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God of Comics – The Shadow / Batman #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

October 4, 2017

The Shadow / Batman #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Didn’t this just happen…?

Well, yes. Yes, it did. It started in April and wrapped a few weeks ago. DC Comics had their crack at this crossover earlier in the year, and even used the same writer. Steve Orlando told a solid and harrowing tale that worked with the constructs that both the Shadow and the Batman demand, and yet he sowed them together and showed where their similarities lie. Most importantly, he moved the mythology of both characters forward by weaving a tale rife with fated outcomes and the price of free will, the cost of perspective and redemption.

Heady stuff, but Steve is good like that.

This is the follow-up, the chance for Dynamite to publish the second half of Steve’s story – or so we assume. Previously, we learned that the Shadow is created from evil and given the task of redemption, and that someone who chose evil and murdered their way towards corrupting everything forever. Batman and the Shadow stopped that from happening by combining their efforts despite their differences: while both of them know the evil that lurks in the hearts of men, the Shadow kills and the Bat does not.

Interestingly, Steve put forth the idea that the powers that taught the Shadow were also shaping Bruce, preparing him to take up a different mantle; when Bruce turned them down, the Shadow imagined himself cursed to carry the weight of his struggle forevermore. It’s interesting that Bruce, offered immortality, would turn it down – but then, he has always been human, and always known that some day he was going to die.

So, here they go again: the path to those that taught the Shadow has been lost, leaving two men who cannot stand one another struggling to understand what one of them is and might become. In the process, they have discovered a taint that lies at the very core of both civilization and the human spirit. Can even minds such as theirs stop such a threat without killing everyone in the process?

This is the question that Steve Orlando asks: can evil be fought without destroying everything? Can one look unblinking into the Abyss without the Abyss looking into that one? Dynamite brings Giovanni Timpano for another crack at the Shadow, and if there is anyone that illustrates that character better you’d be hard-pressed to find him or her. The man lives in noir, regardless of what other genres he finds himself bringing to life with his clever pens: science fiction (Eclipse), horror (Infestation), Action (Justice, Inc), or even camp (Plan 9 From Outer Space Strikes Again!).

Do not miss this – it’s going to be incredible. And be sure to pick up DC Comics’ version of this when it comes out in trade, too.

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God of Comics – Batman: White Knight #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

October 2, 2017

Batman: White Knight #1 (DC Comics)

It’s interesting. The Joker, I mean.

He’s nearly as old a character as Batman, debuting only a few years into Batman’s run as a character. He started as a sneaky killer who could get to people anywhere back in the early days, when Batman was as much a killer as the criminals he hunted. As the Bat solidified as a character and stopped killing and using guns, so the Joker also solidified into something more and, like the Bat, something easy to write badly or to write well by accident.

We’ve said this before, but the Bat isn’t about revenge – if he was, he would have stopped after finding his parent’s killer. The Batman is about protection, about making sure that no one else ever has to suffer the trauma that a young child suffered when his parents were murdered in front of him. He is, in a very real well, trying to instill order on a broken world. He tries to build and has a goal, a nigh impossible but achievable one.

The Joker works as his antithesis because the Joker is complete and utter entropy.

He’s chaos for its own sake, the destruction of systems for no reason other than to kick them over. He doesn’t even care what happens afterward, he just wants to destroy everything for the sake of casual destruction and because the world is a joke. Through the eyes of the Joker, civilization itself is a game of make-believe that we delude ourselves into playing, and anarchy is the truth that he pushes. His sanity is insane.

And he’s easy enough to twist and turn regardless of what society demands of him. He survives the comic code authority and retains his character because he doesn’t care about dignity, morality, or what anyone thinks – his only concern is the man in the cowl and dragging that man down to a place where he, too, sees the stark raving truth that is the heart of the character: every single thing that we imagine ourselves to be is a lie.

The Joker languishes in that place where the very worst human impulses deny everything we build. He’s patient zero, an infection more than a man, as inhuman as the Batman himself.

We’ve seen a few places where the Joker tries to be good, or someone takes the name and tries to do good with it. Some of them are better than others. But this…?

This might work.

