Archive for the Batman Category

8 Comic covers right before/after a famous first appearance

Posted in Batman, comic books, pop culture, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

First appearances of famous comic book heroes/villains are highly sought after in the comic book world.  Who wouldn’t love an Action Comics #1 or a Detective Comics #27?  But what about Action Comics #2?  Or Detective Comics #26?   Are anyone seeking these titles out?

To me, it’s fascinating to look at very famous comic titles before or after they’ve debuted a very famous character.  They may not look like even the same title.  It’s weird to see an issue of Detective Comics with Slam Bradley or the Crimson Avenger on the front and not Batman.  You feel like you’re in the Fringe universe.  Let’s check out some of these fun comic covers and you can see how strange and foreign they look to you.

Action Comics #1Action Comics #2
Action Comics #2Action Comics is probably one of the most iconic titles of all time. Who doesn’t know that Superman debuted in issue #1 of Action Comics (left) in 1938? Well, interestingly enough, Action Comics was originally meant to be an anthology adventure comic with several other adventure characters. So even though Action Comics is now strictly a Superman title, back then, Supes was just one of the featured characters. Therefore, issue #2 (right) didn’t feature Superman on the cover at all. Issue #3 didn’t feature Superman either.  As a matter of fact, Superman wouldn’t make another Action Comics cover appearance until issue #7 (SIX MONTHS later).

Detective Comics #26Detective Comics #27Detective Comics #28
Detective Comics #26  and #28 – Detective Comics is as intimately associated with Batman as Action Comics is with Superman.  However, Batman didn’t debut until issue #27 (middle), so there were 26 issues of Detective without Batman on the cover or in the book.  As you can see, in the issues before (#26, left) and after (#28, right) Batman you get standard covers of police officers and gangsters that you would normally appear on crime comics of this time.  While Batman would return to the cover for issue #29, he would be absent again for issue #30.

All-Star Comics #2All-Star Comics #3All-Star Comics #8
All-Star Comics #3 and #8All-Star Comics is a very famous Golden Age title. It features the first appearance of The Justice Society of America in issue #3 (middle) which is the first team-up of super-heroes into a single team in history. In issue #2 (left), you can see they still feature the heroes on the cover, but not collected together as one team as designated by issue #3’s giant round table with the team name embossed on the top.  All-Star Comics #8 (right) is an interesting issue also.  You wouldn’t know it by the cover, but that issue is the first appearance of Wonder Woman in an 8 page insert that was used to test the interest of Wonder Woman as a hero.  Wonder Woman would join the Justice Society in issue #11…as their secretary (but she would make the cover!). She would prove popular enough to headline her own book, Sensation Comics, a year later.

Showcase #3Showcase #4Showcase #5
Showcase #3 and #5 – The debut of The Flash in Showcase #4 (middle) was one of the defining moments of the Silver Age. Showcase was a tryout book by DC to determine who would get their own series. As you can see, the issue before The Flash debuted (#4, middle) featured a story about deep sea divers called The Frogmen (#3, left). And even though The Flash was a huge hit, he wouldn’t appear in Showcase #5 which featured Manhunters (#5, right). The Flash would reappear on the cover for Showcase #8. The Hal Jordan Green Lantern would debut in Showcase #22.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Batman vs Dracula

Posted in Batman, comic books, Dracula, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2011 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

This the is final day of AWESOME-tober-fest 2011 comic book week in which I look at comic books featuring the character of Dracula. Today I’m going to look at the epic battle between the Lord of the Vampires and the Dark Knight Detective.

Batman vs Dracula

Today’s comic is Batman & Dracula: Red Rain from 1991.  Yes, Batman vs Dracula in an Elseworlds tale.  How badass is that? The book was written by Doug Moench and illustrated by Kelley Jones. This was a very popular graphic novel and spawned a cartoon movie that was loosely based on the story.

