Archive for February, 2015

batman_45

Sometimes you get a little tied up.

 

 

Advertisements

Alfred

Posted: February 23, 2015 in Character
Tags: , , ,

 

 Bruce Wayne’s longest friend, and the closest parental figure after the death of his parents, Alfred. Publicly Alfred has been the Wayne’s butler for years, but has many more jobs thanbutling when it comes to Bruce Wayne.

Sure, he is the care taker of Wayne Manor and cooks and cleans. However, when Batman comes home beat up with lacerations and bullet wounds, he can’t exactly go to the hospital. In steps in Mr. Pennyworth to play doctor and perform surgery, removing small projectiles or stitching up cat scratches. You might think that’s something way above a mere butler’s knowledge. It is, but in comics everyone has a secret origin, Alfred was/ is a secret agent. I like that, it gives his character a little more flavor what he was originally, short, overweight, and a thing for Sherlock Holmes. 

In comics there are a few ways writers use Alfred. In the Court of Owls story I just read Bruce has a contact lens linked up to the batcomputer giving him access to all the file. One of the features it has is facial recognition, giving him names of people at a party. Dick Grayson and Damien pop up with their respective names and level of member access to Batman, high. Alfred’s level shown as highest, which makes me think what Alfred has privy to and not Dick. Then there are times in something like an All-Star Batman where Bruce tells Alfred to shut up, and tells him to not feed a boy Batman leaves in the cave to fend for himself.

Television and Movies takes a more mentor and father figure in the background of most of those adaptations. The Gotham series Alfred takes a more foreground approach when it takes a look at what young Bruce is doing, because they’re showing you Alfred’s guiding hand to a young recently traumatized Bruce. And the Beware of the Batman t.v. show has Batman’s butler as more of a rough and tumble former English secret agent type, from what I’ve seen which admitting isn’t that much.

We wouldn’t have the same Batman we have today if it wasn’t for good old Mr. Pennyworth.

batman_44

Master of the Future

Posted: February 16, 2015 in Comic
Tags: , ,

  A sequel to the Victorian-era set Gotham by Gaslight Batman story sounds like a good plan. Brian Augustyn returned to write Master of the Future, although Mike Mignola didn’t return as well, Eduardo Barreto handles the turn of the century Gotham style.

Taking place a few years after the original, The Bat-Man has retired from crime fighting in the public eye. The person who killed Bruce’s parents had already been  dealt with, stopping all the petty crimes in Gotham doesn’t interest this Bat-Man.

Of course Wayne still fancy’s excitement, betting on boxing matches. Then when the match doesn’t go his way, and his friend fussed about the outcome, Bruce steps in the ring to take on a giant man. We never see the fight, just a crowd reaction then Bruce and his friend walking away talking about giving the money they won to an orphan relief fund.

it serves its purpose as an introduction to this new old style Batman, and his new companies. His friend from the boxing match Teddy, and Bruce’s love interest. A woman who was saved by Bat-Man one night.

The main plot of the book is that, Alexandre Leroi bursts into a courtroom where plans for Gotham’s entertainment are taking place. There’s a Buffalo Bill look-a-like trying to get the mayor to let him have his show in Gotham and make a few dollars. The mayor is not having any of what the man wants and shuts him down jus before the crazy french Leroi bursts through a window nine stories up declaring that he is the master of their future, a man of tomorrow, and to give him the city of Gotham and it is saved.

They mayor doesn’t give in and the big Gotham City fair will go on. Gordon is a little uneasy about not having Bat-Man around, but Bruce isn’t going to let the opportunity pass him by.

Alexandre pulls a stunt, on the mayor making finalizing the fair plans, where he sends a machine gun  on wheels covered in a circus clown mask trying to kill the mayor. Of course Bruce was there to save its intended target and take it out with one thrown pipe.

The day of the fair Leroi kidnaps the mayor as he’s getting ready and takes him up to his blimp driven by a mechano-man. The antagonist Alexandre is successful at try to destroy the fair, he set buildings on fire, and kills the mayor. However Bruce does save a few people and Alfred is there at the right moment to give him his Bat-clothes. Bat-Man does manage to save some people before going after Alexandre himself. One of the people he saves is his love interest. In the end, she figures out who Bat-Man is. Something simple like having Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend get repeatedly saved by Batman and have them not put two and two together gets old. 