Here, writer and artist Sean Murphy presents a Joker that has been cured of his madness while still keeping his perspective. He sees the joke of things but is now working to fix the damage he sees, but he’s still cracked and tainted by his vision. He’s trying to make amends and do better, facing down the mind-shattering horror he once embodied, and a big part of that is pitting himself against a Batman that has lost all compassion, all reason, all mercy…

Batman stories are, at their core, tragedies. Bruce can fight with everything in him and never win, not really, because he’s facing the force the Joker embodies. But if that champion changes than the Bat can as might, the symbols becoming muddied until the only thing that can purify either of them is the other. Sean’s got some experience with that kind of story – witness his work in Punk Rock Jesus – and it could be aces here.

It will be aces here. We’re in the midst of a Bat renaissance right now, with all the Bat-comics being about the best they’ve ever been, and this title is going to bring something fresh and new to the table. Do not miss it.

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God of Comics – Batman / Elmer Fudd Special #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

June 27, 2017

Batman / Elmer Fudd Special #1 (DC Comics)

The insanity continues as Elmer Fudd declares Bat season and heads into Gotham to hunt the Bat… and Bruce Wayne.

DC has done a pretty great job with their comic heroes-Looney Toons crossovers: all of them have featured a story based in the comics-world followed by another that’s more in tune with the old cartoons. In our opinion, the best of them so far has been Martian Manhunter / Marvin the Martian, though that takes away from none of the others and it would be worth your time to track down the whole set. One-shots though these may be, the comic-side of these things fits in pretty well with actual continuity and adds depth to the characters involved, while the cartoony side of the issues have been just plain fun.

Here, writer Tom King turns Elmer Fudd into someone to be feared – one of the top assassins in the world, an unstoppable force that has more in common with the Saint of Killers than the character we’re familiar with. He carries the ridiculous accent but uses it like menace as we get a Sin City-style intro and narration, him tracking down a low-rent assassin who murdered Elmer’s wife and claims Bruce Wayne ordered the hit.

Artist Byron Vaughns illustrates a Gotham that dripped out of a Bosch painting, a monstrous place of cracks and shadows where light is an unwelcome memory. He draws inspiration from the classic Looney Tunes for his character designs, twisting the familiar just enough that you’ll recognize familiar faces through the gloom.

The combination is a heady mix of dread and the absurd, of things that should not be working working anyway through sheer force of will and the combined talent of two artists that know the edges of their craft. This will be the best of these crossovers, the one you’re going to want to read the most.

Be like Elmer and hunt this down. Welcome to Bat season.

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Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver – Episode 34: Hot Wheels & Shady Deals

Comedy, Events, Reviews, Showcase

May 19, 2017

The last season of Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver is proving to be super entertaining and full of the good stuff.

This episode was Hot Wheels & Shady Deals and it put Team Rocket against Cobra and The Delorean against The Batmobile.

The Opening Debate was Team Rocket vs. Cobra – They just cannot win… but this time, one of them has to! Right? Right?! It’s TEAM ROCKET versus COBRA – “Which is the least effective criminal organization?”

The members of Team Rocket were Adam Duff (a GvN regular), Phil Amore (of The Criticals Comedy) and Neoma Charles-Lundaahl (in her second debate with GvN).

The members of Team Cobra were Keegan Flick-Parker (Producer of GvN Vancouver), Beni Spieler and Nick Drake (both are regular performers for GvN)

This debate was filled with such a great knowledge of the fandoms. I don’t think that I have fully appreciated how crappy both Team Rocket and Cobra both are until I heard these two teams debate.

On one hand, Team Rocket are just the worst at being criminals. They are part of a world where they do not teach basic education but only how to train and fight Pokemon. On the other hand, Cobra is a terrible terrorist organization, they really do not grasp the finer points of espionage. Both teams fought well, but in the end, Team Rocket was THE WORST.

The Headlining Debate was The Delorean vs. The Batmobile – These cars have it all – speed, power, style, and ridiculous special powers! But which is superior? It’s THE DELOREAN versus THE BATMOBILE – “Which is the coolest ride?”

On Team DeLorean was Jo Dworschak (from Fruit Salad and Story, Story, Lie), Zachary Taylor (of The Criticals Comedy) and Graeme Thompson (GvN Regular and actor about town).

The members of Team Batmobile were Brent Hirose (Instant Theatre), Hunter Cochrane, Jess Ode.

