Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Office-Bound Pokemon Tournament Allison-less Final 2011 Edition of the All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 12-28-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ - All Things Fun! - co-hosts Ed (X-Man) Evans, Allison (she'll be back next week) Eckel and Glenn (Avenger) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Trapped in the backroom, Green Lantern New Guardians #4, Teen Titans #4, Flash # by Francis Manapul, Savage Hawkman #4, Voodoo #4, Batman Dark Knight #4, Aquaman #4, DC Universe Legends #20, Vertigo, the X-Men titles, the Avengers books of the week including Young, Secret and Solo, and more Captain America than you can swing a shield at.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Forever Lazy, Black Panther #527, Matt Fraction's Mighty Thor #9, Archie meets KISS part two, Dungeons & Dragons #14, Star Trek #4, Buffy season 9 Angel and Faith #5, Max Damage vs. Plutonian is coming, Kirby Genesis Captain Victory #2 by Sterling Gates, Crossed Badlands Opening Salvo, booty of Mars, Mice Templar Book 6, Kick-Ass 2 #6, Sonic the Hedgehog #232, TMNT Micro-series Michelangelo #2, and awesome goodies I wish I'd gotten for Christmas.

Be sure to check out the terrific new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

And don't forget to check out highlights from our live Christmas Eve Eve vidcast here!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Forgotten Spider-Man

Everyone knows the 1967 "Spider-Man" cartoon, you know, the one with the catchy theme song. Most folks know the 1990s series on Fox as well. The fanboys and girls among us know the MTV CGI animated series, the spacey cosmic "Unlimited", and "Amazing Friends" with Iceman and Firestar. But does anyone remember the 1981 Saturday morning cartoon?

The 1981 "Spider-Man" did not air in the Philadelphia area so I didn't see it until years later in syndication. It was the wall-crawler first animated appearance on TV since the classic 1967 series. It was Spidey once more on Saturday mornings, and a prelude to "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends." Many of the queues were taken from the sixties cartoon, maybe not actual model sheets and drawings, but they sure tried to copy it, from shots of buildings to angles that Spidey would swing by on his weblines.

The villains were there. Spidey fought the Green Goblin, the Vulture, the Sandman, the Lizard, Mysterio, and the Kingpin. Others who had not yet seen animation as Spider-foes like the Chameleon, Black Cat, Silvermane, Hammerhead, and Kraven the Hunter. New villains were added like the Gadeteer, the Stuntman, and in a hollaback to the '67 'toon, the Desperado-like Sidewinder.

Attempts to expand the animated Marvel Universe were made as Spider-Man also went up against Magneto, the Red Skull, and the Ringmaster. The oddest addition of this type was the seeming ascension of Doctor Doom to archenemy status for Spider-Man. The two clash in six out of the twenty-six episodes. Many Marvel super-heroes show up as guest-stars as well, including Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, Ka-Zar, Medusa and even Namorita.

There were problems however. This DePatie-Freleng production had the same quality as the last two Marvel animations, "Spider-Woman" and "New Fantastic Four," the latter was the infamous version with H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot. The animation is very slow-paced, Spidey's webs eject with almost molasses flow sometimes. And of course this was a time in network television when violence was considered to be rotting the minds of young children - so Spider-Man could neither make a fist nor throw a punch, even at someone as evil as a Nazi madman like the Red Skull.

The 1981 "Spider-Man" cartoon has its moments, and it's closer to comics continuity than a lot of superhero animation out there. It's worth a viewing or two for the hardcore fans, and is now available from Netflix via DVD or streaming online.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don Kirshner 1934-2011

One of America's greatest music producers, and a driving force in popular music for decades, Don Kirshner, passed away yesterday from heart failure in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 76.

I think it's sad that there are probably generations who don't even know his name, or if they do, it's because of late night infomercials, or they think he's a character Paul Shaeffer played on "Saturday Night Live." Of course they are other generations, before the advent of MTV, who know the man and his contributions.

