Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Women of DC- Power Girl

Hello all! It's Poison Quinn reporting in with your weekly dose of Women of DC. And as promised I'm here to bring you some info on one of DC's top heavy women, lol. I present to you Kara-Zor L aka Power Girl.

Real Name: Kara-Zor-L

Current Alias: Power Girl

Birth Place: Kandor, Krypton

Gender: Female

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 180 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Blond

Powers: Kryptonian Physiology, Solor energy absorption, superhuman strength, invulnerability, superhuman stamina, flight, superhuman speed, super breath, enhanced senses (telescopic vision, x ray vision, microscopic vision, electro-magnetic spectrum vision, heat vision) superhuman hearing.

Abilities: Master combatant, genius-level intellect

Weaknesses: Magic, psionics, vision limitation, kryptonite

Power Girl is the Earth-Two counterpart of the Kryptonian Supergirl and cousin to Kal-L, the Superman of Earth-Two.
Kara-L possessed the same superhuman strength and ability to fly, she soon took his place in the JSA after he entered into semi-retirement to focus on his personal life. Kara has become an important member of the JSA.

After discovering Krypton was about to blow up, Kara’s father Zor-L launched her as an infant to Earth in a ship at the same time that Kal-L’s ship was launched. Kara arrived decades after her cousin Kal-L due to her longer journey through space.

Unlike Kal-L's ship, Kara's "Symbioship" was designed to hold Kara in stasis during her development through the prolonged voyage. In addition, the ship's artificial intelligence had the life experiences and education of a Kryptonian in the form of a virtual reality program wherein she could interact with life-like copies of her parents and fellow Kryptonians. When she landed on Earth, Kara was the age of an adult woman in her early twenties.

Years after her arrival it was then Power Girl’s existence was revealed to the public. Cousin Clark and Lois provided her with a family environment to assist her transition toward real life relationships. In her first case Kara assisted JSA members Flash and Wildcat in containing an artificially induced volcano that had erupted in Peking, China. She also helped the JSA members defeat Brian Wave and Per Degaton’s scheme for total world domination. After her heroic help she was granted full membership when she took over Superman’s vacated spot on the team roster.

Since Kara was raised by the Symbioship with artificial Kryptonian life experiences, Power Girl had just a little trouble fitting into life on Earth. With the help of reporter Andrew Vinson, she eventually adopted the secret identity of computer programmer Karen Starr. She developed her knowledge in this field from treatment under Wonder Woman’s purple ray on Paradise Island. Never have worn a mask to differentiate between her two identities, it was bound for her identity to be revealed publicly. During this time she also developed a close friendship with Helena Wayne, the daughter of the Earth-Two Batman and Catwoman.

After the Justice Society disbanded, Power Girl joined the Justice League. Later on as a member of Justice League Europe, she was badly injured by a mystical being. Superman helped her in medical treatment, using his head vision to perform surgery on her otherwise-invulnerable tissues. Although she recovered, she was significantly weaker, losing all of her vision powers and temporarily her ability to fly.

I must admit, I wasn’t a big fan of Power Girl, for what reason, I have no idea. But after reading into her and writing this review about this busty young woman, I found a spot in my heart to want to learn more and read more about her. So there you have it folks, Power Girl. (now scroll back up and drool over the picture...I know you've been waiting. lol. jk)

Catch you all next week. :)

-Poison Quinn

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson

Hey guys and welcome back to Treacherous Tuesdays. Todays choice is one badass guy who I think deserved some light to be shined upon him. Without further hesitation, Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson.

Real Name: Slade Joseph Wilson

Current Alias: Deathstroke

Base of Operation: Africa

Gender: Male

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 235

Eyes: Blue

Hair: White

Powers: Enhanced: Mind, Reflexes, Strength, Stamina, Speed, Senses; Regenerative Healing Factor, Enhanced immunity, Retarded aging.

Abilities: Masterful tactician, expert combatant

Equipment: Deathstroke’s armor and helmet are lined with Kevlar and promethium mesh, which means…this man is resistant to conventional injury. He also has a specially designed multi-million dollar flash bomb capable of incapacitating the entire JLA, yes including Superman. He’s only able to bring Superman down long enough to escape…can’t blame him for trying.

Weapons: Various firearms, promethium sword, power staff, explosives and other things to aid him in combat.

At the age of 16, Slade Wilson, enlisted into the United States Army, of course lying of his age. After serving in Korea, he was later assigned to Camp Washington where he was promoted to the Rank of Major. He met Captain Adeline Kane in the early 1960’s who gave him the task of training young soldiers in new fighting techniques in anticipation of brewing troubles taking place in Vietnam. After watching Slade at work, Kane was amazed at how skilled he was and how quickly adapted to modern conventions of warfare. Instantly she fell in love with him and realized he was the most able-bodied combatant she had ever encountered.

She privately trained Slade in guerrilla warfare, in less than a year, he mastered EVERY fighting form presented to him and was soon promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Six months later Slade and Adeline were married and she became pregnant with their first child. At this time the war in Vietnam was beginning to escalate and Slade was shipped overseas. While he was gone, Adeline gave birth to their son Grant.

Some time into the war, Slade volunteered for a medical experiment designed to stimulate his adrenal gland in the hopes of increasing a soldier’s ability to resist truth serums. Slade fell into a coma due to unexpected errors with the experiment. When he awakened he discovered that he was now capable of using 90% of his brain capacity and his strength, durability and agility were increases to near superhuman levels. Slade then applied for re-assignment with the army but was refused. His condition was now stable and Slade fell into depression desperate to serve his country. Adeline then became pregnant with their second son, Joseph. Since he was unable to further his career in the military, Slade then turned to hunting. He became a world famous safari hunter and became pretty wealthy in this new career.

