Category Archives: Comics in film
Who would have thought that eight decades after he punched his first ever villain squarely on the jaw that we’d still be celebrating this dark, surly, emotionally lost and solitary individual whom, upon watching his parents gunned down before his innocent young eyes, thought that the best course of action for that loathsome act would be to dress up as a giant bat and ruthlessly hunt down and mercilessly beat up a plethora of crazily costumed criminals, yet here we are… thankfully!
Batman made his first astonishing appearance in the 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27 courtesy of his compelling creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Batsy has been punching and kicking his way through the DC Universe ever since, and yet, over eight decades later the character still feels as fresh and exciting as he did all those decades ago. I have personally been a fan of the big bad bat since I was six years old, initially courtesy of my Mum, who bought me my first ever Superhero comic-book – Detective Comics #466, where the caped crusader tangled with the one of his lesser known rogues -Signalman!
From the printed page through television series, cinematic excursions, toys, video-game adaptations, collectables and more Gotham’s grim guardian has withstood the test of time and has become, arguably, the most widely recognised Superhero of all time (yeah, in your face Superman!) So here’s to another eight exquisite decades of his violent yet virtuous presence! Long Live The Bat!
Happy Batman Day!
Batman is copyright – DC Comics.
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another exciting 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…
Wonder Woman 84 Trailer Brings Our First Look At Cheetah In All Her Feral Glory!
It’s an absolutely tremendous time to be a DC Comics fanatic! within the past 24 hours courtesy of DC’s online comic-con – DC Fandome we have been regaled with some utterly stunning teasers and trailers for their forthcoming epic escapades, including such delicious delights as James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, Matt Reeves highly anticipated Batman movie, and, of course Patty Jenkins’ long awaited Wonder Woman sequel. The new trailer delves further into the villains of the piece, and gives us our first tantalising look at Kristen Wiig in full feral form, enjoy…
The Batman Trailer Looks Utterly Bat-Tastic!!
Well, what can we say but… WOW! This looks absolutely Bat-tacular, Matt Reeves and Robert Pattison bring us an exclusive new look at next year’s standalone Batman movie, and we love it! Indulge your Bat urges below…
This Suicide Squad Teaser Just Blew My Mind!
Well, what an eclectic, idiosyncratic and utterly marvellous collection of classic DC villains are showcased in this terrific teaser for James Gunn’s sequel to Suicide Squad! I mean… Ratcatcher, King Shark and Polka Dot Man!? sheer and utter lunacy, and we’re here for it…
Phew! mind blowing stuff huh, and this isn’t even taking into account Zack Snyder’s glorious trailer for his (superior) version of Justice League and the video-game reveal for Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad Game… more on those soon, so why not join us again next time for more Week In Geek.
It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of legendary comic-book writer, Dennis O’Neil who died of natural causes at his home on June 11.
Denny was best known for his iconic runs on DC Comics’ Batman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern, and was also the editor for DC’s entire range of Batman comics from 1986 to 2000. Though Denny gave us many wonderful tales of heroism over his formidable career, he is most fondly remembered as the author (alongside his mainstay artist, the fantastic Neil Adams) who ushered in Batman’s return to the dark side in the early seventies, following on from over a decade of camp silliness.
Throughout his triumphant tenure on Batman, Denny also created some of the Dark Knight’s most memorable nemeses including such icons as Ra’s Al Ghul and his daughter Talia, and avenging angel – Azrael.
He was also responsible for revitalising DC’s foremost emerald dynamic duo (again alongside the great Neil Adams) Green Lantern and Green Arrow of whom he teamed up to become one of comic’s first ever social justice warriors as they roamed the planet fighting inequality and societal ignorance.
Denny also taught at the Manhattan School of Visual Arts, and wrote the didactic tome – The DC Guide To Writing Comics plus many, many other achievements too numerous to mention. In 2019, the city of Phoenix named May 25 “Denny O’Neil Day” in acknowledgement of his influence on the comic-book industry and his contribution to furthering the fight against unjust causes. Denny was a legend on and off the page, and we mourn his passing. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time.
