Category Archives: Comics/television
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…
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!!
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 Clock. Yet 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!!!
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…
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!
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…
A Brooding Robin Captured On Camera…
“Holy live action awesomeness, Batman!” DC Comics and Warner Bros have finally revealed our first look at upcoming Titans actor Brenton Thwaites as iconic comic-book sidekick Robin, and it’s, quite frankly… fantastic!
The shadowy, brooding side shot of the Boy Wonder encapsulates perfectly the classic comic-book character, and even though it’s not a full body shot, the design clearly follows Robin’s signature look, from the red and green hued costume, to the recognisable “R” symbol on the left breast. The costume design is by industry veteran Laura Shannon, who has previously worked on Iron Man and DC’s incoming live action version of Black Lightning.
The Titans live action series is due to debut next year on DC’s upcoming digital streaming service.
Batman + Medieval Japan = Too Much Bloody Awesomeness For Mere Mortals (In Fact, I Think My Head May Just Explode From The Excitement Of It All)…
This, this is freakin’ amazing!… as if Gotham’s grim guardian, The Batman, isn’t already the coolest Superhero ever conceived, DC Comics and Warner Bros animation only go and throw him (plus his nearest and dearest foes, and allies) back in time to medieval Japan, where they become entangled in a provincial power struggle.
The film is directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, who expressed that the film is definitely more of reflection on how Japan sees Batman, as opposed to how Batman perceives Japan. Indulge in the sublime trailer included below fellow Batfans! (and do try not to let your head explode from the exhilaration, it really can cause quite a mess!)
The Triumphant Return Of Booster Gold Is Nigh (Finally!)…
The bombastic and much beloved Booster Gold will be returning to the DC Universe in Action Comics #993, courtesy of his original creator Dan Jurgens. Cult character Booster has been conspicuous by his absence for quite a while now, and his multiple fans have clamoured for his rapturous return.
Booster (real name – Michael Jon Carter) the self promoting, glory seeking, time travelling hero from the future first appeared in February 1986, created by writer/artist Dan Jurgens. Using his knowledge from future events and advanced technology he became a self styled Superhero with a love for fame and fortune.
Though initially a swaggering and attention seeking showboat, Booster over the course of time, via interactions with other costumed heroes and through personal tragedies finally became the candid and unwavering Superhero he always dreamed of becoming, though ultimately weighed downed by the false pretence of the previous reputation he created for himself. Oh, and he’s also one half of the greatest comedic comic-book duo of all time Blue and Gold (along with his ol’ pal Blue Beetle – Ted Kord)
Booster will return from the future once more in the two part tale “Booster Shot” in issues #933 and 934 of Action Comics ( we need a Blue and Gold movie… right now DC… right goddamn now!)
Why Not Join Us Again Next Time Friends For More Week In Geek.
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…
Lara Croft Triumphantly Returns To The Silver Screen In First Trailer For Her New Movie…
Quintessentially English archaeologist and raider of tombs, Lara Croft will triumphantly return to the big screen in 2018, with Swedish actress Alicia Vikander portraying the much loved iconic video-game heroine. It has actually been an astonishing fourteen years since the much beloved character was last seen in a live action role, as depicted by Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider: Cradle Of Life, so let’s be honest, a new movie following our favourite globetrotting, relic hunting bad-ass superheroine is looooong overdue!
We are huge fans of the lovely Lara here in the Precinct and have been ever since we got our hands on her original video-game outing way back in 1996 on our my highly missed Sega Saturn. The original game by British developers Eidos Interactive revolved around the exploits of super archaelogist and adventurer Ms Croft and tasked the player with guiding the titular heroine through various tombs and ruins searching for long lost mythological artifacts whilst avoiding death traps, wild animals and solving puzzles.
