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Comic Book Legends Revealed #455

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COMIC LEGEND: Denny O’Neil had an amusing reaction to the Batman credit card scene in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin.

STATUS: I’m Going With True

Joel Schumacher took over the director’s reins from Tim Burton on the third Batman movie, Batman Forever.

Batman_forever_poster

The movie was a massive blockbuster, outgrossing the previous film in the Batman series.

So naturally, Schumacher was given a chance to do a second Batman film. This new film was called Batman and Robin and it starred George Clooney as Batman.

Batman-and-Robin-movie-poster

A notable difference between Schumacher’s Batman films and Burton’s was that Schumacher tended to go for a slightly more camp feel than Burton, who wanted to go with a darker Batman.

A particularly infamous “camp” sequence in Batman and Robin is a scene where Batman and Robin (who are both under the control of Poison Ivy) battle for her in a charity auction. Eventually, Batman wins the auction by busting out the Batman credit card…

batmastercard

Here’s the scene if you want to see it (with a slight audio edit by the YouTube poster):

Comic book legend Denny O’Neil was famous for his efforts during the early 1970s to make Batman a darker character again in the post-Batman TV series era (along with great artists like Neal Adams and Irv Novick).

batman245

batman251

And when O’Neil took over the editing duties on Batman in the mid-1980s, Batman was even darker still…

batman404

So naturally, you’d imagine that O’Neil would have some issues with Schumacher’s vision of Batman.

well, reader Jakob S. asked me about a story about O’Neil at a screening of the film and he wanted to know if it was true.

Here is Peter David’s take on the events, in response to a fan talking about the film…

At least YOU didn’t see “Batman and Robin” at a special private screening for DC staffers and guest. I’ll never forget the moment Batman whipped out the Bat Mastercard, and someone behind me screamed like a lost soul howling its agony from the pit of the damned. It was Denny O’Neil. What a blood-curdling sound THAT was.

While obviously I wasn’t there, I figure it is fair enough to trust David at his word here, so I’m willing to go with this as a true.

Thanks for the suggestion, Jakob!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!

Was James Dean Seriously a “Stunt Tester” For Beat the Clock?

Was Angus Young Really Still a Teenager When AC/DC Signed Their First Record Contract?

Did Walt Disney Keep the Actress Who Played Snow White From Taking Other Roles So As To Avoid Ruining the Illusion Behind Snow White?

Did Bob Cummings Pretend to be British to Get a Broadway Role?

Was the Plot of the Big Sleep So Confusing That Not Even the Screenwriters Understood It?
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Speaking of comic book and movies, why did Marvel cancel their adaptation of Logan’s Run?

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51 Comments

I wonder how far into the schedule they got on Logan’s Run. Was it ever repurposed as, say, a Marvel issue John Carter, Battle Star Galatica, or Planet of the Apes.

I wonder how far into the schedule they got on Logan’s Run. Was it ever repurposed as, say, a Marvel issue John Carter, Battle Star Galatica, or Planet of the Apes.

I believe #8 was begun, but what was definitely finished were more back-up stories intended to run in #8 and #9. What happened to THOSE stories is fodder for a future legend. ;)

EDITED TO ADD: I initially misspoke about the back-ups. They were never intended for #7.

Ugh, Batman and Robin. I can say with clear conscience I’ve never seen the movie. And that legend proves what a smart decision that was.

“…and someone behind me screamed like a lost soul howling its agony from the pit of the damned.”

love it.

Jerry – that scene is one of the high points of the movie.

Sean, there are no high points to that movie. Only greater and more dismal lows.

I expect to see the Logan’s Run lost stories piece the next time Brian does a series of Star Wars legends.

My copy of Logan’s Run #7 contains a 17 page story.. Brian, do you have a variant with a 12 page story or are you referencing a trade paperback which deleted 5 pages from the original comic book?

The trademark may be enforceable and interpreted that way, but it doesn’t actually state that. It does not say that the telescoping style is registered. It says that the SUPERMAN logo WITH telescoping style is registered. If it was the BIG BELLY BURGER logo with telescoping style, the wording of that notice does not imply registration or infringement.

