Blog Archives

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

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It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of legendary comic-book writer, Dennis O’Neil who died of natural causes at his home on June 11.

Denny was best known for his iconic runs on DC Comics’ Batman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern, and was also the editor for DC’s entire range of Batman comics from 1986 to 2000. Though Denny gave us many wonderful tales of heroism over his formidable career, he is most fondly remembered as the author (alongside his mainstay artist, the fantastic Neil Adams) who ushered in Batman’s return to the dark side in the early seventies, following on from over a decade of camp silliness.

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Throughout his triumphant tenure on Batman, Denny also created some of the Dark Knight’s most memorable nemeses including such icons as Ra’s Al Ghul and his daughter Talia, and avenging angel – Azrael.

He was also responsible for revitalising DC’s foremost emerald dynamic duo (again alongside the great Neil Adams)  Green Lantern and Green Arrow of whom he teamed up to become one of comic’s first ever social justice warriors as they roamed the planet fighting inequality and societal ignorance.

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Denny also taught at the Manhattan School of Visual Arts, and wrote the didactic tome – The DC Guide To Writing Comics plus many, many other achievements too numerous to mention. In 2019, the city of Phoenix named May 25 “Denny O’Neil Day” in acknowledgement of his influence on the comic-book industry and his contribution to furthering the fight against unjust causes. Denny was a legend on and off the page, and we mourn his passing. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time.

Happy 80th Anniversary Selina Kyle!

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Hey there fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to Precinct1313’s comprehensively capacious celebration of the capricious, captivating, and cunningly contradictory – Catwoman!

Cat burglar, criminal, anti-hero and lover of grim surly men who like to dress as giant bats, Selina Kyle has been liberating loot from the rich, powerful and undeserving for the past eight decades! Catwoman made her dynamic debut in Batman #1 which released unto the general populace on April 24 in 1940 courtesy of Batman’s bodacious birthers – Bill Finger and Bob Kane.

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Introduced in her origin issue as “The Cat” she was originally posited a super-villain and antagonist to the Caped Crusader, yet her identity and personality have evolved over the long decades to anti-hero status, but even more significantly, partner, lover and catty confidante to the Dark Knight Detective himself.

Over the eight decades since her initial conception Selina Kyle has flourished as a much beloved female icon, a strong independent woman with her own agenda and ideology, and aside from a ten year hiatus from print from 1954 to 1966 due to the unswerving and at times creatively unfair ruling of the then Comic Code Authority, Catwoman has been in continuous print, whether as a major character in many, many DC Comics series or in her very own frequent comic book runs.

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The Bat and the Cat… Forever!

Selina also holds the crown for most portrayed female character outside of comic print media, with more live action variants than any of her fictional female peers. Beginning her real life feline felony career with a recurring role on the classic sixties Adam West starring  Batman series, delineated through the exquisite talents of Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt.

Michelle Pfeiffer put in an impassioned performance in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns, whereas Halle Berry’s take in the 2004 standalone Catwoman movie proved to be a huge box office flop due to a rather lacklustre (and at times completely ridiculous) plot, and the fact that Halle’s version had virtually nothing to do with the original comic-book heroine, bar the titular name itself, holding up much better, and with a more definitive feel was Anne Hathaway’s performance in the 2012 Dark Knight Rises. Lili Simmons and Camren Bicondova both played Selina on the small screen in the 2014 Gotham TV show, rounding out with the most recent casting of our fave female Felis-Catus, who will be championed by Zoe Kravitz in the upcoming Matt Reeves’ epic – The Batman.

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Precinct1313’s Fave Live Action Catwomen (so Far)

In celebration of Catwoman’s ongoing octogenarian outings, DC Comics had planned a one hundred page super spectacular dedicated to the Princess of Plunder, due to release this week. Unfortunately owing to the current crisis affecting the planet, the print version has been put back until mid May at the earliest. But what we can share with you are a selection of the many oustandingly gorgeous variant covers commissioned for the delayed tome, with some of comicdom’s most accomplished artists coming together to celebrate one the longest running and important fictional females in history, puuuurfect!

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Happy 80th Birthday Selina, and with her nine lives still intact, you can be assured she’ll thankfully be with us for a loooong time to come… Cat-tastic!!

Catwoman is Copyright: DC Comics.

