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Why you should read Shutter!!

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Image comics has become a leader of fantastic original comics that explore every genre as possible from Westerns, Science fiction, dystopians, fantasies and character driven dramas these include well known classics including Saga, Rat Queens, The Wicked and The Divine , Copperhead etc.

Shutter (written by Joe Keatinge and drawned by Leila Del Duca) falls among this group. It’s a classic image book featuring a complicated female character, a crazy world and themes that resonated with everybody.

The main character

The leading character of shutter is Kate Kristopher, a woman who is many things: she is complex and yet you can relate to her. Personally I feel I could relate her, I’m in a place where I am stuck and trying to figure out what’s going to happen next, this what Kate feels like in the book until what comes next (which I won’t spoil because you have to read it.) And yet we see her use her knowledge and practicality to constantly get her and her little brother out of danger.

The World

The world of Shutter is hard to pin down, I want to argue that’s it a futuristic version of our world yet it could easily be an alternative version of our world that includes everything from Dinosaurs to cats with clocks on their fronts to our heroine being placed in a sleep within a crystal by robed mice or is it Rats? Well whatever it is (it actually shares a lot of similarities with Saga), its a bizarre world brought wonderfully to life by the art of Lelia Del Duca and colourist, Owen Gieni. From the introduction of the animal hit men then to the explosive attack on Kate’s friend, Alain’s home (a wonderful representation of transgender), its colourful, fluid and cartoonish yet its beautiful to look at. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and shutter proved my point.

Family

I admit I feel really bad about bringing Saga up into this, but Shutter and Saga do share a common theme which is family yet we see it in its different form, whilst Saga is about the reuniting and then breaking up of Alana, Marko and Hazel and then the attempting reuniting of The Will, Gwen and Sophie, Shutter is about discovering a new one whilst also portraying a father and daughter bond that makes your heart swell up at join at seeing them together then breaking when you realise that’s its gone at the start of the story.

So I highly recommend you pick up Shutter, you can get in TPB or follow in single issues (I think they’re up to issue 10, I think.)

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Why everybody should read Francesco Francavilla's Black Beetle: No Way Out?!

Rather than usual reviews that is on this site, I want explore reasons on why people should read the apparent book, movie or TV show. I've already previously done this with Why everybody should read Paul Pope's Battling Boy?! But now I have a new book, Black Beetle: No Way Out by Francesco Francavilla.

Old School meets the New
Old School meets the New

Who is The Black Beetle?

Well first of all he's creator owned character inspired by the pulp characters such The Spirit, The Shadow, The Spider and even a bit of Batman. All make this character a wonderful old school but refreshing character among the usual company owned characters of the comic industry.

However there's a wonderful catch to Black Beetle, his real identity behind the costume is ever revealed. We see bits and pieces of his "true identity," but not much considering in even scenes when he's out of the costume, he's still lying to the reader and the population of Colt City.

This sake of not having an real identity, may also explain his tendency of using violence which is shown through out of the book. I can tell you that he doesn't have no-gun law like Batman and certainly will kill like the Punisher if he's willing to, which again makes him feel cool and new in the world of PG-13 heroes.

The Story

Now Showing Black Beetle: No Way Out
Now Showing Black Beetle: No Way Out

As I previously mentioned the Black Beetle is inspired the heroes of American past. And that is the case of the story itself which mixes Detective Noir, pulp and the occasional of science-fiction and horror. There are technically two stories that are going on here, the first one Night Shift (which involves an almost Hellboy plot of Nazi Werewolves and an ancient Egyptian Cult whilst taking place at a museum) and the other which the volume takes it's name from, No Way Out which deals with our titular hero taking on the mob. However Night Shift is dotted throughout the main story, No Way Out as an movie intermissions where we slowly see elements of the cult and the Nazis play throughout the haunting landscape of Colt City. I don't want to reveal too much of the story but it does leave you hanging before pulling you again especially since it feels like you're watching a movie rather than reading a graphic novel.

The Art

Black Beetle: Fantastic Art
Black Beetle: Fantastic Art

If you are familiar with the art of Francesco Francavilla, you know that his art is cinematic. And that is certainly the case here.

From the interesting use of colours, such as black, orange and yellow to give the hero's city, Colt City a dark but sepia tone of 1920s-1930s movies. Seriously Francavilla's city could give Frank Miller's Basin city, a running for best use of colours in noir setting.

