Tag Archives: Lois Lane

Comic Rack: Mark Millar = Do-Gooder, Rob Liefeld Quits DC, & Venom Invades Philly!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

Rob Liefeld Quits DC, Thousands Rejoice?

Liefeld is a pretty infamous name in the comics world. He’s generally known for his 90’s work,  which showcased his startling lack of attention or care to basic human anatomy, and a bizarre fascination with ridiculously sized guns and an inordinate amount of pouches. I know, it’s very hip to hate on Liefeld, but the dude really did contribute to the boom, and subsequent giant bubble burst of comics collecting in the 90’s, and the stigma his art and writing left on the industry is something from which they’re finally recovering. Well it seems he’s quitting DC, and as much as I’d like to celebrate, his reasons, are actually pretty concerning.

But he does have a very punchable face.

via [CBR]

 “This is the 4th time I quit in the last 4 months. This time it will stick,” he wrote from a theater, where he was watching The Expendables 2. “Never thought the Image section of my book would be topped. This last year was a humdinger. The DC52 chapters will go top all of it. […] Reasons are the same as everyone’s that you hear. I lasted a few months longer than I thought possible. Massive indecision, last-minute and I mean LAST minute changes that alter everything. Editor pissing contests… No thanks. Last week my editor said ‘early on we had a lot of indie talent that weren’t used to re-writes and changes … made it hard.’ Uh, no, it’s you.”  

I’m not Liefeld advocate by any means, but it’s hard to not see where he’s coming from. Things at DC do seem pretty haphazard, and just barely thrown together. I love DC, and they really do have some great writers telling great stories, but lets face it, their editing team has always been one huge clusterf***. With the departure of Morrison for similar reasons, and other writers like George Perez also giving similar complaints, things on the editing front over at DC seem at the very best, shaky, and that’s putting it as nicely as I can. It does kind of explain why George Perez’s run on Superman was total dogshit boring though, and I’m a HUGE Superman fan. I’m just hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to any of my other favorites like Jeff Lemire, or Scott Snyder. That’d be a pretty huge loss to the company that not even a thousand Geoff Johns writing on a thousand typewriters could fix.

In A Startling Move, Mark Millar Is Not  A Horrible Person For Once!

You’d almost never guess he’s pure evil inside. Also, Scottish.

So despite being a terrible comics writer, who shits out bad comics purely to be optioned into films, he still somehow is popular, and has a rabid fan base. This fan base has in turn, made him very rich and successful. In a shocking movie, he’s finally decided to use this fan base for good, rather than more evil. It would seem some horrible, sexist, racist, misogynist, generally all around asshole, (the twist is that it’s not Mark Millar!), has been harassing various female comics writers and artists on twitter for quite some time. The guy has posed as several different names on twitter, and has been doing this for about 2 years, according to Sue from @DCwomenkickingass The tweets, emails and god knows what else, all are pretty lousy, terrible things to say, and the lot of them are far beyond typical “Lol you suck” hater tweets, venturing into downright harassment and outright online bullying. Here are collected few: via [BleedingCool].

 @happysorceress Vixen? Seriously? LOL. She’s the most usless black female character in comics. And that’s saying something.

@kellysue Captain Marvel sucks. Just sayin. Put that hot little piece of blonde pussy back in black thigh highs and move on already

@CertainshadesL I’m guessing you wouldn’t be as amused if you were being gang raped by black guys in lois lane masks. Yeah, I’m thinking no.

@ronmarz right, because it’s easier to go after spelling when you’re to f***ng lame to deal with the actual point. Nicely played, cunt face

@gimpnelly and being a liberal, you certainly love to embrace hate. You’re just jealous that you’re too ugly to be in porn, f***ing mutt.

@GailSimone calls Condoleeza racial slur and liar, African American fans shocked at Simone’s uncharacteristically intolerant/cruel comments

@MarkWaid refuses to disavow claims that he called Romney’s wife “white corporate whore”, fans shocked at Waids comment

@maguirekevin Kevin Maguire calles Condoleeza Rice an “ignorant ni**er war monger”. Fans are shocked at artists racist comments

@MarkWaid geyser of lies, you mean like when he said that Mitt gave a woman cancer? Whoops! F***ing hypocrites like you make me laugh Kind of like the time

@laura_hudson said “white people are ruining comics”. Yeah, that’s not irrational, I’m just entitled for not agreeing

@Curicon @valeriegallaher @TheNerdyBird eh…bunch of no talent bitches that need a few hours as the star in a tentacle filled hentai film.

@Curicon @valeriegallaher @TheNerdyBird poor choice of words. Should have said “victim” instead of “star”. The tentacles are the star.

So Mark Millar finally went and used his powers for good, by writing this on his message board: via [CBR]

So I’m asking you guys a favour. I’ve managed to secure this guy’s name and address, but he’s stateside and I’m unsure what the next step should be. In the UK, he would be charged by the police under the Malicious Communications act, but we have a lot of smart cookies on here and I know there’s several US attorneys who post here regularly. If we have his details and copies of his communication, how can he be prosecuted? If any of the pros who have been attacked here would like to make a case against him I’ll personally cover the legal costs. Twitter, I would imagine, can confirm his IP address if the artists make a formal complaint to the police. Apparently several of those he’s harassed took Millar up on the offer, as today he came back and posted: Thank you very much, but I engaged a criminal lawyer in LA yesterday and have one of the women involved co-ordinating with the others today, hopefully. I don’t want to say much more in a public forum just now as it may prejudice the case and between the details we’ve got and the tweets we saved the police have everything they need. Even if this doesn’t go to court the guy should hopefully be publicly outed in California and the shame of this will not only stop him attacking women online, but also discourage others from trying this in future. I found out last night that this idiot had been making sexual threats to some of the women concerned for over two years now. Again, I stress that readers shouldn’t try googling the names he’s using as innocent parties may get targeted. He’s using false names for the most part, as you might expect. His IP address is all that matters and we’ve nailed the clown. This is a police matter now.

Basically, Millar used some old-fashioned Internet Detectives to get the guys details, and had his police goons send him a cease and desist, or a subpoena, or a effin’ bomb, I don’t know, I have no idea what cops actually do. All of my knowledge about them is from The Wire and Breaking Bad. Regardless, screw that guy, and good on Millar for finally attempting to apprehend horrible, sexist, racist, misogynist assholes on the internet. If somebody shows him Reddit though, he might have a stroke and die, and ironically there’d be one less sexist, racist misogynist left in the world. Hmm…. No.. No that’d be murder. Or at least manslaughter, as so McNulty tells me.

Venom Moves To Philly, Says It’s Always Sunny There.

