Director: Paul Hyett. Writers: Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler. Cast: Ed Speelers, Holly Weston, Shauna McDonald, Sean Pertwee, Rosie Day.
Werewolves are awesome aren’t they? howling at the moon, voraciously stalking their prey, fighting vampires (but mostly losing, ’cause Kate Beckinsale kicks arse… obviously!) Over the decades there have been a fair few great movies based upon the shape shifting lycanthropes, dating back as far as 1935 with ‘Werewolf of London’ through classic Lon Chaney’s ‘The Wolf Man’ from 1941, and beyond with such deliciously depraved delights as The Howling, An American Werewolf In London (my personal fave), The Company Of Wolves, Ginger Snaps and the aforementioned bad-arse Beckinsale movie series ‘Underworld’ , this particular horror sub-genre has been well served over the years.
In 2002, British director Neil Marshall (Descent, Centurion, Hellboy) gave us his own vision of the classic genre with the stupendous ‘Dog Soldiers’ an absolute gem of a movie that followed a small group of British soldiers on a training mission against the S.A.S in the Scottish Highlands, but the Special Air Service turns out to be the least of their worries as they are assailed by an even deadlier force (yep, deadlier than the SAS!) a pack of ravenous lycos! The low budget horror/comedy was a huge smash hit not just in the UK but worldwide, and helped propel the career of it’s helm Neil Marshall to international stardom.
‘Howl’ is the most recent Anglo entry into this lycanthropic category, and feels very much like it’s embedded in the same universe as Dog Soldiers, in fact there’s even a cameo by brilliant British thesp – Sean Pertwee (this time with entrails intact!) though in the popular tradition of English actors named ‘Sean’ he doesn’t last too long! (seriously, English actors bearing that titular name have about the same amount of movie survivability as a red shirted Star Trek security officer!)
Train guard Joe, winding down after a long shift, is pushed into taking on a red eye journey by his new (sneery and unpleasant) supervisor. Tired but unwilling to rock the boat (train?) Joe agrees, and boards the non-stop train from Waterloo, yet his resolve and that of his fellow commuters will be tested to the utmost when the train seemingly breaks down in a dark and ominous stretch of forest miles from anywhere. With communications down and the train driver inexplicably missing, Joe attempts to keep the passengers calm, which ultimately proves futile as the train is assailed by an unknown animal, large of stature and with a blood lust for the occupants of the stricken carriages.
Howl is a tense, fun and rollickingly wild Werewolf siege movie, in the style of the aforementioned Dog Soldiers. Some decent acting from a great cast (which includes Ed Speelers of Downtown Abbey, Shauna McDonald of The Descent, and of course the legendary Sean Pertwee ) a superbly creepy setting, but most importantly of all, the gore and werewolves themselves are top notch, though the film isn’t quite up to the standards of Dog Soldiers, the creature effects in HOWL far outstrip those in Marshall’s earlier lyco opus, in fact the practical effects are some of the best I’ve seen in a UK horror for years especially considering the rather low budget nature of the film (a measly £1,000,000) Highly Recommended!
Now, if you were with us last week when we took a tantalising trip through a prescient preternatural portal that lay deep within the bowels of this malefic mansion of mystery known as Precinct1313, then you may recount that I, my colleague Pete and our psychic carrion crow of woe – Eldritch are currently being held within a small padded room in a Sanitarium, watched over by the beguiling yet utterly bewildering Dr Rose Black. Luckily I managed to smuggle in (don’t ask me where I hid it!) my trusty laptop, so in preparation for our upcoming odyssey through the ‘Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala’ a visual novel we shall be presenting right here in the Precinct, we thought we’d share a few more images of the story’s main antagonist – Black Rose.
The Cassandra Vala idea, world and characters are something that I have been living and ruminating for the past decade. The tale has gone through many, many revisions, I have experimented with different styles of writing for the narrative – comic-book, visual novel, even a choose your own adventure setting akin to the classic Fighting Fantasy books of yore.
The finished product (it’s never really finished though…) actually combines all of the above narrative divergence (yep, the choose your own adventure portions will also be present!) the one constant of all the different takes on storyline and characters though was the antagonist Black Rose. I’ve been on/off drawing this character for longer than the actual novel itself, I love the character and enjoy drawing her at every opportunity (consequently the titular star of the novel – Cassandra Vala herself, I have much fewer pieces of!)
Just ahead of the upcoming novels debut I thought it would be fun to share some of said images of Rose with you, fellow agents. Some of these pieces I drew over a decade ago, others… just last week! and it’s interesting how little visually the character hasn’t changed… “Shhhhh, I must go now, it sounds like Dr Black is back, making her rounds, we’ll sneak another post out real soon… enjoy ”
This was one of the first sketches I did of the character from way back when. There were a myriad influences for Rose’s look, but absolutely the two biggest were James O’Barr’s undead vigilante – ‘The Crow’ and the creepy character Sadako from the original Japanese movie ‘Ring’.
Another earlier piece, I’ve always enjoyed sitting in a coffee shop reading comics and sketching pics of Rose and her extended family… I have produced some of my best pieces at the local Caffe Nero.
As the years passed, technology and easier usage art software became a lot more affordable, which subsequently opened up a whole new world of computer aided inking and colouring, helping my lowly sketches emerge into a explosion of almost artistic professionalism!!
The above piece is one of my most recent and portrays Rose and her sisters, aka – The Trinity of Thorns. At this point I had finally come to grips with the art software to the point that only the barest minimum of physical sketching is needed.
And last, but most certainly not least, this is my most recent piece, through which I set out to pay homage to my favourite Warhol painting – his classic Marilyn Monroe pop art pic. (it also turned out to be my personal fave drawing of the rambunctious Rose!)
Thanks for stopping by fellow fans of fantastic fiction…
All images are copyright: Precinct1313. I am more than happy for people to share my art as long as credit is given – to Bruce @ Precinct1313.
Hey there fellow agents of Precinct1313 and a warm welcome to our fifth anniversary celebrations! That’s right the majestic mansion of mystery is celebrating five years of random musings on the world of DC Comics and general geekery!
It’s fantastic that you’ve all been able to join us down here in the Precinct’s celebrated comic crypts, for today we not only share the third annual episode of our ongoing scintillating saga – ‘In Pursuit Of Precinct1313’ but this titular tale has been woven so that it also serves as a prescient prologue to our (loooooooong in gestation) visual novel – ‘The Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala’ That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction , our ten year in the writing (ten… TEN!) odyssey begins right here, and from this humble introduction, it will then spill it’s masterfully malefic mystery on a monthly basis, right here, in Precinct1313!
