Comic Book Reviews 07-30-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

super secret pick of week 7.30

Super Secret Crisis War #2 – A

We are now on the third issue of this series but the second of the main series. Earlier this month, we had the one off special with Johnny Bravo and we see the connection to that in this issue which has me excited for future one offs from other series. The art in these issues are great as every character has their style and yet all of them mix together perfectly and almost demand this or something similar in animated form for a Cartoon Network reunion party. Definitely grab this issue if you are a 90’s kid, or just enjoy massive crossovers. – Jacob

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Detective Comics Annual #3 A-

The best part about this annual is the fact that we get to see Batman doing what he does best, solving crimes and beating the crap outta the bad guy. I loved this issue for that part alone, but the plot with the boy had me wondering if we were going to be welcoming a new addition to the Bat-family. It seems like we won’t but it could be used in the future to add another character or maybe even villain if the writers desired to. We did get an introduction to Matches Malone, a popular alias that Batman has used since the early 1970’s but is appearing in the New52 for the first time. There isn’t much more to say about this issue other than it was awesome and I found it very enjoyable to read, which seems to be a rarity these days. Definitely worth checking out. – Robert

Sinestro #4 B

Finally having asserted his dominance over his crew, Thaal Sinestro is back to kicking ass. This issue covers a battle with a religious cult of anti-emotion weirdos. Sinestro’s daughter, the Green Lantern Soranik, has reluctantly agreed to help him on his mission to save their people. However, she doesn’t agree with the way her dad handles business, and calls on Hal Jordan. This will spice things up going forward, as Hal hasn’t seem Sinestro since the end of the Trinity War (Green Lantern #18). Jordan and Sinestro have a lot of history, and it will be interesting to see how they’ve both changed since their last encounter. – Sherif

Justice League #32 B-

Geoff Johns’ Justice League continues to be one of the most consistently good books on the shelves right now. The time after Forever Evil hasn’t really progressed as much as I hoped it would, but it has still been captivating. Lex Luthor has discovered Batman’s secret identity, and has hired Captain Cold for a mystery job. Issue #32 introduces us to the DOOM Patrol, a group of misfits that follow the guidance of “Chief” Niles Caulder. The Doom Patrol has been around since the late 1960’s, and has gone through several incarnations throughout the years before returning to the classic team in the New52. I’m not a big fan of them, but they could add an interesting element to how they deal with the new Power Ring. Sherif

Batman Eternal #17 C-

This book has taken a stiff nosedive for me in the past couple months. While I appreciate the Easter Egg characters that have been popping up in this exasperated love letter to Batman, they just don’t fit fluidly within the story. As a reader, I still have no idea what the purpose of the story actually is. I know that Carmine Falcone is the ultimate villain (or is he?), but shelling out four bucks a week to be led on this wild goose chase just isn’t turning out to be worth it anymore. I think something that has turned me off is the amount of supernatural activity that takes place; Batman has never been a fan of magic, nor I a fan of reading it in his books. Hope isn’t completely lost, though. I still really enjoy anything with Tim Drake and Harper Rowe in it, and the Pennyworth father-daughter scenes are pretty juicy. The book has substance, but there is just too much filler material to satisfy me lately. – Sherif

What seems to have started off strong and well intentioned has seemingly turned into something that is moving along at a snail’s pace with what appears to be little direction. I don’t really see where this is going anymore and I would almost prefer that they move it to a biweekly a book and have them pick up the pace. There is too little going on each issue too hold my interest. I want to know where things are going but it seems like they want to draw things out as long as possible to drive the sales as low as possible to get it canned before they ever finish the story. Only time will tell where this is going but, the end can’t come fast enough. – Robert

Bodies #1 – C-

I’M SO CONFUSED, kinda. I’m not really sure what’s happening in this book, but I do understand one thing. There are dead bodies lying in the street, there is a secret organization where everybody is loved, both the bodies and organization have been going on for centuries, and I’m sure they are connected in some fashion or another. Other than that, all I got to say is, “What? Ummm Okay.” In my opinion it’s important for any new series to make it clear to the reader the jist of what is happening, otherwise I become frustrated and don’t really find an interest to come back. However, if the new story brings a great cliff hanger and suspense, then I will want to return. Sadly, Bodies did not do this for me. I’ll admit there were some cool elements to the book such as the view points from various different time periods, and I’m slightly interested to know more about those time periods, but the bodies themselves, eh. I’m sure it’s really cool, I just wish more was presented for a first issue. – Evan

 

IDW Comics:

Samurai Jack #10 – B+

I absolutely love this series. Samurai Jack has always been a favorite of mine, and this month we get a new artist, who although stay true to the classic Tartakovsky-style, he also adds a grittiness to it which goes great with the mind invasion storyline in this issue. We get some great flashback shots from the first episode and get to see again how Jack is truly the best warrior of the animated and comic universe. Definitely check this issue out, as it is a great story and could be a great introduction to the series in general. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Black Science #7 A-

The second chapter of Black Science begins a lot like the second season of a television show would. The characters have all grown, there are larger-scale obstacles in their way, and the readers have no idea what is going on. In many ways, it’s business as usual. The team is trying their best to find their way back home, but find themselves deeper in doo doo than before. The biggest difference comes in the form of the narrator. This time around, the story is told through the eyes of Kadir, the a-hole turned savior warrior after the events of the end of issue #6. The story still moves at breakneck speeds, and can be hard to follow, but I’m so enveloped in the world of Black Science that I would read it no matter what was going on in the grand scheme of things. – Sherif

Low #1 – B

Ah snap, things are about to get crazy – as if they aren’t already crazy enough. This story is interesting especially with its mix of syfy and drama. With Stel and Helmsman Caine taking their children out on their first hunt things were supposed to be fun and adventurous. However, IT’S A TRAP! I’m not going to spoil much but, things escalate quite quickly, and all I know is that this story has a long way from being over. With the fate of the Caine family, and Earth at risk, the only thing that anyone can have at this point is hope…and badassness. Yes, there are a lot of badass things in this book including the city, the Helm Suit, the the Scurvy Hoard and all the mess that’s about to go down. So basically if you are looking for what appears to be the start of a really cool science fiction series, Low may be for you. – Evan

 

Marvel:

Cyclops #3 B

I haven’t seen a father-son road trip this bad since A Goofy Movie. Not only have Corsair and Scott been repeated chased down by bounty hunters, but now their ship has crash-landed on an unidentified planet. The two finally end up getting some bonding time, though, as Scott learns some dark secrets about his father. I can’t help but feel for Scott, who is still bitter about his dad abandoning him at such a young age, but still manages to take the situation in with such maturity. Thanks to a dwindling supply of nano-bytes, Corsair only has about a month to live. I feel like this is a good move because it brings a certainty that this series won’t drag on forever, yet still keep its poignancy. – Sherif

They finally answered one of the major early questions readers were asking, but nothing really happened that is worth mentioning. Marvel recently seems to be in the habit of announcing people’s deaths well in advance and is making a similar move here. Cyclops’ time with his father is apparently fleeting and will need to be taken advantage of to the fullest, or it probably won’t and things will continue on as usual… who the hell knows anymore? This book started out as an interesting idea to me but I honestly can’t see this book lasting that long. This version of Cyclops isn’t nearly as interesting as the one he is trying to avoid becoming and like half of the new Marvel roster getting their own books, isn’t a strong enough character to be worth maintaining an entire series for. Hopefully that changes but if this book is going to continue with the intergalactic pirate theme, they need to make it more interesting. – Robert

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet # 4 – C+

Ok so this series has gone from weird t just about as crazy as I would be to live in Deadpool’s mind. As crazy as it has gotten, it has now gotten to a Sharknado 2: The Second One level where it actually become enjoyable to see where the story is going now matter whether a werewolf and other classic monsters show up with Deadpool or whether Al Roker will survive the New York Sharknado. But the series is almost over here and surely we will see Deadpool and Shiklah fall in love as we know they get married, but with a succubus, maybe love is not why they get married. – Jacob

