It’s “Ma Chill” — the mother of the man who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents — wishing her boys could’ve grown up to be more like Bruce Wayne!
Happy Mothers Day!
—Batman #208 (1969) by E. Nelson Bridwell & Gil Kane, inked by Jack Abel
How did Grant Morrison not re-incorporate Ma Chill into Batman continuity?
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In a “Special Women’s Lib Issue” Wonder Woman confronts her greatest enemy: cat-callers.
Batman is knitting. While wearing slippers. Your argument is so invalid it doesn’t even exist.
I wish I had found this image while Allison still ran the knitting circle, Batman knitting would’ve made for a pretty awesome ad campaign.
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There are new reports that Sandman is being developed into a TV series, this time by Warner Brothers TV, which is a bit worrying for a few reasons. I firmly believe the only way to do an adaptation of Sandman (if one MUST happen) is to do a TV show, not a movie, so at least they’re getting that much right. DC was on the right path negotiating with HBO recently but that fell apart, and now that it seems like Sandman could be on network TV, I know it won’t work out well. There’ll be too many content edits, and come on, do you really see Sandman fitting in with the CW line-up? Premium cable is the only place there’s even a chance of the show working and staying true to its original form.
The Hollywood Reporter also says Eric Kripke, creator of Supernatural, is the lead candidate to run the show. Now, I really enjoy Supernatural (and not just for Jensen Ackles…ok, mainly for Jensen Ackles) and I can see how WB would think “Hey, this guy handled a show with mythic creatures and messed-up family dynamics before, let’s give him Sandman!” but Kripke is a) not a good enough writer and b) not a good enough director to properly adapt Sandman. His work lacks both the grandeur and subtlety Sandman would need to be successful, and I’m afraid the more sensational elements of the story would be emphasized. And he’s never handled a large cast before, which would be key to making the Sandman world come alive.
Let’s not even get into how difficult casting the series would be. Who could play Delerium? Desire? Lucifer? Casting an actor with the right look and talent to play Dream would be hard enough, without even getting into them having to be marketable enough to lead a TV show. I think Sandman is just something that needs to stay a graphic novel and not be adapted, it’d be near impossible to get right and completely impossible to do right on network TV.
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So January Jones has been cast as Emma Frost in the X-Men: First Class movie. At least she has the looking like an Ice Queen in your underwear part of the role down. I doubt she’ll be good enough at Emma’s bitchy bon mots and haughty tone for my liking, although Betty Draper can get pretty nasty at times so hopefully she’ll surprise me.
Every once in a while, Aquaman gets to be awesome.
(art by Jesus Saiz from Brave and the Bold 32)
(Spoilers ahead for Amazing Spider-Man up to issue 637)
My comics post on here tend to be negative rants, but if I posted about all the comics I read and enjoy, it’d take over the blog. One recent story that has been particularly enjoyable though is the “Grim Hunt” storyline that ran in Amazing Spider-Man recently. The arc was the culmination of over 25 issues of slow build-up, and it was a great pay-off. Bringing back Kraven the Hunter was something I wasn’t too excited about, since I’ve always found him to be too goofy, but this arc (and the Kaine back-ups detailing a past encounter) made him into a more convincing threat, and the story’s ending, which gets rid of the extraneous Kraven-based villains that have popped up in the last two decades while still keeping his creepy homicidal daughter around, makes me look forward to his eventual return.
One thing this story did very well was draw on previous continuity but in an easily understandable way (The last part of that sentence is what derails many a storyline), utilizing Kaine, 3 of the 4 Spider-Women/Spider-Girls, Chameleon’s relationship with the Kravenoff family, and obviously the “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline (and to a lesser extent the mid-90s “I am the Spider” ultra-dark pre-Clone Saga nonsense) to add depth and greater meaning to the story as well as more payoff for long time fans. I also enjoyed the “Ezekiel returns!” and possible recruitment of Venom/Anti-Venom fake-outs, giving the story some unexpected little twists and providing a nice acknowledgment of the J. Michael Straczynski run while utilizing the totem elements he added to Spider-Man’s origin better than JMS ever did. The changes stemming from this arc are also welcome ones, even though I’m generally not a fan of killing off minor characters to make a story a bigger deal. Kaine, Madame Web, and Mattie Franklin had all run their course as characters though. Seriously, I think every Madame Web story has been exactly the same since her introduction, and giving her powers to Arachne will give that character a purpose and place in the Marvel Universe again. Giving Kaine some real redemption, which should’ve happened at the end of the Clone Saga 15 years ago, provided a nice exit for the character, and the J.M. DeMatteis back-up gave him one final interesting story.
