19 February 2010

Spotlight on Nightwing

The first Robin, Dick Grayson, eventually grew up and took on a new persona- that of Nightwing. This is one of the best examples of a sidekick that actually outlasted his sidekick status. Nightwing first appeared in Tales of the Teen Titans #44 in July 1984 but later went on to having his own miniseries as well as a headlining monthly series lasting 153 issues. Dick Grayson has at present dropped the Nightwing persona and become the current Batman.

Before settling on the "heroic" name Robin, Dick Grayson suggested Batboy and Nightwing as possible aliases in Batman Forever. In 1997's Batman and Robin, Robin's costume was highly influenced by that of Nightwing from the comics although the chest symbol appeared red rather than the traditional blue.

Nightwing would first officially appear in The New Batman Adventure episode "You Scratch My Back" in late 1997. Though he still teamed with Batman and the new Robin Tim Drake, Nightwing and Batman were no longer on the best of terms. This Nightwing toted him comic book counterpart's 90's style mullet.

Although the identity of Robin was never explicitly stated in the Teen Titans animated series, 2004's "How Long is Forever?" revealed Robins future identity as Nightwing - one of the biggest clues that the Titan's Robin was in fact Dick Grayson.

In 2006's Justice League Unlimited episode "Grudge Match," a shadowy figure appeared on a rooftop during the pan of the city of Blüdhaven. Being Nightwing's adopted hometown, the Blüdhaven setting gave away the identity of Nightwing who at the time, for legal reasons, could not explicitly appear in the series. Fan's rejoiced.

Nightwing appeared in The Batman on two occasions. First, he appeared in a future tale "Artifacts" in 2007. He would later appear in a lesser episode "The Metal Face of Comedy" as Dick Grayson's video game avatar.

In 2010, Batman: The Brave and the Bold's "Sidekicks Assemble!" ended with a grown Robin finally taking up a new identity. This incarnation's appearance was inspired by Nightwing's earliest designs and in the episode was named by Batman.

Later this year, Nightwing will return in the direct to DVD movie Batman: Under the Red Hood. So far, just a glimpse of the character has been revealed from a sneak peek of the film.

18 February 2010

Crisis in the Sky Clip

Click the image to watch Wonder Woman fight Owlman in the sky. Or just follow the link. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths arrives next week! Hopefully they stop releasing clips before I see the whole thing in random order.

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Birds of Prey

Before it was a series, Birds of Prey was a comic book focusing on Oracle's (AKA Batgirl) team of female superheroes. The series adapted the idea into a pseudo Smallville spinoff set in the future. Each episode of the series conveniently opened with an explanation of the twisted premise of the show.

Legend tells of a caped crusader, Batman, guardian of New Gotham, and his one true love, Catwoman, the queen of the criminal underworld.

Their passion left behind something extraordinary, a daughter, Huntress. Half metahuman, she has taken up her father's mantel and under cover of the night, fights to protect the innocent and helpless.

Joining her in this struggle, Oracle, who was once Batman's protégé, Batgirl.

She was caught in the crossfire of the war between Batman and Joker, now she fights crime a different way, a master of the cyber-realms and mentor and trainer to heroes.

Together, they have taken in a young runaway, Dinah, a metahuman herself with powers to open hidden doors to the mind, powers that she is only beginning to explore. Together, these three are the protectors of New Gotham - the Birds of Prey.

The main baddie of the 13 episode series was none other than Dr. Harleen Quinzel, Huntress' therapist! Dun Dun Dun...

Back in the day, the comic book Huntress really was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman (though not so in current continuity), but I am pretty sure that Catwoman never had actual super powers (unless you are talking about the Halle Berry version, and I pray you aren't) . Also, Dinah Lance was the Black Canary (not her daughter) and I don't recall her having Jean Grey powers. Aside from Haley and the Joker cameo, a couple of other notable Batman villains showed up along the way: Lady Shiva and Clayface. Also, we did get to actually see Batgirl in action. Overall, the series was more of a future elseworld than a "Batman show" which in spite of decent ratings was canceled after just half a season.

Up Next: Calling All Titans!

17 February 2010

Superheroes on The Simpsons

Over the years, (thanks in part to Comic Book Guy) there have been countless references to superheroes on The Simpsons. But on the rare occasion, the show has actually featured some superheroes of its own creation. Here is the rundown.

Radioactive Man, known for his catch phrase "Up and atom!" first appeared in the first season episode, "The Telltale Head." He was a fictional comic book character beloved by young Bart. He was featured in the seventh season episode "Radioactive Man" in which a movie based on the character was being filmed in Springfield. Milhouse was cast as the sidekick Fallout Boy.

Bartman, the alter-ego of Bart Simpson first appeared in the third season episode, "Three Man and a Comic Book."

The character returned in the 18th season episode "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times" in a segment called Bartman Begins- an obvious play on Batman Begins. This incarnation of Bartman existed outside of the shows normal continuity.

In season 11's "Treehouse of Horror X," Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl teamed to save Xena.

Poor Xena had been captured and stored in a Mylar bag by the diabolical Collector.

In season 13's "I am Furious Yellow," through a series of planned traps, an enraged Homer was transformed into a walking Hulk homage.

Homer Smash!

In season 15's, "Simple Simpson," Homer donned his own disguise as Pie Man with Bart sidekicking as the Cupcake Kid.

The same episode opened with a Batman themed couch gag set in the "Simpson-Cave."

Season 21 opened with, "Homer the Whopper,"

In the episode, Comic Book Guy invented a character named Everyman AKA Avery Mann, who could absorb the powers of any comic book character (ie Iron and Plastic Men). Homer was eventually cast in a film adaptation of the comic.

There you have it folks, if I missed any feel free to drop a comment below.

EDIT: Thanks Quinn and/or Lauralee.

Ah yes, how could I have forgotten ol' Biclops. Its a wonder that his comic didn't sell like hotcakes.


As of 2013's Treehouse of Horror XXIV, Hellboy joined the club!

16 February 2010

Iron Man 2 Armor Revealed - Triangles Are the New Circles

Marvel unveiled some high end Iron Man statues based on the Iron Man armor from the new movie. A bit sleeker and triangular. I wonder if its whip proof.

15 February 2010

Green Lantern's Brightest Days #24

#24 Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Death Race to Oblivion!

Once you get beyond the "wacky race" premise forced upon the heroes and villains by Mongul, this episode offered up some fun Green Lantern moments. Behind the wheel of the supped up Lanternmobile construct was Guy Gardner. We learned that Guy suffers from Coulrophobia, fear of clowns, which is unfortunate since he was racing against the Joker.

Still, Guy was able to play hero by teaming up with other race losers Green Arrow and Plastic Man to take down Mongul's War Moon.

#25 - Justice League Unlimited: Initiation - John Stewart's new look
#24 - Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Death Race to Oblivion! - Guy Gardner's Lanternmobile