• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

Batman: Ego (and Other Tails) (Review/Retrospective)

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

“It’s at times like this…. In the cold… in the dark… I feel that I’m losing my way.”

– Batman’s opening monologue, Ego

Few modern comic book artists and writers are as respected as Darwyn Cooke. The illustrator began his career on Batman: The Animated Series, and then expanded out into the comic books that inspired it. He’s worked on any number of iconic projects, including the miniseries New Frontier and the adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker books. This summer, he’s a major part of DC’s Before Watchmen initiative, writing Silk Spectre and writing and illustrating The Minutemen. Batman: Ego and Other Tails collects the bulk of the writer/illustrator’s work on the Caped Crusader, with Selina’s Big Score included for good measure. In his introduction, the writer confesses that the story was”an earnest yet flawed first effort”, and it seems like he’s being remarkably fair.

He’s created a monster!

Continue reading

Batman: The Animated Series – Almost Got ‘Im

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. Given that we looked at Batman: Gotham Knight earlier today, I thought we might take a look at another series of vignettes related to the Batman – this time from the perspective of his bad guys.

Greetings, Batman! You have taken the bait, as I knew you would. Now, prepare to meet your end, within my Aviary of Doom

Aviary of WHAT?

Yeesh, Pengers! How corny can you get?

Fah! Just because you mundane miscreants have no drama in your souls! Anyway, there he was in my av… uh, big birdhouse…

– The Penguin, Poison Ivy and the Joker discuss the state of theatricality amongst modern supervillains

Batman: The Animated Series perhaps represents the best adaptation of the Batman mythos in any medium outside of comics. No other iteration of the character has successfully managed to take in virtually all facets of the Caped Crusader without breaking a sweat – the show can do drama, action, gothic thriller and even comedy. Almost Got ‘Im is a fun little episode which centres around a bunch of supervillains trading stories about that one time that they almost killed the Batman. It’s mostly entertaining just to watch Batman’s eclectic selection of bad guys sitting around and playing cards while talking about business and “you know who”, but each of the schemes is a wacky and crazy death trap straight out of a hokier comic (from a giant dollar coin to exploding pumpkins to laughter-powered electric chair). The episode works because it treats all of this like it’s a regular occurence in Gotham, and these ridiculous plots are just what the villains get up to when there’s nothing better going on.

Card-carrying villains...

Continue reading

Justice League – Maid of Honour

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. With the review of Wonder Woman earlier today, I thought I’d take a look at one of the better Wonder Woman episodes of the DC animated universe.

While Batman: The Animated Series leaned more towards noir crime stories or gothic tragedies, and Superman: The Animated Series favoured high-concept science-fiction and space opera, Justice League offered action adventure stories, typically told in two or three half-hour episodes for a somewhat grander scale than most of the episodes of the earlier series allowed. In particular, Maid of Honour is essentially a superhero taken on a quintessential Bond film.

They share quite a Bond...

Continue reading

Superman: The Animated Series – World’s Finest (Parts I, II & III)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. What with reviewing Superman/Batman: Public Enemies earlier, I figured it might be worth our time to take a look at the original Superman/Batman animated team-up. 

Thank you. I couldn’t have saved Lois without your help. 

I’m aware of that. 

– Superman and Batman share a moment of mutual Batman appreciation 

Superman: The Animated Series meets Batman: The Animated Series. How is that a tough sell? 

You can't outglower me, boy... in one of these animated movies I was played by Billy Baldwin...

Continue reading

The New Batman Adventures – Over The Edge (Review)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. To tie into this morning’s review of Under the Red Hood, I thought I’d take a look at what might happen to Batman if he lost a partner.

Following the success of Superman: The Animated Series, a new bunch of Batman episodes were commissioned by Warner Brothers to compliment Batman: The Animated Series. However, this new series would be animated in the style of the Superman series – typically meaning a lighter animation and fewer lines. The transition was jarring, to say the least. Indeed, many commentators make the observation (whether fair or not) that The New Batman Adventures offered a “lighter and softer” approach to the Caped Crusader and his universe. Though I think that’s not an unfair description, it is also worth conceding that the season also gave us quite possibly the single darkest half-hour in the entire history of the DC animated universe. I refer to Over the Edge.

Those expecting a light story might want to look elsewhere…

Continue reading

Batman: The Animated Series – The Demon’s Quest (Parts I & II)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. To tie into tomorrow’s review of Under the Red Hood, I thought I’d take a look at the episode which introduced Ra’s Al Ghul to the animated DC universe (and represented the character’s first appearance outside comic books).

If Heart of Ice – perhaps one of the best pieces of Western Animation produced during the nineties – illustrated just how good the creative minds behind Batman: The Animated Series where at innovation (updating and adding depth to previously shallow characters), then The Demon’s Quest perhaps reflects their skill at adaptation. Adapted from Denny O’Neill’s seventies story arc introducing Ra’s Al Ghul as an adversary of the Dark Knight, by the author himself, it’s also a testament to the show’s diversity. This isn’t exactly a conventional Batman story, and certainly not one conforming to the gothic or noir conventions which seemed to grip the character during the nineties. 

"We'll always have your father's desert stronghold..."

Continue reading

Batman: The Animated Series – Heart of Ice (Review)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. While most of the episodes and comics I look at will tie into the feature-length animated movies, I thought I’d start with perhaps the most beloved piece of animation that the studio produced using DC characters.

I believe that Batman: The Animated Series sorely deserves a place on list compiled of the “best animated series of all time”. It’s certainly perhaps the single best distillation of the Batman mythos into one pure form (although Christopher Nolan’s film series – and especially The Dark Knight – also deserve some acknowledgement). What made the series unique was that, instead of simply borrowing from the comic books, it also actively contributed to them – and not just in a “we need to tie into a popular adaptation” sort of way. Lasting changes to the Batman mythos can be traced back to this particular animated series – the fan-favourite character of Harley Quinn, for example, or several sympathetic origins to well-established characters. Heart of Ice is perhaps the most successful and well-executed of these revisionist takes on Batman’s iconic selection of bad guys – offering as it does an origin for Mr. Freeze.

Dude needs to chill out…

Continue reading

DCAU Fortnight Kicks Off!

Right, I am taking a little break from work and blogging and everything for the next little while, just trying to clear my head a bit, so I won’t be around quite as much as I would like to be. However, I do have a treat for the nerdier children of the nineties out there – I’m going to take a retrospective look at the animated DC universe, the Warner Brothers cartoons produced during the nineties and into the last decade which gave us Batman: The Animated Series among many other things. Anyone who grew up during the decade can’t possibly have missed these wonderful little shows, which perhaps got me interested in comic books in the first place.

And he always times it juuust right to catch the bolt of lightning...

Note: Over the course of this two week event (and a schedule can be found below), I will occasionally return to cover something big or huge (like our scheduled Tron: Legacy review, for example). I also hope to have more time to get back into reading and engaging with other bloggers. It has been far too long.

Continue reading

Kids’ TV These Days…

I was at home over the weekend and I had the grave misfortune to witness what passes for children’s entertainment these days as my little sister forced us to endure the Disney channel. What we got were a series of ridiculously condescending ‘comedies’ revolving around spoilt tweenagers who can’t act. These were followed by reality “so-you-think-you-can-sing” family gameshows themed around Miley bloody Cyrus. And my sister seemed to love it. Maybe I’m just getting old, but when did children’s entertainment become so brain dead?

Who can see this ending badly?

Who can see this ending badly?

Continue reading