To say that Greg Rucka had a profound impact on DC Comics in the 21st Century is underselling things quite a bit. After arriving on the scene in the late '90s, he became one of the few writers to have written all three of DC's biggest characters, with critically acclaimed runs on Action Comics and Wonder Woman. It was on Batman, however, where he made his biggest impact, as one of the writers for the year-long No Man's Land crossover, the relaunched "New Gotham" era of Detective Comics, and cowriter of the enduringly influential Gotham Central.
Today, we begin an in-depth look back at Rucka's tenure on the Dark Knight, starting with No Man's Land, both the comic and its surprisingly popular novelization, in which Gotham City becomes a dark dystopia following a cataclysmic earthquake; his feelings about the core idea of Batman; and his frustrations on seeing the Joker show up in the pages of Superman.
In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we revisit the relationship between Bruce and Dick. Once again, resentment is exhibited by Dick as he tries to deal with Bruce's perfectionistic and strict mentoring style. Dick may be on to something -- Bruce appears to be closed off when it comes to the expression of his emotions. In fact, he may have deficits in the area ofemotional intelligence, which is one's ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions.
If you haven't been keeping up with Batman '66, DC Comics' digital-first series based on the classic Adam West/Burt Ward television show, rest assured that it has continued to be awesome. Recent issues have seen a terrifying team-up with the Joker and Catwoman, a sinister plot to create a television adaptation of Batman's adventures, and -- perhaps most awesome of all -- the debut of a giant robot version of Batman that fought crime with the power of jet boots and rocket fists. It's... It's pretty great, y'all.
But one of the more interesting things about the last few episodes -- er, issues is that they've thrown the spotlight on some of the more obscure villains from the show who never made it in the comics, like the Minstrel and Bookworm, and this week, it's the harrowing, haunting return of the Black Widow! Not to be confused with Marvel's Natasha Romanoff or Scarlett Johansson.
I'm going to tell you this right up front: This Nerdist video that presents a what-if scenario about the Waynes faking their deaths instead of really being killed in Crime Alley will inspire a lot of quibbles. You'll want to quibble with it like crazy. I know I did. Fight that urge, because it is genuinely funny.
While director Zack Snyder did share a look at the 'Batman vs. Superman' version of the Batmobile, it was parked in a warehouse and half-covered in smoke. In short, you couldn't really get a good sense of what it would look like in action. Today, we get a much better look at what Batfleck's Batmobile will look like in 'Batman vs. Superman' as Bruce Wayne's whip has rolled onto the film's set for the first time.
When Gotham Bay is plagued by a mysterious toxin, boatloads of fish are turning up with a grotesque disfigurement: The trademarked Joker perma-smile. Batman -- working alone again -- is energized to be back on the Joker's trail, and soon learns that a binary compound of the toxin can affect humans, too. Written by Paul Dini and based on comic book stories by Dennis O'Neil and Steve Englehart, this episode of Batman: The Animated Series packs the kind of action and adventure the show is known for. How can you not love a shark wrestling scene?
It's been a long while since we heard anything of the highly anticipated Batman: Arkham Knight, the last word being that the video game was pushed from its original 2014 release slot into 2015. Now, DC and Warner Bros. Games announced that the final installment has a firm release in June 2015.
We are only a few weeks away from the premiere of Gotham, the Batman-adjacent television show focusing on a young Jim Gordon's early days as a cop in Gotham City, and that means that it's time for Fox and DC Comics parent Warner Bros. to ramp up the PR machine to get viewers interested in seeing what the Riddler was up to before he became the Riddler (he was talking about riddles a lot).
But while I may not have been too thrilled with the actual show, there's one pretty awesome thing to come out of it. For a promo, the producers got comics artist Jock (of Judge Dredd, The Losers and Batman: The Black Mirror fame) to recreate key scenes from the pilot episode to use in advertising -- which is a surprisingly rare thing in media based on comics.
Q: Given all that could have gone wrong, what about the concept and execution makes Batman Beyond work so well? -- @caseyjustice
A: Something must be going around these days, because I've seen a lot of conversations about Batman Beyond popping up recently. I even got into a little discussion with Jordans Gibson and Witt about a few places where -- at least in my opinion -- the flaws in the show, which I otherwise love, became too big to ignore. That's actually one of the things that made me want to answer this question for this week's column. The other was how you phrased it.
See, I've never considered the premise of Batman Beyond to be something that could've easily gone wrong, but you're absolutely right in classifying it as such. To me, it's always been more about how they built that show by taking the two best ideas in superhero comics and putting them together.
The thing is, that should've been a pretty difficult marriage -- and most of those flaws that I was talking about show up for that exact reason.
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