Category Archives: DC

CA Reviews: Batman – Return of the Caped Crusaders

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Batman – Return of the Caped Crusaders is the first DCAU film I’ve even remotely had a desire to watch in the past year or two. After the godawful Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin, Killing Joke CCCCC-combo I was not looking forward to wasting another 90 minutes on DC’s weird fetish with making Batman as lame as possible on film (BvS: DoJ deserves a lot of credit for my hate here as well, but I digress). Regardless, the central conceit – that they were making this as a tongue-in-cheek love letter to the 60’s television show was enough to pull me back in. The good news is that it wasn’t a wasted trip, because this is the first Batman film in a long time that didn’t leave me feeling like I don’t even enjoy the character anymore. “Return of the Caped Crusaders” isn’t perfect, mind you, but it was good enough to warrant its existence, which is increasingly rare for me to admit in today’s Batverse.

Full disclosure: I’ve always loved the 60’s television show. Growing up in the 80’s the reruns were on television frequently so I watched pretty much the entire run as a child. As I matured and really started understanding Batman as the character portrayed in the comics of the 80’s and 90’s, I realized the 60’s show was completely ridiculous. Yet that didn’t make me dislike it one iota, it just was… I had read Gold and Silver-age Batman comics and enjoyed them. The campy, ridiculous Surrealism of it all was great fun and I never once stopped to think “Why isn’t he brooding more?”….

My chief complaint with Batman and the subculture of fans which are so heavily invested in it, is the way in which said fans obstinately proclaim Batman to be one singular thing. In most cases, it can be described as “dark”. Yes – the idea that a grown man dressed in a Bat costume punching evil clowns must be taken deadly serious. How absurd and boring. Blah. Now Batman in films, games and comics is some sort of hulking, armor-clad Militarized idiot who never deduces anything beyond the obvious and solves every problem with punching and guns.

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Yes – I know it was a goddamned dream sequence

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love “dark” Batman – IF it is told well… because here’s the thing: I just like well told stories.

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Batman #11

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Notice I’m not calling this a review? That’s because I just cannot find the energy to write a full-on, proper review. I’ve also been trying really hard to not write any negative articles for the site – but after reading the issue a few times and then seeing CBR’s absurdly vague 4 1/2 star corporate ball-licking “review” that didn’t even attempt to mention the story telling, I just couldn’t help it. I felt compelled to rant a bit.

So, please, allow me to level with you right off the bat so that you may either stop reading and/or start writing your hate mail: I think Scott Snyder has successfully completed the worst “big event” Batman story that I have ever read.

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Some Quick Thoughts On Batman Inc. Vol. 2 #1

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This isn’t a proper review, rather just a quick sketch of what I thought of my most anticipated book of 2012.

I plan on doing full annotations on the whole run, so that will come soon, but for now this is all I have time for before I leave town for a week and wander around the wilderness without computers or cell phones.

Spoilers ahead!

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A Reader’s Guide To Grant Morrison’s Batman

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Well, not ALL of Grant Morrison’s Batman; his stand alone stories are not discussed here – only the currently in progress epic, which will continue on during 2012/2013’s relaunched Batman Inc.

If there is one question I’ve answered more than any other in the past few years in regards to Batman, it is “what is the reading order of Grant Morrison’s run”, or some variation thereof. So I have created this list as a permanent resource and answer to that question. I’ve also created this list for my own edification, to satiate my own disturbingly deep love for Morrison’s Bat tale.

This will hopefully be a straightforward, simple and easy to follow chronological list that will tell you the reading order and supply you with visual representations of all the comics that make up the run, to help the die hard, single issue collectors out there. (I’ve pictured all variant versions of issues below, but not all re-printings where the only thing that changed was a color tone shift and I’ve also put this list here as pure text, just in case you simply want to copypasta it onto your phone, etc. for use in comic shops.)

