Author Archives: Bruce Hodder (formerly known as ArcaneHalloween)

Harley Quinn Plunders DC Comics’ Past…

That’s right, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, that mirthful minx of mischief and mayhem – Harley Quinn – has once again sought to disrupt and inconvenience the Bat-family, this time by surreptitiously invading classic Batman covers from his eight decade reign as Gotham’s grim guardian.

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The psychedelic psychopath of print looted DC’s vaunted vaults and has returned triumphantly with a fistful of five fantastic covers that spans key moments from the Caped Crusader’s past. Harley Quinn #18 variant pays homage to Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson’s classic illustration from the 1940s – Batman #1. This continues into issue #19,  with another timeless piece by Kane and Robinson from Detective Comics #38, which originally showcased Robin’s first ever appearance (but now it’s our Harl!)

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Harl’s next big steal is Detective Comics #359, originally from 1967, which  featured the inaugural appearance of Babs Gordon as Batgirl (now, yep you’ve guessed it, it’s Harl!) Not content with removing poor ol’ Babs from the DC timeline, the crazy clowness of crime sets her sights on her former puddin’ – The Joker – with issue #21 paying homage to the stunning Brian Bolland cover for – The Killing Joke – from 1988.

Each variant in this fantastic homage series was drawn by the great Ryan Sook, who has done an absolutely amazing job mimicking the varying styles of the original artists. Beautiful work, and you can get your fevered mitts on the first of these stunners this very week when Harley Quinn #18 becomes available at your local comic-book emporium. Rush on down and order five copies… you don’t want ol’ Harl (and her beloved mallet) to find out you didn’t, right?

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Harley Quinn Is Copyright: DC Comics

Daily Dose Of DC…

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56 years ago – July 1966 – “Batman” was released in cinemas, starring Adam West as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Burt Ward as Robin/Dick Grayson.

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          “Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”

Daily Dose Of DC…

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Tom Taylor’s run on Nightwing’s monthly adventures has been remarkable, his scripts have been both thrilling and full of heart, his love for these iconic characters shines through in every panel and exchange between these beloved heroes and villains.

Though, for this particular Nightwing fan, it’s been the astonishing art of the series artist – Bruno Redondo that has made each and every issue a mesmeric masterpiece, with his covers especially, being an absolute stand-out on the comic-book shelves each, and every month. So why not indulge your senses with some of my absolute favourite comic cover pieces, courtesy of the brilliant, bold and bodacious – Bruno Redondo…

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Nightwing Is Copyright: DC Comics

Daily Dose Of DC…

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30 years ago, the unimaginable happened… the Man of Steel died fighting Doomsday!

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To celebrate this genre defining moment, DC have reunited the original creative teams of Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Roger Stern, and Butch Guice; Louise Simonson, Joe Bogdanove, Jerry Ordway and Tom Grummett for the Death of Superman: 30th Anniversary Special #1.

These compelling creative teams have reunited to tell the tales that showcase how some of Superman’s biggest allies reacted during and after his cataclysmic battle against Doomsday, through four brand new narratives. The Death of Superman: 30th Anniversary Special will be available from your local comic-book emporium from the 8th of November.

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Superman is copyright: DC Comics

Legendary Comic-Book Writer – Alan Grant – Passes Away At 73

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It is with great sadness that we relay the tragic news that legendary British comic-book writer – Alan Grant passed away on July 20, 2022, at the age of 73.

Alan is one of my absolute favourite comic-book authors of all time, I first discovered his inordinate writing talent through Brit comic anthology – 2000AD, where he regaled the readers with his stunning takes on legendary characters such as Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. But it was his acclaimed run on DC Comics’ Batman and Detective Comics that sealed him as a personal fave in the wonderful world of comics, alongside mainstay artist, the late Norm Breyfogle, Alan produced some of the my favourite tales of the Caped Crusader, it was during this run that he also co-created the rogues gallery characters – Anarky, Victor Zsasz and The Ventriloquist.

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Alan was born in Bristol in 1949, but grew up in Scotland. After fleetingly working in a bank, Alan took a trainee position at a local newspaper. At 18 he joined publisher – DC Thomson, home to another classic Brit anthology comic – The Beano, it was during this tenure that he met lifelong comic-book cohorts – Pat Mills and John Wagner.

He moved to London in 1970, and joined publishing giant – IPC, where he worked as a writer and sub-editor, it was here that he was offered an editorial position on 2000AD. Going forward he became one of 2000AD’s most prolific writers with hard edged, anti-authoritarian tales like – “John Cassavetes Is Dead” and “Letter To A Democrat” his writing was inspired by left wing ideology, anarchism and Eastern philosophy. It was in the late 80s’ and throughout most of the 90s’ that Alan worked for DC Comics on their venerable Bat titles and also wrote the celebrated – Judgement On Gotham, the awesome Judge Dredd/Batman crossover alongside Scottish artist – Simon Bisley.

Our thoughts go out to Alan’s family and friends at this very sad time.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Superman – Son Of Kal-El #13

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Welcome, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, to another cool, compelling and creatively compulsory Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week’s immaculate image is brought to you by the terrifically talented – Travis Moore!

