If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week, we're finishing off Halloween Horror Month with a list of five great spooky stories -- mostly single issues! -- that you can read to get into a scary mood!
If you’re still following the show every week, you’ve learned that Gotham offers many life lessons. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Steer clear of abandoned buildings. Rich orphans who live with their butlers don’t have to go to school. And of course, the most important Gothamism: Trust no one.
In fact, the most dangerous, vitriolic members of society happen to be those working in the health and science fields. Fields that traditionally serve and help citizens in the community; not harm them. In Gotham, it’s the social workers, psychotherapists, youth advocates, biochemists, professors and the like who find that their trades as brilliant innovators and altruistic helpers inevitably lead them to the same side-gig: Murder.
Over the past few months, we've been slowly freaking out over the Mondo gallery's tribute to Batman's 75th anniversary. Every time a new set of art was revealed, the show looked better and better, and now that it's actually open down in Austin, our suspicions have been confirmed: The art for this show is incredible.
Not only do they have the portraits inspired by Batman '66 and the beautifully designed posters inspired by the movies and classic episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, but the gallery features work from comic book artists Francesco Francavilla and Jock, too. Fittingly enough, the two collaborated on an amazing piece based on "The Black Mirror," the excellent Scott Snyder story they both contributed to, but Francavilla also took on a poster inspired by Kelley Jones and Doug Moench's classic Elsewords Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, and Jock produced a pair of pieces based on Frank Miller's Batman: Year One that I'm pretty sure I desperately need to own.
The news that actress Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Homeland) will be joining Fox’s crime drama Gotham, with a recurring role as the compassionate physician Dr. Leslie Thompkins, brings hope to a show currently heaving with villainy. Considered a surrogate parental figure to young Bruce Wayne, the good doctor appeared in over 200 issues of DC Comics and several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. However, Dr. Thompkins has never been portrayed in a live-action film or television show. In the meantime, Bruno Heller’s Gotham appears to suffer from too much of the same motif: The murder of mother Martha Wayne and father Thomas Wayne was a catalyst, giving way to a city of “orphans” forming replacement relationships best described as disrupted, disloyal, or enmeshed.
'The Dark Knight' is one of the most popular superhero movies ever. Heck, it might even be one of the most popular movies of any genre in the past 10 years. But, even if you think you've seen and read all there is on 'The Dark Knight,' you still might not know everything there is to know about one of the biggest movies of all-time.
When DC Comics announced the new lineup of Batman Family titles a few months back, Arkham Manor was the only one that actually gave me a "wait what" moment. Dick Grayson as a super-spy traveling across the world dealing with stuff like a dude who had his eyes replaced with guns? Sure, makes perfect sense. Hipster Batgirl fighting crime with the power of Snapchat? All for it. Teens running around a creepy boarding school in the one place in the DC Universe where no one in their right mind would send unsupervised children? It's the book I've been waiting for all my life.
But Arkham Manor stuck out. Right from the concept, it's this weird variation on familiar themes, trying to twist them into something new. That makes it an inherently interesting idea, even if it's one that I'm approaching with caution as a reader. I want to know what's going on here, and with the first issue out, it lives up to that. More than anything else, Arkham Manor #1 is intriguing.
It's not often, but every now and then have to look at things that aren't covered by pictures of Batman, and this is clearly the biggest problem in my life. Fortunately, Mondo is taking steps to minimize this problem in the best way possible.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we've been excited about this ever since it was announced a few months back, but on October 24, they're kicking off their gallery show in Austin celebrating the Dark Knight's 75th anniversary. There are some some truly incredible portraits, continuing a long year of great comics and pop-culture inspired art that's included stuff like the Batman: The Animated Series and Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks. We've seen a sample of what they have to offer, and they are beautiful. Check 'em out below!
Q: What major superhero can be most effectively dropped into a horror plot without causing it to stop being horror? -- @KaosExMachina
A: Y'know, I don't wanna make any of the other 215 people who have Asked Chris feel bad or anything, but this is easily one of my favorite questions that I've ever gotten. It's probably obvious by now, but I have a lot of fun thinking about different genre conventions and how they work, and this is the sort of thing that you can play around with forever, and that you can ask your friends and get all sorts of different answers and justifications, something that I actually did while I was getting ready to write this article. But it's also a really difficult one to answer.
It's like you said: When you add superheroes to horror stories, they tend to stop being horror stories.
On November 19, DC Comics will release Batman '66: The Lost Episode, a bookshelf-format one-shot by writer Len Wein and penciller José Luis Garcia-López -- superhero comics legends, both -- adapting a previously-unknown story that Harlan Ellison wrote for the classic Adam West and Burt Ward TV show: the introduction of Two-Face. The project is a very special companion to DC's popular and critically acclaimed digital-first Batman '66 series. In addition to its prestigious veteran storytellers, the book also features inking by Joe Prado, colors by Alex Sinclair and cover art by Alex Ross, all industry leaders in their disciplines.
At New York Comic Con this past weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Wein and discuss the origin of the project, his friendship with Ellison, and the experience of adapting an unfilmed television episode into the comic book format.
Now that six additional episodes of the crime drama Gotham have been ordered by Fox, we’re looking toward a full 22-episode first season. Although ratings have dropped since the pilot (Sleepy Hollow, also on Fox, was one of only three shows ranked below Gotham Monday night), the series about Batman’s beginnings has managed to hold a firm grip on at least 75% of its audience.
One problem cited by critics familiar with the Batman mythos is Gotham’s inclusion of too many characters (with forced relationships) at the onset. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, the overstocked spread leaves us inexplicably unsatisfied. On the other hand, whiffs of treats about the city itself – its cavernous sewer system, detached outskirts, and now, the Arkham District – keep us lingering around for something savory.
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