Saturday, 22 January 2011

Batman: Angels of Death

The DC Comics Solicitations for April came out earlier this week and the rumoured Bat-crossover has been fully announced. It will last for three issues and involve Red Robin, Batman and Gotham City Sirens. So it looks like the main characters are going to be Tim Drake, Dick Grayson and Selina Kyle. Will Bruce be in this at all? I don't think so. To my cynical mind this seems to be a crossover that steers clear of Grant Morrison's non-linear concept of deadlines and release schedules whilst giving Gotham City Sirens a much needed sales boost.

I'm looking forward to it though as Red Robin is currently the best Bat-book on sale, but could do with raising it's profile, and the brotherly relationship between Tim & Dick is usually written really well, especially by Fabian Nicieza.

The relevant solicitations follow:


In the first part of a 3-part crossover with GOTHAM CITY SIRENS and BATMAN this month, Gotham City faces final judgment as the Angels of Death seek to spare the city by finding one person who is without sin. After putting Red Robin through physical and emotional trials, have they found the city’s salvation? What is the one thing they learn about Tim Drake that might change their minds? Guest-starring Catwoman and Batman!
On sale APRIL 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US, RATED T

In part 2 of this month’s 3-part crossover with RED ROBIN and BATMAN, the Angels of Death having sworn judgment on Gotham City, which they see as a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah – but Gotham’s heroes are fighting back! And when secrets surface – secrets she’d rather kept hidden – Selina finds herself in the middle of a fight for the very existence of Gotham! Guest starring Batman and Ra’s al Ghul.
On sale APRIL 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US, RATED T

Written by DAVID HINE
Art and Cover by GUILLEM MARCH
This month’s 3-part crossover with RED ROBIN and GOTHAM SIRENTS reaches its conclusion as Batman becomes Gotham City’s last hope! Can he help the city avoid a cleansing scourge? Will the Angels of Death find one good man whose soul is pure? And what is the tragic secret in Dick Grayson’s past that might doom Gotham? Guest-starring Red Robin, Catwoman and Ra’s al Ghul!
On sale APRIL 20 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US, RATED T

James Newton Howard score Green Lantern

James Newton Howard will be writing the score for the Green Lantern movie. I think that this is great news, as he has proved that he can score grounded superhero action movies with his work (alongside Hans Zimmer) on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Hopefully this will help to keep a sense of drama consistant through the film, even as we sit through the 'please Joe Public humour'.

Wonder Woman TV show from NBC

The previously discussed Wonder Woman TV show has been picked up very quickly after the new management of NBC have settled in. No real details yet other than Geoff Johns (DC Entertainment's Chief Creative Office) tweeting 'wonder woman wonder woman' and this article confirming the news.
Update: here is a link to deadline, again confirming reports, this time in alittle more detail.

Looking forward to seeing more details on this and hope that it resembles the DC Animated Movie, which you can buy from amazon (no pun intended) here: Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Newsarma talk Bane & Catwoman in TDKR

An Op/Ed that discusses the villians roles in the upcoming film.


Sifting through some of my old CDs on the PC, I found this little gem from Ozma.
That's right, Tetris. Awesome.

X-Men First Class poster

The first teaser poster has been released. I'm still not sure about this film, could be good, but I hear that it is being rushed and Matthew Vaughan is under alot of pressure from the studio to get shots completed.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Jonathon Ross appears in DC Comics

The Source has posted a panel preview of next month's Knight & Squire. Knight & Squire is quite a charming mini-series about the British mirror of America's Batman & Robin. The Knight (2nd generation, he used to be Squire beofre his dad, the first Knight, popped his clogs) lives in a Castle rather than a batcave, drives a motorcycle, dates a fictional version of Cheryl Tweedy and knocks around with a teenage girl called Beryl (or Squire).
Anyway, Wossy cameos:

"From Superman vs. Muhammad Ali to even stranger appearances such as Orson Welles and John Walsh, celebrities have a long tradition of showing up in the DC Universe. This year won’t be any different, as British comedian and television host Jonathan Ross will appear in next months’ KNIGHT & SQUIRE #5.

Here are a few words about Mr. Ross’s cameo from the Knight & Squire creative team:

It’s an absolute pleasure to feature Britain’s most famous comic fan, collector and now professional in an issue of Knight and Squire, and thanks very much to Jonathan for being such a sport in allowing it to happen. I’m only sorry we haven’t given him powers and a costume.
- Paul Cornell

Capturing Mr. Ross’s boyish good looks and natural charm was an artistic challenge, getting his suit right, an artistic triumph!
- Jimmy Broxton

Look out for Jonathan Ross in KNIGHT & SQUIRE #5, on sale in February."

