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The Problem With Over-Saturating Batman

So, I was watching Linkara’s review of Batman: The Dark Knight #1 – 3, and a thought occurred to me when he was talking about over-saturation of Batman in the New 52. Now, to answer the question, yes, that was definitely a thing in the New 52. However, on closer observation, it’s clear that it’s not JUST a New 52 thing. Even now, in Rebirth, and I’ll get more into this in June, we have three books devoted to Batman, he’s part of three team books, and he constantly cameos in other books with characters relating to him. In fact, right now in DC, there are seven books that are officially part of the Batman Family line of books, and at least ten other books that either star Batman or another Bat or Gotham related character in some way, shape, or form. That’s seventeen books right there, many of which are shipped twice monthly.

However, it actually goes beyond that. Another point people have made is that other DC characters, especially during the New 52, have been made a lot darker and more brooding, and at times have been given darker coloured costumes. In other words, more like Batman. And if you think I’m lying, rewatch the current DC Cinematic Universe movies involving Superman, and tell me he hasn’t been made a LOT more like Batman. The problem with that being that DC has less of a varied universe of characters. Thankfully, that seems to have gone down a lot with Rebirth. What has NOT, however, is that, in the team books that Batman is in, guess who is usually the one given the most highlighting and oftentimes is the one to save the day? It’s insane, and it actually makes it hard for people like me to be big Batman fans.

Here’s what a lot of people might not recognize, though: This actually hurts Batman in the long run, too. You might be wondering how in the hell that’s possible. Well, it is, and I’ll explain how that is: The more DC and Warner Bros. continue to make other characters be more like Batman, the darker and more assholish (AKA more like when Frank Miller writes him) they have in turn made Batman in an attempt to keep him distinct. Furthermore, the more they over-saturate the character, especially now that he’s so over-the-top dark and an asshole, the more people are gonna be turned off by him. Yes, he’s still selling great, but how long is that going to last? Again, I’ll go over this more in June, but suffice to say, Batman in his solo-title written by Tom King is a complete dickhole, and while past writers have taken him beyond the usual constraints of a human being (and thus missing the point of his character entirely), there was a SEVERE bullshit moment during the I Am Suicide arc. The biggest reason people are still buying is due to the legacy of the character, not what he’s doing right now. So yeah, it’s working out great for him now, but one has to wonder for how long.

Anyway, those are my own thoughts on the matter, but what about you, the readers? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and we’ll see how things change in the future. Ja né!

The Biggest Plot Hole Involving BvS Batman Killing

Y’know, I’ve made it clear that I’m not a fan of Batman killing people. I just think that’s contrary to who the character is in the modern age. Batman should not kill people. However, let’s assume you’re whoever it was that decided Batman must be a killer in the current DC movies. Regardless of my own personal feelings on the matter, let’s go with that premise. However, beyond simply acclimating us to Batman killing people, as Confused Matthew recently pointed out in his own review of Batman v Superman, you need to make sure that there are no contradictory issues involving him killing people with his other actions and inactions. And, in the case of these movies, I think I may have found one.

Now, I know we all liked to think that the ending of Man of Steel, where Superman snaps Zod’s neck, would act as the catalyst for him deciding to never kill again, that being forced to do so and feeling so awful about it would, in turn, make Superman a better person. However, considering he kills at least two more times in BvS, I think it’s safe to say that was never the plan. Sorry, it just wasn’t. BUT, let’s give the benefit of the doubt and assume that, given Batman’s decision not to kill or brand Lex Luthor at the end of BvS, he’s decided to abandon his killing ways. That way, we can even craft character development around it, in that meeting Superman and Wonder Woman and saving Martha Kent’s life, something has changed inside of him, and he’s not going to kill anymore. That means that, whenever the situation comes up where he COULD kill someone and doesn’t, we know why and it makes at least some sort of sense. However, there’s still a problem that’s been nagging at me ever since the movie came out…and I think I finally figured out what it is. And ultimately, it comes down to three panels…

And that’s when I realized the biggest plot hole regarding Batman killing people: Given what we’ve seen and heard in these movies, we can infer that Batman started down this much darker road after Joker killed Jason Todd. And, as I’ve mentioned before, that actually makes sense when you consider what happened in the comics. The biggest difference between what happened there and what’s going on in the comics is that, apparently, in this universe, Tim Drake never stepped into Batman’s life, and he went down a route of killing his enemies. But, if all of that’s true, then why in the hell is the Joker still alive? Why wasn’t he the FIRST person Batman killed? And don’t give me any bull about how he hasn’t been able to catch him, because I refuse to believe that, in all of that time, he NEVER caught him. Hell, according to Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn was an accomplice in Robin’s murder. Why didn’t Batman kill HER when he fished her out of the bay? Honestly, I think the only reason he doesn’t kill Deadshot is because his daughter was there watching the whole thing go down. Now, admittedly, we don’t know EXACTLY when he caught both of these individuals, but I was under the assumption they were both just a little bit before BvS, since the Justice League trailers and the ending of BvS seems to indicate he immediately began putting all of his efforts into locating and bringing Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman into the fold. So even if he DID decide not to kill anymore by the end of that movie, these events would’ve happened BEFORE then. Harley and the Joker should both be dead as shit. It makes no logical sense, if Batman kills people, and they’re the ones who sent him down this dark path, that he wouldn’t kill them. So yeah, add this to the LONG list of ways that the makers of these movies have failed hard… … …Though it’s hardly the worst way.