The Gauntlet build-up and Grim Hunt finale should serve as a model for how to do a big storyarc. It wasn’t bloated, had natural build-up, great art that matched the writing’s tone, used continuity well, and made important lasting changes to the Spider-Man universe that were for the best.
(Spoilers and fanboy ranting ahead for Batman: The Widening Gyre)
I am trapped inside for the next day or so due to a case of pink-eye, so I’m using that as an opportunity to catch up on my comics. Since Kevin Smith’s Batman mini-series FINALLY had the end of its first volume released a few weeks ago (after a 4-month delay), I read the last 3 issues in one sitting, and WOW, this may be one of the worst and most offensive comics I’ve ever read. Now, I generally am not a big Kevin Smith fan, but his previous Batman mini-series was decent and the first 3 issues of this mini were enjoyable. I liked that he brought back Silver St. Cloud as Batman’s girlfriend (she remains to this day the only person to realize Batman and Bruce Wayne are the same person because the lower halves of their faces are identical), the new character Baphomet was generic but there’s been far worse, and the art by Walter Flanagan had improved significantly from the Batman: Cacophony miniseries.
So what happened? The book took a significant turn for the worse at the end of issue 4, when Smith first made Silver St. Cloud come off as silly and vapid, wandering around the Batcave with her hair in pigtails while wearing one of Batman’s costume shirts. Seriously. That scene’s followed up by a jealous and needy Catwoman confronting Batman about his relationship with Silver after stalking them. To be fair to Smith, this characterization of Catwoman would fit with how she acted in Pre-Crisis continuity when Batman dated Vicki Vale (Batman #355, and I am a big enough geek that I knew that issue was somewhere between 350 and 370 before I looked it up), but Catwoman’s character has completely changed since then, and she’s no longer desperate for Batman’s love/approval. Let’s not even talk about her wearing the old skirt/cape costume because Batman told her it looked good before. Ugh. The issue concludes with Batman making out with Catwoman (and presumably doing more) despite being with Silver, something that is EXTREMELY out of character and obviously a dirtbag move.
I should’ve just stopped reading there, but I was curious and was hoping for a Catwoman/Silver St. Cloud showdown in the next issue. Nope. Bruce and Silver go off to Aspen for a vacation, where he pointedly does not tell her about Catwoman. Once they’re back, Catwoman reappears, wearing her Julie Newmar costume with no panties (seriously, she ACTUALLY says “Did I mention I’m not wearing any panties?”) in an attempt to turn Batman on and complains about someone calling her a cougar and making her feel old. I just… sigh. I can’t see how Smith or his editors think this is an acceptable way to write the character. Batman wimps out on telling her they have to stop being together and runs away after the Bat-signal appears, which is lame but not completely out of character so I can let it go even though it bugs me.
Issue 5 is also when Baphomet starts becoming a total Mary Sue. Both Batman and Robin are totally impressed with him, and he manages to take down the Joker in under a page. He’s got a Batman-esque origin and its obvious by the end of the issue that we’re in for a Batman identity reveal by the end of the series. That happens in issue 6, but not before Baphomet talks about how he wants to kill The Joker, which you know, should maybe send up some warning flags about the guy but which Batman easily dismisses. Of course that’s all some pathetic foreshadowing of the surprise ending, which I’ll get to in a bit.
Issue 6 is where the series really crosses the line into complete awfulness. Both Batman and Silver are written like idiot teenagers, Batman’s special gift to her (a unique flower made just for her) is a copy of the gift Batman gave Superman in Superman Annual 11, a particularly famous story by Alan Moore, and I know this is really nitpicky, but Smith gets the Latin wrong for the flower’s name, since “Argentum Somnium” would translate to silver dream, not dream of silver. Batman proposes marriage in a scene that is terribly overwrought and just lame. Did I forget to mention that Silver still doesn’t know about Batman sleeping with Catwoman two issues ago? Yeah, because keeping an affair secret while you propose marriage to someone is totally something Batman would do.
It only gets worse from there. Silver has nicknamed Bruce “Deedee” throughout the series, and when Alfred jokingly calls him by that name, she reveals that it’s short for “double digits” since that’s how many orgasms he gave her when they first got together. Eww in general, and EWW to telling ALFRED of all characters that. He’s like Batman’s dad. It’s just gross and inappropriate for this kind of comic. Speaking of gross and inappropriate, I haven’t even gotten to the scene where Batman attempts to make Baphomet feel better by revealing that he pissed his pants while confronting mobsters in Batman: Year One. That scene is an extremely important and well-known one, so to retroactively add that in for no real reason is just Smith being a douche and trying to make Frank Miller’s story joke-y. It’d still be bad if the joke were funny, but Smith has really been reduced to laughing about Batman peeing his pants. How does this man get work?
