Category Archives: Comics in film

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313 – Harley Quinn And The Birds Of Prey Special

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Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another exhilarating episode of  The Week In Geek  where we love to share our favourite Comic-Book, Video-Game and Cult movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…

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The Girls Are Back In Town – The Birds Of Prey Are Here To Chew Gum And Kick Arse… And They’re All Out Of Gum (but they do have baseball bats, crossbows and a penchant for ass-kickery!)

Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn

Well what can I say, but, how excited am I right now… really, really excited! I just finished watching the first trailer for DC’s newest upcoming blockbuster movie ‘Birds Of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn’ and after viewing it for the umpteenth time I must say… I absolutely love this movie already.

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I Can ‘Harley’ Wait For This To Come Out!

That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, the hellacious hellcat of hi-jinks is back, once again brilliantly brought to life by magnetic Margot Robbie cementing her hold on DC’s wild child villain/anti-hero with what looks like another priceless performance as Ms Harleen Quinzel. This time though she isn’t in the corruptible company of the Suicide Squad or her former lover Mr J, but is striking out with the feisty, fiery, femme fatale’s and all round arse kicking bodacious baroness’ of broody brawls -The Birds of Prey.

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Based upon DC’s top rated comic-book series, The Birds of Prey weaves the tale of Gotham’s favourite female fighting furies, and the costumed crime-fighters from this popular series being brought to the silver screen include two of my absolute fave female Superheroes – Black Canary as portrayed by Jurnee Smollet-Bell and The Huntress, ably brought to crossbow wielding life by the marvellous Mary Elizabeth Winstead. And if that wasn’t enough of a geek overload, brilliant British thesp – Ewan McGregor is cast as big, bad Batman villain – Black Mask! Revel in the trailer below, and whilst you do I’m off to invent a time machine ’cause I’m not sure I can wait until February 2020 for this to appear…

 

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Comics’ Greatest Love Stories: The Bat Loves The Cat…

Grim, gritty, surly, sullen, stern, morose, brusque… all these terms define the infamous vengeance driven creature of the night known as The Batman, and why wouldn’t they? I mean, he’s not exactly had a great time of it overall, let’s be honest. He lives in the cesspool of a city known as Gotham, watched his parents gunned down before his innocent eyes at the tender age of 12, and has spent the past eight decades abusing both his mind, spirit and body as he seeks redemption for his parents death by dressing as a giant bat and pulping bad guys to within an inch of their miserable lives… where’s his silver bat- lining, huh? Well, that’s embodied by an equally traumatised, but resolutely more positive minded costumed creation who goes by the name of Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman.

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The Bat and The Cat have been dancing around (probably to the Batusi!) each other emotionally since their first ever encounter in Batman #1 in March of 1940. That’s close to eighty exquisite years of puurfect passion procrastination, though the Dark Knight Detective has had other fleeting love interests over the decades (the most significant obviously being that of Talia Al Ghul, R’as Al Ghul’s daughter) none have had the emotive impact on his melancholic life more than one Selina Kyle.

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Their lives have been irrevocably romantically intertwined since that first meeting in 1940 and their devotion has continued throughout their many dalliances to this very day, even culminating with a recent wedding proposal from The Bat himself, though in typical Batman fashion, it definitely did not go as planned as Batman’s notorious rogues gallery stepped in to ruin the one shining light that could of led Bruce into new and unfamiliar territory… happiness!

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I love Batman and Catwoman, have done since I first discovered the characters from the tender age of six, and have always rooted for their eventual sanguine intimacy. But have always understood that any kind of inherent contentment would ultimately end the crime fighting career of Batman… it’s the pain and loss that life has served him that ultimately makes him the Batman, yet, even the sullen stern alter ego of the masked manhunter deserves some relief from his disconsolate existence and fortunately there is Selina Kyle. So, why not join us as we embark on a visual tour through their long and (mostly) loving courtship that has had Batfans the world over holding their Bat-breaths for almost eighty years. The Bat (most definitely) loves The Cat…

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The Bat/Cat affection has stood the test of time for almost eight decades… is this the longest courtship in fictional history?

