LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is going to be a positively huge video game.
I got to see that first hand when I played a brief demo at DC's booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego last weekend. First off, it's got a huge playground for players to explore. The "Beyond Gotham" of the title refers to outer space, and the game will go to a whole host of different worlds. Then there are the playable characters--105 or so, according to the game makers, and they include characters in both their superhero guises and as their secret identities. A new feature enables players to change from Clark Kent to Superman using a phone booth, for example.
After decades of waiting, fans of the beloved Batman television show of the 1960s -- or Batman '66 as it is known -- will finally be able to own all 120 episodes on home video, and in high definition. After protracted litigation with series owner Fox, DC Comics' parent company Warner Bros. has set November 11 as the on-sale date for the completely remastered Batman '66, which will be available on Blu-ray, DVD, digital, and, of course, a super expensive collector's edition that comes with all sorts of groovy stuff, including a selection of photos from star Adam West's personal archives (when you're as mature and sophisticated as West, you get to have "personal archives").
There have been five men to portray Batman in the character's eight live-action feature-length films, from Adam West in Batman '66 to Christain Bale in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. All five actors came with their strengths and weaknesses, but the best was Michael Keaton, who played the DC Comics superhero in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns.
In the first major scene of Batman '89, Keaton famously grabs a terrified mugger by the collar, holds him off the side of a building, pulls him close to his face, and hisses, "I'm Batman." As a 12-year old watching that moment on a VHS tape in my living room, I believed Michael Keaton. And I still believe him as a grown man watching it on DVD in my office 25 years later, even after having seen a half-dozen different Batman movies since.
I realize declaring Michael Keaton's performance as Batman to be not only my favorite Batman but the best Batman is a somewhat controversial statement, even (especially?) among my fellow writers at ComicsAlliance, but allow me to make my case.
There may be no better proof of just how much pop culture can shift in a quarter century than the above, 20-minute video Warner Bros. produced in 1988 to show ancient movie distributors who were not so sure a film about a dark, intense Batman would be something anybody would want to watch -- which is pretty funny considering just how massive and influential the film turned out to be.
From the It's About Darn Time Department: In the midst of a renewed push that includes licensed toys and comics, Warner Brothers has confirmed that Batman, the 1966 television show starring Adam West and BurtWard, will be released on home video some time this year. To say that this is pretty welcome news around here at ComicsAlliance is understating things quite a bit, since some of us have been waiting decades for a complete series set of Batman.
It's not entirely surprising news, though. With the licensing we've seen from the show over the past year, it felt like it was only a matter of time before everything was sorted out between Fox (the producers of the TV show) and WB (who own DC Comics and, therefore, Batman) to get the actual show back in the hands of fans. What is pretty surprising, however, is that the news was broken by Conan O'Brien on Twitter. Really.
One of the more unfortunate side effects of living in modern society is that we're expected to wear pants whenever we're in public. Seriously, they want you to do that every time you leave the house, even though that is clearly an unrealistic proposition for a society that has already perfected pajama technology. It's an undeniable hassle, but this month, Mattel released something that helps make it a little more awesome: a recreation of the classic Batman '66 utility belt, complete with a folding Batarang.
It's the latest entry in the tidal wave of merchandise that's been hitting shelves in the truly wonderful Batman TV series revival that we've been seeing over the past few months, and unless you're willing to get creative with your "Surf's Up" Batman action figure, it's the first one you can actually wear. Check out a video of the belt in action below!
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
We can all agree that the 1966 TV series is, of course, the One True Batman Above All Others, and recent developments in licensing have finally given us the toys we've (I've) wanted for years, but today, you can get them super cheap. I'm talking Surf Jams Batman for five bucks cheap.
The Batman '66 dynamic duo portrayed by Adam West and Burt Ward made their Hot Toys debut this past summer at SDCC 2013, but thanks to official promo images fans can get their best look yet at the classic crime fighters in all their 1/6 scale action figure glory. Sold separately, the 12" Batman and Robin figures each come with swappable hands, radio communicators and batarangs, plus character-specific items like shark-repellant and a giant bomb that Bats just can't seem to get rid of.
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