Are there any other plot holes you can think of regarding Batman killing people? Lemme know in the comments below. Ja né!

What Did The Dream Sequence In Dawn Of Justice Mean? (NOTE – SPOILERS AND SPECULATION AHEAD) + Thoughts On Post-Rebirth Costumes

Before you ask, no, I haven’t seen the full movie of Batman v Superman. I do not intend to go see it, at least not in theaters. Now, if I see it on Netflix in a few months, I might very well decide to check it out. But, for now, I’m not going to go see it. That said, I DO know all the details of what happened in the movie, and given the overall tone of it that’s been relayed, I can safely say I was right to skip it. That said, I WILL admit to liking what I’ve seen and heard of Wonder Woman in the movie, and am actually a little interested to see how her own movie turns out. In fact, most people I’ve talked to about the movie claim that she’s the best part of it, although that could simply be because she doesn’t have top billing, and therefore Zack Snyder was less focused on draining the joy and fun from her character along with Superman and Batman…but that’s a story for another day.

Also, I don't mind that Wonder Woman's costume post-Rebirth is basically her movie costume with a somewhat brighter colour palette. At least she's back in gold.

Also, I don’t mind that Wonder Woman’s costume post-Rebirth is basically her movie costume with a somewhat brighter colour palette. At least she’s back in gold.

Instead, there’s something else I wanna speculate about from the movie: The dream sequence. Even if you’ve only seen the trailers, you probably know what I’m talking about. Basically, Batman has a dream of a dystopian future where the world’s gone to hell and Superman is evil. Now, when images relating to the scene came out, particularly one revealing a giant omega symbol in the ground and Parademons flying about, what I figured was going on was that Batman was getting visions of a future where Darkseid had invaded and taken over, but that his mind was getting the message mixed up, his paranoia instead painting Superman as the alien menace that will unleash this terror. However, it’s instead revealed in the movie that Batman is getting these visions from a time travelling Flash, who tells him that he was “right about him” and that “Lois is the key”, which indicates that Superman really WILL turn evil at some point…which might confuse some due to the ending, but trust me, it shouldn’t, at least if you know anything about Superman’s comic book history.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, don't mind a similar choice to adapt the Man of Steel costume, but I prefer the design with the yellow belt and red boots. Just feels like it balances the colours out better.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, don’t mind a similar choice to adapt the Man of Steel costume, but I prefer the design with the yellow belt and red boots. Just feels like it balances the colours out better.

So, what does it all mean? Well, remember this is all purely speculation on my part, based on my own theories, as well as those proposed by others who have seen the movie. Basically, they’re doing an odd hybrid of Injustice: Gods Among Us and Earth 2. What that means is that, at some point in the future, Lois Lane dies and it drives Superman to turn evil, but instead of being the evil dictator he is in Injustice, he’s instead an instrument of destruction under the control of Darkseid, albeit with his own lackey soldiers working for him. Clark’s continued remarks about how Lois is his world during DoJ seem to reinforce this theory. If I’m right, then what’ll happen is that Batman will realize that he needs to keep Lois from getting killed at some point in order to prevent Superman’s heel turn.

And what the hell, let's talk about the new Batsuit. Ironically, Batman might be the most unnecessarily detailed of the three. And that's not even saying I dislike the costume at all. Just a bit more detailed than I'm used to for Batman.

And what the hell, let’s talk about the new Batsuit. Ironically, Batman might be the most unnecessarily detailed of the three. And that’s not even saying I dislike the costume at all. Just a bit more detailed and colourful than I’m used to for the Dark Knight. That said, with his return, it was probably a good idea for him to make a stunning impression.

So yeah, that’s where I think this is going. Now, is this a good idea or not? Honestly, I’m a little sick of stories where Superman turns heel, but what about all of you? Lemme know what you think about this and the movie in general in the comments below, and we’ll see if I’m right in where this goes. Ja né!

...SO glad they did away with the matching collars, btw. I mean, I guess it would make sense if they were special Justice League uniforms meant to match up together, but it still feels silly.

SO glad they did away with the matching collars, by the way. I mean, I guess it would make sense if they were special Justice League uniforms meant to match up together, but it still feels silly.

How To Drop The Ball In Comics: All-Star Batman And Robin (It’s Miller Time)

Sometimes, comic book companies will try different ways of getting new readers who might be interested in their characters and stories, but are a little intimidated by years, even decades, of continuity to go through. One method that seemed to work pretty well for Marvel was the Ultimate Universe, which was basically taking those same characters, distilling them down to their core traits, and retelling their origins in a modern setting. DC attempted something similar with the All-Star comics, and the greatest of them was All-Star Superman, a story that, while possessing elements that one could criticize, nonetheless presented the main protagonist and his greatest elements in a story where the reader didn’t need to know everything that ever happened in his history. This…is not that comic.