Not only that the design of some of the panels is also fantastic including making entire pages look like jigsaws when the Black Beetle's nemesis, Labyrinto is describing his plan and eventual back story.

Even Labyrinto's own design is fantastic on its own right and is so trippy that you'll get dizzy looking at him. I won't show it but you must read this book to find out what he looks like!!

And in an added bonus, Francavilla has put lots of sketches, concepts and lobby cards (which I previously put above) within in the back pages of the hardcover version of the book. I admit when it came to the lobby cards, I wanted to cut them out and taking them to a cinema, they are that wonderful not to do it.

So if......

Your looking something that is still superheroish but that returns to an age of pulp and old radio dramas. Then read this. Or if you want to try something different other than your usual comic fare then read this. I promise you, you won't be disappointed.

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Meet the Amazons: Myths and Wonder Women

As a little girl, I was always fascinated by Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, heroes taking on monsters and tasks, large battles taking place over ten years and gods and goddesses up to no good! However what really found interesting was the story of Amazons, an island of warrior women residing in mythology as a place of danger for heroes and curious place where feminine power is at its peak and could change its course of history. Of course we know today the Amazons as the people who helped to create Wonder Woman through the ideas of William Marston. However I want to explore the idea of Amazons in their mythological form and how that has translated into the most famous super heroine in the world.

Amazon: The word

The etymology of the word is a curious thing. Scholars definitely that agree that it isn't of Greek origin despite Amazons being a mainstay of Ancient Greek mythology. It has Iranian origins in ha-mazan ("Warriors,) however in the 19th century, an scholar also linked to the word, Amazigh which is proposes Iranian ama-janah "virility-killing". However in classical Greek it was altered through the pass over of languages as amazon: "without breast," a common idea that Amazons have only one breast to fire arrows (something Gal Gadot mentioned when interviewed.) Interesting enough they have near been portrayed as this in pottery, reliefs and Renaissance paintings.

Achilles slaying Penthesileia, Athenian black figure, C6th BC
Achilles slaying Penthesileia, Athenian black figure, C6th BC

Where they reside

I can tell you that the mythological Amazons of ancient Greece do not originally reside on Paradise Island as Wonder Woman does but their home was near Pontus (now Modern Turkey) which is near the southern shore of the Black Sea. Here they formed a kingdom or government under the Queen Hippolyta or Hippolyte (loose, unbridled mare.) Of course this has been debated my ancient scholars themselves, the playwright, Aeschylus chooses to place them in Scythia (which is now Modern Crimea) and Plutarch placed them near Don River or Tanasis as it was known by the Ancient Greeks. The Amazons moved much later moved moved to Themiscrya much later, which was associated with the myths of Jason and Argonauts and the twelve labours of Herakles.

Amazons' home in Turkey
Amazons' home in Turkey

Their place in Mythology and Greek society

The Amazons hold a even more curious place in mythology and Greek society. They were certainly feared and were believed to be real in Ancient Greece and later Rome during the period in which these myths were abound. However symbolically they meant something particularly to the men of the world and not the women. Amazons represented the wild and untamed nature of which men feared women would take if they weren't submissive to them or didn't remain in the home. You see Amazons represented women doing men jobs, they were the warriors, fathers, politicians and workers within their own society as opposed staying at home. And this is a common feature with Greek myth, the men must take down feminine power in order to control the world from Cronus controlling the power of Gaia to Apollo defeating the Python (which is certainly female) on the island of Delphi.

And certainly The Amazons in the myth do not fit this bill originally. They fight in the battles of Troy for King Priam which is seen in the amphora above. We can see Achilles overarching Penthesileia as to bring her down and suffer under the man. However in some myths, some heroes immediately convert the Amazons into the submissive women such as Jason seducing the Amazonian Queen in his quest to find the Golden Fleece to Herakles trying to attempt to get Hippolyta's gridle. Strangely in that story, Herakles is forced to change places with Hippolyta, he must be the "wife," in the relationship while Hippolyta plays the role of husband after they switch clothes. But still they are the warrior women who causes fear.

The intermarriage of Amazons and men from other tribes was also used to explain the origin of various people; for example, the story of the Amazons settling with the Scythians (Herodotus Histories 4.110.1-117.1)

But of curious the myth of the Amazons is that they control themselves rather than the men who they take men in order to allow for their race to survive and raise their daughters to do work that would normally be associated with men from agriculture, hunting and the art of the war. Meanwhile the boys were either killed or sent back to their fathers or exposed on an mountain side (a common practice in Ancient Greece particularly when it came to getting rid of girls.) The Amazons in truth represented a dystopia to the male population of Ancient Greece, a warning to not allow their wives, daughters, mothers and nieces become defined of them and become like the men.

