Friday, July 27, 2007

Jim Aparo does Manbat and Batman

Brave and the Bold #119
Jim Aparo Artwork
Bob Haney Story
DC Comics, June 1975 cover date
Cover Price 25 Cents

Brave and the Bold 119 - Jim Aparo Cover Manbat

The tale seems to be somewhat derived directly from the Paul Robeson movie of 1933 "The Emperor Jones."

In Bob Haney's story, an island dictator named Valdez keeps safe a "syndicate hitman" named Killer Krag. Bounty hunters, including Batman, head for the island of Santa Cruz to get the murderer back.

Meanwhile, Dr. Langstrom, aka Manbat, decides to go after the bounty, too, seeing the $100,000 reward as a chance to further finance his "research" (or addiction, which is probably a more rational view).

Since Manbat is like a 'serious' version of Batmite in that this character causes no end of trouble for Batman, the Bob Haney story soon gets complicated and Batman will have to go to unusual lengths in order to get them both out of the inevitable trap and to fight until victory is achieved.

The Jim Aparo artwork retains the sleek embellishment that the artists work had developed during the mid-seventies. The sometimes clumsy drawing of Aparo's earlier work had been overcome, and he seems completely in charge of getting the story told efficiently and with some stylish panache. It is this period of his artwork which seems to be a superior example of a style which later devolved toward a much more caricatured style a decade or so later.

The place setting for the Haney story is the fictitious Caribbean island of "Santa Cruz" and is the home for dictator Valdez' medieval Spanish castle.

Below: The "Emperor Jones" as played by actor Paul Robeson in the 1933 film.
Paul Robeson

Pages from Brave and the Bold #119 Jim Aparo Artwork
Click any image to see the much larger version page.

Manbat Jim Aparo - Aparo Batman Artwork

Jim Aparo - Aparo Brave and the Bold

Jim Aparo index for this site here.

This page revised March 1, 2011

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