Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite – Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek, dear agents, once more…
Don’t Fret Batfans, Ben Affleck Is The Batman…
Rumours do not make for great news, let’s be honest. I have to wonder how some of the larger geek websites (read: corporate… though corporate and geeky are two words that really shouldn’t go together!) ever made it to the top of the proverbial nerd pile when such rookie mistakes as reporting on an ill informed rumour as if it were fact happens, especially when, less than 24 hours later they have to retract said articles after finding out that… hey guess what… IT WAS A RUMOUR! Phew!
The latest victim of inadequate fact awareness is Matt Reeves’ much anticipated upcoming adaptation of the masked manhunter – Batman. Several rumours surrounded the Dark Knight’s newest solo escapade this week, first and foremost that Batman v Superman star Ben Affleck had stepped away from the role as the Caped Crusader, and also that the movie itself was a standalone effort not tied into DC’s burgeoning shared cinematic universe, thankfully neither were true.
In response director Matt Reeves took to twitter to answer the rumour mill:
To clarify the point, Reeves’ Batman adaptation retains Ben Affleck as its lead, and will be part of the larger DC extended universe, but, it will primarily be a movie about Batman… no surprise there then considering IT’S A BATMAN MOVIE!! If dearly departed 60’s Bat actor Adam West was still with us he would definitely be reaching into his utility belt for his Anti-Rumour Bat Spray about now!
Raging Joker!? Legendary Director Martin Scorsese In Talks To Produce A Joker Origin Movie…
The Joker is quite possibly the most infamous comic villain of all time, and has seen many onscreen interpretations of his maniacal character over the decades, from Cesar Romero’s 60’s version through to the more recent Jared Leto rendering. Warner Bros are currently in talks with legendary film director Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Departed) to produce an origin tale for the clown prince of crime… a highly unexpected but rather awesome piece of news indeed!
Because the film will delve back into The Joker’s past, a younger actor will be portraying the mirthful maniac, which obviously precludes Jared Leto from reprising his role. But fear not Leto-Joker fans (myself included here) Jared has confirmed that he will be stepping out as the murderous maniacal maestro once again in a new movie that will centre on Mr J and his long suffering partner in madness Harley Quinn in what Warner Bros are calling a “Criminal Love Story”. I’m envisioning Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” with Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis’ roles recast as Harley and her puddin’… now that would be cool!
Titans Live Action Series Has Found Its Starfire…
We absolutely adore Starfire here in Precinct1313, which you probably already realise if you’re long time reader of the site. And when news hit that DC are in the process of creating a live action television series based upon the iconic team of teen superheroes, we were overjoyed at the idea of Koriand’r getting her first non animated debut on the small screen, and now it’s a definite reality as “24: Legacy” star Anna Diop has been cast in the role of the Tamaranean Princess.
The Titans series is being produced by sensational scribe Geoff Johns and TV writer/producer Greg Berlanti, and will debut on DC’s upcoming digital showcase channel. Anna will join already announced fellow cast member Teagan Croft, the Australian actress cast as the mystical Raven. Excitement overload in three… two…
Why not join us again next time friends for more Week In Geek
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to yet another exhilarating episode of “World’s Finest” a series of exclusive interviews that aims to introduce to you some of our very favourite convocation of comic-book characters of… all… time!
Each episode we cordially invite one of out most treasured – Superheroes, SuperVillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons, and of course … Super Pets (Bernie, Harley’s pet beaver was originally invited onto the show also, but I just could not stop giggling every time Harley talked about how much she loved to show people her Beaver… and almost had a laughter induced heart attack when she offered to let me stroke her Beaver, so I rescinded Bernie’s invitation… sorry little dude!)
Every episode our very special guests will be answering a quotient of quintessentially quirky questions about life, the universe and cake (’cause everyone loves cake.)
And so, let us welcome to Precinct1313’s sanguinely sacred sofa of schlockingly sordid satire, the hellaciously hazardous hellcat of hijinks – Harley Quinn!
Precinct1313: Uh, Hi there Harley and welcome to, erm, uh… this week’s episode of World’s Finest…
Harley Quinn: Thanks so much, I’m pleased to meetcha, uh, are you OK?
Precinct1313: What’s that, oh.. er yes I’m fine, uuum, you did come alone right?
Harley Quinn: Why of course, I left Bernie back at home as you asked.
Precinct1313: I wasn’t actually thinking about Bernie, but, you know, that other person you’re famed for knowing.
Harley Quinn: Oh you mean the Joker, my ex-puddin’, nah, I don’t tend to see much of him these days.