I loved the Logan’s Run comic book when I was a kid, even though I didn’t see the movie until decades later. I always knew that the comic went from movie adaptation to new stories at some point in the run, but when I finally saw the movie I was surprised to find that a lot of the stuff I just assumed was original to the comic was actually in the movie, like Box, the robot in the frozen cave. As I kid I figured that all the seemingly random adventures in the world outside the city were pure comic-book fantasy.

My copy of Logan’s Run #7 contains a 17 page story.. Brian, do you have a variant with a 12 page story or are you referencing a trade paperback which deleted 5 pages from the original comic book?

Hehe, I hate it when people make comments based on comments that I have since already edited. :) Not a knock on you, of course, David, as you began writing your comment when the initial comment was up, but just noting that it is always an annoying piece of timing.

In other words, my initial comment was a mistake. ;)

I really don’t see Marvel having success publishing a character named Logan.

@QNetter: that’s what I’m thinking, otherwise X-Men and a lot of other books would be in violation, no?

Ah, “Batman and Robin,” a movie that holds two unique distinctions for me: the only movie I went to see on a dare, and the only movie that compelled me to leave the theater before it was over. I was just a naive teen; I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

“…sci-fi film based on William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson’s movel of the same name.”

What’s a “movel?”

I didn’t get to see Logan’s Run in theaters; but, my cousin had the comics. The only problem was, he only had the odd-numbered issues, so I missed two chapters. He also had an audio recording (this is pre-VCR mass availability) of the CBS broadcast (which I couldn’t see, because the nearest CBS affiliate didn’t come in very clear), with the final few minutes, as Logan is being interrogated by the computer. I got to see this (plus the photos in the movie tie-in re-release of the novel) and hear the recording on the same trip to his house. he was also playing a 78 rpm of Supertramp’s “The Logical Song.” Since that time, whenever I hear that song, I immediately think of the George Perez artwork of the interrogation scene and the audio recording my cousin made.

As far as the new material, the storyline bears some resemblance to the second Logan novel, Logan’s World, which I believe was out at the time.

I liked Batman TAS’ take on Schumacher, in the “Legends of the Dark Knight” episode, where three kids tell different stories about Batman, each illustrated in a different style. The walk past a kid with a pink feather boa who says, “I heard he wears rubber armor and the Batmobile can drive up walls!” To which, one of the kids replies, “Shut up Joel!” Brilliant! That was also where they did the mini-Dark Knight Returns adaptation, with Michael Ironside (who did it far better than Peter Weller, in the recent 2-part dvd adaptation). The 50s Dick Sprang style for the first story was pretty darn good, too.

@Jeff Ryan,

Ha! I think “James Howlett” would be a safer choice.

I believe the TAS story was inspired by “The Batman Nobody Knows,” a seventies comics story using the same structure. But I missed the “Joel” in joke in the TV episode–nice!
Re Batman and Robin, I don’t know–it sounds like David was joking to me. But lord knows, he’d be justified in screaming.
The Logan’s Run new stuff was pretty good, IIRC. But I don’t remember the Thanos backup at all.

I bet any Logan’s Run stories not published got turned into Star Wars cut ‘n’ paste jobs. Seems that’s what happened to every other sci-fi license inventory story that never got printed at Marvel back then.

I love the Marvel Logan’s Run series – including the last two issues with the unfinished story – so much that I had my copies bound. Now it’s all the worse knowing that it wasn’t cancelled due to the low sales axe – Warner and Sutton were indeed doing a good job, and I would have loved an extended, well, run of their Logan’s Run comics, or least the completion of the story they had started.
And Red Comet, I think I know where some of the fodder for that future legend appeared, and it wasn’t in Star Wars…

i lol’d at that B&R legend. i just wonder how he reacted to batnippples…

@Fraser
Yeah that was the story that inspired the episode, with kids on a camping trip swapping stories (with Bruce Wayne along). There was also a revisit to that story in the later 80s, with new “witnesses.”

