Monthly Archives: February 2006

Certified Miracle: All Star Batmobile Reaches Batcave

In my review of All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #3, I said:

Since Batman kidnapped Dick Grayson in the first issue, at this rate it will be a miracle if they reach the Batcave by the fifth.

But according to the 6-page spalsh panel unveiled today, the Batmobile arrives home a whole issue ahead of schedule:

ASBAR4splash.jpg

I love the tank from the Dark Knight Returns in mid-construction (see the full-size image here), but the attention it draws to this being a young Batman is undermined by the lifetime’s worth of disused vehicles surrounding it.

I guess bravura Batcave shots are always kind of excused as a kind of omni-continuity timewarp that traditionally includes as many versions of the Batmobile from previous decades as there is room for. So while Batman in regular continuity is probably in his late 30s, if not early 40s, it’s okay for cars from the 1950s and even 40s to be shown in his Batcave, like the one Lee drew for Hush about three years ago.

What we still don’t know is how they resolve the timeline discrepancy I noticed in the third issue:

it says Clark read the morning paper (with the news of Batman kidnapping Grayson) 15 hours before the scenes with the Batmobile. Which means Batman and Dick have been driving around for at least 24 hours, if not two days. If the Batmobile doesn’t surface in the Mediterranian next issue I’m going to wonder what’s been going down in those unaccounted hours.

But alas, they don’t surface in the Mediterranian, unless they’ve already been there and are already back in Gotham for an issue-ending splash. Or they’ve been in Gotham county the whole time, but just caught a few flicks at the drive-in theater to take Dick’s mind off the deaths of his parents, as Batman’s way of apologizing for his recent abuse and as Miller’s way of continuing the second issue’s disturbing subtext.

Of course the main drawback of 6-page panel is that it means only 16 pages are left for the rest of the issue. And considering that the first 15 pages of the last issue were devoted to a flashback of six months ago depicting Black Canary’s new origin, it doesn’t bode well for the title characters getting much page time nor for the plot being advanced much.

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Don’t Doubt My Instincts!

Andy Kubert's Batman

As I predicted, it was announced today that come July, Andy Kubert — not Adam — will be pencilling the ongoing Batman title written by Grant Morrison. Like I said before, Kubert’s style is perfect for the Neal Adams-era stories Morrison wants to tell. Dan Didio said:

Grant wasn’t necessarily thinking about Batman, but when he heard of Andy’s interest, all of a sudden, he had a whole bunch of Batman stories he wanted to tell. They just really clicked really well. They’re really seeing eye to eye on terms of tonality and direction, and the editor Pete Tomasi is spending a lot of time and energy on all the classic elements of Batman, which is just what Grant wants to write, and Andy wants to draw.

And I think Andy will be perfect for a tale related to Ra’s Al Ghul, as Didio confirmed what the writer alluded to before, that:

Morrison’s story will be a follow-up of sorts to the 1987 formerly quasi-continuity graphic novel Son of Batman, which saw Batman father a child with Talia, Ra’ al Ghul’s daughter.

I think they meant Batman: Son of the Demon (preview in PDF here). In any case, does this, coupled with Selina Kyle having a bay-bee OYL in #53, mean that Batman is suddenly going to have two in-continuity children? Assuming the Catbaby is his, of course.

But actually, I think the possibility of bringing Talia and Bruce’s son into continuity reduces the likelihood that Selina’s girl will turn out to be Bruce’s child when his paternity is finally revealed several months from now (according to writer Will Pfeifer). I’ve heard the name Slam Bradley proposed as Selina’s most likely partner in crime but I’m not familiar with his history because I didn’t start following the Catwoman title until Pete Woods started pencilling it eight months ago.

But that still doesn’t diminish the crucial moral of this story: Your betting money is safe with me!

THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR T (1953)

This is undoubtedly the best Dr Seuss movie ever made.

No, seriously. It also happens to be the only movie Dr Seuss actually made personally.

If you like the Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or the 1967 Casino Royale, but were disappointed by Carrey’s Grinch or Myers’ Cat in the Hat, then you will LOVE this 1953 movie.

