Farewell Batman – An Adam West Tribute.

(A lot of folks are hurtin’ right now…Here’s Prince Adam’s personal take on Mr. West’s passing. Thanks for sharing this with us, Super Friend. 🙂 xoxo)

The world lost some of its light last weekend as Adam West, better known as TV’s Batman left this world after a brief battle with Leukemia.  Those who know me, know that I love Batman and have since my childhood.  It’s also true, that Michael Keaton and Tim Burton rocketed my Batman fandom forward, with the release of Batman & Batman Returns. However. You know that age old saying, you never forget your first?  It’s true, even when discussing Batman.  Given my age, and my self-professed love of the Keaton and Burton era, you’d think that Batman would be my first.  However, you’d be wrong.  My first Batman was indeed Adam West, via syndicated reruns.  Watching that show created a ritual in my house.  It became part of my after school ritual.  I’d come home, my mom would have milk and cookies waiting for me and I was allowed to watch Batman, before getting to my homework.  

Sure, now I know that show was chalk full of tongue in cheek humor120, but back then, I took it dead seriously.  While Adam West keyed adults into the humor with his delivery and slight vocal inflections, he still played it 100% honest for the kids.  When I was a kid, Adam West’s Batman costume was the most comic book to screen accurate I had ever seen! I wanted one of my own and as an adult I still do.  The other thing I liked, was that Bruce Wayne conformed to the stereotypes I had of rich people at the time.  He lived in a mansion, had a servant, went to parties, even holding gala’s himself.  He even went fishing with Dick Grayson.  Though, those fishing trips would often be a ruse, for explaining away their Batman duty.  What I loved as a kid, were the little life lessons Batman would give Robin, and by extension us the viewer.  Whether it be walking an older lady across the street, paying for parking, wearing your seatbelt and yes, the dangers of jay walking. Adam West as Batman gave us all the essential advice and advocated drinking milk and eating vegetables.  Batman with Adam West under the cowl, reaffirmed all our parents’ teachings.  He was essentially our uncle.  And come on, who wouldn’t want Batman as their uncle.  When you think about it, Adam West was the first live action Batman to highlight his detective aspects. Every week, he would comb through the evidence of a case with the bat-computer, other gadgets and the help of Alfred and Robin.  The detective aspect of Batman was barely present in Batman 1989 or Returns, it was nowhere to be found in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.  Hints of it were found in The Dark Knight Trilogy, with the caveat that it was largely all done by Alfred & Lucius Fox. There was a decent sample size of detective Batman in BvS, which was carried equally between him and Alfred.  However, Adam West as Batman carried the torch of that character trait in bulk, from 1966 to 2016.

As an adult some of the best aspects of Adam’s performance is in his flirtation with Catwoman and specifically the will they/won’t they aspect of the relationship because he sides with the law, while she has criminal tendencies. What’s impressive, is that Adam West has the same heat and chemistry with all 3 Catwoman, so that even though the actress changed, the relationship maintains its history and so believing that all 3 actresses were the same Catwoman was an easy ask of the audience.  The way the relationship between the Bat & the Cat were portrayed here and their interactions, still serves as the backbone of that relationship to this day.  Some of Adam West’s best pure Batman superhero moments came against The Joker and The Riddler. Adam West an Caesar Romero were electric and in a tamer way, you never really knew what would go down between the two.  Also, no matter how many times you see it, Adam West and Frank Gorshin verbally sparring with riddles and answers never gets tiresome.  Most people will say their favorite Adam West moments rage between getting rid of a bomb, Bat-Shark repellent, and a surfing contest with The Joker, or even Adam West doing the Batusi.  For me it’s the scene where Bruce Wayne is having a 3 way phone call with Batman and Commissioner Gordon to discuss funds transfer for a ransom payment.  Seeing Adam West alternate between the Wayne Manor house phone and that red Bat phone, altering his voice to fit the appropriate character, depending on what phone he was holding was hilarious.  It also shows West’s acting talent, his range and the level of nuance he could achieve. 

For years, specifically in the mid 80’s this series was shunned by Batman fans as not a valid interpretation.  The problem with that line of thinking. Is that it and Adam’s version of Batman, are a valid interpretation.  This version of Batman is replicating and mimicking the comics from the 50’s and the 60’s.  The tone look and color pallet at that point are the same.  It’s also worth noting that this series saved the Batman comic books. DC was considering cancelling the books, but Bat mania began as a result of the show, bringing interest and popularity back to the comic books. I’m so happy Adam West was around long enough to see Bat mania 2.0 to return for his series, when the show became available on Blu-Ray.  In addition, they sold toys, based on the look and iconography of the show. Things came full circle for me, one night at my sisters house. The adults were enjoying coffee and cake, while the kids watched TV.  Suddenly, my nephews came in excitedly because a “New” Batman show was on TV! They had never seen it before! So I explained that I used to watch it, when I was their age. So I went down to their toy room and experienced their first time seeing Adam West as Batman.  It was a beautiful moment. PS: They loved it! Honestly, I think I’m going to do retro reviews of the Batman TV series here periodically. I’ve got the itch.  Unfortunately for us here on Earth, heaven needed a Batman, so Adam West will watch over the citizens of Gotham from above! Thank you for being my first Batman & the memories and for being a piece of what turned out to be a great childhood. I’ll miss you but I’ll never forget you!! Rest In Peace old chum!

Farewell, Old Chum.

There will always be Batmen, but there will never be another Adam West. Most of the others dwell in the shadows, but Adam West reveled in the light. In his own campy way, his Batman was one of the purest superheroes: championing and defending the good of mankind like few heroes before or since. As the Caped Crusader, he provided a role model to the young and young-at-heart for many generations. He was funny, charming, charismatic. and knew how to get rid of a bomb.  Adam West was truly the Bright Knight.




Rest in Peace, Caped Crusader. 🙁

#FuckFreddy: Five Rad Robert Englund Roles (in Ho-nor of Our Birthday! :)

Happy Birthday to the Man of our Nightmares, Mr. Robert Englund!! (I hear a lot of folks born on June 6 are pretty badass… ;))

Good Ol’ Robby E…. we all know him as Freddy Krueger, the pizza-faced freak who gives good glove. I mean, there’s no denyin’ that ghoul’s place in ho-rror history. At this point, he’s (arguably) on the same level as Dracula and Frankenstein. As Heather Langenkamp said in New Nightmare, “Every kid knows who Freddy is. He’s like Santa Claus, or King Kong.”

However, as eXXXcellent as Mr. Englund is in that role, we feel that some of his other work goes underappreciated. In ho-nor of birthday, we’re shining a light on some Robert Englund characters that don’t get nearly the same amount of love as Fred Krueger! They may not be as dreamy as The Springwood Slasher, but these performances are a cut above the rest! Without any further a-BOO (I kill myself! ;)), here are five kickass Krueger-free Robert Englund performances! 🙂

1.) The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (1989)

Let’s start off with a Fright at the Opera! Yes, my Dark-lings… Mr. Englund took a stab at one of the all-time great monsters of cinema and showed that he really has an ear for music… but I’m not sure whose ear it is! 🙂

This film is an awesomely bizarre (and bizarrely awesome) fusion of Gothic Ho-rror and Slasher Terror, loaded with both gruesome gore and chilling atmosphere. Englund is simply amazing here, juggling hammy monster awesomeness and real emotion with ghoulish grace. Take a bow, Mr. Englund!

2.) Doc Halloran in Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see that much of this “Ahab” (the heroic nemesis of the slasher) in this awesome horror-comedy mockumentary, but what we do see is freakin’ magic! Essentially, Doc Halloran (named after Dick Hallorann from The Shining) is Robert Englund playing Dr. Loomis from Halloween,,, and that’s as cool as it gets! He may not be in it for long, but it’s great to see Robert Englund play a hero for once.

