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Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Rumble in the Concrete Jungle!

It's not often that I admit my mistakes here on the ISB--mostly because I never make any--but I might've been a little too harsh in my review of Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures #1.

If you recall from last time, I put everyone's fourth-favorite resurrectionist up against Marvel's own Dracula, Lord of the Vampires, who came out ahead in a best-of-five comparison, and that may not have been fair. After all, even in Anita Blake's native land of novels, Dracula's been around a long time, and by using an entire trade paperback for comparison, I could pick and choose the best bits from multiple issues to contrast to only one issue of Anita Blake.

So this time, I'm going to make things fair! Not only am I restricting the competition to one issue's worth of evidence, but I'm also giving her an opponent that lacks any kind of super-powers whatsoever, but has thematic ties to Anita's chosen enemies that ought to make things a little more even.

That's right, folks, tonight on the ISB, it's the brawl for it all! In this corner, it's the lady of the hour with the deathly pallor...

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter!

And her opponent, because you demanded it...


And for the record, tonight's awesome will be supplied by The Batman Adventures #13.

ROUND ONE: Lookin' Good!

Batman, seen here wrecking the living hell out of a couple of Ubus, is drawn by the late, great Mike Parobeck, whose clean linework, incredible page layouts, and awesome storytelling style made him one of the most well-respected artists of the '90s.

Anita Blake, seen here cowering in fear of vermin, appears to have a lazy eye and thighs like a pair of Christmas geese.


ROUND TWO: Deductive Reasoning

Batman can look at two scratches in the floor, a busted mirror, and a notebook with some pages ripped out and determine not only exactly what happened, but where the parties in question are now:

Meanwhile, Anita Blake's called in by the local five-oh in her first issue to perform some crime scene hoodoo, but in #2, she reveals the true extent of her amazing detective skills:

Wow, you bet those are wererats? Was it the fact that they're giant, talking humanoid rodents that tipped you off, or was that just a lucky shot in the dark?

To be fair, though, she did determine it without having to look in the Monster Manual.


ROUND THREE: Love is a Four-Letter Word

If there's one thing these two have in common, it's a knack for ending up with star-crossed lovers. In Batman's case, it's the beautiful and deadly Talia, daughter of immortal ninja and all-around super-badass Ra's Al-Ghul, a relationship slightly complicated by her devotion to her father's goal of killing two thirds of the Earth's population.

Anita, on the other hand, has... this guy.

Meet francophonic Vampire and strip-club entrepreneur Jean-Claude, whose dialogue is best read in a voice not unlike James from Team Rocket's. He leads Anita into some kind of trap, has his friends smack her around a little bit, and ends up giving her super-powers before tossing her into a dungeon to deal with sentient vermin. Apparently, he hangs with Aubrey.


ROUND FOUR: High Fives to the Right, Make-Outs to the Left

After a pretty intense sequence of events involving a knife-fight, Anita Blake and Cap'n Wispy of the H.M.S. Lestat over there head out into the rain to enjoy a bit of quality time in what I assure you is the most Harlequin-Romancy scene of any comic I own:

Batman and Talia pretty much do the same thing. Except replace "in the rain" with "in the middle of a fire."


ROUND FIVE: Fightin' And Winnin'

Anita actually makes a pretty strong showing in this issue: Not only does she manage to produce a hidden blade and shank Aubrey when things get a little Road House down at the club...

...but a few panels before she breaks down into shouting for help, she's able to deal with the wererats with some good solid kicking:

Batman, your response?



Batman hit that guy so hard that he fell out of the panel.


Holy Cats! With an unprecedented five-to-zero shutout, your winner is...


I'm sure this comes as a complete shock to those of you who haven't been paying attention over the past week, but I assure you: Science got my back.


Blogger Ragnell said...

This post was better than the last Anita Blake issue, and, judging by the reviews I've heard, the last Anita Blake novel.

11/19/2006 3:16 AM

Blogger paperghost said...

"knock knock".


Best damn thingy ever. Release teh lollercakes!

11/19/2006 4:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true, I do gots your back.

11/19/2006 4:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never before heard of Anita Blake.

Having been introduced to it via and insert in a Marvel comic and learned more about what usually happens I am more than a little creeped out.

However, very, very interested to meet a woman that finds that kind of thing "erotic".

11/19/2006 5:26 AM

Blogger jonni said...

Like this was ever gonna turn out differently.