Precinct1313’s End Of The Decade Geekstravaganza

Well hi there fellow agents of Precinct1313, and welcome to the majestic mansion of mystery’s infamous Comic Crypts. I hope you didn’t have too much trouble finding your way down through the Precinct’s convoluted and ever changing hallways and chambers, that’s the problem with running a comic blog from a supernatural entity posing as a resplendent residence, oh and the fact that we are located at the edge of  existence also doesn’t help with navigation, as most Sat-Navs don’t appear to cover that… surprisingly!

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And yet here you all are, so welcome, to Precinct1313’s End Of The Decade Geekstravaganza! That’s right, the decade draws itself to a close and we’re here to steer you through some of our favourite geeky moments from the past ten years, so pull up a tombstone (these are the comic crypts after all) and let’s all relive our favourite things of the past decennium…

Our Favourite Comic-Book Series: Mister Miracle 

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Masters of the miraculous – Tom King and Mitch Gerads deserve every bit of praise thrown their way by their peers, critics and fans for this superlative series, a groundbreaking, emotional and touching 12 issue maxi-series that took one of DC and Jack Kirby’s most beloved second tier characters, and thrust him headlong into the deserving limelight. We wrote a review on this tenacious tome recently, so we shall leave you a handy dandy link right here .

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 Though we feel that Miracle was without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest Superhero story released since Watchmen (really!) we couldn’t leave this particular post without mentioning our other comic-book love from the past ten years – Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s tantalising and terrific take on our absolute favourite orange hued alien princess, sizzling Superheroine – Starfire! Conner and Palmiotti are a dynamic duo of some renown in the wonderful world of comic books, a husband and wife team with a wild and wacky sense of humour that light up any character they get their talented hands upon, from Power Girl to their award winning run on Harley Quinn, everything these terrific twosome touch is utter comic-book gold, especially their 2015 maxi-series -Starfire.

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Endlessly endearing and wonderfully witty, Starfire’s 2015 series is a gift that keeps on giving, Conner and Palmiotti (along with the series’ fantastic artist – Emanuela Lupacchino) have bestowed upon us humble comic fans, the greatest take on Tamaran’s lost Princess since she was first unleashed in 1980 by her superstar creators, George Perez and Marv Wolfman. An origin tale, a laugh out loud stranger in a strange place fable, Starfire is a beguiling and winsome take on a beloved DC character. Quite possibly the funniest and most captivating series from DC in many a year, the Precinct unequivocally recommends this touching and hilarious series.

(Favourite Comic-book series runners up – Doomsday Clock, Supergirl: Being Super, Wonder Woman: Rebirth)

Our Favourite Comic-Book Movie: Wonder Woman

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Can you believe it took seventy five years to finally get one of the most popular, significant and important fictional characters of all time onto the big screen, a primary reason for this according to some producers, directors, movie studios and overall decision makers (all of whom were talking nonsense, of course) was that a female led Superhero movie stood little chance of success… well, I’m pleased to say that those negative naysayers were completely wrong in their assertions, because Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s 2017 Wonder Woman movie most assuredly was an exquisite example of, not just a top tier translation of character to silver screen, but a film that also carried a compelling message of love, hope and empowerment.

Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins more than made up for Diana’s seventy five year cinema snub by giving us, not just a superlative and accurate representation of the Themysciran Titan, but also THE greatest Superhero movie of… all… time! 

(Favourite Superhero movie runners up – Batman v Superman, Aquaman, Shazam)

Our Favourite Comic-Book Artist: Amanda Conner

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I have been reading, collecting and immersing myself in comic-book worlds since the mere age of six, my first dalliance with a Superhero was the Batman, from there I went on to discover the thrilling tales of the Themysciran titan Wonder Woman and have, over the decades become a devoted stalwart of DC Comics. Not being content to just absorb these wonderful stories of heroism and emancipation, I was also always interested in the compelling creational process behind the formation of these thrilling and titanic tales, from the literary scripting and especially the wonderful artistic endeavours.

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From an early age some of my very favourite artists included such luminary delights as – Neal Adams, Brian Bolland, Nicola Scott, Emanuela Lupacchino, Norm Breyfogle and Adam Hughes. Picking a favourite from these amounted to an impossibly herculean task… that is until I discovered the astonishing art of one Amanda Conner. From that point on anyone enquiring as to who my all time fave artist was would not be able to shut me up as I enthused and rhapsodised over her astounding artwork. Quirky, zany, fun and instantly recognisable, Amanda’s incredible artistic style (for me) stands head and shoulders above her peers.

