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Sunday, August 01, 2010

I Can Whip Any Man in the House, and Ride any Philly in the Place

I was watching the latest offering from DC Animation, the well-acted by ultimately predictable Batman: Under the Red Hood, when I finally got to the good stuff: the DC Showcase-branded Jonah Hex animated short. Now, what really got me in Jonah Hex wasn't the story or the animation, as both are derivative and stylistically similar to the 2008 release, Batman : Gotham Knight, but, rather, the few seconds prior to the film's opening.

The DC Showcase brand of animated shorts feature a sort of "title sequence" which takes viewers through a comic book shop full of DC comics properties before finally settling on a book featuring the character that we're about to see in the presentation proper.

And I fucking love this.

In addition to being a comic book geek, I harbor a passion for stuff: people's stuff, businesses' stuff, all kinds of stuff. I see the mass market, modern culture, and "consumerism" as a fascinating network of systems, inventions, and creativity all interconnected to form our modern lives. What does a person's stuff say about him? Why did he choose to buy this, or why did he have to buy this? We take home products as a given, when really --

Well, I'm getting off topic. My point here is that the opening was far more interesting to me than the Jonah Hex short. SO, I decided to slow it down and try to see exactly which products the fine folks at DC Comics had decided to draw my attention to, and ponder the reasons why.



As we fly through Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash accompanied by some very John-Williamsy-spacey-like-twinkly music, our gaze is directed toward various properties: there's Showcase #4, the issue that ushered in the Silver Age of Comics with Barry Allen way back in 1956; there's an appearance of everyone's favorite BustyAirborne Lass in Showcase #99 featuring Power Girl; followed by more issues of Showcase, natch. There's a few Showcase Presents collections scattered around, including The Elongated Man (hint hint), Ambush Bug, and Booster Gold, and I think I even caught a glimpse of a few collections from "the other guys."

And then I saw this:


May whatever heathen god you pray to bless the production intern who whipped out a copy of Showcase #78 to shove into the hands of COMIC SHOP PATRON #6. Everyone knows that the imagineers here at Blackmarket Pies love, love, love the obscure and the underappreciated, so when I saw a character that I had never heard of before being absorbed with care and attention by a hip twenty-something, I had to jump into the fray.

Showcase #78 features the man known as JONNY DOUBLE, whom wikipedia describes as "a down-beat Don Quixote in a society that frowns on windmills. A once white knight in rusty armor searching for that last dragon to slay. The poor man's Peter Pan."

Hmmm. While very British-invasion-esque for a comic from 1968, it sure doesn't explain a whole lot. Sort of sounds like Nemesis as written by Peter Milligan.

You all know what this means, lads: it's time to dig deeper into the cavernous bowels of the DC Unvierse and discover exactly who Jonny Double is, and why he came to be (hint: Chinatown had been released four years prior, and The Fugivtive had just endd its run). But that'll have to wait until I actually find a copy of Showcase #78. For now, it may be back to the unicorn well...

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