To our followers, readers, and fellow bloggers may I just say many, many thanks for the continuing support of the Precinct over the past half decade with your comments and likes, it’s really, really appreciated, it is YOU that makes this entire blogging endeavour worthwhile… and so, on with the show…
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to the latest chilling chapter of ‘In Pursuit Of Precinct1313‘ if this is your first encounter with the thrilling tale of how we first discovered this Malefic Mansion of Mystery – then why not regale yourselves with the previous chapters right here – “Three Years In The Precinct”
In Pursuit Of Precinct1313 – Chapter III: The Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala
Darkness engulfed me as I entered the inky black void residing within the mysterious vault door, the nihility was all encompassing – no light, no sound, just vacuum. I wheeled on the spot, looking to return back through the perplexing vault egress, my heart was racing and cold beads of sweat formed on my brow, this interstice was, just, wrong… the doorway had disappeared, eaten up by the stygian dark. I was beginning to panic now, a disquieting anxiety pervaded through my fragile mind… where the hell was Pete? I moved cautiously forward, hands outstretched in front of me, scrabbling for something tangible.
My head started to spin, and nausea began to surge through me, taking to one knee I attempted to halt the gagging queasiness, whilst striving to calm my rising anxiety and slow my thunderous heartbeat. To no avail, I felt light-headed and could feel the cold embrace of the oncoming stupor… I cascaded head first into an unconscious abyss…
“Are you okay?” – a voice greeted me through the murk that had encroached upon my mind. “Can you stand?” the disembodied voice continued. Bright light began to penetrate my latent mind, the nausea had subsided, shaking my head vigorously I glanced up to see a woman standing over me, immaculately dressed, porcelain white skin and fiery red hair were my take from this unexpected, though hopefully serendipitous encounter. “I’m not sure” I replied “Where the hell am I?”
The woman took me by the arm and lifted me from my knees, surprisingly strong, her hand curled, rather painfully, in a vice like grip around my forearm “The more pressing question is where did you come from? I mean, you’re the second person we’ve found semi-conscious in this part of the building this morning, you’re not a patient here and you certainly should not have been able to get past security and into this wing without them noticing”
“I’m sorry but… who are you, what is this place?” I could feel the wave of anxious nausea returning as I eventually stood eye to eye with my apparent liberator. She was, quite literally, a vision to behold, flawless skin, her hair an almost impossibly vermilion red, viridescent green eyes that felt as though they were boring into my inner being, my anima seemingly laid bare for her to scrutinise.
“Oh, do forgive me, my name is Black, Doctor Rose Black, I’m the chief psychologist of this esteemed institute, hmm, you still look rather unsteady, follow me, let’s get you checked over” she took my arm, this time more gently, leading me slowly down the stark white corridor “It’s not far, how are you feeling now?”
“Confused, but not quite as queasy thankfully, you mentioned that you found someone else here earlier, it wasn’t another male, dark hair, name of Peter by any chance was it?” I glanced across at the Doctor, still hopelessly beguiled by her transcendent beauty.
“Yes, that’s right, Peter… perplexingly, he had a crow with him, it was dutifully perched on his shoulder, like some kind of pet, it really was a rather surreal sight”
“Eldritch” I replied “the crow’s name is Eldritch, though to be honest, we’re more likely his pets than vice versa” the statement felt ridiculous even as I said it, though, it was probably more than likely true. “You mentioned something about patients, an institute?”
“Yes, you have, somehow, found yourself inside Raven’s Reach Sanitarium, an institute dedicated to helping what some have deemed lost causes, mostly deeply disturbed and psychologically unbalanced individuals” Doctor Black turned her head towards me and smiled “here they find some semblance of peace and tranquillity, as we hopefully work our way towards rehabilitation and, perhaps, reintegration”
“We’ve arrived, if you’ll just make your way through that door on your right and wait a few moments, I’ll send one of our medical interns along to check you over” the Doctor beamed yet another impossibly radiant smile towards me before promptly guiding me through a robust steel door… then swiftly slamming it shut as I entered. I whirled on the spot, peering through the oval shaped hatch embedded within the steel barrier “what the hell? wh-what do you think you’re doing?” I stuttered, nausea once again began to bubble up and I pressed my hands against the cold metallic door frame, to steady against the rise of the unsolicited vertigo.
“You honestly didn’t think I’d just believe you when you said you had no idea where you are, or how you got here did you? I mean come on now” Dr Black’s former radiance disappeared in an instant, replaced by a humourless, grave expression “but not to worry, I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of things fairly soon, in the meantime, I have done you the courtesy of allowing you to share this room with your companions”
I turned to see Pete sitting on a small bed lodged in the corner of what now appeared to be a padded room, his face bore an expression of morose acceptance… ” got you too huh?” he said, “was kinda hoping you’d not get caught as well and maybe, I dunno, break me out of here?” Pete’s shoulders slumped as he realised that, unfortunately, we were now both in the same predicament. Just to the left of Pete, perched on the bed’s headboard was Eldritch, his onyx eyes fixed upon me, a mocking look for my own ineptitude at extricating them from this peculiar predicament.
“Hello?” a voice punctuated through the disquieting malaise “are you new here?” the disembodied voice appeared to be emanating from the room to the left of our padded cell. “Uuh hey… anyway you can possibly tell us what in the hell is going on?” I furrowed my ear into the soft padding of the cell’s wall “who are you, why has that Doctor detained us in here… in fact where in the hell is here?” my voice rose and fractured in frantic agitation at the situation at hand. “Here?” the female voice replied softly “well currently, at least for me, here, is Raven’s Reach Sanitarium, though what ‘here’ will be as the day goes on, well, who can tell… oh, and my name’s Cassandra by the by, and as far as the Doctor is concerned…” the voice paused, as if unsure how to continue “well, uh, at this time I’m not sure who or what she is, it changes you see”
“Changes?” I queried at the disincarnate voice “what does that even mean, look, uh, Cassandra, I could really use some answers right now, I feel like I’m losing my mind” I turned to look wearily back at Pete, who sullenly shrugged and retorted – “sorry Bruce but you expected to get a straight answer from an incorporeal voice in the adjacent padded cell of a sanitarium! I mean, really!?” I stared at Pete, succumbing to what little rationale still persisted in my mind “You’re right, I know, I just… ” huffing the air from my lungs, shoulders slumped in aquiescence, I walked to the corner of the stark white room, dropped to my knees and burrowed my face into my palms.
“Maybe you’ve always been here Bruce” Cassandra responded cryptically “and maybe, just maybe, I have too, at least, this version of me” I peered at Pete through my fingers, who quietly mouthed “uh huh… sanitarium” Eldritch cocked his head towards me and nodded in conjunction with Pete. Burying my face back into the comforting darkness of my hands I wondered whether what Cassandra was saying bore some semblance of truth, I mean, here I was in a padded room, in a sanitarium no less, after walking through a mysterious portal contained within the crypts of a preternatural mansion known as Precinct1313, where I have apparently resided for the past five years, alongside my closest friend and… get this, a psychic crow, I mused that last thought over again, a psychic crow… yep, there’s a damn fine chance that I am actually, bat-shit crazy!
