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My Reads This Year 2012

By Geeky Gem

As many of you know I like to read and I don’t mind what I read so long as I have at least one book on the go at any one time. Last year I read 53 books, how I hear you ask? well I didn’t have a job so had very little else to do, this year so far I have only read 38 a big drop and this is more than likely down to the fact I have a job now and beside’s doing my job and writing for you lovely people I have little time to do much else. However I catch the bus a lot so I have time to read on my journey’s which is nice as I can usually get a big chunk of a chapter on my way to work. I thought I would let you in on some the books I have read this year, and some I cant wait to read that are waiting for me to open.

Dead Until Dark

Now I did star reading this book just before True Blood started on FX but at the time I just couldn’t get into it. That being said at the start of the year my cousin said I should try again so I did and I read the whole thing in a week, I havent moved onto the other book in the series yet but I have now doubt that I will. This was really good and different from the show but I did like it. If you like the show and havent read the book why not give it go.

Percy Jackson

With this one I had seen the movie some time ago and meant to read the books but never did, however this year I suddenly remembered them and thought go on then lets give them a go. I like any thing to do with Geek Myths so these books appealed to me. I picked up Lighting Thief and was done within in a couple of days,  wont lie to you I read all 5 books inside of a month. I just couldn’t put them down, they are really good and well worth your time.

Superman/Batman

Comics count ok, besides I read a few comics this year. This one was by far one of my favourite in this series Batman and Superman team up to fix things that are going on. In this one I have pictured it to help Super Girl come to terms with landing on Earth and how she can live her life amount humans. It’s a really good series of comics, if you Superman and Batman, your you just like on you have to give this cross over a go.

Kick-Ass 2

I loved the first Kick-Ass and I have been wanting to read this part for a while so last week, I picked it up and read it in oe go. It takes pace just after the events of Kick-Ass, however Hit Girl is no longer allowed to speak to Kick-Ass she has to be a good girl Kick-Ass however has joined a league of Superheroes and is running around town fighting crime with his new friends. That is untill Red Mist shows up and starts making trouble. If you havent read these and like comic then give them a go they are really good.

These are just some of the book si have read this year, I am also still reading a few. I am currently still reading City of Bones and I am re-reading the Harry Potter series. Both of which I am enjoying very much but it’s finding the time to sit down and give them a good few hours attention. I also have a copy of J.K Rowlings first book for adult’s called The Casual Vacancy which I am also looking forward to starting.

Well untill next time happy reading.

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Bloggers Block, No Time and A Million Other Excuses…

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hey there, it’s me, hmsbeefnuts. Now I’m only into my second week of my new, less strenuous amount of time writing for my beloved All Geek To Me, and already I’m finding it hard to keep up. I know it’s a poor excuse, especially since I have always found time to write blogs, mostly 3 a week, but at the moment, life is getting in the way. The fact that I’m enjoying the majority of it immensely is the only reason I’m not more ashamed of my bloggers work ethic. Simply put, I’m far too busy in work, and with the people I love most to be able to fully commit my time here, and yes, it is sad that I feel like I’m letting down my fellow geeks, especially Geeky Gem, but I hope she understands, and forgives me for the increasing number of low maintenance blogs. I also hope that anybody who reads this and gives a damn will forgive me too, I am trying my best, I promise.

I have been reading Storm of Swords: Book 2 Blood and Gold by George R. R. Martin. I have just read the Red Wedding Chapter. Now I spoiled myself a few months ago with a Wikipedia search, so I knew it was going to happen, but damn! Martin sure likes to kill off my favourite characters. Apart from the upset at the horrible goings on in Westeros, A Song of Ice and Fire just keeps on getting better, I can’t wait for Season 3 of Game of Thrones.

I’ve also been enjoying Dexter, and Finding Bigfoot, still have not played much of my game library, and have not been to the cinema for like a month. I am going this Saturday however, so I’ll try and fit in a fair few, get really stuck in.

I haven’t even had time to watch my Indiana Jones Blu Rays. It seems I am a changed man, more likely to be found pretending to be The Joker or Cpt. Hook, than to be watching Batman and playing Halo. Christmas time is approaching ever so fast. I have purchased the majority of my presents (thank you Amazon.co.uk) but the time is just disappearing like a hobbit with the One ring around his finger. Speaking of which, I can hardly believe that the Hobbit will be out in a few weeks time, I am so excited, yet I know very little about it. It seems I’m out of the Geek Loop a little.

