Category: Batman


The day after Christmas, probably one of the busiest shopping days of the year.  Everyone piles into the return lines to replace the things that didn’t work or exchange the things they didn’t want. 

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Merry Christmas everyone!  A new batch of pictures have been released from The Dark Knight Rises.  Like the ones posted yesterday, they were previously released in low-res version in Empire Magazine and were blocked by words or other graphics.  But now we have them crystal clear with no obstructions including the subscriber exclusive Bane cover shot.

Hurry up July, you can’t get here fast enough!

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by Bob Kane.

By The Nerd

These pictures have been seen before, but only in low-res versions from Empire Magazine.  The new pics reveal some previously hidden details; most notably one of Bane’s mercenaries looking on while he and Batman presumably fight.

This will be the movie of the summer folks.  As the release date approaches will be likely see more and more images and spoilers.  Unfortunately, I am a sponge when it comes to Batman spoilers so there is a good chance I could ruin the movie for myself long before I even see it.  Nah!

What other details could we see revealed as the clock ticks closer and closer to July?  The rumors are all over the place as to who will do what and who is really who in this film.  But I am not going to get into the discussion of spoilers at this point.  I will say that there is a fine line between juicy details and down right ruining the whole movie for everyone.  We’ll see before long just how far DC and Warner Bros are willing to go; and for that matter eager and over-anxious fans.

The biggest rumor floating around is whether Nolan plans on killing Batman in this film.  There has been a lot of speculation, you can even read my take on the subject in another post here on Word of the Nerd.  Another unanswered and highly sought after rumor is the role of Marion Cotillard and whether her character is Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul.  To quote The Dark Knight, Nolan and company are “playing this one pretty close to the chest”.

No matter what Nolan has in store for us, we’ll all find out together come this July.  I know I can hardly wait for this film and there is no doubt in my mind that it will be the blockbuster movie of summer and the year.  Perhaps if the Oscar gods are kind we may even see a Best Picture nod for Nolan’s final and hopefully greatest Batman film.

By The Nerd

If you haven’t already seen The Dark Knight Rises new trailer, now is your chance in full HD glory.  This is definitely one of the most anticipated movies of the upcoming summer.  The most difficult part will be having to wait until late July to see the film.

There has been a ton of speculation surrounding plot and characters in this installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga.  We’re not given much more insight by this trailer, but we do get a glimpse into how dark and gritty it will be.  Anne Hathaway as Seline Kyle (Catwoman) has a wonderful bit in the trailer and show us this will be a hard hitting drama that stands to top The Dark Knight.

Check out the trailer below!

There is also a companion piece to this where I discuss whether if fans are ready to see Batman die.  Check it out here.

You can also download the trailer courtesy of Apple.

By The Nerd


Batman and Robin #4
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray

Damian Wayne is not necessarily a well liked Robin. For many he is a rather annoying and unnecessary addition to the Batman family.  I, however, love Damian and here are a couple reasons why. First, the relationship of father and son is one that no matter how extreme the circumstances, like being a vigilante and having an assassin trained ten year old, some things are always relatable. A father will always try to protect their child even if it means holding things back from them. You expect respect but are not always quick to show it. And sometimes no matter how much you love each other, you just cannot find that middle ground. As a dad I know I am an imperfect creature, and we can see that in what Bruce is experiencing in this book. But just because the relationship is imperfect, does not mean you do not love each other immensely.

The second thing that Damian represents is the one truly odd thing about Bruce’s behavior. Look Bruce Wayne is supposed to be a playboy. Someone who sleeps around and has beautiful women at his mercy. I am OK with that feeding into his Batman persona a little bit, I mean Batman is kinda the bad boy hero that women would be attracted to right? But what I do not understand is why he has to actually indulge every sexual whim of his. I mean if you stop and think about it Bruce Wayne, either as the playboy millionaire or the Dark Knight vigilante, sleeps with more women than Captain Kirk. I am not surprised there are not a half dozen Damian’s running around.

At the core of both these arguments is that Damian humanizes Batman in a way that does not ruin Batman. In fact I would argue that the father/son relationship will only go to strengthen Batman’s resolve and commitment to his mission. For Bruce Wayne, being a hero has always been about protecting what’s his. Be it his memory of his parents, his city, or his responsibility. Bruce Wayne feels the weight of the world on his shoulder’s believing he is the only one who can balance fighting the bad guys, keeping an eye on the good guys, and protecting those who cannot protect themselves. Being a father will only add to that weight and in turn to his resolve.

