Cosplay Corner: Gotham Kids

There are few things in my fandom arsenal that I love quite as much as I do the Batfamily. Those rascally kids and their various complicated relationships to Bruce Wayne are just the best.

The Best.

So I decided to channel them in my closet cosplay. In my attempts to branch out in the past year, my Batfamily love has fallen by the wayside. But I’ll always come back to them.

Stephanie Brown AKA Spoiler


I actually wore this one a few weeks ago…But I love it a lot, and I think it makes a good start.

The tee shirt, is a fortunate gift from Mary, who bought it to tease me about my inability to contain spoilers. I’ve gotten much better about it, but still. I was happy that it was in purple, which is Steph’s color, and I wore it with a black skirt, yellow leggings and a black hoodie!

Dick Grayson AKA Nightwing


I leaned Nightwing with this outfit, (because BEST, amiright?) but I did do a nod to one Dick Grayson’s other identities. I can do that because I love him. He’s my favorite comic book character. I’ve made it very clear. You can read just about anything from the past two years and find all of that. (But specifically, this time 2 years ago, I did a full a Dick Grayson appreciation week…I did not do this on purpose, it’s just a weird timing coincidence)

Anyway, the outfit. I’m wearing a blue tank top, under a sheer black tunic and black leggings. I’m also wearing a chain with wings on it. I went blue rather than red because, despite loving the New 52 Kyle Higgins run (I’m convinced that Kyle Higgins makes comics for me, specifically, between his Nightwing run and his Batman Beyond run…) I was never super into the design. I’m also wearing a grey courdoroy mini skirt, as a quick nod to Agent 37, because while I never finished Grayson, I thought it was a great book.

I could just go on ad nauseum about Dick, but I’ve done that, so you know, fine, whatever.

Robin: Just All of Them (But mostly Damian Wayne, because of Fancy)


I couldn’t decide exactly which Robin I was channeling, which is totally fine, really. So, this outfit is all of them, I’m talking Dick Grayson, I’m talking Jason Todd, I’m talking Tim Drake, I’m talking Damian Wayne, I’m talking Stephanie Brown, I’m talking Helena Wayne, I’m even talking Carrie Kelley BITCHES!!!!

Anyway, the outfit. Yellow satin blouse, with a  green camisole peaking out under it, thick red belt and black pencil skirt. I also wore a green cuff and green earrings, so I got all of the colors in there.

I’m leaning towards Damian with it, because of the satin on the blouse. I don’t see any of the other boys warming to that much fanciness. They’re a little bit scrappier. (OK, maybe Tim…)

The Red Hood AKA Jason Todd


After Dick, Jason is easily my favorite Batfamily character. (Oh calm down, I love Babs too. And Tim. And Damian. Picking favorites is hard.) There are lots of reasons to love Jason. His attitude, his completely ridiculous backstory, his intense and wonderful bro-mance with Roy Harper. (Red Hood And The Outlaws was the best book of the New 52 and you will not ever convince me otherwise!) Seriously, if you don’t know Red Hood, but like Deadpool? You’ll like Red Hood. But for this week, I was mostly just glad that his look is pretty easy to achieve. (Honestly, I’m contemplating adding a mask and symbol and taking it to NYCC…)

Anyway, Black tee shirt, light wash jeans, brown leather jacket (This is my Cap jacket, there’s something perverse about Jason and Steve sharing a piece of clothing, but I sort of love that…) I tied my hair back with a red bandana, which isn’t exactly a “hood” but does have certain outlaw signifiers.

I really had fun with these, and that one of them might transform into Con Ready, well, that’s just a bonus!

 

DC Comics Wrap Up: August 20, 2014

I had a lot of fun with comics this week, which is great, because I love that the books I read are starting to be a lot more fun. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve gotten to know the books better, or because I’ve found what I like, or what, but I haven’t been bored reading a comic in a few weeks.

But I love it. I’m really happy. ANYWAY, let’s dive in.

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Teen Titans #2: “Blinded By The Light”

Beast Boy has decided to start photobombing as Grumpy Cat and that’s pretty much everything about the character that I hate. (I know, I know OK? I just hate him.) But Bunker is pretty cool and when Beast Boy tries to get him to mellow out, I’ve seen that conversation happen between people I love. It felt very real. Meanwhile, Tim is hanging upside down in a hospital questioning one of the terrorists, because Tim Drake takes no prisoners. A girl walking down the street gets attack and a gang of girls dressed as Wonder Girl, but way more practical take  and maybe Cassie should take a page out of their book, save her. Manchester Black has something to do with Star Labs, which then blows up. Bunker and Beast Boy take care of things. Then Raven goes to a punk concert, and Cassie’s mom something. I don’t know. TIM hanging UPSIDE DOWN questioning TERRORISTS! Best!