Anyway, I shall bid you farewell, as I have a Dexter to watch, and sleep to catch up with.

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hello, welcome back. This week I am going to focus on books, comic books and the normal type. I don’t usually have a lot of time for reading, but recently, I have found myself reaching for a few books, and even finishing them! I know, how exciting. It is true, the majority of these books have been graphic novels, but still, they count, they definitely count. So without too much fuss, lets just get on with this blog shall we?

BATMAN THE BLACK MIRROR

This was the first time I had read a Batman story that didn’t involve Bruce Wayne, apart from the Knightfall saga. Dick Grayson is our Batman in this tale of serial murder, crime bosses, dead whales, villain auctions and sons gone bad. I would not want to spoil anything for you, it really is that good. At first I wasn’t sure if Batman would be as compelling without Bruce Wayne, but I needn’t have worried. Dick Grayson is a different kind of character, but no less compelling as the Dark Knight. His past as Robin, Nightwing and a police officer in Bludhaven all come in to play in some sublime story telling by Scott Snyder. In many ways this is the first comic since Batman: Year One that features the Gordon character in such a brilliant way. His story is just as compelling as Batman’s and sometimes even more so. This is one of the best Batman graphic novels I have ever read, and I really didn’t think I would be saying that about a Batman comic that didn’t have Bruce Wayne in it. I urge everyone with an interest in Batman to seek this out, it really is rather special.

OLD MAN LOGAN

In the world of the future, there are no heroes anymore. Most of them have died, and the few who are left aren’t in the hero business anymore. Logan AKA Wolverine, is older, has a family, and hasn’t popped his claws since the supervillains took over. He works a farm that is under the control of The Hulks, and he owes them a lot of rent money. When Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye comes to him with a proposition, Logan takes the seemingly easy job, so he can get the Hulks off his back. Basically a futuristic western, this has The Man With No Name flavour all over it. It is a fantastic tale, which I will not spoil here, that shows us the end of the Marvel heroes as we know them, and an adventure with Logan and Hawkeye. the first of which refuses to release his anger and claws, but you just know that at some point, someone is going to push him too far, he is Wolverine after all. I loved this book, and I would recommend it to anyone. As it doesn’t take place in comic continuity, you don’t need to know loads about the Marvel Universe but a basic knowledge will serve you well.

THE INFINITY GAUNTLET

As soon as I saw The Avengers (I refuse to call it Marvel’s Avengers Assemble), I knew I had to find out who that purple dude with a massive jaw line was. Well turns out he is Thanos, the Mad God, and this was the most recognisable Thanos book out there. Basic story is, after collecting all the Infinity Gems, and placing them in the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos tries to impress his lady love Death. The gauntlet and gems give him ultimate power over everything and everyone in the universe and beyond, a power he uses to try to get the attention of the afore-mentioned Death. Of course this causes many problems for the heroes of Earth and beyond, so it’s time for a huge super hero smack down to stop Thanos before he destroys everything. This was my first proper taste of intergalactic Marvelness, and I have to say, it was pretty amazing. I love a good hero team up, and when all of Earths mightiest heroes team up with the galaxies strongest, fun is sure to be had. I will admit to not knowing a few of the characters back stories, but as I have been reading some classic Marvel recently, I knew most of the characters featured. I think that sometimes, diving in to a graphic novel fresh, can be a bit daunting, but it pays off often, and leads you on to discover more amazing adventures featuring characters you may never have thought about before. The Infinity Gauntlet is well worth checking out, particularly if you have an interest in the possible future direction of Marvel Phase Two movies.

That’s just about it for this week, I’ll see you again next week for more Whimsy of a Wednesday variety.

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hello friends, come in, sit down, ice cold glass of Vimto? Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Whimsy, with me Hmsbeefnuts. In this weeks exciting episode… well, I haven’t really planned anything to be honest. I’m writing this on Tuesday morning, the day before I need to post this up, and as I type, I have literally no idea what word will be formed on my laptops screen next, how exciting! Lets just see how it goes shall we?