One of the great parts of Geeks Versus Nerds Vancouver is that it gives local performers a place to stretch themselves out and grow. I am not going to lie, I love Batman and I was set to cheer for The Batmobile the team for Team DeLorean made the best case possible.

In its essence, this debate is Car vs. Time Machine and who better in our modern popular culture to tout the benefits of owning a Time Machine than Rick Sanchez. The pure amazing that was Graeme Thompson dressed as Rick,  spouting his points mid burp while yelling for that Mulan Szechuan Sauce was possibly the scale tipper on this one.

Team DeLorean despite Team Batmobile’s noble attempt to weave the mythology of John DeLorean advocating for the destruction of his coke induced monster car, won, and they won hard.


All in all the show was great and we cannot stress this enough, GO TO THE LAST TWO SHOWS THAT GEEKS VERSUS NERDS VANCOUVER WILL BE HAVING.

May 27th Geeks versus Nerds – Ep35: Absolutely Revolting – Pinky and The Brain Vs. Invader Zim and Gir / Katniss Everdeen vs. Neo

And their final show is on June 24th which will put Black Magic against Super Science and Steve Urkel against Sheldon Cooper.


All photo credits belong to Zemekiss Photography

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God of Comics: Bane – Conquest #1 (DC Comics)

God Of Comics, Reviews

May 2, 2017

Bane is a weird character.

No, wait, scratch that. Bane isn’t a weird character, but the treatment of him is. Bane is an important character that can and should be a major player in the DC Comics world and maybe not for the reasons you think.

See, the thing with Bane is that people think that the Venom is what makes him interesting. This is a failure to understand who Bane is; this is a man born into a prison sentence for crimes he never committed, who watched his mother being eaten by sharks and was victimized by a cruel warden of a third world country. He taught himself several languages and a series of arts and histories while imprisoned, honing his mind and his body in circumstances that should have killed him.

If this sounds like the beginning of a hero’s story, it’s because it could be. He freed the other inmates in his prison, was captured and subjected to medical experiments by his country’s military, destroyed them all and escaped. He’d grown up hearing stories of Batman and attacked him not out of obsession but out of a sense of rivalry: Batman was the bar against which he measured himself. He broke the Bat, was beaten by Azrael, kicked his Venom habit over a couple of months – a task that took Bruce most of a year.

Yes, the Venom makes his already incredible athleticism superhuman, but it’s his mind that makes him dangerous. He’s a detective of a skill that nearly matches that of Bruce himself, a scholar and strategist of enough talent that he was able to take down the Batman, a man who can kick his addiction to one of the most addictive substances in the DCU seemingly at will. He’s informed by the trauma of who he is and has no secret identity: Bane is his actual name, the only one he knows.

He’s fascinating. He’s incredible. Most writers use him as simple muscle and miss the subtlety and subtext of the character; he’s just as complex as the Batman that he’s come so close to destroying. Bruce’s reaction to Bane tends to be panic because he knows Bane is the one person who can maybe out-think him.

This series sees the people that originally created him – Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan – back to take him beyond Gotham. Bane has put his original band back together, a trio of criminals known as Bird, Trogg, and Zombie, and the four of them are setting out to build a worldwide criminal empire. This might be the scariest thing that could happen to the criminal underworld in the DCU, a man who gives Batman nightmares coming to rule them all.

And he should. He’s intelligent, ambitious, and ruthless in a way that no one else in the DCU can really match. This is a twelve issue maxi-series, too, meaning that our creative team has a beginning, middle, and end in mind, and if that end doesn’t lead to every hero in the DCU suddenly having to deal with a much more dangerous criminal element I’m going to be very surprised.

See, here’s the thing: the only character I can see that’s gone on this journey before was TAO over in Sleeper (and if you haven’t read Sleeper go to your comic shop and buy Sleeper). Bane is just as dangerous and driven as TAO was, and Bane could make his organization work in a world where DC Superheroes operate (unlike TAO, who could operate in the Wildstorm universe but never the DCU).

This is going to be awesome and you really should get in on the fun now.

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God of Comics: Batman / The Shadow #1

God Of Comics, Reviews

April 25, 2017

Batman / The Shadow #1 (DC Comics / Dynamite Comics)

The Shadow beat Batman.

