Category Archives: Comics/toys
Precinct1313’s Monthly Swag-Bag!
We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of, erm… comics! Ok, ok, so my local comic shop guy may not be a 100% bonafide wizard, but what he does manage to do is conjure up some very cool stuff for me to purchase, each and every month, much to my delirious delight (yet, my wallet and bank account fail to share in my enthusisasm!) So, what glorious goodies have we managed to procure this month? Well…
Let’s begin our geeky gallivanting with this bodacious brace of Batmobiles. Masterfully modelled after the most recent filmic variation of the world’s most famous fictional car, we managed to pick up both the Lego-mobile and Jada Toys rather wonderful Die-Cast version, with both packs also packing a diddy (diddy is slang for small in the UK, fact fans!) version of Robert Pattinson’s Batman!
Next we enter the murky waters of this villainous version of Batman, surreptitiously surfing onto our shelves is this spectacular statue of Bryce Wayne aka: The Drowned! I fell in love with this statue as soon as I saw how awesome the base was! I always love when the manufacturers take the time to add a bit of diorama to a figure, rather than just a plain stand, and this one is a doozy!
And, my absolute favourite pick up this month was this delightful double pack of the dynamically dysfunctional duo that are – Blue Beetle (Ted Kord version, ie: the best version!) and Booster Gold! I absolutely love these characters so was deliriously happy to get my fevered mitts on this dazzling doublet. Nicely articulated and magnificently modelled, this set also comes with a diorama stand, Beetle’s BB gun, and Booster Gold’s robotic buddy – Skeets.
I also spied these Batman lollipops in my local Sainsburys supermarket and just couldn’t resist, once again, pulling out the ol’ Bat-wallet and purchasing, problem is, they’re milk chocolate and I’m vegan, so I shall just stare at the fantastic foil wrapping and donate the choc to my next door neighbour.
Phew! That was an expensive one this month, and this doesn’t even include the comics and trades I also bought, of course, the real problem I have now is… where in the name of Zeus’ gnarly beard am I going to display all this new stuff, I mean, look at my shelves, bustling to the brim with cool toys, oh well, there’s always the floor…
Join us again next month for even more spectacular swag, fellow fans of fantastic fiction!
Superman Is 85 Years Old, Today!
85 Years Of The Man Of Steel…
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… Superman’s 85th anniversary!! Hey there, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to the eighty fifth anniversary of, quite possibly, the most iconic superhero of all time. That’s right, that big blue boyscout – Clark Kent – made his first ever appearance on this very day eight and a half decades back, and he’s still battling locomotives, leaping tall buildings, and outrunning bullets in the space year of 2023!
Supes was ushered into existence by writer – Jerry Siegel, and artist – Joe Shuster in Action Comics #1 which released on 18th April 1938 (even though the cover date was June, most comics at that time were cover dated a month or two ahead of their proposed release date)
Sent to Earth as a baby by his parents after their homeworld of Krypton was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, Kal-El, later given the Earth name of – Clark Kent – was found and raised by the kindly couple – Jonathan and Martha Kent in the fictional american town of Smallville. Clark as he grew, developed superhuman abilities that include, flight, super-strength and near invulnerability, which would eventually propel him to taking on the mantle of Earth’s greatest guardian and Metropolis’ favourite son (much to Lex Luthor’s chagrin)
To help celebrate the first flight of the last son of Krypton, DC Comics’ are releasing an 85th anniversary collection, containing a wealth of tantalising tales encompassing many great writers and artists that have contributed to the man of tomorrow’s continuing popularity and fandom, laudable luminaries that include – Jerry Siegel, Grant Morrison, John Byrne, Joe Shuster, Tim Sale and the late, great George Perez.
And, if you’re still craving even more red cape and boots action, then also be on the look out for the anniversary blu-ray collection of Christopher Reeve’s iconic five movie outing as the man who thought a phone box (booth to all you american fans!) was a legitimate place to change his clothes!!
Happy Birthday, Clark!
Happy Wonder Woman Day!
Suffering Sappho! it surely can’t be that time of year again, can it? I guess when you’re an immortal 3,000 year old Amazon warrior then time tends to stand still. Yet for us mere mortals, a year is everything. And so once more, fellow transient travellers, we find ourselves upon the golden sacred shores of Themyscira to celebrate Gaea’s graceful goddess, the incomparable – Wonder Woman!
That’s right fellow fans of fantastic female fiction, October 21st commemorates Diana’s first ever appearance in ‘All Star Comics #8’ which released in October of 1941 courtesy of her celebrated creator – William Moulton Marston, and DC Comics. That’s a sensational eighty one glorious years in her illuminating presence!