Welcome to the newest installment of How To Drop The Ball In Comics. Say… … … It’s Miller Time. ^_^

With the final issue of All-Star Batman And Robin reviewed on Atop The Fourth Wall, and the adventures of Crazy Steve and Dick Grayson (Age 12) forever put away, I figured now’s a good time to discuss my own thoughts on the comic and exactly what went wrong. So…yeah, this is really just me giving my own thoughts on ASBAR, after having watched reviews of every issue on AT4W, on my blog as opposed to filling up poor Linkara’s comment section with my ramblings. lol But, for the sake of those who have never heard of this book, let’s do a quick recap of the concept.

What Is It?: As I alluded to earlier, DC was trying to cash in on the same success that Marvel was having with the Ultimate Universe. As such, they laid out a plan wherein they would do something similar with the characters of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl (the latter two series being cancelled when the All-Star line ultimately went belly up). For reasons that are best illustrated within the pages of All-Star Batman And Robin, though, I’m not sure that the intent was for these books to all exist in the same universe, but to each be their own unique take on the characters in question without being bogged down by three-fourths of a century’s worth of continuity. And while the All-Star line did eventually become cancelled, we now have a similar line-up of books entitled Earth One, although these ones are graphic novels only. And while I haven’t read them, I will admit that at least Superman Earth One addresses certain issues I’ve had with Superman’s back story (namely how the Kryptonians were seemingly so advanced and yet still died with their planet), and is clearly popular enough that it warranted not one but THREE graphic novels.

How Did It Have Potential?: Well, like I said before, there DO exist people who would like to read comics, but because their stories have gone on for so long, there’s so much information to go through. Granted, most of us on the internet can look this stuff up, which makes the necessity of stories that have all past continuity stripped away a little pointless if that’s the point behind doing it, but not everyone has that time. And while some of us might scoff at the idea that retelling the same origin story with a few tweaks will result in a well-selling story that people will buy, let me again remind you of the success of Ultimate Spider-Man, a story that set off a chain of events leading directly into stories that are STILL being told to this day, nearly 16 years later. However, the thing is, that’s because the overall quality of the books and the storytelling in them was so good that the success far exceeded anyone’s expectations…which of course leads to…

How Did It Drop The Ball?: Well, for one thing, because Jim Lee’s schedule is kinda funtastic, the book was outright PLAGUED with delays. In four years, they only managed to release TEN ISSUES. However, whereas that would usually be enough to kill a book, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what went wrong. The rest? Two words: FRANK MILLER. Yes, Frank Miller has written some great works for Batman that, while having points one could take issue with and point out as being problematic, were at least well-crafted takes on the character. However, that was a while ago, and since then, Frankie’s pretty much become one of the most sexist, bigoted, racist, appalling, homophobic, classless, and downright moronic HACKS to continue to get work within the comic industry to this day. The same man who once had Batman rescue a cat in the middle of a firefight was now using words like “retarded”, taking glee and beating up thugs and damned near (if not outright) killing people, was cruel to the people who cared for him, and was pretty much Batman in name only. Or, as the memes refer to him, “The Goddamn Batman”. We who watch AT4W prefer to refer to him as “Crazy Steve”, crazed hobo/escaped mental patient/potential pedophile with homicidal delusions who found Batman’s costume and a winning lottery ticket, and decided to become the Dark Knight. But, as horrible as that is for anyone who considered Batman their childhood hero, that’s not all that went wrong. The pacing is awful, the dialogue repetitive and stupid to the point of hilarity, every single female character is written to be either over-sexualized or inspired by Batman to the point of near-cultism, and the Justice League are included and written as being completely ineffectual so that Crazy Steve is the only seemingly competent superhero among them, even though he pretty much, in every way, violates what it means to be a hero, or more specifically, what it means to be Batman.

See, here’s the thing that Frank Miller has clearly forgotten about Batman, and I know I’m getting on a soap box for the sake of a fictional character, but just hear me out. Yes, the phrase “I am vengeance! I am the night! I am Batman!” can make him sound harsh, dark, and cruel, but the real Batman knows how to temper those things with the ideals of justice and compassion. Yes, he is the man who engages in brutal, bloody fights with thugs, recruits teenage sidekicks over and over even after one of them got killed, and keeps hidden contingency plans for shutting down the other members of the Justice League, his friends and allies, if need be. However, he is also the man who is always there for his city and his friends when they need him most. He is a man who fights day in and day out, pushing himself past his natural limits, not for the sake of inflicting pain, but for the sake of a world where no other 8-year-old child will ever lose his parents because of a punk with a gun. And, and this is the big one for me personally, he is a man who once sat on a swing next to a little girl who was dying, and held her hand until her time came. Above all else, for his faults, Batman is not just a crusader, or a detective, or a ninja, but ultimately, he is a hero. Crazy Steve is not.

