[DVD REVIEW] Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

REVIEW SUMMARY: A gritty, faithful adaptation of Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An aging and retired Bruce Wayne sees his city spiraling down into crime and fear at the hands of Harvey Dent and a new threat, the Mutant Gang, forcing Bruce to reclaim the mantle of the Batman to bring order and justice back to Gotham.

MY REVIEW
PROS: Excellent animation, acting and storytelling; gritty and dark, channeling the original material well.
CONS: As dark as it is, the PG13 rating means most of the ‘in your face’ violence and themes of the original work have been watered down.
BOTTOM LINE: A fine addition to the growing library of Warner Brother’s Premiere / DC Animation titles.  Well worth your time and money.

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On the Kirkus Reviews blog today, I list my Top 5 Graphic Novel picks starring the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

From the post:

Sergei Kravinoff burst onto the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1964.  Since then, he has hunted Spidey relentlessly in the hopes of proving to everyone he is the greatest hunter in the world.  Collecting Web of Spider-Man #31-32, Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, and Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132, Kraven’s Last Hunt, written by J. M. DeMatteis and illustrated by Mike Zeck, brought Kraven and Spider-Man together for their final confrontation.

Driven mad by his inability to defeat Spider-Man, Kraven the Hunter launches his ultimate end-game and manages to defeat the web-head.  He shoots him, and buries him.  To further prove that he is the greatest hunter in the world, Kraven takes on Spider-Man’s mask and hunts his latest enemy, Vermin, and defeats him in a brutal attack.  Two weeks later, Spidey wakes up (he was drugged, not killed) and has to dig his way out of his own grave. Kraven is no longer interested in him.  Vermin, however, is out for revenge following the beat-down Kraven gave him.

Click through to the Kirkus Reviews blog to read the full piece and see all my picks.

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 6

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 5

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 4

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 3

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 2

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

Motion Comic: Hellboy: The Fury Part 1

From GeekandSundry and Dark Horse Comics comes a new Motion Comic – Hellboy: The Fury. Read the rest of this entry

My next piece on the Kirkus Review Blog is on Elric: The Balance Lost Volume One.  Chris Roberson, author of Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, iZombie, and the new science fiction novel Further: Beyond the Threshold, and illustrator Francesco Biagini, pick up the tale of the 428th Emperor of Melniboné for a comic series from Boom! Studios.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Talk to a fan of the sword and sorcery genre, and it won’t take long for the conversation to turn to Elric, the 428th Emperor of Melniboné. With alabaster skin, and wielding the soul-eating sword Stormbringer, Elric is the Eternal Champion, someone who is chosen to fight for the cosmic Balance. In Moorcock’s stories, Elric is one of many such Champions, who exist in every different version of reality throughout the multiverse. Each Champion must fight for the balance between Law and Chaos, two opposing forces locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. Should either side win, all would be lost.

Check out the full article over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

[Matthew Sanborn Smith is a writer whose work has appeared at Chiaroscuro, Everyday Weirdness and the StarShipSofa podcast. He podcasts at Beware the Hairy Mango.]

Here’s what happens when you take E.E. Doc Smith, superhero comics and seven different kinds of speed and you smoosh ‘em all together:

R.E.B.E.L.S.

It’s DC Comics’ latest foray into smashing four-color space opera. (But what with computers and all today, they’re probably up to eight-color.) On one side, a classic revamped Justice League of America villain has built himself an empire spanning nine galaxies and you and I are sitting on the future site of number ten. His armies are endless, unquestioningly loyal and his elite troops have powers far beyond those of the Average Joe and Josephine.

Protecting us from a fate worse than himself is Vril Dox, the Milky Way’s biggest jerkwad and a twelfth level intelligence thanks to his dad, Superman foe, Brainiac. (Author’s note: I first typed Braniac, who I think is a super-villain who wreaks havoc while promoting regular bowel movements.) Vril would sell his grandmother for an ice cream cone and many of his followers would gladly kill him if only he wasn’t keeping worse things at bay.

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