(Favourite Comic-Book artist runners up – Emanuela Lupacchino, Stanley Lau, Nicola Scott)

Our Favourite Non DC Comics Movie:

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Mmmmm, now this is a difficult one, I mean sooooo many great movies have been released over the past ten years, how in the name of Zeus’ beard are we able to pick just one? We can’t, so here (in no particular order) are a few of our fave non DC Comics based films of the past decade…

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:

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A tremendous movie conversion of the classic French comic-book ‘Valerian and Laureline’ that was first published in 1967, created by the talented duo of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. Stunning effects, decent acting (though Clive Owen, who is usually great, was rather uninspiring in this one) and an engaging, wild and zany plot make this definitely one of our top fave films from the past ten years.

Alita: Battle Angel:

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Another comic-book classic given the silver screen treatment, Alita is originally a manga series created by the great Yukito Koshiro in 1990. A post apocalyptic, cyber-punk stylised story that was brought to vivid life at the talented hands of Robert Rodriguez.

Groundbreaking visual effects bring android Alita to the big screen through some jaw-dropping motion capture of the movie’s phenomenal lead actress – Rosa Salazar, who puts in an outstandingly impassioned performance, and with a back up cast that includes such thrilling thespians as Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Maershala Ali, and Jackie Earle Haley, Alita is more than deserving of your free time.

Franklyn:

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British cult movie ‘Franklyn’ is a genre defying delight, part superhero saga,  noir thriller, romance, and horror, it takes great pleasure in flouting any kind of atypical filmic categorisation.

Franklyn is a visually rich movie, set across the dual dystopian parallel dimensions of Meanwhile City and contemporary London. It is within these dark, ethereal realities that we encounter four protagonists, each a lost soul, and on an intertwined and fated path to ultimately affect each others lives, be that for good or ill.

Unfortunately, as is the case with a large number of movies emanating from the UK, Franklyn never achieved the audience or status that it truly deserved. With a standout cast that includes Eva Green, Bernard Hill, Sam Riley and Ryan Phillippe, Franklyn is a film the Precinct heartily recommends. We reviewed the movie at the time, so if you find your interest piqued, then a link to our review is right here  

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

And there you have it, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, I mean we could go on, but then this post would end up novel length, and I only have so much time to get it published before the end of 2019! With that, may I just say a big thank you to all of the Precinct’s followers and readers for the likes, comments and visits to the site over the past five years, it really is so, so appreciated. Happy New Year to you all!!

Oh, and as ever… Make Mine DC!

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Comics’ Greatest Love Stories: The Bat Loves The Cat…

Grim, gritty, surly, sullen, stern, morose, brusque… all these terms define the infamous vengeance driven creature of the night known as The Batman, and why wouldn’t they? I mean, he’s not exactly had a great time of it overall, let’s be honest. He lives in the cesspool of a city known as Gotham, watched his parents gunned down before his innocent eyes at the tender age of 12, and has spent the past eight decades abusing both his mind, spirit and body as he seeks redemption for his parents death by dressing as a giant bat and pulping bad guys to within an inch of their miserable lives… where’s his silver bat- lining, huh? Well, that’s embodied by an equally traumatised, but resolutely more positive minded costumed creation who goes by the name of Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman.

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The Bat and The Cat have been dancing around (probably to the Batusi!) each other emotionally since their first ever encounter in Batman #1 in March of 1940. That’s close to eighty exquisite years of puurfect passion procrastination, though the Dark Knight Detective has had other fleeting love interests over the decades (the most significant obviously being that of Talia Al Ghul, R’as Al Ghul’s daughter) none have had the emotive impact on his melancholic life more than one Selina Kyle.

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Their lives have been irrevocably romantically intertwined since that first meeting in 1940 and their devotion has continued throughout their many dalliances to this very day, even culminating with a recent wedding proposal from The Bat himself, though in typical Batman fashion, it definitely did not go as planned as Batman’s notorious rogues gallery stepped in to ruin the one shining light that could of led Bruce into new and unfamiliar territory… happiness!

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I love Batman and Catwoman, have done since I first discovered the characters from the tender age of six, and have always rooted for their eventual sanguine intimacy. But have always understood that any kind of inherent contentment would ultimately end the crime fighting career of Batman… it’s the pain and loss that life has served him that ultimately makes him the Batman, yet, even the sullen stern alter ego of the masked manhunter deserves some relief from his disconsolate existence and fortunately there is Selina Kyle. So, why not join us as we embark on a visual tour through their long and (mostly) loving courtship that has had Batfans the world over holding their Bat-breaths for almost eighty years. The Bat (most definitely) loves The Cat…

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The Bat/Cat affection has stood the test of time for almost eight decades… is this the longest courtship in fictional history?