We love Wonder Woman here in Precinct1313, she’s actually our favourite comic-book creation of all time, and I personally have been reading and collecting Wondy comics, movies and memorabilia since I was a mere nine years of age, she has always been an inspiration to me. Unlike her superheroic peers, Diana doesn’t necessarily rely on her fists… her strength lies within her power to understand, and forgive, to first extend a hand of friendship rather than wield her sword. Diana’s mantra is love and compassion, and in the rather unpredictable world we live in today, she is very much the hero we need…
And so, my astonishing amazonian associates, what will you be doing to celebrate this Day of Wonder? Here in the ol’ Precinct we shall be re-indulging in one of the more recent takes on the Themysciran Titan, the sublime – Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed. The Laurie Halse Anderson penned tale provides a fresh and funky take on Diana’s early upbringing on Paradise Island and first foray into “man’s world” A superb coming of age drama that’s not afraid to delve into the darker recesses of humankind. And you too can idulge your senses in this vaunted volume with our very own review of this classic – Right Here.
Of course, we shall also be revisiting an episode or two of Lynda Carter’s spectacular turn as Wondy in the 70’s and early 80’s terrific television series, and then, once more (probably for the billionth time now) Gal Gadot’s breathtaking 2017 big screen adaptation!
Happy Wonder Woman Day!
Happy Batman Day!
Nana, nana, nana, nana, Batma… oh hey there, my bodacious bat-brethren, do please excuse my reciting of the classic Batman theme from Adam West’s sixties extravaganza, now that was a time when the curmudgeonly creature of the night actually enjoyed fighting crime, he even joked and (unbelievable I know) SMILED!
Of course, the swinging sixties was very much a different time and place, in fact Silver Age Batman smiled, joked, cajoled and inherently enjoyed being the Caped Crusader, this variant of the character was a million miles away from the grimdark version of the Dark Knight. Though, sixties Bats was an anomaly caused by the Comics Code Authority that cracked down hard on the various adult storylines contained within comics such as Batman and Detective Comics.
When the sensational seventies hit, ol’ Batsy was reinstalled back to his rightful place as the creepy creature of the night who revelled in hunting down vile villains, and thrashing the dastardly and deadly denizens of Gotham to within an inch of their lives. Yet, there have been a number of lightheated and fun moments since his return to the despair and darkness that envelops his being, so for this particular anniversary post, let’s turn Batman’s frown upside down and celebrate his cute and cuddly side…
Not Sure If Superman Forcing Bats To Smile For A Selfie Counts, Yet Here We Are!
Ah Yes, The Legendary Bat-Smirk, This One Is Particularly Delightful ‘Cause He Just Managed To Relieve Green Lantern Of His Power Ring, Without Him Realising!
Yeah, That Would Creep Me Out Too!
Aww, Harley Loves Batsy Really, Look at Her, Sharing The Cupcakes…
He’s Just A Cuddly Costumed Vigilante Really, He Even Keeps Lollipops In His Utility Belt!
See, He’s Not Scary At All… Unless You’re A SuperVillain, And Then You’re Gonna End Up In Traction For Six Months!
Ok, This One Genuinely Made Me Laugh Out Loud, Maybe Bats Should Take Up Stand Up Comedy!
Love This Exchange Between Batman And Black Orchid From The Justice League Dark Animated Movie, Pure, Dry Batman Brilliance!
Sure, Joker May Be Laughing Right Now, But Just Seconds After This, Batman Kicked The Crap Out Of Him… Again!
So there you go, fellow Bat-Fans, a lighthearted look at the Masked Manhunter in celebration of Batman Day! That said, as jovial as he seems here, one thing you should never, ever do is criticise his choice of transport, he hates that!
Happy Batman Day!
We Can ‘Harley’ Believe That It’s Been 30 Years Since Ms Quinn’s Debut…
That’s right, it’s been three dynamic decades since the psychedelic psychopath of print was first unleashed onto an unsuspecting comic book universe, much to the chagrin of The Batman, but conversely to the delight of millions of comic book fans, for Harley truly is… one of the greatest comic-book characters ever conceived, and if you don’t agree, then her beloved mallet would like to have a word with you!
Former psychiatrist, Dr Harleen Quinzel was originally an Arkham Asylum intern who, after prolonged psychology sessions with crazed clown The Joker, was coerced into thinking that Batman was the ultimate cause of Joker’s insanely murderous high jinks. Slowly falling in love with the irascible psychotic, Harleen eventually aided the mirthful murderer to escape the asylum and joined him on his insane crusade to dispense madness, murder and mayhem on the populace of Gotham City.
Ms Quinn was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and actually made her first ever appearance outside of the comic book format, on the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, in an episode titled “Joker’s Favour” which aired on the 11th September 1992.
Actress Arleen Sorkin was Paul Dini’s original inspiration for the clown princess of crime, after he caught her appearance in an episode of Days Of Our Lives, in which she appeared in a dream sequence wearing a Jester outfit. Dini and Sorkin had been friends since college, and he even incorporated certain facets of Arleen’s personality into the character (and, of course – Arleen/Harleen)
Though initially brought in as a throw away character, Harley proved so massively popular with the DC fanbase that she was ultimately ushered into DC Universe continuity in the 1994 graphic novel “Batman Adventures: Mad Love” which recounted her wild and wacky origin tale, written and drawn by her original co-creators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.