The new film is based upon the 2013 reboot and is looking really rather wonderful, one of the things we were worried about was whether or not Alicia would be able to nail Lara’s extremely British accent, but judging by the first trailer for the film, it’s sounding pretty damn good (being English myself, I approve!) Revel in the first trailer for the film (below), and then lament that we have to wait until March 2018 to see it:
Shazam Movie To Start Pre-Production Early 2018…
“SHAZAM!!” *looks at self, realises nothing has happened* “dammit, it doesn’t seem to work for mere mortals such as myself (sigh)…” you see whenever classic DC character Billy Batson utters the magical phrase ‘Shazam’ he turns into the iconic and mystical superhero… uh… Shazam! (formerly known as Captain Marvel)
Shazam’s first appearance was in Whiz Comics #2 in 1940, and revolved around the adventures of 12 year old Billy Batson, who upon speaking the magic word of the six immortal elders: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury transformed into the adult Superhero with powers that include, flight, super strength, super speed, magical lightning and spell casting. The long awaited movie adaptation has been waiting in the wings for what seems like forever, but news has emerged that principal photography will begin early next year. Apart from that little else is known about the project including casting details… more as we hear it fellow fans of fantastic fiction.
HBO Confirms Watchmen TV Pilot Episode…
Yes, yes, yes… YES! I love Watchmen, it is without a shadow of a doubt my absolute favourite comic book series of all time, the Zack Snyder directed 2009 movie adaptation was a masterpiece, and now it seems we are going to be getting an episodic TV series based upon the masterful 80’s series, and by HBO no less… so quality is mostly assured!
The Cable network company has officially ordered the pilot and also commissioned extra scripts from screenwriter and producer Damon Lindeloff (Lost, Star Trek) for his take on Alan Moore’s iconic series. Lindeloff is a huge fan of both the original source material and Zack Snyder’s own take, and mentioned in a recent interview with Hollywood Reporter that – “The original comic series continues to influence my work, from the flashbacks to the non linear storytelling, to the deeply flawed characters, these are elements I try to put into everything I write” Soooooo exciting, I literally cannot wait for Rorschach’s rambunctious return!
Why not join us again next time friends for more Week In Geek.
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…
Don’t Fret Batfans, Ben Affleck Is The Batman…
Rumours do not make for great news, let’s be honest. I have to wonder how some of the larger geek websites (read: corporate… though corporate and geeky are two words that really shouldn’t go together!) ever made it to the top of the proverbial nerd pile when such rookie mistakes as reporting on an ill informed rumour as if it were fact happens, especially when, less than 24 hours later they have to retract said articles after finding out that… hey guess what… IT WAS A RUMOUR! Phew!
The latest victim of inadequate fact awareness is Matt Reeves’ much anticipated upcoming adaptation of the masked manhunter – Batman. Several rumours surrounded the Dark Knight’s newest solo escapade this week, first and foremost that Batman v Superman star Ben Affleck had stepped away from the role as the Caped Crusader, and also that the movie itself was a standalone effort not tied into DC’s burgeoning shared cinematic universe, thankfully neither were true.
In response director Matt Reeves took to twitter to answer the rumour mill:
To clarify the point, Reeves’ Batman adaptation retains Ben Affleck as its lead, and will be part of the larger DC extended universe, but, it will primarily be a movie about Batman… no surprise there then considering IT’S A BATMAN MOVIE!! If dearly departed 60’s Bat actor Adam West was still with us he would definitely be reaching into his utility belt for his Anti-Rumour Bat Spray about now!
Raging Joker!? Legendary Director Martin Scorsese In Talks To Produce A Joker Origin Movie…
The Joker is quite possibly the most infamous comic villain of all time, and has seen many onscreen interpretations of his maniacal character over the decades, from Cesar Romero’s 60’s version through to the more recent Jared Leto rendering. Warner Bros are currently in talks with legendary film director Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Departed) to produce an origin tale for the clown prince of crime… a highly unexpected but rather awesome piece of news indeed!
Because the film will delve back into The Joker’s past, a younger actor will be portraying the mirthful maniac, which obviously precludes Jared Leto from reprising his role. But fear not Leto-Joker fans (myself included here) Jared has confirmed that he will be stepping out as the murderous maniacal maestro once again in a new movie that will centre on Mr J and his long suffering partner in madness Harley Quinn in what Warner Bros are calling a “Criminal Love Story”. I’m envisioning Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” with Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis’ roles recast as Harley and her puddin’… now that would be cool!
Titans Live Action Series Has Found Its Starfire…
We absolutely adore Starfire here in Precinct1313, which you probably already realise if you’re long time reader of the site. And when news hit that DC are in the process of creating a live action television series based upon the iconic team of teen superheroes, we were overjoyed at the idea of Koriand’r getting her first non animated debut on the small screen, and now it’s a definite reality as “24: Legacy” star Anna Diop has been cast in the role of the Tamaranean Princess.