Guardians of the Galaxy #17 C

After being individually captured, Star Lord has freed himself with the help of Captain Marvel and is on the way to free the rest of his crew. Seeing the team work well together even though they are so different is what makes me love this book. All in all, though, nothing really happens in issue #17. It was a fun read, but the story was a scattered mess of one-two page summaries and the Nick Bradshaw’s pencil work was not very appealing. There’s really no issue that will hold a candle to the fact that the movie is coming out today, but it’s nice to see that the team’s spirit is still alive. – Sherif

All-New Ghost Rider #5 A-

We’ve been waiting for five issues, but Robbie Reyes is finally ready to accept his position as the Spirit of Vengeance. This issue caps off his encounter with Mr. Hyde, and the battle here is one of the most artistically displayed fight scenes I’ve seen lately. I haven’t wanted to root for Ghost Rider this much since before Nicholas Cage ruined it for everybody. However, little by little we can see the suit eating away at his consciousness, tempting him to take more brutal action as Ghost Rider, and do so without impunity. I wish the book was longer, however, as each issue is cut short and I am always left wishing I had gotten more out of it. All-New Ghost Rider is easily one of the books I look forward to reading the most. – Sherif

 

Funniest Panel:

cyclops 3 funny 7.30

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

ghost rider 5 badass 7.30w

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

Batman Day – Best Graphic Novels

DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making me in the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! Or click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles.

batman day logo

 

 

Top 20 Batman Graphic Novels

The legacy of Batman isn’t dependent on the video games, movies or toys. Batman’s mythos is based on his greatest comic book tales. Whether canon or not, each story we chose here added to the collective representation of who we have built the Batman to be. Whether or not they are the “best” is not what we aim to debate, but these are the stories that define the Batman to us.

 

20.) Batman and Robin: Reborn

After Batman was “killed” by Darkseid in Final Crisis, I was almost ready to throw in the towel for reading comics. How could DC get away with killing off Bruce Wayne? By putting Dick Grayson in the cowl, that’s how. Grant Morrison’s idea to make the former Nightwing into Batman helped fill the part of the void left by Bruce’s departure. It was like reading a completely new book, as the dynamic between Dick and Damian Wayne was a far cry from the father and son one that Robin shared with Bruce. There was also a noticeable amount of humor that just hadn’t existed between Batman and Robin, the two taking on a big brother-little brother relationship. Dick tried to assume the fatherly rol, but it was often shoved back in his face by the prodigal Damian, often too smart for his own good.

 

19.) Batman: Zero Year

The mega-arc from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo just ended today, and it has already secured a place among my favorite books of all time. The time period prior to Frank Miller’s Year One is one of great mystery, so for us to get a complete detail of his rise to becoming the Batman. Bruce’s journey is full of tidbits that had never made it into other comics; thanks to the fact there was no canon material to prove Snyder right or wrong, he could really do what he wanted with the story. A show-down with the Red Hood Gang and the introduction of the Riddler, as well as a different take on the origin of James Gordon were just some of the twists that made the arc feel familiar, yet brand new. Greg Capullo’s art is on point. His model of the first Batsuit is incredible, complete with purple gloves and all. This book is a love letter to Batman, and you don’t need any previous knowledge to enjoy and understand it.

 

18.) Death in the Family

When Jason Todd learns that his biological mom is still out there somewhere, the stubborn Robin runs away from home to track her down. His hunt leads him to the Middle East. He does end up meeting his mom, but hits a patch of bad luck when she ends up being on the Joker’s payroll. Yikes. Long story short, the Joker beats Robin senseless with a crowbar before leaving him and his mother in a warehouse with a bomb. There’s no happy ending here, as Jason Todd blows up just before Batman can save the day. This wasn’t all bad news for fans though, as DC had actually released a survey asking people whether or not Robin should be murdered. His death was a particularly brutal one, like something you’d see on Goodfellas, and considering Jason was just a kid, a lot of people felt it was too much. The largest impact Jason’s death had was on Batman’s psyche, haunting him for years. He considered Jason’s death the worst failure he’s ever had.

 

17.) Mad Love

Vroom! Vroom! Harley Quinn tries so hard just to impress her man in this story, but she just can’t win. After putting on a special outfit and enticing the Joker, he shrugs her off, brooding over his failed attempts at catching and killing the Bat. So Harley does what any loving woman would; she captures Batman all on her own. As she brags to Batman about how proud Joker will be, Batman tells her that he only cares about himself, but Harley shrugs it off (Note: If Batman is telling you your relationship is toxic, you know something is wrong) Excited to share the news with Mistah Jay, he becomes infuriated, telling Harley that he had to be the one to do it or it didn’t matter. That’s when things stop being funny. Joker continues to beat Harley, pushing her out of the window and into the trash. Coming from an abusive home as a child, this was really the final straw for Harley, as she renounces the Joker… for a little while anyway. Relationship woes aside, I gained  lot of respect for Harley after Mad Love.

 

16.) Under the Hood

Jason Todd, like most superheroes, couldn’t stay dead for long. However, the way that he came back was very unique from the rest of the comic book world. Taking on the moniker of the Red Hood, named after a gang Joker ran with when he turned into the white-skinned psycho he is today, Todd returns in a big way, sweeping the crime world by taking it over, and annihilating anybody who opposes. Bitter from what he considered Batman letting him die, Jason turned to more extreme measures in dealing with the bad guys. It takes Batman a while, but he finally figures out that the Red Hood is somehow Jason Todd. Cutting into his action, Black Mask joins with other super-villains to put a hit out on Red Hood. The Joker ends up captive in a room with Red Hood, who savagely beats Joker and prepares to kill him. In the end, Batman is forced to make the choice of stopping Jason from killing Joker, driving a wedge further between them.

 

15.) No Man’s Land

Gotham has suffered an earthquake of catastrophic proportions, resulting in a city-wide blackout. Civilization as we know it has ceased to exist, and random gangs have began vying for territory all over the city. Meanwhile, Batman is nowhere to be found as Bruce Wayne in in DC, fighting for national aid to Gotham. What makes the story great is that all the minor characters who never get the spotlight deserve play a major part in the resurrection of Gotham. The story feels very real and everybody acts how you would imagine they would in that kind of situation. Citizens’ fears are felt just as much as the police’s bravery. James Gordon is just the bit of hero that Batman was, proving that you don’t need to be Batman to make a difference. This huge event spanned nearly 15 series and six months, making it one of Batman’s largest-scale stories of all time.

 

14.) All-Star Batman and Robin

For some reason, this Batman is really pissed off. All-Star Batman and Robin isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s one of the most entertaining stories I’ve read. Not only does Batman get laid, say “Goddamn” a lot and defeats the Green Lantern by literally using the color yellow. The books chronicles the recruitment of Dick Grayson as Robin and Batman’s introduction to the Justice League, as well as a few other minor events. The Batman in this book is a raging asshole; he puts his hands on Alfred, constantly belittles Robin and shows little value in the life of criminals – notably by hurling a Molotov cocktail at a group of them as them erupt in flames. The real take-away are the beautiful full-page spreads by Jim Lee, who manages to calm down the rage-aholic writing of Frank Miller.

 

13.) Dark Victory

The sequel to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s The Long HalloweenDark Victory continues along the lines of a mystery story that just happens to have Batman characters in it. We get an introduction to Robin, and a brand new villain with a new shtick, The Hangman. Many of the corrupt politicians from Year One are found hanged to death by this mystery murderer. We also get to see the complications of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship, but Batman feels perpetually alone, refusing help from Catwoman and Gordon on numerous occasions.

 

12.) Knightfall

Bane gets overlooked a lot of the time for being a hulking beast, but he’s one of the smartest villains in Gotham. In Knightfall, he strategically breaks out all the villains from Arkham, wearing Batman out as he tried to contain the situation. Bane deduced Batman’s secret identity, meeting him in the Batcave for a super-sized beat-down, ending in Bane shattering Batman’s spine and his confidence. It was an eye-opener for fans that realized defeating the Batman was, in fact, possible. Batman began a rigorous training regiment with Lady Shiva to get his mojo back, and charged Jean Paul Valley (Azrael) to take over as Batman in his stead. JPV let the role go to his head, and before we knew it, he had modified the Batsuit to become a nightmarish Azrael suit. The first volume of the arc was the best, but there were still enough interesting events in the rest of it to warrant reading.

