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Three Years In The Precinct – A 1313 Anniversary Special

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Excerpt Taken From – ‘In Pursuit Of Precinct1313 – Chapter One’

The storm raged tempestuously around us as we made our way through the treacherous and foreboding woodland intent on finding our prize, a long sought after structure of otherworldly power. We had been searching for this mythical edifice since we first heard whispers of its existence years earlier. Pushing ever deeper into the dense thicket, stopping only to cut our way through the tangle of overgrown trees and foliage, which in this storm moved and weaved almost as if attempting to drive us back. Craning my head up into the driving rain and winds, I noticed my colleague, who was a few feet ahead of me, had come to a stop, his gaze transfixed on something ahead.

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“Pete?” I said, placing my hand on his right shoulder, “What’s up dude?,” Pete turned his face towards me, his expression was a mix of both elation and fear, a strange combination to be sure. He motioned a nod forwards and it was then that I noticed, not more than maybe twenty or so feet ahead, a dark and ominous building that strangely felt like it was looking, right back, at me!  “I, uh, think this might be it” I said in a rather flustered tone, I was rattled believe me, the storm had almost immediately stopped as we had, which in itself was extremely unsettling. Pete and I looked at each other and then uniformly moved warily forward into what was now an almost deafeningly disquieting silence. 

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The impressive structure loomed towards us like a brooding nightmare from a Lovecraftian novel. Pete hastened up the stone steps stopping at the entrance portentously, I arrived at his side just as he was reaching for the handle. The large oak doors slowly creaked open, and suddenly, some ‘thing’ from inside, invisible to our eyes, pushed violently through us… “Free,” it uttered, “Free, at last.” Pete, strangely unperturbed by the freakish phenomena, moved forward into the darkened halls ahead, and, with a little more trepidation, I followed…

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Excerpt Taken From – “In Pursuit Of Precinct1313 – Chapter Two” 

“Damn, this place is a serious enigma, I mean look at it, three years down the line and we’re still discovering new rooms and annexes. The really odd thing is though, I could have sworn we’ve been down here before, yet I do not recognise that rather large vault door”  I looked towards Pete, who stood silently in front of the prodigious round door, running his hands inquisitively over the smooth metallic surface.

“I don’t either” Pete remarked back, “there doesn’t seem to be any way of getting through it though… no handles, locks, nothing” Pete backed up, surveying the door curiously. “Eldritch?” Pete asked, looking towards me, I nodded silently and made my way back through the Precinct’s darkened hallways, Eldritch usually could be found perched silently in the mausoleum.

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Eldritch had been with us since we had first discovered the Precinct, three years previous. He served as a silent guardian and guide to the mysterious mansion, a Carrion Crow of woe, whose ultimate purpose was unbeknownst to myself or Pete. Eldritch cocked his head towards me as I entered through the mausoleum’s ornate doorway, his onyx eyes glinting with a perceived menace. He focused his full attention towards me, almost as if he were gazing directly into my fragile psyche, before taking flight towards the inaccessible vault door.

I arrived a few moments later… the vault door was open, darkness filled it’s void, Pete nor Eldritch weren’t anywhere to be seen. I cautiously approached the perplexing lacuna, it’s darkness seemingly impenetrable, “Pete?” I whispered into the inky blackness, there came no reply… steeling myself, I stepped through…

Welcome fellow Agents of Precinct1313, to our anniversary special. That’s right, the malefic mansion of mystery enters into it’s third year of existence, and we still find ourselves trapped within it’s vast depths. So, whilst we pursue the zenith of this delphic abode, we shall endeavour to bring you, our loyal Special Agents, our continuing in depth look at the wonderful world of DC Comics and beyond…

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Many, many thanks to everyone who have, over the past three years – followed, liked, read and commented on our DC Comics-centric ramblings here in the Precinct… it is ‘YOU’ who make this entire endeavour worthwhile. batman (1) 

The Pursuit Of Precinct1313 Will Continue…

Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: No.02 – Starfire #1 – Amanda Conner

Salutations my charming comic collecting cohorts, and welcome once more to our continuing countdown of cherished comic cover classics. In our previous post we presented to you the decidedly dazzling drawing dynamics of the delightful Darwyn Cooke and his tremendous take on Teen Titans #5. This impeccable instalment illuminates the absolutely astounding art of Amanda Conner and her sassy and sumptuous Starfire #1 cover.

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We have written in length about the astonishing artistic auteur that is Amanda Conner, and over the many, many years that I’ve been an avid comic collector I have encountered hundreds of fantastic artists that have regaled my geeky self with some utterly sublime scribblings, and though I am indebted to all these iconic illustrators for their glorious work, a number have really stood out as favourites – talented individuals such as the great George Perez, Neal Adams, Brian Bolland, Norm Breyfogle, Phil Jimenez and Nicola Scott, picking a fave amongst these would would always prove to be an insurmountable challenge. That was until I discovered the amazing art of Amanda Conner, from that point anybody enquiring as to whom my favourite artist was, would not be able to shut me up as I enthused and rhapsodised over her dreamy drawing delectations… quirky, zany, and instantly recognisable, for me personally Amanda will always be the greatest!sf-edited

 

Amanda’s creative career began in the late 1980’s working for companies such as Archie Comics, Marvel and Harris’ Comics on their Vampirella series (which is where I first discovered her phenomenal oeuvre) But it was her work on the sundry female DC characters that led me to fall in love with her adroit artistic endeavours, especially her work with Starfire, Harley Quinn and Power Girl, which all remain (and always will) my absolute favourite versions of those iconic characters. 