Some years later, a group of hired mercenaries broke into Slade’s mansion and kidnapped young Joseph. His wife tried to fight them off but was defeated due to the gas grenade that was used. Once Slade discovered this tragic event, he knew it was time to tell his wife the truth. Not only was Slade a world famous safari hunter, he was also one of the deadliest and most highly sought after assassins, Deathstroke the Terminator. Promising to save their son, they flew to Tangiers and fought off a rival mercenary known as the Jackal.

The Jackal wanted Deathstroke to reveal some information relating to a client or they would kill Joey. Thinking he could save his son before the order was sent off to kill him, he was too late. Josephs throat was slashed by one of the criminals before Deathstroke could reach him, destroying his vocal cords, resulting in Joey being mute. They rushed him to the hospital and awaiting results, his wife was enraged at his endangerment of her son, and she tried to kill Deathstroke by shooting him, only managing to destroy his right eye. Afterward, his confidence in his physical abilities was such that he made no secret of his impaired vision, marked by his mask which has a black featureless half covering his lost eye.

In Identity Crisis,(Best book ever!!) Deathstroke was enlisted as a bodyguard for Doctor Light, who was being chased by the JLA. Deathstroke nearly defeated the team of Elongated Man, The Flash (Wally West), Zatanna, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, the Atom and Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner). Deathstroke took out every member exepct Green Lantern who was ready to defeat Deathstroke using his ring. This was interrupted by Green Arrow sticking an arrow in his right eye where Deathstroke began beating Green Arrow but was tackled down by the other members. Dr. Light used his powers and the two soon escaped. Near the end of Identity Crisis, Deathstroke confronts Green Arrow on a rooftop. Arrow sees his reflection in the windows of a nearby building, but when he turns to confront Slade, Deathstroke is gone. Instead Green Arrow finds Slade's cowl and a note stuck to the wall by the very arrow he stabbed in Slade's eye socket. The note reads, "This is yours - We're not done."

Deathstroke is one hell of a man. I must admit outside of Identity Crisis, I didn’t know much of Deathstroke….after researching for this article, he is indeed added to one of my favorite villains. There was so much more about this man that I had to leave out for you all to do some research of your own.

Until next time. Keep counting down the days until Batman: Arkham Asylum to drop and stay tuned to Batmania Reviews for all your Batman and DC reviews.

Be sure to join me tomorrow for my review of the busty and voluptuous Power Girl. Lol.

-Poison Quinn

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Boy Wonder is Born (Robin: Year One Review)

Batmania readers, welcome to another edition of Graphic Novel Monday. This weeks review is on the Boy Wonder's debut, Robin: Year One. Written by Dixon and Beatty (the writers of the Nightwing series), Dick Grayson, the future Nightwing and Batman, the kid who had all the tools and determination to change the DC Universe, and one of the biggest fan favorites of all time. Robin: Year One shows the many firsts of Dick Grayson. Grayson's first year as Robin shows him tackling the Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, and his own mortal enemy, Two-Face.

Robin: Year One shows the untold origin of Dick Grayson, not the death of his parents, the Flying Graysons, but his first encounters with some of Batman's big villains. The novel is cut into four sections, and the first tackled is the abduction of young girls that seem to be disappearing all over Gotham. When a girl from Dick's class goes missing, he looks into it and eventually finds out that the Mad Hatter is behind the girl's disappearance. Along with Hatter's appearance, Robin tries to tackle the cold hearted Mr. Freeze without the help of The Dark Knight. And an appearance by Two-Face shows you why Harvey Dent's alter ego is to Dick Grayson what the Joker is to Batman.

Robin: Year One has a lot of recurring themes, including Jim Gordon being afraid of Robin getting hurt. He's not the only one, as Alfred also shows concern for Grayson, but Bruce believes that Grayson is something special ... and as we know Dick Grayson is. This is a very well written book, it establishes that Grayson isn't just some kid fighting adults, he's a determined, athletic young man ready to take on the world if he has to. The artwork is reminiscent of Batman The Animated Series, yet goes well with this type of story. Still, it seems a little rushed, and a little hard to believe that Dick could take on some of the biggest villains in Gotham with absolutely no help from Batman. I give Robin: Year One a 8.5/10.

- Jason Todd

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gotham City Sirens #2 Review

Hey Hey Hey, Jason Todd here with a review on Paul Dini's Gotham City Sirens #2. For those that didn't catch issue one, our three favorite ladies of Gotham, Selina "Catwoman" Kyle, Pamela "Poison Ivy" Isley and Harleen "Harley Quinn" Quinzel teamed up to become the Gotham City Sirens. After being taken in by Catwoman, Harley and Ivy decided to tie up our Feline Female and drug her with a truth serum from one of Ivy's many plants. What did they wanna know? Who is Batman?
I'm warning you guys now, there are spoilers ahead, I usually avoid them but there was so little in this issue I would have nothing to discuss If I didn't.

So in Issue two we see a flash back to three years prior where Selina meets with Talia Al Gul, this is billed as a meeting between the only two women Bruce Wayne has loved. Apparently the guy didn't care for his Mom at all ... but anyway Talia felt the need to teach Selina a technique that allows her to bury the knowledge of Bruce Wayne being Batman, incase someone ever happened to ... give her a truth serum and ask her apparently. Catwoman must not be all that great at learning because even though we see she learned in the Flashback, she still says Bruce Wayne is Batman, along with a few other people including Jim Gordon, Slam Bradley and Harvey Dent. After convincing the other Sirens that Batman is more of a Legend than one man, everyone is now happy and friends again, despite the recent mutiny.

