DC rolled out its first official Batman v Superman trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. The extended look sets up the basic conflict between the two heroes, suggest the people of Metropolis are equally miffed about Supes’ behavior in Man of Steel as the rest of us, and gives us a good look at Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on March 25, 2016.
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is odd to say the least. Cobbled together from a variety of Batman storylines over the years, Batman Unlimited cherry-picks pieces of DCU continuity to offer a new (but not really fresh) take on the characters involved. Set in the not-so-distant future of Gotham City (with a definite Batman Beyond vibe) the straight-to-video movie opens with Batman (Roger Craig Smith) clad in a Beyondish red and black costume before eventually donning his more classic colors.
Created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff way back in 1959, Bat-Mite has given the Dark Knight Detective his share of headaches over the years. An imp from the Fifth Dimension who believes himself to be Batman‘s biggest fan, Bat-Mite is usually more trouble than helpful when he shows up.
The first issue of the new six-issue mini-series sees Bat-Mite banished from the Fifth Dimension to Earth where it’s unclear, other than the power of flight, just how much of his near infinite abilities the character still possesses especially when he’s so easily captured by the villainous Doctor Trauma whose plans the imp ruined while taking the Batmobile for a spin (over a cliff).
I’ve always had a soft spot for Bat-Mite who I remember fondly co-starring on The New Adventures of Batman when I was younger (a show that hasn’t aged as well as I’d like). I have no problem with the character getting his own mini-series but this toned down version without his abilities feels like a shadow of his former self. For fans.
Spiraling out of the events of Convergence and Future’s End, the new Batman Beyond ongoing series stars Tim Drake trapped in a future where Gotham is the only known city standing after Brother Eye‘s attacks. Picking up the mantle of Batman following the death of Terry McGinnis, Tim Drake begins protecting this new future Gotham which is similar to that of the television show but different in several important ways beyond just the identity of the man behind the cowl.
The truncating of the Bat-Family’s chronology in the New 52 reboot left a glut of former and current Robins all roughly the same age and not enough room for each to operate. Mercifully released from that regrettable Teen Titans title, I would have preferred Drake to have spun off his own book in the present but this at least affords him the opportunity to prove himself in new ways. Drake plus the Batman Beyond Universe, with a more dystopian feel, is an odd mix, but writer Dan Jurgens (at least initially) sells me on the concept while artist Bernard Chang shows he has what it takes for the series’ unique visual look. I’ll be curious to see where things go from here. Worth a look.
Convergence: Shazam! #2 may not have the Big Red Cheese factor of the previous issue, or enough of the supporting Marvel Family characters for my tastes, but Gaslight Batman is more interesting that I expected (in an odd variation of the Batman vs. Superman fight from The Dark Knight Returns) and the twist of having the heroes work together really helps save the issue from prolonging the battle more than necessary.
With Convergence over I’m hoping this isn’t the last we see of the Marvel Family’s alternative Earth (which is far more interesting than most of the New 52). Worth a look.