Striking from the Shadows

Well, this is clearly the thing we’ve all needed. That’s not even a joke! How awesome does ninja Batman look?!

Batman Ninja will be out on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2018.

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 1.00.20 PM

From Kotaku, who saw some early footage at NYCC ’18:

Picture Batman, decked out in shogun’s armor and wielding a katana, charging at the Joker, who’s also brandishing a sword, but draped in a fanciful, ancient Japanese courtier’s outfit that’s overflowing with tattered ruffles that bounce along with his maniacal laugh.

The Batman: TAS Effect

A staple of my after school experience. *sniff sniff* Heart of Ice still gets me.

kaptainkristian‘s YouTube page is well worth checking out for more excellent content in this vein but if you’re too lazy to click a link, check out some choice video after the jump (which is a clickable link! Congratulations, you played yourself.) Continue reading

More Batman Mondo Posters Than You Can Shake a Crowbar Covered in Jason Todd’s Blood At

You have to hand it to them: when Mondo decides to go big, they go BIG. To celebrate 75 years of Batman, they’ve commissioned an epic crap ton of Batman art which they first showed off in their swank Austin, TX gallery and have now put up for sale. Grab ’em while you can but based on how Mondo things go, they are probably all sold out. Sorry bro! But at least you can peep them all here to your heart’s content. PEEP AWAY!

The Black Mirror by Jock & Francesco Francavilla. 24”x36” screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 275. Printed D&L Screenprinting. $50

The Black Mirror by Jock & Francesco Francavilla. 24”x36” screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 275. Printed D&L Screenprinting. $50

Red Rain by Francesco Francavilla. 24”x36” screen print. Hand Numbered. Edition of 225. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $50

Red Rain by Francesco Francavilla. 24”x36” screen print. Hand Numbered. Edition of 225. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $50

The Riddler by Jason Edmiston. 18”x24” screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 200. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $45

The Riddler by Jason Edmiston. 18”x24” screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 200. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $45

Batman by Brandon Holt. 18”x24” screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 275. Printed by Burlesque of North America. $45

Batman by Brandon Holt. 18”x24” screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 275. Printed by Burlesque of North America. $45

Batman / Man Bat by Alex Pardee. 24”x36” screen print. Hand Numbered. Edition of 200. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $80 / set

Batman / Man Bat by Alex Pardee. 24”x36” screen print. Hand Numbered. Edition of 200. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $80 / set

Heart of Ice (Variant) by Phantom City Creative. 18”x24” screen print. Hand Numbered. Edition of 125. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $65

Heart of Ice (Variant) by Phantom City Creative. 18”x24” screen print. Hand Numbered. Edition of 125. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $65

More than you even possibly believe, after the jump. Continue reading

With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Ninety-Five: The Last Year of the Lou Albano Look

1995 was the last time I was able to braid my infamous facial hair, subjugating the structure into facial follicle art with leftover orthodontic rubber bands. A summer job in a defunct “intellectual” toy store called for a trim of the whiskers, and the goat never restored itself to full-blown dark-black-stink-netherworld-tentacled glory. Captain Lou Albano, we miss you.

Now, we progress to the topic of the day, and I’m gonna keep it brief: I’ve had a particular opinion solicited by the founder of this website. I’ve been asked to provide my thoughts on the super(annoying) super-hero mania that has gripped the TV and cinema nations since Dafoe channeled the Goblin 12 years ago. I was fair to the TV shows, so I watched a few episodes “on demand”: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Gotham, and The Flash. I gritted my teeth and endured the viewings. Upon their conclusion, I hit the white boxes in the back of the closet. The “slick and polish” treatment and the youthful twist are as equally offensive as the “gritty” loquaciousness and mundane posturing. Look, kids, I’m always gonna be on the outside looking in, leering with the gargoyles before being eaten by the moon. I simply cannot endorse this movement because the shows & movies are so g*ddamned boring. They are akin to the zombie craze: the more you shoot ’em, the more they don’t just stay dead, and more of ’em explode from the armpits of Hollywood. Same ol’ song and dance without anything so original that you are transfixed. If you crave good superhero TV, IFC shows “Batman” on the weekends. There’s the outland of which we can all be proud. I am sorry I can’t improve upon this review; I can only say it all stinks and their collective popularity are creating the wrong kind of comic book fans, the ones who think “Justice League Europe” is delightfully retro and who never crack a grin while reading ” ‘Mazing Man”. Just get ’em off my planet and call me when it’s done; I’ll be under the bed with the back issues, keeping the purists and the whole g*ddamned renaissance of comic books on life support.