Meanwhile, Harley goes shopping which appears to be her new vice since she can't shower Mr. J with her love. While out she runs into the man everyone believes to be Bruce Wayne but is actually the recently escaped Thomas Elliot a.k.a. Hush. When "Bruce Wayne" is kidnapped and held for ransom, Harley see's it as a chance to save the man who granted her a release from Arkham Asylum. Now with Harley running around town with a disguised Hush, (the very same man she helped Catwoman rob) Ivy and Catwoman are out to save their fellow Siren at our issues end.

Alrighty, so first things first, I love that the Dini stories interact, Hush escaping in Streets then still being out in Sirens is very cool. That's ... about it for things I liked. Okay ... so the first issue of Sirens left us with a GREAT cliffhanger, only for this issue to say, yeah well just incase anyone ever asks Catwoman who Batman is, lets say she learned how to hide her thoughts. This seemed very meh ... for Bruce it makes sense cause he's prepared for everything for Talia and Selina ... not so much. Then it's like why did we even learn about this if on the fourth page Selina says it's Bruce anyway. Then Bruce is the first person mentioned and No one cares? Not even Harley who later saves Bruce because he helped grant her a pardon from Arkham, yet she doesn't care that he's possibly Batman? Also, is it just me or is anyone else tired of Harley walking around in whatever the hell she's wearing? She's yet to put on her costume, yet all Selina seems to own is her costume.

I had high hopes for this issue and it really let me down...there's hardly anything worth mentioning and the one fight scene was maybe two and a half pages long. I don't know if Dini's trying to set up ground work for later on but this is not something that makes me wanna read the next issue. I give Sirens #2 a 4/10.

- Jason Todd

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Women of DC Wednesday- Huntress

Hello Batmaniacs!! Welcome back to Women of DC. Poison Quinn here with our lucky lady for today. This sultry lady is one of my personal favorites. I present to you, Helena Bertinelli.....

Real Name: Helena Rosa Bertinelli
Current Alias: The Huntress
Birth Place: Gotham City
Gender: Female
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 130 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

Abilities: Master Martial Artist (Dragon Style Kung Fu), Master Archer (Seen splitting a bullet sized mini-rocket in mid air), Expert Detective
Weapons: Crossbow, knife, twin-pistols, metallic staff
Transportation: Motorcycle

Known as the daughter of Maria Panessa Bertinelli and Gotham Mafia Boss, Franco Bertinelli Helena is known as the Huntress. Helena’s mother, Maria, was the victim of harsh abuse from her husband Franco which led to her affair with Santo Cassamento. Maria became pregnant after the affair, with Franco’s knowing that the child was not his, he still continued to beat Maria. Nine Months later she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl whom she named Helena Rosa. Up until Helena was eight years old, she grew up in a mafia household unaware of the criminal dealings that took place.

On her eighth year of life, a man barged into their home shooting Maria, Franco and Pino Bertinelli, instantly killing them. The hit came from Mandragora which Helena’s biological father passed the order along with the modification that “the Sister” be spared. “The Sister” referred to Maria, but the gunman confused Maria with Helena, sparing Helena’s life.

After the tragic deaths of her family, Helena was placed under the care of her Uncle Tomasso’s nephew, Salvator Asaro. She was then taken back to Sicily, where she was to be kept away, safe. While in Sicily Helena picked up the skills of the crossbow due to the training from her cousin. She was told that she could be the only one to put an end to those who murdered her family. Helena trained and practiced with weapons (Crossbow) and hand to hand combat until she was fifteen years old. The Italian government started to crackdown on Mafia families, Helena was then sent to Switzerland for boarding school to stay protected.

It was brought to light after she arrived in Swizerland that everything she had been told was a lie about the Mafia. Realizing that the Mafia was a force of corruption and evil lead by her own family she returned to Gotham, at the age of 16. At a Christmas party hosted by her family, she would catch her first glimpse of the caped crusader, Batman. Batman had crashed the party frightening her family and fought with them, giving her a realization she could fight them too.
Helena returned to Swizerland and prepared herself for her revenge on the Mafia. After college she returned to Gotham in pursuit of vengeance as the Huntress. Huntress ended the lives of Mandragora and the assassin who murdered her family.

A murder case of a police officer with connections to the Mafia resulted in a brief but, romantic relationship with Nightwing. The Huntress made an appearance in “No Man’s Lands” where later joker attacked her, shooting her five times leading to her making a full recovery, earning Batman’s respect. Batman later funded Helena for a new uniform and new bike. Returning the favor, Huntress saved Batman’s life when he took a fall in Crime Alley.

Appearing in Hush, where she was drugged by Scarecrow where she attacked Catwoman who she perceived as her “old” self. Helena made a full recovery with the help of Batman and soon allied with Oracle and Black Canary fighting crime in both Gotham and Metropolis as an official member of the Birds of Prey.

Once again one of my favorite Women in DC. She doesn't take any mess.

Until next time adios. :)

--Poison Quinn

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Treacherous Tuesdays

Hello world and welcome to Batmania Reviews. This is Poison Quinn here to notify you guys of a small eviction and new location!

Villainous Fridays is being remolded, revamped and taken over by, yes me, Poison Quinn.:-) It will now take place on what I would like to call, "Treacherous Tuesdays", done by me :-). Here I will take you on an in depth look at some of Gotham City's most cruel, sinful and unforgiving

Not only will I cover Gotham, but I will also shine light on some of DC Universes heinous and vile villains as well.

So, without further ado I present to you Mr. Born on a Monday.
Christened on a Tuesday.......

Solomon Grundy

Real Na
me: Cyrus Gold
Current Alias: Solomon Grundy
Birth Place: Gotham City
Gender: Male
Height: 9’
Weight: 971
Eyes: Black
Hair: White

Powers: Superhuman Strength, Superhuman stamina, Mystical invulnerability, Ability to absorb energy and manipulate it.

It is said that Cyrus Gold was born around the early to mid 19th century. Although depending on who you ask or what you read, his birth can differ a little bit, BUT, we’ll just go with the early-mid 19th century. There are a number of ways for how Cyrus Gold became Solomon Grundy.

