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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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Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza…

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2016, oh how we lament thee… ’tis been a rollercoaster of a year it has to be said, the world outside of the Precinct’s impenetrably darkened walls has seen many moments of both grief and utterly incredulous disbelief (as an example of this, being a Brit, I am still astonished that the larger populace of my home actually voted for Brexit!?) Some well loved and talented individuals passed away, and the political climate across the globe has shifted in a rather uncomfortable direction. Now more than ever we really need our alternate realities to hide in, be that comic books, movies or video-games and for this at least, 2016 was a great year.

2016, for me, was the year that I had been waiting for since I was six years old… as my beloved DC Superheroes finally burst forth from their comic book shackles, and onto the silver screen. Sure we’ve had plenty of movies throughout the decades that have brought us DC’s big two… Batman and Superman, and quite a few of them have been amazing, but the scale that DC have thrown their much loved characters onto the big screen this year has been literally stratospheric. 

These Were Our Favourite Moments From 2016:

Bats and Supes Had A Disagreement…

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Batsy and Supes Threw Down At The Beginning Of 2016… And It Was Epic!!

The Year began with a disagreement between The Dark Knight and The Man Of Steel. In March the world’s two biggest Superheroes clashed head on in Warner Bros and Zack Snyder’s epic ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and it was awe inspiring. Forget what the critics said, the film is a deep and psychological look at how the world would react to Super-humans amongst them, but for all it’s depth, it was also an outstandingly awesome action movie with stand-out turns from Ben Affleck as Batman, and the unforgettable big screen debut of the Themysciran TitanWonder Woman, a role actress Gal Gadot seemed born to play.

Suicide Squad Broke Their Bonds…

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“Smile For The Camera Mr J…”

In August Task Force X escaped from their well deserved incarceration in Belle Reve penitentiary to inflict all kinds of mayhem and mirth at the cinemas in David Ayer’s spectacularly fun take on DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’. John Ostrander’s classic comic book series about a group of Supervillains and disgraced Superheroes who are recruited by the Government for fully deniable black ops tasks in return for clemency was masterfully translated to the big screen by Ayer. With an eclectic cast of characters, an overtly powerful and enigmatic antagonist, and great performances from Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Will Smith, this is an exemplary exercise in bringing a comic book series to vivid life (and Batman’s in it… and you can never have too much Batman!)

The Phantom Turned 80…

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2016 marked the astonishing 80th anniversary of Lee Falk’s genre defining Superhero ‘The Phantom’, it was The Ghost Who Walks who first donned a mask and colourful costume to fight an eternal and ceaseless battle against corruption and injustice with only his quick wits, martial skills and faithful companions; Devil his pet wolf and Ghost his trusty white steed. The Phenomenal Phantom was the progenitor of what later became a deluge of Superheroes and preceded peers Batman and Superman by a full two years.

Wondy Celebrated Her Anniversary…

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Oh How Time Flies, One Minute You’re Basking In the Golden Hues Of The Sun On The Resplendent Beaches Of Themyscira, Surrounded By Your Amazon Sisters, Then A Mere 75 Years Later You’ve Become A Superhero, Ambassador, Herald, God Of War, Feminist Paradigm, And Indomitable Icon To The Masses!

It’s been an awesome 75 years since Diana of Themyscira first burst onto the scene, wielding her golden lasso of truth and inspiring female empowerment and emancipation, Wonder Woman has proven to be the most important fictional female ever wrought. 2016 not only marked her 75th anniversary but also her big screen debut in Batman v Superman, and she was a huge highlight of that exceptional movie, and with her own solo movie set to appear at cinemas in mid 2017, there appears to be nothing stopping our immortal idol from ruling the roost for another seventy five… 

The DC Universe Was Reborn…

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May 2016 marked a humongous relaunch of DC Comics’ entire line of monthly comic books aptly named ‘Rebirth’. It was primarily intended to return the DC Universe to a time prior to ‘Flashpoint’, a time paradox storyline that altered DC’s timeline and led into the 2011 ‘New 52’ reboot. The reboot itself was divisive amongst fans and some creators alike, and though initial sales were strong, the titles began to lapse in sales as fans yearned for their favourite heroes previous incarnations pre-52.