I did a LOL!

11/19/2006 6:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure a stare down from Batman would cause Aubrey's ruffled chum to just explode in flames as if smoten by a thousand suns.

....which is also science

Also, Talia is hot

11/19/2006 6:58 AM

Blogger Meagen said...

Having been introduced to [Anita Blake] via an insert in a Marvel comic and learned more about what usually happens I am more than a little creeped out.

However, very, very interested to meet a woman that finds that kind of thing "erotic".

See, here's the thing...

A guy is free to fantasize about hot chicks being all over him. Being a hot and sexy guy is okay.

However, a woman who is hot and sexy and has guys all over her is immediately a "slut". So women can't fantazise about it without added guilt.

Hence, vampires. Really hot guys who all want you, not because you're hot and sexy (and thus a slut) but because they crave your delicious, delicious innocent virgin's blood.

11/19/2006 7:15 AM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

and, judging by the reviews I've heard, the last Anita Blake novel.

Not a difficult task. I miss the Anita who shot people. Or had them devoured by a horde of zombies...

11/19/2006 9:52 AM

Blogger Phil Looney said...

Even in knowing what tonight's post was going to be about beforehand, I was not prepared for that amount of awesome. I really don't think you handicapped this match enough. Batman Adventures are some of the best Batman stories around.

11/19/2006 9:58 AM

Blogger Evan Waters said...

It's not a fight, it's an execution!

I think the Schumacher Batman could win this one, honestly.

11/19/2006 10:16 AM

Blogger Gordon D said...

That's our new matchup: Animated Batman versus Schumaker Batman.

(I don't know if I would read the Anita Blake comic, as it's not quite my thing)

11/19/2006 11:05 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

Chris, this was a VERY scientific matchup. You know that I'll be hearing James's voice from Team Rocket in my head all day now. But obviously, old Jean-Claude there is a wanker, while Batman NEVER is. Pummeling people right out of the panel is always a bonus.

11/19/2006 11:25 AM

Blogger Marc Burkhardt said...

I'm with sallyp - I'll be hearing James' voice from Team Rocket in my head all day now.

11/19/2006 11:46 AM

Blogger Zach Adams said...

Great stuff as usual. However, I must say I was a little disappointed to see Batman turn up as the opponent--Union Jack is RIGHT THERE.

11/19/2006 12:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, a woman who is hot and sexy and has guys all over her is immediately a "slut". So women can't fantazise about it without added guilt."

I wish I could recall the series but one of the mystery series I review for Bookspan has as its protagonist a woman who thinks of herself as the plain one of her siblings, who spent the last book published (2005, I think) dithering between which of her two boyfriends she was going to settle on as her beau. In the end, her choice is "both!" but she doesn't add a third when she can.

She's presented otherwise as a fairly conventional middle-class caterer/detective .

11/19/2006 12:48 PM

Blogger JG said...

See the thing is Chris, that the matchup is still a bit unfair, because I'm pretty sure that if you are the Batman, it counts as a super power.

And you should have had the Batman warning symbol.

11/19/2006 1:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, very, very interested to meet a woman that finds that kind of thing "erotic".

Back in college, I dated a girl who read these books, as well as a lot of other "erotic horror". She was - and I assume, still is - a very charming young lady and...a lot of fun, that's all I'm gonna say. Dunno if she's the norm for consumers of such literature, though.

That being said, I never could finish any of those books she suggested. Course, she considered Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas "shit" and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy "juvenile crap", and it sorta went downhill from there.

But...fun while it lasted.

Otherwise, I don't think Batman versus Anita Blake is a fair. It's even less fair than the Dracula match-up. If, as has been suggested, the Blake novels represent some sort of "female wish fullfilment" - though I wouldn't say for sure they do or don't - she oughta be matched up against something similar but for dudes, like James Bond or that guy from the Destroyer novels. Maybe, to keep it fair, someone from within the last few years or so. Batman's just too universal.

Everyone, if they're honest with themselves, wishes they could get shit done like Batman does. At least once in a while.

11/19/2006 2:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Otherwise, I don't think Batman versus Anita Blake is a fair."

What about Anita vs Fray? Or if you want to keep it girl vs boy, Anita vs Blade?

11/19/2006 2:48 PM

Blogger Chud said...

I think that Anita versus any one of the Nightstalkers (Blade, Hannibal King, or Frank Drake) is more fair.

