Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Feisty Female Fighting Furies…

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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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 created, 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!

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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…

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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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:

 

Happy Birthday, Oh Dark And Scary One – 80 Years Of The Batman!

batsy80 p1313Eight 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!

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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.

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Bob Kane and Bill Finger – Creators Of A Legend!

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!)

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Batman and Robin Courtesy Of The Late, Great Norm Breyfogle – My Personal Fave Bat-artist of all time!

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)

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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! 

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Then and Now… Same Cover, Eight Decades Apart!

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(Batman is trademark – DC Comics)

 

Precinct1313’s Retro Revivals…

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.

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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:

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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 WarlockRogue 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.

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“Read 2000AD, Or It’s Five Years In An Iso-Cube… Mandatory!”

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 MillsJohn 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!

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Legendary British Comics Guru And 2000AD Co-Creator – Pat Mills Is As Fantastic And Outspoken As Ever In Future Shock… He Alone Is Worth The Paltry Admission Price!

 

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 the across the planet itself!

Precinct1313 Rating: Zarjaz!!

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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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)

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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…

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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!

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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. 

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Why not join us again next time friends, for more Week In Geek!

Comic Cover Of The Week: The Shape Of Elvira #1

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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.

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“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!!

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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!?)

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Gotham City Apartment – A Room With A View

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“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.

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“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.

 

 

Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza…

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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…

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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…

Mister Miracle…

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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!

Doomsday Clock…

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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!

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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…

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(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!

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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.

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Precinct1313’s Most Popular Posts Of 2018…

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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Great British Comic-Book Characters: Marshal Law

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Borag Thungg fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to another eccentrically enthralling episode of Great British Comic-Book Characters our occasional series that aims to acquaint you with some of our very favourite fictional figures originating from this tiny island known as the United Kingdom.

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The British comic book scene has been active as long as its more famous American counterpart, and as long and varied as its history has been… very few costumed characters of the traditional spandex clad Superhero have emerged from this sceptred isle. That’s not to say that no characters of heroic nature have emanated from the UK, just that they tend not to follow in the footsteps of their more audacious USA brethren. Though long time allies and compeers, our differences couldn’t be more palpable, especially in the wonderful world that is comic books.

And, oh boy, Marshal Law is the epitome of this disparity, a fascistic, radically authoritarian creation that actually falls in line with a rather large amount of stylistically created fictional persona that have emanated from this country over several decades of both comic-books and general fiction (film, television, novels). Politically charged and anti-authoritarian issues have always had the biggest influences in the UK’s most popular comic book characters, from the obviously  quasi-fascist vision of future law enforcement that is Judge Dredd, through recalcitrant characters such as Zenith, V, and Nemesis the Warlock, British comic creators have always revelled in counterculture paradigms.

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Marshal Law is a government sanctioned “Hero Hunter” a super-powered member of the San Futuro police Department, San Futuro is a sprawling metropolis from the near future that rose from the ashes of San Francisco following a devastating earthquake. Marshal revels in his position as a Cape killer, with his raison d’etre revolving around taking down rogue Superheroes, Marshal derives an unhealthy amount of gratification and joy from this task, utilising an almost unlimited arsenal of ridiculously over the top weaponry/ heavy ordnance (and good ol’ fashion fisticuffs) he is uncompromising in both his use of violence and lack of emotional wealth… a true sociopath.

Marshal’s secret identity is Joe Gilmore, an ex super-soldier, who is overwhelmed with a malign sense of self loathing due to his manifest super powers. In this alternate future Genetic engineering has swept San Futuro and the USA at large, with most of America’s armed forces utilising the science to create the ultimate Ubermensch.

Though, the act of saddling the military populace with overt powers also led to an increase in detrimental psychological effects on the subjects, psychosis is prevalent amongst the majority of the soldiers, also the inability to control or understand their wildly chaotic powers. Upon leaving military servitude, these super powered individuals would often take up the cape and cowl to become Superheroes and yet their gradually diminishing mental capabilities and lack of remorse or any sense of compassion led them down a darker path more akin to the classic SuperVillain as opposed to the heroic archetype, which essentially leads to Marshal Law’s emergence as a hero hunter, whose own advanced abilities and detestation of genetic super-beings lead him down a violent, pitiable path of reckless redemption for his own self loathing due to his inherited mutation.