Supergirl #34: “The Girl Who Fell To Earth”

At first I had major issues with this cover and then I realized that it looked like an old romance comic cover and decided it was brilliant. Anyway, after falling through the Kryptonite sky Kara is found by a guy named Michael who shelters her in a bunker. Also she has a new haircut, which is um, well, there’s a lot of bangs…anyway she and Michael bond and she decides to go save his parents. She does and they kiss and it’s a pretty cool gender reversal thing going on. (He jokes about rewarding her with the kiss.) And then they all get hit by the Brainiac beams. I like Michael, but also…she’s teaming up with Jason soon…so….yeah. I’m just saying, I may be hypothetically shipping something that hasn’t happened yet….

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1

No one but Gail Simone should be writing Wonder Woman. This story is so frickin perfect. Batman is incapacitated in some way, so Oracle calls on Wonder Woman to defend Gotham City. After nearly being beaten, she teams up with Harley Quinn and Catwoman to beat the bad guys. She ties them all up in her lasso and the pure truth burns them. In the end, the Batsignal changes to a WW and it’s pretty great. The backup story is about a little kid who tells his friends that Wonder Woman is his favorite Superhero and they make fun of him for liking a girl best. Diana shows up and asks just what’s wrong with that? It’s a cute little story and reminds me what I love about this character. It’s so good.

Red Hood And The Outlaws #34: “Lost And Found”

Jason and Roy know they have to find Kori before she does something awful, which is kill the man who sold her into slavery. He’s repented since, but she’s ready for revenge. The guys talk her out of it and she tells them she’ll never forgive them. It’s sad. The guy kills himself before they can take him in, and then Kori goes to their bunker and takes some kind of drug and winds up passed out on a beach. Which is weird. I’m not sure what’s happening there but it’s a beautiful image of her. Really beautiful.

Future’s End #16

Stormguard is beating up vets who have PTSD to cure their PTSD? I don’t know. I didn’t really understand that part. Fifty Sue has adopted Lana as her Mom, which is good for Lana, so that she no longer has to be down there. They are no longer hunting stealth OMACS, which is a bummer. Mr. Terrrfic talks to his computer who it turns out is one of those cyborgs. Woops. Lois is all driving crazy to get a story, which is so our girl! Then Superman and Rampage are fighting. In space, Frankenstein is worried because he hasn’t dreamed and they see the first converted human. Look, I’m grateful for this story getting me into the store every week, but I’m ready for it to be over, in a big way.

The Multiversity #1

The Monitor! Haunted Comic Books that are doorways to other worlds! Nix Uotan Superjudge! Talking Monkeys! Thunderer of Earth 7! Captain Carrot! The Gentry, monsters that look like Mike Wazowski destorying multiple worlds! Superman of Earth-23! Fake Avengers! SO MUCH MORRISON! I had such a huge grin on my face as I read this book. I can’t wait to explore the multiverse as the months go on!

Batman & Robin #34: “Robin Rises: Ties That Bind”

Bruce has called Barbara, Tim and Jason to The Batcave to talk about the fact that the family needs to stand together because he’s going to Apokolips to get Damian. They each offer to go with him, and he tells them that he needs them to protect Gotham and that from now on there aren’t going to be any secrets between them, and it’s a really touching moment, until, DICK DROPS DOWN FROM THE CEILING and right, they still think he’s dead. So, basically, Bruce is a big fat liar. Dick promises to become Batman again, and it’s really nice. Dick uses Spyral’s resources to create problems for the rest of the Justice League so that Bruce can steal the hellbat. In the end, he goes because Lex Luthor lets him. I can’t wait to see Damian again.

So that’s this week! I’ll talk to you all about Marvel tomorrow!

DC Comics Wrap-Up: 7/23/2014

So it was Batman Day, and it’s Comic-Con week. I had Comics on the brain for the past few days, obviously, and we’re going to do a “what we learned from comic con” post next week, but today, today we dive gloriously into a world of finished Zero Years, and Wonder Woman awesomeness, and crazy Battwists. Also Flash catch up.

But let’s dive in.

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Batman Beyond Universe: “Justice Lords Beyond: Part 4”

IN THE JUSTICE LORD’S TIMELINE DICK AND BARBARA HAVE A KID AND HIS NAME IS JOHN AND HE’S ADORABLE AND I BET HE CAN DO SICK BACKFLIPS AND OMG!

Also, they defeat Lord Superman and send him to the Phantom Zone, and Terry sees his dad in the alternate timeline and it’s very bittersweet and Diana and Bruce decide to move in together and Zod has a very bad attitude. Also Barda and Scott are adorable.

But mostly that first thing. It sort of broke my brain.