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Wonder Woman Rebirth Has Been Astonishing, With Sublime Visuals Courtesy Of Liam Sharp And Nicola Scott

Rather than a reboot though, Rebirth was more of a soft relaunch retaining much of the history and happenings of the New 52 continuity, but returning characters back to their more popular personas prior to the paradox. And it’s been a hit! Rebirth has proven so popular that DC Comics for the first time in many a year has been soundly thrashing it’s closest rival Marvel in sales month in and out. Detective Comics, Wonder Woman, and Red Hood and the Outlaws have been stand out the best of these for this particular DC fanboy, but all titles have been fantastically written and engrossing, with both superstar veteran creators and upcoming stars scrabbling to join the DC Rebirth fold.

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Our Top Picks For DC’s Rebirth, Though Whichever Title You Choose You’re In For An Absorbing And Wicked Ride With Fantastic Art And Engrossing Storylines, Replete With Classic DC Characters… It’s A Win Win!

Happy New Year To All Our Followers, Special Agents, Readers And Everyone Else, 2017 Is Set To Be Even Bigger For DC With The Highly Anticipated Wonder Woman And Justice League Movies, Not To Mention Yet More Marvellous Comics From The Rebirth Line, Kicking Off With Batwoman Rebirth In March, Until Then… Make Mine DC!

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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.

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Review

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God vs Man, Day vs Night… Fan vs Critic

Fearing the actions of an almost godlike alien super being, Gotham’s guardian, The Batman decides to take action against what he perceives as a threat to Mankind. But whilst the planet’s two greatest saviours battle it out amongst themselves, an even greater threat emerges that may ultimately cause the extinction of all life as we know it.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Holly Hunter. Written by: Chris Terrio and David S.Goyer. Directed by: Zack Snyder.

Take my hand dear reader, as I transport you back to a time when a wide eyed six year old child first discovered a character who would ultimately have a major impact in his life. It is the late seventies and a young boy is given an issue of Detective Comics #466 by his Mum as a gift. This was his first ever foray not just into the wonderful world of The Batman, but comic books themselves, and after devouring the issue a half dozen times in a row, he would go on to be one of the staunchest supporters of DC Comics and would conclusively tailor his life around these characters not just at home but also in the workplace.

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Dreams can come true folks!

The young boy I refer to is obviously yours truly, and it didn’t stop with the Caped Crusader, at nine I discovered the other character who would go on to be a life long obsession, the amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman. Since that time all those years ago, the one thing that I have longed to see were my favourite heroes united together on the silver screen, and finally that young lad’s dream has been fulfilled, with Zack Snyder’s astonishing adaptation of DC Comic’s original Trinity. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman finally stand united on the big screen for the first time… and it’s awe inspiring!

bvs 11This will be a mostly spoiler free zone, so don’t fret if you haven’t yet managed to watch the film. There are minor details that have to be written about in the course of the review but none of them will spoil your enjoyment of the film.

Before we start with our review, let’s quickly address the response of the ‘professional’ critics, who have been generally unfavourable in their opinions. I refer you to a piece we wrote about this earlier in the week (right here).

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Stand aside Christian Bale, Ben Affleck IS the Batman!

Let’s begin with the character that most people are (let’s be honest) going to see the movie for… The Batman, and there just aren’t enough superlatives we can commit for Ben Affleck’s truly astounding performance as not just the Dark Knight, but also his alter ego Bruce Wayne. Affleck’s rendition of the World’s most popular Superhero is peerless, effortlessly eclipsing previous versions of the character with an emotional and staggering portrayal of an older, conflicted crimefighter, on the edge of losing himself to the very darkness that he has spent his adult life fighting against.

This IS The Batman, ripped straight out of the comic books themselves, brutal, calculating and unforgiving, yet also calm, collected and compassionate to those who deserve it. Affleck’s Batman is world weary after twenty years spent tangling with criminals and lowlifes, and ultimately feeling powerless as age encroaches, and a new breed of super powered hero slowly appear on the horizon. Distrustful of such immense power, Batman decides that, for the safety of human kind, he should rein in these heroes before another tragedy like the calamitous Metropolis incident two years earlier happens again. Not only does Affleck play the Batman to the Nth degree, his depiction of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is also fantastic, contrasting the two sides of the same coin superbly. Credit where credit is due folks, this is a career defining performance from Mr Affleck.

