It was only a week ago that we asked you to vote on DC's best legacy character, and while I'm happy to say that our audience made the correct choice by giving Wally West a... runaway victory, there was one set of heroes completely absent from the poll. Over the past 75 years, Batman has racked up an impressive roster of sidekicks, allies and hangers-on, and with them, an entire set of legacies so large that they would have overwhelmed the initial poll.
That's why we're giving you the chance to sift through the Robins, Batgirls, and even the Batmans themselves as we ask, Who is the best Batman legacy character?
I don't have a whole lot of OTPs, but Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon are right there at the top of the list. They're two characters who have felt made for each other since the first time I saw them together, and even when they're not romantically entangled --- which is pretty frequently the case for characters that I always picture together --- and even when I don't actually want to see them romantically involved, which happens almost as often, their interactions always have a sense of history that makes them compelling and interesting.
It's that interaction that takes center stage in this week's Batgirl #45, a character piece about two people whose lives have been pulled in drastically different directions and who don't know if they'll ever have the same connection that they once did. And it's one of the best takes on their relationship that I've ever read.
Since 2006, fans have flooded the Javitz Center year after year for New York Comic Con, but until this year, they've never been witness to magnificent pieces Sideshow Collectibles offered. Sideshow does its fair share of shows, but 2015 marked the first time the company made an appearance at NYCC. Though the booth may not have had the same square footage as Sideshow's SDCC presence, it was still packed with loads of incredible sculptures featuring many fan favorites and some of the company's own creations.
Most of what was on display at NYCC had been seen before at other conventions, but the more diminutive booth allowed for a more focused presentation. Where the SDCC collection was three or four times larger, that also meant there were that many more products vying for your attention. While it was definitely cool to see so many new things a few months ago, there was definitely some "cool stuff" overload happening. Notably missing from the NYCC booth was a great deal of Hot Toys, which was represented at New York with a handful of First Order Stormtroopers, and that's it. Sideshow put the spotlight on its own goods, including the DC and Marvel premium format figures due to arrive over the course of the next year, and its outstandingly creepy Court of the Dead line.
Back in April, DC Comics and Mattel (as well as other merchandising partners) revealed the DC Super Hero Girls to the world. Back in the spring, there was little information about what the line would be beyond vague promises of figures, dolls, comics, books and clothing themed around a new interpretation of DC's incredible stable of female superheroes. At New York Comic Con, the world got its first in-person glimpse at the stylized line, including dolls based on Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Harley Quinn and more, along with other items like skateboards, t-shirts, notebooks and headphones. It seems DC and its partners are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to the DC Super Hero Girls line. Good.
For too long, the market has been devoid of items targeted specifically at the one demographic that's been desperate for this kind of attention--young girls. DC Super Hero Girls takes a bit of inspiration from lines like Monster High and Ever After High, both of which have seen tremendous success under Mattel's watch. Instead of crafting original figures based on monsters or storybook characters from hundreds of years ago, this line has the advantage of featuring familiar heroes and villains from DC's vast stable. I'll admit to being a little worried about the style based on those previous Mattel figure lines. After seeing the DC Super Hero Girls in person, those worries were assuaged. It's clear that DC and Mattel, and more importantly the fans, are going to have a lot to look forward to when the DC Super Hero Girls launch in 2016.
Welcome to Cast Party, a new feature that imagines a world with even more live action adaptations of our favorite comic books than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you're ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist.
For this first installment we're looking at an imaginary movie adaptation of Batgirl of Burnside, aka the current Batgirl series by Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr and Brenden Fletcher.
Q: Someone asked me this one, so now you have to do it: who, in your "head" "canon," do you consider to be the necessary members of the Bat-family? - Benito Cereno, via Tumblr
A: Finally! I've been waiting for like five years for someone to ask me a question that would allow me to go into a needlessly in-depth explanation of how some part of Batman worked, and now, after all these years, it has happened for the very first time.
As for this particular question, it's an interesting one, and if you'd like to see Benito's answer to it, it's up on his Tumblr. If you do go look at the list, though, you'll see the problem in trying to answer it. After 75 years of collecting sidekicks, butlers, teammates and assorted hangers-on, Batman has a whole lot of people in his extended family. And if I had my way, I'd keep 'em all.
In 2005, DC Collectibles (née DC Direct) launched a statue series of artist interpretations of the Dark Knight inspired in part by the Batman: Black and White comic series. For the most part, the line has focused exclusively on Batman himself, though in the past few years DC has expanded the roster of Black and White to include villains like the Joker and Harley Quinn. Now for the first time, another member of the Bat-family will join the ranks in the form of the all-new Batgirl.
Last year, Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr revamped Barbara Gordon to give her a new home, a new life and a whole new look. The fan response was immediate and loud, and the Batgirl of Burnside became a bright spot in the new DC Universe (and catalog) in a post-New 52 reboot world. However, as big of a success as this new Batgirl was, outside of the comics there was no merchandise to support the surprise hit. That changes this month. Thanks to the talented hands of sculptor Irene Matar, Babs Tarr's version of the character has been given life in collectible form for the first time, and the result is tremendous.
The great thing about the Batman 1966 licensing boom that we've been in for the past year or so has been the variety of collectibles commemorating the fan-favorite series. For a long time, we just didn't have much to work with when it came to the Adam West/Burt Ward era, but now we've got action figures, banks, miniature cars, statues, comics and all kinds of other random stuff.
While we've seen Funko's Batman 1966 Pop figures and Dorbz on shelves already, the creatives at Vinyl Sugar will introduce Vinyl Idolz based on the Bat-family this fall. The Batman '66 wave was teased earlier in the year, but didn't have any prototypes or release date mentioned at the time. The Vinyl Idolz line has already offered such pop culture icons like the characters from Seinfeld, Ghostbusters and Hot Fuzz in its strange-yet-appealing Family Guy meets Aardman Animation style, and the campiness of Batman '66 helps the characters fit right in without missing a beat.
For some fans, the ultimate collector's item might be a completely accurate costume so that you can dress as your favorite superhero, but I've always been more interested in a few other accessories. Not the batarangs or web-shooters, although those are always nice, but the big stuff, the actual home decor that you'd see in a Batcave. Sadly, giant pennies are prohibitively expensive and there's no way my living room is big enough to house a robotic Tyrannosaurus, so I thought my dream would never come true.
Until, that is, I remembered that the Justice League sits around a big meeting table in chairs emblazoned with their own logos, and realized that was something that you could recreate on the cheap thanks to Entertainment Earth's line of Chair Capes. Chair Capes! They're capes! For your chair!
Reading Black Canary wasn't just reading another comic book --- the character comes with a lot of baggage for me, so I felt bound to be more critical of it than I am of any other book. But by the time I finished issue #2, I felt like a character I'd loved for a long time had been given a new life. This is what we should want for our heroes.
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