Tag Archives: batman

Those Two Geeks With Alex And Joe: Episode Eight

This week on Those Two Geeks!

Join Alex and Joe as they (finally) remember to follow a planned topic list (and have only a few tangents!).

On the docket this week: The rumoured Stan Lee biopic with Leonardo Dicaprio, before talking about the picture of Jackie Earle Haley below as the Joker before getting excited about a Masters Of The Universe movie.jackie-earle-haley-joker-bosslogic.jpg

Eventually you’ll hear them talk about comics, with Batman and Dark Knights: Metal  being the main subjects. Relevant link: Hub City Review

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week!

Underrated: (The Concept Of) DC’s Earth One Graphic Novels

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: DC’s Earth One graphic novels.


Because I’m currently reading Batman Earth One Vol. 2, this week I wanted to take a look at DC’s standalone graphic novel series Earth One. The series started with Superman in 2010, followed by Batman and a sequel to Superman in 2012, Teen Titans in 2014, two more sequels (Batman and Superman) in 2015, with Wonder Woman and a Teen Titans sequel in 2016. There will also be more released in 2018 and beyond, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

Batman-_Earth_One.jpgEach book in the Earth One brand is, as far as I am aware, unconnected to the others aside from the sequels which means that they’re not bogged down by decades of continuity and the ever present worry of making sure the events in one don’t contradict another.

Full disclosure: I haven’t read them all, or even most of them, so don’t expect this to be an all encompassing review type Underrated. The reason I wanted to shine a light on these books is that in the current comics climate where there’s almost too much to keep track of month to month for some of these characters the Earth One books are a breath of fresh air.

It doesn’t hurt that these hundred and forty odd pages were never written as individual issues so there’s a different flow to the stories as the graphic novel format allows the creative team a little more freedom in building their stories. For the reader this means that you get a full and complete story in one read without having to worry about the other Earth One books (yes, obviously the sequels are designed to be read in order as the story follows the characters on their respective journeys).

And books they are.

The two Batman: Earth One books that I own have a slightly embossed dust jacket free hardcover that look and feel fantastic, but that’s not why I wanted to spotlight the series today. The reason I sat down to write about them is that I had forgotten how wonderful it is to read a self contained story about a character you love without thinking about where it fits in the character’s life.

Sometimes all you want is a story that isn’t weighed down by the constraints of continuity and history – I think that’s why the Elseworlds and What If series are so appealing to fans – so that you can lose yourself in a hundred or so pages of your favourite characters.

There we have it. A much shorter Underrated than usual, but hopefully no less enjoyable.

 


Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover something else comic book related next week.

Batman Day Exclusive – One:12 Collective Batman – Ascending Knight – Black Variant

Featuring an all black outfit with a gold tone belt, this Batman Day Exclusive The One:12 Collective Batman-Ascending Knight  is only available through MezcoToyz.com and limited to a 1939 piece production run, which happens to be the year he debuted.

The One:12 Collective celebrates Batman Day 2017 with am exclusive Limited Edition Ascending Knight  Black Variant. This unique color variation pays homage to the dark knight as he first appeared in Detective Comics in 1939 while invoking a dark and menacing visage. Featuring the wide shaped cowl, shorter gloves and smaller symbol on his chest. All inspired by his original debut in the comics.

The One:12 Collective Batman—Ascending Knight features:
•  One (1) detailed Batman head portrait
•  One (1) detailed Bruce Wayne head portrait
•  A One:12 Collective body with over 30 points of articulation
•  Hand-painted, authentic detailing
•  Over 16cm tall
•  Seven (7) interchangeable hands including:
– One (1) pair of fists (L & R)
– One (1) pair of Batarang holding hands (L & R)
– One (1) pair of posing hands (L & R)
– One (1) grappling-hook holding hand (R)

Costume:
•  Cowled Head
•  Monochrome black on black outfit with body armor detail
•  Leather-like cape
•  3D chest insignia
•  Spiked wrist cuffs and SAP gloves
•  Gold-tone Utility belt with grapple gun holster
•  Highly detailed tactical boots

Accessories:
•  One (1) grappling gun
•  One (1) closed grappling hook for grappling gun
•  One (1) open grappling hook for grappling gun
•  One (1) open grappling hook with attached rope
•  Six (6) Batarangs
•  One (1) heavy assault Batarang (Bat-brick)
•  One (1) tranq-dart wrist crossbow
•  One (1) One:12 Collective display base with logo
•  One (1) One:12 Collective adjustable display post

Each Batman Day Exclusive One:12 Collective Batman—Ascending Knight figure is packaged in a collector friendly box, designed with collectors in mind, there are no twist ties for easy in and out of package display.

