75 Years of Batman

Batman75_logo_1COLOR_blk_580_53337eb4cb4440.11378405Batman is the most well known and beloved comic book character on the planet.

As much as I love Spider-Man and Superman, Batman is the one that EVERYONE knows and loves. In my twenty seven years on the planet I have never met anyone who does not like Batman in some form or another. The character is everywhere, ever present in pop culture from the comics themselves to the latest superhero movie releases from Warner Brothers.

Batman as a franchise crosses media like no other with more huge successes than fumbling messes. From blockbuster movies to ground braking TV and animated shows to thought provoking AAA video games. Batman is the guy to beat.

Today is the day that DC Comics (that’s Detective Comics Comics named after the very book Batman first appeared in) has designated as,  Batman Day in honour of their most successful character hitting 75 years of awesomeness.

75 years of Batman. 75 Years of stories. 75 years of people outside of comic books completely misunderstanding the basics and key elements of key elements and characters like Robin. 75 years of people loving the character in all his forms.

batmansaleSo go celebrate by indulging yourself with the latest Batman comic books out today or go ahead and grab some classic stories for a steal in ComiXology’s current sale of over 750 Batman comic books.

you can stay here and read about why the Dark Knight and his word is a deeply personal for me. Followed by of course some recommendations for you to check out.

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All-New Female Thor

THOR-001_cover

(Sources: Bleeding Cool, Comics Alliance, The Mary Sue)

Marvel dropped a nice piece of news today. Later this year the Thor we all know and love will be deemed unworthy to wield Mjölnir and the mantle of Thor will be taken up by another character. This time a female character will wield the power of Thor!

As ever speculation is rife as to who this mysterious female is with guesses ranging from Angela to Valkyrie. Personally I hope it is a new character or at least one of the older, future Thor’s daughters (See current issues of Thor: God of Thunder and the true epic that is the God Butcher Saga) sent back in time to exact justice on the world.

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“Grayson, Dick Grayson”

grayson 1 cover

This week saw the release of Grayson #1. The new big thing for Batman’s former sidekick, the first Robin turned Nightwing, Dick Grayson. Trading in the super heroics for a globetrotting and mind bending super spy lifestyle. Grayson is one of those rare New 52 books that attempts to deliver on the promise of the New 52. Taking a familiar character and putting a new spin on them, taking both them and the reader out of their comfort zone and trying something new.

First thing, let’s get you up to speed before we explore the life of Dick Grayson, Super Spy:

  • Forever Evil happened and it was a great and underrated event comic. (Seriously go read it, it is a lot of fun!)
  • Nightwing was captured by the Crime Syndicate and they did this on international television,
  • Nightwing Unmasked!Dick then spent the rest of Forever Evil hanging on the edge of life or death. This caused everyone to speculate that Dan Didio would finally get his wish and we would see the death of Nightwing.
  • Nightwing died, for five very, very tense minutes.
  • Lex Luthor then saved the world.
  • Batman recovered Dick and decided to make his “death” public knowledge.
  • Bruce Wayne had a new mission for Dick Grayson one that would benefit from the world and his closest friends thinking he was dead.
  • The mission is to infiltrate Spiral, the super secretive spy organisation created by Grant Morrison during his run on Batman and Batman Inc.
  • The reason, they know Batman’s identity and could know the identities of other heroes.
  • Queue opening credits!

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Batgirl’s New Look

NewBatgirl1

(Source: MTV News)

So as of Batgirl #35 Gail Simone is once again off from writing Batgirl. Sad, yes, but this time it doesn’t seem to be a case of her being fired by email. More of just her run with the character is coming to an end, for now. So with her departure comes a new creative team and an opportunity to take the character in a “New and bold direction.”

Normally I would shrug and carry on with what I was doing but I am liking the look of the new team and what they are doing with the character. We have writers Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher with artist Babs Tarr and the results are pretty cool.

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Putting the Super back into Superman

superman32This week sees a new era dawn for the New 52 Superman book. Not only has Geoff Johns returned to writing a character that he has given us some of his best work but this time he is also joined by superstar artist (and my personal favourite comic book artist) John Romita Jr.