I didn’t see all of it since I only happened to catch it on TV, but basically Bart is a 10-year-old kid who hates his fascist piano teacher and has a surreal nightmare that he’s one of 500 boys kidnapped and incarcerated at a psychodelic concentration camp called Happy Fingers, ruled over by his evil teacher Dr Terwilliker (Hans Conried, later the voice of Captain Hook). And if you’re confusing them with Bart Simpson and Sideshow Bob Terwilliger, you should be. (Thanks, J.P.)

Dr T needs the childrens’ 5000 fingers to play the longest keyboard ever built, in order to set off an atomic bomb or something. I don’t want to spoil who little Bart discovers is 2nd in command of the Terwilliker Institute but let’s just say it’s a chilling discovery involving brainwashing.

Of course it’s also a musical with songs, like the screenplay, written by Dr. Seuss, and all soaked in a World War II subtext that fuses German expressionist set design with classic Seussian imagery.

I’d never even heard of this movie before, so I’m going to go ahead and declare it criminally underappreciated. Either that or it’s everybody’s favorite movie they’ve never mentioned.

Bianchi covers Batman

Italian artist Simone Bianchi, most recently the artist for Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers miniseries Shining Knight, used the unmistakable design of Christian Bale's mask in Batman Begins for his cover of Green Lantern #9 (shipping next week):

Green Lantern #9

I usually don't like retrofittings from the movies to comics (like Wolverine's claws now popping out of his knuckles in the comics per Hugh Jackman, instead of the back of his hands) but it's good to know the Batman Begins design can look cool if you just make his head look not as fat, and fix the neck.

I guess Bianchi's cover for Detective Comics #819 in May is supposed to be similarly photoreferenced, but I think the added grooves on the forehead make it look more like the Midnighter's mask in The Authority:

But Bianchi makes up for it with his covers for Detective Comics #818 (in April) and Batman #653 (in May):

I tried mashing up the two covers to make a single complete image of Two-Face, but because the Detective cover is of a pre-Two-Face Harvey Dent, the two images don't match exactly. For one thing, Two-Face parts his hair differently. Anyway, here's the closest I could get to matching them up:

Morrison on Batman!

It has just been announced that the greatest living writer of superheroes, currently in the midst of restoring Superman to his proper glory in the All-Star title, will be the new regular writer of the flagship Batman title:

In an unexpected announcement at the DC panel (though not coming as a complete surprise), it was just announced Grant Morrison will be the next regular writer of Batman, following James Robinson’s eight-part story arc running through that title and Detective beginning in March.

…Morrison said that he’s already plotted 15 issues, and in his first issue alone, he has 15 ninja man-bats as well as Talia, and the story is called “Batman & Son”. Morrison said Batman coming out of 52 OYL will be a more of a “fun guy, more healthy”, more like the “Neal Adams, hairy-chested, love-god” version of Batman.

Sounds good to me! Newsarama also adds:

Though not announced or even confirmed, popular rumor and speculation still holds that one of the DC exclusive Kubert brothers will eventually be announced as his artist.

I’d say that’s sound, and I further predict that ANDY Kubert will be the one pencilling the Bat, based on this clip from the DC website (video | audio), in which he talks about his familiarity with sketching the character until it comes naturally. Which would be great, because I think Andy is closer than his brother Adam to capturing the Neal Adams spirit that Morrison evidently wants to evoke.

Platinum Gwen!

Here’s a pic of Dallas Bryce Howard on the Tonight Show with blonde hair for Spider-Man 3.

Hopefully she won’t be sporting that Jessica Simpson makeup in the movie but otherwise I give her my seal of approval.

MovieNewz.com also has a short video clip of her interview with Leno.

She seems a bit goofy but I’m at the library without earphones so I can’t hear her voice. But even so she’s still a thousand times hotter than Kirsten Dunst.

But then even her uncle Clint Howard is a thousand times hotter than Kirsten Dunst. Die MJ die! Long live Gwen!