New Comics – Part 2 (DC pt 1)

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Continuing with new comics here’s the first part of our look at DC comics and their recent relaunch.


DC

Batman: Odyssey – This was started before the DC relaunch; I’d have been just fine if they’d have decided to scrap it with the relaunch instead of continuing on.

Penguin: Pain And Prejudice – I hate that this is only a five issue mini-series because it’s so damn good. It’s a book that’s from the point of view of the Penguin; it really shows how sadistic he is but at the same side it shows what made him that way. I’ve always liked the Penguin and this book just makes him even cooler. Cannot recommend it enough.

The Huntress – The Huntress is a character I’ve always kind of liked but have always felt she was underused, this book is perfect for her, I just wish it was an ongoing series. It’s a good read so get on it while it’s here.

DC Universe Online Legends – This title is crazy and awesome, it’s crazy awesome. If you just let go and let it be the alternative reality that it is you’ll have a lot of fun here. It takes a lot of the DC universe and goes where these things would never ever go. This book is super fun, I really recommend it.

Action Comics – Superman is my favorite comic hero of all time, and Action Comics being the staple that it is, it’s a giant reason I was opposed to the reboot. Little did I know just how much they’d fuck up the best superhero ever. I pretty much hate everything about this book; Superman is some sort of fucked up version of himself that seems like he was invented by too many Batman fan boys.

All-Star Western – I’ve always liked westerns and Jonah Hex (let’s just not talk about that awful movie), so I was excited for this one. Luckily the DC reboot didn’t fuck this up at all; it’s a perfect book of what it should be. Jonah Hex in a western comic being badass.

Animal Man – People seem to love this book, I never really liked Animal Man, but I do like this book. Not as much as a lot of people seem to though. The art is sick, but the story seems very slow moving, it’s alright but there is better stuff out there.

Aquaman – I liked Aquaman until I was like ten, then I realized how lame he was. However with this relaunch I find myself really liking him again, this title is really really enjoyable. I love reading it and I once again like Aquaman.

Batgirl – Barbara Gordon and magically walk again and she’s back as Batgirl. As much as it annoys me to lose our previous Batgirl Barbara has always been the best. This is one of my favorites of the relaunch despite the flimsy excuse for her walking again.

Batman – Best of the Batman titles from the relaunch. The first storyline sucks you in pretty quick, so far it’s one of the better Batman stories in recent years, it centers around a secret group that’s been in Gotham for just as long as the Wayne’s have been, the Court of Owls!

Batman And Robin – As the title suggests this is about Batman and Robin, a lot of it deals with the Bruce Damian relationship. It’s a little different than it was before the relaunch but not a whole lot has changed here.

Batman: The Dark Knight – After reading the first issue of The Dark Knight I actually did a face palm. It was so fucking cheesy bad I almost gave up right there. But I kept reading and luckily things picked up immediately, issue two was way better and the title continues to be pretty decent. It is maybe the weakest of the Batman books, but a bad Batman title is still better than a lot of other titles out there.

Batwing – Batwing is a book that stems from the Batman Inc storyline that happened before the DC relaunch. He’s got a futuristic suit that he uses; he’s almost an Iron Man Batman. I kind of like this book but at the same time I kind of don’t. A lot of people seem to love it, I think it’s a decent read but at the same time it’s a little boring.

Batwoman – I’ve liked Batwoman a lot since she came onto the scene so I was happy when I heard she was getting her own title. Unfortunately it’s pretty awful. I tricked myself into liking the first few issues with blind fan boy-ism but I’ve recently realized this just isn’t good. I don’t really care for the art with this title and the story hasn’t been all that great. I’m hoping for some drastic changes soon.

Birds Of Prey – A pretty cool all girl bat-team that has always been pretty meh. I’ve always been on the fence about Birds of Prey, but with this launch I’ve really been enjoying this team more than I ever have. It’s a great book.

Blackhawks – A book I really tried to like, a military team that has a lot of action in it. The problem is I really can’t bring myself to care. After a couple issues I just gave up and quit reading. I did like their spot in the Deathstroke comic though.

