Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Playlist

Batman v Superman Poster

This weekend the two greatest superheros of all time are going to face off for the first time in theaters everywhere.  This of course begs the question, what am I going to jam out to while the two juggernauts duke it out?  Well no fears, Comic Books and Cats has got you covered with fresh new playlist to hype you up for the movie (if you haven’t seen if yet) or to nurse that sweet post movie hangover.  You can listen to the directly through the app below or here is a direct link to the playlist on Spotify.


DC Comics February 2016 Neal Adams Variant Covers Complete

For the month of February there are some inception levels of Neal Adams in the variant covers from DC Comics.  We have Neal Adams, playing homage to himself through 25 different covers.  As an added bonus I not only was able get the color covers but Neal Adams released the pencils for each cover as well!

 

 


Batman: Bad Blood

Batman Bad Blood Cover

Before we get in to the movie we have to address the elephant in the room.  There is no way to talk about this movie without first thinking about the Taylor Swift song.  I’m sure that DC Animation Studios picked the name for this movie way before Taylor Swift released 1989 but it doesn’t really matter at this point.  The name Bad Blood will forever be associated with Taylor Swift and we just have to deal with it.  It’s Taylor’s World, we are just visiting.  So that being said here is the music video for Bad Blood so you can just have it playing in the background while you read the rest of this post.

While this is a stand alone film it lives in the same world and continuity of the Son of Batman films.  The first film of this series is Son of Batman, followed by Batman vs. Robin, bringing us to the third entry Batman: Bad Blood.  While all these movies live in the same continuity you definitely don’t need to see the first two films to understand what is going on in Batman: Bad Blood.  There are a couple of little nods to the first two films but it is mostly original material.

Battle of the Cowl Cover

This film is loosely based on the 2009 Comic Book event Batman: Battle of the Cowl.  The key word here is loose.  Battle of the Cowl takes place following Batman R.I.P. where Batman was killed (kinda) and was lost in the time stream to become Batman during various ages in time.  Bat-mite is involved, its written by Grant Morrison and barely comprehensible (comics be crazy yall).  So Batman: Bad Blood is like that, in that Batman is out of commission and Nightwing (Dick Grayson) takes over the mantle of Batman, just for a lot shorter duration.

Detective Comics 854

During the year or so that Batman was out of commission during Batman R.I.P. we were also reintroduce to Batwoman as she took over Detective Comics for issues 854-863.  So it’s fitting that we also see the modern Batwoman (Kate Kane) introduced in this film.  There was a DC Animated film, Batman: The Mystery of the Batwoman in 2003 but this Batwoman isn’t anything like the modern new 52 Batwoman.  If you want a kickstart into the character of Batwoman, Batman: Bad Blood is your best bet.

Batman Bad Blood Heretic

The movie starts with typical bust up job where we think we see Batman taking care of business, but surprise, its Batwoman.  Batman does wind up joining her and the two take care of the lower level baddies and confront a new villain “The Heretic”.  The fight moves over a giant catwalk, because of course they do, and Batwoman winds up falling off.  Batman saves her but in doing so is stuck in the building as the Heretic blows it up and is persumed dead.  Cut to two weeks later and Batman has not been seen since the accident.  Nightwing (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne) come back to Gotham to help figure out what happened.  I don’t want to just spoil the whole thing so I’ll just leave it (more or less) at that.  Batwing gets involved and the four of them (Nightwing, Robin, Batwoman, and Batwing) have to work together in order to figure out what happened.

The movie is great.  It fits in the same tone and world as Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin so if you enjoyed those movies you’ll likely enjoy this one.  Because these Batman movies have started to tie together it gives a lot more weight to the events in them and gives you a feeling of actual stakes to these films.  There are a couple of deaths in this movie and they have a real impact to them.  They definitely aren’t just trying to keep the status quo in these films and are taking the story where ever it needs to go.

Batman Bad Blood Batwing

The introduction of Batwing and Batwoman are done well.  We get a lot of backstory on Kate Kane, who she is, why she’s doing what she’s doing.  We don’t quite get as much for Batwing.  We see his origin on screen but other than a line or two about him being in the military we don’t really get a lot of information about him.  There is only so much time in these films so I don’t fault the film makers that much for it.  If you had to choose between spending more time on Kate or Luke, I’d rather it have been Kate.

Batman Bad Blood Kate Kane

If you don’t already know Kate Kane is a lesbian and this part of her life is in the film.  We see her go on an awkward first date with Renee Montoya and her father keeps trying to get her to go out and find a nice girl.  This was all handled matter of factly and as a part of who she is instead of her defining characteristic.

Batman Bad Blood Robin

We also see Damian has grown a lot as a character since his introduction in Son of Batman.  He’s no longer blood thirsty and genuinely living by the code of justice, not vengeance.  He’s no longer just doing this to please Batman but it really seems to be a part of who he is now.

