TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: ‘BATMAN’ MASTERMIND SCOTT SNYDER ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HEROES, VILLAINS AND WRITERS [INTERVIEW]
Writer of ComicsAlliance favorites The Wake and Batman, Scott Snyder is enjoying a kind of imperial phase of his comic book career, where everything he releases is met with commercial popularity as well as critical success. A long form collaboration with artists Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia, Batman has been the unquestionable leader of DC Comics’ “New 52″ line of superhero titles, routinely appearing in the #1 spot of monthly sales charts and just completing a wild and operatic revision of the Dark Knight’s origin story in “Zero Year” — an arc that CA’s resident Batmanologist Chris Sims suspects may go down as one of his favorite Batman stories of all time.
But beneath Batman’s twisty plots and memorably big moments lies the true trademark of Snyder’s work; a conscious, almost intuitive sense of his characters’ psychology and inner lives. It’s Snyder’s fundamental understanding of his heroes and villains that drives all the occasionally over-the-top action of his series, and of Batman especially.
Dr. Andrea Letamendi is a clinical psychologist and co-host of The Arkham Sessions — the ComicsAlliance feature focused exclusively on psychology as expressed in Batman: The Animated Series — and she sat down with Snyder at Comic-Con International in San Diego for a chat about the themes of mental health in not just his work, but in his own life.
LEGO SAN DIEGO EXCLUSIVES INCLUDE ADORABLE BATMOBILE, COLLECTIBLE COLLECTOR, AND MORE
LEGO, the world’s greatest toy, has now officially revealed all the ways it intends to drive fans and collectors into fury, anguish, and despair at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con with its range of exclusive sets and minifigures only available on the con floor.
The main draw this year will surely be the ridiculously cute Batmobile set, which comes with Batman and Robin minifigs and an innate sense of joy and delight.
BATMANOLOGIST GUIDE TO COMIXOLOGY’S MASSIVE 99-CENT BATMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY SALE
By Chris Sims
Okay, so there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that ComiXology is having a massive sale on Batman comics, and has knocked a bunch of them down to 99¢ each, which means that you can grab some great stories on the cheap. The bad news? Since this whole thing is in honor of Batman’s 75th anniversary, they’ve put 750 comics on sale, plus a handful of graphic novel collections. All things considered, that’s a pretty good problem to have, but still, that can be pretty overwhelming.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. As the World’s Foremost Batmanologist, I’ve sifted through the sale to bring you safe bets for what you should be grabbing during the sale. Assuming you’ve got the obvious ones — like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and the recent runs by Morrison, Snyder, and Capullo — here’s what to grab next!
‘BATMAN: ZERO YEAR’ FINALE STICKS THE LANDING FOR THE CAPED CRUSADER’S NEW ORIGIN [REVIEW]
By Chris Sims
There was a lot to be wary of when Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia’s “Batman: Zero Year” was announced. The most obvious reason was that it was the story that was set to replace my all-time favorite comic, Batman: Year One, going back to cover ground that had been stomped into concrete by one of the most influential stories of all time. Even the name was a response to Year One, and the expansion of what Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli had done so elegantly in four issues to a full year of comics felt like it could’ve easily been symptomatic of the trend towards decompression that drags everything out for the bookstores. Why sell one hardcover when you could sell three, right?
At the same time, I liked what Snyder and Capullo had been doing on Batman enough that I was looking forward to reading it, and from that first shot of Batman on a dirtbike, something that I am genetically hardwired to love on sight, I was hooked.
This week, the final issue came out, and while we’re still too close to it to really tell how well it’ll stand the test of time, what I know right now is that I love it, and there’s a good chance that it’ll end up not only as my favorite version of Batman’s origin, but as one of my favorite comic books of all time.
GEOFF JOHNS SAYS DC ENTERTAINMENT’S TV AND MOVIE UNIVERSES ARE SEPARATE
If you were hoping to see Arrow‘s Stephen Amell make an appearance as the emerald archer in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or in the upcoming Justice League movie, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has some bad news for you.
“We will not be integrating the film and television universes,” he said at the Television Critics Association press tour for The Flash. Seems pretty cut and dried.
HOW LONG WOULD IT REALLY TAKE TO FIGURE OUT BATMAN’S SECRET IDENTITY? REDDITORS INVESTIGATE
If you weren’t aware, Reddit has a section called Ask Science Fiction, which is essentially a space in the Internet for people to ask for explanations of details in fictional stories (“When and why did the Decepticons and Autobots split apart?”) or to consider fictional “what if” scenarios (“What would cause someone to lose their connection to The Force?”).
Last week, someone asked, “If Batman were to operate in real life, how fast would it take for his identity to be revealed?” The answers are pretty entertaining.
ASK CHRIS #204: HITMAN, BATMAN, AND GOTHAM CITY’S WORST NEIGHBORHOOD
By Chris Sims
Q: I’m interested in Hitman as a character in the larger DCU, and “the area of Gotham so bad that Batman doesn’t go there,” because Batman is a dude that has paid multiple visits to a planet literally called Apokolips. — @kingimpulse
A: For those of you who haven’t been following the War Rocket Ajax podcast, Matt and I have been spending the entirety of 2014 ranking every single comic book story ever on a master list from the best (Amazing Spider-Man #33) to the worst (Identity Crisis). Last week, we finally got around to Hitman, and while it eventually fell between The Dark Knight Returns and Impulse #3, the conversation that we had about it involved me mentioning that Tommy Monaghan lived in a section of Gotham called “the Cauldron,” which was so thoroughly lawless that they didn’t even really notice when No Man’s Land swept through.
There’s a pretty obvious reason why it went down that way, of course, but the more I thought about your question, the more I realized that it’s the core of Hitman‘s complicated relationship with the universe where it’s set, which is one of the best things about that comic.
AMAZING: ADAM WEST WILL APPEAR AS HIMSELF IN ‘LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM’
Adam West is truly a Renaissance Man. He was, of course, Batman. He saved a Las Vegas Casino from computer destruction. He was actor and action hero Ty Lookwell. And now, he’s a LEGO figure.
Well, in a video game, anyway.
According to a tweet from the LEGO Batman Twitter account, the revered actor will be playing none other than himself in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
It’s not entirely clear just how much of a role West will play in the game — it likely won’t be much more than a cameo, but you never know — but from the looks of the image developers Traveller’s Tales provided, it does look like he’ll be hanging out in the Batcave, which is the right place for him.
West will be joined by Troy Baker, who voices Batman for the LEGO games, and Travis Willingham (Superman), along with a huge cast of other superheroes.
Batman’s been all over the world of LEGO lately, appearing (as voiced by Will Arnett) in The LEGO Movie back in the spring. With all the love Batman’s been getting from the building block brand, it’s nice to see West getting some acknowledgement.
And hey, LEGO, make that Adam West mini-figure. For real.