Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Well, it's almost the end of Batman's 75th anniversary. I've celebrated all year and the rest of the world celebrated with me (by reading my endless facebook and twitter posts). It's been a lot of fun and I'm sad that now when I post about Batman movies I watch I'll have to hashtag Batman 76 or some crap.

I'm still gonna wear this to work though!

As you can tell I’m a huge Batman geek.  Whenever I watch a Batman movie I melt into a little kid.  I get excited for most comic book movies, but when I was a kid that’s when the Batman movies were first coming out and I didn’t know/realize that they were becoming terrible so I watched them all the time and was confused when Batman Triumphant never happened. 

Kinda gives away the ending though, doesn't it?

I must have watched the original Michael Keaton film 100 times.  Nowadays I watch it and I get the same excitement and passion that other folks get for Star Wars.  I mean I love Star Wars too but Batman has always been my first love.  Having said all this I thought it was past time I compiled a list of the greatest Batman moments. I’m keeping this exclusive to the 90s films because if I talk about the Nolan movies that would take up a whole other list (I’ll probably do that one soon). 

That list may or may not involve this guy in some capacity.


10. "I can stop you." - BATMAN FOREVER - I love the scene where Dick rescues Bruce and he denies him the opportunity to join in his “crusade.”  Dick is eager to join him and be his partner but Bruce is firmly against it.  Dick says, “How are you gonna stop me?”  Bruce responds simply, “I can stop you.”  It’s a great line that Dick might shrug off but we as viewers know that if Bruce wanted to, he could totally stop Dick from fighting crime. Bruce later has a change of heart but to me this moment says a lot about Bruce. His word is final.  No questions asked.

9. The Batwing - BATMAN - This is my all time favorite Batwing. I think it’s so cool looking in its simplicity.  I love Batman surveying the scene, then stealing the Joker’s balloons.  I love Joker’s reaction, “Why didn’t somebody tell me that he had one of those . . . things!” Ah! It's so great! It’s an awesome scene and it gets highlighted by the brief moment where you’re worried for a second that he might not make it.  The balloons turn out to put more weight than he was intending and he has to struggle to get the Batwing not to crash into one of the skyscrapers.  Then there’s the moment where he puts the Batwing in front of the moon.  Why?  Who the hell knows.  Cuz he’s Batman and if he wants to put his plane in front of the damn moon then he can put his plane in front of the damn moon! 

I'm so fucking awesome

I always imagined that's where he got the idea for the Bat-signal. Or maybe he just wanted to do something bad ass for himself. Cuz when you're Batman . . . you can do whatever the fuck you want with your personal jet.

8. Descent into Mystery - BATMAN - This has more to do with Danny Elfman’s magnificent score than anything else but the scene where the Batmobile is racing through the night back to the Batcave is one that always gets me.  I just think it’s so cool how he’s driving this amazing car and doesn’t even bother to speak to Vicki.  He’s just concentrating on the task at hand.

I don't always kidnap women, but when I do they just deal with it!

Fun fact: One time I gave a friend of mine a ride home and she lived down this really long road. Plus the driveway was super long and surrounded by woods. After she got out of the car I put on the "Descent into Mystery" song from the Batman soundtrack. Because I'm super cool like that. 

7. The Helicopter Scene - BATMAN FOREVER - Admittedly, Batman dangling off the helicopter at the beginning of the film is crazy but there is one moment that I always thought was amazing. Two-Face flies the helicopter through the Eye billboard thing and it results in an explosion.  This is totally insane and I’m rolling my eyes as I’m writing this.  Anyway, Two-Face goes to check that Batman is no longer hanging on and indeed, where Batman once was, there is now nothing.  Less than five seconds later, Batman reappears on the front of the helicopter.  What? How? Didn’t he just . . . ? Wait! What? 

That’s another moment that always gets me.  I love the “How did he do it” moments in the Batman films.  Every now and then I try to figure out what he did and how he survived but I’d rather just let myself believe that “Because he’s Batman!” is enough of an explanation (because it is).