Blue Beetle – Never liked Blue Beetle, I have no idea why he has his own title but I gave it a chance anyway. It’s pretty much exactly what I expected, a complete waste of a book.

Captain Atom – A title I was going into cold, knew nothing about Captain Atom, and I still don’t. I read this for about three issues then gave up. It was a really bland read, every seemed really generic and forgettable.

Catwoman – I’ve always been a fan of Catwoman and I figured she’d get her own title but I didn’t know what to expect out of this relaunch. Luckily they didn’t screw anything up, it seems they were going for an ultra sexy and dangerous book, I think they succeeded to a point. It’s a great read and starts off with a bang; I’m really enjoying this one.

DC Universe Presents – I don’t know why they didn’t just call this comic ‘Deadman’ because it’s just a Deadman comic. At first I really liked this but recently it’s failing to hold my attention, the story just seems to be moving too slow for me.

Deathstroke – A total surprise here. I’ve liked Deathstroke but he’s been a guy that never had a big focus on him so I didn’t know how his title would turn out. As it goes, this is one of my favorite titles from the relaunch. Super fun and pretty violent, Deathstroke is a great read; he’ll take out anybody for the right price.

Demon Knights – I really liked the first issue, it was one of my favorite of the launch. Issue two was just really confusing and it went downhill from there. I really wish this had kept being as good as it started out, but I don’t know how much longer I can hang with this one.

Detective Comics – Ruining the numbering of Action Comics and Detective Comics was two of my giant problems with the DC relaunch, and it still is. But looking past that it’s been a pretty decent/weird/dark story that centers on the Joker, even though we don’t see much of the Joker.

Frankenstein, Agent Of S.H.A.D.E. – Another book that I like a lot, it seems a lot like the Hellboy movie in book form, but to me that also means it’s fun. One of my favorite books to read, not every issue has been awesome but most of them have.

Green Arrow – Green Arrow is a guy that’s had his up’s and down’s but I’ve stuck by him more often than not. I like this new run because it seems to call back to when I was younger. As much as I liked the Robin Hood version he had become recently I always had a soft spot for all his goofy trick arrows and this book brings that back. It’s a lot of fun.

Green Lantern – The primary focus of this is one Green Lantern, at least so far. But in this case it’s not Kyle Rayner, or Hal Jordan (well, kind of Hal) but Sinestro is the Green Lantern for this book. Nice twist eh? It’s pretty awesome, it didn’t take long for a Sinestro/Hal team up story, even though Hal isn’t in the corps anymore. We’ll see where this one goes, so far it’s the best of the Lantern books.

Green Lantern Corps – Unlike the Green Lantern book where it’s primarily the focus of an individual this is more of a team effort as you might expect. I’ve always liked Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps; it’s got a lot to offer as far as the different lanterns, it’s pretty much limitless that continues in this book. It’s a great read so far. There’s a lot of Guy Gardner too if you like that type of thing.

Green Lantern: New Guardians – Remember the tons of different Lantern corps that were started the past year or so in DC? Well they haven’t been forgotten about in the relaunch. This is the book that focuses on them. It starts out pretty good and seems to have some good potential, looking forward to what will happen with this title. This is primarily where you see Kyle Rayner too; they did a nice job of splitting the earth guys up between titles.

REVIEW: Holy Batmania!

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batman43Batman (1943, serial):
This was a collection of serial shorts made in ’43. They’re definitely dated but a lot of fun, especially if your a Batman fan. Some of the stuff is really ridiculous, but much less then the campy series with Adam West. These serials seem a lot like serial versions of the comics from that time period, pretty wacky but fun. I’d recommend these for a Batman fan but probably not the casual fan.

batman66Batman (1966):
Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), Lee Meriwether (Catwoman), Cesar Romero (The Joker), Burgess Meredith (The Penguin), Frank Gorshin (The Riddler)…With this cast it can only be the campy Batman series from the 60′s. But this is so much more because this is the movie version of that gem. The villains team up to destroy all the worlds leaders from a peace summit. And on top of this Batman and Robin have to fight a fucking exploding shark! Luckly Batman has his handy Shark Repellent Batspray. I highly recommend this for anyone that liked the old Batman series or anyone that likes fun.