Trailer Park:Batman: Arkham Knight aka Whatcha Gonna Do, BROTHER, When Batmania Runs Wild On YOU??

Why hello there, Rocksteady Crew (No. No. Yes.) Nice to see you back after what was clearly a mistake in letting the Batman: Arkham X franchise flop limply into the hands of some other studio for the quick cash in.  PLEASE tell me that Warner Bros. isn’t going to go the Call of Duty annualized route by alternating  studios to pump more Batman games into the the market. Part of what made Arkham Asylum  and Arkham City so damn brilliant was not only the clear care that were put into the product by Rocksteady but also the fact there wasn’t always another one right around the corner. The previous two Batman games were an event, not just “Ugh, guess it’s time to buy this year’s Batman game, here’s my $65.” I’m looking forward to flipping around the streets of Gotham and just crushing the absolute fuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge out of some goons who desperately need a knuckle sandwich or three. Here’s some batarangs for your facial, what’s up bro? Regardless, games that look like THIS are the reason I bought a PS4.

Sidenote: I hate large animals who hide in pools of water; case in point, the shark from Arkham City as well as the thing in the lake from Resident Evil 4. Damn I hate water.

With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Seventy-Six: The Bad Monkey (25 Years Later)

Friends…Romans…Highwaymen…

I ‘appear’ before you today in earnest entreaty of your unimpeded attention. I must asseverate your utmost consideration is required, as I shall present to you a controversial platform of argumentation, indirectly born from yet gently cajoled by the recent ‘glide-into-eternity’ of a Hollywood personage. If your interest has been piqued, I shall endeavor to ensnare your engrossment as I channel my inner Perry Mason/Ben Matlock/Arnie Becker in defense of a universally reviled cinematic production that deserves thoughtful re-assessment of its cultural and entertainment value.

Vox Populi, the Prosecution…Kentucky Jay Headstone, the Defense..in…

The People vs. GHOSTBUSTERS II

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Jay. Don’t adjust your bolo so tightly. You lured me with such a dramatic introduction just to tell me you are going to champion this blot, this baneful and bloody scab on the forehead of Bill Murray?! Get outta my face! I could be reading bleacherreport.com right now for WWE prognostications from semi-conscious journalists who couldn’t identify a Wild Samoan from a Fijian Islander if a bazooka was aimed at the New Mexico of their anatomy!

Evidently, the facial contortions of Afa and Sika amplify the odious contempt placed upon Ghostbusters II. Readers, place your pints on the coasters and snap into a Slim Jim; I may not convince you that this movie is a masterpiece – it certainly doesn’t rank with its illustriously innovative progenitor – but I can’t sit comfortably and endure the excoriation this movie has ‘earned’ during the past quarter-century to impugn its relative effulgence in extramundane entertainment. Hey, I’m mirthlessly misanthropic and hate the expression ‘I’m just saying…’ that folks holler like it’s gonna give them magical powers, so…exit the meth lab and play liberal for a spell, hmm?

The Twilight of the Endlessly Quotable

The era of the Endlessly Quotable Movie gets pulled over by Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker of the State Patrol and written a citation. Tremors hits the theaters in 1990, and it’s the pause button on Driving the Nitwits to Homicide With Your Ceaseless Citation of Movie Lines. Tell me you didn’t turn to your friend and declare, “Damn, that’s clever” when the boys faced the Scoleri brothers in the courtroom and declared “Do…Ray…Egon!” Assure me you haven’t watched the New York Giants during the first half of any season without recalling Dr. Janosz Poha’s condemnation, “Everything you are doing is bad. I want you to know this.” Friends, please finish this lyric for me: When there’s something strange in the neighborhood/Who ya gonna call?” If you spilled your Perrier when you leapt from the sofa and exclaimed, “HE-MAN!”, then you really cannot refute the power and glory. The atomic weight of Cobalt is 58.9! There are three million AND one completely miserable assholes living in the tri-state area! Egon is sleeping with the pink slime! You’re short, your bellybutton sticks out, and you’re a terrible burden on your mother! I’d rest my case at this point, but the left side of the body still feels like it’s on the end of a forkful of spaghetti being slurped into the mouth of Galactus, so we progress to…

Nerdvana: The Final Gunfight of Rick Moranis

The sand was cool, the water was clean, and Rick Moranis never turned his eyes from his perch on the lifeguard’s chair. Louis Tully remains the Nebbish Nero-Not-Zero of our movie lives. Last Hurrah for the Mighty Moranis, with the boom-boom-pow success of Ghostbusters II, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Parenthood. He had the crown, gang. Then he Blew Up the Kid, played an unconvincing G-man in My Blue Heaven, buried the Barney under the Rubble in The Flintstones, and coached football (no. no, no, no) in Little Giants. With his wife’s death in 1991, Rick left Hollywood and embraced his children, only being ‘seen’ by voice in various animated productions. The top of the mountain is just a point; if you sit, you tumble, and your descent only ends when you hit your gravestone. Yo, Rick, It Was a Nice Fifteen Minutes, Wasn’t It?