Batman #33: “Zero Year: Savage City”

really need to read Zero Year, especially after listening to Scott Snyder talk on Fatman On Batman (which I have been binge listening to, it’s amazing.) about how he views Gotham as an extension of Batman’s (Dick as her first wrote in The Black Mirror and Bruce moving forward) psyche. That’s so clear in the couple of issues of Zero Year that I have picked up, and Snyder is quickly climbing the ladder as my favorite Batman writer. (All apologies to Dini and Morrison who I still love so much). Anyway, in the finale, Batman defeats The Riddler, all on his own, except also with the help of Jim Gordon and Lucius Fox and of course Alfred. After his victory, Bruce tells Alfred that he checked himself into Arkham for a time, and was about to undergo, I guess electro shock? Anyway, he decided against it, and decided to become Batman instead. His ex girlfriend shows up, and Alfred has a lovely fantasy of Bruce living a normal life. Which will of course, never happen, because Bruce refuses to see the girl. It’s bittersweet and lovely, and perfect, and I love Scott Snyder.

Batman And Robin #33: “Robin Rises: Cold Justice”

The Justice League spends an awful lot of time trying to convince Bruce not to resurrect Damian, and he’s really, really unhappy about it. Shazam is particularly dickish about it, which maintains my disdain for the New 52 Version. Even Captain Cold and Luthor are like, “We get it dude, but we can’t let you,” by the end. My favorite appeal comes when Bruce points out to Aquaman that if Darkseid had Mera, he’d be all over this shit. I also enjoyed the detail that the “-tt-” noise is the override code for the “Hellbat” armor. Such a loving and perfect detail. Turns out that Glorious Godfrey and Kalibak want to shoot Damian out of a cannon, which is awesome. Anyway, back not on Apokolips, Bruce kicks down Damian’s gravestone and catches fireflies (Not in that order) and Clark shows up and tells him how sorry he is. Bruce says he’s really, really ready to move on this time. Except, that he follows Titus down to the Batcave, where he has assembled, Barbara, Tim, Jason, and Alfred and they’re clearly going to Apokolips.

I really wish Dick wasn’t “dead.” He should be going with everyone to rescue his partner, no question about it.

Wonder Woman #33: “Paradise Lost”

Diana is being held prisoner by that weird God, who I can’t remember who he is, who really really wants to marry her and make babies. Which is weird. And gross. Which she says. Meanwhile, back on Paradise Island, her friends (and Orion, for some reason) make their last stand. Zola refuses to take shelter leaving Aleka vulnerable, as she promised Diana she would protect her. Anyway, the Amazons and The Sons of Paradise Island fight together to protect their home, which makes Diana proud, but she’s dying anyway. Also, Orion might be dying? Which is nuts, because this isn’t a Crisis and you can’t just kill on of the New Gods of New Genesis in a plain old regular issue of Wonder Woman, so I’m sure he’ll be fine. Anyway, then Zeke possesses a statue, which according to Rick Riordan is not a power of the children of Zeus…hmmm…

Superman #33: “The Men Of Tomorrow: Chapter 2: The New Superman”

If Scott Snyder is my new favorite Batman writer, Geoff Johns is my not so new favorite writer of everything. I mean, this is the man who wrote Flashpoint, so…anyway, it’s only two issues in, and I’m already completely obsessed with the new run of Superman. This issue opens perfectly, with Perry yelling at the staff about how they didn’t get pictures of Ulysses. Poor Jimmy looked ready to die. Anyway, then Clark shows up, he and Perry talk about the lab accident that sent Ulysses across dimensions. They make a deal that will get Clark back to the Planet. (Please!) Anyway, then Ulysses shows up, Clark explains secret identities to him, they get into some fights (with others, not eachother) and Clark brings him home to his parents, an it’s all pretty perfect.

Catwoman #33: “Race of Thieves: A Cold Case”

Selina is not happy when she realizes that Roulette played her but when she realizes that the murder case she’s been working is tied in to The Race of Thieves, it’s pretty great. I’m getting ready to say goodbye to this incarnation of Catwoman, since she’s about to be revamped into a straight up Gotham Mob boss. (Great, not she and Bruce are never going to get it together!) Anyway, she uses information that she put together a way to break Roulette and it’s all pretty great. Like always, I really enjoyed this book even if I wasn’t totally sold on the plot, because I love hanging out with Selina so much.

The Flash #32-33: “Cold Call & A Step Behind”

I somehow missed Flash 32, and I’m glad I was able to pick it up and catch up this week, because it’s probably the best issue in a while. The Future Barry that’s moving back in time sits by Captain Cold’s bedside and reminisces. Then he kills him, of course. Back in the current timeline, Barry and Patty are fighting (what else is new) because he’s spending too much time crime fighting. Then he goes to a baseball game with Wally and Iris and he and Wally bond and it’s the best.

33 was less awesome, but still good, Barry figures out who’s been comitting all of the murders and also gets tackled by himself. Wally gets arrested again, and Patty and Barry make up. It was hard to follow because I loved 32 so much, but I’m looking forward to picking back up with Flash again. I really do love it.

