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Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Things I Can’t Believe They Got Away With In Batman: The Animated Series

Anyone ever notice how there’s the occasional content in a kid’s show that maybe was a bit on the mature side, whether it be dark in atmosphere or risqué? Well, I’ve been marathoning my favourite episodes of Batman TAS…again, and I can’t help but notice several moments that clearly slipped through the cracks on that show. Now, keep in mind, this IS a WB cartoon, and we already know how they managed similar situations with Animaniacs (by purposely writing something far worse in the script as a distraction for the editors so that what they actually intended to get through would), but there’s at least one or two of these that…well, you’ll see. Anyway, let’s start off with one of my favourite two-parters in the show…

#1 - Robin's Reckoning

#1 – Robin’s Reckoning

This is actually one of the situations where I can’t imagine how no one noticed anything wrong with it…and yet actually had a problem with something completely different. In the first part of this episode, wherein the origins of Robin in this universe are elaborated on, we see Batman disguised as a thug and gambling with other thugs while trying to get information on Tony Zucco. Apparently, Batman gambling was controversial for some people. Now, I’m not gonna debate the issues of gambling in a kid’s show, since everyone has their own views on stuff like that. What boggles my mind, though, is that apparently nobody raised an eye when, in the next episode, we see a young Dick Grayson saving a prostitute from her pimp after said pimp finds out she’s been holding onto some of the cash she’s been making and is about to assault her. Um, WHAT??? How was GAMBLING the thing that caught people’s attention and THAT went completely under the radar? Granted, they never actually outright state that she’s a prostitute, but any adult with a brain can tell that’s what’s going on. And what’s really weird is that nobody had a problem with gambling in another episode, Joker’s Wild, where most of the episode took place at a casino! Just a little consistency is all I’m asking for, folks!

#2 - Mad Love

#2 – Mad Love

Before anyone says anything, I actually really like this episode. It’s a great look into Harley Quinn’s backstory and how/why she became infatuated with the Joker. However, I still don’t know how the hell they managed to get this past the censors. Not only is it pretty explicitly made clear that these two have had sex in the past, but there were SEVERAL instances of domestic abuse in this episode. True, we’ve seen at LEAST hints of that before with Harley and Joker, but now it’s at the forefront of the episode. Now, it’s part of the main driving plot. And it’s not even just her getting it, either. We hear Joker tell a story of how his father beat him as a child and broke his nose. Granted, it’s pretty clear that the Joker is lying to get sympathy (or, if you believe The Killing Joke, that he’s gone SO insane that he can’t remember his real past), but it’s still pretty harsh stuff for the audience to listen to.

#3 - The Ultimate Thrill

#3 – The Ultimate Thrill

If it really is true that they used the Animaniacs trick with this episode, I NEED to see what the original script for this episode looked like. I like to refer to this episode as “Count the Innuendos”. Seriously, just watch this episode and see if you can spot ’em all. And yes, most of them come from Roxy…and yes, that’s kinda why I like her. lol Still, one thing I’ve always tilted my head at is why she chose to become a thief. I get she’s in it for the thrills, but wouldn’t she get the same rush from being a costumed heroine? Granted, I could see Batman still having to bring her in due to how reckless she is, but she’d get the same thrill, and honestly, looking at her two appearances in the entirety of the DCAU, no one ever gets seriously hurt around her. Hell, most of the time, the person in the most danger is HER. Oh, and I should also mention that this is the first appearance of Batgirl’s “sources”…who are very clearly supposed to be prostitutes. I don’t necessarily mind that TOO much. What I DO mind is how one of them is very clearly designed to resemble Black Canary. Thankfully, we got the real Black Canary in Justice League Unlimited, because otherwise, we would’ve been left to assume that she was a prostitute in this universe…which would somehow actually be even worse than her depiction in All-Star Batman and Robin.

#4 - Girl's Night Out

#4 – Girl’s Night Out

Batgirl rides Supergirl… … … … … …Do I even NEED to say anything else? Well, I don’t, but Harley apparently has some comments…

Also, at one point while they’re in flight, you can see Supergirl’s panties… …Dear God. -_-

#5 - Love Is A Croc

#5 – Love Is A Croc

This one is just all kinds of wrong. And I don’t know who thought it’d be appropriate to keep this in, but I really hope they got smacked up the side of the head for it. The episode is about Baby Doll teaming up with Killer Croc, the former being clearly infatuated with the latter. I would like to remind you all that Baby Doll’s whole gimmick is that she’s an adult woman with a severe form of systemic hypoplasia, meaning she looks like a child. Now, admittedly, because it’s clearly just a one-way thing, and she’s not actually a child but looks and occasionally acts like one (likely due to being locked in that appearance for so long), it’s not AS creepy as it could be… … … …until we see this bit of dialogue.