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Henry Cavill produces another solid performance as the Man of Steel

Henry Cavill once again steps into the red cape and boots of Superman, following on from his promising performance in the 2013 Batman v Superman prequel – Man of Steel. Haunted by the demons of his recent past, after the traumatic events just two years previous when he had to use lethal force to stop a rampaging General Zod from completely destroying the city and people that he has sworn to protect. Held up on a pedestal by many and seen as a godlike saviour, there are those though who still blame him for the catastrophic loss of life in Metropolis and feel he needs to be held accountable for his actions.

Cavill’s Superman is that of a grounded and humble saviour, cognisant of the damage wrought by his defence of Metropolis, and anguished over his inability to halt the vast loss of life brought on by his Kryptonian kin. Continuing his crusade to protect the people of his adopted planet, he eventually casts his gaze across the bay to the festering city of Gotham and it’s ruthless protector Batman, believing him to be as amoral as the criminals he hunts and vowing to put an end to his actions.

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The amazing Amazon is superbly brought to life by Gal Gadot’s outstanding performance

Rounding out our terrific trinity is Gal Gadot’s impressive entrance as Wonder Woman, stepping onto the big screen for the first time, this is a stand-out and crowd pleasing performance that kicks open the door for her solo performance in the 2017 dated Wonder Woman movie. Gal perfectly embodies the strength, beauty and compassion of the World’s premier female Superhero, easily holding her own alongside the two main leads. Though her role in the film is rather minor in comparison to the other characters, her performance is intensely memorable and she ultimately saves the day towards the end of the film. 

Finally seeing Wonder Woman on the silver screen kicking all kinds of arse is rewarding enough, but nothing can prepare you for how well implemented she is into the story itself, at first an almost shadowy figure glimpsed at a socialite party by a beguiled yet wary Bruce Wayne, before shedding her Diana Prince alter ego to embrace her warrior’s way as she goes toe to toe with the film’s big bad, Doomsday in the breathtaking climax. 

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Alfred is played by Jeremy Irons and puts in a memorable performance as Bruce Wayne’s long time confidante and friend

Alongside the big three is a talented and capable cast of extras that help flesh out the world, especially notable is the performance by Jeremy Irons as Bruce Wayne’s guardian and confidante Alfred Pennyworth. Irons is a consummate professional, and his portrayal of Alfred is taken almost completely from the comic book and animated versions of the character. The dry sense of humour, constant quipping and chastising of Bruce are all present, as good as the other versions of Alfred have been in previous films, Jeremy Irons nails the absolute core of the character beautifully.

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Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has been divisive amongst the fans, but I loved his alternate take on the mad genius sociopath

This brings us to the main villain of the piece, Superman’s arch enemy Lex Luthor, played effervescently by Jesse Eisenberg. A divisive choice amongst fans, Eisenberg’s Luthor is a million miles from previous versions of the enigmatic criminal genius. This is a younger, crazier Luthor, though he still manages to retain all the characteristics that make up DC’s iconic Supervillain, a power hungry, psychopathic narcissist. No longer the centre of attention in Metropolis since Superman appeared, he uses his vast intellect and fortune to engineer the fight between Batman and Superman, so he can continue uninterrupted with his deadly scheme for ultimate knowledge and power.

Reprising their roles from Man of Steel are, Laurence Fishburne as the Daily Planet’s Perry White, Amy Adams as star reporter and Superman’s love interest Lois Lane, and Diane Lane as Martha Kent. Plus Kevin Costner makes a small cameo appearance as Jonathan Kent, Clark’s erstwhile adopted father.

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The main event: Batman & Superman throwdown!