 

11.) Battle for the Cowl

Bruce Wayne is gone, and Dick Grayson must take up the mantle of the Bat, but is reluctant. Sensing that Batman is gone, an impostor show up to take the gig over. That impostor ends up being a sociopathic Jason Todd. In an attempt to stop Jason Todd, both Damian and Tim Drake are shot and severely wounded. At this point, Dick realized that only he can inherit the mantle of the Bat. The story isn’t that long, but the repercussions of it echo all the way into Bruce’s return.

 

10.) Joker

Batman’s number one villain gets his own mini-series in this story by 100 Bullets‘ Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo. The story is told through the eyes of a common criminal looking to join the ranks of Joker’s gang. This perspective, unlike the first-person perspective of the supplementary Luthor book, enhances the perspective that nobody really knows what the Joker is thinking. Reading the book, you get lost in the madness, but sober right up as you realize just how frightening Joker is. In a confrontation with Harvey Dent, Joker glues shards of broken glass to his fists in preparation for the fight. This is right after blackmailing him and right before raping Dent’s wife. Joker also commits other unspeakable acts such as: skinning a man alive, shooting over a dozen people (not all in anger) and stabbing one of his own men in the eye with a glass bottle. This book is a clear example of digging beneath the surface and realizing you probably shouldn’t have.

 

9.) The Black Mirror

Before Scott Snyder was awarded Batman in the New52, he wrote The Black Mirror, a creepy story about the dark reflection in Gotham that stares back at our protagonists. Commissioner Gordon, Gotham’s hero on the police force, beloved by the people, is hiding something, or rather someone, when it turns out that his estranged son is a complete deviant. Dick Grayson, meanwhile, who was still Batman at the time, infiltrates an auction held by The Dealer, where items used by villains were used – the item for bid was the crowbar The Joker used on Jason Todd before murdering him. It’s all pretty gruesome stuff, and would set the tone for the dark material in the New52 relaunch.

 

8.) The Killing Joke

Alan Moore’s stand-alone story is commonly thought of as the greatest Joker story ever told. There are plot points in this book that would remain canon and have repercussions that lasted decades. We get a good glimpse into the Joker’s twisted psyche, as he visits the home of Barbara Gordon and shoots her point blank, paralyzing her. The Joker then kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, takes him to an abandoned amusement park (I think Gothan has one too many of those) and shows Gordon pictures of his daughter, all to prove that even the most upstanding citizen can lose their mind after one bad day. The ending to The Killing Joke is very artistic, and many believe resulted in the death of the Joker.

 

7.) Flashpoint Batman: Knight of Vengeance

Flash might have been the headliner here, but the alternate timeline that Batman was set on was as clever as it was tragic. When Flash altered reality by way of the Speed Force, Batman’s origin changed with it. Instead of Martha and Thomas Wayne taking the bullet, it had been Bruce. Engrossed in guilt, Thomas dealt with the situation by becoming Batman. This Batman was much more lethal with his methods, and operated a casino in town where he oversaw all the crime in town. Meanwhile, Martha developed another coping mechanism – laughter. My mind was blown. The Waynes, who were once the Jay-Z and Beyonce power couple of Gotham City, were now bitter enemies. The story ends in tragedy (as most Batman stories do), and all I could do is thank the stars that Flash was able to set the timeline straight again.

 

6.) Batman: Year One

Frank Miller’s Batman wasn’t always insane. The quintessential origin story, Year One took us through Bruce Wayne’s first attempt at fighting crime. In short, he kind of sucked at it. Gotham was a city where the rich got fat at the poor’s expense. While Batman was making his introduction on the streets, James Gordon had transferred from Chicago to be met by a very corrupt police force. Bruce and Gordon’s stories paralleled each other very well, adding to the feeling they would work well together. This is as good as any place to start in the Batman mythology if you don’t know where to start reading.

 

5.) JLA: Tower of Babel

Batman has a contingency plan for everything – even his friends. When Justice Leaguers start dropping like flies, with methods specifically designed to eliminate them, everybody is completely lost as to the mastermind who came up with these designed traps. Everybody, that is, except for Batman, who had kept a file detailing the Justice League’s weaknesses in case they got out of control. Ra’s al Ghul, who had a habit of being able to sneak into the Batcave whenever he wanted, sneaked in and stole the files, intending to use them to immobilize the heroes while he did his global domination thing. As Batman is the only one left to defend the world, he must undo the damage that his files wrought on the League. Tower of Babel was great commentary on whether or not that much control over a situation is a good thing, especially when the information wasn’t secure.

 

4.) The Dark Knight Returns

A retired Bruce Wayne has watched his city fall apart without a Dark Knight to protect it. It would seem, though, that the world is not ready for his reemergence, as Superman, who has pretty much become the President’s bitch, must make an example of this vigilante. That’s really the least of Batman’s worries, as he takes on Two-Face, a revitalized Joker, and a gang of punks called the Mutants. The story is chock-full of socio-political commentary that has stayed relevant throughout the decades.

 

3.) Batman: The Long Halloween

The Long Halloween was the first comic book I’ve ever read, and I was instantly hooked right in. Armed with Jeph Loeb, one of the greatest comic book storytellers in recent history, and the unique art style of Tim Sale, this book was enthralling. Part mystery, part action, Batman had to solve murders around town that were committed on holidays. He even enlisted the help of Calendar Man. The story takes place early in the Batman timeline, chronicling the transformation of Harvey Dent into Two-Face and before Jim Gordon was Commissioner. The story included a plethora of villains, and when the headlining Holiday is finally found out, it’s a big Aha! moment you just don’t get in comic books anymore.

 

2.) The Court of Owls

Scott Snyder kicked The New52 off with a bang, as a brand new series with a brand new villain emerged. The Court of Owls are an underground society of Gotham’s oldest and wealthiest families. They control everything going on in the city, and have decided that Bruce Wayne and the Batman have got to go. With an army of trained, slightly-undead soldiers called Talons at their disposal, they are an instant force to be reckoned. The owl-like masks, as well as the detailed Talon design added to the Courts intrigue, and the way Capullo arranged the panels when Batman tangles with the Owls in their maze echoes the insanity Batman feels. While the reboot allowed for tinkering to the mythology, Court of Owls actually added a lot of interesting gadgets and tidbits to it. At a whopping twelve issues, this book won’t fail to hold your interest.

 

1.) Hush

Call us biased, but Hush is the best Batman graphic novel of all time. In no other book are you introduced to so many beautifully drawn villains. Jim Lee’s art in Hush will go down in history as legendary, with a mixture of regular pencils and even taking a stab at water colors. Hush also marks the return of Jason Todd from the dead and introduces Thomas Elliott, Bruce’s childhood friend. Like other great mysteries by Jeph Loeb (The Long HalloweenDark Victory), you don’t find out who the villain is until the end of the book. In Hush Batman finally lets Catwoman into his heart, giving her a big smooch and revealing his identity to her. This has since been undone in The New52, but it has remained canon in my heart. Hush is the book that made me officially fall in love with comic books, and it’s one any Bat-fan will enjoy.

Batman Day – Best Batsuits

DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making us into the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! And click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles. 

batman day logo

 

 

Top 35 Batsuits

Batman’s duds are one of the most iconic in comic books, and yet his appearance changes over and over. The Batsuit protects not only his internal organs, but his secret identity. Giving so much as Batman, it’s a common psychological evaluation to say that Batman is his main personality, who he really is, and not the reckless playboy that he gives himself off as being. The Batsuit, like everything else in fashion, has been changed many times to fit the times and the different circumstances that Batman has found himself in. Not all of them are suited for frequent use; some are great for a special occasion, and others defined a generation. Let us know what some of your favorite Batsuits are in the comments!