Precinct1313: Phew!… I mean, erm, it’s not that he’s not welcome or anything. If you’re viewing this Mr Joker… Sir, you are of course always, um, welcome here in the Precinct, though I’ve just been informed by my producers that the Precinct will be closed undergoing repairs for a couple of, centuries… so, um, sometime after that is fine… *Oh god, please don’t kill me Joker*
Harley Quinn: Jeepers, calm down would ya, hey are you cryin’!?
Precinct1313: Absolutely not… sniff!
Precinct1313: So, Harley, let me begin by congratulating you on your 25th anniversary since creation.
Harley Quinn: Gee, thanks so much, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long since I first hooked up with Mr J, innit!?
Precinct1313: Yes it is, and you’ve gone from strength to strength since then, in fact you have become one of the most beloved characters in comics, ever. To what do you attribute your meteoric rise?
Harley Quinn: I always find that threatening people with sharp implements or a giant mallet usually makes them see things my way.
Precinct1313: Uuuuh, that’s not exactly the answer I was expecting, but OK.
Precinct1313: Allow me to mention how much I enjoyed your role in the recent Suicide Squad movie, how did it feel stepping out of the comic book pages and onto the big screen?
Harley Quinn: Ooh it was great, I can’t believe how spacious it is in the real world, those comic book panels are so cramped, I mean I almost felt like a different person altogether!
Precinct1313: Well technically you were…
Harley Quinn: Watcha talkin’ about ya mook?
Precinct1313: Well, um, Margot Robbie portrayed you in the movie itself… right?
Harley Quinn: Never heard of the broad, there is only one Harley Quinn, and that’s l’il ol’ me… you are spoutin’ some real crazy talk, and they call me insane… where’s my giant mallet!?
Precinct1313: Gulp! uh, I was just kidding of course, no need for senseless violence…
Harley Quinn: But that’s sort of my shtick… the whole senseless violence thing.
Precinct1313: Which, let’s be honest, is an unusual trait for someone who once was a psychiatrist. Which brings me to, what was it that attracted you to a green haired psychopathic mass murderer in the first place?
Harley Quinn: I found the Joker’s psyche disturbing, his dementia alarming, and his charm irresistible, what can I tell ya? the guy just did for me!
Precinct1313: And the Batman?
Harley Quinn: Whatta ’bout him?
Precinct1313: Any thoughts?
Harley Quinn: I’d just like to say, if there were no Batman, there’d be no Joker and I woulda never met my puddin’, so thank you Batman! That said, if he shows his pointy ears around me again, I’ll wipe that grimacing scowl off his face with my beloved mallet!
Precinct1313: Yikes! and on that note, I would just like to say thank you for joining us on World’s Finest… oh and for not brutally bludgeoning me to within an inch of my life!
Harley Quinn: Actually, I’m still undecided on that!
That’s right, it’s been a quarter of a century since the mischievous minx of mayhem was first unleashed onto an unsuspecting comic book universe, much to the chagrin of most Superheroes, but conversely to the delight of millions of comic book fans, for Harley truly is… one of the greatest characters ever conceived, and if you don’t agree, then The Joker would like to have a word with you!
Former psychiatrist, Dr Harleen Quinzel was originally an Arkham Asylum intern who, after prolonged psychology sessions with crazed clown The Joker, was coerced into thinking that Batman was the ultimate cause of Joker’s insanely murderous high jinks. Slowly falling in love with the irascible psychotic, Harleen eventually aided the mirthful murderer to escape the asylum and joined him on his insane crusade to dispense madness and murder on the populace of Gotham City.
Ms Quinn was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and actually made her first ever appearance outside of the comic book format, on the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, in an episode titled “Joker’s Favour”. Actress Arleen Sorkin was Paul Dini’s original inspiration for the clown princess of crime, after he saw her in an episode of Days Of Our Lives, in which she appeared in a dream sequence wearing a Jester outfit. Dini and Sorkin had been friends since college, and he even incorporated certain facets of her personality into the character.
Though initially brought in as a throw away character, Harley proved so massively popular with the DC fanbase that she was ultimately brought into DC Universe continuity in the 1994 graphic novel “Batman Adventures: Mad Love” which recounted her wacky origin tale, and was written and drawn by original co-creators Dini and Timm.
Harley of course has, since that time, become a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the comic book world, starring in both animated and live action movies, and is also without a doubt, THE most most popular choice for depiction amongst cos-players across the globe.
Hellacious Harley’s quarter century celebrations begin with (aptly) “Harley Quinn Rebirth #25″, an oversized issue of Ms Quinn’s mega popular monthly series. Written by the masters of mirth – Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with a back up story by Harley’s co-creator Paul Dini.
