Tag Archives: Comic Books

How Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns Brought Grit Back To Batman

The Dark Knight Returns reshaped the comic book industry; introducing an older, grizzled, beaten Bruce Wayne as he tries to save Gotham City once more. Scenes ripped straight from the pages can be seen in the movie Batman v Superman and the dark, gritty tone permeates the DNA of The Dark Knight and The Joker. The 1986 four-issue miniseries written and drawn by Frank Miller has sold over one million copies and is still heralded to this day. The book DC Comics: A Visual History calls The Dark Knight Returns “arguably the best Batman story of all time,” which “revolutionized the entire genre of superhero.”

“I took a sanitized version of a tough character and took him closer to his 1940s roots,” Frank Miller told Newsweek at an unveiling event for a black and white statue based on the suit Batman wore in The Dark Knight Returns at FAO Schwarz in Rockefeller Center. The 62-year-old veteran cartoonist was signing autographs for fans, juxtaposed between greeters in toy soldier outfits and ceramic statues of Paw Patrol.

The comic veteran known for 300, Sin City, Daredevil and countless other dark tales, had a hand in reinventing the identity of Batman after Adam West had turned him into a joke. All it took was a four issue-comic book miniseries.

“I was an artist possessed with a story and an artist doing a job,” Miller said.

In 1939, National Comics published Detective Comics #27, featuring the first appearance of Batman. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the caped crusader was very unlike the icon we know now, 80 years later. He carried a gun and didn’t hesitate using it to shoot down criminals. Early Batman was more a pulpy crime thriller than a collection of super hero heroics. As the Golden Age turned to the Silver Age, Bruce Wayne’s gritty demeanor started to fold into fluffy Americana, featuring wackier story lines and his sidekick, Robin the Boy Wonder.

“Batman started out really dark and grim, he was killing people,” Jim Fletcher, the Creative Director of DC Entertainment, said at the event. “Then you go into the 60s when he’s goofy and he stays like that for a while.”

The “pows” and “bams” of Adam West and Burt Ward in 1966’s Batman television show, gave the hero a massive burst of pop cultural influence. But after two decades his comic persona was wearing thin — until Miller’s interpretation hit comic book store shelves.

“Around that time, I had fallen out of comics and Batman was going on adventures like flying through space, which I didn’t care for,” Fletcher said. “Then this book and Watchmen come out and it drags me back into comics.” Reading Batman not only challenging but defeating the god-like Superman and Miller’s reinventing of Gotham as gritty and decrepit opened his eyes to a world of creative opportunity.

“Batman is very relatable,” Fletcher said. There’s always injustice in the world and Batman is that normal guy who can get out there and do what needs to get done. He’s an outlet for people’s frustrations or anger for things they can’t control.”

These different iterations of Batman could not exist without the artists and writers innovating at their easels. Neal Adams, Jim Lee and Greg Capullo are just some of the creative forces that gave Batman life for generations.

“It’s always been about the characters and not the people who make them,” Miller said. “If you ask the average person who created Superman, they might say Richard Donner, George Reeves or Christopher Reeves. They certainly wouldn’t remember two Jewish kids from Cleveland.”

Batman will continue to fight crime in Gotham and avenge his parents long after the rest of us are gone. Whether it’s with eyebrows drawn onto his costume, a batarang flung from under his cape or a sniper rifle perched on a roof.

Reprinted from Newsweek

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Part of a Bigger Universe: Unforgettable Quotes From The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Celebrate the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the very beginning through the Endgame. This collectible book features unforgettable quotes from its most complex and diverse characters: from Iron Man to Spider-Man and from Captain America to Captain Marvel. These heroes aren’t just high-tech suits and super-powers—they’re part of a team, part of a family, part of a bigger universe. At their very cores, they’re the essence of what it means to be human and to be heroic, even when the two are fundamentally at odds. Filled with the most amusing, aspirational, and awe-inspiring quotable moments from the characters that make these iconic films what they are today, this collection is a must-have for every Marvel Studios fan who finds a bit of themselves in their favorite hero.

Order the book HERE.

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DC Collectibles Frank Miller Batman Black & White Statue # 101

DC Collectibles has revealed the latest statue in the popular Batman Black & White series, the Armored Batman by Frank Miller.  

#101 in the series is based on the iconic designs from Frank Miller’s 1986 series, The Dark Knight Returns.

This armored Batman perfectly encapsulates the worn-out, dystopian vibe from the comics while showing the technological power Batman possesses in the story.

Frank Miller & Jim Fletcher (Executive Director, DC Collectibles)

While the figure is not due to hit shelves till summer 2020 it will for sure be one you won’t want to miss!

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Check Out The New Birds of Prey Poster

A colorful new Birds of Prey poster for Margot Robbie’s upcoming Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has been released.

Margot Robbie will be reprising her Suicide Squad role of Harley Quinn in the film, which also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Ewan McGregor as the villain Black Mask, Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. Ali Wong (Fresh Off the Boat), Robert Catrini (American Crime Story), Steven Williams (IT) and Derek Wilson (Preacher) round out the ensemble.

Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) will direct the spin-off, making her the first female Asian director to helm a superhero film. The script was penned by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee).

Birds of Prey is set to be released in theaters on February 7, 2020.

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Celebrate Batman Day On September 21, 2019

Batman Day returns on September 21, 2019 for the annual celebration of the Dark Knight at your local comic shop! Plus, this year is even more special since it’s Batman’s 80th Anniversary!

As part of Batman Day festivities, fans who visit participating retailers can receive copies of the comics below for free!

