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NYCC | Check out Tom Whalen’s Gotham library cards

Print

Speaking of Mondo, boutique mainstay Tom Whalen is exhibiting this week at New York Comic Con, where he’ll have for sale a selection of prints Batman ’66, the Universal Monsters series, The Incredibles, Ghostbusters and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. As if collectors need any incentive for buying the posters, Whalen is offering daily specials, which includes — on Thursday — a free Gotham Public Library card set with a purchase of $100 or more.

While I like Whalen’s design of the card, I appreciate his attention to detail even more: For instance, “S. Kyle” first checked out The Secret Lives of Cats on April 7, 1940, roughly corresponding to her first appearance in Batman #1; American Robins is borrowed by a succession of people — on the appropriate dates — ranging from D. Grayson to C. Kelly, and so on. He even includes Dewey Decimal classifications.

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Batman is ‘like that Naked Cowboy guy in Times Square’

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As Seth Meyers quickly discovered last night on NBC’s Late Night, Gotham City residents are really, really tired of being asked about Batman.

In an effort to get to know his audience, the talk-show host singled out Jeremy and, um, Jeremy, a pair of tourists from Gotham — yes, the Gotham City — who quickly set him straight on the subject of the Caped Crusader.

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You’ll soon be able to enter the Batcave in virtual reality

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Warner Digital Series and DC Entertainment have partnered with visual-effects company Otoy to develop an immersive entertainment experience that will allow users to explore the Batcave from Batman: The Animated Series through interactive holographic video for virtual-reality displays.

In short, that means fans will be able use devices like Oculus Rift, the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR and forthcoming “glasses-free” light field displays to step into the world of the beloved and influential 1990s cartoon.

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Fan-made ‘Nightwing: The Series’ gets darker with ‘Origins’

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The second episode of the fan-produced Nightwing: The Series will likely be bit of a crowd-pleaser, as it offers a glimpse of the Dick Grayson/Barbara Gordon relationship, and includes cameos by Jason Todd, Bruce Wayne and … well, you’ll see. However, it also tinkers with the Bat-family timeline, and seems to borrow from a still-controversial story to explain Dick’s change in identity from Robin to Nightwing. So … well, watch for yourself.

Created by Danny Shepherd and Jeremy, the Kickstarter-funded five-episode series premiered last week.

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Batmobile zooms into the spotlight in this week’s Shelf Porn

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We’ve seen Shelf Porn collections that focused on creators like Moebius and characters like Thor recently, but this one may be a first. “My collection might be a bit different than everyone else’s as the main focus is not a character or book, but a vehicle!” said Todd, who runs the Batmobile Collector website and shares his collection of Batman’s famous vehicle with us today.

If you’d like to see your collection featured here, you can find submission details at the end of this post.

And now here’s Todd …

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Mezco unveils its ‘Dark Knight Returns’ Batman action figure

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Mezco has released details and new images for its Dark Knight Returns Batman 1/12th-scale action figure, which is available for preorder beginning today.

Announced over the summer as part of the One:12 Collective line, the figure — based on the landmark 1986 miniseries by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley — stands 6.75 inches tall and boasts more than 30 points of articulation. It comes with four pairs of interchangeable hands, an interchangeable boot with holster, pistol, removable utility belt, grappling hook, alternate head, Bat-symbol display base, articulated figure stand and “detachable cape-posing stand accessory.”

The figure, which ships in January, will set you back $65.

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Grumpy Old Fan | Balancing out the New 52, Part 1

Larfleeze, not beloved among the franchisees

Larfleeze, not beloved among the franchisees

Note: This week’s post, and probably next week’s, get pretty number-heavy. Also, this week’s post contains a lot of history and background data. I have tried to make it all entertaining, but consider yourselves warned. Either way, there’s still the Futures Index.

Starting this week, the Batman line gets a makeover. Gotham Academy, from writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher and artist Karl Kerschl, is a delightfully spry addition to the Bat-landscape. Amid a franchise dominated (not unreasonably) by stylized, unflinching urban avenging, GA’s unique perspective is both welcome and necessary. Waiting in the wings are new Batgirl and Catwoman creative teams, as well as new titles Arkham Manor and Gotham After Midnight. (The three new books apparently take the places of Batman: The Dark Knight, Batwing and Birds of Prey.)

All look promising, and each offers a new look at a seldom-seen aspect of the Batman mythology. Moreover, it’s vitally important for DC to reach out to a diverse audience, particularly one that may have felt underappreciated over the past few years.

However, all this innovation comes at a time when the in-name-only New 52 has been stuck for a while at around 40-odd series. Only 21 of the original 52 ongoings are still being published, although books like Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and Deathstroke have been relaunched with new volumes. Similarly, we might view Grayson and Justice League United as continuations of Nightwing and the New-52 version of Justice League of America.

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Licensed DC Comics tees draw accusations of sexism

Shirts

Two licensed T-shirts featuring DC Comics’ Trinity have sparked accusations of sexism among online fans.

The first shirt, as reported at DC Women Kicking Ass and spotted by CBR contributor Tamara Brooks this past weekend at Long Beach Comic Con, depicts Superman and Wonder Woman in a passionate embrace with the caption, “Score! Superman Does It Again!” As takedowns of that shirt began to circulate on social media, another one, bearing the phrase “I’m Training to Be Batman’s Wife,” was brought into the discussion.