In one origin, he was a wealthy merchant named Cyrus Gold, of course, who was murdered and had his body disposed in Slaughter Swamp. Fifty years later, he was resurrected super-naturally with some of his body parts composed of parts from the swamp.

Another origin, one I find wild, happens in 1895. Gold was murdered by a pimp after one of his prostitutes tried to pin and blackmail him with being the father of her unborn child. When Gold refused to pay up, he was then knocked unconscious (Can we say pimp smacked? Lol) and buried in Slaughter Swamp. Over the next fifty years his body interacted with the swamp and its compounds and he was resurrected into Solomon Grundy.

Being introduced to the comic world in 1944, Grundy appeared as a huge shambled man with not much memory of his past life. Once he was resurrected, Grundy murdered two escaped criminals, stealing their clothes and taking shelter at a hobo camp.

Grundy was asked what his name was when he arrived but was only able to mumble, “Born on a Monday”. One of the men at the camp recited the old nursery rhyme that included Solomon Grundy and this would be the name and identity Gold adopted.

Being the vicious and strong monster he was, Solomon fell into the life of crime. This only led him to his many clashes with heroes including Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, the JSA and JLA. Although Grundy is said to haunt Gotham’s sewers that hasn’t kept him from starting trouble in other places. Grundy made an appearance in “The Long Halloween” where he befriended Harvey Dent as he was transitioning to Two Face. But you’ll have to read it to get all the goods on that back story.

Despite his many defeats, Solomon Grundy, resurrects in new incarnations varying in levels of strength and intelligence. Although for the most part he’s evil a few times his reincarnations have brought him back as a heroic individual, he always seems to get defeated either way.

So who’s to say when Grundy will be back? We’ll have to keep our eyes and mind at alert when reading.

Born on a Monday. Christened on Tuesday. Married on Wednesday. Took ill on Thursday. Worse on Friday. Died on Saturday. Buried on Sunday.

Is that the end of Solomon Grundy?

See ya’ll next week.

--Poison Quinn

Monday, July 20, 2009

Comic Review: Batman Streets of Gotham #2

Greetings all! Amputechture here with my first actual part on Batmania Reviews! So if I am a main collaborator on the site, why am I just now reviewing something? Well, the truth is, I have been busy behind the scenes ... In any case, you don't really care about that do you? No. Here are my thoughts on Batman: Streets of Gotham #2 ...

Summary: The story in this issue opens with Alfred watching the chaos in Gotham City unfold (apparently dusting helps to calm the nerves ... ) Gothamites are combusting into flames all over the city due to Firefly's twisted plans. It seems Bruce's old pal, Thomas Elliot, sees this as his chance to escape as he fools Alfred into thinking he himself is also a victim. We then shoot around town to see what everyone else is up to ...

We cut (briefly) to Firefly (Garfield Lynns) who shows just how twisted he really is. He isn't doing this to get money, he just likes "watching them dance," reveling in Gotham's misery. Not to mention that it brings Batman much pain. What a punk. We are then treated to the antics of the new kid in town, Abuse. It seems some of the citizens of the city have decided to loot, not from stores, but private homes. Abuse does not like this; not one bit ...

Batman and Robin encounter Abuse who was in the process of severely punishing some thugs. He remarks that he was doing "his part" and then Batman questions who this new vigilante is. Abuse proceeds to make his escape, as he is "hurt" that Batman doesn't remember him ( hey, he's a sensitive guy ... ) Batman and Robin deduce that he must have been one of the "other" Batman's friends. Interesting indeed ...

After Batman and Robin restrain the battered thugs, they move on (magically at that ...) to help Katy; the young girl from the last issue. Seems she aged a few years ... Batman is questioning her as he delicately removes the bug that she was tagged with. She doesn't offer much in the way information on Lynns himself, but the location where she was tagged gives the duo the lead that they needed.

We cut back to Lynn's who is suited up and ready for a confrontation. This he get's, as Black Mask makes quite the entrance, ( Black Mask is too evil for doors I tell's ya'! ) Apparently, Firefly's shenanigan's don't sit too well with him. He proceeds to activate the chemical in Firefly's body (the one that was injected into all of Arkham's escapees) ... but to no avail. Yes, it turns out Lynns was able to remove the chemical.

This set's Black Mask off as he orders his goons to take down the traitor. Firefly sets off a nice little trap and gains the upper hand. Just as he is about to finish off Mask, our Dynamic Duo intervene with a destructive entrance of their own. ( The building has to be seriously compromised by now.)

Batman and Robin jump out of the Batmobile and pursue the villains. Batman grapples onto a fleeing Firefly and Robin takes Black Mask. Before the Boy Wonder can do anything though, Zsasz intervenes and saves Black Mask ... So close.

Batman has more success as he floods Firefly's jet pack with a cooling round. Nice shot. They hurtle back towards the ground. The Dark Knight lands safely while Firefly is left to fall into the building which is now engulfed in flame. Thus, Firefly is left to die at the hands of his own device. Or is he?

As we cut back to the "Batcave," Dick, Alfred and Damien are in for a surprise. Dick is in the process of sending out a message to various heroes to "watch for" Thomas, when a news report catches their eye. Seems the escaped Elliot is impersonating Bruce Wayne and is being recorded live outside of the building! They approach him just to helplessly watch as he gives away One-Billion dollars, promising more every month ... Damien's closing statement says it all "We're screwed ..."

Final Thoughts: I will say this right now, I am a huge Dini fan, and this is what makes me more critical than usual. I found that some of the story-telling elements were not up to snuff. We really have no hint as to how Thomas Elliot started the fire to escape. It may seem minor, but Dini isn't writing a cartoon here, we need some shred of explanation. It was also strange that Batman and Robin "teleported" right to Katy's position after tying up the thugs that Abuse had, well abused.