This month I have not been to the cinema too often, mainly due to the lack of decent films that came between The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. I did see The Amazing Spider-Man again, and I didn’t hate it as much the second time, although, it was still a pale comparison to the awesome Sam Raimi films, yes, even Spider-Man 3. I obviously saw The Dark Knight opening day, but only in boring normal vision, I had to watch it again in IMAX. I was not disappointed. A second viewing of the film confirmed my feelings about it, and an the IMAX-ness made me fall in love with it all over again. All round top dude Chris Antista (GamesRadar, Laser Time, Cape Crisis etc.) said that the IMAX ‘shook his balls’ and I have to agree with the sentiment. The sound, the picture, can only be described as ball shakingly good, and ladies, I’m sure it shakes other body parts too, so you have no excuse not to see it, you will not regret it.

For me, Bane is the best villain to appear in a Batman movie. In the comics it’s still Joker, and Heath Ledgers performance will go down in history as amazing, but Tom Hardy’s Bane is a tour de force, being the only enemy capable of going toe to toe with The Bat, but also a match for his brains. What Nolan did with Bane is exemplary, and The Dark Knight Trilogy is now surely in the top three trilogies of all time, perhaps even the greatest. I know a few people have a problem with the portrayal of Batman in the latest film, that there is no way that Batman would give up his crusade on crime, and whilst I agree with the point, I’d like to add my own take on it. The movies should be seen as an Elseworlds tale, they are not comic cannon, but more in line with Batman Earth One, or Gotham By Gaslight. They are one persons take on the Batman Mythos, and I think that Nolan’s take is a very interesting slightly alternative version of Batman.

Did I mention Catwoman? I guess not. Wow, Anne Hathaway was so awesome as Selina Kyle, the way she went from frightened screaming girl to total badass in a few scenes was amazing, and THAT suit. I was never a fan of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, but Michelle Pfiefer was hot in the cat suit. Anne Hathaway blows her out of the water. Hathaway looks amazing in the suit, and a few scenes where she is riding the Batpod have made a, hmm, marked impression on me, but it’s her attitude that makes her the sexiest character in any movie thus far this year, sorry Black Widow, you got schooled by the mistress of hotness. Selina Kyle is firmly one of the best things about TDKR.

So, where does The Dark Knight Rises fit in to the trilogy, in bestestness? I still like Begins the best, but  really think Rises is a close second, with a very close third going to Dark Knight. All in all, Christopher Nolan has achieved what few others have been able to, a near perfect trilogy, bravo Sir, standing ovation. I would even be interested in following the story further, even though…well, I don’t want to say too much, but a fourth film would still be worth seeing, at least I think so.

The other film I saw recently was the fantastic Ted. I saw this with a big crowd of friends, and this really is the type of film you want to see with the people you like best. Really funny, very reminiscent of a good Family Guy episode, which is obvious really, but it is better than any Family Guy episode I can remember. Seth McFarlane is a film maker with class. The soundtrack is very pleasant, big band inspired, the direction tight and smooth. The cast, a mix of McFarlane voice cast members is great, and once again, Mark Wahlberg proves that he is best when he is bringing the funny. A few amazingly funny cameos, and some absolutely brilliant, if close to the knuckle jokes. My friend Lucy and I laughed our asses off all the way through. One problem though. Joel McHale. I love Community, but this guy is really getting on my nerves, I cant stand him. He is the shittest thing on Community, and the shittest thing in Ted, however, he does not ruin a fine, funny film.

Anyone else get goose bumps over the trailer for The Hobbit? Skyfall too. It seems that 2012 will be one of, if not THE, greatest years for Geek Cinema, absolutely brilliant so far, it truly is a golden age of geekdom. The fact that The Hobbit is now set to be a trilogy fills me with joy. I can’t wait to see what Jackson has cooked up for us, what are we going to see in this new trip to Middle Earth?

Right, that’s it for the time being, I’m off to finish No Man’s Land, or Lego Batman 2, or finally watch John Carter, or Conan, or Predator all on Blu Ray. Time, I need more time…

Summer Knights: Bat-A-Thon Part 1

By Geeky Gem

As part of Avenging April some of you may recall Hmsbeefnuts watched all The Avengers related movies in the run up to The Avengers hitting the big screen. Now as this is Summer Knights and we are focusing all our attention on The Dark Knight it has fallen to me to watch all six Batman movies in order to fully enjoy The Dark Knight Rises ; that and Hmsbeefnuts didn’t want to have to sit and watch Batman and Robin. That’s right brave Knight’s I am stepping once more into Gotham City to watch the Batman strike fear into the hearts of criminals.