As far as the actual book is going I am going to give it an OK. Through the first three issues Tomasi established that this was going to be a rocky relationship, and I like that. Introducing a villain that has ties to Bruce’s past did not immediately makes sense, but that comes clear in this new issue. Morgan Ducard not only serves as a way to question Bruce’s methods of non lethal justice, but to also draw a comparison to the father/son, teacher/student dynamic. While I like the plotting of the story and the plan Tomasi has for the book, I think his dialogue can get a little agitating. I think the entire conversation between Morgan and Bruce, while presenting a lot of great information, came off as over the top. I would liken it to reading something on line where for no reason the other person typed in all caps. Also some of the screaming matches through the first several issues have been like that. I do not deny that they are useful, but their execution is just off.

The art on the book continues to be on point. It is hard to convey that Damian is only 10 years old in drawing, because well he is also supposed to be a hero. What Gleason and Gray are able to accomplish is make Damian look more kid like through his surroundings. Having Bruce tower over him, or having him in a field of fire flies. It all just works. And unlike so many of the other books I have been reading since the reboot, B&R really shines outside of the action sequences. You can just tell that the artists understand this book going forward has to be about the moments between Bruce and Damian. Batman and Robin is now the tale of a father and son in a very real way, and I love seeing that in the details.

Overall Batman and Robin is not my favorite book out right now, but it certainly is one I am drawn to. While we all have seen Bruce as the mentor and father with previous Robins, Damian introduces us to the true father in Bruce. The writing has purpose and the art is hitting all the right notes. Is this a must buy, no, but if you have the extra money you won’t be disappointed.

By JP 
For more great comic book news, reviews and commentary, be sure to visit Comic Booked today!

Now we can get back to a regular routine for just a few days before we break for the Christmas holiday.  But don’t worry, we won’t be taking that much time off and then we’ll be back with more great comic book news, reviews and other general nerdtastic stuff.

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There have been rumors about rumors when it comes toChristopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Spoilers and images from the set have flooded the interwebs in recentweeks; but we are still no closer to finding out what is really going on inthe film.

There have been numerous speculations about characters, plotpoints, which actor was playing who and why. Then the conspiracy theories started finding their way around and by thetime the film hits theaters next summer, Bat-mania will have gripped us onceagain.
The main cast of characters Christian Bale, Gary Oldman anddirector Christopher Nolan have all announced that this will definitely betheir last Batman film.  We’ve heard itbefore though from Nolan, but this time there does seem to be finality to hiswords.  Go out on a high note and don’tlet the franchise suffer from Bat-fatigue.
Is Christopher Nolanplanning on killing off Batman in this film? If so, are we as fans ready to see that happen?  We all know what happened to Batman when hefirst tangled with Bane in the 90s.  Theresult was a broken back and Bruce Wayne giving the mantle of the Bat to Jean Paul Valley.
With the recent release of the film’s new teaser poster, itdefinitely implies that the Dark Knight meets his end.  That implication could mean quite a fewthings and I am sure in the months leading up to the film’s release, there willbe endless debate about it.
This is where you will see people coming down on differentsides.  While I maintain I do not want tosee Batman die in the film, my partner JP thinks it would be exciting to seeBatman go to the big Batcave in the sky. Comic book heroes die all the time, at least in the past twenty years ithas become a sad cliché in the industry. Kill off a popular character or presume they are dead, and then with theappropriate flourish and hype, bring them back from the dead.
Would it be appropriate for Batman to die in The Dark KnightRises?  You’re going to get all kinds ofanswers from fans.  Nolan wants to wrapup his trilogy and move on, but DC and Warner Bros want the Bat-train tocontinue rolling.  Warner Bros will need asuccessful franchise after The Dark Knight Rises.  Their other box office juggernaut HarryPotter has ended and with the failure of Green Lantern to draw audiences in,Warner Bros is desperate for the next big thing.
A reboot of the Batman franchise has been discussed with thepossibility of launching a DC Universe franchise similar to what Marvel hasdone with The Avengers.  The best hopefor a Justice League movie died two years ago after a cast had been announcedand filming was about to begin.  Fanshave been clamoring for a Justice League film for quite some time and the endof the current Batman franchise could certainly pave the way for that.
Killing Christian Bale’s Batman would certainly seem like adirection Nolan would take to bring his trilogy to an end.  With Batman dead, a sequel would seemunlikely.  But would a backlash from fansbe more negative to DC and Warner Bros than they would care for?  I certainly would not want to see Batman diein this film.  It’s just unheard of tokill such a legendary and beloved character like that.  Who knows what’s in the mind of ChristopherNolan right now.  Filming has wrapped andpost production is underway.  In spite ofall the set photos on the internet, there is quite a bit of secrecy in theNolan camp about the story.
I am taking a “wait and see” approach to The Dark KnightRises.  There is no doubt that it will bea fantastic film; there is no way it couldn’t be.  In Nolan We Trust is a mantra I have adoptedsince Batman Begins.  I trust what Nolanwill do and I know that whether I agree with what he does or not, he willdeliver another masterpiece.  We will allget to see this summer.

