In an abandoned printing press in Old Gotham, where they used to print crossword puzzles and the like, Edward Nygma, AKA The Riddler, sat back in his chair and looked upon his computer screen with satisfaction, spinning his trademark question mark cane between his palm and the floor. He’d just managed to obtain quite the acquisition: Several of Commissioner Loeb’s most prized and well-kept secrets from the past couple of years. Now, they were his to do with as he pleased. It was days like these that made him most glad to be alive.
It was really no wonder, then, that he barely noticed any sort of presence in his room until said presence yanked on the collar of his green coat, pulling him out of his chair. “What the-?!”
“Hello, Nygma,” the intruder, none other than Batman, said coldly.
The Riddler put on a small grin, albeit a nervous one, as he adjusted his tie. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Gotham City’s own bruised-knuckled, bat-fixated bully of bandits, black-marketeers, and all-around bad men.”
“I thought we should have ourselves a little talk,” the Dark Knight commented, kicking the balcony window open and dangling Edward over the ledge. “You have information I want.”
Dick tried his best not to hyperventilate. Still, it was hard. What was supposed to be one of the best nights of his life was now turning into the emotional roller coaster straight to Hell. For the average person his age, seeing one’s parents die before their eyes might seem like the thing that would cap off one’s night. Instead, he was nearly killed by a group of corrupt cops, and he was currently sitting in the passenger seat of the Batman’s car. Up until tonight, he had no idea Batman even existed, much less had a car.
The 12-year-old boy looked over at the Dark Knight as he steered the vehicle through the streets of Gotham City. He’d been relatively quiet for the past few minutes since they got in the car, and even though he was wearing a mask, Dick could tell he looked a bit uncomfortable himself, like he wasn’t sure what to do, or that what he was about to do was the right move. It was a strange thing to see out of someone considered by many to be some kind of superhero.
Dick looked down, fidgeting with his seat belt slightly as the car started to enter a more dimly lit area. He was still wearing his Flying Graysons costume. He looked like a neon sign next to the dark and grim Batman. For a split second, he wondered if this made him look overly ridiculous, but that thought was buried under the next, when he realized this would probably be the last time he would ever wear it.
Mom…Dad… Dick thought, grabbing a handful of his tights and gripping hard. Why did you have to die? Who killed you? And why did those men try to shut me up?
J.A. Phillips Presents Batman And Robin: Dark Knight/Boy Wonder Preview + Which Villains Would You Like To See In This Fanfic?
Dick Grayson could barely manage to keep his heart from pounding clean out of his chest. This was going to be one of Haley’s Circus’ biggest shows yet: Amusement Mile, Gotham City. Who knows how many thousands of people in attendance. Dick and his family, the Flying Graysons, performing their signature trapeze act without the safety of a net. And all of it sponsored by billionaire philanthropist, Bruce Wayne.
Without a doubt, this was going to be a night the 12-year-old boy would never forget.
Bruce Wayne couldn’t help but feel a little excited. It’s true that, despite the life he lived, both what the public knew about and what they didn’t, there wasn’t much that made him excited in a legitimately happy and positive way. Still, if there was one thing he still had a love for, it was the circus, and having heard about the Flying Graysons, one of the star acts of Haley’s Circus, he knew he was in for one hell of a show.
There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that this would be a night he’d never forget.
…So yeah, I’m doing this now. lol More-or-less a fixfic of All-Star Batman And Robin, I figured it was either put up or shut up time for me, since I gave my thoughts on how I’d do the story different. Suffice to say, though, because I had to make so many changes to the story, replacing the unintentionally hilarious dialogue and the subplots that make EVERYONE involved look bad, plus making the characters feel more like who they’re supposed to be and removing anyone who didn’t need to be involved, I’ve had to read/watch some additional content to gain further inspiration. Specially, in addition to ASBAR, I’ve read Detective Comics #38 (the part about Robin’s origins, anyway) by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Nightwing #0 by Tom DeFalco and Kyle Higgins, and The Untold Legend of The Batman #2 by Len Wein, as well as watched Robin’s Reckoning Parts 1 & 2 from Batman The Animated Series, and A Matter Of Family from The Batman.