Harley of course has, since that time, become a fantabulously fun force to be reckoned with both on and off the comic-book page, starring in both animated and live action movies, and is also without a shadow of a doubt, THE most most popular choice for depiction amongst cos-players across the globe.
Harley and Ivy Discuss… erm, Beavers!
Enough Already! My Ribs are Beginning To Ache!!
And So, Happy 30th Anniversary To That Marvellously Maniacal Mistress Of Mayhem – Harley Quinn!
*Please Note: No beavers were hurt during the production of this post, just tossed, stuffed, kidnapped (beaver-napped?) and made fun of… so that’s alright then!*
80 Glorious Years Of Wonder Woman!
Hola and welcome, my absolutely astounding Amazon associates, to the 80th anniversary of the Themysciran Titan known as – Wonder Woman! That’s right, William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter’s groundbreaking fictional female first appeared in print exactly eight decades ago to this day, in the October 1941 issue of Sensation Comics #08.
If you’ve been a follower of the Precinct for awhile now, you more than likely know our affinity and adoration for Diana, in fact near forty percent of the post output here has been about the wondrous one’s myriad adventures. We have regaled you, dear reader, with comic and graphic novel reviews, psychological breakdowns of Diana’s mantra and impact, not only in the world of comics but also in real life situations of feminism, emancipation and acceptance, not to mention in-depth looks at her many allies, and foes, biographies of her creators, and the sundry stunning writers and artists who have depicted her over the decades.
Wonder Woman is THE most important fictional female character ever committed to print, a shining beacon of hope and bastion of empowerment and equality, in the popular world of the superhero, she is the anomaly, relying on forgiveness, love and acceptance, rather than just the fist. That said, she is also a three millennium old Amazon warrior, who has been training, alongside her immortal sisters, in martial mastery since her illustrious and divine creation by a pantheon of Greek gods, so, if she needs to kick arse, let’s just say, very few can stand before her might.
So, in celebration of Wondy’s eighty year reign, we would love to share with you a selection of our favourite Precinct1313 Wonder Woman posts from throughout the past eight years of this blog’s existence, that regale our love and admiration of the scintillating scion of the sublime. Enjoy, and… Happy 80th Anniversary Diana, we love ya!
Wonder Woman: The True Amazon
Eisner Award winning writer/artist – Jill Thompson’s perfect parable of Diana’s earlier years is an alluring and sometimes provocative take on the Themysciran Titan, the storytelling contained within this terrific tome has a level of true emotional depth oft unfound in the medium, and you can re-visit our 2016 review – Right Here.
The legendary pairing of the Themysciran Princess and sullen eyed Cimmerian – Conan the Barbarian is equalled in this titanic tale by the mythical mixing of it’s superstar creators – Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. Simone’s slow but epic build up in the story allows us to richly immerse ourselves into Conan’s savage and tempestuous reality, of which you too can experience if you visit our glowing review from 2020 – Right Here!
Wonder Woman: Rebirth
Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott’s Rebirth series was a phenomenon both visually and in it’s stellar story-telling, and world building, and has ended up with the distinction of being one of my absolute favourite ever takes on Gaea’s glorious gal, and you can find out why when you re-visit our 2016 post – Right Here.
Why We Love Wonder Woman
A more recent post from July 2021, where we spend time reflecting on the core attributes about Zeus’ favoured daughter that initially attracted us to the classic character, and why we still hold her in such reverence. Why not wend your way over to this particularly poignant post – Right Here!
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
Celebrated author – Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrator – Leila Del Luca provided a fresh and funky new take on Diana’s early upbringing on Paradise Island. A superb coming of age drama that’s not afraid to delve into the darker recesses of humankind, but is ultimately a tale of family, friends, love and emancipation. Indulge your senses in our review – Right Here.
Diana – Princess Of The Amazons
Diana: Princess of the Amazons tells the tale of the wondrous one many years before she became the icon known as Wonder Woman. An eleven year old girl growing up on the idyllic paradise island of Themyscira. This fabulous fable is an uplifting tale about dealing with the inevitable growing pains that everyone ultimately experiences on their emotional journey into adulthood. A young adult novel that can be enjoyed by all ages, and you can start your very own voyage into this wildly wonderful world – Right Here!
Happy 80th Anniversary Diana! Just 20 More Years To The Centenary!!
Happy Batman Day!
Over eight decades ago, the smoking gun barrel of Joe Chill unleashed unto the unsuspecting denizens of Gotham City a nocturnal nightmare of which they had never seen. The tragic murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, before the innocent eyes of their young son, Bruce, created a force of vengeance and justice that has been preying on Gotham’s criminal underbelly with furious anger ever since… The Batman!