The characterization of Firefly was great as it really made him into a threat, showing a sadistic side. Still, it seemed to be a waste as he makes Black Mask look like a buffoon and in turn is defeated by Batman within a few panels. Really? It also seems that Dini is striving for an expanded look at Gotham which makes the way Dick and Damien are written seem out-of- place. As if he needs to feel out the character's a bit more. And we get it Dini ... You like Zatanna.

The art lent itself to some annoyances as well. In my opinion, Dustin Nguyen is very talented, but just seems lazy on books as opposed to his various standalone artwork pieces. Katy, as I mentioned before, seems to be older in this issue. Not to mention that Black Mask looks down-right ridiculous at times. I may not be fan, but he does have some great visuals, especially in the fire-tinged scenes.

Despite these minor details, this was a solid book. While Dini may need to flesh out a few more things, the overall story was well-written with plenty of questions left to be answered. I am curious to learn more about Abuse and his role in all of this. While I find the Thomas Elliot plot "twist" a bit silly, I am interested to see how this plays out. Definitely a good read and something you should check out.

Rating: 7/10


Identity Crisis Review

Hey guys, it's that time again! This week's "Graphic Novel Monday" feature is brought to you by one of my favorite writers, Brad Meltzer. I'll be reviewing Identity Crisis. Many of us have always wanted to be a superhero, especially as a kid; we all wanted the fame, the fans and the lifestyle. But what happens when someone stops shooting at the bullet-proof superhero, and aims for their vulnerable family and friends? This is the story that shows what happens, and shows you that not all superheroes are truly invincible.

Our story starts with "Elongated Man", Ralph Dibny and Firehawk conducting a stakeout on the roof. As they converse we see Ralph's nose twitch, a sign that something's wrong (as a twitch of the nose from Ralph Dibny has always meant that there were villains around or something was not right.) Elongated man mentions that it's his birthday celebration tonight (not his birthday) and his wife, Sue Dibny, always finds a way to try to surprise him. Being the expert detective that he is, always figures it out. Ralph never let Sue know and always acts surprised but this night, everything goes wrong. Ralph can sense it and rushes home, to find his wife, murdered, along with his present ... a positive Pregnancy test.

With Ralph devastated, the league is out for answers, and sends out everyone from the Titans, The JSA, and The Outsiders to get answers. While along the way the killer strikes again and again, with no answers pointing towards who they are and why they continue to target the loved one's of Superheroes. And along the way there's tragic scenes involving a certain Boy Wonder, shocking betrayals, and some actions by Dr. Light which are so outrageous, that it will leave you in awe ...

This is the end-all-be-all of Graphic Novels. Brad Meltzer is a genius, the artwork by Michael Bair is both beautiful and eerie at the same time. This is honestly one of the greatest stories I've ever read. This story is so pivotal that the effects are still being mentioned today, even in the Blackest Night storyline. Identity Crisis is in my top three Graphic Novels of all time easily, possibly my favorite of all time. If I could recommend one Justice League book it would be Identity Crisis. Simple as that...There's nothing else to say, 10/10.

- Jason Todd

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Blackest Night Begins

Hey guys, Jason Todd here again, this time with a review of the Epic Blackest Night issue one. As mostly everyone knows, the Blackest Night storyline is regarded as one of the biggest storylines of the year. DC Comics gave the helm to Geoff Johns for this story and decided to have Ivan Reis do the art and I think both will excel in these positions. So grab a flashlight as we jump right into The Blackest Night.

Right of the bat, the first thing I have to say is that this is one of the best drawn covers I've seen in a long time. It really draws you in and lets you know that this is a special story and something that shouldn't be taken lightly. Like Infinite Crisis & Final Crisis this is a story that will echo throughout the DC Universe for a long time after it's concluded. When our story starts we see the first Black Lantern, The Black Hand, cradled over the grave of our beloved billionaire Bruce Wayne, before sending out what had to be Billions of Black Lantern rings. If you don't believe me you go look at that page and tell me it's not billions...its like a swarm of locusts. Anyway, we move on to Hero Celebration day where heroes and citizens alike worship their fallen saviors, including fallen Teen Titans, Aquaman, and the Kents paying respect to Johnathan Kent. Even those treacherous villains are paying respects to their fallen comrades.

Later in the comic we encounter things that have clearly set up other story line's down the way, including a an update on The Atom, Ray Palmer, A conversation with Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, Alfred discovering Bruce's grave has been robbed, and the Resurrection of some of the biggest names in DC History, including Martian Manhunter and Aquaman, being brought back from the dead. And not to mention many more things that I won't ruin.

I will mention that the conversation between Hal and Barry showed just how long Barry has been gone and reminded us of how many characters have died lately. Also, the appearances of Hawkman and Hawkgirl elevated the story tenfold, as someone who's never cared for either, I for one can't wait to see what happens with them. There's really nothing bad I can say about Blackest Night, It's a great opener, packed alot of punches and set up future storyline's. But as much as I want to, I know I can't justify giving this issue a ten, only for the reason I know that future issues will be better, I have alot of faith in Geoff Johns. I Highly recommend you check out the Blackest Night Issue 1 because it's definitely gonna shake things up. I give issue one an 8/10.

- Jason Todd

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Women of DC Wednesday's

Hello everyone! Welcome to Women of DC, the place to get information on your favorite female characters in the DC Universe.

Allow me to introduce myself, the name is Falisha also known as Poison Quinn, a member of Batman Arkham Asylum forum. Every week I will be presenting you all with a little info of the many women who play a big part in the lives of Batman Characters as well as the DC Universe.

With the anticipation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, which I am just aniticipating, I’ve decided to go with a personal favorite of my own. So, without further prolongation, allow me introduce you to our first lady this week, Pamela Isley.

Real Name: Pamela Isely
Current Alias: Poison Ivy
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington

: Female

Height: 5’9”
Weight: 133
Eyes: Green
Hair: Red
Skin: Green

Powers: Chlorokinesis, Enhanced Strength, Toxic Immunity, Toxikinesis, Pheromone Control
Abilities: Botonist, Toxicologist, Proficient Combantant

Once a very intelligent botanist college student from Seattle, Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley knew just about everything there as to know about plants. Her downfall of being naïve, Pamela was seduced by her professor Dr. Jason Woodrue (Floronic Man) into experiments upon her, using his smooth seductive words of love. These experiments placed toxins in her blood stream that led to her touch being dealy and allow her to be immune to all poisons, viruses, bacteria and fungi. After the experiments she was allowed to produce mind-control pheromones that drove men in a frenzy at her touch. The experiments also made her unable to reproduce, allowing her to treat her plants as children, mothering them all every since.

Pamela was placed in a hospital for six months, after the experiments went wrong, allowing Woodrue to flee the authorities. Feeling betrayed, Pamela suffered many violent mood swings. Pamela dropped out of school after her boyfriend got into a car accident learning he was mysteriously suffering from massive fungal overgrowth. Leaving Seattle, she eventually settled in Gotham City.

When she arrived in Gotham, Pamela threatened to release her deadly spores into the air unless Gotham met her demands. This act caused her fame of becoming the infamous Poison Ivy. Appearing in Gotham that same year, Batman subdued and defeated her resulting in her incarceration in Arkham Asylum. As her sentence in Arkham went on her naïveté would fade as the hardness that comes with the criminal lifestyle. As the years went on she became more plant-like becoming a thorn in Batman’s side that would still remain to this day.

Poison Ivy would also become best friends with the Joker’s sidekick, Harley Quinn. Although in past villain team ups relationships have crumbled due to greed or incompatibility, Harley and Ivy have a genuinely rooted friendship. Ivy tries to save Harley from her abusive relationship with the Joker. She sympathizes with Harley as Harley is mistreated by the man she loves, just like Ivy was by Jason Woodrue.

Poison Ivy is currently teamed up with Harley Quinn and Catwoman, known as the Gotham City Sirens

And that folks is the sultry and seductive Poison Ivy. See you all next week

-Poison Quinn

Monday, July 13, 2009

Can you keep a Secret? (Private Casebook Review)

Graphic Novel Mondays is back for it's fourth appearance, courtesy of Jason Todd. This week's review is Paul Dini's Batman: Private Casebook. Featuring artwork by the talented Dustin Nguyen, Dini's Bat-world is brought to life, in various short stories featuring the Caped Crusader and many of his allies and enemies. There's some definite hits and misses though, so lets get right into it.

Batman: Private Casebook is a who's who of Batman mythos, while some of the bigger names like Joker, Two-Face, Nightwing and Robin are missing from these stories, other characters step up. Casebook includes five or six short stories (I can't remember off the top of my head) about our favorite Gothamite and includes appearances by Zatanna, Mad Hatter, Scarface, The Riddler, Ra's Al Gul, Catwoman, and Scarecrow. Casebook also features a well put together format, as it ties up loose ends from some comics that take place prior, for example Heart of Hush and The Resurrection of Ra's Al Gul. While the stories differ some of them are very well done while others feel rushed or insignificant.

One of the best written stories in this Casebook compilation in my opinion is the story featuring Zatanna. Without giving away anything to would-be-readers, I will say that Bruce and Zatanna give conversations with such believability that you feel like these are characters who truly do have a history, and thats a big plus when it comes to Dini's work. Other stories I felt didn't exhibit Batman behavior, like Batman entering chatrooms looking for information seemed odd to me ... maybe thats just weird to me though. I also didnt care for the Scarecrow story, it was too short, didn't feature Batman/Bruce Wayne at all and I felt it was an odd day to close the book. I know Dini loves Magicians, but I feel that Zatanna in three stories was overkill.

Overall Dini's writing with Nguyen's gritty art style makes for a good, but not very memorable book. I'd recommend checking this out, but I wouldn't spend over 13 dollars on it. Overall Paul Dini's Batman Private Casebook gets a 6.5/10.

- Jason Todd

Friday, July 10, 2009

Batman Begins...Again? (Batman #688 Review)

Batman is back, or so Gotham thinks. And in a way he is, along with a brand new Robin. Winick and Bagley reunite to bring the Dark Knight back to the forefront with what can be considered the main Bat-book of the bunch. And the main attraction Dick Grayson, the man, the idol, the Batman....except he still has a problem with the cape. Now, lets jump in, to Batman #688!

Right of the pun intended, We join our hero being beaten to a pulp in the Batcave. Dick's taking a beating by a shadowy figure that continually berates him, and tells him he's not Batman. Dick is an imposter, he doesn't posess the things that made Batman the savior of Gotham, and that Batman is dead....and pretty soon, Dick may be as well. Turns out this this three weeks into the future, so jumping three weeks back, a.k.a. now. It's reported that Batman is back and has changed his ways of tampering with evidence before the police get a chance, and while the reason for this change is unknown (to everyone but the reader) it's getting Batman many praises, especially from the GCPD.

Now outside of giving everything away, I will mention that I'm a big fan of these talks between Dick and Alfred, no matter what comic they always give clarity that this is a different dynamic, but nonetheless something special. Also, we see Damien's training session with Dick which i thought was really well done, especially with Dick showing that him being as talkative as always and how he uses it to upset his opponents into making mistakes was a great piece of advice to show him giving Damien.