This graphic novel has Batman investigating a series of murders affecting Gotham’s homeless population. Batman discovers that the murders are by a family of vampires led by Dracula himself. Batman recruits a female vampire named Tanya who recently left Dracula’s family to help lure the vampire legions to the Batcave. Batman is accidentally bit by a vampire but still manages to destroy the majority of the vampire family except Dracula. Dracula kidnaps Gordon and Batman goes after him. Dracula and vampire Batman battle and Dracula is impaled on a broken tree trunk. Batman laments that Bruce Wayne is dead but states that now, vampire Batman can continue forever.

Batman vs vampires

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Review of DC’s The New 52 – Justice League #1

Posted in Batman, comic books, reviews, Superman with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2011 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

Well, for those that don’t know, I’m off to Vegas tomorrow.  My wife and I are renewing our vows for our 10th anniversary and there’s no better way to do it than to do it in Vegas by Elvis.  So that’s happening for me this weekend.

I wanted to jump in today with a quick comic review.  The first of DC’s “New 52″ came out and I got my hands on it.  It was Justice League #1.

Written by Geoff Johns and drawn by the awesome Jim Lee, this comic begins DC’s journey into Rebootville. I wasn’t for sure what to expect going into this. I was  a little excited, a little apprehensive.  I just wanted a good start to this whole thing.  Plus, I didn’t know where they would begin.  Will we see the origin of the JLA, or will everything begin further back and we’ll eventually get the full-fledged JLA.  Let’s see.

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7 Got Milk? ads featuring movie versions of comic book super heroes

Posted in advertising, Batman, comic books, movies, pop culture, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2011 by Paxton

I love the various advertising campaigns for milk.  From as far back as the 80s, they’ve had some of the more consistently entertaining commercial and print ads ever. There’s just something about them I enjoy.

Everyone remembers Michael Bay’s “Aaron Burr”.  Or the fun “Milk it Does a Body Good” commercials.  Or the ubiquitous “Got Milk?” print ads.  Classic advertising.  I especially like the ones I’m going to show you today. They are all print ads for the “Got Milk?” or “Body by Milk” campaigns and they all feature movie versions of comic book super heroes.  I love explosions of pop geeky culture like this.  I found many of these while thumbing through old magazines I had in my garage.

Please to enjoy.

Batman Begins The Dark Knight
Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) – Two of the greatest Batman movies we probably will ever see.  The Dark Knight is great, however, for re-watchability, I pick Batman Begins every time.  I love the sequel, I really do, but when I want to watch a Batman movie I put on Batman Begins.

Superman Returns
Superman Returns (2006) - I love Brandon Routh.  However, this movie sucked.  One giant missed opportunity.  The lead was great and the effects were awesome.  But everything else was wrong.

Green Lantern
Green Lantern (2010) - This movie ended up exactly like Superman Returns.  The lead was great and the effects were awesome, but everything else was a fumbled missed opportunity.  Kudos for a great looking ad, though.

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The Cavalcade and Nerd Lunch assault the Tallahassee Auto Museum Part I

Posted in Batman, blogging, cars, movies, pop culture with tags , , , on July 18, 2011 by Paxton

I have met so many awesome bloggers in the nearly 5 years since I started the Cavalcade.  Every one of them has influenced this site in some way.  In the last few years, I’ve even been able to team up with some of the bloggers I admire most in some fun team ups. Last July I hooked up with Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s to talk about Unofficial Movie Trilogies.  Last summer I was asked by Rondal Scott to contribute content for his blog Strange Kid’s Club.  And the awesome blog crossovers just keep coming.  Earlier this year, Carlin Trammel from Nerd Lunch asked if I wanted to meet up somewhere and do a blog crossover.  After several months of working out schedules it finally happened and the Holley household traveled to Tallahassee for a “meet-and-geek” between Nerd Lunch and the Cavalcade of Awesome.