 

35.) Rainbow and Zebra-Striped Batman

Batman may be a hardcore vigilante hell-bent on serving foolish villains with a steaming plate of justice, but there is no denying that this man is fancy as fuck. Years ahead of his time, Batman was donning zebra print years before it would make its way to the discount section of Walmart’s snazzy lingerie section. Like most fashion revelations, this was completely by accident. While Batman and Robin tangle with Zebra-Man (Detective Comics #275 in 1960), a magnetically-powered villain, Batman accidentally triggers Zebra-Man’s device, becoming Zebra-Batman and gaining powers he cannot control. A few years earlier, Batman stupefied criminals in Detective Comics #241 (1957) by wearing a brightly colored Batsuit every night he was on patrol. That’s a diva attitude if I’ve ever seen one. The story goes that he was trying to distract crooks from knowing that Robin had a broken arm, but we know the truth – Batman just can’t stand not being in the spotlight.

zebra batsuit

Rainbow-Batman

 

34.) Zur-En-Arrh

Batman has enough back-up plans to fill the Chinese alphabet. He always has an answer for every tough situation he finds himself in, whether it be an expected betrayal or outsmarting his most cerebral villains. What happens when the hard drive is wiped clean? What happens when Bruce Wayne has been injured so badly that he has no idea who he is? There’s a plan for that! In Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P., Bruce finds himself in that exact situation. He calls on his inner psyche to bring out Zur-En-Arrh, a chaotically-colored outfit of a brutally-insane version of Batman. Those familiar with Morrison’s arc may not know that Zur-En-Arrh was inspired by a visit from the alien Tlano of planet Zur-En-Arrh in Batman #113 (1958). I guess you never know what you’ll pick up along the way.

Zurenarrh

 

33.) Two-Face Batman

When Batman “died” at the end of Final Crisis in 2008, it shook the comic book world. While the Bat-family grieved, Dick was begrudgingly convinced that Gotham needed a Batman, and that he was the right man for the job. However, allies and villains alike noticed something amiss with Dick in charge. The interim Batman was a decent substitute for them, but he was decidedly not the original. This led Two-Face to do some reconnaissance (Batman #690) to find out just who this impostor Batman was. Dent infiltrated the Batcave, following Dick home from a night of patrol, and beat the ever-living crap out of Batman. The Two-Face Batsuit Dick saw was nothing more than a hallucination, thanks to needles laced with Scarecrow’s fear toxin, but it was a rude wake-up call that Dick needed to be more than Nightwing in a Batsuit, and commit to becoming The Batman.

two face batman

 

32.) Batman One Million

Batman is not a man, but a symbol. It should come to know surprise that the Dark Knight’s legacy lives on in the future – and not just Batman Beyond future; we’re talking about over 80,000 years away here. As you can assume, any future in need of a Batman probably isn’t a great place to be. A mass kidnapping and massacre of thousands of families led to one of those children making the choice to become the Batman. It was kind of a crappy time period, but at least in that future, Pluto was still a planet. This minor Batman from the much too distant future, where Hero Worship is more literal than figurative. Check out 1998’s JLA #23 for more on this mysterious Batman of the future.

Batman-One-Million

 

31.) Gotham by Gaslight

I’m a sucker for historically-involved books, so this 1800’s adaptation of Batman hit the spot. The story focuses on Jack the Ripper, and is just as much horror as it is mystery. I love the high-tech gadgets he uses now, but there’s something refreshing about just a guy with no armor running around catching dangerous criminals with just his mind and fists at his disposal. The suit itself isn’t anything special – just a petticoat and a homemade utility belt, but there is a noticeable steampunk vibe to the costume.

Batman_Gotham_by_Gaslight_001

 

30.) Batman Inc.

To take a page out of Jay-Z’s book, Bruce way is not a businessman; he is a business, man. When Bruce returns to life, he decides to spill the beans that he has been privately funding Batman for years. Nobody seems to care about this, or worry about the millions of embezzled funds, or look into the fact that he has privatized military protection with no sanction or permission because he’s the GD Batman. The suit isn’t too much different from the New 52 look or the classic look, but it effectively bridged the past and present together. To boot, the emblem design in the middle looks like something a car company would put on their luxury lines.

Batman Inc

 

29.) Adam West

Back before a six-pack was mandatory for an actor to play Batman, there was Adam West. Don’t get me wrong, thanks to some onomatopoeic wordplay, I still believed Adam West to be a highly capable crime fighter. This classic Batman TV series was the first place people really got to see Batman as a real live person – and don’t even talk about the 1940’s serial; that “costume” was an insult to mothers who sew everywhere. No, this high-budgeted series defined what Batman looked like in real life at an early age, influencing comic books and future Batsuits to come. Pay homage to the Bright Knight.

adam west batman

 

28.) First Appearance

When Bob Kane and Bill Finger first thought up The Bat Man, he had no idea the colossal movement of fans he would start. The playboy-by-day, vigilante-by-night was just as terrifying 75 years ago as he is today. The original design had a ridiculously-shaped head with long, pointy ears, and PURPLE GLOVES! They don’t make any sense, but they have become canon all the same. Legend has it that DC was in a rush to publish and had meant to come back to re-color the gloves blue, but it never happened. Regardless, the purple gloves command fans’ respect, as they were the gloves that started it all. You can find the purple gloves adorning action figures, reprints and currently in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman: Zero Year.

Batman First

 

27.) Batzarro

Could you imagine an anti-Batman who is literally the opposite of Batman? Wayne Bruce, the World’s Worst Detective from Superman/Batman #20, is from the same world as Bizarro (Superman’s er… twin). He is easily recognized by the upside-down Bat symbol on the front of his chest. While he tries to help Batman and Superman, his backwards strategy always seems to get in the way… like the way he guns down married couples in Crime Alley, or the fact that he can’t make a complete sentence. Batzarro is cut from the same cloth as Batman and Bizarro, and watching him try to do good is adorable when he fails at it. His costume, albeit just a simple twist from the original, is rare enough that few people know it exists and knowing about it adds a feather to your Batman nerd cap now.

Batzarro

 

26.) Kingdom Come

Everybody ages; there’s no secret there. So how does the Dark Knight continue to instill fear in his enemies when he’s barely strong enough to open a jar of pickles, let alone put the smack down on some rowdy punks in Kingdom Come? Well, some high-tech gadgets (duh?), a group of punk superheroes called The Outsiders and a rehabilitation suit. Even underneath the actual Batsuit, Bruce needs mechanical assistance to stay mobile; years of taking damage have left him with the face and body of Clint Eastwood. Batman stays through most of the battle as a general, making moves from the inside, but thanks to this armored Batsuit, he’s able to kick ass some whipper-snapper booty off his proverbial lawn.

kingdom_come_batman_0

 

25.) Justice Lord Batman

Batman is all about his business, but Justice Lord Batman really don’t play. In an alternate timeline, the Justice League (Episode 37-38 of Justice League “A Better World”) of a parallel universe stopped being so lenient when the most warm-hearted member of the team, Flash, is murdered by Lex Luthor. An enraged Superman kills the President and the Justice League Lords become overseers of the Earth. All the personality is sucked from the Batsuit, making it solid black with a shiny silver emblem on the front. The change was meant to symbolize a more regal Batman, and it looked dope.

batman justice lord

 

24.) Alex Ross’ Justice

If you’re a middle-aged Batman, and you want your enemies know you’ve been thoroughly pissed off, then Justice #9’s armor is the outfit for you. After being brain-washed to fight against the home team, Batman comes to filled with guilt, embarrassment and rage. This futuristic suit is inspired from the Adam West Batmobile, which I’m not sure whether it is a compliment to the suit or the car. This baby can shoot rockets and fly, which makes it a shame that it’s only used for one attack; most of its display involved just being aesthetically appealing.

Justice Batsuit

 

23.) Blackest Night & Brightest Day

Batman has gone through a lot of costume changes, but few come with the aid of an intergalactic Lantern ring. In Blackest Night, following the death of Batman, he was resurrected by the Black Hand as an agent of death. For fans still mourning from the death of Bruce Wayne, this was unspeakably cruel… but incredibly cool! Zombie Batman was the closest thing we had to the real thing. The whole Blackest Night arc was a nightmare for the entire DC Universe, so imagine our delight when DC announces that Batman will be The White Lantern, the key to ending the war on the Black Lanterns. Things become a bit more complicated than that, as Batman isn’t the chosen one, but you never really doubted that we could be. Batman would play with with other rings in his time, but the significance of serving as guardian of Life (White) and Death (Black) is not overlooked.

