Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jaden Smith Wears A White Batman Costume to Prom

Jaden Smith, the son of Suicide Squad's Deadshot Will Smith, attended his prom in a white Batman costume and blazer.  Yeah...so that happened.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mattel Announces SDCC Dc Super Friends / Thomas Train Mash-Up Toys

Thomas & Friends™ Super Friends Minis

The world’s favorite engines meet the world’s greatest super heroes as Thomas & Friends™ collide with DC Super Friends™ for a mighty mashup! The engines who keep the Island of Sodor running now have heroic new makeovers as MINIS with designs based on the heroes seen in DC Comics.
This exclusive San Diego Comic-Con pack features five fantastic MINIS mashups, including:
  • Exclusive to San Diego Comic-Con: Diesel as the Dark Knight version of Batman!
  • Thomas/Superman
  • Spencer/Cyborg
  • D10/The Joker
  • Millie/Harley Quinn
Best of all, it includes a premium, exclusive-to-San Diego Comic-Con package complete with a new comic story revealing the origin of the Thomas& Friends/DC Super Friends mashup and dynamic light-up action! It’s the perfect introduction to the Thomas & Friends/DC Super Friends MINIS.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Article: Man or Monster? A Brief History of Killer Croc

 Batman has aquired a rather extensive rogues gallery over the past 76 years.   His rotating stable of villains includes everything from mass murderers, serial killers and thugs to the rejected, disfigured and often misunderstood.  Which of these categories, then, does a certain Mr. Waylon Jones, known more affectionately to fans as Killer Croc, belong in?   This character, though created over three decades ago, found his largest fanbase as a somewhat bumbling brute on Batman: The Animated Series and has appeared regularly in the comic books since that time, but how much do we as fans really know about the complex history of this character?   His inclusion in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, alongside fellow Bat-Rogue Harley Quinn, has generated a lot of buzz around his portrayl as a disfigured man, rather than a hulking mutated monster.  This being his very first appearance on the big screen, we thought this would be a good time to take a look at the history of the man known as the Killer Croc and show some of the newer fans just how comic accurate that Suicide Squad portrayl really is.
In a pre-Crisis universe Killer Croc made his debut in the form of a cameo that book place in Batman #357 in March of 1983.   A relative newcomer to the Batman gallery of rogues, Croc has managed to keep himself in the forefront of many important Batman tales over the past few decades.  Croc was created by Gerry Conway and Curt Swan as a new and vicious threat to the Dark Knight.

Killer Croc first appeared obscured by shadows in a trenchcoat and hat, busy delving his sticky fingrs into underworld dealings and pulling strings to get his ends met.  There was a gap left in the Gotham underworld when Rupert Thorne and Falco are both in prision, and Croc decides to step in as the new boss. 

He reveals himself as a former sideshow freak from Florida that used to wrestle alligators for the crowds.  He could break their backs with his bare hands.  Once the Croc realized his strength, he decided that he should make it work for him.   Dubbing himself King Croc, he traveled to Gotham City, America's magnet for crime, and established himself as a menace.

Afflicted with Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, a real-life skin disorder that causes the clumping of keratin filaments.   Croc first appeared with a body covered in scales, and as the 1980s progressed he got a little more beast-like, whith his eyes turning red and his skin more green.  It was revealed in Detective Comics #526 in May of 1983 that King Croc killed the second Robin, Jason Todd's, parents.  

This fact was retconned later by the DC Crisis, and Two-Face was then responsible for the murders.   The Crisis was a difficult time for Croc.  He would show up here and there in the years following the Crisis, but he notably showed up during the lead-in issues to the Knightfall saga of the 1990s.  

In Batman #489 (February 1993) Killer Croc takes on Batman and tries to break his back.  He fails, and ultimately has to do battle with Bane, who is working behind the scenes to establish his dominance amongst Batman's rogues gallery.  Bane breaks both of Croc's arms, and leaves  him in shambles, only to be carted back to Arkham Asylum.

Killer Croc re-emerged as a suit-wearing gangster in Chuck Dixon's acclaimed Robin series in the early 1990s.  The dichotomy of the savage beast and the coniving criminal mastermind made the earlier incarnations of Killer Croc far more interesting than the mutated brute of the past decade.

Croc was introduced to a whole new audience of young people when he made his very first appearance in cartoon form in Batman: The Animated Series.   He would appear in five episodes of B:TAS as a strong, but rather dopey villain, not the serious and coniving threat of the 1980s.  When Batman: The Animated Series moved networks and was redesiged for Kids WB! as The New Batman Adventures, Croc would also get a rebirth for two episodes of that series.  His new, more menacing, look and attitude were a great tribute to the original incarnation of the character in the comic books.  

The comic book version of Croc began to de-evolve in the mid 1990s and he was called by Swamp Thing to rejoin nature in the swamps.  Batman wasn't too pleased with this idea, but Swamp Thing didn't give him much choice in the matter.

The turn of the millenium and the introduction of the cult favorite HUSH story arc would bring us a Killer Croc that has degenerated from a disfigured thug to a mutated beast.  

Jim Lee designed a Croc with serious teeth, a snout and tail.  This monsterous version of Croc has become a fan favorite and set the tone for versions over the next decade, including the action figures originally released by Mattel, of which Croc got his very own themed wave and the massive beast that is featured in the Arkham video game series.

