Batman

Assault on Arkham

by Alan Rapp on September 13, 2014

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • IMDb: link

Batman: Assault on ArkhamPurposely made to resemble the look and tone of the Arkham Asylum video games (which are more fun to play than watch) and featuring the New 52 version of the Suicide Squad (widely regarded as DC’s worst comic over the past three years), Batman: Assault on Arkham is something of a mixed bag. The character designs are drab, the character interactions are particularly one-note, and the logic of the script is rather weak (sending Task Force X into Arkham not to find a dirty bomb but to retrieve a questionable source of information).

The straight-to-DVD movie does offer us Kevin Conroy reprising the role as Batman, but the rest of the voice cast, while not awful, is quickly forgettable. The squad itself is made up of Deadshot (Neal McDonough), Killer Frost (Jennifer Hale), the least impressive version of King Shark possible (wasting the talents of John DiMaggio), a particularly slutty Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch), the argumentative Captain Boomerang (Greg Ellis), the rather nondescript Black Spider (Giancarlo Esposito), and the quickly-dispatched KGBeast (Nolan North) whose unfortunate early exit is rather disappointing.

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Batman ’66 #14

by Alan Rapp on September 11, 2014

in Comics

Batman '66 #14Although he never actually appeared on the 60s television show, there’s little doubt such a creation like the Batrobot (which we’ve seen in various forms over the years in different media such as most recently in Batman: The Brave and the Bold) would be right at home in the campy confines of this version of Gotham City.

In an issue that instructs the reader about advances in technology and their limits, Batman ’66 #14 features Batman creating a giant Batrobot to police the city giving the Dark Knight Detective and Robin a vacation. Despite the early successes the robot taking down the likes of Clock King, Louie Lilac, and the Archer, the robots limitations are revealed when it fails to handle the team-up of the illogical combination of the Joker and the Riddler. It looks like Batman’s job is safe for the time being.

Widening the Batman ’66 universe to include the wacky comic storylines that the TV series inspired, Batman ’66 #14 offers a fun issue all around in what is easily one of the title’s best issues to date. Must-read.

[DC, $2.99]

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Beware the Batman – Monsters

by Alan Rapp on September 8, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Beware the Batman – Monsters
  • wiki: link

Beware the Batman - Monsters

The arrival of a group of heavily armored and well financed thugs roaming the streets of Old Gotham, along with a mysterious savior whom the neighbor has dubbed their Golem, brings Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) and Katana (Sumalee Montano) to Gotham City’s poorest part of town. Unmasking Metamorpho (Adam Baldwin) as the Golem doesn’t stop the mercenaries working for the imprisoned Simon Stagg‘s (Jeff Bennett) daughter Sapphire (Emmanuelle Chriqui) nor the out-of-control District Attorney Harvey Dent (Christopher McDonald) intent on taking down the city’s vigilantes by any means necessary.

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DC Nation – Riddle Me This

by Alan Rapp on September 4, 2014

in Short Films

  • Title: Riddle Me This

Batman matches wits with the Riddler in this DC Nations animated short.

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Batman Beyond Universe #13

by Alan Rapp on September 4, 2014

in Comics

Batman Beyond Universe #13Sometimes a comic can surprise you. After largely ignoring Batman Beyond Universe I decided to pick up the latest issue which promised the return of the Phantasm, flashbacks to the old Batman: The Animated Series days, and the reveal of what really destroyed the Bat-Family all those years ago.

Batman Beyond Universe #13 weaves a story that feels more like part of the Timmverse, without being overly nostalgic, rather than the increasingly watered down version we’ve seen come and go in recent years. The result is the best Batman Beyond comic I’ve read and easily sells me on the conclusion of the two-part storyline which will not only see the fallout between Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and Bruce Wayne but also force Terry McGinnis to deal face-to-face with the man responsible for the death of the man who raised him.

Joining the comic with this issue, artist Phil Hester manages to faithfully recreate the look of both series. I particularly love the flashback art. Best of the week.

[DC, $3.99]

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Beware the Batman – Nexus

by Alan Rapp on August 25, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Beware the Batman – Nexus
  • wiki: link

Beware the Batman - Nexus

Alfred‘s (JB Blanc) absence begins to effect Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) as the Dark Knight pushes himself to the limits on a consistent basis with no one to pull him back from the edge. The introduction of Harvey Dent (Christopher McDonald) as the Gotham City District Attorney with a grudge against all costumed freaks including Gordon’s “pet” doesn’t help maters when Anarky (Wallace Langham) returns to frame Batman for a series of bombings which Dent is more than willing to attribute to the Dark Knight (even when witnessing evidence to the contrary with his own eyes).

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Batman Beyond – Rebirth

by Alan Rapp on August 24, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman Beyond – Rebirth
  • wiki: link

“Welcome to my world.”

Batman Beyond - Rebirth

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen and Batman Beyond. Set in the high-tech future of Batman: The Animated Series, the series introduces Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle) as a Batman for a new generation (with more than a little classic Spider-Man thrown in for good measure). The two-part opener “Rebirth” not only introduces both audiences and the elderly Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) to Terry but also to the futuristic world which will be home to Batman over the show’s three seasons.

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Beware the Batman – Reckoning

by Alan Rapp on August 18, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Beware the Batman – Reckoning
  • wiki: link

Beware the Batman - Reckoning

Wrapping up the three episode arc, “Reckoning” forces Katana (Sumalee Montano) to face the truth about Alfred (JB Blanc), pits Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) not only against Ra’s al Ghul (Lance Reddick) and the League of Assassins but also a collection of recently-freed super-villains who are sent after the Dark Knight by the Demon’s Head, and offer the newest unofficial member of the Bat-Family a chance to shine. Before the episode ends, with the help of his friends, Batman will stand triumphant over not only the League of Assassins but also Professor Pyg (Brian George) and Mr. Toad (Udo Kier), Magpie (Grey DeLisle), Tobias Whale (Michael-Leon Wooley), Phosphorus Rex (Greg Ellis), and Cypher.

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Detective Comics #34

by Alan Rapp on August 12, 2014

in Comics

Detective Comics #34The opening arc of new creative team Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato comes to a close as Batman‘s fight with the Kings of the Sun ends with Batman victorious but Annie Aguila‘s own battle and path of vengeance is a bittersweet reminder that not everyone in Gotham City can be saved.

The Icarus arc has spent quite a bit of time on Batman’s relationship with Detective Harvey Bullock, which continues here. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues moving forward or if Manapul and Buccellato have other members of the GCPD or Batman’s supporting cast to highlight in the coming months (I’d know I’d like to see Renee Montoya back on the force).

Stripped of any super-villain, or larger-than-life Bat-villain, the Icarus arc sets a tone for an intriguing book on Batman’s battle with the street-level criminal element of Gotham, while highlighting his reliance on his detective skills, that I hope to see continue as well. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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Beware the Batman – Darkness

by Alan Rapp on August 11, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Beware the Batman – Fall
  • wiki: link

Beware the Batman - Darkness

With Batman (Anthony Ruivivar) captured and all of Gotham plunged into darkness, Beware the Batman picks up the thread of the mid-season finale as Katana (Sumalee Montano) struggles to work with Alfred (JB Blanc) given Ra’s al Ghul‘s (Lance Reddick) revelation about her father’s death and Batman is forced to make an unlikely partnership to secure his escape.

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