Batman and Robin
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15, I’d first grab hold of my favorite of DC’s New 52, Batwoman #2 (DC, $2.99). J.H. Williams III has successfully kept up to the immense expectations he accumulated following his run with Greg Rucka, and the artwork seems to benefit even more by J.H.’s input into the story as co-writer. Next I’d dig down for two of my regular pulls, Northlanders #45 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and Uncanny X-Force #16 (Marvel, $3.99). For my final pick, I’d have to miss a bunch of other titles for the chance to get the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 #4 (Image, $4.99). I love the anthology format, and having that plus the good cause plus the a-list talent makes it a must get; seriously, can you imagine one comic book containing new work by Frank Quitely, Williams, Mark Waid, J. Michael Straczynski, Matt Wagner AND Craig Thompson? BELIEVE IT!
This week, I count at least five New-52 books picking up pretty much where they left off. Chief among these are Green Lantern and Red Lanterns; followed by Batwoman, which was supposed to come out months ago. Batman and Robin keeps its previously-announced regular creative team, and Legion Lost spins out of the pre-existing Legion of Super-Heroes. Overall I thought this week was pretty strong, but there were a few clunkers, including at least one book which really disappointed.
Just think — after this week, we’re more than halfway done…!
SPOILERS FOLLOW, but not too many.
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To see what Akira the Don and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below.
DC spent the day rolling out announcements about the Batman books in anticipation of its line-wide September relaunch…with one conspicuous absence until the very end.
So, Bruce Wayne is reclaiming sole possession of the mantle of the Bat, while Batman and Detective Comics are swapping creators: Batman writer/artist Tony Daniel will be taking over Detective Comics, while ‘Tec writer Scott Snyder is taking over Batman with artist Greg Capullo of Spawn fame. Both books will star Bruce Wayne rather than his protege and stand-in Dick Grayson beneath the cape and cowl.
Paul Cornell and Scott McDaniel will unite for a three-issue arc on Batman and Robin as the debut of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason as the new regular creative team is delayed until February.
As announced in July, Tomasi and Gleason were to take the reins from Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart with November’s Issue 17. However, Editor Mike Marts tells IGN.com that their work on Brightest Day led to difficulties.
“Both Peter and Patrick were pulling double duty on Brightest Day and Batman and Robin — no easy task, even for dedicated and hard-working creators like these guys,” Marts tells the website in an e-mail. “So rather than have them running ragged on both titles we decided to make their lives a little easier by delaying the start of the run on Batman and Robin. This way, they can give priority to the important storylines they’re taking care of now in Brightest Day, then recharge and refocus for their debut on B&R.”
Cornell, who’s been busy with Action Comics and the Knight and Squire miniseries, says his arc features a new villain and centers on the theft of the corpse of one of Bruce Wayne’s former girlfriends.
“This is a very dark story, in the Grant Morrison tradition,” Cornell says, “with some evil stuff going on under the surface and some mad bubbles on top.”
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we give a great big hug to all the comics, graphic novels and what have you we’ve been reading lately.
To see what Ben and the Robot 6 crew have been reading recently, hit the link …
Over on the CBR mothership, Pam Auditore has a report on Finder writer/artist Carla Speed McNeil’s spotlight panel. McNeil talks about her move to Dark Horse, her long history of self-publishing, and a variety of other topics, but it was the following passage that struck me:
One fan was interested in how much “science” was in her science fiction, stating, “I guess I’m sort of interested in where the line between science and science fiction breaks with rules of science and reality.”
Laughing, McNeil answered, “Most of us don’t know the rules of science. Most of us are not actual scientists, I hate to burst the bubble.”
The young man persisted, responding, “But I know you’re breaking rules. We know people can’t fly. Do you say to yourself, ‘Well, I know that can’t happen in the real world, but I need it to happen to fit the story’? What do you do?”
In reply McNeil said, “Well, I generally follow the rule of cool – if something is exciting to you as a story element, it doesn’t matter if its about a person’s relationship or their job prospects. It’s not different. Whether or not a layered dome city, which is what I have in ‘Finder,’ is impractical [doesn't matter]. It’s whether or not it seems like it makes for something cool in the story. Something that gives you an emotional aspect to the environment that people are living in. It took me a quite a long time to realize that super-heroes are not actually science fiction. From the time I was eeny-weeny, I thought they were, because they used ‘sciencey’ sort of terms. It wasn’t until I saw the first Spider-Man movie and having come back out having had a good time and never having liked Spider-Man to begin with, but I enjoyed it and it occurred to me, “It’s a personal fantasy narrative that’s been smacked on the head with a science stick till it sounds ‘sciencey,’ but in fact isn’t.
“Basically, almost all stories that are not hard SF have that core in them that you are taking, well one hopes, the emotional realities of a situation, and you’re sort of embroidering them with scientific fact,” McNeil continued.
