Issue three gives us a look at West getting comfortable with his financial status. He’s loaded to the gills and he’s beginning to live like it. The question really is, will the major life change have any lasting effects on the man? Technically speaking he’s got more to lose now. We’ll see if that factors into the plans of potential villains down the line.
Perhaps the most complex and intricate Justice League story I’ve ever personally read, Throne of Atlantis is loaded with war, internal conflicts, deception and a number of twists you don’t typically take in through this specific medium. It’s a fast-paced piece that reads and looks amazing (as for the looks, I’ll be delivering my review of the animated film in the immediate future), and if you’ve never been a big Justice League follower, reading this tale – especially the beautiful hardcover collection that includes a DVD as well as a Blu-ray of the film – might turn you into a dedicated follower of the League.
As for the story, I’ll be as vague as possible and tell you that a naval test goes awry and a series of missiles plummet towards the bottom of the ocean. And deep beneath the sea, the army of Atlantis takes the arrival of explosives as a clear ignition point of a war they will not stand by idly and watch, nor will they lose. But as Orn, evil brother to Aquaman, makes his way to the surface to bring hell to those who walk on dry land, pieces of a different puzzle are coming together, and they all point to an accidental war that is anything but accidental.
That’s all we can give you here, because believe this: you need to read this story. Geoff Johns’ epic tale is beautifully illustrations by Ivan Reis, Paul Pelletier, Tony S. Daniel and Brad Walker. All keep the look of the story cohesive, and all gift us some stunning background visuals. The characters themselves don’t always exist as the star of the show, although I must say I’ve never seen Orn look so menacing and intimidating. This story really gives readers an idea of how sharp, savage and downright entertaining Orn is. This is one severely underrated villain, for sure.
If you’re looking for an excellent storyline to hold your attention for a few hours, get your hands on the stunning hardcover/disc combo. It’s a must-have. It was a gift given to me for my 35th birthday, and I was more than pleased by the gift, I was certifiably stoked. And it all lived up to expectations. Throne of Atlantis makes for a marvelous book and an action-packed, gratifying film, as well!
Back in the early 90s there were only a handful of books I could claim to truly love. Spiderman, Batman, The Flash and Superman made up my primary reading list. I adored those characters, each for different reasons. Batman channeled that dark side, Spidey captured the essence of youth perfectly, the Flash never slowed down for anyone, and Superman was a symbol of everything right in the world.
And then DC decided to kill Superman, shattering everything right in the world.
It was a tough pill to swallow, and it was a difficult story arc to make it through. Back then, before the story had been released as a collected graphic novel, we all waiting weekly for the next chapter in the destructive saga. And as each week passed, the feeling that Superman was doomed (pardon the… eh, screw it) grew. Superman’s demise felt imminent. No matter what he, or any member of the JLA threw at Doomsday, it didn’t faze him. The monster just… kept… coming.
Throughout the 150-plus page story we, the reader, break down as much as our once trusty heroes. Knowing that there’s something alive in this universe capable of completely obliterating the forces of good was jolting. Knowing that the men and women who occupied this fictional world were no longer safe left a dark cloud hovering over the masses.
Of course we readers faced no danger… or so we thought.
The real danger we faced, unbeknownst to us, was the loss of a legend. Was it really possible that DC could kill off the greatest superhero of all time? What could possibly fill the void left by the one and only Superman? The whole scenario seemed like a bad joke. But it wasn’t, and the DC crew would indeed decide to kill Superman.
Of course, the DC gang would find a way to bring the Kryptonian back to us in decent time. But that stretch in which Superman was nowhere to be found, was an uncomfortable stretch to say the very least.
Nowadays DC is running a different ship entirely, having rebooted essentially all of their major titles a few years back, labelling the project the “New 52.” There are ups and downs in the new system, just as there has always been, but it’s cool to see Superman still doing his super thing in 2016.
But whether Superman made a triumphant return or not, one can never forget the brilliant story written by Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson and Roger Stern. And I’d be mighty neglectful if I didn’t tip my cap to Jon Bogdanove, Tom Grummett, Jackson Guice and, again, Dan Jurgens who all illustrated this tale. And finally, respect to a gang of amazing inkers: Brett Breeding, Rick Burchett, Doug Hazlewood, Dennis Janke and Denis Rodier.