So, what would I have done differently? Well, the heart of this story was very clearly supposed to be about how, in a city that was so cruel and corrupt that it took a young boy’s parents and didn’t care, there was one man who was there for him. One man who, while tortured, was compassionate for that boy, saw himself and his own trauma in him, and offered him a chance to join in his crusade, while also letting the boy’s youth and optimism keep him grounded. If you are seeking to distill Batman and Robin to their most basic formula, THAT is the story of the Dynamic Duo to me, and what should’ve been the heart of the story. And there ARE times when it delves into that. See, while issue 9 is overall abysmal, with Batman and Robin painting themselves and a room yellow and making Green Lantern out to look like a complete tool (and even I don’t think Hal Jordan is THAT big a moron), the ending of that issue, where Batman recognizes he never gave Robin a chance to grieve over his parents’ death and takes him to see their graves, was perfect. Even the last few lines of the book, which usually is badly written in nearly every way, perfectly captures the moment: “We mourn lives lost. Including our own”. If we had more of that from the very beginning, and the book focused on Batman and Robin without adding the Justice League, Batgirl, Black Canary, and a bunch of other mischaracterized characters, it’d be a much better story. Hell, I wouldn’t even mind the change of making the Joker the man behind the Grayson killing if it kept to the themes and character motivations of everyone involved. Towards the end, you could see how it was at least building towards SOMETHING, that there was a point they were trying to reach. The problem was, by that point, nobody was left to care, and the reason is that, if that WAS the heart of the story, then clearly, Frank Miller forgot that. He forgot WHY Batman is, as he once put it, “as good and pure a superhero as you can find”.

But, I have to be completely fair on this. If I’m gonna judge Frank Miller for what went wrong, I have to be equally judgmental of Jim Lee. While his artwork in this book is gorgeous at times, except when he has to depict stuff like Vicki Vale seemingly literally talking out of her ass, his schedule ultimately hurt the book as well. He seemed to get back on schedule after a while, but much of that came from making splash pages and two page spreads that, while a visual marvel, could’ve been used for advancing the story, or what story there was. And I suppose I should also point out that Bob Schreck, the editor for the All-Star line, was seemingly all too happy to let most of the content of the books through, with the only exceptions being stuff like swearing…which is hilarious, when you consider what happened with issue 10. lol

Bottom line, for various reasons, this series is pretty much the epitome of what it means to drop the ball in the realm of comic books. Or, if I may borrow a phrase (and why not at this point), as we say in my favourite corner of the internet, “This comic sucks!” If you’ve got your own opinion on the book, feel free to leave it below. Or, if you wanna know more about the book and what went wrong with it, as I’ve said numerous times, Linkara has now officially reviewed all ten issues, so feel free to go to his website and check ’em out, plus his reviews of similar Frank Miller titles like The Dark Knight Strikes Again and Holy Terror. Ja né!

A Funny Search Engine Term Result – Batman and Wonder Woman

…So, funny story I just HAD to share. You guys know how I’ve at times been a little bit confused and even disturbed by some of the search engine terms that have led people to my blog, right? Well, here’s one I was NOT expecting.

Now, because I can’t read Russian, I had no idea what that meant. So, I turned to Google Translate, and proceeded to smile ear-to-ear at what the result was.

… … …So, in a nutshell, someone from Russia, or who speaks Russian, came to my blog because they wanted to see a picture of Batman and Wonder Woman kissing… … …Yeah, okay. This one’s for Russia. 😄

Big News For Batman #50 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

…So, I was reading DC Comics’ solicitations for March 2016, and I could not help but notice what’s planned for Batman #50. Put simply, he’s baaaaaaaack. 🙂

  • Batman has returned to Gotham City! In this extra-sized conclusion to Snyder and Capullo’s epic story “Superheavy,” Bruce Wayne returns to the cape and cowl to battle Mr. Bloom alongside Jim Gordon for the fate of the city they both love.

…Well, it was an interesting break, but I think I’m ready to hop back into the book I loved. Although, this does leave me with a few questions. Specifically, I wonder what this means for Jim Gordon. Is he giving up the superhero biz, or will he continue to carry the cowl? Because my problem, really, is with him being THE Batman. However, I think I’d be alright with him being A Batman. In fact, they could even continue to have Detective Comics be his book while Bruce is the main protagonist for Scott Snyder’s Batman. I’m just saying, if Marvel can have two Hawkeyes and like a half-dozen Spider-Men running around, there’s more than enough room in Gotham City for two Batmen. Plus, it’s not like he’s doing anything else right now.

Especially if only to allow for more moments like this. lol

Also, do I even need to get started with how deep-shit fired Alfred is now that Bruce has his memories back? Let’s see, he lied to Bruce by omission by not telling him he was Batman, he let the GCPD and Powers Industries try to take over Batman’s job and nearly arrest all his allies, he let Jim Gordon go out there night after night and nearly get himself killed, and oh yes, he started a group of kids dressed as Robins to fight criminals without proper training and has already gotten at least a couple of them killed. Good job, Alfie. -_-

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about this. Lemme know what you think, and hopefully the wait til March won’t feel TOO long. Ja né!

Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Batman + ‘I Am The Night’ by Miracle of Sound

Hey guys! It’s my 601st blog post!!!… … …Yeah, okay, so I kinda loaned out my 600th to my proofreader. lol But hey, now that we’re back to our regularly scheduled Jyger’s Rant, let’s talk more about how I’d create certain DC characters. So, once again, I ask you to read along and Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Batman.