Got your attention? Good. The Shadow was a radio play serial that debuted in July of 1930 and followed that up with print in April of 1931. Batman, of course, debuted in Detective Comics in March of 1939. It’s safe to say that Bruce took some things from his forbear, though he upped the theatricality and lost the faux East Asian mysticism. Both characters did originally use guns and outright murder evil-doers, though Batman gave that up shortly after his origin was firmly established, but Bruce still follows a lot of rules the Shadow started.

The Shadow only hunts after dark. So does Bruce. The Shadow has sidekicks and supervillains and a secret lair. So does Bruce. The Shadow has a multi-millionaire alter ego whose life was touched by tragedy. So does Bruce. The animated series even paid homage to the Shadow and his influence on Batman with the Grey Ghost character.

Here’s the set-up: there’s been some spectacular murders happens in Gotham, which is very much the sort of thing that attracts Bruce’s attention. Trick of it is, all the evidence points to Lamont Cranston as being the culprit – but Lamont has been dead for more than fifty years, and is the alter-ego of the original Shadow~!

This is very much the sort of mystery that Bruce loves and can’t let go of, so he’s going to dig deep and peel back the layers until he gets to the truth at the core of Lamont’s life… but the Shadow is out there, trying to stop him, and the Shadow knows exactly the sort of evil that lurks in the heart of every man.

Also, the writing team on this is Scott Snyder and Steve Orlando, the former of which has a reputation as one of the best Batman writers of our era and the latter of which has been doing amazing things all over post-Rebirth DC, so that has a lot of promise. Both of them are also fans of the Shadow and they’ve promised that this is going to be a classic mystery, a meeting of the minds as much as anything else.

As if that wasn’t enough, Riley Motherfucking Rossmo is handling the art on this. You might recognize his gorgeous stylings from Rasputin, Constantine, Hellblazer… the man is unspeakably good at creating mood with a sketchy style that is utterly unlike anyone else working today. His artwork is perfect for a story like this, where nothing is certain and everything is always in danger of falling apart, a world where truth is a vague ephemera, more promise than reality.

Yeah, this sounds like exactly the comic we need right now. Bring it on.

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Dawn of Justice Trailer

God Of Comics, Videos

December 3, 2015

Ye Gods, DC. We were worried that maybe you wouldn’t be able to follow in the footsteps of what Marvel has done, that maybe this was going to be a giant mess that would still be pretty to look at, but this? This looks fantastic:

Even Batffleck looks great.

No, better than that – most actors have pulled off either Bruce Wayne or Batman, but not both. The best of the lot was Bale, but the infamous voice was kind of a detraction; this, however, even sounds good. It looks like Ben was serious about making up for Daredevil, so good on him. I was worried about a lot of things going into this, but the trailer has sold me on his Batman, and I’m intrigued to see how this plays out.

Superman, of course, looks great and appears to have been doing good works around the world since the original Man of Steel. The good works in question even look like they might be worldwide, which is a great thing; the entire point of Superman is that he is a god living to the best of humanity, regardless of nation. That’s awesome.

Lex looks great, Zod becoming Doomsday was a nice surprise, and Wonder Woman looks god-like – that shot of the three of them getting ready to wreck Doomsday? That would’ve sold me the ticket right there. That’s the most impressive the DC Comics Trinity has looked in a very long time.

There’s less to say about Dawn of Justice than there is about Civil War because there’s less to draw on, but this looks like a hell of a good gateway into a larger DC Cinematic Universe.

If there was any doubt before, consider is squashed. This looks awesome and we’ll be going to check it out, too.

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Movie Review – Assault on Arkham

film, Reviews

January 27, 2015

Last week, we talked about how Justice League – Throne of Atlantis was a very pretty but ultimately forgettable movie. The animation, character designs, and voice acting were all about perfect, but the story made little to no sense and the character arcs were largely illogical or downright insulting. Worse, the movie didn’t seem to know who it was targeting with the brutal murder happening everywhere and the simplistic slapdash excuse for writering.


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Odin’s Eye on Comics [2014-07-26]

God Of Comics

July 26, 2014

Things happen in comics that are not necessarily the comics themselves. Movies, previews, television shows, all that sort of thing. We thought it was time we weighed in on some Very Important Issues surrounding the comics industries, and gave our one cent on it.

One cent… get it? Woden only has one eye and this is a God of Comics thing? (the joke you have to explain isn’t funny. – ed.)


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