Without these sharp minds and hands, the Death of Superman could have been an epic misfire. Instead, it ended up being epic, just plain epic… and tear-jerking. Still one of, if not the greatest graphic novels ever to be published, The Death of Superman is mesmerizing, engaging, depressing and abysmal. It’s memorable and it’s infectious. There’s a brilliant hardcover release of the book which also includes DVD and Blu-ray copies of Superman: Doomsday, and it’s relatively easy to get your hands on the collection for under $20. It’s a purchase you’ll cherish.
The comic-to-film trend isn’t going to end anytime soon. Hollywood now sees the comic book world as a previously untapped gold mine, and they’re going to milk it for all its worth. I say let them milk it! I’ve been a reader of comic books since 1992, and there are enough stunning and mystifying story arcs and comic characters out there to produce another 50 top notch pictures. In fact, that’s what we’re hoping the future brings us: more riveting transfers of legendary tales.
I’ll always be a sucker for three specific DC characters: The Flash, Superman and Batman. They’re all compelling characters with great depth, diverse personalities and an assortment of cool villains to tangle with. While we don’t get to see any crazy involvement from The Flash in Superman and Batman: Public Enemies, we get more than enough thrills from Supes and the Bat.
Knowing how much I adore these characters, this is hard to admit, but I get a morbid kick out of any opportunity to see both Superman and Batman made to look like true villains. You can bet with Lex Luthor having been recently elected as the president of the United States, these two are going to take a public shellacking. Lex Luthor doesn’t disappoint.
Luthor plays the manipulator here and gradually encourages the people of Metropolis, as well as every hero and villain alive to view these two in a different light. Obviously, Luthor wants to be done with Superman, and if he can take out the bat in the process, great. But it won’t be easy, even after recruiting every savage you can think of.
So who exactly wants to kill these two? Captain Atom, Captain Marvel, Solomon Grundy, Metallo, Gorilla Grodd, Starfire, Mongul, Lady Shiva and… well, the list just goes on and on. And that means that Public Enemies is really just a showcase for every awesome DC character on the roster. It’s a blast to see!
The script is solid, the artwork is beautiful and seeing Superman and Batman bond over tough times is good fun in my mind. The flick is non-stop action, which also holds some huge appeal. All in all, director Sam Liu did a bang up job of creating one of the more entertaining feature length Batman/Superman films.
If you’re a DC freak, this is a must-see!
When it comes to Batman and his lengthy history, there are a few must-read stories. Stories that altered the way we view and think of Batman, and some of his greatest foes. Alan Moore just so happens to be responsible for more than a single one of those stories. My personal favorite, however, is less about Batman and more about Joker than anything. It’s only appropriate that the book be titled Batman: The Killing Joke.
What we get here is no doubt the greatest Joker story ever told. It’s a bold thing to craft a Joker origin story. It’s far bolder to tell that story all the while pushing Batman’s greatest villain to depravities unknown even to this legendary monster. Never has the grinning one been so cutthroat and vile. Never has he pushed Batman in such fashion. Never has he been so frightening.
That’s another element of the book that steals my soul. This is a genuinely frightening Batman book, and that’s brilliant. While I adore the silliness that comes with some of the earlier Detective Comics issues, I’ve been much more keen on edgier tales (Shadow of the Bat was a brilliant run), and this fits the bill.
So, as we’re reading this issue, we find ourselves – for the first time in a long time – wondering if Batman will actually capture the Joker before he can slaughter an excessive amount of decent Gothamites. That’s a mystery we don’t typically get from Batman books, and it’s absolutely amazing.
What more can be said of this one other than major, major respect to the legendary Alan Moore and the master of cover art, and former boss of the insides, artist Brian Bolland. These two are mind bogglingly good together. These men don’t make comic books, they make very real, very respectful artwork that, as The Killing Joke proves, is truly timeless.