History

The son of a brilliant American physician, Thomas Wayne, and his wife, Chinese immigrant Ming, Bruce Wayne lived life in Chinatown, Gotham City, with few friends at a young age. This was due to being born with a condition that granted him hypersensitivity to sound and projected images in his mind based off said sounds, similar to echolocation, and eyesight resembling night vision. However, after being picked from his class in 4th grade for a play to portray a bat, his mother told him of how, in China, bats are often seen as symbols of good luck, and that he should embrace that. As such, he seemingly began to maintain control of his unique ability…until the play’s opening night, wherein after the show was over, the Waynes took a shortcut to their home through Park Avenue, which ended in the deaths of Thomas and Ming by a mugger. In a rage, Bruce beat the mugger into unconsciousness, but the shock of nearly killing him and the deaths of his parents caused him to repress most of his memories, only knowing of his parents and what happened to them through what his extended family told him, and lacking control of his senses once again.

Growing up with a desire to solve the mystery of his parents’ murder, as well as a need to keep such events from happening to any other child, Bruce secretly began working with a private investigator named John Jones, all the while under the guise of a masked vigilante called Robin. However, shortly after graduation from high school, Jones and Robin found themselves on a case that set them against a man named Arthur Brown, a former game show host that had been driven mad after his show was cancelled due to the death of one of the contestants. Brown, now known as the Cluemaster, held the network executives hostage on the set of his show, which he converted into an elaborate death trap. While Jones and Robin freed the hostages, Brown completely snapped and tried to kill Robin, only for John to take the shot.

With his mentor dead, Bruce’s memories finally returned to him. Remembering his mother’s words, he regained control of his echolocation and night vision, and from the tattered remains of his costume, he created a new, more terrifying garb, playing off of the superstitious fears of men by having it resemble a bat. As the Batman, he avenged his mentor’s murder, but knew that he wasn’t ready to be Gotham City’s protector. As such, he traveled overseas to learn all he could about criminology, psychology, and the fears of men, before returning to Gotham at age 25. While the city has grown darker in his 7 year absence, though, he is now fully prepared to retake it from criminals with the assistance of his uncle, Jin, and his father’s old friend, billionaire scientist Lucius Fox. Thieves, thugs, crime lords, and super villains shall all be united in fear of the shadow of the Batman.

Powers

Echolocation: Batman’s mind projects mental images of his surroundings by way of sound waves vibrating around him. As such, he essentially has omnipresent detection of the area around him, stretching out as far as he can hear.

Night Vision: The Dark Knight’s eyesight, while being a bit sensitive in daylight, works exceedingly well in the dark. No one can evade or escape his sight in the darkness.

Abilities

Martial Artist: Having been trained in kung fu, judo, ninjutsu, and Muay Thai kickboxing, Bruce has combined all of his skills with his unique senses and equipment into his own combat style, the Shadow of the Bat, which focuses on quickly taking down opponents with precision strikes and utilizing darkness and other methods of obscuring himself.

Above-Average Conditioning: Through his travels, Bruce Wayne has trained his body into that of a near-Olympic-level athlete. He can run faster, lift heavier, and push himself harder than the average human being.

Investigation: Having been trained by John Jones, one of the absolute finest detectives in the world, and later majoring in criminology with a minor in psychology, Batman has taken up his mentor’s mantle. He understands the criminal mind better than most, and can reason and deduce his way out of nearly any situation presented to him.

Interrogation: While the bat is seen in China as a symbol of good luck, many of European decent look upon it with superstitious fear. Knowing this, Batman has utilized his skills and knowledge of the criminal mind to make himself appear supernatural to some, and can easily bring the truth out of thugs by appealing to their fear.

Equipment

Utility Belt: While he initially wore a smaller belt filled with smoke pellets and shurikens, meeting the Cluemaster and watching his gadgetry in action inspired Batman to make a somewhat bigger belt with more multi-purpose tools. Among these tools are the Batclaw magnetic grapple gun, a taser, a mask that seals over his cowl to provide oxygen underwater or in gas, and the Batarangs, which can be used as short range melee weapons or can be thrown with enough precision that they return to the thrower.

Sonic Emitters: Batman’s cowl is equipped with specialized sonic wave emitters that create a high-pitched sound only few can hear, which further complements his echolocation. He also keeps a special emitter hidden in his boot that is designed to summon bats hiding in the caves under his uncle’s home.

Batsuit: While his original costume used as both Batman and Robin provided only light armour, specifically via a bullet-proof vest around his chest, Batman later upgraded to a more durable costume, providing improved protection over his whole body (though still best at the chest), and a memory-cloth para-cape used for gliding.

Weaknesses

Hypersensitivity to Sound and Light: Although Bruce has mostly mastered his unique senses, it is nonetheless possible to catch him off-guard with particularly high-pitched sounds or blinding lights. While he does have emergency shut-outs set up in his cowl to protect him if such happens, it still can leave him vulnerable to attack.

Basic Human Weaknesses: For all of his abilities, inhuman senses, and uncanny tools, Bruce Wayne is still a human being. As such, he bleeds just like any other human being, and can be killed the same as well.


What’s Different About Him?

Quite a lot, actually. First off, Bruce isn’t a billionaire playboy, Lucius is the one with the money, but would be the one secretly funding him as Batman (kinda like what Bruce ‘admitted’ to doing with Batman Incorporated). Second, while he’s still human, he nonetheless has abilities uncommon to the average human that make him more like a literal bat-man. And I know that tosses a wrench in the idea of him being an ordinary human pushing himself to be able to stand alongside superhumans, but he still has his human weaknesses. And, frankly, while this gives him special abilities, it also gives him hindrances he has to overcome. Though, beyond that, he’s pretty much the same Batman we’ve known and loved throughout the years, only now he’s half-Chinese.

