“I Am Bane” Review

By Andrew Kiess

Tom King is a brave man. Yes, he’s served America as a counterterrorism CIA operative, but his most recent challenge in life has been filling the role once held by the great Scott Snyder writing Batman. Snyder’s run as the lead writer on Batman lasted the entire fiver year lifespan of DC Comics’ New 52 line, and was its bestseller, as well as one of the most critically acclaimed books of the line. But, Snyder left shortly after the Bloom arc, and when DC was looking to relaunch the line, Snyder was moved to All-Star Batman, and King was asked to step up to the plate.

Spoilers for Batman #1-15 to follow.

King’s run debuted with I Am Gotham. This story, found in issues 1-6, featured the mysterious appearance of two super-powered beings called Gotham and Gotham Girl, who were being manipulated by the Psycho Pirate. In the sequel arc, I Am Suicide (issues 9-14), Psycho Pirate is being protected in Bane’s fortress, and Batman recruits a Suicide Squad from Amanda Waller in order to extract the Pirate so that he can cure Gotham Girl. The plan is successful, which obviously does not sit well with Bane.

batman-11-coming-november-16-from-writer-tom-kingIf I’m being honest, I have struggled to get into this new run on Batman. David Finch’s art has been great, and Tom King is a great writer, but it has felt like Batman has taken a backseat to the characters around him throughout the entire Rebirth line. And as great as Rebirth has been for most of DC’s characters, I have felt like Batman has not benefitted from Rebirth. That was until I read I Am Bane.

Bane is on his way to Gotham to exact revenge for Batman infiltrating his sovereign territory, and Bruce Wayne is preparing for war in a way that only Bruce could—by sending all of his soldiers away from the battlefield. Bruce warns Dick Grayson/Nightwing, Duke Thomas/Lark, Damian Wayne/Robin, and Jason Todd/Red Hood to stay out of Gotham until Bane is dealt with. But, his warnings fall on deaf ears for the Robins, and Bruce finds them hanging, barely alive, in the Batcave with the words “I Am Bane” spray painted across their chests. Bruce and Alfred must get Gotham Girl and the Psycho Pirate out of Bane’s path of destruction, and so they barricade themselves deep within Arkham while Bane’s warpath leads him through all of the inmates Batman has put there over the years.

Three issues into this run, I finally understood what King was doing. It’s no coincidence that the main three arcs of King’s run so far have been titled with the words “I Am…”. He was re-forging Batman’s identity as Bruce. Or Bruce’s identity as Batman. Either way, the end of the New 52 saw many changes for Bruce Wayne, not the least of which included being raised from the dead (kind of) and becoming the god of knowledge (really.) Despite all the good that happened for the character during the New 52, it didn’t leave the character with very many directions to go. Is Batman Gotham, or are there other heroes better suited for that task? Is Batman suicide, willing to sacrifice himself for the cause? Or is Batman like Bane, steeped in tragedy and loss? In the last half of I Am Bane, something beautiful happens with the character that I think that if you haven’t been paying attention, you might miss.

Batman is taken out of the tragedy that inspired him, while Bane is haunted by his own tragic past that holds him back. While the death of Bruce’s parents may have started his quest to rid Gotham of crime, it is now his own heroic nature that keeps him going. He is pulled out of the muck of being a crusader for justice, fighting an unwinnable war—he’s a man, who sees that being Batman and doing Batman things, saving Gotham Girl, stopping Bane, and doing these things with every drop of sweat and blood he can give, as the right thing to do. And because being Batman is the right thing to do, he is going to do it. This is Tom King’s Batman. And, even though I’m late to the party, I’m a fan

 

Gotham: Season 3 Episode 7

By

John McGee

 

WOW! What a night! Did you see all those Harley Quinns? Batmen and Supermen! Jokers and Jack Sparrows—but best of all, that Gotham episode! How did this year’s traditional scarefest top eating candy to your heart’s content? Read on to find out!