In Sweet Tooth we meet a frightened boy with a strange deformity. He’s got a nice pair of antlers growing right out of his melon (think Joe Hill’s Horns, and then think… nothing like that… really) and that’s quite obviously a problem with regard to fitting into society comfortably. His father is old and ill and he too is petrified by the thought of his son being forced to face a dangerous world.
It’s a melancholy setup. And then it heads straight for chilling, disconcerting territory. The boy’s father dies. He’s left to fend for himself, but he almost has that chance taken away one day when he wanders into the woods, smack dab into a pair of savage hunters who aim to slaughter the boy.
Moments before this sweet little lad meets his end, one of the hunters’ head explodes in a mist of blood, brain and bone. A stranger stands at the ready, prepared to make his next move. But what will that be, and will that gun of his see more immediate action?
While I’ve given you plenty of details, they’re really not spoilerish in nature. The details I’ve given you all really serve as a primer of sorts. This story clearly doesn’t begin barreling forward until issue two, so don’t sweat the info you’ve now read about the book.
Jeff Lemire’s far-out tale is magnetic, to say the very least. He’s gifted the masses a book that stands alone in an occupied field of creativity. It just doesn’t get much stranger than this. It doesn’t get much more addictive, either. The man has done what few ever manage, and that’s create an atypical, daring and unpredictable story that sucks in you from the first word. It’s genius.
I’ve already gone out of my way to beef my digital collection up with the first 20 issues, and you can bet it won’t take long to blow through those twice over. This is a book to chase down and clutch with all of your might.
Order it right here.
Batman is no youngster. In fact, the guy’s now north of 75. How in the world does the guy maintain his youth and sexual appeal? I’m fairly convinced Bruce Wayne wouldn’t have half the women falling over him that he has now if he was balding, overweight and grumpy. But he’s none of those things, he’s a near-80 year old man that looks not one day over 30. Impressive, Bats – send some of your beauty tips my way – this Oil of Olay isn’t cutting it!
Even despite his status as a senior citizen, Batman has been battling some of the nastiest villains to ever land in a comic book. And somehow, he just about always emerges victorious. Impressive stuff, especially when you frequently tangle with the 15 terrors you’ll find listed below!
15 Victor Zsasz
No doubt the least appreciated villain on this entire list, Victor Zsasz could easily be called the closest thing to a “real life” villain. He doesn’t have any wild superpowers and he doesn’t have any fancy getup. What he’s got is a ton of scars, each representing a life he’s taken, and some mean martial arts skills. Someone needs to nurture this character, in a major way.
14 Joker’s Daughter
One of Batman’s newest foes, Joker’s Daughter may be every bit the loon that her father is. She’s a cold blooded killer, and it doesn’t matter who the victim is. She’s just a nutty, homicidal broad who can even be seen “wearing” her daddy’s face. Horrific. Creepy. Makes Harley Quinn look like a contestant on Cupcake Wars.
13 Solomon Grundy
Solomon Grundy is the one zombie you never, under any circumstances want to run into. He’s got vengeance on his mind, and that takes up most of it, as he isn’t much of a thinker. He is huge and powerful, though, and he’s well-suited to crush Batman if he can catch him off guard.
12 Hugo Strange
Huge Strange is a brilliant mind. So brilliant in fact, he’s capable of manipulating and modifying all those who would happily kill for a chance to destroy the Batman. Slightly underrated, Strange deserves a lot more page time than he gets.
11 Killer Croc
Let’s be real here, the chances of Batman toppling Killer Croc should be profoundly slim. The dude is a massive half-crocodile with razor sharp teeth and the ability to hurl humans around like empty beer bottles. He’s that strong, he’s that mean and he remains one of Batman’s baddest foes!
Seduction, stealth and manipulation. These are the things going for Catwoman, who, if she tried hard enough could probably get old Bruce to slide those duds off in a hurry. It’s just too bad she’s a theif… I hate thieves, probably as much as Batman does!
09 Poison Ivy
This botanical beauty has the ability to control all plant life, which means if she feels compelled to leave Bats entangled in some actual poison ivy, he’s not only going to itch like a madman, he’s going to be mighty angered by succumbing defeat to a leaf or so.