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Batman: Hush was a compelling treatise of Bruce and Selina’s long and storied entangled relationship, and is a must read to all.

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Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight got to grips with Michelle Pfeiffer’s puuurfect Selina Kyle in Tim Burton’s classic ‘Batman Returns’

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As did Adam West with Julie Newmar in the sixties camp show and Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises.

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Long Live The Bat And The Cat, And May They One Day Finally Find The Time To Truly Be Together… Forever.

 

Batman and Catwoman are copyright: DC Comics.

Happy Batman Day!

That’s right Batfans, today charts a crucial chapter in everyone’s life… Batman Day! Join DC Comics and millions of fans worldwide in celebrating the world’s most popular and significant cowled crimefighter. From the printed page through cinematic excursions and video game adaptations, toys, collectables and onward, the dark and surly one has been a major part of many peoples lives for eight exquisite decades. 

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My first encounter with the Caped Crusader was when my Mum purchased me an old issue of Detective Comics from a local car boot sale when I was a mere six years old, this was not only the first time I had ever read a Batman comic, but was in fact the first time I had ever read a comic.

I remember reading the issue a dozen times over in one sitting and was eager to divert more of my attention to this amazing hitherto unseen world that contained fantastical characters who really captured my young burgeoning imagination in a way nothing else previously had, I have been fanatical of the Dark Knight since that time.

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Detective Comics #466 marked my initial encounter with the masked manhunter, and told the tale of Batman’s clash with villain Signalman, not exactly an iconic member of Batman’s notorious rogues gallery it has to be said, but it was my very first brush with a Supervillain. This wonderfully nostalgic comic issue also introduced me to the fact that Batman shared a universe with other Superheroes, thanks to a very enjoyable back up story, that regaled the young me with the daring adventures of the Emerald Archer – Green Arrow

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So, a very happy Batman Day to you, my bodacious Bat brethren, and why not sound off in the comments below about your very first encounter with the Dark Knight, and what you will be doing to celebrate another year in the company of Gotham’s greatest grim and gritty guardian angel.  

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Batman is copyright: DC Comics

Comic Cover Of The Week – Batman: Last Knight On Earth

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Batman scribe mainstay – the sensational Scott Snyder has been weaving titanic tales of Gotham’s grim guardian since 2011, when he took over the reigns of  DC’s flagship title – Detective Comics. This marked the beginning of Snyder’s exclusivity deal with DC, that very same year he also penned the sterling – Batman: Gates Of Gotham mini-series, and then in September 2011 fully took control of the Caped Crusader’s vengeance driven chronicles by becoming the backbone of the New 52 reboot of Batman, through which he introduced, the now iconic, Court Of Owls and the character of Talon.

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For the past couple of years, Batfans have been teased by the outlandish image of the Dark Knight crossing endless ocean of red sands, as he treks across an unknown desert, his only companion… the Joker’s severed, but still very much alive, head! And finally, with the release this month of Batman: Last Knight On Earth, we finally get a glimpse of the outlandish premise that initial image teased us with, and fortunately (not that we believed any different, I mean it’s Scott Snyder after all) it’s Bat-tastic, and was well worth the excruciating wait.

Alongside artistic auteur – Greg Capullo, Snyder has created yet another Batman masterwork, which is apparently to be his swan song (Bat-Song?) with the character, whether that means forever or just in the chronology of his own personally scribed Batman timeline, is unknown at this point.

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Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum, young, sane… but, it appears, he was never The Batman! Thus begins this unusual odyssey for the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC Universe. As he attempts to piece together his now mysterious past, he must untangle the root of this frightful future and ultimately track down an indescribable force that has seemingly destroyed the world as he once knew it…

Another breathtaking Bat tale from the well established team of Snyder and Capullo, the first issue effortlessly sets up an unfamiliar world, one that appears to be bereft of the heroes from the past, and even the Batman himself seems… different, though all will be (possibly) revealed as the marvellous mini-series continues its anachronistic arc. (Oh, and did we mention it has a talking severed Joker head accompanying the dark and surly one on his travels? we did? well it was definitely worth mentioning again… a bloody, talking, decapitated, joker, head!!)

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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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

DC Universe Release It’s First Pic Of Brec Bassinger As Geoff Johns’ Beloved Hero – Stargirl!