Alright, I haven’t read a Spider-Man book, in about, oh going on nearly 4 years now. I’ve never been a big fan of his, and despite my hope, that his new movie would be good, it was the worst piece of dogshit I’ve seen since Ang Lee’s Hulk. I’ve never really been that big a Spider-Man fan, when it came to the comics. I remember liking him when I was younger, but that was mostly because of the cartoon on FOX, and really, the toys were pretty cool. When it came to comics I was always a Superman/Batman guy. I know, my predilection for DC is showing again, I’m sorry. But stuff like Venom moving, is something I find innately funny. Especially the entire concept of him going to Philly, just makes me laugh. I know the current Venom is no longer Eddie Brock, and has been Flash Thompson for a while now, and the concept behind the move is actually pretty sound. via [Newsarama]

“Now, he’s trying to do the right thing,” series writer Cullen Bunn told the AP. “He’s reassessing what it means to be a hero. And he’s looking for a fresh start. This means a lot of things for Flash. He’s surrounding himself with new people — such as tabloid journalist Katy Kiernan and his new love interest, the Asgardian Valkyrie. He’s changing his approach to being a superhero. And he’s looking for a change of scenery.” Series editor Tom Brennan, a graduate of Philly’s Drexel University, said it’s time Philly had a hero of its own, putting it in the same league as L.A. and New York, among other real-life cities that populate the Marvel Universe. “All the while that I lived there, I wanted a superhero for the city of Philadelphia, a town full of heart, hustle and hope — and I don’t care what anyone says — some of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Brennan said. “Sure, they don’t suffer fools, and you’ve got to be mindful if you cross against the light, but I found the City of Brotherly Love to be a character in and of itself that I thought more fiction should explore.”

Bahahaha what? Guns? Seriously? Oh man…

I mean that makes sense. Why shouldn’t Philly have its own hero? Superheroes are all around the place in the Marvel U, so lets throw Philly a bone. If Detroit gets RoboCop, why shouldn’t Philly get Venom? But still, the thought of Venom eating Cheese steaks, hanging out on the street, drinking a 40 and singing Biz Markie, just goddamn cracks me up. If they don’t throw in The Gang from It’s Always Sunny In Philadephia in a background panel or something, that’s gonna be a pretty huge missed opportunity.

Scott Pilgrim Creator’s New Project!

If you haven’t read it by now, you owe it to yourself to go and pick up all 6 volumes of the Scott Pilgrim comics, or some collected version and read it. Seriously. It’s one of those things that you wish you could forget about so you could read it for the first time, again. Stunningly, it was turned into a movie that was somehow EVEN BETTER than the comics, by the sheer amount of raw skill in story condensation used, as well as creative filmmaking in general. But I digress, the real hero here is Bryan Lee O’Malley, who really seem to has his finger on the pulse of the current generational zeitgeist, as his work in Scott Pilgrim alone truly speaks to the current generation of young adults. Any project of his is immediately worth noting for this reason alone, and with that, comes the news of Seconds, his latest graphic novel. via [CBR]

“I came up with the general idea for Seconds right after completing the first volume of Scott Pilgrim,” O’Malley says. “I worked in a restaurant in Toronto for a little while to pay the bills while writing the second volume and planning the rest of the series, and I had a few ideas for this other story, a story about a restaurant. So, Seconds is about a restaurant, and the restaurant is called Seconds, and 90 percent of the story takes place within it. Beyond that it’s really hard for me to explain and I’m going to have to work on that so I can talk about it properly when it comes out. But it’s funny and weird and kind of big and crazy despite the mundane setting.” Asked whether Seconds will be “realistic” like his 2003 graphic novel Lost at Sea, or feature more fantastical elements like Scott Pilgrim, O’Malley continued, “Seconds is grounded in the reality of this restaurant environment, and I did do plenty of research, so there’s that. It takes place in a town that is like a kinder, gentler fairy tale version of reality. Then it takes off into a story that is very strange, very mental. So it’s a little of both, I guess.  The protagonist, Katie, is a loveable spaz, and she’s in practically every panel; her personality drives the story in a way that’s basically identical to my other work. They’re all very subjective worlds. But this is a new subject, so it’s got its own feeling.”

Some might say a comic about a restaurant just sounds like a strange setting, but that’d be ignoring the tons of great indie books that take place in normal everyday settings. I’m really looking forward to this book, and you should be too. Now go, go out and read/watch Scott Pilgrim if you haven’t. Seriously. I’ll wait.

Lois Lane And Clark Kent, Not Happening In New 52.

The current big hoopla in DC fandom is the newfound relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman. However, most fans seemed to treat it as unofficial Official canon, that sure, it’s happening, but it won’t count, and eventually Clark will end up with Lois, because c’mon, Lois & Clark. Duh.

This picture is seconds before hot, sexy, Super-Penetration.

Not so says DC, as they seem intent on not going down the whole Lois route once again. via [Newsarama]

In an interview with the Associated Press, Johns and Lee hinted that the other elephant in the room, Lois Lane’s previously-thought destined relationship with Clark, simply doesn’t exist. AP writer Matt Moore even went so far as to say “She’s still around, but the two have never dated, nor are they likely to.” Lee added to the assumption, and noted that this relationship will reach far beyond just the pages of Justice League or just the reactions of other superheroes. “The way Geoff unfolds the story and the implications of 2 of the most powerful characters in the DCU becoming a team is something that goes beyond the question of ‘What about Lois and Clark?” This is a statement to every nation and geopolitical organization in the entire DC Universe giving creative teams ample material to explore this relationship on so many different levels.” Meanwhile, at the New York Daily News, Lee says he likes that this will get people talking. “If you change anything from the length of a cape to the shape of a belt buckle, there’s always some fan that notices and is appalled. “We’re very lucky to have a very passionate fan base.”

That last quote is really kind of a fancy way to say, “Stop whining nerds, geez”, and get away with it. And you know, I’m okay with it. We’ve seen Lois and Clark together for decades, why not let him have a shot at somebody who can, you know, bear the full brunt, if you will? A woman who can take what he can give? Who doesn’t have to worry about his daring exploits? Sex. She can have sex with him without fear of horrible death. Is what I’m saying. Because she’s wonderful. She’s a wonderful woman. Ugh. I’m annoying myself now. Anyhow, I’ll be interested to see how the whole relationship plays out, because holy hell, that break up will be HORRIBLE. Entire cities laid to waste because of emotional outbursts from both parties. Well, maybe not Superman, but possibly Wonder Woman? Maybe? Oh god am I being sexist? Will Mark Millar send after me now? What’s that knock at the door? OH FU-

Hero Express: ‘The Flash’ Movie Still Alive, New ‘Avengers’ TV Spot, and Animation Station!

Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the top five stories in comic based Film & TV news!

Man of Steel Gets a New Banner!

There has been a bit of silence from the Man of Steel camp lately but we get our firs tlook at some production material for the film. The release of a new banner shows a new or slightly different ‘S’ shield that would look great as a belt buckle. What, you don’t wear superhero belt buckles? Anyways, here’s a look at the banner with an updated cast list from SuperHeroHype:

Henry Cavill plays Superman in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. The film also stars Amy Adams as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Laurence Fishburne as her editor-in-chief, Perry White. Starring as Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, are Diane Lane and Kevin Costner.

Squaring off against the superhero are two other surviving Kryptonians, the villainous General Zod, played by Michael Shannon, and Faora, Zod’s evil partner, played by Antje Traue. Also from Superman’s native Krypton are Lara Lor-Van, Superman’s mother, played by Ayelet Zurer, and Superman’s father, Jor-El, portrayed by Russell Crowe. Rounding out the cast are Harry Lennix as U.S. military man General Swanwick, as well as Christopher Meloni as Colonel Hardy.

Possible The Wolverine Teaser Poster!

Here is a look at a very cool poster for James Mangold’s The Wolverine. Unfortunately upon further investigation by ScreenRant it turns out that the poster was only a concept art that probably won’t be used. It’s still a great simplistic look at the direction of the movie. The Wolverine will explore some of Wolvy’s time in Japan, which fans of the original series (by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller) remember with fondness. A lot about the movie is still unknown but it is underway, and will be Hugh Jackman’s 5th outing as Logan (I’m counting the cameo in X-Men: First Class) which is a lot of years spent with the character.

I mean how cool is that?

The Flash Is Still High On DC’s List!

A lot of doubt has been placed on some of the other characters of the DC Universe ever getting the cinematic treatment. Batman and Superman have been pretty secure, but Green Lantern came nowhere near making enough money and Wonder Woman not making it on TV means DC has to make some decisions. And it sounds like they might be making good steps as they rethink strategy and focus on a character I’ve been dying to see on the big screen. GeekTyrant reports:

This bit of news comes from Wrath of the Titans screenwriter Dan Mazeau who also wrote a draft of The Flash script. Here’s what he told blastr in a recent interview:

I think Warner Bros. is finalizing their strategy of how they want to roll out their DC superheroes and obviously they’ve got Batman in an incredibly great place and Green Lantern, I think, performed okay. I think they probably would have liked it to have done better, but yeah, there is still a whole lot of excitement for the DC universe and I know The Flash is very high on the list.

It’s like anything though. It has to come together with the right cast. It has to come together with the right director and sort of the right moment and so they’re trying to push the rock up the hill…hopefully there will be some news soon, but right now I can’t really say anything else.

The Avengers TV Spot Reveals The Aliens!

A brand new TV Spot has been released that features some new footage, especially of Loki’s alien army, and the Hulk beating the hell out of ’em. Let’s take a look at the spot first and then discuss:

Some cool shots in there, plus I think I saw some glimpses of Red Hulk and Vision in there as well. A new pic was recently released which shows quite a lot of Avengers, which is always good in my books. Newsarama has the photo:

Here’s also a great look at some of the character designs and storylines from Season 2:

I love this show. Here’s why I think you should be watching it!

Young Justice Season 2 Sneak Peek!

And not to be outdone is Cartoon Network’s Young Justice which is continually impressing me. I greatly enjoyed the first season which proves its a new take on the Teen Titans/Young Justice, with some great characters and guest stars from the DCU. Not to mention Rob Lowe as the voice of Captain Marvel, which is perfectly hilarious. Here’s a ‘sizzle reel’ of the second season from ComicsAlliance:

It’s not necessarily chock full of new footage, but it certainly puts together all the leading stories from the first season into what could be a killer second season. Expanded storylines, new characters and more of the awesomeness that sculpted the first season. I am looking forward to this.

And that’s it for this edition of Hero Express! And click here for more!

Don’t forget to sound off in the comment section below about any of our top stories!

Hero Express – ‘The Avengers’ Banners, ‘Man of Steel 2’. and ‘TDKR’ Wraps?

Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat.

This is the Hero Express for November 22nd, 2011:

New Avengers Character Banners – (Yahoo / Moviefone)

The start of the promotional campaign for The Avengers has begun with a set of character banners that gives us a look at the main characters of the movie. We’ve certainly seen a good deal of these characters in all the set photo’s and the trailer that was recently released, but these posters are still pretty cool.

Alan Silvestri Will Score The Avengers(SuperHeroHype)

Having previously scored Captain America: The First Avenger, Silvestri returns to the MCU to handle potentially the biggest Marvel movie EVER. No pressure.

“I think to have been a part of the Marvel process is very helpful,” says Silvestri. “To see how material evolves [and] how the film evolves gives the sense of how Marvel treats their characters, cares for them, and a bit of what that Marvel post-production process feels like.”

The key challenge for Silvestri this time around is to move from one big screen hero to a whole team, representing the entire cast musically.

“This is actually a very unique experience [for me],” he continues. “I’ve worked on films where there have been a number of stars and certainly worked on films where there have been characters of equal weight in terms of their level of importance and profile in the film, but this one is somewhat extreme in that regard because each of these characters has their own world and it’s a very different situation… It’s very challenging to look for a way to give everyone the weight and consideration they need, but at the same time the film is really about the coming together of these characters, which implies that there is this entity called the Avengers which really has to be representative of all of them together.”

Joss Whedon Discusses His Avengers – (CinemaBlend)

Directing large casts and dealing with comic book characters is nothing new to Joss Whedon, and he discusses some details about the main characters in The Avengers.

For Avengers, Whedon and Downey worked together to find the right balance of where and who Stark’s character should be after the previous two films. “He didn’t want to be the tortured lonely man, which I totally get,” said Whedon. “And it was easy to make him as delightful and gregarious as he can be and still go, well, there is a piece missing and it’s the piece that makes him an Avenger.”

Whedon said that Captain America, traditionally considered a hard character to “crack,” was one of his favorites — precisely because he’s such a straightforward character. As Whedon explained:

I am the guy who loves Cyclops on the ‘X-Men’, because he is square. [Captain America] is a little square, and he is aware that he is a little square, and he is aware that the world is a beat ahead of him, or in his case, 70 beats. I think that’s very disarming and very charming. I relate to that guy. I also don’t know who the popular singers are right now, so he is actually really easy for me to write.