Created by the peerless pairing of Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the creepy and curmudgeonly creature of the night’s first ever appearance was in DC Comics’ revered Detective Comics in May of 1939. Since that time, the dark and surly one has gone on to become, quite possibly, the most popular and renowned Superhero ever conceived, with his fame spreading across every single known entertainment medium, from comic-books through video-games, television shows, movies, toys, clothes, novelisations, and so, so much more, firmly cementing his place in heroic history!
But what is it that compels readers to immerse themselves in a vengeance driven man-hunter, a being that has devoted his life to bringing his own brand of Bat-justice to a corrupt and dystopian city seething with criminal detritus? I absolutely believe that it’s his inherent vulnerability and pathos, you see, unlike the vast swathe of caped crusaders, Bruce is, ultimately, just a man in a costume… he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, or deflect bullets with bracelets, he’s not capable of reaching the speed-force, or even talking to fish! but what he does possess is the inherent belief in his own righteousness and decency, it’s his integrity and moral fortitude that has enabled him to rise above the sea of costumed crimefighters and be the best he can be, no matter the adversity or lack of powers thereof… the mark of a true hero (of course, billions of dollars, an unsurpassed mastery of myriad martial arts, genius level intellect and a compendium of glorious gadgets also, sort of, helps!)
And So… Happy Batman Day! What will you be doing to celebrate the Dark Knight? Why not sound off in the comments below, fellow Bat-fans.
Ace, Krypto, And Streaky Too!
Superheroes are awesome aren’t they… leaping tall buildings in a single bound, scowling atop shadowy gargoyles, extracting the truth with their golden lariats, ka-powing criminals, crushing crime and fighting hatred and oppression, yes indeedy, Superheroes are awesome! That said, for many, without their extensive network of sidekicks and allies would they really be as effective? Batman has Robin and his extended Bat-Family, Superman has Supergirl and Superboy, Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl, Green Arrow and Speedy, et al. Though it could be said (probably only by me) that the real power behind their thrones comes from the less heralded, yet equally as important… Super-Pets!
Now then, if you’re not a comic-book fanatic, you may feel I’m barking mad, or that this post could end up being a cat-astrophe (sorry, I had to!) and yet, Batman, Superman, Supergirl and yes even Wonder Woman have an extensive history with their fearless furry friends that dates back decades, plus, believe it or not, said pets also don colourful costumes (y’know, just in case SuperVillain pets recognise them!), exhibit powers and, yep, fight crime! So why not join us as we peruse (and pet) our all time favourite super powered animals, from Krazy Kangaroos, through Soaring Cats and even a Bat-Cow!
The origin of the Super-Pet dates way back to the 1940’s, specifically the 1942 release of Sensation Comics #6, which introduced us to Wonder Woman’s very own faithful furry friend. Now, you’d think with Diana’s extensive history and standing in Greek Mythology, that Pegasus would be the perfect equine entity to accompany her on her ongoing odyssey, failing that how about the mighty Minotaur, maybe three headed demonic dog Cerberus, or Zeus’ nurturing goat – Amalthea? Ha, well you’d be wrong oh fellow fans of fantastic fluffy fearless friends, for it was none other than… Jumpa, the Kangaroo!! (Uh, well, of course it was!)
I mean, you really have to wonder why Wondy’s incredibly talented creator, William Moulton Marston went with a Kangaroo over the suggestions I threw out there, but, that said, have you ever seen a Kangaroo up close before? those things are terrifying! One of these mammoth marsupials chasing you down with Wonder Woman on it’s back no less, would be the epitome of the good cop/bad cop trope!!
Now, I know that this might put me in the dog house with the other Super-Pets, but Ace the Bat-hound has always been my personal favourite of this formidable furry force, I mean look at him, he wears a mask, and sometimes a cape and utility belt style collar (how on earth does he get the bat gadgets out of there without fingers? questions like this keep me up at night!) and his master is The Batman! so case closed.
Ace’s doggy debut was in the 1955 issue of Batman #92, and this canine crime-fighting conundrum has been a stalwart admission to the Bat mythos ever since. Originally a German Shepherd, Ace has been through many different Bat-breeds since his initial inception including an English Mastiff and Great Dane, though you’d think, with Batman being heralded as The World’s Greatest Detective that a Bloodhound would make the perfect canine companion for the Caped Crusader… Suffering Sappho, maybe DC should hire me to write their comics! (only joking, uuh, unless DC want to, then I’m not!) But, if you thought caped and cowled crime-fighting canines was the quintessence of strange, you ain’t seen nothing yet…
Yep, it’s a cow! though not just any old cow of course, but a bodacious and bombastic Bat-bovine!