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I love the character of Starfire, have been a huge fan since her inaugural introduction by her colossal creators, George Perez and Marv Wolfman in DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980. Since then I have rallied to read every one of her exciting escapades, with my favourite take on the character being the 2015, 12 issue maxi-series by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with this post’s feature cover being my most treasured. In fact, I love it so much, I have three copies of it (one framed, one in the collection and one to read… yeah I know – GEEK!) Not only that though, I also purchased the extremely limited (and rather expensive) DC Collectables statue based upon this iconic illustration, and even did my first ever YouTube unboxing video on said stunning sculpture, which you may partake in right below (yep, that’s my disembodied hands of unrivalled unboxing!!)

Why Not Join Us Again Next Time On Our Continuing Chronicle Of Cool And Crazy Comic Cover Collectables…

Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: No.04 – Justice Society Of America #26 – Alex Ross

Welcome once more, oh peerless Precinct purveyors of phenomenal paintings in print, to our continuous countdown of cool comic cover collectables. In our earlier exciting episode we introduced you to the stunning skills of the superlative Stanley Lau and his titanic take on Wonder Woman.  This efficacious episode we shall be shining our trusty Bat-signal on the astonishing artistic aesthetics of Alex Ross, and his perfectly pencilled panoramic take on – Justice Society Of America #26.

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Though this is technically three covers, each of these magnificent masterpieces interlock to regale the reader with Alex’s peerless painterly realism, bringing these otherworldly beings a sense of verisimilitude like no other artist before. 

Nelson Alex Ross was born in Portland, Oregon in January 1970, though he was raised throughout his formative years in Texas by his minister father and mother who was a successful commercial artist, from whom her received his initial inspiration and love of the arts. Alex has always attested that the biggest impacts for his unique comic art style were John Romita, George Perez and Neal Adams, whose techniques he attempted to imitate when he started drawing on a more serious level in his teens.

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Alongside these maestros of comic-book art, Alex also had an attachment and love for the realistic stylings of Norman Rockwell, with his work often cited as being a cross between both Perez and Rockwell, giving us an almost unmatched hyper realistic form of absolute extraordinary comic art. His first comic-book after graduating from the American Academy of Art in Chicago was for Now Comics’  Terminator: Burning Earth, a five issue mini-series released in 1990. In 1996, Alex teamed up with writer Mark Waid for the DC series – Kingdom Come, Alex’s work on this seminal series was a massive hit with fans and critics alike propelling him into an almost overnight sensation. Alex continues to work in the comic industry today, with his adroit artistic style in huge demand amongst the biggest publishers in the field including DC Comics, Image, Dynamite, and Marvel.

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Why Not Join Us Again, Oh Fellow Fans Of Fantastic Fiction, For Our Continuing Countdown Of Cool And Crazy Comic Cover Collectables!

Precinct1313’s Favourite Fearless Fighting Female Furies: Cynthia Rothrock

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Hey there fellow fans of fantastic fighting female furies, and welcome back to our ongoing/occasional series where we strive to acquaint you with some our favourite formidable females from throughout cinematic history. Last instalment we caught up with the magnificent Moon Lee, our absolute fave ever Asian action star, this time around we’ll be introducing you to none other than the bombastic blonde fury herself, scintillating Cynthia Rothrock! of all the action/martial arts stars throughout film, Cynthia has always been our most revered and is, arguably, the most accomplished female martial expert of all time!

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Formidably known in her cinematic heyday as The Queen Of Martial Arts, Cynthia has undeniably lived up to that daunting moniker – starred in over sixty films since her dynamic debut alongside Michelle Yeoh in Yes Madam, attained an astonishing seven black belts with a rank of 8th Dan in varying Chinese, Japanese and Korean martial disciplines, is five times undefeated world Karate champion in weapons and forms, was the first ever female cover star on both Inside Kung Fu and Black Belt Magazine, is the inspiration for two of video-games most popular female fighters – Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat and King from SNK’s popular Art of Fighting and King of the Fighters series, and, is an inductee in the distinguished Black Belt Hall Of Fame alongside such legends as Bruce Lee… Phew!

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Cynthia Ann Christine Rothrock was born in 1957 in Wilmington Delaware, though her formative years were spent in Scranton Pennsylvania, it was at the age of thirteen that she first developed an interest in martial arts. In 1981 Cynthia won her first world tournament in the forms and weapons classification, this particular martial category deals with fluidity of movement and form and is mostly non combat oriented, and saw both female and male participation, with Cynthia managing to easily outclass both sexes, she would go on to win this title for an astonishing four more years.

In her first thirty eight tournaments she took first place in forms discipline an astonishing thirty two times (again competing against both female and male martial artists) and twelve times in weapons, she was also pronounced Grand-Master (an honorary title given to individuals who excel at their chosen art and are revered by their peers) at five separate championships… it’s safe to say that Cynthia was a martial arts savante from a very young age.

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It was at the height of her tournament dominance that the esteemed martial magazine Black Belt took notice and inducted her into the Black Belt Hall Of Fame as the “Female Competitor Of The Year” she also took the coveted  front cover status on the very same issue, the first ever female in martial arts history to receive that distinguished honour.

1983 was the year that Cynthia would first be propelled onto the cinematic stage after being talent scouted by venerable Hong Kong based fighting film studio – Golden Harvest. It was in 1985 that Cynthia co-starred in her very first movie – Police Assassins alongside the magnificent Michelle Yeoh. The film was a massive box office success and launched Cynthia’s long running movie career, with the rapidly rising star going on to make another sensational seven movies for the studio giant, including my personal favourite – Blonde Fury.