In spite of Whedon’s love of writing Captain America as a bit of a square, there were times where actor Chris Evans asked him to tone it down just a little bit. Whedon explained that Evans is “very aware of [Captain America’s] dignity, but at the same time understood why I wanted to find the humor in somebody who was so out of touch.”

Perhaps the character with the most convoluted recent history is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. Unlike Downey, Evans, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, he had the challenge of stepping into the role for the first time, despite the character having been played twice in recent years in two unrelated reboots (first by Eric Bana, then by Edward Norton). Rather than referring to the recent films as their “official” version, Whedon and Ruffalo cast their eyes further back for their Hulk touchstone. “Both of us agreed upfront that the template for who we wanted this guy to be in his life was Bill Bixby, the TV [show character] who was busy helping other people,” said Whedon. “That was more interesting to us than the Banner in the first two movies who was always fixated on curing himself.”

Yea, We’ve seen character development in the 6 movies that have preceded Avengers, so I don’t really need Whedon to handle all of that, but I’m still excited.

Why Kenneth Branagh Left Thor 2 – (Splashpage)

I think most fans of Thor were a little upset when we found out Branagh was not going to be directing the sequel. He brought a lot of great elements to one of the hardest Marvel movies and it worked. If Thor hadn’t worked, I don’t think the MCU would have had a chance. So why did Branagh leave?

“[It was] simply timing,” he said. “I loved doing the movie, I’d love to do another movie for Marvel, and it was just timing. The requirement for me was just to get back in the saddle so swiftly that it wasn’t really feasible, but it was a decision [Marvel] understood.”

Being as classy as ever, Branagh went on to praise Patty Jenkins, who will replace him as director, saying: “I, along with a lot of other people, are very excited about the appointment of Patty Jenkins. I think that’s a great choice to direct the movie.”

“I know that Kevin Feige and all the people I worked very closely with, who were absolutely parts of the creation of that movie, are keen to produce a great second picture,” he said. “So it was the right decision for me and for them and I am really looking forward to see how the second one develops.”

Watchmen Scribe Discusses His Black Widow Script – (Splashpage)

David Hayter had penned a Black Widow movie before she was even a gleam in Jon Favreau‘s eye. But like a lot of potentially great movies it was never made, and Hayter explains why:

“Unfortunately, as I was coming up on the final draft, a number of female vigilante movies came out,” he said in an interview posted at Blastr. “We had ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Kill Bill,’ which were the ones that worked, but then we had ‘BloodRayne’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ and ‘Aeon Flux.'”

Hollywood felt that there were too many similar movies coming out to want to back the project, according to Hayter, who was understandably upset after all of his hard work and dedication.

“I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful,” he said. “I had not only invested a lot of time in that movie, but I had also named my daughter . . . Natasha.”

Hayter told a few details about his script, which would apparently take place in post-Soviet Russia and involve nukes and sanitariums.

Adi Granov Discusses His Marvel Movies – (BadTaste)

This is a cool interview with Adi Granov, a great artist who was instrumental in concept designs for the Iron Man movies. Here he discusses some other work he’s done for Marvel. At the link, the interview is in Spanish, but if you keep scrolling they posted the English version beneath.

There is a Mark everyone is waiting to see on the big screen, the Hulkbuster. It’s a fan favourite armour…


I know. I see things this way. In the first movie we had the Iron Monger, the idea for him came from the Hulkbuster. 
I did a cover with the Hulkbuster in it. Jon Favreau liked that design and asked me to draw something similar to it for the Iron Monger. So technically the Iron Monger is the Hulkbuster, and that I think is why for a while we won’t see it in a movie. It would only be yet another Iron Man big type of armour.

The geeky community of BadTaste.it didn’t fail to notice the brief cameo of Fing Fang Foom in the Iron Man 2 movie. Considering that it’s your artwork, can you tell us something more about this character and it’s relationship with the Iron Man Franchise?


I mean, Fing Fang Foom is an old Iron Man villain. The director of the movie Jon Favreau and I were doing a comic book together and the villain in that was Fing Fang Foom. And I did the design for Fing Fang Foom. So Jon Asked me to do the design so he could put that in a poster in the movie.
That was the only reason. It was all like some sort of inside… not Joke, but just a thing he did because we where working with it in the comic…



And maybe so you could use the design in a new movie?


I don’t know (laughs) I think Fing Fang Foom is a bit… it’s a character that works in comics, but I don’t think that the mainstream audience that sees movies would understand… they would probably think it is ridiculous.

Ok let’s talk about SPOILERS. I know you can’t say very much about it, but you also know that in the very nexy hours we will see some minutes of the Avengers movie. Can you tell us something about it? Something new?


The problem is that I don’t know what has been shown yet, and I don’t know what marvel already told…

Perfect, we will exploit this weakness
!

[laughs] Probably not. I just don’t know what… how much… like… for example I did a painting for the avenger movie where you see the Avenger for the first time united as a group, and I meet a friend a couple of weeks ago who had that as a desktop and I was completely surprised, asking him where that came from, because I didn’t know Marvel had released it and I looked up on the Internet and weeks before that they showed some kind of trailer that had the painting in it and I didn’t even think there would be a painting in it. Someone took a screenshot of it and suddenly this painting was everywhere.
 That’s the kind of stuff. I can’t keep track of all the informations that…

But you really can’t. You have to think that now everyone has a cellphone and a camera in it, so the message boards are flooded with behind the scenes images. It’s out of control… so we can already see Capitan America and Thor that fight with some guys in mocap suit. Are they the Skrulls?

[laughs a lot] Well well… I really know what the villains are, but I’m not gonna confirm or say here!

Not a lot of new information, but the interview is a good look at some of the other steps it takes to bring these characters to the big screen.

AKA Jessica Jones Takes Place In The MCU – (Splashpage)

Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote the Twilight movies, speaks on where AKA Jessica Jones fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and some of the characters she wants to use.

“I wrote it kind of off season so it fell in between seasons,” she explained to HitFix. “So, we are waiting to see what happens for the upcoming season now and our hope is that it will come to life at that time. It fell between the cracks of the seasons and, hopefully, this will be the one.”

Would “Jessica Jones” take place in the larger Marvel Universe we’ve seen in recent film adaptations? Rosenberg said that it would, but that doesn’t mean she can use any character she feels like.

“It’s very tricky navigation there,” she admitted. “You can’t mention one guy because Fox has the rights to that guy and Universal has the rights to the other one. There are a lot of boundaries on who you can and can’t use.”

“I had Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and Carol Danvers [for the pilot script],” she went on. “Basically, I wanted those three guys — then I would have a series. Everyone else we can be digging into lesser known characters or taking known characters and renaming them.”

