8 items from 2016
So, you want to start reading Batman but are completely lost due to the character being around for over seventy-five years, and hundreds of issues and iterations on the character.
Where do you start? What If you only like some of the movie versions? Or maybe the video games?
What’s the New 52? What’s Rebirth?
It can be daunting if you are completely new to the world of comic books or maybe a returning fan that’s been away for a long time. While hardcore fans have probably stuck around for all the various Bat books, most maybe only keep up via Wiki or maybe random postings on sites like Cbr or IGN. Well, fear not, as I will be doing my best to give some insight on iconic Batman storylines essential to the character, along with a brief update on the current state of the character!
So without further ado, »
- Jeremy Scully
“It doesn’t have to be good to be a classic.”
While the Joker’s sage words may hold true for a joke, the opposite is more accurate for a film, and “The Killing Joke” won’t reach the classic status of its graphic novel inspiration because it’s simply not that good.
To be fair, the feature-length, R-rated film does just fine when it sticks to the source material. (The above line is a new addition.) But an attempt in the introduction to better paint Barbara Gordon’s motivations — a necessary, if ill-plotted expansion for the sake of time — ends up making the victim even more disposable than before.
[Minor spoilers in the next two paragraphs for what’s new in “Batman: The Killing Joke”]
Read More: ‘The Killing Joke’: New Look At Animated Batman Feature Takes A Trip to Arkham
Opening with Barbara as Batgirl, the film lends her the narrative voice of authority. We watch as she struggles to come to terms »
- Ben Travers
Rob Leane Jul 21, 2016
Is there a better way to mark the summer of 2016 than a Christmas story from 1993? Actually, don’t answer that...
Anyway, while listening back to a classic episode of Kevin Smith’s Fat Man On Batman podcast recently - namely the two-part Mark Hamill interview from 2012 - I stumbled upon a terrific little anecdote.
Mr Hamill voiced the Joker in the now-much-celebrated Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm. During the production of the animated movie, the decision was made to show this film in cinemas rather than sending it to telly or straight to video.
“We went from a 30-piece orchestra to a 100-piece orchestra, and they were able to this origin of the Joker”, Hamill said, recalling how this decision to target a cinematic audience had »
DC/WB is currently in reconstruction mode, launching their new DC Film Division under Geoff Johns, who wants to bring “hope and optimism” back to the Dceu. Therefore, this is a good time to look back on one of DC/WB’s recent missteps and how they could have benefited from an examination of their earlier, lighter projects. We’re going to examine how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could have been improved by studying the 1997 animated film The Batman/Superman Movie: World’s Finest.
The Batman/Superman Movie: World’s Finest began as a 3-part episode of Superman: The Animated Series. It was released on DVD as a combined one-hour film in 1997. This excellent story has a strong 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to the pitiful 28% score that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received. World’s Finest was written by Alan Burnett, who wrote many of DC’s best animated movies, including Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Superman Unbound, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and others. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was directed by Zack Snyder, who made Watchmen, Sucker Punch and Man of Steel.
So why is World’s Finest better than Dawn of Justice and what can it teach DC during their revamp period? First of all, the makers of World’s Finest realized that the key to a great Batman and Superman story is to focus on their differences. They don't physically fight but the drama comes from contrasting their opposite natures, techniques and viewpoints.
The two heroes have often been described as “two sides of the same coin”. They are both brave costumed super heroes but in most ways, they are opposites. This does not merely refer to the fact that Superman has unlimited strength and numerous super powers while Batman is just an incredibly well-trained and brilliant human man. They also have different skills. For instance, Superman's senses enable him to read information directly from machines and, with careful usage of his heat vision, he can even reprogram machines. Batman is a genius polymath, as well as being a detective, escapologist, linguist, tactician and master of disguise.
Their greatest difference is in their outlook and attitude. Superman is traditionally optimistic and positive, inspiring hope to the world. He sees the best in people and tries to be an example, always motivated by the desire to help people and prevent tragedies. Batman is a dark and grim hero with a deeply personal vendetta against criminals. Although he has a great love for humanity, his life is rooted in the dark side of human nature. He understands the evil inherent in the human mind in a way Superman never could. In essence, Superman sees the victims while Batman sees the criminals.
When the 1990s versions of Superman and Batman look at each other, they see what they try hard to avoid in their own lives. Superman sees a man so locked into his obsessive behavior that he has no real connection to the world; Batman sees an overconfident man with great power but no plan (Superman reacts but does not plan.) However, they also see what they are personally missing. Superman admires Batman’s self-made abilities while Batman sees Superman’s amazing powers, which could certainly be handy in his quest to save Gotham city from its epidemic of crime. Each has a certain amount of envy toward the other.
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the differences between the two are not very clear. Both are grim, glum, angst-ridden figures who see their heroic roles as a burden. They will both kill. Neither is trusted by the people or by the government. Neither ever smiles. They are both easily manipulated and overly quick to fight. There isn’t much difference between them at all. Add to that the fact that Zack Snyder decreed they shouldn’t talk much because “Guys in super hero costumes trying to act serious looks ridiculous”. The result was all action but no drama, characterization or interesting interactions.
Another good aspect of World’s Finest is that Lois Lane was utilized so much better. She adds an extra layer of competition between the two heroes when she develops a crush on Bruce Wayne. Although she is in love with Superman, she realizes that he will always have to put the good of the world ahead of her. Thus, when handsome Bruce Wayne arrives and shows an interest in her, she quickly becomes drawn to him. This Lois displays an attraction to Alpha Males, like the mighty Superman and the rich and powerful Bruce Wayne. Bruce begins by using Lois as a source of information to learn more about Superman but he comes to actually like her fiery, feisty personality and beauty. Clark has to watch while his rival romances the woman he secretly loves. In Dawn of Justice, Lois really has no purpose. She’s there because she’s expected to be there. Her investigation in the movie leads to nothing. When she stupidly tosses the Kryptonite spear into the well, it’s only done to put her in peril at an inopportune moment.