Battle of the Amazons, Rubens. The Amazons against Theseus.
Battle of the Amazons, Rubens. The Amazons against Theseus.

Wonder Woman

So how does Wonder Woman fit into this Amazonomachy of classical and ancient ideas,she certainly represents the challenge to the male ideals of her Superhero counterparters, she follows their ideas of truth, justice and somewhat the American way but she is brutal, unlike Batman and Superman, she is willing to kill if diplomacy and reason fail with her enemies. However her kindness and honesty isn't exactly strikes me as Ancient Amazon, as the Amazons truly don't push over for any visitor who comes on their island. Interestingly enough I would even argue that Wonder Woman has a bit of the Norse mythical Valkyrie in her, also fierce female warriors but come across kinder and helpful to heroes they meet. However I do think some writers do harp back to the ancient amazons and their place in myth as women who do take to new arrivals with caution. But Wonder Woman still retains the ancient Amazon.

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What the new Lex Luthor might represent?!

As of today, we have discovered two things about the upcoming DC movie, Batman vs Superman. Jeremy Irons will be playing Alfred Pennyworth (Nice) and one of the most unexpected casting announcements in comic book movies for a while is Jesse Eisenberg playing the Lex Luthor. However what does that represent for one of DC's most iconic villains.

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The new Billionaire Archetype

Now interestingly the casting Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor has brought up a lot of comments about his role as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (Great film by the way.) However maybe that was what they might have been going for. When you think about it, the original billionaire archetype of Lex Luthor (large corporation, luxurious lifestyle but somewhat corrupt and unspoken, playing the victim aka Donald Trump-type.) While that archetype still exists, it becoming more of an common for people especially the youth to make money simply by internet (Zuckerberg, the twitter guys and tumblr guys,) or developing eco-technology (Nest) which is pushed through the masses and cuts out the middle man or the need for a large corporation. This in turn could make the classic Lex Luthor character refreshing and more in tune in the way we see the billionaires today.

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The Old vs The New

Again some of the comments about this casting as too young. However I think it puts an interesting contrast in place, as its been stated by Warner that Bruce Wayne is older and more experienced in this movie. Just like the classic Lex Luthor, he is a billionaire who provides a lot to charity and plays a character for his audience of Gothamnites yet he's inherited his wealth from his family. However with this new Lex Luthor we could see an interesting contrast between them, Luthor could be from the generation of new money from new technology, Internets and child geniuses. Not only that he could in some way reflect the new world of the new superheroes and villains just as Superman and possibly Wonder Woman is doing. And you can imagine Batman not being happy about it.

More Brain that Brawn

One thing people are pointing that Jesse does not look the part. As they say he's either does not look the part or can be intimidating. However please let's remember that Lex Luthor is a character that thrives on intellect and intelligence, not on his physically and that's why he can often overcome Superman (not all the time but he can.) Maybe he can have a robot suit but who knows. But clearly he's not the muscle that will be somebody else. Overall having an intellect villain is a great one as their are very few of those villains on screen at the moment.

However this move does spike my interest even more. As this proves that DC/WB are taking risks on their own terms and hopefully will once more force the superhero movie genre to change.

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Why a delay is good for Batman vs Superman and other DC films?!

As of Friday, the possible sequel to Man of Steel that includes the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor to make appearance has been pushed back to May 6th 2016. Whilst this is rather disappointing to fans (myself included), there are far more silver linings than there is bad aspects. So let's discuss.

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Longer pre-production

In this day and age, movies especially tent-poles and franchises have shorter pre-production than usual films as studios desperately want them out to cash in on trends or keep the hype. Whilst there is hype around this movie is controversial, mixed and ecstatic its could use with it to be cooled down so Warner Brothers can get their bearings together. And a longer pre-production could only help with any script issues but also with the world building after all we are dealing with cities such as Metropolis and Gotham and possibly the other DC comic fictional cities, Paradise Island and possibly the Justice League Watchtower which is a lot harder to make sense that the hyper realistic world of Marvel comics. This longer pre-production could also allow for the plan for Batman vs Superman to shoot back to back with Justice League (which this delay has basically confirmed without doing much).