Superman #32 hits the ground running and delivers to the reader a fun and action packed Superman comic. Which is great because since the New 52 started Superman has been a very mixed bag of a book. Constantly brought down by crossovers and ill thought out stories. So it is great to see the character back on form doing what he does best, saving the day.

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Going all posh with a .com

posh

(Image Source)

If you look in the address bar of your web browser you will see that The Comic Book Reader has changed from a humble .wordpress.com blog to a fully fledged .com of coolness.

Despite still very much being a hobby blog that I dip in and out of the Comic Book Reader is something that I want to develop further. The site gets a steady stream of views and I thought it was about time I start taking advantage of that. Things will pretty much carry on as they are with the target of one to two posts per week but I have a few things in the pipeline that will hopefully increase traffic and make updates more regular. I will hopefully be tweaking the look and layout of the site soon to get the ball rolling.

So if you are a regular visitor to these parts make sure you update your bookmarks and such to thecomicbookreader.com

Also, as ever if you fancy contributing to The Comic Book Reader either as a one off post or as a semi/regular writer please check out the About and Contact pages for more info.

Geoff Johns Superman Sale

Superman Sale

Superman Sale Link

For the next seven days ComiXology are having a sale on all of Geoff Johns’ run with Superman and I implore you to check it out. These are some of the best Superman comic books and story lines of the past decade and really show Johns’ talent as a writer. He gets to the core of what makes Superman, Superman and manages to do so with gripping stories full of action and drama. Which is something many Superman comics sadly lack.

The sale is of course to wet your appetite for Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr’s takeover of the New 52 Superman this month.

Out of what is available I would recommend you read:

  • Last Son (Action Comics #844-846, #851 & Action Comics Annual #11)
  • Escape from Bizarro World (Action Comics #855-#857)
  • Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes (Action Comics #858-#863)
  • Brainiac (Action Comics #866-#870)

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New Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer!

If you are a frequent visitor to this site you will see that I am very excited for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie from Marvel Studios. (Some might say overly excited but they can flark off!) Not only is Guardians yet another comic book I love being given the big screen treatment but it is also a turning point for the grand experiment that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps Marvel’s biggest gamble since the original plan to use a few movies to build to the Avengers (aka. The Best Film Ever Made) Guardians is based on a set of characters that not many people know of. Even for those that do know of them, even less of them have read the source material.

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The Gotham Conundrum

So the first couple of trailers for Gotham, the Fox network’s fancy pants new take on the origins of Gotham City (that place where Batman hangs out) in television form are out and my reactions are mixed at best.

The show has promise, mainly because it is Batman related and Batman has such a rich setting and characters that you really do not need him to tell great crime stories within the setting. See Gotham Central for a great Batman-less Batman comic. But where it falls down for me is in the presentation. The trailer is full of every cliché you can think of. Every single bit of corny “grim’n’gritty” dialogue is thrown into the mix as the show tries to sell itself on being a different kind of Batman story: The origin of everyone else apart from the one person who brings them all together. We see glimpses and flashes of the night the Wayne’s died and young Jim Gordon running about the city being a good cop in a bad town. It all seems like very surface level stuff. There is not much meat to it.

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Super Crazy Ultimate Spider-Man Sale!

USMSale

ComiXology and Marvel decided in the run up to the 200th issue of Ultimate Spider-Man to put on a massive sale of all 199 issues of the series. You can get the entirety of Ultimate Spider-Man, (that’s 199 comics!) digitally for $99.99 (£60.10) through ComiXology’s website in celebration of the series approaching it’s 200th issue.

As ever, you can also link your ComiXology account with the ComiXology and Marvel comics app/websites to read them anywhere and on any supported device.

USM is one of the best ongoing comic book series ever put together and it is all written by one man, Brian Bendis with a host of truly brilliant artists working on the book for long runs too. It is the book that has the most influence on the current Andrew Garfield starring Spider-Man films and is also a comic book series that has brought me to tears multiple times.

The series on a whole is also discounted down to $0.99/£0.69 per issue through the various comics apps on iOS/Android if you need to play catchup or fill in the gaps in your collection.

Seriously go buy it and thank me later!

Link to the ComiXology $99.99 bundle pack.

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