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Batman: Hush was a compelling treatise of Bruce and Selina’s long and storied entangled relationship, and is a must read to all.

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Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight got to grips with Michelle Pfeiffer’s puuurfect Selina Kyle in Tim Burton’s classic ‘Batman Returns’

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As did Adam West with Julie Newmar in the sixties camp show and Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises.

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Long Live The Bat And The Cat, And May They One Day Finally Find The Time To Truly Be Together… Forever.

 

Batman and Catwoman are copyright: DC Comics.

Happy Batman Day!

That’s right Batfans, today charts a crucial chapter in everyone’s life… Batman Day! Join DC Comics and millions of fans worldwide in celebrating the world’s most popular and significant cowled crimefighter. From the printed page through cinematic excursions and video game adaptations, toys, collectables and onward, the dark and surly one has been a major part of many peoples lives for eight exquisite decades. 

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My first encounter with the Caped Crusader was when my Mum purchased me an old issue of Detective Comics from a local car boot sale when I was a mere six years old, this was not only the first time I had ever read a Batman comic, but was in fact the first time I had ever read a comic.

I remember reading the issue a dozen times over in one sitting and was eager to divert more of my attention to this amazing hitherto unseen world that contained fantastical characters who really captured my young burgeoning imagination in a way nothing else previously had, I have been fanatical of the Dark Knight since that time.

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Detective Comics #466 marked my initial encounter with the masked manhunter, and told the tale of Batman’s clash with villain Signalman, not exactly an iconic member of Batman’s notorious rogues gallery it has to be said, but it was my very first brush with a Supervillain. This wonderfully nostalgic comic issue also introduced me to the fact that Batman shared a universe with other Superheroes, thanks to a very enjoyable back up story, that regaled the young me with the daring adventures of the Emerald Archer – Green Arrow

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So, a very happy Batman Day to you, my bodacious Bat brethren, and why not sound off in the comments below about your very first encounter with the Dark Knight, and what you will be doing to celebrate another year in the company of Gotham’s greatest grim and gritty guardian angel.  

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Batman is copyright: DC Comics

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!

Hellboy – 2019 Movie Review (And Minor Rant!)

You know, we live in a world now so utterly dominated by social media and online critical presence, that nothing is really given a fair shake of the proverbial stick anymore. There used to be a time when the general populace at large would actually, actively make up their own minds on whether they liked or loathed something… by actually experiencing said thing! Now, well they just read and/or parrot what some random critic or stranger on the other end of  this magical digital conveyance known as the internet is spouting. Critics and online meta-data collecting sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are (in my eyes at least) doing a huge disservice to both the the hard work put in by film directors and the film industry itself, critics tend to now have the power of whether a movie succeeds or fails, not through how objectively good or bad it is, but often according to their own set criteria.

(May I just say, right off the bat, that even though I do review both comic-books and occasionally movies, I never, ever review things I have not enjoyed… can’t quite see the point in it, heaping negativity onto something that clearly wasn’t aimed at me but might have given other people pleasure seems, pointless.)

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Neil Marshall’s most recent celluloid outing – Hellboy immediately springs to mind as a really rather splendid conversion of it’s original source material (a classic indie comic-series by artist/writer Mike Mignola)but one that is apparently, according to online film critics an uninspired remake of Guillermo Del Toro’s original Hellboy twosome (which admittedly were a fun time, mostly due to Ron Perlman’s presence) They are (in my humble opinion) incorrect, Marshall’s Hellboy take is fantastic, and in a lot of ways better (yep) than Del Toro’s own variant!

Director: Neil Marshall  Writers: Mike Mignola and Andrew Cosby (screenplay)  Actors: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, and Thomas Haden Church.

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Critics, Meet Flaming Sword!

British film director Neil Marshall has given the world such delicious delights as Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Centurion and Doomsday. He has also directed and produced a number of episodes of HBO’s televisual success – Game of Thrones. He is a huge fan of horror, fantasy and comic-books which made him the perfect choice as replacement for Del Toro. Marshall’s Hellboy is a gory, uber violent, and zany take on Mignola’s much beloved character, and a lot closer in tone and style to the original comic creation, with Mignola himself on-board as co-writer.