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Cynthia also holds the prominent achievement as the first ever westerner to be billed as the leading actor in Asian fighting movies. Upon returning home to the United States, Cynthia continued her movie calling with titles such as – China O’Brien and its sequel, Guardian Angel, No Retreat-No Surrender, Prince Of The Sun and many, many more.

She eventually retired from acting after the movie Sci-Fighter in 2004, when she returned to teaching martial arts and expanding on her own, already formidable skills, though she still occasionally cameos and guest stars in various television productions including her own YouTube channel where she continues to showcase her incredible agility, and at sixty three years old is still able to out-surpass the majority of her younger martial peers!

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Cynthia Rothrock Movie Recommendations – Blonde Fury, Police Assassins, Righting Wrongs, Prince Of The Sun, The Millionaire’s Express.

Ten Years Of The Watchmen

“Rorschach’s journal – 2019, ten years ago I starred in one of the greatest cinematic triumphs of all time. In it the streets were extended gutters, and the gutters were full of critics, and when the drains finally scabbed over, the fans looked up and shouted save us… and Zack Snyder whispered “Yes”

A decade ago, the greatest piece of comic book fiction ever wrought was finally released on film by visual auteur Zack Snyder. His triumphant cinematic reworking of the supposedly un-filmable comic series from the eighties was hailed by the fans as a masterpiece of modern dystopian Superhero cinema, but received tepid reviews from critics (Mmmm, now this seems familiar)

(Warning: Spoilers ahoy)

w2 (1)The Watchmen limited comic series was released by DC Comics in 1986, it was a collaborative effort of three superstar British comic book creators, Writer Alan Moore, Artist Dave Gibbons and Artist/Colourist John Higgins. Moore originally posited to DC that he wanted to use their acquired Charlton Comics characters as the basis for the story (Blue Beetle, The Question, amongst others), but DC’s managing editor of the time Dick Giordano, persuaded Moore to create new characters instead, as the usage of DC’s now integrated (into the DC universe) Charlton heroes would have rendered them almost unusable in future timelines because of the direction they would have taken as a result of Moore’s suggested storyline. 

Alan Moore is widely regarded as one of the greatest comic book authors of all time, aside from Watchmen, Moore has also introduced us to V for Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but it is Watchmen that propelled Moore to the rank of numero uno in the highly competitive comic book market

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Protagonist – Rorschach narrates throughout the movie (and original comic book – inset) with regular diary entries and monologues

Alan Moore’s writing often takes a dark and dystopian route through pre-existing tropes, subverting and twisting characters to fit into his alternate timelines. Watchmen is a satirical look at superheroes, that reflects the era it was written, be it through the politics of the time (80’s Britain was a particularly political hot-bed) or emerging trends and people’s apprehension of the future.

Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985, and follows masked vigilante Rorschach as he and other retired members of the Superteam – The Crimebusters, investigate the murder of one of their former colleagues – The Comedian. In Moore’s universe, costumed heroes first appeared in the 1940’s, and were a collection of former Police officers and disgruntled citizens who ‘masked up’ to take down an increasing number of criminals who had taken to wearing costumes to disguise themselves from recognition.

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In the early eighties with the world on the brink of a nuclear holocaust, and with an outcry by the general populace against masked vigilantes, costumed heroes were outlawed, and most faded into retirement or (in the case of the Comedian and Dr Manhattan) went to work covertly for the Government. Rorschach though continued to fight crime unsanctioned, wanted by the Police he refused to abandon his principles and castigated his former team-mates for their cowardice in the face of the costumed vigilante ban.

After the murder of The Comedian, Rorschach manages to convince former team-mates, Nite-Owl II and Silk Spectre II to come out of retirement and help investigate what he believes is a conspiracy to kill masked heroes. Moore’s take on Superheroes is not for the faint of heart, it is a mature and sometimes shocking take on a popular medium, set in a totalitarian, regressive society consumed with fear and anxiety

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Unto this premise comes visual mastermind director Zack Snyder, riding high on his successful conversion of Frank Miller’s “300” graphic novel, he set his sights on DC’s Watchmen, and in 2009 presented us with perfection in comic book to film form. His film mirrored its source material beautifully, condensing the story somewhat, but still supplying every nuance and important depth of plot that the original comic series conveyed.

His choice of actors were astonishingly close to their fictional selves, especially the casting of Jackie Earle-Haley as titular protagonist Rorschach. This film has ultimately become the cornerstone of Zack Snyder’s career, only equalled (in our humble opinion) by his take on DC’s Trinity in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which shares many similarities to Watchmen in both tone and visual style.

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Ten years on and Watchmen is now more highly regarded amongst its former critics, still loved by the fans and is one of the first ‘R’ rated (18 rated here in the UK) Superhero movies, long before characters like Deadpool were ever conceived for the big screen. Snyder’s film is visually enthralling, deep and concise in its portrayal of the original classic series, as much a must watch now as it ever was, not only one of the greatest comic book movies of all time… but literally one of the greatest movies of all time! 

watchmen emoWho Watches The Watchmen?… You Should!

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And with DC’s current take on the characters with Geoff Johns fantastic Doomsday Clock limited series, and HBO’s upcoming TV series… there’s plenty more minutemen to come!

5 Years In The Precinct – An Anniversary Special…

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…

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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”

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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”

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“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… “

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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 –

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All text and imagery are copyright – Precinct1313.

