Q: As a Batmanologist, what misinformation about Batman do you wish you could set everyone straight on? -- @daveexmachina
A: There's one misconception about Batman that bugs me the most, because it's simultaneously the most persistent, the most ridiculous from a storytelling standpoint, and the easiest to disprove: The idea that Bruce Wayne doesn't actually do anything to help Gotham City, and that Batman is just a rich man selfishly and violently lashing out at the lower class.
Joe Phillips' table in Artists' Alley is always an essential stop for me at San Diego Comic Con. The former Heretic and Superboy artist is one of the only guys at any comics show who can always be counted on for a great selection of quality beefcake pin-ups that rival the cheesecake that's so prevalent on other artists' tables. If you're in the market for a coquettish Angel, or a stripping Steve Rogers, Joe Phillips is your man.
But this year Phillips had something new on his table --- and so incredibly camp that it may appeal to much of the same audience that loves the hero beefcake. Phillips has taken some of the biggest stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and cast them as some of the biggest names in superhero comics, to give fans a vision of what these movies might have looked like in another era.
This past weekend at Comic-Con, fans attending the Batman vs. Superman panel were treated to an additional surprise: the entire cast of Suicide Squad appeared on stage (minus Jared Leto) and introduced our first ever look at footage from the upcoming supervillain film. Despite their pleas to not record any of the footage, someone of course did, and it leaked online shortly thereafter in a really crappy quality. Well, director David Ayer and Warner Bros. feel your pain and have decided to do the right thing and just release the whole trailer online.
The Killing Joke is one of the more notable entries in Batman comic book history, offering one of the most sadistic versions of the Joker to date. Alan Moore’s book is one of the more divisive among fans, who either love it or despise it, and in further proving their commitment to the darker side of superhero stories, DC is taking The Killing Joke and adapting it…into an animated feature, of all things.
There was a whole lot of wishy-washy nonsense surrounding Cameron Monaghan’s role as Jerome in Gotham Season 1. Was he FOX’s Bat-prequel version of the Joker or wasn’t he? Executive producer Bruno Heller teased the arrival of Batman’s most famous villain in Season 1, but backtracked later to say we would see a “pre-embryonic” origin story of the character in Season 2. But according to a photo posted by Monaghan, we may have been misled — or not. I don’t know. This is getting out of hand.
We've all seen Batman fight the Joker endless times throughout the history of their relationship. From the original comics to the animated series, and from the movies to video games, there's no shortage of interpretations of the ultimate fight between good and evil that is Batman vs. the Joker. Whatever your opinion of those various encounters in the past, all of those fights are hot garbage compared to the latest video from YouTube stop motion animator, Counter656.
Counter656's most recent video pits the SH Figuarts Injustice: Gods Among Us Joker and Batman against one another in a stop motion throwdown for the ages. Taking nearly three weeks and 3500 different pictures, the five minute video incorporates every accessory the figures come with, as well as putting the articulation of each to great use in some excellently choreographed fight sequences. But Counter656 knows that we've all seen Batman vs. the Joker before, too, and isn't content to just let this brawl be another simple one-on-one encounter.
Q: I feel like The Joker is a very unsympathetic villain. Does he have any sympathetic qualities or moments? -- @DonNohVarr
A: Huh. Well, I've got some good news for you, Don: I'm pretty sure that you're not supposed to find the Joker to be a very sympathetic villain. I mean, he's literally an evil clown that murders people with knives and poison, and that may actually be the least sympathetic sequence of words in the entire English language.
But that actually does raise a pretty interesting question: If there's really nothing sympathetic about the Joker, then does that actually make him a better villain than characters that you do sympathize with? Unsurprisingly, I'd argue that it does, but let's see if we can't figure out why.
Toronto gets turned into a film set on a semi-regular basis. It's no Los Angeles, but it sometimes plays her --- or any other North American city --- on the big screen. Not long after I first moved to the city, there was fake snow on the ground for the Scott Pilgrim movie (a rare case of Toronto playing Toronto). The street where I live is sometimes lined with yellow New York cabs, most recently for Kick-Ass 2, and the next spooky Guillermo Del Toro may be lurking around any corner at any time.
Right now, the city is overrun by the Suicide Squad movie, as demonstrated by our video and photos of Ben Affleck's heavy duty industrial Batmobile chasing down the brightly-colored Jokermobile during last night's shoot.
It’s been a couple of days since you saw new photos of Jared Leto’s version of Joker, which means you probably just now stopped laughing about it (until we see more pics from Suicide Squad, anyway). But here’s something to interest (and maybe frighten) you: special effects master Rick Baker has created his own rendering of Joker, one that is not only great, but kind of unnerving — you know, the way Joker should look. It’s too bad we might never see this version on the big screen.
Q: Batman RIP: What's going on in this book? I like Morrison, but I do not follow the plot. -- @daingercomics
A: My friend, you have come to the right place. I generally think Grant Morrison gets a bad rap for writing superhero stories that are too complex --- a complaint that you see about almost everything he writes going all the way back to "Rock of Ages" in JLA, and probably back to Animal Man if you go looking for it --- but R.I.P. is a story with a whole lot of moving parts that can be pretty hard to keep track of unless you're the kind of person who has been obsessing over the details of 75 years of Batman comics for their entire life.
Fortunately for you, that's exactly what I am, which is one of the reasons that Batman R.I.P. is probably my favorite Batman story of all time.
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