Tag: batman

November 30 / / Comics

Out of all the properties in the comic book space, I have always gravitated towards Batman; maybe it was seeing Michael Keaton don the cowl when I was growing up or how that Seal song, “Kiss From a Rose,” always got stuck in my head whenever I heard it. Either way, Batman was a part of my life at an early age, from the dark and brooding Tim Burton flicks to even reruns of Adam West’s campy but enjoyable Batman tv show.

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It wasn’t until Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy started that I chose to pick up comic titles apart from the current Batman run. There were a lot of non-canon books written and drawn by brilliant writers and artists that ended up becoming part of the Batman legacy; and it’s in these standalone books that I want discuss the impact they’ve had not only on the character but his world as well.

May 20 / / Industry

In my previous post about death in comics, we discussed the role of civilian deaths and how writers use it to propel their stories forward. In this post, I wanted to touch on a few superhero deaths that rocked the comic world. There were many to choose from and as iconic as Superman’s death at the hands of Doomsday, but after doing research, I noticed an intriguing pattern; that dead superheroes don’t stay dead for long! For this discussion, I wanted to focus on those superhero deaths that made an impact to their respective stories but also spent some time in the grave (so to speak).

We begin with a bold move by Brian Michael Bendis in the pages of Ultimate Spider-man with the “Death of Spider-man”. In the Ultimate universe, Bendis kills off Peter Parker! Crazy right? But that’s not where the story ends. Oh no! Bendis introduces us to Miles Morales, a half black, half hispanic teen who was bitten by a genetically-altered spider that gives him superhero powers. Sounds familiar, right? Miles actually witnesses Peter’s death and feels so guilty that he didn’t use his powers to save Peter, that he takes up the mantle of Spider-man.

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April 27 / / Industry

Retroactive Continuity, or Retcon, for short is a term that is all together too common in the comic book world. It basically means that there’s an alteration to an established fact within continuity, and comic book writers use this strategy to add, remove, and of course, alter stories.

With all the stories being written and new creative teams taking the reins for various properties, there always a chance things will get retconned. As a reader, it’s something that I don’t personally enjoy but I understand where publishers and writers are coming from. It sort of reminiscent of the music industry where nothing is original anymore. But with so many talented creatives entering the comic book industry, new stories are being thought up with fresh perspectives such as Scott Snyder’s addition to the Batman canon with his Court of Owls story arc or Francis Manapul’s work on The Flash.

But retcon examples litter the stories we read.  A prime example when a writer added something that wasn’t already established within continuity is what Brian Wood began on IDW’s Star Wars before Kieron Gillan picked up the mantle when it moved over to Marvel. Wood started to write stories that involved all our favorite Star Wars characters from the point after the Battle of Yavin, right after Episode 1: A New Hope.

April 14 / / Movies

Being a dad, I don’t have the luxury to see movies on a regular basis. I can count the number of flicks I sat through at the theater on one hand in the last year since my son was born. But one movie that I was lucky to check out recently was Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service based on the comic series called The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.

Nothing thrills me more than visiting my local comic shop every week and picking up the latest and greatest issue from the various titles on my pull list. It’s like Christmas morning every time where a glimpse into the ongoing story is revealed. But sometimes with how some titles are published, the wait can be unbearable. Take for example Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. Image Comics releases this title every month, therefore, I have to wait a substantial amount of time to continue the ongoing epic. And sometimes it’s tough to remember what happened in the previous issue. Yes, there’s a section at the beginning of the issue to remind me of the major points but it’s still consuming a chunk of the story every month.

With the advent of Netflix, binge watching became relevant. I, for one, fell into this statistic when my wife and I watched the entire 6 seasons of Lost within a week’s time. Yeah, it was like being unable to put down an engrossing book but with an entire television series. There’s just something satisfying to continue watching a tv show from start to finish, of course, with the hope to get all your questions answered. I’m not going to weigh in on what I thought of the ending of Lost or of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, for that matter, but you get the picture, right?

March 3 / / Industry

With an onslaught of upcoming comic book movies on the horizon and a ton of rumored properties being adapted from the pages of a comic book to the silver screen, the only thing a comic fan hopes is that the portrayal of their favorite character isn’t construed into something that falls short. I can reference a few of movies that didn’t go as well as the big studios hoped, the most glaring one being Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds. And if you’re an older nerd like me, the glaring one from our childhood was Daredevil starring Ben Afleck.

I mention those movies and leading actors because I’m sure that any comic fan has an opinion on which actor or actress they would like to take on the mantle of their favorite superhero. And if you’re like me, and not a Hollywood casting agent, our choices will probably never come true but we can always speculate and hope. Fan casting is something that I enjoy because I’m purely motivated by the source material whereas Hollywood studios factor in a lot of other things in their decision to cast an actor for a role. I’m not saying that they are to blame for when movies flop at the box office. There are a lot of factors but we’re only human and finding someone to blame for the catastrophe of a movie that X-Men: The Last Stand, the 3rd X-Men flick, was, helps me sleep at night.

December 1 / / DC

The holidays are finally here! Just as we may all celebrate in different ways, we each have our own unique taste in comics, so we’ve put together a diverse list of comic books that would make great gifts for anyone in your life. We’re sticking strictly to trade paperbacks and graphic novels – they simply make better gifts because they collect multiple issues in one easy to read book. It’s also much easier to give them to friends and family that aren’t “into comics” because many of these collect entire storylines in one package. We also only chose books that were released this year in 2014 – some comics were published earlier but came out in trade paperback form this year. The most important criteria – they’re all great stories! You really can’t go wrong with any of these. Well, you probably wouldn’t give Sex Criminals to your 7 year old niece (Ms. Marvel is likely a safer bet in that case).

Age of Ultron

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Get acquainted with the most dangerous robot in the universe before he makes his big screen debut in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The artificial intelligence known as Ultron has fought for years to eradicate mankind…and now, it has all but succeeded. The few remaining heroes are battered, broken, almost beaten and left considering desperate measures – some more desperate than others. But when Wolverine breaks ranks and pursues his own plan to defeat Ultron, will his drastic action cause more problems than it solves? This is a complete story that collects the entire Age of Ultron run, issues 1-10. Get it on Amazon for $23.