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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Precinct1313’s Four Year Anniversary Special…

 

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“Oh hi there, it’s fantastic to see you, fellow Agents, welcome to Precinct1313’s celebrated Comic Crypts, so glad you could make it, I hope it wasn’t too much of a chore finding your way down here… I mean, the Precinct is an interminable enigma, so it can be rather difficult at times to negotiate it’s measureless depths, yet, here you are.”

And so, welcome fellow Agents of Precinct1313 to our four year anniversary celebrations, that’s right, the malefic mansion of mystery first materialised unto this plane of existence in the space year of 2014, and thanks to all of our followers, readers and fellow bloggers we still find ourselves relaying the news and views of our beloved DC Comics, and beyond…

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Very soon we shall wend our way through the Precinct’s incalculable corridors and chambers so we can celebrate in style in the infamous Halls of Quaffing. Before that though let’s pay a visit to The Scrying Chamber and stare deeply into the sanguine depths of its fabled black crystal ball so we can relive our favourite posts from the past 4 years. This will be the first of two posts with chapter III of “In Pursuit Of Precinct1313″ appearing later this week, and with it, maybe, just maybe, the answers to the mysterious portal from last year’s cliff hanger ending. Now, on with the show…

So, let us begin our journey with one of our most recent posts, which was also the auspicious debut of our first ever YouTube unboxing video… “V-Log1313: Amanda Conner – Starfire Statue Unboxing” which can be partaken in… Right Here

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2017 was the year that we first debuted our “World’s Finest” interview series, where we deigned to interview some of comicdom’s most treasured – Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, and Dimension Dwelling Demons. It has proved a rather large hit for the site, with the Harley Quinn episode scoring the largest amount of hits… that said the most difficult yet most fun to write was the ‘V’ episode – so why not settle down and vividly valuate V’s valorous vocal verve once more… RIGHT HERE

 

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“Comic Cover Of The Week” has been another marvellous mainstay of the Precinct, though with so many commendable and cool covers released each and every week it can be hard to recommend just one, so we’ve included two of our most recent favourites – “Harley Quinn Anniversary Special” which you can peruse… RIGHT HERE  and the monumentally mouthwatering – ” Mister Miracle #5″ which you can scrutinise… Right Here

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Wonder Woman and Batman continue to be the core pillars that sustain the edifice that is the Precinct, between the two of them they hold the record for most posts published by this mysterious mansion, but which articles do we hold most dear? In Diana’s case it would have to be – “Classic Wonder Woman: 75 Years Of The Awesome Amazon”  which is available to study… Right Here  and as far as Gotham’s grim guardian is concerned then it’s definitely – “Batman v Superman: Grudge Match” which can be undertaken – Right Here

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Phew! there is such a rather large amount of decidedly delicious DC documentation that we have dutifully delivered that we could honestly be here all day! So let’s finish this celebratory collection conjuration with some honourable mentions… “Great British Comic Book Characters – Zenith” which can be tackled – Right Here  Yet another Harley Quinn classic… “Harley’s Little Black Book #6 which can be rediscovered – Right Here  and last but most definitely not least, a post from waaaaay back in 2014 from the Precinct’s (very) occasional co-writer Rageypeep (aka – Pete) with this post from “Euro Gamer Expo 2014”  which can be experienced – Right Here

And may we say once again a massive thank you to everyone that has supported Precinct1313 over the past four years, our appreciation for all our followers, readers and fellow bloggers is quite honestly, stratospheric. 

Oh, and as ever… Make Mine DC!

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Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza

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Ah, welcome fellow agents, you’re probably wondering why I’ve called you down here through the interminable depths of the malefic mansion of mystery known as Precinct1313, why you have had to negotiate it’s herculean hallways and cavernous crypts, wending your way past such iconic areas as the astonishing Amphitheatre of Awards, and the Movie Mausoleum, whilst taking in the majestic sights of the Comic Crypts and the Ancient Amazon Archives.

It is often said that Precinct1313 is a dilemma within a mystery contained in an enigma, it’s been three and a half years since this entity first welcomed us into it’s dark ceaseless corridors and herculean hallways and today we are making our way through it’s unending profundity to a room we haven’t visited for close to a year – The Scrying Chamber, within this portentous room sits a single stone table upon which resides an ominous black crystal ball, which not only has the power to decipher the future, but also recreate the past in vivid memories. So please, make yourselves comfortable, as we gaze deep into it’s sanguine depths and relive the Precinct’s favourite moments from 2017.

Wonder Woman’s Cinematic Debut Is A Triumph In All Kinds Of Ways…

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Diana Schools Disney On What Princesses’ Really Should Be – Bold, Brilliant, Fearless, Compassionate, And Empowering!

Forget Disney and it’s vision on what a Princess is, Diana successfully schools them in every way possible on how to portray a strong forceful female warrior with the strength and fortitude to turn the tide of a great war, yet also the compassion and love to convert the hearts of the most staunch human soul… Wonder Woman has been empowering her fans for over 75 years in comic-book, animation and television, and this summer received her long overdue silver screen outing, and it was… outstanding!

Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins brought William Marston’s much loved Superheroine to life magnificently, finally giving the much loved Amazon the attention and adoration she deserves, delighting fans both new and old with a tale that encompasses a gamut of emotions and emancipation. This film is important on so many levels – firstly proving to the world that female led comic-book movies can easily match their male counterparts, approaching the now staid Superhero movie franchises with a new high in how to tell a canonical origin story with a real emotive centre and a poignant yet impassioned and powerful tale that encompasses everything we love about the Themysciran Titan. This film turned out even more magnificent than we could have ever imagined, and for us, is the stand out best movie of 2017… in fact ever!