White_Lantern_Batman_002

 

22.) Tim Burton movies

Michael Keaton was my introduction to Batman. All black suit, glowing yellow symbol on the chest, this is what I imagined Batman looked like for the first years of my life. I would later learn that the suit’s head and neck was one complete piece, which made turning Keaton’s head nearly impossible. This led to the inadvertent creation of “The Hero Turn,” where a hero will turn her/his entire body instead of just craning the neck. Prosthetic issues aside, there’s no denying that this Batsuit is classic. Burton’s final product was basically a blacked out, metallic version of the comic books at the time. The suit has served as a cornerstone of Batsuit innovation, and served the film perfectly.

michael-keaton-as-batman-in-batman-returns

 

21.) Knightfall‘s Mask of Tengu

When Bane broke Batman’s back in Knightfall: Volume 1, he took away more than his mobility. Bruce’s confidence was completely shattered. Following a miraculously-short rehab stint, Batman set out to find Lady Shiva to help train him to be at his peak. Shiva, being one of the world’s deadliest assassins, puts Batman through multiple tests, including killing a man, which he does to her satisfaction (…or does he??). To inspire Batman, she makes him wear the Mask of Tengu in the form of the Bat. Tengu masks are of Japanese folklore, representing legendary animals, and often referred to in Buddhist lore as demons, harbingers of war. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but the Mask of Tengu marked the moment when Batman got his groove back.

Mask_of_Tengu_002

 

20.) Dark Knight of the Round Table

According to history, Batman isn’t exactly the most chivalrous superhero. He does not mind striking a lady and he will not be there in the morning when you wake up, but that doesn’t mean he won’t stomp a mudhole in your ass and walk it dry. In this Elseworld mini-series, Bruce Waynesmoor takes up the sword to protect his house. Batman is one of the few heroes to really make his story work in the Dark Ages, and the Batsuit chosen in the story is easily one of the most creative costumes to date. Renaissance Festival patrons, eat your heart out.

knight-of-the-round-table

 

19.) The New52 Batman

The New52 relaunch was a scary, scary time in the comic book world. Batman had just started an incredible new journey with Batman Inc., and Superman had just renounced his American citizenship. The reboot came swiftly, and most notable in the debut issue of Justice League #1 was a group of classic heroes with NO UNDERWEAR on the outside. Say what you want about the excessive line work, which was applicably toned down in Capullo’s Batman version, but after 70+ years, it was time for these heroes to grow up and wear their briefs on the inside.

New52 Batman

 

18.) Neal Adams’ 1970’s Batsuit

If you’re searching for a time to mark the modernized Batman design, look at Neal Adams’ design. Known popularly as the “1970’s Batman design,” Adams, along with writer Denny O’Neil, created some great moments with Batman. The blue and grey outfit might be considered old now, but it has still universally inspired the designs that are still used today. Adams also gave Bruce Wayne some much-needed chest hair, which was the picture of manliness as can be when he is swashbuckling shirtless with Ra’s al Ghul in the desert. It’s time we bring back the rugged Batman and the classic suit that symbolized one of the best eras Batman has had in the past 50 years.

nealadamsbatman

 

17.) Jason Todd as Batman

Batman’s disappearance had left quite a void in the Bat-family, and Dick Grayson stepped up to fill the void. While the immediate family supported him taking over, Jason Todd felt entitled to part of the inheritance. This led to the Battle for the Cowl arc, in which everybody lost their damn minds vying for the mantle of the Batman. Jason, who had been the Red Hood to that point, fanciest himself a new Batsuit, a frightening costume equipped with several guns and a mouthguard that looked much more like a muzzle for a rabid dog. And that’s exactly what he was at that point. Thankfully, Dick Grayson prevailed and Gotham wasn’t protected by a sociopath who murdered thugs, leaving behind passive aggressive sticky notes that just said “I AM BATMAN.”

BattleForTheCowl1_-_jasontoddisbatman

 

16.) The Dark Knight Returns

While the slightly-armored Batman is a popular choice in comic book lore, there’s something innately appealing about an insane, bulking old man who is willing to risk getting shot and stabbed just to get close enough to sock you in the face. The Batman in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns was just that man. His suit is sewn, not bolted. There is no insane tech to pull out and save the day with. It may not be realistic, but it made it that much cooler to be the Dark Knight. Miller’s signature giant bat emblem was also on display, which has become the flag for old-man strength, and looks to be the inspiration for the upcoming Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice film.

DC Comics Batman Superman The Dark Knight Strikes Back you work for me

 

15.) High Seas Batman

Pirate Batman may have only lasted one glorious issue, but by golly, it was awesome. When Bruce Wayne travels through time in the highly-illogical-but-what-the-hell-he’s-back The Return of Bruce Wayne, he takes the role of several time-stamped characters, including a caveman, a pilgrim and a cowboy. None of them can touch the grace of High Seas Batman and his glorious beard, which translates surprisingly well to an action figure. The Return of Bruce Wayne is one of the zaniest canon stories in the last decade. It’s an adaptation that would work if given his own series, but with DC taking their franchise titles so seriously, I don’t expect anything this outrageous will ever happen, so enjoy Pirate Batman for the national treasure that it is.

high-seas-batman

 

14.) Flashpoint Batman

Flashpoint was a Flash-centric storyline, but that doesn’t mean he has to the only one getting a cool makeover. The Batman in this story is not the Wayne we know. Instead, Bruce’s father Thomas has taken over duties, and he is one frightening S.O.B. Using torture techniques and war tactics to interrogate his enemies, this Batman is always angry, highlighted by his red-tinted suit and unseemly facial hair. He doesn’t have nearly the amount of gadgetry Bruce does, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous and those glowing red eyes support the opinion that Bruce’s dad is ten times scarier than he is.

500px-Thomas-Wayne-Flashpoint

 

13.) The Suit of Sorrows

Speaking of an angry Batman, the mystical Suit of Sorrows was created during the Crusades, given to a knight deemed Pure of Heart. Well, not so much it turns out, as the suit drives him crazy, causing him to slaughter hundreds of people. So, what better present to bestow upon your baby daddy than the genocide-inducing Suit of Sorrows in Detective Comics #842? This wretched garb with chain mail and a flowing, ragged scarf makes Batman stronger, and faster, but also gives him quite the temper. The suit wasn’t around for more than one issue, since it was stolen from the Batcave and wound up on Azrael.

suit of sorrows

 

12.) Batman Inc. partners

Batman has gone global! After announcing his plan for global protection in Batman Inc., Bruce travels the world, recruiting Agents of the Bat. Some of them are more prominently featured than others, with Africa’s Batwing (whose mantle is now being carried by Lucius Fox’s son), England’s Knight and Squire, and Argentina’s Gaucho taking up most of the spotlight. There’s also the Native American Man of Bats, France’s Nightrunner and Japan’s Mr. Unknown. All of the characters have outfits inspired by their native lands, and they’re all really cool. Even if most of them haven’t gotten their due in a story, they all added flavor and diversity to the Bat-team.

batman-inc-special-cropped

 

11.) Nolan’s Batsuit

The Dark Knight trilogy gave Batman the justice on screen he deserved, and it started with this highly advanced Batsuit. It’s as close to Iron Man’s suit as Bruce can get, spending a fortune in the Wayne Enterprises R&D department to optimize it for kicking bad guys in the face. It’s too bad it couldn’t buy Christian Bale a better Bat-voice, but the suit was a work of art. Batman looked truly invincible in it (except for that time he got stabbed, but who’s counting). It took the armored, blacked out Burton version and took it up a notch, with only the utility belt having any color to it at all. It wasn’t just for looks, either. The suit and cape also served many practical purposes throughout the trilogy. I dare the BVS Batsuit to hold up to this masterpiece.

Nolan Batsuit

 

10.) Greg Capullo’s Zero Year Batsuit

The current artist of Batman is rewriting history. The Zero Year arc is telling the story of the year Bruce Wayne became Batman, and the makeshift costume that Bruce puts together is an instant classic. It’s inherently realistic and easily cosplayable, with a survivalist twist. At his best, Batman can improvise vital supplies and gadgets with whatever he can fashion. He was MacGyver before MacGyver was MacGyver. Plus, I have to mention the purple gloves, a callback to the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics #27, 75 years ago – a personal touch we found out from an interview with Greg Capullo himself was Snyder’s idea

original

 

9.) The Animated Series

Thanks to the insanely talented Bruce Timm, TAS had one of the most iconic Batsuits in history. Simple, sleek, and easily replicated, there wasn’t a lot of detail visually: black cape and cowl, grey suit, and shining yellow emblem on the chest with a black Bat symbol. The beauty was in the eyes, where pure white lenses covered his baby blue eyes, yet still managed to capture all of Batman’s expressions. TAS is also famous for using the full repertoire of bells and whistles that the utility belt can handle, making for some resourceful and entertaining moments.