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Handle with Care: DC's Trinity

Unlike their fellow superheroes, The Avengers, the DC trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are mythological and larger than life, they represent the very idea of comics and superheroes at their core. So placing them in one movie would be a huge undertaking especially when you have to write them that agrees with comic book fans as well general audiences who have knowledge of these characters and how they think they are portrayed. Warners also has to deal with the fact that they can't marginalised either one of these characters on screen, Batman can't steal all of Superman's screen time, Wonder Woman can't steal either Batman and Superman's screentime etc. It's a impossible juggling act that they have to deal with even with the most creative people in the world.

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Playing the waiting game

Another reason for this delay is possibly that Warners wants the best actors for the parts that they think will make those characters interesting to audiences and to maybe possible critics. One name that popped up for the Lex Luthor part of Batman vs Superman was Joaquin Phoenix, now he was also up for another part in a much smaller movie which I assume he will take but if Warners want him, I'm gonna assume that they gonna let him do that before they make their superhero epic. And hey he's a good choice for the part so let him make another movie he wants to do before taking on Lex.

Another name that's popped for a possible Justice League member, Aquaman was Josh Holloway again like Phoenix, he's doing a television show if that show is picked up then Warners can't have him, if it doesn't then they'll have their Arthur Curry/Aquaman. Again this may pay off if Warners wants to release a superhero film that can change the genre again just as Nolan's Dark Knight and the original Superman move.

The Superhero Epic

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As I previously mentioned, DC comic characters are mythological, they do the impossible and can push boundaries and do amazing feats that nobody can do. And with this case, Warners is potentially creating a superhero epic that's more in tune with LOTR than their rival's Avengers. Come on think about that rumour that mentioned that Batman vs Superman would have an cliffhanging ending that would directly lead into a Justice League is very plausible that this is two huge event movies not one. If Warners have more time to create this then they could change superhero movies and the genre of blockbusters in two gos. And it would be ashamed if it would be rushed, otherwise DC movies would once again swell in the areas of Batman and Robin and Green Lantern.

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Marvel's Magical Date is their's

The new date for Batman vs Superman is on May 6th 2016. Now people might ask why they chose this date, well this often the month that Marvel decides to started to releasing their movies (Iron man 3 and The Avengers got their release dates around this time). Interestingly that Warners has chosen this date, they are practically saying to Marvel/Disney or Marvel/Fox (the new X-men is being released in this month too) that either they can move it within two years or fight them out after all Superman and Batman (especially Batman after all his last two films made a billion each) have been box office gold behind him and that would be risk to any studio release a film at this point. I do think we should defiantly watch Marvel/Disney after all they are Warners/DC's main rival in all of this and see if they will budged or not.

We also have to remember despite Marvel's success in films, not all of its translating into the sales of comics since the company is having a habit of renumbering its issues so they can get more casual readers which is not working them especially if they are cancelling then reissuing them again. While DC is also suffering a similar issue due its new reboot of its universe, it hasn't been bad as Marvel's (and yes I know that Marvel was the top publisher of 2013 but it only bet DC by a small margin).

The Future of DC films and other forms of entertainment

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At this point Warners has made the right decision, when it came to delaying the release. Of course their are some people are fretting that DC doesn't have any films to compete with Marvel/Disney on the superhero market (they probably don't care about Sony or Fox at this point) but DC has been clever of announcing numerous TV projects including The Flash, a new take on Batman's Mythos in Gotham, Hourman and Constantine (also along side Arrow), these could be possibly fill the two year gap between the lack DC films since they will have nothing to go on.

Of course their is possibly that they still going to go on those smaller budget films of the Suicide Squad, Deathstroke, Booster Gold and Team 7 as well the Vertigo project of Neil Gaiman's Sandman. But it hard to tell if they will release these after Superman/Batman or before it. Hopefully at the 2014 Comic-con will tell anxious fans something. However I would love them to do a Wonder Woman film but again I doubt that would happen so soon.

Concluding remarks

This is a very good move by Warners/DC it gives them more time to prepare to make the best and possibly biggest superhero movie in history despite giving us two years to wait. It also gives them to rethink their challenge to Marvel/Disney and hopefully they do it before the genre could possibly implodes in itself.

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Why the DC cinematic universe could get away without origin stories?

