Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Greatest Foes of Batman

Like any other respectable Gothic-styled superhero, Batman has had his fair share of enemies. Considering that it is almost seventy years since the creation of 'The Caped Crusader' you can imagine that to comprise a detailed dossier of each and every foe that Batman has faced would be a mammoth task.

Instead of listing all of his adversaries to date (most of whom few of us would ever have heard of) it would probably be more interesting to mention the most dangerous and infamous.

First up is, of course, The Joker. Out of all of the characters to create misery for Batman he must take first place. The Joker, name aside, is not to be taken lightly. He is a worthy opponent of Batman and is extremely unpredictable and dangerous. Jack Nicholson did a great job of playing the character in 1989's 'Batman' but it has to be said that the late Heath Ledger probably bettered him if only for the dark and downright disturbing Gothic edge that he brought to the role in 2008's 'The Dark Knight'.

Next up is The Penguin, so named because of his appearance and its similarity to the Antarctic bird. With his long, beak-like nose and squat body he is a rather repulsive character. He is, however, a very intelligent man. He sees himself as a 'higher being' but he is also very much of an outcast. In the sixties 'Batman' series he was portrayed by Burgess Meredith but of the actors that have played the role Danny DeVito got it down to a tee in 1992's 'Batman Returns'. While we are on the subject of that movie there is also satisfyingly Goth-styled Catwoman to mention. Who could forget Michelle Pfeiffer's sexy slant on the P.V.C. darkly clad villainess? The character had already been portrayed very well by the late Eartha Kitt twenty-five years previously. Who is the rightful queen of that part is debatable.

Then there is The Riddler. Between 1967 and 1968 during the 'Batman' series the character was played by both Frank Gorshin and John Astin. In 1995 Jim Carrey became The Riddler for 'Batman Forever'. The Riddler, as his name suggests, is obsessed with riddles. He frequently sends complicated clues to both Batman and the police before committing a crime. The Riddler is always dressed in a green outfit with a domino mask. A lot of the time he is accompanied by two female accomplices named Echo and Query.

Our last enemy of Batman is Mister Freeze. He first appeared in Detective Comics as 'Mister Zero' and wasn't a particularly dangerous character. However, after appearing in the 'Batman' series of the sixties on several different occasions he became 'Mister Freeze', a far more serious threat to our hero. He is a mad scientist who just so happens to have a great understanding of cryonics. To survive anywhere except for a special refrigeration unit, Mister Freeze is forced to wear a special suit to keep him sufficiently cold. His suit gives him superhuman strength and he uses weapons of his own invention that harness cold in destructive ways. In 1997's 'Batman and Robin' he was played by the well cast Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So, as you can see, Batman has his work cut out. And remember...these are just a few of many, many more.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Feeling Like a Superhero and Not the Bad Guy This Halloween? Be Daredevil to Her Elektra

Like most men who feel that they have nothing to lose, Daredevil is known as the fearless man. This superhero in a red costume is secretly known as Matthew Michael Murdock, a native of New York City and popularized through the imaginary Marvel Universe. Daredevil's transformation occurred when a radioactive substance accidentally fell from a passing vehicle and caused him to suffer blindness, but at the same time enhanced his other senses. Matthew Murdock's vocation to fight crime in New York City was motivated by his urge to avenge his father who died when he refused to give in to a street fight.

There are a lot of options to choose from when you want to wear a Daredevil costume for Halloween. Throughout the history of the comic itself, the look of Daredevil's costumes developed both in the logo and colors that he utilized. Costume makers, particularly those who are focused in making characters for the comic books, create all the variations of the Daredevil costume.

The first Daredevil costume that was worn and shown in the pioneering issue of the Daredevil comic had a brown and yellow color combination. The majority of the costume was colored yellow and also featured red gloves and a vest. A single D on the front of the outfit was seen in some of the earlier issues of the comic. But later on, it was changed to DD after a particular edition garnered more popularity from the audience. The DD held to this day, so most Daredevil costumes still have DD emblazoned on the chest. There is a "billy club" holster and a hood on the back in some versions of the costume, but those were removed in later editions of the Daredevil story.

In the seventh issue of the Daredevil comic, we can see the red costume version. The officially licensed Hollywood movie used the red Daredevil costume, making it one of the most sought after, bought and rented, costumes for Halloween -- and certainly the most popular Daredevil costume. Every year, it's not surprising to find men (and even women) in jumpsuits, running around and pretending to be like the fearless man from Marvel world.

Couples also enjoy the Daredevil motif, with men commonly sporting a Daredevil costume and their girlfriend wearing an Elektra costume. Elektra is also a character from Marvel and she had fought together with Daredevil for many times in the comics' history. That is why both Daredevil and Elektra costumes are usually worn by partners during the Halloween season.

The simplest and cheapest costume for this superhero is a mere muscle top matched with black pants and a Daredevil mask. This entire outfit will only cost you about $50 or less, but if you are really on a tight budget you can opt to wear a plain red top, black pants, half or full face red mask and black shoes. This Daredevil costume is actually easier than it looks; it is a hassle-free and low cost option for you to look amazing.

And now I would like to give you even more great Daredevil costume ideas when you visit [] From Taylor Jensen - The Halloween Costume expert on inexpensive, easy to find and easy to make costumes from Marvel Comics.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Taking a Look at DC Vs Marcel Comic Books

Comic books have entertained audiences since the 1930s with their quick, easy-to-read artwork and appealing, over-the-top characters. Behind Batman, Spiderman, Superman, the X-Men or other comic book heroes, there are behemoth enterprises that have dominated the comic book world for decades. While Marvel Comic Books and DC Comic Books have rivaled each other for years, occasionally the characters team up in epic battles within "the Amalgam Universe," such as in Silver Surfer versus Green Lantern, Flash versus Quicksilver, or Elektra versus Catwoman. While there are many obvious similarities between the two giants, there are also some stark contrasts.

Motivation, cause and effect are all very important considerations when analyzing the difference between Marvel and DC. Marvel characters often struggle with a myriad of internal forces and mental battles. For instance, the Hulk has struggled with an explosive temper, while Spiderman has always struggled to balance his personal life with the demands of being a superhero. Wolverine also has competing nuances of animalistic urges and human civility.

Once action has been taken, these characters often ponder what has happened and sometimes second-guess themselves. These "very human-like" characters were generally ordinary but gained powers from science accidents, radiation exposure, spider bites, genetic mutation or some other event. The setting for Marvel graphic novels are in real places like New York, Los Angeles or Toronto. Some say Marvel puts a more modern spin on comic books and fulfills a more psychological need for its readers.

By contrast, the superheroes of DC comic books are nearly god-like in their perfection and function; more like mythological heroes. Their only weaknesses come from exterior factors, like Superman coming into contact with kryptonite or Batman being without his super utility belt.

They got their powers from supernatural, magical or alien means and they exist in ethereal worlds like Metropolis, Gotham City, Star City and the Dreaming. Over the years, newer adaptations of the comic books have gotten more into the psychological side of these characters, but generally speaking, the fans of DC appreciate the boldness, the confidence, the skills and the innate intelligence of these immaculate characters.

In the end, it's hard to really say which comic book series reigns supreme. DC, the old dinosaur, has the oldest legacy of all comic books and can rightfully claim the invention of superheroes as we know them (with Superman debuting in 1938). Their characters were perfect, supreme, and almost god-like in their abilities and powers.

However, Marvel Comic Books brought a whole new spin on superheroes with their modern take; that many superheroes were just ordinary people with day jobs and complex emotions, yet wound up finding their callings as heroes (or villains) following a series of unusual events. Many comic fans will read both so the rivalry has always been friendly, but a person's favorite character may say a lot about why he or she reads.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Elektra - The Early Years

Usually referred to by just her first name, Elektra Natchios is a ninja assassin of Greek descent who uses two sais as her weapons of choice. Born in Athens, Elektra was thought to be a bastard child of an affair her mother Christina had. Christina and her husband Hugo had grown apart, and Christina had many extramarital affairs, which brought shame and embarrassment to her husband. Hugo shared this information with his young son, Orestez, who then vowed to never let his mother shame them again.

Unbeknownst to his father, Orestez hired assassins to take care of Christina, but during a boating trip in the Aegean Sea both his parents were attacked. Christina died while giving birth to Elektra, and Hugo lived. Orestez fled for shame of nearly costing his father his life.

As it turned out, Elektra was Hugo's daughter, which was revealed during a paternity test, and so it was then just the two of them. The two grew very close over the years, and Hugo nicknamed Elektra his "little amber". He would rain down gifts on the child, including her favorite of all, a dog named Agamemnon. Sadly and tragically, the dog was killed when Elektra was nine years old and was assaulted by kidnappers. Orestez made his return, though, and, now a trained and skilled martial artist, killed her assailants.

For a short time, Orestez stayed around and became friendly with his sister Elektra, though he soon left again. But before leaving he instructed their father that Elektra needed to be able to protect herself. This led to Hugo hiring trainers for his daughter, which led, of course, to her expert skills as an adult.

When Elektra was twenty years old, she and her father were abducted by terrorists. Her boyfriend at the time, Matt Murdock, the future hero known as Daredevil, wore a mask for the first time when he attempted to rescue them. Elektra took the opportunity to attack some of her kidnappers, but in the process one of them flew through the window. This prompted the police to open fire thinking the terrorists were throwing bodies out the windows. But instead of shooting the terrorists they accidentally killed Hugo Natchios as Elektra watched helplessly.

This set Elektra on a path of self discovery as she had lost all faith and hope. She traveled to China to study martial arts first with a master named Stick, but eventually joining the mystical ninja clan The Hand. From there she went through many trials and changes, was murdered and brought back to life, battled and loved Daredevil, and become an icon her creator, Frank Miller, could be proud of.

The Heart Of Marvel

Throughout the course of the History Of Marvel Comics there has been one name that has stood above all others as the icon of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man. Why people love this popular character so much isn't exactly unknown either.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Dark Imagery - Batman and Gotham City

Out of the many comic books being published there are few that have as much versatility as the Batman titles. While others are often tied to strict rules regarding the character's positive image and "family friendly" environments, Batman and his Gothic metropolitan home are left shrouded in mystery which allows them to bend the rules slightly. This can lead to interesting story possibilities for the Dark Knight that simply aren't possible in other comic book character's titles. Horror, Noir, Mystery, Science Fiction, Batman and the Gotham City backdrop lends itself easily to all of these genres due to the vast dark imagery in Batman lore.

Sometimes Batman is displayed as a hero, sometimes a brooding man hell-bent on revenge, and it has even been hinted that he is actually just as psychotic as the villains he disposes of, and in the end they all work and are justified in their own lights provided the right mindset is adapted. A man dressed in a black cape stalking the night for wrong doings to right: hero. A beast orphaned as a child seeking the blood of many for the crimes committed against him: vigilante. A guy in a giant bat suit chases a Lewis Carroll inspired midget who designs evil hats: crazy person.

Depending on the way he is drawn, narrated and whom he is pitted against Batman can take on many different roles. In the same light, or lack there of (this is Batman we're talking about) Gotham City can change the setting of a story drastically depending on which incarnation is being used.

The Gotham City Bruce Wayne strolls about in the daytime seems like nothing more than an upscale business center, due to the districts a billionaire playboy would visit, which allows even Superman to frequent. However, delving into the slums, with broken windows and boarded up and condemned homes, shows a much more desperate kind of place, a breeding ground for crime, organized or otherwise.

The tall Gothic architecture of the city, complete with terrifying gargoyles perched atop buildings, creates a new feeling altogether. A place out of a noir film in which a blood curdling scream could lead the World's greatest detective into a case he won't soon forget. And then there are the places Batman goes where we often wish he didn't. The deepest darkest corners of a city where it is plausible that a half man half crocodile could feed on flesh, or a homicidal clown could "add a smile" to somebody's face.

Batman and Gotham City allow for all of these tales and more because they have so many different faces to them. Detective stories, action comics, suspense horror, they all are plausible in that world. That's the beauty of the imagery showcased in the Batman comic books, it allows a comic book hero versatility and creates stories that could only thrive in a place like Gotham City.

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