Yeah, I don’t wanna know either, Batman! What the hell?! o.O I actually even kinda like the episode, but that one exchange of dialogue is just…EW.

But yeah, those are the five that stand out most to me, but it’s not even close to half of them. Wanna read about more? Check out what else they got under the radar at TV Tropes, and be sure to watch the full series if you haven’t yet. If you’re a Batman fan, it’s definitely worth watching. Ja né!

Things I Want From #DCRebirth

… … …

…Please dear God, don’t be another universal reboot. It feels like we’ve just cleaned up a lot of the most damning and damaging parts of the last one by re-establishing the Multiverse, leaving the doors open for writers to do any story involving the characters of those past worlds that they want, and reintroducing characters like Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. On top of that, we’ve actually got a fairly decent writer on Earth 2: Society, and we’ve had neat stuff like the Court of Owls and the new Power Ring around that I’d hate to see tossed aside…Although, with all of that said, there’s still a LOT of crap in the current universe that needs to be cleaned up, like the overall attitude of the Amazons, the fauxmance between Diana and Clark, and certain books being a little less fun than they could be. Thus, I’m hoping that, instead of being a complete reboot, DC Rebirth is instead a SOFT reboot, in that it doesn’t necessarily say that everything we’ve read for the past four years didn’t matter, but that we’re moving on to a place where we can improve upon everything and fix what went wrong. With that said, here’s a list of things I’d like to have kept around, as well as some stuff I’d like changed up/fixed/improved. First off, let’s talk about something I want to see stick around…

#1 - Keep Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok on Justice League

#1 – Keep Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok on Justice League

OMG, I love this team… … …erm, the creative team, that is. lol Geoff Johns has finally figured out how Wonder Woman should work as a character, and between his stories as of late and Jason Fabok’s glorious artwork, Justice League has been AMAZING. Also, Fabok, for the love of God, keep making the covers for the book look like movie posters. They’ve been so freaking awesome, I almost wanna have them blown up to cover each of the walls of my room.

#2 - Wally West as Kid Flash

#2 – Wally West as Kid Flash

Seriously, it’s time to pull the trigger on this. I mean, assuming it hasn’t happened already. I’ve heard that Wally MIGHT have gotten speed powers recently, but nothing solid yet. With that said, though, whether he becomes Kid Flash or not, one thing that DOES need to happen? Let Wally be WALLY. Let him be FUN. I don’t care what colour his skin is or anything else, I just want Wally to be fun again. That never needed to change.

#3 - Lois and Clark Reunited

#3 – Lois and Clark Reunited

Okay, DC, you had your fun with Superman and Wonder Woman being a couple, but I think it’s time to move on to what fans really want: Lois and Clark together. And hey, you can still do the Superman/Wonder Woman book and just have it be about the two teaming up to kick 31 flavours of ass, just let us have DC’s OTP back. They don’t even HAVE to be married, either, just have them be in a relationship again.

#4 - Poison Ivy Ongoing

#4 – Poison Ivy Ongoing

Words cannot express how much Amy Chu’s Poison Ivy book NEEDS to be an ongoing. However, one thing that might be a good idea is for Ivy to look at some of her past decisions and make re-evaluations. Perhaps she could feel grief over some of her more unethical activities in the past and wanting to go forward in a more positive attitude, possibly even moving beyond the antagonistic relationship she has with many heroes and instead joining them. Really look at Ivy as a character and her history and have her decide what the best course of action for the future is.

#5 - Vixen

#5 – Vixen

I’ve heard part of this rebranding will take greater strides to advertise the characters with their own shows. In that case, there is no excuse for not having a Vixen solo book. Or, if nothing else, having her be part of a high-profile team, like the Justice League or perhaps a team-up book for her, Flash, and Green Arrow, would be a great idea.

#6 - Adjustments To The Joker

#6 – Adjustments To The Joker

So, word is that Scott Snyder is leaving the main Batman book and instead going over to Detective Comics… … …Well, that should improve things over on THAT book, at least. lol However, if I can make a suggestion to whoever takes over for Batman? MAKE JOKER FUN AGAIN. I’m not saying you can’t do big, epic, horrifying stories with him, but you also gotta remember that this is the same guy who once tried to show the world he could pull off the greatest boner… …erm, not what it sounds like. lol Just saying, with someone as off-the-walls crazy as Joker, you can do both and still have it make sense.

