The Bat Man of Shanghai

Three minutes of anime Batman martial arts madness. HI-YA!!

 

Trailer Park Did You Know Edition: CBS’s 1997 Justice League of America Trailer & Pilot

Back in the long ago (1997, to be exact) some ballsy yet ultimately misguided studio execs at CBS got it in their heads to try and whip up a weekly series based on a comic book property (keep in mind this is waaaay before Heroes). And since all the good ones (and even not-so god ones) were probably locked up until the Singularity, they had to settle for this: The Justice League of America. The mid-to-late ’90’s super shitty version of the league. I’m surprised they didn’t shoehorn Guy Gardner in to ratchet up the awfulness. Don’t believe me? Watch the trailer below, starring everyone’s favorite, Fat Flash:

The full 80 minute (!) movie is after the jump! (I’d rather watch this than the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern.) Continue reading

Super Sweet DC Posters – THESE You Can Buy

Check ’em out — these totally sweet DC posters are available right now in the DC Collectibles store and aren’t too shabby, either price- or quality-wise. Take your pick of either 12 X 18 for $20 or 24 X 36 for $35. Either way, you can now make your house look like a responsible adult with disposable income lives there. Anyway you slice it, it’s just C-L-A-S-S-Y. Trust me, class knows class, and I’ve got class.
The CourtDon't slip, don't tripOrange is my colorSteampunk Harley


(Link via Comics Alliance)

The Dark Knight Returns: Returning as an Animated Film

Everyone’s favorite-by-default Batman mini-series, The Dark Knight Returns, is getting new life as an animated film. I’m of two minds on this though: 1) AWESOME! There have been hints of this before, most notably in Batman: The Animated Series:

but now a dedicated, full length version? Sign me up!

2)Slow down. Has anyone else noticed the creeping, naked greed & exploitation of anything ever remotely related to “geek” culture? Breaking up the Harry Potter finale into two parts, doing the same with Twilight, spreading The Hobbit over three films and now breaking up what really should be one animated film into two parts? It’s egregious but it’s not going to stop.

I realize it’s hard to get upset about; now instead of dashing off some quick cash-in, studios & producers are putting serious time and money into these products to really pay homage to the source material, to really bring it to life.  But there are definitely trade-offs for that devotion and this splintering of material is one of them.

UPDATED: The Martial Art Stylings of Batman

Article (courtesy of BloodyElbow) on Keysi, the martial arts Bruce Wayne employs (ed.note: Or is it deploys? Where’s my Strunk & White?) in all three Christopher Nolan Batman movies.

Bloody Elbow also provides in-depth articles on the striking & jiu-jitsu of Batman.  And if those skills don’t work, he’ll smack you in the face with a metal boomerang from afar.  Imagine you’re just standing there, minding your own business guarding some card game when all of a sudden you hear a low whistling then KLANG!!!  Smacked right in the mush with a jagged hunk of metal.  Three of your front teeth break off at the gums, your mouth is now full of blood and tooth shards and you’re trying to puzzle togther just what the hell happened when a giant guy in a costume pops out of the shadows, grabs you by the collar and harai goshi‘s you to death.

Henchman life in Gotham is a hard life.

UPDATE 07.27.12: Bloody Elbow has updated their “The Martial Arts of the Dark Knight” feature, this time with a look at the wrestling, savate, fencing and mixed martial arts of the g.d. Batman.

Take it!

Haul Thoughts: Surprises (Bad) & Surprises (Good)

Let’s do this! Don’t forget to chime in in the comments below.

AvX 08 – IMPERIOUS REX!!! Namor has shown up in Wakanda looking to tear The Avengers a collective new butthole and he very nearly succeeds.  The opening splash page is as menacing as Namor has looked in recent memory and you see that this is not something that Wakanda will be recovering from anytime soon. Iron Fist is indignant that Iron Man and The Thunderer skip out to K’un-Lun without him, meanwhile Wakandans are being devoured by Atlantean seas serpents.  Typical rich guy.  Meanwhile Cap is all “I knew Cyclops was a dick! Forget all these corpses, I was right all along!” Typical unfrozen World War II science experiment. Anyway, Cap calls the Avengers, whom Namor proceeds to go H.A.M. on, even taking full powered blows to the dome from Red Hulk, Thing, Mjolnir, Dr. Strange and The Vision.  NAMOR AIN’T CARE and he goes on to prove this by breaking the Red Hulk’s arm like it was one of my brittle, bird-like wrists. Then he decides to set the rest of the Avengers on fire. Then super Deus Ex Machina a.k.a The Scarlet Witch shows up, somehow (ed.note: With her ill-defined powers, that’s how!) defeats Namor whom the Phoenix Force decides to ditch, flowing into the other members of the Phoenix Force. Charles Xavier’s floating bald head shows up to scold Cyclops; Cyclops tells Chuck to “Cram it with walnuts, ugly”; Cap cries. Buy? Sure, if you’ve bought the earlier seven.