England 517 AD, and Blood Queen – Nimue (Milla Jovovich) has unleashed a cataclysmic plague upon the populace. Legendary King, Arthur and his faithful magician, Merlin thwart her nefarious plans by severing her limb from limb utilising the mythical blade Excalibur, and secrete her dismembered (yet still very much alive!) body across the British Isles.

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Hellboy, Alice and Ben Daimio track down the dreaded and dastardly… Film Critics!!

Back in the present day, Hellboy (David Harbour) is mourning the accidental death of fellow BPRD agent and friend, Esteban Ruiz, who, dispatched to investigate a suspected vampire cult is bitten and himself becomes a creature of the night.  Hellboy accidentally impales Ruiz, who with his dying breath informs Big Red that a prophesied end of days is close. Almost immediately after returning to BPRD headquarters, Hellboy is sent to England by his adopted human father, Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) to help an arcane Demon hunting group known as The Osiris Club in tracking down and killing three giants who are gleefully on a murderous and hungry rampage across jolly ol’ England. Elsewhere a hog faced faerie named Gruagach seeks the help of witch, Baba Yaga, in seeking out the arcane (de-limbed!) sorceress Nimue and once more unleash a dark plague of epidemic proportion upon the world.

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Milla Jovovich’s Nimue Unleashing A Plague Upon… (yep, you guessed it) Critics!!

Marshall’s Hellboy is a fun and fantastic rollick, a hyper stylised, gory, violent romp with one of comicdom’s most entertaining indie characters. As mentioned previously, I thoroughly enjoyed Ron Perlman as the titular character in Del Toro’s original duo of movies, but actor David Harbour (Stranger Things) is a damn fine replacement as Big Red. With a standout back up cast that includes Milla Jovovich hamming it up (in the best possible way) as Blood Queen Nimue, the always reliable Ian McShane as Hellboy’s adopted father and decent performances from Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim… not to mention a surprise appearance from (and yes, I was fanboying hard on this one) one Lobster Johnson, brilliantly brought to life by Thomas Haden Church. Hellboy is silly fun from gory beginning through to overtly violent conclusion, yet throughout has it’s tongue firmly embedded in it’s (red, right) cheek! Recommended.

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Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Feisty Female Fighting Furies…

Mmmmm, we haven’t dared to tread the perilous path of the infamous Top 10 list so far here in the darkest depths of Precinct1313, never really gave the idea of doing one much thought to be honest. That is until recently, when blogging buddy ‘The Vintage Toy Advertiser’ rendered his very own (and really rather amusing) Top 10 masterclass (which you can indulge your senses in right here) that we thought, suffering sappho, let’s do one of them there list things then, and thus…

Precinct1313’s Ten Favourite Furiously Fierce Femme’s Fatale

NB: This list will contain both fictional and non-fictional wildly wondrous warrior women for your delectation…

No.10 – Big Barda

No list of vivacious virago vixens should ever be without the formidable presence of fighting fury and thorn in Granny Goodness’ side – Big Barda, for she truly encompasses everything to love about powerful, vibrant female characters who are easily able to match and (in most cases for Barda especially) surpass their male counterparts. How tough is Barda? we’ll let the picture below answer that query…

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No.09 – Lara Croft

Quintessentially British acrobatic archaeologist Lara Croft has been raiding tombs, securing ancient artefacts and performing perilous platforming since she was first unleashed unto the gaming world by Core Design in 1996. Since that time she has become one of the most recognisable video-game characters of all time and sits proudly in the upper echelons alongside Master Chief, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.

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No.08 – Moon Lee

I’m an 80’s kid, I grew up during that phenomenal decade alongside many classic onscreen action stars and martial artists, even as a youngster my preference was always female characters/fighters and one of the biggest influences for me then was the magnificent Moon Lee. Hong Kong action star supreme, Moon Lee Choi-Fung starred in close to a formidable fifty films during her heyday of the 1980’s!

