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Happy Batman Day!

BatmanDay

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!

batDay first appearance

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.

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.

A Celebration Of Kate And Bette Kane…

Well now, how excited do you think we are right now here in the celebrated Comic Crypts of Precinct1313? I mean, I assume you’ve heard the rather awesome news, right? Batwoman is finally materialising into live action form… yep, Batwoman… how awesome? Much awesome fellow Agents, much.

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CW, the company responsible for DC Comics’ vice like grip on small screen Superhero sagas are to add another of DC’s worlds finest creations to their burgeoning cast list in the form of Kate Kane, aka Batwoman. And, in what appears to be the finest piece of actor casting in recent history, they have also revealed that popular actress Ruby Rose will be donning the iconic black and red costume of Gotham’s titular anti-hero… anticipation overload in 3… 2… 

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Ruby Rose Has Been  Confirmed In The Role Of Batwoman!

Batwoman had been skirting the edges of the DC Universe since her original introduction by comic-book auteurs Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff in Detective Comics #233 in 1956. Kate (known as Kathy in her original form) was initially created as a female counterpart and love interest for Batman to refute the idea that the Caped Crusader had homosexual tendencies. An unfortunate and rather disturbingly awful vision for any comic book creation to be ushered into the limelight, the 1950’s were an extremely unenlightened time, sexism and misogyny ran rampant in all areas, and especially the entertainment arena, which included the wildly popular comic book scene.

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Kathy And Bette Circa 1961

In 1961, Sheldon Moldoff, alongside Batman co-creator Bill Finger, added Betty Kane to the ever growing Bat-Family as the niece of Kathy, whom upon discovering the secret identity of her crime fighting aunt, persuaded her to train her as her sidekick, resulting in the initiation of Batgirl, long before the mantle was taken up by the arguably more famous Barbara Gordon version of the wildly popular character. Just three short years later though, Batgirl, Batwoman and other popular members of Bruce’s broody band (such as Ace the Bathound and the mischievous Bat-Mite) were removed entirely from Bat lore in a restructure of the Batman universe by new editor Julius Schwartz.

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Bruce And Kate Unite In A Scene From The Recent Animated Movie – Batman: Bad Blood

Kathy and Betty Kane remained consigned to creative memory for decades following their shock erasure, that is until their revamped and progressive resurgence through the hands of master scribe and astonishing artist JH Williams III. Reversing the unenlightened and inauspicious history of the characters, Williams delivered to us strong, diverse and sophisticated heroes who could match their peers in Gotham, and finally laid to rest the awful spectre of their past conception. Phoenix like, Kathy and Betty (now renamed Kate and Bette) became a new standard for empowerment in the burgeoning female Superhero market, shrugging off their inception and, especially for Kate, becoming one of DC’s most popular and biggest selling creations.

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In fact, aside from sharing similar names, the two variants of Batwoman couldn’t be more disparate if they tried. Whereas Kathy was a fun loving socialite with the hots for Bruce Wayne, Kate is resilient, no nonsense ex military, who, until recently, cast herself independent from Batman and his crime-busting cohorts. Also of note is Kate’s sexual orientation, Kate is a lesbian, and much was made of this revelation at the time with both good and bad press from various media outlets. Ultimately it proved not just a popular move by the creators, but also a defining trait for the character of Batwoman herself, with LGBT groups worldwide heralding the character and Kate ultimately becoming a poster child of diversification and emancipation.

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Bette Kane Eventually Took On The Mantle Of Flamebird, With Her Relationship To Kate  Retconned To Cousin, As Opposed To Niece

Are You As Excited As We Are For Kate’s Live Action Debut? Then Why Not Sound Off In The Comments Section Below, Fellow Fans Of Fantastic Fiction…

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Sneak Peek Trailer

Welcome fellow fans of DC to another awe inspiring trailer showcasing next year’s highly anticipated “Batman v Superman” movie. This sneak peek trailer has been released just ahead of the new full trailer, which will debut on Wednesday December 2nd. Enjoy…

Plus, the new film will be the first time that Batman co-creator Bill Finger is finally credited with his input as co-architect of not just the character himself, but also of the development of the series as a whole. Previous to this, Bob Kane was solely credited as the creator, it wasn’t until years after the death of Finger that Kane finally acknowledged his important contributions to the inception of the Caped Crusader. It was Finger that first saw Kane‘s initial sketches of an early Batman, and then redesigned the character, adding the iconic cape and cowl. Bill Finger was also responsible for writing the original script for Batman‘s debut in Detective Comics #27, which released in May 1939.

Bill Finger finally gets credit as Batman co-creator

Bill Finger finally gets credit as Batman co-creator

Super-Villain Sunday: Deadshot

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(DC Comics, 2015)

Super-Villain Sunday this week brings you master marksman and the world’s most dangerous contract killer, Deadshot. Created by Bob Kane, David Reed and Lew Schwartz in 1950 primarily as a new villain for Batman, and making his debut appearance in Batman #59. On his first appearance in Gotham City, he was initially thought to be a new crimefighter, but was later revealed to be an enemy of Batman, when he was exposed attempting to become the new king of Gotham’s underworld crime syndicates.