By The Nerd

There are characters in the comic world that are set apart from the rest. Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Spider-man, etc. These characters for some reason have the ability to carry a company. DC and Marvel have lived and died on these characters because they are special, set apart from all the rest. This piece (and others like it) will explore my opinions on what makes these characters special.
Let me start by stating the point that lies at the heart of this article. Batman is special, and he is special because of Bruce Wayne. This may seem obvious, or even applicable to other characters, but Batman is different because Bruce Wayne is broken. Everything about Batman and what he stands for comes from a man who is irreparably fractured. That’s not to say I do not like Dick Grayson as Batman, or even Terry McGinnis. I love them both! But they only exist because Batman exists, and Batman in turn only exists because Bruce Wayne is broken. And Batman is huge; he is a city, an ideal, a model for both heroes and villains alike. Even after DC’s latest reboot, Batman and his family own the show. If you don’t believe me, just look at the numbers. The Batman Family has eleven dedicated to it. Compare that to the Superman Family and all seven corps of Lanterns, who get four titles each. And all of this is because at Batman’s core lies Bruce Wayne, broken, crazy and vengeful. He uses Gotham to meet his ends, and in turn the city has become an extension of Batman. He is the closest friend to one of the greatest boy scouts of them all, and yet they are one step away from being enemies. And his villains, they are especially wonderful because they are manifestations of his broken psyche. They are all part of what makes him dark and on the edge of sanity, but they are also what make him a great hero, and that only further sets him apart.
 