“She’s here” Cassandra uttered “I have to go, please don’t mention that we spoke, she doesn’t like it when patients converse with one another, maybe we can talk again later, if I’m still me of course…” I gazed anew at Pete, who just shook his head “Sanitarium dude, Sanitarium… “
Hey there fellow agents, and if you’ve managed to stay the course of this strange tale then, thanks… ’tis much appreciated. This prologue will evolve into the monthly fable we have entitled – The Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala – below I have included a small art gallery of my early concept designs for the lead characters from the visual novel, enjoy, and whilst you’re here, why not make your way down to the Precinct’s hallowed Halls Of Quaffing to help celebrate our fifth year in existence… I would join you, but I appear to be confined within a small padded room somewhere, else! Ah well, means more booze for the rest of you huh? silver linings and all that.
The Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala – Character Concept Art –
All text and imagery are copyright – Precinct1313.
Batman scribe mainstay – the sensational Scott Snyder has been weaving titanic tales of Gotham’s grim guardian since 2011, when he took over the reigns of DC’s flagship title – Detective Comics. This marked the beginning of Snyder’s exclusivity deal with DC, that very same year he also penned the sterling – Batman: Gates Of Gotham mini-series, and then in September 2011 fully took control of the Caped Crusader’s vengeance driven chronicles by becoming the backbone of the New 52 reboot of Batman, through which he introduced, the now iconic, Court Of Owls and the character of Talon.
For the past couple of years, Batfans have been teased by the outlandish image of the Dark Knight crossing endless ocean of red sands, as he treks across an unknown desert, his only companion… the Joker’s severed, but still very much alive, head! And finally, with the release this month of Batman: Last Knight On Earth, we finally get a glimpse of the outlandish premise that initial image teased us with, and fortunately (not that we believed any different, I mean it’s Scott Snyder after all) it’s Bat-tastic, and was well worth the excruciating wait.
Alongside artistic auteur – Greg Capullo, Snyder has created yet another Batman masterwork, which is apparently to be his swan song (Bat-Song?) with the character, whether that means forever or just in the chronology of his own personally scribed Batman timeline, is unknown at this point.
Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum, young, sane… but, it appears, he was never The Batman! Thus begins this unusual odyssey for the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC Universe. As he attempts to piece together his now mysterious past, he must untangle the root of this frightful future and ultimately track down an indescribable force that has seemingly destroyed the world as he once knew it…
Another breathtaking Bat tale from the well established team of Snyder and Capullo, the first issue effortlessly sets up an unfamiliar world, one that appears to be bereft of the heroes from the past, and even the Batman himself seems… different, though all will be (possibly) revealed as the marvellous mini-series continues its anachronistic arc. (Oh, and did we mention it has a talking severed Joker head accompanying the dark and surly one on his travels? we did? well it was definitely worth mentioning again… a bloody, talking, decapitated, joker, head!!)
Hey there fellow agents of Precinct1313, and a warm welcome to another episode of – V-Log1313. You may remember a few months back we posted a vid of a stunning Starfire statue based upon glorious George Perez’s dynamic design which ultimately formed part of a multi statue set comprising the Teen Titans from a Perez classic 1980’s cover, well, our Wonder Girl companion piece has finally arrived in the Precinct… so let’s set about unboxing everyone’s second favourite Amazon warrior – Donna Troy!
And here are the two statues together at last, and aren’t they just astonishingly adorable!
Plus a look at just a part of the Precinct’s superlative shelf of superhero statues…
Thanks for watching fellow fans of fantastic fiction, our next unboxing video will star the bombastic bombshells variant of Batwoman! same Bat-time, same Bat-channel…
And why not follow the Precinct at it’s official Facebook page right here: Precinct1313
Zombies have, in the last decade become rather de-rigueur, in fact you can’t swing a chainsaw without hitting at least another few dozen low budget movies, TV series or video games starring re-animated flesh munching corpses. Much like an undead apocalypse itself, zombie media has hit oversaturation point. I’m sure when influential horror director George Romero first introduced the modern zombie to a horrified audience back in 1968 with the seminal Night Of The Living Dead, he had absolutely no idea that these ghastly ghouls would one day be so over used, that all their dread and terror would give way to a yawn and passive indifference, zombies just aren’t scary anymore… (that said, if I was actually to meet a zombie – I’d be pretty damn terrified! Ooh, ooh, unless it’s a zombified Christina Ricci… I adore Christina Ricci, even if she was a flesh eating, undead, green skinned, puss ridden monster… I’d still adore her! Mmmmm, went a little off topic there… on with the show!)
When Romero’s groundbreaking introduction to the living dead first hit the cinema screen back in the sixties, it was met with revulsion and abhorrence by an audience unfamiliar with such overtly graphic violence.
Romero’s low budget, independent movie was the catalyst of a thousand imitators, some were great (Lucio Fulci’s “Zombie”, Dan O’Bannon’s “Return Of The Living Dead”) but most were awful Z grade rip offs, literally hordes of terribly made and woefully acted low budget cash ins, riding on the back of the movie going publics sudden reverence of all things undead.
It wouldn’t be long before video-game companies decided to take on this burgeoning horror phenomenon with their own interpretations, with the most prolific and famous of the digital dead games beginning in an imposing mansion in the Arklay Mountains, site of the original outbreak of the T-Virus and our initial introduction to S.T.A.R.S and the sinister Umbrella Corporation.
Resident Evil (known as Biohazard in Japan) was first unleashed to video gamers worldwide in 1996, developed by Japanese company Capcom (of Street Fighter fame) and helmed by game design auteur Shinji Mikami. It is one of the original progenitors of survival-horror, a sub genre of gaming that takes cues from horror fiction and focuses on the survival of the main character against overwhelming odds, with limited resources at their disposal.
The first game established many of the ongoing conventions and tropes for the survivalist series, such as the limited inventory system, third person perspective, fixed camera angles for dramatic effect and the iconic typewriter save system.
The game opens with the elite members of S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) responding to the disappearance of fellow team members who lost contact in the remote area on the outskirts of Raccoon City, known as the Arklay Mountains.
Players choose to take control of either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield at the start of the game, and then, with their chosen avatar, proceed into the mysterious mansion embedded deep within the creepy forests of Arklay Mountains in search of their fellow team-mates.
Graphics are a mix of three dimensional characters set against pre-rendered backdrops, fixed camera angles give the game a rather compelling cinematic feel.
