The LEGO Batman movie — or, return of the not-so-serious Batman, Part 2

In my last post, I talked about the history of whimsical, light-hearted interpretations of Batman, from the kid-friendly adventures of the 50s and 60s to modern revivals like the Brave and the Bold animated series and the delightful Batman ’66 comic. As much as I enjoy talking about that kind of thing, though, I had an ulterior […]

Grim avenger of the night? The return of the not-so-serious Batman, part 1

Comic fans know Batman as a dark, moody character, a brooding avenger who haunts the rooftops of Gotham City and periodically swings down to punch clowns in the face. That’s the Batman who’s been the more-or-less standard comics version of the character since the 1980s, when works like Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke, […]

Secret identities: comic creators, comic characters

Artists and writers have always enjoyed inserting themselves into their own works, from Botticelli inserting himself into The Adoration of the Magi to Alfred Hitchcock’s brief cameos in his films. Comic creators are no different: there are plenty of characters in the world of comics modelled on the people behind the scenes. Walt and Louise […]

Wonder Woman trailer shows Amazon princess in action

DC’s cinematic universe has already given us two of the company’s big three heroes in the form of Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman. Gal Gadot’s performance as Wonder Woman was one of the most popular parts of the otherwise mixed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and now we’re starting to see footage from her […]

Teens with attitude: the Power Rangers are back

“Gritty reboots” are so common that they’re basically a running joke now. What’s the next light-hearted, kid-friendly property the film, TV or comics industries can give a coat of dirt and darkness? Scooby-Doo? The Smurfs? Apparently the answer to the question is the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That’s right — the kids’ TV hit of […]

Do quit your day job: the strange careers of comics creators

There’s no single best way into the comics industry, but a lot of creator biographies follow a similar trajectory. Veterans of the Golden Age started out as newspaper cartoonists, commercial artists or contributors to the fledgling fanzine scene. Many Silver Age greats came out of art schools or had previously worked as commercial illustrators. And […]

All around the world: international superheroes are kind of silly

“Welcome, Captain Invincible! It’s a great honour to welcome you to the Special Relationship, the first joint British-American super team.” “Thank you; it’s a pleasure to be here.” “I’m sure you already know the American members of our team: Karate Bear, Laserface Pete and the Incredible Blazing Woman. And representing the British side, here are Pip-Pip […]