Comic Book Writer Tom King Blew Us All Away!!

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Phew, what a year for comic books 2017 has been, notable mentions need to go to Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott for their sterling work on the astounding Wonder Woman Rebirth series, Gerard Way’s (yes the front man for My Chemical Romance, now a wildly successful comic book author for DC Comics!) Young Animal imprint, and, more recently, Geoff Johns’ sequel to Alan Moore’s opus Watchmen with Doomsday ClockYet one man has decided to top all of these, with his literary genius abounding in the two greatest comic-book offerings of 2017 – Batman Rebirth and Mister Miracle – the elaborate and intricate tales woven by master creator Tom King have sat at the head of this particular DC fans table, and I for one cannot wait to see what other spectacles of fantastic fiction he has in store for us in 2018.

The Precinct’s Head Agent Was Almost… Beaten To A Pulp By A Giant Mallet, Schooled On Venerable Verbosity By A Vaudevillian Vigilante, And Eaten By A Ferocious Feline!!!

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2017 was the year that the Precinct threw open its doors to the villainous, the vigilant, and the Superheroic (and their Super-Pets) when we deigned to interview some of Comicdom’s most treasured Superheroes, Supervillains, Costumed Crimefighters and Dimension Dwelling Demons, when we premiered our “World’s Finest – An Interview With A Superhero” series.

And it’s proven to be huge hit, with more views than any article or post we have ever put out, though our hapless interviewer has really been put through his paces with his erstwhile attempt to extract those interesting facts and truths from the variety of costume clad individuals invited onto the show each week… he has been – in an alliteration battle with a master, dodged getting smushed by the giant mallet of hellacious Harley Quinn, and almost the main course for feline Supervillain Cheetah, yet he comes back each and every time, ready to once again verbally duel whatever guest is invited onto the Precinct (so he’s obviously an idiot!)

So which of these exceptionally excessive episodes were the most popular? unsurprisingly the Harley Quinn instalment has easily garnered the most views of them all to date. The most fun to write was without a doubt the V episode, and my personal favourite? absolutely the Cheetah one, I unreservedly adore the character, so it was fun channeling her ferocious feline awesomeness!

Happy New Year to all our Special Agents, readers and everyone else who visits the Precinct, 2018 brings more DC Comics cinematic greatness in the form of the ocean dwelling King of Atlantis – Aquaman, plus the production begins on three new DC movies, Wonder Woman 2, Shazam, and Flashpoint, so lots of things to get overtly excited about and geek over. Until then, as always… Make Mine DC! batman (1).gif

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Precinct1313 Presents: The Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala

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Did you know that that the malefic mansion of mystery known as  Precinct1313 originally was created to showcase my visual novel – “The Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala” a web-comic meets novel, with the added twist of classic 80’s style ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books of my youth.

Well that didn’t ultimately come to fruition here within the darkened halls of this mystic mansion. This otherworldly abode became the home for my love of DC Comics, a virtual oasis for the serious DC fan where we can discuss our adoration for the World’s greatest comic book publisher, and also worship at the shrines that are Wonder Woman and Batman, for they are the two core pillars that sustain this mythological edifice.

Cassandra Vala and her extended cast of both friend, and foe still exist of course, I have continued to create and fashion their world since their inception in the back of my mind over three years ago. The project is ongoing, the initial writing phase is almost finished, the only thing that has been holding me back from heralding Cass and her oblique world are the actual illustrations themselves. I do have a modicum of artistic talent, but, unlike my literary skills I am a ridiculously slow artist, plus I prefer to write rather than draw, but had already decided to make the story completely my own both literary and visually… so it’s been a more laboured process than I had originally desired.

Recently though, I have made a concerted effort to finish the various sketches and pieces of artwork that have held me back from sharing this unique tale, and thus Cassandra’s trials and tribulations shall be receiving my full attention, and hopefully yours too, fellow Precinct denizen. In fact you’ve already met one of the antagonists from the saga, in the form of the Precinct’s carrion crow of woe – Eldritch, who I originally envisioned as a way to connect the Precinct to Cassandra’s reality, plus if you read our “Three Years In The Precinct” anniversary special and were wondering where the malevolent and mysterious portal at the end of the tale transported myself and (very occasional) fellow Precinct contributor Pete to… well Cassandra may very well be able to answer that particular paradox…

Excerpt Taken From – “The Chronicles Of Cassandra Vala”

“Things are different, and yet, so very much the same. I don’t recognise this place… even though I’ve been here before. I know I’m not making much sense, but neither does my life. My name is Cassandra Vala, and you are definitely not going to believe what I’m about to tell you!”

 

Cassandra Vala, all images, and text are copyright: Precinct1313.

Precinct1313’s Special Agent Awards: Act III

The Astonishing Amphitheatre of Awards once more unveils it’s secrets unto an unsuspecting world. The chamber of mysterious origin buried deep within the hallowed halls of Precinct1313 has determined to open it’s doors once more in order to bestow Special Agent status upon two more agents of 1313.