As your chosen avatar explores the mansion they discover documentation in the form of diary entries and audio tapes that provide story beats and exposition, as well as uncovering clues to the various puzzles that need to be undertaken to progress through the mission. The combat takes centre stage through the use of a variety of firearms discovered around the environment, though ammo conservation is important as ammunition is limited.
The inevitable health loss can be counteracted by the use of either first aid sprays or three different types of combinable herbs. The capacity for carrying items on person is also limited, though extraneous items can be kept in an item box for later use. Saving is done through typewriters that are scattered through the mansion, ink ribbons must first be located before saving is possible, and once more these are in limited supply so must be used sparingly.
Player characters will fight through a succession of undead and mutated creatures as they progress, from the humble zombie through, giant spiders and hulking behemoths. Also of note are the multiple endings the game can deliver depending on the actions taken by the player throughout their adventure, giving the game an impulsive replayability.
Capcom’s Resident Evil is a landmark game, it is almost single handedly responsible for the Survival-Horror genre and is one of the longest running video game franchises of all time, with the most recent game “Resident Evil 7″ released to abundant praise from fan and critic alike. Though there have been a couple of missteps (Resident Evil 6 being rather… awful) the majority of titles in the franchise have been absolute gems and are a blast to play (with personal faves being Resi 4 and Code Veronica) The original has seen a remastered overhaul with an upgraded version released on platforms such as Xbox One Playstation 4, and as of this month – Nintendo’s fabulous Switch… which means Zombie blasting on the go! so there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of zombies, elite swat teams and evil corporations.
“Aah, welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313, you’re just in time to follow Eldritch (the precinct’s resident carrion crow of woe) and myself down to the infamous ‘Scrying Chamber’ Within this portentous room stands a single stone tablet upon which sits an ominous black crystal ball that not only has the power to decipher the future, but also, recreate the past through vivid evocation.”
“As we wend our way down through the ceaseless and interminable depths of this magnificently malefic mansion of mystery why not take in the various sites as we descend… such as the astounding ‘Ancient Amazon Archives’ or the colossal ‘Comic Crypts’ Just coming up on your right you’ll notice the magnificent ‘Movie Mausoleum’ and a couple of floors down you’ll hear the hearty cheers from the hallowed ‘Halls of Quaffing’ “
“And, we have arrived, please approach the sphere of prevenience carefully and gaze deeply into it’s sanguine depths until something from the Precinct’s posting past begins to take shape… “
“So how about we relive the pestiferous pairing of Hellacious Harley Quinn and the Main Man himself – Lobo, from this portentous post from the past, first published 3 years previous… “
“Feetal’s Gizz” why didn’t anyone think of this pernicious pairing before now (OK, I admit, it didn’t even cross my mind until I saw the previews for this latest issue) but the Main Man and the Mistress of Mayhem teaming up is a match made in heaven (actually, in their particular case, Hell) That’s right my DC Comics’ loving compatriots, Harley Quinn and Lobo are together at last, and it’s as unpredictable, chaotic and crazy as you could imagine… which is great!
Now I’m sure that by now, even if you aren’t a huge fan of reading comics (tell me that ain’t so) you all know who the hellacious Harley Quinn is, but maybe you have never crossed paths with the invincible, space biking Czarnian psychotic Lobo, well never fear… the Precinct is here, and you can read up on the Main Man’s troubled history right here… phew! are you still with us after that briefly violent respite into Lobo’s malevolently malign backstory, you are!? In that case you will love this delectably dangerous duo’s teaming, and there is also icing on this deliciously depraved cake in the form of artistic auteur Simon Bisley!
British artist Simon Bisley is the person most people think of when referring to Lobo, thanks to his stellar work on the character throughout the 90’s, alongside Keith Giffen they made Lobo a household name to comic book aficionado’s across the globe. ‘It’s good to be bad’ was pretty much their mantra, and Lobo is so bad, he makes Harley seem (almost) angelic in comparison!
This book contains so much toilet humour, sexual innuendo, extreme ultra violence and offensive material that it probably shouldn’t be read by anyone… well anyone who is offended by such things, the rest of us should just dive on into a fantastically funny comic brought to us by that dynamically delightful writing duo Amanda Conner (who also drew the classic cover) and Jimmy Palmiotti, once more showing us that as far as comedic storytelling in comic books is concerned, they are the unequivocal vituosi of the art.
“Lobo’s back, the main man and Harley Quinn have a lot in common – motorcycles and mayhem for starters, so it’s long past time they found each other! This could be the start of a fraggin’ beautiful friendship… or they could destroy the planet. Or both! it can be two things!”
Harley’s Little Black Book #6 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Brought to you by – Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Simon Bisley… go and fraggin’ buy it, you don’t want Lobo to find out you didn’t!!
Mmmmm, we haven’t dared to tread the perilous path of the infamous Top 10 list so far here in the darkest depths of Precinct1313, never really gave the idea of doing one much thought to be honest. That is until recently, when blogging buddy ‘The Vintage Toy Advertiser’ rendered his very own (and really rather amusing) Top 10 masterclass (which you can indulge your senses in right here) that we thought, suffering sappho, let’s do one of them there list things then, and thus…
Precinct1313’s Ten Favourite Furiously Fierce Femme’s Fatale
NB: This list will contain both fictional and non-fictional wildly wondrous warrior women for your delectation…
No.10 – Big Barda
No list of vivacious virago vixens should ever be without the formidable presence of fighting fury and thorn in Granny Goodness’ side – Big Barda, for she truly encompasses everything to love about powerful, vibrant female characters who are easily able to match and (in most cases for Barda especially) surpass their male counterparts. How tough is Barda? we’ll let the picture below answer that query…
No.09 – Lara Croft
Quintessentially British acrobatic archaeologist Lara Croft has been raiding tombs, securing ancient artefacts and performing perilous platforming since she was first unleashed unto the gaming world by Core Design in 1996. Since that time she has become one of the most recognisable video-game characters of all time and sits proudly in the upper echelons alongside Master Chief, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.
No.08 – Moon Lee
I’m an 80’s kid, I grew up during that phenomenal decade alongside many classic onscreen action stars and martial artists, even as a youngster my preference was always female characters/fighters and one of the biggest influences for me then was the magnificent Moon Lee. Hong Kong action star supreme, Moon Lee Choi-Fung starred in close to a formidable fifty films during her heyday of the 1980’s!
No. 07 – Batwoman
Kate Kane’s Batwoman alter ego first debuted in the 1956 issue of Detective Comics #233 created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff. Initially created as a female counterpart and love interest to the Batman, Kate has over the past sixty years (thankfully) shed that unfortunate creation calamity and has now become one of the biggest and most beloved of female comic book characters, with a much needed revamp and resurgence through the hand of artist/writer JH Williams III. Reversing the inauspicious and unenlightened conception and delivering a new standard for empowerment in the burgeoning female Superhero market.