I figure that a Mike Parobeck Batman Advetures is on a much higher level then any Anita Blake product, ever. Nightstalkers is more in her weight class.

I mean, come on, I'm pretty sure that Batman can trump Jesus. Anita Blake is hardly a challenge.

11/19/2006 3:03 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Are you... Are you guys suggesting that my statements about keeping things fair was... was just some kind of clever ruse?!

I am shocked--SHOCKED--at these allegations.

11/19/2006 3:24 PM

Blogger Chance said...

However, very, very interested to meet a woman that finds that kind of thing "erotic".

My Ex loved Anita Blake novels. She also enjoyed being dominated. She often mocked me for not biting her hard enough.


11/19/2006 3:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The two Homestar references alone make this worth reading.

11/19/2006 3:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean, come on, I'm pretty sure that Batman can trump Jesus.

Not unless Batman can turn water into wine, or command the weather.

11/19/2006 3:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If ... the Blake novels represent some sort of "female wish fullfilment" ... she oughta be matched up against something similar but for dudes, like James Bond or that guy from the Destroyer novels."

Didn't that guy get turned into the Punisher? Do any of Anita's fans want to see what the combat-happy topkick of the ISB does with Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter vs. The Punisher? Give the poor girl a break, she has complicated feelings about erotic vampires to delve into...apparently...

11/19/2006 5:05 PM

Blogger razorsmile said...

This is the most FUCKSOME post in the history of the baryonic universe.

11/19/2006 5:29 PM

Blogger Devon Sanders said...

Any day is a good day for Parobeck.

11/19/2006 6:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course batman wins,

He's the goddamn Batman

11/19/2006 7:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meet francophonic Vampire and strip-club entrepreneur Jean-Claude, whose dialogue is best read in a voice not unlike James from Team Rocket's.


11/19/2006 7:49 PM

Blogger tim gueguen said...

The Punisher was ripped off of Don Pendleton's The Executioner, and rather blatantly I might add. The Executioner was the book that started the "men's adventure," or to use another description the post-modern pulp, boom at the start of the 1970s, and is still being published, although Pendleton didn't write any of them after book 38. The Destroyer series continues as well as the only other survivor of the genre from the '70s. There's a heavy element of parody in the Destroyer books, with the various writers over the years mocking the absurdity often found in the genre.

11/19/2006 8:22 PM

Blogger Richelle Mead said...

You can rest easy: ruffled shirts are NOT hot. Having a guy throw me down and have his way with me in a burning building: HOT. Literally and figuratively.

11/19/2006 10:59 PM

Blogger Luna said...

Hmm, I didn't think it was possible to cram that much awesome into a single blog post, but you proved me wrong. Then again, I think Alfred could probably kick Anita Blake's ass.

Would you consider pitting Anita against, oh say, Spike? Or Buffy? Or, you know, a random extra from the Buffy comics, because they'd kick her ass too?

11/19/2006 11:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anita Blake's innocent virgin blood?

Her harem of men is almost large enough by now to put together a baseball team.

11/20/2006 12:51 AM

Blogger Ragnell said...

Lurkerwithout -- I'll stick with Dresden for my angsty supernatural detection, less screwing, more hitting things. Hell, there's less sex and more action in the Dresden novel where he was working on the set of the porn film and investigating the family of vampire incubi/succubi.

Anon -- That's where the "female wish fulfillment" actually comes in. :)

11/20/2006 4:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Richelle, in case you're taking a poll.

I mean. Not /with/ her. But in agreement.

(Thumbs up to Parobeck Batman. Hell, thumbs up to anything Parobeck at all.)

11/20/2006 11:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, these matchups are unfair because honestly, is there anyone who you would take over Batman(esepecially with prep)?
I mean in the DCU, the only person I might take (and I emphasize the might) is the Saint of Killers from Preacher, but even there oyu ahve to wonder if Bats has some sort of pyschological hoodoo to take his gunslingin' ass out.

11/20/2006 12:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anita Blake vs. Constantine perhaps, (To be honest I was goign to go with a memeber of the BPRD, but yeah another rout).

11/20/2006 12:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya just have to find another character who's as much of a blatant Mary Sue as Anita Blake, to have her "compete" with. Then again, in the latest book, I don't think she even managed to leave Jean-Claude's bedroom the entire rest (after chapter 1 or so, when her former best friend called her, essentially, the whore of Babylon and expressed jealousy of that) of the book. Forget about any sort of "crimesolving" or anything, there.


