Tag Archives: gotham

Comic Books and Cats 50th Post Anniversary Issue

Spiderman 50

Hey there True Believers.  This very post marks my 50th post on this blog so I’d thought I’d take a minute to rundown my 5 most popular blog posts so far.  Before that a little shameless self promotion here.  I started a Facebook Fan Page for the blog (you get find it here) where I’ll be putting in all my blog posts.  I’ll also be posting other comic book related videos, news, and articles so go ahead and give it a like.

1) Netflix PSA December 2014

2) Netflix PSA March 2015

3) Top 8 Cat Moments in Comic Books

4) Shock-tober! DC Comics Monster Variant Covers

5) New Comic Book TV Part I: Gotham

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Comicpalooza 2015

Comicpalooza Logo

Over memorial weekend I made my fourth trip to Houston’s Comic-Con, Comicpalooza. Comicpalooza takes place at the George R. Brown Convention center and has expanded from taking place an Alamo Drafthouse Lobby in 2009 to the entire George R. Brown Convention Center.

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Day 1

The first noticeable thing is that the George R. Brown is under construction. Houston will be hosting the Superbowl in 2017 so there is a lot of construction downtown. There are several new hotels being built in the area and the light rail lines are expanding. This translated to there being a lot of construction on the streets in front of George R. Brown along with some construction to the inside of the building. The good news is that other then looking messy none of this construction really impacted the convention. The actual convention floors are not getting any work done on them so other than some sheets on the walls it wasn’t any different then past years.

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The biggest bummer of the weekend happened on Friday when Hayley Atwell’s Q&A was pushed up an hour and we missed all of it except the last question. Apparently the only way to know was to be notified through the Comicpalooza app, or if you happen to see it on Twitter. Even with the app the change was made at the very last minute so if you hadn’t checked the app within the hour of her going on stage you still wouldn’t have known.

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The only other panel I went to on day 1 was for Joel Hodgeman of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He seemed a bit tired and cranky but other than that he was really funny and it was a good panel. Joel had even brought his own travel Tom Servo with him.

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The dealer’s floor was great. There were booths taking up most of the first floor of George R. Brown while the ends of the convention center held the tables for celebrities and the food court. I winded up eating at the convention, against my own advice and the food was actually pretty good and decently priced.

Funko-Logo

Funko Pop Vinyl figures were sold by almost every booth across the floor. The pricing on these was really odd. Some booths did have exclusives or some of the rare figures for higher prices ($20 to $75 for rarer figures) there were still on par for what they cost online. A lot of booths were just over charging for the common figures that are readily in stock everywhere. I saw prices of $15 to $20 for figures that you could easily find online or even at other booths in the convention for $10.

Captain-Murica

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My first days buys were a Captain ‘Murica Tee Shirt from Tee Turtle and two graphic novels, Catwoman Vol. 1 from Ed Brubaker and Darwin Cooke, and Devine Right by Jim Lee.

Day 2

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First thing we did was to see the Comic Book Men panel, which was great. Ming and Mike had come to Comicpalooza last year and mentioned what a great time they had and how they enjoyed being in Houston. Bryan was booked to come to last year’s Comicpalooza but had gotten sick and wasn’t able to make it. Having three of the guys at the panel was great, Bryan truly give zero fucks and having him there really mixed things up.

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Next we went and saw Cobie Smulders Q&A which was fantastic. She was really funny and engaging with the fans there. Of all the panels we saw Cobie seems to really be having the most fun.

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After those talks I did a lot of shopping. I bought variant edition of Secret Wars 1 (2015) from Space Cadet Collection Collection. They are a local shop in Houston that I happen to visit a couple weeks prior to Comicpalooza.

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I picked up a bunch of elseworlds stories from an unmarked comic seller. I was able to find Superman Speeding Bullets, Supergirl Wings, Wonder Woman The Blue Amazon, Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham, and a couple of the 1994 Elseworlds Annuals (Batman, Superman, and Detective Comics). The guy who owned the stand notice all the Elseworlds I bought and tipped me off that he had a bundle of 12 of the 1994 annuals which I also picked up.

