Well hi there fellow agents of Precinct1313, and welcome to the majestic mansion of mystery’s infamous Comic Crypts. I hope you didn’t have too much trouble finding your way down through the Precinct’s convoluted and ever changing hallways and chambers, that’s the problem with running a comic blog from a supernatural entity posing as a resplendent residence, oh and the fact that we are located at the edge of existence also doesn’t help with navigation, as most Sat-Navs don’t appear to cover that… surprisingly!
And yet here you all are, so welcome, to Precinct1313’s End Of The Decade Geekstravaganza! That’s right, the decade draws itself to a close and we’re here to steer you through some of our favourite geeky moments from the past ten years, so pull up a tombstone (these are the comic crypts after all) and let’s all relive our favourite things of the past decennium…
Our Favourite Comic-Book Series: Mister Miracle
Masters of the miraculous – Tom King and Mitch Gerads deserve every bit of praise thrown their way by their peers, critics and fans for this superlative series, a groundbreaking, emotional and touching 12 issue maxi-series that took one of DC and Jack Kirby’s most beloved second tier characters, and thrust him headlong into the deserving limelight. We wrote a review on this tenacious tome recently, so we shall leave you a handy dandy link right here .
Though we feel that Miracle was without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest Superhero story released since Watchmen (really!) we couldn’t leave this particular post without mentioning our other comic-book love from the past ten years – Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s tantalising and terrific take on our absolute favourite orange hued alien princess, sizzling Superheroine – Starfire! Conner and Palmiotti are a dynamic duo of some renown in the wonderful world of comic books, a husband and wife team with a wild and wacky sense of humour that light up any character they get their talented hands upon, from Power Girl to their award winning run on Harley Quinn, everything these terrific twosome touch is utter comic-book gold, especially their 2015 maxi-series -Starfire.
Endlessly endearing and wonderfully witty, Starfire’s 2015 series is a gift that keeps on giving, Conner and Palmiotti (along with the series’ fantastic artist – Emanuela Lupacchino) have bestowed upon us humble comic fans, the greatest take on Tamaran’s lost Princess since she was first unleashed in 1980 by her superstar creators, George Perez and Marv Wolfman. An origin tale, a laugh out loud stranger in a strange place fable, Starfire is a beguiling and winsome take on a beloved DC character. Quite possibly the funniest and most captivating series from DC in many a year, the Precinct unequivocally recommends this touching and hilarious series.
(Favourite Comic-book series runners up – Doomsday Clock, Supergirl: Being Super, Wonder Woman: Rebirth)
Our Favourite Comic-Book Movie: Wonder Woman
Can you believe it took seventy five years to finally get one of the most popular, significant and important fictional characters of all time onto the big screen, a primary reason for this according to some producers, directors, movie studios and overall decision makers (all of whom were talking nonsense, of course) was that a female led Superhero movie stood little chance of success… well, I’m pleased to say that those negative naysayers were completely wrong in their assertions, because Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s 2017 Wonder Woman movie most assuredly was an exquisite example of, not just a top tier translation of character to silver screen, but a film that also carried a compelling message of love, hope and empowerment.
Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins more than made up for Diana’s seventy five year cinema snub by giving us, not just a superlative and accurate representation of the Themysciran Titan, but also THE greatest Superhero movie of… all… time!
(Favourite Superhero movie runners up – Batman v Superman, Aquaman, Shazam)
Our Favourite Comic-Book Artist: Amanda Conner
I have been reading, collecting and immersing myself in comic-book worlds since the mere age of six, my first dalliance with a Superhero was the Batman, from there I went on to discover the thrilling tales of the Themysciran titan Wonder Woman and have, over the decades become a devoted stalwart of DC Comics. Not being content to just absorb these wonderful stories of heroism and emancipation, I was also always interested in the compelling creational process behind the formation of these thrilling and titanic tales, from the literary scripting and especially the wonderful artistic endeavours.
From an early age some of my very favourite artists included such luminary delights as – Neal Adams, Brian Bolland, Nicola Scott, Emanuela Lupacchino, Norm Breyfogle and Adam Hughes. Picking a favourite from these amounted to an impossibly herculean task… that is until I discovered the astonishing art of one Amanda Conner. From that point on anyone enquiring as to who my all time fave artist was would not be able to shut me up as I enthused and rhapsodised over her astounding artwork. Quirky, zany, fun and instantly recognisable, Amanda’s incredible artistic style (for me) stands head and shoulders above her peers.
(Favourite Comic-Book artist runners up – Emanuela Lupacchino, Stanley Lau, Nicola Scott)
Our Favourite Non DC Comics Movie:
Mmmmm, now this is a difficult one, I mean sooooo many great movies have been released over the past ten years, how in the name of Zeus’ beard are we able to pick just one? We can’t, so here (in no particular order) are a few of our fave non DC Comics based films of the past decade…
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:
A tremendous movie conversion of the classic French comic-book ‘Valerian and Laureline’ that was first published in 1967, created by the talented duo of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. Stunning effects, decent acting (though Clive Owen, who is usually great, was rather uninspiring in this one) and an engaging, wild and zany plot make this definitely one of our top fave films from the past ten years.