James McAvoy Discusses X-Men: First Class Sequel – (GeekTyrant)

While a sequel is still up in the air at this point, McAvoy talks about what he thinks his character, Professor X, should deal with in X-Men: Second Class. I really hope they don’t call it that, and instantly regret writing it.

“[Xavier] can’t just become the guy that we saw in the first three movies,” says McAvoy. “He just had two major things happen to him. He’s lost his best friend, essentially, and he’s just been paralyzed from the waist down. Which is just a huge, huge blow to his considerable ego. So he’s got to deal with that… You’ve got to deal with that, I don’t care if he’s a superhero and has brain powers or not, he’s just had a huge part of his physical life taken away from him, by someone he cares about more than anyone else. So he’s got to deal with that.”

I would absolutely be interested in a First Class sequel, hoping of course it keeps the creativity from the first one, doesn’t go mutant crazy like X-Men: The Last Stand, and Michael Fassbender returns as Magneto.

Fassbender Also Wants More Professor X – (Splashpage)

He spoke out on his thoughts for the sequel, and they mirror McAvoy’s. It seems this is turning more into X-Men: Origins – Professor Xavier then a sequel to First Class. I’m oddly fine with that.

When asked about whether he saw Magneto, nee Erik Lehnsherr, as a true bad guy after the first one’s finale, he said he wasn’t so sure. “I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think he’s all right, isn’t he?” he said. “Human beings having been doing some bad sh– to him.”

Fassbender has talked about his enthusiasm for a sequel before, but spoke mostly in generalities about what could be next for the mutants. What Fassbender wants to see most has to do with his co-star, James McAvoy‘s character, Charles Xavier.

“I’m very interested to see where we pick up with Charles Xavier, to be honest. In the film we just did, ‘First Class,’ we got to see how Magneto becomes Magneto, how he leaves Erik behind and takes on the persona of Magneto,” Fassbender said. “We’ve yet to see how Charles develops into Professor X. I think that’s going to be interesting to take a look at.”

When MTV News spoke with Fassbender before, the actor mentioned that he and McAvoy had formulated some of their own ideas for a sequel. During the most recent interview, he still expressed interest in getting some of those thoughts in front of the camera.

“I bumped into James literally just before I came over to the States to do all this press, and we’re both pretty keen to sit down with [the director] Matthew [Vaughn],” he said. “Hopefully Matthew’s going to be interested in doing the next one, if that’s the case, and really getting in there at the ground level with the writer and get some of our ideas in there.”

The Dark Knight Rises Wraps Production? – (Splashpage)

According to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it’s a ‘picture wrap’ on The Dark Knight Rises. Whether that means the whole production has finished or his role has remains to be seen, but he goes on to talk a little about the cast’s feeling about the final chapter of the trilogy.

“Everyone (on set) is really excited about what we’re making ‘cause everyone knows we’re making something good,” he said. “We’re not just doing it for a paycheck, we’re not just punching the clock, everyone really cares about the movie, and that always makes it way more fun to do.”

Cavill Compares His Man of Steel to DC’s New 52 – (Splashpage)

I think we all saw some similarities between DC’s New 52 Superman and the upcoming Man of Steel‘s Superman, but Henry Cavill tells us about it anyway.

“There are a lot of people who have dedicated their life to loving this character,” he said. “Their opinion does matter… I’ve done my research on the source material. I have my opinions on the various bits and bobs, but sometimes there will be a little gem out there about one of the books, and I’ll say to myself, ‘Yeah. That’s a good point.'”

“When [‘The New 52’] came out, everyone went, ‘Arrhhh! Everything’s changed,'” he said. “It’s part of the evolution of the character. There is a modernization to it, and certainly our style is making him easier to associate with because it’s pretty tough to associate with an invulnerable alien.”

No… it isn’t. But obviously DC and Warner Bros are going to relate the movie Supes with the brand new DC Superman, that’s just great marketing.

Amy Adams’ Lois Lane is a ‘Clean Slate’ – (Splashpage)

There’s been a lot of debate regarding the casting of Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and it certainly isn’t a name a lot of people were throwing around for Lois before she was cast. She talks a little about her approach to the character with one of the richest and long standing histories of any female character.

When asked if she were influenced by previous Lois Lanes or if she were treating this as a clean slate, Adams replied, “Yeah, I treat it like a clean slate. I mean, I come from theater where people play the same role over and over again. And so I’ve always approached acting that way.”

“But I have a lot of reverence and respect for the people who’ve come before me,” she went on. “I mean, there’s a long history, you know, of television and film performances of Lois Lane. I definitely have a lot of respect for them and take what I can from them.”

Man of Steel 2 Already looking For Writers – (Splashpage)

Generally, if a sequel script is commissioned before the original hits theaters, this is a good sign. Not always, but sometimes. So does that bode well for Man of Steel?

According to a rumor originally appearing on the awesomely named ThinkMcFlyThink, the latest film to get the early sequel script order is none other than Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, “Man of Steel.”

The report claims that Warner Bros. already has a shortlist of potential scribes for the sequel with “Harry Potter” writer Steve Kloves at the very top.

The two other writers mentioned in the rumor are Travis Beacham of “Clash of the Titans” and the upcoming Guillermo del Toro film “Pacific Rim” and the legendary Lawrence Kasdan, the man behind “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Splashpage goes a little further and weighs out some pros and cons of the rumored writers here. I think it’s a little early for a sequel to be talked about, but it might mean that things look so good that someone’s interested. Keep in mind, Green Lantern received a sequel script as well.

And that’s it for this edition of the Hero Express. It was more Hero than Express, but we’ll have another one for you later in the week, so keep us your one-stop shop for all your nerdy news!

For more Hero Express click here!

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The Griz Bin – Emma Frost’s Boobs, Superhero Weaknesses, and Awesome Cosplay

Welcome to The Griz Bin, a weekly look at the wide world of comic related nonsense that we all know and love.