Hal and Hector

Photo from the Green Lantern movie. Looks like and uncomfortable moment setting up the animosity between the two at the start of the film.

Bane and Catwoman announced as villians in The Dark Knight Rises!!

This is fantastic news! I knew that Catwoman was a dead cert, but that fact that Nolan wants to use Tom Hardy as Bane is mindblowing. Literally. My brains are all over the floor.
Finally something to take away the taste of Franken-bane from the abysmal Batman and Robin (1997).

For those who don't know, Bane was introduced in the early 90s as a man bent on destroying the Batman. He was physically enhanced by a super-steroid called 'Venom'. This would basically double his speed and muscle mass. He blew open a hole in Arkham Asylum, letting all the inmates go free. He waited until Batman was exhausted from recapturing them and then broke into Wayne Manor and broke the Batman's back. Following this we had a year of a replacement Batman before Bruce Wayne eventually recouporated.

The casting of Tom Hardy is great, I'd be happy for him to play anyone, but I'm not so thrilled about Anne Hathaway. I would have much preferred Eva Green or Naomi Watts, who were both rumoured to be in the film last week. Oh well, in Nolan we trust.

More on this when I catch my breath - until then (from NY Times):
"January 19, 2011, 12:51 PM
Roles of Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy Revealed in ‘Dark Knight Rises’

Batman has found a nemesis for his next cinematic adventure – and it looks like a love interest, too. On Wednesday, Warner Brothers Pictures announced a new cast member and clarified the role of another for “The Dark Knight Rises,” the third Batman movie to be directed by Christopher Nolan, the “Inception” and “Memento” filmmaker. Joining Christian Bale, who returns as Batman and his daytime alter ego, Bruce Wayne, is Anne Hathaway (of “Love and Other Drugs”) who will play Selina Kyle; the film will also feature Tom Hardy, a co-star of “Inception,” as a villain named Bane.

As comic-book fans know, the Selina Kyle character is the secret identity of Batman’s sometime paramour (and sometime foe) Catwoman, and Bane is a muscular bad guy powered by an addictive drug called Venom. But a news release from Warner Brothers gave no descriptions of how these characters would be utilized in Mr. Nolan’s film; Mr. Nolan said in a statement only that Ms. Hathaway was “a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story” and that he was “delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” is planned to be released on July 20, 2012, with a screenplay by Mr. Nolan and his brother, Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer."

The same reported on Deadline.

Anton Furst Batmobile FOR SALE

Can I just direct you to Gotham Knights Online?
For my birthday this year, I would like...

Sherlock Holmes 2

Ignore the ET presenter.


DC the Source have been teasing the big Flash storyline that was announced at the end of last year's Flash: Rebirth. Personally, I saw no reason that Barry Allen needed to be brought back, as his successor had been doing the job admirably for 20 years with fairly strong sales. After losing interest after the first 4 issues of the new Flash monthly, I'm interested to see what this storyline can do to revitalise the Flash family (after all, Wally West is still the Flash as well, but we've hardly seen him since Barry returned).



From the teases below, it looks like this will be an alternate timeline story, which is in keeping with the Flash's history, featuring the Justice League, if not the whole DCU.

A reference to Martian manhunter, J'onn J'onz?

Abin Sur never crashed, so he couldn't give Hal Jordan the Green Lantern ring?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Batman crossover in April

Right, I nearly missed this bit of news because I thinks that Gotham City Sirens is a pretty dismal excuse for a book, but DC the Source has teased a crossover in April with Batman (!) and my favourite book at the moment, Red Robin! Looking forward to the April solicitations hitting on Monday now!

Yowza, Guillem March. Now THAT’s a striking cover.

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #22 is part of a one-month crossover with BATMAN and
RED ROBIN and hits stores in April. Won’t give away too much about the storyline right now, but it involves Angels of Death fighting against Gotham’s heroes over the fate of the city itself. Stay tuned…

News round up for Tuesday

I have a burst pipe.
I'm wet.
Plumber is coming tomorrow.

On a couple of brighter notes:
 X-Men: First Class first look.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Series 8 teaser trailer

Monday, 17 January 2011

Han Shot First: 40 reasons that Han Solo is awesome.