Alita: Battle Angel:
Another comic-book classic given the silver screen treatment, Alita is originally a manga series created by the great Yukito Koshiro in 1990. A post apocalyptic, cyber-punk stylised story that was brought to vivid life at the talented hands of Robert Rodriguez.
Groundbreaking visual effects bring android Alita to the big screen through some jaw-dropping motion capture of the movie’s phenomenal lead actress – Rosa Salazar, who puts in an outstandingly impassioned performance, and with a back up cast that includes such thrilling thespians as Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Maershala Ali, and Jackie Earle Haley, Alita is more than deserving of your free time.
British cult movie ‘Franklyn’ is a genre defying delight, part superhero saga, noir thriller, romance, and horror, it takes great pleasure in flouting any kind of atypical filmic categorisation.
Franklyn is a visually rich movie, set across the dual dystopian parallel dimensions of Meanwhile City and contemporary London. It is within these dark, ethereal realities that we encounter four protagonists, each a lost soul, and on an intertwined and fated path to ultimately affect each others lives, be that for good or ill.
Unfortunately, as is the case with a large number of movies emanating from the UK, Franklyn never achieved the audience or status that it truly deserved. With a standout cast that includes Eva Green, Bernard Hill, Sam Riley and Ryan Phillippe, Franklyn is a film the Precinct heartily recommends. We reviewed the movie at the time, so if you find your interest piqued, then a link to our review is right here
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!
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to the inaugural episode of “World’s Finest”, this series will be introducing you to our favourite convocation of comic-book characters, of, all, time!
Every episode we will cast our celestial spotlight on one of our most treasured Superheroes, Supervillains, Costumed Crimefighters, Dimension Dwelling Demons, oh and… Super-Pets (because everyone loves Krypto, right!?)
So let’s begin our passionately personal preference of peerlessly popular paragons with… Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran, or more popularly known as “Starfire“.
So take your seats fellow fans of fantastic fiction and let’s acquaint ourselves with this episode’s extra special guest star…
Precinct1313: Hi Koriand’r, and thanks for joining us at Precinct1313 for our first episode of World’s Finest.
Starfire: Thanks so much for inviting me, it sure is an impressive structure.
Precinct1313: It surely is a marvellous mystery of malevolently malefic mansions.
Starfire: Uh, do you often talk like that?
Precinct1313: It’s a, uh, thing I do, alliteration is king here.
Starfire: Well I’m all for individuality, I am an alien to this world after all.
Precinct1313: You are indeed, from the planet Tamaran, I believe.
Starfire: That’s correct, a beautiful peaceful planet, that is, up until it’s destruction by The Blight.
Precinct1313: An awful tragedy, yet you seem to have found your feet here on Earth.
Starfire: I have always had my feet, they weren’t here on your planet but at the end of my legs.
Precinct1313: Uh, it’s sort of like a saying, you know, an aphorism…
Starfire: Aphorism? Ooooh, are they like related to the Aphorians from Quaxxel 7?
Precinct1313: I have literally no idea what you are talking about.
Starfire: Sigh… yeah, that happens a lot, did I mention I came from another planet.
Precinct1313: Yes you did, anyway can we start by asking actually who, in DC’s pantheon of creators was your particular favourite chronicler of your amazing adventures?
Starfire: Oooooh, we’re really breaking that fourth wall here huh, I would say,by far, the astonishing Amanda Conner, such an amazing talent.
Precinct1313: Agreed, she really is fantastic. Now, your initial introduction to the world of DC was in 1980 in – DC Comics Presents #26, did you feel nervous during your debut?
Starfire: Mmmmm, not really, I mean I was lucky to have been created by two of comicdom’s most prolific architects, marvelous Marv Wolfman and glorious George Perez.
Precinct1313: Ah yes indeed, they really are comic book royalty, if I can maybe get a little more personal, during your time with the tenaciously terrific Teen Titans, you were engaged in a rather passionate liaison with fellow member Nightwing, also known as Dick Grayson, former Robin to the Batman. Do you miss those halcyon days from your past?
Starfire: I love Nightwing, he was my first real relationship here on your beautiful blue planet, but I don’t lament what was, I celebrate what is.
Precinct1313: Mmmmm, profound. You recently starred in a 13 issue series by the aforementioned Amanda Conner and astounding artist Emanuela Lupacchino, it has actually become one of my favourite comic book runs of all time, and was a particular hit with your fans, to what do you attribute it’s success?
Starfire: Mainly down to Amanda’s peerless writing talent, I find she knows me better than most creators, I mean, it’s almost like, she’s inside my head.
Precinct1313: Well, she sort of is…
Starfire: Oh yeah, ha ha, of course, comic book character and all. Sorry, it’s not too often I have to breach that fourth wall, it takes some getting used to.
Precinct1313: I understand, well Koriand’r it’s been fantastic having you as a guest on World’s Finest and we wish you all the best for your future in crime fighting capers and planet saving escapades.
Starfire: It’s been a literal blast, uh, how do I get back to my reality from here again.