Batman Loves You: Which means all is right with the world – [Movie Club]

16 Year Old George R. R. Martin’s Letter To Marvel: The Game of Thrones scribe tells them what’s really hood – [thedailywhat]

20 Downsides To Being A Superhero’s Parent: A series of images showcasing the horrors… and the hilarity – [Cracked]

The New Fantastic Four: Art by rawlsy. How awesome would this team have been in the long run? Civil War? No problem. Secret Invasion? Get outta here. Fear Itself? Fear NOTHING! – [GeekTyrant]

Stylish X-Men Design’s: David Tran re-imagines some iconic X-heroes, and making them cooler than they’ve ever been – [ComicsAlliance]

The Most Ridiculous Covers of Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane: We have clearly come a long way in comic storytelling. – [GammaSquad]

The 7 Most Hilariously Mismatched Superhero Battles: Great, another list that features Dazzler. Everything in the world > Dazzler – [Cracked]

Top Ten Most Ridiculous Moments In Comic Movie History: And with a huge amount of ridiculous movie moments to choose from, I think they put together a pretty good list – [LaserCola]

Emma Frost’s Biggest Liability – Boobs: Liability means strength, right? Sorry, I’m distracted – [GammaSquad]

The 6 Most Ridiculous Superhero Weaknesses: You know it’s bad when Power Girl can be beaten by any natural unprocessed elements. That’s almost everything. Way to be a superhero. – [Cracked]

Possibly The Best Cosplay Ever: The coolest Venom and one of the best Cosplay’s ever… well, if you don’t count the guy in the story below – [GeekTyrant]

Anthony Le’s New(er) War Machine Armor: This guy spends his FREE TIME making kick ass armor that actually works. Unless you want to fight supervillains, then your probably hooped – [thedailywhat]

Batman vs. Predator: Art by Mike Mignola. Yea, THE Mike Mignola. I want this hanging above my 60’s style waterbed so I wake up to it every morning – [GeekTyrant]

Review: Smallville – Season 10/Series Finale

It took a few minutes to sink in before I realized that it was the last time I would hear the Smallville theme song playing at the beginning of a new episode because tonight it happened: the series finale. I’ve been with the show many years, through the highs and the lows. Of course there were going to be terrible episodes I would despise over the course of the show and certain directions they took continuity that I don’t agree with but Smallville still remains one of my favorite shows of all time after ten seasons.

The episode opens with Chloe telling a child a story and then flashes back seven years earlier with Apokolips inexorably heading towards Earth…then the typical commercial break and theme song opening as I wait in anticipation!

Continue reading Review: Smallville – Season 10/Series Finale

Batman’s Top 10 Best Graphic Novels

The following is a list consisting of what I feel to be the 10 Best Graphic Novels or Trades, featuring the Batman of today. This is a collection of books that can be bought stand alone. For this reason I’ve avoided stories like Knightfall, where you would need to buy 3 volumes to get through the read. Or No Man’s Land, which I love, but it has 5 volumes, and even if you were to purchase all 5 of them, that still covers only 40 of the 80 original issues.

The books on this list though are must-reads for anyone who is a fan of the Bat…

10.) Batman: Vampire (2007)

 Doug Moench/Kelley Jones/John Beatty/Malcolm Jones III

BatmanVampire is actually a collection of 3 smaller novels: Red Rain, Bloodstorm, and Crimson Mist which make up a trilogy. All 3 stories revolve around, you guessed it, Vampires.

Part 1 – Batman & Dracula: Red Rain (1991) 

In this first chapter, Batman is looking into the killings of several homeless Gothamites. Upon investigation he learns that it is in fact Dracula himself that has set up camp in Gotham City. The Caped Crusader battles the Vampire Lord and eventually is turned into a Blood Sucker himself. He kills Dracula and ensures Alfred that in his new immortal form he can protect the city for all time.

The now, quite literal ‘Batman’ who has sprouted wings, will forever be Gotham’s protector. This is only the beginning…

Part 2 – Batman: Bloodstorm (1994) 

In the wake of Dracula’s final death, his remaining minions are rounded up and recruitedBatman by none other than The Joker. Joker’s new army runs rough-shot over Gotham’s crime hierarchy and the undead Batman must stop them.

Batman’s lust to feed takes over and he ends up draining the Joker’s blood, turning him into a vampire as well. Distraught by his lack of self-control, Batman kills the Vamp Joker and commands Gordon and Alfred to slay him.

Part 3 – Batman: Crimson Mist (1998)

Batman Batman is brought back from the dead once more, only this time he’s been driven mad by his own decay. Driven mad by the decay of his body and his longing for blood, Batman drains most of his old enemies (the Penguin, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Black Mask, the Scarecrow, and various Arkham inmates) leaving only Killer Croc and Two-Face.

The 2 remaining Arkham staples team up with Gordon and Alfred to try and bring down the Bat, it really doesn’t go well for anyone involved…

“Cursed by Dracula’s kiss and the Joker’s blood, I am beyond redemption, and soon to pass beyond caring.”
– Vampire Batman 

Batman

9.) Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn (2010)

Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely/Philip Tan

Batman

This is a book we’ve talked about before, so I won’t spend too much time breaking it down. It basically is a collection of the first 6 issues of the ongoing series of the same name and it’s excellent.

Dick Grayson has taken the mantle of the Bat and Bruce’s son Damien is the new Robin. It’s for sure a ‘work in progress’ from the teamwork side of things.

This story is awesome and it introduces one of my favorite villains – Professor Pyg.

To read a full review, CLICK HERE.

“I’m looking for a partner to help me wipe the vomit of the face of Gotham once and for all. Well? You have anything else planned?”
– Jason Todd as the Red Hood 

Batman

8.) Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth (1989)

– Grant Morrison/Dave McKean/Gaspar Saladino

Batman

It’s basically a dare. The Joker and his fellow inmates take over Arkham and dare the Batman to come rescue the Hospital Staff. Batman obviously obliges and is quickly within the walls of the asylum.

Once inside the Rouge’s Gallery is in full force and Batman encounters several obstacles. a diseased Clayface, the Mad Hatter, and a coprophagic Maxie Zeus, to name a few. He then must battle Killer Croc.

All the while as the story is progressing, we are treated to flashbacks about the history of the Arkham family and learn they are just as screwed up as the prisoners they house.

For me however, easily the most interesting aspect of the story is not The Joker or the Arkham lineage, but Harvey Dent. Dent, or Two-Face, is undergoing a new form of therapy  to ease his dependence on the coin. He is first given a 6 sided die, thereby tripling his options, and then eventually a deck of tarot cards. The therapy does not have the desired effect however, as he simply becomes incapable of making even the simplest decisions.

“Parting ways is such sweet sorrow Dearest. Still, you can’t say we didn’t show you a good time. Enjoy yourself out there…in the asylum. Just don’t forget…if it ever gets too tough – there’s always a place for you here.”
– The Joker, as Batman is exiting Arkham.

Batman

7.) Kingdom Come (1996)

Alex Ross/Mark Waid/Todd Klein

BatmanHere I choose a book that does not focus on Batman, but in which he plays a prominent role – Kingdom Come. Originally a 4 issue mini-series, it is the story of one possible future for the DC Universe. A future where the next generation of ‘Meta Humans’ aren’t as responsible with their super powers, and use them with reckless abandon.