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The amphitheatre shall be playing host and paying thanks to the Precinct’s most loyal followers, those remarkable agents that have given up their valuable time to read, like, and comment on our DC Comics-centric ramblings. So, welcome… Eldritch – the Precinct’s silent guardian, and carrion crow of woe will guide you to your seats (just be sure to avoid his gaze, lest you become beguiled by his malevolently malefic mind manipulation!) and so, without further ado, let’s begin the ceremony…

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And tonight’s first remarkable recipient is Planetary Defence Command, this impressive individual has been an agent of 1313 since it’s inaugural inception almost three years ago. He specialises in breaking us free from the shackles of bad Sci-Fi, a talented reviewer and writer, who also gives his venerable opinion on Video-Games, Movies, and Board Games. Defence Commander, we salute you… welcome to Special Agent status.

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Tonight’s second promotion goes to the illustriously ignescent Ignited Moth , our fantastic friend is a recent initiate to the Precinct, but has read, liked, and commented on each and every post that has emerged from this malefic mansion of mystery known as 1313, with her impressive artistic presence illuminating the shadowy halls of the Precinct with great comments and genuine interest. A fellow geek, she reviews TV, Film, and Comic Books, and is an extremely talented illustrator with a unique and electrifying style. Welcome to Special Agent status, my friend.

And that’s it for this week, the Amphitheatre will open it’s Daedalian Doors again soon to induct yet more of our followers to Special Agent status.

Feel free to display the Special Agent awards on your blogs, or not, I promise I won’t be upset if you don’t… or send Eldritch, the Precinct’s eerie crow around for a visit!

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…

David Ayer Sends Out A Siren Call…

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Best be prepared folks, I may just get a tad bit over-excited on this one… just sayin’.

‘Gotham City Sirens!, Gotham City Sirens!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!!!, Gotham Cit… Phew!’

OK, now that I’ve calmed down (a bit) let’s get straight to the epic news that DC Comics’ troublesome trio, Gotham City Sirens, have been announced as a major motion picture as part of the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe. Suicide Squad director, David Ayer will be returning to helm the flick, and it will also mark the return of Margot Robbie as the Hellacious Harley Quinn. 

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Gotham City Sirens is one of our all time favourite comic book runs here in Precinct1313, the scintillating series was first published in 2009 and brought together three of Batman’s most famous female foes, feline felon – Catwoman, vined vixen – Poison Ivy, and of course mischievous misfit – Harley Quinn. The series lasted just two short years despite being a financial and critical success, to make way for DC’s ‘New52’ reboot. However, the Triumvirate of Temperamental Troublemakers have come together to cause mischief, mirth and misbehaviour several times since then, mostly in Harl’s own long running (and most excellent) comic book series.

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Little else is currently known about the project, but Warner Bros have announced that the marvellous movie will be scripted by Geneva Dworet-Robertson, who is also currently writing the screenplay for another famous fictional female, Lara Croft, for the 2018 dated  ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot.

Exciting times ahead indeed, my fellow fans of fantastic fiction, what with next year’s Justice League movie and of course Wonder Woman’s solo film, let’s be honest it’s about time that more female led comic book movies were being developed, and DC have an infinite amount of Superheroines and Villainesses they can bring to the silver screen, we have our fingers crossed for Batwoman, Power Girl and The Huntress being next.

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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we share our favourite comic book, video-game and cult movie news for your perusal and pleasure.

DC Unveil Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Logo…

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“Suffering Sappho!” This Is Awesome!

“Great Hera!” is what I exclaimed in a rather loud tone (to the surprise of the other patrons in the cafe at the time!) when I first saw DC’s logo for the upcoming anniversary of Wonder Woman. The original female Superhero, and template for all female heroes who came thereafter will be celebrating her 75th anniversary in December, and her anniversary celebrations will begin in earnest at this year’s San Diego comic-con, with DC bringing along a life size replica of the amazing Amazon’s iconic invisible plane! 

DC Unleash Two More Classic Heroes Unto The Small Screen…

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Citizen Steel & Wild Dog Step Out Of The Comic Book Pages

DC have an absolutely mind-bending array of characters that are just crying out to be given life in the many live action projects that they are currently involved in. From successful TV shows like The Flash and Supergirl, to big screen movies such as Batman v Superman and the upcoming Suicide Squad, the fine purveyor of spandex clad heroes has been successfully mining its back catalogue of characters. And now two more classic comic heroes are set to join their illustrious live action forebears.

Legends of Tomorrow will be adding Nathaniel Heywood to its roster, Nathaniel is the grandson of Henry Heywood, the Superhero once known as Commander Steel. Nathan accidentally received his own powers after a deadly attack on his family by the villain Reichsmark and his men, who was under orders from Vandal Savage to wipe out the bloodline of all Golden Age Superheroes. 

Arrow from season 5 will be introducing one of DC’s more obscure creations, when they unleash Wild Dog onto Starling (Star) City. Wild Dog was first introduced in a 1987 four issue mini-series by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty. Wild Dog is actually Jack Wheeler, an ex-marine who first donned a hockey mask and body armour to fight a vigilante war on crime after his girlfriend was slain by hitmen. In Arrow, Jack will be introduced as an excessively violent and foolhardy vigilante which will eventually force Ollie Queen to take him under his wing.

Be The Batman… Again!

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I love DC Comics (uuh, you’ve probably noticed that!) and I love video-games, so when you put them both together… I am in literal geek nirvana! Three years ago, Mortal Kombat creators NetherRealm unleashed the Gods amongst us with the DC Comics’ fighting game Injustice, that pit a plethora of heroes and villains against each other set against some fantastically interactive backgrounds from classic comic lore.