Along with appearances by Two-Face, the Penguin, and a conversation between Jim Gordon and Sergeant Pike, there's alot of depth to this issue. It was very word-driven with less action than I'm used to after reading some of the other Batman: Reborn books but that was something I enjoyed more than anything. I'm starting to tire of the jumping around in time plot device, especially as it was used so much in Red Robin, but it was used sparingly here. The artwork was a plus, and even seeing Batman smiling wasn't all that weird, considering it's Dick. Either way the story left us with a great cliffhanger and me desperately wanting to read Batman #689. My final rating for Batman #688 is a solid 8/10.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

With the flip of a Coin

Heads I do Two-Face as the villain staring today, Tails I make it Catman...Ta-Heads. Heads it is so I am going to do a not so-lengthy summary on Two-Face, with two pairs of paragraphs. Ever think Two-Face's favorite day of the week is Tuesday? Back to that review.

Ex-politician, current don. Two-Face was a politician who was scarred at a trial when some thug threw some acid on Harvey. His whole left body was scarred with the acid causing him to go through a mental breakdown. He felt he had the power to control Gotham, and indeed he did. Now my favorite instince of this was in Two-Face: Year One he appears in a bank and crushes Penny Plunderer with a giant penny. And makes a getaway. And then he proceeds to future goals and everntually kills the man that was running against him for District Attorney.

Anyways, Two-Face is best known as one of the don's of Gotham. Consisting of Penguin, Two-Face, and Black Mask at the moment. Now Two-Face has always mad decisions with a coin and always does things in pairs. Now he usually has a gun with two bullets in it, but on occasion it differs to a Tommy Gun or two pistols. He's a dangerous gunlsinger, nothing less, but a whole lot more.

Two-Face first appeared in 1942, where he was a lot more like Penguin with stealing a pair of thigns while Penguin stole bird-related items. But he has progressed to become a mob boss and one of Batman's most dangerous foes. And not to mention he is Nightwing's arch nemisis. No doubt this character will get better with Dick being Batman, but Penguin and Two-Face aren't fairing so well against Black Mask's gang, but that's for another day.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Contest News!

Greetings all! Here is the new contests details: Very soon The Riddler will leave a clue to find a riddle that he has devised! Help us find this riddle, solve it and make him go away! You can win some prizes as seen below:

There is plenty of great stuff to win for three people, so get to it! Also, please remember that if you won First or Second Prize last time, you are not eligible to win this time! Sorry!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A look with a magnifying glass: Brian Azzarello’s Joker. (Written by guest columnist Drazar)

Brian Azzarello’s and Bermejo Lee’s Graphic novel Joker has been regarded as a deep, disturbing take on the Joker that even rivals Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. Now, some people do believe due to the similiar Joker look that this is based off of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Joker... That's false. The book actually was originally suppose to be called Joker: The Dark Knight (similiar to Azzarello’s + Lee’s Lex Luthor: Man of Steel), but due to DC being worried of angry phonecalls from worried parents (due to the mature story of the book) they simplified the name to simply: Joker.

I’ve seen a lot of people not seeing all the little tibits and even Joker’s jokes on the book, and as a big comic book nerd, there's nothing more lovely than taking a gold look with a magnifying glass and sharing all of this information to people. So the next time they read it, they can say, “Oh, so that's what it means!” But before I begin, I am in no way saying I found all these little tidbits by myself. The great Internet community helped find all these great little details! Now let's dig into Joker!

PS. If you haven't read this comic, the story is told by one of The Joker's thug named Jonny Frost. So, when you see me talk about Jonny you now know who the hell he is.

Joker leaving the Asylum, page 5: Looking at the second panel, you see gargoyles on the Arkham Asylum rooftops, but if you look closely, you can also see Batman sitting on there, how do we know? Look two panels below and you'll see after the lightning that Batman is gone, and Joker is giving the finger to Batman, not the asylum.

How 'bout a rabbit joke: I have to admit I never truly got this until someone told me what it is. So, we see Joker spreading his pockets (white, long) infront of Croc and saying, "How 'bout some rabbit?" Now the joke here essantually is that the pockets are the bunny ears and Joker is the rabbit!

Pedophilia in Joker?: All credits to this great find goes to frakkingoff of forums. This is a scene where Joker robbed a bank without triggering the alarm or killing people. Now take a look at these:

See how even the Joker is trying to avoid touching the picture? We all see loads of red but look at the leg/skirt area of the little girl. It's white... is that really sperm? Now, this book got heavily edited due to it being even more disgusting than it already is, but could the blood there literally be red herring?! I mean, even the Joker is disgusted to touch the picture... You know something's wrong. Johnny throws the picture away in disgust and says, "Are you kidding me?" Which Joker replies with, "Birds and Bees, Honey?" Now we all know bees are used as a sexual term, but are birds also? Maybe so. This whole sperm thing comes even more evident when Joker says, "I dig driving people, Jonny" So, did Joker really robb a bank by either masturbating to the bank owner's daughter or worse (as the text implies) he made the bank owner masturbate to his own daughter?!

Why does Joker call Penquin as Abner?!: This one is either really far fetched, or too simply to be noticed. The simple answer may just be that Joker simply calls Oswald as Abner because he knows he doesn't like being called "Penguin." So he mocks him with another nickname. Now, I don't think there are any fat people known with the name Abner, but in the very old USA newsletter comic strips, there was Lil' abner who had a pig pet... Yeah, far fetched, I guess, but i'd say it's just Joker being himself.

Joker's & Batman's relationship with each other
: So, now we know Batman was at the asylum, and the great mystery lies how Joker was allowed to leave the asylum just like that. We see in the comic how Joker claims Batman is watching him from the city rooftops, seeing how Joker is doing his dirty work for him, and this is essantually true because most people Joker kills in the comic are infact mere thugs and criminals. Now, is Batman using the Joker to takedown the small fishes of Gotham's underworld so he can take them down alltogether when Joker has gathered them up? This is a big thing implied on the book since Batman does appear at the very end when he becomes aware of Joker killing off civillians and planning to murder Harvey Two-Face. Now this may seem, "Woah! This isn't my Batman, at all," but we do have to remind ourselves that this is an elseworld story, so things can be taken to the very extreme.

Hope you all enjoyed this little extra look on the Joker graphical novel, and I hope you can have extra enjoyment out of reading it after this! Please leave any questions or even more inside looks if you spotted any.

- Drazar

Batman Forever Review

Batman Forever is the first film in the Schumacher film series.

Story: Batman Forever deals with many things: Dick's family dying, Bruce having nightmares about his parents' death, Two-Face teaming up with The Riddler, and more. It would have made a wonderful addition to the Batman film-family, but the mediocre acting, horrendous characterization, and cheesy one-lines make this one of the worst in the Batman film series.

The movie starts out with Two-Face robbing a bank. Batman meets up with Dr. Chase Meridian (a psychiatrist with a thing for Bats). After some small talk, The Dark Knight makes his way to the action. He takes out a group of machine-gun wielding thugs as he rescues a guard. To his surprise, he fell into a trap! Acid fills up the vault he and the guard are inside of it... what will Batman do? Well, he not only gets out, he smoothly slides the vault back into place.

We are later introduced to Edward Nygma (a researcher at Wayne Enterprises with a thing for Bruce Wayne). Edward tells Bruce about his new invention. A machine that manipulates brain activity, thus making images on screen look 3D. Bruce turns Edward down, and so begins The Riddler. After going through a list of possible villain names, he chooses the one that best fits his persona.

The whole film is about Two-Face and Riddler trying to figure out what Batman's true identity is, and causing him pain by killing his loved ones?

Cast: Val Kilmer isn't a bad Batman/Bruce Wayne, he's just not the best. Kilmer at least made an effort to change his voice between characters, unlike George Clooney. Chris O'Donnell takes on the role of the Boy Wonder, Robin. Personally, I thought he looked WAY too old, and acted WAY too bratty.

The Riddler is played by funny-man Jim Carrey. He does a good job with the role for the most part, but he's a bit too excited at times. Two-Face is completely wrong, Tommy Lee Jones is a talented actor, but he played Two-Face all wrong in this film. The supporting cast was decent, with Pat Hingle reprising his role as Jim Gordon, and Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian.

Style: Much like Batman & Robin, there are a lot of comical elements to Batman Forever's style... and a lot of unnecessary ones, too. For example, why do the guns have neon circles around them? Why are there multi-coloured spot-lights all around Gotham? And why don't bad guys wear shirts?

Much of that could have been avoided, but again, it isn't entirely Joel's fault. Warner didn't want this film to be as dark as Tim Burton's Batman ('89) or Batman Returns.

Gadgets: There were the usual Batarangs and grapnel hooks, but nothing radically new. Bruce test drove a sonar-enhanced suit during the end of the film. But what was the point of it? All he used it for was to throw a Batarang...

Overall: Batman Forever isn't terrible, but it's not great either. It's decent. I recommend this film if you're a big Batfan, otherwise, stay away.

Batman Forever's metric score is a 7/10.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Batman & Robin Review!

Batman & Robin is the second entry in the Schumacher film series.

Story: Batman & Robin is all about Mr. Freeze and his revenge. It starts out with him wanting to restore Nora Fries (his wife) back to life. But later when Poison Ivy and Bane are introduced into the story, things change. Meanwhile, over in South America, Dr. Pamela Isley witnesses the creation of Bane. A super-human soldier fueled with "Venom." Dr. Jason Woodrue for some reason shifts his interest from the Bane presentation to Dr. Isley. In an attempt to join forces, he gets rejected. So he felt he needed to kill Dr. Isley. Too bad for him she comes back from the dead as, "Poison Ivy."  

Ivy and Bane become a team and they decide to travel to Gotham. Why Gotham specifically? I have no idea. I wouldn't mind this, but why did they have to mess up Bane so badly? Since when was Bane a scrawny little man, turned into a muscle pumped idiot? Joel, you have failed yet again.  

As usual, I won't spoil the rest of the story for you, but that's pretty much a summary of the intro.

Oh Lawdy, what did we do to deserve this horrendous cast? Was it the pollution, the crime, or the war? I feel George Clooney was robbed in this film. He is usually a terrific actor. He plays a fantastic Bruce Wayne... You know, a rich playboy -- oh wait, George IS a rich playboy! No wonder he played it so well... he was playing himself. As bad as his Batman was, it was no where near as bad as Mr. Freeze or Bane.  

It's amazing how wrong the characters in this film are. Freeze is supposed to be a depressed, angry man full of hatred. Not a body builder in a neon suit with more cheesy puns than a 70s sitcom. 

Bane was portrayed the worst. He's not supposed to be a dumb drone, let's remember: he was smart enough to tire Batman, then do what no body else has done before... he broke Batman in two. Poison Ivy wasn't bad, she was probably the best actor in the movie... sad, eh?

Neon lights, half naked men, huge statues, and Batnipples. That's pretty much Batman & Robin's style. We can't blame Joel entirely for this, Warner wanted a lighter incarnation of Gotham. But there was a lot of unnecessary stuff.

Gadgets: In the beginning of the film, we're treated a wonderful view of Batman's gadgets. But what gadgets were relevant to the film? Well, there were the Ice-skates, the laser used to thaw Robin, Batarangs, and a whole bunch of grapnel guns. The gadgets are mediocre at best.

Batman & Robin is not a good Batman film, but a great comedy. I laughed more than I should have, and I'm sure most of you have, too. As an action film, Batman & Robin earns a 2/10, but as a comedy, it earns a solid 9.5/10. If you're in a bad mood, watch some Batman & Robin!