Kirshner was instrumental in starting the careers of numerous songwriters in the 1960s with his "Brill Building" school, where friend and producer Phil Specter also worked. 'Graduates' included Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, Howard Greenfield, and Gerry Goffin. Together they scored dozens and dozens of hits, before they went on to have careers of their own, while Kirshner himself started several record labels and moved on into television. Known as "The Man with the Golden Ear," he was one of the folks who created the Monkees, as well as the cartoon Archies, both groups prefabricated, and he also discovered many 'real' music acts as well like Bobby Darin and Kansas.

Kirshner was also a 1970s fixture on Sunday late nights with his legendary "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert." There he introduced many acts to America for the first time like Prince, Blue Oyster Cult, Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, the Sex Pistols, Alice Cooper, Rush, Linda Ronstadt, KISS, Ted Nugent, David Bowie, and the Ramones, just to name a few of the hundreds who appeared on the program. The series, which ran from 1973-1981, was notable for being live and not allowing acts to lipsync, a widespread curse of the 1970s. We didn't have MTV, we had Don.

We have lost one of the true geniuses of the music industry, he will be missed.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lost Hits of the New Wave #8

"Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses

Yeah, I'm being seasonal, so what? It's Christmas, deal with it.

When folks think of The Waitresses, they think of three things - "I Know What Boys Like," the TV series "Square Pegs," and this song, and for many, it's just not Christmas until they hear this song on the radio. Yeah, it's that special.

For me, it has an extra special meaning. "Christmas Wrapping," a now-classic tune about a couple who keep missing each other throughout the year and finally get together for Christmas, reminds me of The Bride. We were very good friends for five years before ever going out, and that's not to say we didn't try. There were so many times we tried to get together and move the relationship forward and didn't - but we eventually did - sorta like the song.

Merry Christmas, everyone, hope you get what you want for Christmas. I did - The Bride.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

The Last Minute Midnight Madness Sale!

Join us Friday, December 23rd that's tonight from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM as the gang at All Things Fun! hosts our Annual Last Minute Madness Sale & Signing Event. We’ll have huge savings on those last minute gifts or get something fun for yourself. Everything in the store will be on sale. Most items will be at least 30%* off and we’ll have some great Doorbuster Specials and the new Wheel of Prizes!

We’ll also have artists on hand selling sketches and original artwork. Not to mention the holiday cookies and hot chocolate. Be sure to join us for our last chance to celebrate the season with your friends at All Things Fun!

Spin the ATF Wheel of Prizes!

For every $75 spent (before tax) you get one free spin on the All Things Fun! Wheel of Prizes. What will you win from the Wheel of Prizes? Maybe nothing, but you might also win free All Things Fun! Gift Certificates or Gift Certificates to some of our favorite Independently Owned Retailers including Tunes, Cool Dog Café Gift Cards or wrapped gifts from under our tree!

Join us for the Sales, Signings and Holiday Fellowship!

Friday Night (12/23) from 11pm to 1am ONLY!

Doorbuster Specials Include*:

Lupus In Tabula
(Werewolf Party Game)
Reg. $19.99

Just $2.99
That’s 85% off!

Nightfall & Nightfall Martial Law
(Horror themed Deck Building Games)
Reg. $79.98

Just $19.99**
That’s 75% off

All Specials are While Supplies Last. Sorry, No reserves, rain checks, reservations or subscriptions, special orders, discounts or promotions apply. All items must be in-stock. Some exclusions apply.

