I've written before about how one of the best things about Batman is how adaptable he is as a character. Owing largely to the fact that he descends from pulp vigilantes but was refined for the world of superheroes, he can work in almost any kind of story, from gritty, street-level crime to world-traveling adventure, and even the occasional trip to space alongside the Justice League. But the one thing that you very rarely see from Batman is a story where he has to deal with the supernatural.
I think there's a good reason for that, and it has a lot to do with his origin. Ghosts and demons and other assorted haints are, after all, an indication of an afterlife, and the more you remind readers that, in comics at least, death is a transitional inconvenience rather than a permanent state of being, the more they start to wonder just why this guy is so mad about a couple of murders. But that said, it has been done on occasion, and it has never, ever been done as well as it was in Peter Milligan, Kieron Dwyer, Dennis Janke and Mike Mignola's Dark Knight, Dark City, which is out this week in a new paperback.
A group of comic artists including The Kitchen's Ming Doyle (artist site), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's Erica Henderson (artist site), Howard the Duck's Joe Quinones, (artist site) and Where Is Jake Ellis's Jordan Gibson (artist site) recently came together to brainstorm and illustrate some of their favorite celebrities for #DCBend, a Tumblr-based fancast of the heroes and villains of the DCU with women in male roles and men in female roles.
While the concept of gender-swapped casting and fan art for comic movies is not a new one, DCBend has lead to some really inspired choices by some of the rising stars of comics. Check out the entire gallery, including some that are debuting for the first time on ComicsAlliance.
If you're like me and you make a point of checking for new Batman toys every time you're in a store with a toy aisle, then you may already be familiar with Batman Unlimited. The line's been kicking around for a few years, but now it seems like DC is releasing a new direct-to-video feature that ties in.
On the one hand, I'm not a big fan of the designs that they're going with for the movie -- like the figures, they boast a version of the bat-symbol that seems slightly off-model and give Batman's cowl a weird chinstrap that looks like a blue soul patch. On the other hand, this is a movie that has Batman riding around on a robot panther that turns into a motorcycle, and that's basically amazing. Give it a watch for yourself.
ScreenCrush editor, comic-book lover, and undiagnosed masochist Matt Singer is systematically watching every single (American) comic-book movie ever made in the order in which they were released. This week in The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies: The Dark Knight makes his first appearance on the big screen):
The 1966 Batman television show was one of the most successful and influential adaptations of comic books to mass media of all time. Over the course of three seasons and 120 episodes, the series became a cultural force with its unique combination of tongue-in-cheek humor, thrilling superhero adventure and celebrity guest stars, and shaped the way the public would view the Caped Crusader for the next five decades. Now, in the midst of a well-deserved renaissance of the show, ComicsAlliance is proud to present The Batman '66 Episode Guide, an in-depth examination of every single adventure, arch-criminal and deathtrap cliffhanger of the series.
This week, the Riddler's plan goes into action, and Bruce Wayne... meets the Batman?!
If you're getting a sense of deja vu right now, that's because you actually have read this article before. Right before the latest volume of Batman: Black & White began back in 2013, ComicsAlliance published a list of the ten best stories in the celebrated anthology series. But the fourth volume was really, really good, and included some stories strong enough to be considered among the very best.
Making a new version of that same list with just a few replacements would be cheating you, and require me to read my own writing (ecch). So instead, we're just going to stick with the 'ten best' thing. Here are the highlights from the latest volume of Black & White, and a few that were barely edged out of the first list. Will there be another version of this article after the next volume? You bet your ass. We're gonna stay here until we get this right, people.
Although Chris Sims is without question the World's Foremost Batmanologist, there is one area where he's a little weak: International Batman Studies. Sure, he knows about Jiro Kuwata's manga and The Wild World of Batwoman, but it seems like there are always strange new interpretations of the Caped Crusader from other countries to discover. Like that time in 1989 when a bunch of Australians dressed up like Prince and did some dodgy choreography to "Batdance."
On a brisk afternoon in January, a collective of custom action figure creators banded together to present their works to a captive audience in a tiny gallery in Manhattan. An art show on a weekend is nothing new for the Meatpacking district, but it's rare for the likes of Aragorn, Wolverine, Mr. Freeze and the Mario Brothers to be the stars of the show.
The custom creation side of the hobby has been around almost as long as action figures have been in existence. In recent years, however, the do-it-yourself-ers that were once relegated to sharing their work on forums and chat rooms have found a larger audience thanks to the advent of better social networks and sharing options on the Internet. The rise to prominence of Instagram and Tumblr have given these artists a way to share their unique takes on familiar faces or even wholly original creations with more people than ever.
Tim Burton's Batman movies might not be my favorite version of the character, but there's one thing they definitely have going for them: The set design is amazing, and while Anton Furst's designs for Batman '89 have definitely had their time in the spotlight, Bo Welch's designs for Batman Returns are a little less well-known.
Fortunately, pal Andrew Weiss found a design portfolio while combing through back issues of Starlog at the Internet Archive, and passed them along so that we could have a look at a nightmarish urban hellscape of rocket penguins and fascist architecture. It's... it's a little more enjoyable than it sounds. Check it out below!
It’s been some time since we’ve heard anything on the development of TNT’s proposed Titans series, based on the DC Comics Teen Titans, but at last pilot casting may have begun. That said, the leaked lineup for the pilot script may tease some major changes to the comic team, as well as some surprising Batman inclusions.
Take this with a grain of salt for the moment, as pilots are often subject to change, but Nerdist claims to have gotten an early look at the Titans pilot script, which in addition to the expected inclusions of Dick Grayson, Raven and Starfire (the latter two are teased at the very end), also features several notable new members. For one. a wheelchair-using Barbara Gordon will act as support for the team (not yet calling herself Oracle), while other members include DC heroes Hawk and Dove, in this continuity a male-female pairing, and lovers at that.
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