: I Am Gotham Part Two

writer: Tom King
pencils: David Finch
inks: Matt Banning and Danny Miki
colors: Jordie Bellaire
lettering: John Workman

As Batman investigates Gotham and Gotham Girl, Alfred’s level of sarcasm approaches lethality.

The action scenes are nice, but I’m here for Alfred’s droll response to everything Bruce does.

Come for Alfred’s sarcasm, but stay for Gordon’s open derision.

Batman shows up for a brief conversation, then disappears between panels.

Batman 3: I Am Gotham Part Three

writer: Tom King
pencils: David Finch
inks: Danny Miki
colors: Jordie Bellaire
lettering: John Workman

Two weeks later, we learn the origin of Gotham.  As a child he and his parents were attached by a mugger while walking down a darkened alley.  But they (even Mom’s pearls) were saved by Batman!

This brief encounter with Batman becomes the most important event in young Hank’s life.  As he grows, Batman’s words become the dictum by which he and his sister live their lives.

Also, something about experimental medical procedures that give them super-powers while greatly shortening their life-spans.


The Flintstones 1: A Clean Slate

writer: Mark Russell
artist: Steve Pugh
colorist: Chris Chuckry
letterer: Dave Sharpe

Mark Russell should be on everyone’s Must Read list, and The Flintstones is a fantastic example of why.  Working with artist Steve Pugh (who was paired again with Russell on this year’s Billionaire Island) he uses a well-known property to make brilliant observations about society without changing anything we know about these characters.  Throughout the run, Russell also manages to explain a lot of questionable aspects of the original TV series in an intellectually satisfying (and more importantly, fun) manner.

The first issue opens with Mr. Slate asking Fred to give some Neanderthal employees a tour of Bedrock.

Barney is along for the ride, as well.

There are a lot of jokes (both verbal and visual) throughout, but things get a bit more serious when Fred takes the Neanderthals along to his Veterans of the Paleolithic Wars meeting.

The War with the Tree People comes back a lot, and drives plot and story points in interesting ways while also commenting on the 21st Century War on Terror and the nature of war in general.

Later, after a hard day’s work, the Neanderthals are introduced to capitalism.

Fred works as the quarry, but Wilma is an artist.  Her works gathers some interest, but for all the wrong reasons.  Toward the end of this issue, she explains to Fred why her “outsider” art is important to her.

Other Comics I Read from July 2016

  • All-New Wolverine 10
  • All-New, All-Different Avengers 12
  • Amazing Spider-Man 15
  • Archie 10
  • Black Hammer 1
  • Black Road 4
  • Black Widow 5
  • Bloodshot Reborn 15
  • Captain Marvel 7
  • Casanova: Acedia 6
  • Chew 56
  • Civil War II 3, 4
  • Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Civil War II: Kingpin 1
  • Clean Room 10
  • Daredevil 9
  • Daredevil/Punisher 3
  • Descender 13
  • Detective Comics 936, 937
  • Discipline 5
  • Divinity II 4
  • East of West 28
  • Empress 4
  • Faith 1
  • The Fix 4
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 10
  • Hellblazer 1, Rebirth
  • Howard the Duck 9
  • I Hate Fairyland 7
  • International Iron Man 5
  • Invincible Iron Man 11
  • Jupiter’s Legacy 2
  • Lazarus 23
  • Mighty Thor 9
  • Mockingbird 5
  • Moon Knight 4
  • Ms. Marvel 9
  • Nighthawk 3
  • Ninjak 17
  • Old Man Logan 8, 9
  • Paper Girls 7
  • Postal 13
  • Power Man and Iron Fist 6
  • Punisher 3
  • Revival 41
  • Sheriff of Babylon 8
  • Spider-Man 6
  • Spider-Woman 9
  • Spread 14
  • Superman 2, 3
  • Thief of Thieves 33
  • Totally Awesome Hulk 8
  • Violent 5
  • Vision 9
  • Walking Dead 156
  • Weird Detective 2
  • Wicked + the Divne 21
  • Wolf 9
  • Wonder Woman 2, 3

About Author

Rand Bellavia is half of the Filk Pop Nerd Rock band Ookla the Mok. They’ve been playing at science fiction and comic book conventions since 1994. Their clever, media-savvy lyrics, catchy melodies, and accessible power-pop sound have made them a cult-sensation with nerds everywhere. With song titles like Super Powers, Welcome to the Con, Arthur Curry, Kang the Conqueror, and Stop Talking About Comic Books or I’ll Kill You, it’s easy to see why. Rand and Ookla the Mok have won four Pegasus Awards, and the 2014 Logan Award for Outstanding Original Comedy Song. Ookla the Mok had the most requested song on Dr. Demento in 2012 (“Tantric Yoda”) and 2013 (“Mwahaha”). Rand co-wrote the theme song for the Disney cartoon Fillmore, and his vocals are the first thing you hear on Gym Class Heroes’ Top Five hit “Cupid’s Chokehold.” In his secret identity, Rand is the Director of the Montante Library at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York. He has lectured and presented at international conferences on the subject of comics and libraries. Rand is like the Internet, except he smells nice.

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