Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
With the 25th anniversary of 1989’s Batman, there’s been a resurgence of interest in the Tim Burton movie. As part of that, James at 1989Batman.com has pulled together some excellent threads examining DC Comics’ 1990 redesign of Robin, a project undertaken at the behest of filmmakers.
Out went the elfish garb of the original as DC searched for something more modern — befitting the time, and also primed to be translated into a future Batman film. To accomplish that task, DC turned to several of its top artists at the time, including Neal Adams, Norm Breyfogle, Stephen De Stefano, George Perez and Jim Aparo. DC didn’t tell the artists what it was for; simply, they were asked to redesign the Boy Wonder.
First I’d like to thank DC Comics for plastering its latest spoiler unavoidably across the Internet bright and early Monday morning. It did confirm something I’d suspected since before Christmas, but being surprised still has a certain appeal, you know?
(That assumes this isn’t reversed in an issue or two. Kyle Rayner was killed one issue and revived the next during a Blackest Night crossover, and something similar is eminently possible, albeit unlikely, in this case.)
Anyway, Caleb has done a great job covering the event’s immediate impact, and Corey and Michael have also talked about significant aspects of you-know-what, so for my part I’ll be taking a closer look at the “position” itself. Some people study the presidency, some the papacy, and some of us have spent most of our lives reading about … well, you know.
SPOILERS FOLLOW, I suppose.
Cosmic Book News snagged a copy of the DC Comics: The New 52 preview a day early — street dates be damned! — and uploaded scans of the opening pages of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League #1, the vanguard of DC’s line-wide relaunch. It’s an entertaining enough sequence, with Gotham City’s finest pursuing Batman across rooftops as he, in turn, chases some sort of raggedy cyborg villain, only to come face to face with Green Lantern for the first time.
But it’s the first panel, above, that captured my attention, as it establishes the events as unfolding “five years ago,” “when the world didn’t know what a super-hero was.” That the first issue of Justice League takes place in the past isn’t a surprise, but the time frame may be. It could also prove tricky for Batman’s history.
If you were perplexed by the Robin design released last month for Batman: Arkham City by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment, you weren’t alone. Some Robot 6 commenters referred to the look as “Eminem” and even (shudder) “horribly Schumacher-esque,” while at the Batman: Arkham City Community forums the discussion continued at length.
Now, however, Rocksteady Studios senior concept artist Kan Muftic has stepped forward with “the final word on Robin,” providing some insight into the game’s version of Tim Drake and revealing an additional piece of color concept art.
“We wanted to create a Robin that players would identify as a contemporary character and move away from the traditional ‘Boy Wonder’ image that most people know,” Muftic wrote in a message posted on the forum. “Our vision of Robin is the one of a troubled young individual that is calm and introverted at times but very dangerous and aggressive if provoked. The shaved head is inspired by cage fighters, because we thought that Robin might be doing that in his spare time to keep him on his toes. Still, we kept all the classic trademarks of Robin’s appearance, such as the red and yellow colors of his outfit, the cape and the mask. We really hope that people will discover our Robin as one of their new favorite characters in the Batman universe. He is back and he means business.”
Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to the bestselling 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, is set inside the newly constructed fortified walls that have transformed part of Gotham’s slums into a sprawling maximum-security prison for the city’s gangsters, thugs and criminally insane. Robin will be available as a playable character in the challenge mode to those in North America who pre-order the game from Best Buy.
Arkham City will be released Oct. 18 in North America and Oct. 21 in Europe.
Following leaks on retail websites, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have finally confirmed that Robin will be a fully playable character in the challenge mode of Batman: Arkham City, the hotly anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed 2009 video game Arkham Asylum.
However, the “Tim Drake Robin pack” — yes, it’s Tim Drake, not Dick Grayson — is available only to those in North America who pre-order the game from Best Buy. So, sorry, fans of Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne and … anyone outside of North America.
Batman: Arkham City is set inside the newly constructed fortified walls that have transformed part of Gotham’s slums into a sprawling maximum-security prison for the city’s gangsters, thugs and criminally insane. Robin, who comes with his own gadgets and special moves, will be playable in all challenge maps, as well as to additional maps included with the pack — Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape. There’s also a bonus Red Robin character skin.
Developed by Rocksteady Studios, Batman: Arkham City will debut in October.