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The Caped Social Crusader: The Dark Knight Rises and Batman’s History of Class Warfare…

With the leaked second trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, showing in theatres in front of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, it seems like we have a theme for the movie, something to connect Nolan’s final Batman film to the terrorism and liberty metaphor that underscored The Dark Knight. Giving our first real look at Selina Kyle, who I sense might be far more important to the film than Bane himself, despite her relative lack of exposure, it seems that the film will play into the sort of resentment and class divide forming in global society – the type of movement spawning the “Occupy Wall Street” and the “We are the 99%” campaigns. “You think this’ll last,” Selina taunts Bruce, in a scene that conjures Tim Burton’s underrated Batman Returns. “There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches. Cause when it hits the city you are all gonna wonder how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

It seems like a fascinating avenue for Nolan to explore, especially given that Batman is one of the “1%”himself. Still, it’s an angle rich for exploitation and with considerable history behind it.

The Bane of the upper classes?

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First look at Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman In The Dark Knight Rises! (And Thoughts…)

The first images of Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises have been revealed, and – as with everything about the movie – they’re stirring a considerable amount of controversy. There’s an official still below and a photo of a stunt double in action below. I have to admit though, I genuinely love it.

Click to enlarge...

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Captain America? &%#$ No! Thoughts on the Naming Controversy…

Last year, I remarked that – although it was perhaps the least likely of Marvel’s movies to be awesome – Captain America: The First Avenger was going to be the most interesting movie on their slate to follow, at least when it comes to international markets. Predictably enough, Marvel have decided that not everyone on the planet is going to be cool with a movie about a literal American super-patriot. They will be dropping the title “Captain America” completely, simply selling it as “The First Avenger” in Russia, the Ukraine and South Korea. I, for one, am quite disappointed.

Walk tall... and carry a star-spangled shield...

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The Cat’s Out of the Bag: Catwoman and Bane Confirmed as Villains of The Dark Knight Rises (Batman 3)

Read our in-depth review of the film here.

Yesterday was a big day for fans of superhero cinema. Along with photos from X-Men: First Class (and an interview with Kevin Bacon which suggests he’s having a lot of fun, so I likely will too), Warner Brothers released some more photos of Green Lantern and a little bit of news concerning The Dark Knight Rises. Tom Hardy will be playing the steroid-fueled villain Bane, while Anne Hathaway will be playing Catwoman. I’ll just let that sink in.

“Tell me who the villains are!”

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Wednesday Comics

Hawkman unsheathes his knife and crawls into the gasping T-Rex’s jaws, thinking “Sadly, this is not the craziest thing I’ve ever done.”

– Hawkman

Wednesday Comics is an amazing little experiment, a bit of comic book nostalgia delivered by some of the most talented people in the business with a smile on their face and a skip in their step. For those who don’t know, DC Comics – always the more boldly experimental of the two major companies – ran a twelve-week collection of newspaper comic strips. Fifteen strips bundled together, the reader was offered one page of a given comic at a time on a super-sized newspaper sheet, with a full story told week-on-week. It was a bold little experiment and while the whole is almost certainly greater than the sum of its parts, there’s much to love here.

There in a Flash...

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Non-Review Review: Batman Returns

I adore Batman Returns. It tends to be a rather polarising film, and certainly a polarising Batman adaptation. It was famously too dark and too weird for mainstream audiences, with too much creepy and freaky stuff serving to distress the parents of children who gobbled up Batman-themed Happy Meals. I think it holds up the best of the four Burton and Schumacher Batman films, because it finds a way to balance Burton’s unique approach and style with that of the Caped Crusader. While Burton’s Batman occasionally struggled to balance the director’s vision with a relatively conventional plot (to the point where Vicki Vale stuck out like a sore thumb, and the movie wasn’t the most coherently plotted of films), here there’s a much greater sense of balance at play, and a feeling that Burton isn’t compromising, and yet is working with the characters.

Shine a light…

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Paul Dini’s Run on Detective Comics – The Heart of Hush

Batman’s rogues gallery is a strange one. Thanks to the character’s absorption into popular culture (by the live action series, the cartoons, the movies), he has a fantastically strong and well-recognised selection of villains – to the point where people who haven’t picked up a comic book wonder whether The Riddler will be the villain in the next Batman film. He has tonnes of opponents who are easily recognised by the public and are wide and diverse, many that any other comic book character would kill for. However, once every few years the powers that be will attempt to introduce a new major villain into the character’s life – for example Grant Morrison populated his own run on the title with new enemies (and the Joker). Very occasionally these are succesful – Bane is a fairly well-known addition to the ensemble, despite only arriving about fifteen years ago, and Victor Zsasz remains the most recent bad guy to be featured in Nolan’s movies – but mostly these are failures – like Orca or KGBeast. Here Paul Dini is attempting to move the most recent major bat baddie from the latter category into the former. Does it work?

Eye see you...

Eye see you...

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