Regarding the idea of him starting off as Robin and working for a detective, I actually got the idea from the first Batman books I ever got: The Untold Legend of the Batman. It’s not the first time I’ve fallen back on ideas presented there, either. What can I say? It left an impact on me. Of course, the detective in that story wasn’t named John Jones, though that name should sound familiar to DC Comics fans. Do I have an idea beyond that? Well… … …let’s just leave it alone for now. lol His uncle, Jin, would more or less take the place of Alfred, being his sort of surrogate father and keeping him grounded.

Finally, I decided to go with a brown bat for the costume as opposed to Batman’s usual colour scheme of black, blue, and grey (with the occasional yellow and red tossed in for funsies). As such, between that and his unique senses, once can actually see this as the odd pseudo-hybrid of Batman and Man-Bat.

Anyway, I think that’s all for Batman. Lemme know what you think of my version of the Dark Knight, and who I should give my own take on the next time I do this… … …Also, just because I can’t think of any other way to knowingly and blatantly promote this, press play on the video below to listen to ‘I Am The Night’ by Miracle of Sound. I listened to it a lot while working on this. Ja né!

My Thoughts on Batman #40 – Ha (WARNING – SPOILERS)

“…The story of Batman is, and always will be, a TRAGEDY. Bruce would never have let it be anything else. Batman COULD live forever. He could escape. But he doesn’t. He DIES, just like every one of us, even though he doesn’t have to. That’s his flaw. But it’s also his greatest strength. The very thing that makes him immortal. He says, we’re in this together. He says, live bravely in the time you have and smile at the void. That’s why the note says what it does. Why it’s only one word. Why Batman’s last message is, and will always be…’Ha’.”

I was going back and forth in my head as to whether or not to do an official review of this comic or not. Finally, I decided to just give my own thoughts on the big game changer of the ending, mainly because I want others to read this comic, and because it’s the hot button subject. As you’ve no doubt gathered by the quote at the beginning, Bruce Wayne is believed to be dead, as is the Joker. Was the Joker immortal after all? Doesn’t look like it. There was a LOT of evidence suggesting he was, but I don’t think he was, meaning Snyder instead created a situation where it would be so easy to believe he is, but turned out he wasn’t. Also, I will say that it was a BRUTAL fight between Batman and Joker, and could very easily be the final battle between them, because I don’t see them topping this, and I’m not sure I want anyone to try with these two. And, assuming that Batman DID somehow manage to survive the fight, he’s lost his left eye, so either he’ll need an eye-patch or a cybernetic implant of some sort.

Now, let’s be honest, from one Batman fan to another. This is not the end of Bruce Wayne’s story. I am not eulogizing him like I did Damian. Why? Because it was actually kinda ambiguous as to whether Damian would be back or not. But Bruce Wayne, even if he’s really dead (and that actually wouldn’t shock me, all things considered), is not staying dead. Why? Because DC will never let that happen, regardless of if it would be a good or bad thing to bring him back. Bruce Wayne is DC Comics’ meal ticket, and they will not let him die and stay dead. Hell, there’s an interview with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo where they pretty much all but outright admit that Bruce will be back someday. Jim Gordon being Batman certainly will not last. That’s an idea you might wanna experiment with, maybe even do as an Elseworlds story, but there’s no way Jim fucking Gordon is gonna be Batman’s permanent replacement. Hell, Bruce is still in the Justice League books, for crying out loud! And I know DC is planning to have a looser continuity (meaning the editors have one less thing they’re actually SUPPOSED to do, and therefore have more time to interfere in storylines), but gimme a break!

So, all of that said, is this a bad comic? Hell no! This was great! Again, I don’t wanna tell ya too much, but the final battle between Batman and Joker was epic and brutal, and the rest of the book was pretty freaking awesome too. There’s one moment, and I can talk about this because it’s in the preview, where Batman and Bane do the frigging Fastball Special. THAT’S AWESOME! 😄 And, in the end, you gotta judge this book by its own merits, and ultimately, regardless of whether or not this all gets undone later on, right here and now, this was a GREAT final stand of Batman and his allies (and enemies, for that matter) against Gotham’s greatest nightmare.

So yes, this issue gets a thumbs up from me. What’s coming next…….ehh…Like I said, I’m sure it’ll be well-written, because it’s Scott Snyder. But it’s still not a premise I’m on board with. Now, with that said, I’ll still be posting links to the previews for the ensuing issues and showing my support, because Snyder and Capullo have earned that from me. And hey, just because this isn’t for me doesn’t mean that NO ONE should be giving it a chance, right? So, I guess for me, this is my exit (at least for now) from what remains, in my opinion, still the undisputed best book from the start of The New 52 all the way to its finish (because the official branding of The New 52, regardless of continuity, ends in June): Scott Snyder’s Batman.

"I'm afraid…he's spoken for."

“I’m afraid…he’s spoken for.”