This really is one of the funniest HQ comics released to date, an hilarious issue packed with action, suspense, sentimentality… and beaver jokes (well of course there are beaver jokes… it’s a Harley comic by those masterly mirthful maestros Amanda and Jimmy!) In fact, as great as all the tales jam packed into this issue are (Paul Dini making a triumphant return to his creation obviously being a stand out) it was the ridiculously brilliant birthday chapter by Amanda and her hubby Jimmy that I enjoyed the most. I mean, let’s be honest, BEAVER jokes are sooooo childish and ever so slightly politically incorrect but, under the direction of the dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti they are hilarious and had me giggling and snorting like a school child (much to the consternation of the other patrons in the cafe I was reading it in!!)
Happy 25th Anniversary To Our Favourite Clown Princess!
(Please Note: No beavers were hurt during the writing of this post… just tossed, stuffed, kidnapped and made fun of… so that’s OK then!)
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of – ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite – Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…
Batgirl Movie Swings Into Production In 2018…
Finally stepping out of the shadow of her mentor, Warner Bros has confirmed at this years San Diego Comic Con that fan favourite director Joss Whedon will start production on the Batgirl movie in 2018.
As I write this my hands are trembling slightly at the thought of one of my very favourite comic book icons being unleashed unto the silver screen for her very first solo escapade, triumphantly following in the footsteps of the recent smash hit Wonder Woman movie… and directed by Joss Whedon no less!
Babs Gordon has been prowling the mean streets of Gotham City since 1967, and since that time has become one of the most prominent and well loved female Superheroes, a resolute, highly intelligent character that can easily match wits with her mentor, The Batman. Though a core member of the titular “Bat-Family” Babs doesn’t share Bruce’s angst ridden, morose ideals, but is very much her own person, a brighter more optimistic member of the sullen crime-fighting team, who actually relishes her alter ego, and also enjoys a lifestyle outside of the cape and cowl. Babs is less scowling pessimist and more sassy optimist, with a penchant for quips and selfies in the heat of her frequent justice seeking ventures.
Here’s hoping Joss Whedon can do the character proud, and Babs can hit the giddy heights set by this years stunning Wonder Woman flick.
New Justice League Trailer Steals The Show At San Diego Comic-Con…
You want more live action Wonder Woman? well you’ve got it, along with the substantial added bonus of Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, and Aquaman… that’s right the new Justice League trailer was revealed at SDCC today and it’s AWESOME! Showcasing not just the World’s Greatest Superheroes, but also big bad, Steppenwolf. Prepare for minds to be blown…
Black Lightning Strikes At SDCC…
The CW have dropped the first trailer for their new upcoming Superhero saga – Black Lightning. Starring Cress Williams, Black Lightning was one of DC’s first African/American Superheroes. Jefferson Pierce’s initial debut in the DC Universe was in 1977, his powerful electricity based powers have helped him secure a place amongst some of DC’s finest Meta-Human teams including the Justice League, and the Batman created Outsiders. Enjoy…
Why not join us next time friends, for more ‘Week In Geek’
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite – Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…
Who Watches The Watchmen?
HBO are, once again, hinting that they are attempting to bring Alan Moore’s seminal comic book series ‘Watchmen’ to the small screen. The groundbreaking 80’s series published by DC Comics is one of the greatest pieces of Superhero fiction ever wrought, and was previously brought to life through Zack Snyder’s masterful 2009 cinematic adaptation.
HBO have approached Damon Lindelof, the creator of shows such as ‘Lost’ and ‘The Leftovers’ to take the reins of the series. Lindelof told Comic Book Resources in 2009 that Watchmen had “influenced his writing style more than anything else he had ever read”, so he seems like an excellent choice for reuniting us with it’s iconic cast of misfit Superheroes and masked vigilantes.
Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm Returns In All New HD Remaster…
Well finally… the stunning 1993 animated movie ‘Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm’ will release on Blu-Ray next month in an all new 1080p high definition remaster. Warner Bros 90’s classic is a favourite amongst Bat-fans, and for good reason, it’s one of the best interpretations of Gotham’s guardian outside of the comic books themselves. The film successfully drives home the pain and sacrifice that Bruce Wayne has had to endure to become the justice seeking creature of the night that haunts the dreams of Gotham’s many miscreants and malefactors.
‘When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is initially blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain – The Phantasm, a sinister figure with links to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the Police, capture the Phantasm, and clear his own name?’
Wonderful Art For A Wonderful Woman…
With the excellent Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot ‘Wonder Woman’ movie still breaking records at the box office and finally showing the world that a female led Superhero movie is not only viable, but essential, let’s celebrate the Themysciran Titan’s triumph with some fantastic poster art images that have been released in the wake of the stunning movie by Poster Posse.