Hey there fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to Precinct1313’s comprehensively capacious celebration of the capricious, captivating, and cunningly contradictory – Catwoman!
Cat burglar, criminal, anti-hero and lover of grim surly men who like to dress as giant bats, Selina Kyle has been liberating loot from the rich, powerful and undeserving for the past eight decades! Catwoman made her dynamic debut in Batman #1 which released unto the general populace on April 24 in 1940 courtesy of Batman’s bodacious birthers – Bill Finger and Bob Kane.
Introduced in her origin issue as “The Cat” she was originally posited a super-villain and antagonist to the Caped Crusader, yet her identity and personality have evolved over the long decades to anti-hero status, but even more significantly, partner, lover and catty confidante to the Dark Knight Detective himself.
Over the eight decades since her initial conception Selina Kyle has flourished as a much beloved female icon, a strong independent woman with her own agenda and ideology, and aside from a ten year hiatus from print from 1954 to 1966 due to the unswerving and at times creatively unfair ruling of the then Comic Code Authority, Catwoman has been in continuous print, whether as a major character in many, many DC Comics series or in her very own frequent comic book runs.
Selina also holds the crown for most portrayed female character outside of comic print media, with more live action variants than any of her fictional female peers. Beginning her real life feline felony career with a recurring role on the classic sixties Adam West starring Batman series, delineated through the exquisite talents of Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt.
Michelle Pfeiffer put in an impassioned performance in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns, whereas Halle Berry’s take in the 2004 standalone Catwoman movie proved to be a huge box office flop due to a rather lacklustre (and at times completely ridiculous) plot, and the fact that Halle’s version had virtually nothing to do with the original comic-book heroine, bar the titular name itself, holding up much better, and with a more definitive feel was Anne Hathaway’s performance in the 2012 Dark Knight Rises. Lili Simmons and Camren Bicondova both played Selina on the small screen in the 2014 Gotham TV show, rounding out with the most recent casting of our fave female Felis-Catus, who will be championed by Zoe Kravitz in the upcoming Matt Reeves’ epic – The Batman.
In celebration of Catwoman’s ongoing octogenarian outings, DC Comics had planned a one hundred page super spectacular dedicated to the Princess of Plunder, due to release this week. Unfortunately owing to the current crisis affecting the planet, the print version has been put back until mid May at the earliest. But what we can share with you are a selection of the many oustandingly gorgeous variant covers commissioned for the delayed tome, with some of comicdom’s most accomplished artists coming together to celebrate one the longest running and important fictional females in history, puuuurfect!
Happy 80th Birthday Selina, and with her nine lives still intact, you can be assured she’ll thankfully be with us for a loooong time to come… Cat-tastic!!
Catwoman is Copyright: DC Comics.
Gee-Whizz, Rorschach’s awesome, isn’t he? Well, when I say awesome I do actually mean a violent sociopathic masked vigilante loon who revels in the violence and insanity of his chosen path in life! That said, even though Rorschy (yep, I said Rorschy! it may not roll off the tongue like Batsy, Wondy or Supes, but!) suffers wildly with anti-social personality disorder and an aggressive attitude only surpassed by a psychopath like the Joker, there’s still something endearing about Alan Moore’s unstable creation (and when I say endearing, I obviously mean if you ever encounter him… RUN AWAY!!)
We have written several posts about our absolute favourite Watchmen character over the years, some of them an in depth disquisition of his pernicious psyche, but also more light-hearted looks at how he ultimately perceives the world around him at large, with our – Rorschach’s Quote Of The Week being the absolute most fun to write, each post a small dichotomy from Rorschach’s perspective, and ours. I loved writing these back then, but ultimately, ran out of quotes, plus the views for the site were much lower way back when I first conceived the idea. And so, I decided it was time to resurrect Walter Kovacs and his warped view of morality and justice as a compilation of greatest hits! So read on dear agents of Precinct1313 as we explore the morality dilemma that is Rorschach!