Batman Bad Blood Nightwing

We get a closer look at the relationship between Nightwing and Batman and a explanation of why Dick felt he needed to take up the mantle of Nightwing and leave Gotham.  Grayson takes up the mantle of Batman in his absence for the sake of Gotham but only reluctantly.  Grayson has been trying to get out of Batman’s shadow his entire life and the movie does a good job of inner conflict within him.

Batman Bad Blood Batgirl

We’ve never gotten a “Marvel Style” teaser at the end of any of these DC Animated films but Batman: Bad Blood may have given us just that.  At the very end of the film we see the Bat Signal turn on and Batman, Batwing, Nightwing, and Batwoman all suit up and respond.  And then, right before the credits roll, BOOM! Batgirl!  We’ve never seen Batgirl in any of these DC Animated films and not only is this Batgirl but it’s the Babs Tarr New 52 Batgirl as well!  We haven’t heard any announcement of what the next Batman Animated film will be but I would bet money we are finally going to see a Batgirl solo movie.

 


Comic Block December 2015

Comic Block Box

This month’s Comic Block had a Judge Dredd Theme.  I AM THE LAW!

Comic Block 8 Full Unboxing

Here is what was inside:

  • Judge Dredd 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant from IDW
  • Scarlet Witch 1 from Marvel
  • Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 from DC / IDW
  • Comic Block Exclusive Superman / Lex Luthor Magnets
  • Judge Dredd I Am the Law T-Shirt

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First off let me say that this month’s Comic Block took a ridiculous amount of time to get here.  I got the “Your Order has Shipped” E-Mail on December 14rd and didn’t receive the box until January 12th.  My Comic Block was being processed by UPS for an entire month!  It’s not that I’m mad that it arrived so late in January, it’s that it told me it was coming and then nothing happened for the better part of a month.  Apparently the people of Comic Block tweeted out that the boxes were going to be late due to Christmas but still, we all knew Christmas was coming and it feels like a lack of plan on their part.

Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1

These multi-publisher crossovers seem to be what IDW does the most these days.  We’ve already seen one of these in the July Comic Block with Green Lantern / Star Trek.

I actually thought the Green Lantern / Star Trek crossover was a pretty solid book… The Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, not so much.

I’ll be honest I thought this book was going to be garbage the second I saw it, but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt, after all it did have James Tynion IV as the author so it couldn’t be that bad?  Well it wasn’t god awfully bad but it wasn’t good either.  It was very meh, which might be worse than it just being a fun terrible book.  The story doesn’t matter because its so forgettable that I already don’t remember what happened and I literally just finished reading it.  The art is actually pretty terrible which was a huge disappointment.

Batman - TMNT Pic1

It is a watercolor shaded style which just looks cheap.

Batman - TMNT Pic2

The turtles look decent but all the Batman aspects look like they were drawn by someone who is drawing Batman for the first time.

Batman - TMNT Pic3

The Batmobile is probably the worst version of the Batmobile I’ve ever seen.

If you love the Turtles and Batman maybe this is for you, but for everyone else I would just pass.

Scarlet Witch 1

Scarlet Witch 1

When I found out this book was going to be in this month’s Comic Block I was very excited.  Scarlet Witch is one of the characters I don’t know very well but would like to find some good stories to dive in to.  Unfortunately this isn’t the book for that.

The only Scarlet Witch arc I’ve read was House of M in which Scarlet witch depowered all but a couple hundred mutants simply by saying “no more mutants” and Avengers vs. X-Men when she fought Hope Summers.  I enjoyed both of those stories but neither really gave me a clear explanation of what Scarlet Witch’s powers are, other than she is extremely powerful.  So I was looking forward to this comic to hopefully bring some clarity.

Scarlet Witch Pic 2

Clarity I did not get.  So apparently Scarlet Witch is not a mutant but is actually a real witch and her powers are possibly spell based?  This comic centers around Scarlet Witch going to a crime scene to help the cops out with a murder that seemed to be magically motivated.  This is super weird.  It is basically like a episode of Law & Order but with a mutant, in costume, helping out.  Turns out that the murder was actually possessed by a demon and said demon had actually possessed the lead detective that was with Scarlet Witch at the crime scene.  Scarlet Witch was able to exorcise that demon and save the detective.

Scarlet Witch Pic 1

This comic is weird.  It’s a crime procedural, Scarlet Witch has a ghost friend that hands around her apartment, and she walks around New York in costume without anyone giving her a second look.

Scarlet Witch Pic 3

There was also a part where Scarlet Witch talks about the Cat Massacre of 1730 which is a part of history that I could have been perfectly fine not knowing about.