Total Film have posted their 40 reasons to love Star Wars' rogue trader. Personally my top five are:
5- "It's not a cave."
4- "I've got a bad feeling about this."
3- "I can arrange that. He could use a good kiss!"
2- bullshitting about the Kessel Run (parsec is distance, not time -check out Obi-Wan clocking it next time you watch it!)
1- Han shoots first.

Check theirs out here.

Green Lantern sketch by Jim Lee

Jim Lee has tweeted a cool sketch of Green lantern, Kyle Rayner.
I always loved the cover to Green Lantern (v3) #151 (below) and wished he'd draw some more Kyle. Perhaps DC needs to get him on Green Lantern Corps covers?

TV Sidekicks are the real heroes

Newsarama have posted this OpEd piece about TV sidekicks who actually outshine the hero. I have got to say that I love that Reginald Jeeves is in the mix. I never liked Penny though.

Robin, Dr. Watson, Samwise Gamgee. The great sidekicks do more than provide an audience surrogate for the hero to exposit his thoughts, they are the kind of true friends that only exist in fiction. They are there for their heroes in their darkest hours, pulling them through and providing them with just the right amount of aid to allow the hero to come out on top. However, not all heroes are shining examples of their kind, be it circumstance or a deliberate effort on the part of their creator, once in a while those who are a second banana turn out to be, if not the real hero, then the one that captures the public’s imagination.

Read the whole list here.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fan made The Dark Knight Rises poster

Awesome, just awesome.

Update (17th January):
Gotham Knights Online have dug out two more fan made posters. Both are cool, but the first one still tops it for me.

Wonder Woman TV show not picked up, but not dead

From SuperHeroHype:
"Despite all the major broadcasters having passed on the show, David E. Kelley tells The Hollywood Reporter that he still thinks his vision for Wonder Woman will air down the road.

"I think the likelihood is we'll see it next year," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm being optimistic but I don't think I'm being unrealistic."
Kelley noted that the script was "rolled out very late in the game" and said that he would bring the project back to NBC, which reportedly passed. The project reportedly failed to move forward there due to executive reshuffling.
He said that the network... would be a "good home for it" under incoming programming chief Robert Greenblatt.
"I like to think of it as a smart script and I know he responds to smart material," Kelley said Thursday of his vision in which Wonder Woman would be explored as a "real complex woman and not just a superhero."
Another option for the show could be cable."

Personally, I think that a Wonder Woman show could be great, as long as it doesn't take 10 seasons to show her as Wonder Woman like Smallville has done to Superman!

Andrew Garfield as Spider-man

I still don't quite get the reason behind the reboot. All I can think of is that they are trying to cut in on the Twilight market. Here is the new Spider-man, looking much like the old Spider-man, but a bit more emo.

Green Lantern

Top 2: concept art.
Middle: 4 posters put together.
4th: Sinestro played by Mark Strong.
Bottom: Green Lantern and sector neighbour, Tomar-Re.
Personally I think that the film looks great and have heard alot of good things (that a sequel has already been commisioned is a very good sign). There are obviously things in the trailer that are designed to hook Joe Public in and Blake Lively seems really wooden as Carol Ferris, but otherwise I'm still very excited about this. See the bottom of the page for the Official Trailer.

Bond 23, Edgar Wright and a rubbish Batman cartoon

I found some very cool alternate posters for Edgar Wright's back catelogue.

Good news: Bond 23 has been announced, despite the problems at MGM. Sam Mendes to direct.

Gotham High. A Batman cartoon that was thankfully never picked up. Why put Bruce wayne in this context? Surely just make a Robin or Batgirl cartoon? Probably why it wasn't picked up.

Welcome back to myself

I've had quite a year. I initially started this blog, not really for anyone to read, but just as an outltet, a reason to write. Over the last year I have been so busy with work and family life that I haven't even had time to think about it. Well, my New Year's resolution is to pick it back up again.
Alot has happened in the world of geek since my last post, so I will probably have quite a bit to dig into. Anyway, the first new post is below this one. Enjoy and welcome back to me.

Arkham City Allies?

With the highly anticipated arrival of the sequel to the highest rated super-hero game of all time, Batman: Arkham Asylum, hitting this year, the rumours of multiplayer and the announcement of Catwoman have triggered a flurry of rumours concerning Batman's allies; namely, who will appear in Arkham City?
Last year a picture (left) of Robin and Batgirl appeared, which stirred up the rumour pot even more, before it was revealed to be from some guy's deviantArt page. The picture shows the Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain versions of the characters, which throws up another question: If Robin and/or Batgirl were to appear, which versions of the characters would they be?