The question was…what do we do?  We decided to check out an “auto museum” off I-10.  I put “auto-museum” in quotes because…well, you’ll see.  I had seen this particular “auto museum” in my travels to Destin, FL to visit my brother-in-law.  They heavily advertise the fact that they have a Batmobile from the movie Batman Forever.  So, this seemed like an appropriate place for two pop culture nerds to join forces.

As soon as I drove in the front gates to the museum, I knew this place was going to be special.  Just inside the gate, to the right, was a nearly life size model of the Batmobile…and a buffalo.  A GIANT, decidedly NOT life size buffalo.  And I discovered that if you take a picture from a certain angle, it actually looks like the buffalo is driving the Batmobile.

Buffalo driving the Batmobile

I know, right?  LEGENDARY.  So I know this place is going to rock even though the outside looks like some random office building.

Tallahassee Auto Museum

That ordinary exterior did well to mask the awesome-ness that was hidden within. Shall we go inside?  Yes.  We shall.

First of all, here are the intrepid explorers, me (left) and CT (right).  We were unprepared for what lay ahead.
Me and CT

And what are we standing in front of? Why gentlemen and gentleladies, that is the Elvismobile.

Elvismobile 1
Check it out in all of its pink glory. Now, understand, Elvis never actually drove this vehicle, the car is just a subtle and classy homage to the King of Rock n Roll. The entire body is lined with rope lights. There is a giant hooka pipe with a skull on top sitting in the middle of the driver’s console.  The door handles have been replaced with pistols.  There’s a trailer caddy hitched to the back with SIX generators used to power a video projector that can show movies on the side of a building.  Like I said.  Subtle and classy.

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25th Anniversary Review of John Byrne’s Man of Steel Part I

Posted in 80s, Batman, comic books, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , , , , on July 6, 2011 by Paxton

Superman Week

John Byrne’s historic six issue mini series, The Man of Steel, just turned 25 years old.  It was released during the Summer of 1986 to “clean up” the ever increasing super powers and ever more complicated back story of DC’s flagship super hero. For years, this series was the official origin of the post-Crisis Superman.  What’s “post-Crisis”?  Glad you asked.

Twenty six years ago (Apr 1985), DC released their multiverse changing event Crisis on Infinite Earths. I discussed the genesis of that historical mini-series over on Strange Kid’s Club in a very special installment of Forgotten Favorites. That megaseries changed the landscape of the DC Universe. It ushered in a time of change. Heroes died.  Heroes lived.  But after all was said and done, everyone had to pick up the pieces and move on.

Crisis #1

DC was using the event to update and modernize their heroes. After the event was over,  George Perez would relaunch the post-Crisis Wonder Woman.  Batman’s origin would be expanded and revamped in Frank Miller’s famous Batman: Year One. And it also was time for DC to give Superman a new start. In the years leading up to Crisis, Superman had become entirely too powerful. I talked about some of his more ridiculous “super powers” earlier this week. The time of Superman igniting suns with his heat vision and juggling planets had come to an end. Crisis writer Marv Wolfman pitched DC on a Superman reboot that would eliminate the super pets, the surprisingly large number of Kryptonian survivors and power down the Man of Steel to more “normal” levels. Wolfman even wanted to eliminate Superman’s adventures as Superboy. Surprisingly, Wolfman made a similar pitch to DC back in the 70s but they rejected it. Now DC was all ears.

Wolfman decided to hire popular writer/artist John Byrne (who had just left Marvel) to help him flesh out the details of the story. Wolfman and Byrne sequestered themselves away and came up with a multi-year plan for the new Man of Steel.  A month or so after the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, John Byrne would kick off Superman’s triumphant return with a 6 issue mini-series (re)introducing the new post-Crisis Superman to comic readers.  At the end of that series, Byrne would take over writing and drawing Action Comics and the new Superman title and Marv Wolfman would take over writing Adventures of Superman with Jerry Ordway drawing.

Man of Steel 1b

Each issue of Byrne’s 6 issue series would re-introduce aspects of the Superman mythos back into the DC Universe.  I’ll take a quick look at the first 3 issues today, then I’ll look at the final three issues tomorrow.  I haven’t read this series since the mid ’90s, so it’ll be interesting to see if it’s still any good or if it’s totally dated.