The Titans series is being produced by sensational scribe Geoff Johns and TV writer/producer Greg Berlanti, and will debut on DC’s upcoming digital showcase channel. Anna will join already announced fellow cast member Teagan Croft, the Australian actress cast as the mystical Raven. Excitement overload in three… two…
Why not join us again next time friends for more Week In Geek
That’s right, it’s been a quarter of a century since the mischievous minx of mayhem was first unleashed onto an unsuspecting comic book universe, much to the chagrin of most Superheroes, but conversely to the delight of millions of comic book fans, for Harley truly is… one of the greatest characters ever conceived, and if you don’t agree, then The Joker 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 and murder on the populace of Gotham City.
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”. Actress Arleen Sorkin was Paul Dini’s original inspiration for the clown princess of crime, after he saw her 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 her personality into the character.
Though initially brought in as a throw away character, Harley proved so massively popular with the DC fanbase that she was ultimately brought into DC Universe continuity in the 1994 graphic novel “Batman Adventures: Mad Love” which recounted her wacky origin tale, and was written and drawn by original co-creators Dini and Timm.
Harley of course has, since that time, become a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the comic book world, starring in both animated and live action movies, and is also without a doubt, THE most most popular choice for depiction amongst cos-players across the globe.
Hellacious Harley’s quarter century celebrations begin with (aptly) “Harley Quinn Rebirth #25″, an oversized issue of Ms Quinn’s mega popular monthly series. Written by the masters of mirth – Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with a back up story by Harley’s co-creator Paul Dini.
This really is one of the funniest HQ comics released to date, an hilarious issue packed with action, suspense, sentimentality… and beaver jokes (well of course there are beaver jokes… it’s a Harley comic by those masterly mirthful maestros Amanda and Jimmy!) In fact, as great as all the tales jam packed into this issue are (Paul Dini making a triumphant return to his creation obviously being a stand out) it was the ridiculously brilliant birthday chapter by Amanda and her hubby Jimmy that I enjoyed the most. I mean, let’s be honest, BEAVER jokes are sooooo childish and ever so slightly politically incorrect but, under the direction of the dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti they are hilarious and had me giggling and snorting like a school child (much to the consternation of the other patrons in the cafe I was reading it in!!)
Happy 25th Anniversary To Our Favourite Clown Princess!
(Please Note: No beavers were hurt during the writing of this post… just tossed, stuffed, kidnapped and made fun of… so that’s OK then!)
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…
Who Watches The Watchmen?
HBO are, once again, hinting that they are attempting to bring Alan Moore’s seminal comic book series ‘Watchmen’ to the small screen. The groundbreaking 80’s series published by DC Comics is one of the greatest pieces of Superhero fiction ever wrought, and was previously brought to life through Zack Snyder’s masterful 2009 cinematic adaptation.
HBO have approached Damon Lindelof, the creator of shows such as ‘Lost’ and ‘The Leftovers’ to take the reins of the series. Lindelof told Comic Book Resources in 2009 that Watchmen had “influenced his writing style more than anything else he had ever read”, so he seems like an excellent choice for reuniting us with it’s iconic cast of misfit Superheroes and masked vigilantes.
Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm Returns In All New HD Remaster…
Well finally… the stunning 1993 animated movie ‘Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm’ will release on Blu-Ray next month in an all new 1080p high definition remaster. Warner Bros 90’s classic is a favourite amongst Bat-fans, and for good reason, it’s one of the best interpretations of Gotham’s guardian outside of the comic books themselves. The film successfully drives home the pain and sacrifice that Bruce Wayne has had to endure to become the justice seeking creature of the night that haunts the dreams of Gotham’s many miscreants and malefactors.
‘When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is initially blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain – The Phantasm, a sinister figure with links to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the Police, capture the Phantasm, and clear his own name?’
Wonderful Art For A Wonderful Woman…
With the excellent Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot ‘Wonder Woman’ movie still breaking records at the box office and finally showing the world that a female led Superhero movie is not only viable, but essential, let’s celebrate the Themysciran Titan’s triumph with some fantastic poster art images that have been released in the wake of the stunning movie by Poster Posse.