Origins stories are source of all superheroes, they establish who and what the hero is and his friends and what the start of his story will be and their enemy is. This has also been applied into the numerous film and TV adaptations of the endless superheroes from both Marvel and DC. However over the years we've seen countless superhero origins on screen, Spiderman and Superman has had theirs told twice, X-men got one too (X-men: First Class). Some needed it or got away with needed as it hadn't been told before (Batman Begins) and will be getting more in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-man.

However with this potential untitled DC film project otherwise called Batman vs Superman for now we could see a shift of superhero movies without origins particularly DC films if they have been done right.

The Justice League

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Now unlike Marvel's The Avengers which nobody knew and had to be introduced through the various own solo films (Iron man got two) before reaching the finish line with The Avengers, DC/WB could get away with introducing all their characters all of once because I'm sure numerous members of the general public could name a Justice League member before The Avengers. Now some people claim that introducing here they would have to tell all of their origins over the course of a possible two-three hour movie, well you could but that's not actual heart of the character, its what they've learnt while they're a hero is important. So if DC/WB avoid this, it would allow filmmakers to explore the heroes with creativity and not face the weight of the origin story that was previously before their second movie. However they still add aspects or incorporate from the origin story but I'll avoid putting Batman and Superman in this as they're basically known already.

  • Wonder Woman: Due to the fact that Wonder Woman has never had a set origins or it has altered to make it easier for a reader or viewer to understand, she could get away with simply as being an mysterious woman who happens to appear as a brutal and suspicious force. However if their aspects of her confusing origin that should be kept is Steve Trevor, he's the most consistent aspect of it and since he introduces to the idea that men can actually be good and due to the fact that the military had a big presence in Man of Steel that it would be appropriate to include him
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  • The Flash/Barry Allen: Now I would argue that The Flash could be the easier to get away without an origin story. Why? Well, his accident only took place within a few seconds/minutes and he eventually learnt to control his abilities. If you've never read the new 52 version The Flash (I'm not talking about the 0 issue), you know that Barry fully explains that he was struck by a lighting bolt and then goes on to say that he's still learning to control his powers. However he's still fully established which would be great for a filmmaker to explore especially with those rogues of his! However there is one aspect of his rewritten origin story that should be addressed, and that would be the death of his mother, Nora since this has had a profound effect on Barry but has pushed him to move past this tragedy and become the best person he can become (which would be a nice contrast when compared to Batman.)
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  • The Green Lanterns: Now I don't know much about the Green Lanterns but I do know that its the most interchangeable role in the Justice League (even more than The Flash). Unlike the other two, Green Lantern well Hal Jordan was given his origin story on film in 2011. But I don't actually the Green Lantern needs an origin story again and certainly in a shared world it would slow it down. But having Hal, John, Kyle and Guy explore and protect space would be a far better idea especially when connected to Superman. Think of the possibilities.
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  • Aquaman: If there is one character who needs to see a camera then that is Arthur Curry aka Aquaman. Due to his position as a joke to the general public. I would prefer that WB/DC avoided his origin story and go for a deadly entrance to the world like in Justice League animated series. He could be terrifying or completely self-aware like he was in Geoff Johns recent run which would be the right material to introduce him and his family and it also includes his childhood which help people feel just sympathetic with him.
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So here's how I think they should be done. But do you think that DC/WB could get away without origins?

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My Pop culture resolutions for 2014

So its officially turned to January 1st 2014 in my country and a new year is always a good time of what to do for the next twelve months. However I've decided to place my pop culture resolutions rather than real ones as I can keep those. So lets see.

1. Read any comic title with a Batman/Superman team-up or about Trinity

So I want to prepare myself for the next DC movie and why not start reading some titles that include the big three of DC. I would really like some recommendations since the only ones I have read which has a team up or fight was Batman: Hush, The Dark Knight Returns, Superman: Red Son and Kingdom Come.

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2. Read more creator own/Indie titles

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I only read one creator own title that was Paul Pope's Battling Boy, I've already written an entire blog post about it and given it a review. However I hope to read more as just like books, I often like to find weird and wonderful writers that people don't know about and I hope to apply this to comic books and graphic novels, so again recommendations please!

3. Try to read other DC characters who aren't Batman

Okay I'm a Batman fan but I've only stretched out a little from him in the comic world such the new 52 Aquaman, The Flash and Superman: Red Son. I want to explore more of DC fantastic characters, I heard great things about other characters. However I would really like to dive into the world of The Question, Etrigian the Demon as well as the classic DC characters. Again recommend me something!

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4. Watch all of Breaking Bad and Walking Dead.