Precinct1313: Yours is the second universe on the left.
Starfire: Ooooh, *hugs*.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another instalment of Comic Cover Of The Week, and this episode our spotlight of the sublime falls upon “Starfire #8” and yet another stunning piece by the amazing talent that is Amanda Conner.
“Lovers and other Dangers” is the concluding episode began last issue that sees former Teen Titan sweethearts, Kori and Dick Grayson sharing a tender moment together before all hell breaks loose. Kori has had to deal with many dangerous adversaries since her new series began, from murderous bounty hunters to devastating hurricanes, but her biggest test may yet come from having to choose between her former beau and new love interest Sol.
The dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti produce yet another fantastic issue that focuses as much on Kori’s relationships and emotional stability, as it does on typical Superhero tropes, which is one of the reasons why this is still currently the stand-out ongoing comic series for me, the other being Emanuela Lupacchino’s exquisite artwork, beautifully realised as ever with vibrant colours that make each and every panel literally jump off the page.
Starfire #8 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover by: Amanda Conner. Interior art by: Emanuela Lupacchino. Variant cover by: Dave Taylor.
Welcome my comic collecting cohorts to another “Comic Cover Of The Week,” and this time our spotlight of the splendiferous falls upon “Starfire #7” and another wonderful piece of art by the amazing Amanda Conner.
This issue, old flames reunite when Dick Grayson crashes a cruise liner party in search of some terrorists selling illegal tech and unexpectedly runs into his once, long term love Koriand’r (Starfire), who is attending the party with new beau Sol. The former Teen Titans’ members and lovers were hot stuff together throughout most of the eighties and nineties, and their serendipitous reconciliation is a poignant one, especially for Kori who believed that Dick had previously been killed.
Starfire #7 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover art by: Amanda Conner. Interior art by Emanuela Lupacchino.
Comic Cover Of The Week celebrates DC’s Looney Tunes variant month with this stunning Emanuella Lupacchino alternate cover of everyone’s favourite fiery haired alien Princess entangled with WB’s parisian striped skunk Pepe Le Pew. Malodorous mammal Pepe is constantly on the hunt for “L’amour” and it seems he may have struck gold with the red-hot incandescence that is Starfire.
DC’s heroes this month find themselves teaming up with classic WB characters like Wile Coyote, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Road Runner in over two dozen amazing variant covers. Wonder Woman singing opera with Elmer Fudd, Sinestro plotting world domination with Wile Coyote, and Catwoman sizing up Tweety Pie are just a few of the awesome alternates available from this crazy cover extravaganza.
Starfire #6 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover by: Amanda Conner. Variant cover by: Emanuella Lupacchino. Interior art by: Emanuella Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy.
Welcome once more my comic collecting cohorts to another Comic Cover Of The Week, and this week our spotlight of excellence falls upon Secret Six #5, an amazingly detailed and meticulous cover by the extremely talented Dale Eaglesham. Eaglesham’s art is always astoundingly intricate and he manages to embellish every piece of his art with an exaggerated style that enables his characters to leap effortlessly off the page. Secret Six has so far been a joy to read, but with the immensely talented Gail Simone at the helm, you would expect nothing less.
Like most of the other titles released by DC Comics this month, Secret Six also ships with an amazing ‘Bombshells’ variant cover by the fantastic Emanuela Lupacchino, who is fast becoming a favourite in the halls of Precinct1313 since we first discovered her artwork in the new monthly series ‘Starfire.’
Plot Synopsis: After an attack on Big Shot’s home, the teams suburban retreat lies exposed. As the team starts to fracture, the highly dysfunctional band of outcasts prepare themselves for another strike from Mockingbird.
Secret Six #5 is available from your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Gail Simone. Cover and interior art by: Dale Eaglesham. Variant cover by: Emanuela Lupacchino.
New comics Wednesday springs forth once more my comic collecting cohorts, and this week heralds the start of DC’s highly anticipated Bombshells variant month. Bombshells takes classic DC characters and melds them with a 40’s World War 2 era art style to great effect. The cover spotlight this week falls upon this stunning Emanuela Lupacchino variant of Detective Comics #43, depicting Gotham’s resident crossbow wielding, costumed crime-fighter – The Huntress, performing her classic 1940’s hit “My Crossbow… Your Heart!”
Detective Comics #43 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul. Cover by: Francis Manapul. Alternate cover by: Emanuela Lupacchino. Interior art by: Fernando Blanco.
New comics Wednesday is upon us once more, and this weeks cover spotlight falls upon Starfire #2, another magnificent piece by the always astounding Amanda Conner. Even though we are only into the second issue of this brand new series starring everyone’s favourite alien princess, I am already hooked. Awesome cover aside, the story itself is an amusing and heartwarming tale of an outsider coming to terms with her sense of place in a distinctly different culture. Conner and Palmiotti’s narrative is hilarious as ever, easily as funny as their fantastic run on the Harley Quinn series, and the interior art by Emanuela Lupacchino is absolutely stunning.
Starfire #2 is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Written by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Cover by: Amanda Conner. Variant cover and interior art by: Emanuela Lupacchino.