The legen-dairy ( the puns, they’re gonna get worse!) Bat-Cow made her first astonishing appearance in Batman Inc (vol 2) #1, whilst another version of the headstrong heifer appeared for a short while in Tiny Titans, after stealing Batman’s cape and cowl to fight crime and form the the League Of Just Us Cows, this variant was eventually put out to pasture after DC Comics rebooted her with a brand new origin story. During a raid on a slaughterhouse (which was a front for Talia Al Ghul’s Leviathan) Batman and Robin saved their bovine buddy and adopted her into their burgeoning Bat-Family, this also led to Robin embracing a vegetarian lifestyle. Of course, the idea of a crime-fighting cow is udderly ridiculous, but it has also made for some rather amoo-sing tales, still, as to not milk this segment any longer we shall be moo-ving on to…
The canine crime-fighting capers continue with the Man of Steel’s very own good boy – Krypto the Superdog! Krypto has been lending a paw to Supes since his cuspid creation in Adventure Comics #210 in March 1955.
Superman’s best friend also hails from Kal-El’s home planet of Krypton and as such shares a very similar power set to that of his master including flight, super strength and super-breath (gross, I mean dogs and super-breath should never, ever go together!) this four legged wonder’s power set marks him out as the ulti-mutt crime-fighting canine in the Legion of Superpets, which finds him constantly harassed by the pup-arazzi! (ok, ok, that one was fairly bad, just please don’t hound me over it!)
Just when you are feline that the you’ve had enough of the bad animal puns along comes Supergirl’s favourite furry friend, the paw-some Streaky the Supercat! I’m not kitten around you know, Kara’s fur-midable feline made his debut in Action Comics #261 in February 1960.
Unlike his doggy buddy Krypto, Streaky hailed from Earth and gained his claw-some gifts after exposure to X-Kryptonite, which enabled him with purr-fect powers such as – flight, super-speed and enhanced visual abilities. Though DC contains a plethora of cats in its canon, including Power Girl’s Stinky the cat, and of course Catwoman’s clowder, Streaky though will go down in hiss-tory as a personal favourite of mine, as he has such a meow-tain of purr-sonality!
All Hail The Legion Of Super-Pets Fur-ever!
Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza…
Well hey there fellow agents of Precinct1313, and welcome once again to our annual Geekstravaganza! Our celebratory destination is, as ever, the Precincts famous ‘Halls of Quaffing’ where we shall ultimately gather to rid ourselves of what, lets be honest, was an interminably intense and excruciating year. But, let’s forget about that for now and make our way down through this majestic mansion of mystery’s convoluted and ever changing corridors and chambers and stop by the colossal Comic Crypts to celebrate the year of glorious geekdom!
Our Favourite Comic-Book Series: Wonder Woman – Dead Earth
DC Comics’ Black Label series has been a fantastic phenomenon, a line of limited series aimed at the more mature market that began with the bombastic Batman: Damned, and then continued to build upon that success by regaling us with even more classic characters in this distinctly adult line, with this particular stunning series focusing on our absolutely favourite hallowed Hellenic herald, Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman: Dead Earth is a four issue mini-series written and illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson, and is my first ever encounter with the writer/artist, and I must say after this seminal series, I am now a huge fan. This comic is the perfect parable for the world we reside in today, encompassing climate change, oppression, racism and tribe like mentality, with even Wondy herself struggling to stifle the causes of these worrisome traits. Grim, dark and gritty, but ultimately a tale of optimism and mutual respect for the planet that nurtures us and our fellow species. Highly recommended!
(Fave comic-book runners up – Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed, Zatanna and the House of Secrets)
Favourite Comic-Book Movie: Birds Of Prey
That’s right fellow fans of fantastic fiction, the hellacious Harley Quinn teamed up with the bad-ass Birds of Prey for Cathy Yan’s glorious take on one of DC’s most beloved franchises. Margot Robbie was born to play the role of the clown princess of crime and once again gives a remarkable and laugh out loud turn as the long suffering sociopath, ably supported by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as The Huntress, and a perfect performance by Jurnee Smollet-Bell as Black Canary, plus, if that wasn’t enough of a geek overload, narcissistic psychopathic crime-lord Black Mask was expertly brought to vivid life by brilliant British thesp, Ewan McGregor. A deliriously fun and fourth wall breaking delight, Birds of Prey is an absolute must watch! (May I just say, at time of writing this, I haven’t yet seen Wonder Woman 84, due to pandemics and closed cinemas, but will hopefully reverse this in early 2021)
Favourite Statue/Toy I Personally Purchased: Bombshells Death Statue
You know what, I have way too many statues, action figures and toys, so many in fact that some are still retained in their boxes through lack of space. It’s a shame I know to keep such gloriously geeky works of art in their packaging, but I have literally zero willpower, and whenever I encounter another cool collectable, all reasoning and monetary value goes out the window as my inner child takes over, and I buy yet another awesome addition to add to my overwhelming pile of geek. That said, the Death statue was whipped out of her protective polystyrene tout suite, because it is quite possibly one of the most beautiful pieces I have yet laid eyes upon. Based upon the Endless version of the Grim Reaper, Death is a favoured character of mine, so she now resides upon the fabled Superlative Shelf of Superhero Statues alongside the other spectacularly sublime sculpts. And just how much geeky toy goodness have I managed to stuff the Precinct with, see below for just a small glimpse into my fevered collecting brain…
And there you have it fellow agents of Precinct1313, a few of the things that have helped me personally cope with this torrid year. What has brought you personal joy throughout 2020? why not sound off in the comments below. May I just say a huge thank you to everyone who has visited, commented and followed the Precinct over the past twelve months, it’s really, really appreciated. And so… Happy New Year!
