Axel-In-Charge: Waid & Samnee on "Black Widow" and the Dawn of the All-New, All-Different Era
After bringing that retro-style 12-inch Deadpool 12 to Comic-Con International last month, Gentle Giant is back to unveil two more jumbo figures — one from its Batman: The Animated Series line, the other from DC Super Powers.
Based on the 5-inch action figure introduced in 1993 by Kenner, the 1/6th-scale Catwoman stands 11 inches tall, and comes complete with a retro-inspired backer card, resealable package, and a feline companions. Although no release date has been announced, Catwoman will find a place on shelves next to Robin and The Joker from the BTAS jumbo line.
Artist Clementine Campardou challenged herself to paint a new picture each day that she’d share through an e-newsletter “Colour Up Your Day.” Over the course of two years, she’s produced more than 500 paintings, mostly beautiful watercolors, featuring an eclectic mix of subjects, ranging from birds and flowers to movie characters and superheroes. A lot of superheroes.
Superman, Wonder Woman, Silver Surfer, Wolverine, Supergirl, Gambit — they’re all there, in some cases multiple times, alongside the likes of Goku, Totoro, R2-D2, Astro Boy and Ken from Gatchaman. Oh, and Prince.
Sure, he’s the King of the Seven Seas, a founding member of the Justice League and, if all goes as planned, the star of his own 2018 movie. However, for the second time in three years, Aquaman is also the “Most Toxic Superhero.”
That’s according to Intel Security, which today released its third annual list of online superhero searches that are most likely to lead you to bad links, viruses, malware and websites containing malicious software used to steal passwords and personal information. The information is compiled using McAfee Site Advisor, which rates sites by risk level.
Don’t ask me why they’re called “Sun-Staches,” as they don’t have anything to do with facial hair, but I’m pretty sure I want one. The DC Comics-themed sunglasses/mask combos — See? Not a mustache in sight! — allow you to switch from business to cosplay in one fast-and-easy step.
Although there are probably a limited number of places you could wear the Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn Sun-Staches — comic conventions, Arkham Asylum, the Batcave — the Catwoman version is pretty killer, suitable for most any occasion. Seriously, those are spectacular (although, regrettably, I could never pull off the look).
DC Collectibles has debuted its second wave of action figures based on the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight video game.
Revealed by MTV News, the figures of Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Nightwing and Robin stand between 6.5 inches and 6.75 inches tall, and feature somewhere around 20 points of articulation, as well as character-specific accessories and (in most cases) interchangeable hands. They join Wave 1’s Batman, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, Arkham Knight and the Gamestop-exclusive Red Hood, released in April.
In times of financial crisis, the world turns to colorful comic-book heroes and villains in this series by Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti.
For “Facebank,” Rabatti reworked graphic elements of banknotes from U.S., British and Chinese currency to merge George Washington and Mao Zedong to create Spider-Man, Queen Elizabeth II and Zedong to make Wolverine and Catwoman, and Abraham Lincoln and Zedong come together to form Batman, and so on. Clearly the takeaway here is that Mao Zedong is incredibly versatile.
French photographer Sacha Goldberger, who previously made a splash with images of his 91-year-old grandmother as a superhero, exhibited his latest series “Super Flemish” over the weekend at the Grand Palais in Paris. As you might have guessed from the title and the above photo, the project features superheroes (and villains), Star Wars characters and other pop-culture figures — as if they were posing for Flemish paintings.
But these are indeed photographs, requiring models, costumers, hair and makeup artists and the like. And, as you can see from the gallery on Goldberger’s website, he even recruited his grandmother again. See more images, and photos from the exhibition, on Goldberger’s Facebook page.
If this map of “the most trending” Halloween costumes is any indication, Marvel Studios may want to give a little more thought to Black Widow’s place in its cinematic universe.
Produced by the website SumoCoupon using an analysis of Google search volumes, the map indicates which costume was the most-Goggled in each state. Comic-book heroes and villains were well-represented, topping the list in 14 states. Black Widow claimed the throne in four of those — Texas, Missouri, North Carolina and Wisconsin — while perennial favorites like Batman and Catwoman nabbed three and two, respectively.
