Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Batman - Rise of Sin Tzu", 2003.

Jim Lee's first publication credit was the artwork for "Samurai Santa" back in 1986, and as you can see he hasn't grown that much since. (Come to think of it, I gave that one away while I was liquidating my collection, in the process of which I scanned all these ads. Aw, snap!)
GOTHAM CITY HAS A
NEW CONQUEROR
Beyond madness, beyond evil,
and a master of the deadly arts of war, the mastermind Sin Tzu is driven by a lone desire -- to conquer.
Sin Tzu designed by comics legend Jim Lee
DESIGNED BY COMICS LEGEND JIM LEE.
Sin Tzu, cunning master of strategy and martial arts, makes history as the first Batman character to debut in a videogame.
2-PLAYER COOPERATIVE GAMEPLAY:
Play solo or recruit a friend to defend Gotham City from the new rising evil. 4 PLAYABLE CHARACTERS:
Play as Batman, Robin, Batgirl, or Nightwing.
GAME STORY BY FLINT DILLE.
DISCOVER THE ORIGIN OF SIN TZU AT:

BATMANRISEOFSINTZU.UBI.COM
I know much is made of Harley Quinn's introduction to Batman canon (Batmanon?) via the animated series, but that may bear somewhat more prestige than the dubious distinction of being the first character to come to its canon from a video game. (Where by "come to its canon" we mean: appear in one video game, then quietly sink into obscurity forever.) Sin is no Harley.

So the character has all the tactical acumen of Sun "Art of War" Tzu and a bottomless appetite for victory. Also, a yin-yang sign on his forehead, to signify a profound misunderstanding of Taoist principles. The game can garner kudos for featuring second-stringer bosses and playable protagonist characters beyond the standard A-list, but to look at this ad those are entirely secondary concerns. What this ad wants you to know is that since you are a comics reader, you must respect the work of Jim Lee, who was on the ground floor of Image before, uh, running DC into the ground, an ongoing project. I guess at the time of this game he was only ruining one franchise at a time instead of the entire company simultaneously. Are those fingers or claws? I don't know -- Jim Lee!

In a fair and just world, Flint Dille's involvement would be as pronounced as Jim Lee's. (Yes, of those Dilles.) But in a fair and just world, there would be no need for Batman!