And that’s Batman #40. Check in tomorrow, though, as I give the last DC related blog entry for one month (because May is gonna be all Marvel) with my 5 Favourite Moments From Scott Snyder’s Batman. Ja né!

Early Preview of Justice League Infinite Chapter 5 + Step-by-Step Designs for The Trinity

Well, it’s that time again! Here’s an early preview of chapter 5 of my fanfic, Justice League Infinite, as we see the team returning to Earth to try and save Batman from the spreading cells of Starro trying to transfigure him, assuming he even survives such a process…

Baz blinked in utter bafflement as the shuttle descended through the skies slowly toward the edge of Gotham City. “I can’t believe he pushed us all the way back to Earth.”
“I can’t believe the heat shields held as well as they did,” Diana added.
“And I can’t believe where we’re headed!” Ivy finished, pointing out the window.
As Superman moved under the ship, instead carrying it through the skies above Gotham City, the team inside watched on as they headed toward a cliff near the edge of the city. However, what astonished them was the VERY well-concealed steel hatch on the cliff, and, more importantly, where this hatch and the ensuing tunnel seemed to lead: Right underneath Wayne Manor, quite possibly the most luxurious mansion in the United States, save for those owned by politicians and presidents.
“…Uhh, does Bruce Wayne know you’ve got a cave under his ma-” Flash started to ask, turning back to face Batman, just in time to see him pull back his cowl.
“I think he’s okay with it,” Batman replied as he revealed the half-infected face of Bruce Wayne himself.
Jesse was stunned, her jaw hung low for what felt like a full minute before finally saying, “…So, I guess I’m not the ONLY rich person in a mask, huh?”
“Actually, I think he just redefined rich superheroes by comparison,” Khalid suggested, likewise astonished.
“Are communications working?” Bruce asked, getting a quick nod as Flash flipped a switch. “Penny-One, authorize entry hatch opening.”
“Opening now,” a rather British-sounding voice replied, the large steel doors slowly opening. “Are you alright?”
“Alfred, I’ve been infected,” Bruce moaned, leaning on the console slightly. “Prep for blood testing, possible surgery.”
“At once,” the man, Alfred, replied, sounding quite concerned, all the while Superman carried the shuttle inside. The group inside watched as they passed through a long, wide tunnel, before arriving in what looked to be some sort of cave under the mansion. The cave housed several large computers, storage tanks, a small airship in the shape of a bat, and what looked to be memorabilia of various sorts and sizes. And, of course, the upper area of the cave looked to be a nest for what had to be at least hundreds of bats.
“Those must be a pain to look after,” Diana suggested, motioning to the bats.
“…A giant penny?” Ivy inquired, her eyes fixed on said object. “Please tell me Two-Face did NOT try to kill you with that.”
After a few moments, Superman finally eased the shuttle down into as clear a spot as he could find, landing next to it. Opening the hatch, Baz quickly created a green staircase leading down from it to the floor as he and Diana helped Bruce down and out of the ship. The Dark Knight groaned as he felt the infection getting worse, the green patches on his skin beginning to spread.
“BOSS!” a female voice screamed. Within seconds, a young girl, no older than 15, came running toward the group, wearing a red, black, and yellow costume, cape, and domino mask. Her hair was dark, almost completely black, save for the neon red streaks in the front. Her belt, clearly a utility belt of some sort, had a large yellow R on the red buckle. Her eyes clearly gave away her terror at the sight of Bruce in such a state. Much like a lot of what she’d seen in the last couple of minutes, the sight of this girl shocked Flash.
‘Boss’? Jesse wondered, watching as the girl came to a halt in front of Batman, seemingly fighting the urge to cling to him. Is this girl his…sidekick? Since when has the Goddamn Batman had a partner?

…Yeah, you knew I couldn’t resist calling him that at least once. 😛 Speaking of Batman, though, I’ve come to a decision on his costume design, as a step-by-step mashup of several different Batsuit designs.

Batman Infinite Batsuit

Beyond those details, the Batsuit is a kevlar/nomex blend, making him bullet and fire proof, but still is light enough to allow him plenty of flexibility and agility. The cape is made of a likewise fireproof memory fiber; when an electric shock is sent out into it through the gloves, it causes it to form the bat wing-like paracape. The cowl possesses flip-down lenses with various vision modes, and has a comm system used to keep in constant contact with Alfred. The symbol can actually light up (like with the Batman Incorporated suit’s), providing him with a mini-Bat Signal that can sometimes be used to scare criminals. The boots come equipped with hidden ultrasonic emitters that summon nearby bats. And, of course, there’s the utility belt, which can at any time contain a various combination of gadgets and equipment, like multi-purpose Batarangs, taser knuckles, the Batclaw grapple gun, smoke pellets, and much more. And lastly, in lieu of deciding on which Batmobile to give him, I instead decided that the far more useful vehicle for Batman would be an airship version of the Batwing, roughly the same size as the Owlship from Watchmen. We’ll get more into that another time.

So, that’s a lot about Batman, but what about the designs for Superman and Wonder Woman, which were also mix-and-matches from various costumes they’ve worn? Well, let’s take a look.