Why not join us again next time friends for more ‘Week In Geek’
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…
Great Hera! New Wonder Woman Trailers Are Fantastic…
“Suffering Sappho” do you realise, my amazing Amazonian associates, that we are just a mere 34 days away from the release of the most important film in female Superhero history! That’s right, Gal Gadot’s starring role as the original and most influential female comic-book character of all time approaches, and we are feverish with anticipation!! To really hype up our excitement (not sure if possible, already so excited, our heads may explode!) Warner Bros have released two new trailers showcasing the upcoming legendary film, and by ‘The Horns Of The Mighty Minotaur’ they look fantastic, bathe in their awesomeness my friends…
Teen Titans Live Action Is A GO!…
That’s right, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, the long awaited live action TV series of DC’s premier teen Superheroes and sizzling sidekicks is finally on it’s way! Not only that, but it will be headlining DC’s new digital streaming service alongside season three of ‘Young Justice’. There were plans for TNT to originally produce a show based upon the tremendous team of teens, but this was scrapped, most likely in favour of this new show, which is being produced by superstar comic scribe Geoff Johns, and DC/CW engineer Greg Berlanti. The press release also mentions a few of the team’s line up, which will include – Nightwing, Starfire (yes, yes, YESSSS!!) and Raven. We shall bring you more news on this as we hear it.
Why not join us again next time friends, for more Week In Geek
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…
Big Trouble Is Heading To Your Tabletop…
We are huge fans of director John Carpenter here in the Precinct, which will be obvious to most considering the name of our website is a riff on one of his greatest movies. After Halloween and The Thing our third favourite Carpenter classic is the fantastically funny “Big Trouble In Little China” the Kurt Russell starring martial arts/comedy combo is an absolute gem of a film, and now you can recreate the quintessential classic at home thanks to a new board game based upon the cult movie.
The game itself is currently still in development, but designers Chris Batarlis and Boris Polonsky have revealed the workings of the game itself and images of the fantastically recreated board and pieces, which look remarkably like their cinematic counterparts.
“It’s a thematic, co-operative, strategy, miniatures adventure game that allows 1-4 players to experience the events they remember from the film as well as create new adventures of their own. The game plays in two acts – Act One uses the front side of the game board: Chinatown, whilst Act Two takes place on the back: Lo Pan’s Lair”
Batgirl Joins DCEU Courtesy Of Joss Whedon…
That’s right Bat-fans, everyone’s second favourite bat eared, cape wearing vigilante, Batgirl will be starring in her very own movie… directed by Joss Whedon no less! It has been confirmed by entertainment magazine, Variety, that Babs Gordon’s red haired costumed crime-fighter will follow Wonder Woman into the annals of female led Superhero movies… great news indeed, the diversity will surely help balance out the overabundance of male driven comic-book films and pave the way for more classic female heroes and villains (Come on Batwoman!!)
Variety also confirmed that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Avengers director is currently in talks with Warner Bros to write and direct the comic-book spin off, which should help the prospective film to gain traction amongst fans and critics alike… exciting news indeed.
Black Lightning Strikes: First Look At Cress Williams In Costume…
Our first glimpse at actor Cress Williams in the iconic Black Lightning costume was revealed this week, the upcoming CW show is being produced by Greg Berlanti and is currently still in production.
Black Lightning (real name Jefferson Pierce) was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, and made his debut appearance in ‘Black Lightning #1′ in April 1977. Jefferson is one of the first major African-American Superheroes to appear in comics, he has been an on/off member of the Justice League and a regular in the Batman created team ‘The Outsiders’. Jefferson’s power set includes – the generation and manipulation of electricity, flight, and the ability to conjure force fields.
Why Not Join Us Again Next Time Friends, For More ‘Week In Geek’
Meanwhile, in the 1960’s… Donna Troy’s past is a hotbed of alternate paths, though she is often mistaken as the original holder of the title of Wonder Girl, it was actually Wonder Woman herself that was the source of that character, as put forward by Robert Kanigher during his early 60’s run on Wonder Woman. Wonder Girl during the iconic Kanigher series of issues was actually awesome adolescent Amazon, Princess Diana, brought forward in time to adventure alongside her grown up self, with help from Wonder Tot (yes… really!) and Queen Hippolyta.
