Wednesday, October 26, 2005

THE F*@% YEAH FILES #6: "You're the one who tried to shoot the cat."


Sleep beckons to me like a lover, inviting me into her bed to um, sleep with her. Sleep is a beautiful woman that I cannot touch. Sleep is Rogue and Dave is Gambit, but without the annoying cajun patois.

Anyway, I'm sleepy and lazy so I'll make this quick.

This post is about the big F*$% Yeah moment in Batman: Year One Part 3, brought to us by the Team Supreme of Frank "The Tank" Miller and David "I can draw kick ass flashlights without resorting to stupid lens flare effects like all you young punks" Mazzuchelli.

If you haven't read and enjoyed Year One, you hate freedom and are possibly a terrorist. I'm not going to bother with recapping the entire plot for all the freedom-loving folks out there; I'll just set up the scene:

The cops want Batman dead. They corner him in an abandoned building and drop a bomb on it. A SWAT team from the thoroughly corrupt Gotham City Police searches through the ruins for their wounded quarry. Things don't look good for our hero:

He takes a bullet for a cat! That's almost a F*$% Yeah moment right there.

We have a cat named Po. I tell people she's named after either the Teletubbie or the Italian river - it depends who I'm talking to. She walks on me when I'm sleeping and will suddenly, inexplicably go insane and attack my hand when I'm petting her. Despite her weirdness, I love that cat --

-- and there is no way in hell I would take a bullet for her.

That, my friends, is heroism: getting shot while saving a cat that you don't even know.

And believe me, Batman is plenty pissed about it.

Here's a tip: do not shoot cats in front of Batman. He will punch you through a fucking brick wall.

Oh, F*$% YEAH! That's so awesome that even the people in the comic cheer. Then, a poisonous fluttering of wings, and a mother cries: "Here comes the KING BATS!"

"...and the screaming starts again."

After punching that would-be-cat-killer through a brick wall, Batman makes his escape from the cops under a cloud of flapping, fluttering bats. It was such a good scene that David Goyer cribbed it for Batman Begins. I can't really blame him.

Batman vs. cat hater. Winner: Batman.

Hey, white world-music guy! How about a F*$% Yeah?



LordCybron said...

Right On, Dave!!!!! BATMAN YEAR ONE RULES!!!

Anonymous said...

One of the best things about the F*@% YEAH FILES (aside from them being totally Airwolf) is that they remind me of the cool comics I have sitting in my own longboxes which need to be unearthed and re-read.

Frank "The Tank". Man, what a punch to the head that guy was in my early days of shedding my Marvel Zombie fanboy skin and learning to appreciate not just superheroes, but indy comics as well. I think his Ronin was one of the first non-Big Two Universe books I read.

Love your blog, Dave! Keep it up.

(PS. Your guess of Alan Davis a couple weeks ago on our "Monday Morning Guess the Artist" feature was incorrect. Adam Hughes was the correct answer. But almost everyone else guessed Davis, which probably says something about early Hughes art...)

David Campbell said...

Crap, my Alan Davis Radar is on the fritz! Thanks Dara.

Anonymous said...

This whole story arc is nothing but these moments--my favorite is Jim Gordon kicking the crap out of the crooked cops who have it in for him. Gave me new respect for the character.

Anonymous said...

If you think trying to shoot cats in front of Batman is unwise, try hurting a child in front of the Punisher, like the contortionist-martial artist in Garth Ennis' recent "Mother Russia" story, even if the Punisher is almost comatose. I think there's a caption where the P. notes that the kid's screaming stops him from twisting the guy's leg off like a chicken wing.

gorjus said...

YEAH!! Frank the Tank nails it again! He had such a fantastic feel for the character--unlike now.

To belabor the point, the cat isn't just a cat--it's an innocent, vulnerable creature that a bunch of fascists are going to kill FOR NO REASON. They're supposed to be killing Batman--but they've already killed a half-dozen homeless folks, started shooting into the crowd, and now! The cat!!

I love that scene so, so much. I heartily recommend the new hardcover that's out--re-colored and absolutely beautiful.