‘Rorschach, Bringing Unstable Masked Vigilantism To The Masses Since 1986!’
Iconic is absolutely an apt terminology for William Moulton Marston’s legendary creation – Wonder Woman. Icon comes to us from the original ancient Hellenic word – Eika, and with Diana’s entire narrative background tied up (sometimes literally – the Amazons were famous for bondage games!) in Greek mythology, I could not think of a phrase that encapsulates the Amazon Princess any more effectively.
Diana first leapt onto the pages of comic-books in the 1941 issue of All Star Comics #8, and from that point began her legendary odyssey through the annals of comic history with close to eight decades of epic storylines of emancipation, liberation and love. Diana’s rich heritage is tied to her ability to empathise and forgive, traits not necessarily intrinsic to the majority of Superheroes, who tend to rely on fists, brute force and their overtly herculean super-powers to right any wrongs that present themselves.
Wonder Woman was always cut from a different cloth, preferring to extend a hand in friendship rather than raise a fist in anger. Diana’s real life creation from her genius architect, the aforementioned William Marston is key to the character’s enduring legacy of liberation and amnesty. Marston’s ideal for the character came from his groundbreaking (especially for the era) work in the feminist and suffragette movements of the 1930’s and 40’s, with birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger, in particular her work – Woman and the New Race becoming a catalyst for Diana’s eventual fictional birth in 1941.
An astonishing seventy nine years later, Wonder Woman is actually more popular now than she has probably ever been, with a whole new audience outside of her fervent comic-book fandom brought into her Amazonian ranks thanks to her recent and magnificent celluloid outing in Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins’ 2017 movie. She has been in continuous print since her iconic inception, is the original blueprint for virtually every female Superhero that has been created since her dazzling debut and is still THE fictional front woman for feminism and emancipation in the world today. I am sure Dr William Marston is looking down from his well deserved place on Mount Olympus and smiling, watching as his monumental creation continues to spread her message of hope and love to all the masses both fictional, and real.
To celebrate Wondy’s 750th issue DC Comics have brought together some of the Themysciran Titans’ most revered story tellers and artists – George Perez, Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Greg Rucka, Jenny Frison and Brian Bolland to name just a few are onboard for this 96 page prestige format tome.
Nine exhilarating tales of the astonishing Amazon regale the reader with fabulous fables that represent her past, present and future, each allegorical piece fits, jigsaw like, into a whole that fundamentally represents everything we love about Wonder Woman, with our personal favourite from the selection being Gail Simone’s fabulous – ‘From Small Things, Mama’ though we are happy to report that not one of the other eight exceptional epics on offer are anything less than deserving of Diana’s halcyon heritage.
Wonder Woman #750 is available from your local comic-book emporium right now! Make sure to show your love for the most important fictional female in history by buying this landmark issue, my astonishingly adroit amazonian associates.
Our dynamic duo of WW #750 variant covers were purchased from our absolute favourite comic-book emporium: Final Frontier.
Well hi there fellow agents of Precinct1313, and welcome to the majestic mansion of mystery’s infamous Comic Crypts. I hope you didn’t have too much trouble finding your way down through the Precinct’s convoluted and ever changing hallways and chambers, that’s the problem with running a comic blog from a supernatural entity posing as a resplendent residence, oh and the fact that we are located at the edge of existence also doesn’t help with navigation, as most Sat-Navs don’t appear to cover that… surprisingly!
And yet here you all are, so welcome, to Precinct1313’s End Of The Decade Geekstravaganza! That’s right, the decade draws itself to a close and we’re here to steer you through some of our favourite geeky moments from the past ten years, so pull up a tombstone (these are the comic crypts after all) and let’s all relive our favourite things of the past decennium…
Our Favourite Comic-Book Series: Mister Miracle
Masters of the miraculous – Tom King and Mitch Gerads deserve every bit of praise thrown their way by their peers, critics and fans for this superlative series, a groundbreaking, emotional and touching 12 issue maxi-series that took one of DC and Jack Kirby’s most beloved second tier characters, and thrust him headlong into the deserving limelight. We wrote a review on this tenacious tome recently, so we shall leave you a handy dandy link right here .