Why not join us again next time friends for more ‘Week In Geek’
The Bat, The Cat… And Wedding Bells!
Where exactly do Superheroes get married anyway?… mmmmmm, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week our splendiferous spotlight of excellence falls upon Batman Rebirth #24. This illustriously illustrated issue is brought to you by those ceaseless composers of comic-book craft – Tom King, Danny Miki and David Finch.
Writer Tom King sure knows how to weave a compelling tale or two, it has to be said, his run on the the Rebirth Batman title has been nothing less than astonishing. His prodigious writing talents run the gamut of horror, thriller, good old fashioned heroics and comedy… narrative-wise, he really is the King (pun most definitely intended!)
Batman #24 is an emotionally charged issue from beginning through to emotive end, the Bat, the Cat and wedding bells? it’s certainly a possibility as Gotham’s grim guardian sensationally gets down on one knee to propose to the feisty feline felon known as Catwoman. So will this mean a happy denouement to the trials and tribulations of the dark and scary one’s overtly complicated and melancholic life? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, this is the Batman we’re talking about here, when has his life ever involved anything more than tragedy and vicissitude.
“Aftermath!” Gotham City is at peace… but a war is coming. Armed with the terrifying knowledge gained from the mysterious button, Batman must prepare for the coming storm by making a proposition to one of his enemies… one that may change everything for the Dark Knight and his allies.”
Batman #24 is available at your local comic book emporium right now.
The first official trailer for the world’s finest team of Superheroes, Justice League, has finally been released to a fervent DC Comics fanbase, and it’s spectacular! After several individual character teasers, Warner Bros finally released the full trailer on Saturday, and it was met with adulation from both fan and critic alike. The trailer shows a montage of action sequences as we get introduced to each individual member of the titular team of costume clad crime-fighters.
Stunning doesn’t quite do the trailer Justice (pun intended!) so how about, stupendous, incredible, astounding, breath-taking… Watch the trailer below, fellow fans of fantastic fiction and be prepared for your brain to implode from its sheer mind-blowing radiance (you can tell I loved it huh!?) Enjoy…
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite, Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…
A Wonder Girl Is Born…
Many congratulations to Gal Gadot on the birth of her very own Wonder Girl!
The actress who is the new face of DC’s revolutionary Superhero, Wonder Woman, welcomed into the world a baby girl on Monday 20 March. The baby has been named Maya (what a missed opportunity to call her Donna Troy… oh well) and is healthy and happy. The birth comes just two months shy of Gal’s solo venture as Wonder Woman, which is set to release worldwide in June.
Gal wrote on her Instagram site “And then there were four… she is here, I feel so completely blessed and thankful for all the wonders in my life” Gal and husband Yaron Versano are also the parents of a five year old daughter named Alma.
Dark Days Ahead For The Batman…
Since the 2011 crossover series “Flashpoint” DC haven’t ventured back into the franchise spanning event series that the company has become synonymous for since the very first “Crisis” storyline way back in the early 60’s. That’s all set to change this summer though as DC gear up for their next big event, Dark Days. DC Comics have announced the superstar team up of Scott Snyder, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr, and James Tynion IV for an initial two issue prologue beginning in June with – Dark Days: The Forge, closely followed in July by – Dark Days: The Casting.
The mini-series prelude promises to “reveal the dark underbelly of the DC Universe” before it heads into a new franchise wide serial event. Not a great deal more is known at this time, but it does appear as though it will be a Batman-centric arc that may, just, tie in with the recent Rebirth/Watchmen integration. We shall endeavour to keep you updated, fellow DC fanatics.
Gal Pays Homage To Lynda In New WW Promo Image…
An intriguing series of promotional images of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman that have been appearing on cans of Dr Pepper showcase new pictures of Diana Prince ready for battle in the highly anticipated June released movie. One in particular though appears to be a fond tribute to Lynda Carter’s 1970’s version of the Themysciran Titan. The quintessential ‘hands on hips’ Superhero pose was a favourite of Lynda in the classic show, and Gal’s version is equally as cool.
Why not join us again next time, for more Week In Geek.
Nightwing Movie Incoming!!
We love The Batman here in the Precinct, we really do, but let’s be honest he has hogged the limelight when it comes to big screen appearances over the decades. Now we can understand why DC Comics have utilised the Caped Crusader so much in films over the years, I mean he is quite possibly THE most popular comic book character ever created, but his intrinsic lore includes many other fantastic creations that haven’t honestly been given a fair shake of the escrima stick! And one of the most beloved of the bodacious Bat Family is Richard Grayson, aka Nightwing.