Secret Origins #4: “Harley Quinn,” “Green Arrow,” “Damian Wayne”

A character I used to love, a character I’m growing to adore and Damian.

While I love that Harley Quinn is currently DC’s top selling character, I really don’t love her new version. The new origin is kind of fun, which establishes that Harley was always kind of nuts and boy crazy which is what drew her to the Joker.  But it’s impossible to top “Mad Love,” and certainly not in this tiny 3rd an issue.

Oliver Queen’s origin is retconned fairly well here. It’s a fun story about the island and his father and not being a partying, playboy piece of garbage anymore. So that was fun. I love Ollie, so I’m always happy to see him.

And Damian. I love my Damian. But I’ve talked about this story. You know, Talia and Bruce boink. Damian raised as assassin. Damian moves in with Bruce. Bruce gets sent back in time. Damian runs around Gotham unsupervised for a while. Alfred and Dick make Damian Robin. Damian is sassy the whole time, everything is great. (Except when Damian dies and Dick has to fake his own death. Then everything is just THE WORST)

Future’s End #12

No Terry, but whatever. The Space Crew fought some robots, that was great. Star Girl is all punk and being stalked by Farraday, which makes sense but also makes me sad, because I love her and I guess this means she and J’onn didn’t get together, and also because I love her a whole lot. But she also seems to be running with Grifter’s crew, which is kind of cool. Meanwhile, in the future, the cyborgs have been torturing Joker and now they’re going to graft him and Bruce together, which is truly the stuff of nightmares.

Anyway, that’s DC this week. There was a lot, as it turned out.

 

Robin Rises: Dick Grayson As Batman

And so, Dick Grayson Appreciation Week draws to close. I spent a good chunk of the week rereading Prodigal, Batman & Robin: Reborn and finally last night, Batman: The Black Mirror.

I mentioned way back a million years ago, or on Monday, that Dick’s time in the cowl was among my favorites and was what cemented him as my favorite character.

After slogging through it, I can’t really apply that belief the Prodigal anymore. It comes on the tail end of Knightfall, which I really like when I first read it, but is so long. The dynamics Prodigal are still fun however, even if it is so hopelessly 90s. It presents the Dick/Tim bromance in a fashion that’s frankly completely adorable, and it has some of my favorite Tim moments ever.

Basically his astonishment at Dick’s abilities to function as a normal human by performing basic household chores (He cooks! He does laundry! He can use a broom!) is the single most adorable thing in the history of bored genius rich kids who decide to fight crime instead of buy hotels and psychologically manipulate their girlfriends. (I’m just saying that if he lived a world with Batman, there’s like an 85% chance Chuck Bass would have been a Robin…or possibly a villain called, “The Scarf…”) While this arc does give Dick a nice little redemption story by allowing him to beat Two Face, it simply way too of it’s moment to really grab me.

Also, I’m sorry. That hair was a huge mistake.

But the next time it happened was in Battle For The Cowl, which I didn’t reread because I’ve already read it 17 times, just about. It’s spectacularly great, but I just didn’t have it in me to tackle it again, and frankly, I just really wanted to move on to Batman & Robin, because in case I haven’t made it clear, it’s my absolute favorite comic, ever, ever, ever!

EVER!

EVER!

If watching Tim and Dick man flirt is great, it’s nothing compared to watching him and Damian give one another a hard time. (Though we’ll get back to that dynamic later with Black Mirror) They fight new villain Professor Pyg, almost get killed by Jason a whole bunch, although it takes them a little too long to figure out that it’s him. And given the snarky nature of the book, I’m always shocked that Morrison didn’t just have Dick flat out say, “Homicide is no way to express your middle child syndrome Jay. Can’t you just start fights by being passive aggressive at Thanksgiving like a normal person?” They bring back an evil zombie version of Bruce, who it talks like Bizarro if Bizarro was super drunk, Dick hits on Kate Kane. (It’s funny, cause she’s a lesbian!) Talia mind controls Damian to kill Dick and calls him “Circus Boy.”

Then Bruce comes back, and Batman Incorporated starts, and I don’t want to think about that, because then Damian dies and I get sad.

But then there’s The Black Mirror.

There is just about nothing wrong with this story, which, I did not realize was the beginning of Scott Snyder’s run on Batman. Everything about The Black Mirror is fantastic, from the paranoia the Dick faces due to being drugged, the seemless integration of the Gordon family into the story. The truly brilliant Dick and Tim and Dick and Alfred beats, Barbara’s fight back against her brother, that moment where Dick holds her and promises her that everything is going to be OK…

*sigh*

Sorry, fell a little deeply into fangirling there.

It’s awesome, is what I’m saying. It feels like a classic Batman and isn’t at all held back by the fact that it didn’t feature Bruce Wayne in the lead. Not even Beyond for all of it’s brilliance ever managed that. Terry is always tied to Bruce, both figuratively and often literally. This is a new Batman, and Bruce isn’t even a presence in these books. Dick does things his own way, and it’s always a lot of fun.

To that, Prodigal fails. Bruce’s shadow is everywhere in that story, but that’s sort of the point.

Thanks for coming on the ride with me this week. We had fun right? And so many things happened this week that I didn’t even get to comment on. So, looking forward to next week, where we will talk about new Harry Potter details, Mockingjay teasers and how the new Batgirl is already being compared to Veronica Mars…

Oh, and also, if issue #1 was any indication, Grayson is going to be giving me a lot more to fangirl over as it unfolds.

YJLU Special Batman: The Animated Series Edition: “Robin’s Reckoning” & “Performance”

So this is back, mostly because I would have felt remiss to not talk about Young Justice this week, but, because Dick was not a part Justice League or JLU, I decided to dive into Batman The Animated Series to do this one and only very special  version of the feature especially for Dick Grayson Appreciation Week!

The two episodes that I’m over thinking today are “Robin’s Reckoning,” an epic award winning 2 parter, that delves deeply into the psychology of Dick’s decision to be Robin and sows the seeds for the estrangement between him and Bruce and “Performance,” an episode where the team dresses up in funny circus outfits, Dick gets a cold, and Wally gets mad at him because he wasn’t invited on the mission and Roy is a jerk. (To be fair, on Young Justice Roy was always a jerk.) Um, I think I just gave away how this post was going to end.

Anyway, these two episodes were chosen because they’re both about exploring the reason behind Robin. Sure, there’s a world of difference between the 13 year old we see on Young Justice and the 18 year old on Batman, but he’s still Dick and both deal with revisiting the past in a visceral way and it helps them to move forward. Also, these are big, “Pre-Nightwing” moments in both series.

As I said, “Robin’s Reckoning” is the first time we really see that the dynamic duo doesn’t always get along, and “Performance” offers the first time Dick takes the lead on a mission (Kaldur is absent…for some reason. He’s in Atlantis, I guess?), the the extent that he even dispatches the mission, Batman is unaware of it. (And did I mention that Roy is a huge jerk for most of the episode? And the series? Good, glad we’re on the same page there.)

The mystery at the center of “Robin’s Reckoning” is about tracking down Tony Zucco, the low level thug who killed John and Mary Grayson. After finding him, Batman tells Robin to sit it out. He refuses and throw several hissy fits. The episode is also peppered with flashbacks from that fateful night at the circus and Dick’s move into Wayne Manor. The “present day” portion ends with Batman telling Robin that he didn’t want him to lose his life after everything else Zucco took away. The flashback ends with Dick learning that Batman is Bruce and becoming Robin.

It’s actually one of the less effecting of BTAS‘s emotional episodes, but it still packs a gut punch, and Dick’s declaration that he won’t be taking orders, “this time, or maybe not ever again,” becomes eerily resonant in The New Batman Adventures, where Dick has a bad ponytail and an even worse attitude. But Robin’s reckoning ends with a sweet moment between Bruce and Dick on two levels.

Then there’s Performance.

This is an episode I remembered with a great deal more affection than I had when I watched it again. It’s a decently fun adventure, pitting Connor, Megan, Artemis, Roy and Dick against Parasite, who’s trying to build a machine that sucks life forces because he just can’t get enough. He’s gathering the parts he needs by traveling through Europe with Haly’s Circus, and when the heat comes down, there’s just no way that Dick can let the place he grew up, the last connection he has to his family be anything less than vindicated. So, the team disguises themselves as The Danger Siblings, and have a convoluted act that shows off some of the coolest arrow shooting animation on a series filled with cool arrow shooting animation. There’s a few sweet moments, where Dick looks at a Flying Grayson’s poster and when Haly lets him know that he recognizes him.

I don’t think that this episode would have suffered as badly if I hadn’t literally just watched “Reckoning” which is truly a superb piece of work.

So this round goes to Batman: The Animated Series, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, because it is generally the best at everything.

Exploration of A Favorite: Dick Grayson

Grayson #1 comes out this week and I have every intention of either praising it to the heavens or ripping it to shreds in the DC Wrap Up on Saturday, but I’ve decided that this week is going to be about celebrating and exploring my relationship with my favorite character in comics, as the world gets ready to meet his new incarnation. And also, it will be all praise or derision for Grayson. There’s no grey area for me here. No, “Well, I liked it, but…” I will love or hate this book. This is partly my own fault for building it up in my head. Like many people, my introduction to Dick Grayson came on Batman, the TV show, which I watched with religious fervor as a child. Burt Ward’s incredulous Boy Wonder didn’t quite have to impact on me that other elements of that show did. (Julie Newmar’s Catwoman and Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl left a much bigger imprint.) But it did link the two in my head forever. Batman just wasn’t Batman without Robin, and Robin was Dick Grayson.

Then come Batman: The Animated Series. Like most people my age, this is the Batman that changed everything. We were too young to understand the real impact of Batman the 1989 movie, but BTAS, that was always there. If I devoured Batman (66), it was nothing to my memories of BTAS. I didn’t actually remember the show much, but I remember thrown fits when not being allowed to watch it. Getting up early to watch it on Saturday mornings. And of course, the original Bat-binge that was one of the catalysts for this blog had BTAS at it’s center and my adoration for Grayson really began. But we’re not quite there yet.

First, I want to talk about Chris O’Donnell. I don’t make a secret of the fact that before Batman Begins came out, Batman Forever was my favorite Batman movie. This is mostly due to my affection for Jim Carrey’s Riddler, Tommy Lee Jones’s existance as an actor and that weird mid-90’s, pre-pubescent, pre 9/11 nostalgia that obsesses a lot of people in their mid twenties and early thirties. But I can’t rule out Chris O’Donnell’s Dick Grayson as a reason. Sure, he was a little old for the part, and yeah, his, snarky, steal the Batmobile and go for a joy ride hijinks scream Jason, not Dick, but still, it’s a memorable performance in a halfway decent movie that I have a good deal of affection for. Then there’s The Movie That Shall Not Be Named. Whenever I think about Batman & Robin, I get really sad for Chris O’Donnell. I mean, before taking a role in a franchise that was supposed to take him to the next level, this kid was going places. He was in fancy thoughtful movies with people like Al Pacino. He was in one of the best movies of the 90’s, The Three Musketeers, he was young and handsome and decently talented and well on his way. Then, well, the incident happened and he disappeared for a while, only to come back as the Guy Who Was Obviously Going To Get Dumped on Grey’s Anatomy. O’Donnell has gone on record saying that Batman & Robin was the worst experience of his career, and that he felt like he was in a toy commercial. But there’s still a moment that I love in that movie and it comes when returning to the Batcave after being sidelined in a fight, Dick gripes to Bruce that, “you don’t understand what family is. In the circus we trusted each other, that’s why it worked.”

Say what you want about the rest of that movie, that is a classic Dick Grayson moment, smushed inside of a mess.

Even before I was overly familiar of the mechanics of the change I was fascinated by the idea of Nightwing and Robins that “graduated.” So two years ago when I dove into Batman Fandom with fury, and last year when I started reading comics, I quickly came to a realization that I loved this guy. Nightwing and more specifically Dick Grayson as Batman gave me everything I loved about Batman, without the self serious angst that after The Dark Knight Trilogy, I was, frankly, kind of sick of. And so he was declared my favorite.

Young Justice did a world or work to cement this, because everything about Young Justice is just the best. I mean, seriously, the best. I spend an inordinate amount of time wishing for some kind of continuation for it. But Dick’s arc, from young kid and good soldier to thoughtful young man and skillful leader is one of the most rewarding on a show full of rewarding arcs. But when it comes to comics, I can’t even begin to explain how much I love Battle For The Cowl and it’s aftermath, which saw Dick as Batman. Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn and Batman: The Darkest Mirror, are insanely, insanely good.

This. Forever.

This. Forever.

As is Dick’s return to being Nightwing in The New 52. His role in The Night Of The Owls is probably only matched on an emotional level by Bruce’s own, and his role in Pearl and Death of The Family, and his reactions to Damian’s death are some of the best stuff that I’ve read in the past year. I’m really excited to see the next chapter in his story and deeply hope that it doesn’t suck. Like, deeply, deeply. But we’ll see.

DC Comics Wrap Up: 6/18/2014

This was a fun week, in which I have finally whittled down and didn’t feel like I was slogging. I’m starting to plug into characters that I like and even love, and I’ve managed to catch on to most of the storylines that I hadn’t been following in the past. This is all good.

Anyway, let’s dive in to some super fun stuff.

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Batman And Robin #32: “Batman & R’as Al Ghul: The Hunt For Robin: Dark of The Sun”

Longest title ever, for an awesome book about Bruce reclaiming Damian’s body from R’as. Also Frankenstein is there. Things go predictably, with a quick reminder of Damian’s truly creepy origin. It’s also nice that Bruce is fighting for his son’s soul at the expense of his life. I mean, it hurts, because I miss the kid. But I’m still holding out hope that he’ll be back by the end of Eternal. I mean, he’ll be back right? We don’t have to wait 20 years like we did for Jason? And speaking of Jason…

Red Hood And The Outlaws #32

Jason had a big week you guys (he was a big part of this week’s Eternal too, finally!) While of course Kori got the worst end of the stick for pin up month…(I mean I get it, they went 80’s instead of 40’s, in theory it’s cool, but in practice, ugh…) But after finally finding their way back to Earth, the gang gets recruited by SHADE, (Also Kori drop kicks a nuke. God, give this girl her own book already!) And something happens to make Kori freak out. Roy makes quips, and Jason tells him to shut up, and it’s everything you want out of Outlaws for a month. There’s even a weird uncomfortable polyamory moment. In case you missed that aspect of this group. (Nobody missed that aspect.)