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No. 07 – Batwoman

Kate Kane’s Batwoman alter ego first debuted in the 1956 issue of Detective Comics #233 created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff. Initially created as a female counterpart and love interest to the Batman, Kate has over the past sixty years (thankfully) shed that unfortunate creation calamity and has now become one of the biggest and most beloved of female comic book characters, with a much needed revamp and resurgence through the hand of artist/writer JH Williams III. Reversing the inauspicious and unenlightened conception and delivering a new standard for empowerment in the burgeoning female Superhero market.

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No. 06 – Catwoman

Though most Bat-fans see The Joker as Batsy’s biggest foe, for me personally the character that inhabited that perch was always anti-hero cat burglar Selina Kyle. Though Mr J is without a doubt the bigger threat to the dark and surly one’s psyche, Selina holds something over Bats that the jester of genocide never, ever could… his heart. She has been Batman’s most enduring love interest since her inception in Batman #1 in June of 1940… puuuurfect!

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No. 05 – Cynthia Rothrock

As previously mentioned some of the biggest influences on me growing up were the plethora of fantastic fighting females that occupied the realms of martial arts cinema, and my most beloved and admired is none other than scintillating Cynthia Rothrock. American born Cynthia is quite possibly the most successful female martial arts master in history – she is five times world champion in weapons and forms and currently holds an astonishing seven black belts in varying martial disciplines! She has also starred in over fifty movies throughout her career, and has acted alongside greats such as Sammo Hung and Michelle Yeoh.

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No. 04 – Batgirl

Though the Batgirl name and costume have been inhabited by several different women over the years, the most beloved and well known is assuredly the second holder of the bombastic bat mantle – Barbara (Babs) Gordon. Replacing original holder of the title – Bette Kane (who was created in 1961) Babs debut was in 1967, daughter of Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon and head of Gotham City Library. Her auspicious crime fighting career began with a triumphant save of Bruce Wayne from a kidnapping plot wrought by SuperVillain Killer Moth, and cemented her place in Bat history!

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No. 03 – Elvira – Mistress Of The Dark

Elvira may not be a martial arts action star or female fighting force but what she definitely is, is a sensation of female empowerment and positive attitude. A strong, outspoken comedienne who used her innate sexual prowess to turn the tables on mysogynynistic and prejudice laden media from her first appearance courtesy of actress Cassandra Peterson in 1981. Self deprecating and dripping in risque double-entendres, her campy humour has propelled the voluptuous vixen vamp to celebrated cult status, and beyond!

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No. 02 – Starfire

Fiery alien princess – Starfire has been a favourite of the Precinct since she was first unleashed in the pages of DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980. Created by the legendary pairing of comic book royalty – George Perez and Marv Wolfman, Koriand’r instantly became a much beloved character and mainstay of The Teen Titans. Hailing from the planet Tamaran, Kory escaped the ravaging of her home by Tamaran enemies The Citadel and her own feuding sister Komand’r (aka – Blackfire) and made a new life for herself on Earth. She is currently the leader of the Teen Titans and founding member of Justice League Odyssey alongside Jessica Cruz, Azrael and Cyborg.

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No. 01 – Wonder Woman

Well, if you’ve been following the Precinct for any length of time then you probably knew that the Themysciran Titan would, of course, occupy the titular top spot, and hey, guess what… you were right! I’ve been a WW fan since I was around nine years old she is truly the greatest fictional female character ever, and has had the most significant and profound effect upon female empowerment of any fictitious persona ever created. Her genius creator William Moulton Marston first envisioned the Amazonian warrior princess in 1941, when she took the covetous cover appearance on All Star Comics #8. Marston was a supporter of the Suffragette movement of the 1940’s, of whom his own wife Elizabeth was a founding member.

All hail the wondrous one!

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If you’ve managed to stay the course of this list, then thanks fellow Agents. Who are some of your personal favourite female furies of all time? let battle commence in the comments below…

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another enthralling episode of  The Week In Geek  where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek, dear agents, once more…

DC Universe Release It’s First Pic Of Brec Bassinger As Geoff Johns’ Beloved Hero – Stargirl!

