Posts Tagged ‘batman begins’


In which Marvel’s Tom Brevoort brilliantly explains the history and social landscape behind the Superman Kills debate and Batman kisses a goat

February 15, 2016

Knight of the Mirrors isn’t the only conversation about Hollywood’s killer Superman.
For those not on Twitter, the Superman kills/Batman kills/Batman uses a gun issue came up again a few weeks ago,  and Marvel’s Tom Brevoort broke down the history and social landscape with nothing short of frank 140-character genius.  Here his lecture is compiled via Storify:

Batman, Superman and the Hero’s No-kill Rule


Tom Brevoort’s epic analysis of The Dark Knight, The Man of Steel, and the cognitive dissonance of a genre that won’t let these characters be who they are.


Gallery Spotlight: Utility Belt

November 6, 2012
Batman Utility Belt by Ramesese

Batman Utility Belt by Ramesese

This little gem from the sculpture gallery has perfect lines. Based on the design from the Nolan films, it’s not my favorite version of the costume, not by a mile, but this particular piece has perfect lines. Just look at the way it follows, frames and leads the eye around the waist. Perfect. Absolutely f-ing perfect.


Gallery Spotlight: Batman Cowl

November 5, 2012

Today’s Spotlight is from the Sculpture Gallery.  Simply entitled “Batman Cowl” and based on the costume introduced in Batman Begins, it is familiar to many long-term Cat-Tales fans the 2008 viral when we used it as the signature image to advertise a fictional art exhibition “Visions of the Dark Knight” at Gotham’s Sale Gallery on GCN and elsewhere.

Batman Cowl by Ramesese

Batman Cowl by Ramesese

It’s hard to  pick specific one thing that makes this piece my favorite.  I absolutely love the texture; it’s just gorgeous.  And something about the angle of the photo and the lighting, the way it picks up the line of the piece, the way it has that elegant simplicity thing going.  Simple marvelous.


Gallery Spotlight: Batman Chest Armor

May 11, 2012

Gallery Spotlight: Batman Chest Armor

This Batman Chest Armor by Ramesese is inspired by Batman Begins. It has gorgeous lines that draw the eye around the surface, creating a far more interesting aesthetic – to my eye at least – than the armored plates on mesh in the later films. It also has an absolutely gorgeous texture, like all Ramesese pieces featured in the Sculpture Gallery on the Cat-Tales website.


Gallery Spotlight: Bruce Wayne Training by Remidar

May 6, 2012

Gallery Spotlight: Bruce Wayne Training by Remidar

Not every piece in the Fan Gallery is taken directly from a Cat-Tale. This wonderful portrait of a young Bruce Wayne training is inspired by Batman Begins.

Remember that amazing Ice Fight between Bruce and Ducard? The first moment I remember that was Nolan’s own, branching off from comics to really infuse this Batman with his own flavor (snow-capped mountains = echt Nolan), and a perfect illustration of how it’s possible to do that while respecting the original story and doing honor to the characters. This marvelous portrait of a young Bruce Wayne training in the fan art gallery is by Remidar, one of the most prolific and gifted artists featured in the Cat-Tales Gallery.


Why Do We Fall?

January 25, 2011

Remember this moment? Remember this question? “Why
do we fall, Bruce?”

So we can lie on the floor stubbornly insisting we haven’t?

So we can sit with our aching ass on the cold terrazzo insisting that gravity is a myth?

How about repeating like a politico’s talking points that it’s not the floor at all and we are, in actuality, on Dancing With the Stars foxtrotting with Jennifer Gray?

No. Why do we fall? So we learn how to get up.

I recently saw a piece on the 10 biggest WTF moments in comics. Not surprising which company took home the trophy for the big #1.

In 1998, DC made the mother of all WTF decisions when they opted to change the character of Superman. This character that had stood for 60 years, and had just been killed off a few years prior to show his utter importance not only to comics but to the world, was out the door…

A change of costume or marriage status is one thing, but completely altering everything that established the character as an American icon in the first place is something else entirely.

Several readers marked this as the first pock of the disease which has now consumed just about all the DC characters, the first warning sign that those entrusted to write these characters have no understanding of what defines them or of their iconic significance in the greater world outside their Thursday To-Do list.

But not me. For once, I’m going to stand between DC and the ones throwing stones, because here’s the thing: as soon as they realized the ground had given way under their feet and they were falling into a deep pit with a bunch of angry bats baring their teeth and hissing bat-spittle into their faces, they changed him back. The article itself admits “the explanation to get him back to normal was quite vague, probably a result of the severe backlash of comic book fans and (DC’s) desire to fix the problem as quickly as possible.”

They didn’t tap Wizard to call it a giant step forward in comics, they didn’t embark on a PR campaign to try and convince the terminally stupid that unsweetened lemon juice tastes just like water, they didn’t figure there would be a new crop of gullible half-wits who would be coming along any minute to replace the 80% of their readership heading out the door. They didn’t think up even worse things to do to Superman to punish the fans for not accepting the fiasco. They got up. That’s why we fall. And if we can’t get our asses out of that hole on our own, we scream for help before the rest of the ground gives and we fall farther.

Remember a few weeks ago I said The Reaper is out there, and DC’s attitude that it’s okay to mess things up further/they’ll fix it (or not) next year was horrifically out of touch with the reality that there may not BE a next year? Anyone who thought I was being melodramatic, please turn and wave goodbye to Wizard. It’s gone, as of yesterday. All staff let go. If a new online magazine transpires to replace it, the focus is to be on pop culture generally and the non-comics media where these characters still thrive. Not  print comics.

Do I have your attention now, boys?

Fantastic Four is snuffing a major character today. What makes this different from past fan-inflaming stunts is that it’s the first under Disney. That means if it doesn’t work out (and by “work out” I don’t mean by the comics definition ‘everyone hate it’ but the definition of everyone else on the planet), then those responsible are going to be introduced to a concept that is new to them but familiar to everyone else who works for a living: consequences. You make a bad decision, you piss off customers, you materially damage a company’s assets, there are consequences. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s not going to be a pleasant adjustment. Growing up often isn’t. But it’s pretty much the only choice the medium has if it wants to survive.

Why do fall?  Well, eventually to learn how to get up.  For some though, there is an intermediary step: to learn to recognize the hole, and then to accept that the hole is not the place to be.

On a lighter note, it’s a big week for Cat-Tales. The Dracula spinoff Capes and Bats releases its penultimate chapter today, and there’s a plot twist that absolutely nobody saw coming–but which was right in front of us the entire time. I have to admit, I was floored when I read it. Scared the cat with my gasps of surprise. We’re also less than 48 hours from the launch of a new feature to make life easier for our mobile friends. Work is underway on the new chapter of Trophies, while reviews continue to come in on À Bon Chat, Bon Rat.

Chris Dee


*Discreet cough* Oh Mr. Nolan, A Word in Your Ear

June 21, 2010

There’s an ad out right now for Netflix or some similar outfit that talks about the different levels a good children’s movie should have: accessible to kids but with more going that speaks to adults. The Toy Story universe is a perfect example, it has its own analogy for
Death, for God’s sake. While the toys can cease to exist by being utterly destroyed, that’s not it. They might fear winding up on Sid’s worktable and having fireworks strapped to their ass, but that’s not a fate that is going to befall every toy. There is a different reality, a painful one that every one of them will have to face sooner or later: the children who play with them will grow up. They all know it, and like us living folks and the Grim Reaper, they try not to think about it. There is a REASON the staples of our popular storytelling revolve around heroes who can die but don’t, who come through dangerous situation after dangerous situation and always come out triumphant and unscathed—and that reason isn’t because car chases are cool or explosions look awesome on the big screen. It’s because we are all food for worms and we know it. As always, those who understand the moving parts that make a story work will keep on pulling off these amazing hits, while those grasping desperately at stunt after stunt will keep on failing.

Pixar is one of those who understand. They succeed more often than is statistically possible, and a huge part of that is drop-dead perfect storytelling. When they made Toy Story 2, there were exactly two sequels to spectacularly popular movies which were recognized as better than the originals: The Godfather Part II and The Empire Strikes Back. John Lassiter, et al STUDIED those movies, not in a dumb superficial way but by delving into their structures and content: how much of the first films were referenced, how much was built on, how much was new. Not just churning out more of the same. Not trashing everything that made the originals what they were. Theme and variation, theme and recapitulation. It was a magnificent effort, and the results were amazing. Toy Story 2 is a damn good movie. So is 3, btw, but I’m talking about first sequels for a reason.

There is now a third movie sequel that is significantly better than the original. It’s The Dark Knight. The difference is that the original was no Godfather. Batman Begins was not a great movie. It was good, but it was seriously flawed—and while certain fanboys may start to howl at those words, Christopher Nolan and his band are certainly not among them. They know their first film was flawed because they set about fixing every single one of its shortcomings in the second. They even TOLD US that’s what they were doing. What was it Bruce said stitching himself up? “I learn from my mistakes.”

NOW, not in 2005 but now, today, Christopher Nolan is in that same position as Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and John Lassiter. He’s made the perfect Batman movie. How in the name of Robert Abraham Kane do you top it? I say take a page from Toy Story and analyze those two great sequels: Godfather II and ESB, and also–this is important–forget Batman Begins ever happened. Calm down, I’m not saying scrap its continuity. I know that kind of talk makes the fanboys heads explode. I’m saying for sequel-writing purposes, Batman Begins is no foundation. Approach B3 as a second movie with the goal of surpassing TDK as if it was the only Batman movie ever made. All Begins had to do was be better than Schumacher. The aforementioned Netflix ad can do that much. The video for the Batman rollercoaster at six flags that instructs you how to use a seatbelt—better than Schumacher. So making Begins posed none of those expectations challenges. Then, making TDK, begins left you with a nice checklist of errors to fix. That isn’t the case here.  TDK was perfect. It was PERFECT. So this is terra incognita, Mr. Nolan, and it’s time to turn our attention to Pixar’s approach, looking to the great sequels and cracking the code of what made them work. That done, that formula achieved, apply it to the “original” –but that original to be drawn upon and built upon is TDK.

One woman’s opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary, except in Wisconsin. Batteries not included.

In other news, not a lot of writing happened last week. The triple release of the visitor center, the cocktails, and the new website burned up a lot of purple kitty energy. But not to worry, ground is broken on Chapter 7, and now that The TBA that Ate Tokyo is TBA no more, everything will be going a lot faster.

Chris Dee

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