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Precinct1313 Recommends: Super Sons #1

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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.

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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.

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Oooooh, He’s A Rascally Robin!

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!

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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.

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Robin v Superboy: Dawn Of Temper Tantrums…

Well if it’s good enough for their mentors…  After Batman v Superman’s bodacious brawl this summer at the box office, their scrappy sidekicks decide to get in on the action, and recreate the feud on a much smaller scale.

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Boys Will Be Boys… Even Super Powered Ones Apparently!

Batman and Superman couldn’t be more different if you paid them, chalk and cheese, night and day… they are literal polar opposites in the realm of the Superhero. So it would be pretty damn obvious that their offspring would be also, and guess what, they really are.

Damian Wayne is the biological son of one, Bruce Wayne, otherwise known as The Batman, Damian is a mischievous malcontent of the highest order, he’s also been trained by the world’s foremost martial expert… his father, but for all of this he may have just met his match against the son of Clark Kent.

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Jon Kent is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and is a chip off the old block in every way, including the fact that he also has super powers, just like his father. Jon’s powers though do differ to the Man of Steel’s, Jon is a powerful telekinetic, which helps him mimic feats such as flight, super strength and superhuman speed. 

After a disagreement between Bats and Supes (this really does happen on a regular basis guys, perhaps you just aren’t cut out to be Super-Buddies after all!) is resolved without fisticuffs (for a change) Alfred offers to introduce Superboy to Damian’s pets, but of course, Damian dependably ruins the enforced ambience by insulting Superboy, who reacts with… 

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That’s Gonna Sting In The Morning!

Damian though isn’t the type to take that lying down, and neither are his loyal pets, if you take on one member of the Bat Family, you take on them all…

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Bat-Cat, Bat-Dog And Bat-Cow(!?) To The Rescue!

Of Course, this frenetic fracas does not go over well with their respective patriarchs, and let’s be honest the last person you would want to upset would be The Batman, I’m sure Damian’s punishment will reflect his Father’s rather unforgiving nature…

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Uh-Oh Is Right Guys… You’re In Deep Doo Doo!

Superman #10 is a fantastic and fun read, it’s always great to see the big two together especially when they’re at odds, and having their sidekick sons enact their on/off animosity makes for a quirky and amusing ride. Highly recommended.

60’s Batman Show Celebrates 50 Years

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Yes indeed fellow Batfans, the classic 1960’s Batman live action TV series reached a significant milestone today, a monumental 50 years since it first aired on January 12 1966. The camp comedic series starred Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as the ever faithful Boy Wonder, and successfully introduced to a whole new generation, the continuing adventures of Gotham’s favourite guardians. Aired twice weekly by ABC, the show lasted just three seasons, but has gone on to be one of the most fondly remembered television series of all time, and is one of the original catalysts for the popularity of Superhero shows as they stand today.

Adam West & Burt Ward

“Holy half century Batman!”

The series followed the adventures of the Dynamic Duo as they attempted to thwart the plans of the various gaudily costumed Super-villains, who would easily bypass the inept Gotham Police force and set up ridiculous traps to ambush our fearless crime-fighters. The show was intentionally tongue in cheek, and would often champion simplistic moral messages such as the usage of seat belts or the importance of eating your greens. Each episode was narrated by producer William Dozier, who would utter the immortal line – “Tune in tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel,” at every cliffhanger ending.

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“To the Batcave!”

Special mentions must go to the fight sequences, that incorporated comic book style word balloons containing descriptions of the sounds of punches and kicks connecting, and of course, the amazing opening theme tune composed by Neal Hefti. 

Happy 50th to the Dynamic Duo!

Comic Cover Of The Week: Robin – Son Of Batman

(Copyright-DC Comics)

(Copyright-DC Comics)

New comics Wednesday rolls around once again my comic collecting cohorts, and with it comes a veritable smorgasbord of fantastic covers. The stand-out cover for Precinct1313 this week stars the world’s most famous sidekick and son of the Dark Knight himself… Robin.

“The power and legacy of the Al-Ghuls reaches far and wide, but just wait until you meet their greatest rivals… Enter, the Dragon’s Head!”

Robin; Son Of Batman is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Patrick Gleason. Cover by: Patrick Gleason. Interior art by: Mick Gray and Patrick Gleason.

Teen Titans TV Series Will Be “True To The Comics”

(Copyright-DC Comics)

(Copyright-DC Comics)

Network President of TNT, Kevin Reilly gave an update yesterday on the long in development live action TV series of DC’s popular Teen Titans. Reilly stated that, “The television landscape right now is well serviced on the superhero front, so we need to find a space for this show to inhabit. What we and co-writer, Akiva Goldsmith, really want to do is stay true to the source material, this really was a groundbreaking comic when it first began”

Reilly went on to say, “There were consequences to things that happened in the comic, there was the first superhero to become an addict (Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s former sidekick “Speedy“), plus a coming of age story for Robin, who feels that Batman has betrayed him”

Classic Titans

Classic Titans

Exciting and interesting news indeed, fellow DC fanatics. Apparently the show will focus mainly on DC characters, Barbara Gordon (currently unknown whether she’ll be Oracle or Batgirl), Hawk and Dove, Raven, Starfire, and Robin. 

Robin The Boy Wonder: A Celebration Of 75 Years

(DC Comics, 2015)

(DC Comics, 2015)

The myth of Batman being a lone crusader against crime and injustice, popularised in more recent cinematic excursions, is far from the reality of everyone’s favourite cowled crime-fighter, Batman has always had a cadre of partners and fellow costumed combatants to rely upon.

In fact, Gotham City is almost overrun with willing aides and allies in his ongoing mission, Batgirl, Batwoman, Huntress, and Ragman, are just a few of the other heroes working alongside the Dark Knight to keep the city safe from the assorted maniacs and criminal organisations who plot the city’s downfall on a daily basis. Of course the most famous and loyal of the Caped Crusader’s partners against crime has always been a young plucky teenager, dressed in a red and green outfit, and named after a small passerine bird that originates from Europe.

Robin 75 2Robin was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson in 1940, making his first appearance in Detective Comics #38. Though various characters have donned the mantle of Robin over the years, the original, longest running (and still most popular) of these is Dick Grayson. Grayson was originally a member of The Flying Graysons, a family of famous circus acrobats. His life as a crime-fighter begins on the night of his parents’ death, after a young Dick Grayson overhears two criminals attempting to extort money from the circus owner, the owner refuses, and in retaliation the criminals sabotage the trapeze wires resulting in his parents plummeting to their deaths, in front of Dick’s eyes (a close parallel to Batman’s own tragic origin)

Former Robin, Dick Grayson as Nightwing

Former Robin, Dick Grayson as Nightwing

In 1984 Dick left the role of Robin, all grown up he decided to go his own way and took on the secret identity of Nightwing, naming himself after the famous hero of Krypton’s Kandor city. Taking over the role of Batman’s sidekick was Jason Todd, a wayward youth who Batman takes under his wing to help stop the vicious cycle of crime that he feels Jason is heading for, if left alone to fend for himself.

Jason made his first appearance in Batman lore in Batman #357 in March 1983. Initially not well received by the fans (though he has always been a personal favourite of mine), he was a very different character to the well loved Dick Grayson. Moody, angst ridden Jason was ultimately murdered by the Joker in 1988’s Death In The Family storyline, after DC Comics opened up phone lines for a fan vote on whether the character should live or die. The result was close, but the votes for his death won by a very slim margin.

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A distraught Batman cradling the dead body of Robin, Jason Todd

15 years later Jason was resurrected through R’as Al Ghul’s Lazarus pit, angered by his death at the hands of the Joker and that Batman (in Jason’s opinion) had failed to avenge him, he came back to Gotham as the violent and deadly vigilante Red Hood. Clashing with not just the criminals of Gotham but also Batman himself on several occasions, Jason continues to bring his own form of brutal punishment to the Supervillains of DC’s universe, and is now an extremely popular character amongst bat-fans.

Jason Todd, Robin #2 became the Red Hood

Jason Todd, Robin #2 became the Red Hood

Robin #3 is Tim Drake, who took over the role in Batman #436, published in August 1989. Tim was a child prodigy, a highly intelligent young man, who by the age of just 9, had managed to deduce the secret identities of both Batman and Robin. He petitioned both Nightwing and Batman to give him a chance to fill the role of Robin after the death of Jason Todd. In the beginning Batman is wary about taking on another partner after the death of his former ward, but eventually accepts him into the role. After Batman’s apparent death at the hands of Darkseid, Tim takes on a new identity as Red Robin, and not believing that his mentor has died, heads off in search of evidence to support his theory.