** Must purchase both games to get the sale price. Single price for each game $39.99.

Artists & Creators scheduled to appear:

Neil Vokes
Bryan J.L. Glass
Mark Poulton
Tony DiGerolamo
Bob Petrecca
Tom Schloendorn
Chris Moreno

And if you're not in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, and still want to get in on the fun, ATF! Vidcasters Allison Eckel and Glenn Walker will be chatting with the above comics creators LIVE from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM at the regular Vidcast website:!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 12-21-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ - All Things Fun! - co-hosts Ed (Santa) Evans, Allison ("Holy Codpiece, Batman!") Eckel and Glenn (The Grinch) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: A little something something for the holidays, the Last Minute Midnight Madness Sale at All Things Fun!, Justice League #4 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, Scott Snyder's Batman #4, Judd Winick's Catwoman #4, the rest of the Bat-books, Batman Inc.: Leviathan Strikes, DC Comics Presents #4 featuring Deadman, Blue Beetle #4, and Nick Spencer's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Pop Heroes, Han Solo and X-23, the X-titles, Ed's Marvels, Dan Slott's Amazing Spider-Man #676, Deadpool and the Hydra muu-muu, how to use a comics index, Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers #20, more Marvels, Ed's indies including G.I. Joe, Invincible and the death of Optimus Prime, Allison's kids comics, Ed's trades, and the Last Minute Midnight Madness Sale.

Be sure to check out the crazy new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

And don't forget The Last Minute Midnight Madness Sale at All Things Fun! in West Berlin NJ - 30% off almost everything in the store! It starts at 11:00 PM Friday, December 23rd and goes to 1:00 AM!

Meet and talk with comic creators Neil Vokes (Flesh & Blood, Eagle), Harvey Award winning Bryan J.L. Glass (Thor, Mice Templar), Tony DiGerolamo (Super Frat, Jersey Devil), Mark Poulton (Avengelyne, Koni Waves), inker Tom Schloendorn, and inker, artist and writer Bob Petrecca!

If you're in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, come on down, and if not, join us here to watch the live interviews and vidcast with Allison and Glenn!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Big Picture for December 2011

“The Big Picture” is a monthly online release previewing best of the month’s upcoming cinema releases, as well as red carpet interviews with the stars…


Tis the Season to be Jolly as “The Big Picture” brings you a round-up of what great movies can be enjoyed over the festive season. Featuring previews of Happy Feet Two, The Thing, Another Earth, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, as well as interviews with the stars of current releases Arthur Christmas, The Awakening and Take Shelter.

Check out our online sources for the latest publications:

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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Avengers Web Ring Chat for December

Reaperradio presents:


Covering any and all Avengers and Avengers-related titles, as well as the various Avengers animated series and movies.

When: Tuesday 12/20, 8:00 PM EST, 1:00 AM GMT, and 6:30 India Standard Time. Also, there will be a Second Round Chat Wave for latecomers @ 9:30 PM EST, 2:30 AM GMT, and 8:00 AM India Standard Time.


Just pick a user name and log in, no password is necessary. It takes a minute or two for the chat room to load; if it doesn't, just download the Java update on the same page. If you can't get in right away, check back in a few minutes. While most people have had no problems logging in, occasionally, someone has had to wait ten to fifteen minutes before they could enter.

TIP: To read the chat transcript more easily, click the Float button and expand the chat room window.

Hope to see you there!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ghost Rider Rides Again

Nicholas Cage returns as Ghost Rider in February. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opens February 17th.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lost Hits of the New Wave #7

"Stop This Game" by Cheap Trick

The above video is from an old Italian music TV show. The song, from the 1980 album All Shook Up. Like with Alice Cooper and "Clones (We're All)," this represented a marked change in the traditional Cheap Trick sound, aping the now more popular New Wave sound.

The song and the album were enough to put off the fans who had made Cheap Trick rock gods with their Live at Budokan album. Personnel changes kept the band from putting out a complete album for too long, and the Budokan heat had cooled. The fans were divided, rockers thought they were pop, and poppers thought they were rock, and in the end, they were screwed.

That wasn't all that led to Cheap Trick's downfall. Some say it was the Beatles curse, after Budokan they were dubbed the new Beatles, especially in Japan. That usually kills a band. It didn't help that Cheap Trick themselves were huge Beatles fans, doing various covers like "Daytripper," "Magical Mystery Tour" and even a mash-up with John Lennon of his "I'm Losing You."