And guess what? That’s not even the worst thing in the book, as you can tell from the image above! Batman gets a suspicion out of nowhere that Silver is really an evil robot, so he rips her out of a car by her hair, telling her to “Shut up!” after she says “Bruce! Stop it! You’re hurting me”, so he can make sure she’s real. Domestic violence is always the best way to start off your engagement, right? I was at least figuring that Batman’s paranoia and violence would provide an out for Smith to not marry them, but NO! Silver immediately forgives him and says she understands. GAH! I don’t think I should have to tell you why all that is intensely problematic.
We get another moment of Catwoman acting like a jealous bitch when she finds out Batman is engaged, but that’s to be expected at this point. The final idiotic moment of the book happens when Batman shares his (and Silver’s) identity with Baphomet, who is then revealed to be Onomatopoeia in a “surprise!” moment that makes almost no sense (although to be fair, it happens on the last page so there will probably be some attempt at an explanation next issue). This is made even better by him slitting Silver’s throat, leading to a potential “fridging” as the end of her character. It’s obvious from this series (as well as lots of other things) that Smith has no idea how to write female characters, but I didn’t think he’d sink that low. Then again, I thought that about most of the series after issue 4, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
You know, it’s always bugged me how Marvel and Bendis in particular never really referenced Hawkeye dating Moonstone/Ms. Marvel during Dark Reign. I think it could’ve been used to make Moonstone question what she was doing, and to make things more difficult for Hawkeye, especially with his wife Mockingbird returning from the dead and not knowing about his relationship with Moonstone. That the two characters didn’t interact when the Dark Avengers captured and tortured Hawkeye is a big missed storytelling opportunity.
There’s no real reason I’m reblogging this, it just made me smile.
Known for her outlandish costumes and geometric polygon hair, the criminal mad-woman made a daring escape from Arkham Asylum last week and has been taunting authorities by interrupting television broadcasts ever since. “If you ever want to see Commissioner Gordon again, you’ll do exactly as I say,” Lady Gaga said from her secret lair, adjusting her angular yellow Tyvek and spandex dress as henchmen danced menacingly around the bound commissioner.
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Skip to 1:32 in the video and you can see Ryan Reynolds recite the Green Lantern oath for a little kid. Not only is it a really sweet moment, but he nails it. (and it’s kinda hot, right? See, Christian Bale, a cool super-hero voice IS possible!) I had lost some hope for the movie after seeing the awful costume, but I should’ve figured Ryan Reynolds might be able to save it with his charisma.
It seems like Blake Lively thought the best way to win over the Comic Con crowd would be to wear the most revealing top she could find, and while she’s probably right and looks great, that outfit just proves she’s as bad as Serena from Gossip Girl (who is the WORST) when it comes to wardrobe choices.
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There are so many things wrong with this picture I don’t know where to begin. Humberto Ramos being back on Spider-Man is a terrible terrible decision, his style is simply not suited for any kind of serious story (as evidenced by his art nearly ruining Paul Jenkins’ otherwise excellent “Return of the Goblin” story arc) and is a huge step down from the current group of rotating artists on Amazing Spider-Man. Then there’s the issue of that atrocious new Spider-Man costume, which looks like a bad joke from the mid-90s. “Hey guys, wouldn’t it be awesome if we took the black costume and added some neon green lines to it?” “Sweet, dude!” Come on, even Todd McFarlane knew better than this. And what is with the eyes and the feet? If this is what Marvel is using to promote the comic, imagine how awful and disproportionate the interior art is going to be. Ugh.
I normally would be pretty excited for the return of the Hobgoblin, since he’s one of my favorite villains, but this just looks dumb. He appears far too demonic and frankly silly to be the original Hobgoblin, who’s a business man in a costume, not some monster and I’m kind of sick of the “reinventions” of classic Spider-Man villains. The new costume design, with wings and a chain-metal skirt, is just too goofy, and if you’ve seen the original Hobgoblin costume, you know it was pretty goofy to start with, so I could’ve forgiven a lot. I’m sure Dan Slott (the new sole writer of ASM) can write a great Hobgoblin arc, I just think this art style will be a terrible distraction and diminish what’s good about the story.
Catwoman head turnarounds by Darwyn Cooke
Seeing the Darwyn Cooke redesign of Selina Kyle always makes me wish I could go back in time and get young Elizabeth Taylor to come play her in the next Batman movie. It would be perfect! I don’t think there’s any current female actress who could pull off Catwoman, which along with Christopher Nolan’s extremely poor representations of women in his Batman movies, makes me cautious about wishing for Catwoman in the next movie.
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