Though we feel that Miracle was without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest Superhero story released since Watchmen (really!) we couldn’t leave this particular post without mentioning our other comic-book love from the past ten years – Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s tantalising and terrific take on our absolute favourite orange hued alien princess, sizzling Superheroine – Starfire! Conner and Palmiotti are a dynamic duo of some renown in the wonderful world of comic books, a husband and wife team with a wild and wacky sense of humour that light up any character they get their talented hands upon, from Power Girl to their award winning run on Harley Quinn, everything these terrific twosome touch is utter comic-book gold, especially their 2015 maxi-series -Starfire.
Endlessly endearing and wonderfully witty, Starfire’s 2015 series is a gift that keeps on giving, Conner and Palmiotti (along with the series’ fantastic artist – Emanuela Lupacchino) have bestowed upon us humble comic fans, the greatest take on Tamaran’s lost Princess since she was first unleashed in 1980 by her superstar creators, George Perez and Marv Wolfman. An origin tale, a laugh out loud stranger in a strange place fable, Starfire is a beguiling and winsome take on a beloved DC character. Quite possibly the funniest and most captivating series from DC in many a year, the Precinct unequivocally recommends this touching and hilarious series.
(Favourite Comic-book series runners up – Doomsday Clock, Supergirl: Being Super, Wonder Woman: Rebirth)
Our Favourite Comic-Book Movie: Wonder Woman
Can you believe it took seventy five years to finally get one of the most popular, significant and important fictional characters of all time onto the big screen, a primary reason for this according to some producers, directors, movie studios and overall decision makers (all of whom were talking nonsense, of course) was that a female led Superhero movie stood little chance of success… well, I’m pleased to say that those negative naysayers were completely wrong in their assertions, because Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s 2017 Wonder Woman movie most assuredly was an exquisite example of, not just a top tier translation of character to silver screen, but a film that also carried a compelling message of love, hope and empowerment.
Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins more than made up for Diana’s seventy five year cinema snub by giving us, not just a superlative and accurate representation of the Themysciran Titan, but also THE greatest Superhero movie of… all… time!
(Favourite Superhero movie runners up – Batman v Superman, Aquaman, Shazam)
Our Favourite Comic-Book Artist: Amanda Conner
I have been reading, collecting and immersing myself in comic-book worlds since the mere age of six, my first dalliance with a Superhero was the Batman, from there I went on to discover the thrilling tales of the Themysciran titan Wonder Woman and have, over the decades become a devoted stalwart of DC Comics. Not being content to just absorb these wonderful stories of heroism and emancipation, I was also always interested in the compelling creational process behind the formation of these thrilling and titanic tales, from the literary scripting and especially the wonderful artistic endeavours.
From an early age some of my very favourite artists included such luminary delights as – Neal Adams, Brian Bolland, Nicola Scott, Emanuela Lupacchino, Norm Breyfogle and Adam Hughes. Picking a favourite from these amounted to an impossibly herculean task… that is until I discovered the astonishing art of one Amanda Conner. From that point on anyone enquiring as to who my all time fave artist was would not be able to shut me up as I enthused and rhapsodised over her astounding artwork. Quirky, zany, fun and instantly recognisable, Amanda’s incredible artistic style (for me) stands head and shoulders above her peers.
(Favourite Comic-Book artist runners up – Emanuela Lupacchino, Stanley Lau, Nicola Scott)
Our Favourite Non DC Comics Movie:
Mmmmm, now this is a difficult one, I mean sooooo many great movies have been released over the past ten years, how in the name of Zeus’ beard are we able to pick just one? We can’t, so here (in no particular order) are a few of our fave non DC Comics based films of the past decade…
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:
A tremendous movie conversion of the classic French comic-book ‘Valerian and Laureline’ that was first published in 1967, created by the talented duo of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. Stunning effects, decent acting (though Clive Owen, who is usually great, was rather uninspiring in this one) and an engaging, wild and zany plot make this definitely one of our top fave films from the past ten years.