Superman: Son Of Kal-El is yet another great title from the sensational scribe that is Tom Taylor, I’m highly impressed with Tom’s ability to plot and weave his magic on so many different books for DC each month, alongside Superman, Tom is also knocking it out of the proverbial park with Nightwing and also Dark Knights Of Steel, each and every month… he most definitely gives the energiser bunny a run for it’s money!

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On this particular issue though, Tom has handed over co-writing opportunities to Nicole Maines, of whom you may remember as the character – Dreamer from CW’s Arrowverse. The transgender rights activist and actor has proven to have the requisite cognizance and literary skills to help her television character jump mediums and make her first contact with the characters of the DC Universe in a fun issue with lovely art by Clayton Henry, in fact the issue has proven so popular, that DC have commissioned a second printing!

Superman: Son Of Kal-El Is Available From Your Local Comic-Book Emporium Right Now.

Daily Dose Of DC…

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On this very day 79 years ago, the Caped Crusader hit the silver screen for the first time in Lambert Hillyer’s 1943, 15 chapter serial series – The Batman – starring Lewis Wilson as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Douglas Croft as Robin/Dick Grayson.

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Batman is copyright: DC Comics.

Daily Dose Of DC…

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On this very day in 1940, Comicdom’s original superteam – The Justice Society Of America – convened for its very first meeting. This golden age grouping of classic heroes preceded DC’s other popular superteam – The Justice League – by twenty years, and Marvel’s Avengers by an even more impressive twenty three years! 

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The Justice Society Of America Are Copyright: DC Comics.

Daily Dose Of DC…

Warm your heart and embrace your inner Amazon with these absolutely gorgeous paintings of Wonder Woman courtesy of the spectacular Steve Rude!

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Wonder Woman is copyright: DC Comics.

Daily Dose Of DC…

When the Batmobile runs out of fuel and you’ve misplaced your grapnel gun…

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(Daily dose of DC is a brand new series of posts where we’ll share our per diem adoration for DC Comics through a lighthearted and occasionally poignant quotidian of illustrious images featuring the world’s greatest superheroes. So, we’ll meet you here again on the morrow for even more levity and laughs, my lovelies!)

Comic Cover Of The Week: Battle Of The Bats!

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That’s correct, old chum, these burly, brawly bodacious Batmen are battling it out once again, to see which of these utter comic cover classics end up on top of the veritable bat-pile! Delightful and dazzling DC have bestowed upon us, humble comic book fans, another perfect plethora of pictorials starring everyone’s favourite curmudgeonly creature of the night – The Batman, but which of these cool and compelling covers will win out in the end… only YOU can decide.

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Batman/Catwoman #12 – Cover By Clay Mann –

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Batman 89 #6 – Cover By Joe Quinones –

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Batman: Killing Time #5 – Cover By David Marquez –

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Batman Beyond: Neo Year #4 – Cover By Max Dunbar –

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Batman #125 – Cover By Jorge Jimenez –

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And so, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, which of these magnificent masterpieces is your fave? Personal pick is the Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle wedding portrait by the great Clay Mann, the image depicting the varying versions of the Dark Knight and Catwoman from their decades long courtship celebrating the long anticipated sealing of the Bat-knot brought a gleeful grin and warmth of heart to this particular batfan. But which do you pick… let combat commence in the comments below.

-All Imagery Copyright: DC Comics-

Comic Cover Of The Week: Nightwing #93

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Well hey there, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome back to another cool and compelling – Comic Cover Of The Week – and once more our bodacious bat-signal bears down on that notably nifty and nimble ninja – Nightwing, who dynamically duets this captivating cover alongside the Precinct’s all time favourite Batgirl – Babs Gordon, in yet another charming comic cover classic by the terrifically talented – Bruno Redondo.

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As I mentioned on a previous Nightwing post, Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have been literally hitting a home run with every single issue of Dick’s dynamic adventures, Taylor is most definitely the hot property for DC at the moment, but it’s Bruno’s vibrant and vivacious visuals that draw this particular Nightwing fan back month after month. His wildly inventive use of splash pages and linked imagery is just amazing, giving his art a tangible sense of motion, as the above image portrays so well.

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Nightwing #93 Is Available At Your Local Comic-book Emporium Right Now!

Precinct1313 Breaking News: Batman Caught Walloping Wildlife!

Yep, it appears that The Batman is such a bad-arse that when he isn’t out fighting crime he spends his day punching tigers… PUNCHING TIGERS!

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Now, look here Bats, we love ya man but is it absolutely necessary to pick on those poor defenceless tigers?

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Oh, after a little digging around it appears that this isn’t a single time incident, the dark and surly one has been whomping wildlife since the beginning, and apparently even found a way to go back in time for some dinosaur dunking!!

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Ye Gods Man! Can You Stop Already!!