Judge Dredd 1

Judge Dredd 1 - Comic Block Exclusive Variant

The shirt in this box had me pretty excited for some Judge Dredd, so much so I winded up watching the Dredd movie from 2012.  So I was very disappointed and confused when I actually did read the comic.  It wasn’t that it was particularly bad, its just that they are clearly going for a big arc here and this being the first issue we were left entirely in the dark of what was going on.

Judge Dredd Pic 1

The comic begins with Dredd waking up in a field and clearly something happened and a large amount of time has passed.

Judge Dredd Pic 2

Dredd picks up a couple of moppets.  They then go inside a weird building thing that looks like one of the mega cities and surprise it is a mega city!  And that’s it, we don’t get any more information or plot.

Judge Dredd Pic 5 - Copy

There is some weird stuff in this comic too.  There is this strange herd of animal people that spout off weird vaguely political things that get mowed down.  This might wind up being a great arc, its definitely got enough in this issue to have me intrigued.

DSC03574

Finally here is a Bonus Cat picture, Aeris really wanted to help with the whole unboxing process.


Character Profile on The Maker

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Today we are here to discuss the Maker, and no, I am not talking about Jesus. I’m talking about The Maker of Marvel Comics, the alter ego of Ultimate Reed Richards.  Let’s take a minute to appreciate that sentence. Reed Richards is Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. But this is not the normal canonical version of Reed Richards, this is the alternative Ultimate Universe version of Reed Richards.  But this is not quite that version either, we are going to discuss the second wave of the Ultimate Universe, the Ultimate Comics version. The Reed Ricards which has a big metal helmet on his head and is known as The Maker.

Secret Wars 4

So this story starts with Secret Wars Issue 4.  This is the issue in which the Life Raft (the one with the good guys in it) and the Cabal (the one with the bad guys in it) confront Dr. Doom.  When this happened I saw the Maker (Ultimate Reed Richards) for this first time and was very confused.  Why does he have this thing on his head?  Why was he on the ship with the villains and not the heroes?  WHY DOES HE HAVE THE THING ON HIS HEAD?

My search started on where else but Wikipedia and Comic Vine which were surprisingly little help.  Both mention that at some point Reed Richards becomes the Maker but no explanation of why or how.  The Marvel Wikia had more information but again still didn’t explain why or how Reed became the Maker.

So this lead to part two of my search.  I have a subscription to Marvel Comics Digital Unlimited and have access to every issue of the Ultimate Universe.  So I started by looking through the entire Ultimate Fantastic Four run (2003-2009) with no luck.  Not a single issue had the Maker on the cover and spot checking a few they all had the normal version of Reed Richards.  No problem I think, there are a half dozen other Ultimate Fantastic Four Series, surely it is in one of those.  I check Ultimate FF, Ultimate Fantastic Four / X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four MGC, and Ultimate Comics Doom.  No such luck.  At least a quick search through the covers all have the normal version of Reed Richards.

I’m stuck.  I don’t know where to look and there is no great source of information on Ultimate Reed Richards / The Maker.  Finally I have a breakthrough and realize the image that Marvel Wikia is using for the Maker is the cover of Issue 9 of Ultimate Comics Ultimates.  I open up the series on Marvel Unlimited and decide spot check some issues and see if I can find where this transition happens.  I open Issue 1, Page one and see the following image.

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What the fuck!  Issue one already has Reed Richards as the maker.  This had to have taken place before Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates started.  I go back to Wikipedia and look up Ultimate Comics Ultimates and have breakthrough number 2.  Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates is the result of the events of Ultimate Comics Doomsday.  Ah Ha I proclaim!  I go back to Marvel Unlimited and open up Ultimate Comics Doom and immediately notice something is wrong.  Issue 1 is in the middle of an action sequence and there is clearly something going on before this issue.  I go back to Wikipedia and learn that Ultimate Comics Doomsday is actually the combination of the following Ultimate Enemy, Ultimate Mystery, and Ultimate Doom, each of which is 4 issues long.  So I need to read these 12 issues before I can start the 30 issues of Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates which will explain to me how Reed Richards became the Maker.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

So if you want to learn about the Maker here is the full reading order

  1. Ultimate Comics: Enemy 1-4
  2. Ultimate Comics: Mystery 1-4
  3. Ultimate Comics: Doom 1-4
  4. Ultimate Comics The Ultimates 1-4 (The Republic is Burning), 5-6 (The World), 7-12 (Two Cities, Two Worlds)

It’s a little spread out but all together it makes one complete story. I would like to bitch about how it wasn’t worth it but the truth is that this whole arc is actually really great and something I would consider a must read. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Fantastic Four but this is hands down the best Fantastic Four story I’ve ever read. If you have access to Marvel Unlimited or find it on sale at Comixology you should definitely give it a read.