#7 - More Earth 2 Books

#7 – More Earth 2 Books

I’ve been hearing that Dan Abnett, the new writer for Earth 2: Society, is actually doing a fairly decent job of cleaning up the mess Daniel H. Wilson left of that world, but that it still seems like a lot to cram into a single book. My personal recommendation? More or less make Earth 2 its own pseudo-imprint, with its own line of books. Have one dedicated to a new Justice Society forming, one dedicated to Huntress and Batman cleaning up the streets of Gotham, one dedicated to Fury and the new Amazons, and so on. Just make sure that the people writing have been briefed on Earth 2 history, both old and new, and know who the heck they’re writing about. In fact, while we’re on the subject…

#8 – Better Choices For Writers

Y’know what my favourite part of Convergence was? The fact that a lot of the stories felt like they were written by people who legitimately got the characters and understood how they’d respond to the situation presented. I am sick of stories written by people who don’t get the characters. Why would you ever assign someone a book in that case? That needs to stop, PRONTO.

#9 - Dick Grayson As A Superhero Again

#9 – Dick Grayson As A Superhero Again

Okay, I’m not gonna say that Dick Grayson as a secret agent doesn’t have potential, because we’ve seen that it does. However, I think it’s time he went back to what he did best, and that’s being a hero. Seriously, be it as Robin, Nightwing, Batman, whatever you wanna call him, Dick Grayson is clearly meant to be a superhero, one who bridges trust and friendship among various members of the superhero community.

#10 - John Stewart On The Justice League

#10 – John Stewart On The Justice League

Admittedly, this is one I’m actually a little on the fence about, and here’s why: While I prefer John Stewart overall as a character to Hal Jordan, Hal DOES have great lines and chemistry with Batman. So…I dunno, maybe you could have them both serving on the Justice League and rotating in and out for different stories? Or, I suppose another answer is to have a new secondary team for the JLA created and put him on that. Speaking of, I’ve heard that Justice League of America will be sticking around even after the storyline involving Rao finally wraps up. Perhaps there’s a place for him over there? Speaking of heroes that need to return to the League, though…

#11 - Martian Manhunter Rejoins The JLA

#11 – Martian Manhunter Rejoins The JLA

Honest to God, I have no idea what is even going on with Martian Manhunter anymore, but I think it’s time he came back to the Justice League…Not much else to say, really. It just doesn’t feel the same without him.

#12 - Batwoman Returns

#12 – Batwoman Returns

She’s been on the sidelines long enough, guys. It’s time to bring Batwoman back into the fold. I don’t really care how it’s done, be it in her own book or as a supporting character for another book, but it’s time Kate started getting her hands dirty. Oh, and for God’s sake, can we PLEASE have her be married finally? I think the point’s been made clearly enough that stopping the marriage was a terrible idea. Besides, with Maggie as the current GCPD Commissioner, that would put her in a VERY interesting situation that can be played around with.

#13 - Scott Snyder's Wonder Woman

#13 – Scott Snyder’s Wonder Woman

I’m not saying it has to be a permanent change, just something quick and fun. Mainly because, as I’ve brought up before, we’ve seen that Scott Snyder can write stories for both Superman and Batman really well, so it’d be neat to see if he can go three for three with DC’s Trinity.

#14 - All-New, All-Different Birds Of Prey

#14 – All-New, All-Different Birds Of Prey

It recently hit me that the group Babs has been putting together in her book of herself, Frankie, Spoiler, Bluebird, and Black Canary could work great as a new Birds of Prey team. With that said, I might also wanna include Cassandra Cain as Black Bat since…well, I’m not really sure what else to do with her once Batman and Robin Eternal is over. Also, BRING BACK STARLING. Her heel turn and disappearance left a LOT of fans upset and confused, and there’s been zero follow up on that.

#15 - Supergirl

#15 – Supergirl

Apparently, there’s a storyline coming up where Superman FINALLY notices that Supergirl’s been kinda MIA as of late. As such, I hope that means we can finally get a new solo book for her, especially since she DOES, in fact, have a pretty successful TV series running right now. I know, some people aren’t as big of fans of it as others, but there is no denying success.

#16 - Keep Secret Six Around

#16 – Keep Secret Six Around

I get that, because of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, that DC might feel the need to continue pushing the crap outta the comic. However, I hope they remember that there’s another team of villains and anti-heroes that a lot of fans love and don’t toss it aside like they did at the start of the New 52.

#17 - Red Robin

#17 – Red Robin

…Nope, I’m not gonna stop saying it until it happens. For an entire generation of fans, Tim Drake was Robin. He had his own solo book. He made Robin cool for the 90’s without doing too many of the stereotypical 90’s comics things. And he’s always been the detective of the Robins. As such, I would love to see him get a book. If nothing else, I kinda hope that Scott Snyder makes him a supporting character in Detective Comics. But, speaking of Tim and books he’s a part of…

#18 - A More FUN Teen Titans Book

#18 – A More FUN Teen Titans Book

Yeah, I’m sorry, but as much fun as I was having with the new Teen Titans books for the first few issues, the fun kinda dried up pretty quick. Is it too much to ask to have a FUN Titans team? One that, while knowing when to be serious, can also be an enjoyable and even funny read at times? Something a little closer to the tone of the animated series?…The good one, that is, not that piece of shit Teen Titans GO!. You don’t even need to change the cast (although, if Wally DOES become Kid Flash again, maybe adding him would be a good idea).