This The One:12 Collective figure is available for pre-order through the Mezco Toyz website and is expected to ship some time between February and April 2018.

Early Preview: Batman #33

Batman #33

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Joëlle Jones
Color: Jordie Bellaire
Cover: Joëlle Jones
Variant Cover: Olivier Coipel
U.S. Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: October 18, 2017

Meanwhile, back at Wayne Manor, we’re all waiting to find out Selina Kyle’s answer to Bruce Wayne’s proposal (find out in BATMAN #32 on October 4). A whole new story arc of Batman begins as artist Joëlle Jones joins series writer Tom King for “A Dream of Me” part one!

Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family—each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.

Preview: Batman #31

Batman #31

(W) Tom King (A/CA) Mikel Janin
In Shops: Sep 20, 2017
SRP: $2.99

“THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES” part five! It’s tough to beat the two biggest puzzlemakers in the world at their own game, and Batman’s gambits have only pulled him deeper into the moral quagmire where the Riddler and The Joker do their dirty work. All of Gotham City hangs in the balance as Batman faces the ultimate conundrum: are brainteasers better than belly laughs?

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 9/13

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth: Recap And Review where we take a look at the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series. More consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.

Not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pic up the issue. If I have missed an issue, typically I won’t go looking for back issues to catch up on events – this feature is all about accessibility for new readers, after all.


 

DTC_Cv964_dsAction Comics #987 Look here’s the deal: this issue reveals the identity of someone who has been pulling strings and plotting machinations in the DC Universe ever since Rebirth began. So there’s a chance that, if you just picked this issue up and it’s your first one in the series, not only will you not really know quite what is going on in the wider DCU, but you won’t care. If that’s the case, while this is slightly Friendly the impact of the big reveal will be lost on you. 6/10

Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey #14 Do you remember what’s happening in this series? Because I sure don’t. While the opening had a line that had me laughing out loud for the wrong reasons “someone has to stay in Gotham to hold down the fort.” Once I’d gotten past that, however, I did quite enjoy the issue and found it quite Friendly overall. 6.75/10

Detective Comics #964 Last issue saw Spoiler, the former member of Batman’s team who quit after the “death” of Red Robin, finally joining with Anarky and seeing his underground community that, on the surface of things, looks almost like a haven. So something’s up, right? Meanwhile Clayface is working with a doctor for a cure to his condition. While this issue is a decent read, it’s unfortunately just a touch Unfriendly even with this lackluster recap. 7/10

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #28 Uh… basically the New Gods are being hunted and Hal Jordan has to find and protect Highfather. I’d give you more but I don’t know who the New Gods really are and the previous issue didn’t stick with me too well. Beyond that, this is a Friendly issue that’s also a great read. It’s a simple story that’s got a lot of heart in it. 8.25/10

HJGLC_Cv28_open_order_varJustice League Of America #14 Half of the JLA have followed  the distress signal of Ray Palmer, the original Atom, into the microverse (the plane of existence that exists beyond the microscopic level), and they’ve found that there’s a reality ending threat occurring down there. Meanwhile the other half of the team are investigating the origins of the threat from the last arc, a being that can take control/influence you through your dreams, called The Might Beyond The Mirror. The issue is pretty Fiendly, especially with another quick in character recap from Ryan Choi – the new Atom. 7/10

New Super-Man #15 I could give you a recap, but Kong Kenan does that at the beginning – and it’s just enough to make this issue Friendly (which helps as I forgot the last issue). 7.25/10

Red Hood And The Outlaws #14 I’m pretty sure Bizarro died in the last issue (hence the this issue’s title: Bizarro Reborn) and was subsequently resurrected with an incredible intellect. This issue is very Friendly. 8/10

Suicide Squad #25 Amanda Waller has been controlled by The People, a villainous group of folks hell bent on world domination or something (aren’t the all?), and is in the SSQUAD_Cv25_dsprocess of attacking the JLA. The chaotic conclusion to Kill  Your Darlings is here, and it’s pretty damn enjoyable – and Friendly to boot. 8/10

Supergirl #13 I…. honestly don’t know what’s going on here any more. It’s been awhile since I read the series, and while I harbour some disdain for using the annual as a part of an ongoing story, this issue is kinda Friendly. 6.75/10

Superwoman #14 Another series that I’ve missed for a few issues so there’ll be no recap here. While you can enjoy the issue, it’s a touch Unfriendly only in that you’re not too sure quite who everyone is and what’s going on. 6.5/10

Teen Titans #12 It’s a Dark Knights Metal tie-in, so whether you’re reading that story or not will depend on whether you enjoy this a little or a lot. Take that how you will.