Batman – 1989

Back in 1989 Tim Burton brought us Batman in his own dark gothic way, as I watched this movie there where elements of Burton all the way through it from the twisted origin of The Joker to gothic feel of Gotham. The opening credits rolled, I knew I was in for some fun as to me this movie never gets old Danny Elfman’s soundtrack haunts the opening credits.

The things I like about this movie is there is some awesome dialogue one such line is as Batman holds a mugger off the edge of the roof “What are you?” the mugger squeaks and Batman simply says “I am Batman”.  Another fantastic line comes a lot later in the movie as the Joker says “Have you danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” simply fantastic. Not only are there some great lines there is also a brilliant cast. Michael Keaton was Batman and a good replacement for Adam West, Jack Nicolson took the role of the Joker and then there is good old Michael Gough as Alfred. Always watching and advising his young master on right and wrong and frankly build some amazing gadgets. Not to mention healing battle wounds.

The reason I like this Batman so much, as it was the first time on screen that he seemed less funny and more dark and edgy. Burton gripped the gothic feel he wanted and ran with it, it later transfers over to the animated series and that’s why it worked so well. There is some fine acting in this movie, if Michael Keaton could have moved his neck more in his bat suit it would have made for better fights I feel. The movie is just everything I wanted Batman to be when i was younger but little did I know it would get worse before it got better.

 

Batman Returns – 1992

Well that’s Batman covered how about we move onto movie number two in our epic marathon of Batness. I bring you Batman Returns, at the start of this piece I said Hmsbeefnuts couldn’t face the thought of sitting through Batman and Robin this is true but Batman Returns was another of the reasons he didn’t want too. Plus I don’t really mind, so back to Bat Cave we go.

So its 1992 and Batman Returns hit the screens, Tim Burton again directs this one and it sticks to the Burton-esqie feel as well as staying very dark and gothic. A style that he never strays to far from really, not that there is anything wrong with that. It works for him, anyway when I sit and watch this movie, I think about the time when I saw it first, as I have got older and read a few more Batman comics I have come to notice that this movie is very far from what it should be.

Let me be clear, the Penguin is not a sewer monster, he was and is a crime lord of Gotham, specializing in guns and weapons he just happens to be a gentleman and wear a suit. That is very different from this movies origin for him, and knowing that means I was less than impressed this time round. This means I hold a different veiw of this movie now, plus I don’t like the circus, so the whole circus gang bit puts me right off.

However let’s move on to the things I did like, the Catwomen birth always brings a smile to my face as Selina goes from pink and fluffy to dark and sexy. That and the fact she trashes her flat. I like Christopher Walken and Danny DeVito in other films but in this one I don’t know something just doesn’t feel right about either of them.  The story for this one is also a bit dull I feel, sorry if you like but it’s just how I feel. However in saying that, the part where Penguin has control of the Batmobile cracks me up. That alone is a plus but not enough for me to change my mind about it.

Batman Forever – 1995

As we near the end of our first part of the Bat-A-Thon it falls down to Batman Forever now I will not lie  to you, I am not a huge fan of this Batman movie but as part of the Bat-A-Thon I have to watch it. For the sake of Hmsbeefnuts and the many fans of All Geek To Me I do this for you. I will go one last time for now in to the streets of Gotham.

Right here we go on to the last movie in this part of epic quest to round up all six movies before we see The Dark Knight Rises. We are treated to a new director on this movie Joel Schumacher, who claims that Val Kilmer is the best Batman but we’ll leave that open for debate shall we. In fact I am not even going to get into it.

Oh where do I start, there are more things I dislike about this movie than I like. This may be harder than I thought, however I will try. Ok, so we have a new Batman as I mentioned in Val Kilmer, who although I do not like a whole heap as Batman, I do think he gets Bruce Wayne right. He truly is a slightly more haunted Bruce than Keaton. That alone makes him watchable, bur I am sorry but what were Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones up to? I get that at the time this was made Carrey was hitting it big with his new comedy style but my goodness it is so over used in this movie that it’s not funny at all. With that being said Jones can’t really do Ha ha funny can he?  Two-Face was never meant to be a funny character he was meant to be dark and scary.

The addition of Robin to these movies I feel is a breath of fresh air, however I am glad he was played the way he was. The death of his family in the circus at the hands of Two-Face is one of my favourtie scenes in this movie. Purely because you can see Bruce struggle for the first time to stand up for himself, something he can do really easy as Batman. You see Dick lose his family in one go much like Bruce did so you can see why he takes him in as his ward. Plus I do like it when Dick finds the cave and takes the Batmobile for a joy ride. These scene’s alone make this movie watchable but other than that I always think this one and Batman and Robin are a hard watch, but they are enjoyable fare and not a bad way to spend a few hours.

