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Last Week in the Batcave


This is a week filled with joy, Bat-visitors, for this is a week filled with Bat-boys. From Nightwing being cast for the Titans series, to the boys appearing in Batman, Tim being a nerd in Detective Comics, Damian and Dick going medieval in Metal, all the way through Bruce Wayne’s wallet appearing in our new section, it is all about the Robins.

 

You read that right, we have a new section. From this week on we are going to be featuring art, videos, cosplay, any and every single kind of content being produced by fans that we can get our hands on. The Bat needs a city to protect, and a city needs its inhabitants. This is us welcoming the Gothamites into the Batcave for a roll.

 

BATMAN

Tom King, Mikel Janin, Clay Mann, Joelle Jones, Lee Weeks

Forgive me for being obnoxiously loud, but the boys are coming back in issue #33 and my Bat-Family fangirl is just breathlessly screaming. TOM KING shared a page by JOËLLE JONES from the upcoming issue showing all of them gathered in Bruce’s study, the same one that showed up in the Swamp Thing issue. There are four of the boys, but if you zoom in you can see Duke’s curly hair, which means we are still missing two elements, and both their names start with T. One is a dog though.

I would also like to point out that one can actually tell the boys apart even without the colors, which is a feat in on its own. Thank you for that, Joëlle!

 

“Meanwhile, in Batman 32. Catwoman is giving her answer” Not my words, folks, blame Mr. King on this one. By the time she gives her answer, no Batman reader will have any hair left on their heads from sheer anxiety. Maybe that was Tom King’s plan all along, to get us all bald.

 

DETECTIVE COMICS

James Tynion IV, Christopher Sebela, Carmen Carnero, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez

Anyone who follows JAMES TYNION knows his favorite Bat-character is Tim Drake. He sounds even more excited than the readers for his return,  and he seems to be wanting to add a very… peculiar reference to Lonely Place of Dying in the issues to come. I present you, the teenage-hacker-being-written-by-an-adult-who-has-no-clue, the one and only, Tim Drake.

The prospect of seeing this golden piece of dialogue was so successful among fans that Tynion now feels as if it were his moral obligation to add a reference to the panel in the book.

 

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT

Sean Gordon Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, Todd Klein

Funny thing about SEAN GORDON MURPHY is that if you follow him on Twitter you won’t need to read any interview because he will usually spill some juicy little details along the way. For example, we know that Batgirl is going to play a huge part in White Knight, and also that almost every Animated Series villain will be making an appearance in the book.

 

Aside from those, we also get some inside details, such as why DC didn’t allow him to use his original title, Joker: White Knight. He says that the company was worried that “people would mistakenly go to the J section for a Joker book, whereas all the Batman titles are in the B section.” And also the fact that having “Batman” stamped on the cover will sell a comic book no matter the content.

 

Talking about content, the summary that got released had Murphy worrying about it could be implied that his Batman might be a Social Justice Warrior Batman. He has come forward to clarify that this is not the case. He also used the chance to reveal his exclusive B&W cover, already up for pre-order on his website.

And talking about B&W, following the artist’s requests, MATT HOLLINGSWORTH’s palette for coloring the comic is toned down “so that it doesn’t really look colored.” With this combination of colors it is almost impossible to go wrong, and at the hands of a professional such as Hollingsworth this book will probably end up being poster-worthy from cover to cover. Just by this Batman little tease we can tell how incredible this is going to look.

 

BATMAN: THE DARK PRINCE CHARMING

Enrico Marini

We are still two months away from the release date of Dark Prince Charming, but last week DC released some very special material from the book in an exclusive preview. In the article you can find a video of Marini talking about the project, a little short trailer, and the first 20 pages of the graphic novel. As long as previews go, this one worked pretty well, it even got KEVIN CONROY excited about it. He, who is the voice of Batman in the Animated Series, does not usually comment on comic books, but Marini’s work comes as an exception. In fact, this gets interesting once you realize that the characters in Marini’s story are reading largely like they were portrayed in the Series, at least for me. Another interesting point that I took from the preview was that Marini sure does his research.

