Tag Archive: batman beyond

After finally recovering from a SDCC caused coma, The Pullbox has returned! A busy week this week in terms of comics as we saw an enticing new #1, some crazy things happen in AvX, and a new entrant into our indie space. So without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!

DC – Batman Beyond Unlimited #6 – This collection of stories following Terry McGinnis, the Batman of the future, gives us three interesting continuations of tales started in earlier issues. First, Solomon Grundy reveals himself to Superman while Lex’s daughter’s plan comes to fruition. In another story, Batman and the rest of the future Justice League travel to Apokolips to help Orion and a blinded Darkseid fight a giant serpent. The final story follows Batman by himself and the Jokerz from all over the country continue their migration to Gotham and Batman needs to prioritize multiple attacks at once!

Honestly, I love this comic. I don’t mind paying an extra dollar each month to get several stories in an obviously extended book. I just hope that they don’t forget it’s called Batman Beyond as there is a lot of Superman love here. If they were going to do that, they should really give him his own future book as I think fans would snatch up both. Especially considering how epic the fight is between Grundy and Superman and Lex’s illegitimate daughter following in her daddy’s footsteps is priceless. The other two stories were okay in terms of writing and pacing, but the Jokerz story is starting to drag as so little happens month to month and needs a jumpstart again.

DC – Nightwing #11 – Nightwing starts to get to the bottom of this new villain named Paragon and his group called The Republic of Tomorrow. But with him fighting both the police for being framed, the banks for a loan to buy Amusement Mile, and these new bad guys, it’s going to be hard for Nightwing to come out on top!

This book did a good job of setting up the next issue where we will likely see the climax of this story arc where the villain and his connection to everyone in the past few issues will be resolved. Good action early on followed up by a lot of plot to maintain order within the story worked well for my tastes and shows why Kyle Higgins is the perfect guy to be writing Nightwing. My favorite part of the book though may have been Damian actually accidentally assisting Dick in putting the final pieces of this puzzle together and their banter back and forth.

Marvel – Captain Marvel #1 – After what happened on the Kree homeworld, Carol Danvers has donned a new costume and a new outlook on life. While helping Captain America battle The Absorbing Man though, Cap suggests that it’s time Carol changes her superhero name to something that fits her a bit more and pays respect to someone she clearly cared deeply about. This, Carol takes the mantle of the new Captain Marvel.

This was a good start to this new monthly. I’m not really sure how I feel about the new costume and haircut for Carol just yet, and the plain cover might turn some folks off, but once you crack this book open, you’ll be happy you did. The art inside is something special and its rare I’m this blown away more by the art than the writing of a book. Not to say the writing isn’t solid. Starting off with a B-level villain, but coming out of the gates with it, was a good move because Absorbing Man can be quickly dispatched and that allowed for plenty of time to develop Carol and her hesitation at taking the Captain Marvel moniker. Her banter/beating-up of Spider-Man briefly also added some necessary comedy relief to what was otherwise a very serious book. Good pacing, action, humor, and drama, all in the first issue, really shocked me and has made Captain Marvel a book I will at least be picking up a few issues of, if not making a permanent fixture in the Pullbox.

Marvel – Avengers Academy #33 – Emma Frost continues her tirade about why Juston’s Sentinel must be turned into scrap. And the entire Avengers Academy wants to fight her tooth and nail to stop that from happening. Has Emma become mad with power though or does she make a point about the Sentinel being an abomination? Either way, Juston doesn’t care and won’t stand for it!

This was an entertaining story arc from the first issue up to this conclusion. It subtly asks questions about artificial intelligence and what makes us human, while mixing it with a lot of over the top action and fighting between Emma and the Academy, even if the save at the end was a little weak. More importantly, this issue serves as a launching point for what could be the four most important issues in Avengers Academy history as things look to take a turn for the worst as this AvX event continues.