Oracle is listed as missing and Alfred has been confirmed as the voice in your ear to replace her. I am presuming that finding her will, at least, be a side quest, so I am concluding that Oracle is as good as confirmed as well.
Below I give a run down of the possibilities and give my opinion, as a life-long Batman fan, on their chances of appearing in the game.

Dick Grayson

Intoduced in 1940, just one year after Batman, Dick was the first to be called Robin. This young acrobat saw his parents plummet to their deaths after mobsters sabotaged the trapeze rigging. Bruce Wayne took him on as his ward (and later adopted him) and he soon became the Boy Wonder.
He has been portrayed on screen by Douglas Croft, Burt Ward and Chris O'Donnell. He has been featured in every animated Batman on television since Super Friends (in which he fought crime with the Justice League) and has fronted both the Teen Titans and now Young Justice shows. Dick Grayson is the Robin that most people know.
He hasn't, however, been Robin in the comics since the early '80s, when, at 18, he quit being Batman's partner, started working with the New Teen Titans full-time and changed his costumed identity to Nightwing.
As Nightwing he really hit new heights, he had his own city (Blüdhaven) to protect and was generally looked up to by everyone in the DCU. His popularity crossed over to the real world and saved him from death when an outcry from fans and comic creators forced DC editorial to change their minds about killing him off during the Infinite Crisis storyline.
In a post-Batman RIP DCU Dick has taken up the mantle of his 'late' mentor and become the Batman. Of course Bruce wasn't really dead, so now we have two Batmen. Bruce travels the world to fight crime on an international level, whilst Dick protects Gotham City.
Possible role in Arkham City: The perfect back-up for Batman, they fight together 'like a well oiled machine'. Nightwing is an all-rounder, but he excels at parkour-like acrobatics. Perhaps a free-running pursuit mission in the challenge rooms would be the best place for him?
Essential reading: Robin: Year One, Nightwing: A Knight in Blüdhaven, Batman: Life After Death
Chances of appearing: 2/10 (as Robin) 6/10 (as Nightwing)

Jason Todd

After Dick left to become Nightwing, Batman was stuck with a strawberry-blonde, circus-orphan carbon copy of his old ward as Robin. The fans weren't too thrilled about this and so the writers took advantage of the DC reality changing Crisis on Infinite Earths to change his character into a tough little kid who lived on the streets. The first time Batman meets him, he is trying to steal the tyres off the Batmobile. Jason proved to be a rebellious, angry Robin. He jumped the gun, disobeyed orders and even let a man fall to his death. He was famously killed off by the readers in a phone in vote, which allowed the Joker to have his way and beat him to death with a crowbar.
In 2005 Jason came back from the dead and became the Red Hood, and a thorn in batman's side ever since.
Possible role in Arkham City: 1 - as Robin to be killed by the Joker; 2 - as Robin, killed by the Joker in a Scarecrow induced hallucination. Red Hood? Nah, maybe in Arkham 3, but I can't see him fitting in here too many villians to squeeze Jason's psychotic anti-hero in here.
Essential reading: A Death in the Family, Under the Hood (Under the Red Hood DVD), Red Hood: Lost Days
Chances of appearing: 3/10 (as Robin) 1/10 (as Red Hood)

Tim Drake

The death of Jason and the disappearance of Robin confirmed to young Tim Drake what he had already deduced. Batman was Bruce Wayne. Tim’s detective skills and natural caution made him ideally suited to the role of Robin, for which Bruce put him through 6 months of training in the cave and then sent him to Europe where he studied martial arts with masters including Lady Shiva.
Unlike the previous Robin’s Tim’s parents were both alive when he met Bruce, but soon after he first put on the Robin costume his mother was killed. Then, not long after he turned 16, his father was also killed. Tim used this experience to become more serious about crime-fighting. After Bruce ‘died’, Tim was the only person who believed that he was still alive and began searching for clues as Red Robin. He later proved instrumental in bringing Bruce home.
Possible role in Arkham City: Tim Drake would be the perfect asset for a Batman who is being hunted. As recently shown in Batman RIP, his keen wit, detective skills and more reserved nature would help to keep him alive and to avoid capture as he digs out vital information for Batman.
Essential reading: A Lonely Place of Dying, Robin: Search for a Hero, Red Robin: The Hit List
Chances of appearing: 7/10 (as Robin) 1/10 (as Red Robin)