Warner Bros announced this week that Batman’s one time sidekick will be getting his very own movie, which will slot right into DC’s burgeoning extended cinematic universe. Dick Grayson is the character who first took on the mantle of Robin in 1940, after his family was murdered (the acrobatic team known as “The Flying Graysons”) he was adopted by Bruce Wayne and inducted into the dangerous world of costumed crimefighting.
Dick left his position as Robin in 1984, taking on the role of Nightwing. Strangely enough the original holder of this title was Superman! When the Kryptonian Superhero and his pal, Jimmy Olsen found themselves stranded in the Kryptonian City of Kandor (famously miniaturised and stolen by the villainous Braniac) they adopted the identities Nightwing and Flamebird, and became Kandor’s costumed saviours.
After the venerable 80’s “Crisis On Infinite Earths” reboot, the original character of Nightwing was re-imagined as a masked vigilante from Krypton, whose legendary background served as the inspiration for Dick’s choice of identity.
Now those of you who have seen the outstanding ultimate edition of Zack Snyder’s criminally underrated “Batman v Superman” will have noticed the glass tube containing the Robin outfit, with the words “Ha Ha, Joke’s On You Batman” scrawled on it, this is famously tied in to the death of Dick’s replacement as Robin, Jason Todd, who was bludgeoned to death with a crowbar by the Joker in the classic “Death In The Family” storyline from 1988. Which means if Jason Todd’s version of Robin existed in the DC Cinematic Universe, then Dick accordingly must have also.
No date has been set as of yet for the film, but we do know that scripting duties are being handled by Bill Dubuque, who wrote the Ben Affleck starring “The Accountant” and is to be directed by Chris McKay, who recently delivered the fantastic “Lego Batman Movie”. This really is exciting news for DC fans, as it opens up the possibility for more varying characters from DC’s huge roster of heroes and villains, my personal favourite Robin was the aforementioned Jason Todd, who re-emerged from death’s cold embrace after being submerged in Ra’s Al Ghul’s life giving Lazarus Pit and became the scourge of Gotham’s underbelly as the violent masked vigilante Red Hood. If Nightwing is successful we may just end up getting a visit from that particular sociopathic guardian of the night.
They may both be Superheroes, founding members of the Justice League and all round crime-fighting bad-arses, but Batman and Superman aren’t always the best of buddies, and, unsurprisingly, neither are their progeny.
The last time Precinct1313 caught up with Damian Wayne’s rambunctious Robin, and Jon Kent’s Kid of Steel, they were involved in a bout of fisticuffs worthy of their powerful patriarch’s many clashes throughout the decades… like father, like son seems apt. However, again like their respective parents, these two wannabe Superheroes were always destined to fight crime together, and it’s their irrevocably conflicting personalities that makes Super Sons #1 such a joy to behold.
Written by Peter Tomasi, with art duties falling to the fantastic Jorge Jiminez, Super Sons #1 focuses primarily on this direct clash of disposition between the “lil” costume crime-fighting sidekicks, and it’s glorious. Damian Wayne may be the son of the Batman and League of Assassins’ Talia Al Ghul, a highly trained martial artist and nifty ninja of notable nature, but he’s also a narcissist with severe delusions of grandeur who likes nothing more than to mess with Jon Kent’s mind. Whether it’s secreting himself in Jon’s bedroom, before confronting him after he’s just about to fall asleep, or impersonating Jon’s school bus driver, Damian really does revel in freaking out his prospective ally, much to Jon’s annoyance.
Jonathan Kent is Damian’s polar opposite (well of course, he was raised by none other than that big blue boy-scout Superman) a kind and considerate son, who genuinely wants to help his fellow humans, a responsible, straight laced kid with caring and sensitive parents in Clark Kent and Lois Lane, who have endeavoured to instil into Jon a sympathetic understanding of the world around him… which is in stark contrast to Damian’s own upbringing, I mean, he is the son of the goddamn Batman after all!
Damian’s childhood was vastly different to Jon’s, an isolated upbringing with nary a kind word from his father. Bruce Wayne is a distant and austere patriarch, a solemn guardian of the night, whose only true mission in his life is to fight crime in a desperate attempt to avenge his parent’s death and appease his guilty conscience. Which makes it no surprise that Damian should ultimately reach out to Jon for companionship, even though the only way he knows how to do this is by being an annoying arse!
Super Sons is a fantastic first issue, an exceptionally fun and zany comic that combines perfectly the burgeoning friendship between the two antithetical heroes, and their relevant parental nurturing’s (or lack thereof) ultimate effect on their prospective psyche. A must buy.