Boom Studios – Extermination #2 – Alien forces have invaded the Earth and its people have been utterly decimated. In order to survive, odd alliances have been made, most notably between a former superhero named Nox and a former supervillain named The Red Reaper. All does not seem lost though as the unlikely pair moves across the wasteland towards Nox’s secret lair for supplies, they are discovered by another band of survivors. Unfortunately, Nox and the leader of this rag tag band have a history and he’s having a tough time letting go of the past. 

The first issue was only $1 and it was an interesting concept that this Batman/Joker like team are forced to pair up in a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies and other monsters that have destroyed everything they know and love. This second issue though was well worth the normal cover price as it completely blew me away. The relationship between Nox and Red Reaper is wonderful to see develop and Nox’s loyalty to his morals is admirable to a fault. The best part of the book so far has been the interspersed flashbacks showing us their world as it once was as they make off the cuff references to things that clearly no longer exist. I can’t wait to see where this book goes from here and being only two issues in, it shouldn’t be hard to find Issue 1 and get on board immediately, which I highly recommend. 

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks folks, but we are back. A slow week comic book wise and so we look at a pair of Indies and only one DC title as the New 52 really continues to just disappoint on almost every front that isn’t a Batman book. Marvel continues their strong push with a bunch of Avengers books including one we’ll be featuring today. So without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) Marvel – Venom #13.4: Blackheart has all the cards and has done the unthinkable and brought hell to Earth, literally. Even Earth’s most magically attuned heroes like Doctor Strange and the Ghost Rider cannot hold back the onslaught and only Venom, Red Hulk, and X-23 can hope to turn the tides. But at what cost? 

This has been an interesting adventure for Venom, the new Ghost Rider, Red Hulk, and X-23, and the fact it has been coming out every week has given a sense of a bigger event than it really is. The best part of this though is the fact that Blackheart, one of the more nefarious and powerful villains in the Marvel universe has been given the spotlight for the first time in a while. And where there is Blackheart, you know Mephisto isn’t far behind. Obviously this is something you should pick up the first chapters to, but this issue’s ending leaves you on a cliffhanger that means the next issue could really shake things up for all the characters involved on a permanent basis.

2) Marvel – New Avengers #22: Norman Osborn’s plan to slander the Avengers continues and the team led by Luke Cage has had enough after Jessica and Squirrel Girl left the mansion with Luke’s newborn baby. And the team is finally ready to start listening to Spider-Man and Victoria Hand looks to be their target at how to get to the bottom of this.

The team finally decided to go after Victoria Hand after they realized she had to have been the one setting them up, but Hand comes up with a story that is almost too unbelievable to be false. So now the New Avengers have to figure out how to take down Osborn while also trying to keep a raging Luke Cage in control as Jessica Jones has left with no trace. The resolution in this issue was key to a lot of loose ends that had been opened in early parts of this story, but it almost seems like things may be coming to a head a bit too quickly. Whatever happens, the New Avengers are going to be shaken to their core and the more interesting secondary story that may be developing is Luke and Jessica’s relationship after the fallout of this event.

3) DC – Batman Beyond Unlimited #1: Terry McGinnis returns with a pair of adventures kicking off this new book. The first sees him investigating a nation wide migration by various Jokerz gangs to Gotham City. The second part sees Terry team up with the Justice League again to take on the terrorist group Kobra who may be working out of Cadmus Labs.

One of my biggest disappointments of the New 52 was the fact that Batman Beyond had been put on hold and so this has been one of my more anticipated new titles to come out in a while. The fact the book is also double wide and features two concurrent story lines makes it easily the best bang for your buck of the week most likely. With each story subtly re-introducing a lot of our favorite characters from the cartoon and last year’s monthly comic run, hopefully this is the beginning of a long and prosperous run for our favorite Batman from the future.

4) IDW – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello (One-shot): Continuing the series of one-shots that look at each turtle individually, Donatello’s sees him attend a science fair incognito only to find out it is really a front for Baxter Stockman trying to draft scientific talent and now Donnie must save someone he once thought to be an internet rival while also escaping with his own shell in tact.