Today’s heroes are now old and for the most part retired. In this future, The Joker shows up at the Daily Planet and starts murdering people, including Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and Lois Lane. At his trial, he himself is put to death by a new “Superhero” – Magog.

When the public acquits Magog of any wrong-doing heroes like Superman are appalled and retire from service. This marks the beginning of new era, one where the Super-Beings are out of control and humans live in fear. The story then jumps ahead 10 years and things have only gotten worse. Superman is forced out of retirement and Batman plays a pivotal role in the war to restore order as the story progresses. So, while the story revolves more around Superman, it is the Joker that is the catalyst, and it is the Bat that later tilts the scales. In the end we get to see just how highly regarded Batman is among the other heroes.

“You realize you just handed me influence over the most powerful child in the world?”
– Batman 

Excellent read.

Batman

6.) All-Star Batman & Robin (2008)

 Frank Miller/Jim Lee/Scott Williams

Batman

It took only an issue for me to absolutely fall in love with this series. Jim Lee’s art with Frank Miller’s writing, it just hit me right. Unfortunately, the series has released only 10 issues since 2005, but the first 9 issues combine here to make a great trade. The series is expected to be picked back up this year, retitled Dark Knight: Boy Wonder. When or if that ever actually happens is anyone’s guess, but if it does, we’ll be all over it.

This is another re-imagining of how Robin came to be a member of the Wayne Estate. Only this time Bruce is a bit more…unstable. This is a darker, angrier version of the Bat. He has waged open war not only on the criminals of Gotham, but on the police as well.  He is present at the circus when the Graysons are murdered, but instead of adopting Dick right out – he kidnaps him. He then leaves him in the cave for weeks as the training begins. Bruce offers no real sympathy, but instead a means for revenge.

One aspect of the story I love is how the Batman is viewed by his contemporaries, as well as how they are portrayed. At one point the Justice League, consisting of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man, convene to discuss what should be done about the Batman. Wonder Woman is arrogant and blood thirsty. She believes the Batman should be put down like a dog. Superman however does not approve, and in the end they send Hal Jordan to Gotham…where is promptly gets his ass handed to him by Robin.

Delays by Frank Miller and Jim Lee led to sporadic releases of the issues and resulted in a lot of people giving up on the title. If you’re one of those people, here is an easy way to catch up.

“I’m the Goddamn Batman”
– The Goddamn Batman 

Batman

5.) Batman: Hush (2003)

Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee/Scott Williams

Batman

Hush. This is the storyline that got me back into comic books. Originally told in the Batman comic series (Issues 608-619) it was the story of someone stalking and observing Batman. Not unlike what Bane did in Knightfall, but this time it was a bit more mysterious. We didn’t know who Hush was or why he was doing what he was doing.

Throughout the story Batman encounters almost all of his biggest villains, as well as some other heroes. This original run contained 2 of my favorite issues of all time. These chapters consist of a visit to Metropolis, where Superman is under the control of Poison Ivy and we see Batman’s step by step thought process as he battles the Man of Steel.

The other is when Batman exits the Gotham City Opera House to find the Joker standing over the body of his childhood friend Tommy Elliot. Bats loses it and beats the Joker within an inch of his life, only to see the Joker ironically saved by the man he’s taken the most from – Jim Gordon.

Batman

This book keeps you constantly guessing and it pulls in so many characters that even Bats is confused. At the end of the book we see some lasting effects. A new villain – Hush, has made his name in Gotham. Harold, long-time friend and mechanic to the Bat is dead. And one of the original members of the Rouge’s Gallery garners some much wanted respect. Overall, one of the most entertaining books I’ve read.

“He explained to me once that The Joker and I are forever linked in constant battle. That in some sick way, the Joker exists because of me. How I represent the order that is necessary to live in Gotham City and the Joker is the chaos that disrupts that order.”
– Batman 

4.) The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

– Frank Miller/Klaus Janson/Lynn Varley

Batman

The book that turned it all around. Though comics had changed considerably since the 1960s Adam West show went off the air, the mass public perception hadn’t changed. Batman was still thought of as corny and zany – not the dark figure we envision today. Then, in 1986 Frank Miller wrote a book that started the real change in perception of the character: The Dark Knight Returns.

The story takes place 10 years after the last sighting of the Batman, and just as Gordon is about to retire – at age 70. The legend of the Dark Knight has faded into myth, with many teenagers doubting he ever existed. And those who knew him to be real are not sure if he voluntarily hung up the cape, if he left town, or if he is even still alive. Crime in Gotham has reached an  unprecedented high, and never before did the city need a guardian like they do now.

The book takes place in the 80s, where Regan is still President and the Cold War is still raging. All the other superheroes have been forced into retirement except for Superman, who is now little more than a puppet of the Government. It is the reemergence of the previously thought reformed Harvey Dent that prompts Bruce Wayne to once again don the cape and cowl.

Batman News of Batman’s return brings the Joker out of his decade long catatonic nap at Arkham to once again challenge his rival. Batman decides to take on the city’s gangs after apprehending Two-Face and ends up adopting a new female Robin. Bats defeats the leader of ‘The Mutants’ and, gaining the respect of the onlookers, he effectively takes over the gang. From here he starts to finally clean up Gotham with an army at his command.

The Joker’s escape from Arkham and final battle with the Bat ends with Mr. J’s last trick. Severely injured in the fight, Joker finishes himself off so that it will appear as Batman killed him. Gordon’s replacement at the GCPD declares war on the Batman and so does the US of A.

Seeing his ‘Marshall Law’ approach to cleaning up Gotham, the government views him as an embarrassment and sends in Superman to handle the Bat.  In an epic battle, with the help of the now retired Green Arrow – Oliver Queen, Batman defeats Superman only to seemingly suffer a fatal heart attack at its conclusion.

“We could’ve changed the world. Now look at us…I’ve become a political liability…and you. You’re a joke. I want you to remember Clark, in the years to come, in your private moments, I want you to remember my hand…at your throat. I want you to remember…the one man who beat you.”
– Batman 

Batman

3.) Batman: The Long Halloween (1997)

– Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale

Batman

Of all the books on the list, this one is easily the thickest. It’s also the one that I’ve read most amount of times. This story follows along the continuity of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, which is widely considered the canon origin for both Batman and Jim Gordon. Well, with that logic, this is the canon origin for Harvey Dent.

Set to take place still fairly early in Batman’s career, about 6 months after Year One, the mob still owns Gotham City. Headed by Carmine ‘The Roman’ Falcone and his associates. The emergence of ‘the Freaks’ (ie: Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, Scarecrow, ect.) in Gotham is still fairly new as well, and what we witness is their war for power.

