Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s classic and controversial Batman: The Killing Joke is making waves once again after the the animated adaptation debuted at San Diego Comic Con and reportedly doubled down on the damseling and objectification of Batgirl. Without spoiling the changes (you can read about them here), Barbara Gordon’s reliance on men’s approval is a big theme of the film, and only serves to give Batman more angst when the events of the comic play out.
Fans of The Killing Joke will often defend it by pointing out that without the story, Barbara Gordon would not have become Oracle, the Batman family’s computer whiz and one of the most prominent disabled superheroes in comic books. However, crediting The Killing Joke for the creation of Oracle is wholly inaccurate and does a disservice to the true creators of the reinvention, John Ostrander and Kim Yale.
The polls are closed and it's official, the United Kingdom has decided --- by a narrow margin --- that it wants to leave the European Union. I mean, who could blame them? Aside from the worker's rights, trade agreements and the opportunity to travel between member states, what does the EU even do? I mean, aside from the funding provided to the areas of the UK that London often neglects, environmental legislation and education and research funding.
So you've voted Leave, and you want to treat yourself to a nice comic to spend the weekend with. We've picked out five of our favorite independent comics to peruse while you wait for Article 50 to be enacted.
Stories set in an alternate history or reality are built from a "point of divergence," a moment at which the fictional reality veers off from our own. Germany wins World War II, Kennedy survives the assassination attempt, etc. In Watchmen that point comes in 1938. Shortly after the publication of Action Comics #1, costumed heroes begin appearing in the real world, the "factual black and white of the headlines," as Hollis Mason puts it, and history changes course.
In our reality, comics books experienced their own point of divergence on June 5, 1986, with the debut of the first issue of Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins. Ever since then, the entire medium has been permanently altered by its startling vision and precise execution.
DC Comics’ big summer event one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth #1 goes on sale this week, and the internet is abuzz with news, reveals and spoilers concerning one of the biggest comics of the year. The one-shot by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank and Ivan Reis sees the return of familiar faces from inside and outside the DC Universe, and DC is already publicizing those revelations in the press, so we’ve rounded up the biggest developments from this blockbuster story from DC-approved sources like USA Today, IGN and CBR, for those readers who want the full rundown.
If you don't want to be spoiled for any of the events of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 before the book comes out on Wednesday, go learn about some other comics you could be reading instead. Spoilers for the future of the DC Universe follow.
Dave Gibbons, born on this day in 1949, has spent over forty-five years in the comics industry and crafted a career without equal. Known for his masterful layouts and exceptional character acting, Gibbons has been an ambassador for the UK comics scene around the world, and is truly a living legend in the industry.
On this day in 1971, DC Comics published House of Secrets #92 which featured, among such stories as “After I Die and “Trick or Treat”, the debut of the soon-to-be iconic character Swamp Thing. Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, Swamp Thing is one of DC’s most recognizable horror characters, and over the years he has been used as a vessel to tell some of comics most unique stories.
From humble beginnings in the UK small press scene, to his work on one of the most iconic Batman and Joker stories of all time, and his instantly recognizable covers on a range of titles, legendary artist Brian Bolland has blazed a trail through the last forty years of comics history.
On this day in 1985, a man walked into a bar. It was a punk bar; this was 1985 in comic-book London, after all. The man was named John Constantine, and he was there looking for a friend who had information about the end of the world. It all happened in the pages of Swamp Thing #37, written by Alan Moore with art by Rick Veitch and John Totleben; the "American Gothic" storyline was beginning in earnest, and Moore's legendary run was kicking into high gear.
According to Moore, the character of Constantine owes his debut to the fact that Swamp Thing's regular artists, Totleben and Stephen R. Bissette, were big fans of the band The Police, and they wanted to draw a character who looked like the lead singer, Sting. Even though it ended up being Veitch on the pencils for Constantine's first appearance, he is unmistakably a dead ringer for the British musician.
While rumoured for several months, it has been officially confirmed via CBR that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill will both return to their iconic roles as Batman and The Joker in DC’s latest animated feature, an adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke.
Hamill also unveiled the first look at the film’s animation style on Twitter, which seems to eschew an adaptation of Brian Bolland’s art in favour of the more generic style that has become popular with DC’s animated division. Tara Strong reprises her role as Barbara Gordon from Batman: The Animated Series, and Ray Wise will voice Commissioner James Gordon.
Q: In light of your recent discussion of Copra, what's the best comic riffing on another comic? -- @davidwynne
A: Listen, Dave, if we're honest with each other here, the answer is definitely Batman. He might not have been riffing on a comic, but it's hard to get around the fact that those earliest adventures were just Bill Finger and Bob Kane filing the serial numbers off the Shadow and putting him into a slightly more ridiculous outfit. I mean, the guy even has an autogyro, and if that's not a dead giveaway, I don't knoW what is.
But at the same time, Batman only really gets good once he evolves into his own thing. If you're talking about comics that were created with the clear intention of riffing on something else and staying that way for the duration (and I say this knowing there's a whole lot of good riffing in Jack Staff), there's really only one answer: It has to be Supreme.
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