In 1967, at the behest of the producers of the classically camp sixties Batman show a new Superhero was born, Barbara (Babs) Gordon, better known as the feisty flame haired vigilante – Batgirl!
Bab’s creators – Julius Schwartz, William Dozier, and Carmine Infantino called for a female analogue to the Caped Crusader, who could be simultaneously introduced into both the comics and the popular television series. Technically though, Batgirl wasn’t a new character, she was a variant of the original Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff created persona from earlier that decade. The original Batgirl appeared in Batman #139 in April 1961, the niece of Kathy Kane aka Batwoman.
Batwoman and Batgirl were originally created to be romantic interests for Batman and Robin, as well as costumed crime-fighting associates. In 1964, Batman editor of the time Julius Schwartz erased Batwoman, Batgirl (and other supporting characters – Ace the Bathound and Bat-mite) from the timeline on the grounds that the characters were “too silly”. Both Batwoman and her niece Betty (now known as Bette) Kane eventually and triumphantly returned to the DC Comics timeline, with Kate Kane reprising her role as Batwoman (with a few fundamental changes to her character) though Bette returned not as Batgirl, but as Flamebird, a role that had previously been inhabited by several other DC creations that included Jimmy Olsen and Kara Zor-El.
Babs Gordon though has always been seen and celebrated as the Batgirl by her millions of adoring fans, debuting in Detective Comics # 359 in a story entitled “The Million Dollar Debut Of Batgirl” by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. Babs was introduced as the daughter of long time Batman aide – Commissioner James Gordon, she retains a doctorate in library science, is employed as the head of the Gotham City Library and possesses a photographic memory and genius level intellect.
Aside from being a popular recurring character in many DC publications, Babs didn’t get her first starring role until the “Batman Family” comic series in 1975, where she took centre stage alongside other members of the bodacious Bat clan including original Robin, Dick Grayson.
Bab’s continued her well loved run as the masked avenger up until Alan Moore’s Eisner winning one-shot “The Killing Joke“, where, in a controversial sequence of events, she was shot through the spine by the genocidal jester himself, The Joker, ultimately causing paralysis from the waist down, with the paraplegia signalling the end of her crime-fighting career… or did it?
A subsequent storyline by John Ostrander and Kim Yale established Babs in a new role, as the wheelchair bound Oracle. Forming a formidable team of female Superheroes (that includes amongst its members – Black Canary and The Huntress), Babs became a behind the scenes leader and information collator as her Birds of Prey fought crime and corruption on a global scale. During this time two other ongoing versions of Batgirl took over the mantle – Cassandra Cain and then later Stephanie Brown, both had a modicum of success as the character.
In 2011, DC Comics heralded a comic wide reboot of their entire Universe of characters known as “The New 52“, the major revamp followed the “Flashpoint” paradox which brought extensive changes to their classic cadre of characters, including Batgirl/Oracle. Babs was eventually given back the use of her legs after receiving experimental surgery at a South African clinic and through rigorous physical rehabilitation. The decision to allow Babs to regain her mobility was seen by some fans as somewhat of a shame, as she had become one of the few very prominent disabled heroes in comics, but most fans were (myself included here) ecstatic to see the Batgirl prowling the rooftops of Gotham once more.
And so “Happy Birthday Babs” and here’s to another fifty years in your awe inspiring presence, oh and “hey DC Comics, how about some live action love for Babs huh? the only actress who has ever done her justice onscreen was the lovely and very much lamented, Yvonne Craig, I think it’s about time… Batgirl Returned!”
2016, oh how we lament thee… ’tis been a rollercoaster of a year it has to be said, the world outside of the Precinct’s impenetrably darkened walls has seen many moments of both grief and utterly incredulous disbelief (as an example of this, being a Brit, I am still astonished that the larger populace of my home actually voted for Brexit!?) Some well loved and talented individuals passed away, and the political climate across the globe has shifted in a rather uncomfortable direction. Now more than ever we really need our alternate realities to hide in, be that comic books, movies or video-games and for this at least, 2016 was a great year.
2016, for me, was the year that I had been waiting for since I was six years old… as my beloved DC Superheroes finally burst forth from their comic book shackles, and onto the silver screen. Sure we’ve had plenty of movies throughout the decades that have brought us DC’s big two… Batman and Superman, and quite a few of them have been amazing, but the scale that DC have thrown their much loved characters onto the big screen this year has been literally stratospheric.