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This was my most exciting find of the whole convention. I had heard about these annuals before really wanted to pick up a few of them but had no luck finding them at other stalls at the convention. Finding some many bundled was great and may or may be subject of future blog posts…

Pinup Collage

I also picked up some awesome art prints of Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Batgirl, and Catwoman from Spicy Donut. I had seen these before on Pinterest so it was pretty sweet to see the actual artist at Comicpalooza and be able to buy some prints.

The last event of the evening was the Cosplay Costume Contest, which has notoriously been a hot mess. Last year it started over an hour late and was completely unorganized. One would think that this year they would have learned from their mistakes. However, learn they did not. This year it also started nearly an hour late and we had seats close enough to the stage to see some of the drama go down.  The organizers had not actually selected judges and were pulling some of the minor celebrities from the audience to judge.   We waited until the event was officially 50 minutes late before bailing.  Literally as we stood up to leave some one did announce things would be starting shortly.  However, we were pretty tired by then and there was still no sign that it was actually going to start, so we just left not having seen any of the show. The saddest part was we could see the cosplayers in the back lined up and ready to go with no hope in sight. It seems to have just been a complete logistical failing on part of the Comicpalooza organizers.

Day 3

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Day three was the biggest day for panels. We started off the day with the man, the legend, Stan Lee. He was as charming, sharp, and funny as ever. If I have even half of charisma and wit that Stan has when I’m 91 it will be a godsend.

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Next we saw the Gotham Panel which had Camren Bicondova who plays Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Sean Pertwee who plays Alfred, Donal Logue who plays Harvey Bullock, Cory Michael Smith who plays Edward Nygma / The Riddler, and Cameron Monaghan who played Jerome (the Joker). Everyone on the panel was really great and were super excited about the show and that it got picked up for another season. It had been Camren’s birthday the day before and the organizers had gotten her a Catwoman Birthday cake and the whole crew got to spend the day at NASA. It was really cool of the organizers to do that for them and give them a taste or our great city during the short time they spent with us.

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Chloe Bennet aka Skye aka Daisey from Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. was next. Chloe was schedule for one of the smaller rooms and it was clear that it was going to be too small for all the fans. The organizers did a amazing job of moving all of the people from the ballroom to the main auditorium and Chloe was still able to start her panel on time. Chloe was really funny and outside of Colbie Smulders really seemed to enjoy being there the most.

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Last we saw Rosario Dawson aka Night Nurse. Rosario was great she answered a lot of questions about being on Daredevil and Rent along with some of the activism work she does. Because Chloe’s panel was moved to the auditorium, Rosario’s panel started as soon as Chloe’s was complete which seemed to be fine and people were able to get into the room without any issues.

Wonder Woman 614

My only day three buy was Wonder Woman issue 614 which was the last one I needed to complete the Wonder Woman Odyssey arc.

Comicpalooza is a four day convention but I didn’t make it out to the fourth day.  I had pretty much bought and seen every thing from the floor I wanted and there weren’t really any more panels I wanted to go to.

Overall it was a great time.  I really enjoy going to Comicpalooza and it’s been amazing to see it grow as much as it has over the last few years.  I’ve already got my calendar marked and ready to go for next year’s convention.

Full disclosure I was not paid to write any of this and paid for my admission with my own money.  Comicpalooza does have an official blogger/podcast partnership which this site would love to be a part of next year…

Lastly I have a selection of pictures of Cosplayers from the convention.


Catwoman 75th Anniversary

Catwoman - Nine Lives of a Feline Fatale (2004)

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of Catwoman.  She made her first appearance in Batman issue 1 which came out in April 24th, 1940.  In her 75 year history a lot has happened to Catwoman and there have been a lot of interpretations of the character.  She’s had three on going comic book series, been in TV (animated and live action), and in two different movies!  So in honor of her 75th birthday (I saw she doesn’t look a day past 60!) we are going to go over 9 facts about her you may not know.

