Full disclosure: I love Lego. I ran across a few images of the amazing Monster Fighters Haunted House set early last year, decided that it must be mine, and plunged headlong down the rabbit hole. I convert my dollars into plastic bricks whenever possible, and assembling them has proven to be the perfect companion hobby to my non-stop movie watching. Gotta have something to do during those director’s commentaries. That being said, while I unabashedly love the brand I’d have also been the first in line to register my disappointment had the movie failed to deliver. Luckily, my sky-high level of excitement for this one was repaid in kind.
In 2003 Mattel launched a line of 7″ scale figures featuring Batman and an assortment of villains and allies, all of varying degrees of quality and complexity. This line then began to be alternated with waves of Superman figures, before finally giving way to the DC Universe Classics line: Mattel’s answer to the competing Marvel Legends figures, and a series that would become legendary for inspiring customer frustration. It seems we’ve now come full circle, and Mattel’s once again has a collector-oriented line focused entirely on the residents of Gotham City, entitled “Batman Unlimited”. I was heavily invested in all the lines that led up to this one, buying almost every single figure for around six years, until I eventually had to sell the bulk of my collection. Even though I do still have a modest shelf of Batman toys, thus far the Unlimited line has not really piqued my interest. The figures are expensive, there are only around three released at a time (taking any and all fun out of sifting through the pegs at the store), and I generally just try to be a little more careful with my purchases these days. Today, however, “responsible” lost a critical battle with “fanboy”, and I walked out of Target with a brand new figure based on pre-crazy Frank Miller’s magnum Batman opus, The Dark Knight Returns.
Although I’m an avid comic book fan who is usually willing to give even the worst movie adaptations a shot, I typically avoid superhero novels like the plague. And really, I couldn’t even tell you why. I have an old paperback around here somewhere that’s an anthology of short stories about The Joker, but I’ve never even read it. The simple ownership of that book is the closest I’ve ever come to engaging my beloved comic characters in a picture-free format. Wait, I take that back. I also had a “choose your own adventure” style Batman book when I was a kid, and I most certainly did read that. Probably cheating my way through like I always did. But that, I assure you, is the last time I made the leap. Until, that is, a few weeks ago, on a trip to my favorite local library. There in the new releases section sat an attractive looking hardcover entitled Wayne of Gotham, a Batman novel written by Tracy Hickman.
In my endeavors to find the nerdy corners of Sin City it became clear I would need some help; a guide of sorts to direct me to the local flavors a humble tourist might overlook. This led me to contact a local expert; in the year or so I’ve been writing and telling you about all occurrences of nerdiness I have been lucky to run across some of the best events and people I’ve ever known. When I tracked down a local expert I wasn’t fully aware of what I was getting into; it has been more than an honor to sit down and chat with one of the most truly righteous people I’ve ever met. She is a mom, an entrepeneur, a nerd, a writer, a costume maker, and a very nice lady. I’m talking about Natalie Midkiff; keep that name in your head this woman is going places.
Pittsburgh is proving to be the absolute lowest-security place to film a highly anticipated sequel to one of the most successful comic book film franchises of all time. Leaked images from The Dark Knight Rises are hitting the Internet like bathroom self-portraits on Facebook. Here we have a less-dolled up angle from the scene I wrote about last week. Nothing too exciting, but it does reveal more of Catwoman’s not-really-a-costume. There have been alleged stuntwoman-with-a-mask sightings, but I guess it’s just a small domino mask? I don’t know if I need ears or a tail or anything, but a cowl would be nice. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea to have all that hair hanging out if you’re going to be a high-end cat burglar…
Next up, we’ve got a sneak peek at what looks to be Bane’s entire costume, rather than the shadowy over the shoulder shot we’re getting in the trailers. I’m putting a break here in case you are extra sensitive to spoilers, but there’s no story given away here or anything.
So we’ve finally got a production image of one of the new characters from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, and um…it’s pretty underwhelming, I guess? It’s Anne Hathaway on a terrible bike, not much more to see here. I know Nolan strives for realism in his Batman films, but this seems fairly unspectacular to me.
I want to give Christopher Nolan the benefit of the doubt here. He’s already made the only two good films featuring major DC comic book characters. But so far we’ve got underwhelming and unidentifiable Catwoman costume, more Batpod (so probably more Tumbler, which is the worst thing ever), AND they’re bringing back Ra’s al Ghul. Don’t get me wrong, Ra’s is one of the greatest Batman villains of all time, but this means I have to hear them repeatedly mispronounce his name in yet another movie. Roz the bailiff from Night Court al Ghoul.
I guess all I’m saying is that the next thing I find out about The Dark Knight Rises better be awesome, or I will continue to register my nerd rage across the internet.