I skipped B&R; the trailer was horrible. I just knew they were going to have Arnold say something like, “Ice to see you Batman!” No way was I paying money to see it. I watched about 5 minutes on tv and changed the channel. Forever had some moments, but they were few and far between. I have no problem with campy, if done well. I love the Adam West film which, along with the Filmation Adventures of Batman cartoons (from the Batman/Superman Hour) was my introduction to the world of the Caped Crusader (along with the Sesame Street segments). the tv series was great in its first season and pretty decent in the second. Batman The Brave and the Bold rocked!

Brian from Canada

January 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm

It’s interesting that Denny O’Neil should scream in pain during Batman & Robin. If he was an editor in 1989, he would have been one of the ones who screamed in pain during Tim Burton’s Batman and started to plot the demise of Bruce Wayne before WB stepped in and ordered DC to just accept it. (I am basing that “kill Bruce” fact on a book about Batman published in the early 00s.)

Glad to finally find the truth about Logan’s Run!!! Been waiting for that 8th issue for decades. LOL.

Loved the movies, the books, TV show was awful. Loved the marvel comics. Loved the Adventure comics. Loved the Blue Water Production comics. Had ‘em all.

I thought the tv series was fairly decent, though very “Star Trekky,” which is the obvious influence of DC Fontana. I had more logic problems with it, like how these various Sandmen who go out with Francis never seem awed by the outside world. Francis is depicted as a fanatic, but I found it odd that not a single other Sandman questioned the system, after setting foot outside the domed city. There was also the feeling that the settlements that Logan, Jessica, and REM find all seem to be fairly close to the domed city. Otherwise, I thought it wasn’t a bad attempt at an adaptation.

A fill-in issue of “Logan’s Run” was also prepared/finished and ended up being published in BIZARRE ADVENTURES #28 with Logan changed to “The Huntsman”. Written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Michael Golden!

Can someone please explain how the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #389 is relevant to the first legend?

Brian from Canada

January 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

@Drancon:

The logo has raised lettering, but not the full 3D effect of the Superman logo, saving it from lawsuits.

Thanks Brian From Canada – a better example might have been… say… the CBR logo at the top of this page, which actually has ‘telescopic lettering’ rather than “Spider-Man”, which is just hovering above a shadow of itself.

O’Neil’s reaction seems odd, since up until about 1989, Robin(s) wore pixie boots with bare legs and golden cape. Also, the Dynamic Duo often made appearances at public functions.

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/50626/Batman-1966-on-DVDBluray-Finally?page=5#.UuMqxNHnZjo
I went through some scans from the late 50′s early 60′s last night…but the choices of what to post to illustrate my point were overwhelming.

Were they straight adaptations? No (although apparently DC just put out a trade of full of stories that were adapted for episodes)- but the tone of what I saw was entirely consistent with the tone of the show. That is, when it wasn’t 100x sillier. Batman is constantly being seen in public, in daylight, accepted as if he were just another high profile public figure. This is where a HUGE part of that ‘camp’ aspect of the show comes from.

OK here we go…material taken from ten issues at random in the years during or preceding the TV show

Here’s a very typical scenario- Batman meets an alien from outer space…for an added bonus we have campy, the Schumacher beloved Bat-skates as well.

and one more for good measure- Batman & Robin pop in on a pool party in mid-day during the course of an investigation. Is the Bat-tusi sequence really any sillier than this would have looked if they’d done it in the show?

Well, I refer you to Count Karnstein’s comments and those of Max Allan Collins.

“There was a reason why that TV show was played for laughs and that is when you put actual human beings in those costumes and act out those stories, it looks stupid”, per Max Allan Collins.

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?428475-Is-Warner-Bros-Embarrassed-by-Superhero-Tropes/page5 has Count Karnstein quotes and citations.