1) Catwoman has been Portrayed in Film by TWO Academy Award Winning Actresses

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Not only have both Halle Berry (Catwoman 2004) and Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises 2012) have both portrayed Catwoman and won Academy Awards but Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns 1992) has been nominated for Academy Award as well.  Julie Newmar (Batman TV 1966) has won a Toni award for best actress in a musical and Eartha Kitt (Batman TV 1966) has won a Daytime Emmy for Best Actresses.  Lee Meriwether (Batman TV 1966) has been nominated for two Golden Globes and one Emmy.  So far the only Catwoman actress not to win or be nominated for a major award has been Gotham’s Camren Bicondova, but seeing as she is only 15 I don’t think it will be long before she joins this list as well.

2) Catwoman was Ranked on IGN’s top Heroes AND Villains List

Catwoman Jail

Is Catwoman a hero or a villain?  During IGN.com’s 2009 rundown of the greatest heroes and villains Catwoman ranked 20th on the list of greatest heroes and 11th on the list of greatest villains.  So it seems our femme fatale is a little bit of both, as Selina Kyle says in The Dark Knight Rises, she’s adaptable.

3) Catwoman has been a Member of the Justice League

Justice League of America Vol 3 1

In 2011 the reboot of DC Comics entire line of comic books was centered around the Justice League comic book which started at the origin of the team.  After some misadventures Amanda Waller of the shady government agency A.R.G.U.S. decided America needed their own Justice League in case something were to happen and the original Justice League went rogue.  This lead to the creation of the Justice League of America whose members included: Steve Trevor, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman, the new Green Lantern Simon Baz, Stargirl, Katana, Vibe, and Catwoman.  Each member was meant to counter a specific member of the original Justice League with Catwoman on the team as direct counter to Batman.

4) She was Once a Flight Attendant

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Comic books be crazy yall.  I was unaware of this but going through the DC Wiki there was an origin story of Catwoman in which she used to be a flight attendant but during a crash got amnesia which lead her to her life as a criminal.  You can’t make this shit up.  I’ll let the DC Wiki tell the story since it is not available digitally and I wasn’t able to read the issue first hand.

“When Catwoman leaves her hideout, she finds Batman and Robin waiting for her. They try to give chase, but she throws a box at them with angry cat inside it. Batman runs towards falling debris, and Catwoman realizes he will be killed. Instead of escaping, she leaps to save Batman’s life and gets hit in the head by a brick.

They wake her up in the Batcave, where she feverishly screams about airline rules. It’s revealed that Selina Kyle was a stewardess, who fell out of a crashing plane and got amnesia. Kyle is horrified to hear that she’s become a criminal in her amnesiac state. Batman asks about her obsession with cats, and she explains that her father used to own a pet store. He taught her all about cats, and she subconsciously remembered that through her amnesia.”

5) On Earth-2 She is Married to Batman and They Have a Child

Huntress TPB

Yes its true! Gotham’s favorite on again off again couple had a love child!  Well, technically this takes place in an alternative reality, I tried to avoid dipping into the Elseworlds stories of Catwoman but I can’t avoid this one.  The character of the Huntress has grown in popularity and had her own mini-series and ongoing series in the new 52.  She has appeared as the main star of the short lived Birds of Prey TV Series along with a few guest appearances in the CW’s hit Arrow.

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There are two versions of this character, the first is Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a crime boss that shows up in the main continuity stories of DC Comics.  Bertinelli is the version they used for the TV Series Arrow.  The other version is Helena Wayne, the daughter of Catwoman and Batman.  Helena is the version that is used for the TV Series Birds of Prey. Helena is also the version of Huntress that was used in the recent on going comic series Worlds’ Finest which was centered around her and Powergirl (Earth-2’s version of Supergirl).

Worlds' Finest Issue 1

6) Catwoman Has her Heart Removed by Hush

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The popular villain Hush returned during “Heart of Hush” story arc that took place during the larger Batman RIP story.  In this story Hush performs plastic surgery on himself in order to make him self look identical to Bruce Wayne.  His plan is to kill the actual Bruce Wayne and live the rest of his days off of the Wayne fortune.  During a scuffle with Catwoman she tears his bandages to reveal his new face and give away his plan.  He manages to subdue Catwoman and removes her heart.

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Batman tracks down Hush who uses a paralyzing gas and reveals his big plan.  Batman is able to over come the gas and eventually over take Hush.

