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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.

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we share our favourite comic book, video-game and cult movie news for your perusal and pleasure.

DC Unveil Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Logo…

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“Suffering Sappho!” This Is Awesome!

“Great Hera!” is what I exclaimed in a rather loud tone (to the surprise of the other patrons in the cafe at the time!) when I first saw DC’s logo for the upcoming anniversary of Wonder Woman. The original female Superhero, and template for all female heroes who came thereafter will be celebrating her 75th anniversary in December, and her anniversary celebrations will begin in earnest at this year’s San Diego comic-con, with DC bringing along a life size replica of the amazing Amazon’s iconic invisible plane! 

DC Unleash Two More Classic Heroes Unto The Small Screen…

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Citizen Steel & Wild Dog Step Out Of The Comic Book Pages

DC have an absolutely mind-bending array of characters that are just crying out to be given life in the many live action projects that they are currently involved in. From successful TV shows like The Flash and Supergirl, to big screen movies such as Batman v Superman and the upcoming Suicide Squad, the fine purveyor of spandex clad heroes has been successfully mining its back catalogue of characters. And now two more classic comic heroes are set to join their illustrious live action forebears.

Legends of Tomorrow will be adding Nathaniel Heywood to its roster, Nathaniel is the grandson of Henry Heywood, the Superhero once known as Commander Steel. Nathan accidentally received his own powers after a deadly attack on his family by the villain Reichsmark and his men, who was under orders from Vandal Savage to wipe out the bloodline of all Golden Age Superheroes. 

Arrow from season 5 will be introducing one of DC’s more obscure creations, when they unleash Wild Dog onto Starling (Star) City. Wild Dog was first introduced in a 1987 four issue mini-series by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty. Wild Dog is actually Jack Wheeler, an ex-marine who first donned a hockey mask and body armour to fight a vigilante war on crime after his girlfriend was slain by hitmen. In Arrow, Jack will be introduced as an excessively violent and foolhardy vigilante which will eventually force Ollie Queen to take him under his wing.

Be The Batman… Again!

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I love DC Comics (uuh, you’ve probably noticed that!) and I love video-games, so when you put them both together… I am in literal geek nirvana! Three years ago, Mortal Kombat creators NetherRealm unleashed the Gods amongst us with the DC Comics’ fighting game Injustice, that pit a plethora of heroes and villains against each other set against some fantastically interactive backgrounds from classic comic lore.

The game was a huge hit for NetherRealm and DC, and now a follow up has been announced along with a (rather fantastic) trailer. New characters added to the already massive line up include – the girl of steel Supergirl and telepathic great-ape Gorilla Grodd.  Watch the most recent trailer below fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

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

Comic Cover Of The Week: Green Arrow #44

Copyright: DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Delivered to you like a boxing glove arrow to the face is this weeks instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’, and our spotlight of excellence this week falls upon this stunning Patrick Zircher Green Arrow cover. Stunningly understated, the cover depicts a mean and moody Ollie Queen alongside his newest crime-fighting companion, with the issue exploring the mythology and origin of the emerald archer’s newfound four legged friend. As has become the norm for DC Comics in recent times, this weeks Green Arrow also ships with a variant cover, by none other than the comic book legend that is Neal Adams. 

Awesome Neil Adams Variant

Awesome Neil Adams Variant

This cover harkens back to the halcyon days of the frequent team up between Green Arrow and Green Lantern, lovingly illustrated by Neal Adams who regularly drew their adventures throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The cover also ties in with the 75th anniversary celebration of Green Lantern, that’s right friends, seventy five years of Blackest Nights and Brightest Days. 

Green Arrow #44 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Benjamin Percy. Cover and interior art by: Patrick Zircher. Variant cover by: Neal Adams.

Super-Villain Sunday: Deathstroke

(DC Comics, 2015)

(DC Comics, 2015)

Super-Villain Sunday this week brings you the original Terminator himself, Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980, making his first appearance in The New Teen Titans #2. Slade was originally an officer in the US armed forces, who towards the end of his military career volunteered for a dangerous genetic experiment that was designed to increase brain capacity and create a super soldier.

The experiment however was rejected by the military and deemed an overall failure, due to most of the subjects dying or being left in a vegetative state, Slade was amongst them. Unbeknownst to the Army, Slade’s strength, agility and brain capacity had increased exponentially, and after being discharged honourably by the Army, he recuperated and became the costumed mercenary/assassin, Deathstroke.

Slade is one of the few characters who can match Batman in Martial prowess

Slade is one of the few characters who can match Batman in Martial prowess

Originally created as a villain for the Teen Titans, battling them on many occasions over the years, he would eventually branch out, becoming a major adversary for both Batman and Green Arrow. Slade’s iconic two-tone mask hides the fact that he lost an eye during a military incursion in his former life as a soldier, this would usually affect the performance and visual acuity of a normal human, but with Slade able to access 90% of his brains capacity, this impairment is not noticeable to him. 