And that’s all I got for now. Have an idea I didn’t post? Leave it in the comments, and we’ll see what happens in June. Ja né!

Suicide Squad Trailer

Well, it’s that time again. Time to see the newest trailer for a superhero…well, superVILLAIN, in this case, movie. If you don’t know much about the Suicide Squad, here’s the basic concept: They’re a team of criminals (and maybe a couple of volunteers like Katana) who are given the chance to strike some time off their sentences in prison by doing work for the government. Some of these criminals might be familiar to Bat fans, like Harley Quinn, Deadshot, and Killer Croc. Also, as far as I can tell, Joker is the main antagonist. For now, though, let’s just take a look at the trailer.

… … … … …So, I suppose the first thing I should ask is… … …did anyone else get a bit of a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe from this trailer? Like they’re going for the same type of “team of misfits teaming up to a music montage” thing, only with the twist of them being villains? Seriously, I kinda wanna see a mashup of these trailers. Otherwise, Will Smith looks like he’s gonna be good, the tone fits the overall premise, and…well, Harley is more-or-less unrecognizable beyond the pigtails and New 52-adapted backstory, but it’s not a BAD take (as far as I can tell), just a little different.

Anyway, lemme know what your thoughts on the trailer were, and we’ll see how the movie does when it comes out August 5th. Ja né!

My Must-Haves If A Killing Joke Movie Happens

So, I’ve heard that, apparently, DC is planning to do an animated movie of The Killing Joke. For those unfamiliar, that’s where Barbara Gordon got her spine shot by Joker, causing her to become wheelchair-bound. It’s also where Troy Baker got a lot of his material for his voiceover work in Arkham Origins. lol But I digress; if DC is honestly going to do this movie, there’s a couple of things I’m gonna have to ask that they do in order for me to be okay with them doing this movie (it’s extremely dark and a bit on the loathed side by feminists).

First and foremost, they’re going to HAVE to end the movie with an epilogue showing Babs becoming Oracle. We need to see her resolve in the face of what happened to her, that she refused to let Joker make her a victim or an object with which to taunt her father and try to drive him insane. And, to be blunt, that’s exactly what Alan Moore did with her. He was given the okay by Len Wein to, and I quote, “cripple the bitch”, a move that even Moore admits they should’ve “reined him in on”. Furthermore, not only was she shot, but she was also stripped down naked and had photos taken of her (which I’m also gonna have to insist is removed from the movie). For the purposes of the original story, Barbara Gordon was little more than a prop and a victim and was written as such by Alan Moore, and with all due respect to the Eisner Award Winner, a success I could never hope to have, that was WRONG. And frankly, the part involving her being sexually abused (which, yes, for any who doubt it, that DOES qualify) didn’t even need to be in the story. Everything else, the analysis of what makes the Joker who he is, why he does what he does, and if everyone is really just one bad day away from snapping, all of it could’ve been done without that crucial element.

Now, you may ask, “But isn’t Babs’ spine getting shot a disservice to the character as well? Why aren’t you insisting that be removed?” Well, you’re right, it was a disservice to the character when it was done. However, in the fallout from the story, after it was decided to be made canon (because, and I’ll admit to not being 100% sure of this, I don’t believe the book was originally intended to be so), Kim Yale and John Ostrander decided to take what happened and develop Barbara into a whole new kind of character, one that could be a hero to readers with physical disabilities. And thus, Oracle was born. So, while The Killing Joke did do this horrible thing to Babs, it’s also part of her development into something bigger and better…at least, until the New 52 came in and said that she had a surgery to fix her spine, and thus robbing the people her story spoke to of their hero, although we DID get to see her again during Convergence. As such, as horrible as it is, you really can’t remove that from her story. But, that’s only if you also get to see how she rises from that horrible deed. She needs to be able to show that she won’t just be a Woman in a Refrigerator.

… … …Oh yeah, and I’m also gonna need Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy voicing Joker and Batman. I’m sorry, but if you grew up in the 90’s, those two ARE those characters. They are the voices you immediately think of when it comes to those characters. When you read their dialogue in comics and you don’t hear their voices…frankly, and I’m sorry to say this, you’re doing it wrong. Mark Hamill is Joker, and Kevin Conroy is Batman. End of story.