The villains are also much better in World’s Finest. Lex Luthor is written as cool., classy, authoritative and insidious. The Joker is wild and funny, creating chaos for both profit and for fun. The battle between their sidekicks Harley Quinn and Mercy is a fun moment. In Dawn of Justice, Lex Luthor is portrayed as a combination of Luthor and the Joker. He is rich and influential but also demented and sadistically psychotic. Mercy is killed off before she gets a chance to make an impression, and Doomsday is wasted in the final half hour of the film. The “Doomsday/Death of Superman” storyline could have been a whole movie by itself but instead it’s squeezed into a subplot. The villains in World’s Finest get sufficient screen time and remain true to their source material.
The story holds together much better in World’s Finest. The plot is linear and logical and makes sense. The bad guys have clear agendas and their actions jibe with what they want. Even the Joker, crazy as he is, remains consistent. In Dawn of Justice, Luthor’s plans and motivations seem to randomly change scene-by-scene. Unlike World’s Finest, which is trying to tell a story about the meeting of two heroes, Dawn of Justice is a two-and-a-half-hour composite trailer, interested in World Building and setting up future Dceu films, rather than being a coherent movie.
World’s Finest is about heroes learning a lesson. The duo quickly realize that their pointless competition is not useful and that each of them has something useful to offer in a partnership, even a temporary one. They learn the lesson that the villains could not learn. Luthor and the Joker are too petty to ever get along and eventually turn on each other. Superman and Batman learn to respect each other and start to work together. They even display some teamwork. Clark and Bruce part on good terms. In Dawn of Justice, Batman and Superman spend most of the movie in a contrived blood feud, which abruptly ends when they realize that their mothers have the same name. Then they join Wonder Woman in fighting Doomsday and Superman dies. There is no logical build or dramatic narrative that leads to any development in their relationship. Its ultimately unsatisfying and hollow.
World’s Finest gets it all right, including the tone, which is sufficiently hopeful while still being serious. Burnett’s script has heart and soul. The characters are handled properly and the narrative is well structured. Both the villains and supporting cast are fully-formed characters, not caricatures. Everything is done so much better than in Dawn of Justice.
If Geoff Johns and the new DC Film Division want a blueprint to look at for how they should set up the Dceu, they could do a lot worse than studying The Batman/Superman Movie: World’s Finest. It’s everything Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice should have been, but wasn’t. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the effort to find.
BATMANSUPERMANBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeDC ANIMATIONzack snydersuper hero moviesCOMIC Book Movie »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Who says people don't like bats? Through the years, Batman has dominated over Superman at the box office, and by a wide margin. The seven movies featuring the Caped Crusader have grossed $1.894 billion at the domestic box office, and $2.887 billion when adjusting for ticket price inflation, according to comScore and Box Office Mojo. (This list doesn't include the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.) The six Superman movies earned $810 million or so in North America, and $1.605 billion when adjusting for inflation. On average, the Batman films earned $270.6 million
- Pamela McClintock
Want a quality action film, but you only have an hour and a half? Step this way...
Looking back over the genre, action films definitely haven’t suffered from the trend to make everything longer. They’ve always been pretty long, regularly clocking in at over two hours. Perhaps because of all the slo-mo? But while the sweet spot for action classics seems to be the 100-110 minute mark, there are those that have cut the genre right down to basics, and succeeded all the more for it.
Below is my pick of 25 great action films 90 minutes or under. Even more so than other genres, action crosses many other films - picking a pure ‘action’ flick is all but impossible. So below I’ve chosen films that retain action sequences as their main narrative device, and keep the action at the heart of the movie, rather than as a extra. »
Concept artist Phil Bourassa has revealed via his Instagram account that an animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bollan's iconic graphic novel "Batman: The Killing Joke" was being developed back in 2009 by Warner Brothers.
Legendary animation artist and "Batman: The Animated Series" producer Bruce Timm was developing the project and supervising Bourassa's work on the project. Whiether Timm, who directed the much acclaimed "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" as well as iconic animated Batman episodes like "Heart of Ice," was going to helm isn't clear.
Why did the project collapse? The failure of the R-rated "Watchmen" at Warners put the fear in the studio over R-rated superhero movies. Cut to seven years later and "Deadpool" is at the top of the box-office while Timm's protege Sam Liu is slated to helm an upcoming Dcau direct-to-disc & VOD adaptation of "The Killing Joke" which is currently on the way.
In 2009 I »
- Garth Franklin
Diamond Select Toys has been knocking it out of the park with their amazing Batman: the Animated Series busts, statues and banks already and these new offerings are just another shining example of why this is the era of perfect nostalgia for collectors!
Batman The Animated Series Movie Phantasm 6” Resin Bust
A Diamond Select Toys release! The Phantasm strikes! From the first-ever feature-length film based on Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, it’s the first-ever resin bust of the Phantasm! First seen in 1993, the mysterious assassin known as The Phantasm stalked Gotham’s crime bosses until Batman interfered, and now this 6-inch bust can sit on your shelf, atop an art-deco pedestal. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Sculpted by Varner Studios!
Bust Srp: $59.99
Batman The Animated Series Gallery Joker 9” Pvc Figure
A Diamond Select Toys release! »
- The Atari Nation
8 items from 2016
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