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CA Reviews: Batman #3

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Batman #3 - Writer: Scott Snyder - Artist: Greg Capullo

Now that we’re really starting to get settled into these initial “New 52” arcs I’m beginning to enjoy myself much more. The pressure seems to be off; the creative teams are no longer here to awkwardly re-introduce these characters to pre-existing and new fans with sky-high expectations anymore and as such, the books are feeling (at least to me) like they’re settling into their respective grooves. I’ve grown to enjoy some of the books I initially disliked because of a lackluster number one. Of course, Batman was not one of those books… its’ first issue was one of the handful of really great New 52 titles and happily, it has only improved since.

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CA Interview: Landry Q. Walker

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 We recently were able to sit down and chat with writer Landry Q. Walker after randomly “meeting” him on Reddit.

We spoke about his long career in the comic book industry; the idea of being, perhaps mistakenly,  known as a “children’s” writer, his work with DC, Disney , Slave Labor Graphics and touched on topics such as madness, misconception, business, collaboration, Dick Grayson and She-Hulk.

CA: How long have you been in the Comics game?

LQW: My first mini-comic was released in January of 1993. The first work I actually got paid for was probably 1995.

CA: How did you “break in” and how long did that arduous process take you?

LQW: It depends on what you count as “breaking in”. My first work for DC wasn’t until 2008. But before that I spent years working on Disney Adventures Magazine and before that had a very successful series with SLG and before that some well reviewed mini-comics.

In a way, I’d say there is no such thing as breaking in…. especially these days. You have an idea, you do it. I published my own comics in the early 90’s and that qualified me as a professional. Because people with money saw my work, I became a paid professional. Some day, they’ll stop paying me for work – and then what will I be?  The arduous process never ends.

CA: Most of your work is done under the auspice of being “kids” comic books, has that stigma been something that has dogged you in a negative way through your career? Do you feel relegated, as though you sometimes aren’t taken seriously in the industry because of some of the genres you write in? Does your past body of work make it difficult for you to write more, generally,  “adult” books?

LQW: My earliest work was extremely adult, and I met a fair bit of skepticism that I could write kids stuff. Then I started writing Little Gloomy and people immediately associated me with kids stuff. You are whatever your last project is. So in a way, the answer is yes. I know for a fact that some major editors have expressed extreme skepticism over my ability to produce serious work. I’ve also received a lot of work because of my all-ages writing. No matter what you do, someone will doubt your ability to do something even slightly different.

Thing is, my goal has never been to do good all-ages comics or good adult comics, but instead to do good comics. The basics of storytelling are the same no matter what age group you attempt to reach. And often times the difference between all-ages and adult is much slimmer than most people believe.

CA: Do you even want to write “adult” comics or are you happy writing for the younger set?

LQW: I don’t think I’d ever be happy doing only one kind of story or aiming for one audience. The all-ages work I have produced has always had a true “all-ages” audience in mind. But then you look at my issue of the Joker’s Asylum series… very adult. Not what people seemed to expect of me.

CA: Ah! I actually have that book in my collection- and I must admit, embarrassingly, that I didn’t even recall that you had written it! But I love that story; I still think it is one of the best modern Mad Hatter stories out there. Very dark. You managed to capture an alarmingly authentic feeling of utter madness there; Jervis was just unnerving in that story. Apologies, but I have to gush a bit and just tell you, great work! Now why the hell has DC never hired you to write another “adult” Batman story?

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​Today I Will Purchase My First “Children’s” Comic Book (based solely on the cover)

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"The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13" Written by Sholly Fisch Art and Cover by Rick Burchett and Dan Davis.

I am a big fan of the cartoon series, but I have yet to read one of the comics… if they manage to transpose even a quarter of the brilliance from the cartoon into the print medium then I may end up having a new title on my pull list. While many derided the cartoon series itself for being too “kiddy”, I found it extremely well-written, fun, intelligent and full of brilliant and easter-eggy nods to DC history. In short, I found it to be very mature (not in a blood and guts and sex sort of way, but in an intelligently created piece of art sort of way), the exact opposite of “kiddy”. The aesthetic rubbed people the wrong way, sure… it did put me off at first too, I must admit. Bit I grew to love the style.

Has anyone else read this series? Do any other discerning adults read “children’s” titles?

Review Roundup July – September 2011

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Here are past reviews originally posted on the old site – all migrated here to this one convenient post.

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