And then there were the plagiarism claims. Listen to their early 1980s pop ballad "The Flame" next to Spirit's "Nature's Way" if you don't believe me. Even the above tune, "Stop This Game," borrows a few rifts from KISS' foray into disco and new wave, "I Was Born for Lovin' You."

Now, I don't mean to bag on Cheap Trick. I still have a place in my heart for them. This song, as well as "Reach Out" from the Heavy Metal soundtrack, and "On Top of the World" from the classic 1978 album Heaven Tonight are among my favorite guilty pleasures.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

What's Your Lunchbox?

I'm old, I grew up waaay back in the 1970s. Back then, in public school at least, everything you had was a status symbol. I've talked about SSP Racers before, but the real status symbol of those elementary days was The Lunchbox.

First it was all about the lunchbox you got, whether you picked it out yourself, or your parents got it for you, you were psyched for the first day of school, so you could show it off, and show everyone how cool you were. Or not.

I was a geek, I am a geek, I mean. I was never the cool kid, never. Round about first and second grade I was all into comics and also Peanuts. I loved Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and especially Linus. Why I never had a blanket or thumbsucking problem is beyond me. But the point is I had a Snoopy lunchbox.

My lunch box was a big goofy yellow dome metal lunch box that kind of had Snoopy sleeping on top as if it was his doghouse and said, "Go to school with Snoopy" and "Have lunch with Snoopy." Again, me being a dopey kid, I had two of them, cuz I left one at the bus stop one morning. Dopey and forgetful.

At the time, and in hindsight, I really was very uncool. I still remember decades alter who had the really cool lunchboxes. "Land of the Giants" and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Johnny Lightning" and "The Archies," and the Beatles Yellow Submarine - those are the folks you wanted to sit next to at lunch, just to look at their lunchbox.

Throughout my elementary school days things changed as tin turned to plastic, the Archies turned to Josie and Pussycats, and "Land of the Giants" turned to "Six Million Dollar Man," but the lunchbox continued to be a status symbol. It faded away as I entered junior high and high school obviously. Heck, those places had vending machines - what did we need with lunchboxes any more?

As with most nostalgia however, lunchboxes, especially the tin kind have made a comeback. We have a miniature Superfriends lunchbox as a Christmas tree ornament, and The Bride uses a Nightmare Before Christmas lunchbox for her stage make-up. So what's your lunchbox?

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 12-14-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ - All Things Fun! - co-hosts Ed (Switzerland) Evans, Allison (Never Seen Doctor Who) Eckel and Glenn (The Devil) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The Ray #1 by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, Mister Terrific #4 by Eric Wallace, Batgirl #4 by Gail Simone, Demon Knights #4 by Paul Cornell, Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #3, The Shade #3 by James Robinson and Cully Hamner, Damian coming out, Hal and Sinestro buddy trip, Batman Yu-Gi-Oh, Glenn beaten by monkeys, and infected Batman.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Flintstones questions, Doctor Who toys, Allison has never seen Doctor Who, Uncanny X-Force #18, Magneto not Attuma, Carnage USA #1, the Avengers titles of the week, lil Loki, Joe Hill's Locke & Key Clockworks #3, The Walking Dead #92, Ed's indies, Allison's kids comics, Rodan in Godzilla Legends #2, DC Comics The New 52 hardcover collection. Ed's trades, and Hulked Out HeroClix.

Be sure to check out the crazy new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Attack the Block

Attack the Block ~ Every once in a while a movie comes in under the radar and by pure word of mouth everyone is like, "You have to see this." Attack the Block is one of those films. Not in theaters, couldn't find it bootleg, and it took forever to get through Netflix, but I finally got a chance to see it.

Attack the Block has been billed as an alien invasion movie in the style of Shaun of the Dead, and it does in fact have Nick Frost in it and was written and directed by Frost/Simon Peggy/Edgar Wright collaborator Joe Cornish. The premise has aliens attacking South London and a teenage street gang defending their turf. In reality, it's a theme that dates back to the American 1950s, but Cornish delivers it with flava. The flick begins when the boys kill an alien and descend into the teenage underworld looking for bragging rights and cash.

