BEWARE THE WITCHING HOUR!
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #1
Story by Steve Niles
Art by Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen
Published by DC Comics
Review by Lan Pitts
Batman has been part of the horror genre before; however, this time it's a double-shot of fright as Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Simon Dark, Strange Cargo) and Kelley Jones (Sandman, Deadman, Batman and Dracula: Red Rain) team up for a twelve issue series. Entitled Batman: Gotham After Midnight, one can only assume horror elements will be involved if you aren't familiar with the author or artist. Jones is known for drawing Batman with a more demonic look, similar to Dave McKean and Todd MacFarlane. The story starts out simple enough: Batman is following Scarecrow's trail to an antiquities shop where Scarecrow has found a the Hand of Glory. This is where I became intrigued. Now, if you're not familiar with the occult or magical items, a Hand of Glory is a dried hand of a man who has been hanged for murder. It is supposed to have magical powers such as opening every door it comes across and immobilized all persons to whom it was presented to.
Though in typical Scarecrow fashion, he's beaten pretty easily and is quickly back in the custody of Gotham's finest. Though stealing magical artifacts isn't really Scarecrow's m.o. and when you really think about it, you would think Zatanna or Dr. Fate would intervene knowing such a powerful item is just hanging around in downtown Gotham. I digress though, there is a new horror-themed baddie in good ole Gotham: the Axeman. At first, I immediately thought of the villain from Last Action Hero, "the Ripper". Don't ask me why, I'm confused myself. The art, while some may find it "too pointy" the panels are easy to follow. Niles writes Batman as an eccentric detective while not quite over-the-top. Batman is not the most stable comic character and is often as crazy as the loons he locks up. He's not my favorite Batman voice (that would be Jeph Loeb) but, he still comes across as a man who knows what he is doing. Though, there is one scene where Batman confronts Commisioner Gordon on who should get the credit of bagging the Scarecrow. Batman seems arrogant and so intense, I thought I was reading All Star Batman and Robin for a moment.
It ends with a cliffhanger, and more than likely, I will pick up the rest of the issues just to see how things pan out. Twelve issues, for a story like this, is plenty of time to get a story across and I have faith that this horror dream team (or is that nightmare pair?) will come though with dark, flying colors.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
How come it takes insomnia for me to write my best lines, my best pieces and etc. I have heard one has to suffer for his or her art, but this is ridiculous. Hourglass is done. Now just a quick edit later today and well shall see what we need to do, m'kay?
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I'm leaning towards that name the most. Lew came by yesterday and showed off a bit of the cover for Hourglass. It's going to be splendid, I just know it. So, that's about it for now. I finally posted the Chris Gore interview. I really need to invest in a flashdrive and a voice recorder and not just bootleg my phone haha. I turn 25 in less than a month, and I'm thinking this could be the year that I turn shit around. About time, I think. Well, past time technically.
But that's how things go.
But that's how things go.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Last night, my local movie theater had a special preview showing of Iron Man at 8 pm. So a few of my cronies and I piled up in a clown car and headed out. After the new “Dark Knight”, “Indiana Jones”, and “Incredible Hulk” trailers finished, it was showtime.
This was just an all-around good movie. Not just a movie that’s part of the “superhero” genre, but a fun, action-packed movie that everyone can enjoy. Seriously, I’m thinking of asking my mom if she wants to go see it sometime. Possibly for Mother’s Day. While I’m not a huge Iron Man fan, I know the backstory and are familiar with the supporting characters.
For those of you out of the Marvel loop for the past 45 years or so, here’s a quick backstory: Created by writer-editor Stan Lee, writer Larry Lieber, and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby, Tony Stark (and his iron-clad alter ego) first appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 in March 1963. Tony Stark, after being gravely injured and forced to build a devastating weapon, instead created a suit of power armor to save his life and help protect the world as Iron Man. He is a wealthy industrialist and genius inventor whose suit of armor is laden with technological devices that enable him to fight crime.
And that’s the story in a nutshell. The movie is very similar (small tweaks here and there): Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.),is captured by terrorists in Afghanistan. Ordered to build a missile for them, Stark uses his resources instead to build a powered exoskeleton to make his escape. Returning to America, Stark improves his armor and becomes the technologically advanced superhero Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow plays his personal assistant Virgina “Pepper” Potts, Terrence Howard as pilot James Rhodes, and Jeff Bridges plays the villainous Obadiah Stane. And yes, there is a cameo by Stan Lee, probably which has got to be his favorite yet.
Like I said, I wasn’t too familiar with Iron Man, but I can tell you this: Downey is Stark. There is charisma, there is heart, and on top of the fact that he looks like Stark. The movie makes tweaks here and there, but nothing outrageous that even the most die-hard fanboy will find little to complain about. The best part about the movie is the casting. It’s beyond stellar. The script is solid as iron (pun intended). Now, if I did have to knit-pick, I would say that just when you think you’re going to hear our hero’s theme…you don’t. While there are heavy metal sounds here and there, it doesn’t really have a dramatic feel. I also wished they had casted Jarvis, however with Paltrow as Potts doing the “butler” jobs, there wasn’t really a need. Though, he has a role…in a way. The special effects are amazing, but then again what would one expect from the guys from “Transformers” and Stan Winston. It has a great pace and not a second of film is wasted.
Any possiblity of a sequel is answered in the 30 second clip at the end of the credits. “Dark Knight” is 2 months away, so in the mean time check this one out. It’s one hell of a good ride.