With all of that said, though, I always like to have a certain degree of input from my fans. And, in this case, I wanna ask if there are any members of Batman’s rogues gallery that you’d like to see in this story. After all, due to the subtraction of anything related to the Justice League in this story, and the fact that the story was never finished and could have a stretch of time leading to the confrontation with the Joker, there’s plenty of room for Batman and/or Robin to interact with various baddies. Keep in mind, though, that the villains present will be those that best fit within the context of the story, and that this story is more-or-less meant to be continuity free, meaning you don’t HAVE to read other Batman stories in order to understand what’s going on and who these people are.
So yeah, lemme know who you think would be a good fit for rogues whom Batman and Robin could encounter in this story, and we’ll see what happens as I continue writing this story. Ja né!
Okay, I know I’ve talked about this before, and I probably will do so again in the future, but something’s been bugging me a LOT about fan reactions to Superman vs Batman: Why are people so pissed off about Ben Affleck being cast in the role of Batman? What’s got people angry? Why would they have concerns over this?
Now, before anyone takes this to mean I’m a huge Ben Affleck fan, I’m REALLY not. I don’t really have any major problems with him, I’m just not much of a fan, either. He just doesn’t really register with me. I’m also not saying that he will not suck. I haven’t seen any footage of him as Batman, so it’s impossible to judge one way or the other. I’m just saying that I don’t really get what people are so angry or worried over with him being Batman. I mean, we’ve seen plenty of odd choices for Batman over the years. Some worked, some didn’t, but they all at least TRIED to give us something memorable. In fact, speaking of past Batmans, a lot of the complaints I’ve heard actually sound rather familiar, in that they sound a lot like the ones people had for Michael Keaton as Batman: They could see him in the role, they couldn’t see themselves taking him seriously as Batman, etc. Guys, that’s what made him the perfect Batman for that movie: YOU WOULDN’T SUSPECT HIM! You would never look at Michael Keaton and go “Yeah, that guy is TOTALLY Batman”. I mean, you would NOW, because he was in two Batman movies, both of which were great (the second one didn’t work as well with audiences, but I thought it was great), but regardless, not being able to finger out a guy like Michael Keaton as Batman? That was the whole point. He didn’t act out in public like someone trying to hide something or someone desperate for attention, he acted like a normal guy (albeit, a rich one) who was keeping all his pain, angst, and exhaustion inside. So I don’t think that’s credible enough reasoning against Affleck.
One theory I have is that people think it’ll suck by virtue of Affleck’s OTHER superhero role, Daredevil. Now, I haven’t actually seen the movie, but I have seen clips, and…yeah, it’s not that great. However, to be fair, the same people who made that movie then went on to do Elektra, which was even worse, so I’m gonna cut Affleck some slack and suggest that he didn’t have the best direction…Oh, and while I’m on the subject, there’s a video on YouTube that’s basically a Daredevil trailer done in the style of the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, definitely give THAT a look, just for fun. lol
Anyway, getting back on topic, and while I was talking about direction, that’s actually where MY concerns for Superman vs Batman comes into play. I’ve made it no secret that, while I liked Man of Steel, I had SERIOUS problems with it, namely the portrayal of Jonathan Kent (FU, Kevin Costner, even without those lines, you are still a dull and wooden performer if ever I saw one), and pretty much the final climax of the movie being a massive fight scene that destroys most of Metropolis and ends with Superman snapping Zod’s neck. Well, now the same guy, Zack Snyder, is doing THIS movie, AND he’s been asked to get creative input from Frank Miller, a man who never understood Superman even BEFORE he went bat shit insane! And apparently, this movie is going to take lots of cues from The Dark Knight Returns, which is a good book that made for a good movie, but is also infamous for its portrayal of Superman and the fight between him and Batman…Although, if we’re still trying to be fair here, it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been the sequel. But yeah, that’s MY concern for the movie…Well that, and rumours of Batman’s love interest being Supergirl. *shivers* But yeah, it’s got nothing to do with Affleck.