The main event of the film comes at about the half way point, as our two leads finally face off on a rain sodden rooftop in Gotham City. This is an epic showdown lifted straight out of the comics, especially Frank Miller’s ground-breaking ‘Dark Knight Returns’. The build up to this fracas really hypes up viewer expectation and the ultimate confrontation is brutal, inventive and exciting, you will not be disappointed by their brawl, it more than delivers on the hype.

Of course this is just one of many action sequences in the film, others include an amazing chase sequence involving the new Batmobile and a heart pumping warehouse scene where Batman faces off against an almost impossible amount of Russian mercenaries, which may very well be my favourite movie fight sequence of all time. This scene showcases Batman’s skill and ferocity better than any previous movie, finally we have a version of the character worthy of the Batman legend.

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Haunted by past demons, and unsure of his immediate future, Bruce Wayne soldiers on… even though it may ultimately mean his demise!

Once again Zack Snyder delivers the goods with yet another outstanding comic book interpretation, following hot on the heels of his popular adaptations of 300 and Watchmen, Snyder is a comic fan, and it shows. He always successfully manages to encapsulate everything that is important about the chosen characters, every small nuance, every minute detail, cramming in as much lore as he can. His films are a delight to fans of the source material, but are epic and action packed enough to also appeal to the non comic fans.

Batman v Superman is the greatest comic book movie of all time, and I don’t say that lightly. A spectacular love letter to the DC Universe, I never actually thought a Superhero film would ever come along to topple the mighty Watchmen from its lofty perch, but this film has done just that. Ignore the critics, you will be kicking yourself if you allow some random internet review deny you from seeing this astounding film on the big screen. Big, brash and beautiful, Batman v Superman is a modern classic.

Precinct1313 Rating: 5 Anguished Bat Souls Out Of 5

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of The Critics…

 

 

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Well it’s finally here, after close to three years of (indescribably torturous) waiting, Batman v Superman finally releases, to rapturous applause from the fans (currently sitting at 8.0 0n IMDB) but (surprise, surprise) hated on by many movie critics.

Now then, before we start on this (ever so slight) rant, let’s get some perspective on the matter. 1. It does not matter what other people think, all that really matters is what YOU think, if you find the movie enjoyable then… awesome. 2. A critic is literally just giving their opinion, in the great scheme of things their opinion does not affect your ability to love something, and in no way are critics right (or wrong) in their opinion… it is still just that, their opinion.

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DC Comics invented the female Superhero, Wonder Woman’s inclusion in Batman v Superman is extremely important to the genre because not only is she able to match the male heroes, she can easily surpass them. Gal Gadot’s almost flawless appearance as the Amazing Amazon will help propel the industry to create more movies with strong female leads, which is fantastic and long overdue. Diversity is a good thing folks, so hurrah for DC and Zack Snyder… but are the critics applauding this? no, because… DC!

Ok, let’s get this out of the way right now… yes I am a DC fanatic, and no I don’t read Marvel comics (well that’s not completely true, I do actually occasionally buy ‘The Punisher’) but I don’t hate Marvel, I just grew up loving DC’s characters and worlds and never personally found Marvel’s heroes and villains anywhere near as engaging (apart from the aforementioned Frank Castle, of course) But I do not actively bash others for their love of something, I have no right to do that… to each their own is my mantra friends.

Now then, with all that said, I have noticed over the past few years since the mountainous onslaught of cinematic comic-book adaptations, an inherent bias in the reviewing industry. There are now several websites that I avoid because of their actively transparent anti DC and Zack Snyder bias (allow me to clarify this point, this does not include any WordPressers, I am talking about corporate websites) of course, they have every right to bash, criticise and hate on something as much as they want (and I dutifully uphold that right) but I also have the right to not visit, read or subject myself to their opinions.

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Movie critics are actively bashing Batman v Superman for being “too dark and gritty!” but applauded the (awesome) Dark Knight trilogy for the same thing!…  Mmmmm!?

