Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

Singing, dancing, and underwear on the outside. What’s not to like?

June 14th, 2012 by Susie

By now we’ve all seen the Avengers, maybe more than once.  And the Amazing Spider-man and the Dark Knight Rises aren’t out yet.  so how to fill the on screen super-hero void?  May I suggest Holy Musical, B@man?  It’s the latest project by Team Starkid, the folks who brought you A Very Potter Musical, a staged parody of Harry Potter.  They’ve given Batman the same treatment and it’s just as funny though songs aren’t quite as catchy in my opinion).  Their production values are much improved.  They’ve put the entire show on their website and on youtube.  Watch it, it’s a good time.  and if you haven’t see a Very Potter Musical or it’s sequel, give them a shot.

On The Day that Batman’s Parents Died

June 6th, 2011 by Susie

On the Day Batman’s Parents Died

A poem by me


On the day Batman’s parents died


It was Christmas

It was New Year’s Eve

It was Halloween

It was Bruce’s birthday


They went to the movies (it was Zorro)

They went to the opera

They went to the ballet

They went to the movies (it was not Zorro)


Little Bruce’s mother scolded him

Little Bruce told his father he hated him

His father hit his mother

His mother told his father she was pregnant again


Bruce pretended to be the Lone Ranger

Bruce’s mother read to him from Alice in Wonderland

Bruce’s father dressed up like a bat

Bruce’s butler stayed home with a cold


A black cat crossed their path

A clown juggled for pennies

A crow died

A criminal got away


There was a full moon

There was no moon

It was everyday

It was the only day


This was inspired by the fact that every Batman comic I’ve read  or movie or tv show I’ve seen, has set every flashback to Bruce Wayne’s childhood on the day his parents were murdered.  Of course each one contradicts the last.  But why not?  It all happened.  It is the only day that matters.

’80s relaunches

September 29th, 2008 by jason

Because my library has them in trade, I started reading the 1980s relaunches of Superman and Wonder Woman.  The Superman trades collect John Byrne’s Man of Steel mini-series in Volume 1, and in subsequent volumes include his ongoing Superman and Action comics, along with Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway’s Adventures of Superman, along with some cross-overs with Legion of Super-Heroes and Booster Gold along the way.  The Wonder Woman collections are from the George Perez and Len Wein reintroduction of Diana to Man’s World.  Our heroes re-meet their iconic villains for the first time in these post-Crisis on Infinite Earth stories, which is a little weird, particularly now when you have continuity being turned end over end, and three different sets of Legions meeting each other.  But they’re so much fun to read, and particularly fun to look at how Byrne, Ordway and Perez are drawing everything.  Their clothes, their hair, their computers, everything is so very ’80s.  Is that Lois Lane or a slimmer version of Brigitte Nielson?

The stories seem a little quaint after so many years of darkness that we’ve been seeing recently.  There seems to be less risk, even though these take place before death’s revolving door.  Byrne even makes a point of telling everyone that all these super-villain attacks in downtown Metropolis are taking place on Sunday when no one is any of the office buildings being smashed.  How considerate of the bad guys.  There are some casualties, in the form of the recently introduced minor characters.  But you really don’t feel anything really bad is going to happen to our heroes any time soon.

There is something about these relaunches that makes me wonder, though:  Superman and Wonder Woman got restarted, but what about the third member of the Trinity?  Why didn’t Batman get reset at the time?  Were his books just selling that much more?  Was there some reset that I’m just not remembering?

Spiderman: Reign

July 27th, 2008 by Susie

I have been meaning to talk about about this one for a while.  I picked it up at a $5 trades table at Wizard World.  I recognized it a s something I had been intrigued by when it first came out, but not enough to buy. I did not quite remember what is was about.  Looking it over I surmised that it was the Dark Wallcrawler Returns.  After reading it, I was not wrong.  It has an awful lot in common with Frank Miller’s classic Batman tale.  It takes place in a dark possible future where an aged and haunted Spiderman returns from a long absence.  It even features a spunky young girl leading an army of children.  The scratchy art, and color pallet is similar as well.  However all that does is for me is to underscore some fundamental differences between the characters.  Even a scarred and suicidal  Peter parker is saner than Batman.  Because in the suit or out Peter is always Peter.  Where as Batman is always Batman.  Not that I believe Bruce Wayne no longer exists inside the Bat, he just is deeply buried.  Peter is just under the mask, and he is always aware of how crazy his dual identity can be.  Perspective is not Batman’s strong suit.  This story is not as original as the Dark Knight Returns was, but is still a well told Spiderman story.  And certainly worth the five bucks.

Batman: Snow

June 6th, 2008 by Martin

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I picked up Batman: Snow because it is another book drawn by Seth Fisher, but this was almost entirely without the abstract style that I loved so much about Will World and Big in Japan. The art is still distinctively Fisher, but without the weirdness, it didn’t feel terribly special to me. There are some images with a lot of detail that I feel are particularly great, but overall the art is just good, but not especially noteworthy.

