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Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

Well that’ll get the blood boiling — in a good way. Batman: Arkham Asylum was one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever played (I still can’t get enough of the extra detective mode challenges) so it’s an understatement to say that “I can’t wait” for…Batman: Arkham City!

Here’s the official press release:

You’ve played the first game. You’ve seen the teaser trailers. Now we’ve got a title for the most highly anticipated video game sequel in years.

Today, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY as the title for the follow-up to the award winning and critically acclaimed videogame BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM.

The game, which will be available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC next fall and developed by Rocksteady Studios, expands upon the gritty, atmospheric scenery and characterization that catapulted BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM to the forefront. It is set in a sequestered section of Gotham City that has become the home for the criminally insane. Players are introduced to a brand new story that bring together an ensemble cast of characters and villains from the Batman universe, as well as enhanced gameplay features that build upon the ultra-realistic Dark Knight experience that fans enjoyed with BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM.

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“Now, somebody stands in the shadows who knows my every move before I make it…”

While we’re on the subject of DC and Warner Bros. Animation, Batman: Under the Red Hood (by Bruce Timm, Brandon Vietti and Judd Winick) will be available July 27th.

Official Press Release

BURBANK, CA – Batman confronts new enemies, old foes and painful memories when a powerful vigilante with a penchant for violence comes to Gotham City in the intense graphic-novel-come-to-life Batman: Under the Red Hood, the next entry in the popular ongoing series of DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming July 27, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition version on Blu-Ray™ and 2 disc DVD for $29.99 (SRP) and $24.98 (SRP), respectively, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP). The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.

The stellar voice cast has Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike in the 2009 blockbuster Star Trek) donning the famed cowl as the voice of Batman. Supernatural star Jensen Ackles is Red Hood, and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) voices Nightwing. John DiMaggio (Futurama) and Jason Issacs (the Harry Potter films) round out the main cast as The Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul, respectively.

Batman: Under the Red Hood is scripted by award-winning comics writer Judd Winick and based on his popular 2005 comics storyline and subsequent comics graphic novel of the same name. Animation guru Bruce Timm returns as executive producer, as he has for all eight DC Universe animated original movies. Director is Brandon Vietti, who served as co-director of Superman Doomsday and was responsible for the first one-third of that film, including the fatal battle between the two title characters.

In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.

Fans will be treated to an incredible package of DC Universe storytelling as the Special Edition Blu-Ray and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD include the second animated short in the all-new DC Showcase series – which features the popular DC Comics character, Jonah Hex. The short is scripted by renowned author Joe Lansdale and stars the voices of Thomas Jane (Hung), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder).

Batman: Under the Red Hood – 2 Disc Special Edition DVD will have more than two hours of fascinating bonus features, including:

* Featurette – Robin’s Story – It was decided it was time to add a fresh face into the story mix, which turned out to be Dick Grayson, aka Robin. This is the story of Dick Grayson and how he transformed into Robin, with Batman as his father-figure role model.
* Extended Sneak Peek at the next DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movie.
* Widescreen (1.78:1)
* Two title-themed episodes from of Warner Bros. Animation’s 20-year history of Batman television series, hand-picked by animation legend Bruce Timm.

Batman: Under the Red Hood Special Edition Blu-Ray will have more than three hours of bonus materials, including all the great extras from the 2-disc Special Edition DVD as well as:

* Featurette: Death in the House of Batman – The story of how DC Comics heard the fans’ cry that the new Robin was not going to fit the cape, and how the Boy Wonder was scheduled to die.
* Two additional bonus Batman-themed episodes personally selected by Bruce Timm
* Digital copy

‘Batman: Under the Red Hood is another terrific entry in the groundbreaking series of DC Universe animated movies, a shining representation of the adult storytelling that comics-turned-to-film has to offer, and further evidence of the combined creative power within the collaboration of DC Entertainment, Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video,’ said Matt Bierman, Senior Vice President Production, Warner Premiere.

‘Judd Winick’s and Doug Mahnke’s story of a Robin gone wrong introduced Batman’s most personal enemy to date. It’s unbelievably cool to see it brought to life like this,’ said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.

‘With each exciting new chapter of the DC UNIVERSE films, fans have come to expect more – and Batman: Under the Red Hood delivers with an action-packed tale of mystery and emotional struggle brought to animated life by an outstanding filmmaking crew and voiced by the all-star talents of Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris and John Dimaggio,’ said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brand Marketing.

‘In his feature length solo directorial debut, Brandon Vietti has brought this dark, psychological thriller to the screen with all the action and emotion of a great Batman story,” said Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Animation. ‘

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Batman has had no greater voice than when voiced by actor Kevin Conroy. His voice is Batman’s own in my mind and I can think of no greater compliment to pay him after all these years. I was reminded of the quality of his performance once more while playing Batman: Arkham Asylum and fans will be able to experience his work on the Dark Knight once again in the upcoming animated direct-to-dvd feature Superman/Batman: Public Enemies later this month.

And the great thing is that he still genuinely appears to love voicing the character after 19 long years with the character:

QUESTION: Is there still a cool factor for you to be the voice of Batman?

KEVIN CONROY: Oh, yeah. It’s something that I’m reminded of a lot from people who enjoy the show. That’s a very cool thing. I don’t ever take for granted how cool a job it is and how lucky I am to have landed in it. It was the first animation job I ever auditioned for – and it just happened to all come together so well.

Head on over to Newsarama’s blog for the extended interview, and look for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies in stores September 29th.

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DC Top-Ten #2: Batman

2. Batman
“The Dark Knight”

It might surprise a few old friends online to learn that Batman is the reason that I began collecting comics.  If you know me at all, it’s fairly obvious that Captain America is my favorite comic character, but there was a time when I didn’t know a great deal about him, or many other characters for that matter, and Batman was the character that would eventually change that.  As I related a few months back, in my elementary school library I stumbled upon a Spider-Man HC collection that opened my eyes to the wonder of comics but I wouldn’t have the means to buy them for years (and it never dawned on me to ask my parents to buy me a few, when it’s likely they would have gladly done so).  But when I was around 11 or 12 Batman was seeing a resurgence in popularity (in large part due to the excitement surrounding Tim Burton’s Batman film starring Michael Keaton) and I was at just the right age to take notice and be swept up in Bat-Mania as well.  That said, for me it was more about the comic character than the movie.  As I’ve mentioned several times in these entries, I had grown up with Super Friends and certainly Batman was a big part of that.  I was also glued to the television after school to watch the Adam West Batman re-runs for years, but the character really came alive for me much later in images such as the one you see above where the mysterious dark knight wrapped himself in the shadows to prey upon the criminals of the night.   I came across this image on a T-shirt at the mall and seeing my enthusiasm my Mom happily purchased it for me.  Since, this image of Batman has come to symbolize what I believe the character should be, and the part he played in me becoming a comic book fan.

Batman #431 - Still one of the most striking Batman covers I've ever seen!

Knowing that there were an awful lot of Batman comics out there, I thought I’d jump in and try and start a collection, and as I began obtaining and trading comics at school shortly thereafter, it was Batman-related stuff that I focused on most.  Those 50-issues I had sent away for had arrived, and while there weren’t nearly as many Batman & Superman comics as I would’ve liked there was some fantastic stuff and I had a little more to trade with as well.  With each new Batman issue, the character became that much “cooler” to me and I was thrilled at all the adventures.  Batman was great for the fact that he was a normal human, if a very gifted one, and while he had an uncanny combat prowess, it was his keen mind and deductive ability that made him so formidable as a crime fighter.  Further, it was his drive to keep his tragic history from repeating itself in the lives of others that lit the fire of determination against seemingly impossible odds.  And while it could lead him to be become a little intense at times, there was a humanity there kept him grounded (at least in the hands of the more capable writers).  As I collected, I also began recognizing just how much I was enjoying the artwork of Jim Aparo.  He would draw these dynamic panels where Batman would be standing at an angle, ticked, and ready to take on packs of ninjas if that was the way they wanted things to be (regardless of whether or not he’d get a few knicks out of the deal) and after pages of his signature action, Bruce Wayne would be joking with Alfred and actually smiling.  Jim Aparo was able to strike a visual balance with the character between the terrifying crusader of the night and friend of the just that few artists have been able to capture and to this day it’s Jim Aparo’s version of Batman that remains the “definitive” version to me.  It was also around this time that the infamous “Death in the Family” even took place and at the conclusion of a great storyline, I was horrified (well, as horrified as a 12-year old can be) to to witness to Jason Todd’s death.   True, this wasn’t the Robin that I knew from the cartoons, the Teen Titans, and some of the older issues I had read but I was still invested in the character and seeing him beaten and burned at the hands of the Joker was hard hitting stuff.  I didn’t hold Jim Starlin responsible for the death, heck, I loved those issues – I was just caught up in the tragic storyline and saddened to see him suffer the fate he did.  But it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for Batman and in the years that followed I continued to marvel at what Batman and Jim Aparo would serve up.  We even got a great new character in Tim Drake at the conclusion of the “Lonely New Place of Dying” storyline that would go on to great heights and arguably become the most popular Robin in comic history.

As the years passed I continued to pick up Batman-related back issues, and a few new titles as they were released, but following the “Death of Superman” storyline at DC things just started to go south for the company in so many respects (natch, in my eyes) and Batman wasn’t immune.  I had no desire to see my heroes dying and broken and as “Knighfall” loomed I stepped away and stopped picking up the books with regularity.  Fortunately, about this time Bruce Timm & Co. went to work on Batman: The Animated Series which aired on Fox in 1992 and just as my enthusiasm was fading for the direction the comics were taking at the stands, I turned the television on to watch the premiere of the animated series and was immediately reassured that the character I enjoyed so much was alive and well, this time in a stylish noir-style series of adventures that hearkened back to the old Fleisher Superman cartoons.  The show captured my young imagination all over again and, honestly, it never let go.  I’ve spent well over 15-years now marveling at the Timm-style (have to praise Mike Parobeck here as well!), collecting the “Animated” comics published by DC, and compiling a complete collection of the extensive DVD compilations.  Sadly, the Timm style is not nearly as prominent as it was there for so long but we still get a gem thrown our way on occassion and spiritual successors like Darwyn Cooke are doing a fantastic job of consistently showing the strengths of the stylistic animated line that Timm & Co. reminded us existed.

Batman will always be one of my favorites, and age has taught me never to let a single direction, or creator, destroy what was once great about a character, that poor work and bad decisions shouldn’t effect the wonder that characters once evoked in a much younger imagination.

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