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Marshal Law was first unleashed onto unsuspecting Brit comic-book fans by Epic Comics in October 1987, a six issue mini-series created by 2000AD stalwarts Kev O’ Neill and the legendary Pat Mills. The resulting series led on to a fantastic one shot  “Marshal Law Takes Manhattan” in which he proceeded to eliminate perfectly parodied variants of Marvel characters. It’s these satirical parody’s of mainstream American Superheroes that has been a marvellous mainstay of his adventures throughout the years, DC characters such as Batman and Superman have also felt the sting of Marshal’s wrath with some absolutely fantastic and (especially in the case of Batman’s variant) outlandishly bizarre versions of the beloved heroes.

Marshal Law is an extreme satire of Superhero/Anti-hero tropes, mixed with outlandish humour, feverishly idiosyncratic art by the fantastic Kev O’Neill and the legendary Pat Mills at his politico anti-establishment finest. As long as you’re not easily offended, and can tolerate seeing your favourite Superhero get shot, stabbed, decapitated, electrocuted crushed, smushed, blown up, immolated and generally wiped the floor with by its titular star – Marshal Law… then this comes highly recommended!

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World’s Finest: An Exclusive Interview With Lego Batman

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Welcome fellow Agents of Precinct1313 to another exhilarating episode of “World’s Finest” a series of exclusive interviews that aim to introduce you to some of our very favourite convocation of comic-book characters of… all… time!

Each episode we cordially invite one of our most treasured – Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons and, of course, Super-Pets to answer a quotient of quintessentially quirky questions about life, the universe, and cake (’cause everyone loves cake!)

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And so, let’s welcome to Precinct1313’s stately sanguine sofa of shockingly satirical secrets – the larger than life, laudable yet litigious loner – Lego Batman!

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Precinct1313: Welcome Bats, and thanks so much for joining us on this weeks World’s Finest.

Lego Batman: It’s Batman… B-A-T-M-A-N! not Bats or Batsy, or any other cute nickname… I’m the goddamn Batman!

Precinct1313: Uuh, I’m sorry, Batman… loving that Frank Miller reference though, very cool.

Lego Batman: Who?

Precinct1313: You know, Frank Miller, one of the most celebrated chroniclers of your adventures.

Lego Batman: Never heard of the guy, I, of course, chronicle my own adventures, I mean, who else could do as an amazing job as me… I’m Batman, although Alfred is currently helping write my memoirs for my upcoming autobiography.

Precinct1313: Intriguing, and what’s the title of said book so I can pick it up once it’s available.

Lego Batman: “I’m Batman – An Autobiography”

Precinct1313: Erm, that title seems a little… simple, for someone of your stature…

Lego Batman: It does have a subtitle.

Precinct1313: Which is?

Lego Batman: “The Memoirs Of The World’s Most Significantly Awesome And Greatest Superhero, Who Has Beaten Superman In Every Fight Ever, Has Dated Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Zatanna, Power Girl… In Fact Every Female Superhero In Existence, Is A Billionaire Genius With Lots Of Cool Gadgets And A Batcave, And Is Appreciably More Important Than Anyone Who Has Ever… Ever Lived”

Precinct1313: That is, uuh, one seriously impressively long subtitle you have there.

Lego Batman: Yeah, well, the ladies dig a guy with an impressively long subtitle…

Precinct1313: I’m sorry!?

Lego Batman: Oh nothing, go on, ask me another question so I can dazzle you with my wit, charm, expertise and, of course, supreme modesty…

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“That’s right ladies, I’ve got everything anyone would ever need, wit, charm, billions of dollars and an impressively long, uh… utility belt! “

Precinct1313: Ok then, now you recently starred in a big budget blockbuster movie, how hard was the switch from a night-clad costumed vigilante to an actor and superstar?

Lego Batman: Pfft! well I’ve always been a superstar…. world’s greatest Superhero, remember, but it also turns out I’m a damn fine thespian also…

Precinct1313: It had quite the cast list too, with virtually every member of your infamous Rogues Gallery appearing. 

Lego Batman: Mmmmm, speaking of my Rogues Gallery, is that a photo of you and the Mischievous Minx of Mayhem hanging on the wall?

Precinct1313: You mean the photo of Harley Quinn and myself? yes indeed she was a guest on the show a few months back… in fact she was sat on that very sofa you are on right now.

Lego Batman: Whaaaaat! why didn’t you tell me, the sofa is probably rigged to explode, or implode… it’s definitely going to do some kind of ‘ploding’ that’s for sure…

Precinct1313: Eh, surely not, I mean she was really rather nice to be honest, well apart from the bit where she violently assaulted me with a comically oversized mallet.