At one point in time, Gotham City was meant to be a fictionalized version of New York City. Now, New York plays predominantly in other DC books, but let me just say that if Gotham was real in any fashion, I would never go near the place. The city itself is a character, and in any other context it would be a villain. But when it comes to Batman, everyone is a vigilante, even Gotham. Gotham is a dark and dirty place, and while in the beginning I think DC’s intent was to portray it as a place of crime and debauchery, I think now it has become a giant bat-cave. The city’s dark oppressive atmosphere plays into Batman’s use of fear. Imagine as a petty criminal in a place where you literally never know when a guy in a bat suit is going to jump out and beat you to a pulp. Let’s face it, the cost benefit is just not worth it, like in any industry you need to go where the money and opportunity is. Coast City is bright and shiny, and its everyday hero is normally gallivanting around the galaxy. Same thing with Metropolis. Yes, Superman is… well… super, but he is all over the globe and does not always have time to deal with petty crooks. However, Batman takes those same petty crimes personally. He hates crime with every fiber of his being. Having watched his parents murder at the hands of Joe Chill (a small-time crook) over a set of pearls he asked his mother to wear, he sees that in every punk he gets his hands on. And I, for one, would not want to be living and stealing in a city whose hero would love nothing more than to put me in a hospital. Remember, Bruce is broken, and everything is an extension of that. Would it not then make sense that the very city he prowls would be just as broken as he is? A place whose dark presence serves both to build the darkest criminals in the world, and also as the weapon of its hero. It is a city on the edge, perfectly suited to a hero on the edge.
Now let’s talk about Kal-El for a moment. Superman is great for a lot of reasons, many of which I will cover in a piece dedicated to him, but above all else he is the ultimate representation of good. Take a nerd moment and imagine an all out war between the characters of every fairy tale, comic, movie, video game, etc. Good vs. Evil in the showdown to end all showdowns, and I guarantee you standing on the side of good, right there on the front line would be Superman, cape billowing in the wind and prepared to take on the forces of evil. Now imagine that group in the middle that is not easily identifiable with either side, yup there he is in the back, Bruce Wayne. Don’t get me wrong, Bruce is a good guy, but heroism and villainy are often determined by intent. Batman is not out for the betterment of the world, he is out for revenge. He is trying to fill a bottomless pit of hate and despair that can only be satisfied with the complete decimation of the criminal element. This is why when Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne get together there is a fair amount of awkwardness. They just can’t relate to one another. Clark wants picket fences and golden retrievers for everyone, whereas Bruce wants to hurt as many criminals as the day will allow. Now, I think Clark at one point felt that he could help Bruce, but ultimately they balance each other. At the end of the day Superman is still an insanely powerful alien, and Bruce is a mistrustful psychopath, but there is your balance. Think of all the characters in the DC universe, are there any more similar than Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor? Hell, I would even say that most of the time Lex’s reasoning is more logical, but still Bruce and Clark find a way to not only co-exist, but to be greater because of one another.
And then there are the rogues: Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, Two-Face and the Joker. They are as identifiable as any set of villains, perhaps even more so, and each are simply paths not taken. Penguin is Bruce Wayne if he chose to be a petulant child instead of taking his parent’s deaths to heart. Catwoman is the care free Bruce Wayne using his skills for thrills instead of a mission. Riddler is that logical, deductive mind finally broken. Harvey Dent represents the two sides of Batman, Bruce and the bat. And then there is the Joker. Joker is both a figurative and literal creation of Batman. The original Red Hood’s fall into that vat of chemicals was Bruce’s first and largest mistake. He blames everything Joker has ever done on himself, and at the heart of it I think he knows why. No one knows who the Joker really is, and we may never know. But whoever he was before, what he represents now is a Bruce Wayne who has gone completely off the rails. The Joker is Bruce after he finally gives into all of his anger at what happened that night outside the theatre. See, the Joker is always craziest when he feels like Bruce is not playing his game with him. He becomes angry and depressed, willing to go after anyone in his way. Now imagine Bruce Wayne with no mission. Imagine all of that anger and rage boiling over. The Joker is frightening because there is no reason behind his actions, no method to his madness, just killing for the sake of watching the world burn. Is this not what Bruce would do to the criminal element if he had the opportunity? Watch it burn until there was nothing left? That is why the world needs the Joker, because what would Batman be without his mission? Who might he become? It is Batman’s ultimate question.
Now I know there have been times when everything I said has been less true, and times when it has been more true. Frank Miller’s Batman is everything I’ve described and a whole lot that I haven’t. But at the core, this is who Bruce Wayne is. He is someone who feels so connected to one night, one incident, one moment, that even in his happiest times, he is still a slave to the memory. Batman #1 was fantastic, and throughout the new books we have seen Bruce in his many different personalities, the crazy one coming at the end of Catwoman, but I, like many of you, am just waiting. Waiting for the day when it will all come crashing down around him. Waiting for the guilt and brooding to finally overcome him. Waiting for the day that last thread of sanity breaks. And when that day comes, I will watch him find his way out of the dark, because that, the ability to live and breathe in the shadows, to know the villain and understand the villain, but not become the villain, that my friends is Bruce Wayne’s superpower. That is what sets him apart.
Originally posted on http://www.comicbooked.com. 
By JP

Nerdites I must bring you sad news today. Yesterday we learned that Jerry Robinson had passed away in his sleep at the age of 89. For those of you who are not aware, Jerry was the young artist that first drew the Joker. As awesome as that is, it was not nearly his greatest contribution to comics. Born in January 1, 1922 he once told LA Times’ Hero Complex that he got his big break when he was at a resort at age 17 and Bob Kane saw his art work on a hat that he was wearing. A short time later he was in New York, enrolled at Columbia, and drawing for Batman.

Jerry was responsible for helping to draw Robin, Two-Face, and many of Batman’s infamous characters. It seems like such an interesting reversal of roles to imagine starting your career drawing for Batman, when now that could easily be considered some artists greatest goal. Robinson then spent the next three decades being a highly regarded political cartoonist, though he was not done with comics.

Probably his greatest contribution to comics was his tireless efforts to obtain rights for comic creators. Having worked in a time when it was standard for creators to work as contractors, never getting rights to their own creations, Robinson was not content to let creators work be taken from them. He was staunch supporter of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in their struggle to get rights and compensation for Superman, and helped them for many years.

His loss is not only an opportunity to mourn a wonderful artist and creator, but to celebrate someone who stood up for what he believed in and never sat back down. Jerry is an inspiration to every kid out there that longs to become a professional dreamer and the world is a little sadder without him in it. To Jerry’s family we would like to wish them our sincerest condolences. RIP Jerry Robinson December 7, 2011. 

By JP

Today commemorates a terrible day in the history of the United States.  On this day in 1941, the Unites States was suddenly attacked by the nation of Japan at Pearl Harbor Hawaii.  This effectively brought the US into the conflict of World War 2.  In all the years since, we have seen other wars and conflicts, but as a people, as a race we’ve grown.  Although we honor those who died that day and in the days that followed, we also hope and pray that nothing that tragic ever happens again.

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