6. The Batmobile to the Rescue! - BATMAN RETURNS - This is another moment that is due more to the editing and music than to Batman himself but it’s a moment that makes me cheer every time.  We cut from the Red Triangle Gang terrorizing the city to the Batman roaring down the street on the way to kick some butt.  You know the scene in Star Wars: A New Hope when Luke and Leia swing over the chasm while dodging Stormtrooper blasts?  John Williams music is in the background basically making the scene much more heroic than if there was no music.  Danny Elfman’s music did that for me in the Batman films.  When the scene cuts to the Batmobile and Elfman’s Bat-theme is blasting at us, it gives me chills and puts a smile on my face. Plus he just presses some buttons and kicks all their butts! He doesn't even need to get out of the car to take kick ass! 

5. "I can't save you." - BATMAN AND ROBIN - I bet you didn't think there would be a Batman and Robin scene on this list, didn't you? Before we get all crazy and start shouting Bat nipples as loud as we can, let’s just focus on the positive in this film. There is not much but there are a few great scenes in this film all about Bruce and Alfred. George Clooney and Michael Gough are both fantastic actors and for the first time in any of the 90s films the love that Alfred and Bruce have for each other is shown. As Alfred lays dying on his bed, Bruce sits next to him and tries to cope with the fact that there’s nothing he can do. Alfred has spent the better part of the film trying to hide his illness but let’s face it he lives with the World’s Greatest Detective. Bruce offers to help him, Alfred declines saying he’s already tried. It’s a clear homage to the original Superman film where Clark confesses his anger that he couldn’t save his father from his heart attack. Alfred assures him that there is no defeat in death. They exchange their “I love you's” and for a brief moment we are treated to a truly powerful moment despite the fact that this film is a 2 hour toy commercial.

I owned this one. Heck, I owned them all. Don't judge me!

4. The Neon Gang Runs Away - BATMAN FOREVER - It’s not a huge moment but it’s something that speaks to the awesomeness of Batman.  Dick steals the Batmobile (which, you know, shouldn’t be possible) and tries to play hero and ends up getting overpowered.  Then, the leader yells, “Batman!” and they all run for their lives.  To me, this is an awesome Batman moment.  Just his presence is enough to scare those punks away.  And Batman doesn’t even have to do anything. He just swoops down and they run like hell. It's like Batman is the boss and everyone is caught in the break room when they're supposed to be working. Except it's more like Batman is awesome and his reputation in Gotham is legendary at this point. 

3. Batman vs. the Circus - BATMAN RETURNS - Say what you will about how Batman “killed” some of the bad guys but the scenes where he fought them have always been my favorite.  From the beginning shot where Batman doesn’t even have to get out of the Batmobile to kick butt, to punching that one dude he didn’t even look at, to the end of the film where they all run away from him in Penguin’s lair, it’s just awesome.  Yeah he set the one guy on fire and blew up the strong man but . . . . . . The devil on fire could easily put himself out (stop, drop, and roll!) and the Strong Man totally grunted with the explosion which to me implies that he survived. Plus, Batman has been known to go to extreme measures before. Either way, he did teach them all a lesson – You mess with Gotham City, you gotta deal with me. 

2. "Hold on." - BATMAN - Vicki is being harassed by the Joker and who knows what he has planned next?  Well, luckily she doesn’t have to find out because BATMAN COMES CRASHING THROUGH THE SKYLIGHT AND IT’S AMAZING!  The Joker’s reaction is just about perfect.  Batman lands in front of him, Joker freezes.  Batman pulls out a gun, Joker backs off.  The gun turns into a grappling hook, Batman scoops Vicki up and they zipline outta there! All he says is "Hold on." Joker’s jaw drops and he asks, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”  Where indeed?

We don't know where he gets them but we know how he pays for them!

Joker, momentarily, represents the audience, looking scared, then amazed, and perplexed all within the span of about 30 seconds. Batman may not say much, but when he does, you’re gonna listen. 

1. "I'm Batman." - BATMAN - Of all the Batman films that have been released over the years, this scene more so than anything else defined who Batman is for me.  He’s a silent, scary guy that you never want to cross.  This whole film was Batman at his best in my opinion.  He comes in, does what needs to be done, and then leaves.  He doesn’t talk much, but when he does talk you’ll never forget what he says.  The first” I’m Batman” is so perfect that every time I watch the film I rewind it.  I found out later in life that the original line was “I am the night!” but Keaton and Burton thought they could do better.  And man oh man did they ever!  From the voice, to the costume, to the absolute terror in the thug’s eyes, this is Batman at his best. I smile every time I watch this scene because it's absolutely perfect. I loved hearing Christian Bale, Kevin Conroy, and yes even George Clooney, but this moment with Michael Keaton was the first time I had heard it and it's stuck with me ever since. 