The look and feel of Croc was brought back to the old school when Brian Azzarelloand Lee Bermejo released the out of canon graphic novel "Joker", around the time of the Dark Knight film.  This version of Waylon gave us a hulking brute of a man that had some mild disfigurement and enjoyed feasting on the flesh of humans.  


We get to see that Croc still has a human side in the recent New 52 reboot of the comic books.  The most recent arc to feature him portrays him as less of a mutant creature and more of a humanoid with a menacing face that resembles the Batman: The Animated Series incarnation.   

Croc has formed a meaningful relationship with a fellow Arkham inmate named Sybil.  She suffers from multiple personality disorder, but her own mental illness allows her to see past Croc's deformity and treat him like a real person for the first time in his life.  This emotional attachment clearly changes Croc.  He promises to look after Cybil's daughter Olive and in the pages of Gotham Academy this year we see him do just that.


That brings us to present day and the Suicide Squad film.  The look of this version of Croc is actually so comic accurate to the original that its fantastic.  Hopefully, he'll come armed with the brutality and attitude to match.  This new birth of a DC Cinematic Universe is introducing Killer Croc almost immediately into the mix, assuming he makes it through Suicide Squad alive, he could definitely be in solo Batman films in the future.  What do you think of Croc's look now?  Sound off in the comments and on Facebook & Twitter!

Matt MacNabb is a writer and pop culture historian

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Batman Classic TV Series Catwoman Resin Bust Coming Fall 2015!

Batman Classic TV Series Catwoman Resin Bust
A Diamond Select Toys release! Batman's rogues gallery continues to grow as Catwoman joins the Riddler and the Joker in DST's line of busts, based on the Classic Batman TV Series! This 6-inch-tall resin bust depicts Julie Newmar as Catwoman, perched atop a colorful base inspired by the show's animated opening credits. Even with her mask on, Catwoman's hypnotizing beauty will have Batman baffled! Packaged in a full-color box with a certificate of authenticity. Designed by Barry Bradfield! Sculpted by Jean St. Jean! (Item #MAY152172, SRP: $59.99)

Gotham TV Select Action Figures Series 1 Figures!

Gotham TV Select Action Figures Series 1 Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! One of the hottest shows on TV is Gotham, a look at the crime-ridden streets of Batman’s hometown. Now, the hit show is an all-new line of Select action figures! Each 7-inch scale figure comes with character-specific accessories, as well as a deluxe diorama base representing a location in Gotham City: The Penguin comes with a pier, Jim Gordon comes with an alleyway, and Selina Kyle comes with a fire escape – connect Jim and Selina’s bases to form a larger scene! Each figure features approximately 16 points of articulation and comes packaged in the famous display-ready Select packaging, with spine art for easy shelf reference. Sculpted by Gentle Giant! 

(Item # MAY152171, SRP: $24.99/ea.)  Releasing Fall 2015!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

1st Pic of the Suicide Squad Movie Cast - Including Harley Quinn!

I'm not a fan of how they have portrayed Harley in recent years, but this version I can get behind.  Its very 'Tank Girl'.  I'm excited for this one.  What do you think Bat-Fans?

Product Spotlight: 1966 Joker Bank

Product Spotlight: 1966 Joker Bank

About the Product: A Diamond Select Release! The clown prince of crime is now his own worst enemy! With its ability to store your pocket change, this 8" vinyl bank of The Joker is the perfect target for The Joker, who loves himself even more than he loves money. Based on the likeness of Cesar Romero as he appeared in the Batman Classic TV Series, this vinyl bust bank has a coin slot on his back and an access door in his base. Packaged in a clear polybag. Sculpted by Jean St. Jean!.

Our Take:  The Joker bank is the third in the series of 1966 themed banks from Diamond Select Toys (DST).  They are putting out some amazing product with their busts, but even these lower cost banks are gorgeous pieces for any collection.  The stock pics of the Joker bank that I saw before having this in-hand didn't even come close to comparing to the quality of the actual sculpt.  Jean St. Jean did an amazing job, as he always does, of capturing not just the likeness of the character, but the energy and the fun, as well.  This one is a must have and it looks amazing on a shelf, as you can see in our image gallery below.  

DST is soon coming out with Batman: TAS product, which looks to be amazing, so watch for that, and hopefully for more banks, as well!  The Penguin bust is coming soon to a store near you.

Image Gallery:

Friday, May 01, 2015

Free Comic Book Day Is Tomorrow (Saturday!)

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day!  Don't forget to make your way out to your local comic book shop to get a boatload of free comic books!  Including the following Batman related offerings:

A first look at upcoming storylines! DC Comics: Divergence features three 8-page previews for the June releases of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman, as well as Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok's launch of the "Darkseid War" within Justice League featuring the biggest villains in the DCU - Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, and Gene Luen Yang's DC Comics debut with celebrated artist John Romita, Jr on Superman.

DC Entertainment's all-ages FCBD special edition has two tales for readers of all ages! The Teen Titans are back in Teen Titans Go! Chapter 10, and Scooby Doo Team Up! #6 features the Super Friends! Readers will want to follow the adventures of the Teen Titans in Teen Titans Go! Volume 1  (DEC140400), and Scooby Doo's adventure with the Super Friends will continue in the forthcoming collected edition of Scooby Doo Team-Up! Super-hero adventures for readers of all ages have never been so much fun!