Anyway, those are my must-haves for The Killing Joke, should the movie be made. Is there anything you think should be added? Do you even believe DC SHOULD be making this movie, or should they instead try to do a whole new story that analyses the same themes without the sickening imagery? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll see what happens from here. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Moments From Scott Snyder’s Batman

Well, I’ve recently read the last issue of Scott Snyder’s Batman that I’ll be reading for a while, so now’s as good a time as any to look back on some of my favourite moments from this 40+ issue run (including annuals and whatnot). As always, these are in no particular listing of best to worst, and just like with my Favourite 5 for Superman Unchained, only one entry per issue, unless there’s a tie for which moment I liked best, in which case, they both share the same entry. So, let’s go ahead and start with…

#1 - The Burning Horse from Batman #16

#1 – The Burning Horse from Batman #16

This was probably the first time I actually had to physically ask the question “Scott…….what the hell is wrong with you?” XD I think what I love most about it is how it just comes outta nowhere, right as Batman is trying to size himself up for this confrontation with the Joker. Just imagine yourself being like “Okay, you got this, no matter what he throws at ya, you can’t let anythi-WHAT THE FUCK?!” And that’s not even the only horse to die horribly in this series. Hell, another one gets frozen and smashed IN THIS ISSUE! Seriously, Mr. Snyder, between this and your love of harming Alfred, were you assaulted as a child by an Englishman riding a horse or something?

#2 - Pretty Much ALL Of Batman #5

#2 – Pretty Much ALL of Batman #5

As you know, I’m a big fan of the original Court of Owls story arc. Without a doubt, though, the highlight of that arc had to be Batman #5, as it’s probably the single creepiest comic I’ve ever read that isn’t explicitly supposed to be a horror comic (though with Scott Snyder, it’s hard to tell sometimes, lol). It’s not overly gross, it’s not filled with jump scares, it’s just this slow build of terror as we watch Bruce slowly but surely fall into madness. And even the hater of turning books on their side, Linkara, has gone on record as saying he approves this issue not only eventually turning on its side, but then turning upside down, as it’s symbolic of Bruce’s fractured mind becoming more-so as he goes crazier and crazier. I won’t spoil the whole thing, though. With that said, it’s a must read, especially if you love scary stories, which usually I’m not that big a fan of, but here, I LOVE it.

#3 - The Joker's Reveal in Batman #36

#3 – The Joker’s Reveal in Batman #36

While I think this ultimately takes a close second in terms of overall creep factor to Batman #5, this is nonetheless a terrifying moment as it’s revealed that Eric Border was actually The Joker in disguise all along. Looking back on it, yes, the clues were all there, but so subtly that, much like Batman, you didn’t realize it until it was far too late, and the way the scene builds up to the point where Joker is revealed is very much a scene filled with dread as the truth slowly dawns on you, that the man you thought was the ally was the greatest enemy. It’s gripping, it’s terrifying, it’s, for better or worse, the modern-day Joker.

#4 - Batman and Robin in Batman #17

#4 – Batman and Robin in Batman #17

You all know I like Damian, right? Good. Now, in Death of the Family, Joker had knocked out and captured Batman’s allies one by one, sat them around a table with their faces covered in bloody bandages, and presented them dinner platters with their faces staring up at them. So after Batman forces Joker into retreat and tends to them, he goes to Damian first. Now, most comic fans, when they’re reading a comic, will hear the character’s voice speaking in their head. As such, in this scene, you can hear Damian trying desperately to sound like the cocky little bastard he usually is, trying to be brave as his father removes the bandages, when the fact is, he’s a 10-year-old boy who believes he’s had his face surgically removed. And the relief that it was just a facsimile and that he was just fine under the bandages, followed by the hug between father and son, brings the emotional moment full circle. Plus, there’s the fact that this was just before he died in Batman Incorporated, so the emotion is made even more-so in hindsight. Scott, you might not have the best grip on Damian’s character, but you managed to come through just fine on the father-son dynamic here.

#5 - Detective Comics #27 Cover Recreation from Batman #24

#5 – Detective Comics #27 Cover Recreation from Batman #24

…Yeah, you knew this was gonna make it on here. lol What can I say? It’s an AWESOME recreation of the cover art where the world first laid eyes on The Dark Knight and said “Wow, that looks cool”. EVERYTHING about this two page spread is frakking perfect. If I could, I’d blow it up and put it on my wall…and then I’d put Wonder Woman on her pegasus in Batman/Superman on another wall. XD Zero Year, you may have taken FOREVER to get finished, but my God, did you leave the most epic of moments for us to remember you by.

And those are my 5 Favourite Scott Snyder’s Batman Moments……….Now for the honourable mentions! 😀 Oh, and no rulings with these ones, so anything goes.