Ultimately, if you like the beginning of twentieth style Batman story that was Gotham by Gaslight, Master of the Future won’t disappoint. DC’s Elseworld tales aren’t for everyone, but I like them, they tend to be different and interesting, and this book is both.

 

Cover Thursday 2/12/15

Posted: February 12, 2015 in Cover Thursday
Tags: ,

batman_43

The Court of Owls

Posted: February 9, 2015 in Comic
Tags: , ,

 The first volume of Batman in the New 52 era of DC comics was an awesome start. Yes, the whole restart the universe idea had a few kinks, but this is Batman, you don’t need much to get going.

The last writer/artist combo to take on The Dark Knight in the old universe is the first team to tackle a story in the new one. Author Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo did it right. After seventy-five years it’s hard to come up with an actual threat for Batman, there are several tomes on The Joker alone.

At first it seems an overrun Arkham is about to get loose and in the thick of it is The Caped Crusader battling back. At one point, looking like he teams up with The Joker to help with the rumble, even commissioner Gordon was confused. Turns out it was Dick in a future E.M.P mask that looks like something out of Mission Impossible. I don’t know what E.M.P. means, they don’t say, but it looks cool.

In the same scene the former Robin appears, Bruce tells Dick he is trying out a new contact lens that has the whole Bat-computer linked to it. Those two little bits put this whole world into the near future with better technology, but not so far off the gadgets seem like they’re that far into the future.

Anyway the story revolves around a Gotham City specific nursery rhyme about how a court of owls is always watching and not to turn or they’ll get you. It is a touch creepy, but nursery rhymes usually are if you think about them. 

It seems The Court of Owls is something Bruce looks in on, in his spare time of course, and he’s always come up empty. So when things start to look like they exist, Batman denies their existence. Until Bruce finds himself trapped in one of the Court of Owls labyrinths.

Then it gets interesting. The story does what stories do, but the art goes in a non-traditional direction. Batman spends at least a few days in a maze, after some time he starts looking  ragged. At the same time the art gets topsy turvy, you have to slowly turn the book around every page or two. I thought the whole ideas was interesting. Though I wouldn’t know how to do that with the digital version. either it would play out like a regular comic, or the auto-orientation would make the upside down pages tough to read.

This book is a good read, it does it’s fair share of interesting and does a few things that give you some new mythos in the world of Batman. You’re a Batman fan, new things are good, this is fun, you should read this.

batman_42

   The Sunsoft Batman game for NES was good, it had great design and a great soundtrack. Revenge of The Joker is a semi-sequel to that game, which was loosely based on the 1989 Batman movie.

First the good bits. The Batman sprite is decent, the Super Nintendo can handle more colors than the NES, so The Dark Knight is more than just a purple-blue hue and has skin tone with a grey suit, blue cape and cowl,  reminiscent of the Batman 66′ television series. There are twelve stages plus bosses, each aren’t too long, I never came across any checkpoints, but the levels are also tough. They all have a variety between them as well. Two dimensional platform shooting on one, and the next is a horizontal shooter with Batman riding a flying motorcycle. I didn’t even know Bruce had one of those.  Luckily the passwords the game uses are four characters long and easily input.

When it comes to the bad, it’s a lot of control trouble. Batman isn’t the nimble ninja of the night he should be, I had a hard time shooting bad guys right in front of me before he jumped away, or have some other foe spawn in on top of me. They can hit me just fine, rather efficient way to drain my health, but I can’t shoot them. The bullet-batareang-star projectile things never hit them, and there are certain places in specific levels that, I’m pretty sure, are designed to kill you. The first level has the gargoyles that you can’t kill or hit, but they shoot lasers that can kill you dead with swiftness, and the last level has the places where these weird Joker styled tiny helicopters come out of nowhere, dive in a pattern and leave. There’s such a short reaction time that, if you don’t know they’re coming you are dead.

Then there are the perplexing pieces. Such as why does Batman have a gun, and that he can fire it at an alarming rate. Some of the hits you take from the enemies take way more health than you would think. A bullet to the face will take off one or two pieces of health, but there is  in one of the stages an attacking tree, who then creates a tornado that take off half a health bar, then boomerangs back to finish off the job.

Honestly, the game isn’t my favorite. It might be good for a curiosity and a good hour. The password system makes it so that you can see most of the stages without having to learn patterns for hours, if you decide to take a turn.