Oh, And As Ever… Make Mine DC!
Happy Batman Day!
Who would have thought that eight decades after he punched his first ever villain squarely on the jaw that we’d still be celebrating this dark, surly, emotionally lost and solitary individual whom, upon watching his parents gunned down before his innocent young eyes, thought that the best course of action for that loathsome act would be to dress up as a giant bat and ruthlessly hunt down and mercilessly beat up a plethora of crazily costumed criminals, yet here we are… thankfully!
Batman made his first astonishing appearance in the 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27 courtesy of his compelling creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Batsy has been punching and kicking his way through the DC Universe ever since, and yet, over eight decades later the character still feels as fresh and exciting as he did all those decades ago. I have personally been a fan of the big bad bat since I was six years old, initially courtesy of my Mum, who bought me my first ever Superhero comic-book – Detective Comics #466, where the caped crusader tangled with the one of his lesser known rogues -Signalman!
From the printed page through television series, cinematic excursions, toys, video-game adaptations, collectables and more Gotham’s grim guardian has withstood the test of time and has become, arguably, the most widely recognised Superhero of all time (yeah, in your face Superman!) So here’s to another eight exquisite decades of his violent yet virtuous presence! Long Live The Bat!
Happy Batman Day!
Batman is copyright – DC Comics.
Happy 80th Anniversary Selina Kyle!
Hey there fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to Precinct1313’s comprehensively capacious celebration of the capricious, captivating, and cunningly contradictory – Catwoman!
Cat burglar, criminal, anti-hero and lover of grim surly men who like to dress as giant bats, Selina Kyle has been liberating loot from the rich, powerful and undeserving for the past eight decades! Catwoman made her dynamic debut in Batman #1 which released unto the general populace on April 24 in 1940 courtesy of Batman’s bodacious birthers – Bill Finger and Bob Kane.
Introduced in her origin issue as “The Cat” she was originally posited a super-villain and antagonist to the Caped Crusader, yet her identity and personality have evolved over the long decades to anti-hero status, but even more significantly, partner, lover and catty confidante to the Dark Knight Detective himself.
Over the eight decades since her initial conception Selina Kyle has flourished as a much beloved female icon, a strong independent woman with her own agenda and ideology, and aside from a ten year hiatus from print from 1954 to 1966 due to the unswerving and at times creatively unfair ruling of the then Comic Code Authority, Catwoman has been in continuous print, whether as a major character in many, many DC Comics series or in her very own frequent comic book runs.
Selina also holds the crown for most portrayed female character outside of comic print media, with more live action variants than any of her fictional female peers. Beginning her real life feline felony career with a recurring role on the classic sixties Adam West starring Batman series, delineated through the exquisite talents of Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt.
Michelle Pfeiffer put in an impassioned performance in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns, whereas Halle Berry’s take in the 2004 standalone Catwoman movie proved to be a huge box office flop due to a rather lacklustre (and at times completely ridiculous) plot, and the fact that Halle’s version had virtually nothing to do with the original comic-book heroine, bar the titular name itself, holding up much better, and with a more definitive feel was Anne Hathaway’s performance in the 2012 Dark Knight Rises. Lili Simmons and Camren Bicondova both played Selina on the small screen in the 2014 Gotham TV show, rounding out with the most recent casting of our fave female Felis-Catus, who will be championed by Zoe Kravitz in the upcoming Matt Reeves’ epic – The Batman.
In celebration of Catwoman’s ongoing octogenarian outings, DC Comics had planned a one hundred page super spectacular dedicated to the Princess of Plunder, due to release this week. Unfortunately owing to the current crisis affecting the planet, the print version has been put back until mid May at the earliest. But what we can share with you are a selection of the many oustandingly gorgeous variant covers commissioned for the delayed tome, with some of comicdom’s most accomplished artists coming together to celebrate one the longest running and important fictional females in history, puuuurfect!
Happy 80th Birthday Selina, and with her nine lives still intact, you can be assured she’ll thankfully be with us for a loooong time to come… Cat-tastic!!
Catwoman is Copyright: DC Comics.