So those are my thoughts on Batfleck. Again, I’m not saying he won’t turn in a bad performance, it’s entirely possible that he’ll suck. I’m just saying that I can’t really say that he will suck before I see any actual footage of him as Batman. And until I see any footage, that opinion will not change. For now, let’s just hope this movie manages to be good, and possibly even makes up for the mistakes of the last one, because otherwise, I’m worried for the future of this film franchise. Ja né!
- Ben Affleck Comments on Being Cast as Batman in ‘Batman vs. Superman’ [Video] (screenrant.com)
- Batfleck hate. (devanmartinez.wordpress.com)
- Do You Want to Be In the New Batman / Superman Movie? (entertainmentslapblog.wordpress.com)
- Hans Zimmer praises Ben Affleck as Batman but admits having a ‘problem’ deciding to score Man of Steel sequel (metro.co.uk)
- Ben Affleck on Batman criticism: ‘I’m tough’ (theguardian.com)
- Hans Zimmer Sees “So Many Good Reasons Not to Do” ‘Batman Vs Superman’ (slashfilm.com)
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I don’t think I’ll be in Superman vs Batman (metro.co.uk)
- Batman vs. Superman: Ben Affleck’s Batman Will Be ‘Tired, Weary & Seasoned’ (screenrant.com)
- Batman is ‘boring’ – according to Quentin Tarantino (metro.co.uk)
- Ben Affleck Laughs Off Batman Criticism (variety.com)
What I Bought This Past Week – The Movement #4, Earth 2 #15, Batman #23, Nightwing #23, Fearless Defenders #8, Red Sonja #2 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
…Yeah, I did it again, leave me alone. lol
Before I start, I’m just gonna make it clear, I didn’t buy Batgirl #23, nor will I be. When Batgirl eventually leaves this asinine storyline, I will start buying it again. Others who choose to buy it, feel free. I do not blame any of you and respect your opinions. However, I personally cannot read this. Gail Simone knows why, and I’m just hoping this particular arc doesn’t drag much…That having been said, we DO have some Gail Simone books to look at, so let’s start with The Movement #4.
Okay, looking online, I see that this book has quite a few detractors. I think I kind of get why, but I’m still enjoying the heck out of it. That said, there is something that kinda bugged me about this book, and ironically, it’s regarding my favourite part of it: The back-stories. Specifically, we’re finally getting an idea as to who some of these people are. Mouse was a child born of a wealthy family who connected better to rats than people, so he escaped his home to the sewers. Katharsis was an immigrant who joined the Gotham City Police, but left after she killed a man who got away with assaulting and murdering an immigrant girl. Tremor ran away from home after a car accident with her friends and was enlisted by Amanda Waller to infiltrate The Movement, though later in this book, she tells military officials to tell Waller she quits. Finally, Burden was believed by his VERY religious parents to be possessed by the devil and thus ran away as to not burden their lives. I don’t have a problem with any of these back-stories. My problem is that we should’ve gotten them at least a couple of issues ago, maybe even one or two every issue so that, by this point, we’d be caught up on them all. Still, can’t fault this particular issue for that, and it is showing general improvement of the story-telling. That said, given the number of detractors to this book, I’m sadly expecting to hear any day now that DC is cancelling it, which will be a shame if it happens.
Honestly, not much to say about Earth 2 #15. The JSA fights the Terrors and get their asses kicked, Hawkgirl follows the bread-trail of clues regarding Sam’s murder to a place where she gets caught in a net, and Mister Miracle and Big Barda fight Fury while some of Miracle’s back-story is explained, only to be interrupted by Red Tornado. Granted, everything looks really awesome, and there isn’t really fault to it, it’s just that, overall, not much happened. Surprisingly, I find the next big arc they’re moving toward to be a bit more interesting, and that’s taking place AFTER James Robinson leaves, so…Huh? Me confused now.
