Hold on to your Batarangs Bat-fans as the slow climb to the top is almost over before the inevitable thrill-drop ride of Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s bone crunching, pseudo-realistic, city street demolishing Batman trilogy. From the looks of it this will be the biggest so far, the scale visibly going well beyond that of the previous two as Bane kick drops Brucey out of Gotham City and it would appear tries his own revolution on the streets of Gotham. Exactly what the US Army would have to say about that is left decidedly out but it looks like Batman might just return to save the day.
Based on the Broken Bat series of the early 90s that introduced Bane it suggests a fight back from absolute defeat at the hands of Bane (something they’ve made no attempt to keep secret in the trailer) but there are plenty of questions left unanswered. Like how Catwoman influences things, how Commissioner Gordon will help and where he stands on the hunt for the Batman following the death of Harvey Dent in the last film and how Joseph Gordon-Levitt managed to work his way into this film as well.
There is the issue of how it will all end. Comic book characters have proven increasingly resilient to rebirths. There has been absolutely no ambiguity over whether this is the last of the trilogy and history decrees it’d be 10 years before a reboot (by which time the fans’ll be crying out for it anyway) – so there is, I think, a very real possibility that the Dark Knight will fall in the Dark Knight Rises. The themes apparent in the trailer would suggest that figureheads and leadership are clear here – could Batman be more influential dead?
I feel a new BTB Investigates coming on….
In what is one more in a series of eloquently outspoken statements about comics (and his involvement in them) Batman writer Grant Morrison has described the superhero as “utterly gay”. The acclaimed comics writer, who has been writing Batman for DC since 2006’s ‘Batman And Son’ storyline, has said that while character is straight, a homosexual sensibility is “built into” the concept. He told Playboy: “He’s very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant. Gayness is built into Batman.’
“I’m not using gay in the perjorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay.” Morrison added that this was part of the appeal: “I think that’s why people like it. All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care – he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid.”
Batman’s next big screen outing The Dark Knight Rises is released this summer. Watch the trailer below.
Winner – Secret Six
Most of the talk this year has been about books that started with the DC relaunch in September however it’s a book that ended with the relaunch that takes our award for best comic. Gail Simone’s comedy epic about six D-list villains, trying to get by in a world of heroes came to its inevitable, bloody conclusion this year and with it we saw the end of possibly the best comic book run that you’ve never heard of.
Secret Six started in 2008 and tells the tale of a group of misfits lead by Scandal Savage (daughter of Vandal) as they try to hold together their minor crime operation in the face of heroes who want to arrest them and rival villains who want to murder them. One of the most consistently high scoring books on the stands, Secret Six has earned Simone a loyal following which has gradually grown to the point that she is now one of DC top selling writers.
By focusing on the characters as people rather than bland archetypes, Simone manages to make them seem sympathetic and reprehensible all at once. When reading Secret Six you may find yourself cheering for the characters on one page and chastising yourself for it a few pages later. Through it all though it’s hard not to root for this bunch of morally reprehensible yet loveable losers.
Six has been a hell of a ride for the past three years but all good things must come to an end and when DC decided to hit the reset button, the book ended up amount the casualties. Luckily for us, before the hammer fell Simone was able to deliver a killer (pun intended) finale to the tale which has helped to cement the series as one of the all time greats.
Runner up – Batwoman
The DC reboot has provided some fantastic stories but for my money the book that stand atop them all is J.H. Williams III’s take on Gotham City’s flame haired protector. There are no words to describe how beautiful this book is. Williams uses his position as both co-writer and artist to fully explore the limits of what you can do with panel breakdowns creating layouts that are works of art in themselves. It’s a book that constantly reminds you of the possibilities of the comic book format and the fact that it does so from within the Batman universe makes it even cooler.
That’s not to say that the story is half-arsed either. Even with lesser art, Williams and (co-writer) W. Haden Blackman’s tale of drowning ghosts and secretive government organisations would still be one of the better crime stories on the stands. Issue 1 sets you up with everything you need to understand who Batwoman is and from then on you can just hold on and enjoy the ride.
Check back tomorrow for another BTB award!
This little beauty was No.2 most viewed trailer on Imdb between Avengers and the Muppets so highbrow rests in a bucket for another day!! Hooray!!
Tom Hardy takes the money with this little number and Chris Pine comes in out of the icy cold of space to throw in with this girlfriend safe gun game of a movie. It’s a romantic comedy for boys!! Two partners and top agents of the CIA kick ass on a daily basis together until they discover they’re going out with the same girl (Reese Witherspoon). Que zany shooting out of the sky of multi million dollar spy planes (federal offence), fast cars and kooky smashing up of nice looking restaurants. Drag factor of McG aside this is at least a film with Bane and Captain Kirk beating up on each other and your girlfriend might agree to see it. Who knows.