No. 06 – Catwoman
Though most Bat-fans see The Joker as Batsy’s biggest foe, for me personally the character that inhabited that perch was always anti-hero cat burglar Selina Kyle. Though Mr J is without a doubt the bigger threat to the dark and surly one’s psyche, Selina holds something over Bats that the jester of genocide never, ever could… his heart. She has been Batman’s most enduring love interest since her inception in Batman #1 in June of 1940… puuuurfect!
No. 05 – Cynthia Rothrock
As previously mentioned some of the biggest influences on me growing up were the plethora of fantastic fighting females that occupied the realms of martial arts cinema, and my most beloved and admired is none other than scintillating Cynthia Rothrock. American born Cynthia is quite possibly the most successful female martial arts master in history – she is five times world champion in weapons and forms and currently holds an astonishing seven black belts in varying martial disciplines! She has also starred in over fifty movies throughout her career, and has acted alongside greats such as Sammo Hung and Michelle Yeoh.
No. 04 – Batgirl
Though the Batgirl name and costume have been inhabited by several different women over the years, the most beloved and well known is assuredly the second holder of the bombastic bat mantle – Barbara (Babs) Gordon. Replacing original holder of the title – Bette Kane (who was created in 1961) Babs debut was in 1967, daughter of Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon and head of Gotham City Library. Her auspicious crime fighting career began with a triumphant save of Bruce Wayne from a kidnapping plot wrought by SuperVillain Killer Moth, and cemented her place in Bat history!
No. 03 – Elvira – Mistress Of The Dark
Elvira may not be a martial arts action star or female fighting force but what she definitely is, is a sensation of female empowerment and positive attitude. A strong, outspoken comedienne who used her innate sexual prowess to turn the tables on mysogynynistic and prejudice laden media from her first appearance courtesy of actress Cassandra Peterson in 1981. Self deprecating and dripping in risque double-entendres, her campy humour has propelled the voluptuous vixen vamp to celebrated cult status, and beyond!
No. 02 – Starfire
Fiery alien princess – Starfire has been a favourite of the Precinct since she was first unleashed in the pages of DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980. Created by the legendary pairing of comic book royalty – George Perez and Marv Wolfman, Koriand’r instantly became a much beloved character and mainstay of The Teen Titans. Hailing from the planet Tamaran, Kory escaped the ravaging of her home by Tamaran enemies The Citadel and her own feuding sister Komand’r (aka – Blackfire) and made a new life for herself on Earth. She is currently the leader of the Teen Titans and founding member of Justice League Odyssey alongside Jessica Cruz, Azrael and Cyborg.
No. 01 – Wonder Woman
Well, if you’ve been following the Precinct for any length of time then you probably knew that the Themysciran Titan would, of course, occupy the titular top spot, and hey, guess what… you were right! I’ve been a WW fan since I was around nine years old she is truly the greatest fictional female character ever, and has had the most significant and profound effect upon female empowerment of any fictitious persona ever created. Her genius creator William Moulton Marston first envisioned the Amazonian warrior princess in 1941, when she took the covetous cover appearance on All Star Comics #8. Marston was a supporter of the Suffragette movement of the 1940’s, of whom his own wife Elizabeth was a founding member.
All hail the wondrous one!
If you’ve managed to stay the course of this list, then thanks fellow Agents. Who are some of your personal favourite female furies of all time? let battle commence in the comments below…
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another enthralling episode of The Week In Geek where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek, dear agents, once more…
DC Universe Release It’s First Pic Of Brec Bassinger As Geoff Johns’ Beloved Hero – Stargirl!
DC Universe is DC’s new live action/animated streaming service that recently regaled the comic giant’s loyal fans with such iconic delights as live action series’ of Titans and Doom Patrol, with Swamp Thing and a brand new animated series of Harley Quinn also on the heroic horizon.
But for this particular DC fanatic the upcoming Stargirl series is everything, and from this recently released photo of actress Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore, better known as the Cosmic Staff wielding Superhero – Stargirl, everything is looking really rather respectful and resplendent! High school student Courtney, step-daughter of the the Star Spangled Kid, has been portrayed in live action form twice before in Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow respectfully, but costume wise this is without a doubt the closest version yet brought to screen.
Stargirl made her debut in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E #0 in July 1999, created by comic book legend Geoff Johns who styled the character’s appearance and name after his late sister Courtney, who tragically died in a plane crash in 1996. The series will premiere in early 2020.
First Trailer For Joaquin Phoenix Joker Origin Movie Released By Warner Bros…
No Smilex Gas needed for this one, as Warner Brothers release a tantalising and intriguing look at Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the DC’s infamous clown prince of crime – The Joker.
Not to be confused with Jared Leto’s recent and entertaining variant of the jester of genocide, this is a standalone story that will delve into the trials and tribulations that ultimately turn what appears a seemingly ordinary individual into comic books most feared and revered sociopathic SuperVillain, in an origin story that is produced by celebrated film auteur Martin Scorsese and also stars Robert DeNiro and Zazie Beets… and it’s looking particularly phenomenal! Revel in the trailer below:
Eight decades ago, the gun barrel of Joe Chill violently unleashed unto the unsuspecting denizens of Gotham City, a nocturnal nightmare of which it had never seen. The tragic murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents right before his innocent eyes created a force of vengeance and justice that has been preying on Gotham’s criminal underbelly with furious anger ever since… The Batman!
Created by the genius pairing of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, the creepy and curmudgeonly creature of the night’s first ever appearance was in DC Comics’ much revered Detective Comics, in May of 1939. Since that time, the Dark Knight has gone on to become, quite possibly, the most popular and recognised Superhero ever conceived, with his fame spreading across every single entertainment medium from comic books through video-games, TV shows, movies, toys, clothes, novelisations and much, much more, firmly cementing his place in heroic history.
But what is it that compels readers to immerse themselves in a vengeance driven Manhunter, a being that has devoted his life to bringing his own brand of Bat-justice to a corrupt and dystopian city seething with criminal detritus? I absolutely believe it’s his inherent vulnerability and pathos, you see unlike most Superheroes, Bruce is ultimately just a man in a costume… he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, or deflect bullets with bracelets, he’s not capable of reaching the speed force, or even talking to fish! but what he does possess is the inherent belief in own righteousness and decency, it’s his integrity and morality that has enabled him to rise above a sea of costumed crime-fighters and be the best he can be, no matter the adversity or lack of powers thereof… the mark of a true hero (of course, billions of dollars, an unsurpassed mastery of several martial arts, genius level intellect, and a compendium of glorious gadgets also, sort of help!)
