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3epkano Performing Live Accompaniment to Metropolis, National Concert Hall, 17th July 2014!

Irish post-rock band 3epkano are ten years old this year. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, the band performing a live musical accompaniment to Fritz Lang’s iconic 1927 science-fiction classic Metropolis. A movie that helped to shape an entire genre, Metropolis will be screened in its original format, set to an original score composed and performed by 3epkano. It’s a staggeringly ambitious concert, and a fantastic way to celebrate ten years of music-making.

metropolis1

A classic of German expressionist cinema, a triumph of silent movie-making and a reminder of just how iconic and influential Fritz Lang was, Metropolis is an epic that really deserves to be seen on a large screen. It looks to be one of the cinematic highlights of the summer, and well worth checking out for anybody with even a passing interest in the history of cinema.

The concert will take place in the National Concert Hall at 8pm on Thursday, 17th July 2014. It’s a wonderful excuse to see a classic through fresh eyes, with Lang’s work on Metropolis looking as impressive today as it did almost ninety years ago. Tickets are available via the National Concert Hall website.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Battle of the Superheroes (Review)

To celebrate the release of Man of Steel this month, we’re going Superman mad. Check back daily for Superman-related reviews.

Batman and Superman. It’s a great combination, like cookies and cream or spaghetti and meatballs or… feel free to insert your own analogy here. The two characters are two of the oldest and most enduring superheroes, both owned by the same company. They also both embody two very different ideals. Batman is a pulp action hero in a silly outfit with gothic trappings, while Superman is an alien from another world dressed in primary colours. Pairing the two up to compare and contrast is great fun.

Battle of the Superheroes focuses on Batman and Superman as friends and colleagues, a portrayal which seems somewhat dated. After all, ever since Frank Miller wrote The Dark Knight Returns, the tendency has been to treat the pair as grudging allies rather than bosom buddies. Still, the Silver Age aesthetic of The Brave and the Bold suits this approach well, and it’s hard not to get swept up in the wry enthusiasm of it all.

Superhero team-up time...

Superhero team-up time…

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52 (Review/Retrospective)

To celebrate the release of Man of Steel this month, we’re going Superman mad. Check back daily for Superman-related reviews.

If you are looking to get a taste of the shared universe that DC have created, a glimpse at the diverse characters and their overlapping worlds who have been cultivated as part of the publisher’s comic book line, then it’s very hard to go wrong with 52. A weekly series set in the wake of one of the company’s line-wide “everything changes” events, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the workings of the minor characters dealing with their own problems and issues in a world without Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman.

Published as fifty-two weekly issues, it serves as something of “a year in the life” of this fictional world. Written by four of the best writers in contemporary comics, each of whom has made outstanding contributions to the company’s output in the not-too-hazy past, 52 might not be the best or most consistent comic book that DC ever published, but it is one of the most insightful, original and fun.

Falling from the sky...

Falling from the sky…

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Justice League: The Nail (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Man of Steel this month, we’re going Superman mad. Check back daily for Superman-related reviews.

What would comics look like without Superman? The character is so iconic and influential and omnipresent that it’s a fun thought experiment to take him out of the DC universe and watch the narrative threads unravel. Alan Davis is a pretty incredible artist. He’s done great work with writers like Mike W. Barr (on an underrated Detective Comics run) and Chris Claremont (on Excalibur). However, he may not have been the best choice to write this three-part Justice League of America Elseworld. It’s a great concept, but the execution leaves a little to be desired.

Is somebody missing?

Is somebody missing?

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The Death & Return of Superman Omnibus (Review/Retrospective)

To celebrate the release of The Man of Steel this month, we’re going Superman mad. Check back daily for Superman-related reviews.

The Death & Return of Superman stands as one of the most influential and iconic Superman stories ever told. It was certainly the best-selling, even if that doesn’t necessarily make it the most-read, due to the nature of the nineties comic book speculation market. Read today, separate from all the hype and publicity and novelty items, it’s a very interesting part of the character’s lore. It’s certainly an ambitious tale, epic in scope. However, it’s very clearly disjointed and oddly paced and often demonstrates a strange disconnect with its own subject. A story with the title The Death & Return of Superman should probably offer some profound insight into its lead character. This just feels like a series of plot twists peppered with some casual observations.

Death of a hero...

Death of a hero…

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Superman: The Animated Series – Apokolips… Now! (Parts 1 & 2) (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

It seems fair enough to concede that Superman doesn’t really have the strongest selection of bad guys ever invented for a comic book character. You can definitely see that in the production of Superman: The Animated Series. While the writers did the best with the material at hand, you get a sense that they knew they didn’t have as many characters to play with as they did on Batman: The Animated Series. So they did two things to help compensate for this fact. The first thing was the decision to structure very clear character arcs for big bad guys like Luthor or Brainiac, where it becomes clear the audience can’t watch the series out of order. The second thing, and the one most relevant to this review, was the decision to incorporate Jack Kirby’s Fourth World mythos into the series.

Feel the power of the Darkseid…

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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...

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