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Batman gets Catwoman’s heart back to Doctor Mid-nite and he is able to return her heart back into her body.  He warns her however that she may not ever return to her former level of physical prowess again.  However in true Catwoman fashion Selina enlists an all-star team of friends (Oracle, Holly Robinson, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Slam Bradley) to find and drain all of Hush’s bank accounts leaving him penniless.

7) Catwoman is Currently the Head of a Mafia Family

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During the year long Batman Eternal comic event it was revealed that Catwoman is the daughter of mafia boss Rex Calabrese.  Rex is a new character who was the cell mate of James Gordon who was in jail while being tried for murder.  Rex had been in prison for a some period of time and used to be known as “The Lion” due to the scars on his face and his sharpened teeth.  Catwoman breaks into Blackgate to speak with Rex where he tells her to seize power and unite the crime families of Gotham under her leadership.

Selina’s crime boss story picks up in the on going Catwoman series starting with issue 35.

Catwoman 35

8) Catwoman has a Side-kick Catgirl

Catwoman & Catgirl

In Batman issue 695 Catwoman steals the contents of a safe belonging to the Falcone crime family.  When she returns home she finds Kitrina, a teenaged escape artist and Carmine Falcone’s long lost daughter, breaking into her apartment.

Selina leaves Kitrina bound in a locked room and calls Batman to her house in order to turn her over to the police, but discovers that Kitrina had managed to free herself.  This impresses Selina, who had tied up Kitrina using an “inescapable” knot that Bruce had shown her years earlier.  Following a massive battle with Black Mask and his henchmen, Selina agrees to take on Kitrina as her new sidekick, Catgirl.

Catgirl

During the legendary story by Frank Miller, the Dark Knight Returns, Carrie Kelly took up the mantle of Robin.  Well in its sequel the Dark Knight Strikes Again Carrie Kelly has ditched her role as Robin and continued her work under the title of Catgirl.  In the Miller-verse Selina Kyle exists and is the Madam at a brothel, having long retired as her role as Catwoman.

9) Catwoman has a Sister Named Maggie

Maggie Kyle

Selina Kyle’s parents both died pretty grisly deaths (her mother committed suicide and father died of alcohol poisoning) while Selina and her sister Maggie were young.  Maggie went to an orphanage and was quickly adopted while Selina grew up on the streets.  The two lead pretty different lives and while Selina entered the criminal world her sister Maggie became a nun.  Selina’s criminal activities have had a big impact on Maggie in that she was at one point kidnapped and beaten by Black Mask.  Things get worse for Maggie Black Mask then forces Maggie to eat her own husbands eyes.

Maggie Eyes

Selina does get revenge however and kills Black Mask, shooting him in the head.  Maggie however goes insane and is committed to a mental institution.  She later escapes and takes on the villainous persona of Sister Zero after killing a nun and using her nun-tools as weapons.  Sister Zero then hunts down Selina and attempts to kill her believing that her soul has been taken over by a Cat Demon.

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That’s it folks!  I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something new about every ones favorite feline femme fatale!


New Comic Book TV Part I: Gotham

Gotham Logo Fox

After a long summer drought of good television to watch we have finally reached the fall TV season.  And what is different about this year as opposed to most is the massive amount of comic book properties that will be debuting.  New shows this year include Gotham, Constantine, and The Flash.  Returning with new seasons we have Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Walking Dead, and Arrow.  We also have CBS picking up a Supergirl TV series, Preacher coming to AMC, and a possible Walking Dead spin off show.  Never has there been a greater time to be a nerd.  So as these new shows premiere I will give them a watch and report back to you, the peoples.

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First up is Gotham.  Last year shortly after the premier of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fox and Warner Brothers quickly decided to get on the TV bandwagon and where else but Gotham.  During its announcement it was revealed that the premise of the show would center around a young Jim Gordon early in his career in the Gotham Police Department and a very pre-Batman Bruce Wayne.  This concept of a police procedural style drama centered around the Gotham police department, with a lack of Batman is actually not a new concept to the comic book world.  In 2002 a comic book series named “Gotham Central” was released which did just that.  Instead of being a young Jim Gordan it took place with a Batman currently in Gotham but with him rarely making appearances and the book centering around the Gordon and the cops of Gotham.  Batman was treated more like a myth/legend in this book and mostly appears in the shadows and talked about as rumor between the cops.  The series was originally written by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka and while it achieved a certain amount of critical success it had a hard time finding an audience.  The book never broke the top 100 comics in sales and after 40 issues was canceled.  While there are a lot of similarities between the book and the new Gotham TV show its been said that the TV show may be in the spirit of the Gotham Central comic book but will likely not follow any plot lines from the book itself.