There is a thing that every single Batman fan can say he’s seen more than what’s worth in a lifetime: people swinging from building to building, holding onto ropes. We’ve had 77 years of Dick Grayson, trained aerialist, and this is the first I can recall seeing a character hanging from a rope in a less strenuous position, using a knee hook to hold your weight. Almost all we see is people using only their hands to hold their entire body weight, which will tire your arms in no time. In fact, Catwoman’s movements seem to be heavily inspired in corde lisse acrobatics – I highly recommend watching some on YouTube, like this performance by Julia Grace. Or, you know, actually going to a live performance.

 

We also got to see some process sketches from the man himself. Now with a Twitter account to call his own, Marini gave us a glimpse of his storyboard from the Catwoman escape scene, an early sketch of Spider, one of Joker’s henchmen, and concept art of his Batmobile and his Harley Quinn. On his Facebook, he’s shared a bigger picture of the same Harley sketch.

 

DARK NIGHTS: METAL

Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Francisco Plascencia

Over on the live-action side of DC Comics we got Wonder Woman getting its digital release and Nightwing being cast, and those were also the characters we got from GREG CAPULLO. First we have one, two, three Dianas. The artist apparently got a lot of compliments on his interpretation of the character, which he adressed by thanking everyone and saying that he “wanted her to look beautiful and strong at the same time.” Well, you’ve accomplished that, mister. We’ve also got a… wait a second, I’m chuckling and controlling myself not to make a terrible joke…

We’ve got a Dick Grayson needing a shower.

 

Another nice piece to come out last week was JIM LEE’s pencils for his Metal #3 variant cover.

 

GOTHAM RESISTANCE

Benjamin Percy, Mirka Andolfo, Tim Seeley, Paul Pelletier, Rob Williams, Stjepan Šejić

Let us talk about STJEPAN ŠEJIĆ – just so you know, I’m keeping score of his points. His Twitter teaches you how to pronounce his name: Stya-pun Sheyich. I’ll give him 5 points just for how impossible it would be without that. He did the art for Aquaman #25, an issue that is rated 9.1 in Comic Book Roundup – and that got me into reading the adventures of people talking underwater. That’s 10 points. He is working on the “heavy metalized” version of Gotham and its inhabitants. 15 points. And drawing Ivy and he listens to Nightwish, which will give him an extra 10 points just because they are amazing. He’s also drawing Damian looking like a regal prince wearing a demon mask, which is the most accurate he can get. 20 points. In a post apocalyptic Gotham with hell bats flying around and looking like something between Mad Max and Game of Thrones, which will give him another 25 points.

That comes to 85 Batpoints, but I saved the best for last. The cover for Nightwing #29 – and I have no reliable source on this, but it sure is Stjepan’s art and it has been popping up everywhere. That’s right, scruffy Nightwing wearing eyeliner, with a beard, and looking like a brother of the Night’s Watch, White Walker and all. This, my friends, gives him enough points for a lifetime.

 

DARK MULTIVERSE BATMEN

Jason Fabok, Joshua Williamson, Carmine di Giandomenico, Frank Tieri, Riccardo Federici, Sam Humphries, Ethan van Sciver, Dan Abnett, Philip Tan, Peter Tomasi, Francis Manapul, Tony S Daniel, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, Scott Snyder, Olivier Coipel, Bengal

Also coming from the darkest depths is the late announcement that TONY DANIEL will be the artist working on Devastator – the Doomsday version of Batman – with FRANK TIERI.

We also got some a first glimpse of MANAPUL’s work in progress for The Merciless, the Amazon version of evil Batsy.

 

NIGHTWING

Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Paul Pelletier, Kyle Higgins, Trevor McCarthy

The Titans live-action series has its Dick Grayson and his name is Brenton Thwaites (I swear to you I have no idea how to pronounce that last name of his). The fandom exploded – as expected -, JAMES TYNION expressed his desire for “shaggy hair Nightwing”, and the general media has no idea if they should call him Robin or Nightwing, which is just hilarious. Me, I just think he looks like a lost member of One Direction and the only acting I’ve seen he do was in Maleficent, but I was just too busy making fun of how the name Aurora sounds in English with my fellow Italian and Spanish speaking friends. Which is to say, I have no idea what how to feel about it.