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DC Universe is DC’s new live action/animated streaming service that recently regaled the comic giant’s loyal fans with such iconic delights as live action series’ of Titans and Doom Patrol, with Swamp Thing and a brand new animated series of Harley Quinn also on the heroic horizon.

But for this particular DC fanatic the upcoming Stargirl series is everything, and from this recently released photo of actress Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore, better known as the Cosmic Staff wielding Superhero – Stargirl, everything is looking really rather respectful and resplendent! High school student Courtney, step-daughter of the the Star Spangled Kid, has been portrayed in live action form twice before in Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow respectfully, but costume wise this is without a doubt the closest version yet brought to screen.

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Stargirl made her debut in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E #0 in July 1999, created by comic book legend Geoff  Johns who styled the character’s appearance and name after his late sister Courtney, who tragically died in a plane crash in 1996. The series will premiere in early 2020.

First Trailer For Joaquin Phoenix  Joker Origin Movie Released By Warner Bros…

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No Smilex Gas needed for this one, as Warner Brothers release a tantalising and intriguing look at Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the DC’s infamous clown prince of crime – The Joker.

Not to be confused with Jared Leto’s recent and entertaining variant of the jester of genocide, this is a standalone story that will delve into the trials and tribulations that ultimately turn what appears a seemingly ordinary individual into comic books most feared and revered sociopathic SuperVillain, in an origin story that is produced by celebrated film auteur Martin Scorsese and also stars Robert DeNiro and Zazie Beets… and it’s looking particularly phenomenal! Revel in the trailer below:

 

Precinct1313’s Retro Revivals…

Merciful Minerva! 700 posts!! that’s right, the mystical mansion of mystery known as The Precinct has output a ridiculously huge 700 individual musings on Comics, Movies, Toys, Video-Games, and general geekery… where in Tartarus did I find the time you ask!? damned if I know fellow Agents, but it’s been an awesome time sharing my glorious geekdom with all of you, that’s for sure.

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The first couple of years of the Precinct’s existence were sparse as far as views and followers were concerned, but that definitely did not stop the output of posts, in fact I believe that I definitely posted more often back then, nowadays I find myself taking a considerable larger amount of time to triple check what I’ve written and even colour co-ordinate the post both visually and text wise to the subject matter at hand (yep, for real, I’m that geeky!) Seeing that 700 posts thing actually made me go back to some of my earlier articles written as long as four to five years ago, re-reading them is rather interesting indeed, oh how my writing style has changed, and yet, the seed for my current writing techniques are still there…

Now that the Precinct has a larger following and substantially more views on a weekly basis, it might be the time to relive some of those older obscurities, so each week we shall present a past post from the Precinct’s vicarious vaults (y’know, it’s going to be a bit like when your favourite TV show runs out of ideas, so you get one of those lazy compilation episodes that’s book-ended by a small amount of new footage!!) Uuh, not that we’ve run out of ideas for cool posts, of course, but it’s always interesting to go back over previous work and share it with our newer followers, hence – some of our favourite older posts shall be forthcoming, beginning with this one from December 2015:

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Borag Thungg fellow Squaxx Dek Thargo, and welcome back to another instalment of “Great British Comic Book Characters,” Precinct1313‘s episodic look at the UK’s biggest selling and highly influential weekly anthology comic; 2000AD.

Over the previous five instalments of this ongoing series, I have gradually introduced you to the characters and creators of the “Galaxy’s Greatest Comic,” what first motivated me to begin a series on 2000AD was initially the fact that, apart from Judge Dredd, the majority of classic characters from this mighty tome are rather unknown to the world outside of the British isles. Fantastic creations such as Nemesis the WarlockRogue Trooper, Zenith and Strontium Dog have rich backstories, superstar creators and close to 40 years of history, yet still remain in relative obscurity. Having grown up alongside these characters, I decided to utilise my blog to promote, as best as I could, these groundbreaking comic characters and hopefully draw more appreciation and proclivity towards characters I believe are deserving of a far larger audience than they currently receive.