If you don’t want to read it and just want to know what happens here is a brief super spoilery summary.

You’ve been warned.

Ultimate Comics Enemy, Mystery, and Doom

Ultimate Doomsdsy starts with a mysterious alien worm thing that goes loose on New York City.  At first it’s thought to be a Roxxon Corp experiment gone wrong but is quickly realized to be much bigger than Roxxon as it attacks the whole city.  In the end the aliens behind the attack are caught and the worm thing is stopped.  The worm thing causes a lot of damage including the entire Baxter Building.  It also destroys the childhood home of Reed Richards (with Reed inside) and the home of Peter Parker.

20160108_223035000_iOS

Cut forward aliens are continuing to attack and various marvel heroes (Spider-man, Spider-woman, Captain Marvel, Nick Fury, the rest of the Fantastic Four) try to figure out who is behind it.  Susan Storm gets further than most and is brutually attacked by the person behind it all who is… Reed Richards!  It turns out Reed was behind it all and was using the attacks as distractions as he began to build a utopian society in the Negative Zone.  A whole mass of Ultimates go to the Negative Zone and attack him and are able to stop Reed while Reed himself is lost in the destruction.

Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates

Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates takes place immediately following the events of Ultimate Comics Doom.  We last saw Richard Reed floating in the abyss of the negative zone.  In the first shots of this series we see Reed with his maker helmet on in the middle of no where Germany with a huge group of followers.  He builds “the dome” which is a huge structure in which he is able to slow down the effects of time.  So while only days passed in our world centuries passed under the dome which lead to the evolution of the human species.  Just to keep up Richard Reeds had to expand his own brain capacity which is now in a freakishly large shape that fills his maker helmet.  By the time the Ultimates come to investigate the Dome society is huge and more advanced technically and biologically than anything on earth.  Reed continues to expand the size of the dome outside of just rural nowhere to destroying occupied cities nearby that were in the way.  The Ultimates are literally powerless to stop Reed as all methods and technology they have are woefully out of date.  Eventually Reed stops the growth of the Dome and declares a truce.  He agrees not to expand in exchange for the outside world to leave him and his society alone.

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Of course the Ultimates aren’t going to just let this stand.  Now strap in because this is where things get really weird.  Ultimate Tony Stark has a sentient Brain Tumor which takes the form of a 8 year old child version of Tony Stark.  Tony has been talking to his tumor and realized the tumor has the ability to take over / hack machines.  Tony infiltrates the Dome his tumor takes over the AI of the city and causes it to collapse in on it self.  During this the Ultimates come in and wreck shop and are able to stop Reed this time for good (well for a while).

Evil Reed Richards! Utopian Society! Super advanced society from kind of the future! Tony Stark with a sentient brain tumor that has super powers.  Guys this comic has it all and you absolutely have to check it out.


Harley’s Little Black Book Variant Covers Complete

For December DC Comics are continuing to their theme variant covers but this time there is a twist.  Instead of just normal variants, each variant will come three varieties: full colors, inks, and pencils.  The buyer won’t know which of the three they will get as they will all come in the following black polybag.

Harley's Little Black Book Polybag

In addition to the three normal varieties (color, ink, pencils) one lucky buyer will truly hit the jackpot as each artist created an original 1 of 1 sketch cover which was slipped in the mix as well.  Here is J. Scott Campbell’s original sketch variant that he posted on his Facebook page.  Sadly with the number of collector’s that will buy copies of these books and never open them its likely that a few of these original sketch variants will never see the light of day.

Hidden Sketch

Here’s the full list of comics and artists:

  • Harley’s Little Black Book 1 – J. Scott Campbell
  • Justice League 47 – Jim Lee
  • Justice League Of America 6 – Joe Madureira
  • The Flash 47 – Terry Dodson
  • Green Arrow 47 – Tim Sale
  • Wonder Woman 47 – Amanda Conner
  • Superman 47 – Lee Bermejo
  • Batman 47 – Alex Ross
  • Harley Quinn 23 – Bruce Timm
  • Green Lantern 47 – Darwyn Cooke

Here is the complete collection of covers including each in full colors, inks, and pencils:

Harley’s Little Black Book 1

Justice League 47

Justice League Of America 6

The Flash 47

Green Arrow 47

Wonder Woman 47

Superman 47

Batman 47

Harley Quinn 23

Green Lantern 47


DC Comics January 2015 Coloring Book Variants Complete

Have you ever dreamed of being a colorist?  Well DC’s got you covered this January with a slate of coloring book variants.  They aren’t only selling the comics to color but some shops will even have pencil sets for sale to color them with!  Adult coloring books have kind have been all the rage of late with books out now based on the Outlander and Breaking Bad TV Series.  I’ve got the complete rundown of all 25 covers below.


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