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In the past few years, Deathstroke’s popularity has exploded, with his inclusion in video-games such as Arkham Origins and Injustice: Gods Among Us, and also the popular television series, Arrow. With DC Comics cinematic universe unfolding on the silver screen over the next few years, comes the very real possibility of seeing everyone’s favourite merc-villain appearing on the big screen as an antagonist to at least one of DC’s heroes, in fact, I would not be at all surprised to see him pop up in at least a cameo role in the 2016 Suicide Squad movie, seeing as he is one of the squad’s most famous on/off team members.

Super-Villain Rating: World’s Most Dangerous Mercenary.

Deathstroke Required Reading Recommendations: Identity Crisis.  Deathstroke: Legacy.  The New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.

 

Precinct1313 recommends – Green Arrow..Deluxe Edition by Kevin Smith.

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Welcome comic fans to a new spotlight feature we call Precinct1313 recommends, here we will be focusing on particular Graphic Novels or Comics that have been highly praised by critics or well received by fans. Our first spotlight segment is devoted to the Emerald Archer – Green Arrow. In 2001, film director and writer Kevin Smith wrote a comic maxi-series about Oliver Queen’s resurrection from the dead by Hal Jordan the former Green Lantern who at this point in the DC universe had become the entity known as Parallax. Newly resurrected, Ollie goes back to his former role as Green Arrow taking on a new ward…Mia Dearden as his sidekick Speedy, he launches an investigation into his death as he seems to be missing several important key memories. 

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With the help of the world’s greatest detective – Batman, and a massive cast of supporting Superheroes including Black Canary, Wonder Woman and former Speedy Roy Harper, Ollie uncovers a web of intrigue, mystery and deceit that will drive him on to a literal soul searching conclusion! This deluxe hardcover of the original Quiver series will be released on August 13th, art duties are handled excellently by Phil Hester and Ande Parks and Kevin Smith shows his love and knowledge of the classic Superhero with a fantastically well written and emotionally involving tale of resurrection and redemption.

Back from the dead and smooching with Wonder Woman..life is great for Oliver Queen!

Back from the dead and smooching with Wonder Woman..life is great for Oliver Queen!

Precinct1313 Rating: 5 nocked arrows out of 5

Batman villain resurrected on Arrow.

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That’s right friends, Bat-villain..R’as al Ghul is coming to the wildly successful Arrow tv series. It was announced at the San Diego comic-con that one of Batman’s biggest and most dangerous foes will be joining the show in season 3, though no actor has been announced at this time. R’as al Ghul, whose name translates as ‘Demon’s head’ is the head of the league of Shadows (aka the league of assassins) and father of Talia al Ghul, and grandfather of Damian Wayne (Batman’s son). He has lived for centuries thanks to the rejuvenating powers of the Lazarus pit.

Arrow television show writers are taking over writing duties on Green Arrow comics.

 Green Arrow

The writers of the hit television series ‘Arrow’, Ben Sokolowski and Andrew Kreisberg will be writing the ongoing monthly Green Arrow comics when current writer Jeff Lemire leaves the book. Their first issue will be October’s Green Arrow#35. We hope they bring back the snarky, fun loving Green Arrow of pre-new 52, this new version of Ollie Queen is a bit too serious and downbeat for our liking.

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

Hello again friends…

NUMBER 4 is: Green Arrow.

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Green Arrow, real name Oliver Queen was created by Morton Weisinger and George Papp in November of 1943. He was created in the wake of another famous costumed vigilante ‘Batman’ and his early stories were very much an archer version of that character, he was a billionaire playboy who was head of Queen industries, had a young sidekick called Speedy, he also had the Arrow cave and an Arrowmobile. As time went on Oliver became his own character and moved away from the obvious similarities to the Batman, as a young boy Oliver idolised Robin Hood and started learning archery at an early age. As Oliver got older he began to go off the rails, partying constantly and drinking heavily, things changed however when he was swept off his boat and drifted onto the deserted ‘Starfish island’. Oliver spent the long months alone on this island perfecting his archery and survival skills, at one point discovering a smuggling den deep in the island run by the crime-lord China White. Using his newly acquired skills, Oliver broke up the smuggling ring and managed to capture and deliver the smugglers to the authorities before making his way back home to Star city. Invigorated by his adventures and new found skills, Oliver took up his bow and fashioned a costume and proceeded to hunt down the various criminals of Star city as the Green Arrow.

Though very popular with comic-book fans, apart from a small role in Smallville, Oliver has been fairly unknown to the general public at large in his seventy plus years of existence, until recently. A television series called ‘Arrow’ following the adventures of the young Oliver Queen has been massively successful and has renewed hope that maybe one day soon Green Arrow will get his chance at starring in his own big budget movie…he definitely deserves it!