Not Even Superheroes Can Defeat Taxes

uuperhoeDeathIt’s April 15, the most dreaded day on the calendar here in the United States: the day tax returns are due. And no one likes to pay taxes — not even superheroes!

Here is a selection of comic book covers from the Golden Age to the Bronze dealing with rendering unto Uncle Sam. You’ll notice the frequent theme “Death & Taxes,” which I find very ironic because while no one beats taxes, most superheroes have conquered death — having died and been resurrected many times.

 

GOTHAM TV Series Set Photos

Filming is well under way for GOTHAM, the pilot for a potential Batman sequel TV series, and here are the photos to prove it.

The images are mostly of Camren Bicondova, 14, who plays future Catwoman Selina Kyle — and she appears well on that path, with a jug of milk tucked into her jacket, sporting goggles and busting some catlike moves.

And then there’s David Mazouz (TOUCH) as the even younger Bruce Wayne — who does not appear to have acquired his morbid fascination with bats, instead preferring to wear clothes that are too big for him.

Finally, we see Donal Logue as Det. Harvey Bullock and his protégé, rookie James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) — the real lead character of the series.

Batman vs. Terminators? It’s (sorta) Real!

Prepare to have your eyeballs seared by a terrific animated short that pits Batman against a horde of Terminators in a bid to save John Connor’s young life, created by very talented fan Mitchell Hammond.

Here’s the situation, according to Hammond:

“Thirty years have passed since Bruce Wayne survived Skynet’s nuclear blasts in August of ’97. Iron demons now roam the planet, and without the requirement to defend the innocent against crime and injustice, Wayne has seeked [sic] refuge in the bomb shelter that saved his life; the Batcave.

Having scavenged the wasteland for resources, he discovers the radio of a dead soldier. There is static over a frequency. Flesh and blood is rising up to the west. With The Stinger; a riot control vehicular unit built before the apocalypse along with a refitted bomb blast vest, Batman makes his way across what remains of the United States to join forces with the man determined to neutralize the electronic menace: John Conner [sic].”

Everything about this clip seems perfect, from the character designs to the cartoony movements to the grim music. I would definitely buy a ticket if this was done as a feature film!

Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle Join ‘GOTHAM’

bruceselinaThe Commissioner Gordon-centric Batman prequel TV series, GOTHAM, has cast the actors who will play the young versions of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle — whom fans know will grow up to be frenemies Batman and Catwoman — according to E! News.

David Mazouz, who starred in TOUCH with Kiefer Sutherland, will portray the preteen Bruce, while Camren Bicondova, a newcomer to acting, will play Selina as a teenager. Yes, that means in this universe, Catwoman is older than Batman!

Selina will be presented as an orphaned street kid who is a master pickpocket and thief — and dangerous when cornered. Bruce, meanwhile, is dealing with the traumatic death of his parents and is sequestered in stately Wayne manor, being raised by loyal butler Alfred Pennnyworth (Sean Pertwee).
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Hallmark Also Sold Batman Valentines

Hallmark issued Batman-themed Valentine’s Day cards in 1966 — strangely, the same year Doubl Glo released a similar set. Could you imagine two companies getting the license to manufacture the same item for the same market today?

I think these Hallmark cards are kinda lame, so perhaps National Periodical Publications (DC Comics) was unsatisfied and went to Doubl Glo? Or maybe it was simply a case of no one paying much attention to merchandising and licensing back in those days? After all, it wasn’t until Star Wars came along in 1977 that licensed merchandise became a cash cow. In 1966, NPP was probably just happy to get a check in the mail!

These great images were also compiled by Chicago cartoonist Mark Anderson, who put them on his website.

You’ll Fall In Love With These Vintage Batman Valentines!

You never can tell what you’ll discover on eBay. And, lucky for us, Chicago cartoonist Mark Anderson was exploring the online auction house when he chanced upon a bunch of Doubl Glo Batman Valentines from 1966 and snatched them up. Now he has posted them on his website for all comics fans to enjoy! Have a look:

Way to go, Mark!

ETA: It turns out Hallmark also sold Batman Valentines that very same year! Check them out!

Jeremy Irons Named as Batman’s Faithful Alfred

ironsalfredEveryone knows Batman is nothing  without Alfred, his faithful manservant/father figure, and now that Man of Steel sequel — tentatively called Batman vs. Superman — has cast Mr. Pennyworth with respected Oscar-winning master thespian Jeremy Irons.

Director Zack Snyder commented on the casting in a Warner Bros. statement:

“As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

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Batman vs. Superman Pushed to 2016

superbatslogoI’m sure we will all need to sit down and catch our collective breath after reading this item: DC Comics and Warner Bros. are actually doing something right in connection with Batman vs. Superman: The movie’s release is being pushed back to May 6, 2016. Yes, fans will have an additional 12 months to obsess over Ben Affleck taking up the bat cowl opposite Henry Cavill’s Kal-El, but the filmmakers will get a chance to take their time.

Not only does this give director Zack Snyder some breathing room to polish his Man of Steel sequel rather than merely crank it out, it also sends  DC biggest guns into direct battle with Marvel Studios, which previously announced it was releasing a yet-to-be revealed movie in May 2016 (Doctor Strange, perhaps?). Marvel has owned May forever, with the Spider-Man flicks, The Avengers, Iron Man… you name it, so this could backfire on DC — but at least they’re trying.
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Catwoman Covers Detective Comics #27

catwomancvrThe latest reboot of DC Comics’ flagship Detective Comics title reaches the culturally significant milestone issue No. 27 soon, and so modern legend artist Frank Miller was commissioned to create a two-page spread for the interior of the issue featuring Catwoman.

The original Detective Comics #27, published in May 1939, featured the debut of Batman — called “The Bat-Man” — as well as the first appearance of Commissioner Gordon.

The big wigs at DC decided that the Miller image should become a variant cover. Then that variant cover was canceled (allegedly over a dispute between DC and Miller over increased compensation for bumping the drawing to coveted cover status).

Then retailers revolted over the cancellation, because orders were placed on the basis of getting a highly desirable and collectable (read: license to print money) Frank Miller variant cover.
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2012’s Most Disappointing Movie Is…

The Dark Knight Rises really was not at the top of my must-see list for 2012 — it was closer the to the middle of the pack — but that’s no excuse for the film to be more disappointing than any other feature I screened this year. It’s particularly bad because the superhero flicks The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man turned out far better than I had anticipated.

This video clip sums up the more obvious sins of TDKR in about 3 minutes.


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