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DC Universe is DC’s new live action/animated streaming service that recently regaled the comic giant’s loyal fans with such iconic delights as live action series’ of Titans and Doom Patrol, with Swamp Thing and a brand new animated series of Harley Quinn also on the heroic horizon.

But for this particular DC fanatic the upcoming Stargirl series is everything, and from this recently released photo of actress Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore, better known as the Cosmic Staff wielding Superhero – Stargirl, everything is looking really rather respectful and resplendent! High school student Courtney, step-daughter of the the Star Spangled Kid, has been portrayed in live action form twice before in Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow respectfully, but costume wise this is without a doubt the closest version yet brought to screen.

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Stargirl made her debut in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E #0 in July 1999, created by comic book legend Geoff  Johns who styled the character’s appearance and name after his late sister Courtney, who tragically died in a plane crash in 1996. The series will premiere in early 2020.

First Trailer For Joaquin Phoenix  Joker Origin Movie Released By Warner Bros…

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No Smilex Gas needed for this one, as Warner Brothers release a tantalising and intriguing look at Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the DC’s infamous clown prince of crime – The Joker.

Not to be confused with Jared Leto’s recent and entertaining variant of the jester of genocide, this is a standalone story that will delve into the trials and tribulations that ultimately turn what appears a seemingly ordinary individual into comic books most feared and revered sociopathic SuperVillain, in an origin story that is produced by celebrated film auteur Martin Scorsese and also stars Robert DeNiro and Zazie Beets… and it’s looking particularly phenomenal! Revel in the trailer below:

 

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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

DC Comics Channel Stephen King With – #DCEASED Cover Image…

Comic book writer Tom Taylor has been teasing #DECEASED over the past few weeks with some rather cryptic hints towards some devastating destruction headed towards our beloved DC heroes and their universe. Not only that, but a major death of a classic DC villain also seems to be on the cards as a catalyst for the coming storm… Darkseid, DC’s big bad is largely thought to be in the firing line for this with Taylor’s phrase “Darkseid Was” dominating headlines, an idiom of Grant Morrison’s “Darkseid Is” from his incredible run in the nineties Justice League (with this original phrase also appearing heavily in Tom King’s recent groundbreaking series Mister Miracle)

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Taylor recently posted to Twitter Yasmine Putri’s variant cover for DC’s upcoming event series, with the cover an obvious homage to Stephen King’s frightening horror/thriller – IT. Transposing King’s creepy clown killer for DC’s very own clown prince of crime – The Joker, handing the titular red balloon to what is obviously the Jason Todd version of Robin (who Joker previously killed, rather bloodily, utilising a crowbar) Creepy! #DCEASED is due for release in May.

Detective Comics #1000 Reveals Dozens Of Variant Bat Covers…

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Eight Decades ago what is now known as DC Comics unleashed Detective Comics unto the comic book loving world, this was THE comic book that defined that beloved purveyor of costume clad crimefighters, eventually becoming their famed appellation. Of course Detective’s most distinguished and prominent addition to Superhero lore is the first appearance of comicdom’s, arguably, biggest creation of all time – Masked Manhunter, Caped Crusader and Darkest of Knights – Batman, who made his dynamic debut in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939!

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Eighty years later the SuperVillain punching, long eared, curmudgeonly creature of the night is still stalking the crime ridden streets of Gotham City, and with the 1,000th issue almost upon us, DC are releasing a cadre of compellingly collectable comic covers to celebrate this enormous event. Astonishing artists such as – Neal Adams, Jim Lee, Kelley Jones, Greg Capullo, Joelle Jones, Frank Miller, Dustin Nguyen and many, many more will be rendering our favourite spandex clad avenger of the night when the title hits your local comic book emporium on March 27th 2019. 

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

Gotham City Apartment – A Room With A View

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“It’s on the thirteenth floor, appropriately” the landlord mentioned as we approached the apex of the top floor of his ‘luxury’ apartment block.

“Appropriately?” I questioned back at the rather burly man who was quietly fumbling for the requisite key to the apartment we had just reached.

“Oh didn’t I mention, this apartment is really rather special, it has the most glorious view of the city from a large picturesque window situated in its front room, and, well, I dunno, I guess the number thirteen sort of comes to mind whenever I think about him… uh, it!? Mmmmmm, no’one’s really sure if he’s human, or something, else”

My curiosity piqued – ” Him? who exactly are we talking about?”

“Wow, you’re really not from around here are you, I mean your accent sounds, British, right?” the landlord sighed heavily as he finally found the relevant apartment key.