Damian Wayne

The possibly cloned 10 year old son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul, Damian was trained from infancy by the League of Assassins to be a killer. When we were first introduced to him he was bratty and unpredictable. He severed the head of a costumed criminal, The Spook, in an attempt to join his father’s war on crime.
Since the ‘death’ of Bruce Wayne, Damian has been working as Robin to Dick Grayson’s Batman. He has become increas ingly loyal to Dick and begun to humanise somewhat.
Possible role in Arkham City: As a highly competent fighter, Damian would be suited to the Combat Challenges. His age and short publication history however, rule him out of the running. When Arkham City was written Damian would only have been Robin for a few months, so I can’t see him as a serious contender.
Essential reading: Batman & Son, Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul, Batman & Robin vol 1.
Chances of appearing: 1/10

Cassandra Cain

The daughter of two of the world’s best killers, David Cain and Lady Shiva. Cain raised her with out language, only movement. She was an expert in many martial arts at an extremely young age and often watched him perform his hits. Escaping this life after her first kill, she roamed the world until she found herself in Gotham where she was taken in by Oracle and given the new name, Batgirl. She has only recently learnt how to talk, a feat that effected her combat ability as it took away from her ability to 'read' body language and predict what a person will do next.
Possible role in Arkham City: Cassandra’s forte is combat, so if we see her in the main story I would imagine it will just be a cameo. Her style fits perfectly and she is certainly dark enough. Combat Challenges? You bet.
Essential reading: Batgirl: Silent Running, Death Wish, Destruction’s Daughter
Chances of appearing: 4/10

Stephanie Brown

When Stephanie began fighting crime as the Spoiler, she had a very specific target in mind, her father The Cluemaster. With the help of Batman and Robin (Tim Drake), she put the Riddler-wanna-be away. The problem was, she was hooked. On Tim. She started using the Spoiler get up as an excuse to see him and the two began dating. Steph was later 'killed' by Black Mask.Using her death as an escape Dr. Leslie Thompkins took Steph to Africa for a year before their returrn. After Batman RIP, Cassandra Cain handed the Batgirl costume over to Steph in the hope that she would use it to mature.
Possible role in Arkham City: Comic relief.
Essential reading: Robin: Flying Solo, Batman: War Games, Batgirl: Batgirl Rising
Chances of appearing: 1/10 (as Spoiler) 1/10 (as Batgirl)

Helena Bertinelli

A daughter of the mob, Huntress began her crime-fighting career by targeting the Mafia families. Her methods were questioned by Batman, as she didn't show the same respect for life that he held. Toting hand-held crossbows, she eventually gained respect from the Dark Knight by single-handedly preventing a massacre on Christmas Day by fighting off a small army of Joker's henchmen. Helena is a core member of the Birds of Prey, a small unit run by Oracle.
Possible role in Arkham City: Huntress started off as an independant vigilante and this is the role I could see her taking in Arkham City. Someone that the Batman has no control over, doing the same job, but without the same skills, resources or morals. A dangerous combination.
Essential reading: Huntress: Year One, No Man's Land vol.1-5, Birds of Prey ongoing
Chances of appearing: 2/10

Kate Kane

Introducted during the ground breaking '52', Batwoman marked a first in the DCU. The first gay superhero. Unfortunately, this is all she was for the first two years of her exisitence. Kate is a character of contradictions. Tough socialite. Army brat heiress.
A stellar run on Detective Comics revealed more about her and set up a new ongoing series starting this year.
Possible role in Arkham City: Batwoman is a strong willed and independant woman. As such can I see her working well with Batman in the game? No.
Essential reading: 52, Detective Comics: Elegy, Batwoman ongoing
Chances of appearing: 1/10

So, who do I think that we'll see?
Honestly, I don't think that we'll see any of Batman's traditional allies. It looks like Catwoman will play that role to some extent, but with the plot reveal from the trailer (Dr. Hugo Strange sending mercenaries to hunt the Batman), I think that Rocksteady needs us to feel like we are being hounded. Batman is alone. No help is coming. Everyone is out to get him. Having allies there to back the player up is going to take away from that feeling.
If they are in there however, be it main story or simply challenge rooms/mulitplayer, my top three picks are:
1- Robin (Tim Drake)
2- Nightwing (Dick Grayson)
3- Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)

Anyway, check the trailer out on the official page (link on the right) or at the bottom of this page and prepare to be excited.