 

This brings to the end of the first three movies in this journey, well that was a bit epic wasn’t it? However, it’s going to get a little worse before it gets a whole lot better. Next time we visit Batman and Robin, We see Batman Begin and the Dark Knight run. Until then I am off to the Geek cave to relax after all this epicness.

SUMMER KNIGHTS: BEST BAT VIDEO GAMES

By @hmsbeefnuts

 Lets face it, video games based on licensed properties are usually a big bag of dog vomit. There are exceptions of course, for every piece of shit like Superman 64, we have a Goldeneye 007. As we are knee deep in the glory that is AGTM’s Summer Knights, it falls to me to write about the greatest Batman video games of all time. Obviously there are two that I could not fail to mention, and don’t worry, they are included, but there are also 3 more on the list, so lets check them out immediately shall we?

BATMAN – NES

 

A  fun  little platformer that I can barely remember, except to say that it was mega fun to play. I never owned this game for some reason, but played it over a friends house a lot. OK so the graphics are nothing to write home about, but nothing looks good on the NES these days. Joker was the main bad guy to take down, and I seem to remember the game reminded me of Castlevania, which can not be a bad thing really, can it?

BATMAN RETURNS – SNES

 

The kind of beat em up that they just don’t make any more. The graphics were beautiful, and unbelievable at the time. The fighting which was fun, especially the grab two bad guys and smash their heads together, was spread out between fun mode 7 batmobile sections. Good use of the grapple gun as well. I don’t care for the movie, but the game is awesome, and I would play it all through right this instant.

LEGO BATMAN

 

You either love or hate the Lego games, as they are all pretty similar, no matter what property they are representing. Batman Lego drew me back to Lego Games after I had had enough of Star Wars Lego. They are basically collect em ups, sometimes are very frustrating, but for some reason, they are quite addictive. I’m currently playing through Lego Batman 2, and the added Justice League members have made it a little bit more exciting. At the very least, these games are dripping with Batman-ness.

BATMAN ARKHAM ASYLUM

 

The best Batman game released at the time, Arkham Asylum wasn’t just a great Batman Game, but a fantastic game in its own right. What Rocksteady managed to do was finally get Batman right. The combat was awesome, but they also got Batman’s brain. As the worlds greatest detective, Batman isn’t just a meat head who punches people, this game got it so right. Just bashing bad guys with fists won’t do you much good anyway, even Batman can be shot, or overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Luckily then that Arkham Asylum got the fear of Batman right, keep to the shadows, take out bad guys stealthily and sneak around being a stealthy ninja, and Arkham Asylum was simply the best Batman thing outside of comics, well until the sequel arrived.

BATMAN ARKHAM CITY

Arkham Asylum was great, I liked the fact it was kept in the sprawling grounds of the Asylum, but how to make it better? How about turning a large section of Gotham into an open prison? That’s a start. The open world of Gotham was stunning, there was so much freedom, yet things were kept tight by Rocksteady’s brilliant story telling ability, thanks Paul Dini. What the Arkham games have got so right is the mix of Batman elements that they used. The realism of Nolan, the voice cast of Batman: The Animated series, a whole host of villains and a story that escalates to brilliance. If you haven’t played this game, you must, you really must. It is the closet thing to being Batman, without having to have your parents killed, leaving you millions of pounds/dollars in order for you to disappear for a few years, learning to become the ultimate badass, and then swearing revenge on crime, dressed as a flying rodent. Probably easier you just play the game really.

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

 

Welcome to another weekly dose of whimsy, prescribed every Wednesday by yours truly. This week, I shall only deliver a small dose, as I am rather busy with work commitments. But we shall see how far we get. This week has been a sad one for the Geek community as a whole, and the Batman Geek community in particular. I refuse to give any publicity to anyone who commits an atrocity such as the one that happened last Friday, and it sickens me that the news agencies are seeking to exaggerate matters by referring to this sick individual as ‘The Batman Killer’ or ‘The Joker’. Please refrain from using such phrases, it only adds to this guys infamy.