Lego Batman: Mmmm, yes, as I suspected, the sofa is rigged with Smilex gas… the Joker’s deadly toxin, and through the pressure of my Bat-butt I seem to have triggered the mechanism… we have only seconds to live!

Precinct1313: I’m sorry! did you say seconds to live!? ummm, what are we going to do!?

Lego Batman: Well I’m going to retrieve my Bat gas-mask from my trusty utility belt, whereas you will likely inhale the Smilex, laugh manically until your internal organs rupture and then die in severe pain with a hideous rictus grin on your face… unfortunately!

Precinct1313: Eep!

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Lego Batman is trademark: DC Comics.

Rorschach’s Quote(s) Of The Week

*Warning: Doomsday Clock Spoilers Ahoy me hearties!*

“Rorschach’s Journal: November 15, 2017 – I appear to be back, or am I? after my obvious demise at the hands of Doc Manhattan how is this possible… who am I, where am I, and what has happened to my physicality? I appear to be someone… other, hmmm, a paradox!”

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“Hrmm… I’m Back… Seemingly”

Hey, have you heard? Rorschach’s back! That’s right the viciously vehement vigilante with the ink blot mask, surly temper and loathing for the criminal fraternity has re-materialised on the physical plane after his apparent deadly demise at the hands of Doc Manhattan… or has he!? Well that’s a spoiler that I reverently refuse to reveal! What I am going to share with you though, fellow CrimeBusters, are some of the phenomenally perfect panels from Rorschach’s recent rendezvous with classic characters from the DC Universe… especially Batman, in fact, Batsy and ‘schach make for an almost peerless comic(al) duo…

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Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys!?

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Kitchen Utensils Are A Prerequisite For Rorschach, You Never Know When He Might Fancy The Odd Cold Tin Of Beans..

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The Rorschach Equivalent Of – “Are We There Yet?”

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It’s Not Like You Ever Eat Anything Anyway Though Bruce…

And this one may not have Rorschach in it (though he is just off panel) but it’s way too fantastic not to include…

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DC’s Doomsday Clock series is a semi sequel to Alan Moore’s phenomenal and groundbreaking original 80’s masterpiece, and happily holds it’s head high in comparison to it’s almost unparalleled peer, highly recommended.

Rorschach, Batman, Doctor Manhattan, Joker and Doomsday Clock Are Trademark: DC Comics.

Day Of Wonder: Precinct1313 Celebrate The Themysciran Titan With The Return Of… Classic Wonder Woman!

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Day Of Wonder – A Celebration of all things Wonder Woman is upon us my astounding Amazonian associates! Hera’s heraldic hero of hope has been astonishing us with fantastic feats and stunning storylines for well over 75 years, and in that time has immersed herself in all forms of entertainment media, through comic-books, television, animation, novelisations, video-games and, most recently, a bombastic big budget live action movie courtesy of Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins.

We love Wondy here in Precinct1313, she is, without a shadow of doubt, our most beloved comic-book character of… all… time! (sorry Batsy!) but looking back through our recent posts we realise that we haven’t written a great deal about Zeus’ favoured daughter in a while, which constitutes a travesty… one that will be rectified forthwith with the return of our popular Classic Wonder Woman series, the last episode of which was posted 2 years ago to this day (and can be re-experienced right HERE)

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So why not join us as we head back to the golden shores of Amazon paradise Themyscira to bask in the illuminating presence of Princess Diana and her immortal sisters, as we once more head down into the Ancient Amazon Archives to relive Wondy’s greatest triumphs and tribulations…

Classic Wonder Woman: The Odyssey Returns…

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The golden sands of Themyscira beckon us back to their bounteous beauty as we search for meaning beyond our enlightening and impactful odyssey through it’s ancient Amazon archives. 

Our colossal crusade reached its crescendo two years ago to this day, and since exiting the labyrinthian libraries we have ultimately found our lives empty and devoid of the inspiration that these bygone Amazonian tales regaled us with, since returning to mortal realms. So it is with new found purpose that we once more set our sights on the idyllic isle of the immortals and venture forth unto the archives to retrieve and collate the tenacious tomes that reside within its deepest recesses.

Chapter 1: The Return

The journey was arduous, our ship was a ramshackle and decrepit shadow of its former self, two years since its last voyage and nary a care given in that time to its upkeep and condition. We could almost be forgiven for our lack of maintenance for the intrepid vessel, when we departed Themyscira we never believed we would ever return to the fabled isle, and the ship that wrought our original voyage became a painful memory of a past we desired to never see end.