The title of Wonder Girl has actually been held by four different characters over the course of Wonder Woman’s extensive run, though only three of them are officially canon as legitimate versions in DC Universe legend. Donna was actually the second holder of the title, making her first appearance in 1965, and was later succeeded by Cassandra Sandsmark in 1996. The other character to briefly hold the moniker was Drusilla, a small role that took place during issues #182 – #184 in the very late 60’s, this is the version of Wonder Girl that was actually featured in the 70’s Lynda Carter starring Wonder Woman television series, played Debra Winger.
But it is Donna who generally comes to mind whenever Wonder Girl is referred to, similar to how most fans see Babs Gordon as the definitive Batgirl, even though Betty Kane held the title many years before her. And if all that seems mildly confusing… then welcome to the rabbit hole that is Donna’s multiple origin stories, take a deep breath my amazing Amazonian associates for we are about to venture forth into said hole, to ultimately discover… Who Is Donna Troy?
Donna made her first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60 in 1965, as a member of the sidekick superteam – Teen Titans, which primarily consisted of Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash.
It was Marv Wolfman who first proffered an origin tale for Donna in Teen Titans #22 in 1969. The story established that Donna was human orphan who was saved by Wonder Woman from a devastating fire. Diana, unable to find any parents or guardians for Donna, adopted her and took her to Themyscira, where she was trained by the Amazons and eventually given super powers through the mysterious Purple Ray, which successfully transferred powers from the island’s Amazon inhabitants, it was during this issue that she adopted the name of Donna Troy.
Classic 1985 mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths redefined many DC characters in a company wide reboot, including Donna’s genesis. In this new variant of her history it was actually the mythical Titan Rhea that rescued Donna from the fire. Donna is raised on New Cronus by the Titans, alongside eleven other orphans receiving legendary powers, with each orphan named after a famous Greek city, with Troy being chosen for Donna. She also adopted the new pseudonym of Troia and a new Darkstar costume which contained the immeasurable power of the Titans themselves.
Post Crisis on Infinite Earths, Donna’s creation was changed once again. In this new concept, Donna was a magically created duplicate of Wonder Woman created by the sorceress Magala, as a playmate for WW. Being mistaken for Diana herself by the villainous Dark Angel, Donna is kidnapped, and cursed to consecutively live out virtually endless variations of past lives, with each defined by varying degrees of torment and misery. She was later saved from this endless cycle of suffering by Diana, Hippolyta and the third version of the Flash, Wally West. Realising that Donna was created from a sliver of Diana’s anima, Queen Hippolyta accepted her as a daughter, and during a coronation held on Themyscira, announced Troia as a second Princess to the Amazon nation.
DC Comics, seemingly not content with having only three (!?) variants of Donna’s complicated past decided that a fourth version was necessary, which resulted in the 2005 released mini-series The Return of Donna Troy, though this four issue run did attempt to clear up Donna’s multiple origin tales and give the fans a definitive version of their second favourite Amazon warrior.
Through this titanic tale, she realised she was an amalgamation of multiple Donna Troys from across DC’s multiverse, retaining knowledge and memories from each and every variant of herself.
And just when you think that DC had confused poor old Donna enough, along came their 2011 reboot The New 52. Once again DC fundamentally changed their slew of Superheroes’ background storylines, including that of Ms Troy.
Initially Donna is nowhere to be found during this rambunctious reboot, with the most recent version of Wonder Girl, Cassie Sandsmark taking centre stage at the forefront of the Amazon acolytes. It was much later, in the pages of Meredith and David Finch’s take on Wonder Woman, that Donna re-emerged into Amazon mythology with an origin rather similar to an earlier tale. Created in Wonder Woman’s image by her enemies, Donna’s job was to usurp the Amazon princess and wrest control, but is ultimately defeated by Diana, which sets her on a path of some serious soul searching.
“Suffering Sappho” are you confused,and perplexed enough thus far!? well nevertheless it isn’t over yet for luckless Donna and her multiple choice past. In 2016, DC’s Rebirth ushered in another soft reboot of their unique universe and with it another obligatory Donna variable! We can but hope that this time Donna can finally have some closure on her convoluted origin story, but I wouldn’t put money on it…
In 1967, at the behest of the producers of the classically camp sixties Batman show a new Superhero was born, Barbara (Babs) Gordon, better known as the feisty flame haired vigilante – Batgirl!
