Duane in Orange County, Calif. is a man of action — action figures, that is.
“I have always had toys, but growing up I couldn’t have nearly as much as I wanted,” he said. “… Now, when I want something, I seek it out furiously. Unfortunately, as I get older the collectibles that I want get more and more expensive.”
Check out his collection of action figures — Power Rangers, Doctor Who, DC Comics, Avengers and more — below.
It wasn’t that long ago that we showcased Paolo Rivera’s amazing Herge-inspired wedding invitation, and now we have some terrific souvenirs from the ceremony of Andie Tong.
The artist, whose work ranges from Spectacular Spider-Man (U.K.) to The Batman Strikes! to the upcoming Zodiac with Stan Lee and Stuart Moore, drew adorable “power couples” from comics and film for cards that were given to his wedding guests. Fans may quibble with Tong pairing Superman with Wonder Woman, rather than Lois Lane, but I imagine the guests were pleased with the favors.
With Tong’s permission, we’ve posted all of the illustrations below.
I suppose the first clue that this wedding was going to be exceptionally nerdy, and potentially dangerous, was that the groom and groomsmen were decked out in pieces of armor. So it probably shouldn’t have been surprising when the minister was interrupted by a knight.
However, the choreographed sword fight with the groom? That was a bit tougher to predict. And no one could have anticipated cameos by an indecipherable Iron Man, an alarmingly manic Batman, the world’s wimpiest ninjas or … the battling bell-hops. Oh, or Jimmy Hart.
But, hey, the minister was a good sport.
OK, so that $200,000 street-legal Batmobile replica is a little bit out of your price range. It’s understandable: After all, the economy is soft and crime-fighting doesn’t pay as much as it used to. Then maybe you’d have been better suited for a “one-of-a-kind” Batman Tumbler Golf Cart.
Alas, someone just snapped it up for a Buy It Now price of $17,500, ending the eBay auction a few days early. Sure, it isn’t Warner Bros.-approved, and it doesn’t have a blinking Batphone, it does look like an adorably squat version of the vehicle from the Christopher Nolan movies. Plus, hey, four cupholders!
The other former superheroes at Gotham Acres Retirement Community will definitely be jealous when they see the Can’t-Drive-After-Dark Knight cruising around in this baby.
This tidbit seems perfectly timed, considering both the success of DC Comics’ digital-first Batman ’66, and Tom Bondurant’s recent column about DC-inspired movies and television series that should make their way to comics: Author and screenwriter Harlan Ellison wrote a (fittingly) two-part Two-Face story for the classic Batman TV show that, alas, was never produced.
Neil Gaiman discovered that detail over the weekend — “WHY IS THIS NOT NEWS?” he tweeted — in the description for the fifth volume of Harlan Ellison’s Brain Movies, a series that collects his original teleplays.
The listing reads: “SEE ELLISON’S FIRST ADVENTURE WITH THE CAPED CRUSADER: Though Harlan’s written numerous comic book scripts for the Dark Knight, his first slide down the Bat-Pole was in 1966 when he pitched an episode to ABC’s Batman, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Tragically—for reasons explained in the editor’s notes—’The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face’ treatment was never produced, but now you can read what the Unrepentant Harlequin had in mind for the Dynamic Duo and their Bifurcated Foe.”
So much time, money and creative effort is spent to bring comic-book superheroes to moving-picture life that it’s almost backward to contemplate how those adapted environments could be translated back into comics form. Thanks to technology, live-action and animated adaptations are finding new ways to convince viewers they’re seeing powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.
And yet, these adaptations only go so far. Movies trade spectacle for (relative) brevity, offering two-plus hours of adventure every two to three years. The reverse is true for television, which is more prolific but often less earth-shattering. Both have to deal with practical considerations such as running time, actor availability, and the streamlining of complicated backstories. Thus, to borrow a phrase from politics, adaptations are often exercises in “the art of the possible.” By comparison, comics have much fewer limitations.
Therefore, comics versions of those adaptations must necessarily limit themselves, even if they only choose to work within some of those real-world limitations. Sometimes this is as simple as telling stories set within the adaptation’s version of continuity. However, sometimes comics are the most practical way to “continue” a well-liked adaptation, and thereby perpetuate its visual and tonal appeal.
It doesn’t matter whether you have thousands of Batman comics and collectibles, or transform your basement into the Batcave, you’re not truly a fan until you own a licensed, roadworthy replica of the Batmobile from the 1966 television series. And it’ll only set you back $200,000.
Offered by Hammacher Schlemmer, the Authentic 1966 Batmobile comes standard “comes standard with a 430-horsepower, 383 Blueprint Crate engine and a Monster TH350 automatic transmission,” which probably means something to someone. While it isn’t equipped with atomic batteries, it does have a blinking Batphone and “a rotating red beacon.” There are also rear parachute packs, which are, alas, empty.
There’s no mention of how many miles per gallon it gets, but that’s probably not a chief concern if you have $200,000 lying around to buy a Batmobile.
After rescuing San Francisco from the grip up of the Riddler and the Penguin, Batkid traveled this morning to New York City — “the real Gotham,” as Mayor Michael Bloomberg said — to take on the Joker and save rapper/producer Pitbull in a takedown arranged by Good Morning America.
Although the GMA hosts behaved as if they’re never interacted with children before, the segment was nice for the spotlight it shined on Miles Scott — the 5-year-old who has battled leukemia for three years — and the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Also, the morning show’s set was transformed into a pretty good facsimile of the Batcave from the ’60s Batman TV series, with the Batmobile parked outside.