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(Disclaimer – I’m sure there was a very good reason ol’ Batsy had for these ( ever so slightly) out of context actions… oh, and I’m a member of PETA and love their work)

 

Eight Years In Precinct1313 – An Anniversary Special

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Welcome, fellow agents of Precinct1313, to our ebullient eighth anniversary! That’s right, the majestic mansion of mystery first materialised unto this plane of existence in 2014, it’s mission (which we absolutely chose to accept) was to provide you with some decidedly delectable DC Comics documentation, whilst behind the scenes we continued to map out the convoluted corridors, herculean hallways and colossal comic crypts that compose this recondite residence.

Shortly, as is our tradition, we shall be making our merry way down to the Precinct’s fabled – Great Halls Of Quaffing – to celebrate in style, along the way though, we shall take a short excursion and visit the abstruse anomaly known as the – Scrying Chamber – whence sits, upon a single stone table, a stygian black crystal ball. So why not join me, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, as we stare deep into its sanguine depths and re-live some of our favourite posts from the past eight enthralling years…

World’s Finest – Interview Series

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A mainstay of of the Precinct over the years (and my absolute favourite posts to write) was the – Worlds’ Finest: Interview – series, where each episode we would invite our most treasured – Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons, and, of course, Super-Pets to answer a quotient of quintessentialy quirky questions about life, the universe and cake (’cause everyone loves cake!)

Classic characters such as – Circe, Harley Quinn, and Cheetah have darkened the Precinct’s media studio, and have – harassed, bludgeoned, nibbled and vexed our poor hapless interviewer, with his deadly denouement happening at a final, fatal interview with Judge Death, almost two years past. I’m very happy to announce the imminent return of World’s Finest and, also, our original interviewer! thanks to Ra’s al Ghul’s much appreciated offer to plonk him in his Lazarus pit! So keep your eyes peeled for World’s Finest: Series 2, which will include interviews with the likes of Rorschach, Zatanna, and The Scarecrow!

Ace, Krypto and Streaky Too!

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One of our more recent posts, and one that was without a doubt absolutely massive fun to write was this post dedicated to the awesomely adorable animals that populate the DC Universe. These super-powered pets include such dynamic delights as – flying felines, detective deducing dogs and, yep, even a Bat-Cow!! You can peruse (and pet) this perky post – Right Here.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

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As you’re all probably bored of hearing right now , ’cause we never, ever shut up about it (and never shall!) we love Wondy here in Precinct1313, she is our favourite comic book creation of all time! And just recently the glorious gods of Olympus once more bestowed upon us mere mortals yet another thrilling tale of the Themysciran Titan with the fabulous Laurie Halse Anderson penned opus – Tempest Tossed – a sublime celebration of the wondrous one, and you can read our rapturous review of this titanic tome – Right Here.

The Bat Loves The Cat

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The Bat most assuredly does love the cat, in fact they’ve been dancing around each other emotionally for the past eight decades! Yep, that’s eighty years of perfect passion procrastination! No character has had a more emotive impact on the Dark Knight’s melancholic life than sultry Selina Kyle aka -Catwoman! Why not re-live their tender tale of romance – Right Here.

Phew, thanks for sticking with us as we shared some of our personal favourite posts we have submitted to the WordPress world over the past eight years, and as we near the great Halls of Quaffing for mucho merriment, allow me to say a massive THANK YOU to all of the Precinct’s followers, readers and fellow bloggers… it is YOU that makes this joyous journey worthwhile.

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Oh, And As Ever – Make Mine DC!

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DC Comics Unveil June Pride Issues

Well hey there, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to the very first day of the 2022 Pride Month celebrations, it’s lovely to see you all gathered here in the Precinct’s legendary Comic Crypts to help us celebrate diversity and inclusion.

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Pride Month is imperative in raising awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and other societal implications. The month of June was originally chosen for it’s context to the 1969 Stonewall riots, where the LGBT community of the time held a series of protests and demonstrations against an unjust raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich village.

DC Comics themselves have a long standing within the LGBTQ+ community, with a number of their heroes and villains being gay, trans and bisexual, beginning with their first ever gay character – Extrano – the magical based Superhero created by Joe Staton and Steve Englehart in 1987. Since that time DC have led the way for inclusionary characters with, quite possibly, their most famous being Kate Kane aka – Batwoman.

 

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From the 7th of June you’ll be able to get your majestic mitts on a variety of outstanding proud comic cover classics from a perfect plethora of DC’s very best artistic auteurs, featuring a compelling cast of DC’s leading LGBTQ+ characters including Nubia, Jon Kent, Harley and Ivy, Jackson Hyde and many more…

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Plus, alongside all this comic cover loveliness, DC will also be releasing a 100 page anthology comic featuring 13 all new stories spotlighting their LGBTQ fan favourite characters written and illustrated by some of the very best writers and artists in the comic-book field including – Devin Grayson, Stephanie Phillips, Alyssa Wong, Zoe Thorogood Jen Bartel, Phil Jimenez and even ol’ Batsy himself, the awesome – Kevin Conroy (legendary voice artist for the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series)

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DC Comics’ Pride 2022 #1 Will Be Available At Your Local Comic-Book Emporium From June 7th.