3.) The Riddler in The Batman (2004)

Riddle me this: what happens when Freddy Krueger and Marilyn Manson have a son together? This version of The Riddler from The Batman, of corpse! While this animated series was nowhere near The Animated Series, it still had its fair share Bat-Awesome, including Mr. Englund’s creepy take on The Riddler. Talk about a Questionable character!

4.) Bill Gartley in The Mangler (1995)

The Mangler is perhaps the finest film about a demonic industry laundry press that folds people to death. Stephen King, Tobe Hooper, and our boy Robert join forces to create a pretty bonkers movie about the evils of Capitalism! Caked in old-age make-up, Mr. Englund is deliciously evil, but I suppose that a man who owns a machine called “The Mangler” has to be.  You gotta know when to fold ’em!

5.) Prof. William Wexler in Urban Legend (1998)

Last but not BEAST is the mysterious Prof. WeXXXler, my personal favorite! Okay, so it’s not a flashy part, but I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE me some Urban Legend! Robert Englund may just be a red herring (or is he…? ;))  but he rocks every bit of it! Props, Prof!

Happy Birthday, Birthday Twin!! 😉 xoxo

PS- It’s also Danny Strong’s birthday. Yay! 🙂

Comic Book Review- Gotham City Sirens: Union

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thank you, Superest of Sirs! 😉 xoxo)

“Hang out with the bad girls of Gotham City! Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are tired of playing by other people’s rules–regardless of which side of the law they’re on. These tough ladies have a new agenda all their own, and they’ll use any means necessary to pursue it. But can they get along and work as a team? And who will get hurt along the way?” (DC Entertainment)

I knew this group was a thing, mainly due to their interactions in Batman: The Animated series and later additional animated shorts. Somehow I missed out on the debut of this book in 2009 and in all honesty, I’m slightly ashamed by that fact. However, the three characters in this book are my favourite female characters in the DCU, along with Wonder Woman of course. Since the announcement of the Gotham City Sirens film, I’ve been looking for anything I could get my hands on regarding these three characters, eventually stumbling on this book. The first six issues chronicle the formation of the Gotham City Sirens. This book is definitely in continuity with DC books at the time. If you were keeping up with DC at the time, it will enrich your reading experience of this book. If you weren’t, enough general information is given so you won’t be lost. What you need to know is as follows; Batman is presumed dead by his allies, but is really lost in time. As a result, Dick Grayson has taken up the cape and cowl of his mentor. Meanwhile, the villainous Hush has had facial reconstruction surgery and is know the spitting image of Bruce Wayne. Armed with intimate details of his former friend, he intends to tear Bruce’s name and life apart from the inside out. The Riddler has apparently shunned his criminal ways, with Edward Nygma serving as a private investigator. The Joker, Batman’s arch nemesis is nowhere to be found. The book picks up with Catwoman returning to Gotham after the near death experience of having her heart ripped out by Hush, who as I mentioned, is posing as Bruce Wayne. Catwoman’s life was saved by Zatanna and some serious magic trickery. Catwoman still isn’t feeling right and when she is nearly defeated by a C list thug trying to make a name for himself, Poison Ivy comes to her rescue. She then takes Catwoman back to see Harley, who has been staying with Ivy ever since her breakup with the Joker, followed by his disappearance. When Catwoman realizes that Ivy and Harley have commandeered Riddler’s apartment, she finds he’s hopelessly in love and trapped under Ivy’s spell. Catwoman admonishes them, and question what they did with the cut of the money she gave them after the original Hush storyline. Naturally, Poison Ivy donated her portion of the money to the Costa Rican Rainforest Fund. Harley Quinn meanwhile has frivolously spent her money on shopping sprees and got scammed into sending her cut of the money to a Nigerian Prince. When Catwoman realizes that her fellow criminals, as well as herself are somewhat lost and adrift, she proposes that they not only join forces as a team, but also live together in the abandoned dog and cat shelter Catwoman is having retrofitted as a home. They agree and the Gotham City Sirens are born.

Paul Dini is a master at handling these characters. While we know both Catwoman and Poison Ivy to be dominant, fierce, and seductively in charge women, Dini reminds us that these villainesses have a heart and motherly instinct about them. I love the idea that despite their different views and methods, there is a solidarity in place between them and they look out for each other. At different times, each character becomes the “mother” of the other. This makes sense, given Catwoman’s nurturing nature towards cats, as well as Holly Robinson. Then you have Poison Ivy who considers all pant life her children. In the larger team dynamic, both Catwoman and Ivy are motherly figures to the naïve, childlike innocence that is Harley Quinn. Yes, I say that knowing that Harley is full on bat-shit crazy. Everything is not all copasetic between our new trifecta at first, as Harley and Ivy subdue Catwoman and use one of Ivy’s potions to discern the identity of Batman. This plot point serves as a great reminder that while theses 3 are friends, they’re still supervillains, and would turn on each other if they felt it absolutely necessary. Through flashbacks, Paul Dini crafts an interesting loophole as to how Catwoman is able to resist revealing Bruce Wayne to be Batman. Years earlier, Catwoman visited Talia al Ghul, who used Yoga and mystical potion of some sort to create a scenario in Selina’s head, that over the years several men have been Batman. These men included Bruce Wayne, Harvey Dent and Jim Gordon. Selina believed this tale so vividly, that even Ivy’s elixir couldn’t detect it as a lie. To my knowledge, this story point is new to this story, yet Paul Dini works it in seamlessly, having me believing it actually happened in a previous story I read. It didn’t, I checked.

The predominant action beats of the story focus on Harley Quinn, with fake Bruce Wayne aka Hush out to kill her. Actually, he wants to kill all three of the Gotham City Sirens for ultimately turning on him and double crossing him during the original Hush story, he’s just chosen to start with Harley so he can gain info on the other Gotham City Sirens and draw them out into the open. Harley saves “Bruce Wayne” from being mugged and in return, he takes her for a night on the town. What Hush intends to actually do, is find out the whereabouts of Poison Ivy and Catwoman and then kill her. As crazy and as tough as Harley Quinn is, it’s incredible how easily she falls for the suave playboy act and how needy she gets when a man shows her attention. We’ve known this about the character but I think the impact of this mentality is lessened in the animated series. Keep in mind, I read the six issues in succession, so Harley Quinn’s naïve more submissive demeanour towards men comes off stronger in this book. Catwoman and Poison Ivy arrive just in time to save Harley. While Poison Ivy tends to Harley. Catwoman contains Bruce Wayne/Hush. In their brief interaction, you could feel Catwoman’s contempt and hatred for Hush. The beauty of this moment is she wants to kill him, but the world doesn’t know he’s Hush. They think he is Bruce Wayne, so she has no choice but to let him go, and that drives her insane. That isn’t the end of trouble for the Gotham City Sirens because The Joker comes crashing through the Sirens new home with his Joker mobile. He berates Harley, blames her for making him go soft, and vows to kill her. I see a lot of people on Social media claim the Harley and the Joker pairing as relationship goals, but this segment of the book, reminds readers, why this relationship is not the standard to strive for. The Joker took a strong, independent psychiatrist, and mentally broker her, turning her into a naïve childlike woman, submissive and dependant on a lunatic, while being partly crazy herself. Remember, this is coming from a guy who loves the character of Harley Quinn.