BTAS batsuit

 

8.) Insider Suit

Leave it to Bruce Wayne to make a dramatic entrance. After returning from the dead in The Return of Bruce Wayne, you would think he would come home, and that his cohorts would put together an intimate Welcome Home party upon his arrival. Not this guy! In Bruce Wayne: The Road Home #1, Batman dons this super secret spy suit, likened to one from Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, hacks into the JLA Watchtower, spies on the city and inexplicably beats the crap out of Batgirl. There was an upside to the fact that Bruce is a complete jerk. The suit’s powers included abilities inspired by the entire Justice League: Martian Manhunter’s camoflauge, a synthetic Green Lantern Ring, the ability to tap into the speed force, a built-in polygraph and a ninja setting. The only thing left to wonder is why the hell he never incorporated these abilities into any of the Batsuits that came later.

Batman Insider Suit

 

7.) Batman Hush Batsuit

The actual Batsuit in Jim Lee‘s Hush model gets a high mark no matter how you put it. DC Comics frequently uses his rendition in almost any large-scale graphic of the Batman. The detail and shading of the suit makes it a shoe-in for the top ten. Lee’s idea to show ears on Batman’s head was one that, in hindsight, missing from almost everybody else’s version. Bottom line, when I think of Batman, I think of Jim Lee’s Hush, down to the coloring, short pointy ears and perfectly-shaped Bat symbol. The Batsuit in Hush also stays perpetually dry, even though there are several rainstorms throughout the book. So there’s that.

JimLeeHush_mini

 

6.) Azrael Batsuit

When Bane put the Batman an indefinite time out, he sought out a successor to temporarily take over while he left to rehabilitate himself. At the time, the two logical options were Dick Grayson and Jean-Paul Valley, who had spent years as Azrael, the Angel of Death for a religious group of nuts before rejecting them and training under Batman. Valley was chosen as the fill-in, which seemed an adequate replacement – until he began alienating himself from known allies. Soon, Azrael, adorned in a newly designed suit of death, was murdering villains and allowing collateral damage. Before Batman came back to reclaim his title, Azrael had managed to put Bane down – and decidedly left him alive.

azrael

 

5.) Damian as Batman

At the current point in time, Damian is dead (ish?), but he once the heir to Batman’s empire. In the flash-forward issue Batman #666, Damian is featured as a future Batman. The years have grown the son of Batman into a jaded, yet concise and highly intelligent crime-fighter. His signature look was capped by a large grey trench coat with a popped collar sporting the bottom of the Bat symbol, in essence giving his whole head and shoulders the appearance of a curled up bat. To boot, the trench coat he sported contains a variety of pockets for weapons to use in addition to the utility belt. The thought of Damian taking over the family business is a tantalizing one. Who wouldn’t want to see this former League of Assassins trainee put the hurt on some of his dad’s enemies?

tumblr_mxi6n0ztWk1qzky0mo1_1280

 

4.) Batman Beyond

Kids these days have no idea how much work we had to put in to solve crimes. Nowadays they have the whole world at their fingertips. Terry McGinnis reaped the benefits of Bruce Wayne’s hard work by having the Batman Beyond suit bestowed upon him. This baby had everything a person could want in an outfit: chameleon-style camouflage, rocket boosters, and a list worthy of its own Wikia page. Terry was indeed worthy of the suit, but he had a heck of a lot easier of a time with his vigilante-style justice than Bruce did initially.

batman-beyond-from-batman-new-52-issue-20

 

3.) Batman’s Heavy-Duty Armor Suit

What does Batman do when the foe he’s up against just simply can’t be taken down by normal means? He builds himself a giant suit of armor – ya know, just in case. In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Batman prepares himself for a one on one battle with Superman by hopping into a giant suit of armor. Even recently, in the Court of Owls arc, Batman prepares for the slew of Talons by jumping in his Thrasher suit. The best part about him being in these gigantic wrecking balls is that it is only a distraction while another part of his plan formulates, cementing the brains to go with the brawn. Although, part of me just wishes he would smash things from time to time.

batman-armor-batman-v-superman-a-very-different-batsuit-teasedthrasher

 

2.) Red Son Batman

You can take Batman out of the freest country in the world, but you can’t take the freedom out of Batman. In the Elseworld story Superman: Red Son, which begs the question, “What if Superman had landed in Soviet Russia instead of Smallville?,” we find a very patriotic Superman drinking the Kool-Aid of Soviet Russia, following her every command, not realizing the oppression he is leading. Leave it to Batman to take on Soviet Superman and Wonder Woman all by himself, and holds his own for a fair amount of time. He does this all while wearing an Ushanka and heavy coat. No matter where he lives or who he is, Batman is defined by his actions.

red son batman

 

1.) Green Lantern Batman

We mentioned earlier that Batman had been the hand of both life and death when he wore the White and Black Lantern rings, respectively, but the greatest power in the universe, crafted by the Guardians of Oa, was once at his mercy. When Hal Jordan returned from his hiatus, he practically begged Batman to have a go at using the Green Lantern ring in 2006’s Green Lantern #9. The result was a flurry of power that actually took Batman aback. He turned down any further use of the ring, which was disappointing because just the taste of seeing Batman holding one of the galaxy’s most powerful weapons was enough to secure a top spot in the list of Batsuits.

GL Batman

So Far This Week…May 28, 2014

Oh my stars and garters, Hushsters! We’ve skipped an entire week of news. In our defense, we were a little busy. We took a trip to Houston to visit Taylor Lowe, where we went to Comicpalooza. Not only was it a great time, but it was also kind of a milestone moment for us. We went as press for the first time, interviewed Batman artist Greg Capullo (also a first), met Stan “The Man” Lee, geeked out at the Buffy panel, and lots more. Check back on the site, or here for more of our Comicpalooza stuff, including a James Marsters panel and an in-depth synopsis of the weekend.

 

LeVar Burton is Kickstarting to relaunch Reading Rainbow. Will it work? Hell yeah it will; the campaign is “flying twice as high,” already shattering it’s $1,000,000 goal in less than 24 hours. “Take a look; it’s in a book. Reading Raaaainbow!”

X-Men: Days of Future Past was released this past weekend. It was “cool,” but we weren’t really that impressed. Here is my full review (SPOILER FREE) of the movie. On the bright side, they’ve released what the special edition Blu-Ray set will look like (August release?) and we will definitely be picking that up.

Sad times, as we lost one of the world’s greatest poets and civil rights’ activists in Maya Angelou.

A bunch of peeps are being cast for Season 5 of Game of Thrones. If you’re a book noob like me, then you probably don’t know who any of these guys are.

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are better at acting than you are.

The Hateful Eight will start filming in November. The Quentin Tarantino film was canned previously when the script was leaked, but the director has since had a change of heart.

There goes more of that #SixSeasonsAndAMovie Community talk, with Hulu being the newest candidate to pick up the freshly canceled show.

Don’t say Denzel is an too old to kick ass… speaking of, when did Hit-Girl start looking like that?

My most anticipated game of the summer came out yesterday. Watch Dogs promises to be an open world adventure of hacking goodness – the game has already broken the company’s record for single-day sales (the same company that owns Assassin’s Creed, mind you). The release hasn’t been smooth sailing, though, as bomb threats and crippling glitches have slowed it down. Hopefully we can sit down and murder this game to have a review to you in the next couple weeks.

If you’re already over hacking, then check out this extended trailer for Arkham Knight, complete with gameplay.

We like to think our Game of Thrones reviews are decent, but let’s be honest: if we could watch Seth Rogan and Snoop Dogg get high and then review GoT every week, we probably wouldn’t write them anymore.

Boardwalk Empire alumnus Charlie Cox will be playing lead Matt Murdock in the Netflix original Marvel series, Daredevil. I loved his work on Boardwalk, so I think this is a great pick-up.