Bill Murray is a Bitter Tonic

Every actor craves repertoire enhancement for the resume, but Mr. Murray needed to return to Peter Venkman after the ambitious yet lugubrious The Razor’s Edge. Droll and self-confident,yet moral and self-effacing, Dr. Venkman is the anti-jargon Mad Doctor to Drs. Stantz and Spengler. “Heck, yeah, I love ghosts, and hell, yeah, I’m gonna bust ‘em and send ‘em back to the Brimstone Valley of Southeastern Connecticut where they belong!” This movie proves he best connects with the audience when he remains a minimalist misfit. Post-GB II life has been multifarious and mercurial for the Dalai Lama’s Apt Pupil: Quick Change, Mad Dog and Glory, Kingpin, Larger Than Life, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Osmosis Jones, Garfield The Movie, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, Get Smart, Passion Play, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. Slippery, indeed. Now he is firmly implanted as the linchpin of Wes Anderson’s Structural Cinema (although these ventures, too, have been uneven, with Moonrise Kingdom placing Murray on the periphery of a cock-eyed yet charismatic young romance, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou staple-gunning Billy to the crucifix for a near-lethal paintball barrage of lachrymose and ennui)…GB II puts Murray in firm form and might’ve been the last time we said, “There goes my hero”. However, when Superman and Captain Atom tuck in after a long day of crimefightin’, do they echo Murray’s cynical supplication?

If the Summer of ’89 was Voltron, GB II Would be the Red Lion

Gerard Butler couldn’t survive the bloodfest that was the Summer of ’89. The summer was Survivor Series, three months before the World Wrestling Federation’s Thanksgiving Night tradition. The sides were clearly delineated, and GB II was the crafty ‘technician’ of the team. A battle of this ferocity hasn’t seen its equal or even a worthy challenger.

The Epic Eleven: Ghostbusters II, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Weekend at Bernie’s, Lethal Weapon 2, UHF, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Uncle Buck, The Abyss, Parenthood

VS.

The What-the-Hell One-Shy-of-Dozen: Casualties of War, Pink Cadillac, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Lock-Up, Turner and Hooch, When Harry Met Sally…, The Karate Kid Part III, Licence to Kill, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Dead Poets Society, No Holds Barred

Insight abound from the Epic Eleven: We discover Michael Richards is kinda weird when he romances a mop – Joe Pesci is a lovable pain-in-the-ass – John Candy is scary when chomping a cigar and wielding a power drill but makes the best (and biggest pancakes) in Illinois – Terry Kiser finally trascends his “Been There, Done That” status by playing a corpse with morbid perfection – The Machete-Wielding Madman Hits the Hottest of the Five Boroughs and Makes a Killing (Actually, a Lot of ‘Em) – Steve Martin is Father of the Year (soon to be Father of the Bride in 1991, don’t get confused) – oh yeah: BATMANIA. I was infected. I screamed, “Never Rub Another Man’s Rhubarb!” to Shop-Rite customers when goaded by my brother’s E.L.Fudge cookies.

Powerful movies that have stayed with us and managed to balance the Seemingly Incessant Crap-Fest from the One-Shy-of-Dozen, who offered: Alex P. Keaton in Vietnam, implausible casting – Clint Eastwood as a Rodeo Clown, too irreverent – Freddy Krueger collects a paycheck and swallows teenagey pimply souls in a dreary, unimaginative sequel – Stallone vs. Donald Sutherland, not as psychologically riveting as it sounds – Tom Hanks with a Badge and a Dog, implausible AND hackneyed – Danny and Miyagi put audiences to sleep – Timothy Dalton nearly flattening a franchise – Same for Shatner and the Enterprise crew – Robin Williams’ Dramatic Side, Hairy and Scary and G-ddamned Overbearing – oh yeah: HULKAMANIA. Worst Movie Villain of ’89:

I’ll be fair; I might not have done a great job of convincing you Ghostbusters II should be sheltered from any further put-down. However, you must admit that, as Summertime at the Movies went, very few, if any, matched 25 years ago..

Bill Murray inverted to maudlin self-replication. Ernie Hudson remained the reigning World Champion of “There’s That Guy Again..” status. Ramis wrote and directed prolifically, collecting spores, molds, fungus and accolades. Aykroyd…well, what do you have to say for yourself, Danny?