Let’s find out.

MOS 1a
Issue 1’s prologue begins on Krypton and we learn that this new Krypton is very similar to the Richard Donner version from the movies. It’s very scientific, the landscape is antiseptic and the people are detached from each other. However, despite being highly evolved, their planet is dying. Jor-El is making preparations to rocket his son to Earth. He explains to Lara that he chose Earth because the yellow sun would super charge his Kryptonian cells, making him a “super” man and superior to humans so he can one day rule the planet. The rocket takes off, we see the planet explode and then the prologue ends. We pick up with Clark in high school. He’s a football star. A jock. And kind of a douche. And he’s unaware that he’s an alien. Pa Kent shows him the crash site and explains how he was found in the fields after crashing to Earth. Clark must come to terms with not being human and learning to deal with his burgeoning powers. In the epilogue we see Clark, with help from Ma and Pa Kent, create his super suit and the disguise for Clark Kent. The suit is normal fabric. We learn that Clark emits a force field around his body that protects things close to him, like his clothes. Things outside the field, like his cape, can be torn up or destroyed.

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Solicits for the DC reboot madness

Posted in Batman, comic books, Superman, The Flash with tags , , , , on June 14, 2011 by Paxton

Well, the whole DC relaunch thing has the comic fanboys losing their damn minds.  In case you don’t know, it seems comics fans are up in arms because DC decided to reboot all their titles back to #1.  Comic blogs everywhere are kvetching about it.  CT from Nerd Lunch even deemed it necessary to talk about the relaunch.  CT mentions that he hates some of the costume redesigns, but I like them.  Especially Flash.  They just look more modern.

Now, I’ve read comics since the early 80s.  I started with Flash and then ventured into Superman, Batman, X-Men and The Fantastic Four.   I still read comics, but I tend toward the trade paperback collections and don’t really care about single issues anymore.  I don’t care what number is on the cover, I just want good stories.  But I look forward to this relaunch as a “wipe the slate clean” and start fresh with cool ideas.  Almost buried in the announcement of the reboot is the fact that DC will also start distributing comics digitally the same day they release them in print.  That’s huge.  Reading comics digitally is growing quickly in practice, much to the consternation of comic book fans everywhere.  With the iPad and other tablet computers, we finally have the perfect way to read a digital comic.  I am looking forward to doing just that.  I have been reading digital comics for the last few years now and while I prefer print, digital isn’t bad (especially when I get a tablet computer).

Anyway, I was reading The Source, the DC Universe blog, and they gathered together all the solicitations for the new reboot titles. There are lots of cool and interesting titles that have been announced.  Let’s take a look at them.

Action Comics 1 Superman 1
Here are the Superman reboots.  The two images above are for Action Comics #1 (left) and Superman #1 (right). In the solicit you can also see covers for Superboy #1 and Supergirl #1.  Like I said I don’t care they are rebooting Superman, because, technically, they already did it once back in 1987 with John Byrne.  This Superman #1 is interesting because it’ll be written and drawn by George Perez who took over from John Byrne back in 1989.  I’m actually a bit surprised they are rebooting Action Comics due to it’s history.  I mean, it was about to hit #1000.  But they got Grant Morrison to write it, which is awesome.  He did the spectacular All-Star Superman series with Frank Quitely.  I’ll definitely want to check these out.

Detective Comics 1 Batman 1
Here are the solicits for the Batman reboots. Detective Comics #1 is on the left and Batman #1 is on the right. I like Batman, I’m just not a huge Batman fan. Rebooting Detective Comics back to 1 is interesting to me because of the history (like Action Comics). It also nearly hit 1000. However, also interesting is the fact that this will be the first time that Batman has EVER appeared in a Detective Comics #1 (or #2-26).  I’m surprised they didn’t reboot Detective Comics back to #27.

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