08 Ra’s al Ghul
This uber talented terrorist leads the League of Assassins, but he’s such a gnarly assassin himself it probably isn’t needed. He’s got what it takes to run a one man show, despite the fact that he desperately wants to see Batman serve as his successor. It’s time to… well, you know – clean up Gotham!
07 The Riddler
One of Batman’s oldest foes, Edward Nygma took his criminal desires to alarming heights over the years. He’s been aiming to stump Batman since 1948, and from time to time he comes awfully close. Although, when all is said and done, The Riddler is a bit of a pipsqueak, and he’s not much of a challenge for the Bat when toeing the line.
06 Mr. Freeze
A longtime fan of Freeze, I can’t just let one simple fact slip away without mention: Warm this guy up and he’s done, a melted puddle. But, the former scientist is tricky and he’s concocted some wicked weapons to help ensure Batman never has a chance to turn the temperature up.
05 The Penguin
Crime boss Oswald Cobblepot doesn’t have a lot of physical gifts with which to hone in order to track down and slay the bat, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t have some insanely cool and very, very dangerous umbrellas on hand. I’d love to get a peek in his closet, just to see how many of those slick concoctions he’s got stored away.
Jonathan Crane is yet another villain to work in the scientific field. Instead of making medical advancements, he’s opted to craft a fear toxin that terrifies his opponents, paralyzing them with the vilest hallucinations one could imagine. Once in that state of panic, Scarecrow is free to have his way.
Poor Harvey Dent. Once a thriving district attorney, a run in with Sal Maroni altered his life trajectory to a great degree. Dent’s no longer a good guy. Half of his visage has been melted away to horror status, while the other side looks just fine. The encounter with Maroni however, left his psyche, all 100-percent of it, twisted and contorted, and this once heroic character is now a man who decides his victim’s fate with a flip of a coin. I guess everyone’s got a 50/50 chance at walking away from this guy, right?
Bane is basically a walking poster boy for steroids. Once a respected luchador, Bane is now a chemically enhanced monster who happens to get a kick out of breaking people. Just ask Bruce Wayne, the poor fellow had his back broken by this hulking menace.
Ah, the Batman’s truest nemesis. The Joker was introduced in 1940 and he’s been giving Bruce Wayne hell from the start. He’s deceptively intelligent, very handy with his murderous gadgets, and he’s certifiably insane, to top it all off. The Joker has been a key element in some of Batman’s greatest showdowns, but one must wonder: how long before the Joker’s Daughter steals a bit of papi’s shine?
Did we miss one of your favorite Batman villains? Let us know in the comment section below!
The official inaugural issue of Batman – The Dark Knight sees Bruce being hounded by internal affairs, who aim to find out precisely why he’d co-sign a vigilante like Batman. Bruce is busy smooth talking his way out of the mess when we meet Jai Hudson, a lovely looker who manages to separate Bruce from his unwanted guest. Jai, for the record is a suave speaker who may just have something to hide.
Cut away to Arkham Asylum and we learn that hundreds of inmates have overthrown the facility and are breaking free. Then Batman shows up and things get very interesting. Batman theorizes that the violent outburst may be cover for the escape of Harvey Dent, better known as Two-Face.
When Batman does finally locate Two-Face he gets the surprise of a lifetime. This isn’t the Two-Face readers are accustomed to seeing. This Two-Face looks as though he’s been tapping into Bane’s Venom, and he looks furious. He also calls for a new moniker as he stares Batman down and declares, “You can call me One-Face now!”
Here’s a book that makes for a stellar read. Writer Paul Jenkins works up an edgy and dark tale with very little downtime and a grand finale. Meanwhile David Finch gives us supremely crisp illustrations with beautiful shading and diverse character looks. Alex Sinclair also warrants major praise for his often contrasting colors and stunning looks at the artificial police lighting as Batman descends on Arkham Asylum.
This is how I like my Batman books. Brutal and unforgiving, dark and aimed at a slightly older audience. Books like this refuse to pull punches, and Batman deserves that. The edge is reminiscent of the stellar Nightfall storyline. If you’ve been avoiding a lot of DC’s New 52 books, make sure this isn’t one of them.