Alita: Battle Angel:
Another comic-book classic given the silver screen treatment, Alita is originally a manga series created by the great Yukito Koshiro in 1990. A post apocalyptic, cyber-punk stylised story that was brought to vivid life at the talented hands of Robert Rodriguez.
Groundbreaking visual effects bring android Alita to the big screen through some jaw-dropping motion capture of the movie’s phenomenal lead actress – Rosa Salazar, who puts in an outstandingly impassioned performance, and with a back up cast that includes such thrilling thespians as Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Maershala Ali, and Jackie Earle Haley, Alita is more than deserving of your free time.
British cult movie ‘Franklyn’ is a genre defying delight, part superhero saga, noir thriller, romance, and horror, it takes great pleasure in flouting any kind of atypical filmic categorisation.
Franklyn is a visually rich movie, set across the dual dystopian parallel dimensions of Meanwhile City and contemporary London. It is within these dark, ethereal realities that we encounter four protagonists, each a lost soul, and on an intertwined and fated path to ultimately affect each others lives, be that for good or ill.
Unfortunately, as is the case with a large number of movies emanating from the UK, Franklyn never achieved the audience or status that it truly deserved. With a standout cast that includes Eva Green, Bernard Hill, Sam Riley and Ryan Phillippe, Franklyn is a film the Precinct heartily recommends. We reviewed the movie at the time, so if you find your interest piqued, then a link to our review is right here
And there you have it, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, I mean we could go on, but then this post would end up novel length, and I only have so much time to get it published before the end of 2019! With that, may I just say a big thank you to all of the Precinct’s followers and readers for the likes, comments and visits to the site over the past five years, it really is so, so appreciated. Happy New Year to you all!!
Oh, and as ever… Make Mine DC!
Well it’s finally here, my astonishing Amazonian associates, THE one film trailer that I know you’ve all been waiting for… Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins’ sequel to the stunning 2017 Wonder Woman movie finally has a trailer, and Great Hera! it’s absolutely phenomenal!
The 2017 Wonder Woman movie really was a fantastic homage to William Marston’s groundbreaking creation, it captured everything that’s essential about Diana that fans wanted from DC’s premier female lead character. Her origin story respected both versions that have been laid out throughout her almost eight decades of virtual existence, daughter of Zeus and child of clay. Her Amazon sisters were also spectacularly brought to life and Chris Pine was perfect casting as the wry yet honourable Steve Trevor. Yet it was Gal Gadot as the titular heroine that stole the show, sublime casting that was ultimately the reason behind the film’s massive box office success.
After three torturous years of waiting, WW fanatics are finally blessed with a trailer for the much anticipated sequel, and it’s a doozy! 1980’s setting replete with era appropriate music and fashion, the return of Steve Trevor after he met his heroic fate in the original, Kristen Wiig as Dr Barbara Minerva aka Wondy nemesis The Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as the scheming sociopath Maxwell Lord, plus of course Gal Gadot back in her career defining role as Princess Diana of Themyscira… The trailer is astounding, and right here for your delectation. Enjoy:
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!)
And so, let us welcome to Precinct1313’s stately sanguine sofa of shockingly satirical secrets – the Emperor of Expiration, the Duke of Demise, the decidedly discorporeal, and defiantly deceased – Judge Death!
Precinct1313: W… w… welcome, uh, J… Judge Death, to this week’s World’s Finest…
Judge Death: Hsssssssssssss…
Precinct1313: It’s, erm, lovely to have you join us this evening?
Judge Death: You! you have the foul ssssstench of the Living!
Precinct1313: I, uh, am what you might currently call alive, yes.