DC Comics has gone through quite the transformation since they launched 52 new books in 2011… but here we are in 2014, and they’re close to canceling 52 books in three years. Yikes.

The guy who played Barry Allen in the 1991 series has been cast as Barry Allen’s father in the new Flash TV Series.

Comic book legend Alan Moore is launching a mobile app called Electricomics, designed to help self-publish independent creators. This could be the answer to what creators do after ComiXology was acquired by Amazon earlier in the year.

Ben Templesmith is releasing his Kickstarter-backed The Squidder, a four issue series post-apocalyptic tale.

Here are this year’s Television Critics Award nominationsOrange is the New Black getting a nomination is HUGE. Could online streaming television really be the future of how we watch shows?

Marvel is looking to do something superhero-ey, but not what you’d expect. Grab your 3D printer and get ready to recharge your imagination with Big Hero 6.

Ooh! That reminds me, ComiXology is giving away a free comic book each day for 20 days. We are currently on day three, where you can pick up My Little Pony: Pony Tales Vol. 1. Check back each day; they occasionally have cool stuff, too (if My Little Pony isn’t your thang).

That Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist webseries we were talking about a while ago? Yeah, well it’s out. And it’s the shit. Devour it all right now.

Here’s Johnny! Depp plays Whitey in next month’s documentary, WHITEY: America vs. James Bulgar.

Jaden Smith wore a Batman costume to Kim K.’s wedding. And it was white. Who wears white on the brides day? Really?

The Mad Men mid-season finale involved a very odd musical number.

The Batman vs. Superman film finally got a full title, Dawn of Justice.

BATMAN… IN SPACE!!! LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham was announced. We’re just add that to the list of things we’re going to go broke for.

 

Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear

 

Weekend Wrap-Up…May 18, 2014

In preparation for Denver Comic Con, we’ve been writing daily articles spotlighting guests at the con – called “Respect My Craft. Just last week, we wrote on:

Godzilla! Everybody’s favorite giant lizard monster is back at it. This opening weekend of Godzilla was the highest-grossing film of the year. This isn’t a very accurate representation of the movie, but it’s close enough. Expect our review soon.

heisenberg godzilla

The Game of Thrones got really juicy last week, with Peter Dinklage giving one of the show’s best performances (I only wish it could have lasted longer). Tonight’s episode, “Mockingbird,” is sure to be a thriller. Judging by the name, I’d say Littlefinger (who carried around a mockingbird pin) and Sansa, our “Little Bird,” will get plenty of attention.

Speaking of GoT, creator George R.R. Martin gets animated with it, as he appears on Robot Chicken in this clip inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds.

The government actually has a zombie fallout plan. Tax dollars wasted or bigger conspiracy??

The first full trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has dropped. There’s a big emphasis on Murphy’s Law, and finding life on another planet when the food source on ours runs out (we’ll always have Cheetos, right?). Matthew McConaughey and My Cocaine (Michael Caine) star in this sci-fi thriller.

Everybody calm down! The next DC Animated project announced is… Aquaman and his New52 origin story. I hope all you people who were complaining of too many Batman films are happy when Arthur Curry starts riding seahorses and talking to dolphins. Jokes aside, Geoff John’s Aquaman run to kick off the re-launch was pretty good, and made the masses respect the ridiculed character. There’s still a while until this comes out, but the next DC Animated film to come out will be Batman: Attack on Arkham.

The new teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy is out, and Rocket Raccoon’s voice is heard. Blam! I murdered you!

DC Comics has released the creative teams and covers to the HUGE September crossover for Futures End. They will feature 3D holographic covers, and if they’re anything like last year’s “Villain Month,” they will fly off the stands. Just beware, there is going to be an awful lot of cash-grabbing issues, most of which will be terribly written and uninteresting.

While Spider-Man might have been the originator of the superhero selfie, DC Comics will be releasing selfie-themed issues coming this August.

Cinderell-y, Cinderell-y night and day its Cinderell-y!  Next year the live action version of Cinderella comes out.  Considering Cinderella is Adrian’s favorite Disney movie of all time, this is pretty big news.  Check the teaser below:

Get ready to eat and read at Chipotle.  The restaurant chain is debuting literary cups with the likes of Toni Morrison, Jonathon Safran Foer, Malcolm Gladwell and many more contributing to musings that are sure to be written in perfect typography.

#Showoff

DC Comics is hooking up with NASCAR, which I can imagine won’t reach either demographic to get into the other, but it’s worth a shot.

While I’m still reeling off the news of Far Cry 4, there’s news afoot that Halo 5 will be coming to X-Box One next year.

This was bound to happen, and I mean that in a great way, Skylanders will be coming to IDW Comics.

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

 

 

 

“Respect My Craft” – Janelle Asselin

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

 

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Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 “Respect My Craft” articles

 

Name: Janelle Asselin

Profession: Editor/Writer

Notable Work: Helped relaunch DC Comics’ New52 as editor, weekly columnist for ComicsAlliance.com

 

“If you really want to “get me” and prove that sexual harassment doesn’t exist in comics, I don’t know, maybe it’s better for you to answer honestly about how you haven’t been sexually harassed. Because certainly sending me rape threats proves my point, not yours.” Janelle Asselin

“What do you do with a BA in English?” Well if you’re Janelle Asselin, whatever the hell you want.

Like a lot of us 80’s babies, Janelle was first inspired to get into comics by the 90’s X-Men cartoon. Also, she loved going to Pizza Hut because they gave out X-Men Adventures comic books with their kids meals. Outside of that, she read a lot of X-Men and Spider-Man – and declared that Daredevil: Echo (story of a misguided deaf, Native American girl nicknamed for her ability to “echo” fighting styles – pretty badass) changed her life, but stopped reading comic books until she ended up dating somebody in college who was a huge nerd and re-introduced her to the comic book world.

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To get her foot in the door, she attended cons, and gathered the courage to talk to people in the industry. One of her contacts, DC Comics’ Mike Kants was her network into the industry, as she packed her bags and moved to NYC to pursue a career in the industry. Previously, she had held editing position at Newsarama.com and the now-defunct Fangoria Graphix, as well as contributed to weekly reviews for Shotgun Reviews. Asselin started out as an editor for DC Comics, where she worked on books like Gotham City SirensRed RobinBatman and Robin, and Birds of Prey, which transitioned into the New52 run, as well as other launch titles, such as: the aforementioned Birds of PreyDetective ComicsBatwoman, and Savage Hawkman. By the time she left the company in 2011, she was credited for editing over 300 issues – many of which had a direct effect on our love for the industry.

While working at DC, she wrote her thesis, “How Can the Comic Book Industry Increase Sales Among Women? An Analysis of Factors Affecting Female Consumers” for her Masters in Publishing at Pace University. The study pointed out that DC is falling behind by ignoring the fastest growing demographic in comics (17-33 year-old women). It includes a pretty solid model that companies can follow to reach a largely untapped demographic (aside form, you know, the moral victory of becoming a more diverse company).

 

After finishing said thesis in 2011, Janelle left DC in 2011 to work for Disney Publishing Worldwide to serve as editor, and occasional writer, for publications ranging from Marvel to Mickey. When the division down-sized in 2013, Janelle moved to freelance work. Since then, Janelle has been writing for ComicsAlliance.com, which features two recurring articles: “Hire This Woman” gives exposure to women working in the industry that has the scales of gender equality tipped heavily out of their favor. She also writes “Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week),” which is a showcase of sorts for exceptional art, and the panels that string it together. Janelle also writes for Bitch magazine, writing the hilarious and aggressive piece, “Don’t Be A Dick,” taking aim at underlining issues in the industry – ranging from pet peeves to bigotry.

The boobs that started a war.
The boobs that started a war.

If you can’t tell by now, Janelle is a fervent, unapologetic feminist. She has been fighting for quality throughout her entire career, but perhaps one of her most progressive actions in her career came from a simple comic book cover critique. The review itself was harsh, but deservedly so. She tears apart the new book for looking like too much of the same thing – ridiculously-sized breasts on teenagers, subconsciously snubbing minority characters and general technical issues like signature placement and poses. However, when the net got ahold of the article, it turned into a violent “femi-nazi” shit-storm. Retorts from series’ artist, Brett Booth (who didn’t even draw the damn cover), and plenty of cyber-assholes poured in like oil on top of fire, culminating in several rape threats. Instead of retreating, Asselin used the threats, which were ironically contributing responses to an online sexual harassment survey, as a platform to reveal the ugly side of what females in this industry endure, fans and creators, just to be part of it.