These one-shots from IDW are great ways to establish the turtles’ personalities for TMNT newcomers and this one continues the success started off with Raphael’s one-shot. Featuring a lot of fun action, great dialogue, and even a dig at Stan Lee and Marvel for the keener comic book fan, this one-shot is a must have whether you’re an old-school turtles fan or someone just starting out. It’s also a big plus for video game fans as we learn that Donnie is a big MMORPG fan and seeing him try to explain it to Leonardo to no avail is a great short scene in the book.

5) Image – PIGS #6: After finding out their inside man had failed at his assassination attempt, the sleeper agents realize they are going to have to get their hands dirty and break into the prison themselves and take out their target. It won’t be easy though as a neo-Nazi inmate is also the high-value target’s number one bodyguard.

We see another stunning form of the sleepers training as kids in a flashback in this book and it helps to explain the widening divide emerge between certain members. As loose ends are tied up by some members of the team, the others really work on the tension that is clearly there by the hesitancy of some members to go along with the more violent plans they wish to carry out. As plans continue to move forward, the big question that is looming is what will the pay off be for this series and these characters once the high value target is eliminated and what is going on in the global picture as hinted at in the first pair of issues in the series. I can’t wait to see the next issue to see just how the sleepers infiltrate the prison and if that long awaited pay off finally comes.

Originally Published: March 15, 2011, on Comicvine.com

With there being an absolute whirlwind of activity around recent announcements for Batman: Arkham City, it made me start to think that maybe our current Dark Knight is overshadowing the future one, who is just trying to grab his little corner of the limelight after nearly a decade of flying under the radar. And so I thought that maybe Terry McGinnis needs his own video game after he just got his own monthly comic again to solidify his spot in the eyes of fans of the DC Universe. It seems there is enough of an interest in The Tomorrow Knight that I’m sure we could figure out a better representation in the digital realm for him than the awful 2000 side-scrolling beat ‘em up for the N64/PS1 game based on Return of the Joker. So how would a Batman Beyond video game work?

One of the key focuses of a Batman Beyond game would be differentiating it from the more recent Batman games. Although it should still be true to the character and be dark overall, the atmosphere of this game might need to take a page out of the book of the 2099 Spider-Man levels from Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Bright lights set against a dark background with Terry (voiced again by Will Friedle) constantly quipping at his foes or answering to Bruce (voiced again by Kevin Conroy) who is always talking about “the old days” and how he did things while he was Batman. All the while utilizing the Batsuit’s flying abilities to both get around and to complete missions. Terry’s Gotham should also be a sandbox that could allow for a lot of exploration of some of the seedier sections of town and so this doesn’t become just a button mashing brawler and allow for some mission variety.

Terry’s Batsuit has a lot of awesome features to it though beyond the flying. The camouflage feature on the suit could allow Terry to walk right up to a villain without him knowing and he could knock him out without having to worry about going all Sam Fisher in a level and sticking to the shadows. The camouflage could also be used to infiltrate certain areas to listen in on villain conversations or even hack a terminal without interference. This feature would need an overheat meter of some kind though, otherwise the game would be too easy as you could just turn invisible and walk through most of the game, similar to many people’s complaint about feeling a need to always have Detective Mode from Batman: Arkham Asylum on. You could also set up mini-games with the frequency monitors and lock picks that are featured in the gloves of Terry’s Batsuit.

To get the most out of these features you would need to put a bit more of an emphasis on information gathering and item collection though and that brings us to our plot of the game. It would need to have several layers to it that could put Terry and Bruce’s detective skills to the test. Maybe have Terry go back to the Batcave after finding new clues or defeating each villain and have it so that Terry could interact with a lot of the items in the cave, giving all Batman fans a bit of a cheap thrill as Terry explores the cave or uses the Batcomputer.