The driving force behind the escalation of said war revolves around a series of murders – The Holiday killings. The killer, dubbed simply ‘Holiday’ chooses a new victim near every month, hitting each major Holiday. The first of the murders takes place on Halloween, where Falcone’s nephew Johnny Viti is murdered. The killer leaves behind the murder weapon and a Jack ‘O Lantern.

At this point Batman, Jim Gordon, and young District Attorney Harvey Dent have made a pact to bring down the Roman and they start by torching a warehouse of his cash, thus forcing the Roman into making desperate decisions. As the year draws on, Holiday continues pick off members of the Falcone Crime Syndicate.

Batman Come Christmas the Joker pays D.A. Dent a visit at his home and beats him senseless. This is only the beginning of Harvey’s problems. All the evidence in the Holiday case seems to be pointing to him.  A few months later, with Sal Maroni on the stand testifying against Carmine, Dent will receive a face full of acid. It is this event that will drive him mad and turn him into one of Batman’s deadliest foes, Two-Face.

Alberto Falcone, Carmine’s son, comes forward to kill Sal Maroni, and attempts to kill Gordon as well. He is stopped by Batman and confesses to all the Holiday murders.

Harvey Dent assembles a group of recently escaped Arkham inmates that include the Joker, Solomon Grundy, the Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Penguin, and Poison Ivy. Even Catwoman is present. This group waits in the office of the Roman, and despite Batman’s best efforts, Two-Face murders Carmine.

BatmanTwo-Face, after handling some unfinished business turns himself in and informs Gordon and the Bat that there were in fact 2 Holiday Killers – Since he himself just killed Carmine on Halloween. Though at the end, we are left wondering as Gilda Dent destroys evidence, as she believes that it was Harvey that actually started the killing spree.

 I believe in Gotham City. 
– Bruce Wayne

2.) Batman: Year One (1987)

– Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli/Richmond Lewis

Batman

The quintessential Batman back story. This was Frank Miller’s follow-up to The Dark Knight Returns and the inspiration for The Long Halloween. Originally a 4-Issue arc (Batman 404-407) it redefined continuity for Gotham City.

Not only do we follow Batman’s rise from fool to hero, but Gordon’s ascension as well. While we all know Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham in his early 20s on a mission to clean up the city, Gordon’s arrival is less heralded. Jim Gordon transferred in from Chicago and learned very quickly that the G.C.P.D. was as crooked as they come.

We learn that Batman almost never was, as we watch Bruce’s early follies and see him almost killed. And while this is 1 of only 2 books on the list where the Joker does not appear, it’s not devoid of recognizable characters. Catwoman is seen making her name about the same time as the Bat.

Batman Gordon’s rise in the Police Department seems ever more treacherous than that of Batman on the streets. From the Mayor to Commissioner Loeb to Gordon’s Partner Detective Flass, Carmine Falcone seems to have everyone in his pocket. There seem to be only a few bright spots around. Sarah Essen, who was first introduced in this story arc and became quite a prominent character over the next 15 or so years, was one such example. She would later become Gordon’s wife, and eventually be murdered by the Joker. We also see a young Harvey Dent, Assistant District Attorney at the time.

This story is flashy, but it lays such a solid foundation that it was able to redefine characters that had been around for near 50 years already. The art is amazing and the story telling is solid, though you’d expect nothing less from a 1980’s Frank Miller work.

“There’s a real panic on. Somebody’s threatened to poison the Gotham reservoir. Calls himself the Joker. I’ve got a friend coming who might be able to help. Should be here any minute.”
– Captain Jim Gordon 

Batman

1.) Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)

Alan Moore/Brian Bolland 

BatmanTo top the list is a book from the acclaimed writer of V for Vendetta and Watchmen: Alan Moore. In this book we are given (much like the last 2 books) an origin story that is widely accepted as canon. Now this isn’t as conclusive as the Harvey dent origin, but in The Killing Joke we get to see one possible back story for Batman’s foil – The Joker.

The events in this book have had long-lasting effects, even now, almost 25 years later the actions of the Joker can still be felt.

Upon escaping Arkham yet again, Joker acquires an old amusement park for which he has grandiose plans. Those plans include the kidnapping and subsequent torture of James Gordon. The endgame to break old Jimbo’s psyche and drive him insane. To prove that one day, if bad enough can crack anyone, just the way it did to him.

BatmanThroughout the book we are treated to several flashback scenes depicting Joker’s ‘very bad day’. The first of these depicts the Joker as a struggling comedian with a pregnant wife he can’t support. He recently quit his job as an engineer at a Chemical  Plant to attempt his hand at comedy.

After the flashback we see the most lasting event in the book. When Joker shows up to abduct Jim Gordon it’s his daughter who answers the door. She is greeted with a gun shot to the belly. While she survives, she is from here after relegated to a wheelchair. Joker permanently paralyzes Barbara Gordon, and unknowingly takes Batgirl out of the game. All her years fighting crime and she gets shot answering the door.

BatmanJimbo is taken by Joker’s men and the torture begins. As the flashbacks continue we learn that, in a desperate attempt to support his pregnant wife, Joker agrees to guide two criminals through the Chemical Plant where he used to work, so that they can rob the card company next door. Before the job, he learns that his wife has died in a household accident. Grief-stricken, the soon-to-be Joker tries to withdraw from the plan, but is strong-armed into keeping his commitment. Once at the plant, the criminals make him don a special mask to become the infamous Red Hood.

Unknown to the engineer, the criminals plan to use this disguise to implicate any accomplice as the mastermind, and to divert attention from themselves. Once inside, they almost immediately blunder into security personnel, and a shootout ensues. The criminals are gunned down and the engineer finds himself confronted by Batman. Terrified, he jumps into the chemical plant’s waste pond to escape Bats, and is swept through a pipe leading to the outside. Once outside, he discovers, that the chemicals have bleached his skin chalk white, stained his lips ruby red and dyed his hair bright green. This revelation, compounding the man’s misfortunes of that one day, drives him completely insane…

BatmanAnd marks the birth of the Joker.

Batman
Eventually Gordon proves himself more mentally stable as he does not crack the way the Joker did, and Batman of course takes Joker into custody. The book ends with a rare instance of levity between Batman and his nemesis…

BatmanBatmanThis is simply my favorite of all the Batman books because it’s the first real glimpse at the beginning of their battle. And while the Joker has a sympathetic background, the book makes no attempt to show him as a sympathetic character. If you only read one of these – make it this one.

“Hahahahaha”
– Batman 

For More Batman News as it happens…