The game was a huge hit for NetherRealm and DC, and now a follow up has been announced along with a (rather fantastic) trailer. New characters added to the already massive line up include – the girl of steel Supergirl and telepathic great-ape Gorilla Grodd.  Watch the most recent trailer below fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

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

60’s Batman Show Celebrates 50 Years

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Yes indeed fellow Batfans, the classic 1960’s Batman live action TV series reached a significant milestone today, a monumental 50 years since it first aired on January 12 1966. The camp comedic series starred Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as the ever faithful Boy Wonder, and successfully introduced to a whole new generation, the continuing adventures of Gotham’s favourite guardians. Aired twice weekly by ABC, the show lasted just three seasons, but has gone on to be one of the most fondly remembered television series of all time, and is one of the original catalysts for the popularity of Superhero shows as they stand today.

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“Holy half century Batman!”

The series followed the adventures of the Dynamic Duo as they attempted to thwart the plans of the various gaudily costumed Super-villains, who would easily bypass the inept Gotham Police force and set up ridiculous traps to ambush our fearless crime-fighters. The show was intentionally tongue in cheek, and would often champion simplistic moral messages such as the usage of seat belts or the importance of eating your greens. Each episode was narrated by producer William Dozier, who would utter the immortal line – “Tune in tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel,” at every cliffhanger ending.

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“To the Batcave!”

Special mentions must go to the fight sequences, that incorporated comic book style word balloons containing descriptions of the sounds of punches and kicks connecting, and of course, the amazing opening theme tune composed by Neal Hefti. 

Happy 50th to the Dynamic Duo!

Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza!

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The space year of 2015 comes to a close, fellow agents of Precinct1313, and with its inevitable demise comes our 13 favourite moments from across the comic-book, movie and videogame spectrum.

No.13: The Dark Knight Returns!

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‘Dark and brooding’… but enough about me, let’s talk Batman!

After a 14 year hiatus, veteran comic book creator Frank Miller returned to his genre bending masterpiece Dark Knight saga with a third instalment, titled DKIII: The Master Race. This final (maybe) chapter takes place chronologically three years after 2001 mini-series “The Dark Knight Strikes Again,”  and continues to chronicle an ageing Caped Crusader and his allies in an increasingly violent and turbulent Gotham.

Thematically this series picks up from the ‘Strikes Again’, but this time Miller has brought along some fellow superstar creators for the intense and dark ride, as he is joined by, writer Brian Azzarello and artists, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, and original collaborator Klaus Janson. Like its previous instalments, DKIII concentrates on the Batman as a symbol, an almost mythological character of inspiration and a catalyst for the weak and oppressed of Gotham.

No.12: Resident Evil Games Are… Good Again!!

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“It’s not the zombies that scare me Claire, it’s the idea of playing through Resident Evil 6 again!”

2015 is the year that survival-horror veteran Resident Evil became great once more, as Capcom released not one, but two terrifyingly awesome instalments in the long running zombie franchise. After the awfulness of Resident Evil 6, even die-hard fans weren’t necessarily looking forward to whatever would come next in the once predominant horror gaming series. The sixth game in the franchise took a downward spiral into bland third person action/shooter territory, leaving behind most of what made the earlier games so much fun to play, namely the tension, spookiness and survival aspects.

Then in early 2015, an HD remake of the original game digitally graced home consoles, with the same intense and creepy vibe of the original, but with much improved visuals, soundtrack and most definitely improved in the acting department (though Jill still, humorously remained – “The Master Of Unlocking” .) And less than a month later Resident Evil Revelations 2 was released episodically across all formats, initially digitally only, though later on disc. This 4 part series was a hark back to classic Resi , tense and horrific with much more limited supplies and the difficulty switched up a notch from the mediocrity that was Resi 6. Capcom redeemed themselves in my eyes after the Resi 6 debacle, and I look forward to their next game with bated breath, the much touted remake of most fans favourite in the series, Resident Evil 2… can’t wait.

No.11: Starfire Goes Solo…

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“My own series you say, by Conner and Palmiotti you say? I think I feel a little faint”

Everyone’s favourite flame haired, orange skinned alien princess finally flies solo in her own, rather marvellous, monthly series. Tamaranean native Koriand’r most recently starred alongside one time Robin, Jason Todd now known as violent masked vigilante The Red Hood, and former Green Arrow sidekick Roy Harper, aka Arsenal, in the highly recommended series “Red Hood and the Outlaws.” With the shake-up of DC recently with “DC You” Koriand’r was finally deemed a character strong enough to hold her own monthly series, and the creative reins were handed to the married, dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, to great effect.

The series has been a joy to read so far, we are huge fans of Starfire here in the Precinct and could think of no better team than Conner and Palmiotti to be given control of the series, but what has really drawn us into the series the most are the sublime visuals rendered by Emanuela Lupacchino, each panel is a masterpiece and the book is worth reading for just this alone. This has been standout my favourite comic series so far in 2015, and I’ll just say it’s been a great year of comics, which makes Kori’s solo debut even more impressive.

No.10: Jared Leto Cast As The Joker…

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Well dye my hair green, bleach my skin and call me “puddin” if this isn’t just a superlative casting choice, Jared Leto as the Clown Prince Of Crime!?… oh hell yes! The term “Method Actor” could of been created for Mr Leto, as he is one of the most dedicated character actors you could ever come across, his casting in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie as the Joker, has me very excited indeed.

No.09: Mad Max – Fury Road…

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Now then, I know that this is going to appear on a lot of end of the year lists, but if you had told me a year ago it would be on mine, I’d have thought you were the mad one himself! You see, as much as I like the director George Miller, and the acting duo of Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, not to mention, I adore the original Mad Max trilogy, what I don’t like are lazy remakes of classic films from my youth, and for a long time that’s what I thought this was, I was sooooo wrong.