Titans #15 While I genuinely don’t remember the previous issue too well, before that the Titans have been dealing with H.I.V.E. who have stolen Bumble Bee’s memories. At the same time, Wally West has a pretty bad heart condition caused by Damian Wayne in a recent Titans/Teen Titans crossover when he stopped Wally’s heart. This issue is pretty Friendly so long as you accept that there’s a couple small things that you may not get right away. 7.75/10

The Flash #30 Part one of a new arc! Do you need to know anything to jump in blind? Not at all. 7/10

Wonder Woman #30 Even though this is the fifth part of a story arc it’s oddly Friendly. Will you understand everything that’s happened this issue if you haven’t read the other four? Probably not – but this issue is written in such a way that it actually doesn’t matter. Wonder Woman #30 is a really enjoyable and fun comic. 7.5/10

 

Those Two Geeks With Alex And Joe: Episode Seven

This week on Those Two Geeks!

Join Alex and Joe as they (finally) talk about the season finale of Game Of Thrones, the newly released Action Comics #987 where the identity of Mr. Oz is revealed (and yes, we will spoil it), Batman #30 and cricket. Yes, cricket.

Disclaimer: because the two geeks get a bit heated when discussing Action Comics #987 there is more than a bit of cursing this episode. And a metric ton of spoilers.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week!

DC Rebirth Recap And Review For Comics Released 8/30

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth: Recap And Review where we take a look at the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series. More consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.

Not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pic up the issue. If I have missed an issue, typically I won’t go looking for back issues to catch up on events – this feature is all about accessibility for new readers, after all.


 

BM_Cv30_open_order_varBatman #30 Another interlude issue in the War Of Jokes And Riddles arc that has been pitting Joker against the Riddler. Last issue had Bruce Wayne hosting the two at a dinner party to ostensibly  try and make them see sense in some way, but the twist ending is that he was deciding which side Batman would join. With the first interlude we were treated to a phenomenal character study for Kite Man, so I went in expecting two things; that this would be a great read and a Friendly  comic. I was not disappointed. This is utterly phenomenal. 9/10

Cyborg #16 The aftermath of an intensely long and involved story is here, and because I haven’t  really been keeping up with the series I’m a little lost here. I think Cyborg’s in an alternate reality where he’s facing off against an evil version of himself. As this is the aftermath of the current arc (although it really doesn’t feel that way) the issue isn’t all that friendly. But it’s pretty good. 7/10

Deathstroke #23 Deathstroke is trying to become a hero, of sorts, and has formed a team, Defiance, that he’s training. I’ve missed a few of the last couple issues (at least one) and so I’m not really too clear on the rest of the details, but this issue is Friendly enough once you know about Slade’s change of heart. 7/10

Green Arrow #30 So this issue is the fifth part in the current story arc, and it’s actually GA_Cv30_dspretty Friendly. What won’t make sense to you? Ollie Queen has been framed for murder, but he’s skipped town. Black Canary and Red Arrow are trying to find the woman Ollie was accused of killing who may or may not have been kidnapped by human traffickers. Basically that’ll be all you need to enjoy this wonderfully illustrated issue. 8.5/10

Green Lanterns #30 Alright so Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have been sent ten billion years in the past by Volthoom, the First Lantern, who really just wants to go home. Whilst there they came across the first seven Green Lanterns, only to find out they needed to train and introduce them to the Oath before heading off to fight a literal planet killing threat: a much younger Volthoom. Oh, and Simon’s ring exploded before they arrived in the past. 8/10

Harley Quinn #27 Full disclosure: I am far from a fan of Harley Quinn as  solo star. That said, this is a Friendly standalone story featuring the former psychologist. While it wasn’t really my cup of tea, you may enjoy it. 6.5/10