Once I got my head back in "Eastenders" mode (I'm out of practice, PBS stopped showing it in this area several years ago, and I'm never going to forgive you, channel 12) and was able to understand the thick accents that pass for English, I was all good with these kids, but it did take a while, some concentration, and subtitles. When it turns out it ain't just one alien out there, the real fun begins. It's really Shaun of the Dead meets The Warriors meets Red Dawn set in Walford Square under alien siege. Yeah, it's that much fun.

I really kinda dug the almost Akira-like moped chases, and the aliens are truly frightening - big black furry masses with neon blue jaws of teeth. The colors of this flick are amazing. Intense, scary, brutal, and visually stunning, Attack the Block lives up to the hype, and is a must-see.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots ~ Each time there has been a Shrek sequel, even when I've enjoyed it, I find myself hoping it's the last one. With this Shrek spin-off film about the fairy tale cat portrayed by Antonio Banderas, I find myself hoping that the hardest.

A prequel to the Shrek movies, this details Puss' life before meeting up with the famous ogre and his friend Donkey. Salam Hayak is on board as Puss' rival/romantic interest but adds little as do the rest of the talented cast who bring to life other fairy tales like Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, and Jack and the Beanstalk in typical but unfunny manner. When you have Zach Gilafianakis, and he's not funny, you're doing something wrong.

The animation is good, as is the score, but everywhere else, it's a fail. Aside from one of two chuckles, and an inside joke or two, and of course the few fleeting good seconds that we have all seen in the previews and commercials, this is a wash. It's predictable, and where it tries to be an homage to other 'real' films, it fails.

Also, if you must see Puss in Boots, save yourself twenty bucks and see it in 2D as opposed to 3D, there's nothing to see here. Wait for free TV. No matter how hard the kitty gives you the eyes.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 09, 2011

The New Three Stooges Trailer

As a big Three Stooges fan, I'm still not sure what to think of this. The release date is April 13th 2012. I'll probably be there, but I'm not sure how I'll feel about it.

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

RIP Harry Morgan

Award winning actor Harry Morgan, best known for his roles in "Dragnet" and "M*A*S*H," passed away from complications of pneumonia yesterday. He was 96.

Morgan won an Emmy for his work as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in "M*A*S*H," was in several versions of "Dragnet," but was also a character actor with recurring roles in many television series including "December Bride," its spin-off "Pete and Gladys," "Kentucky Jones," "Hec Ramsey," "Roots," "Third Rock from the Sun" and even the infamous "After M*A*S*H."

I remember him from his dramatic roles in many films overshadowed by his later and more memorable television career. Those unfamiliar should definitely check out High Noon, Inherit the Wind, The Ox-Bow Incident and especially, one of my favorites, The Big Clock, among his over one hundred film appearances. We have lost one of Hollywood's greatest character actors. Harry Morgan will be missed.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 12-7-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ - All Things Fun! - co-hosts Ed (Chew) Evans, Allison (Adventure Time) Eckel and Glenn (Defenders) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Action Comics #4 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales, Hawk and Dove #4, Static Shock #4, Ed talks up the Penguin, Plutonian vs. Max Damage, indies, great ads for comics in the comics, the first scratch-off cover, and Chew #22.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Red Lantern warning, the Stuff Your Stocking Sale, Jeff Lemire's Animal Man #4, DC's new horror comics, OMAC #4, Ed's Marvels including the X-books, double shot of Deadpool, Defenders #1, Voltron #1, and Ed's trades and manga.

Be sure to check out the crazy new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Batman Year One

Batman Year One ~ I need to preface this review of the straight-to-DVD feature Batman Year One with full disclosure. I have a lot of problems with Frank Miller, who wrote the comics this story is based on. He has very little regard for comics history or continuity, and I am pretty sure that he actually hates comics, and especially superhero comics. In fact, I am reasonably sure the only reason he works in comics is to destroy the industry and the artform from the inside. And I believe Batman is the character that he hates most, and has done the most damage to. Need proof? Consider exhibits A and B to be The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All-Star Batman. And don't even mention the Spirit movie, damn him.