Morrison, Finch, Cornell, Paquette, Snyder, Daniel, Tomasi, Gleason, Scott…Larroca?: A Batman news round-up
Not since Bane broke all the lunatics out of Arkham Asylum has Batman had this eventful a week. Perhaps to avoid the avalanche of news coming out of San Diego next week, DC has spent the past few days announcing a slew of new Batman projects and creative teams. And heck, even Marvel got in on the act, sorta…
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is writer and artist Dean Trippe, creator of Butterfly and co-founder of the Project: Rooftop blog, among other credits. He posts regularly on his Tumblr site Bearsharktopus-Man, where he is currently selling this nifty Doctor Who/Batman crossover print. He also has some art in the Webcomics Auction for the Gulf.
To see what Dean and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Do you enjoy inserting “ironic,” smart-ass and oh-so-funny text into the panels of old comic book stories? Of course you do! And now, thanks to the Batman and Robin Comic Generator, you don’t need a scanner or Photoshop to do so. Simply plug in the text you like, choose one of three panels featuring the Caped Crusaders and you can start your own Internet meme. Some fun! Above is my own attempt at hilarity, which is probably too much of an in-joke for a general audience, but one does what one can. (via)
I’m filling in for Kevin on our daily roundup of news items, so my apologies for the lateness and any dip in quality in today’s edition. –JK
Conventions | The 36th annual Angoulême International Comics Festival starts today in France, running through Jan. 31. NBM’s Terry Nantier is on the ground and blogging from it, while Bart Beaty has kicked off his usual thorough coverage at the Comics Reporter. [Angoulême International Comics Festival]
Legal | An Australian man has pleaded guilty to downloading “graphic cartoon porn images” featuring child characters from The Simpsons, The Powerpuff Girls and The Incredibles. Kurt James Milner, 28, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, but it was “wholly suspended” for five years.
“The 28-year-old is now a registered sex offender and will have to report to police after pleading guilty in Ipswich District Court to having the bizarre images on his computer,” the Queensland Times reports. [Queensland Times]
Andy Clarke will follow Cameron Stewart as the artist on Batman and Robin, joining writer Grant Morrison with March’s Issue 10 for a story arc called “Batman vs. Robin.”
Clarke, who began his career at 2000 AD, most recently drew issues of DC Comics’ Batman Confidential and R.E.B.E.L.S.
In addition to Stewart, Frank Quitely and Philip Tan have illustrated arcs of Batman and Robin. At one point Frazer Irving was set for Issues 10-12, which initially were to be drawn by a returning Quitely.
Comics Alliance has a brief Q&A with Clarke and Batman Group Editor Michael Marts.
“As far as teasers go, the title of the storyarc — ‘Batman vs. Robin’ — might be the biggest teaser of all,” Marts says. “And expect to learn quite a bit more about the mysterious history of Bruce Wayne’s family tree.”
Incoming Batman and Robin artist Cameron Stewart has posted a selection of sketches drawn for fans during his recent European tour with Karl Kerschl and Ramón Pérez, and the results are … uh, what’s the visual equivalent of “mouthwatering”? I don’t think it’s “eyewatering,” but this little gallery — heavy on the Bat-characters but boasting a few mutants and supporting Spidey castmembers too — may well bring a tear to your eye over the fact that you don’t live in Europe and thus couldn’t get one yourself.
After a certain point, Grant Morrison’s marathon of interviews covering Final Crisis, “Batman R.I.P.” and, now, Batman and Robin bleeds together, like clips from a Hollywood press junket played endlessly on cable news.
So I sometimes have trouble figuring out what anecdotes are new, and which ones are Morrison chestnuts (not that it matters much, as they’re all entertaining). I’m fairly sure, though, that this interview with IGN.com covers new territory, as it’s the first since Batman: Battle for the Cowl wrapped up last week, and the identities of the new Batman and Robin were (officially) revealed.
Although the entire Q&A is worth reading, I found two quotes of particular interest:
On the accessibility of Batman and Robin: “… I kind of thought, while starting up Batman and Robin, that it was a really simple high concept. The guy who used to be Robin is now Batman, and Batman’s evil son is now Robin. You can explain that to any person on the street and they’re going to get it. It was that simple. Everyone can understand that Robin has now grown up to be Batman. Having just heard our advance orders for the first printing are the highest DC’s had in the last few years, it’s important for me to keep this material accessible — and everyone knows Dick Grayson”
On the recipe for a great Batman villain: “A gimmick. Creepiness. A distinctive look. Basically, you just have to pick something — like I did with the Club of Villains characters — you look at something that works in the Batman mythos, like the evil clown, obviously. You can play with different version of that, so we had the killer mime in the Club of Villains. Or you can have another take on it, like you can play up the grinning death mask aspect and do a ‘Mexican Day of the Dead’ villain. You kind of evolve those themes into new forms. Batman fights people who dress or behave like animals — Catwoman, Killer Croc, Penguin, Man-Bat — sometimes, so you can create your own lizard girls or serpent ladies or guys like my upcoming Flamingo. Then there are the ‘game’ or ‘puzzle’ villains like the Joker, and the Riddler, and there are the ‘Dick Tracy’-style ‘face’ villains like Two-Face, No-Face, etc. Like I said, there’s a set of ingredients that you can play around with to create a Batman villain.”
Batman and Robin #1 goes on sale June 3.