The Invincible Iron Man 521 – Think I mentioned this before but WHOA. The Invincible Iron Man is awesome. If you haven’t been reading this title, go back to #500 and read them all.  I never cared for Iron Man; sure the movies got me interested and I think I picked up the book at an ideal time. So, if you’re planning on following my lead and picking up the earlier 20 issues, SPOILERS HERE Tony Stark is super-boned and the super-boner (ed.note: Really?) is non other  than the Mandarin.  Some observations: apparently 6 months have passed since issue #520 and all sorts of shenanigans have gone on, chiefly that Stark is working for the Mandarin. Side note: is the Mandarin the Marvel Universe equivalent of a beholder from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons? Seriously, check it out:

Beholder powers:

BEHOLD...er

Mandarin ring powers:

Where's the duck sauce ring?

Back to the issue at hand, literally.  Resilient (formerly Stark Resilient) takes some shots at the crappiness of the cloud and introduces their solution, the swarm (which Warren Ellis introduced in Transmetropolitan a decade ago…).  That’s one of the reasons this book is so excellent; it’s not all tights, capes & punchy-punchy.  There’s corporate espionage, futurism, science, rad armor, clever banter..so good.  Just buy it. Buy? Duh. Also, if I can’t have the Infinity Gauntlet, I’d gladly take the Mandarin’s rings.

Before Watchmen – Silk Spectre 02 – I really  like Amanda Conner’s art on this book. In fact, I feel this is tied with Ozymandias  as the Before Watchmen book with the best art. Definitely an Archie vibe going on. That being said…what the hell?! The first issue was so good where this one is…not. Not as good. The spirit of the book hasn’t really changed, but something this issue seems off.  I did like the analogs of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones as well as an appearance from Kid Charlemagne himself, Owsley Stanley and what is possibly supposed to be Frank Sinatra? I don’t know, the innocence and free-spiritedness of the first issue gets muddled with some subplot about causing Haight-Ashbury hippies to embark on acid-fueled shopping trips. Also, the Silk Spectre’s costume is highly impractical. That’s not a reason to knock the book, it’s just that even fictional teenagers are idiots. Buy? Yes, as it’s not enough to derail the series (plus you’re already halfway through at this point). But don’t prepare for the high notes of last issue.

Daredevil – 15 – High hopes for Murdock this week; was he able to meet them? Welllllll….was the arc resolved? For the most part, as it’ll most likely wrap up next month. Was the premise clever? Daredevil sans senses? Sure.  Was there anything outwardly terrible about this issue? Not especially.  So…? Can’t help you dude. Then is it a Buy? It’s not the highpoint of this excellent series, but neither was the Punisher/Spider-Man crossover.   It’s not a jumping on point, that’s for sure.

Fables 119 – Even if this series had nothing else going for it, it still has the best covers in the industry.  Before I started reading, I was really hoping that this arc would wrap up this issue or next.  But then I started reading; wow. If you’re a Fables fan, you won’t be disappointed.  Things to note: a pretty shocking death, an Angry Birds cameo and my new favorite phrase, “shit fire on Pop-Tarts”! Buy? Have you read the previous 118 issues? Then you pretty much have to, don’t you?

Justice League 11- Not going to lie, I’m kind of lost with this book.  I’m not thrilled at the supernatural bent the it’s taken either; isn’t that the purview of the Justice League Dark? The high point for this issue was probably Wonder Woman calling the Green Lantern a dickless bitch, in so many words. Also, Diana’s problem solving starts and ends with decapitation. They’ve really made her one of the most compelling characters in the whole New 52. Also a nice touch: Cyborg: “I’m not partly dead, am I?” Batman:”…of course not”. What a dick! Buy? If you’re not invested in the series at this point? It’s a pass.