Here's the moment for you to enjoy as well: 

There it is! The 10 greatest Batman moments in all the original films. But there's one more I'm gonna mention (and please don't judge me).

HONORABLE MENTION: "Hi Freeze! I'm Batman!" - BATMAN AND ROBIN - Would Batman ever say this? Probable not. It's not nearly as great as when Michael Keaton said it, but for some reason it makes me smile. It's super cheesy and Clooney doesn't even bother to put on a Batman voice, but I don't care. I love this moment. 

What are your favorite 90s Batman moments? Let me know! Till next time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie


Sunday, December 28, 2014


I’ve recently become obsessed with ghost stories. I've been reading a lot of "true" scary stories on reddit and thought catalog. Horror stories fascinate me but horror movies tend to make me roll my eyes. Remember how comic book movies were once considered low-brow and people didn't take them seriously? 

Look what you did!

It got me thinking, why are horror movies always treated this way? One of my favorite movies is Scream. That movie is genuinely scary but also has a great story. The actors are cast very well and they make their characters likable to the point where you are worried for them when the killer attacks them.

  Don't answer the phone! 

I read one scary story about a man that was following someone during a late night walk and the description the writer gave sounded a lot like the Joker. This got me thinking, what comic book villains could EASILY translate into a horror movie? There are demons, aliens, robots, and psycho killers causing our heroes grief, but what if they existed in a world without those heroes? Would we stand a chance against them? There are quite a few but I’ve picked my top five.

Do yourself a favor and read “Green Lantern #43” by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke. It’s honestly one of the creepiest things you’ll ever get your hands on. Johns took a character like Black Hand and made him into a formidable opponent not only for Hal Jordan but for LIFE itself. His name was William Hand and his father worked in a funeral home and did embalming on site. This led to an odd obsession with death for William. He sees death as an absolute. We’re all going there so we might as well embrace it. He takes necrophilia to a whole new level of creepy!
What makes him so scary? What’s really scary about him is that his viewpoint makes perfect sense. Death is the ending to all of our stories. He’s missing the whole point of living life to the fullest and all that garbage. But he doesn't care about that. Also, he has power over the dead! He can create zombies! If he was around we'd be living in The Walking Dead universe in no time! 

If you were a Spider-Man fan in the 90s you know who Carnage is. He started off as Cletus Kasady, deranged serial killer that had a few run ins with Spider-Man. 

Yeah there he is!

Then he was granted the power of the symbiote and became Carnage, blood thirsty monster! The Venom symbiote was drawn to Eddie Brock due to a mutual hatred of Spider-Man. It went to Cletus because . . . well . . . I dunno . . . the writers felt like it? This symbiote was the offspring of Venom and bonded with Cletus through his bloodstream. Gross . . . Either way, he’s a powerful enemy and often it takes more than just Spider-Man to defeat him. 
What makes him so scary? He’s scary because he’s evil and he knows he’s evil. He just loves being the bad guy and having all this power to do harm. To him, life is a big joke and he’d rather just kill everyone and get us all in on the joke. He believes that the law is just words and chaos is the only thing that makes sense. A psychopathic killer is scary enough but one with Carnage's power? That's a terrifying evil that we couldn't outrun if we tried.

To me there is nothing scarier than a person who is supposed to represent pure good but is actually pure evil. Granny Goodness is a prime example of that. She seems benevolent and is extremely inviting. Just about everyone has fond memories of their grandma, meemaw, nana, grams, etc. 

No! I call no meemaws!

What makes her so scary? It’s scary to think that there is a woman out there that teaches her "grandchildren" not to be little angels but to be little devils. Instead of spoiling them she tortures them. The best example of Granny’s evil came from Smallville. In the final season, Tess and Clark look into Tess’s past and discover a sinister plot in the orphanage that Tess grew up in. Despite the fantastical elements involved (namely Darkseid and aliens and all that jazz) it’s scary to think that this could be happening in real life. A woman takes children under her wing only to twist them into dark versions of themselves and release them out into the world to do evil.

You can’t tell me that the Avengers: Age of Ultron preview didn’t send shivers down your spine. It’s one thing to corrupt your childhood with a creepy version of a classic Pinocchio song but it’s quite another when the voice saying it is James Spader.

