Blog Archives

Precinct1313 Breaking News: Batman Caught Walloping Wildlife!

Yep, it appears that The Batman is such a bad-arse that when he isn’t out fighting crime he spends his day punching tigers… PUNCHING TIGERS!

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Now, look here Bats, we love ya man but is it absolutely necessary to pick on those poor defenceless tigers?

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Oh, after a little digging around it appears that this isn’t a single time incident, the dark and surly one has been whomping wildlife since the beginning, and apparently even found a way to go back in time for some dinosaur dunking!!

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Ye Gods Man! Can You Stop Already!!

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(Disclaimer – I’m sure there was a very good reason ol’ Batsy had for these ( ever so slightly) out of context actions… oh, and I’m a member of PETA and love their work)

 

Eight Years In Precinct1313 – An Anniversary Special

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Welcome, fellow agents of Precinct1313, to our ebullient eighth anniversary! That’s right, the majestic mansion of mystery first materialised unto this plane of existence in 2014, it’s mission (which we absolutely chose to accept) was to provide you with some decidedly delectable DC Comics documentation, whilst behind the scenes we continued to map out the convoluted corridors, herculean hallways and colossal comic crypts that compose this recondite residence.

Shortly, as is our tradition, we shall be making our merry way down to the Precinct’s fabled – Great Halls Of Quaffing – to celebrate in style, along the way though, we shall take a short excursion and visit the abstruse anomaly known as the – Scrying Chamber – whence sits, upon a single stone table, a stygian black crystal ball. So why not join me, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, as we stare deep into its sanguine depths and re-live some of our favourite posts from the past eight enthralling years…

World’s Finest – Interview Series

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A mainstay of of the Precinct over the years (and my absolute favourite posts to write) was the – Worlds’ Finest: Interview – series, where each episode we would invite our most treasured – Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons, and, of course, Super-Pets to answer a quotient of quintessentialy quirky questions about life, the universe and cake (’cause everyone loves cake!)

Classic characters such as – Circe, Harley Quinn, and Cheetah have darkened the Precinct’s media studio, and have – harassed, bludgeoned, nibbled and vexed our poor hapless interviewer, with his deadly denouement happening at a final, fatal interview with Judge Death, almost two years past. I’m very happy to announce the imminent return of World’s Finest and, also, our original interviewer! thanks to Ra’s al Ghul’s much appreciated offer to plonk him in his Lazarus pit! So keep your eyes peeled for World’s Finest: Series 2, which will include interviews with the likes of Rorschach, Zatanna, and The Scarecrow!

Ace, Krypto and Streaky Too!

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One of our more recent posts, and one that was without a doubt absolutely massive fun to write was this post dedicated to the awesomely adorable animals that populate the DC Universe. These super-powered pets include such dynamic delights as – flying felines, detective deducing dogs and, yep, even a Bat-Cow!! You can peruse (and pet) this perky post – Right Here.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

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As you’re all probably bored of hearing right now , ’cause we never, ever shut up about it (and never shall!) we love Wondy here in Precinct1313, she is our favourite comic book creation of all time! And just recently the glorious gods of Olympus once more bestowed upon us mere mortals yet another thrilling tale of the Themysciran Titan with the fabulous Laurie Halse Anderson penned opus – Tempest Tossed – a sublime celebration of the wondrous one, and you can read our rapturous review of this titanic tome – Right Here.

The Bat Loves The Cat

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The Bat most assuredly does love the cat, in fact they’ve been dancing around each other emotionally for the past eight decades! Yep, that’s eighty years of perfect passion procrastination! No character has had a more emotive impact on the Dark Knight’s melancholic life than sultry Selina Kyle aka -Catwoman! Why not re-live their tender tale of romance – Right Here.

Phew, thanks for sticking with us as we shared some of our personal favourite posts we have submitted to the WordPress world over the past eight years, and as we near the great Halls of Quaffing for mucho merriment, allow me to say a massive THANK YOU to all of the Precinct’s followers, readers and fellow bloggers… it is YOU that makes this joyous journey worthwhile.

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Oh, And As Ever – Make Mine DC!

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DC Comics Unveil June Pride Issues

Well hey there, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to the very first day of the 2022 Pride Month celebrations, it’s lovely to see you all gathered here in the Precinct’s legendary Comic Crypts to help us celebrate diversity and inclusion.

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Pride Month is imperative in raising awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and other societal implications. The month of June was originally chosen for it’s context to the 1969 Stonewall riots, where the LGBT community of the time held a series of protests and demonstrations against an unjust raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich village.