Tim Drake, Robin #3 as Red Robin

Tim Drake, Robin #3 as Red Robin

The current holder of the title Robin, is Batman’s biological son Damian, mothered by Talia al Ghul (daughter of foe R’as al Ghul). Damian’s first ever appearance was as a baby in the 1987 story, Son Of The Demon. He didn’t appear again until 2006 in Batman #655, introduced as Batman’s son Damian Wayne, it wasn’t until 2009 that he fully took up the role as Robin.

Robin, Damian Wayne

Robin, Damian Wayne

Other characters have also occasionally taken on the role of Batman’s iconic partner, though usually only temporarily or in non-canon stories, Carrie Kelly from Frank Miller’s fantastic 80’s Dark Knight Returns mini-series is probably the most fondly remembered of the part-time Robins (and it is rumoured she may play a part in next years Batman v Superman film, portrayed by actress Jena Malone).

To celebrate 75 years of the world’s most famous sidekick, DC Comics are releasing a hardcover anthology that collects some his greatest ever stories, which also includes his adventures as leader of Super-team, The Teen Titans. This tremendous tome is brought to you by some of the greatest artists and writers in comic-book history including the likes of, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang, Chuck Dixon and Bill Finger amongst many, many more. 

Robin The Boy Wonder: A Celebration Of Seventy Five Years, will be available to purchase from the 13th of May, weighing in at a respectable 400 pages.

Precinct1313 Recommends: Teen Titans – A Celebration Of 50 Years

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Teen Titans GO!

On November 12th celebrate 50 years in the company of the World’s greatest Superheroes’ sidekicks: The Teen Titans. That’s right friends it has been half a century since  The Brave and the Bold #54 brought together Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad for the first time, sidekicks of Batman, Flash and Aquaman respectively. Proving popular they eventually formed into The Teen Titans for The Brave and the Bold #60 and added a new member  Donna Troy better known at the time as Wonder Girl.

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” I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”

It wasn’t until the early 80’s that the team of teens really took off though, under the guidance of two of comic’s biggest names: writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, bolstering the roster with some new names, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy. From here their march into comic book history was cemented and they became one of the most popular team of Superheroes ever created. Available at your local comic book emporium on November the 12th will be a hardcover collection of classic stories from their 50 years including tales from – Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns and Bob Haney amongst many others, weighing in at 400 pages in length and in hardcover format, this is a must buy for fans of Titans everywhere.

Precinct1313 Rating: 5 teen sidekicks out of 5


Spoiler Alert…

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That’s right comic-fans, she’s back … having been retconned out of the DC universe when it was rebooted as the New 52, former Batgirl, Stephanie returns to her original Superhero role as the Spoiler. The Spoiler was created by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle in 1992, with her first appearance in Detective Comics #647. Stephanie is the daughter of Supervillain – the Cluemaster, and the name ‘Spoiler’ derives from her attempt to thwart her father’s nefarious criminal activities.

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Adopted into the Bat-family, Stephanie quickly became a fan favourite character, becoming a love interest for Robin who at the time was Tim Drake (now known as Red Robin), who took her under his wing to train her in the not so subtle art of costumed crime-fighting. Stephanie remained a high profile character in the Bat mythos for over a decade, until her apparent and untimely death in the 2004 Batman story, Batman – War Games.

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In 2008 Stephanie returned to comics, with her former death being apparently faked, she took on the role of Batgirl after Cassandra Cain decided to hang up her cape and cowl. She continued in this role for two years until the comic was cancelled and original Batgirl – Babs Gordon returned to don the mask once more. Nothing was seen of Stephanie after the New 52 reboot until Batman #28, when Stephanie made her appearance once again as the Spoiler. Now firmly back in DC continuity, you can expect to see a lot more of this popular young hero, I like many other fans have missed the character over the years … welcome back Stephanie, once again spoiling the plans of Supervillains everywhere.

 

Robin rises again?

Robin..Omega

Is Damian Wayne returning from the dead?…Batman has been grieving his son and former Robin for over a year now, after he was killed by ‘the Heretic’ in issue #8 of Batman inc, the Heretic is an adult clone of Damian created by his mother Talia al Ghul. Tomorrow marks the first issue of  ‘Robin rises:Omega’ and the story continues in this month’s Batman and Robin. Damian Wayne has been a fan favourite since he was introduced into Batman lore in 2006, it wouldn’t be the first time that a Robin has returned from the dead, former Robin: Jason Todd aka Red Hood was resurrected in Ra’s al Ghuls Lazarus pit after being brutally murdered by the Joker in the Death in the family mini-series in 1988. 

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.