"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
It’s not exactly the card or flowers you may have been expecting, but directors Harry Kirby and George Kirby have debuted their short film “Batman: The Bloody Valentine” just in time for the holiday.
Described as “a dark and twisted take on the Joker’s love affair with the Batman and how he will go to any length to get the Bat’s attention,” the nearly four-minute film owes much to the tone of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy and the Arkham video games, with a Joker that’s part Heath Ledger, part The Killing Joke.
These incredible photos of cosplayer Dark Incognito as a female Joker — rather than Harley Quinn or Duela Dent — makes me wish DC Comics has used the New 52 as an opportunity to introduce a Clown Princess of Crime. The shakeup to the decades-old dynamic with Batman could’ve been fascinating.
Longtime arch-enemies, Batman and The Joker faced off once more on Wednesday, only this time about a plan to require Times Square’s costumed characters to be licensed.
Wearing makeup and a red suit embellished with black bats, the Clown Prince of Crime told New York City Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee that the bill amounts to “fascism.”
“I might look like a clown but I’m speaking from the heart,” the New York Daily News quote The Joker, aka Keith Albahae, as saying. “I do this from my heart and not for tips. OK, I do ask for tips. And many people are glad to give them, but this is about the First Amendment and this is about discrimination. This straight-up seems like fascism.”
Last year we showcased photos from a Batgirl- and Nightwing-themed wedding, so it’s only fair for us to give a couple of Gotham City rogues equal time.
“So I married Joker on Saturday,” user MCAddict writes on imgur, where she shares photos of herself (with a classic Batman logo tattoo) dressed as Harley Quinn and the groom decked out in purple and green. The wedding party was a mix of the expected (Catwoman, The Riddler, Poison Ivy and Bane) and the slightly puzzling (Wolverine, Wonder Woman and Mario).
More surprising still: Batman officiated the ceremony. Check out some of the photos below, and even more at imgur.
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.
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.
Artist Juan Carlos Ruiz Burgos recently added the above Zatanna illustration to his deviantART gallery, drawing our attention to his occasional series of frankly amazing tributes to the classic Saturday Evening Post covers using DC Comics characters.
In addition to Zatanna, surrounded on stage by white rabbits, there’s a heartwarming depiction of Clark Kent casually reading The Daily Planet as a little boy gapes in awe at Action Comics #1, The Joker and Harley Quinn on the run like Bonnie and Clyde, Wonder Woman listening thoughtfully to a little girl, and an autumnal Poison Ivy piece that’s probably not safe for work.
In 2011, we reported on an epic act of vandalism: A graffiti artist in Sofia, Bulgaria, transformed a monument dedicated to the the Soviet Union’s 1944 “liberation” of the country into a superhero tableau. The eclectic group includes Superman, Captain America, the Joker and Ronald McDonald, who I guess is kind of a superhero if you’re hungry.
This week, the Russian government gave us an excuse to revisit the story by complaining to the Bulgarian government that it wasn’t trying hard enough to stop repeated vandalism of the statue and bring the culprits to justice.
Did you know that Aug. 1-7 was International Clown Week? On Aug. 2, 1971, President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation to honor those who “go into orphanages and children’s hospitals, homes for the elderly and for the retarded, and give a part of themselves.” It also states that clowns are “as vital to the maintenance of our humanity as the builders and the growers and the governors.” And thus International Clown Week was established.
Perhaps you knew nothing of this strange little proclamation, nor of this week’s significance. Or perhaps you did know, and you’ve been hiding under your sheets all week to stave off imaginary Pennywises and Captain Spauldings.
Batman is celebrating his 75th birthday this year, which may come as a surprise. I mean, look at that smooth, handsome face, or what little of it is visible beneath his cowl. Look at those ripped muscles, or the way he runs across rooftops and beats up criminals — why, Batman doesn’t look a day over 35!
Now just as it did recently for Superman, DC Comics is releasing a pair of hefty, 400-page hardcover collections that serve as a sort of survey for how the character has been portrayed and functioned in the publisher’s comics line during since his first appearance. Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years and The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years aren’t exactly the comics equivalents of greatest-hits albums, but they are nice starting points for newcomers and/or casual fans, offering quick, compelling overviews of the title characters through the decades.
The Batman volume, featuring Jim Lee’s rendition of the character from the 2003 storyline “Hush” on the dust jacket, must have been particularly challenging to assemble, given the thousands and thousands of pages of Batman comics, featuring dozens of different takes by scores of creators.
Doctor Doom has been living like a rock star since his creation in the early 1960s, and now artist Rocky Davies has given the Latverian dictator the album cover to match. In a new series of illustrations, Davies has depicted familiar comic villains Doctor Doom, the Joker and Shredder in the the style of 1980s album covers.
Longtime DC Comics readers will undoubtedly recall Composite Superman, the green-skinned Silver Age villain who, dressed in a costume that was past Superman’s and part Batman’s, possessed the powers of the Man of Steel as well as those of the Legion of Super-Heroes. But how about Composite Aquaman? Or Composite Harley Quinn?
While they don’t come with superhuman abilities (as far as we know), Funko’s newly announced line of DC Comics Vinyl Cubed 2.5-inch magnetic figures that allows collectors to mix and match body parts of their favorite heroes and villains. The head of The Joker on Bizarro’s body? Sure. Robin with Harley Quinn’s arms? If you want.
Viewers are taken inside the fractured mind of Harley Quinn in Red Queen, a dark and stylish fan film that depicts a confrontation between the fan-favorite character, her original personality and a Joker stand-in.
Directed by Salim Tighnavard from a script by Kerryn Williams, Dan Maher and Sheridyn Fisher, who stars also as Harley, the short is billed as “Episode One,” which suggests we should expect more installments.
I’m simultaneously fascinated and terrified by this incredible medieval-style Joker leather armor crafted by Prince Armory to unnerve attendees at the next Renaissance faire. It’s composed of: “Jester’s Helmet with Joker Mask, Breastplate, Drama Face Pauldrons, Breastplate, Jester’s War Skirt, Cuisses/Knees/Greaves, Articulated Jester Shoe Sabatons.”
No price is listed, but I’ll go out on a limb and say it’ll set you back a lot.
As if recent renewed debate about its ending weren’t enough to demonstrate that, after 25 years, Batman: The Killing Joke can still spur discussion, now new original artwork has surfaced indicating the scene depicting the torture of Barbara Gordon was initially far more graphic and sexualized.
A photo of the inked page (below, definitely NSFW) was tweeted Sunday by Bill Hynes, a former employee of Gosh! Comics in London, revealing a naked and bleeding Barbara among the montage of images shown to her father James Gordon. In the published comic, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, that shot is replaced by a close-up of Barbara’s face.
Bolland confirmed the artwork’s authenticity, writing on his blog, “Here’s a page I drew for Killing Joke. I drew what was in the script. That’s my job. I was asked to tone it down a bit. I don’t know how the person who posted it got this image.”
Sue of DC Women Kicking Ass notes, “This isn’t some thumbnail sketch. This is a final inked page. At least someone at DC had some sense to kill it. Because really, how can you claim a book doesn’t sexualize violence when you have stuff like that in print?”
Indeed, whether the Joker raped Barbara Gordon has been long debated, with some readers insisting the violence was physical and not necessarily sexual. This page now may cast the scene, and the already-controversial comic, in a slightly different light.