Can you dig it?

With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Seventy-Two: Connections, Man, Connections…

Last night, I dreamt I was the Beastmaster. However, I was wearing more than just the loincloth Marc Singer adorned in 1982, so don’t call an adult thinking you need supervision to read this post. Chances are strong you’ve never seen “The Beastmaster” without commercial interruption, for I discovered this legendary sword-and-sorcery trailblazer via a WPIX Channel 11 Movie of the Week about thirty years ago and have only re-watched the movie on this network (which seemed to air it at least four times a year), Superstation TBS, and the USA Network. As great as this movie was, we must not overlook the co-star of this adventure, the oddly-cast-yet-goddamned-brutal John Amos, several thousand miles away from any good times…for your benefit, a rare portrait of John Amos from this movie, one so awesome it is unlikely to ever see its parallel:

I hope John Amos made that his Christmas card. In my dream, I maintained a farmhouse/dungeon in rural Nebraska where I held captive the actors of the Brat Pack and demanded they re-make all their pictures featuring Jon Cryer as the Anti-Christ. You will be shocked to know Judd Nelson was truly enthusiastic about this idea. Molly Ringwald was less thrilled.

Yeah, hang on tight, baby, and don’t let go. That grip couldn’t halt Judd’s march towards “Suddenly Susan”. I don’t know what was worse, “Friends” or the vomit of “Friends”, those subsequent NBC sitcoms that tried to copy the formula (“The Single Guy”, “Jesse”, “Veronica’s Closet”, “The Naked Truth”). Well, whatever vomit of quickly-cancelled sitcoms NBC mops up, rest assured USA sneaks into HQ and wrings the putrid substance from the mop for their devious, early-morning, crap-a-thon purposes. Two shout-outs for the ol’ USA Network in one post. I should be getting paid for this gratuitous grenade tossing.

Today marks the 85th anniversary of the first appearance of Popeye, the Sailor Man. Maybe I should just refer to him as Popeye. Otherwise, he sounds like a World Wrestling Federation mid-carder from 1996. No one needs to be reminded of that…which I just did. Well. What an unpleasantly-tasting pie in the face. Happy Birthday, Popeye!

In 1982, I wanted to dress as Popeye for Halloween, but my mother detested the violence of his cartoons, as well as the violence inherent in Tom & Jerry and Woody Woodpecker cartoons, so the lot was prohibited in the household. Balance: watching a bloody Indian strap match between Chief Jay Strongbow and Sika the Wild Samoan or a chain match between Bruiser Brody and Carlos Colon…sure, son, if your homework is done. This woman would sit with me while I watched “Space Ghost and Dino Boy” and “Battle of the Planets” but turned into the prison warden if she saw Tom bothering that poor, little mouse. This existence is splintered with incongruency. Featured below: a group shot of Space Ghost’s version of the Legion of the Doom, the Council of Doom, comprised of (l to r) Zorak, Brak, Metallus, Zoltar, The Creature King and the Spider Woman –

For Halloween 1982, I was Lumberjack E.T. I had a plastic mask, Dad’s purple and black flannel shirt, Grandpa’s red suspenders and construction boots. Mom’s contribution was the rejection of my request to carry a dulled axe. After devoting my kindergarten years to the daily consumption of paste, she would no longer tolerate, nor would her weak, weak heart endure, any more soberly admonitory and perfectly creased notes of concern from my teachers. Grandma suggested I carry a whisk. I went to school with the E.T. mask, the shirt, the suspenders, the boots, and the whisk, prepared to change into my costume after lunch for the Halloween Parade. I couldn’t stop thinking about the whisk, how inappropriate it seemed. Then this thought would be scolded by the Other Powerful Thought, Mom’s Weak, Weak Heart. Shame, shame, shame on me. After lunch, I changed into my costume and discovered the eyeholes on the mask were too small. I used the classroom scissors to enlarge the holes, but a classmate startled me, resulting in a jagged line in the mask, running two inches from the right eye to the mask’s side. During the parade, I kept my eyes closed, wishing I could do the same with my ears. At the class party, I ate my english muffin pizza and my brownie in silence. I remember placing the whisk in my bookbag, but somehow it never came home with me. Mom wasn’t upset; she said whisks were cheap. The damage to the mask caused more grief, as there wasn’t time to go to K-Mart for a new costume before Mom took me and my brother around the neighborhood. The mask was scotch-taped, but I returned the shirt to Dad and the suspenders and boots to Grandpa. I borrowed Dad’s New York Mets cap and told anyone who asked me I was now M.E.T. This was met with general smiling approval. After I gave away my Halloween candy to my brother (retaining my tiny boxes of raisins), and before I went to bed, I remembered a word my Grandpa said that day and decided to look it up. Halloween 1982 concluded with my comprehension of the word, ‘defeatist’. I would say this was the only victory of that day, but that M.E.T. thing was actually pretty nifty.