There was of course very happy news in the world of Batman too. The Dark Knight Rises is a fantastic end to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. I will not review it here, at least not in any detail, until a few more people get to see it. I know Geeky Gem has yet to watch it, as soon as she does, I will write up some more detailed thoughts. I’m happy to say I thought it was fantastic, all the cast were amazing, the storyline was strong, and thankfully I avoided spoilers, which I urge you to do, as at times I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. A very satisfying end to a very satisfying trilogy. I do not envy the guy who has to reboot the Bat now, but I am looking forward to the results. My vote would be to go for a less realistic universe, one in which Superman, Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman can co-exist with Batman, because I want a Justice League Movie.

The Olympics starts on Friday, and to be honest I couldn’t give less of a shit. However, look out for a special series of Geek Olympics that we will be featuring on All Geek To Me, as soon as I can find the time to write them. Time is becoming a real problem at the moment and I am struggling to fit everything in. I had to quit my regular Sunday article at GameNTrain.com due to time constraints, a shame, as I did enjoy writing solely about video games, even if I was having trouble thinking of stuff to write about. I honestly considered The Top 5 Shoes in Gaming. Yeah, I was scraping the barrel. I would like to say thanks to everyone for giving me the opportunity over at GameNTrain, and Eric in particular. Always helpful, always supportive, good people.

I am currently reading Batman : No Man’s Land, which I am enjoying very much, I really need to make a dent in my comics pile, it is getting stupidly huge. I am also still reading Hunting The American Werewolf by Linda S. Godfrey, and yes I have been reading it for far too long. Once again, time is a factor here.

Games wise, I have been having a go at playing Lego Batman 2, and although I enjoy it in parts, it shares the problems that all the Lego games do, i.e., it has an awful camera system, it is very frustrating, and at times down right unfathomable, there are parts that are so obtuse as to be ridiculous. It is all made worthwhile however, by the fact that when you play as Superman, the John Williams theme plays when you fly, and you can shoot down baddies with your laser eyes!!

August is almost here, and we seem to have hit a bit of a movie low point. Most of the big action blockbusters are already out, and there seems like there is nothing really spectacular out  until The Hobbit in December. Of course, I will always find something to watch, practically every week, but all but one of the films I was really looking forward too this year have come out, roll on December.

Well that’s going to have to be it for one week, I have work to do.

SUMMER KNIGHTS: BATMAN’S BEST GADGETS

By @hmsbeefnuts

Before my scheduled article for today, we at All Geek To Me would just like to take some time to express our sympathy and sadness at the incident that took place at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, in America, in the early hours of Friday morning. We can not imagine how the family and friends of the victims are feeling right now, but that we, as well as I’m sure, anyone reading this are thinking of them in such a tragic time. Better writers than I have already put thought far more eloquently than I ever could about the incident, but my thoughts are, we should give this as little press coverage as possible, and not make the perpetrator in anyway famous, or infamous. Geeky Gem, Kirkie Chick and I have all attended midnight screenings in the past, and know how excited all those Batman fans were at the cinema in question. I don’t normally go in for sentimentality, but this happened to fellow Batman fans, and movie lovers, Geeks like all of us, and I felt that something should be written to show that the Geek community is behind the victims families and friends. Batman never uses guns, hates them, lets hope that this horrible incident doesn’t become known as the Batman shooting, but becomes better known for introducing a Batman law, guns are dangerous, normal people don’t need to own them. We here at AGTM urge you not to worry about visiting a cinema, even at this awful time. Watch the Dark Knight Rises, it is fantastic, let people know that fear doesn’t rule.

Batman is cool. We all know this. Unlike most superheroes, he was never involved in a chemical accident, he was never bitten by a radioactive animal, he didn’t come from an alien planet, and was never experimented on by the military. Instead, Batman’s parents were killed, in front of him, turning a nice well mannered boy into a revenge machine. Luckily for little Bruce Wayne, although his parents were now dead, they were extremely rich, and he was left the Wayne family fortune. Now what better pool of resources to have than seemingly endless amounts of money, especially if you want to wage a war on crime, and haven’t any superpowers to speak of. Time then for Bruce to spend some money on the best crime solving gadgets that ridiculous amounts of money can buy. Lets look at some of the Dark Knights greatest gadgets!

BAT SHARK REPELLANT SPRAY

OK, so you might not need this on every mission, but you don’t want to be without it when you do need it. The best way to deal with a shark attached to your leg. Also comes in other sea creature flavours.