It made people realize that feminism in comic books was no hidden agenda, no war against DC Comics by a disgruntled employee, and certainly not some chick who didn’t know what she was talking about. “Among other jobs I’ve held in comics, I worked for years in the Batman office at DC and worked with a lot of top-tier comics talent. In addition to years of experience actually editing comics, I also have a Masters of Science in Publishing. My entire career, particularly the last 5 years, has been based around the study of broadening comics readership to wider, more diverse demographics and I am damn well qualified to critique the cover of a comic book.” And judging by the way Marvel has embraced industry minority (gender and ethnicity) characters, it’s revealed a big reason that DC (sans-Batman) is falling behind Marvel in sales consistently. Women in the industry are gradually finding a voice, and it’s because gals like Janelle Asselin are willing to step up and let it be heard.

Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with the fifth Doctor in a long line of Whos, Peter Davison.

Man of Steel Review

Movie Review – Man of Steel

Genre – Comic Book, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Director – Zack Synder
Cast – Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner
Alluring element – It’s Christopher Nolan’s Superman. That should be enough.
Check it out if you liked – The Dark Knight trilogy, The original Superman films, comic books

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):
Plot – 9
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 10
Cinematography – 8
Effects/Environment – 9
Captivity – 8
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity – 7
Soundtrack/Music – 8
Overall awesomeness – 9

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I’ve hi-jacked the movie reviews to write about Man of Steel, the newest reboot of the iconic Superman character. After a wildly successful run in the late 70’s and 80’s with Christopher Reeves as Superman, the Big Blue Boy Scout has really had trouble getting any traction in a decent movie. After the forgettable Superman Returns in 2006, fans of comics and movies alike were excited to hear that this story would be the vision of the great Christopher Nolan, whose mind-blowing Dark Knight trilogy had breathed new life into the Caped Crusader and helped propel comic book movies back into the mainstream. As a disclaimer, I must say that I am, unequivocally, a Batman fan. I have always loved the internal struggle and have always related to heroes with tortured souls. For this reason, it has been hard for me to really enjoy Superman in comics and on screen, where seemingly the biggest problem he has is that he is just too plain awesome to fit in with normal people. Having got that initial bias out in the open, I really enjoyed Man of Steel. It’s a bad-ass action film, wrapped in some sci-fi and fantasy.

Man of Steel follows the formula of an origin storyline, but with plenty of Walking Dead-esque twists so you can usually guess but never really predict what will happen next. It’s a nice quality that I think even the biggest comic book hipsters can agree adds more to the experience than straight-from-the-pages adaptation would. Unlike the original film, which tried to stuff as much Superman knowledge as they could into it, there was decidedly less Super-stuff in Man of Steel. More than anything, main focus of the film is the identity crisis of Kal/Clark/Superduperman; having three names is enough to give anybody confusion about who they are. This adds an endearing quality to the film, as you can relate to childhood Clark as he puts up with bullies, notably “Dicksplash,” who makes multiple appearances throughout the film. It’s as a child that you really see the transparency of the Man of Steel. He wants to help people, he wants to fit in, and he goes on a long journey full of great short scenes to try to do so, but never really stays in one place long enough to make the audience feel a part of the experience.

In terms of acting, I think they really hit it out the ballpark on this one. Henry Cavill is the perfect Superman. He displays his emotions on his cape with a calm demeanor, much as Superman should. Lois Lane is portrayed adequately by Amy Adams (I still can’t believe they cast a redhead as Lane. The nerve! LOL) and Kevin Costner takes a break from Ocean Therapy Solutions to put on a good act as Jonathan Kent. What really stole the show was the great portrayal of Russell Crowe and Michael Shannon as Jor-El and Zod, respectively. Crowe plays Superman’s Kryptonian father in a capacity that we really hadn’t seen in this medium. It’s such a good performance that you almost forgive him for being in Man With the Iron Fists. Almost. Michael Shannon is great at playing total a-holes. From Revolutionary Road to Boardwalk Empire, Shannon has made me quite the fan, and he feels right at home with crazy ol’ General Zod. The only gripe I have here is that past the above-mentioned characters, nobody really has enough screen time to merit any attachment. The end of the movie left me wanting more Daily Planet, more Clark Kent as a child, more awkward childhood gaffes and more focus on the Kents. MORE MORE MORE. In a positive light, it gives the writers plenty to explore when the next installment comes out.

It might go without saying for a story that begins with a great civilization not listening to their eminent scientist when he says that the world is about to explode, but there are a lot of dumb choices made by a lot of different characters throughout the movie. At the beginning of the movie, Lois Lane says, “I get writer’s block if I’m not wearing a bulletproof vest.” This cannot be more true as she is always putting herself right in harm’s way, screaming and falling and I’m sick of it. Where is feisty Lois Lane? Why is she so easily knocked off her game? Johnathan”Pa” Kent also makes some poor choices, in action and words, that seem out of character. Remember in the commercial trailers, when Clark asks whether or not he should have let those kids on the bus die, and Pa responds with, “Maybe?” Yeah, well there’s really no more extent to that conversation… Ma & Pa Kent are the entire reason for Clark’s moral compass; why marginalize that to focus on the fact that he’s alone and misunderstood? And how can you choke a Kryptonian if they don’t need Oxygen to breathe? You can’t, but they do it anyway. Because it’s cool.

If you’re a fan of subtle gestures, there are Easter-eggs galore here. Somebody did their homework! LexCorp trucks, a peak at the fortress of solitude, along with a nod to the ridiculous product placement of the original film (and many other neat details) all add up to a film that really lets the fanboys feel like they’re appreciated. One great fire-starting dialogue I’ve wanted to start is the topic of gender-roles in comics. Since their New 52 launch a couple years ago, DC Comics apparently has an agenda to reboot more characters that were traditionally male as females. I’m not saying this is a poor choice, but it only works when those female characters have an impact. Case in point,  Jenny Olsen. Jimmy Olsen has long been Lois Lane’s protégé/lackey in the comics, television shows and movies. He’s full of corny “gee-golly” and “oh boy” banter, but not in this movie. In this movie, he is a she, and she adds absolutely nothing to the film. If we’re changing characters from men to women to make a point, then make a point! Another theme I found in the movie, which was not so subtle, is the comparison of Superman to Jesus Christ. Lost son, performer of miracles, incredibly good hair. I don’t want to spoil anything about the film, but it could perhaps explain why Superman can be such a difficult character to relate to. I feel like it’s their way to really start the conversation of religion in comics. To sum all that nonsense up, it’s clear that Man of Steel has more to say than what the dialogue suggests and the subtleties make it an enjoyable film multiple times.

The fight scenes are grand in scale, totaling Smallville and Metropolis in ways that, as an adult, really have you wondering, “Now who is going to pay for that??” Especially enjoyable about the action in Man of Steel is the ability to make the fights look like super-humans fighting, with lightning quick movements and earth-shattering hits. As a result of this, the height of the fight scenes can look like a cluttered CGI mess at times. The cameras during the movie are very shaky, likely to help synthesize the fast and loud nature of the film. This can be a bit of a distraction from the events of the film, or even cause a bit of motion sickness if you have to sit at the front of the theater. Overall, the cinematography is jaw-dropping. Kandor (the capital of Kryton) looks like it belongs in Naboo. And don’t even get me started on Jor-El’s cool ride; it’s a freaking butterfly-dragon! I also love Zod’s force in their legitimately frightening Helghast-like masks and the “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” PSA had me about to fall out of my seat.

For the first time in a long time, I truly felt like I was seeing an origin story. A brand new spin on a character I felt going in that I knew so well. While I won’t be trading in my cowl for rimmed glasses anytime soon, I definitely can revel in the fact that another sensational comic book movie has been released. While I have my personal bleats about what makes a Superman story, I love Nolan’s interpretation of The Man of Tomorrow and I think a Justice League movie would look great with Henry Cavill leading the way. Please go see this impressive film!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib