Archive for the ‘Batman’ Category

BvD1I haven’t done one of these in a while, because honestly, recommendations generally aren’t necessary, at least in extended blog format. The moment you see something you like, either you tweet it or mention it on Facebook, or you text the person you think would like it, or some other site writes a thing on it and all you have to do is share a link.

But guys, Dracula kicked the everliving crap out of Batman in a cartoon made for kids and I feel like not enough of you know that.   (more…)

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A friend of mine mentioned that her co-worker was starting to read Batman comics for the first time in his life, and that got me thinking about how I would approach reading Batman if I’d never done it before, and what I’d recommend to an adult new-reader (we are going to call him Seamus, because I am sick of typing “new reader”).

Which is to say, if Seamus were just buying collected editions that were readily available online, rather than going to a comic store every Wednesday in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

I’d like your help on this one. Because while I think I’m on the right track, I’d like to see what everyone else considers “essential” Batman reading.

But also keep in mind the rule here – Seamus has NEVER READ A BATMAN COMIC BEFORE, and is probably going to hit Amazon before he visits his LCS. This is the audience you have to consider.

That said, I’m all for hearing about some “deep cuts” (good runs that you can only find in the back-issue bins – or more likely milehighcomics.com and the like) that will give Seamus that treasure-hunter feeling we all get when we dig around a little.

For this experiment, I’m using the format of the AV Club’s “Gateways to Geekery,” which means starting with one essential book, then some next steps, and a few advisories on what to avoid:

WHERE TO START
To me, the obvious place for Seamus to start – since the majority of Batman comics written in the last 25 years has used this as a tonal template – is Miller and Mazzucelli’s Batman: Year One, both for its status as the “modern” origin story, and for investing Seamus in James Gordon as much as he would Batman.

NEXT STEPS  (more…)

So listen, we have to face facts: Grant Morrison will not write Batman forever (ugh, god, just seeing those two words together makes my eyes burn).

I know, I know. Gnash your teeth, rend your garments, shake your fist bitterly at whatever deity has failed to meet your simple request of an ordered universe.

Now shake it off, because I have an even worse reality-check: Whoever comes in after Morrison is going to go ahead and undo all the neat stuff the Great Bald One has set into play.

It’s just the way of things. It may be a bit subtle – notice how little “Final Crisis” has impacted DC – or it may be an immediate reversal – see Chuck Austin’s follow-up to “New X-Men.” But it’s gonna happen.

And in a way, that’s okay. The thing about Grant Morrison is NOBODY WRITES LIKE HIM. Maybe if you got Matt Fraction and Joe Casey’s brains to make out for a weird weekend or two, you might get an acceptable off-brand flavor, but otherwise…well again, see Chuck Austin.

But any way you slice it, once Morrison runs out of ideas and moves on, writers are going to look at the whole “Batman, Inc.” era and not have any idea what to do. (Because as we’ve established, the reason nobody can play with Grant Morrison’s toys after he’s done with them is because they don’t know how to make the cool sound effects with their mouths.)  (more…)

batwomanSalon, TV Guide,  and other outlets are all trotting out their clever, not at all hacky variations on “Holy lesbian, Batman!” and reporting on the shocking news from the New York Comic Con – there’s a new Batwoman, and she’s gay! EEEEEEK!

Of course, she was just as gay and uninteresting as she was when she was actually introduced two years ago. But DC squandered media interest by basically sitting on the character for two years, so now they have to whip everyone up again, since she’ll be temporarily starring in Detective Comics now that Batman’s dead.

What’s this? You didn’t realize Batman was dead? Oopsie.

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ironmantrailer_54Favorite part of December? Year-end lists. So much gets released in a given year, it’s hard to keep track – even for some anal-retentive bloggers (ahem) who obsessively scan their own Netflix history.

Of the hundreds of films released this year, I managed to catch 21 either in theaters or on DVD, give or take. Which is not that bad, really, considering I know people who are actually happy to catch one lone film a year in theaters.

Less impressive: I’ve managed to miss the vast majority of films that end up on the big top-ten lists, like, say, Roger Ebert or the Onion’s AV Club (and you should go read those, they’re both fantastic). Not because I don’t want to. It’s just hard to justify paying $10.50 to see, say, Frank Langella as Nixon, when it’ll be just as satisfactory on DVD.

So instead of boldly proclaiming which were The Best Movies of the year, I’ll mention my five favorites – not necessarily the greatest movies of 2008, but certainly five that make me smile just thinking of them – in no particular order (links go to my longer reviews).

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