Gotham – Episode I: Pilot

Gotham Opening Jock

Right before I began watching the show I was talking about what I thought about it and what my hopes would be.  The main thing I hoped for is that they would put off killing the Waynes until a few episodes in and establish them as characters.  This is something that I have never seen in the comics and would be an interesting take to actually see Thomas and Martha Wayne as real people instead of motivation for vengeance.  Cut to the opening scene of the show.  Dark alley, a young Bruce Wayne accompanied by his parents, leaving a theater, mother wearing pearls… We all know exactly what this is leading to.  So they not only kill the Waynes in the first episode, they kill the Waynes in the first SCENE of the first episode! They did a good job with the scene, and for an origin that we all know very well they knew enough to not spend a huge amount of time on it like some series (I’m looking at you Amazing Spider-Man).  I can’t be mad that it didn’t turn out the way I wanted but I was a little surprised they killed them in the opening scene.

Gotham Comic-Con Banner

From there we are introduced to a young Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock as they are the first detectives on the scene and assigned to the case.  Promises are made, shenanigans ensue, a suspect is captured and killed, suspicion is raised, and not all is as it appears. We are introduced to a slew of characters and the case of who killed the Waynes has begun.  It is a pretty great first episode.  Jim Gordon is our way into this world and we get a good sense of how corrupt the city of Gotham is in every aspect.  We get to see “business as usual” of crime in the city and we see Jim Gordon’s morality tested several times throughout the episode.

One of the more distracting parts of the episodes is the onslaught of cameos of every one who’s everyone in the Batman universe.  We meet Edward Nygma (The Riddler), Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin), Falcone (The Roman), Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Bruce Wayne (Batman), Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy, and yes I refuse to call her Ivy Pepper…), Alfred Pennyworth along with famous members of the Gotham Police Department Harvey Bullock, James Gordon, and Renee Montoya.  We even get a new character (i think) Fish Mooney played by Jada Pinkett Smith.  I actually really like the avalanche of characters from the DC universe and think it will play to the show’s favor.  I think that the inclusion of such was a big part of what made the show Arrow so enjoyable and hurt Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..  However, having ALL of these characters in the pilot is a little much.  I understand, this is a pilot and is made not for us audience but to sell the show to the network so there needs to be this sense of things to come.  It was just distracting and put things on such serendipitous level that it became ridiculous.

Things I Liked

Alfred Batman Earth One

My favorite part of the entire episode is the portrayal of Alfred Pennyworth as being a badass.

Batman Earth One

This was actually done recently in the comic books in a book non-canon book called Batman: Earth One, in which Alfred is a former member of the Royal Marines and all around badass.  We see this right away as Alfred takes Bruce away from the murder scene of his parents and tells him to keep his head up and look defiantly ahead.  It’s a fresh take on a character we all know very well and it will be interesting to see where they take him going forward.  I also liked the new character of Fish Mooney.  I think Jada Pinkett Smith did a great job and plays a very good ruthless crime lord.  She is cold, calculated, and looking to take out Falcone and take over as the new boss of Gotham.

What I Didn’t Like

Gotham Ivy Pepper

Two words, Ivy Pepper.  It’s a dumb thing to get annoyed over but it also makes no sense why you would change Pamela Isley to Ivy Pepper.  I can only guess that the stretch from Isley to Ivy was just too much for some people… But really my biggest complaint was the constant barrage of cameos from the villains of Gotham.  Again I get why they did it but it just was a little much and made the show feel desperate to show all its tricks at once.  I suspect that going forward they will retain a normal pace of giving us the story of each one of these characters but as for the pilot it was a lot to take in a once.

jerry final thought

Overall I liked the show and am looking forward to seeing more.  I can still see it going either way for me but I think they are heading the right direction.

 

 


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