But one of the big problems that Terry has always faced is he has a rather paltry rogues gallery. So much so that he constantly has to resort to Bruce’s villains or variations thereof. The Joker and Mr. Freeze are the first two that come to mind in that category, but also Spellbinder and False-Face, although re-imagined and made much cooler than the late 1950s-60s versions Bruce fought, were originally his rogues. Even three issues into his new comic, the only villain Terry has fought was a new Matter Master, a Hawkman villain!

Well, if Terry is going to rely on some of Bruce’s villains, especially since a lot of Terry’s have been killed off it seems (Shriek, Blight, Stalker), then this new game should center around one who has never really been explored, and it would be interesting to introduce him into Terry’s universe in a video game. Clayface V or Cassius “Clay” Payne. Assuming that Basil Karlo and the other Clayfaces still age normally (although unlikely), one who would still be alive and most definitely be a threat in Terry’s time would be Cassius.

Since currently Cassius is really nothing more than a kid in current times and has never been explored very thoroughly, you could make him the diabolical mastermind that the other Clayfaces never really aspired to. With his shape-shifting ability, he could manipulate key events all around Gotham and hire other villains in various guises to throw off Bruce and Terry with it all culminating in one of the most epic boss battles ever. Hiring several of Terry’s more infamous (and still living) villains to keep him busy, Clayface could be lurking in the shadows, posing as or pulling the strings of politicians, the GCPD, and many others around Gotham as he forwards his agenda of eliminating the Batman from Gotham once and for all!

So there is your main villain and definitely a twist that a lot of Batman fans would probably appreciate. But you’d need more villains than that of course to really make a decent comic book game. Before Clayface, Terry should have to face Inque, one of his most difficult opponents ever, but really just a hired gun who will provide the final piece of the puzzle when she reveals she attacked Batman for someone who she felt was a kindred spirit, as in both Inque and Clayface are shape-shifters who are more in tune with their villainous personas than their human sides.

Before he faces Inque though, Terry would have to take down Spellbinder, who is causing trouble because Clayface threw a lot of money his way. Really he should be nothing more than a diversion for Clayface’s master scheme, but he wouldn’t be Batman if he just let Spellbinder hypnotize people and suggest them to walk off rooftops or whatnot.

It seems a lot of Terry’s villains aren’t nearly as tragic or deep as many of the original Dark Knight’s though as the villains that lead up to Spellbinder are none other than the Royal Flush Gang, again because they were promised big pay days. Having five villains at once could lend itself to a variety of tasks and levels as you could have an epic end battle against all five at once, or the more likely scenario, of separating them and taking them down one at a time culminating in a still difficult boss battle with the android Ace, who could have several “modes” to him and take new forms as the battle progresses and he takes damage.

Also, if you do face the Royal Flush Gang separately, and if the game was done in a sandbox, you could have one level where you have to chase down Jack or Ten on those hovercards they had in the cartoon and that would give a reason for something I wish you could use in more Batman games, the Batmobile. A Batman Beyond video game’s biggest difference to most other super hero video games is that Terry would have to use the Batmobile for certain levels like that one with the Royal Flush Gang, and it would be an option for him to get from point A to point B in Gotham if you didn’t want to explore on foot and with the Batsuit.

The opening of the game would be more of a tutorial mission as it’ll all start out with Terry chasing some Jokerz, who would then serve the rest of the game as your primary henchman for the other bosses due to their numbers and could even have more well known ones like Dee Dee, Woof, or J-Man serve as mini-bosses.

So there’s my take on a possible Batman Beyond video game. What would you do for a Batman Beyond video game? Would you try to add some more villains or levels? Should the game be a bit more linear and not a sandbox? Let us know by commenting below!

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: March 8, 2011, on youtube.com/RCars4885

I come to you once again with your weekly geek fix from my mother’s basement! This week’s episode sees me review Batman Beyond #3 from DC Comics and MLB 11 The Show for the PS3. My hot chick pick of the week is Jayonna Fabro and this week’s theme is The Ice Titan theme from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra.