Category Archives: Comics/television

Comic-Book Legend, Denny O’Neil Passes Away At Age 81

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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.

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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.

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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.

Happy 80th Anniversary Selina Kyle!

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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.

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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.

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The Bat and the Cat… Forever!

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.

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Precinct1313’s Fave Live Action Catwomen (so Far)

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!

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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.

Wonder Woman #750: Celebrating An Icon

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

Precinct1313’s End Of The Decade Geekstravaganza

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!

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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 

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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 .

Starfire 

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 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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

Franklyn:

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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  

(Non DC Comics movie runners up: Dredd, Halloween 2018, Super, Solomon Kane)

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!

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Happy Wonder Woman Day!

Great Hera! Today marks the official celebration of everyone’s favourite feisty fictional female, the Themysciran Titan – 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 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…

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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!

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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

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!!

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…

 

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313 – SDCC 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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Well, of course they did…

A veritable feast for the eyes was unveiled at this years largest American geek gathering – San Diego Comic-Con, in fact smorgasbord would be a rather more fitting word for the absolutely astonishing avalanche of DC Comics greatness that was available… and, of course, your ever prescient Precinct1313 is here to share said greatness with you, it’s fellow Agents, beginning with…

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The First Trailer For Shazam… Blew Minds!

It’s an unfortunate thing being a geek sometimes… especially when awesome stuff comes along that literally explodes your head, I mean it’s such an unpleasant and rather icky chore to constantly pick up brain matter and skull fragments from the floor every time something uber cool makes an appearance… and the trailer for DC Comics’ cinematic adaptation for the coming of age Superhero – Shazam is just that thing. In fact the trailer is so damnably great, that I rigorously had my hands pressed hard against my head to stop the inevitable explosion of said geeky brain matter (more fool me of course… implosions are just as goddamn messy!) 

Indulge in the trailer below fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

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Aquaman Trailer Makes Waves At SDCC…

Sorry folks if you’ve just finished scooping up your inevitably exploded heads from the floor after watching the stonking Shazam trailer, cos it’s about to happen again with the premier for James Wan’s adaptation of DC’s king of the seas, Aquaman. Atlantis’ favoured son, Arthur Curry, will be surfing his way towards the big screen this Winter, and under the guidance of film auteur – the aforementioned Wan, everyone is expecting great things… and this first glimpse definitely does not disappoint… it’s looking like the tide has finally turned for Aquaman.

Luxuriate In The Trailer Below My Astonishing Atlantean Associates…

 

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Stargirl – Coming Back To A Small Screen Near You Soon…

We love the character of Stargirl here in Precinct1313’s comic crypts, she has been a favourite of ours for many a year now. So it was with great delight when we saw her pop up in CW’s live action Legends Of Tomorrow series, and she was actually rather well realised in the episodes. Yet, we were really hoping she would ultimately become a team mainstay, alas that never happened… luckily though, one of her creators, the fantastic Geoff Johns is currently working on bringing Courtney Whitmore back for her own series, for DC’s upcoming digital streaming service – DC Universe.

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Two live action versions of Courtney have already materialised through shows Smallville (inset pic) and Legends of Tomorrow. but you can never have too much Stargirl, so a third version, by her own creator no less, is definitely welcome.

The project is an emotional and significant one for Johns, who based the character on his sister, Courtney, who died in a plane explosion in the 90’s. Johns will both write and produce the series along with cohort Greg Berlanti, who has been the driving force behind DC’s commanding Superheroic presence on the small screen with such shows as Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow.

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

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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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…

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Alfred Finally Gets His Due…

Barry Allen: “So what exactly are your superpowers again?”

Bruce Wayne: “I’m rich!”

This is a rather accurate assessment of Bruce’s innate ability to fight crime on a scale approaching that of the more powerful variety of Superheroes, it’s Bruce’s fortune that enables his war on crime to continue ad infinitum, and also ably supplies him with the gadgets and instrumentation needed to take down foes who far outweigh him in the realms of strength and preternatural capabilities.