When the Sirens regain consciousness and dig themselves out of the rubble that remains of their new home, they convince Harley to lead them to one of the Joker’s main hideouts. She takes them to an abandoned ware house, where the Joker is waiting for them. He sets a trap detaining the other girls, while separating himself and Harley. As he has her tied up and is doing a grandstanding monologue prior to finishing her off, the biggest twist of the book occurs. Harley Quinn is not being targeted by the Joker, but rather his former sidekick Gagswoth A. Gagsworthy. He harbours resentment towards Harley because as previously stated, she changed the Joker, who tossed him aside in favour of her. The thing about the Joker bait and switch, is I didn’t see it coming. The banter between Harley and Joker felt so authentic to the crazy couple, that I didn’t even consider a possible fake out. Since Paul Dini is the co-creator of this relationship [, the fact that he was able to misdirect me so flawlessly, should come as no shock. This plot point gave us two sets of flashbacks involving The Joker. The first focused on his time with Gagsworth by his side. These pages featured a more flamboyant over the top Joker. In the flashbacks with Harley, we see a more violent, sardonic Joker. I love that it was something so simple that set him off. One night, after’s Harley insisted on going in a joy ride in the Joker mobile, a bunch of street hoods make fun of the Joker and his car. He shoots them, and from that point on, vows to put all his flamboyant over the top gimmicks and weaponry in storage, never to be used again. That something so minor such as name calling could drive The Joker over the edge, not only to shoot someone, but to go down an even darker and psychotic path, shows how off his rocker the Joker must be right from the get go. All it takes is a little push. The Gotham City Sirens escape Gagsworth, and the book ends with Harley swearing off The Joker forever, before ultimately changing her mind because Gagsworth wasn’t the real Mr. J. Catwoman and Poison Ivy roll their eyes at Harley’s comments, as they drive away to their next adventure.

Guillem March is the artist of this first story. Since this book, he’s continued to get work in the Batman corner of the universe. So the folks over at DC Entertainment clearly like what he brought to the table on this book! Rightfully so, as his work on this book is fantastic. His art showcases a lot of range. His covers evoke a pinup style of photography, and it is reminiscent of the current DC Bombshells book that is available monthly. The scenes with Catwoman/Talia and Batman/Riddler have an earthier gritty feel about them. The Harley Quinn pages are very bubbly and just pop with imagery and color. They kind of remind me of Katy Perry’s video California Girls! Sadly cupcake covered boobs didn’t make an appearance. The flashback Joker sequences were especially good. The flashbacks of Joker and Gagsworth in battle against Batman and Robin looked like elaborate story boards for the Adam West Batman show. Everything from costumes, to look of the characters, over the top giant props and color pallet was on point with the show. The one where Joker gives up on the gags and kills those thugs gets a much darker tint and color palette. Even the line work looks to be pointier. I see a lot of the Killing Joke homage happening here. Two of my favourite images in the book are the Joker mobile crashing through the window of the abandoned animal shelter, and Ivy manipulating a cactus to grow large enough to shield them and the remainder of the shelter from further attacks by the Joker. That second image reminded me so much of the scene in Guardians of the Galaxy when Groot grows large, acting as a shield to protect his team,

This was a great start to open this book. Since this first story arc focused on Harley Quinn, while the other two played supporting roles, I hope future arcs will each focus on Catwoman and Poison Ivy respectively. Judging by this initial story, it’s a shame this book only lasted 3 years. However, it means that I still have 2 and a half years of story to read and review. Hopefully, the immense popularity of Harley Quinn and the forthcoming Gotham City Sirens movie will lead to a relaunch of this title!

The (Nearly) Complete Guide to the Batman Rogues in The Lego Batman Movie

(You asked for it, and you got it, fiends!! Kinky Kudos to Mr. Anton Phibes for putting together this complete -save for one dude we couldn’t figure out- list of all the random rogues in Lego Batman…You’ve done the Lord’s work here kind evil villainous sir. xoxoxo)

Greetings, fair citizens.  The Lego Batman Movie recently came out and was a Bat-Smash Hit. One of the absolute joys of the film was its clear love for all things Batman. The Dark Knight Detective has been around for over 75 years, constantly changing to thrill new audiences and reflect the current cultural climate. This also applies to his villains. From the very beginning, Batman’s rogues tended to be a reflection of the character. Like like the Caped Crusader himself, they’ve ranged from menacing to goofy, sometimes doing both at once. If you are a fan of any iteration of The Bat, The Lego Batman Movie has at least one villain cameo to put a smile on your face, without the use of Joker Venom. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of nearly every Batman rogue to appear in the film for your convenience  and pleasure.

We wish to express our gratitude to the friends of Batman and his fabulous rogues. To them, and to lovers of adventure, lovers of pure escapism, lovers of unadulterated entertainment, lovers of the ridiculous and the bizarre— To funlovers everywhere— This post is respectfully dedicated. If we have overlooked any sizable groups of lovers, we apologize.

The Joker
First Appearance: Batman #1

The Clown Prince of Crime headlines this Carnival of Crime.  Thankfully, he had that ‘Damaged” tattoo removed before shooting.

The Riddler
First Appearance: Detective Comics #140

Riddle me this: what do this Lego-ized puzzle plunderer and The Dark Knight Returns’ David Endocrine have in common? They were both voiced by Conan O’Brien!

Harley Quinn
First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series: Joker’s Favor

We have nothing but Mad love for psychotic psychiatrist here at Kinky Horror!

Catwoman
First Appearance: Batman #1

“Life’s a brick… now so am I”

The Scarecrow
First Appearance: World’s Finest Comics #3

Gotham’s Master of Terror! Dr. Johnathan Crane uses his “fear toxin” to force victims to face their worst fears. Oh, Scarecrow… I think I’ll fear you most of all!

Two-Face and Captain Boomerang
Two-Face’s First Appearance: Detective Comics #66
Captain Boomerang’s First Appearance: The Flash #117

We finally got to face Two-Face… portrayed by Billy Dee Williams, Tim Burton’s Harvey Dent. As for Captain Boomerang, he just came back around after Suicide Squad.

The Penguin
First Appearance: Detective Comics #58

This crafty criminal has always played fowl.

Killer Croc
First Appearance: Detective Comics #523

Born with a Crocodilian appearance, this criminal has teeth.

Clayface and Bane
Clayface’s First Appearance: Detective Comics #40
Bane’s First Appearance: Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1

Bane is the man who broke the Bat’s back and would be great in an El Santo biopic.

Much like a diabolical Gumby, Clayface possesses a clay-like body and shape-shifting abilities

Poison Ivy
First Appearance: Batman #181

This florid fiend is one with nature. Her kisses are killer.

Mr. Freeze
First Appearance: Batman #121

A cold-hearted villain known to give his enemies the cold shoulder.

March Harriet
First Appearance: Detective Comics #841

Curiouser and curiouser.. this Wonderlandian crook made an appearance… but the Mad Hatter is missing… Guess he was late for tea.

Gentleman Ghost
First Appearance: Flash Comics #88

A notorious highwayman and robber, the ghastly motivations of Gentleman Ghost are transparent.

Clock King
First Appearance: World’s Finest #11

Time is on his side. Yes, it is.

Calendar Man
First Appearance: Detective Comics #259

This guy is up to date when it comes to dates. A more sinister Calender Man played a role in the classic storyline, The Long Halloween.

Zodiac Master
First Appearance: Detective Comics #323

I wonder what his sign is?

Condiment King
First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series: Make ’em Laugh

This criminal will surely relish your defeat.

Orca
First Appearance: Batman #579

After suffering a spinal cord injury, Grace Balin had it partially repaired with a Killer Whale’s spinal cord, transforming her into a whale monster. I hate it when that happens!

Cat-Man
First Appearance: Detective Comics #311

This villain has a clear case of Cat Scratch Fever.

King Tut
First Appearance: Batman ’66: The Curse of Tut

From the Adam West series comes this Phreaky Pharaoh.

Eraser
First Appearance: Batman #188

His inability to do well in school led to a life of eraser-based evil.

Zebra-Man
First Appearance: Detective Comics #275

Despite the name, his stripped appearance was the result of magnetic powers. Frankly, I was hoping it had to do with a radioactive zebra.

Kite Man
First Appearance: Batman #133

This gentleman is exactly what he sounds like. Go fly a kite!

Crazy Quilt
First Appearance: Boy Commandos #15

This colorful crook canonly see in blinding, disorienting colors. His whole life is a Dario Argento film!

Mutant Leader
First Appearance: The Dark Knight Returns

From the Frank Miller’s gritty classic, this dude knows how to slice and dice.