My first encounter with the Caped Crusader was when my Mum purchased me an issue of Detective Comics when I was a mere six years of age, this was not only the first time I had ever read a Batman comic, but was in fact the first comic book I had ever read. I remember re-reading the issue at least a dozen times over in one sitting and was eager to divert more of my attention to this amazing hitherto unseen world that contained fantastical costumed characters who really captured my young imagination in a way nothing else previously had. I have been fanatical of the Dark Knight since that time, and my Mum, still to this day, will buy me the odd Batman comic or gift, and has, over the years, become a huge Bat-fan herself (she especially loves Michael Keaton’s portrayal, but also really enjoyed the more recent Nolan films)
Detective Comics #466 marked my initial encounter with the Masked Manhunter, and told the tale of Batman’s clash with villain, Signalman… not exactly an iconic member of Batman’s rogues gallery it has to be said, but it was my very first brush with a SuperVillain. This amazingly nostalgic comic issue also introduced me to the fact that Batman shared a universe with other Superheroes, thanks to a very enjoyable back up story, that regaled the young me with the daring adventures of the Emerald Archer – Green Arrow, and so it was through the caped and surly one that I discovered my other infatuation in comic book form – Wonder Woman! Batman has brought many fantastic gifts to my life… Happy 80th anniversary to THE greatest comic book character of, all, time!
Long Live The Batman!
(Batman is trademark – DC Comics)
Merciful Minerva! 700 posts!! that’s right, the mystical mansion of mystery known as The Precinct has output a ridiculously huge 700 individual musings on Comics, Movies, Toys, Video-Games, and general geekery… where in Tartarus did I find the time you ask!? damned if I know fellow Agents, but it’s been an awesome time sharing my glorious geekdom with all of you, that’s for sure.
The first couple of years of the Precinct’s existence were sparse as far as views and followers were concerned, but that definitely did not stop the output of posts, in fact I believe that I definitely posted more often back then, nowadays I find myself taking a considerable larger amount of time to triple check what I’ve written and even colour co-ordinate the post both visually and text wise to the subject matter at hand (yep, for real, I’m that geeky!) Seeing that 700 posts thing actually made me go back to some of my earlier articles written as long as four to five years ago, re-reading them is rather interesting indeed, oh how my writing style has changed, and yet, the seed for my current writing techniques are still there…
Now that the Precinct has a larger following and substantially more views on a weekly basis, it might be the time to relive some of those older obscurities, so each week we shall present a past post from the Precinct’s vicarious vaults (y’know, it’s going to be a bit like when your favourite TV show runs out of ideas, so you get one of those lazy compilation episodes that’s book-ended by a small amount of new footage!!) Uuh, not that we’ve run out of ideas for cool posts, of course, but it’s always interesting to go back over previous work and share it with our newer followers, hence – some of our favourite older posts shall be forthcoming, beginning with this one from December 2015:
Borag Thungg fellow Squaxx Dek Thargo, and welcome back to another instalment of “Great British Comic Book Characters,” Precinct1313‘s episodic look at the UK’s biggest selling and highly influential weekly anthology comic; 2000AD.
Over the previous five instalments of this ongoing series, I have gradually introduced you to the characters and creators of the “Galaxy’s Greatest Comic,” what first motivated me to begin a series on 2000AD was initially the fact that, apart from Judge Dredd, the majority of classic characters from this mighty tome are rather unknown to the world outside of the British isles. Fantastic creations such as Nemesis the Warlock, Rogue Trooper, Zenith and Strontium Dog have rich backstories, superstar creators and close to 40 years of history, yet still remain in relative obscurity. Having grown up alongside these characters, I decided to utilise my blog to promote, as best as I could, these groundbreaking comic characters and hopefully draw more appreciation and proclivity towards characters I believe are deserving of a far larger audience than they currently receive.
Released in the UK on December 7, “Future Shock! The Story Of 2000AD” is an 106 minute documentary that charts the rise of Britain’s favourite comic-book, offering up a dynamic and comprehensive overview of the comic that includes a look at the various highs and lows of the comics history, and extensive coverage of the creative process behind the scenes of the long running megazine. Documenting how a band of Britain’s most talented and eclectic comic talent came together to create the visionary publication, and guest starring a swathe of said talent including; Neil Gaiman, Pat Mills, John Wagner, Grant Morrison and Dave Gibbons, plus recent “Dredd” actor Karl Urban is also on hand to profess his adoration for 2000AD‘s world famous grim protector of the law.
Future Shock! is directed by Paul Goodwin, who has, as previously mentioned, assembled an iconic group of talent for interviews and nostalgic musings on their past glories. Especially entertaining, as always, is the fantastic Pat Mills, who rages and rants humorously on the ups and downs of the comic’s (at times) tempestuous past, Mills alone is worth the asking price, one of the greatest talents in the UK industry, he never pulls his punches and always tells things as they are, his part in this documentary is legendary!
The documentary itself mostly consists of the aforementioned interviews alongside various illustrations, also included though are some impressive animations courtesy of Zebra Post, with the opening sequence being a particular stand-out piece. The docu mainly covers the 70’s and 80’s of 2000AD‘s long history, but does touch on the 90’s, especially on sister publication Judge Dredd: The Megazine.
At over 100 minutes long, this fantastic look at 2000AD is a must have for fans of the comic, but also offers up an intriguing study of British comics in a time when the UK was going through a considerable transition in politics, music and outlook, 2000AD embraced and used these changes to produce an intelligent and sometimes hilariously subversive comic that almost predominantly helped evolve not just the comic book scene in Britain, but ultimately across the planet itself!
Precinct1313 Rating: Zarjaz!!
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another exhilarating episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek, dear agents, once more…
DC Comics Channel Stephen King With – #DCEASED Cover Image…
Comic book writer Tom Taylor has been teasing #DECEASED over the past few weeks with some rather cryptic hints towards some devastating destruction headed towards our beloved DC heroes and their universe. Not only that, but a major death of a classic DC villain also seems to be on the cards as a catalyst for the coming storm… Darkseid, DC’s big bad is largely thought to be in the firing line for this with Taylor’s phrase “Darkseid Was” dominating headlines, an idiom of Grant Morrison’s “Darkseid Is” from his incredible run in the nineties Justice League (with this original phrase also appearing heavily in Tom King’s recent groundbreaking series Mister Miracle)
Taylor recently posted to Twitter Yasmine Putri’s variant cover for DC’s upcoming event series, with the cover an obvious homage to Stephen King’s frightening horror/thriller – IT. Transposing King’s creepy clown killer for DC’s very own clown prince of crime – The Joker, handing the titular red balloon to what is obviously the Jason Todd version of Robin (who Joker previously killed, rather bloodily, utilising a crowbar) Creepy! #DCEASED is due for release in May.