These Were Our Favourite Moments From 2016:
Bats and Supes Had A Disagreement…
The Year began with a disagreement between The Dark Knight and The Man Of Steel. In March the world’s two biggest Superheroes clashed head on in Warner Bros and Zack Snyder’s epic ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and it was awe inspiring. Forget what the critics said, the film is a deep and psychological look at how the world would react to Super-humans amongst them, but for all it’s depth, it was also an outstandingly awesome action movie with stand-out turns from Ben Affleck as Batman, and the unforgettable big screen debut of the Themysciran Titan – Wonder Woman, a role actress Gal Gadot seemed born to play.
Suicide Squad Broke Their Bonds…
In August Task Force X escaped from their well deserved incarceration in Belle Reve penitentiary to inflict all kinds of mayhem and mirth at the cinemas in David Ayer’s spectacularly fun take on DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’. John Ostrander’s classic comic book series about a group of Supervillains and disgraced Superheroes who are recruited by the Government for fully deniable black ops tasks in return for clemency was masterfully translated to the big screen by Ayer. With an eclectic cast of characters, an overtly powerful and enigmatic antagonist, and great performances from Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Will Smith, this is an exemplary exercise in bringing a comic book series to vivid life (and Batman’s in it… and you can never have too much Batman!)
The Phantom Turned 80…
2016 marked the astonishing 80th anniversary of Lee Falk’s genre defining Superhero ‘The Phantom’, it was The Ghost Who Walks who first donned a mask and colourful costume to fight an eternal and ceaseless battle against corruption and injustice with only his quick wits, martial skills and faithful companions; Devil his pet wolf and Ghost his trusty white steed. The Phenomenal Phantom was the progenitor of what later became a deluge of Superheroes and preceded peers Batman and Superman by a full two years.
Wondy Celebrated Her Anniversary…
It’s been an awesome 75 years since Diana of Themyscira first burst onto the scene, wielding her golden lasso of truth and inspiring female empowerment and emancipation, Wonder Woman has proven to be the most important fictional female ever wrought. 2016 not only marked her 75th anniversary but also her big screen debut in Batman v Superman, and she was a huge highlight of that exceptional movie, and with her own solo movie set to appear at cinemas in mid 2017, there appears to be nothing stopping our immortal idol from ruling the roost for another seventy five…
The DC Universe Was Reborn…
May 2016 marked a humongous relaunch of DC Comics’ entire line of monthly comic books aptly named ‘Rebirth’. It was primarily intended to return the DC Universe to a time prior to ‘Flashpoint’, a time paradox storyline that altered DC’s timeline and led into the 2011 ‘New 52’ reboot. The reboot itself was divisive amongst fans and some creators alike, and though initial sales were strong, the titles began to lapse in sales as fans yearned for their favourite heroes previous incarnations pre-52.
Rather than a reboot though, Rebirth was more of a soft relaunch retaining much of the history and happenings of the New 52 continuity, but returning characters back to their more popular personas prior to the paradox. And it’s been a hit! Rebirth has proven so popular that DC Comics for the first time in many a year has been soundly thrashing it’s closest rival Marvel in sales month in and out. Detective Comics, Wonder Woman, and Red Hood and the Outlaws have been stand out the best of these for this particular DC fanboy, but all titles have been fantastically written and engrossing, with both superstar veteran creators and upcoming stars scrabbling to join the DC Rebirth fold.
Happy New Year To All Our Followers, Special Agents, Readers And Everyone Else, 2017 Is Set To Be Even Bigger For DC With The Highly Anticipated Wonder Woman And Justice League Movies, Not To Mention Yet More Marvellous Comics From The Rebirth Line, Kicking Off With Batwoman Rebirth In March, Until Then… Make Mine DC!
At the beginning of the 90’s DC Comics and Warner Bros entered a renaissance period in animation when it aired the much loved ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ in 1992. The highly praised and award winning show was co-created by the inimitable Bruce Timm and Eric Ramdoski, the series was complex and explored themes oft unseen in Superhero cartoons previous to it’s existence. A dark and emotional ride with a noticeable film noir style, it ably captured the moodiness and angst of its titular star with consummate ease, and cogently drew influence from Tim Burton’s cinematic foray into Gotham lore, in the Michael Keaton starring ‘Batman’ and ‘Batman Returns’.
The series was more adult oriented than previous comic-book animations, and was noteworthy for its voice casting especially one character in particular, The Joker, voiced sublimely by Mark Hamill. Hamill has been a fan and critic favourite since then as the Clown Prince Of Crime and has gone on to voice the Genocidal Jester in both animated films and video-games adaptations. The series was also the progenitor of the shared animated universe and brought into it’s continuity timeline ‘Superman: The Animated Series’ and ‘Justice League’ with each sharing the show’s distinctive art style.