 

And before anyone asks, yes, I’m aware that the updated New 52 Superman costume has been revealed. While I’m a bit sad they didn’t add the trunks, and the improvements seemed somewhat minimalistic in my opinion, I will admit that it is still an improvement. Regarding this costume, though, not much else to say except that I’m thinking of giving him El emblem tracking devices hidden in his belt that are set to a frequency that only he can hear, and other more advanced tech that he’ll bring into the field from time to time when his usual powers aren’t enough to get the job done.

 

I’m sorry, I just love the ponytail! It looks GREAT on Wonder Woman! lol But yeah, I also added the blue covering and collar to her costume, and gave her the red cape she wears sometimes, because I don’t care what the movie The Incredibles says, capes are awesome (although I suppose you might wanna be sure you’re near-invulnerable for some of the things that happened in those examples). Equipment-wise, of course Diana has the Lasso of Truth, her unbreakable bracers, and her sharpened tiara. If necessary, though, she is skilled in armed combat, usually preferring a sword and shield, but would just as soon avoid that if possible.

Anyway, leave a comment letting me know what you think so far, and be sure to check out chapter 5 when it’s finished. Ja né!

Thoughts On Batman #38 – What Is The Joker?

Well, I ended up getting my copy of Batman #38 late, due to the roads being kinda icky last night (although that didn’t stop me from reading spoilers, because dammit, after last issue, the hell if I was gonna wait any longer than I had to in order to find out what the hell is going on). Since its release yesterday, Scott Snyder has clarified a few details for the sake of those wondering.

  1. This is NOT a dream, illusion, or hallucination. What Batman is going through is 100% REAL, so theories that this is another worst case scenario brought on by the Scarecrow’s fear toxins are incorrect, though it’s likely that the payoff for that is that Batman goes through the horrid nightmares of his end, but is able to cheat death where it counts most.
  2. The Joker DOES know now that Batman is Bruce Wayne. There’re no more implications, suggestions, doubts, or theories, HE KNOWS. As such, all bets are off regarding what Joker can and will do to Batman now.

So, let’s get down to the question at the core of everything going on in this story: What is the Joker? Is he human, or some kind of monster? Is he mortal, or immortal? Well, before we get to that, I can clear this much up: Regardless of what he is, there IS something in his bloodstream that has a regenerative factor to it. He was shot through the chest and didn’t die. Ergo, whether or not he’s always had it, the fact is, Joker cannot be killed right now, so even if Batman was finally willing to cross that line, the end result is that he cannot kill him.

...That, right there, is where Grayson should realize just how boned they are: BATMAN does not have a plan.

…That, right there, is where Grayson should realize just how boned they are: BATMAN does not have a plan.

Regarding whether or not Joker could possibly be an immortal that’s been haunting Gotham City for at least a hundred years. Well, here was the argument that kept getting in the way of that for me: “How can Joker be immortal, have been seen in Gotham for at least a hundred years, and have that same pale face to boot throughout that time, when he only got it when he fell into the chemical bath?” And we HAVE established that this part of his history is still canon, having occurred during the Zero Year story-arc. However, here’s the counter-argument I eventually came to: “How do you know he got that face from the chemical bath? The only proof you have are flashbacks provided by Joker’s own narration, and his tales of his past have proven he’s either a liar or doesn’t remember his own past. In fact, how did he even survive the fall to begin with? Furthermore, how did he manage to survive everything he has, from falls off cliffs to escaping deadly explosions to even surviving the process of having his face cut off?” I’ll admit, at that point, I was kinda stumped to come up with a logical explanation for all of that, especially since so much of who Joker is and his past is kept a mystery. Remember, Zero Year suggested that he WASN’T the leader of the Red Hood Gang, but an impostor that had taken his place after the real one died. And then there’s the cave he had of other Harley Quinns he’d supposedly created prior to turning Harleen Quinzel to his side, all dead. Now, one could assume he was just messing with Harley, and in fact, he very well may have, but what if he wasn’t? What if they were all allies of his throughout his years of tormenting Gotham? Finally, how can someone trump Batman at his own game as often as he has, putting the opponent at a sheer disadvantage due to prior preparation, unless he’s been playing this game far longer than him?

This narration has been brought to you by Crazy Quilt, who got a MUCH appreciated revamp for this story.

 

So, here’s what I’m thinking has happened: Either Scott Snyder has finally explained how it’s possible for Joker to have survived all he has in his career as a Batman villain, OR has created a reasonable enough conclusion for people to come to before throwing the rug out from under them. Either way, though, when I realized he’d done one of these two things, I was torn between my admiration of his brilliance and my need to punch the beautiful bastard. lol And for that matter, I love what else he’s done, in involving Bruce’s uncle’s associates, having this story be a sequel to Death of the Family, and having Bruce finally decide to get his answers on whether Joker is immortal or not from, of all people, the Court of Owls. This is taking everything he and Greg Capullo have done in their time on the book and bringing it all together for one big climax. And the bizarre thing is, it’s not even the end! They’re still on-board for the book post-Convergence, which I keep hearing is supposed to get insane with how things change for Batman afterward. If THIS isn’t the part where things get crazy, then I gotta see what the hell those evil geniuses have in mind for post-Convergence.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Batman #38. Lemme know your own theories on what’s happening with Joker in the comments below, and we’ll see how things turn out as Endgame winds down to a close over the next couple of months. Ja né!