Detective Comics #1000 Reveals Dozens Of Variant Bat Covers…
Eight Decades ago what is now known as DC Comics unleashed Detective Comics unto the comic book loving world, this was THE comic book that defined that beloved purveyor of costume clad crimefighters, eventually becoming their famed appellation. Of course Detective’s most distinguished and prominent addition to Superhero lore is the first appearance of comicdom’s, arguably, biggest creation of all time – Masked Manhunter, Caped Crusader and Darkest of Knights – Batman, who made his dynamic debut in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939!
Eighty years later the SuperVillain punching, long eared, curmudgeonly creature of the night is still stalking the crime ridden streets of Gotham City, and with the 1,000th issue almost upon us, DC are releasing a cadre of compellingly collectable comic covers to celebrate this enormous event. Astonishing artists such as – Neal Adams, Jim Lee, Kelley Jones, Greg Capullo, Joelle Jones, Frank Miller, Dustin Nguyen and many, many more will be rendering our favourite spandex clad avenger of the night when the title hits your local comic book emporium on March 27th 2019.
Why not join us again next time friends, for more Week In Geek!
Warning: Astonishing Alliteration and Ironic Innuendo Ahoy…
“It’s raining Elvira’s, hallelujah, it’s raining Elvira’s…” Ah, okay, it isn’t actually raining Elvira (unfortunately!) but this is literally the second Comic Cover Of The Week in a row dedicated to our ferociously favourite, tenaciously teasing tantalising temptress – Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark!
That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, Cassandra Peterson’s awesome alter ego – voluptuous vamp Elvira is back in a brand new mini-series brought to by the dynamically detonating – Dynamite Comics! with this brand spanking new series (as you may have surmised from the title) poking (good-natured) fun at Guillermo Del Toro’s recent hit movie – The Shape Of Water.
“The Mistress Of The Dark lands the leading role in a touching art film about human/gill monster romance (!?) but there’s something decidedly fishy about her co-star. Is there an Oscar in her future, or is the director Billy Bullworth interested in spawning something more than an Academy Award winning movie?”
Competing compellingly with Elvira’s previous mini-series, the saucy and spooky Shape Of Elvira also boasts a cavalcade compendium of cleavage clad comic-book covers that reaches a combustible crescendo with no less than eight extraordinary variant covers!!
The first issue of Elvira’s newest astonishing adventure is available at your local comic-book emporium right now! If you’re a fan of Cassandra Peterson’s raunchy, racy, ribald and generally risque alter-ego then dive right on in, and tell her Precinct1313 sent you (oh, and could you get her phone number for me whilst you’re there!?)
“It’s on the thirteenth floor, appropriately” the landlord mentioned as we approached the apex of the top floor of his ‘luxury’ apartment block.
“Appropriately?” I questioned back at the rather burly man who was quietly fumbling for the requisite key to the apartment we had just reached.
“Oh didn’t I mention, this apartment is really rather special, it has the most glorious view of the city from a large picturesque window situated in its front room, and, well, I dunno, I guess the number thirteen sort of comes to mind whenever I think about him… uh, it!? Mmmmmm, no’one’s really sure if he’s human, or something, else”
My curiosity piqued – ” Him? who exactly are we talking about?”
“Wow, you’re really not from around here are you, I mean your accent sounds, British, right?” the landlord sighed heavily as he finally found the relevant apartment key.
“Yes, I’m English, only been in the states for a couple of days in fact, I’m a writer you see, one in need of a healthy dose of inspiration, I thought travelling across the pond and making my home here in Gotham for a few months might help blow away those writer’s block cobwebs… again, who is this mysterious, entity to whom you refer?”
The landlord turned towards me with a look of startling incredulity “Batman, of course, what rock have you been living under, Brit or not, I mean come on, it’s the goddamn Batman!”
“Batman?” my brow furrowed at the idea “he’s actually real?, I always thought he was some kind of myth, a sort of urban legend, you know a boogeyman type”
The landlord’s lips cracked into a rather ominous smile “Oh he’s the boogeyman alright, ‘cept in his case he only does harm to those who deserve it, anyway, please go in and take a look around, but I suggest you make up your mind quickly if you are at all interested, this apartment is well sought after and I have two more viewings this evening”
The apartment was much larger than I had at first envisioned, but then at the price he was charging I could probably afford a mansion in comparison, but it was, strangely enough, the apartment number that had attracted me to the viewing – 1313, there just seemed something, familiar about it.
“And here we are” the landlord stood in front of a sizeable plate glass window with what could only be described as a spectacular view onto the city itself, yet, with the constant torrential rain and lightning storm, and the ridiculously prodigious amount of black spires and gargoyles that peppered the immediate skyline, Hell came more to mind. “This window is better than any TV set you’ve ever seen, and if you’re looking for inspiration to break your writer’s block, well, this particular room might very well be your new favourite muse”
I pressed my nose against the cold glass “How so?” I asked, curious of his assertion.
“Well, you see, for some reason the Bat seems to frequent this particular area rather often, I mean we do have a rather high crime rate here, but that could be said for the entire city, it’s Gotham after all, infamous across the world for just this reason. This particular suburb – Park Row is actually more famous for one particular street dubbed ‘Crime Alley’ by the locals, if you look just over to your left you can see the infamous thoroughfare, the downgrade of this area began maybe thirty years ago after an awful tragedy involving Gotham’s famous affluent family, The Waynes…”
“Ah, as in the parents of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne?” I said glancing towards the landlord, who appeared a little miffed at my interruption “I think I’ve heard this story, but please, continue on Sir”
“As I was saying, it’s been at least three decades since that awful night, when, after a evening out at the movies with their young son Bruce, the Waynes, Thomas and Martha were gunned down in cold blood right before the very eyes of their child, I mean can you imagine that, how it would taint your life… well it certainly tainted this area that’s for sure and the entire city itself, things got worse from that night onward, the city began its slow gradual descent into hell, I know, I know, I sound awfully dramatic but… wait a second, is that?”
The landlord stood transfixed staring out the window, like a deer caught in headlights, “what is it?” I said whirling on the spot following his gaze. Something dark was moving through the buildings, at first it appeared to be some kind of gigantic corvidae, but one of this size would be ridiculous, we continued to watch as the ‘thing’ descended to the ground below. It was then that the darkened figure began to take shape as my eyes adjusted to the light differential outside, it was clearly some kind of humanoid creature, though like no man I had ever encountered before. The head bore two rather long pointed ears and what seemed to be large black wings draped around the impressively framed individual.
“It’s him!” the landlord exclaimed with an almost childlike glee “told ya huh, can’t believe he appeared just as I was telling you about him though, really creepy timing, and yet…” the landlord glanced at a calendar hanging on the back wall “that’s it!, weirdly enough he seems to come here, to crime alley every year on this particular day”
I looked back towards the calendar “26th of September, Mmmmm, I wonder what the significance of this date is to such a man, umm, creature? that he should appear every year on this very day” I looked back out of the window towards where this ‘Bat’ had been, “he’s gone! I mean, he was there literally a second ago!”