Tarantula
First Appearance: Nightwing #71

You wouldn’t want to get tangled up in this master assassin’s web.

Mime
First Appearance: Batman #412

The daughter of a fireworks salesman, her father’s noisy profession and the fireworks-based death of her parents led her to become a crime mine. If I had a nickel…

Polka Dot Man
First Appearance: Detective Comics #300

Looking rather like a sentient game of Twister, this felon has the ability to pull weapons from out of the polka dots on his costume.

Killer Moth
First Appearance: Batman #63

Known as the “Batman of Crime,” this crook is enemy to justice and clothing alike.

Doctor Phosphorus
First Appearance: Detective Comics #469

This skull-faced goon is radioactive! He has a bright career in crime ahead of him.

The Red Hood
First Appearance: Detective Comics #168

An alias used by many, the first Red Hood was actually the Joker! Talk about seeing red…

Calculator
First Appearance: Detective Comics #463

A calculating crook like no other! Does he know how to write 80085?

Man-Bat
First Appearance: Detective Comics #400

Part Man! Part Bat! All Terror!

Hugo Strange, Magpie, Kabuki Twins, and Egghead
Hugo Strange’s First Appearance: Detective Comics #36
Magpie’s First Appearance: The Man of Steel #1
Kabuki Twins’ First Appearance: The Batman: Call of the Cobblepot
Egghead’s First Appearance: Batman ’66: An Egg Grows in Gotham

Hugo Strange is one of the earliest Bat-enemies and the first to deduce Batman’s identity. The doctor is in… SANE!

Magpie is villain obsessed with shiny things… She and This Guy would certainly get along

The Kabuki Twins are martial arts experts who only appered in The Batman. I’m seeing double!

A villain originated by Vincent Price! How egg-cellent is that?!


Unfortunately, this post is only nearly complete because of the winged gentleman on the right. If anyone has any ideas, we’re all ears! 🙂

That’s it for now! Keep checking in… Same Kinky time, same Kinky website!

 

Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks for this write up, Heroic Ho-mie. I’ve been wondering whether or not this lived up to your Bat-spectations! 😉 xoxo)

“In the irreverent spirit of fun that made ‘The LEGO (R) Movie’ a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure: ‘The LEGO (R) Batman Movie.’ But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.” (Warner Brothers)

While this is a follow up to The LEGO Movie, in that if features the same Batman and voice actor playing him, other than that, there are no real callback’s or references to that movie.I look at this movie as a Batman film that is set in the multiverse. Specifically on a DC Universe made entirely of LEGO’s. The plot is simple, yet isn’t very far off from your typical Batman Vs Joker encounter. Joker tries to destroy Gotham City in an effort to finally one up and get victory over Batman.In his first attempt The Joker loads a plane with bombs and grenades, and plans to detonate it, unless the mayor is handed over to him. Little does he know, Batman is disguised as the Mayor and intercedes. During their standoff Joker demands Batman admit that Joker is his greatest enemy. When Batman insinuates repeatedly that the Joker doesn’t mean enough to him to make that declaration, the Joker ignites the timer on the bombs forcing him to choose between capturing him, or rescuing Gotham. Of course, Batman chooses Gotham. The Joker laughs with maniacal glee as he escapes, while Batman is cheered and given a heroes salute for defusing the bomb. While our hero emerged to accolades and praise and our villain escaped free, their euphoria is shown to be a façade. Batman returns home to an empty Batcave, spending his night eating alone, watching a movie in his home theater alone, and brooding over the picture of Thomas and Martha Wayne, wondering if they’d be proud of his Batmaning accomplishments. In these moments, Alfred reveals that Bruce Wayne’s greatest fear, is being part of a family again. Batman is also struggling with devoting all of his time to being Batman. Meanwhile, the Joker sits in his lair with a who’s who of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, miserable that Batman didn’t validate the specialness of their hero/villain dynamic. In a room full of his villain brothers and sisters, who look to him to lead, there’s a moment where Joker feels utterly useless and alone. This movie is flashy fun and funny, but there are deeper themes and messages they’re trying to get across, especially to their younger audience. These include the importance of family, being aware of your self-worth, but also placing your trust in others. The importance of being strong and independent, yet knowing when to work with others to achieve something greater. This is as story of relationships. Different types of relationships, both functional and dysfunctional.

Batman gets his chance to be Bruce Wayne, during the announcement of the New Commissioner of Police for Gotham City. Jim Gordon is exiting the position and the reason being is he is retiring. Taking his place is his daughter, Barbara Gordon. In most comic book incarnations, she’s a librarian. Here she is a well-established officer of the law, who transferred over from Bludhaven. Sure they changed things from her comic book background, her being a police officer to start and having fighting training from the “Harvard of Police,” made her becoming Batgirl palpable in this version. Especially since Batman is adamant about working alone. While Batman may not want partners, Bruce Wayne is infatuated with Barbara Gordon. So much so, that the song “Died in Your Arms” played the first time, and several times after he sees her. While there is romance inferred between Barbara and Bruce, it is in its beginning stages. I definitely don’t see this iteration of the relationship pissing fans off like The Killing Joke animated film did. We also see the first meeting of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. While Dick Grayson’s comic book origin is kept intact, some changes are made. His parents are killed in the trapeze accident, he’s sent to an orphanage and eventually adopted by Bruce Wayne, before becoming Batman’s partner Robin. However, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson meet at the party announcing the new Commissioner Gordon. Bruce Wayne was so enamoured by Barbara that he was randomly saying yes to whatever Dick asked him. One of those things he said yes to, was adopting Dick Grayson. Given the arrogant, narcissistic nature of this version of Batman, this outcome is picture perfect. Meanwhile, the Joker has hatched his next plan. He and the rest of Batman’s rogues will turn themselves into the GCPD, thus being sent to Arkham Asylum. This leaves Batman without any supervillains to fight and in a way, proves that without Joker Batman would be rendered moot. Batman is left lonely, and rather than admit he desires a family and spend time getting to know Dick or even Barbara, he gets fixated on putting the Joker in the Phantom Zone, to get rid of him once and for all. Dick Grayson is brought into Batman’s world and the identity of Robin is created. Batman enlists his help to steal the Phantom Zone projector from the Fortress of Solitude. They manage to get the Phantom Zone projector, but when they make their way to Arkham Asylum, the Joker and his crew make an escape stealing the phantom zone projector, and releasing the worst criminals, not only of DC, but many in the Warner Brothers film library. It was great seeing the likes of Lord Voldemort, the Eye of Sauron, King Kong, and Godzilla. Even some non-WB IP make cameos, including Dracula and the Daleks from Doctor Who. Those two aren’t mentioned by name because of legal reasons. With these new villains unleashed, Gotham City is ravaged, burned, broken and nearly torn apart. It is here where Barbara Gordon becomes Batgirl. Even Alfred joins the fray. The finale involves, everyone from Team Batman, the rogues, and even the citizens of Gotham joining together to save the city. I won’t tell you how exactly. For that you must see the film.

 

I’m literally amazed at the character growth our hero goes through. Batman starts out, as I’ve mentioned, an arrogant loner, who thinks he’s the best at everything he does. He is, but we as the viewer see that this behavior is part of an act to hide his pain of losing his parents and being alone. I actually teared up, when he was looking at the image of his parents and having a conversation with them. Yes, a LEGO movie made me cry. Don’t judge. When he meets Robin that characters youth and hopeful outlook begins to break down Batman’s walls. You see when he’s training Robin that he’s feigning sarcasm to keep up his “persona.” Barbara Gordon further changes Batman’s opinion on working with a team. You really sees how much he cares, when he programs his vehicle the bat scutter to take Batgirl, Robin and Alfred away from Gotham, while he dealt with the Phantom Zone escapees. They think he’s doing it so he can have all the glory for saving the day, when in reality, he does it out of fear of potentially losing his new Bat family, the way he did his parents. He further shows them how much he truly cares, by giving them their own personal Bat-Signals and then reveals himself to Dick Grayson to be Bruce Wayne In case you’re wondering, yes, I got emotional during both these scenes. What can I say, I’m an emotional fanboy when it comes to Batman.

