One of the more unfortunate side effects of living in modern society is that we’re expected to wear pants whenever we’re in public. Seriously, they want you to do that every time you leave the house, even though that is clearly an unrealistic proposition for a society that has already perfected pajama technology. It’s an undeniable hassle, but this month, Mattel released something that helps make it a little more awesome: a recreation of the classic Batman ‘66 utility belt, complete with a folding Batarang.
It’s the latest entry in the tidal wave of merchandise that’s been hitting shelves in the truly wonderfulBatman TV series revival that we’ve been seeing over the past few months, and unless you’re willing to get creative with your “Surf’s Up” Batman action figure, it’s the first one you can actually wear. Check out a video of the belt in action below!
So as you may already be aware, I like Batman a lot, which means I think about Batman all the time, and ever since I started writing comics, I’ve been thinking about what I would do if I could do a Batman story. That’s pretty common, right? I mean, surely everyone has a Batman pitch in their back pocket just in case it ever comes up. One of mine, the one that I think could actually work really well, was The Batman of the 30th Century.
The basic idea comes from two things: One, that the Legion of Superheroes is founded as a Superman spinoff, which means there’s a lot of Superman legacy stuff that shows up over the years, and there’s a lot of Flash stuff that shows up from XS, Impulse and the Tornado Twins, but there’s nothing in the Legion’s future that indicates a legacy for Batman. (There’s also nothing involving the Wonder Woman legacy, but, you know, that’s a discussion for another time.) And yet, if you skip ahead to the 853rd Century of DC One Million, the Batman legacy is definitely alive and well.
Second, and the reason it’s so weird that there’s no Batman tie-in for the Legion, is that there actually was a “Batman of the 30th Century.” His name’s Brane Taylor, and he appears in a one-shot story in 1954. It’s not all that obscure among people who read a lot of comics, and with creators’ love of tying things together, it seems mystifying to me that there was never a reintroduction of that character as part of the Legion’s future. Maybe it was the name? “Brane” is, to be honest, kind of awful. But it’s all there, and looking at it as a fan, it seemed natural that you could tie it together. The only thing that you’d really need would be to tweak Brane so that he’d fit in with the teenagers of the Legion, and when I saw (and bought the original art for) Cliff Chiang’s Gatchaman-inspired “Science Ninja Hero Batman,” it all seemed to fall into place. I really wanted it to have a strange feeling of the retrofuturism of the original Legion and its Silver Age roots along with Batman’s darker, more modern aesthetic (there’s a lot of the Morrison run in this, for instance).
So I thought about this for years, and I ended up mentioning it to J. Gonzo, the artist of La Mano Del Destino, and he really loved it and wanted to draw it, and came up with a few ideas his own along the way – Robin and Bat-Mite were his ideas, and I love ‘em. We ended up making a full pitch document with character designs and summaries that I think is really cool, but at the same time, I know that there’s a roughly zero percent chance that it will ever actually happen. So we showed it around to a few people, and now I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy!
I sat down to watch 2011’s Karate-Robo Zaborgar, a Japanese film from the director of Machine Girl and Final Pussy… Between that and the Netflix description, Zaborgar had a pretty high standard to live up to, but seriously, you guys? It is the best movie I’ve seen all year, and maybe the most balls-out-crazy movie I’ve seen in my entire life.
Mark your calendars for 29 October – nine of the top podcasts in the world of comic books, including The Fan Bros Show, Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men and War Rocket Ajax, are coming together for a blockbuster crossover series of round-table discussions.
The event, titled “Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts”, will feature each show in the line-up hosting one episode, with guests from the eight other shows making special appearances to chew over the weighty questions (and some not-so-weighty ones too).
The crossover will see the Beyonder transport the podcasters behind The Fan Bros Show, Into It with Elle Collins, SILENCE!, Less than Live with Kate or Die, Journey into Misery, Wait, What?, House to Astonish, War Rocket Ajax and Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men to the podcast arena of Battlepod, to help him better understand the worlds of comic books and comics culture. If they succeed, all they desire will be theirs…
Secret Convergence on Infinite Podcasts features specially-commissioned art by top comics creators Brandon Graham and James Stokoe.
It all starts on 29 October with Episode One (Fan Bros), which sees host DJ BenHameen welcome Graeme McMillan, Rachel Edidin and Chris Sims to finally answer the question of Who Would Win In A Fight?
Episode Two (Into It with Elle Collins) features host Elle Collins alongside Helena Hart, Rachel Edidin and Matt Wilson and consideration of the best of Comic Book Movies.
Episode Three (SILENCE!) has host Gary Lactus accompanied by Al Kennedy, Chico Leo and Kieran Shiach as they mull over Are Things Better Or Worse?
in Episode Four (Less Than Live with Kate or Die) we join host Kate Leth as she talks The Comics We Share with The Beast Must Die, Elle Collins and Al Kennedy.
Episode Five (Journey into Misery) gives host Kieran Shiach and his guests Graeme McMillan, Rachel Edidin and The Beast Must Die the chance to name their favourite D-List Heroes and Villains.
Episode Six (Wait, What?) brings together host Jeff Lester and guests Paul O’Brien, Chico Leo and Gary Lactus to talk about Characters We Used To Love (Or Hate).
Episode Seven (House to Astonish) sees host Al Kennedy discussing comic book Guilty Pleasures with Helena Hart, Jeff Lester and Elle Collins.
Episode Eight (War Rocket Ajax) features hosts Chris Sims and Matt Wilson and guests Elle Collins and DJ BenHameen going in-depth on the topic of Comics Characters We Identify With.
and Episode Nine (Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men) assembles a formidably knowledgeable team, as hosts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes are joined by Paul O’Brien and Kieran Shiach to discuss matters ofComplex Continuity.
About the Shows
The Fan Bros Show is the “Voice of the Urban Geek”. Fan Bros discusses the week in geek while keeping an ear to the street for the topics and controversies that affect the world of fandom. Hosted by DJ BenHameen, Chico Leo and Tatiana King-Jones.
Into It with Elle Collins is a weekly podcast about pop culture by Elle Collins. In each episode, Elle talks to a guest about their pop culture obsession.
SILENCE! is a podcast featuring cosmic comic book discussion and songs from Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die of Mindlessones.com.
Wait, What? is a podcast ostensibly about comic books and graphic novels, in which hosts Graeme McMillan and Jeff Lester swap stories, theories, and jokes about all aspects of pop culture…but especially comics.
Journey into Misery is a podcast that seeks to unravel the continuity mess that comics have wrought upon themselves, with Kieran Shiach explaining the worst offenders to comics beginner Helena Hart.
House to Astonish is a bi-weekly podcast about comics hosted by Al Kennedy and Paul O’Brien, covering super-hero and non-super-hero books alike, with a round-up of comics news, reviews of new books and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which is where things get silly.
War Rocket Ajax is a podcast about comics and pop culture, destructive in its awesomeness, hosted by Chris Sims and Matt Wilson.
Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is a weekly podcast where hosts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes walk you through the convoluted continuity of our favorite superhero soap opera (because it’s about time someone did). It was recently named “The One Podcast To Start With” for comic books by Vulture.com
Here at ComicsAlliance, we’ve grumbled more than a couple of times about the persistent, legally mandated “Batman Created By Bob Kane” credit that appears on every single Batman story. The truth of the matter is that Batman was at best a collaborative effort between Kane and writer Bill Finger, who sadly remains unknown to many fans to this day. But what if — and this is a really big “what if” — that credit was actually accurate?
As Bill Finger’s 100th birthday approaches, that’s the question cartoonist Ty Templeton, artist of Bill the Boy Wonder, has set out to answer in a strip that shows Batman in the form that was actually created by Kane, and it’s not exactly a familiar site.