But which of these many devices is the biggest aid for Gotham’s dark and scary one? The famed Batmobile? his ninja-like Batarangs?, the seemingly bottomless utility belt… nah! it’s one man, someone who has always been there for the caped wonder, a guardian, father figure and caretaker of both Bruce’s body and mind – staunch (and often snarky) British butler and ex SAS operative, Alfred Pennyworth.

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Many variants of the popular character have appeared throughout various media over the almost eight decades since Gotham’s grim guardian first appeared, from the original comic book source, through novels, television series and film. The character has been portrayed by some of the UK’s finest thespians including, of course, the recent depictions by Michael Caine, and current valet to the masked grimacing one – Jeremy Irons. We adore Alfred and have always wished for a lot more interaction on his behalf in the live action arena… and now that particular reverie is apparently coming true with EPIX announcing a 10 part series exploring Alfred’s intriguing past exploits. No news on potential actors for the role as of yet, though we do know it will not be utilising the television series Gotham’s Alfred, Sean Pertwee.

(Though, even if Alfred does indeed get even more popular than he is currently through this potentially awesome production, his excited fervour will always be tempered by the fact that he still has to wash Batman’s tights in the morning!!)

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There’s No Gloom, Only Doom With This News…

Quirky, irreverent, much maligned, strange, aberrant outcast and generally disparaged… but enough about me, let’s talk about the Doom Patrol!

In 2019 DC Comics will be unleashing its brand new digital service – DC Universe, a first of its kind immersive digital experience designed exclusively for DC fans. Previously announced shows for this groundbreaking TV experience are live action versions of The Titans, the seminal Swamp Thing, plus new animated series that include Young Justice and Harley Quinn.

But the most recent announcement is probably the most fascinating, the unveiling of a live action series based upon classic quirky heroes – The Doom Patrol. Patrol is certainly one of the weirdest of all the Super-Teams existing in comics today, It debuted in 1963 through anthology comic – My Greatest Adventure, but it was during the 80’s and 90’s that the unconventional heroes really found their footing thanks to the sterling work of Scottish comic-book scribe – Grant Morrison.

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‘The Doom Patrol series is a re-imagining of one of DC’s most beloved group of outcast Superheroes – Robotman, Elasti-Girl, and Crazy Jane, led by a modern day mad scientist Dr. Niles Calder. Doom Patrol members have each suffered terrible accidents that whilst it did bestow upon them their superhuman abilities, also left them scarred and disfigured. Traumatised and downtrodden, the team found it’s purpose through The Chief, who brought them together to investigate the weirdest of phenomena, and protect the planet from what they find.’

The Doom Patrol series will debut alongside the DC Universe digital service in 2019… 

Why Not Join Us Again Next Time Friends For More Week In Geek.

Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comic Book Writer Tom King Blew Us All Away!!

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

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

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

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

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

The Justice League United… 

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2017 was a particularly great year if you’re a DC Comics fanatic, not only did we get the long awaited cinematic debut of the Worlds first, and greatest female Superhero, we were also lucky enough to bask in the glory of the premier team of iconic costume clad crimefighters – The Justice League!

Now then, as expected, the critics apparently hated it… but (like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad before it) the movie going audiences loved it! The ongoing debate about whether ‘professional critics’ are ruining the cinema experience by damning movies so much that they are ostensibly stopping viewers from going to see films doesn’t necessarily seem to be true, to  date the critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is 40%, yet the audience verdict stands at a much more impressive 78%.

You know what? ignore critics, Justice League was a fantastic and fun romp from start to finish, the Amazon battle segment at the start was phenomenal, and the sequence where a disorientated Superman took on the entire League was just a blast, especially the super-speed fight between the Man of Steel and The Flash. If you’re still on the fence about seeing the film due to low scores I have two things to tell you –  1. Don’t be, it’s a great movie full of sterling action scenes and plenty of laughs (plus it gives you even more Wonder Woman!) 2. Get off that fence, it wasn’t designed to be sat on! (I mean, wouldn’t a chair be more comfortable!)

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

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