The story telling was pretty straight forward, and it’s a good story, so it was a quick and easy read. This basically just re-tells the Mr Freeze origin story, with some minor details twisted and changed around, and the added dimension of Batman trying to put together a crime fighting “team” of his own. At the end of the book, the team and batman part ways, but there is mention of how some members of the team want to continue working together, just not for batman… I haven’t yet found any reference to what or who they might have become.

I noticed that this book isn’t (yet) added to the wikipedia entry on Mr. Freeze, but I’m really too sleepy to do anything about it right now.

Overall, this is well worth a read, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to find it unless you’re really into Batman or Mr. Freeze.

Batman: City of Crime

March 10th, 2008 by jason

City of CrimeWritten and laid out by David Lapham, pencils by Ramon Bachs, inks by Nathan Massengill, colours by Jason Wright, letters by Jared K Fletcher

Collecting Detective Comics 800-808, 811-814, this 287 page tome is something to really sink your teeth into. I read this not too long after reading the War Games epic which ran across all the Bat Universe titles, and found a world of difference between the two. Lapham’s thriller is much more cohesive than the sprawling chaos of War Games, perhaps rightly so, considering it’s coming from a single writer of a single comic. While appearing in the issues shortly after Ed Brubaker’s epic, the chronological time for this story is unknown. There are no cues saying whether it took place before or after, but the previous event is never mentioned that I could find. Robin is definitely Tim Drake, Akins is the police commissioner. Beyond that, it could really take place any time.

The title is apt: this is as much a story about Gotham as it is about Batman, maybe moreso. A beautiful gothic Gotham, beautiful like the wings of insect seen close up, a stinging, poisonous insect. Ever since Tim Burton’s film, Gotham has been almost universially represented like something out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, ironically enough, whereas Ramon Bachs give his Gotham a warmer feel. It’s the warmth of fresh blood, however, oozing from a slit throat. The first issue in the collection sets this tone, taking you on a journey through Gotham at night, a madman’s tour, pointing out the garishly painted masterpiece of a city. The price of admission is just a small bit of your soul. This is very much a prelude to the rest of the collection, lasting only 8 pages. This was originally a back up story, with the bulk of the issue having a War Games epilogue, but this collection only reprints this one.

Lapham has set the stage, and issue 811 contains the overture. Batman is seen sparingly, more hinted at, while Gotham’s residents go about their violent, unpleasant lives. Even the routine takes on a sinister cast when it occurs in Gotham. And the passing shadow in the gloom, preventing a domestic altercation with a thrown batarang, shows that Batman is there, even when not seen. He is an offspring of this city, but this parent does its best to reject its child, in much the same way as creatures in the wild attempt to consume their young. The characters start coming into play as the issue continues, lining up like a length of fuse, waiting for the spark to set them off, consuming each in turn just before the explosion that you know is coming.

The successive issues extend the plot, bringing in a few classic Batman villains, and hinting at a mastermind. There is much that is gruesome in this arc, and Lapham doesn’t shy away from the adult themes. Batman’s prime motivation in this story stems from an encounter with a Lolita-esque girl and his rejection of her advances. A run-of-the-mill tragedy in Gotham explodes into an atrocity to shake the city apart. We have an interlude in the action in issue 807 as a new act begins, and we focus on a specific neighbourhood. A magnifying glass is held up to a map of Gotham and we see this stretch of streets in detail, from the decaying dog in the gutter to the decaying crones gossiping on the stoop. Bachs’s art is glorious in its grotesquery, where we literally see all the warts. We also get to see Batman in a role that he seems so rarely used for anymore: being a detective. We see him almost as much out of costume as in it. The action ramps back up again for the rest of the arc, until the concluding battle royale.

This story worked in so many ways, compelling to me to keep reading far after I should’ve put it down for the night. It was nearly a compulsion to see what happened next, something that I haven’t found in comics as much lately. I can see where some might be frustrated with some of the convolutions that the story goes through, but it kept me riveted. I want to seek out Lapham’s other works to compare, see what he does with his own stories. The detail of the art kept me looking at panels over and over, picking up new things and little easter eggs with each new look. The muted colour palette fit in well with the noir revival setting, although it may have appeared differently in the single issues, as the trade used newsprint. I assume the single issues used the standard glossier paper, but the pulpiness of this story almost cries out for newsprint. The panels are on a black background, but a yellowing of aged newsprint wouldn’t feel out of place with these comics.

As I said, the chronology of this story isn’t pinned down, but in a real world context, Infinite Crisis is in swing, Jason Todd has reappeared as the Red Hood in the Batman comics, and One Year Later will start in just a few issues. The self-contained aspect of this story lets it exist on its own, outside of all of the continuity laden events going on in the rest of the DC Universe. No special knowledge, no real history lessons are needed here.