DC Comics themselves have a long standing within the LGBTQ+ community, with a number of their heroes and villains being gay, trans and bisexual, beginning with their first ever gay character – Extrano – the magical based Superhero created by Joe Staton and Steve Englehart in 1987. Since that time DC have led the way for inclusionary characters with, quite possibly, their most famous being Kate Kane aka – Batwoman.

 

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From the 7th of June you’ll be able to get your majestic mitts on a variety of outstanding proud comic cover classics from a perfect plethora of DC’s very best artistic auteurs, featuring a compelling cast of DC’s leading LGBTQ+ characters including Nubia, Jon Kent, Harley and Ivy, Jackson Hyde and many more…

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Plus, alongside all this comic cover loveliness, DC will also be releasing a 100 page anthology comic featuring 13 all new stories spotlighting their LGBTQ fan favourite characters written and illustrated by some of the very best writers and artists in the comic-book field including – Devin Grayson, Stephanie Phillips, Alyssa Wong, Zoe Thorogood Jen Bartel, Phil Jimenez and even ol’ Batsy himself, the awesome – Kevin Conroy (legendary voice artist for the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series)

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DC Comics’ Pride 2022 #1 Will Be Available At Your Local Comic-Book Emporium From June 7th.

DC Comics Showcase Summer Swimsuit Specials!

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Merciful Minerva! DC Comics, that bodacious bastion of superlative superheroics, has (literally!) unveiled it’s pantheon of costume clad crimefighters, and villains, in an upcoming comic cover event that sees their finest heroes and enemies peel off their spandex and show some skin in a sassy, sinewy summer swimsuit showcase special!

That’s right, fellow fans of fantastic flirty fiction, some of DC’s most popular characters will be donning their saucy speedos and bodacious bikinis in a new variant cover series releasing this August. Yep, even the notorious curmudgeonly creature of the night known as The Batman will don his bat-trunks to kick sand in the face of The Joker! alongside another nine naughty but nice heroes and villains including Nightwing, Nubia, Supergirl and Deathstroke.

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These vivacious variants are brought to you by some of the very best artists working in the wonderful world of comics today including – Nicola Scott (Nightwing #95 variant), Derek Chew (Nubia #3) Mikel Janin (Batman #126), Emanuela Lupacchino (Black Adam #3) and many more.

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So why not brush the sand from between your toes, pull on your flip flops and make your way down to your local comic-book emporium this August to bask in the radiant rays of these captivating covers!

Legendary Comic-Book Artist – Neal Adams – Passes Away At 80

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It is with a sense of great sadness that I relay the news that the legendary Neal Adams passed away on Thursday April 28 from complications with sepsis. Neal was one of the most highly regarded artists in the comic-book medium, and was a standard bearer to his peers always pushing for creator rights and fair pay.

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Neal’s first dalliance in the comic book world was in 1967 with DC Comics, where at the time he mostly drew War comics. In 1968 he was tasked with redesigning the Batman, after over a decade of camp silliness, DC decided they wanted to bring back the dark, brooding detective version of the character more in line to his original 30’s and 40’s variant. Neal’s artistic style was the perfect choice for this assignment, his hyper realistic artwork fit the characters of Batman canon beautifully. Alongside the late, great Denny O’Neil, Neal gave us some of the greatest Batman, Green Lantern and Green Arrow stories ever told, with Neal’s stunning art always in perfect synergy with Denny’s scripting, they were literally the original Dynamic Duo of comics, and the comic book world is a much, much poorer place without them.

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It was Neal and Denny who first introduced me, not only to the Caped Crusader, but the wonderful world of comics themselves, as a wide eyed six year old. My many thanks to them both for my enduring love of comic-books and especially The Batman. Our thoughts go out to Neal’s friends and family at this very sad time.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Battle Of The Bats!

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Welcome, my cool and compelling comic collecting cohorts to another Comic Cover Of The Week, and “Holy Bat Bust-Ups, Batman!” it seems we have the mother of all bodacious bat beatdowns, as these brawly bat brethren go (pointy eared) head to (pointy eared) head in a month that sees no less than five Bat-tacular covers released. But which of these creatively charming Chiroptera covers will claw its way to the top? That, my Bat-tastic buddies is up to YOU!

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Whether it’s the 60’s Adam West ‘Kapowing’ criminals, or 80’s Keaton ‘getting nuts!’, 2000’s Bale’s broody belligerence, Affleck’s vengeance fuelled vigilante or Robert Pattison’s grim and gothic variant, you can be sure there’s a Batman out there for every taste and the same can be said for these stunning covers, personal favourite is the Batman 89 cover in all it’s Michelle Pfeiffer-tastic glory, but which of these fabulous five is your favourite, well why not sound off in the comments below!

Batgirls #5 – Cover By Jorge Corona

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Batman 89 #5 – Cover By Joe Quinones

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Batman/Catwoman #11 – Cover By Clay Mann

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Batman: Urban Legends #14 – Cover By Karl Mostert

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I Am Batman #8 -Cover By Stephen Segovia

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So, which of this breathtaking battalion of  brush-stroked Bats is your fave, my bodacious bat-buddies? You know what to do… oh and don’t forget to tune in again next week for another comic cover classic. Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel!

Batman, Catwoman, Batgirl,  And All Imagery Are Copyright: DC Comics.

Comic Cover Of The Week: One Cover To Rule Them All!

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Felicitations, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome once more to our crazy cavalcade of cool and compelling comic cover collectables!

And, hoo-boy, there is an astonishing array of illustriously illustrated issues available at your nearby newsstands this week, so many in fact that it was impossible to pick just one. So here, for your decidedly delightful delectation, are my four fantabulous favourites…

Titans United #6 –

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I’m a sucker for absolutely anything Starfire, so naturally I fell in love with this captivating cover the moment I laid eyes upon it’s marvellous magnificence! Cover artist in question for this bodacious beaut, is the amazing Jamal Campbell, with interior art handled by by Jose Luis and Jonas Trinidade.

Detective Comics #1052 –

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Another DC Comics’ red-headed revelation is the beguiling Batwoman, and this gorgeous painterly piece of Kate Kane by Irvin Rodriguez is utterly stunning! Interior art is handled by Fernando Blanco and Max Raynor, with a tantalising tale by one of my current fave authors, the magnificent Mariko Tamaki.

I Am Batman #6 –

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I Am Batman #6 is penned by 12 Years A Slave screenwriter – John Ridley, and follows the unfurling destiny of the new and mysterious variant of The Batman – Jace Fox. This is yet another tremendous tale by Ridley who wowed us recently with his Black Label masterpiece series for DC – The Other History Of The DC Universe. The commendable cover is by Olivier Coipel, and interior art by Ken Lashley and Rex Locus.

Strange Love Adventures #01-

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Love is most definitely in the air again, and good ol’ DC Comics are here to warm the cockles of your heart, and brighten your soul with eight enthralling tales of… strange love? including a burly, brawly bodacious bromance between Peacemaker and his elegant Eagle sidekick – Eagly! The compelling cover is by Yanick Paquette, with interior art lovingly crafted by – Geraldo Borges, Jon Sommariva, Scot Eaton, and Pablo M Collar.

Personal pick of the bunch this week is Titans United #6, thanks to it’s radiant cover star – Starfire, but which of the featured foursome is your fave, why not sound off in the comments below!

Happy Batman Day!

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

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

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

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

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Women In Comics Presents: Ramona Fradon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Precinct1313’s Top Ten Favourite Comic-Book Covers Of All Time: No.08 – Batman #465 – Norm Breyfogle

Welcome back fellow fans of fantastic fiction to the continuing countdown of our absolute favourite comic-book covers of all time. In our last enthralling episode we introduced you to the illustrious illustrations of the sublime Phil Jimenez, with his terrific take on Lynda Carter’s classic Wonder Woman,  this time we shine the Bat signal on one of the of the mediums most defining artists to have ever rendered the Masked Manhunter, the late, great, Norm Breyfogle.

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As I have mentioned many times previously, I have been a fan of the big bad bat since I was a mere six years of age, and looking back on all the wonderful writer/artists that have brought their seminal talents to the bombastic bat mythos over the past eight decades, one compellingly creative combo stands out from the crowd for this particular Bat-fanatic, Alan Grant (the Brit comic-book writer, not the dinosaur dude!) and inimitable illustrator – Norm Breyfogle. Together, this dynamic duo blew this particular fan’s Bat-socks off by creating some of the greatest Batman tales ever put to paper through their long and varied run (six years in fact) on both Batman and its sister publication Detective Comics. Norm’s style suited the dark and surly one to absolute perfection, 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.