Right now you may be thinking – “but, ArcaneHalloween, are you not a critic yourself seeing as you run a comic-book review website” and it’s a logical thought. The thing is though, I never, ever, review things I don’t love, Precinct1313 is dedicated to the appreciation of DC Comics and Cult movies not criticising, disparaging or belittling other people’s passions in life. In fact it’s thanks to the diversity of one person to another that we have so many distinct choices open to us when it comes to comic books, movies, music, et al…

The majority of featured reviews on aggregate websites such as – Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes have been almost uniformly scathing. And once again I do reserve their right to their opinion, but it seems that a lot of the critics either don’t seem to understand what makes a great comic-book or character adaptation, or have not really put a great deal of time and effort into maybe doing some research on the subject matter at hand before giving their opinion. “Too dark and gritty” is a common theme amongst many of these negative reviews, there is a reason for this Mr Critic, the comic-book storylines this particular movie are based upon are just that… Dark and Gritty (see here for details on that one friends) The same reviewers actively applauded Christopher Nolan for doing exactly this with his Dark Knight Trilogy.

It is definitely the case that a lot of critics went in with the preconceived notion of disliking the movie, based upon the trailers (which were mostly fantastic) plus a lack of inherent knowledge of the comics and the history of the main characters, and a dislike of its director’s previous films. One review in particular called out the film because, and I quote “Since when did Batman and Superman ever fight each other anyway, what a ridiculous premise they made up for this movie” I once again refer them to this piece here. Research reaps rewards Mr Critic.

One of the better reviews of the movie is ComicBookMovie.Com, which you can read right here a well informed non biased view of the film at hand, a great read.

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Don’t be sad Bats, we still love ya!

“It’s not like the Marvel movies” is another favourite, and thank Zeus for that, not because I think the Marvel movies are bad, but because (as mentioned earlier) diversity is a good thing… variety is the spice of life folks.

And don’t get me started on the whole “Zack Snyder is untalented” nonsense, I refer you to this line… ‘Those who can, do… those who can’t, criticise.’  Snyder is a wonderful film maker, a visual auteur who loves the medium he works in, and this shines through in his fantastic movies. Remember this is the man who gave us the tremendous “300” and the (supposedly unfilmable) masterpiece that is “Watchmen” I guarantee, you sit any film critic down in a director’s chair and they would be bewildered by the amount of skill that is needed to create a movie, or craft a world through which millions of people will be breathlessly transported and lost to for two plus hours of their lives. Making movies is not easy Mr Critic, please stop trivialising it.

Now please understand I am not denigrating critics for their opinion on films or even saying they’re wrong, they have every right to them, but so do I and the millions of fans who just want to enjoy their chosen piece of fantasy mayhem. I think that since the inception of internet media, a lot more people put way too much in stock in what some random online critic says about a movie rather than just taking the time to judge it for themselves.

Critics criticise it’s what they do. Ignore the backlash, head to the cinema and judge the film on it’s own merits, and I guarantee you will have one hell of a good time for the two and a half hour run time, I mean who doesn’t want to see the two biggest Superheroes of all time throwdown in an intense battle royale! batman

Please feel free to agree or disagree about this in the comments, I would love to hear your reactions on not just this post, but also the film itself. 

Batman v Superman: Grudge Match

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In just two short weeks the greatest cinematic Superhero event ever will take place, when the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel square up for a royal rumble that will shake the very foundations of the DC Universe. Comic’s two most iconic characters will go head to head in a grudge match that, even though this will be their first live action brawl, has been enacted throughout the decades in both comic book and animated forms.

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Though, usually touted as friends and allies, no other comic book duo has fought as many times as Bats and Supes over the decades. They are literally opposite ends of the Superhero spectrum; one is a vengeance driven manhunter, bringing his own brand of justice to a corrupt and dystopian city. dark and brooding, driven on by the tragic deaths of his parents, Batman has given his life over to his mission.