Future’s End #7

Frankenstein puts the hurt on Black Adam in the Phantom Zone, Terry puts the hurt on Mr. Terrific and Tim/Cal’s girlfriend Madison, who is the daughter of a War Profiteer, as it turns out, yells at Lois to just “leave us alone!” Also, it turns out Roy sent Lois a ton of cryptic information that she has no idea how to use. This fits with the Roy we know a little bit better than I thought. Grifter met his new partner and The Firestorm guys went on with their lives.

Supergirl #32: “Red Daughter of Krypton: Part 4: Homecoming”

So Kara didn’t have a handle on her lantern rage and Guy kicked her out. Good to know. So when she finds herself facing The Diasporans, a group of “the last of their kind” led by The World Killer, Kara goes into Kara Kick Ass Mode and fights the guy. Turns out he speaks Kryptonian, which totally threw her off her game. He declared that he was going to absorb her. Which is hilarious. You can’t absorb Kara Zor-El. She’ll kill you.

Wonder Woman #32: “The Beast of Times”

I love when Wonder Woman gets gross. I really do. It’s one of the only mainstream superhero books that can really carry heavy, heavy, gore without feeling forced. Probably because as a warrior, big battles are a big part of what she’s about. Diana has decided to take back Olympus for her friends, and it’s pretty gross. Also, Orion shows up at the end. Which. YES! More New Gods with Wonder Woman, just, all the time. Also, Wonder Woman’s pin up cover is really cool looking.

Alright you guys. That’s this week. See you all tomorrow for Marvel!

The Caped Crusader is Coming, and We Know How This Goes

So I know I promised not to harp too hard on Man of Steel 2, until more details actually come out, or we at least have a trailer. But I’ve decided that I’m going to give myself a pass once a month to blog about it.

That’s it, just once a month.

So, if another time in September I start writing about Ben Affleck, or how now Bryan Cranston probably isn’t Lex Luthor. (Ah, the internet, where one guys “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” becomes fact.!) you can all stop reading, or shame me, or whatever it is you do personally when I blogger breaks her promises?

We cool?

Anyway, as I sat reading Batman and Robin: Reborn this morning,(I’m completely addicted, by the way, to the times when Dick was Batman, the end of Knightfall, this Batman and Robin series, ugh, it’s all so good.)

I love how they're both smirking, all the time. I once said that "Sarcasm wasn't an effective crime fighting tool." I just hadn't seen it done right yet.

I love how they’re both smirking, all the time. I once said that “Sarcasm wasn’t an effective crime fighting tool.” I just hadn’t seen it done right yet.

and I realized the best part of them bringing Batman into the new larger DC Film Universe, (DCFU? It’s kind of a funny acronym.) through Man of Steel 2: Man of Steelier, is that we don’t have to do his origin story again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love origin stories. I think they’re the best part of superheroes, seeing why someone wants to put on tights and save people is fascinating. It’s one of the reasons that I will always, always, always defend Smallville.

But we don’t need to see another take on Batman’s origin story. We all know how it goes. Bruce Wayne is eight years old, he and his parents are walking down the street, they get pulled into an alley and mugged. The mugger shoots his parents. He never gets over it. He travels the world and learns how to fight a lot. He becomes Batman. Bad ass (Bat-ass?) crime fighting ensues.

Thanks to Christopher Nolan, most people even know about characters that were previously sidelined in Batman movies before, Lucius Fox, R’as Al Ghoul, Bane, Talia, Selina Kyle’s little buddy (who has many names, but she’s always there.) The Scarecrow. People know who theses folks are now.

So we don’t need to see eight year old Bruce Wayne walking down the street with his parents and them getting killed again. We really don’t. We’ve seen it in two Batman movies. Three if you count Mask of The Phantasm.

 

You should count Mask of The Phantasm , because it's amazing!

You should count Mask of The Phantasm , because it’s amazing!

So having Batman just show up in Superman’s movie, fully formed, without having to go into all of the tortured, weird fear of bats stuff is going to be great.

We get to skip to the good part.

Well, the other good part.

I mean, it’s Batman, so to me they’re pretty much all the good part.

OK, this is the bad part. But just this.

OK, this is the bad part. But just this.

Bat-Motion

Day 4 of Batman Week!

Guys, doing a themed week is hard, I was having trouble coming up with new topics. Luckily when I got home from work last night, two of my post adolescent male cousins were sitting on my parent’s couch, Johnny, who’s entering his 3rd year at the Naval Academy, and Jake, who just finished up his freshman year at James Madison University. If you want to talk pop culture, these are two of the guys you want to talk to.

So after a little while, I said, “I don’t know what to post tomorrow. Guys! Shout Batman things at me.”