It did not stray that far from the feel of the comic books from 1944-to-1964. As the poster Count Karnstein pointed out, those comic books:
http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum….ic/topic/14587
“had giant pennies and stuffed dinosaurs, was wearing caveman, zebra, and rainbow costumes, teamed up with Bat-Mite, split in two, melded with Superman, fought a living #2 pencil, drowned in giant gravy boats and menaced by giant sized water pistols, tennis rackets, [had a boy sidekick with shaved legs and pixie shoes] and all sorts of insane absurdities long before the Batman movie or tv show were released….Dozier was bringing the characters to the screen in the manner in which they had been portrayed in the comics. Was there ever a silly, absurd, ridiculous Green Hornet comic book? If so, it’s escaped my attention for the better part of 40 years. Did we ever see a Caveman Green Hornet or a Green Hornet in a rainbox/zebra/dayglo red suit? Did we ever see Green Hornet being drowned in a giant gravy boat or being chased by aliens and dinosaurs? Was there ever an Ace the Green Hornet Dog? How about a Hornet-Mite?

No? I didn’t think so. There’s your answer. It’s literally that simple. Dozier was taking characters and putting them on the screen. Green Hornet was always played straight and serious in the comics/strips/radio, so he was done that way for tv. Batman was as absurd, silly, goofy, and ridiculous as anything else that has ever appeared in comics, and so that’s how he appeared on-screen”.

Like I said before, Batman 1966 is the single most accurate comic book movie ever made. If you look at all the changes other movies made to the characters’ origins, powers, costumes, etc, only the 1966 Batman comes close to a literal translation on screen. Every other movie is merely derivative.

Max Allan Collins said in 1987 that these properties derive from juvenile and adolescent literature, accept, just do not try to do it as adult. Of course, when Collins said that, properties derived from more adult thriller literature still had more prominence. However, the more prominent film franchises derive from children’s properties in recent years.

Reviews and comparisons to the source below:

http://www.batman-online.com/features/2011/4/3/comic-influences-on-schumacher-batman-robin-1997/2#sthash.PbzUDzYN.dpbs

http://comicsalliance.com/batman-and-robin-movie-review/

: Prepare to have your minds blown, ComicsAlliance readers: This movie isn’t just the best of the four we’ve watched, it’s a legitimate hoot. It’s the apotheosis of what these four films have been trying to do, ramping up all the campy stupidity — building on on the poison parade floats and rocket penguins of Burton’s messes — while dropping any pretense of having some sort of ham-handed, poorly scripted deeper meaning. It’s a full-on modernization of Batman ’66 in every way.

Read More: ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997), Part One | http://comicsalliance.com/batman-and-robin-movie-review/?trackback=tsmclip

And I think it’s genuinely entertaining because of it. It hits the ground running. And rocketing. And space-surfing. And honestly, while there were a lot of people whose reaction was along the lines of “but Batman wouldn’t do that!” or “Batman wouldn’t say that!”, there’s very little that separates what we’ve seen so far from being a Bob Haney Brave and the Bold story from 1975.

Read More: ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997), Part One | http://comicsalliance.com/batman-and-robin-movie-review/?trackback=tsmclip

For all its faults — and make no mistake, there are many — Batman & Robin has a consistent internal logic.

Read More: ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997), Part One | http://comicsalliance.com/batman-and-robin-movie-review/?trackback=tsmclip

A “slightly more camp” version interpretation of Batman, in the way that Godzilla is slightly larger than a normal reptile.

The movie was a massive blockbuster, outgrossing the previous film in the Batman series.

Not after you factor in inflation. Once that’s accounted for every single Bat sequel in the 90s grossed less than its predecessors.

I love that Batman and Robin legend. I would be very much interested in listening to the B&R audio commentary.

I’m with everyone hating on Batman and Robin, however the only good thing I find to come from it is this fantastic recut trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60pg6VsoGbk
( which might even depress me more to know there was a good film in all that mess and we missed it.)

Such lunacy that hack Joel Schumacher did to Batman!

Not after you factor in inflation. Once that’s accounted for every single Bat sequel in the 90s grossed less than its predecessors.

Batman Forever made $70 million more than Batman Returns. It came out three years after Batman Returns. Inflation did not make that much of a difference. With inflation the difference would be closer, true, but only by $20 million or so (so still roughly $50 million more than Batman Returns).