If you’re one of those people who waits until the day of the big Halloween party to start thinking about a costume, you should probably go ahead and print these out now: Courtesy of Fox’s Gotham, they’re paper masks of The Riddler, Catwoman, The Penguin and Fish Mooney (although they appear somewhat older than they do on the television series).
Of course, if you don’t have a party to go to, or little trick-or-treaters to escort, you could always wear these while you watch the TV show, but that’d be creepy.
Jae Lee’s work on Superman/Batman has simultaneously been among the most unique and divisive of DC Comics’ New 52. After years working on Marvel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, Lee’s return to superhero work has found a balance between iconic and creepy; while his style might seem tailor-made for the likes of Batman and Catwoman, his depiction of Superman has been both haunting and boyish in all the various main- and alternate-universe incarnations.
And now, DC is using those designs as the basis for a line of collectible figures.
Crime | Two people were arrested Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after police say they tried to sell $9,000 worth of stolen comic books to a local retailer. Marcelo Hernandez, 24, and Stacie Niavez, 23, allegedly walked into Astro Zombies with three boxes of comics that matched the description and certification numbers of those stolen from a vehicle about two weeks earlier. The owner pretended to be getting price estimates but instead called police, who arrested Hernandez and Niavez outside the shop. Both were charged with receiving and transferring stolen property and conspiracy; Niavez was also charged with drug possession. [Albuquerque Journal]
Passings | Jon Kennedy, the former editorial cartoonist for the Arkansas Democrat and Arkansas Business, died Friday at age 96. He started work as an editorial cartoonist for the Democrat (now the Democrat-Gazette) in 1941, and served in the Army from 1943 to 1946, during which time he also drew cartoons and training materials. He went back to the Democrat and worked there until his retirement in 1988, then came out of retirement to draw cartoons for Arkansas Business from 1992 to 2005. He published one book, Look Back and Laugh, and was a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists; he was also named Arkansas Journalist of the Year in 1988. [Arkansas Business]
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.
Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.
This week DC Comics announced a big change in Batgirl: namely, a new creative team of writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher and artist Babs Tarr. Coming aboard with October’s Issue 35, they bring a nifty new look and setting. After three years of grim but determined storytelling from writer Gail Simone and various artists (most recently Fernando Pasarin), Barbara Gordon is heading into Gotham’s “hip border district” for graduate school, and she’s leaving all the bad times behind.
Comics | Tammy Oler considers the roles of Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel within a growing movement to make superhero comics more diverse: “The devoted fans in the Carol Corps and Kamala Korps view themselves as part of a movement for a bigger and more diverse comic book universe, and it seems like publishers might finally be starting to pay attention. Both Ms. Marvel and the rebooted Captain Marvel are part of Marvel NOW!, an effort by the publisher to attract new readers by providing a lot of accessible places for new readers to jump on board with ongoing series. (DC Comics has done something similar with its New 52 initiative.) Marvel and DC have also taken some steps to address their lack of superhero diversity, in part by launching some new female solo titles, including Black Widow, She-Hulk, and Elektra. Of course, there’s a whole world of mainstream and indie publishers beyond Marvel and DC, but the big two still matter the most because they create the pantheon of superheroes that make it into movie theatres and onto the racks of Halloween costumes at Target.” [Slate.com]
This is particularly timely, considering today’s television casting news: Project: Rooftop showcases Perry Maple’s whimsical redesign of Batman and his allies and enemies, from Robin to Scarecrow to Two-Face.
“The aim for this redesign was to create a colorful, simple, and playful reimagining of the Gotham city universe,” the artist explains on his deviantART page. I think he achieved that goal, too, particularly with Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, who look as if they stepped out of a fairy tale. However, I also really like is older take on Selina Kyle in a decidedly different style.
Check out close-ups of some of Maple’s redesigns below, and visit his deviantART page for more.