Kevin Church said...

Batman: Year One is still my favorite Batman comic that doesn't feature outer space boxing action.

phrank of dixieland said...

I always maintain that Batman's "super-power" (if you could call it that) is his intelligence, willpower, and especially his situational awareness.

I mean look at the panel he's getting shot at. I count at least 7 people shooting at him while he's running away and picking up a cat. Yet, later on he can pick out the one person (who is dressed identical to the other shooters) who tried to shoot the cat while in a life or death situation? How f**king Airwolf. His memory and attention to detail is that good. Batman = Airwolf.

Anonymous said...

[white on black text]

Morpheus approves of your "Profanity-Affirmative". Sleep, talented mortal.

[/white on black text]

RobB said...

recommend the new hardcover that's out--re-colored and absolutely beautiful.

It is really nice, but...that half-flap is kind of annoying. I know Chip Kidd was the designer and he's great, but this can be damaged easily.

Another nice F-Yeah moment Dave. You are making me want to pull a bunch of stuff out of my own long boxes. Of comics that is.

Anonymous said...

YEAR ONE is my favorite book ever, the entire book is a long, satisfying, stream of F*@% YEAH moments that flow together as one.

When I got the new hardcover with the original script pages, pencils, etc. I literally spent hours poring over it, dangerously close to drooling. I am unashamed of this, as my wife will confirm.

Bully said...

This may be kind of cynical in the wave of such hearty enthusiasm, but as brilliant as Year One, often the most overlooked aspect of the story which in retrospect seems impossible:

• It was not a seperate miniseries. It was four issues of the regular Batman monthly series.
• It was not hyped as the event that would change the Batman as we know him, or redefine the Dark Knight and his universe. But it did.
• It did not tie into a series of other books with interlocking stories. It didn't even cross over into Detective.
• Every issue came out on time.

If you look at the gallery of covers on the Grand Comics Database for the period immediately following, you can see the success and influence of "Year One."

Other--MANY--miniseries-within-the-series followed fairly soon after: "Ten Nights of the Beast." "A Death in the Family." "The Many Deaths of the Batman." "Year 3."

And then, we start to get the stories that cross-over into other titles: "A Lonely Place of Dying." "The Penguin Affair."

Ladies and gentlemen and comics folks, we are witnessing the beginning of the multi-title character series crossover that leads to such tangled webs as "Knightafll," "No Man's Land" and "War Games."

There's no denying it: Miller did it right: one story, one book, one creative team, one massive success. But you have to add to "Year One"'s legacy something that's not Miller's fault but without it might not have been inevitable: the sprawling, unwiedly, massive Bat-crossover.

thekelvingreen said...

See, the morons think that Miller created grim'n'gritty Batman, but he saves a cat! That's pure Silver Age/Adam West Batman right there. You wouldn't get the brooding malcontent of today's DCU stooping so "low" as to save a stray cat. I mean, nowadays the guy ignores his city in flames just so he can spend some quality time telling Superman he preferred him when he was dead. Arsehole.

Anyway... also got to love that one bit of Loeb's Dark Victory in which the guy who shot at the cat here (or at least his boss), gets hung by a serial killer.

Anonymous said...

People often blame Frank Miller for the current Batman. But Miller's Batman saved the cat. Current Batman would either suspect it of being a GCPD spy or use it as a hostage. Of course, Miller's All-Star Batman would probably anal rape it, douse it in an aerosol bio-weapon, then toss the broken husk of an animal toward the cops with grenades in its eye sockets, screaming “Goddamn Dogwelder is my bitch!”

Spencer Carnage said...

I'm thinking there's a panel where the cop fires a round at the cat intentional that isn't being shown here on the Long Box. Because the way its being presented, it looks like Batman is mistaking a bullet aimed at him that accidentally comes close to the cat as him shooting at the cat. I'd probably check my own stash, but I only support DC books written by Rucka and Winnick as they are more gritty and realistic and mature and adult and believable and well crafted than whatever this uncouth "Frank Miller" guy you're talking about has ever written.

