The Arkham Sessions is dedicated to the psychology of Batman, so it seems almost like an ethical duty to cover a movie about Arkham Asylum, Gotham City's mental health facility for the "criminally insane." In the newly released direct-to-video animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham, a highly-skilled group of assassins and outlaws are called together by Amanda Waller to take part in a risky -- possibly life-threatening -- mission to infiltrate Arkham Asylum.
Does it help or hurt that members have a history of incarceration, criminal activity, and psychiatric treatment related to lack of moral sense? Perhaps Waller is brilliant to devise a plan that can only succeed via the knowledge and insight of persons who have been through the system.
In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we gently put aside the VHS and screen a contemporary work from DC Universe Animated. Use the player above to listen to our spoiler-free analysis of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, Black Spider, Killer Frost, KB Beast, and, of course the Joker.
This week sees the start of DC Comics' big The Multiversity event series, and if the related books on sale over at ComiXology -- ostensibly to get everyone up to speed -- are anything to go by, then that thing's going to be chock full of weirdos. Seriously, I already knew they were going to be throwing Captain Carrot in there, and for some reason people can't get enough of that one story where Batman becomes a Dracula, but there are some deep cuts in there, like that one Chuck Dixon comic where the Justice League are all cowboys, and this weird thing from the '90s called Kingdom Come, where Superman fights Cable.
And then there's Kamandi.
But should Kamandi start crossing over into the main DC Universe, it won't be the first time. For that, you have to go back to Bob Haney and Jim Aparo's Brave and the Bold #157, for a story where Kamandi was sent back in time, and ended up being brainwashed, made invulnerable, poisoned with snake venom, joining up with the mob and punching Batman in the face. It... It's a weird one.
Courtesy of DC Comics, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions, graphic novels, toys, statues and other collectibles going on sale in November 2014 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s New 52 superhero line; the mature readers Vertigo imprint; the DC Entertainment brand of special projects, digital-first, all-ages and licensed titles; and the limited edition products from DC Collectibles. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy before they sell out.
I don't know that from experience, of course (if anything, I fall on the villain side of the spectrum), but I've read enough comics about superheroes trying to get some semblance of a normal life back that I can say that with certainty. Artist Ryan Quickfall clearly gets that, too. In conjunction with Shutterstock, a leading purveyor of stock images of people holding clipboards, he has made some super-cool images of pharmaceutical aids for some of the world's most popular superheroes.
There's a brand new demo of Batman: Arkham Knight on display at Gamescom in Germany, and from the sound of it, the game--Rocksteady Games' return to the franchise after a one-game break--will be a pretty fun time.
After a fight sequence at Ace Chemical and the introduction of some new gadgets, there's a fairly sequence involving the Batman popping out of the moving Batmobile (!) and onto rooftops. Unfortunately, you have to be at Gamescom to play that demo at the moment, but GamesRadar has nabbed a few screenshots to whet your whistle. Check them out below.
Q: If you had to create an iconic but stripped-down version of the Legion of Super-Heroes, like for a TV show, which eight to ten characters would be on it? -- @benito_cereno
A: One of the weirdest things about the DC Universe right now -- which is full of exactly as much weirdness as you'd expect from a 75 year-old superhero universe that's less than three years into a baby-and-bathwater reboot -- is that the Legion of Super-Heroes isn't a part of it. I mean, no, they were never the biggest franchise DC had to offer, but they were a pretty constant presence from 1958 to just a little while ago, and there's a good reason for that. I mean, they're teenagers from the future. That's quite literally a concept that never gets old.
That said, it's only a matter of time before they get rebooted, so let's while away some time figuring out just who I'd put on the new team.
As much as a good many vocal fans absolutely hate that he'll be playing Batman in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck seems like a pretty OK guy. He's even, according to a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, taking the hatred more or less in stride.
Starfire has a problem. Thanks to her alien upbringing and her unfamiliarity with the intricacies of Earth languages, she has a hard time communicating with her friends, who are always using the metaphors. She tends to be a little more literal, and that's making her feel a little "uncool" around her "teen" "pals."
Fortunately, this week's episode of Teen Titans GO!, "Knowledge," finds Raven willing to help, with the show going into full-on Schoolhouse Rock mode for a song about how to spice up her conversations, and it is amazing.
When DC Comics launched its "New 52" Universe a few years back, Suicide Squad was pretty much the bottom of a barrel that wasn't really in good shape to begin with. Despite being an attempt to revive one of the best, most elegantly crafted and thought-provoking superhero books of the 1980s, the New 52 version was a noisy, soulless mess that ended up doing almost irreparable damage to characters like Harley Quinn in the name of making something more extreme, in a true late '90s Juggalo sense of the word. When the series was finally canceled and relaunched, I honestly wasn't expecting it to get any better, especially since the new lineup included the addition of one of the worst new DC characters of the past several years.
But we're two issues into what writer Sean Ryan (and about 27 artists so far) is doing with the re-relaunched title, New Suicide Squad, and while I'm not sure, I think it might actually be the smartest team book DC's putting out.
What if you woke up one day and your life was completely different? What if all the things you wished for were suddenly a reality -- you have the job you always wanted, the person you want to be with loves you back, and the people you thought were lost forever are alive again?
One of the most remembered episodes of Batman: The Animated Series is "Perchance to Dream," a powerfully dark story in which Bruce Wayne essentially wakes up to a "perfect" life. His parents, Martha and Thomas Wayne, are alive and well; he is engaged to Selina Kyle; and he is no longer burdened with the job of being the Batman. In fact, Bruce learns that someone else, some other disguised vigilante, is effectively ridding the streets of criminals. No need for him to be Batman anymore. Bruce is initially ecstatic, grateful, almost relieved to learn he can live a normal life. "The nightmare is over," he tells himself.
Only it's not.
We discuss the fascinating neuroscience of dreams and the growing research supporting our ability to control our actions in dreams. Furthermore, by raising the scenario of being "plugged into a dream machine," this episode dares us to contemplate the importance of an existence in which we have free will, motivation, and actual contact with an unfiltered reality. Before The Matrix, The Nexus, and Inception, there was Batman: The Animated Series.
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