Bab’s creators – Julius Schwartz, William Dozier, and Carmine Infantino called for a female analogue to the Caped Crusader, who could be simultaneously introduced into both the comics and the popular television series. Technically though, Batgirl wasn’t a new character, she was a variant of the original Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff created persona from earlier that decade. The original Batgirl appeared in Batman #139 in April 1961, the niece of Kathy Kane aka Batwoman.
Batwoman and Batgirl were originally created to be romantic interests for Batman and Robin, as well as costumed crime-fighting associates. In 1964, Batman editor of the time Julius Schwartz erased Batwoman, Batgirl (and other supporting characters – Ace the Bathound and Bat-mite) from the timeline on the grounds that the characters were “too silly”. Both Batwoman and her niece Betty (now known as Bette) Kane eventually and triumphantly returned to the DC Comics timeline, with Kate Kane reprising her role as Batwoman (with a few fundamental changes to her character) though Bette returned not as Batgirl, but as Flamebird, a role that had previously been inhabited by several other DC creations that included Jimmy Olsen and Kara Zor-El.
Babs Gordon though has always been seen and celebrated as the Batgirl by her millions of adoring fans, debuting in Detective Comics # 359 in a story entitled “The Million Dollar Debut Of Batgirl” by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. Babs was introduced as the daughter of long time Batman aide – Commissioner James Gordon, she retains a doctorate in library science, is employed as the head of the Gotham City Library and possesses a photographic memory and genius level intellect.
Aside from being a popular recurring character in many DC publications, Babs didn’t get her first starring role until the “Batman Family” comic series in 1975, where she took centre stage alongside other members of the bodacious Bat clan including original Robin, Dick Grayson.
Bab’s continued her well loved run as the masked avenger up until Alan Moore’s Eisner winning one-shot “The Killing Joke“, where, in a controversial sequence of events, she was shot through the spine by the genocidal jester himself, The Joker, ultimately causing paralysis from the waist down, with the paraplegia signalling the end of her crime-fighting career… or did it?
A subsequent storyline by John Ostrander and Kim Yale established Babs in a new role, as the wheelchair bound Oracle. Forming a formidable team of female Superheroes (that includes amongst its members – Black Canary and The Huntress), Babs became a behind the scenes leader and information collator as her Birds of Prey fought crime and corruption on a global scale. During this time two other ongoing versions of Batgirl took over the mantle – Cassandra Cain and then later Stephanie Brown, both had a modicum of success as the character.
In 2011, DC Comics heralded a comic wide reboot of their entire Universe of characters known as “The New 52“, the major revamp followed the “Flashpoint” paradox which brought extensive changes to their classic cadre of characters, including Batgirl/Oracle. Babs was eventually given back the use of her legs after receiving experimental surgery at a South African clinic and through rigorous physical rehabilitation. The decision to allow Babs to regain her mobility was seen by some fans as somewhat of a shame, as she had become one of the few very prominent disabled heroes in comics, but most fans were (myself included here) ecstatic to see the Batgirl prowling the rooftops of Gotham once more.
And so “Happy Birthday Babs” and here’s to another fifty years in your awe inspiring presence, oh and “hey DC Comics, how about some live action love for Babs huh? the only actress who has ever done her justice onscreen was the lovely and very much lamented, Yvonne Craig, I think it’s about time… Batgirl Returned!”
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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 breach dear readers, once more…
Nintendo Switch Release Date And Launch Games Announced…
You know, I have always been more of an Xbox than a Nintendo (and previous to Microsoft’s beast of a console, I was a SEGA… in fact I still am.) But the one thing I have always loved (and bought) were Nintendo’s handhelds. I have owned virtually every portable device they have launched since the classic Gameboy in 1989, which is why I am genuinely excited for the Switch, Nintendo’s first hybrid console.
The Nintendo Switch is the incoming flagship console from the legendary Japanese gaming giant, which effortlessly combines home and portable play into one very cool package, and I want one… right now! Set to be released worldwide on March 3, 2017 at a very reasonable £279.99 ($299.99) with a strong launch line up that includes – Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Dragon Quest XI, and Skyrim (that’s right folks, a portable version of Bethesda’s classic RPG… there goes my life.)