Now bringing the ‘Wing to the comics and he can’t seem to escape from the flashlight as KYLE HIGGINS shows us with a panel from The New Order #2. Considering how friendly Dick was with the media in issue #1, this probably means that news about his son leaked out. And talking about news and everything being a mess, in recent issues of Nightwing a villain has been flying around, calling herself Pigeon and tearing down statues. Turns out life decided to bite TIM SEELEY on his proverbial behinds and make his one-year-old storyline coincide with current events in the real world.

Just to finish this drama run on our favorite blue bird in a lighter tone, JAVIER FERNANDEZ shared an old work of his from before he took the title, a classic “Nightwing looking like he is comitting suicide, making Superman go and save him, when in fact he is just being his crazy self” piece.

 

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS

Scott Lobdell, Dexter Soy

Cosplayers of the world, rejoice. DEXTER SOY’s design for Red Hood’s helmet has been made available for sale. The artist also revealed the Outlaws’ still unnamed next opponent.

 

HONORARY MEMBERS

Guess who came down from Blüdhaven to pay us a visit? You think Nightwing, you think Chuck Dixon. You think Chuck Dixon, the image that pops up in our brains was most assuredly drawn by SCOTT McDANIEL. This week he presented us with a (almost) full Batfamily piece. Batman might be the biggest figure in this composition, but taking the center is his boy in blue.

For this week we also have a brilliant variant cover for Batman/The Shadow by JOCK in which The Shadow is only just a shadow.

And our regular DUSTIN NGUYEN brought to light some pages for an unpublished Batman & Robin inventory issue. It seems to be a story in which Damian gets hit by the Scarecrow’s toxin and Batman has to deal with the effects. My guess is that this is Bruce as Batman because of the Batmobile design, despite Nguyen’s major run being on Streets of Gotham, with Dick wearing the cowl. And talking about Damian, he’s also shared a timelapse of him sketching Robin in Lil’ Gotham style.

 

GOTHAMITES

For our first round of Gothamites we have a very special guest coming all the way from Toronto, Canada. Alex Cananzi is a newcomer to the whole buzz and fuzz of comics, her background being in visual effects and animation. I myself could not believe that she had just started with how good a lot of her pieces are already turning out. What brought Alex to join us in gloomy Gotham was, in her own words, “the heavy blacks and high contrast lighting similar to cinema noir”.

 

I had come across her art before on Tumblr with a heartbreaking short comic of Bruce and Dick visiting Jason’s grave, but then in recent weeks the most endearing portrayal of Bruce Wayne’s wallet has been going around on every single social media.

Let us start with the first to come to Bruce’s life. I don’t mean Dick, I mean Alfred. Top right of the drawing you can see that Bruce is having a nice cup of English Breakfast tea. You’re raised by the Brit, you sure will be raised on good tea. As for the boys, Alex says those were thought of as school photos taken on their first year living with Bruce. I would like to take us all beyond the simple fact that their expressions say so much about their personality and how you can actually tell them apart: tiny beam of sunshine Grayson, naughty smile Todd, shy and reserved Drake, and I-would-rather-be-home little Wayne. Let us go into the detail Alex put in this. Dick is the one who has obviously been dressed by Alfred, Bruce having absolutely no clue what to do with a child when he took him home – and of course he is wearing dark blue. Jason, shaggy hair, shaggy plaid shirt, already with a little crease between his eyebrows because of how much he has had to endure in his childhood. Tim, pale as your regular nerd teenager who just spends too much time inside and too little time outside, and then there is Damian. Can we thank all of the people making fan art and not portraying Damian as Caucasian?

 

Alex can be found on Twitter and Tumblr, where you can follow her work process, and, for final pieces, you can head to her website.

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