A good Batman story can be told without Batman even appearing in it. I actually quite enjoy those rare stories that focus on Gotham City itself, on the everyday citizens who live there, and on the mythic, ever present effect that Batman has on it and them. Batman’s PRESENCE can suffuse a story whether or not he is there physically or not. Granted if they tried to serve up too many stories like that it wouldn’t work. People buy Batman comics because they want to see Batman. That’s the problem I’m having with Scott Snyder’s new story arc in the main Batman comic.

Here’s the thing: Snyder’s story is good. The idea is good. And it’d be a welcome change of pace. IF. If DC hadn’t ALREADY spent the past several years screwing with their most popular character. Playing switcheroo with the cape and cowl, experimenting just for the sake of experimenting. Either that, or the writers have just been too lazy or not creative enough to come up with some original Batman stories THAT ACTUALLY HAVE BATMAN IN THEM. Snyder was doing that for awhile, and doing it well. Is he out of ideas now, too?

source: www.theverge.com

I’ll go on record now. I am officially worried about Marvel Comics. Right now, anyway. I’m excited but apprehensive at the same time. Overall, the books and stories they’ve been producing over the past several years have been so damn good, I’m afraid they can’t maintain that high of a standard. Especially now, with so many of their leading writers leaving the House of Ideas. Hickman’s run on the AVENGERS books may have been controversial and something of an acquired taste, not as accessible as Brian Michael Bendis’s stellar run, but he built it to a crescendo of awesomeness with SECRET WARS that leaves me wondering, honestly, how ANYthing could NOT be something of a letdown in its wake.

Throw in the fact that Marvel is tinkering with so many of its prominent characters. Captain America is an old man and the Falcon is calling himself Captain America now. Amadeus Cho is the Hulk instead of Bruce Banner. Jane Foster is now Thor, and Peter Parker has become the new Reed Richards. Oh, and there are now TWO Spider-Men, and the Avengers roster has suffered some serious shrinkage. Maybe Marvel feels secure enough to experiment, risking the loss of some older readers by trying to hook new ones. I lack their confidence. New is good, but TOO new, not so much.

Were you around back in the dismal 90s? If so, first off, I can sympathize. We comic lovers really had it bad back then, didn’t we? The trend towards flashy art and creator-owned titles (which were mostly blatant rip-offs of existing series, usually the X-Men), with the focus solely on the visuals and no real attempt made at story content, culminating in the rise of Image and the speculator market that almost destroyed the entire industry—in other words, the good ol’ days they were decidedly NOT. Back then, did you ever think you’d see the day when the Avengers would outsell the X-Men? And could any of us have predicted a day when the X books would be in such a decline?

Lacking the movie rights to the X-Men franchise, Marvel is not-so-subtly downplaying the mutant line. As the X-Men and their fellow mutants take more of a secondary, simmering on the rear stove eye position in the new Marvel universe, the Inhumans are rising to fill that void, and I personally am thrilled. It’s about time the Inhumans get their due, and with an INHUMANS movie on the docket, it only makes sense for Marvel to hype the hell out of them. They can’t rely on another GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY repeat, where the movie made a mint despite its featuring obscure characters. By the time the Inhumans hit the big screen, I’m betting they won’t be so obscure anymore.

source: www.newsarama.com

DC Entertainment will now give Bill Finger official credit for his work in film and television projects based on his creations, including Batman v Superman.

This is a long overdue honor, and is still incomplete. Writer Bill Finger needs to be credited in EVERY Batman comic, should be credited on every television show, every cartoon, every movie in which Batman appears. Retroactively there isn’t much we can do; an awful lot of Batman comics have been printed, giving sole credit for the character’s creation to artist Bob Kane. But we can educate today’s casual fan. We can make sure to properly give the credit deserved from this point onward. Better late than never, and justice delayed is not necessarily justice denied.
All Bob Kane did was draw the character, and this under Finger’s direction. (Kane originally envisioned a character named “Birdman.”) It was Finger who named the character, and the character’s alter ego Bruce Wayne. It was Finger who devised Batman’s origin story and crafted all the mythos with which we are so familiar today. Finger is to Batman what Stan Lee is to Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron man, the Hulk, etc. and etc.—if Jack Kirby had selfishly stolen all the credit for himself, which is what Bob Kane did, actively excluding Finger as the rightful co-creator of the world’s most recognized superhero. Batman would not have approved.

source: www.superherohype.com

Man of Steel and Watchmen director Zack Snyder responds to Steven Spielberg’s comments on superhero movies and addresses the rumor mill around the DCU.

I’ve actually been a little worried about this myself. Commenting in the past on the Hollywood beast’s inability to generate any original ideas, lamenting its tendency to simply mimic what is currently popular and churning out one comic-based flick after another while giving no thought as to what, exactly, makes those successful examples of the genre work in the first place. And Hollywood will continue to do this, snatching up ANY comic property, no matter how obscure, no matter how unlikely those properties are to make any money at the box office, completely out of touch with the movie-going public, regurgitating what they believe to be a secret formula to big box office returns while milking the cash cow to death. It is only natural that people will eventually get sick of it all. Is Steven Spielberg right? Will we see a day when NO comic book movie will perform well in theaters?

Zack Snyder shares my concern that Spielberg might be accurately prognosticating the fate of the genre. However, he maintains that the only thing a director of such films can do is try to make the best movies possible, hoping that quality will win out despite Hollywood running the whole comic book one hoss shay into the ground. I concur, and as long as there are those who pursue quality over quantity where superheroes are concerned, the reign of the spandex-wearing superstar has miles and miles left to run before it implodes.

source: www.superherohype.com

and it’s exactly who you think it is.

Well, I called it. If you don’t believe me, do a quick search for my previous article on this site concerning the identity of the “Totally Awesome” Hulk. Come on, people, was this even a surprise? I can’t be the only one who saw it coming ten miles away. Writer Greg Pak, returning to duties chronicling the exploits of Marvel’s Jade Juggernaut, has a lengthy history with Amadeus Cho. Cho was his character. Basically a younger, Asian version of Bruce Banner, Cho is a super genius techno geek, just like Banner, but with a post-modern flair. Who else would Pak put in the spotlight but Cho? Well, anybody, if he wanted to not be predictable, but whatever.

Thing is, I enjoyed Pak’s run on the series in the past; I liked his portrayal of Cho as the Hulk’s sidekick. I liked Cho as a character. I MIGHT be interested in this new series, seeing Cho transformed into a hulk all his own—if the whole thing didn’t feel so overcooked. I mean, how many times has Bruce been replaced as the Hulk in the past few years? And even when it’s the same guy turning into the monster, depictions of the Hulk have been totally inconsistent. I feel like we haven’t been given a straightforward Hulk story, a classic Hulk story, in too long. Sadly, Pak’s new story, instead of being something fresh and new, looks dully familiar.

source: games.yahoo.com