Category Archives: Comics in film

Happy Wonder Woman Day!

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Suffering Sappho! it surely can’t be that time of year again, can it? I guess when you’re an immortal 3,000 year old Amazon warrior then time tends to stand still. Yet for us mere mortals, a year is everything. And so once more, fellow transient travellers, we find ourselves upon the golden sacred shores of Themyscira to celebrate Gaea’s graceful goddess, the incomparable – Wonder Woman!

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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 eighty one glorious years in her  illuminating presence!

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We love Wonder Woman here in Precinct1313, she’s actually our favourite comic-book creation of all time, 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…

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And so, my astonishing amazonian associates, what will you be doing to celebrate this Day of Wonder? Here in the ol’ Precinct we shall be re-indulging in one of the more recent takes on the Themysciran Titan, the sublime – Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed. The Laurie Halse Anderson penned tale provides a fresh and funky take on Diana’s early upbringing on Paradise Island and first foray into “man’s world” A superb coming of age drama that’s not afraid to delve into the darker recesses of humankind. And you too can idulge your senses in this vaunted volume with our very own review of this classic – Right Here.

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Of course, we shall also be revisiting an episode or two of Lynda Carter’s spectacular turn as Wondy in the 70’s and early 80’s terrific television series, and then, once more (probably for the billionth time now) Gal Gadot’s breathtaking 2017 big screen adaptation!

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Happy Wonder Woman Day!

Happy Batman Day!

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Nana, nana, nana, nana, Batma… oh hey there, my bodacious bat-brethren, do please excuse my reciting of the classic Batman theme from Adam West’s sixties extravaganza, now that was a time when the curmudgeonly creature of the night actually enjoyed fighting crime, he even joked and (unbelievable I know) SMILED!

Of course, the swinging sixties was very much a different time and place, in fact Silver Age Batman smiled, joked, cajoled and inherently enjoyed being the Caped Crusader, this variant of the character was a million miles away from the grimdark version of the Dark Knight. Though, sixties Bats was an anomaly caused by the Comics Code Authority that cracked down hard on the various adult storylines contained within comics such as Batman and Detective Comics.

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When the sensational seventies hit, ol’ Batsy was reinstalled back to his rightful place as the creepy creature of the night who revelled in hunting down vile villains, and thrashing the dastardly and deadly denizens of Gotham to within an inch of their lives. Yet, there have been a number of lightheated and fun moments since his return to the despair and darkness that envelops his being, so for this particular anniversary post, let’s turn Batman’s frown upside down and celebrate his cute and cuddly side…

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Not Sure If Superman Forcing Bats To Smile For A Selfie Counts, Yet Here We Are!

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Ah Yes, The Legendary Bat-Smirk, This One Is Particularly Delightful ‘Cause He Just Managed To Relieve Green Lantern Of His Power Ring, Without Him Realising! 

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Yeah, That Would Creep Me Out Too!

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Aww, Harley Loves Batsy Really, Look at Her, Sharing The Cupcakes…

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He’s Just A Cuddly Costumed Vigilante Really, He Even Keeps Lollipops In His Utility Belt! 

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See, He’s Not Scary At All… Unless You’re A SuperVillain, And Then You’re Gonna End Up In Traction For Six Months!

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Ok, This One Genuinely Made Me Laugh Out Loud, Maybe Bats Should Take Up Stand Up Comedy!

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Love This Exchange Between Batman And Black Orchid From The Justice League Dark Animated Movie, Pure, Dry Batman Brilliance!

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Sure, Joker May Be Laughing Right Now, But Just Seconds After This, Batman Kicked The Crap Out Of Him… Again!

So there you go, fellow Bat-Fans, a lighthearted look at the Masked Manhunter in celebration of Batman Day! That said, as jovial as he seems here, one thing you should never, ever do is criticise his choice of transport, he hates that!

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Happy Batman Day!

We Can ‘Harley’ Believe That It’s Been 30 Years Since Ms Quinn’s Debut…

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That’s right, it’s been three dynamic decades since the psychedelic psychopath of print was first unleashed onto an unsuspecting comic book universe, much to the chagrin of The Batman, but conversely to the delight of millions of comic book fans, for Harley truly is… one of the greatest comic-book characters ever conceived, and if you don’t agree, then her beloved mallet would like to have a word with you!