Adam Reck said...

Are you sure your cat's not named after the Cerebus character?

Anonymous said...

"Current Batman would either suspect it of being a GCPD spy or use it as a hostage."

Current Batman would unleash an orbiting computer which would turn the cat, and the rest of the world's cats, into powerful OCAC robots with little metal mohawks.

But, would they be targeting superbeings? Or just dogs? And all the bastards who let their food get all crusty and nasty in the bowl.

Peter said...

Hey Kelvin, back during Aftershocks, after Cataclysm and before No Man's Land, Alan Grant (I think) showed Bruce breaking down in tears against Alfred, because of the pain and suffering that had been inflicted on Gotham's citizens while there was nothing he could've done to stop it from happening. I think that's one of the times I liked post-Crisis Batman best.

Because yeah, most of the time they write him like a total jackass, sadly...

Year One is brilliant. I reread it not often enough. When looking at All-Star Batman & Robin though, I can't help but think "how the mighty have fallen" or "how the Tank likes to roll over all of us pussies for liking superheroes still" ;)

thekelvingreen said...

Current Batman would unleash an orbiting computer which would turn the cat, and the rest of the world's cats, into powerful OCAC robots with little metal mohawks.
"Anonymous", you are either Grant Morrison or Alan Moore, and I claim my five pounds.

Paul S. said...

That's pretty damn awesome stuff, and I long very deeply for the days when Miller wasn't insane.

Or was at least the good type of Insane.

Incidentally I had a little F*@% Yeah moment when I discovered an early copy of Sentinel Vol. 2 at my comics shop.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was hoping there was a place to write directly to Dave but, as there isn't I have a request. How about a F*@% Yeah moment for a woman. A particular one. The Huntress. No Man's Land. End Game. Part 2. Joker has pushed Pettit over the edge, Pettit has blown away all his own men, including Foley simply for trying to get help, Huntress smacks down Pettit, Joker shoots him, and the Huntress is left alone confronting Joker, Harley and twelve goons. She just stands there and Joker says, "um.. Toots? You're blocking the door!" The only real answer to that (and his next question) is F*@% YEAH!! I love the whole issue, basically the only non-Devon Grayson issue of NML I liked, but those couple of pages just show off the Huntress as a complete package hero. Any chance you got it in the box?

Steven Taylor said...

Now, see, that's Batman, unlike the monstrosity that Miller has given us in All Star Batman and Robin.

gorjus said...

Ooh, Robb makes a good point about the Year One hardcover's half flap. Mine's already on the edge of being torn up, despite tender fanboy cradling. Yeah, it's Chip Kidd, it looks great--and it's impractical as all hell.

Bully also makes a great point that this was just COMICS AS USUAL! It was in continuity! It was monthly! I remember buying it as a wee lad, and my copies are beat all to hell for how many times they've been read and re-read.

Can you imagine a monthly series that was going to have a Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli do a short run? Just as, you know, something cool to do? Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Actually, The History of the DC Universe by Wolfman and Perez IS must reading, it's a good read, even if most of it has been folded, spindeled, and retconned into oblivion by Roy Thomas, Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Dan Jurgens et al.

Rubber Blanket #3, written and drawn by Mazzucchelli, is so AIRWOLF it hurts. Definitely one of the top ten single issue comics in my collecting. if you can find it, GET IT.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I love ya, but the Fuck Yeah moment in Year One is definitely Gordon tossing the bat to that gigantic bad guy cop before beating shit out of him.

Ken said...

My name is Po. Suenteus Po.

Heh. Indeed.

Matt Spatola said...

This is a freaking great blog by the way. And I have to agree with you on these F-yeah moments! I'll be reading your blog reularly.

Tom Foss said...

"[white on black text]

Morpheus approves of your "Profanity-Affirmative". Sleep, talented mortal.

[/white on black text]"

Am I super-gullible, or did Neil Gaiman just comment on your blog? I mean, it links back to his site.

No, that's totally not possible. I mean, if it were, it'd be a F*@% Yeah moment all its own.