“He’s in remission so this has kind of been like the after-party for him, a way to kick it off,” Miles’ father Nick said. “Chemo is all he’s ever known. That’s the life that he’s known but this is kind of a way to celebrate the ending.”
Watch the video below.
It seems every comics fan wants superpowers, but artist Chris Panda has pulled back the curtain to show the seedy side of X-ray vision in these comic book drawings from kids’ coloring books with the heroes’ skeletons drawn in. Panda drew three superheroes — Batman, Iron Man and Spider-Man, as well as prominent cartoon characters from Disney and Looney Tunes lore. Check out those other two superheroes below, and go to his website for more.
Transforming San Francisco into Gotham on Nov. 15 to help fulfill a 5-year-old leukemia patient’s wish to be Batman cost the city $105,000 — but none of that will come from the pockets of taxpayers.
The celebration, which saw Miles “Batkid” Scott accompany Batman as they apprehended the Penguin and the Riddler, drew crowds estimated at 14,500 — far more than the few hundred anticipated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation — and garnered international media attention. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the bill will be paid from the fees charged to conventions that use the Moscone Center. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area is also reportedly seeking private donations to help reimburse the city.
Most of the money was eaten up by the last-minute rental of a sound systems, video screens and other equipment when the crowd gathered at City Hall to watch Mayor Ed Lee present Miles with a chocolate key to the city proved too large.
“What started out as a few hundred people at most on the steps of City Hall … grew into what would obviously attract a 20,000-plus crowd,” Christine Falvey, the mayor’s communications director, told The Associated Press. “They weren’t going to see anything the way we originally had it set up.”
Or: ”How I Learned to Quit Worrying and
Love Like Injustice: Gods Among Us.”
Knowing me as well as I do, I would have expected to absolutely hate Injustice: Gods Among Us, the digital-first comic based on the fighting game from the makers of Mortal Kombat, written by Tom Taylor and drawn by some eight different artists. It’s newly available in a hardcover collection of the first six issues that bears the tagline “The World-Wide #1 Bestselling Comic,” which I found dubious without qualification. (The whole world? Even counting Japan, where they have the One Piece and what do the kids read these days, the Naruto?)
Why would I expect not to like it? Well, a couple of reasons.
The costuming is pretty extreme. I was aesthetically offended by many of the New 52 costumes, which in general seem to be a compromise between the characters’ most popular outfits, whatever was in style at Image in 1992 and something that a Hollywood costuming department might put together for a live-action superhero movie or television series. Injustice took many of those designs even further, so that its Flash, for example, was wearing at least as much padding as NFL Super Pro.
Twenty-five years after the release Batman: The Killing Joke, we’re still debating the end of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s 1988 one-shot. But in “The Deal,” a new fan comic written by Gerardo Preciado and illustrated Daniel Bayliss, there’s nothing ambiguous about the final showdown between the Dark Knight and his arch-nemesis The Joker.
The 14-page story is bloody and brutal — we’re talking Se7en territory, “What’s in the box?” all — but it brings the nearly 75-year-old logical and disturbing, yet oddly touching, conclusion. See a beautiful work-safe page below, and read the entire comic here.
Avengers: Endless Wartime (Marvel Entertainment): Marvel’s new line of original graphic novels — note the “Marvel OGN” logo on the spine — is off to a pretty strong start with this continuity-light Warren Ellis-written, Mike McKone-drawn story of an Avengers squad facing a new form of semi-sentient weapon evolved from a generation-old attempt to marry Nazi science with Norse magic.
That’s a good conflict for an Avengers comic, as the team includes a Nazi-fighting hero and a Norse god, and, better still, both Captain America and Thor were tied to the this new weapon’s origin.
Ellis does his usual fine job of mixing current science, speculative next-level science, elements of our zeitgeist and corporate superheroes with something that feels appropriate, cool and like the writer has something to say. Additionally, he has a pretty decent handle on the characters, and does a relatively good job of singling out particular voices (this is the first time in a long time that I’ve read an Avengers comic where everyone didn’t talk like Brian Michael Bendis).
Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, Captain Marvel, Black Widow and Hawkeye, who reflects Matt Fraction’s version, are a bit of a rag-tag group, but they seem to be assembled primarily for their military backgrounds. “Do you know, I just realized I’m the only non-soldier in the room,” Tony Stark says at one point, and Captain Marvel sneers back, “That’s right, Tony. You’re just an ex-arms manufacturer in a metal death suit.”
Although LEGO began releasing superhero-themed products fairly recently in the company’s long lifespan, it’s the creativity of the fan community that continues to impress. Flickr user and LEGO enthusiast Xenomurphy put together a truly impressive (and massive) custom model of Arkham Asylum that’s sure to turn some heads.
The model itself is impressive enough, but Xenomurphy actually released a full making-of PDF that details the exact specifications and research that went into everything from the architecture to the design of the mini figures. It’s a truly astonishing accomplishment considering it took him a full year to complete.
“One thing became clear very fast — my Arkham wouldn’t look like a church or a cathedral, but rather like a hospital/prison,” Xenomurphy wrote. “I didn’t want to build a cathedral, but a gray, blockish and depressing multi-story building. It should loom large like a daunting monolith.”
As SFist reports, Miles is a “sunny, positive little boy” who, when interviewed by Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area revealed he wants to be Batman. And so, for a day, the organization is making that happen.
The day will begin with the police chief putting out the call for anyone who knows the whereabouts of Batman, as his help is needed in bringing some villains to justice. “Our little Batman, Miles, in training with adult Batman, is ready to answer the call!” Miles’ Make-A-Wish page states. “Of course Batman will be riding in the ‘real’ Batmobile around the City, saving the day and performing feats of derring-do!”