Former psychiatrist, Dr Harleen Quinzel was originally an Arkham Asylum intern who, after prolonged psychology sessions with crazed clown The Joker, was coerced into thinking that Batman was the ultimate cause of Joker’s insanely murderous high jinks. Slowly falling in love with the irascible psychotic, Harleen eventually aided the mirthful murderer to escape the asylum and joined him on his insane crusade to dispense madness, murder and mayhem on the populace of Gotham City.

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Ms Quinn was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and actually made her first ever appearance outside of the comic book format, on the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, in an episode titled “Joker’s Favour” which aired on the 11th September 1992.

Actress Arleen Sorkin was Paul Dini’s original inspiration for the clown princess of crime, after he caught her appearance in an episode of Days Of Our Lives, in which she appeared in a dream sequence wearing a Jester outfit. Dini and Sorkin had been friends since college, and he even incorporated certain facets of Arleen’s personality into the character (and, of course – Arleen/Harleen)

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Though initially brought in as a throw away character, Harley proved so massively popular with the DC fanbase that she was ultimately ushered into DC Universe continuity in the 1994 graphic novel “Batman Adventures: Mad Love” which recounted her wild and wacky origin tale, written and drawn by her original co-creators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.

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Harley of course has, since that time, become a fantabulously fun force to be reckoned with both on and off the comic-book page, starring in both animated and live action movies, and is also without a shadow of a doubt, THE most most popular choice for depiction amongst cos-players across the globe. 

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Harley and Ivy Discuss… erm, Beavers!

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Enough Already! My Ribs are Beginning To Ache!!

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And So, Happy 30th Anniversary To That Marvellously Maniacal Mistress Of Mayhem – Harley Quinn!

*Please Note: No beavers were hurt during the production of this post, just tossed, stuffed, kidnapped (beaver-napped?) and made fun of… so that’s alright then!*

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Seminal Fantasy Artist – Oliver Frey – Passes Away At 74

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It is with great sadness that we relay the tragic news that legendary fantasy illustrator – Oliver Frey passed away from cancer on 21 August, he was 74.

Originally born in Zurich, Switzerland, Oliver spent most of his life as a resident in the UK, where he became a household name thanks to his varying works on British comic strips and magazines including – White Dwarf, Dan Dare and The Trigan Empire. Oliver studied at the London Film School, whilst he continued freelancing as an illustrator, it was during this time that he met film director – Richard Donner, who commissioned Oliver to create a 1930’s comic-book style opening as a pre-title sequence for the 1978, Christopher Reeve starring “Superman”

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For me though, and many other fans, it was his stellar illustrative work on prestigious 80s and 90s British videogame magazines – CRASH and Zzap64 that first endeared us to his awesome artwork. Oliver’s seminal artistic output adorned the various covers and innards of these fantastic ZX Spectrum and C64 based review zines, plus he would also draw portraits of the review staff that denoted their pleasure or dislike of the varying games they would review, giving these classic magazines a wholly unique feel. After the closure of the respective magazines publisher – Newsweek, Oliver continued to work in the gaming art field by utilising his unique style for publications such as – Sega Force and N-Force, amongst many others.

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

Daily Dose Of DC…

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

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

Daily Dose Of DC…

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

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

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

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Superman is copyright: DC Comics

Daily Dose Of DC…

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

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Batman is copyright: DC Comics.

Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of November…

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Remember, remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot, I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason shall ever be forgot…”

Hey there fellow conspirators of Precinct1313, today in the UK it’s Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night. This annual commemoration is observed every November the fifth in Britain, the history of which began with the events on fifth November 1605, when a senior member of the Gunpowder Plot – Guy Fawkes – was arrested after being discovered guarding the explosives his Machiavellian associates had placed beneath the House of Lords.

In celebration at the time, that King James had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around the provinces of London, over the centuries this has become an annual national remembrance day of the plot and it’s failure, to which people burn effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire pyre traditionally accompanied by fireworks.

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In commemoration of Mr Fawkes, we present a re-blog of an interview we held a couple of years back with one V of V for Vendetta fame, so you too can join in on this classic chronicle of conspiratorial calamity! (also why not indulge in the fantastic 2005 celluloid adaptation, which encapsulates, quite possibly, the greatest performance of all time by thrilling thespian – Hugo Weaving as the titular V!)

Re-live Our V Interview – Right Here!

Happy Bonfire Night!

80 Glorious Years Of Wonder Woman!

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Hola and welcome, my absolutely astounding Amazon associates, to the 80th anniversary of the Themysciran Titan known as – Wonder Woman! That’s right, William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter’s groundbreaking fictional female first appeared in print exactly eight decades ago to this day, in the October 1941 issue of Sensation Comics #08.

If you’ve been a follower of the Precinct for awhile now, you more than likely know our affinity and adoration for Diana, in fact near forty percent of the post output here has been about the wondrous one’s myriad adventures. We have regaled you, dear reader, with comic and graphic novel reviews, psychological breakdowns of Diana’s mantra and impact, not only in the world of comics but also in real life situations of feminism, emancipation and acceptance, not to mention in-depth looks at her many allies, and foes, biographies of her creators, and the sundry stunning writers and artists who have depicted her over the decades.

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Wonder Woman is THE most important fictional female character ever committed to print, a shining beacon of hope and bastion of empowerment and equality, in the popular world of the superhero, she is the anomaly, relying on forgiveness, love and acceptance, rather than just the fist. That said, she is also a three millennium old Amazon warrior, who has been training, alongside her immortal sisters, in martial mastery since her illustrious and divine creation by a pantheon of Greek gods, so, if she needs to kick arse, let’s just say, very few can stand before her might.

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So, in celebration of Wondy’s eighty year reign, we would love to share with you a selection of our favourite Precinct1313 Wonder Woman posts from throughout the past eight years of this blog’s existence, that regale our love and admiration of the scintillating scion of the sublime. Enjoy, and… Happy 80th Anniversary Diana, we love ya!

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Wonder Woman: The True Amazon

Eisner Award winning writer/artist – Jill Thompson’s perfect parable of Diana’s earlier years is an alluring and sometimes provocative take on the Themysciran Titan, the storytelling contained within this terrific tome has a level of true emotional depth oft unfound in the medium, and you can re-visit our 2016 review – Right Here.

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Wonder Woman/Conan

The legendary pairing of the Themysciran Princess and sullen eyed Cimmerian – Conan the Barbarian is equalled in this titanic tale by the mythical mixing of it’s superstar creators – Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. Simone’s slow but epic build up in the story allows us to richly immerse ourselves into Conan’s savage and tempestuous reality, of which you too can experience if you visit our glowing review from 2020 – Right Here!

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Wonder Woman: Rebirth

Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott’s Rebirth series was a phenomenon both visually and in it’s stellar story-telling, and world building, and has ended up with the distinction of being one of my absolute favourite ever takes on Gaea’s glorious gal, and you can find out why when you re-visit our 2016 post – Right Here.

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Why We Love Wonder Woman

A more recent post from July 2021, where we spend time reflecting on the core attributes about Zeus’ favoured daughter that initially attracted us to the classic character, and why we still hold her in such reverence. Why not wend your way over to this particularly poignant post – Right Here!

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Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

Celebrated author – Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrator – Leila Del Luca provided a fresh and funky new take on Diana’s early upbringing on Paradise Island. A superb coming of age drama that’s not afraid to delve into the darker recesses of humankind, but is ultimately a tale of family, friends, love and emancipation. Indulge your senses in our review – Right Here.

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Diana – Princess Of The Amazons

Diana: Princess of the Amazons tells the tale of the wondrous one many years before she became the icon known as Wonder Woman. An eleven year old girl growing up on the idyllic paradise island of Themyscira. This fabulous fable is an uplifting tale about dealing with the inevitable growing pains that everyone ultimately experiences on their emotional journey into adulthood. A young adult novel that can be enjoyed by all ages, and you can start your very own voyage into this wildly wonderful world – Right Here!

Happy 80th Anniversary Diana! Just 20 More Years To The Centenary!!

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Happy Batman Day!

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Over eight decades ago, the smoking gun barrel of Joe Chill unleashed unto the unsuspecting denizens of Gotham City a nocturnal nightmare of which they had never seen. The tragic murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, before the innocent eyes of their young son, Bruce, created a force of vengeance and justice that has been preying on Gotham’s criminal underbelly with furious anger ever since… The Batman!

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Created by the peerless pairing of Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the creepy and curmudgeonly creature of the night’s first ever appearance was in DC Comics’ revered Detective Comics in May of 1939. Since that time, the dark and surly one has gone on to become, quite possibly, the most popular and renowned Superhero ever conceived, with his fame spreading across every single known entertainment medium, from comic-books through video-games, television shows, movies, toys, clothes, novelisations, and so, so much more, firmly cementing his place in heroic history!

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But what is it that compels readers to immerse themselves in a vengeance driven man-hunter, a being that has devoted his life to bringing his own brand of Bat-justice to a corrupt and dystopian city seething with criminal detritus? I absolutely believe that it’s his inherent vulnerability and pathos, you see, unlike the vast swathe of caped crusaders, Bruce is, ultimately, just a man in a costume… he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, or deflect bullets with bracelets, he’s not capable of reaching the speed-force, or even talking to fish! but what he does possess is the inherent belief in his own righteousness and decency, it’s his integrity and moral fortitude that has enabled him to rise above the sea of costumed crimefighters and be the best he can be, no matter the adversity or lack of powers thereof… the mark of a true hero (of course, billions of dollars, an unsurpassed mastery of myriad martial arts, genius level intellect and a compendium of glorious gadgets also, sort of, helps!)

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And So… Happy Batman Day! What will you be doing to celebrate the Dark Knight? Why not sound off in the comments below, fellow Bat-fans.

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Precinct1313 Recommends: Doomsday Clock – The Complete Collection

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Never was a truer word said Doc… since DC Comics and comic-book author – Geoff Johns – once again returned us to the dystopian landscape of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins’ original groundbreaking ’80s maxi-series. 

I am a self confessed Watchmen fanboy, it is without a shadow of doubt my favourite comic-book series of all time. When I first consumed 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 traditional Superhero conceptualisation, it was different in every single way possible to everything that came before it, and is almost single-handedly responsible for completely transforming the face of the comic-book medium for future creators, and readers. A veritable masterpiece.

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Since that time we have been regaled with scant few other forays into Moore’s apocalyptic vision, from Director – Zack Snyder’s masterful cinematic adaptation in 2009, a motion comic version of the original series released the same year to coincide with the movie’s release, through DC’s prequel series – Before Watchmen, released in 2012, and more recently, the superb HBO television saga by Damon Lindelof. And though some fans revelled in the new material presented to us (myself included) others believed that the original should have always have been left as a standalone project, with whom co-creator Alan Moore has always sided.

I personally believe that any beloved piece of creation, be it film, novel and comic-book should always be given a chance to grow and re-present itself to a new and modern audience, Snyder’s movie was the first instance of this for Watchmen, opening up the material to new fans, but at the same time being honest and respectful of Moore’s original vision. Watchmen is a world that has so many more tales to tell, and even more lessons to bestow upon it’s readership, and with Geoff Johns’ – Doomsday Clock series, DC did just that, oh and it also marked a return for irascible ink-blot masked vigilante – Rorschach, but not in the way anyone was expecting (I mean, Doc Manhattan did, literally, implode Rorschach at the end of the first series!!)

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Doomsday Clock actually counts as  our first foray back into the pandemonium that is the Watchmen as it’s a direct sequel to the iconic ’80s series, and as controversial as that seems to some fans, as I stated earlier in the post, I personally am more than happy to once again step into the chaotic and dystopian world of the titular Crimebusters. Sequels, movie adaptations, et al, do not dilute the original works, and if done with care and attention to the former work, can add more layers to the existing whole, plus if the idea of a Watchmen sequel is in any way sacrilegious to you, then you can always ignore it and continue to enjoy Moore’s superlative original story in all it’s well deserved glory.

Doomsday Clock is initially set just a few short years after the end of the original storyline, it’s 1992 and the world is still in turmoil after the events set in motion by Ozymandias, but with his scheme now laid bare, the world is once again on the brink of nuclear armageddon. With this premise, writer – Geoff Johns and artist – Gary Franks, effortlessly transport us back to the wonderfully dark and grimy world set up by Moore, stylistically the comic evokes the original material beautifully, from the dialogue set, through to the nine panel grid layout, visually this feels perfectly at home to it’s predecessor.

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Of course, I haven’t even touched upon the cross dimension interaction between the Crimebusters and DC’s regular pantheon of Superheroes, but let’s just say that the Batman/Rorschach team-up is as delightful as you can imagine, with some utterly fantastic dialogue between the two maniacal masked manhunters.

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If you’re fan of Watchmen and can get past the apparent controversy that a sequel to the seminal original exists, then the recently released Doomsday Clock: Complete Collection is an absolute must buy. Johns and co have presented us with an extremely well written dark, but at times amusing return to the world of masked vigilantes, chaos and deep rooted fear and anxiety, and I for one am more than happy to continue my stay in its fatalistic presence. Highly recommended.

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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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

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Jurnee Smollet To Reprise Black Canary Role In Solo Movie…

That’s right, fellow fans of fantastic fictional females in film, the canary is most definitely out of the cage as Birds of Prey star, Jurnee Smollet, confirms her return as dynamic Dinah Lance in a Black Canary solo movie entry for DC’s burgeoning cinematic universe. 

Making her dazzling debut as the superhero – Black Canary in the hit movie: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn, Jurnee was a resounding success with fans as the crusading crimefighter with a killer voice. Writer and showrunner for Lovecraft Country – Misha Green is also attached to the project which will see her re-unite with Jurnee, who also starred in the popular television series. The film is slated to start filming soon, and will be exclusive to HBO Max alongside other DC Comics’ movie projects – Batgirl, Blue Beetle, and Green Lantern Corps.

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Ava DuVernay Confirms Season One Of DC Comics’ Character – Naomi Has Begun Filming…

Writer/director – Ava DuVernay has officially confirmed that she has started filming of the CW network’s adaptation of the fantastic DC Comics character. Kaci Walfall is headlining the series as the titular powerhouse – Naomi McDuffie, a character from a parallel universe who was sent to Earth Prime after destructive conqueror – Zumbado laid waste to her own version of the planet. Naomi’s spectacular power set include energy projection, flight, and superhuman strength and durability. Naomi’s surname pays tribute to the late, great comic-book author – Dwayne McDuffie, who is best known for creating the iconic African-American Superhero – Static, and was lead writer on many of DC’s animated shows.

Ava helmed the original pilot episode of Naomi for CW, and co-wrote the story with fellow write/producer – Jill Blankenship. The highly anticipated series is expected to air sometime in 2022.

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

Amazon Accoutrements: The Lasso Of Truth

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Over the past eight years that Precinct1313 has been a thing, we have posted, discussed and revealed the many fascinating and fantastic facets that make up the legend that is Wonder Woman, from her early beginnings courtesy of her genius architect – William Moulton Marston, through her sundry appearances in television, film, animation and, of course, comic-books.

We have regaled and radiated our adoration for the astonishing Amazon, poured praise upon the reasoning of why she is, and always shall be, the most important fictional female in literary history and shared with you, my astounding Amazonian associates, our very favourite manifold mythologies of the Themysciran Titan, be that through comic covers, reviews, news and just general gushing of our love for the character. So let us continue on that path through the philanthropic perfection that is Diana, with a brand new series of articles thusly titled – Amazon Accoutrements, with our very first episode devoted to the Lariat of Hestia, aka – the Lasso of Truth!

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Truth, justice, emancipation, empowerment, and forgiveness are the key traits to Wonder Woman’s psyche, these five character hallmarks form Diana as the benevolent being she is, a gracious goddess whose sole mission is to convey these admirable distinctions to humanity. The truth is integral to Diana’s persona, she is innately incapable of lying, but having to deal on a daily basis with the deceit and nefarious whims of “man’s world” Diana is blessed to have been furnished with the legendary Lariat of Hestia, a glorious golden goddess granted lasso that compels all ensnared within its bonds to tell the truth.

The Hellenic Herald’s titanic tether was originally a part of Aphrodite’s magical girdle, which in itself had the power to inspire passion and desire, with the Queen of the gods herself, Hera, occasionally borrowing it to influence bridal contests for suitors and to rejoin bickering spouses in love. This mystical adornment was gifted to the Amazon race which bequest them their fabled strength and immortality. It was the Amazon, Metala, under mandate by Queen Hippolyta, who was enraptured by the magical artifact, that she forge a golden rope from the graceful girdle, and thus was born the very first form of the righteous rope of veracity.

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In the tradition of the burgeoning DC Universe and it’s often shifting narrative and character mythos, the Lasso of Truth has also seen it’s beguiling backstory altered. The groundbreaking comic-book series – Crisis On Infinite Earths, by celebrated comic-book creators – George Perez and Marv Wolfman, posited that the lasso was forged by maestro of metallurgy and god of fire himself – Hephaestus. The bombastic blacksmith of the gods forged the lavish lariat from the Golden Girdle of Gaea, this mythological artifact was actually created by none other than Wonder Woman’s very own architect – William Moulton Marston, originally named by the esteemed doctor of psychology as the Magical Girdle of Aphrodite, an allegory for the power of female allure, and in Greek mythology – the mythic girdle was obtained by Heracles from Hippolyte as a key quest of his twelve labours.

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The ability to extract the truth though is but one of the powerful properties contained within the golden links of the lasso, it is also capable of translating spoken languages, the mere act of gripping the lasso will enable Diana and any other beings to universally understand each other and speak foreign tongues, the libertarian lariat is also adept at disseminating illusions and hallucinations, and other mental maladies. 

If you’ve had the good fortune of seeing the latest cinematic adaptation of Wonder Woman, you’ll recall seeing Gal Gadot’s Diana learning how to utilise her lasso and the wind currents to enable her ability to fly, this glorious gift wasn’t created for the fantastic film however, but was lifted from the very pages of the comic books themselves. When originally conceived, Diana was incapable of the fantastic feat of flight, but through experimentation of the lasso’s myriad powers, discovered that if she spun the lasso at great speeds, the oscillation would create currents of air she could then use to glide upon, mimicking the power of flight.

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The comic-book creation of the Lasso of Truth by William Moulton Marston was in direct correlation to the esteemed psychologists real life creation of the Systolic Blood Pressure Test, which eventually became one of the key components in the John Larson invented Polygraph. It was actually professor Marston’s wife – Elizabeth Holloway that first suggested a distinct connection between emotion and blood pressure differentiation, noting that whenever they got frustrated or emotional, their blood pressure would climb. 

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Thanks so much for dropping by the Precinct as we explored the history and profundity of Wonder Woman’s laudable and lavish lariat of the gods, next episode we shall be traversing the fictional (and mythological) Amazon annals to search out the history of Diana’s Bracelets of Submission, until that time I shall just say “apochairetismos” my absolutely awesome Amazonian affiliates!

Women In Comics Presents: Ramona Fradon

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The Comic-Book medium has always been seen as a mostly male dominated industry in both characters and creators, this is most likely due to a large percentage of the readership being of the male persuasion, though other more obvious reasons definitely prevail. The Superhero genre, as we know it today, arguably began with Lee Falk’s classic domino masked, amaranthine clad hero – The Phantom, who was followed a mere few years later by DC’s Superman and Batman, it wasn’t until esteemed Professor of psychology – the great William Moulton Marston entered this burgeoning market in 1941 with his iconic creation – Wonder Woman, that the tide began to (very slowly) turn towards a rather more inclusive market.

Of course, attitudes back during the Golden Age of comics were not at all what you would ever call diverse and inclusive, it was very much a male dominated industry and, yes indeed, world. It was Marston that initially fought back against this ideology with his casting of a strong but sensitive character in Diana of Themyscira, a positive female role model that could not only match her male counterparts, but even surpass them. Though Marston is accredited as the sole creator of Wonder Woman (though it should be noted that Harry G. Peter also had an underrated impact on the characters development) it was the women in his life both personal and those of whom he admired, that really had the biggest influence on Wonder Woman’s growth and eventual evolution, most notably – Elizabeth Holloway, Olive Byrne, and suffragist icon – Margaret Sanger.

If you’ve been a follower of Precinct1313 for awhile now you’ll have come to the realisation that not only am I a huge fan of Wonder Woman, but also many other female characters, and creators in not just comic-books but also film and video-games. I love strong female representations in my media, more so than male (sorry Batsy!) I think a lot of this is due to my being almost solely raised by mum from a very young age after my father passed away when I was around nine years old. I also have two sisters (and a brother, it’s ok, I didn’t forget you bro!) who were very independent and forthright, my mother instilled me throughout my formative years with a strong sense of virtue and morality. My mother is and always has been a feminist, she grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when discrimination against women was still very much rife, but actively fought against what was seen as the norm, and I will always be eternally grateful for the values she entrusted me with as I grew.