Batman: Nightwalker: The Graphic Novel Batman Day 2019 Special Edition #1 features an excerpt from the upcoming DC graphic novel for young adults based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Marie Lu, adapted by writer Stuart Moore with art and cover by Chris Wildgoose.

The Batman Who Laughs Batman Day 2019 Special Edition #1 reprints the 2017 one-shot spinning out of Dark Nights: Metal, written by James Tynion IV with art by Riley Rossmo and a cover by Jason Fabok. This reprint features a special card stock over-cover with a mask of the Batman Who Laughs shown below!

Comic shops will also have Batman-themed giveaways and specials. Don’t miss Batman Day 2019 on September 21st at your local comic shop.

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Mondo Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Timed Edition) Screenprinted Poster By Martin Ansin

Mondo is releasing a Mondo Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse screenprinted poster By Martin Ansin. This is a timed edition available until Wednesday, 9/18/19 at 11:59 PM. The print is expected to ship in October of 2019.​

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Timed Edition)
Hand numbered screen print
By Martin Ansin
24”x36″
$60.00

Order HERE.

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James Gunn Officially Confirms The Suicide Squad Cast

Director James Gunn has taken to Twitter to officially confirm the full The Suicide Squad cast, his upcoming reboot/sequel of the anti-hero team from the pages of DC Comics.

The Suicide Squad cast includes: David Dastmalchian, John Cena, Jai Courtney, Joaquín Cosío, Nathan Fillion, Joel Kinnaman, Maylin Ng, Flula Borg, Sean Gunn, Juan Deigo Botto, Storm Reid, Pete Davidson, Taika Waititi, Alice Brage, Steve Agee, Tinashe Kajese, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi, Julio Ruiz, Jennifer Holland, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, and Michael Rooker.

Davis, Robbie, Courtney, and  Kinnaman will all seemingly play the same roles they had in the 2016 film with Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Rick Flag, respectively. The cast is also stacked with other James Gunn alums like David Dastmalchian, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn, Steve Agee, and Michael Rooker, plus fellow Marvel creatives like Taika Waititi.

The movie is written and directed by Gunn. Chuck Roven and Peter Safran will serve as producers. Nik Korda is executive producing the movie.

The Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 6, 2021.

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Watch The Full Trailer For HBO’s Watchmen

HBO has released the full official trailer for Watchmen, offering a better idea of the plot for the upcoming TV series which serves as a years-later sequel to the acclaimed graphic novel.

Set in an alternate history where “superheroes” are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own. Originally published as a 12-issue miniseries beginning in 1986, Watchmen quickly become one of sequential art’s most acclaimed stories. The original story centers on a murder-mystery before unfolding into a planet-altering conspiracy that ultimately asks where the fine line is drawn between heroes and villains. Check out the original comic for yourself by purchasing it here.

The series is made up of an ensemble cast that includes Jeremy Irons (Justice League) as an older Ozymandias, Regina King (The Leftovers), Don Johnson (Django Unchained), Louis Gossett Jr. (Hap and Leonard), Tim Blake Nelson (Colossal), Adelaide Clemens (Rectify), Andrew Howard (Bates Motel), Frances Fisher (Masters of Sex), Jacob Ming-Trent (White Famous), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Handmaid’s Tale), Sara Vickers (The Crown), Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), Jean Smart (Fargo) as a mysterious FBI agent, and James Wolk (Zoo, Tell Me a Story). 

Lindelof serves as creator, writer, showrunner, and executive producer on the Watchmen series, with Tom Spezialy, Stephen Williams, and Joseph Iberti also executive producing. Nicole Kassell will executive produce and direct the pilot. The series comes from Lindelof’s White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television and is based on the DC Comics characters.

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Check Out The New Watchmen Featurette

HBO has released a new Watchmen featurette, featuring the creators and cast discussing the series that examines how we as a society feel about heroes, most notably people who wear masks and fight crime.

Set in an alternate history where “superheroes” are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own. Originally published as a 12-issue miniseries beginning in 1986, Watchmen quickly become one of sequential art’s most acclaimed stories. The original story centers on a murder-mystery before unfolding into a planet-altering conspiracy that ultimately asks where the fine line is drawn between heroes and villains. Check out the original comic for yourself by purchasing it here.

The series is made up of an ensemble cast that includes Jeremy Irons (Justice League) as an older Ozymandias, Regina King (The Leftovers), Don Johnson (Django Unchained), Louis Gossett Jr. (Hap and Leonard), Tim Blake Nelson (Colossal), Adelaide Clemens (Rectify), Andrew Howard (Bates Motel), Frances Fisher (Masters of Sex), Jacob Ming-Trent (White Famous), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Handmaid’s Tale), Sara Vickers (The Crown), Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), Jean Smart (Fargo) as a mysterious FBI agent, and James Wolk (Zoo, Tell Me a Story). 

Damon Lindelof serves as creator, writer, showrunner, and executive producer on the Watchmen series, with Tom Spezialy, Stephen Williams, and Joseph Iberti also executive producing. Nicole Kassell will executive produce and direct the pilot. The series is based on the DC Comics characters.

Watchmen will premiere on HBO on October 20, 2019.

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The Silver Age of Marvel Comics Print By Johnny Dombrowski

The ultra talented Johnny Dombrowski has designed a gorgeous poster celebrating the Silver Age of comics featuring Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Panther, Iron Man, Black Widow, Ant-Man, and The Wasp.

The print will be available at MondoCon which will run September 14 and 15 in Austin, Texas.

The Silver Age of Marvel Comics
By Johnny Dombrowski
24″x36″ Screenprinted Poster
Edition of 300

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