“Yes, I’m English, only been in the states for a couple of days in fact, I’m a writer you see, one in need of a healthy dose of inspiration, I thought travelling across the pond and making my home here in Gotham for a few months might help blow away those writer’s block cobwebs… again, who is this mysterious, entity to whom you refer?”

The landlord turned towards me with a look of startling incredulity “Batman, of course, what rock have you been living under, Brit or not, I mean come on, it’s the goddamn Batman!”

“Batman?” my brow furrowed at the idea “he’s actually real?, I always thought he was some kind of myth, a sort of urban legend, you know a boogeyman type”

The landlord’s lips cracked into a rather ominous smile “Oh he’s the boogeyman alright, ‘cept in his case he only does harm to those who deserve it, anyway, please go in and take a look around, but I suggest you make up your mind quickly if you are at all interested, this apartment is well sought after and I have two more viewings this evening”

The apartment was much larger than I had at first envisioned, but then at the price he was charging I could probably afford a mansion in comparison, but it was, strangely enough, the apartment number that had attracted me to the viewing – 1313, there just seemed something, familiar about it.

“And here we are” the landlord stood in front of a sizeable plate glass window with what could only be described as a spectacular view onto the city itself, yet, with the constant torrential rain and lightning storm, and the ridiculously prodigious amount of black spires and gargoyles that peppered the immediate skyline, Hell came more to mind. “This window is better than any TV set you’ve ever seen, and if you’re looking for inspiration to break your writer’s block, well, this particular room might very well be your new favourite muse”

I pressed my nose against the cold glass “How so?” I asked, curious of his assertion.

“Well, you see, for some reason the Bat seems to frequent this particular area rather often, I mean we do have a rather high crime rate here, but that could be said for the entire city, it’s Gotham after all, infamous across the world for just this reason. This particular suburb – Park Row is actually more famous for one particular street dubbed ‘Crime Alley’ by the locals, if you look just over to your left you can see the infamous thoroughfare, the downgrade of this area began maybe thirty years ago after an awful tragedy involving Gotham’s famous affluent family, The Waynes…”

“Ah, as in the parents of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne?” I said glancing towards the landlord, who appeared a little miffed at my interruption  “I think I’ve heard this story, but please, continue on Sir”

“As I was saying, it’s been at least three decades since that awful night, when, after a evening out at the movies with their young son Bruce, the Waynes, Thomas and Martha were gunned down in cold blood right before the very eyes of their child, I mean can you imagine that, how it would taint your life… well it certainly tainted this area that’s for sure and the entire city itself, things got worse from that night onward, the city began its slow gradual descent into hell, I know, I know, I sound awfully dramatic but… wait a second, is that?”

The landlord stood transfixed staring out the window, like a deer caught in headlights, “what is it?” I said whirling on the spot following his gaze. Something dark was moving through the buildings, at first it appeared to be some kind of gigantic corvidae, but one of this size would be ridiculous, we continued to watch as the ‘thing’ descended to the ground below. It was then that the darkened figure began to take shape as my eyes adjusted to the light differential outside, it was clearly some kind of humanoid creature, though like no man I had ever encountered before. The head bore two rather long pointed ears and what seemed to be large black wings draped around the impressively framed individual.

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“It’s him!” the landlord exclaimed with an almost childlike glee “told ya huh, can’t believe he appeared just as I was telling you about him though, really creepy timing, and yet…” the landlord glanced at a calendar hanging on the back wall “that’s it!, weirdly enough he seems to come here, to crime alley every year on this particular day”

I looked back towards the calendar “26th of September, Mmmmm, I wonder what the significance of this date is to such a man, umm, creature? that he should appear every year on this very day” I looked back out of the window towards where this ‘Bat’ had been, “he’s gone! I mean, he was there literally a second ago!”

The landlord’s face broadened into a large wry grin “Oh yeah, he’s good at that! off to take down a murderous clown or a riddling sociopath I would hazard, so, after that excitement, what do you think of the place, interested?”

I turned away from the window “I’ll take it” I said confidently.

“Yeah, thought ya would” the landlord passed me the keys”Oh, and we’ve had a few writers rent the place in the past you know, I believe they may have even left some of theirs musings and manuscripts up in the loft area, may be of interest to you.”  The landlord turned on the spot and slowly made his way for the door “Welcome to Gotham” he uttered as he closed the door behind him.