Now, with that lengthy preamble out of the way, let’s get to what you’re all here for – fantastic female comic-book creators, beginning with…

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Comic-Book artist supreme – Ramona Fradon first began her paradigmatic foray into the male dominated comic market in the early fifties, and she actually continues to draw and create characters even now, at the amazing age of 94! She landed her first paying assignment with DC Comics, illustrating – Shining Knight, and after that auspicious start, became regular penciller on Adventure Comics and Brave and the Bold, also for DC.

Ramona was born in October of 1942 in Chicago, yet spent most of early life in New York, where she moved with her family at age five. Her father was a commercial letterer and logo designer of which her brother also careered in, as well as her uncle. Her mother unfortunately passed away in 1952, when Ramona was a mere ten years of age, and it was her father that encouraged her to follow her dream and enrol in art school at the Parsons School Of Design located in Greenwich Village. After graduating from Parsons, Ramona met and married her husband, the cartoonist – Dana Fradon, who wholly supported and encouraged her career in cartooning. She pitched samples of her work to family friend, comic-book letterer – George Ward, which is what resulted in her first commission for DC Comics on the aforementioned – Shining Knight.

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After praise for her fantastic run on Shining Knight, DC then approached Ramona to continue working for them on a regular basis beginning with Adventure Comics, where she pencilled the back up story of Aquaman, which included her updating the character for the Silver Age, and also co-creating, alongside writer – Robert Bernstein, Aquaman’s trusty sidekick – Aqualad in 1960. She returned to DC to co-create (along with writer Bob Haney) another of their sixties classic creations – Metamorpho for the Brave and the Bold imprint. Ramona admitted to an almost perfect creative synergy with writer Haney, whom both referred to Metamorpho as their literary baby – “It was one of those wonderful collaborations that doesn’t happen very often” Ramona would later say.

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From 1965 through to 1972, Ramona briefly left comic-books to raise her young daughter, but returned once again to DC in late ’72 where she would take up the artistic reins on – Plastic Man, Super Friends and Freedom Fighters. She very briefly worked for Marvel, but admitted that structural differences between the two comic-book giants made it so she preferred working for DC, and soon departed Marvel after pencilling one issue of Fantastic Four and an unpublished issue of The Cat. After returning to DC she worked in conjunction with the legendary Joe Orlando, with whom she drew mystery comics. In 1980 she returned to college to study psychology and ancient religion, during this time she took over artistic responsibility on – Brenda Starr: Reporter, after its long term artist – Dale Messick retired.

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Ramona continued to draw Brenda Starr for an astonishing fifteen years until her own retirement in 1995. Though, even in retirement she would still accept the occasional pencilling assignment, most notably for Spongebob Comics, plus graphic novels – The Dinosaur That Got Tired Of Being Extinct, and – The Adventures Of Unemployed Man, amongst others. She will be returning to the company that she worked so many years for – DC Comics this year with an absolutely glorious cover for their 80th anniversary of Wonder Woman. Ramona Fradon is the pioneer for female artists in the comic-book format, and was recognised as such by being inducted into the prestigious – Will Eisner Comic-Book Hall Of Fame – in 2006, justly so!

Ace, Krypto, And Streaky Too!

Superheroes are awesome aren’t they… leaping tall buildings in a single bound, scowling atop shadowy gargoyles, extracting the truth with their golden lariats, ka-powing criminals, crushing crime and fighting hatred and oppression, yes indeedy, Superheroes are awesome! That said, for many, without their extensive network of sidekicks and allies would they really be as effective? Batman has Robin and his extended Bat-Family, Superman has Supergirl and Superboy, Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl, Green Arrow and Speedy, et al. Though it could be said (probably only by me) that the real power behind their thrones comes from the less heralded, yet equally as important… Super-Pets!

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Now then, if you’re not a comic-book fanatic, you may feel I’m barking mad, or that this post could end up being a cat-astrophe (sorry, I had to!) and yet, Batman, Superman, Supergirl and yes even Wonder Woman have an extensive history with their fearless furry friends that dates back decades, plus, believe it or not, said pets also don colourful costumes (y’know, just in case SuperVillain pets recognise them!), exhibit powers and, yep, fight crime! So why not join us as we peruse (and pet) our all time favourite super powered animals, from Krazy Kangaroos, through Soaring Cats and even a Bat-Cow!

