Batman: The Killing Joke

killing joke

With Joker hitting theaters today, I thought it would be appropriate to cover Joker’s most diabolical plan, to make sure Batman has one really bad day as well as one of comic’s most controversial graphic novels written by the writer of the Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

For years, Batman and Joker have fought across Gotham, with Batman knowing the day would come when someone would kill the other. The sad truth is neither really know each other, but the hate they garnish for each other. Joker sets off to break Batman and those he cares for the most. In a single night he breaks into the Gordon residence, paralyzing Barbara with a shot through the spine and taking naked pictures of his immobile body to later torture her father the Commissioner with as he is stripped and sent on a macabre ride while Joker recalls his really bad day. Things are personal as Batman finds his nemesis, but has the Dark Knight finally broken after a really bad day?

I must admit, I was pretty shocked how far this book went, especially for such a quick read. If you played Batman: Arkham Knight you might be familiar with some of this material, but the book is far more disturbing. It is written really well and Joker is shown in a different light and is actually pretty sympathetic in his origin. The artwork is great and the colors really pop. This is the perfect book with a haunting ending for any Bat fan and I highly recommend it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

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Birds of Prey full trailer

This caught me through a loop; I seriously thought the other teasers were the actual trailers? Anyway, here’s the first real look at Birds of Prey and all I can think of is that it’s pretty much a Harley Quinn movie. I’m ok with that because Margot Robbie was great as Joker’s other half; my fear is that this is looking to be a all female Suicide Squad in regards to tone and a really misplaced villain. I’m hoping for the best but I ain’t impressed. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Is Batman a superhero?

batman symbol 2017

The World’s Greatest Detective, The Caped Crusader, The Dark Knight- names given to Gotham’s most famous and infamous savior, Batman. This past week was Batman’s 80th anniversary so before I begin my argument, I have to say I love the Bat. He was the first superhero I’ve ever known, he’s my favorite DC hero, and his movies helped inspire me and taught me how to always keep fighting…that being said I’m here to join the argument that Batman isn’t a superhero.

To begin with, let’s talk about the Bat Family as a whole, a majority of which Bruce Wayne included as mere children. Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake were orphans who were adopted by Bruce Wayne, one of the richest men in Gotham and surely the world; his son son Damian was raised to be a fierce and brutal warrior by his grandfather Ra’s Al Ghul and his mother Talia; Barbara Gordon was the daughter of Jim Gordon, one of Batman’s closest allies. Grayson, his original Robin, became Nightwing, leaving Batman’s side partly because Batman’s methods were becoming too brutal. Nightwing acts much more like a typical superhero than his former mentor, using his skills to dismantle the criminals of Bludhaven in a reserved manor with a more warm, friendly persona unlike Batman who spreads fear with a cold persona and causes extreme psychological, physical and collateral damage in his wake. Kids prone to violence such as Jason and Damian should have been counseled to vent there aggressive feelings in a calming, non destructive activities, not given costumes and told to beat the shit out of people. Even when Jason Todd was presumed dead in Batman: Death in the family  it didn’t stop him from getting another Robin, despite Todd’s brutal end in the field, leading to him becoming the vigilante Red Hood. Damian would also perish in DC rebirth. Barbara Gordon, would get paralyzed in The Killing Joke, and instead of seeing the error of the life he leads, he allows her to aid him as Oracle rather than help her lead a healthy life post Batgirl. His most trusted friend  and confidant Alfred Pennyworth enable him in these actions as Gordon turns a blind eye to his more questionable acts, not knowing Batman had a part to play in his daughter ending up in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