Yeah I know there's something wrong with me. But I do really want to watch them!!

5. Watch all the 2013 Marvel movies.

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Yeah I only saw Man of Steel because its Superman and DC doesn't release a movie so often so I went to see that instead of Iron man or Thor. I've heard mixed results from both but I'll make sure I'll watch them.

6. Read more Vertigo Titles

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Yes I'll get anxious since I've only read one! Recommendations but I will and want to read fables.

7. Finish writing my novel.

I must need to keep reminding myself to do this because I can feel my characters screaming at me. Write us, write us!

8. Get a commission from an comic book artist (from my favourite artist list)

Pretty self explanatory.

9. More education in comic lore (both from the comics themselves and the internet).

10.

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And keep smiling and laughing!!

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Almost a year on Comic vine!

I can't believe I'm almost be a year on comic vine by march! :)

Anyway I would like say thanks to all:

  • All the people who debated with my ideas or blog posts especially my observations of superheroes and media in my blog!
  • The people who made endless suggestions on what to read. I know what I'll being doing after Christmas! (I already hear my mum complain!)
  • To all my followers, you are awesome!

So I won't leaving anytime soon but thanks!

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So what's going on now with Batman vs Superman?

It looks like were finally getting to see how or why this team was chosen to bring this particular movie to life.

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Ben Affleck

Now we're finally seeing why Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in the first place. Not only was he cast in his dream role, it also seems that he has creative control but also seems to the watchdog observing Snyder and Goyer closely for Warners. Unless they've officially cast him as a ghost director of some sort. But it looks possibly Ben Affleck could make this far more interesting superhero movie that your usual run of the mill Marvel flick. And the new addition of Chris Terrio also helps.

I also believe his experience will also help the DC trinity itself, seriously if you were going to create the trinity on the screen, at least one actor within it had been experienced, and they've chosen the actor and the character of whose should be experienced well. And that is Batman.

Zack Synder

Now Zack isn't a bad director. He knows how to do action and acknowledges that film is first and foremost a visual medium as well as being a comic fan. However I think he'll serve the movie well due to his extensive comic book knowledge and I'm also gonna assume that he like everybody else wanted to see these characters all on screen at once. But it also looks he'll be slightly restrained under the new power placement of Ben Affleck.

David Goyer

The last remaining link to Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. Goyer is very good at plot ideas but he doesn't know how to write dialogue. Man of Steel did suffer because of its weak script. But clearly like Zack Synder, Warners wasn't totally satisfied with him and have sent him to head honcho the other DC properties for better or worst.

So whatever happens with this film especially when you've got a mix of different creative people from within Warners.

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Bat Signal: Batman and why the screen is his second home?!

We live in a world where superhero movies are coming left, right and centre. They represent the ultimate escapism, we could be the superhero or their enemy, they sometimes explore the very nature of being human or not being one at all. However there is one superhero character who has done all of this and this is Batman who is the very defintion of a successful superhero and how translation to screen works, because he has movies in his blood and that runs across his screen thickly.

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The Caped Crusader

Whilst it is noted that Batman was inspired by the contemporary 1930's popular culture and the various pulp characters that were around the time (Black Bat and Zorro are the most obvious examples of this influence). However he is linked to movies more than that. When he was first introduced with that famous cover.

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Within this famous cover of Batman's original appearance we see a famous literature figure turned movie icon, Dracula which echoes through this cover. In which still echoed in his very words used to describe him his first appearance, "a weird figure of the night." This phrase or a phrase like this was often used to describe various monsters that arrival on the screen when it came to promotional material or their very titles of the horror films themselves, this was clearly echoing Bill Finger and Bob Kane's avid movie watching as you can see it eventually used in the other Batman characters. Even the cover echoes the classic horror movie posters of the 1930s which features a woman in the grasp of a monster while an hero watches in horror or concern.

Even Batman's origins, from man to crime-fighter is linked to cinema. In his modern origins of late, it is stated that his parents died after they had attended a screening of Zorro (the noted inspiration for Batman) or is occasionally changed into a opera or stage show such as a opera. This idea is constantly echoed through every comic you read, in Batman: Hush, it was stated that Thomas Wayne was fan of Opera and would often do surgery to the music and would it was said it was successful if they survived through the entire song. Theatrical world of cinema, opera and classic horror has made Batman, a character for every medium.

Even the original robin, Dick Grayson is a theatrical character by his acrobat which has been featured in films and the original movie, the circus.