In 2004 a sequel to the popular ‘Justice League’ series was produced, ‘Justice League Unlimited’ continued the shared universe begun by the Batman animated original, but added a veritable army of characters to the original JL roster. In fact the first episode of the new show contained over 50 characters, some of them were previously included in a guest starring spot on Justice League, but most were making their debut appearance in animated form.
The popular series ran for three seasons and left the viewer with many memorable storylines, including a long running romantic entanglement between Batman and Wonder Woman, and a complex love triangle for Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Vixen, these story beats added an emotional depth to the characters and show itself and were quite often more compelling than any of the superheroics on display.
DC and Warner Bros have produced a plethora of animated shows and movies since JLU, with the most popular of more recent times being ‘Young Justice’. The series follows the teenage sidekicks and heroes of the DC Universe as they attempt to establish themselves as superheroes, but also focuses on their adolescent dramas and personal issues. The show is aimed squarely at the teenage market, yet fans of all ages have found themselves drawn to the animated antics of Robin, Superboy, Miss Martian et al, thanks to fantastic scripting and a genuinely uplifting and heartwarming ethos.
DC and Warner Bros’ newest animated series ‘Justice League Action’ will attempt to recapture their peers’ animated triumphs when it airs on the Cartoon Network on December 16 this year (though it has already aired on UK television). It’s been 10 years since Justice League Unlimited ceased and DC are hoping to once again produce yet another exemplary, industry leading cartoon showcase of their legendary creations. Returning voice actors from the 90’s shows include; Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker, James Woods as Lex Luthor, and Brent Spiner will be voicing Batman’s conundrum posing enigma The Riddler.
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure.
NES Mini Launches, And Instantly Sells Out…
Nintendo’s classic grey box made a comeback this week with the release of the NES Classic Edition, a cute mini version of their hit 80’s home games console, replete with 30 built in games and a reproduction of the original controller… and instantly sold out worldwide!
Demand has been extremely high for the retro beast and Nintendo manufacturers are currently producing more as we write this post, though for some fans the wait might be too long, as the titchy console (which retails for £50 here in the UK) has been selling for ridiculous amounts on E-Bay, with people paying 4 to 5 times the RRP. Luckily us Precinct1313 dwellers are SEGA fans, and already have our mini Megadrive (known as the Genesis in the US) console… which actually comes with 80 games built in!
We Can ‘Harley’ Wait For Ms Quinn’s Solo Movie…
The Clown Princess of Crime, Harley Quinn, was a huge hit this year at the box office as an integral part of DC’s ridiculously fun Suicide Squad movie, in fact Margot Robbie’s performance was so highly rated that DC and Warner Bros almost instantly announced her own solo movie would be coming ‘at some point.’
Well technically not solo, as DC are lining up a veritable cadre of female comic book characters to star alongside the Mischievous Minx of Mayhem, as we reported some time back, possibly including such luminary legends as Batgirl, Black Canary and Poison Ivy. To help cement the fact that the movie will hopefully begin production soon, it’s been announced that scripting duties have been given to Christina Hodson. Hodson is known for her highly sought after screenplays that include soon to be filming, female led Sci-Fi actioner ‘The Eden Project’ and psychological thriller ‘Shut In’.
(Update: It’s now been confirmed by Suicide Squad director David Ayer that the scripting will be undertaken by Geneva Dworet-Robertson, and the movie will also star Catwoman and Poison Ivy, better known together as the ‘Gotham City Sirens’.)
Justice League Of America’s Full Line-Up Is An Eclectic Enigma…
Not since the halcyon heroes of the 1980’s JLI has a roster for the world’s greatest Super-Team been so… damn cool! Justice League International has always been my favourite version of DC Comics’ beloved team of MetaHumans.
I much preferred the quirky line up of characters, Blue Beetle (the Ted Kord variant, not the current version) and Booster Gold were standouts in the team… essentially they were lovable Superhero screw ups, C-list at best, to begin with, but advanced through those ranks to A listers in a very short amount of time indeed, thanks to great writing, fantastic character arcs, and an endearing slapstick style humour.
The new JLA line up includes some classic heroes you expect to be included, such as The Batman and Black Canary, but then throws caution to the wind with lesser knowns like The Ray and former villain Killer Frost! Definitely the most intriguing and exciting addition is ‘The Main Man’ himself, Lobo, back to his original arse-kicking alien bounty hunter self, after ditching the (rather terrible) New 52 version. Justice League of America Rebirth will be available in February 2017, brought to you by those ceaseless creators of cosmic comic book craft; Steve Orlando and Ivan Reis.
Why not join us again next time friends, for more Week In Geek!