Yes there’s character evolution and emotion but make no mistake, there is a Batcave full of humor here. It starts right in the opening credits. Batman comments on the fact that all great movies start with a black screen and terrifying music that make studios and parental groups nervous. He then comments on the company logos. He mistakenly calls Warner Brother’s Warner Bra’s. When the DC comics logo appears, he refers to DC as the house that Batman built. He then tells Superman; “Come at me bro”. When the Rat Pac logo appears, Batman wonders what exactly they do, but remarks how cool their logo looks. This intro reminded me of Deadpool’s intro. Granted this one was PG. It was also better because it featured Batman and Batman will always be better than Rob Liefeld’s rip-off Deathstroke character. 😉 In its humor, the film finds ways to make nods to past Batman incarnations. In the scene where Batman stares at his parents portraits, Alfred mentions that Bruce is going through one of his brooding fazes, like he has in 1989, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Not only was Alfred name dropping years that Batman films were released, but a montage of Lego posters of those films were shown. Except for Batman and Robin and Batman ’66. For Batman and Robin, they flashed a picture of Clooney’s Bat-Nipples. Yes, that still scares the piss out of me. Adam West got much more respect and deservedly so. The film actually showed a clip of him doing the Batusi. When the Joker tries to blow up the Gotham City airport, the air traffic controller remarks that Batman will stop him; just like he did that time with the balloons and the Prince music, as well as that other time with the two boats. These are obvious callback’s to both Batman ’89 and The Dark Knight. At her announcement ceremony, Barbara Gordon shows a video for how long Batman’s been cleaning up Gotham City’s crime ridden streets. Here, the animations on the monitors reflect imagery from the Superfriends, Batman the Animated Series, even the black and white film series from the 40’s are featured. This film is very much a love letter to every Batman era. It continues to make fun of itself. For instance, when the Joker proclaims himself to be Batman’s greatest adversary, Batman responds by saying Superman is! Joker then retorts that Superman isn’t a villain. Barbara suggests to Batman, that they use his rogue’s gallery to battle the Phantom Zone escapee’s. Batman responds; “You want me to use a team of bad guys, to fight bad guys? That’s stupid!” This funny Suicide Squad dig wasn’t my favourite though. That distinction belongs to two nods in particular. The first is when Batman visits the Fortress of Solitude. He rings the doorbell of the giant door and the John Williams Superman theme begins playing. As a Superman fan that had me laughing and smiling joyously. The line that had me in stitches, was the password to enter the Bat Cave. That phrase being; “Iron Man Sucks.” As a lifelong fan of DC Comics, and someone who feels that while the Marvel films are good but many are highly over-rated, I can’t express in enough detail how much joy this line of dialogue brought me.

The voice acting was very strong by all but one of our lead actors. Will Arnett once again gives Batman a gravely, cocky arrogance that, while it would be annoyingly frustrating from any other character, is positively endearing and adorable coming from LEGO Batman. Michael Cera’s Robin was higher pitched and had a more youthful tone then I’m used to for Robin. Shockingly I wasn’t annoyed by it, even when the character was singing. For the story being told, Robin’s role in it and the fact that the character is clearly appealing to a younger audience, having him sound younger makes absolute sense. Ralph Fiennes sounded great as Alfred. He brought a great mix of compassion and classic English droll that is synonymous with the character. Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl is a standout. She has a commanding authoritative presence in her voice as the police commissioner, but is kinder and gentler when dealing with Batman and Robin. She sounded somewhat like a big sister with them. Zach Galifianakis was just okay as the Joker. Neither his voice nor his laugh really stood out or made me take notice. Far more disappointing then that was Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn. There was no distinct accent and she didn’t utter the word “Puddin’” once. It was just Jenny Slate reading her lines.  As a super fan of Batman ’89, it was great to have the look and voice of Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face. However, it was such a letdown that he only had one line. Zoe Kravits was wasted as Catwoman, only uttering the word “Meow” twice in the film. The only supporting rogue whose voice entertained me was Doug Benson as Bane, who sounded exactly like Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises. Also, Superman sounded like a douchebag in this movie. Then again he was played by Channing Tatum, so that explains it. No wonder I was hoping Batman would kick his ass! Visually, the animation looked great! The opening action sequence stopping the bomb at the Gotham City airport was so action packed it felt like it belonged in a live action film. There was so much detail and so many levels to the Batcave. You see the various Batmobile’s as well as the Dinosaur and giant penny. I just wish we got more close up shots of these things, so I could inspect the details of each. Oh well, guess that’s what freeze framing the Blu-ray will be for. Seeing the crystak Fortress of Solitude was a great bit of nostalgia, as was the word effects popping up during the third act fight, to evoke Batman 66. The fight was even framed, positioned and shot, like a fight sequence on that show. I never thought I’d see Godzilla or King Kong in a Batman film. The fact that I saw both in this film, makes this film visually breathtaking. Also, those Lego recreations of the Burton/Schumacher and Nolan era Batman film posters were so incredible. I didn’t know that I wanted them, but now that I have them, they will soon be a profile picture or banner, on every one of my social media outlets.

Given all the drama surrounding The Batman live action movie, specifically who will direct it and if Ben Affleck will star in it, The LEGO Batman Movie is exactly what we need right now. A fun, entertaining love letter to this incredible character and his history. I don’t think it would be fair to rate this amongst live action Batman movies. They’re vastly different entities. I will say it’s the Batman movie I’ve had the most unadulterated fun watching. As far as animated Batman films, it’s definitely one of the best. It stands right alongside Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Under the Red Hood and Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker. I loved The LEGO Batman Movie. It’s fun for Batman fans of all ages and an absolute treat no matter what era of Batman you may be partial to!

Goon Review: Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 5: City of Light

(Presenting the epic conclusion of Mr. Andrew Peters learned take on Telltale’s Batman…Gracious gratitude, your Goon-y Greatness. 😉 xoxo)

Well, here we are. As they say, all good things must come to an end and that they do in the final episode of Telltale’s Batman. Along this journey, we’ve had some ups and we’ve had some downs, but for the most part I would say most of them were up. The game has been really enjoyable and the story has been engaging and capturing of my attention, so it’s kind of bittersweet that this is the final chapter in the saga. For now, anyway. I look back fondly at the series and I think Telltale has done such an amazing job telling a different kind of Batman story, basing it early in his, erm, career (?).

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The choices for Batman haven’t been easy and being that this is the last chapter in this series, I can’t imagine they are going to get any easier. Some of the choices I have been given has caused me great panic and if I haven’t seen the consequences of some of them, I am sure to by now (unless they are holding out to have a choice pay off in the second season). I’m actually excited to see how the series wraps up based on the decisions I made. I already can’t help but feel I made the wrong decisions on some of the choices and that’s all part of the experience; there really isn’t a right or wrong unless you view it that way. Everything you do merely shapes the story, so hopefully you are making the story that you want to play.

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Okay, so we have a few loose ends to tie up, one being of that little shit weasel Oswald Cobblepot who is holed up in Cobblepot Park with some drones trying to lure out the Batman. For starters, I’m pretty sure by now everyone, including the police, are aware that Oswald Cobblepot is the Penguin, so why don’t they just seize his assets? Wayne Enterprises could immediately fire him as CEO and he would have no money or anything instantly, but hey, what do I know. I’m no billionaire like Bruce Wayne who decides (based on my decision, actually) to confront the turd, seeing as how Bruce no longer has any properly functioning tech. Guess he really should have thought about integrating everything into his computer or at least have had a fail safe incase somewhere were to ever break into it. Major oversight for the world’s greatest detective, but I digress. Bruce is only acting as a distraction so that Gordon can destroy the signal that controls the drones and then it’s off to the iron bar hotel for the Penguin.