Hello. My name is Robert California.

Like the Terminator before him, Ultron is a great example of technology turned against us. We all have moments where technology fails us, whether it’s the wi fi running slow, Netflix “buffering”, a cell phone dropping a call, or a car not starting up. We face it at least once a day and let’s not kid ourselves, deep down we all wonder if the technology in question is just routinely malfunctioning or screwing with us. Ultron was created to be an AI to aid the Avengers but it eventually becomes smarter than that and decides that the worst part of mankind is mankind itself and the only solution is to wipe us off the face of the Earth. 
What makes him scary? It’s scary because I think we all worry about an over dependence on technology. Hell, you are probably not even reading this on a computer! You’re probably on your phone or tablet or your Google glasses! Or maybe your car is dictating it to you while you drive! Or maybe your robot butler is reading it to you while another robot butler feeds you grapes! Technology is becoming more advanced every day and who knows how long it will be before it no longer needs us . . . *cue Terminator 2 theme song*

This one was pretty obvious right? 
What makes him so scary? As if I really needed to ask! Well, the Joker is scary enough on his own for several reasons. He’s a psychotic murderer, he’s a clown, he laughs at all his crimes, but worst of all he’s pretty much invincible. In almost every episode of Batman: the Animated Series Joker would always be thrown off of some building or train or something really high up. Yet somehow he’s back in a future episode. It’s pretty common in the comics too. The recent “Endgame” storyline is actually making the Joker out to be the embodiment of the Devil. The evidence so far is pretty damning too and that’s just the way Mr. J likes it! He'll kill you without a second thought and laugh about it for hours. Or maybe he'll let you live and just torture you by following you around for the rest of your life. Just like Batman has a way of popping up where the criminals least expect him, the Joker shows up where the heroes least expect him. Whether he's laughing, telling you a "scars" story, or just staring at you, Joker definitely takes the cake for the scariest comic book villain ever!

Sleep well tonight!

Till next time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

5 Things Man of Steel Got Right

Friday, December 26, 2014

5 DC Digital Comic Books I Want To See Happen:

DC Comics has had a really successful string of great digital comics. In my opinion the best ones have been the ones tied to the established TV and video game universes like Smallville, Batman '66 Arrow, Injustice, Batman: Arkham City, The Flash, Batman Beyond, and others that I'm sure I'm forgetting. The digital comics are cheap, quick reads and something to look forward to on a weekly basis.

That's what she said

All of these got me thinking . . . What other projects are out there that DC can bring back in comic book form? We already have confirmation that the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series is getting the digital treatment.  That's cool. I've actually never seen that show but I love nostalgia so this should be fun! But what else? It got me thinking that there are a few projects I'd love to see come back as only the comic book form can do.

Cuz otherwise this is what Batman '66 would look like on film

Be warned most of my suggestions are Batman related but it's not like I had a lot to choose from!

Unless you want this coming back!

Anyway, here are my choices for the 5 projects DC Comics Should Revive in Comic Book Form:

I know I'm being a little petty here but it sucks for me that the fans of Adam West's Batman got a comic book and I never got one for my favorite live action Batman! It's just not fair!!!! I think this comic would be really awesome and stylistically really unique and awesome. I said awesome twice because that's how I felt about the whole look of this film. To this day it holds up as my favorite live action version of Batman's costume, car, and city. The Dark Knight was the superior film but the visuals in this film hooked me as a child. Also, and maybe I'm the only one but I love the Batsymbol in this film.

Oh yeah baby. There you are

I love it so much that I have it tattooed on my arm. It's unique and caught my attention even as a child. I'll get into it more in another post but this scene, more than anything else, cemented my opinion of who Batman is and what makes him such a bad ass: 

I'd love to see Tim Burton-esque designs of the rest of Batman's rogues gallery like the Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist, Ra's Al Ghul, and Harley Quinn. The only downside to this book is the continuity. Does it fit in with Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin? I would argue that it doesn't and, for the most part, each film was mostly stand alone and didn't follow each other despite having some continuity amongst themselves.  But that's for the individual reader to decide.