The other is a virtual god, a being from another planet who arrived on Earth as a child after his home was catastrophically destroyed. Brought up in the farm belt of the USA, Kal El uses his almost limitless power to help his adopted kin, fundamentally a force of good and a symbol of hope amongst his many supporters. Batman and Superman literally are Night and Day, completely antithetical and divergent in both motivation and execution of their chosen lifestyles.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice director – Zack Snyder has drawn heavily from these past confrontations for his upcoming blockbuster movie, but the one story that has had the most influence on the film (and the character of Batman himself) is Frank Miller’s classic, genre defying eighties series ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

Dark Knight is Frank Miller‘s opus, and almost single handedly responsible for a dramatic and significant change in the way Superheroes are portrayed. Taking the well loved character and plunging him even deeper into his own psychosis and despair, allowing him to really embrace the darkness that was brought on by the devastating loss of his parents, and use it to deliver a whirlwind of brutal justice on the many corrupting forces that prey on Gothamites on a daily basis. Miller’s Batman is a schizophrenic and driven crime-fighter, an unequivocal force of nature that does not suffer fools gladly, and will allow absolutely nothing and no-one to stand in the way of his war on crime.

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Ben Affleck’s armoured Bat-suit is heavily inspired by Frank Miller’s original design

The Dark Knight Returns shows us a future Gotham City where crime runs rampant, and its one true protector who used to hold back the tide of criminality and lawlessness has long since retired as age and injuries slowly caught up with him. Bruce Wayne now holds back his raging inner demons through the use of alcohol and death defying stunts (when we first see the aged Bruce, he is crashing his race car over a finish line with suicidal abandon.) Unable to cope without his alter ego, and feeling powerless in the face of an encroaching enemy that is seeping into his beloved city and gradually altering its substructure into that of complete anarchy and transgression.

Superheroes have long since been outlawed, and the only one still active is the Government sponsored Superman, who covertly works for the President and keeps the peace with as little media exposure as possible. Brought back from his almost catatonic state, after the demons raging inside him can no longer be contained, Bruce Wayne gives himself over to the one true personality that has always been dominant in his life since that one fateful night… The Batman. Waging a war on crime like never before with unstinting and remorseless abandon, yet his age and a decade of inactivity might make this last heroic struggle, his final denouement.

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With Batman rampaging his way through the underbelly of Gotham City and dividing opinion amongst the Police and citizens, Superman is despatched by the President to put a stop to his vigilante actions… and thus ensues the paradigmatic battle between the two titans, that is reflected heavily in the many trailers for the forthcoming movie.

Director Zack Snyder is a huge comic book fan, especially of the darker and more mature style of story-telling, just witness his previous movie incarnations – the utterly astounding recreation of Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’ (still our fave comic to film adaptation) and Frank Miller’s ‘300’. The influence of Miller’s Dark Knight is tangible, and there really could be no better material for him to draw upon for this colossal showdown.

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The many, many instances of Batman v Superman throughout the years

Of course lest we forget, there will be one tempering influence in the film who has also acted as a mediator to the feuding heroes in comics and animation over the years. She is also the character who has soundly beaten both Bats and Supes in one on one combat on several occassions. So before either hero gets too overconfident and supercilious in their own powers and skills, they should really factor in that comic-book’s first lady, Wonder Woman can kick both their arses without even breaking a sweat… just saying!

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New52 Wonder Woman Gives Supes A Lesson In How To Kick Arse The Amazon Way!

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Batman Always Wins… Unless He’s Fighting Diana, Of Course!

The titanic twosome will be knocking heads when ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ hits the cinemas on March 25. Best prepare your utility belts and red capes in readiness for what will incontestably be the ‘Greatest Comic Book Movie Ever!’

“Great Hera”… Full Size Wonder Woman Statue Is Amazing!

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Hot Toys Amazing Gal Gadot Statue Is Wondy-ful!

The amazing Hong Kong based production company ‘Hot Toys’ who specialise in building lifelike one sixth scale collectable figures of comic book and film characters have outdone themselves with full size figures of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman and the Batmobile from the incoming blockbuster ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ movie, and they are incredible!

These full scale figures are unbelievably detailed and uncanny in their realistic representation of the three main stars from the upcoming Superhero movie. The armoured Batman figure stands at an impressive seven feet in height, the film accurate figure has light up eyes and base and an astonishing attention to even the minutest detail.

ht full size Bats

The Wonder Woman and Superman figures also are an impressive sight to behold, but if you’re thinking of investing in one of these stunning sculptures (let alone the complete trinity) you may need a rather hefty bank loan, as each individual figure weighs in at about £5,000 ($7,000.)