Gotham City

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Gotham City, Batman's home is something like a film set. Like every film set its altered and changed to fit whatever a writer, artist, director, animator and video game designer. From its original design corrupt city of Prohibition gangsters in the 1930s to the cheery 1960s place to the art deco cityscape to a futuristic Dystopian world of Frank Miller to the monolith grey city of Christopher Nolan. Gotham city is not one place its ever-changing and where the people of Gotham see crime play out on the various "stages," of the place. Each stage represents Batman himself and the city, Arkham Asylum is a horror movie place filled with endless monsters of the old school horror and terrifying madness. Wayne manor and the Batcave are homages of the place where the protagonist shouldn't even go due to its shady appearance after escaping the monster in a classic horror movie sense. Blackgate is the corrupted prison of various prison movies, where there no trust but possible escape could happen.

It breathes cinema simply because we could see them on screen in another shape or form.

Rogue Gallery

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Batman is known for his varied rogues gallery. One of the best and well-known rogues galleries in comic book history.

Just as Batman is cinema, Batman's rogues are all about it. Each and every one represent aspect theatrical world of movies, opera and stage work. Even from their early origins in the early years of the comic genre,

One such example is Clayface, in his original appearance he was a b-list actor who went into life of crime by taking the identity of the horror villain that he had once played. Over the years his powers have altered and he has become something of an extreme method actor, as he can change his appearance rather effectively into Batman himself to one of his robins.

Some characters even are linked back to cinema via their own creation. The Joker known creation is that he inspired by the adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs's main character were was cursed by an permanent smile just as Joker is known for. Even some of Batman's female characters are inspired actresses of Kane and Finger's day such as Catwoman and Poison Ivy or even by a new trend in cinema, such as Talia Al Ghul was inspired by the many bond girls of the cinematic James Bond world.

But still the characters have links back to the original world of theater, The Ventriloquist is a shy man who uses a performance of Scarface to hide his discomfort with the world, Two-Face and Black Mask echoes the theatrical masks of Shakespearian and Ancient Greek tragedy, a mask showing a different emotion or a different side in Two-Face's case. The Joker is a clown, one of the oldest known aspect of theater imaginable.

Then there are the movie monsters of Bane, Solomon Grundy and Man-Bat, which return Batman to his horror movie roots from Solomon Grundy rising from the grave like a zombie to Man-Bat, who was a man who believed he could make Batman better by making him like an actual bat. Each one like a creature which you could see screen or have seen one point on screen (Solomon Grundy particularly.) Even technical aspects of cinema has made its way through Batman's rogue's in the form of Firefly, originally a movie lightening expert no less.

Cinematic storylines

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Something that Batman has is his endless stories, each one shows us a completely side of his characters and his rogues. Each one however feels cinematic and echoes his past of being inspired by cinema and theatre.

One such as example of Knightfall, which echoes an classic Ancient Greek tragedy crossed with a Hollywood blockbuster, we see the rise of Bane from releasing the endless Batman rogues into the world with a dash of chaos while Bruce Wayne's is struggling with his own issues of being wounded both physically and mentally to him not being entirely convinced by Jean-Paul Valley would or could take his place.

Even stories of Batman feel purposely like a cinematic showing of the character, Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison is an perfect description of the script coming across the movie, even the editor stated this. But the story itself deals with the classic horror genre both its mental and physical aspects, the asylum is a maze of classic horror tropes (monsters, the chase etc) and the mental aspect (are they even real?)

Batman and The Future of superhero movies

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Right now we are in the golden age of Superhero movies, endless similar movies with a superhero riding high on merchandise, toys and box office gold. Batman himself will making his eighth appearance on a movie screen in the untitled DC project of 2015.

But I have a strange feeling that Batman once all of this over or possibility dies away, he may be the only one surviving. I am not saying this is as a Batman fan but a movie goer, if its a character who changed the perception of superheroes in the movies and due his nature of being the David Bowie of comic book characters, he can be altered to fit whatever a director or studio head chooses.

Hey even his appearances in the movies helped to change the comics, the grappling hook of Batman actually originated in Tim Burton's Batman rather than the comic. Batman is the movies because his past lives and thrives in it and so does his future, newer villains such as The Court of Owls echoes the idea of performers wearing masks to scare audiences as he does himself but as it did in classic horror movies and ancient Greek theatre.

Batman is the past, the present and the future of movies.

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