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I get the feeling things aren’t quite over between Oswald and Bruce, especially seeing that he will remember the final thing you say to him, but we will have to wait and see if he returns for the second season. Speaking of returning – or to be determined, rather – is Catwoman. Trying to flee Gotham on a stolen Wayne Tech prototype bike (almost like she wants to be tracked), Bruce tracks her down to tell her his real feelings, which you can choose to lie about, but how could I? I let Selina know how I, as Bruce, really felt in hopes of it making a big effect on the second season. As far as I know, there is nothing you can do to prevent her from leaving, but it was interesting to see how everything Selina and I had went through played out and to see the results. I think for the most part I was happy with the choices and I can’t wait to see her again, but for now, we still have the matter of Lady Arkham, aka Vicki Vale, who appears to have broken into Wayne Manor and kidnapped Alfred.

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This cue’s the final detective sequences of the game, as you have to piece together the crime scene left behind. A room is destroyed, blood is sprawled across the room… just who in the hell is gonna clean up this mess? If only Bruce still had a butler… Luckily, Alfred is one tough old bastard and leaves subtle clues behind using his blood to let Bruce know where he was taken. As you’re completing these puzzles, you really feel some dread as Telltale tend to be a little unpredictable, so there were moments where I wasn’t sure whether or not Alfred would be alive. Once you solve the first batch of clues, Lucius Fox shows up and gives you access to an older suit seeing as how you have regained access to the Bat-computer, so now we can focus and solve more clues to find the whereabout of Alfred, who has left some rather clever hints that I found to be really fun. Once solved, you not only find the whereabout of Alfred, but you also learn about Vicki’s tortured past to which Bruce does share a connection with and how she turned out the way she did. This also justifies, in a way, her parents’ murder.

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Tracking her down to Arkham Asylum, Batman finds the place has been overtaken by the Children of Arkham, which was no surprise to me. I didn’t exactly expect to waltz in there and nab Vicki. First you gotta go through waves of thugs until you finally reach Vicki for a final showdown. Of course, she begins the fight with the upper hand, threatening to kill Alfred and you are left with a possible major choice to make; whether or not to reveal or identity to her. I chose to reveal myself as Bruce Wayne to her, because even against Alfred’s wishes, Bruce would have done so to save his friend. Plus, we all know that bitch is gonna die at the end of this episode… or will she? That’s the thing about these Telltale games. You’ll just have to wait until the next season to find out! Finally, you are left with one more decision, to visit Gordon as Batman or Bruce Wayne. I chose Bruce, because I felt this was more his story and he needed to publicly clear his name, which he does. All seems well, but we can’t end out the episode until we’ve had a little stinger that shows a familiar face, John Doe, watching him on TV at a bar and remarking that he needs to pay Bruce a visit for his favor that is owed.

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In the end, I thought this was a rather solid Batman story, even if it did take me about halfway through to come around to some elements, like the angle of the Penguin. You get so use to him as a chubby short guy with mob ties, you fail to see him any other way, but the way Oswald is presented in this story makes total sense. There were also some surprises along the way that even caught me off guard, like Carmine Falcone getting plugged! Didn’t see that coming, but it was (again) done in a way that made sense to the story and didn’t feel shoehorned in for violence. Even though I feel Batman was more of a passenger during this ride, I moreso enjoyed the Bruce Wayne parts of the game. Telltale did a fantastic job developing his character, especially his relationships with Selina and Harvey. Speaking of those two, the game offers at least another playthrough to see how your relationships would change with either or both of them depending on the choices you have made. The only real drawback I can actually complain about is that from time to time the detective segments felt a little too drawn out and I felt forced to finish them just to move to story along. This was a little torturous, because if I was bored by them the first time around, I sure as hell am not gonna want to sit through them a second time. It’s not a terrible thing, but hopefully in the second season these will be approved upon. There were also a few technical bugs, like entire persons missing and nothing but their teeth and eyes left behind floating in the air, but it wasn’t game crashing or anything like that. Just removed me from the game mentally as I had a good chuckle.

With a wonderful cast that brought these characters to life and actually made you care about them and excited to see where they were going, I can’t wait to see what Telltale brings in the second season.

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Comic Book Review- Batman: Europa

(Submitted by Prince Adam…Thank you and Happy new Year, Super Fiend! 🙂 xoxo)
“The Dark Knight is finally facing an enemy that even he can’t defeat—a deadly, custom-engineered virus that will drive him mad and then kill him within a week. But Batman isn’t the only one infected…the homicidal madman known as the Joker is also stricken.  Now, the two mortal enemies must rely on each other if either one is to survive. As they follow the clues, their search fo8r the man who targeted them has them crisscrossing Europe—following clues in Berlin, fighting automatons in Prague, haunting the Paris catacombs and more.  Can Batman and Joker survive working together? Or will the Dark Knight and his deadliest enemy die together, far from Gotham City? (DC Entertainment)

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This book is a passion project of Jim Lee and was in the planning stages for a couple of years but for whatever reason, kept getting pushed back and delayed. So finally getting to sit down and read it was a long time coming. While this may be Jim Lee’s passion project, he’s not a writer, so handling those duties are Brian Azzarello and Matteo Casali. I love how the two writers started this book. The Joker and Batman are beating each other to a bloody mess. The story then seamlessly transitions to an exterior shot of Gotham. As a reader, you may assume that this is the status quo for these two, however that is hardly the case. The writers put Batman in several situations I have never seen him in all my years of reading.. The Batcave computer was hacked, and also Batman had been infected with a virus. Sure Batman had been physically broken in Knightfall by Bane. While he was paralyzed, Bane had no intention of killing Batman. Bane’s intention was to leave Batman wheelchair bound and helpless as Gotham is destroyed. In Europa, Batman is given a virus with the intention of killing him, in a mere 8 days. Thanks to some detective work, Batman traces the origin of the hack and virus to Europe. Another first, at least for me reading, is seeing pretty much an entire Batman story take place outside of Gotham City. More on the locations the story takes us to and their significance later. However, this story takes things in even wilder directions, when Batman realizes that the Joker also has the virus, and each man has certain information about the virus, that the other doesn’t. This means that the two arch nemeses have to work together. Again this may have happened before in another comic book but it’s the first I’m reading or seeing it, so it’s a first for me.  I’m ok with this because it’s brand new to me for one and two, it means there are plenty of Batman stories  I’ve yet to read, so…Yay!  Batman and the Joker’s reaction to this situation is priceless. Well, technically it costs $14.99 but metaphorically, it’s priceless.  Batman detests and loathes the pairing but realizes it’s necessary. Joker is thrilled by this development and revels at the absurdity of it.  More specifically, he’s happy that Batman is in agony over this hero/villain team up.