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 Hot Toys will begin selling these astounding effigies in extremely limited numbers from May. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits the big screen on March 25.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Detective Comics #50

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Detective Comics #50 – Full colour Variant

Welcome back my comic collecting cohorts to an extra special instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ that triumphantly celebrates the incoming cinematic showdown between the two biggest titans of the comic book world – The Dark Knight Detective versus The Man Of Steel.

With the highly anticipated confrontation just mere weeks away, DC are celebrating this epic super-power beatdown by releasing a cadre of alternate covers on ten of their biggest titles this month. These poly-bagged variants will come in three different forms, from full colour to partial pencil and inked editions similar to the recent Harley Quinn alternate cover run.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is now only a tantalising three weeks away, and as you can probably imagine, being the DC Comics fanatics that we are, there is a lot of excitement and eagerness for the cinematic excursion here in the hallowed halls of Precinct1313.

This is the movie I have personally been waiting for since that time I first abandoned myself to the fantastic worlds and alternate universes of DC Comics as an unknowing six year old. Since then not only has my love and admiration of these iconic characters grown exponentially, but also has my longing for a live action movie featuring the big three from DC. And finally in three weeks it all comes true… so stay with us fellow fans of fantastic fiction as we head towards the biggest comic book event in cinematic history… it’s gonna rock, trust me!

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Detective Comics #50 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Peter J. Tomasi. Art by: Matt Ryan, Fernando Pasarin. Cover by: Tyler Kirkham. Variant Covers by: Rafael Grampa.

Batman v Superman: Final Trailer Released

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Ok so this is it, the final trailer for the ultimate comic-book showdown – “Bat of Gotham versus Son of Krypton.” What I love the most about this new trailer is the portrayal of the Dark Knight, this is how I have always imagined the Batman in a live action movie. As much as I love the previous cinematic incarnations of the Caped Crusader, they have never quite lived up to my expectations of the actual comic book character himself. Zack Snyder’s version is darker, edgier and a lot more physical than previous personifications, and is thus more akin to the comic book original, the opening sequence of the new trailer alone was enough to convince me that this is the Batman we have been waiting for… and the one we deserve!  Enjoy…

Batman v Superman: Prequel Comic Chapter 1 – Batman

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In preparation for the biggest showdown in comic book history, Warner Bros have released five prequel comics to the March 25 dated Batman v Superman movie. The comics primarily focus upon – Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and Senator Finch, and disclose some interesting revelations in the run up to the highly anticipated gladiatorial bout between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. Below you will find in its entirety, Chapter 1: Batman. 

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The above images are courtesy of ComicBookMovie.com, where you can find the other four chapters of the prequel comics. Written by: Christos Gage. Art by: Joe Bennet.

Classic Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman (Vol 2) #219

WW vol 2 #219

Copyright: DC Comics

By Zeus’ decree, we continue our search through the ancient Amazon archives to bring you yet another thrilling instalment of  “Classic Wonder Woman,” Precinct 1313’s weekly comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Themysciran Titan.

This week’s tantalising tome is titled ‘Sacrifice’ and is brought to you by master scribe Greg Rucka, with a cadre of amazing artists that includes – Rags Morales, David Lopez and Karl Kerschl, plus another incredible cover by JG. Jones. Released: September 2005.

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Sacrifice is the conclusion of a 4 part crossover story that continues from Superman #642. After Superman almost beats Batman to death, it is discovered by the Martian Manhunter that he was under the control of Maxwell Lord , powerful telepathic and one time chairman of Justice League International and shadowy corporation Checkmate.

In the 2005 “Countdown To Infinite Crisis,” it was revealed that Max was actually a criminal mastermind who had reformed the Justice League to gain pertinent information about Superheroes, whom he considered a considerable threat to the planet. Max was gifted by Alex Luthor (God-like son of an alternate Earth Lex,) Batman’s Brother Eye satellite system (which the Caped Crusader used to keep a paranoid check on the various planetary Superheroes.) With the control of Brother Eye, Max created an army of O.M.A.C.s (nano infected humans, transformed into powerful cyborgs) which he programmed to hunt down and destroy Earth’s Superhuman population.