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

Released in the UK on December 7, “Future Shock! The Story Of 2000AD” is an 106 minute documentary that charts the rise of Britain’s favourite comic-book, offering up a dynamic and comprehensive overview of the comic that includes a look at the various highs and lows of the comics history, and extensive coverage of the creative process behind the scenes of the long running megazine. Documenting how a band of Britain’s most talented and eclectic comic talent came together to create the visionary publication, and guest starring a swathe of said talent including; Neil Gaiman, Pat MillsJohn Wagner, Grant Morrison and Dave Gibbons, plus recent “Dredd” actor Karl Urban is also on hand to profess his adoration for 2000AD‘s world famous grim protector of the law.

Future Shock! is directed by Paul Goodwin, who has, as previously mentioned, assembled an iconic group of talent for interviews and nostalgic musings on their past glories. Especially entertaining, as always, is the fantastic Pat Mills, who rages and rants humorously on the ups and downs of the comic’s (at times) tempestuous past, Mills alone is worth the asking price, one of the greatest talents in the UK industry, he never pulls his punches and always tells things as they are, his part in this documentary is legendary!

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

The documentary itself mostly consists of the aforementioned interviews alongside various illustrations, also included though are some impressive animations courtesy of Zebra Post, with the opening sequence being a particular stand-out piece. The docu mainly covers the 70’s and 80’s of 2000AD‘s long history, but does touch on the 90’s, especially on sister publication Judge Dredd: The Megazine.

At over 100 minutes long, this fantastic look at 2000AD is a must have for fans of the comic, but also offers up an intriguing study of British comics in a time when the UK was going through a considerable transition in politics, music and outlook, 2000AD embraced and used these changes to produce an intelligent and sometimes hilariously subversive comic that almost predominantly helped evolve not just the comic book scene in Britain, but ultimately across the planet itself!

Precinct1313 Rating: Zarjaz!!

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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World’s Finest: An Exclusive Interview With Lego Batman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lego Batman: Who?

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

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

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

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

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

Lego Batman: It does have a subtitle.

Precinct1313: Which is?

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

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

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

Precinct1313: I’m sorry!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Precinct1313: Eep!

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Lego Batman is trademark: DC Comics.

Rorschach’s Quote(s) Of The Week

*Warning: Doomsday Clock Spoilers Ahoy me hearties!*

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

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“Hrmm… I’m Back… Seemingly”

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

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Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Classic Wonder Woman: The Odyssey Returns…

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

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

Chapter 1: The Return

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued…

Happy Wonder Woman Day, My Astonishing Amazonian Associates!

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

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

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

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More news and pics incoming fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

Comic Cover(s) Of The Week: Elvira – Mistress Of The Dark #2

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*Warning – The Innuendo Is Strong With This One!*

A double dose of cool comic cover creativeness this week… or perhaps I should say a double D considering the star of these far from innocent issues is none other than our favourite voluptuous vixen vamp… Elvira!

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That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, Cassandra Peterson’s suggestively insinuating heroine has returned thanks to a brand new four issue mini series courtesy of Dynamite Comics.

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Double-entendres (surprise, surprise!) abound as we follow the Mistress of the Dark as she hurtles her way through horror history whilst hounded by the villainous Vlad Tepes. Last issue, after a tangle with a time travelling casket, our titular celebutante gate-crashed Mary Shelley’s infamous monster party, raided a spooky wine cellar and fended off the audacious advances of bloodsucking impaler Tepes.

This month our heroic hell-cat, having temporarily given the dastardly Dracul the slip, teams up with none other than eerie Edgar Allan Poe for a second round bout with the recurring viciously vile and vehement Vlad. 

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And why not throw yourselves into a chasm of cleavage clad comic covers, as each and every issue throws up a veritable treasure chest (with the emphasis, of course, on chest… I mean c’mon, it’s Elvira!) of variants of our voracious virago vixen.