Geoff Johns And Dr Manhattan – Dream Team…
DC Entertainment’s President and comic book author extraordinaire Geoff Johns is returning to writing comics again this year, and has (heavily) hinted that he may be exploring the intriguing connection between Watchmen and the DC Universe. In a series of tweets Johns has confirmed his return to his oeuvre, with an accompanying image of Watchmen’s Dr Manhattan. Johns’ last comic authorship was last May’s “DC Universe Rebirth #1” in which he eluded that the electric blue super-human may have had a hand in creating the rebooted Rebirth timeline.
The highly enjoyable one-shot also portrayed Batman discovering the iconic blood spattered smiley badge from Alan Moore’s groundbreaking 80’s mini-series, in the Bat Cave! Hold on tight dear readers, for this promises to be one hell of a wild ride!
Constantine Set To Return, In Animated Form…
Everyone’s favourite chain smoking, mystical, demon fighting anti-hero – John Constantine is set to return to the small screen in a new CW animated series. Following on from his fantastic (yet criminally short lived) NBC live action show, the new animation will find Constantine actor Matt Ryan reprising his role in voice over form and is being produced by Greg Berlanti. We were honestly hoping for another live action depiction of the magical man of mystery, but I guess an animated rendering is better than no return at all, plus CW’s animated Vixen series has been rather wonderful, so all the signs point to this being equally as great.
Why not join us next time friends for more Week In Geek!
Warning: The alliteration is strong in this one!
Precinct1313 welcomes all it’s loyal agents to rousing revelry and much celebratory carousing in the malefic mansion of mystery’s ‘Great Hall of Quaffing’ (Eldritch, our resident carrion crow will show you the way, it’s near the end of the Corridors of Collation, just take a left at the Comic-Book Crypts, if you reach the Mortuary of Mayhem then you’ve gone too far.) But before we take our seats at the titanic table of terrific tales and indulge in holiday merriment how about a quick jaunt through the Ancient Amazon Archives to catch up with our favourite Themysciran Princess’ festive adventures.
Some absolutely Classic Wonder Woman here my amazing Amazonian associates, Sensation Comics #38 was published in December 1944, written by WW’s genius creator William Moulton Marston and illustrated by the legendary Harry G. Peter. we follow our heroic herald as she decides to play Santa in a notoriously poor and downtrodden neighbourhood, to bring some festive cheer to a local orphanage. Upon arrival the Themysciran Titan accidentally stumbles across a nefarious plot to rob the US treasury, with the events quickly escalating to a hostage situation involving the children themselves.
December ’44 was a busy month for the dynamic duo of W.M Marston and H.G Peter as they also presented us with the festive edition of DC Comics’ timeless ‘Comic Cavalcade’, comprising three tenaciously terrific tales and a cadre of classic characters that includes The Flash (original Jay Garrick version) Green Lantern and of course our illustriously immortal idol Wondy.
Sensational seventies superstar Wonder Woman, the lovely Lynda Carter came face to face with ‘The Deadly Toys’ in a holiday themed episode of the scintillating seventies show that formed part of the second season and aired in 1979. Once again written by her ceaseless composer of creation W.M. Marston (writing under his oft used pen name of Charles Moulton.)
The effervescent episode found the wondrous one investigating a suspicious toy maker (played by none other than sixties Batman villain – The Riddler’s Frank Gorshin) who had replaced three scientists with his own android creations after they refused to create a weapon of mass destruction known as Project XYZ. As Diana nears the source of her investigation, the dastardly Toy Maker whips up his own android version of Gaea’s Glorious Gal, and the two Wonder Women engage in a (delightfully camp) fracas.
Happy Holidays To All Our Amazingly Affable Amazonian Agents of Awesome…
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another 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…
David Ayer Sends Out A Siren Call…
Best be prepared folks, I may just get a tad bit over-excited on this one… just sayin’.
‘Gotham City Sirens!, Gotham City Sirens!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!!, Gotham City Sirens!!!!!, Gotham Cit… Phew!’
OK, now that I’ve calmed down (a bit) let’s get straight to the epic news that DC Comics’ troublesome trio, Gotham City Sirens, have been announced as a major motion picture as part of the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe. Suicide Squad director, David Ayer will be returning to helm the flick, and it will also mark the return of Margot Robbie as the Hellacious Harley Quinn.