Justice League #28 The Justice League’s children have come from the future to stop something cataclysmic from happening, and Future Aquaman (who wears Cyborg’s body as armour) has followed them back to the present – probably to kill them. Last issue he beat the hell out of Batman… If you’re into time travel style stories then there’s a lot here to like. This isn’t the most accessible comic (it’s barely Friendly) but if you grab last issue you’ll be fine. 8/10

Nightwing #28 The finale to the current arc is fairly Friendly courtesy of Nightwing’s recap at the beginning of the issue. Honestly, though, while you can certainly jump on board here I’d almost recommend waiting to the next issue so you can start with the first part of an arc. 7/10

Superman #30 Last issue Superman got possessed by the Fear entity Parallax (think the god of fear that is the source of power for the Yellow Lanterns. Kind of. Not really. But Parallax is evil) while trying to save a bunch of children that the monster ha begun controlling. Now, Sinestro is back to capture Parallax… so oddly we’re rooting for the longtime Green Lantern villain this issue, right? This kinda sorta Friendly issue is a nice interlude as Superman faces off against an enemy that I’m not used to seeing him go up against. 7.75/10

 

Diamond, Medicom Return to Gotham City With a PREVIEWS Exclusive Dark Knight Rises Figure

The Dark Knight rises from Gotham to the shelves of your local comic book store once again with the release of Diamond Comics and Medicom’s new MAFEX Batman Ver.3.0 PREVIEWS Exclusive (PX) Figure.

This brand new and stunningly detailed figure of Christian Bale’s Caped Crusader stands at 6 ½” tall and features an all new sculpt. Insanely posable for maximum action, this Batman comes with three facial expressions, two riffles, a grapnel gun, a trusty Batarang, and multiple sets of hands to display him as you best prefer.

This PREVIEWS Exclusive figure featured in the September issue of Diamond’s PREVIEWS catalog, and it will carry suggested retail prices of $75.99.  This Medicom figure will be available in stores late June 2018.

  • DARK KNIGHT RISES BATMAN PX MAF EX VER 3.0, $75.99 (SEP172775)

Review: Batman #30

In the second “War of Jokes and Riddles” interlude, it’s the making of a super-villain! He’s been pushed by Batman to snitch on The Joker, and cajoled by The Joker to betray Batman-now, the flunky who would be Kite Man finally snaps. He’s lost everything, and a life of crime is the only way to go.

Batman #30 is the second part of “The Ballad of Kite Man” we follow up with Kite Man who’s now chest deep in Joker’s crew as the war rages between the Riddler and Joker. Batman has chosen sides and is taking down villains one by one, with some rules to go by.

The first part of “The Ballad of Kite Man” was one of the best single issues of the year and this second part is just as solid as we see a man slide into villainy… in a rather pathetic sort of way. And it’s that sad reality of the character that’s the draw.

Writer Tom King brings you into this character’s world as he reflects upon what’s going around him as he thinks about his child. You can see the desperate and sad nature of it all and by the end of the issue I felt both disgusted and sad for him. King has added more depth to Kite Man in two issues than probably all of his previous 57 years of existence. The character isn’t as much of a joke as his a tragedy. This is the average schmoe who turns to a life of crime as nothing else is working and even then no one takes him seriously. Add in domestic issues and the character feels like a fully realized arc in two issues. We see his slide and by the end of this issue it’s a very different Kite Man, one I hope we see more of.

But, it’s that end of the issue that is the answer to both the riddle and the joke. We see how both the Riddler and Batman see him and though he’s the last man standing (not really a spoiler) it’s not because of his strength but his weakness. He’s seen as a joke and thus answers the riddle of why he’s left for last. King’s set up is utterly brilliant in this way and one that you can debate at depth.

The art by Clay Mann is amazing and the use of every character is top notch. King delivers humor in his story and the panels where it exists had me laughing out loud (many say this, I actually did it) and at the same time Mann’s decisions for what he does and doesn’t show creates an ominous atmosphere of Batman stalking the Joker’s allies one by one. He’s the predator that lurks off panel that you only see quickly or at the last second. It’s the Batman we knew exists but rarely see.

Is perfection too much to call something? The first part of Kite Man’s story and this create two issues that for me is the best of the year for me. Kite Man has turned from a joke to a tragic character and one I have a lot of sympathy for. Just utter brilliance that can show that even joke characters can be made into something special.

Story: Tom King Art: Clay Mann Cover Art: Mikel Janin
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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