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Cassandra Peterson’s celebrity chasing creation – Elvira was first brought to the fore an astonishing thirty five years ago! and since that time has been the star of both film and television. The horror hostess extreme has ruled over her fervent fandom with her irreverent, suggestive and allusion laden humour, with Dynamite’s fantastic comic series capturing every nuance of her fourth wall breaking voluptuously vulgar verbose. A fabulously fun read for both fans and newcomers alike… her hellacious hijinks come highly recommended!

 

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A Celebration Of Kate And Bette Kane…

Well now, how excited do you think we are right now here in the celebrated Comic Crypts of Precinct1313? I mean, I assume you’ve heard the rather awesome news, right? Batwoman is finally materialising into live action form… yep, Batwoman… how awesome? Much awesome fellow Agents, much.

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CW, the company responsible for DC Comics’ vice like grip on small screen Superhero sagas are to add another of DC’s worlds finest creations to their burgeoning cast list in the form of Kate Kane, aka Batwoman. And, in what appears to be the finest piece of actor casting in recent history, they have also revealed that popular actress Ruby Rose will be donning the iconic black and red costume of Gotham’s titular anti-hero… anticipation overload in 3… 2… 

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Ruby Rose Has Been  Confirmed In The Role Of Batwoman!

Batwoman had been skirting the edges of the DC Universe since her original introduction by comic-book auteurs Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff in Detective Comics #233 in 1956. Kate (known as Kathy in her original form) was initially created as a female counterpart and love interest for Batman to refute the idea that the Caped Crusader had homosexual tendencies. An unfortunate and rather disturbingly awful vision for any comic book creation to be ushered into the limelight, the 1950’s were an extremely unenlightened time, sexism and misogyny ran rampant in all areas, and especially the entertainment arena, which included the wildly popular comic book scene.

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Kathy And Bette Circa 1961

In 1961, Sheldon Moldoff, alongside Batman co-creator Bill Finger, added Betty Kane to the ever growing Bat-Family as the niece of Kathy, whom upon discovering the secret identity of her crime fighting aunt, persuaded her to train her as her sidekick, resulting in the initiation of Batgirl, long before the mantle was taken up by the arguably more famous Barbara Gordon version of the wildly popular character. Just three short years later though, Batgirl, Batwoman and other popular members of Bruce’s broody band (such as Ace the Bathound and the mischievous Bat-Mite) were removed entirely from Bat lore in a restructure of the Batman universe by new editor Julius Schwartz.

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Bruce And Kate Unite In A Scene From The Recent Animated Movie – Batman: Bad Blood

Kathy and Betty Kane remained consigned to creative memory for decades following their shock erasure, that is until their revamped and progressive resurgence through the hands of master scribe and astonishing artist JH Williams III. Reversing the unenlightened and inauspicious history of the characters, Williams delivered to us strong, diverse and sophisticated heroes who could match their peers in Gotham, and finally laid to rest the awful spectre of their past conception. Phoenix like, Kathy and Betty (now renamed Kate and Bette) became a new standard for empowerment in the burgeoning female Superhero market, shrugging off their inception and, especially for Kate, becoming one of DC’s most popular and biggest selling creations.

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In fact, aside from sharing similar names, the two variants of Batwoman couldn’t be more disparate if they tried. Whereas Kathy was a fun loving socialite with the hots for Bruce Wayne, Kate is resilient, no nonsense ex military, who, until recently, cast herself independent from Batman and his crime-busting cohorts. Also of note is Kate’s sexual orientation, Kate is a lesbian, and much was made of this revelation at the time with both good and bad press from various media outlets. Ultimately it proved not just a popular move by the creators, but also a defining trait for the character of Batwoman herself, with LGBT groups worldwide heralding the character and Kate ultimately becoming a poster child of diversification and emancipation.

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Bette Kane Eventually Took On The Mantle Of Flamebird, With Her Relationship To Kate  Retconned To Cousin, As Opposed To Niece

Are You As Excited As We Are For Kate’s Live Action Debut? Then Why Not Sound Off In The Comments Section Below, Fellow Fans Of Fantastic Fiction…