batfamily

Now that we established how Batman effects his friends, let’s talk about his foes. It’s a well known fact many of his foes are triggered by Batman’s presence in the world. Scarecrow aspire to bring the fear Batman does; Riddler persists to outsmart Batman; Bane wants to be prove he’s stronger than the Bat; Catwoman gets off on the excitement of getting pursued by Batman; and Ra’s Al Ghul focuses more on Gotham because of his interest in Batman just to name a few examples. Many of his other villains exhibit legitimate mental disorders such as Two-Face, Scarface, the Mad Hatter, Firefly, and of course Joker and Harley Quinn. Joker, Batman’s nemesis, has been responsible for more pain in Batman’s life than anyone and exists primarily because of him. Without him, Joker would give up. This has been proven in Death of the Family, The Dark Knight , Batman: White Knight and even in The Dark Knight Returns. Most would kill the psychotic clown, Batman allows him to live along with the rest of his villains, knowing they will break out and kill again and again. In Batman: Under the Red Hood Todd literally tells his former mentor this and goes out as Red Hood to kill the criminals Batman won’t, including the Joker, to stop him once and for all. While the subject raises a lot of moral questions and debates, it is a fact Gotham seems better off without it’s dark protector. Gotham is city of corruption and dirty dealings and Batman, for all his moral flaws does help combat that but also adds too the problem as well and can be seen as one of it’s rogues in a seemingly never-ending gallery. May the the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Black Panther: Power

panther power

Allegedly it’s been said that Black Panther 2 will introduce Namor, The Submariner into the MCU. Personally, I love the idea and it would be a great way to introduce the pivotal anti-hero as well as potentially be a way to introduce the idea of mutants as well. So reading this book is perfect timing.

T’Challa, the king of Wakanda and Black Panther, has been crippled and taken out of commission. Shuri, his little sister, inventor, and one of his greatest confidants has taken the mantle in both of her brother’s positions.  The transition is far from smooth as the an unknown foe is trying to have her killed, controlling mercs armed with Stark tech as well as rarities. Meanwhile, T’Challa goes on a dark request to bring his physicality back that may just destroy his good heart and soul. All the evidence points to Namor being behind the attempts, leading Shuri to fight a foe feared by much of the Marvel universe, while a patient Dr Doom waits and watches…

This book is a good example of why I love Black Panther. I love the politics and spiritualism of Wakanda. Shuri is a fine replacement and I admit has some awesome fights; the fight against Namor is great and indeed my favorite part of the book. The plot can get a bit confusing a political action thriller but I found it relatively easy as a fan of the character. This is a brief overview in the beginning which is always welcome to set the stage. In the end, I recommend this book but not as a first Panther read. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Titans, season 2 trailer

well, I’ll give them this, it looks better than the first but that really wasn’t saying much. I like the bigger cast f characters including Superboy, Aqualad, Wonder-girl, and Krypto the super dog. Fans of the comics knew Deathstroke would pop up as the main villain sooner or later; I can’t tell what I think of his look yet. There are still some cringe worthy moments like Todd yelling ” Titans are back bitches!”. In the end, it looks like a improvement but not too great.

Spider-man: Matters of Life and Death

spidey life and death

Spider-man is one of the most pure hearted superheroes of all time, but has also suffered some of the most too. This book deals with yet another loss for Peter Parker as well as his drive not to kill…

Things were starting to look up for Peter Parker at last. He had a good job where he could use his scientific genius, he found a new girl and still best friends with MJ, and Aunt May was happy with her new husband and daughter in law, even if her son in law was Peter’s ex boss/ mayor of New York, J. Jonah Jameson. Jameson’s sins rear there ugly head when a group of scorned villains try to sabotage his son John’s big space mission, led by Scorpion and Alistair Smythe. Spider-man puts up a hell of a fight but Jonah’s wife Marla gets caught in the crossfire and dies in his arms. Once again Peter is wrought with guilt, not just over the guilt but the feeling that he’s too soft on the villains he fights and if he killed, some people would still be alive. When a psycho named Massacre starts committing his namesake, Spider-man’s morals are put to the test…

This book is a good addition to any Spider-man fan’s collection. Besides the main story, we also get some stories from Agent Venom, The Fantastic Four, and Power Man which was really cool. The writing and art are really well done and the story I liked a lot, reminding me why I love Spider-man so much, being a perfect blend of pathos, action, and humor. There are a good amount of villains, both well known and lesser known. The only complaint I have is the last story feels tacked on and doesn’t fit so feel with the overlying theme but was a nice decent short. In the end, it’s a good book for any Spidey fan and I’d recommend it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.