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The bulk of the story sees Batman and The Joker crisscrossing Europe in search of the person responsible for infecting them with the virus.  They travel to Germany, The Czech Republic, France and Italy. What is neat about this, is the writers use Batman’s exposition to give a little history lesson on each of the stops on their journey. Teachers take note; Use Batman and the Joker to teach history, the kids will love it.  What’s also cool is that the description of each city ties into, or is a metaphor for Batman and The Joker.  The falling of the Berlin wall that separated Germany, is the metaphor for Batman and Joker putting their differences aside and working together.   Batman describes Prague as two cities, one  by day where productivity and success is bred and by night where criminality and darkness takes over. This parallels not only Gotham City but also highlights the duality between Bruce Wayne and Batman. The issue in France showcased the city’s emphasis on art, as well as their love of the circus. This directly correlates with the Joker’s physical appearance, and infers that his murderous reign of terror can be considered artistic, a sick and twisted brand of art mind you.  The story finishes up in Rome, a city referred to as the Eternal City. The city also has a history  of great battles and death. The gladiators and the death of Julius Caesar are prime examples. So it’s only fitting that Rome continues the eternal struggle between Batman and the Joker, where one of, or both men could meet their death. One thing this story did right by, were the characters of Batman and the Joker. The characters weren’t altered to make the unlikely team up more palpable.  Batman is still a crusader for justice and Joker is still a murdering psychopath.  In fact, he murders one of their informants, despite Batman instructing him to save her from peril and certain death at the hands of this stories ultimate villain.   Speaking of the ultimate villain, given the mysterious nature of the virus, and the villains reliance on giving Batman and Joker clues to his ultimate location, I pegged Riddler as the culprit.  Then, given the globe trotting nature of the story, and the mind f**k the villain was going for, I thought it could be Ra’s al Ghul. This book has similarities with Batman: The Long Halloween and Hush, in that it’s a bit of a mystery tale.  I was absolutely shocked when it was revealed to be Bane. His reasoning was to force Batman and the Joker to realize they needed each other to live, or die, while Batman and Joker were trying to prove to each other that they didn’t. Bane’s endgame is either to mentally break Batman, or watch him die, trying to resist Bane’s assertion. Either way he wins. To complicate things even worse, he reveals that Batman and the Joker have the cure for the other in their blood stream. The way the two decide to resolve this issue, I will leave for you to read. However, I will say it’s a rather clever resolution, and if you’re paying attention at the beginning of the book, you’ll get a hint.

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Art duties are handled by four individuals. Jim Lee starts things off with exceptional art that sucks you in almost immediately. Nobody draws a Gotham City skyline like he does. It makes you forget the darkness and crime. The early battle with Killer Croc reminded me of Hush. Does anyone else notice that Jim Lee’s art has more edges, is more pointy, and looks rougher when he’s depicting Batman on Joker violence?   Giuseppe Camuncoli drew issue 2. Like Jim Lee, he works in American comics, so his style has that aesthetics. Art wise this issue seems like a love letter to different era’s of Batman. Specifically a mix of Neal Adams, and Frank Miller. Batman fighting giant wooden robots, seemed like something you’d see in the 50’s or 60’s. The color pallet , reminded me of the book Batman: Thrillker, which I reviewed for this site. When the scene shifts to Paris in issue 3, art duties are performed by Diego Lattore. His art style is more abstract at times, so much so, that you cant really make out what’s happening in the first altercation between Batman and the Joker, when they first meet their antagonist.  The art was very reminiscent of the Arkham Asylum graphic novel written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Dave McKean. However, when the art did focus on more detail, Batman and the Joker looked plenty like their film counterparts in The Dark Knight. Joker even had the cut smile. The moments in the issue that stood out were Batman and Joker travelling underground in the tunnels. You got a sense that these two could erupt in violence at any moment. Also, the pages were so atmospheric. The final issue takes place in Rome and is drawn by Gerald Parel. The art and colors have a painted look to them.  The art in this book is a fusion of Leonardo da Vinci, Frank Miller and Alex Ross. I love that Batman is a mass of physical strength, yet Bane is even larger. When Bane throws Batman and Joker around like a rag doll, it’s so effortless and believable given his size. Seeing the Batman vs Joker fight redrawn from the perspective of a different artist was great. The fight looked the same, yet completely fresh all at once.  It speaks to the universality and global impact that the Batman/Joker altercation has on artists, no matter their country of origin or art style. I must commend all four artists for their attention to making the various monuments they drew look true to life. Be it the Berlin Wall, the statue of Liberty, the Eifel Tower or the Coliseum, they all looked absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
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They say good things come to those who wait and in the case of this book, it is absolutely true. No, I’m not just saying that because the books finale takes place in Italy, and I’m of Italian descent.  Although, it’s a bonus. This book adds new story elements and new artistic flavors to the Batman/Joker rivalry. If you’re a Batman fan of my ilk that likes to see the continued expansion of the tapestry that is Batman Vs The Joker, this book is most definitely for you.

Goon Review: Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 4 – Guardian of Gotham

(Submitted by Andrew “Goon-y Goon” Peters…Thank you, ho-mie!! 🙂 xoxo)

I’d like to start off by mentioning that if we’re gonna keep talking about this game, I can’t do much to hold back on spoilers that have previously happened. Having said that, we’re gonna be jumping into some major ones right away, so consider that your only warning.

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Things are not looking good for Bruce Wayne. After having to resign and hand his company over to Oswald Cobblepot, he’s immediately drugged by Vicki Vale who reveals herself to be the notorious new villain that’s been causing panic all over the city, Lady Arkham. With a high dose of drugs in his veins, Bruce jumps Oswald Cobblepot, which is caught on the news and Harvey has him committed to Arkham Asylum, which is supposed to be ironic seeing as it’s where his father sent many others. Bruce awakens in a cell and is almost immediately jumped by a couple of inmates sent there by his father after they pay off a guard, but a rather unsuspecting… erm, ally comes to his aide. One with a smile and a grin that they call John Doe seeing as they don’t know his real name. I gotta say, at first I was worried about them working this specific character into the story, seeing as he tends to be a show stealer and this story needed to be about Bruce, but his introduction is short, serves a purpose and is really well done. Gotta give the writers major kudos for pulling that off and to the voice actor for not trying to do impressions of the previous actors that have portrayed this character and instead going with something like a James Woods impression that actually really works. Also wanted to point out the cameo by Arnold Wesker, aka the Ventriloquist.

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Bruce’s stay at Arkham isn’t exactly friendly, seeing as everyone from staff to inmates want to kill him, not to mention Lady Arkham and Penguin running amok and starting a war with Harvey, so it’s time to get out of here, but how? Well, you are given the decision to go along with John Doe’s plan when a fight breaks out, so you can stop that. To me, Bruce would always try to do the right thing, so I tried to stop the fight, which was a fun little action scene, but only landed me in a one on one with a doctor. Luckily, Alfred comes to the rescue and has you taken out of that miserable place, but John Doe reminds Bruce about paying a visit to the Vale residence, so off we go! Well, a quick stop by Wayne manor first to have a chat with Selina and Alfred and whether or not you should lose your shit on some bystanders blocking your car. There’s something I haven’t mentioned yet, something that is presented throughout all of Telltale’s games; you do have the option to say nothing at all and there are very rare times, like as I found with the latter, it’s best at times to remain silent.

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Onward to the Vale’s home and someone really should have tidied up the place, I mean, Batman is stopping by after all. Yes, someone has torn apart the Vale’s home and killed Mr. and Mrs. Vale, but who it could it be a I wonder? Who on Earth could have done this? It’s no secret who did it, but the why is the real mystery here. Once again, you dive back into detective mode as you piece together the puzzle and it’s much easier this time around and somehow less stale feeling. Either it was really starting to grow on me or maybe it was investigating a murder inside a home that made me feel more like a detective. Nonetheless, that cursed Cobblepot sends a drone to stop you, but Batman vs. a drone? C’mon, who do you think is gonna win? Well, turns out Batman’s gadgets don’t work on the drone, meaning Oswald has upgraded the drones and this Batman is basically defenseless. Note how I said “this Batman”. Throughout this game, I don’t think Batman has much of a presence. You spend a fair amount of time playing as him and, yes I am aware this is more of a Bruce Wayne game, but Batman is really… weak, for the lack of a better word. He doesn’t come off as threatening and you don’t get the impression that bad guys all over Gotham fear him. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I feel like Telltale is making Batman the weakest link in his own game.

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Where one problem is solved, there’s always another to be solved, amirite? Harvey has gone totally bonkers at this point and is basically waging a war against the Children of Arkham, which I know sounds like a good thing, except he’s willing to do it at the expense of civilians or whoever just happens to be in the way. You’re presented with the choice of confronting him as Batman or as Bruce and personally, I chose Bruce, because I felt it’s something he would try to do; talk some sense into his friend. Of course, for me, it didn’t go so well and I found myself on the knees in the middle of an alley… hey, THAT’S not what was going to happen. I should backup. Harvey murders a whole bunch of innocent people by blowing up places he thinks Children of Arkham are operating and thinks of the old Tyler Durden saying, “if you wanna make an omelette, you gotta break a few eggs.” Bruce doesn’t agree and Harvey thinks he should die, so he sends a couple of cops to cap Bruce in the back of an alley, but luckily Bruce manages to buy some time with some suave talking and just in time for Gordon to save his neck. There are a lot of coincidental close calls in this game that I am doubting the intelligence and skill of both Bruce Wayne and Batman.