The film is a marvel to behold, an almost perfect blend of real time practical effects, mixed with limited but extremely well implemented CGI. Tom Hardy gives a good performance as the antipodean crazy ex-cop, Charlize Theron is fantastic as Furiosa, but it really is the crazy action and fantastic directing style of George Miller that are the stars here. Shiny and Chrome indeed!

No.08: New X-Files Series Begins Filming…

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I love the X-Files, I have been a super fan since it first began way back in 1993, my interest in the unknown and supernatural initially drew me into the show but it was the performances by the leads, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and the increasingly emotional and complex relationship of their characters – Mulder and Scully that kept me coming back to the show time and time again.

Of course the writing was top notch, the episodes were always extremely well made and directed, but ultimately it was that relationship between the main players that drove the series to the cult and beyond status that it now has. Let’s hope the magic is still there over 13 years later, when the much anticipated tenth season finally appears in January 2016.

No.07: Supergirl Soars Once More…

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Kara Zor-El is awesome, one of the most iconic female Superheroes of all time, Superman‘s cousin has been with us now since her initial introduction in 1959, created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. Originally hailing from Argo city, a fragment of the planet Krypton that had managed to survive destruction.

She is one of the few female comic book characters who has appeared on the big and small screen several times in the past few decades (only Catwoman has had more live action appearances.) Played by Helen Slater in the 1984 movie, by actress Laura Vandervoort in TV series Smallville (strangely enough, Laura was born the same year the original movie was released) And now as of 2015, we have a new girl of steel, Melissa Benoist has taken up the cape and red boots of the seminal character in what has become a fantastic and fun interpretation, another quality Superhero show that stands tall amongst its peers.

No.06: Margot Robbie Brings Harley Quinn To Life…

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Mistress of Mayhem, Harley Quinn is one of those characters that everyone loves, but have always believed would be almost impossible to bring to live action successfully. There have been attempts, the short lived Birds Of Prey series had a version of the character played by Mia Sara, who, while okay in the role, didn’t really capture Harley’s perfect blend of crazy cool and sociopathic tendency. 

Then we got a glimpse at actress Margot Robbie in the Suicide Squad trailers, everything about her portrayal seems to scream Harley, she looks perfect and I have high hopes for the character, she is definitely the most anticipated of all the Suicide Squad members so her portrayal will be of paramount importance to the film itself (along with her ‘puddin’, the Joker of course.)

No.05: Twin Peaks Season 3 Announced…

Twin Peaks Return...

The coffee is great, let’s hope season 3 is also…

I’ll admit, I am both elated and worried at the idea of Twin Peaks returning for a third series, I love Twin Peaks, it is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite TV show of all time, but the perfection of the originals will be very hard to recapture I believe. Though this is David Lynch we’re talking about, a ‘mad genius’ of a director and film maker and I have adored virtually everything he has ever put out, so there is hope. Please be good… please!!

No.04: Convergence Was… Awesome!

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DC Comics are the master of the epic crossover series, their “Crisis” stories have always been bombastic reads of monumental proportions. The more recent Blackest Night maxi-series was also phenomenal, but for me, it was this year’s “Convergence” that really blew my veritable bat-socks off!

Convergence was a limited series that released weekly and ran between April and May. The story span out of two earlier mini-series – “New 52 – Futures End” and “Earth 2 – World’s End.” The storyline follows Braniac as he gathers Cities and their inhabitants from across different timelines and alternate Earths.  Really there aren’t enough superlatives to sum up this fantastic mini-series, all I’ll say is buy it, read it, thank me later…

No.03: Suicide Squad Trailer…

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DC Comics‘ ultimate team of anti-hero badasses finally achieve cinematic glory in 2016, courtesy of David Ayer (director of Sabotage and Fury) in what looks to be a gritty, violent adaptation of the comic book classic. Where this movie differs from all other Superhero films of recent years is the fact that it offers up a different perspective on the comic book adaptation, it focuses solely on the bad guys, the Supervillains and the crazies.

Director David Ayer is well known for his dark and gritty cop thrillers, and is the perfect choice for this live action version of the popular comic series. Peruse the trailer below and bask in the glory of seminal DC characters that include – Harley Quinn, Katana, Enchantress and Deadshot, and lest we forget, what may turn out to be the biggest draw of the film… Jared Leto’s Joker.

No.02: Wonder Woman Solo Movie Begins Production…

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It may of come to your attention that we quite like Wonder Woman here in the Precinct, so we are rather excited that her long awaited silver screen appearance has finally begun production, and in the UK no less. Gal Gadot will make her first appearance as the amazing Amazon in March 2016 “Batman v Superman” movie before her 2017 solo film. Seriously it is about bloody time that the most iconic female comic book character of all time got her own movie, and with director Patty Jenkins at the helm and actress Gal looking every bit the Amazon Princess, I for one, cannot wait.

No.01: Batman v Superman Trailers Finally Released…

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Well this is it, with the trailers finally released, and the epic nature revealed, you just have to prepare yourself for two things. 1. What could be, quite possibly, The Greatest Superhero Movie Of All Time and… 2. The cinematic debut of the original, and still greatest female Superhero. With these two imperatives in mind watch the trailer below, and then weep for the fact that the biggest cinematic event in DC Comics… nay, in history, is still three months away…

Happy New Year everyone…