Monday, March 21, 2016
JLA: Riddle of the Beast is a comic book by DC Comics in which its most famous characters: Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc., are 'transplanted' into a fantasy setting of the Lord-of-the-Rings kind. Once again, the hypothesis is strengthened that books of this kind are the true, or rather the only successors of Renaissance literature. To be sure, the fantasy genre was widespread and much beloved in the Middle Ages too (see), but in the Renaissance the warriors acquired super-heroic features and the stories became more dynamic, gory, and erotic, especially because of a direct influence of Homer's poems and Greek literature in general.
Riddle of the Beast -- JLA being for Justice League of America -- was written by Alan Grant; the fantastic model sheets for the characters' alternative look were prepared by Michael Wm. Kaluta, while the plates were drawn and painted by a set of great comic artists. It has been a joy to find among them, as the only Italian, Saverio Tenuta who happened to be one of my teachers at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics, International School of Comics, in Rome. The really "dark knight" Batman above right has been portrayed by him.