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Things were getting pretty intense and they show no signs of slowing down as you’re again thrown into a situation that you must choose between either stopping Harvey who has learned of Bruce’s escape and storming Wayne Manor or heading to Wayne Enterprises to stop Penguin from screwing with all your techy bat-shit. Once again acting as the moral police, I decided to do what I think Batman would really do and I headed back to Wayne Manor to save my buddy Alfred where I was treated to an action sequence that led to a final showdown with Harvey! I feel like this scene would have played out much cooler if I had let Penguin burn half his face off. This was the point where I noticed that all of these choices are playing out like I failed to save Harvey back at the debate and maybe should have never slept with Selina and saved her instead. But that’s what these games do to ya to get you back in saddle for another playthrough. Touche, Telltale.

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Since I opted to stop Harvey, Penguin is nearly about to breach the Bat-computer, comprising everything, so Batman himself chucks a bat-a-rang at the biggest wire in site and shuts it all down, because that’s how that works. Now all of his gear is offline, so I’m sure I just made the final episode real enjoyable. Great, no toys.
With Harvey now out of the picture, that leaves just Penguin and Lady Arkham herself, but more trouble is sure to get in the way. I have to say that even with all my gripes and nitpicks, I’m still really enjoying this game and I have to hand it to the writers at Telltale for telling a really gripping Batman story. Aside from the titular character himself, I find the characters to be absolutely compelling and really interesting, so hopefully we can see Batman act a little more competent in the final episode!

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Goon Review: Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 3: New World Order

(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks Kinky Ho-bot! 🙂 xoxo)

Oh man, we are in for a world of shit (a New World Order, amirite?). The third episode of Telltale’s Batman series entitled New World Order is all amount making some choices that seem like they are going to have some serious repercussions and lemme tell ya… they do. Oh, they do. I feel like I am saying this and going to continue saying this, but this episode has you making the biggest decisions yet, one of which is really gonna leave you feeling dirty if you do, but damned if you don’t.

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The third episode opens up with Harvey in the hospital and depending on if you attempted to save him or not, he’s either going to still look as sharp as ever or like half the man he used to be. I mentioned in the last review on Episode 2 that I felt Batman would have attempted to save Harvey and knew Selina could handle herself, so I acted on that. Harvey looks good and all, seems thankful, but something isn’t right with the guy. Seems like the drug he was giving may be resurfacing some old, violent feelings. This is immediately followed up with a seemingly tough decision to help either Officer Montoya who is in trouble with the Children of Arkham or Harvey who seems to be in a similar predicament. I say seemingly because it had no effect on what happens to any character this episode and Batman doesn’t seem any closer to finding anything out about this new villain.

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That’s enough about Batman, what about Bruce Wayne, who this game is really about? Giving the recent light about his family’s dealings with crime boss Carmine Falcone and how Thomas Wayne was pretty much a despicable scumbag, Bruce is being told he’s gotta step down as CEO of Wayne Enterprises, but not to worry as they have already found a perfect replacement; Oswald Cobblepot! Clearly, this stinks and I’m not talking about the fish in the room. Bruce knows he’s being setup and this interaction is actually quite a bit of fun as you can play on all different reactions Bruce would have, like from being apologetic and self loathing or the route I took, being a smug, sarcastic dick to Oz. Screw this guy. He’s already shown his intentions, so there is no reason to be nice to this guy. At the end of it is another decision that I hadn’t really noticed a major outcome of and that is to have Lucious Fox leave Wayne Enterprises with you or stay on board as your eyes and ears. As I said, I’m not sure what difference this would make, but I told him to stay put. Never hurts to have a spy on the inside.

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So, why would Wayne Enterprises appoint Oz, a criminal, as the new CEO? Well, not only has he wiped his background (I guess it’s that easy), but it also looks good for the company to appoint the guy whose mother was unjustly committed to Arkham by Thomas so he could steal her fortune. Told you this guy was a scumbag. Seriously, the more I hear about Thomas, the more I hate him and it somehow really changes the impact Batman’s origin has on you. Sure, he’s doing the right thing, but his dad kinda deserved what he got. Even Vicki Vale seems to think so and it’s up to Batman to try and set things straight with her in another interaction that, you guessed it, seemingly doesn’t have any consequence. For the first time in this game, maybe even a Telltale game, I’m beginning to feel like my actions don’t have any real weight to the world it’s shaping and maybe this – the game’s – outcome is predetermined. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions.

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The game also has some more detective solving to do, but this time around, I gotta admit that it feels weak and I wasn’t fascinated with it. In fact, I found myself rushing through it just to get the story moving again, because that’s where the real interest is. I wanted to see what happens next. This time, the investigating takes place at a train depot where Batman attempts to further unravel the Children of Arkham’s plan, but when Catwoman shows up, things go to shit real quick and you’re treated with another fight sequence along with your first duel with this new bad guy. It’s not a tough brawl, but it is pretty fun. Batman and Catwoman escape back to her place and I think we all know what could happen if you play your cards right. And I did. And they do. Pow. I knew I shouldn’t have, because of Harvey’s feelings for her, but I can’t resist her or the real connection we (I mean Bruce, of course) have. Look at that babe. How could you not? Needless to say, Harvey shows up and attacks them both revealing his true self, big bad Harv. Bruce and Selina notice that he has a personality disorder and like good friends, you are forced to whoop his ass and once you are done, he leaves. Sure, I was feeling a little guilty, but that Selina Kyle… M’ROW!

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For the finale of this episode, Bruce needs to address the CEO change at Wayne Enterprises and is asked to read from the teleprompter or ad lib. I think I knew what we would all do. I slang mud at Oz, because once again, fuck that guy, dropped the mic and walked off stage. If you thought that was intense, brother, you ain’t seen nothing yet. While in the audience, Bruce is having a chat with a character we know and is well established who pricks him with a pen, injecting him with the same toxin Harvey was at the debate. This character then reveals themself to be the leader of the Children of Arkham! I won’t say who or even what the villain’s name is, because that would spoil it (although in later reviews I will have to, but for now you will be spared), but I have to admit that it got one over one me. I didn’t see it coming. Not in a long shot, so kudos to Telltale!

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All in all, New World Order seemed to have some very heavy decisions, but you notice quickly that they had absolutely no consequence… at first. Later, I started think about what if I had done something differently, like not snogged Selina. I couldn’t help but wonder if Harvey still would have gone ballistic if I had been there. Now that I think about it, most likely. I feel like the consequences in this episode are short lived, if at all and won’t have any effect in later episodes. They didn’t seem to have that much of an impact, but I do have to say the story here is really start to take noticeable shape and I’m beginning to really feel for Bruce. I don’t think he’s no longer an whiny emo kid, but rather a good guy on the fence about everything. Who his father is, what’s happening to his best friend, his feelings for a girl. All while some twit is taking your company out from under you when you know he’s up to no good and a new villain is causing problems. I gotta say, you really start to feel that pressure on every decision you make, so maybe they don’t have to have an impact, because they are making you worry that they will. It’s these kind of decisions that Telltale has cleverly inserted into the game so that you will want to play through a second or a third time.

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So even though the detective stuff wasn’t anything to write home about, there was some action that felt pretty good finally be able to do more as Batman, but it was this story where you really feel the characters becoming who they really are and that’s what made me hooked. I like these characters – including Oz, who I was unsure about for the first two episodes – and I can’t wait to see what happening next, especially since we now know who the villain is and Bruce has the drug in him! Shit’s about to get real!

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