Norm will always be my personally preferred purveyor of everyone’s favourite nocturnal pointy eared vigilante, sadly though Norm was taken from us in October of 2018 after suffering heart failure at a mere 58 years of age. RIP Norm, we’ll always have your absolutely astounding artwork to remember your tremendous talent, and you were destined to make this list, for being quite literally, one of THE greatest comic-book artists of all time, and an outright gentleman to your fans and peers.

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Why Not join Us Again Next Time, Fellow Agents Of Precinct1313, For Our Continuing Celebratory Countdown Of Cool Comic Cover Collectables!

 

Six Years In The Precinct… An Anniversary Special

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Well hey there fellow agents of Precinct1313, it’s fantastic to see you, and we’re so glad that you could make your way over to the majestic mansion of mystery in time to partake in our sixth anniversary celebrations. In a few moments we will wind our way down through the Precinct’s interminable depths as we head towards the infamous  ‘Halls Of Quaffing’ to celebrate in style. 

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Unfortunately our usual anniversary tour guide, the Precinct’s carrion crow of woe – Eldritch won’t be available to usher you through this arcane abode, as he’s still in the dog-house (uhh, crow house?) for leading us astray through a preternatural portal that lead to Raven’s Reach Sanitarium and a padded cell! (For more on that tantalising tale, why not click right HERE

But fear not, oh fellow fans of fantastic fiction, as I am able to stand in as the (distinctly human) Corvidae conductor for this sixth anniversary commemoration. And so, without further ado, let our peregrinations begin…

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The mystical mansion of mystery known as Precinct1313 first materialised unto this dimension in 2014, this paranormal palazzo, oft thought to be a sister building to the sinister House Of Secrets has housed many scribes throughout the countless alternate realities it has dwelled, and in 2014, I discovered it’s many dimensional delights when it revealed itself in terrifying fashion (which you can read about right HERE) and have been trapped within it’s herculean hallways and reality shifting structure ever since. Which actually turns out to be a good thing as it has given me copious amounts of time to relay to you, dear agents, the wonderful world of comic-books, cult movies and general geekery!

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And so, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, thanks to this mythical edifice’s psychokinetic power, we are able to transport you back in time (it doesn’t hurt too much, honest!) to visit our most popular posts of yore…

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As you are more than likely aware if you’ve been an agent of the Precinct for awhile, our absolute favourite comic-book creation of all time is the Themysciran Titan herself the glorious Wonder Woman, I first discovered the dynamic delight that is Diana, Princess of the Amazons when I was a mere nine years of age, and have been a super fan ever since. A myriad of reviews, overviews and gushing posts have ensued from the Precinct since its inception, and looking at the ol’ stats the most popular of these is… Wonder Woman #600

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Another mesmerising mainstay of the Precinct over the years (and my absolute favourite posts to write) has been the – World’s Finest: Interview – series, where each episode we invite one of our most treasured Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons and Super-Pets to answer a quotient of quintessentially quirky questions about life, the universe and cake (’cause everyone loves cake) Such classic characters as Harley Quinn, Circe, and Cheetah, have darkened the Precinct’s media studio and have harassed, bludgeoned, nibbled, and vexed our poor hapless interviewer (why, at one point he was even turned into a worm! an actual worm!!) Checking that ol’ stats page again turns up that the most popular of these was… World’s Finest: An Exclusive Interview With V

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Another character that has helped form the foundings of the Precinct alongside Wondy has been Gotham’s grim guardian, the big bad bat! I have been a fan since the age of six, he was instrumental in ushering in my love of the comic-book medium and my fave company, DC Comics. And just like the Amazon Princess, I have written a multitudinous amount of material on his dark crusade to clean up Gotham and absolve himself of the guilt of his parents death by dressing up as a giant bat and beating seven shades out of crazy costumed villains. And, heading on back to that trusty ol’ stats screen, the most read of all those is… Comic Cover Of The Week: Batman Rebirth #22

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Phew! thanks so much fellow agents for joining us on that timely tour of the Precinct’s past, and as we near the Halls Of Quaffing for many a beer and celebration, may I just say a massive thank you to all of my fellow bloggers, followers and readers for making this blogging odyssey such a fantabulous experience, it is YOU that have made this journey worthwhile… now, beer!!

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Happy Batman Day!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Happy Batman Day!

Batman is copyright – DC Comics.

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 .

Starfire 

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

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

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

Our Favourite Comic-Book Movie: Wonder Woman

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

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

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

Our Favourite Comic-Book Artist: Amanda Conner

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

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

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

Our Favourite Non DC Comics Movie:

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

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:

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

Alita: Battle Angel:

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

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

Franklyn:

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, and as ever… Make Mine DC!

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