Christopher Nolan gave a pretty definitive ending to the Dark Knight Trilogy. There is much debate over the ending of The Dark Knight Rises but it's still pretty clear that Nolan ended the series just the way he wanted. But Batman is a comic book character and the story of Batman always goes on. Bruce Wayne got his happy ending but Gotham will always need a Batman, and that seemed to be the theme throughout all 3 movies.

I didn't spend all this money for nuthin'

A digital comic book would be a great way to continue the films. The movies can still stand on their own but anyone that's interested in the further adventures of "Robin" John Blake can have their cake and eat it too! Like my Batman '89 suggestion it would be great to see "Nolan-ized" versions of Batman's rogues like Black Mask, Deadshot, and the Court of Owls. Plus there's the idea of the return of the Joker! And that's like everyone's favorite version of the Joker! Let's see what mayhem he'll cause for Blake to clean up! It could be like how Joker saw Terry in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Damn, someone make this comic before I explode!

Smallville was my favorite TV show for 10 years. 10 years of my life were devoted to loving this show and it's love letter to Superman and his mythos. I know a lot of people either lost faith or wrote this show off, but I never gave up on it. DC Comics granted my wish (from a previous blog post) and made "Smallville: Season 11." I just about lost it! Although not long ago . . . it ended. I had to watch my favorite show end AGAIN. I just . . . CAN'T EVEN! Bryan Q. Miller is a saint in my book for not only continuing my favorite show but doing it ABSOLUTE JUSTICE! HAHA! . . . It's an episode in season 9 . . . Look it up. Anyway, the comic was fantastic and I was so sad when it ended. I will hold out hope that DC will bring it back again, maybe as a little mini-series like "The Lost Episodes" or something like that. Either way, Smallville got me through some tough times and it ended perfectly (both times). Wait . . . If it ended perfectly then, JJ, (you're asking yourself) why do you want it to continue?

Cuz there's me cosplaying as the Blur and Geoff Johns. THAT'S why!

Batman Beyond had it's chance as a digital comic. But you know what I wanna see? The motherfucking original Batman: the Animated Series. If you read any interview with a current Batman writer or artist I'm willing to bet they will mention how this show got them into comics or Batman or both. And you know what? It's not for nothing! It got me into Batman big time. Yes, the Michael Keaton film was what started the fire in my heart for Batman but this show kept it going. I remember one Christmas when I was a kid and I got a bunch of the toys and I had so much fun playing with all of them. I also remember the Happy Meal toys. I was always so disappointed when the New Batman Adventures was the dominant series. It crossed over with Superman: the Animated Series and then spun off into Batman Beyond. But you know what? I missed the yellow oval. I missed the Joker's red lips (the design! Not like in a sexual way . . .). I missed the designs of the original Batmobile, Batwing, and Batboat.  I never cared for how the redesigns looked but I did love that the original actors came back (most of them anyway). Even now when I watch it on DVD, I miss this series and wish I could get a few more episodes in that original style. Now they are releasing action figures based on both series and my bank account might disagree with me but I just gotta have them!!
 I just can't even right now!

I loved this show growing up and I didn't hesitate to buy the DVDs when they all came out. Nowadays I show them to my nephew and he goes nuts for it so I know there is still a market for it. Let's make it happen, DC!

Current DC Entertainment Creative Officer and all around awesome dude Geoff Johns has previously stated that the TV and movie universes would be separate but could potentially meet in some kind of "multiverse." Basically, he just implied that "Crisis on Infinite Earths" would star Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Stephen Amell, Gal Gadot, Grant Gustin, Matt Ryan, Ben Mackenzie . . . 

This is what went through all our minds when he said multiverse

This would be very difficult to pull off on film, whether it be TV or a movie but damn it if it isn't fun to dream about! Since it's unlikely to happen for real, it would be great for it to show up in some form in a digital comic book. Stephen Amell has become the definitive Green Arrow for a new generation and his crossover with The Flash was a smash hit so why not keep going? I'd love to see some wacky adventure that puts Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney together in some form. Or even an Arrow team up with Constantine or Detective Gordon from Gotham. Man, this would be a heck of a read and tons of fun to hear the actors' voices albeit in my head and not for real. Since the normal 6 or 7 figures wouldn't have to be paid to the actors, the comics could really go nuts with a massive crossover.  And you know . . . there was that hint on The Flash a few months ago . . . 

Oh yeah baby. There you are

In any event, these are my DC Digital Comics wish list. What's yours? Let me know!

Until next time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie