Tag Archives: geek

The Killing Joke

Having never really paid much attention to the Batman series in the past, I have seen various films but I have never taken an interest in the back story, until now:

Since discovering the Legendary deck building game by Marvel I have become intrigued with the Marvel and DC universes. Whilst on the face of it, Batman stories are based on Bruce Wayne’s alter ego and various super-villains within Gotham. It is when you look into the earlier stories and character back stories, such as the killing joke, that the batman series begins to make sense.

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I have literally just finished the 2008 edition of The Killing Joke graphic novel, while I thoroughly enjoyed it, I do feel it is lacking in certain areas. Firstly, I felt that the end of the story was very ambiguous, something that the writer, Alan Moore addresses in the re edition but still, to me the story felt as if it had been cut of half way through. Also as Alan also points out, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to have an origin story for the joker. As the joker states, he remembers the incident which turned him mad differently all the time, the creators seem to be limiting themselves by giving a definitive story rather than having multiple options, potentially left inconclusive to keep some of the mystery and creepiness around the joker character as I found myself actually sympathizing with the character after reading his back story, which is not how I want to feel towards one of the greatest super villain characters ever created.

I did however, really like how dark and sinister the artwork and story were. Moore has recolored the comic books as he was unhappy with the original artwork, he says he also made other small edits so each page has slight changes in them. One particular point he makes is how he changes the flash back scenes to black and white, yet chooses one item per cell which is extremely red in colour.

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So a quick overview of the story is that the joker escapes from Arkham Asylum, upon escaping he visits the commissioner of the Gotham city police, James Gordon in an attempt to drive him insane and to understand the joker, that he is no different to anyone else, he was driven to madness and madness is easier than dealing with reality. Joker shoots commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara (aka Batgirl) and subjects the commissioner to images of his daughter, naked and bleeding on the floor after the incident whilst holding the commissioner in his freak show as a man with belief in good and order as his freakish point. Obviously the Joker fails and is caught by Batman.

It has been announced that an animated version of the killing joke is to be made, and Mark Hamill has been confirmed to voice the Joker. Bruce Timm is set to produce the film which should be released in 2016. It has also been reported that there will be a 15 minute prologue to set up the story, which may go further into the back story of the Jokers madness.

After reading this I have also got Batman: the man who laughs, which is the 2005 follow up novel to the killing joke and Arkham asylum. I opted for Arkham asylum purely because of the story, it revolves round the Joker and other inmates trying to take over the asylum, the asylum also plays a central role in the upcoming Suicide Squad film from DC, which includes Jared Leto taking up a new Joker.

What are your favorite graphic novels or DC/Marvel stories?

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DC Suicide Squad Trailer and the DC universe

The trailer for the upcoming Suicide Squad film was shown at San Deigo comic con and then posted online within minutes. You can view the trailer here if you have been living under a rock for the last couple of days.

The premise of the film appears to be that Harley Quinn, Boomerang, deadshot, the jokerRick flag, enchantress, Amanda Waller, killer croc, Katana, slipknot, and El Diablo as well as the infamous Batman The super villains are locked in the Arkham Asylum run by secret government task force A.R.G.U.S who undertake dangerous military like tasks for the good of the nation? This is what is suggested in the trailer at least that A.R.G.U.S are working for the greater good although can’t be sure until the film is released in August 2016.

The supervillans are locked in a prison type institution by the government. It would appear that in the initial scene where Amanda Waller and Rick Flag are discussing a mission for the suicide squad, the government intends to use the team, but what for?

Fans have been going absolutely wild online about this trailer. The new joker, played by Jared Leto for example. I personally like this joker look, it is pretty dark and accurate to the character. However reading this article on Forbes, the writer says he is sick of the joker and feels that his presence is too strong for a muti supervillan movie, the focus will always be on him when he is on scene. Whilst I agree to some extent, yes the joker is a massive presence and does take the focus off other characters depending on how it is written/shot/directed. I personally think that Leto looks like an awesome joker and I really like the new look joker. 

Previous DC  work hasn’t really done it for me (more of a marvel fan) but it appears that they are getting back to what they are good at, dark supervillans. I personally think that DC had become a bit tame in comparison to earlier works in their comics and stories since the films became a large part of the franchise. Obviously the movies are marketed towards a different demographic and have been too commercially adapted and overly child friendly in my opinion, and suicide squad appears to be the turn around. Usually I don’t care about films but after watching the trailer to this along with my like of DC/Marvel I am genuinely excited. The idea of the Arkham asylum holding the supervillans I find quite fascinating, bringing out the darker side again. The asylum or “Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane” has appeared in many DC comics, having villains submitted for psychosis and then escaping (The Joker, Harley Quinn and the penguin have all escaped this asylum). In an interview earlier this year directory Ayer teased that the Arkham asylum would feature in the suicide squad, and quite heavily it would seem.

One thing picked up by fans is the possible Robin. This was mentioned to me yesterday by a friend who had seen the trailer and said he had found a scene with a Robin suit. As we remember Joker killed Batman’s Robins and Batman kept the suit in the bat cave as a reminder of his own personal failure. As you can see from this still: 

there is a Robin suit! The fact that the Robin suit has joke is on you painted on it suggests to me that Joker has killed himself another Robin, however this is mere speculation.

We also have the batman v superman film to look forward to. Caville and Affleck will resume their superhero roles in Dawn of Justice. this will be the first time we see the two meet as part of DC’s shared universe film franchise, so 2016 is looking good film wise for us geeks.

We have to wait a whole year for the release of this film so I hope it is worth it given the hype it has already received. What are your thoughts on the upcoming suicide squad film? Any ideas as to plot? Comment below!

On a relevant note our local RSPCA charity shop had this in the window: 

Initially due to financial issues and responsibilities I just kept walking past every day on my way to work desperately wanting some of it, but unjustified as it was I purchase some for me and my cousin as it his birthday this week, now I really want to kept it. So here is what I managed to pick up:  

Marvel’s greatest Gambit collectors pack still selead, includes comics Gambit#1-4.  

  Phoenix and Wolverine artwork by Ian Churchill 

 As well as a couple of spectacular Spider-Man comics from 1998. 

 It will be very upsetting when I have to give this to my cousin as a gift but I have made sure which ones I want 😉 obviously including the gambit set, he can have wolverine and the comics that don’t correspond closely with the others. Whilst I admit this is slightly selfish, he never buys me a gift and I think this is a good one which is enough justification from me.

Have you found any geeky treasures in your local charity shops or car boot sales? Let me know in the comment section.

Second life WTF?!

As I work in SEO I come across a great deal of random and bizarre websites everyday. I have considered a section for worst website of the week, but I feel this is slightly mean. Yesterday as I was trawling my inbox looking for web,asters to work with, I came across this. Now I was so utterly baffled by this site, especially being unaware of Second Life that I spent a good half an hour of my working day reading through the news sections whilst me and my colleagues pissed ourselves laughing. Due to curiosity as we couldn’t quite work out the point I did some further research. It turns out that this website sells avatars and accessories to be used within the Second life platform however, the descriptions of the characters are just ridiculous for example we have Carlo (one of my favourites)!, what really tickled me was the description of the avatar as quoted below: Carlo has a Mediterranean appearance, with a slight Asian touch. Sensitive and yet full of temperament, always looking for an adventure. The smooth and clear facial details give CARLO the appearance of a man when we are most wild and hungry for new experiences and discoveries. But take a closer look at him and you can see our designers attention to detail: A man’s eyes mirror his soul and this man is sizzling with heat and energy.    As we had no idea what use this avatars had we had a good laugh at the various descriptions and pictures, I then read that the avatars were to be used within the game Second Life. Again, due to curiosity I did a little bit of research and downloaded the game to test it out. Honestly, I can’t get my head round it but I only played for about 15 minutes so far. It is a 3d virtual reality world where characters can interact with each other or objects within the game. The game has its own currency  L$, if you open a paid for account you are given monies to use otherwise you are left to fend for yourself.  There are reports of people making large sums of money from this game as the currency can be sold back to USD, and with the ability to generate income within the game. There is a high level of entrepreneurial activity within the game with the ability to buy and sell real estate. Also all users retain the rights to any objects they create within the game meaning they can sell them on within the game. There are reports of people starting relationships through second life as well as access to speak to the Swedish embassy, which I think is just bizarre. I will give second life some further investigation but to me it appears a platform for lonely people (lonelier than me ha) with nothing better to do. There is no objective to this game you are merely left to your own devices to wonder round and communicate with out people or purchase objects.