So, you can imagine I was already prejudiced when I slipped the DVD into my player. I also had not read the comics, as I was initially turned off by the very image of Batman with a gun in the ads for it. On second thought, it may have been Year Two, but either way, it put me off the Batman Yearbooks. For those not in the know, Batman doesn't use guns, he abhors the use of them - because a gun was the instrument that was used to murder his parents. It has been part of the character's history for decades. Despite the fact that early appearances in the Golden Age show Batman with a gun, it can be theorized that his origins had not been set in stone yet at that time. It's like Superman came from Krypton, Batman doesn't use guns. Put a period.

Year One is essentially the origin of Batman as re-envisioned by, yeah, Frank Miller, but it's also a new backstory for Commissioner Gordon. There are a number of details that have been overwritten in this version, but I won't dwell on them, what's done is done. Suffice it to say, as he's done with many characters, Miller has made Gordon a horribly flawed character. For the first twenty minutes or so, Gordon is not likable at all, and to be blunt, he's only likable because the other characters are so much more unlikable. It serves to support my theory that Frank Miller doesn't really know what heroism is at all. His is a world of dark grays and blacks, no whites allowed.

While Gordon is the only not completely immoral member of the Gotham City police, Bruce Wayne tries his hand, badly, at fighting crime, has his butt whipped by a suspiciously possible prostitute pre-Catwoman Selina Kyle, and gets shot by the police. Not a good night. Miller retells the bat coming through the window to inspire Bruce into becoming a bat-man, only without the famous "superstitious lot" speech and adding in more daddy issues than Bruce already has. See what I mean by terribly flawed?

Miller does flaw Gordon by giving him an affair with Detective Sarah Essen, something I can't even imagine the character doing. He loved his wife, but what do I know, Frank Miller's the genius, right. At least, unlike the comics, which may or may not have been represented by the ads I saw all those years ago, we get no Batman with a gun in this animated flick. We do however get a crazy gravelly voiced Ben McKenzie as Batman. Why go for the bad Christian Bale imitation when all know that Kevin Conroy is the only real choice for the animated Batman. Also in the voice department, the best thing in this feature is Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon, brilliant casting and performance.

Catwoman shows up a few more times, once or twice in tailed grey outfit. She really doesn't seem to add much to the plot, what plot there is. It really is just a cataloguing of events. Perhaps the Calendar Man would have been a better villain for the piece. Speaking of villains, we have Carmine Falcone and the Gotham Police in this one, and I really have to wonder, that if Gordon was in their way, why didn't they just kill him outright. They didn't seem to have any qualms offing anyone else. They seemed to almost wipe out a whole city block, MOVE style, to take out Batman.

The Catwoman short that accompanies Batman Year One is awesome. Catwoman of recent times is primarily about sex and style, and visually this short is perfect Catwoman. The pounding music score by Christopher Drake is the highlight here along with a very sexy, very daring strip joint scene where Catwoman shows villain Rough Cut that she is both beautiful lady and savage tiger. Maybe a little sexist, but it works well. And parents, be warned, this one's not for the kids.

The chase that follows did bother me a bit however. I was distracted thinking that if her costume had to tear, would it tear like that? Catwoman's costume is at least leather, and possibly Kevlar, or some other comic booky material. Would it tear at all? And finally, did it even have to tear? Also, it bugged me that Catwoman really doesn't have a hand in taking out Rough Cut. She gets away, and he's done in by bad luck. It just wasn't satisfying for me.

Either way, this short is awesome and don't miss stuff. Loved it. And it features a much much better Catwoman than the one featured in Batman Year One. I still despise Frank Miller. See this DVD for the Catwoman short, it's worth it.

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