If you are a jaded, bitter superhero reader like we are here at ComicsAlliance, America's Grumpiest Comic Book News Site™, then you probably respond with announcements of variant covers with an eyeroll and a noncommittal grunt, and may even go as far as to say "Variants! Bah!" out loud to an empty room full of action figures. That's what we usually do, but not today, friends and neighbors. Not today.
Because today, DC Comics announced that most of the cape (and one He-Man) comic they publish in December is going to have a "widescreen" variant by Darwyn Cooke, and holy cats, they are some of the most beautiful DC superhero pictures we have ever seen.
It's been a long while since we heard anything of the highly anticipated Batman: Arkham Knight, the last word being that the video game was pushed from its original 2014 release slot into 2015. Now, DC and Warner Bros. Games announced that the final installment has a firm release in June 2015.
We are only a few weeks away from the premiere of Gotham, the Batman-adjacent television show focusing on a young Jim Gordon's early days as a cop in Gotham City, and that means that it's time for Fox and DC Comics parent Warner Bros. to ramp up the PR machine to get viewers interested in seeing what the Riddler was up to before he became the Riddler (he was talking about riddles a lot).
But while I may not have been too thrilled with the actual show, there's one pretty awesome thing to come out of it. For a promo, the producers got comics artist Jock (of Judge Dredd, The Losers and Batman: The Black Mirror fame) to recreate key scenes from the pilot episode to use in advertising -- which is a surprisingly rare thing in media based on comics.
Q: Given all that could have gone wrong, what about the concept and execution makes Batman Beyond work so well? -- @caseyjustice
A: Something must be going around these days, because I've seen a lot of conversations about Batman Beyond popping up recently. I even got into a little discussion with Jordans Gibson and Witt about a few places where -- at least in my opinion -- the flaws in the show, which I otherwise love, became too big to ignore. That's actually one of the things that made me want to answer this question for this week's column. The other was how you phrased it.
See, I've never considered the premise of Batman Beyond to be something that could've easily gone wrong, but you're absolutely right in classifying it as such. To me, it's always been more about how they built that show by taking the two best ideas in superhero comics and putting them together.
The thing is, that should've been a pretty difficult marriage -- and most of those flaws that I was talking about show up for that exact reason.
As everybody keeps saying in a rather dazed manner, it's stunning the amount of good to very good to excellent comics being produced at the moment, and I have a litany of fantastic and favorite people working in comics right now; a good portion of whom I've discovered via work published online. One of these is ace Swedish artist Hanna K., who you may know of her via her excellent Legend of Zelda comic which blew up Tumblr. Her Tumblr is the best place to acquaint yourself with her work: she makes wonderful, giffed comics, like this one, called Owl Cafe. She's also published a couple of books with Swedish publishers, Peow! Studio; Third Wheel, a beautiful, fluro-blue riso-graph tale about a couple of kids encountering a strange being in a ruined future, is due for a September re-stock. I recommend keeping an eye out for that re-print so you can nab yourself a copy. If you need further convincing, you can see a gorgeous eight-page preview of it here.
Here's another reason to love Hannah K.- this week she tweeted some pictures of her notebook showing off an adorable, ultra-modern, and very comfy-looking teen Catwoman re-design.
If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down an quantified into a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Ten Lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week, we're kicking it off with The Top Ten Underrated Batman Villains! The Dark Knight has an awful lot of notable foes, but there are plenty of also-rans, C-listers and one-shot villains who deserve better than being punched out and thrown into Blackgate, never to be seen again. So from the obscure to the unappreciated, here they are!
The CW has announced that Australian actor and former rugby player Matthew Nable, who American audiences may know best as Boss Johns from the movie Riddick, will play Ra's al Ghul in the upcoming third season of Arrow, starting with the fourth episode, "The Magician."
I'll be honest, folks: I have very little interest in Future's End as a line-wide crossover. DC Comics' tactic of derailing their books into weird tangents every September, a tradition that goes back to the relaunch of the "New 52" universe, never quite works as well as I want it to, and when you throw in the fact that we're peering into the dim and distant future of a world that we've only actually had for three years, and, well, no thanks, I'm good. What really had me worried, though, was Grayson.
I've really been enjoying what Tom King, Tim Seeley and Stephen Mooney have been doing with this book over the first few issues, but as I think we all know, there's no faster way to derail a brand new comic's momentum than to drop it into a crossover after two months. I almost didn't bother to read it, but I'm glad I did. It turns out that King, Seeley and Mooney have taken their Future's End tie-in as an opportunity to produce one of the most enjoyable single issues I've read in a long while.
This installment of The Arkham Sessions covers the final acts of "Robin's Reckoning," the highly-acclaimed two-part episode of Batman: The Animated Series, which explores the story of how Dick Grayson becomes Batman's sidekick. As we learned from Part 1, Bruce refuses to allow Dick to become involved in the case of Tony Zucco, the man who murdered Dick's family. For reasons unstated, Batman is determined to be the one to take Zucco down, causing a rift between Robin and himself. Despite Batman's efforts, it is Robin who captures Zucco. In the emotional conclusion, Robin is faced with a decision that could change his life forever.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson -- actor, wrestler, guy with quote marks in his name -- has tweeted what appears to be confirmation that he will play the role of Black Adam -- presumably in a Shazam movie from Warner Bros. -- by telling his followers, "My honor to become.. #BlackAdam".
Rumors about Johnson joining the DC Cinematic Universe have circulated for a while, with initial speculation that he might appear in Batman V Superman -- perhaps as Lex Luthor. In August, Johnson confirmed that he was in talks to take on a DC role, and tweeted a picture of Shazam, Black Adam, and Superman. He didn't specify which role he was up for, but many fans noted his resemblance to the villain Black Adam.
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