They were already a little put out because I hadn’t included Darkwing Duck and Batmonk on my parodies list, but came at me with quite a few awesome suggestions.

But Johnny was the one who said, “Rank Batmobiles!”

I’m not going to rank Batmobiles. I am going to talk about Batmobiles though. It’s on my about page, but a few years ago I got to be near one of the 60’s Batmobiles, I even sat in it.

This remains one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. Like right after graduating from college.

When the early designs for “The Tumbler” the Batmobile from Batman Begins came out, there was a lot of talk about it. I remember one reporter or blogger (this was before I kept track of these things) saying the design made perfect sense for our times. The Batmobile has always been an amped up version of whatever car is considered “cool” in that time period.

The 60’s Batmobile was a racing hotrod, but longer and Bat themed. The Burton and Schumaker Batmobiles were slick and cleanly designed and made the much desired sports cars of that era look clumsy. Nolan’s Batmobile, is cool and functional and looks a lot like the Hummer, which in 2005, was the coolest of the cool.

Batman is constantly evolving, and one of the easiest ways to point to that evolution is through the Batmobile, it’s the first clue to the overall tone of a Batman flick.

Also, Jake wanted everyone to know, that when he was 8 and it first came out, he thought that Batman and Robin was the greatest movie ever. He has never rewatched it, because he doesn’t want to ruin the magic. (I’m very proud of the little freak I helped turn him in to.)

Mr. Wayne

I’ve decided that I’m going to post something everyday this week. And I’ve decided to do it for one reason, and one reason only:

IT’S COMING!

Unless you live under some kind of rock, you must be aware of the fact the The Dark Knight Rises , the third and probably final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series is opening on Friday. I’m really excited, but I’m trying to temper that excitement, since A) I have a job and I doubt that my coworkers would appreciate me talking about it incessantly, and B) I’m really busy this weekend so I probably won’t get to see it right away and I don’t want to bother the people I’m with constant whining that I’m hanging out with them and not seeing The Dark Knight Rises. 

So I’m going to get all of my excitement out watching Season One of Batman: The Animated Series, on TheWB.com, and writing lots of blog posts about Batman in general.

Today, I’m not going to talk about Batman, except that I am. I’m going to talk about Bruce Wayne.

Again, in case you live under a rock, Bruce Wayne is Batman’s true identity (or is Batman Bruce Wayne’s, it’s a little confusing…), billionaire playboy, who runs Wayne Enterprises, and I don’t know, is generally awesome.

One of the things that a lot of bloggers are going to this week is rank Batmen. (Bale Good, Clooney Bad) but I think what a lot of people don’t think about, is that playing Batman isn’t just playing Batman, it’s also playing Bruce Wayne. That’s not to say that an actor’s Batmanning isn’t the most important part, but there has to be a balance. So I’m going to discuss the interpretations of Bruce Wayne in the various film versions (not The Animated Series, because, well, I don’t really remember it well enough to do it justice…)

5. Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)

He’s dangerous, he doesn’t like Batman because he’s UNSAFE…

While I actually think that Batman Forever is the most underrated of the Batman films, Val Kilmer was a terrible Bruce Wayne. He’s a really good Batman. Like really good, all stoic and tall, and whatnot. However, Mr. Kilmer lacks the charisma and charm to make the whole billionaire playboy thing work.

4. Michael Keaton (Batman, Batman Returns)

Yeah, I don’t have anything witty to say…

I’m still convinced the only reason why Michael Keaton even got to play Batman is because Tim Burton hadn’t fallen in love with Johnny Depp yet, and people like Beetlejuice. (I am one of these people, that movie is AWESOME!) But he’s serviceable as the Dark Knight, with his own brand of broody sarcasm working, but he just isn’t suave enough to pull of Bruce Wayne.

3. Adam West (Batman: The Movie)

The ascot is what does it

Adam West, TV’s Batman, also got a feature film shot at it, and he gets major points, because well, he’s pure 60’s campy suave-ness. I buy every bit of him as a “billionare play boy with a secret” and it fits in to the vision of Batman presented so perfectly.

2. Christian Bale (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises)

It’s not who he is, it’s his tuxedo that defines him

This is a controversial choice, but please note that I purely ranking Bruce Wayne here, not the balance, which Bale wins with a bullet! But Bale’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne seems too reliant on Batman, and he’s such a g-d douchebag it’s hard to remember that he’s the good guy.

Which leaves…

1. George Clooney (Batman and Robin)

I don’t know if this is a picture of him as Bruce Wayne or just a picture of him…

Batman and Robin is a terrible movie. It really is. I’d never defend it. I will defend the casting of George Clooney however. Because it’s not George Clooney’s fault that he was given the worst Batman movie ever to star in. Because Clooney was born to play Bruce Wayne. Which is why he went on to play him, just not Batman in a different series of movies. Except he changed the name to Danny Ocean.

So those are my opinions…agree, disagree? Let me know!