batman89Batman (1989):
Now this is one of my favorite comic movies ever made, and still my favorite Batman movie ever made. It’s got Michael Keaton and Tim Burton on top of their game, and the always great Jack Nicolson in an amazing job as the Joker. There’s the telling of both origin stories (a little inconsistency in both stories but close enough) then goes into one of the Joker’s crazy plots, to basically be the Joker and do what he does – be crazy. This also has one of my favorite movie quotes “Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” – that has nothing to do with the actual review, it just rules. Some people bitch about Jack just playing ‘himself’ or the movie not being violent enough. But you know what? Fuck them. There’s a reason Jack Nicholson was chosen to play the Joker and it still stands as the best choice ever, and as for the violence even the great Tim Burton (who wasn’t mr. bigwig back then) had to adhere to standards and practices of big budget movies of the late 80′s. (Late 80′s being the key because they got anal about the rough stuff for a while there which is when this was made). But you’ve got to work with what you can and this turned out quite excellent. I highly recommend this for everyone especially comic and Batman fans.

returnsBatman Returns:
The Penguin gets screwed by the mayor and vows revenge, meanwhile else were in Gotham a secretary knows too much and is thrown out a window. Once again Tim Burton is back directing, Michael Keaton is still Batman, but we’ve added some awesomeness to the cast. Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman back when she was still sexy, the great Danny DeVito as Penguin and there’s even some of everyone’s favorite strange/creepy/great guy Christopher Walken as the mayor in this one. While not a bad movie, it does have it moments overall I didn’t really enjoy it. I remember I was even disappointed as a kid when I saw this. I’m not sure why, caught somewhere between rushed/forced and possibly half-hearted its not even close to the worst Batman movie made, its certainly not one of the best. There is however a massive penguin army which gets this movie some awesome points.

foreverBatman Forever:
This movie I have almost a love/hate relationship with. Basically what we’ve got here is more origin stories which seem to be the norm with this series of movies. Once again the origins aren’t spot on but good enough that I can overlook that for now. Two-Face ice’s Tim Drake’s parents, which causes Tim Drake to become Robin. Meanwhile Bruce Wayne fires Edward Nygma which leads him to become the Riddler in a revenge plot. During this plot Riddler finds out Batman’s identity. Gone is Tim Burton and the new guy in is (ugh) Joel Schumacher, this could be a big part of the problem. Also out is Michael Keaton, instead we get the bootleg version Val Kilmer, he did an ok job but he’s no Michael Keaton. In pulling sidekick duty is this Chris O’Donnell jerk, whom I hate to this day because of his poor job in this role. There’s even Nicole Kidman and Drew Barrymore throw in for some eye candy. However the only real redeeming part of this movie is the villains. This time around we’ve got my second favorite Batman villain, Two-Face, played by one of my favorite actors, Tommy Lee Jones. This was stellar. I know a lot of people hated how this was done but I thought it was great. Granted it was a way over the top, super charged version of Two-Face, but it was fun, he killed some people and it was fucking Tommy Lee Jones. One of my favorite Jones roles (most people’s least favorite). Second on the map is the Riddler played by Jim Carrey who was bigger than comedy Jesus at this point in time. Once again this is a over the top version of said character, but then again it is Jim Carrey. I though it fit pretty well, not the best Riddler known to man but it was a quality performance. So basically if they could somehow cut all the fat in this movie and just have Two-Face and Riddler owning Gotham, this movie would rule, as it stands…its ok.