11/20/2006 5:28 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

...is there anyone who you would take over Batman?

Only an OMAC can destroy a Batman.

11/20/2006 8:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now THAT'S a fight I'd pay to see.

11/21/2006 1:18 AM

Blogger Steven said...

Only an OMAC can destroy a Batman.

No that's... I mean... OMAC Project #6... Infinite Crisis #6...

Batman beats OMAC. Batman beats OMAC handily. NOTHING can beat Batman.

I mean, he's BATMAN. Q.E.D.

11/21/2006 9:54 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

That's not OMAC, that's FOMAC!

11/21/2006 8:49 PM

Blogger Phil Looney said...

>>That's not OMAC, that's FOMAC!

Straight Skippy!

11/22/2006 8:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only an OMAC can destroy a Batman.

But can ANYTHING, kill the Grimace?!?

11/22/2006 11:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not unless Batman can turn water into wine, or command the weather.

Batman vs. Jesus?

It's totally Batman. Every time.

11/22/2006 12:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be fair, Jesus has a glass jaw.

It doesn't come up much in the New Testament, but it's true.

-- Guile

11/22/2006 4:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have this issue at my store and after a week I still can't figure out what squicks me out the most. The tendon in his neck that looks like a freakin' bone (and it exactly parallel to his pointy jaw)? The ruffles? The "is that a stake in your pants or are you just happy to see me?/Well, it IS wood..." dilemma? The drawstring pants?? Or is it the creepy Mary Sue-ness of it all?

And Chris? It's not the ruffles that women find hot. It's finding a man who has the exact same wispy curly hairdo as you do!

Really, I feel like I need to take a hot shower after seeing panels of this piece of alleged literature.

she oughta be matched up against something similar but for dudes, like James Bond

The Brosnan Bond, yes. But have you SEEN "Casino Royale"?? Daniel Craig would rip her in half and use her bones to stab Fabio -sorry, "Jean-Claude"- through the eye socket.

11/22/2006 5:15 PM

Blogger MarkAndrew said...

(A) That was awesome.

(B) Batman totally wrecks Jesus.

Jesus is all just standing there "I love my neighbor" and "Though you may destroy my body, my spirit shalt live on in the hearts of..... OW!"

And Batman is like "HEEE-YAAA! Punch in the mo-fo FACE! KWWWWAAAAH! Kick to the GROIN! This is for my MOM, BITCH!"

11/22/2006 5:47 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

I don't think they'd fight at all, actually. Sure, maybe a scuffle at the beginning, but then they'd team up.

"The Roman's running a numbers racket using bingo night at St. Paul's Cathedral as a front, Jesus."

"Moneychangers?! In the temple?! I will have vengeance."

11/23/2006 4:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took me about twenty minutes to remember who James from Team Rocket was but after that it was SO worth it.

11/27/2006 6:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. How unfair, no one can beat Batman, not even the vampwolfpardermancer that is Mary Sue, er, Anita Blake. Hmm, make that especially the albino hispanic.

2. If you think LKH's books are female wish fullfilment you don't know any real women. I used to read, until I realized she meets the bad guy close to the beginning of every book, gains a power ever half hour so that she doesn't have to deal with pesky things, like actually losing or *gasp* having to figure out a way around being outgunned. God know Batman and Punisher both do it all the time. any man who can keep Superman in his place is the man I spread my legs for, not some manipulative butt reamer who looks like I can crush him with one of my heels.
LKH's rabid fan girls need to be darted and deprogramed and the author herself needs to learn a lesson about the world not revolving around her magical snatch of holding.

Anon~ It's only "erotic" if you like formulaic sex scenes with full philosiphical discussions during coitus. Personally if I can talk, you're doing something wrong... ;)

12/30/2006 8:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear sir, you are the finest alt text stylist I have run across in quite some time.

I'll be in my bunk.

(It's okay, I'm a girl.)

1/03/2007 12:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am quite sure that this is the best blog post in the history of blogdom.

I mean, Batman.

Making out with Talia.

In a fire.

1/06/2007 12:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anita pulls her gun, Batman reaches for his batarang, Anita blows him to Jesus. "I've got enough brooding bastards in my life but thanks." The end.

11/10/2012 12:31 PM

Blogger adam clean said...

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1/27/2020 4:34 AM


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