Rorschach’s Quote Of The Week – The Album
Gee-Whizz, Rorschach’s awesome, isn’t he? Well, when I say awesome I do actually mean a violent sociopathic masked vigilante loon who revels in the violence and insanity of his chosen path in life! That said, even though Rorschy (yep, I said Rorschy! it may not roll off the tongue like Batsy, Wondy or Supes, but!) suffers wildly with anti-social personality disorder and an aggressive attitude only surpassed by a psychopath like the Joker, there’s still something endearing about Alan Moore’s unstable creation (and when I say endearing, I obviously mean if you ever encounter him… RUN AWAY!!)
We have written several posts about our absolute favourite Watchmen character over the years, some of them an in depth disquisition of his pernicious psyche, but also more light-hearted looks at how he ultimately perceives the world around him at large, with our – Rorschach’s Quote Of The Week being the absolute most fun to write, each post a small dichotomy from Rorschach’s perspective, and ours. I loved writing these back then, but ultimately, ran out of quotes, plus the views for the site were much lower way back when I first conceived the idea. And so, I decided it was time to resurrect Walter Kovacs and his warped view of morality and justice as a compilation of greatest hits! So read on dear agents of Precinct1313 as we explore the morality dilemma that is Rorschach!
‘Rorschach, Bringing Unstable Masked Vigilantism To The Masses Since 1986!’
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!
And yet here you all are, so welcome, to Precinct1313’s End Of The Decade Geekstravaganza! That’s right, the decade draws itself to a close and we’re here to steer you through some of our favourite geeky moments from the past ten years, so pull up a tombstone (these are the comic crypts after all) and let’s all relive our favourite things of the past decennium…
Our Favourite Comic-Book Series: Mister Miracle
Masters of the miraculous – Tom King and Mitch Gerads deserve every bit of praise thrown their way by their peers, critics and fans for this superlative series, a groundbreaking, emotional and touching 12 issue maxi-series that took one of DC and Jack Kirby’s most beloved second tier characters, and thrust him headlong into the deserving limelight. We wrote a review on this tenacious tome recently, so we shall leave you a handy dandy link right here .
Though we feel that Miracle was without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest Superhero story released since Watchmen (really!) we couldn’t leave this particular post without mentioning our other comic-book love from the past ten years – Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s tantalising and terrific take on our absolute favourite orange hued alien princess, sizzling Superheroine – Starfire! Conner and Palmiotti are a dynamic duo of some renown in the wonderful world of comic books, a husband and wife team with a wild and wacky sense of humour that light up any character they get their talented hands upon, from Power Girl to their award winning run on Harley Quinn, everything these terrific twosome touch is utter comic-book gold, especially their 2015 maxi-series -Starfire.
Endlessly endearing and wonderfully witty, Starfire’s 2015 series is a gift that keeps on giving, Conner and Palmiotti (along with the series’ fantastic artist – Emanuela Lupacchino) have bestowed upon us humble comic fans, the greatest take on Tamaran’s lost Princess since she was first unleashed in 1980 by her superstar creators, George Perez and Marv Wolfman. An origin tale, a laugh out loud stranger in a strange place fable, Starfire is a beguiling and winsome take on a beloved DC character. Quite possibly the funniest and most captivating series from DC in many a year, the Precinct unequivocally recommends this touching and hilarious series.
(Favourite Comic-book series runners up – Doomsday Clock, Supergirl: Being Super, Wonder Woman: Rebirth)
Our Favourite Comic-Book Movie: Wonder Woman
Can you believe it took seventy five years to finally get one of the most popular, significant and important fictional characters of all time onto the big screen, a primary reason for this according to some producers, directors, movie studios and overall decision makers (all of whom were talking nonsense, of course) was that a female led Superhero movie stood little chance of success… well, I’m pleased to say that those negative naysayers were completely wrong in their assertions, because Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s 2017 Wonder Woman movie most assuredly was an exquisite example of, not just a top tier translation of character to silver screen, but a film that also carried a compelling message of love, hope and empowerment.
Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins more than made up for Diana’s seventy five year cinema snub by giving us, not just a superlative and accurate representation of the Themysciran Titan, but also THE greatest Superhero movie of… all… time!
(Favourite Superhero movie runners up – Batman v Superman, Aquaman, Shazam)
Our Favourite Comic-Book Artist: Amanda Conner
I have been reading, collecting and immersing myself in comic-book worlds since the mere age of six, my first dalliance with a Superhero was the Batman, from there I went on to discover the thrilling tales of the Themysciran titan Wonder Woman and have, over the decades become a devoted stalwart of DC Comics. Not being content to just absorb these wonderful stories of heroism and emancipation, I was also always interested in the compelling creational process behind the formation of these thrilling and titanic tales, from the literary scripting and especially the wonderful artistic endeavours.