Gotham City Sirens is one of our all time favourite comic book runs here in Precinct1313, the scintillating series was first published in 2009 and brought together three of Batman’s most famous female foes, feline felon – Catwoman, vined vixen – Poison Ivy, and of course mischievous misfit – Harley Quinn. The series lasted just two short years despite being a financial and critical success, to make way for DC’s ‘New52’ reboot. However, the Triumvirate of Temperamental Troublemakers have come together to cause mischief, mirth and misbehaviour several times since then, mostly in Harl’s own long running (and most excellent) comic book series.
Little else is currently known about the project, but Warner Bros have announced that the marvellous movie will be scripted by Geneva Dworet-Robertson, who is also currently writing the screenplay for another famous fictional female, Lara Croft, for the 2018 dated ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot.
Exciting times ahead indeed, my fellow fans of fantastic fiction, what with next year’s Justice League movie and of course Wonder Woman’s solo film, let’s be honest it’s about time that more female led comic book movies were being developed, and DC have an infinite amount of Superheroines and Villainesses they can bring to the silver screen, we have our fingers crossed for Batwoman, Power Girl and The Huntress being next.
Green Hornet actor Van Williams passed away last week at the age of 82. Van appeared in many television series in the sixties and seventies but is most fondly remembered by comic-book fans for his performance as the masked crime-fighting detective, Green Hornet.
The Green Hornet TV show was aired between 1966-67 and also starred martial artist savant Bruce Lee as his loyal bodyguard and chauffeur Kato. Van ceased acting in the late seventies and became a Deputy Sheriff, and then a Fireman in Los Angeles… a Superhero both fictionally and in real life. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
At the beginning of the 90’s DC Comics and Warner Bros entered a renaissance period in animation when it aired the much loved ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ in 1992. The highly praised and award winning show was co-created by the inimitable Bruce Timm and Eric Ramdoski, the series was complex and explored themes oft unseen in Superhero cartoons previous to it’s existence. A dark and emotional ride with a noticeable film noir style, it ably captured the moodiness and angst of its titular star with consummate ease, and cogently drew influence from Tim Burton’s cinematic foray into Gotham lore, in the Michael Keaton starring ‘Batman’ and ‘Batman Returns’.
The series was more adult oriented than previous comic-book animations, and was noteworthy for its voice casting especially one character in particular, The Joker, voiced sublimely by Mark Hamill. Hamill has been a fan and critic favourite since then as the Clown Prince Of Crime and has gone on to voice the Genocidal Jester in both animated films and video-games adaptations. The series was also the progenitor of the shared animated universe and brought into it’s continuity timeline ‘Superman: The Animated Series’ and ‘Justice League’ with each sharing the show’s distinctive art style.
In 2004 a sequel to the popular ‘Justice League’ series was produced, ‘Justice League Unlimited’ continued the shared universe begun by the Batman animated original, but added a veritable army of characters to the original JL roster. In fact the first episode of the new show contained over 50 characters, some of them were previously included in a guest starring spot on Justice League, but most were making their debut appearance in animated form.
The popular series ran for three seasons and left the viewer with many memorable storylines, including a long running romantic entanglement between Batman and Wonder Woman, and a complex love triangle for Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Vixen, these story beats added an emotional depth to the characters and show itself and were quite often more compelling than any of the superheroics on display.
DC and Warner Bros have produced a plethora of animated shows and movies since JLU, with the most popular of more recent times being ‘Young Justice’. The series follows the teenage sidekicks and heroes of the DC Universe as they attempt to establish themselves as superheroes, but also focuses on their adolescent dramas and personal issues. The show is aimed squarely at the teenage market, yet fans of all ages have found themselves drawn to the animated antics of Robin, Superboy, Miss Martian et al, thanks to fantastic scripting and a genuinely uplifting and heartwarming ethos.
DC and Warner Bros’ newest animated series ‘Justice League Action’ will attempt to recapture their peers’ animated triumphs when it airs on the Cartoon Network on December 16 this year (though it has already aired on UK television). It’s been 10 years since Justice League Unlimited ceased and DC are hoping to once again produce yet another exemplary, industry leading cartoon showcase of their legendary creations. Returning voice actors from the 90’s shows include; Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker, James Woods as Lex Luthor, and Brent Spiner will be voicing Batman’s conundrum posing enigma The Riddler.