As a big, long-time Batman fan, I’m particularly fascinated by two things going on in that family of comics at DC.
With digital very likely to be a major player for comics in the future, many comics companies are getting an early start on the entire “revolution” that may see us downloading issues from an FTP site rather than going to our local comics shops … sooner than we think!
With all the exciting goings on in the Batman universe these days, it would seem like every issue would be a winner. While the Falcone Family and Black Maskâ€™s gang vie for control of Gotham City, other players emerge to cause shenanigans and all manner of trouble.
Surprisingly enough, leading ladies Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn take a back seat in issue 3 of this new series. Donâ€™t expect this book to pick up where issue 2 left off; we donâ€™t discover what becomes of Harley who was kidnapped by Tommy Elliot (posing as Bruce Wayne). The storyline will pick up again in issue 4 titled â€œHush and Harleyâ€.
At the recent Wizard World Philadelphia convention (which took place this past June) there was a particular cosplayer getting an enormous amount of attention and upon laying eyes on him, it was easy to see why. With his tailored purple suit, white makeup and sly grin it looked as if The Joker had sprung to life from Batman: The Animated Series. Itâ€™s easy to say that he was a big hit among those attending the con to the point that people were lining up and taking turns to be photographed with him.
Fast forward three months later and I stumbled upon the cosplayers online profile. His name is Paul and I discovered that he has a very impressive collection of costumes. After witnessing his impact on the convention crowd and being highly interested in him myself, I took this opportunity to interview him for Major Spoilers about the hobby of cosplay.
For most of Battle for the Cowl, readers havenâ€™t been privy to the actual gang warfare between Two-Face, the Penguin, and Black Mask.Â In The Underground, The Riddler and Catwoman get a first hand look at what is going on, and for Gotham it isnâ€™t pretty.Â It may not even be pretty for those who pick up the issue.
Now hereâ€™s an interesting development
For those following along with the many reviews Major Spoilers cranks out, my thoughts on Batman Confidential have been quite low as of late.Â However, something strange has happened with this Legends of the Dark Knight reboot that kept the series on my pull list – a good story.
Batman #686 hit stores today, and instantly caused many retailers to raise the alarm over the use of language in the issue.Â While we’ve all be treated to the goddamn Batman in All-Star Batman and Robin, the Frank Miller tale didn’t carry the Comic Code Authority stamp on the cover.Â Batman #686 does.
The revision to the CCA in 1989 specifically states
The language in a comic book will be appropriate for a mass audience that includes children. Good grammar and spelling will be encouraged. Publishers will exercise good taste and a responsible attitude as to the use of language in their comics. Obscene and profane words, symbols, and gestures are prohibited.
I contacted DC for a statement on this, and received the following reply:
We’re declining this request.
Well, I did give them a chance to respond…
This is not the first time DC has sent this kind of answer to one ofÂ my requests for clarification.
Do kids still buy comics?Â Have children been so desensitized to this kind of language that it would slip by unnoticed?Â Does the code even matter any more?Â Should it?Â From the consumer perspective, this may not be a big deal (it certainly isn’t to me), but retailers could get into trouble should an angry parent or conservative group raise a ruckus over a comic that has been approved for all ages.
It just got really weird
You know what has really been missing in DC Comics since the end of 52?Â A whole slew of mutliverse stories.Â Sure, thereâ€™s that whole cluster bomb that is Final Crisis and Superman Beyond 3D that touches on a multiverse, and there has been an ongoing tale featuring Superman from Earth-22 in JSA, but that story took place on New Earth.Â It could be argued Trinity is a multiverse story, in that it features the Riddler from the Antimatter universe, but the series has turned more into an alternate timeline story than one that takes place in the multiverse.
Where are tales taking place on Earth-10, Earth-47, and Earth-17?Â The only real Multi-Earth spanning tale readers have seen in the last two years has been Tangent: Supermanâ€™s Reign.Â And lately, thatâ€™s not necessarily a good thing.
Riddle me this:Â When is Batman and the Outsiders not Batman and the Outsiders?
The answer of course Dear Reader, is when the issue features neither Batman nor the Outsiders.Â But there in lies the juicy bits of the issue.Â With the â€œdeathâ€ of Batman, there has been chaos throughout Gotham City.Â And while there are those that are scrambling to fill in the void, there are few who are willing to step up with a new plan.Â Someone like Batmanâ€™s daughter.
I literally feel that I cannot say enough good things about Batman Confidential at the moment. I picked it up for the first time 5 issues ago, with the beginning of â€˜The Bat & The Catâ€™ storyline (because for nothing else, I love Barbara Gordon) and I honestly wonder if Iâ€™ll be able to put it down again. With this, the final issue in the 5-issue arc, I once again have trouble finding any fault with the book.
Seriously, when Christopher Nolan hasn’t even signed to direct the third film, and while no announcements have been made about Warner even greenlighting another Batman movie, did you really think the reports about Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the Penguin were true?
This is one of those silly rumors that have been around for a many years, and it took a quick interview with Hoffman to put it to rest.
â€œNo one has talked to me about it ever â€” never,â€ replied Hoffman. â€œIt happened, like, five years ago, too. It was a rumor back then and itâ€™s still a rumor. [laughs] Itâ€™s just in the press. Itâ€™s funny.â€
We reported on this rumor up a couple of years ago, and learned our lesson from it.Â There’s a reason why we haven’t been running all those wild rumors lately- because that is exactly what they are – wild rumors, that serve no purpose but to further push nonsense.Â Sure, it’s fun to speculate, or to get a really good laugh, but too many surfing the webs believe everything they read.Â I would have thought people would have learned their lesson after all those insane Justice League movie rumors IESB was link baiting to all those months ago.Â And for those who still think Johnny Depp will play the Riddler and Cher is set for Catwoman, I have a Will Smith Captain America movie script I’d like to sell you.