From an early age some of my very favourite artists included such luminary delights as – Neal Adams, Brian Bolland, Nicola Scott, Emanuela Lupacchino, Norm Breyfogle and Adam Hughes. Picking a favourite from these amounted to an impossibly herculean task… that is until I discovered the astonishing art of one Amanda Conner. From that point on anyone enquiring as to who my all time fave artist was would not be able to shut me up as I enthused and rhapsodised over her astounding artwork. Quirky, zany, fun and instantly recognisable, Amanda’s incredible artistic style (for me) stands head and shoulders above her peers.
(Favourite Comic-Book artist runners up – Emanuela Lupacchino, Stanley Lau, Nicola Scott)
Our Favourite Non DC Comics Movie:
Mmmmm, now this is a difficult one, I mean sooooo many great movies have been released over the past ten years, how in the name of Zeus’ beard are we able to pick just one? We can’t, so here (in no particular order) are a few of our fave non DC Comics based films of the past decade…
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:
A tremendous movie conversion of the classic French comic-book ‘Valerian and Laureline’ that was first published in 1967, created by the talented duo of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. Stunning effects, decent acting (though Clive Owen, who is usually great, was rather uninspiring in this one) and an engaging, wild and zany plot make this definitely one of our top fave films from the past ten years.
Alita: Battle Angel:
Another comic-book classic given the silver screen treatment, Alita is originally a manga series created by the great Yukito Koshiro in 1990. A post apocalyptic, cyber-punk stylised story that was brought to vivid life at the talented hands of Robert Rodriguez.
Groundbreaking visual effects bring android Alita to the big screen through some jaw-dropping motion capture of the movie’s phenomenal lead actress – Rosa Salazar, who puts in an outstandingly impassioned performance, and with a back up cast that includes such thrilling thespians as Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Maershala Ali, and Jackie Earle Haley, Alita is more than deserving of your free time.
British cult movie ‘Franklyn’ is a genre defying delight, part superhero saga, noir thriller, romance, and horror, it takes great pleasure in flouting any kind of atypical filmic categorisation.
Franklyn is a visually rich movie, set across the dual dystopian parallel dimensions of Meanwhile City and contemporary London. It is within these dark, ethereal realities that we encounter four protagonists, each a lost soul, and on an intertwined and fated path to ultimately affect each others lives, be that for good or ill.
Unfortunately, as is the case with a large number of movies emanating from the UK, Franklyn never achieved the audience or status that it truly deserved. With a standout cast that includes Eva Green, Bernard Hill, Sam Riley and Ryan Phillippe, Franklyn is a film the Precinct heartily recommends. We reviewed the movie at the time, so if you find your interest piqued, then a link to our review is right here
(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!
Happy Wonder Woman Day!
Great Hera! Today marks the official celebration of everyone’s favourite feisty fictional female, the Themysciran Titan – Wonder Woman!
That’s right fellow fans of fantastic female fiction, October 21st commemorates Diana’s first ever appearance in ‘All Star Comics #8’ which released in October of 1941 courtesy of her celebrated creator William Moulton Marston, and DC Comics. That’s a sensational seventy eight years in her illuminating presence!
We love Wonder Woman here in Precinct1313, she’s actually our favourite comic-book creation of all time (sorry Batsy!) and I personally have been reading and collecting Wondy comics, movies and memorabilia since I was a mere nine years of age, she has always been an inspiration to me. Unlike her superheroic peers, Diana doesn’t necessarily rely on her fists… her strength lies within her power to understand, and forgive, to first extend a hand of friendship rather than wield her sword. Diana’s mantra is love and compassion, and in the rather unpredictable world we live in today, she is very much the hero we need…
So, to honour the dynamic daughter of Queen Hippolyta and the pantheon of Greek Gods that bestowed the wondrous one upon us, let’s share in some inspirational, enlightening and quintessential quotes courtesy of the Princess of Themyscira. Happy Wonder Woman day, my astoundingly awesome Amazonian associates!
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.
My first encounter with the Caped Crusader was when my Mum purchased me an old issue of Detective Comics from a local car boot sale when I was a mere six years old, this was not only the first time I had ever read a Batman comic, but was in fact the first time I had ever read a comic.
I remember reading the issue a dozen times over in one sitting and was eager to divert more of my attention to this amazing hitherto unseen world that contained fantastical characters who really captured my young burgeoning imagination in a way nothing else previously had, I have been fanatical of the Dark Knight since that time.
Detective Comics #466 marked my initial encounter with the masked manhunter, and told the tale of Batman’s clash with villain Signalman, not exactly an iconic member of Batman’s notorious rogues gallery it has to be said, but it was my very first brush with a Supervillain. This wonderfully nostalgic comic issue also introduced me to the fact that Batman shared a universe with other Superheroes, thanks to a very enjoyable back up story, that regaled the young me with the daring adventures of the Emerald Archer – Green Arrow.
So, a very happy Batman Day to you, my bodacious Bat brethren, and why not sound off in the comments below about your very first encounter with the Dark Knight, and what you will be doing to celebrate another year in the company of Gotham’s greatest grim and gritty guardian angel.
Batman is copyright: DC Comics