ZIP LINE/GRAPPLE GUN

Perhaps the most essential part of the Batman’s arsenal. The grapple gun is the best way to get around Gotham, trap falling supervillians, rescue damsels in distress, and generally act like a superhuman badass, even if you are not superhuman. It looks cool, I want one, it is the first or second best (Indy’s whip?) form of swinging movement, sorry Spider-Man. Grapple gun for the win!

BATARANG

Perhaps the most famous piece of Bat kit. Useful as a weapon, or as a grapple device, and obviously shaped in the form of a bat. The batarang is a multi use device, a perfect amalgam of form and use. Can also come in radio controlled version, for super annoying video game sections!!

BAT GAUNTLETS

Now here, we are taking a bit of a side step. Batman’s gauntlets are awesome, but there was a time, when Bane had broken Bruce Wayne’s back, and Jean Paul Valley, AKA Azreal took over the mantel of the Bat for a time. One of his less friendly innovations were a new set of killer gauntlets. Razor sharp talons, able to fire mini bat throwing stars like bat bullets. OK not strictly within the rules that Bruce Wayne set up, but they were awesome.

SMOKE PELLETS

What better way to disappear than smoke? A small pellet thrown to the floor suddenly engulfs the thrower in a thick smoke, disguising their escape. Batman uses this to further instil fear in his enemies, and I particularly likes using it whilst playing Arkham City. So much fun to throw one down, grapple gun up to the rafters, then swoop down to deal out mega damage to henchmen. Smoke pellets, don’t leave home without them.

UTILITY BELT

All the above items need to be kept somewhere on Batman’s person, somewhere easily accessible to Batman, even in his direst need. What better place then, than a utility belt? Who didn’t want one of these when they were a kid, a pocket for smoke bombs, a pouch for a batarang or two. Lets face it, who doesn’t want one now? It like the coolest bum bag (fanny pack?) ever, and comes in sexy yellow.

Summer Knights: My Favorite Comic Book Guys

By Geeky Gem

We here at All Geek like our comics, which at times can cause a debate over the best writers, artists and story arcs. However, there is one thing we do agree on, and that is comic books on a whole are a great way to spend some time. This got me thinking, just who do I spend my time reading? It would appear just looking at my loans from the library this past year that I have already started picking my comics by certain people. That brings me to this article and the list of the writers I enjoy the most in no real order.

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is a comic book artist, writer and movie director. He is best known for his dark, film-noire comic book stories and graphic novels Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns along with Sin City and 300. The latter two both being turned into movies and reaching even more fans all over the world. I like Miller’s style; it’s just so rich and reaches the dark side of any subject matter he looks into. When you look at 300 and then watch the movie his pages are right there on the screen, which always look fantastic.

Jeph Loeb

Joseph “Jeph” Loeb III is a film and television writer, producer and award winning comic book writer. Loeb was a producer/writer on the TV series Smallville and Lost.  He was also the writer for the films Commando and Teen Wolf he was also a writer and Co-Executive Producer on the show Heroes from its premiere in 2006 to November 2008. In 2010, Loeb became Head of Television for Marvel in charge of drama, comedy and animation.

Loeb is a four-time Eisner Award winner and five time Wizard Fan Award winner, Loeb’s comic book work  on many major characters, including Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Hulk, Captain America, Cable, Iron Man, Daredevil, Supergirl, The Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Many of these works he has done with artist Tim Sale.  I like Jeph’s style as well, I can really get lost in one of story’s it’s that easy.  Some of the work he has done is that good I just couldn’t put it down.

Alan Moore

Now Alan Moore penned one of my all time favorite Batman graphic novels so to me it was a crime to leave him off the list. The graphic novel in question is The Killing Joke if you didn’t know. Alan Oswald Moore is a writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchman, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He is frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has also been described as “one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years”. He has occasionally used such pseudonyms as Curt Vile, Jill de Ray, and Translucia Baboon.

Alan Moore was picked up by DC Comics and became the one of the first comic writers living in Britain to do prominent work in America; he worked on big name characters such as Batman in which he wrote the Killing Joke and Superman in which he wrote Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? The Killing Joke was one of the first Batman graphic novels I read and it will stay with me forever because it was frankly fantastic. I have since read more of Moore’s work and I just can’t get over how much he brings to the characters he writes for.