Something this way comes. Based on this teaser trailer still who knows what. The chanting referred to in accounts of WB’s teaser site earlier in the year is still there which suggests (perhaps) that Bane is a little more than anyone expects – or it could be a high falutin’ Wrestling-style theme tune. There’s still a lot to answer but one thing is for sure – Batman is going mano-a-mano against Bane on some roof top somewhere.
Here it is. The Dark Knight Trailer for the new movie from the Christopher Nolan franchise. The Stanley Kubrick of blockbusters, Nolan has clearly pieced together a more coherent set of plot threads than previous Directors (Batman and Robin anyone) however this is a step up again from the Two Face / Joker combo of Dark Knight Returns. Catwoman, Bane and I suspect Robin Williams as Hugo Strange is blended in with the renegade storyline from the previous film and any personal plot line to throw in. However Selina Kyle makes up the love interest in this case and it looks like messrs Fox and Pennyworth (Freeman and Caine) are in their holding positions on this one. Nice to see the Scarecrow still representing a through line for the films. C’mon Nolan – this looks good….
…. or is it?
Christopher Nolan’s franchise rolls on under a shed load of secrecy but the folks at WB clearly know how to create a reveal. This beautiful little number may turn out to relate to nothing. An abstract representation of the collapse of Gotham perhaps, or the Dark Knight’s own grip on his city? Or…. they’re gonna do an earthquake!! No Man’s Land anybody? Nope? I feel old.
I’d love it of they did an Earthquake. They won’t. Will they? Anyway… great poster.
From the original series No Man's Land
The first picture of Tom Hardy as villain Bane in the massively anticipated ‘Dark Knight Rises’ has emerged online. The web was all a hub-bub as bat-fans went wild. On Friday Warner Bros. launched a dedicated website (thedarkknightrises.com), featuring a blank black page and people chanting. Eerie stuff and perhaps indicative of either a following Bane gathers or sounds from his upbringing. No doubt all will be revealed. Doubtless Nolan’s Bane will make more of his ruthless influence and tactical prowess than his previous incarnation in previous franchise killer Batman and Robin, in which Bane was a mute plant beast cum nacho libre style wrestler. Kooky.
Top marks to WB though for trying to drag out the intrigue surrounding the reveal. Later in the day a mysterious Twitter account started tweeting a section of the image. The picture was supposed to be revealed gradually, using the personal twitter icons of retweeters as the individual pixels but super fan hackers cracked the source code, revealing the whole image. The Dark Knight himself’d be proud.
So here he is;
What’d you reckon?
Big news here again at the Bunker as Warner bros. bosses yesterday confirmed not just who had been cast but also which characters will be featured in the new Nolan Dark Knight movie series. The choices are surprising as both characters have failed in previous attempts on the big screen; however Catwoman will be making a return and Bane; underworld back breaker and all round machevalian lunatic will be lumbering his way on to the screen to take his place in the Dark Knight franchise.
Catwoman (Adam Hughes) and Bane (by the guy who's names at the bottom there).
The most tight lipped casting was that of Catwoman as no one knew the character was even being considered for a reboot. Fighting off advances from Sienna Miller, Charlize Theron and Kate Beckinsale; a main stream and perhaps unexpected actress is taking the coveted role of Catwoman in the upcoming Batman feature; The Dark Knight Rises.
But it will be the stunningly beautiful indy / teen / gay cowboy movie veteran Anne Hathaway following in the footsteps of Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992’s Batman Returns and Halle Berry in a 2004 spin-off of the franchise. With an adorably awkward sexuality, frankly we can’t wait for her to get her knee highs on. Rumours that Halle Berry has been banned from appearing in any more comic book adaptations remain unconfirmed.
However while, thanks to lazy casting, Catwoman has proved the bane of previous incarnations of Batman, this time around Tom Hardy; whom Christopher Nolan directed in last years Inception will be the actual ‘Bane’ of this one. Everyone has known that Tom Hardy was due to appear in the new film however the rumour mill had offered up many possibilities as to who he will play; with adaptations of Killer Croc, Strange and Hush considered as possibilities.
Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy are due to appear as Catwoman and Bane in 2011's Dark Knight Rising.
As expected of Nolan as the franchise rolls on and while no one can doubt the raw appeal of his choices neither can be said to just be pretty faces. What lingers in the mind of the Nolan no one can be sure but on this evidence there is every reason to look forward to the next bit of Bat! We will try to shake the idea that Nolan’s need for realism in his bat movies will lead to Anne Hathaway playing a dippy old recluse who tempts ‘her furry little friends’ into the house with string and liver to keep her company and is known by local kids as ‘the Catwoman.’