Both shirts present undeniably sexist messages: The former positions the most prominent female superhero as a prize to be won, stripping away the character’s 75 years of nuance and feminist themes. The latter would be perfectly acceptable if it had only stopped before that final word; the assumption that the goal of any woman’s training would be to become someone’s wife is antiquated at best.

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Batman gets his own epic burger at McDonald’s Hong Kong

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While many of us were enjoying our pumpkin-spice lattes while watching the stars for signs of the McRib’s return, McDonald’s Hong Kong was busy launching its line of Justice League-themed meals with the Batman Diner Double Beef.

I’m not sure what those two curious-looking sauces are (I’m sure they’re explained in the stylish video below), but a sandwich containing two beef-like patties, egg and cheese can’t be half-bad. Plus, it comes with Squeezy Cheesy Fries, with bacon-flavored bits, and green apple tea (why the fries didn’t get an appropriate Bat-name will remain a mystery). Plus, the box is pretty cool.

Start planning for your Hong Kong trip now, Bat-fans …

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Limited-edition Batman stamps to debut at New York Comic Con

Batman stamp Bronze AgeWhat do Batman, Janis Joplin and Julia Child have in common? If you guessed “They just got their own stamp,” you’re correct.

As DC Comics continues its celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, the iconic hero will again grace postage stamps in a limited-edition set officially unveiled Oct. 9 as the U.S. Postal Service kicks off New York Comic Con with a first-day-of-issue ceremony.

Each sheet of 20 “Forever” stamps — they’re 49 cents each but will remain good even when rates increase — will features designs representing four eras: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the current New 52 era. There’s also a round stamp with the Batman symbol.

Batman is only the latest in a series of DC characters, including The Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman and Aquaman, who have graced U.S. postage stamps recently. And this isn’t actually the first Batman stamp, as Linn’s Stamp News notes: The DC Superheroes set issued in 2006 included two Dark Knight stamps.

Canada Post last year honored Superman’s Toronto roots, and his 75th anniversary, with a series of commemorative stamps.

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‘Gotham’ introduces an ice-cold killer

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Superheroes are all the rage these days. They’ve already conquered the multiplex, and now they’re poised to conquer the small screen. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. A lot of fans are already a bit wary these days, what with The Flash and Constantine joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow as TV shows based on comic properties. And that’s not even counting the upcoming Agent Carter, the online streaming projects and the potential Supergirl show. It’s cause for both much excitement and much anxiety.

Perhaps nothing carried a bigger bull’s eye on its back than FOX’s Gotham. Pitched as a look at Gotham before there was a Batman, the show already faced several significant hurdles. There was the fact that it was coming right off the very successful Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. There were the stories of extensive retooling of the pilot to shoehorn even more villains-before-they-were-villains cameos (Edward Nygma, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, specifically). And there were the fans who’d been looking forward to a Gotham Central show, but were becoming increasingly disheartened when it became more and more apparent that the show wasn’t going to do that.

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Return to Gotham with a mashup of live-action Batman themes

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This week has already seen an incredible ancient Mayan-inspired Batman suit and a somewhat-disturbing supercut of all of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s onscreen deaths, so it’s perhaps only fitting that we close it out with something else Dark Knight-related: “Batman Evolution,” an arrangement of the live-action television and movie themes, performed on piano and cello — actually, 100 tracks of cello — by The Piano Guys.

While the music would be satisfying on its own, as you can see below there’s a beautifully shot video that prominently features the appropriate Batmobile for each of the themes (Neal Hefti’s 1966 “Batman Theme,” Danny Elfman’s 1989 “The Batman Theme,” and Hans Zimmer’s 2008 “Like a Dog Chasing Cars”). You may also notice how the cinematography and screen dimensions shift from theme to theme, reflecting each adaptation.

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Watch a supercut of the many deaths of Batman’s parents

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Although we can never be assured that a film or television adaptation of Batman will be any good, there is one safe bet: It will likely include a depiction of the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne in Crime Alley (slow-motion shot of a broken string of pearls tumbling to the pavement optional, but preferred).

Gotham, which premiered Monday on Fox, was of course no exception, spurring Vulture to compile a supercut of the Waynes dying on screen, from Super Friends and Tim Burton’s Batman to Batman Begins and Batman: Arkham Origins. I imagine this is what Bruce Wayne’s nightmares look like.

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Ancient Mayan-inspired Batman suit is the best Batman suit

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Somewhere, perhaps, there’s a writer who scribbled notes for a never-realized Elseworlds story about a Batman — or Bat-Man, if you prefer — who stood watch more than 1,000 years ago over Caracol or Tikal. If so, he might’ve worn something a lot like this incredible cowl created by Mexican artist Kimbal for Batman a Través de la Creatividad Mexicana, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight held at the Mexican Museum of Design in Mexico City.

Inspired by Camazotz, a bat god of Mayan myth (his name means “death bat”), the piece is painstakingly detailed and beautifully weathered (The Creators Project has several photos detailing Kimbal’s process).

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Superman’s trunks make a return in J. Bone cartoons

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I don’t know whether it was cartoonist J. Bone’s intent, but I like the suggestion that his “sun-friendly” Superman costume is a send-up of the not-exactly-convincing justification for Starfire’s skimpy costume — namely, that she draws her power from the sun and, therefore, needs to expose as much skin as Earth laws will allow. Heck, these new threads could even work as a response to those who miss those signature red trunks in the New 52 design.

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