Judge Death: Life isssssss crime, the sssssssentence is…
Precinct1313: …Death! yes, yes I know, I’ve been a big fan of yours since you first fought your nemesis, Judge Dredd way back in issue #149 of 2000AD…
Judge Death: You would do well to not interrupt me again, you missssserable mortal malignancy!
Precinct1313: I, uh, i..it won’t happen again, Mr Death, uh, sir…
Judge Death: Your feeble attempt at appeasement meansssss nothing foul fleshling, life isssss an aberration and I am itssssss cure
Precinct1313: Erm, if you don’t mind me interjecting for just a second, but if my history is correct haven’t you already “cured” your own dimension of it’s populace?
Judge Death: Yessssss, Deadworld now livessss up to itssssss appurtenant moniker.
Precinct1313: Of course, your personal reasoning for the slaughter of billions of lives was that because all crime is committed by the living, that life itself must be a crime?
Judge Death: Yessssss, with the help of the witch sisterssssss, Phobia and Nausea, and my fellow Dark Judgesssss I was able to finally bring those tortured and corrupt living soulsssss into the cold embrace of expiration…
Precinct1313: Ah yes, your infamous entourage of euthanasia, the other Dark Judges Fear, Fire and Mortis! together you make a most formidable and fatal foursome, I mean few have stood a chance against your potency for perishing.
Judge Death: Your alliteration is nonsenssssse and childisssh, and you will cease and desist immediately… or you will literally cease to exisssssst!
Precinct1313: Ceased… forthwith!
Judge Death: Good, my brethren Judges are almossssst here, and your wit and badinage will not be welcomed by them, in the ssssslightest!
Precinct1313: I’m sorry, did you just say that the other Dark Judges are, um, on their way here… right now!?
Judge Death: Yesssssssss, they want to meet you!
Precinct1313: They, uh, do? for like, my autograph, or something… right?
Judge Death: No, to judge you, though I fear I already know the outcome…
Precinct1313: Fear? oh no, come on…
Judge Fear: GAZE INTO THE FACE OF FEAR!!
Precinct1313: Oh thank grudd… Dredd! you saved me from a fate worse than… oh hang on, from actual death…
Judge Dredd: I wouldn’t rejoice just yet citizen, you are charged with conspiring with the Dark Judges, how do you plead?
Precinct1313: Conspiring, erm, all I did was invite Judge Death over for an interview, it’s sort of what I do…
Judge Dredd: And unleashed him upon your dimension, where now millions of lives will expire, you are found guilty of collusion, the sentence is death!
Precinct1313: Ah, dammit!
Judge Death, Fire, Mortis, Fear and Dredd are Copyright: 2000AD and Rebellion.
Great Hera! Today marks the official celebration of everyone’s favourite feisty fictional female, the Themysciran Titan – Wonder Woman!
That’s right fellow fans of fantastic female fiction, October 21st commemorates Diana’s first ever appearance in ‘All Star Comics #8’ which released in October of 1941 courtesy of her celebrated creator William Moulton Marston, and DC Comics. That’s a sensational seventy eight years in her illuminating presence!
We love Wonder Woman here in Precinct1313, she’s actually our favourite comic-book creation of all time (sorry Batsy!) and I personally have been reading and collecting Wondy comics, movies and memorabilia since I was a mere nine years of age, she has always been an inspiration to me. Unlike her superheroic peers, Diana doesn’t necessarily rely on her fists… her strength lies within her power to understand, and forgive, to first extend a hand of friendship rather than wield her sword. Diana’s mantra is love and compassion, and in the rather unpredictable world we live in today, she is very much the hero we need…
So, to honour the dynamic daughter of Queen Hippolyta and the pantheon of Greek Gods that bestowed the wondrous one upon us, let’s share in some inspirational, enlightening and quintessential quotes courtesy of the Princess of Themyscira. Happy Wonder Woman day, my astoundingly awesome Amazonian associates!
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Batman is copyright: DC Comics
“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)
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
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.
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
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.
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!
Who Watches The Watchmen?… You Should!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.