Saga 05 – I’m oddly compelled to keep getting this book.  It’s clearly been building up for the past four issues and there is a bit of payoff here, but not in an equivalent amount to the rising action.  The book opens with the television-headed prince who is a/the protagonist? Antagonist? All I know is that in the future/past, robots poop.  Also, the two sides in the giant war that I (and I assume other readers) are trying to puzzle out art the “horns” and the “wings”, and a clutch of winged shock troopers drop down on our narrator  and it’s parents Alana and Marko.  SPOILERS Marko breaks his vow of nonviolence and goes apeshit, slicing through all of the shock troopers and is about to really start cutting heads, forcing Alana’s hand. END SPOILERS.  Far more happens and I think this book is finally starting to pick up.  I seem to remember Vaugh’s Runaways was a bit of a slow starter as well. Buy? At this point, while it’s still early in the series, yes, but only if you pick up the other four.  Or wait a few months and pick up the first six issues in a collected format.

The Dark Tower – The Man in Black 02 – As I’ve already read all of The Dark Tower  books, it seems a bit foolish to then buy them in serialized comic format.  But it’s still a powerful series and Robin Furth & Peter David are doing extremely solid work on this and all the previous Dark Tower  series.  Buy? If you like The Dark Tower, all the trades are worth picking up.  It definitely fills in gaps that were only hinted at in the series.

Wonder Woman 11 – Sometimes I get my comics & video games confused, like with all the Olympians showing up in WW and I find myself thinking, “Didn’t Kratos kill all you?”. This issue isn’t as good as the previous two in Hades, but it seems to be setting the stage for a pretty epic confrontation with Apollo and Hera, so I’ll check in next month. Buy? Not as a starting point, but this isn’t an issue that’ll make you drop the book either.

X-O Manowar 03 – The payoff! Aric and the X-O Manowar class armor make nice (it grows Aric’s hand back, he disintegrates aliens) until an explosion sends them flying outside of the ship. Aric apparently has his Dorothy moments, as he clicks his gold-and-powder blue heels together, disappears from deep space and reappears above modern Rome, where he crashes into the Coliseum. I’m interested to see if they go back to the “unfrozen viking business magnate” schtick Valiant used the first time with X-O. Buy? No brainer. Get the other two while you’re at it and transport yourself back to ’94.

Whew!  Sound off in the comments about your thoughts on my thoughts, on what you picked up this week, on what you refrained from picking up this week or just general what-have-you’s.  Goodnight Cleveland, where ever you are!

This Week’s Comics Haul – Sweltering in the City Edition

It’s too hot to even move; best thing to do is find solace in some air conditioning with a stack of comics. What I picked up this week (And a rare show of restraint!); what did you get? Tell us in the comments!

AvX 08

Before Watchmen Silk Spectre 02

Daredevil 15

Fables 119

Invincible Iron Man 521

Justice League 11

Saga 05

The Dark Tower: The Man in Black 02

Wonder Woman 14

X-O Manowar 03

Books I’ve picked up in the past but this week I was able to show restraint and not buy:

Wolverine ($5 bucks??! C’mon) & Fantastic Four. . Granted it’s only two but it’s a start!

A strong crop of books this week; it’s difficult to pick out which one or two could be the stand-outs this week. But picking two, I’d say it’ll be X-O Manowar and… Daredevil. Daredevil ?!? Yes, DD. I like the current arc, hell, I’ve liked the entire relaunch. It’s a fun book that still feels dangerous for the characters. It’s a delicate balancing act and Mark Waid pulls it off.
Reviews and thoughts on these in the next few days, along with the kick off of the MB Interview series!

Batman: The Animated Series + The Dark Knight Rises Trailer = Nostalgia, Magic

A few years ago, I got into an incredibly serious argument with a friend about whether or not the opening to the original Batman: The Animated Series was hand drawn or computer animated.  I said hand drawn (ed. note: Because it is! Use your eyes!) he said computer, words were exchanged, beers were drank, more words were exchanged, phones were consulted, onward and onward until the eventual destruction of his apartment.  Damage aside, no consensus was ever reached.  Readers, help me win this years old argument by watching the series opening below and then voting (even though I know I’m right).