“Thanks” I murmured back “I think I’m going to like it here” I gazed towards the trap door that gave access to the attic area… “yeah, I really think I’m going to like it here”

To Be Continued…

 

Batman and Gotham City are trademarks of DC Comics.

 

 

World’s Finest: An Exclusive Interview With Lego Batman

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Welcome fellow Agents of Precinct1313 to another exhilarating episode of “World’s Finest” a series of exclusive interviews that aim to introduce you to some of our very favourite convocation of comic-book characters of… all… time!

Each episode we cordially invite one of our most treasured – Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons and, of course, Super-Pets to answer a quotient of quintessentially quirky questions about life, the universe, and cake (’cause everyone loves cake!)

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And so, let’s welcome to Precinct1313’s stately sanguine sofa of shockingly satirical secrets – the larger than life, laudable yet litigious loner – Lego Batman!

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Precinct1313: Welcome Bats, and thanks so much for joining us on this weeks World’s Finest.

Lego Batman: It’s Batman… B-A-T-M-A-N! not Bats or Batsy, or any other cute nickname… I’m the goddamn Batman!

Precinct1313: Uuh, I’m sorry, Batman… loving that Frank Miller reference though, very cool.

Lego Batman: Who?

Precinct1313: You know, Frank Miller, one of the most celebrated chroniclers of your adventures.

Lego Batman: Never heard of the guy, I, of course, chronicle my own adventures, I mean, who else could do as an amazing job as me… I’m Batman, although Alfred is currently helping write my memoirs for my upcoming autobiography.

Precinct1313: Intriguing, and what’s the title of said book so I can pick it up once it’s available.

Lego Batman: “I’m Batman – An Autobiography”

Precinct1313: Erm, that title seems a little… simple, for someone of your stature…

Lego Batman: It does have a subtitle.

Precinct1313: Which is?

Lego Batman: “The Memoirs Of The World’s Most Significantly Awesome And Greatest Superhero, Who Has Beaten Superman In Every Fight Ever, Has Dated Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Zatanna, Power Girl… In Fact Every Female Superhero In Existence, Is A Billionaire Genius With Lots Of Cool Gadgets And A Batcave, And Is Appreciably More Important Than Anyone Who Has Ever… Ever Lived”

Precinct1313: That is, uuh, one seriously impressively long subtitle you have there.

Lego Batman: Yeah, well, the ladies dig a guy with an impressively long subtitle…

Precinct1313: I’m sorry!?

Lego Batman: Oh nothing, go on, ask me another question so I can dazzle you with my wit, charm, expertise and, of course, supreme modesty…

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“That’s right ladies, I’ve got everything anyone would ever need, wit, charm, billions of dollars and an impressively long, uh… utility belt! “

Precinct1313: Ok then, now you recently starred in a big budget blockbuster movie, how hard was the switch from a night-clad costumed vigilante to an actor and superstar?

Lego Batman: Pfft! well I’ve always been a superstar…. world’s greatest Superhero, remember, but it also turns out I’m a damn fine thespian also…

Precinct1313: It had quite the cast list too, with virtually every member of your infamous Rogues Gallery appearing. 

Lego Batman: Mmmmm, speaking of my Rogues Gallery, is that a photo of you and the Mischievous Minx of Mayhem hanging on the wall?

Precinct1313: You mean the photo of Harley Quinn and myself? yes indeed she was a guest on the show a few months back… in fact she was sat on that very sofa you are on right now.

Lego Batman: Whaaaaat! why didn’t you tell me, the sofa is probably rigged to explode, or implode… it’s definitely going to do some kind of ‘ploding’ that’s for sure…

Precinct1313: Eh, surely not, I mean she was really rather nice to be honest, well apart from the bit where she violently assaulted me with a comically oversized mallet.

Lego Batman: Mmmm, yes, as I suspected, the sofa is rigged with Smilex gas… the Joker’s deadly toxin, and through the pressure of my Bat-butt I seem to have triggered the mechanism… we have only seconds to live!

Precinct1313: I’m sorry! did you say seconds to live!? ummm, what are we going to do!?

Lego Batman: Well I’m going to retrieve my Bat gas-mask from my trusty utility belt, whereas you will likely inhale the Smilex, laugh manically until your internal organs rupture and then die in severe pain with a hideous rictus grin on your face… unfortunately!

Precinct1313: Eep!

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Lego Batman is trademark: DC Comics.