Batman Plays Chopper vs Chopper in Batman #2

Batman Plays Chopper vs Chopper in Batman #2

There’s just something about that grin of his as he’s about to launch the Batpod off the train at these poor bastards that makes me go “FUCK YEAH!”

Batman and Bane's Fastball Special from Batman #40

Batman and Bane’s Fastball Special from Batman #40

I find it simultaneously amusing and awesome that Bane has gone from the man who broke the bat to being the Colossus to his Wolverine.

"I AM IRON BAT" from Batman #8

“I AM IRON BAT” from Batman #8

…Admit it, you thought it too. lol

Bruce and Dick in Batman #2

Bruce and Dick in Batman #2

I just think this scene is too cute. “Come on, Dick, you know me better than nearly anyone. We’ve been through so much together……Of course I checked the cameras to make sure you weren’t a horrible murderer. What the fuck is wrong with you?” XD

Stephanie Brown Reveal in Batman #28

Stephanie Brown Reveal in Batman #28

The moment where I realized that not only was Stephanie Brown going to be back in Batman Eternal, but she was going to play a big role…..ish. Well, okay, that’s a debate for another time.

Alfred's Monologue in Batman #24

Alfred’s Monologue in Batman #24

Yeah, Snyder’s definitely taken a cue from the version of Alfred from the Dark Knight trilogy when it comes to Alfred’s speeches, but regardless, this is a good one, where he sums up exactly why people have rarely managed to tie Batman and Bruce Wayne as being the same person.

Batman vs Joker in Batman #40

Batman vs Joker in Batman #40

What could very well prove to be the final battle between Batman and Joker. Just a warning, though: It’s not for the faint of heart.

The Goddamn Batman from Batman #29

The Goddamn Batman from Batman #29

That moment where I just laughed, shook my head, and said “Scott, you just couldn’t resist, could you?” XD

Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. Got one that’s not on here? Lemme know what your favourite moments of this series were in the comments below. Ja né, and long live the Dark Knight!

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! XD 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!

Batman #40 Preview + My Thoughts On The New Batman Direction (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, let’s get the Batman #40 preview out of the way first, because I got a lot to talk about afterward.

  • The finale of “Endgame” is here! Batman risks everything against The Joker! Who will laugh last?

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/04/exclusive-preview-batman-40.html

Now that that’s outta the way, I should probably clarify something I talked about this past Monday. If you haven’t heard, following the DC event Convergence, there’s gonna be a massive change to the Bat-related books. Long story short, Bruce Wayne is apparently being replaced by someone in a GCPD-owned Batman mech suit of sorts. And, according to information that was leaked from the Free Comic Book Day special, Divergence, the person replacing him is none other than the individual guessed and feared it would be: James Gordon, and for some reason, he’s apparently shaved off his mustache and has a mohawk. WHAT?! O_O

Okay, real talk: Of all the points where they could potentially do something like this with Jim Gordon, now is probably one of the better ones. Why? Because he’s not Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon anymore. That position is now held by Maggie Sawyer. Why does that factor into this at all? Because otherwise, we’d have him as a stand-in for Batman AND be Commissioner. And let’s be honest, that’d be stupid as all hell. On top of that, this move could conceivably be where Jim finally finds out about Babs being Batgirl. And, again, of all times where he could find out “OMG, you’ve been a costumed vigilante this whole time and never told me?!”, this is the best time for it, because she can literally just look at him in the robo Batsuit and go “…Really?”

With all of that said, the question I’m sure everyone that reads my blog and has heard me go on and on about how much I love Scott Snyder’s Batman and how great it is, to the point where I’m sure I’ve made someone’s ear bleed, is probably “So, are you gonna be reading this?”…….No. No, I’m not gonna be reading this. Why? Because just because this is the best timing if you were to do this, that doesn’t mean you should do it at all. And while I’m sure it’ll be well written, because it IS Scott Snyder after all, it nonetheless is not a concept that clicks with me personally. And I don’t know whose idea this was, be it Snyder or DC higher-ups. Frankly, either way wouldn’t shock me. And I don’t want you to think that I’m some Bruce Wayne purist who can’t see anyone else in the cowl. I liked the idea of Dick Grayson standing in when he did, especially in his team-up with Damian as Robin. I liked the idea of Flashpoint universe Batman being Thomas Wayne (though not so much in Earth 2). And do I even need to bring up Terry McGinnis? But Jim Gordon? REALLY? I’d sooner read about Tim Drake as Batman, albeit probably not in the upcoming Batman Beyond book. But the point is, of all the people I can see as a potential replacement/stand-in as Batman for Bruce Wayne, Gordon’s near the bottom of the list.