“The Odyssey” was the name we had borne our ship with, an apt moniker for our journey certainly bore out its titular title. Though badly dilapidated, the vessel forged its way through the vast oceans and deadly perils of our pilgrimage with an almost sentient purpose. Themyscira island had been hidden away by the old Gods for millenia to protect its imperishable inhabitants from the horrors and injustices of the outside world, and though we had once proudly walked its flaxen beaches and lush forests, finding our way back was to be a feat worthy of Hercules himself.

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Standing at the bow, I braced myself against the cooling zephyr and tang of acrid sea salt, in the not too far distance a storm of such severity that it could only have been created by Poseidon himself in an effort to deter our perilous journey brewed, its course set for our bijou and insignificant vessel. The Odyssey hit the deadly squall head on, its sails buckled and warping from the extreme pressure of the sudden tempest, the decks ruptured beneath our feet flooding deadly ice cold death unto our intrepid ship… all seemed lost, and yet…

Warmth and bird song greeted us as we opened our eyes to the incredulous sight of what was the most beautifully beguiling and serene being we had ever encountered.

Untitled design.jpg “Merciful Minerva! are you alright?” came the comforting voice from this resplendent soul  “Be calm now, you are safe, your vessel is done, I am afraid, but I have managed to pluck you from a certain watery grave… welcome back mortals, to Themyscira!”

To Be Continued…

Happy Wonder Woman Day, My Astonishing Amazonian Associates!

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DC Release First Pic Of Ruby Rose As Batwoman… And It’s AWESOME!

Well, what can we say but… holy hallowed heroines, Ruby Rose looks absolutely stunning in the first promo pic released by DC Comics earlier today:

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The astounding actress will be portraying Batman’s popular parallel peer – Batwoman as she joins CW’s Arrow-verse for a brand new Elseworlds crossover. Kate Kane is one of the Precinct’s very favourite female Superheroes so we were extremely excited yet highly hesitant when we heard of a live action version of the character appearing on the small screen. We shouldn’t have worried though because Ruby was the absolute perfect casting choice… and that costume, we are blown away, it is nigh on a flawless replica of the outfit from the comic-books themselves, perfection in pictorial form.

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More news and pics incoming fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

V-Log1313: Stunning Starfire Statue Sizzles Salient Satisfaction…

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Hey there fellow Agents of Precinct1313 and welcome to another episode of V-Log1313. Now, you may remember in a previous vid we unboxed the astonishingly adorable Amanda Conner variant of our favourite fiery alien Princess- Starfire, well this episode we shall be delving into the world of one of her legendary co-creators, glorious George Perez, with a sterling statue based upon his astounding artwork from a classic comic cover of the consummate 80’s title – The New Teen Titans. And so, without further ado, let the unboxing commence…

Thanks for watching fellow fans of fantastic fiction, our next unboxing vid will star the one, and only – Donna Troy, also known as Wonder Girl! so stay tuned for in one short month Donna will be Golden Lassoing her way into the Precinct’s vicarious video vaults in readiness for her placement on the fabled Superlative Shelf of Superhero Statues!

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RIP – Norm Breyfogle: My All Time Favourite Batman Artist

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It is with a heavy heart that last week I discovered that my favourite Batman artist of all time, the inimitable Norm Breyfogle passed away on September 24 at a mere 58 years of age. The details of his untimely passing are currently being kept private by his family but what we do know is that Norm suffered a stroke a couple of years back which affected the left side of his body, including his drawing arm.

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I have been a Bat-fan since I was six years of age, and although my favourite period of his myriad of adventures was the mid seventies, drawn by the amazing Neal Adams and written by the dazzling Denny O’Neil, I was rather too young to read them at the time. The Batman I actually grew up with was the eighties version, this is post Frank Miller’s ground-breaking and character defining – Dark Knight Returns, and of all the fantastic artists that drew the continuing adventures of everyone’s favourite nocturnal, pointy eared vigilante, without a doubt my favourite was Norm Breyfogle.

Teamed up with British comic writer – Alan Grant they created some of the greatest Batman tales ever put to paper throughout their extremely long run (1987-1993) on Batman’s premium title Detective Comics. Norm’s style suited the character flawlessly, angular, gothic and almost Germanic in its form, he would go on to set a precedent for how we view the look of the Batman today.

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Our thought go out to Norm’s family and friends at this very sad time.