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The origin of the Super-Pet dates way back to the 1940’s, specifically the 1942 release of Sensation Comics #6, which introduced us to Wonder Woman’s very own faithful furry friend. Now, you’d think with Diana’s extensive history and standing in Greek Mythology, that Pegasus would be the perfect equine entity to accompany her on her ongoing odyssey, failing that how about the mighty Minotaur, maybe three headed demonic dog Cerberus, or Zeus’ nurturing goat – Amalthea? Ha, well you’d be wrong oh fellow fans of fantastic fluffy fearless friends, for it was none other than… Jumpa, the Kangaroo!!  (Uh, well, of course it was!)

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I mean, you really have to wonder why Wondy’s incredibly talented creator, William Moulton Marston went with a Kangaroo over the suggestions I threw out there, but, that said, have you ever seen a Kangaroo up close before? those things are terrifying! One of these mammoth marsupials chasing you down with Wonder Woman on it’s back no less, would be the epitome of the good cop/bad cop trope!!

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Now, I know that this might put me in the dog house with the other Super-Pets, but Ace the Bat-hound has always been my personal favourite of this formidable furry force, I mean look at him, he wears a mask, and sometimes a cape and utility belt style collar (how on earth does he get the bat gadgets out of there without fingers? questions like this keep me up at night!) and his master is The Batman! so case closed.

Ace’s doggy debut was in the 1955 issue of Batman #92, and this canine crime-fighting conundrum has been a stalwart admission to the Bat mythos ever since. Originally a German Shepherd, Ace has been through many different Bat-breeds since his initial inception including an English Mastiff and Great Dane, though you’d think, with Batman being heralded as The World’s Greatest Detective that a Bloodhound would make the perfect canine companion for the Caped Crusader… Suffering Sappho, maybe DC should hire me to write their comics! (only joking, uuh, unless DC want to, then I’m not!) But, if you thought caped and cowled crime-fighting canines was the quintessence of strange, you ain’t seen nothing yet…

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Yep, it’s a cow! though not just any old cow of course, but a bodacious and bombastic Bat-bovine!

The legen-dairy ( the puns, they’re gonna get worse!) Bat-Cow made her first astonishing appearance in Batman Inc (vol 2) #1, whilst another version of the headstrong heifer appeared for a short while in Tiny Titans, after stealing Batman’s cape and cowl to fight crime and form the the League Of Just Us Cows, this variant was eventually put out to pasture after DC Comics rebooted her with a brand new origin story. During a raid on a slaughterhouse (which was a front for Talia Al Ghul’s Leviathan) Batman and Robin saved their bovine buddy and adopted her into their burgeoning Bat-Family, this also led to Robin embracing a vegetarian lifestyle. Of course, the idea of a crime-fighting cow is udderly ridiculous, but it has also made for some rather amoo-sing tales, still, as to not milk this segment any longer we shall be moo-ving on to…

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The canine crime-fighting capers continue with the Man of Steel’s very own good boy – Krypto the Superdog! Krypto has been lending a paw to Supes since his cuspid creation in Adventure Comics #210 in March 1955. 

Superman’s best friend also hails from Kal-El’s home planet of Krypton and as such shares a very similar power set to that of his master including flight, super strength and super-breath (gross, I mean dogs and super-breath should never, ever go together!) this four legged wonder’s power set marks him out as the ulti-mutt crime-fighting canine in the Legion of Superpets, which finds him constantly harassed by the pup-arazzi! (ok, ok, that one was fairly bad, just please don’t hound me over it!)

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Just when you are feline that the you’ve had enough of the bad animal puns along comes Supergirl’s favourite furry friend, the paw-some Streaky the Supercat! I’m not kitten around you know, Kara’s fur-midable feline made his debut in Action Comics #261 in February 1960.

Unlike his doggy buddy Krypto, Streaky hailed from Earth and gained his claw-some gifts after exposure to X-Kryptonite, which enabled him with purr-fect powers such as – flight, super-speed and enhanced visual abilities. Though DC contains a plethora of cats in its canon, including Power Girl’s Stinky the cat, and of course Catwoman’s clowder, Streaky though will go down in hiss-tory as a personal favourite of mine, as he has such a meow-tain of purr-sonality!

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All Hail The Legion Of Super-Pets Fur-ever!