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Deadshot (real name: Floyd Lawton), grew up with his mother, very abusive father and older brother, whom he idolised. During one of his father’s numerous brutal attacks on his brother, Floyd picked up a rifle with the intent of stopping his father’s abuse once and for all. Taking position in a nearby tree and steadying himself for the shot, Floyd felt righteous in his attack, however the branch of the tree he was sitting on broke as he took his shot, causing Floyd to accidentally shoot and kill his brother. The psychological effect this had on Floyd is deemed what turned him into a murderous assassin, with a disregard not just for the lives he takes, but also his own.

Deadshot and Deathstroke duel for the title of 'World's greatest assassin'

Deadshot and Deathstroke duel for the title of ‘World’s greatest assassin’

Deadshot has been a major player in the Suicide Squad for many years, where his marksmanship skills and almost complete disregard for human life are seen as a major advantage for the covert black-ops, Government run group of ex-Supervillains and disgraced Superheroes. His most noticeable trait, is his utmost desire to die in a magnificent fashion, which is the reason he joined the clandestine squad in the first place. Deadshot is also an on/off member of other villainous teams including Secret Six (which hosts many ex-Suicide Squad members), Killer Elite, and Checkmate. Deadshot’s abilities include the expert use of all firearms, exceptional martial arts prowess and a cybernetic eye, built into his iconic costume, which grants him unparalleled accuracy, plus up to the minute mission data and target acquisition.

Soon to be seen on the big screen in the upcoming David Ayer directed movie Suicide Squad, which is being released by Warner Brothers in 2016. With the titular role of Deadshot being portrayed by  actor Will Smith, who actively campaigned for the role being a big fan of the comics themselves.

Super-Villain Rating: Sniper Elite.

Deadshot Reading Recommendations: Secret Six: Villains United.  Deadshot: Beginnings.  Suicide Squad #1: Kicked In The Teeth.  

Precinct1313’s all time favourite comic-book characters..daily countdown.

Welcome back…

NUMBER 2 is: The Batman.

Batman

Batman-real name Bruce Wayne was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, his first appearance was Detective comics#27 in May 1939. After his parents were brutally murdered in front of young Bruce’s eyes by Joe Chill, he swore an oath of vengeance against the criminals of his home..Gotham City. Spending his formative years training under the world’s greatest martial arts masters and learning other abilities such as ninjutsu and escapology, Bruce returned to Gotham to fight crime as the Batman.

Bruce was also born with a genius level intellect and was left a massive multi billion dollar fortune by his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. Though he has no superpowers, Batman is quite possibly the most feared superhero in the DC universe…with the ability to seemingly appear and disappear at will, most criminals (and some superheroes) believe he is a supernatural creature of the night akin to a vampire. Using this reputation, his advanced skills and his ‘toys’, Batman with the help of other Gotham guardians (including Batgirl, Robin and Batwoman) manages to just about keep the streets of Gotham from overflowing in crime and supervillains.

Batman to date has the largest amount of appearances outside of comics than any other character, with movies and television shows dating back to the 1940’s. His popularity has never waned and he is as beloved today as when he was created  seventy five years ago. This year is the year of the Bat, being his 75th anniversary and I am sure he will still be with us in another seventy five years!

As a side note, Batman was originally going to share the number one spot on this list, as we love this character so much and felt bad about putting him at number two. But as Christopher Lambert said in Highlander..’there can be only one!’, join us tomorrow friends to see who that is.

Precinct1313’s all time favourite comic-book characters..daily countdown.

The top 3 are here, beginning with…

NUMBER 3 is: Catwoman.

Catwoman

Catwoman.. real name Selina Kyle was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, her first appearance was in Batman#1 in 1940. Selina is the epitome of the anti-hero type of character having been both a villain and hero in the seventy plus years since her insertion into Batman lore. There have been many revisions of her backstory over the decades but throughout all of them the core character has been left fundamentally unchanged, she is a cat burglar but with strict moral codes, she only ever stole from the wealthy (sometimes even distributing the wealth to those in need) and would also take time out to stop violent crime. Another constant in Selina’s changing origins is her love and respect for Batman, they have been in an on/off relationship since they were both introduced to each other over seven decades ago. Selina is a master of several fighting styles, possesses almost supernatural agility and is an expert at stealth and infiltration.

An interesting side note is that when Bob Kane invented Catwoman he was heavily influenced by the actress Jean Harlow, more recently she has been styled more like the actress Audrey Hepburn. Catwoman has been featured in more live action television and films than any other female comic-book character in history, and has been played by several different actresses including..Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer and more recently Anne Hathaway..here’s to another seventy years in the company of the lovely Selina Kyle.