Batman #23…Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have finally brought us to THAT point in the story. No, he’s not in the costume yet. Before that. That moment where he’s sitting in the chair, and he’s speaking to the ghost of his father, and sees the dark figure, and says “Yes, Father. I shall become a bat.” Also, the Red Hood Gang leader’s motivations are explained a bit more, we get some genuine goodness out of Alfred and Edward Nygma. If I had a single problem with this book, it’s simply that Snyder seems to be having some trouble deciding if Batman: Year One is still in canon with this story, or if Zero Year is the replacement origin for Batman. I honestly don’t care which he decides, although looking at how the scene with the bat is depicted…Yeah, it’s the new origin for the New 52 Batman. And again, I don’t care. I know a lot of people LOVE Year One, but personally, you’re not gonna hear me weep over the fact that Frank Miller’s take on Batman’s origins that also showed Selina Kyle as a prostitute and Jim Gordon as an adulterer has been retconned (although I hope the better parts of the story, of which there are still plenty, manage to pop up).
Before I talk about Nightwing #23, I wanna share a revelation I’ve had recently. I finally figured out what it is I love so much about the Nightwing book in its current setting and plot: It honestly reminds me a lot of Spider-man before they ruined Spider-man. Think about it: Snarky and acrobatic superhero with a complicated love life and a tragic childhood fights to protect a city that isn’t 100% sure whether to trust him or not. Hell, even the red on his upper torso and arms kinda makes his costume resemble Spider-man’s a little bit. Although, I should probably be careful saying stuff like this. Otherwise, instead of his constant attempts to kill off Dick Grayson, Dan Didio might just decide to force Kyle Higgins to write a story where Dick sells out his loved ones to the devil.
Anyway, getting back to Nightwing #23, it continues to be a great read. Nightwing is fighting to protect the people of Chicago, but he’s clearly beginning to run on fumes, as he’s apparently been doing this for several days. Then again, he might’ve gotten a booster from the red-head he saves who gives him a big one on the lips (What IS it with you and red-heads, Richard? Barbara, Starfire, you even had a crush on Batwoman for a while). Meanwhile, the Mayor’s denying the allegations of the Prankster, even though his own men have pretty much figured out the truth of it all, but in the end, Prankster ups the game a bit by apparently kidnapping the Mayor. However, despite all this, the single last person in the world that Nightwing would ever expect to give him aid offers to help stop Prankster: Tony Zucco, the man who murdered Dick’s parents, and the very reason Nightwing came to Chicago in the first place…So tell me something, Dick, IS it like a free ride when you’ve already paid? lol
So after Fearless Defenders #7 a couple of weeks back, I was kinda confused, so I checked in with Cullen Bunn on Twitter to figure out exactly what had happened to Annabelle and Valkyrie. To quote his exact words, he said “They switch, like Don Blake and Thor….but there are some twists to how it works.” And before anyone asks, no, Valkyrie is NOT already hosting a body, as to again quote Bunn, “She’s just herself these days, I guess, ever since she was ‘reborn’ post Ragnarok.” Anyway, this is kind of a filler done-in-one book, but a good one. Plenty of great scenes, and a lot of references that got a laugh outta me like Misty Knight in the intro page talking about how Tumblr was pretty upset over Valkyrie killing Annabelle. Also, apparently Elsa Bloodstone, the monster hunter, is now a member of the team, and we get some info regarding the forming Doom Maidens. All in all, good stuff.
Red Sonja #2, and HOLY SHIT. Again, this is clearly Gail Simone being allowed to write whatever the frak she wants, and it is GLORIOUS. Although, there’s one scene that makes me wonder if she inherited Scott Snyder’s fear of horses. lol Anyway, we get some more glimpses of her time spent at the arena, fighting for her life, until only she and her now opponent, Annisia, were the last girls left. They managed to escape that fate, but now they’re on opposing sides, Annisia motivated by the ghosts of their fallen comrades at the arena that only she can see and may not even be real. Anyway, long story short, it turns out Red Sonja has the plague, and she surrenders to save the lives of the people she’s protecting, but Annisia has her marked and exiled to the snowy mountains to wait out the last of her days…Yeah, somehow, I don’t expect this badass to die to something like the plague. 🙂
Anyway, that’s all I bought this past week. I’m thinking from here on out, I may need to change the layout of how I do my recaps of what I buy every Wednesday, but as far as next week goes, we’ll see Supergirl taking on Cyborg Superman some more, we’ll see Superman battling the alien kept underground by the military, we’ll see the X-Men prepare for Battle of the Atom, and we’ll see Batman teaming up with Nightwing and…Robin?! See you guys then! Ja né!