The landlord’s face broadened into a large wry grin “Oh yeah, he’s good at that! off to take down a murderous clown or a riddling sociopath I would hazard, so, after that excitement, what do you think of the place, interested?”
I turned away from the window “I’ll take it” I said confidently.
“Yeah, thought ya would” the landlord passed me the keys”Oh, and we’ve had a few writers rent the place in the past you know, I believe they may have even left some of theirs musings and manuscripts up in the loft area, may be of interest to you.” The landlord turned on the spot and slowly made his way for the door “Welcome to Gotham” he uttered as he closed the door behind him.
“Thanks” I murmured back “I think I’m going to like it here” I gazed towards the trap door that gave access to the attic area… “yeah, I really think I’m going to like it here”
To Be Continued…
Batman and Gotham City are trademarks of DC Comics.
Welcome fellow Agents of Precinct1313, and thanks so much for joining us in the malefic mansion of mystery’s infamous Halls of Quaffing for our regular yearly round up of geeky goodness from the space year 2018. So why not pull up a chair, grab a flagon of your favourite beverage and re-live some of our favourite nerdy necessities in comic-book form, from the past twelves months…
Precinct1313’s Favourite Comic-Book Series Of 2018…
And hoo boy has it been a stand out year for stunning storylines, in fact there have been so many amazing comic-books released this year that picking just three was almost impossible, yet we have managed to do just that with these particularly cool, compelling and consummate creations…
Scintillating scribe – Tom King was without a doubt the finest choice for taking one of DC Comics’ most beloved Superheroes, expert escapologist Mister Miracle, not only because Tom is one of the very best writers in comics today, but also because his surname ably pairs him with Miracle’s genius and legendary creator – Jack ‘The King’ Kirby!
To honour the 100th anniversary since acclaimed creator (and in our humble opinion – most important figure in comics, ever!) Jack Kirby’s birth, DC Comics alongside writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads reunited us with one of Kirby’s most captivating and heralded heroes – super escape artist Mister Miracle, through a 12 issue series that also featured The New Gods from DC’s classic Fourth World Saga.
Miraculous is most definitely the word to describe Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s superlative take on Scott Free’s convoluted life, emotional, poignant and groundbreaking also come to mind when describing the extraordinary genius that this series has been. An unreserved masterpiece, and an emotionally charged, breathtakingly brilliant read every single issue. BUY… IT… NOW!
If you’ve been following Precinct1313 for awhile now, you probably realise that Watchmen is unreservedly our favourite comic book of all time. When I first encountered Alan Moore’s trailblazing series in 1986 I was blown away, it was a unique and contemporary take on the Superhero genre, a treatise on social anxiety and a complete deconstruction of Superhero conceptualisation. It was different to everything that came before it, and is almost single-handedly responsible for transforming the face of the comic-book medium for both future creators and readers… a veritable masterpiece!
Thirty two years later and writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Franks effortlessly transport us back to the wonderfully dark and grimy world set up by Moore, through DC’s 12 issue maxi-series Doomsday Clock. Stylistically the comic evokes the original material perfectly from the dialogue set through to the originals nine panel layout, both visually and tone wise this feels perfectly at home with its peerless predecessor.
If you’re a fan of Watchmen and can get past the apparent controversy that a sequel to the seminal original exists, then this is a must buy. Johns and Franks have presented an excessively well written, dark but at times amusing sequel to the originals world of masked vigilantes, chaos and deep rooted fears and anxiety, and I for one have enjoyed every moment of my stay in its fatalistic presence.
Supergirl: Being Super…
(Ok, Ok, this technically came out in 2017 – but I didn’t personally experience it until the beginning of 2018, hence its place on this list)
Origin Tales have been, let’s be honest, spectacularly overused in both the comic-book scene and their spin off movie counterparts, I mean how many times do we really need to witness Batman losing his parents to the gun barrel of Joe Chill or Spiderman being bitten by a radioactive arachnid, these characters are now so iconic that even non comic-book fans are overly familiar with their backstories.
With that said, you may feel slightly bemused by my inclusion of a series that dynamically delves into the past of Superman’s famous cousin, Kara Zor-El, but there is a genuinely good reason for that… because it’s fantastic!! In fact, it’s not only one of the greatest Supergirl comics to have ever released, but, one of the greatest comic-book series ever published… period!
Supergirl: Being Super is the Mariko Tamaki penned opus that transcends Kara’s origins by offering us a fresh take that focuses more upon her relationships, trials and tribulations of everyday life as a teenage girl growing up in a small american town. It’s a slower burn as a comic, with less super heroics but more angst, sass and quirky dialogue, as we follow Kara in an engaging and fantastically well written coming of age tale.
If you approach the series with atypical expectations of copious amounts of explosions, super speed and heat vision, you’re going to leave disappointed, this is a tale that spotlights the person behind the iconic “S” symbol and it’s all the better for it. Supergirl: Being Super is another stunning revelation in Superhero story telling, and my favourite iteration of the classic character thus far.
Precinct1313’s Most Popular Posts Of 2018…
Phew, what a year huh… I have to say that we haven’t output as many posts this year as we did in 2017, but, unfortunately, sometimes life just gets in the way right? That said, 2018 has been the year where the Precinct’s readership and followers have increased exponentially more than any other year thus far. By far the most viewed posts emanating from the majestic mansion of mystery have been the World’s Finest interview series, which, by the way are also my absolute faves to write! We also dipped our creative toes into the oceanic depths of YouTube unboxing videos with the Vlog1313 vids, where we endeavoured to share with you our unparalleled love for the stunningly realised physical forms of our beloved heroes and villains.
The most popular and perused of our World’s Finest posts this year was the Death interview, starring Morpheus’ soul guiding sister – Didi. Which I’m sure you are all dying to relive right here: World’s Finest: An Exclusive Interview With Death
My personal favourite to write was the Circe interview, an amazing and in my opinion underutilised Wonder Woman foe with a marvellous mythologically rich backstory and a power set that easily rivals her titular foe. Delight in her damnation of our hapless interviewer right here: World’s Finest: An Exclusive Interview With Circe
The most viewed of our V-Log1313 videos also has my favourite statue I have yet procured for my collection, the remarkable recreation of Amanda Conner’s stunning Starfire #1 cover from the fantastic 2015 12-issue maxi series. You can view my amateurish first steps to video authoring right here: V-Log1313: Amanda Conner Starfire Statue Unboxing
And with that, all that’s really left to say is Happy New Year to all of the Precinct’s followers, readers and fellow bloggers, as ever it is you that makes this entire endeavour worthwhile! Oh, and as always… Make Mine DC!