***READ THE TITLE OF THE POST, PEOPLE…***

For Halloween 1983, I was Blackjack Mulligan. The man born Robert Windham was a villainous pro wrestler, a “heel”, whose son, Barry, was starting to earn his reputation in the business. Blackjack was a big guy, tough and intimidating, who used an “iron claw” to squeeze his opponent’s face until he gave up. He also had a mean, thick black mustache, a feature previously featured on my Dad’s face that disappeared on Labor Day weekend. Dad told me it simply had to go. “You can’t get far in life with a mustache”. I remember thinking about the U.S. Presidents of the later half of 19th century: Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, Harrison. Perhaps he was right. I still wanted to grow that mustache. Mom wondered why I had chosen this particular guy to emulate, and I told her about my need to be a giant for fifteen minutes. Grandpa mentioned Andy Warhol, and I didn’t know what he was talking about. I purchased a black cowboy hat and an Indiana Jones “bullwhip” (plastic replica) at the Great American Party Store. I would paint a handlebar mustache on my upper lip with shoe polish. At school, the outfit revealed me as an outlaw, but no one knew who Blackjack Mulligan was. My teacher, Ms. Curving, thought I was Black Bart and advised me not to use the bullwhip on anyone (I didn’t). The art teacher, Mr. Panarotto, said I looked like Doc Holliday and gave me a high-five. His hairpiece shifted as I slapped his hand. I knew the name Doc Holliday because I had seen a black-and-white TV show where an actor had that role, but I couldn’t remember the title. Later that day, Grandpa told me I had watched “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”. After school, I went trick-or-treating with my brother, who was dressed as a hobo. I thanked everyone who gave me candy, tipping the brim of my hat with a declaration of mostly “Ma’am” or occasionally “Sir”. The next day, Mom and I saw Mrs. Kyritz at the Shop-Rite, who told us that I was the most polite outlaw she’d ever seen in these parts. I remained an outlaw for a few more days, as I had complemented the shoe polish with black Sharpie marker. Polite, yes. Bright, no. For the record, I didn’t use the “iron claw” on anyone, either. Perhaps I should’ve been Wyatt Earp.

For Halloween 1984, I was Robot Cowboy. I was directly inspired by the Superfriends episode, “Outlaws of Orion”, in which intergalactic bounty hunters try to cash in on Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batman and Robin. Dad complimented me on my ingenuity and also stated if I ever wanted to be The Boy Who Combed His Hair, Mom would likely faint. Being a Robot Cowboy meant I had to work on perfecting what I called “The Cold Dead Stare”. I had to look like I meant business with that stare, that’d I’d make your Daddy move to Brooklyn, your Mommy run away screaming, and your Grandma spontaneously combust. I spent hours in front of the mirror, scowling, growling, sneering, leering. I had to put the absolute fear of extinction in anyone who crossed my path. The first person to cross my path (the carpet in my room) was my brother. However, he proved immune to the scowl, as he merely chuckled and told me I looked like I need to have a BM. That night, he wrapped himself in aluminum foil and invited me to a showdown at 8:00 PM. “Too bad,” Dad said, “8:00 PM is Bedtime for Robot Cowboys”. Mom was displeased that my brother wasted the aluminum foil on his outfit; she wasn’t assuaged by my exclamation, “He’s puttin’ on the foil, coach!”, a reference to the Paul Newman hockey movie, “Slap Shot” (which Dad acknowledged). At school, my costume consisted of last year’s cowboy hat, overindulgence of silver body paint, stiff body movements, and various clicks, whirs, and tics. I ate three english muffin pizzas that year, using a knife and fork so my make-up wouldn’t smear. “Robot Cowboy was hungry,” said Mrs. Pellegrino, the class mother. A cheap toy pistol completed the outfit for trick-or-treating. I must’ve been intimidating since my candy collection was especially high. I tried a fun-sized Snickers bar, but the caramel didn’t agree with me, and I spat it into the garbage can. “Does-not-compute, does-not-compute, does-not-compute” was added for dramatic measure, before I “shut down” (went to bed) after a good bath. Robot Cowboy never returned – the Snickers fouled the works. Actually, I missed a few spots of body paint and ruined my “Return of the Jedi” bed spread…C-3PO’s Revenge.

“There is freedom within, there is freedom without/Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup”
— “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House

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