- New comics day! (thebeardygeek.wordpress.com)
- CCI Announcement: Dynamite releasing a female-led Red Sonja mini-series (perspectivecomics.wordpress.com)
- ‘Arrow’ Execs Still Want to Add Nightwing (comicvine.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: Brett Booth Joins “Batman/Superman” in November (comicbookresources.com)
- Batman #23 (comicvine.com)
- This Week’s Essential Comics: 08/12/13 (comicvine.com)
- Gail Simone’s Red Sonja #2 Review (comichype.com)
- The New 52 Nightwing costume (nightwingcostume.wordpress.com)
- Batgirl and Nightwing to tie-in to Zero Year (comicsbeat.com)
- CCI EXCLUSIVE: Liu Joins Simone’s “Legends of Red Sonja” Superstar Roster (comicbookresources.com)
So even though I’m feeling ill today, I decided to talk about some news going around that apparently, Batman and Red Robin will have a special guest character. Remember that note in Batman in Robin #18 that was addressed to come from someone named C.K.? And yes, I know about that even though I didn’t read it. We all thought that C.K. meant Clark Kent. But nope, turns out Damian had a friend by the name of Carrie Kelley.
Dunno who that is? Slap yourself…Okay, I’ll tell you. Carrie Kelley was Robin in Frank Miller’s Elseworlds title, The Dark Knight Returns, and of course the recent direct-to-DVD animated movie adaptation. I should this book was written before he went nuts, so while stuff happens in it that I don’t necessarily agree with, overall it’s a good helping. So where does Carrie Kelley fit in? Well, she’s kind of like Tim Drake in that she sees Batman going out without a Robin and getting hurt and decides he needs help. Also like Tim, she doesn’t do this out of any kind of desire for vengeance or to overcome some great tragedy in her life, she’s doing it because Batman needs help. And sure enough, she arrives just in the nick of time to save Batman’s life, thus earning her position as Robin.
So, where does she fit into this world if The Dark Knight Returns isn’t in canon? Well, it’s not completely clear. In the two images revealed of her in the comic thus far, she’s in the Robin costume, but Peter Tomasi has informed people she won’t exactly be “the new Robin”. What does this mean? I don’t have a frigging clue. Is he hinting that she WAS Robin at some point and gave the title up? Was she an understudy of Damian’s? How did they even know each other? Well, I’m assuming we’ll find out soon enough.
And I know, everybody’s expecting me to be all “Why can’t it be Stephanie Brown? She could fit this role just as well, and plus she already knew Damian in continuity before Flashpoint happened!” Look, am I upset that Stephanie Brown isn’t around? You’re damned right I am. But at some point, I just gotta say to myself “Jeff, for whatever reason, Dan Didio refuses to let her be in a story, and the writers are doing their damnedest to give us good stories however they can and introduce characters that are still awesome in their own way, so why don’t you just get over yourself and give them a chance?” And that’s what I’m gonna do here. And frankly, so long as they don’t put her in that idiotic Catgirl outfit from The Dark Knight Strikes Again (which was written AFTER Frank Miller went completely bonkers), I’m fine with her being around.
Anyway, I’ll for sure be reading next week’s Batman and Red Robin, so you can be sure I’ll let you guys know what the deal with her is in the New 52…Or rather, the New 49 since we’re already two titles short as of June, and in July, Batman Incorporated is getting cancelled…Umm…Ja né!
- DC Comics Teases Carrie Kelley Appearance in ‘Batman and Robin’ #19 (comicsalliance.com)
- DC Names the New ROBIN… Maybe (newsarama.com)
- Carrie Kelley Joins DCU In “Batman And Red Robin” #19 (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Reveals First “Girl Robin” of the New 52 and She’s Not that New (dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/)
- Carrie Kelley Returns To Batman, Is She The New Robin? (geek-news.mtv.com)
- WTF Batman and Robin #19 (thedynamicbuzz.com)
- Carrie Kelley Returns? DC Tease a New Robin (comicsbeat.com)