batmanandrobinBatman & Robin:
Ok here’s the stinker movie of this series and basically what killed the Batman franchise for 10 years (give or take). Not that this movie is without its moments but its really just not good. I tried to defend it for years but I’ve finally come to terms with its shittyness. The story is pretty generic and still doesn’t make a lot of sense. You’ve got Poison Ivy (Played by Uma Thurman somehow looking not sexy), who’s basically being a pissy crazy woman all about the plants. We’ve got Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) being pissed off about being Mr. Freeze. There’s even Bane in here for about 10 seconds…Yeah sounds pretty shitty doesn’t it? But wait, there’s more! We’ve got a new Batman once again, George Clooney trying to climb up the ladder to get someone to notice him as Mr. Wayne. Once again not a bad job by him, but not that great either. He played a much better Bruce Wayne than a Batman but the movie’s not called ‘Bruce Wayne & Robin’. That dick stain Chris O’Donnell is crapping up the role of Robin again. However there is a bit of light here we’re introduced to Batgirl is this movie brought to us by Alicia Silverstone. Not a stellar performance, but it was good and she looks good in a skintight Batgirl suit. No surprised on this sorry excuse for a comic movie There’s Joel Schumacher at the wheel directing this train wreck again, that explains a lot. I think this movie pretty much proves that a movie can’t get by on just a few big names, there’s got to be a decent movie to start with. Oh and as I recall there’s some sort of sky surfing scene in here somewhere too…

batmanbeginsBatman Begins:
Eight years after ‘Batman & Robin’ Christopher Nolan comes out of almost nowhere with a reboot of the Batman films breathing life into them again. It’s not too much of a surprise seeing as how so far all of his movies have been pretty awesome, but a Batman movie was pretty unexpected. Reboot of the series however means another retelling of the origin story, which leads to one of my only gripes with the movie. Although cool, I had no idea what was going on the first 10 minutes of the movie. I walk into a Batman movie and I see mud-wrestling, luckily it all worked out. Everyone’s favorite American Psycho, Christian Bale is in the batsuit this time. Unforchinatly not wielding a chainsaw and talking about music. Bale does a damn good job in this movie, good choice here. We’ve also got the awesome Michael Caine as Alfred, and the also awesome Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox a Wayne employee who basically becomes Batman’s gadget dealer. Villains come in as Ra’s Al Ghul in a couple forms and Cillian Murphy appearing as the Sandman. Excellent movie to kick off the new Batman series, definitely in the top group as far as Bat flicks go.

darkknightDark Knight:
Christopher Nolan is back with a sequel, and one hell of a sequel. I’ve got a little resentment towards this movie but I still like it a lot. So far this is my second favorite Batman flick to date. There’s kind of a lot going on here. You’ve got the Joker introcuded played by Heath Ledger (I’ll come back to this), being the Joker, just fucking crazy. Meanwhile you’ve got Harvey Dent (played excellently by Aaron Eckhart) trying to clean up Gotham until his woman gets killed and he gets charged, then Two-Face comes out (with goddamn fucking awesome stellar effects). Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman are all back doing bang up jobs in their previous roles. (with the exception of Batman’s ridiculously low voice, this was literally laughable) We even get a cameo of Cillian Murphy back as the Scarecrow for a minute (or less). Now my big beef with this movie isn’t even with the movie, this is totally an editorial rant. Heath Ledger. The man was a good Joker (no Jack Nicholson, but who is) But most of the popularity of this movie came from Ledger committing suicide before the flick came out. Not only that it got a bunch of bandwagon fans jumping on and every goth kid within a two billion mile radius suddenly thinking he’s Heath Ledger’s Joker. This was not the comic Joker in the movie, the performance was good but the makeup was god awful, had nothing to do with the Joker really, just made him look like a jack-off. So because he OD’d you’ve suddenly got everyone who wouldn’t give a fuck about the movie before suddenly loving it, everyone praising his performance as the best thing ever, and a bunch of jerk-offs dressing up like this poor excuse for a Joker. I’m done here before I anger more, go see the movie but chill the fuck out.

Get Batman – The Complete 1943 Movie Serial Collection from Amazon HERE

Get Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology, 1989-1997 (Batman / Batman Returns / Batman Forever / Batman & Robin) from Amazon HERE

Get Batman Begins from Amazon HERE

Get The Dark Knight from Amazon HERE

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