Q: I've been doing a big Batman read-through and just got to No Man's Land. Why does that story work so well? -- @thealan81
A: When you consider how complicated it was to put together, how long it dominated an entire corner of DC's line, and how just plain weird it was right from the very premise, it's kind of amazing that No Man's Land works at all, let alone that it works well. You're right, though --- of all the Batman crossovers that the '90s brought to us, the one that closed out the decade by leveling Gotham City and building stories around Batman spraypainting a gang tag on ruined buildings to mark his territory is easily the best.
But as for why it works, well, there's one reason that's actually pretty simple. It is, for all intents and purposes, post-apocalyptic Batman.
CBS’ Supergirl has understandably kept its distance from an actual Superman appearance, both for in-story purposes and the character’s cinematic exploits, but would a familiar face help? Smallville star Tom Welling never technically got a chance to don the famous cape, and answers if he’d be open to stepping in as Supergirl’s Man of Steel.
It’s time for another installment of Pointed Commentary, the feature where grizzled Arrow watcher Matt D. Wilson and newcomer Chris Haley dig into the details of Team Arrow cleaning up the filthy, crime-ridden streets of Star City.
In this week’s “A.W.O.L.,” Dig and the rest of the team try to stop a team of rogue military men from taking over ARGUS while Felicity finds herself in a debate with...herself. Charlotte Brandstrom directed the episode, and it was written by Emilio Ortega Aldrich and Brian Ford Sullivan.
The moment Supergirl was announced to cast a young Kal-El, we knew some explanation was required. All was soon revealed that Alan Moore’s iconic “For the Man Who Has Everything” story would spawn an upcoming Supergirl of the same premise, sending Kara back to a normal life on Krypton, as seen in the first official photos.
Judging by images alone, you would think that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is actually just a clothing catalogue for privileged vigilantes and alien superheroes. There’s so much pensive staring and gloomy brooding and handsome, chiseled faces in nice jackets and expensive button-ups. All that’s missing is a caption with a price tag and one-click ordering.
Legends of Tomorrow has already confirmed we’d visit a future Star City with Green Arrow successor Connor Hawke, as well that a unique version of Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen would show up, and the combined truth will delight fans. Not only will a future Oliver appear in Legends’ sixth episode, but Amell will sport both the famous comic goatee, and a major nod to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
Ever since it launched, Grayson has been defined by blending the bizarre extremes of espionage action with the even more bizarre extremes of a superhero universe full of villains with guns for eyes and mind-altering hypno-contacts, and as you might expect, it's the latter that gets most of the attention. This is, after all, a spy story set in a world of masks and capes, and there are certain expectations that the genre brings with it.
This week, though, Tom King, Tim Seeley, Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox have taken things in a decidedly more spy-inspired --- or inspyred --- direction. Not only do we get a cover that evokes the beautiful opening of A View To A Kill, and a five-page sequence of Dick Grayson singing a song that sounds an awful lot like the theme from Goldfinger, but, in case you missed it, Dick Grayson just kicked a very familiar face.
Listen, I gotta tell you about this dream I had last night. It was so weird 00- DC comics had launched a line of comics based on Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but they were doing these completely bonkers takes on all of them. Like, Scooby-Doo was set in the apocalypse and Scooby had a techno-monocle that allowed him to communicate through emojis, and Wacky Races was mashed up with Mad Max: Fury Road, and they even got one of the designers from the movie for it, and there was a big crossover with Space Ghost and Jonny Quest. And the weirdest thing of all was that the Flintstones were just the Flintstones, but drawn by Amanda Conner. Bizarre, right?
Wait a second... I'm just catching up on the news, and --- holy cats. It wasn't a dream. DC Comics is actually doing a Hanna-Barbera line with post-apocalyptic Wacky Races and emoji-monocle Scooby-Doo. This is actually happening.
"Do you bleed?" It's easily one of the more ridiculous things Batman has ever said in print or on film. Especially when you throw on that weird robot voice filter that Batfleck is using to disguise his identity. Still, as convoluted as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice looks, and weird as some of the decisions on the direction on the film have been, there are some things BvS appears to be getting right. Though the main batsuit looks like a duct tape and Ace bandage nightmare, the armored suit Batman dons to take on the Man of Steel looks rather impressive and pays proper tribute to The Dark Knight Returns. Its transition to toys has been better than the standard suit, too, as this new Hot Toys figure can attest.
The regular Batman figure from Hot Toys BvS line looks like someone stuffed Ben Affleck into a few garbage bags, then filled out the extra space with sweatsocks. He looked lumpy and not at all like an actual human being. Here, that problem is alleviated by the form-fitting armor. You don't have to worry about the fabric suit, and the machined pieces bring a refined genius to the look. Batman's been around the block. He saw things when he still wore the traditional outfit of his youth, and this armored get up isn't just a deterrent against Superman, it's the only way the aging normie can stand toe-to-toe with an adversary that isn't in his 50s. All the while, the suit is wholly in line with Batman's aesthetic, and won't be mistaken for some other hero's style.
Welcome back to Up To Speed, in which Flash TV show veteran Dylan Todd and newbie Ziah Grace break down the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts, and talk about what works, what doesn’t, and where the series might be headed.
This week, time travel confuses us, Patty finally calls out some gaslighting chumps, and The Flash crew take a creative page out of Clockstoppers for a truly wonderful pair of protective eyewear in “The Reverse Flash Returns”, directed by Michael A. Allowitz, and written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
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