Convention season is in full swing, and that means that I'm spending a lot of time digging through dollar bins and picking up cheap back issues. The thing is, though, I'm not really looking for the good stuff anymore --- as the title of this column implies, I'm in it for the weird ones. More than anything else, I want the stuff that won't be seeing a reprint anytime soon: '80s black-and-white boom titles, Christian Archie comics about Betty witnessing to Veronica, and weird old licensed books for all-but-forgotten toy comics. That stuff is my jam.
And that's how I ended up reading a comic about cybernetic police officers fighting a dirty cop whose concept of "dirty" mostly involved smashing up a city with a giant robot elephant.
The Batman of the '80s was certainly skewing darker than the previous eras, but that was also a time where all the leftovers from the Silver Age were still more or less directing the story. That's how you get lengthy sagas like Batman having a custody battle over Jason Todd against a straight up vampire, and it's also how you get a story where the Monitor hires Calendar Man to murder Batman.
Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations 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.
With Halloween drawing ever-closer, I really wanted to cast a movie about Dracula. And since I covered Marvel's Dracula last year, I thought it would be fun to do a DC Comics Dracula this time around. That led me to 1991's Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, a well-remembered Elseworlds graphic novel by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones, in which the Caped Crusader fights the Lord of the Vampires, and becomes a vampire himself along the way.
It won't be available till the middle of 2017, but the announcement of Mondo's Batman Red Rain statue still feels pretty seasonal in October. After all, this isn't just a Batman statue, it's a statue of Batman as an undead vampire, and a pretty creepy one at that.
This week marks the premiere of Gotham, the new Fox television show focusing on Jim Gordon's first year as a cop in Batman's hometown, and the origins of young Bruce Wayne and the people who will one day become the greatest enemies of his war on crime. That the show exists at all is a testament to how strong Jim Gordon and the rest of the Gotham city Police Department are as heroes in their own rights.
So if Gotham has you in the mood to read about Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the rest of the GCPD -- or if you just want to dive into some solid Batman comics where the spotlight isn't entirely on the Dark Knight -- then I've got some suggestions for great comics about Gotham's top cops!
As much as I love Batman, and I think the record will show that I love Batman a whole heck of a lot, I haven't really been looking forward to sitting down and cracking open the new Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years hardcover. Last year's Superman anniversary hardcover was a disaster of revisionist history, 300 pages that would have you believe that one of the world's greatest superheroes did nothing for seven and a half decades but cry. With that in mind, I had no idea what DC Comics was going to do with Batman. If you'd asked me to bet on it, I would've put good money on a prediction that they'd craft a narrative that acknowledged Batman only as a scowling vigilante, consumed with vengeance and every bit as crazy as the villains he fought.
But it turns out I didn't have to worry. The Batman hardcover is exactly what it says it is -- a celebration of Batman across different eras, with a roster of stories that highlights one of the character's true strengths: How well he works across different kinds of stories.
The new Godzilla film opening this weekend will be the 30th to star the worlds' most famous giant monster. Toho made 28 Godzilla films in Japan, divided by fans into three cycles, each with their own continuity—the Showa series, the Heisei series and the Millennium series—and then there was the ill-fated 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed film that served as a sort of How Not To Make a Godzilla Movie cautionary tale for the makers of the new film.
While the movies are undoubtedly Godzilla's source turf, he's expanded his territory into other media over the years, from cartoon series to prose novels to video games -- and, of course, comic books, which he's been starring in for nearly 40 years now. With that in mind, we present a helpful primer for the King of Monsters' adventures on the paneled page.
It was only a few days ago that I wrote about why Marvel's Godzilla comic was one of the most fun titles of the Bronze Age. The thing is, doing an overview of an entire 24-issue series doesn't really give you the opportunity to go into the specifics and explain just what it was that made it so great. So if anyone still has any doubts about whether they should be spending some time digging through back issues boxes to put together a run, I thought it might be a good idea to go a little deeper to one of the many high points of the run.
And by that, I mean the time that Godzilla shrank down to tiny size, had a fistfight with the Thing, and then went back in time to have a wrestling match against Devil Dinosaur.
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