Thirty Years Ago, Comics had undergone a Dark and Gritty Rebirth. Inspired in part by stories such as Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, and Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’ in the mid 80’s, super hero comics went from bright and fun and dark and gritty, almost overnight. It was on the crest of this wave that design cues were drawn, and Tim Burton’s BATMAN was born. Up until now, most people who didn’t read comics only remembered Batman in the form of Adam West’s performances in the late 1960’s. Bright, colourful and camp. In the eyes of the movie going public, Burton’s film changed the public perception of the Dark Knight, from one of Camp Crusader to a Dark and Brooding Knight, taking on the crime and corruption of Gotham.Continue reading
80 Years ago this year, Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27. Thirty years and three weeks ago, Tim Burton’s Batman (with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson) premiered in Australia, a couple of months after it appeared in the USA. I couldn’t get to the film for a couple of weeks…so I guess this week is probably the 20th anniversary of me seeing that film, which rewrote what we came to expect of superhero movies at the time.
And finally, for reasons I don’t quite understand, Warner Brothers/DC have declared September 21st to be Batman Day, 2019.Continue reading
In which I am astounded to find a LEGO Batman set to related to a relatively recent storyline from the comics. In putting the set together, I reach new highs, new lows and breathe a sigh of relief as I get my hands on a colour I hadn’t seen for a while…
Batman, Batwoman and OMAC. (Oh My!)
The 76111 Brother Eye Takedown set is part of the DC Superheroes line, and was released in the second half of 2018. I was intrigued by the existence of this set: while an ongoing part of the DC (comics) Universe continuity, Brother Eye and OMAC are not necessarily widely recognised by the non comics reading public. In it’s current guise, Brother Eye comes across as a DC satellite equivalent of Marvel’s Ultron: an artificial intelligence with the ability to take down Earth’s Greatest Heroes. I was even more intrigued by it’s presence here as I was reading the ‘Lonely Place of Living’ as well as the ‘Batmen: Eternal’ storylines in Detective Comics when I saw the set announced. Brother Eye, the OMACs and Batwoman play an important part of these storylines. Beyond this I shall not elaborate, as I don’t want to hit you with too many spoilers, and I don’t want to give away the fact that I have misplaced a couple of issues, making a complete rereading of the storyline impossible for me at present.
In which I pick up a LEGO® DC Superheroes DVD for the purpose of just getting the attached minifigure. Then I got caught up trying to workout how I could reproduce the Justice League figures as they are depicted in the film. Do I escape from that rabbit hole before it is too late? Read on!
It’s the start of August, and there has been a wide range of new LEGO® Sets just released: Depending on where in the world you are, there are new City, Friends, DC Superheroes, Unikitty and of course the long anticipated return of Harry Potter to choose from. But today, I am going to look at something completely different…
This week, the latest in direct to video LEGO® DC Superheroes Movies was released: Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis. I have not been a dedicated viewer of Direct to Video LEGO Movies, and the target demographic – kids pestering their parents for Super Hero LEGO Sets – is now absent from my house. I confess I bought this one primarily for the exclusive Jessica Cruz Green Lantern Minifigure, which is included with the DVD. But I thought I would sit down and see how the movie played out.
I shall not dwell too much on the plot: in reality spoilers are not a major issue. This is the kind of movie that will be watched by the target audience time and again. Running at just over seventy minutes, the animation is bright, action shifts from location to location at an reasonable pace, but not so fast as to make my head spin. The music fits the mood of the action brilliantly – giving appropriate moments of dread, excitement and happiness. A musical highlight for me was the musical nod to the theme from ‘The A Team.’ However, there are no surprising plot twists, and corny jokes and cliches abound. I admit I might have had more than the occasional chuckle as I watched it. That said, I have nothing against the use of cliche: to paraphrase the late Terry Pratchett, ‘Cliches are the hammer and nails in the toolbox of communication.’ The film delivers a positive message about the power of Teamwork, and Believing in Yourself.
The Justice League in this film are represented by Aquaman, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and the self doubting Green Lantern Jessica Cruz. Along the way, Batfamily members Barbara Gordon/ Batgirl. and Damian/Robin join in the action. Continue reading
Over recent weeks, the LEGO® Powered Up App has become available, initially with programs for running both the new Passenger train and Cargo Train Sets, and now also the Powered Up Batmobile.
As well as controlling the speed of movement, there are also a number of sound effects associated with the app. The sound effects are played through the phone/tablet speakers, rather than the powered up brick itself. While exploring the app at the breakfast table one morning, Mabel the Cavoodle hopped up to join us. She was more engaged with the sounds made by the Batmobile App than the City Passenger Train App. Except for the one that sounds a little like our front door bell. Her responses were captured for your enjoyment.
I have a more comprehensive review of the passenger train coming up in the near future. In the mean time, don’t forget about our Antman and the Wasp MOC Competition, open until the 15th of August. Until next time,
The toy fair season is now starting to wind up for now: We have had Nuremberg. We have had New York. Now we have had Melbourne…
Sometimes, I forget about the importance of Play. And the way that it can be a fun thing to do with your LEGO® Bricks. I don’t just mean take a couple of bricks and roll them around until they click together in a novel way. I mean, let my imagination kick in, and have stories unfold in front of me, with no idea where they might be going or how they will get there. Some sets set themselves up for rough and tumble storytelling, where kids can assemble them quickly before getting on with all the serious zooming and swooshing that comes with putting a vehicle together.
These sets are designed to be easily assembled by young builders, and ready for play. Even if you are only partway through the final construction. That’s right: the Juniors sets: designed for younger builders, these sets span the LEGO themes, from City, to Ninjago and Friends to Disney Princess and Superheroes. Many of the sets feature larger elements to simplify the construction process. Today, I would like to take a look at the Juniors set 10753 The Joker Batcave Attack.
After looking at the box art and instruction booklet, I realise that today I have returned to an world of instant gratification. A world where a vehicle can be put together in seconds. From memory. After only a cursory examination of the box art. And it’s all in the first bag, along with our hero mini figures. The second bag contains the second vehicle, and the villain. And the third contains a building. And there are precisely NO stickers. That’s right: would a sticker slow down the time it takes to produce a playable toy? Leave it out. Include a printed element instead.
The Joker Batcave attack is the third DC Superheroes Juniors Batcave set, previously featuring a blue and grey ‘classic’ batman and robin, looking as if they were coming straight from Super Friends, in 1972. Then we had the same Batman, with Superman and Lex Luthor. Each of these came with a Batmobile. This year, we have something a little different…