The good news:

Tetch is finally reaching the end of his rope. He grabbed his sister’s body and drained her of the last of her poisoned blood. The very, very little of the marketing I saw for Season 3 did nothing to whet my appetite for his character other than the fact that we’d be seeing a Mad Hatter. Now he’s easily become one of the most interesting villains we’ve seen. Ever rhyming (kudos to the writers for bothering with that) he schemes to poison the most powerful people in Gotham with his sister’s blood.

Jim Gordon has to come to grips with his messed up head (and boy does he deliver). He hallucinates facing his demons after lying to Lee about saving her last episode and even Bullock angrily asserting that Jim’s “scared” of the badge. He goes through an elevator with a completely seductive and even vulnerable Barbara. (I have to watch some season 1 episodes again—I’m forgetting what she was like before she was crazy). It was haunting and emotional to see Jim experience life with Lee and kids, failure to Bruce and a tear-jerking conversation with his dad. All hallucinations, all realistic and touching.

Jim Gordon returns as a detective to the GCPD following his soul-searching quest. Finally.

Tetch gets captured and fails to poison the Gotham power heads. Duh.

Penguin, instead of killing Nygma’s girlfriend, tells her that Ed was in Arkham in an attempt to break them up, but it only makes their relationship stronger. They’re made for each other, which means Penguin might ruin it by killing her. The cliché is that Penguin kills people and tantrums when he’s denied what he wants. So hopefully the writers avoid that.

I totally forgot in last episode’s review that Bruce kissed Selina. Now they’re having a little date that she’s late for because “it’s weird for me.” So now she’s in a relationship with a plank of wood. Because that sums up the acting skills we’re getting from Mazouz’s side of this thing. Honestly just watch her. She’s the only one who’s obviously taken classes or just has the talent to show range of emotions and enunciate, say her lines differently each time etc.

The bad news:

The guy seemingly bossing around the Court of Owls lady was wearing the ring that Jim’s dad was wearing in the hallucination. The Court is already being denied proper justice already; now we’re getting sidetracked into Jim’s dad. Great.

Best episode of the year by far. There’s no contest. What a Halloween treat.

9.5/10

Shanlian on Batman Episode 70 – Suicide Squad reviews

The gang is squading up to bring to you their review of Suicide Squad! Justin, Tom, Kyle, and Rheanna are all here to talk about the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly bits of the movie in their opinions. Is this another flop? Is the future of DC movies looking bright? Listen to find out

Batman-On-Film Shanlian On Batman Special Crossover

Batman-On-Film’s founder Bill “Jett” Ramey and his crew team up with the guys from Shanlian on Batman to talk Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice. At this point pretty much everyone has seen this film but in all fairness we must say, obviously, ***THIS PODCAST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BATMAN V SUPERMAN DAWN OF JUSTCE** Now with that being out of the way, come hang out with the BOF & SoB crews while they go over everything that they liked, disliked, would have changed, and interpreted from this film! Don’t forget to visit www.batman-on-film.com for more BOF and as always check SoB out at www.ShanlianOnBatman.com as well as www.PodcastEmpireNetwork.Com

Lords of Film episode 9

All of us got the chance to see the new, Star Wars The Force Awakens. Hear our reactions and thoughts as we run down the film to the best of our memories !!!!!!!THIS EPISODE OF LOF IS HEAVILY *SPOILERS* BASED!!!!!!! we suggest you not listen to this podcast if you have not yet seen Star Wars the Force Awakens. So hang out with Lords of Film as they talk Star Wars!

 

Shanlian On Batman Episode 49 Trailer #2 Break Down

On this Special Edition of Shanlian on Batman, we are coming to you the NIGHT OF with a SoB exclusive trailer break down. Make sure you sync up your internet browser with ours on the new trailer and lets do it again, the “and stop game”! Follow along with the guys while they break down everything they can for the new trailer.

We Are Robin #2 Review from Kim Gaines

They started this one with a bang.

The story picks up right where we left off, smack in the middle of a fight between Duke and the Robins, against a bunch of creeper sewer warriors. And the banter between the Robin team is great. It’s so fun and witty, and has the whole teenager feel about it, without being annoying or feeling too rehearsed.

Those first six pages are an awesome ride. Tons of action and every panel delivers. The whole scene is one you won’t forget quickly, and you get lost in the chaos of it all. One of the best parts about finally seeing the Robins in action, is equally awesome in both art and writing. The unique signatures of each uniform is great, and they speak to the differences of each character. There’s an attitude about each funky belt buckle, a story behind every hood. The little quirks of each costume are so much fun, and set each character apart.

The attitude of the Robins comes in the dialogue. They feel like kids you want to know. Like you want to play video games with them on a Saturday night, but you would totally go fight bad guys with them too. They take shots at each other, laugh about funny stuff, drop pop culture references, all of that good stuff, and it makes them feel real and concrete.

In this issue we also got a glimpse of the man who might be behind this whole operation, which helped open up a lot of interesting questions about what’s really going on. Who is this guy? Why are Duke’s parents so important? Can he be trusted? I mean, we didn’t really get any answers, but it’s important that the questions were put out there. It solidified that fact that there’s something bigger going on here.

And I for one, want to find out exactly what that is.
These guys are laying groundwork, and I’m looking forward to see what comes up. 4701583-warb_2_2-3

We Are Robin Issue #1 Review by Kim Gaines

Raise youtumblr_njd48wcT7q1qfy3nuo1_500r hand if you had a few doubts about We Are Robin.

Hand in the air, like I just don’t care.

I take my Batfam seriously. Casual associates included,. And I wasn’t sure I could get behind what appeared to be a bunch of street kids, running around repping the  most important ‘R’ I can imagine, after a long, honorable, and in many cases, tragic legacy that had come before them. Who are these kids? Who said they could do this? Can they fight? Do they realize how important this is? Are they ready for the weight of the this?

Aside from that, it seemed a little cliche. The adoption into this vigilante life, has been done a million times before, half of them occurring in the Bat universe alone. I felt like it might be a story we’ve seen already.

Lee Bermejo and Jorge Corona promptly shut me and my whole life up.

This story is wonderful.

For starters, Corona’s art is bomb. It’s funky and weird, and a little bit twisted. The amount of attitude and emotion he can carry through the lips of his characters alone, is unbelievable. Curvy side smirks, annoyed pouts, wicked grins, it’s all there. And it gives a life to his faces. The angles of his scenes are awesome and every new page jumps out at you.

Lee Bermejo’s throws out words like weapons. I was in love with Duke Thomas before I knew his name.

“Someone told me that the problem with youth is the inability to accept your own morality. I wouldn’t consider this one of my problems.”

Oh, come on. Don’t you want to see where this is going?

Bermejo jumps in and out of Duke’s consciousness flawlessly, and no matter how interesting it gets outside, you keep wanting back in Duke’s head. His entire narrative is snarky, funny, intelligent, and if you listen hard enough, vulnerable. The entire story is action packed from beginning to end, and it doesn’t take from the story at all. The characters are solid and engaging, and the art just takes it to another level entirely.

I will spoil nothing about this series so far, because I want you get the same rush I did. This whole issue was just fun. The characters are easy to get behind, the humor keeps it interesting, even the references to pop culture make it feel like a universe you’re a part of. The bigger mystery at play makes it all the more enticing, as you’re eager to discover what really going on in Gotham right now, and who’s really holding all the strings.

I really hope youguys give this one a shot. It’s so worth it. Some people worry about messing with the Batfam legacy and all its twisted glory. I wouldn’t consider this one of my problems.

Well. Not anymore.

We. Are. ROBIN.

Batman: Arkham Knight review

By Kyle “TheMrToodles” Davis

Note: This review is free of spoilers and based on my experiences with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight is the latest installment in the Arkham line of video games. Developed by Rocksteady Studios, this is their third title in the series. The series began back in 2009 with Batman: Arkham Asylum, continued in 2011 with Batman: Arkham City, and just now in 2015 concluding with Batman: Arkham Knight. Side note: Batman: Arkham Origins was not developed by Rocksteady Studios, so it is not officially a part of the series cannon.

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