So, yeah, as much as it pains me to do this, because Scott Snyder is still one of my favourite writers, I’m gonna be dropping Batman after next week’s issue. Will it be forever? Probably not, mainly because I don’t see this change lasting for too long. I give it a year tops. And y’know, it’s funny that this is happening, given my previous statements regarding the All-New, All-Different Avengers book, and how, when it came to this book, you could either get on board or get out of the way. Well, this is me saying I’m getting out of the way. That said, though, because Scott Snyder IS still one of my favourite writers, I will still be posting links to the exclusive previews for Batman, since I’m sure others might wish to remain on board with this new direction.

Anyway, those are my two cents on the matter. Lemme know what you think about all of this, and we’ll see how this pans out in the months to come. 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!

Thoughts On Batman #37 – Is The Joker Immortal?

…So, I’m sure you’ve all heard what happened in Batman #37 by now. If you didn’t, here’s the cliff-notes: The whole city is Jokerized, none of Batman’s cures for Joker venom work, investigation of a supposed haunted hospital turned up images going back a hundred years where the Joker’s face could be seen in the background, he reenacted the murder of the Waynes for Bruce to see with Duke Thomas’ family (Batman saved them, although they’ve since been Jokerized), Joker got shot through the heart by Jim Gordon and lived, and to top it all off, he then proceeded to call Batman ‘Bruce’. In other words, this was pretty much the holy shit issue.

So, aside from the fact that Joker apparently knows who Batman is now, and I’ll get to that in a bit, this issue raises one big question: Is The Joker immortal? I’ve thought about it a lot for the past 29 hours (bought it at 6 yesterday), and I’ve come to three possible explanations for what the hell is going on. They are as follows.

  1. The Joker is some kind of immortal evil that’s been haunting Gotham for at least a hundred years. Now, because we established in Zero Year that Joker falling in the vat of acid at Ace Chemicals is still canon, that must mean he’s not necessarily immortal but able to reincarnate, though is nonetheless difficult to kill. Again, he was shot through the heart.
  2. He’s somehow fucking with Batman’s head, making him THINK he’s immortal, just to make Batman feel like some insignificant figure before the almighty immortal evil that is himself. And while stuff like the photos and him surviving being shot are difficult to smoke and mirror, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE, not in the DC Universe.
  3. None of this is real. Think about it: This arc started with Batman recovering from an injection of Scarecrow’s fear toxins meant to make him see his end over and over, and that in every one, no matter how it differed, it always ended with a sort of mad, accusing laughter from Gotham, as if to say “Who did you think you were?” Well, look at what’s happened now: The Joker’s back, is fully ready to end him, and there’s seemingly nothing Bruce can do to stop him.

Now, of those three options, 2 and 3 seem to be the most likely, particularly the last one. Specifically, one thing that suggests that to be the case, on top of everything I just said, is the notion that Joker knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Now, again, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE. If he was REALLY willing to kill Batman and end their ‘relationship’, as he calls it, I could see it happening. However, here’s the problem, and kind of why no one does this: Once Joker knows who Batman is, that’s it. Game’s over. At that point, Batman has NO options left. He HAS to kill The Joker, because he is now far too dangerous to let go. He walks, and everyone close to him as both Batman and Bruce Wayne is now a target. Not to mention, Batman would officially be a liability to the Justice League, because Joker’s already proven he can get to them, but now he can get to them all the easier through Bruce. All he has to do is follow him to go meet them in their personal lives to find out who they are. And while Scott Snyder suggested there would be repercussions from the end of this story, somehow, I doubt he’d go THAT far… … …Well, okay, that DC Editorial would LET HIM go that far. lol

Anyway, lemme know what your own theories on the matter are, and we’ll see what happens in March. Ja né!

Batman #36 Review – Bourder (WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD)

This issue is once again great, but I have a couple of problems that I’ll address. It picks up right where we left off…more or less, since we actually start with a look at another possible death scenario for Bruce, care of the stuff Scarecrow put in his system. And again, is this something that happened in another book that I didn’t read, something that’s going to happen in Eternal, or just an off-panel event we never actually see? Regardless, the point is that, while the scenario is different in each of these visions, one thing that’s the same is the sound of cold, mocking laughter, coming from the city, asking Batman who or what he thought he was…Gosh, I wonder why you hear THAT, Bruce?