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Once again under the mind control of Lord, Superman is sent to kill Wonder Woman after Max convinces him that Diana is actually his old nemesis Doomsday, and an epic super-power beatdown ensues, with DC’s two biggest heavy hitters clashing head on.

In the midst of the monumental battle, Diana realises that even if she beats Superman he will still ultimately be under the control of Lord. Breaking from the battle she manages to ensnare Lord with her golden lasso, and Lord bound by the power of Diana’s lasso of truth tells Diana that the only way she can stop him, is to kill him. Diana obliges, snapping his neck. Brother Eye broadcasts the footage of Diana killing Lord across the planet, destroying Diana’s reputation as a hero in the eyes of the world and ending her ties with the Justice League, with Batman and Superman also turning their backs on her.

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Diana has always been DC’s greatest and most skilled combatant, with centuries of martial training and demi-god status she is an almost unbeatable force. She combines this power though, with a compassion and respect of all living things that transcends her capacity for violent action. But she also has never shied away from what must be done to keep Earth and its population safe from any and all threat to innocent life, and has on occasion taken a life to save countless others.

Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my adventurous Amazonian associates!

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to “The Week In Geek,” where we list our favourite comic book, video-game and cult movie news from the past seven days for your perusal and pleasure.

Batman v Superman – Trinity Film Posters Revealed:

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DC Comics and Warner Bros have released a trinity of awesome posters for the upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.” The big three star in their very own character posters that superbly encapsulates the tense and gritty tone of Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated Superhero film. The posters have the characters’ respective logo embellished across the middle in striking crimson, and are, overall, bloody marvellous indeed! 

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is due on March 25 2016, and will be the foundation block of DC’s planned extended universe of movies, documenting the rise of the Justice League. Fellow leaguers, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash will also make their cinematic debut in Snyder’s movie.

J’onn J’onzz Debuts On Supergirl TV Series:

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And while we are speaking of core Justice League members, the Martian Manhunter made his debut this week on Supergirl. If you haven’t seen the episode yet we won’t spoil the identity of the character who revealed himself to ultimately be the green skinned extra-terrestrial, but let’s just say ‘bloody hell’ we weren’t expecting that! 

Though this isn’t the first time the shape shifting Last Martian has appeared on the small screen, he appeared in Smallville played by Phil Morris, and in the long forgotten CBS pilot for a proposed (and abandoned) Justice League series, where he was played by David Ogden Stiers, though neither portrayal came anywhere near the epic cool of this new version… can’t wait to see what other classic DC heroes and villains will be introduced as this rather wonderful series continues.

Riddick Returns:

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Vin Diesel will apparently be returning to the character who made him an action mega-star, the badass anti-hero, with the ability to see in the dark; Richard B. Riddick. The merc fugitive has already been the star of three great movies, and will at some point in the near future make his premiere on the small screen, after Diesel recently signed a deal with Universal TV. According to the Fast and Furious star, the series will actually act as a complement to the films, and will mainly follow the mercs and bounty hunters of Riddick’s universe… though I’m sure the shiny eyed one will eventually scowl his way onto the series at some point. 

This is fantastic news, Pitch Black and Chronicles Of Riddick were amazing movies, and the more recent “Riddick” was also rather good (but not quite as great as the previous instalments, in my humble opinion of course) More news as we hear it fellow Furyans.

Join us again next time for more “Week In Geek.”

Awesome New Batman v Superman Trailer…

And here it is fellow fans of fantastic fiction, the hot new trailer for next years highly anticipated “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” movie. This new look takes us deeper inside DC Comic’s extended universe, and showcases not just the resentment between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, but also a sneak peek at the film’s main Supervillain, plus Wonder Woman… lots of awesome Wonder Woman… enjoy;

“Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” will be released in March 2016.

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

New Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Trailer Released At SDCC

Just released at this years San Diego Comic-Con is the second trailer for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice movie that brings together for the first time DC’s iconic Superhero Trinity, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. This spectacular new trailer takes you deeper inside the aftermath of the black zero event in Man Of Steel, and includes sequences involving the awesome Amazon Wonder Woman and Superman’s nemesis Lex Luthor. Enjoy…