Precinct1313’s Comic-Book Classics: Super Sons – When I Grow Up…
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: When I Grow Up – such a joy to behold!
Written by Peter Tomasi, with art duties falling to the fantastic Jorge Jimenez, Super Sons 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: When I Grow Up is a thrilling trade collection of the original monthly series, a fantastically fun and zany comic that combines perfectly, the burgeoning friendship between these two antithetical heroes, and their relevant parental nurturing’s (or lack thereof) ultimate effect on their prospective psyche. A must buy.
Harley Quinn Plunders DC Comics’ Past…
That’s right, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, that mirthful minx of mischief and mayhem – Harley Quinn – has once again sought to disrupt and inconvenience the Bat-family, this time by surreptitiously invading classic Batman covers from his eight decade reign as Gotham’s grim guardian.
The psychedelic psychopath of print looted DC’s vaunted vaults and has returned triumphantly with a fistful of five fantastic covers that spans key moments from the Caped Crusader’s past. Harley Quinn #18 variant pays homage to Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson’s classic illustration from the 1940s – Batman #1. This continues into issue #19, with another timeless piece by Kane and Robinson from Detective Comics #38, which originally showcased Robin’s first ever appearance (but now it’s our Harl!)
Harl’s next big steal is Detective Comics #359, originally from 1967, which featured the inaugural appearance of Babs Gordon as Batgirl (now, yep you’ve guessed it, it’s Harl!) Not content with removing poor ol’ Babs from the DC timeline, the crazy clowness of crime sets her sights on her former puddin’ – The Joker – with issue #21 paying homage to the stunning Brian Bolland cover for – The Killing Joke – from 1988.
Each variant in this fantastic homage series was drawn by the great Ryan Sook, who has done an absolutely amazing job mimicking the varying styles of the original artists. Beautiful work, and you can get your fevered mitts on the first of these stunners this very week when Harley Quinn #18 becomes available at your local comic-book emporium. Rush on down and order five copies… you don’t want ol’ Harl (and her beloved mallet) to find out you didn’t, right?
Harley Quinn Is Copyright: DC Comics
Precinct1313 Breaking News: Batman Caught Walloping Wildlife!
Yep, it appears that The Batman is such a bad-arse that when he isn’t out fighting crime he spends his day punching tigers… PUNCHING TIGERS!
Now, look here Bats, we love ya man but is it absolutely necessary to pick on those poor defenceless tigers?
Oh, after a little digging around it appears that this isn’t a single time incident, the dark and surly one has been whomping wildlife since the beginning, and apparently even found a way to go back in time for some dinosaur dunking!!
Ye Gods Man! Can You Stop Already!!
(Disclaimer – I’m sure there was a very good reason ol’ Batsy had for these ( ever so slightly) out of context actions… oh, and I’m a member of PETA and love their work)
DC Comics Unveil June Pride Issues
Well hey there, fellow fans of fantastic fiction, and welcome to the very first day of the 2022 Pride Month celebrations, it’s lovely to see you all gathered here in the Precinct’s legendary Comic Crypts to help us celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Pride Month is imperative in raising awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and other societal implications. The month of June was originally chosen for it’s context to the 1969 Stonewall riots, where the LGBT community of the time held a series of protests and demonstrations against an unjust raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich village.
DC Comics themselves have a long standing within the LGBTQ+ community, with a number of their heroes and villains being gay, trans and bisexual, beginning with their first ever gay character – Extrano – the magical based Superhero created by Joe Staton and Steve Englehart in 1987. Since that time DC have led the way for inclusionary characters with, quite possibly, their most famous being Kate Kane aka – Batwoman.
From the 7th of June you’ll be able to get your majestic mitts on a variety of outstanding proud comic cover classics from a perfect plethora of DC’s very best artistic auteurs, featuring a compelling cast of DC’s leading LGBTQ+ characters including Nubia, Jon Kent, Harley and Ivy, Jackson Hyde and many more…
Plus, alongside all this comic cover loveliness, DC will also be releasing a 100 page anthology comic featuring 13 all new stories spotlighting their LGBTQ fan favourite characters written and illustrated by some of the very best writers and artists in the comic-book field including – Devin Grayson, Stephanie Phillips, Alyssa Wong, Zoe Thorogood Jen Bartel, Phil Jimenez and even ol’ Batsy himself, the awesome – Kevin Conroy (legendary voice artist for the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series)
DC Comics’ Pride 2022 #1 Will Be Available At Your Local Comic-Book Emporium From June 7th.
The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313
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 Brooding Robin Captured On Camera…
“Holy live action awesomeness, Batman!” DC Comics and Warner Bros have finally revealed our first look at upcoming Titans actor Brenton Thwaites as iconic comic-book sidekick Robin, and it’s, quite frankly… fantastic!
The shadowy, brooding side shot of the Boy Wonder encapsulates perfectly the classic comic-book character, and even though it’s not a full body shot, the design clearly follows Robin’s signature look, from the red and green hued costume, to the recognisable “R” symbol on the left breast. The costume design is by industry veteran Laura Shannon, who has previously worked on Iron Man and DC’s incoming live action version of Black Lightning.
The Titans live action series is due to debut next year on DC’s upcoming digital streaming service.
Batman + Medieval Japan = Too Much Bloody Awesomeness For Mere Mortals (In Fact, I Think My Head May Just Explode From The Excitement Of It All)…
This, this is freakin’ amazing!… as if Gotham’s grim guardian, The Batman, isn’t already the coolest Superhero ever conceived, DC Comics and Warner Bros animation only go and throw him (plus his nearest and dearest foes, and allies) back in time to medieval Japan, where they become entangled in a provincial power struggle.
The film is directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, who expressed that the film is definitely more of reflection on how Japan sees Batman, as opposed to how Batman perceives Japan. Indulge in the sublime trailer included below fellow Batfans! (and do try not to let your head explode from the exhilaration, it really can cause quite a mess!)
The Triumphant Return Of Booster Gold Is Nigh (Finally!)…
The bombastic and much beloved Booster Gold will be returning to the DC Universe in Action Comics #993, courtesy of his original creator Dan Jurgens. Cult character Booster has been conspicuous by his absence for quite a while now, and his multiple fans have clamoured for his rapturous return.
Booster (real name – Michael Jon Carter) the self promoting, glory seeking, time travelling hero from the future first appeared in February 1986, created by writer/artist Dan Jurgens. Using his knowledge from future events and advanced technology he became a self styled Superhero with a love for fame and fortune.
Though initially a swaggering and attention seeking showboat, Booster over the course of time, via interactions with other costumed heroes and through personal tragedies finally became the candid and unwavering Superhero he always dreamed of becoming, though ultimately weighed downed by the false pretence of the previous reputation he created for himself. Oh, and he’s also one half of the greatest comedic comic-book duo of all time Blue and Gold (along with his ol’ pal Blue Beetle – Ted Kord)
Booster will return from the future once more in the two part tale “Booster Shot” in issues #933 and 934 of Action Comics ( we need a Blue and Gold movie… right now DC… right goddamn now!)
Why Not Join Us Again Next Time Friends For More Week In Geek.
Robin v Superboy: Dawn Of Temper Tantrums…
Well if it’s good enough for their mentors… After Batman and Superman’s bodacious brawl in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice at the box office, their scrappy sidekicks decide to get in on the action, and recreate the feud on a much smaller scale.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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
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.
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.
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
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”
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”
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
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 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
NUMBER 2 is: The 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.