Anyway, snap back to reality, and Superman is still pummeling on Batman’s armoured suit, his ‘Super-buster’, if you will. Of course, seeing as how Batman can be INCREDIBLY paranoid, the suit’s armed with weapons meant specifically to take down Superman, with knuckles emitting red sunlight, and plasma shields meant to stop both heat vision and freeze breath. Unfortunately, he kinda failed to take into account that, because this is a suit meant to take on Superman, who generally has limits to what he’ll do, the best it can do against a Superman hell-bent on killing Bats is slow him down. So yeah, the suit gets trashed, but thankfully, Batman’s got one last trick up his sleeve: A gum-like substance laced with Kryptonite that he spits INTO HIS EYE. This seems to finally put Superman down long enough to get him and the rest of the League to A.R.G.U.S. for treating, but they’ll be out for nearly a week, meaning Joker is clearly planning something so big that Bruce would normally be forced to call on the team for help. And I suppose I should point out what bullshit it is that Batman managed to walk away with no lasting damage from fighting the Justice League, Superman in particular, but at least it wasn’t technically a victory. I’m sure that if the fight had continued, Superman probably would’ve killed Bruce. Also, God knows the ‘Super-buster’ (and yes, I’m going to continue to call it that) was probably worth a TON, and the chances of building another just like it aren’t great, so if something like this ever comes up again, Bruce is screwed.

After meeting up with Alfred and Julia, both of whom make it clear that they aren’t leaving Bruce to deal with this alone, Batman deduces that Joker must’ve gotten at the League when they were at a charity for the Gotham Children’s Hospital a month earlier, and that whatever he used was so slow and subtle working that none of them noticed until it was too late…and I kinda have to scratch my head at this point. No, not for the fact that the Joker venom was used on the Justice League, since we learn that different variations were used on each, and I can see how someone with enough knowledge of each member could pull this off. However, how could Joker know all of this? The only way he could pull it off is if he had access to the same information as Batman, but that would require hacking the cave computers, which would need knowing where to find them, which would then require knowing who Batman is, and we’ve already established that Joker doesn’t want to know who Batman is.

Eventually, Batman decides to check out Joker’s cell back at the ruined Arkham Asylum. Mr. Border, who’s been working at Arkham since Batman Annual #2 and has popped up here and there in story, shows up, saying that the patients at Arkham Manor are scared of Joker, and that he came to check the area out. Batman tells him he should really get back to his patients, at which point Border explains that, since arriving in Gotham, all he’s ever wanted was to help the Arkham inmates, the people of Gotham, and Batman most of all, but that none of them saw a helping hand…just as the door to Joker’s cell locks on Batman, and the cell starts to fill with gas. Turns out, Mr. Border is really more like Mr. Bourder, an obsolete word for ‘Jester’…and all I could hear while reading this for the first time was this little tune…

Yep, Border’s really Joker in disguise, using make-up, muscle relaxers, and even sporting a new face (Thank God). We see that Joker has infected most of the city as Batman is trapped in the cell, and that, as alluded to before, Joker didn’t exactly take the ending of Death of the Family all that well, and is now out to END Batman. And it’d be great dialogue…if it wasn’t more or less word for word what Scott Snyder said in an interview while explaining Joker’s motivations this story arc. Seriously, Scott, I love ya and all, but you REALLY shouldn’t be doing this. And I’m not the only person to notice, either. But yeah, Joker says that when Batman wakes up, he’ll find the whole city laughing at him, pulls out a BANG flag gun, shoots, and end of Part 2 of Endgame.

I don’t want anyone to think I didn’t enjoy this issue from my nitpicking, because I did, A LOT. I’m just pointing out that a few things either didn’t add up well, or have yet to, but it’s still early in the story, so who knows, maybe it’ll iron itself out later. I will say that the best part of this issue was the reveal that Border was really The Joker. Now, I’d seen a new shot of what Joker was supposed to look like online, particularly in his recent haircut, so when I saw Border in this issue and saw his hair, there was a split second where I thought to myself “…Wait a minute…”, but I didn’t really believe it, since I didn’t think it was possible…Yeah, turns out, VERY MUCH SO. And I gotta wonder, was Border ALWAYS supposed to be Joker in disguise? How long has Snyder been planning this? Were there clues I missed along the way? I can see him popping pills in Batman #34, which were probably those muscle relaxants he mentioned, and re-reading that scene knowing what I know now makes it absolutely CHILLING. And frankly, I seem to recall Joker once saying “How do you keep a secret from the World’s Greatest Detective? You stick it right in front of him, right under his long pointy nose, and wait.”

Speaking of, I think I speak for most when I say that I’m glad to see that Joker has a face again. Having him not have a face FOREVER just wouldn’t have worked. I’m curious as to how and when he got it, though. Clearly, he knows a REALLY good plastic surgeon…though I wonder how come this new face is also bleached white. But whatever, point is, despite some hiccups along the way, Endgame has proven to be really good, and I can’t wait to see what that insane, demented, side-show freak pulls out next…But enough about Scott Snyder, I wonder what Joker has planned? XD