I remember seeing a story that was clearly meant to be a “Logan’s Run” story pencilled by Michael Golden and horribly inked by Steve Mitchell in one of Marvel’s black and white magazines. The details had been changed, and I believe the character was being called a “Hunter” versus a “Sandman.” It was one of a few stories in the issue. Anyone else remember this?

And no offense to Steve Mitchell, but he was a poor match for Golden.

Now THAT, Luke Matrix, is a movie I’d watch! And imagine that! It focuses on ONE. VILLAIN.

I remember being so extremely frustrated with the last issue of “Logan’s Run”. In the last panel was the blurb, “Plus the return of… But that would be telling.” Years later, I finally figured out the returning character had to be Box, but at the time I had no idea who’d be coming back.

Incredibly, IFC showed that awful piece of dreck tonight and the five minutes I watched included the credit card scene (complete with cash register sound effect)! One ironic bit is that the movie was written by Akiva Goldsman who later won an Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind.”
I find Shumacher’s treatment of Batman inexcusable because by 1997, Batman had proven to be more than just a jokey, campy character. Back in 1965, when filming commenced on the TV show, Batman and Robin were the campy characters as portrayed in the comics. As a fan, I complained about how campy the show was for decades until just a few years ago when I actually had the chance to read the “New Look” issues of 1964. Sure, Bat-Mite and Rainbow Batman and the space aliens were gone, but the “Holy (fill in the blank)” Robin was there and implausible situations were there and I realized the show was a pretty spot-on adaptation. Part of the problem with the Batman comics and the comic industry in general was that the editors didn’t feel any need to make the stories sophisticated beyond the comprehension of an eight-year old. But after Julie Schwarz and Denny O’Neil and Frank Robbins saw that the Batman comics could be well done, there was no reason for Joel Schumacher to make the movies he did beyond ignorance. I’d also like to blame Warner execs for not intervening, but maybe they just wanted to see the Batman they remembered from their youth…the one from television.

The shame of B and R, in some ways, is that there’s one scene where Clooney figures out who Silverstone is by looking at what she’s wearing and making some deductions. And there’s almost no camp in that scene. And I remember seeing that at the time and thinking “That shows that they at least get the character on some level” and then the rest went back to lunacy.

So one brief shining moment of sanity in a sea of madness. Such a strange film.

Denny O’Neil is my comic hero.

How would a Bat Credit Card even work? Wouldn’t credit card companies notice that Batman had the same social security number as millionaire Bruce Wayne?

A shirt I bought from REDBUBBLE has the same lettering, says SUPERDAD on it

@penguintruth: I must assume he would pay a sizeable amount up front to the bank in order to avoid giving any id. More of a debit card than a credit card, come to think of it.

Not a very useful or sensible item for one to have, I will grant you that.

The scene that will not die. When I went to see it in the theater my brother actually fell asleep during the movie. And as I was complaining about the movie on the ride home I was like “…and the Bat-credit card!…” And he was like, “wait what? There was a Bat-credit card…? I mercifully slept through that….” Ah, the movie that keeps on giving.

And PB210 must have been drinking when watching the movie. Because that, and maybe some robot companions, are the only way to make that movie at all enjoyable.

I wonder if DC ever went after Funskool for this gem:

http://www.yojoe.com/action/int/superhero.shtml

[...] Denny O’Neil’s reaction to Bat-card [...]

Huh. I had always assumed Logan’s Run was cancelled to make room on the printing schedule for the Star Wars comic, since I recalled it debuting exactly one month after the last Logan’s Run. But that was just my opinion.

Heh. The Superman logo. In the late 70′s, I was in college in Sioux City, IA, which got the idea to promote itself as “Sioux-perland,” complete with a Superman-style logo (red and blue, yet). That got shut down in a BIG hurry. Had they done the promotion without the logo, maybe it would have stuck around.

I wonder if Senator Tom Coburn received permission from DC to use the telescoping writing?

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