Rorschach’s Quote(s) Of The Week

*Warning: Doomsday Clock Spoilers Ahoy me hearties!*

“Rorschach’s Journal: November 15, 2017 – I appear to be back, or am I? after my obvious demise at the hands of Doc Manhattan how is this possible… who am I, where am I, and what has happened to my physicality? I appear to be someone… other, hmmm, a paradox!”

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“Hrmm… I’m Back… Seemingly”

Hey, have you heard? Rorschach’s back! That’s right the viciously vehement vigilante with the ink blot mask, surly temper and loathing for the criminal fraternity has re-materialised on the physical plane after his apparent deadly demise at the hands of Doc Manhattan… or has he!? Well that’s a spoiler that I reverently refuse to reveal! What I am going to share with you though, fellow CrimeBusters, are some of the phenomenally perfect panels from Rorschach’s recent rendezvous with classic characters from the DC Universe… especially Batman, in fact, Batsy and ‘schach make for an almost peerless comic(al) duo…

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Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys!?

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Kitchen Utensils Are A Prerequisite For Rorschach, You Never Know When He Might Fancy The Odd Cold Tin Of Beans..

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The Rorschach Equivalent Of – “Are We There Yet?”

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It’s Not Like You Ever Eat Anything Anyway Though Bruce…

And this one may not have Rorschach in it (though he is just off panel) but it’s way too fantastic not to include…

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DC’s Doomsday Clock series is a semi sequel to Alan Moore’s phenomenal and groundbreaking original 80’s masterpiece, and happily holds it’s head high in comparison to it’s almost unparalleled peer, highly recommended.

Rorschach, Batman, Doctor Manhattan, Joker and Doomsday Clock Are Trademark: DC Comics.

RIP – Norm Breyfogle: My All Time Favourite Batman Artist

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It is with a heavy heart that last week I discovered that my favourite Batman artist of all time, the inimitable Norm Breyfogle passed away on September 24 at a mere 58 years of age. The details of his untimely passing are currently being kept private by his family but what we do know is that Norm suffered a stroke a couple of years back which affected the left side of his body, including his drawing arm.

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I have been a Bat-fan since I was six years of age, and although my favourite period of his myriad of adventures was the mid seventies, drawn by the amazing Neal Adams and written by the dazzling Denny O’Neil, I was rather too young to read them at the time. The Batman I actually grew up with was the eighties version, this is post Frank Miller’s ground-breaking and character defining – Dark Knight Returns, and of all the fantastic artists that drew the continuing adventures of everyone’s favourite nocturnal, pointy eared vigilante, without a doubt my favourite was Norm Breyfogle.

Teamed up with British comic writer – Alan Grant they created some of the greatest Batman tales ever put to paper throughout their extremely long run (1987-1993) on Batman’s premium title Detective Comics. Norm’s style suited the character flawlessly, angular, gothic and almost Germanic in its form, he would go on to set a precedent for how we view the look of the Batman today.

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Our thought go out to Norm’s family and friends at this very sad time.

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313 – SDCC Special

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

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Well, of course they did…

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

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The First Trailer For Shazam… Blew Minds!

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

Indulge in the trailer below fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

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Aquaman Trailer Makes Waves At SDCC…

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

Luxuriate In The Trailer Below My Astonishing Atlantean Associates…

 

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

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

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

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

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

With Justice Comes Variance…

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DC Comics are officially relaunching Justice League in June alongside the new creative team of Scott Snyder, Mark Morales, and Jim Cheung. the premise for the new series was originally set up through the rather fantastic DC Nation #0 and Justice League: No Justice, both of which launched in May 2018.

The new line up for the League includes seven core members from the New52 era and characters from the DC Animated universe. The Superheroic nucleus will feature classic heroes including (of course) the Trinity of Bats, Wondy and Supes alongside – The Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Cyborg, and Aquaman… well then, pretty much an archetypal League team up.

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In celebration of the League’s newest arrival DC have announced an astonishing 16 variant covers, from talented creators such as – Jim Lee, Jim Cheung, Jock, Tyler Kirkham, Jorge Jimenez and more. There will be a primary of 7 variants available at most Comic-Book emporiums alongside 9 covers exclusive to certain retailers (Forbidden Planet etc…) Variants will also include black and white ‘sketch’ covers as well as a blank ‘draw it yourself’ cover. Are you as excited as us for the relaunch of JL? which of these stunning renderings are your favourite? sound off in the comments below, fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

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All images are copyright: DC Comics.

 

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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

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Alfred Finally Gets His Due…

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

Bruce Wayne: “I’m rich!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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