 

Mike Mignola

Many people may know that I have a bit of thing for Hellboy and that I think he totally rocks. The gentleman I’m about to tell you about now created Hellboy. Michael Joseph “Mike” Mignola again as are the rest of the people on this list is a comic book artist and writer who as I mentioned created the comic book series Hellboy for Dark Horse Comics. He has worked for animation projects such as Atlantis: The Lost Empire and the adaptation of his one shot comic book The Amazing Screw-On Head.

Up until 1994 Mignola had only ever illustrated the work of others. In 1994 he illustrated his own work, his first Hellboy story, The Seed of Destruction, which was scripted by John Byrne, and published by Dark  Horse Comics, followed by further stories, with associated merchandise. The Hellboy story Wolves of St. August and later stories were scripted by Mignola, though other writers and artists have also worked on the character. All major story arcs were drawn by Mike Mignola, but in 2007 artist Duncan Fegredo took over drawing, with Mignola remaining on as writer and cover artist. He also writes the spin-off BPRD with John Arcudi which is drawn by Guy Davis with Mignola as cover artist. The 2008 one -shot In the Chapel of Moloch was the first Hellboy comic he provided the script and art for since The Island in 2005. The reason I like Mignola so much was that he took the risk in creating Hellboy and running with it. All comic book writers take risks with their characters and its one thing I admire about them. Hellboy is just so rich and deep with elements of darkness. It’s a great read.

Robert Kirkman

If you know me at all, and I hope some of you do by now. Then you’ll know not only do I like things that go bump in the night but I like zombies. A little too much some people may say but I can’t help it. There is just something about the end of the world being bought on by the reanimated corpses’ of the dead that I find fascinating.  That being said, it seems only right that I tell you little about the man who is in the zombie spot light right now.

Robert Kirkman is a comic book writer best known for his work on The Waking Dead and Invincible which are published by Image Comics. He is also known for his work on Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies which he did for Marvel Comics. He has also collaborated with Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane on the series Haunt. He is one of the five partners of Image Comics, and the only one of the five who was not one of its co-founders.

Although The Walking Dead has zombies in, they are not the main focus of the comic it is all about the characters. It’s about how they cope with trying to live day to day in a world no overrun with the dead. I have touched n this subject in other articles about The Waking Dead which can be found on the site.

That brings us to the end of this list I hope you had a good time looking at just some of the guys that keep me reading comics.

Wednesday Whimsy: My Latest Obsession

By @hmsbeefnuts

 

As a child, I was never into comics. Sure I knew who all the main guys were, from Captain America to Wonder Woman, I watched all the TV shows and cartoons, played with the toys, but I never really read comic books. As I grew a little older, I was introduced to Batman and Superman comics with Knightfall and The Death and Return of Superman, which I enjoyed, but I didn’t really have the ready cash to really get into comics in a big way. It wasn’t until after university that I really began to collect graphic novels, and my tastes were, shall we say, rather limited.

As a huge Batman fan, I delved into the most renowned adventures of the Caped Crusader, Year One, The Long Halloween, The Dark Knight Returns, loving them all I began to delve deeper, and right now, I have quite a large collection of Batman adventures, with a few stragglers here and there from Marvel or other properties. However, recently, things have changed, and my tastes have become far more eclectic. It started with a random visit to a budget book shop, where I found three Marvel Pocket Books. At first I dismissed them, but on closer inspection I realised that they were small page versions of the comic books, around half size, they reprint original runs of the most famous Marvel Characters. The shop had a Spider-Man and two Fantastic Four books, and the best thing was, they cost £1.99 each, make mine Marvel.

I devoured the first two Fantastic Four books which collected comic runs. It was interesting to read them in this way, as in normal graphic novels, the story is somewhat separated, but reading an extended run of the comics is very interesting. With the FF done, I reached for the Spider-Man one, The Night Captain Stacy Died, which was quite apt with the new movie coming out and everything. Out of comics, I turned to Amazon, and umm, well, lets just say, my credit card took another hit.

Searching on Amazon is very dangerous, they had around 20 more of these Pocket Books, including Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America, Avengers, I was in hog heaven. I now have a very extended run of original Amazing Spider-Man comics to delve into, and all for under £4.00 each. The paper quality is good in these books, the covers nice, and although smaller than regular comics, it isn’t a disadvantage that they are, certainly not when one considers the price. However, these things often start small, but have a way of expanding a little out of control.

£3.99 is not very much money to spend on 6 + issues of a comic series, but £3.99’s add up, and even then I wasn’t finished. I had wanted to find out who the mysterious villain at the end of The Avengers movie was, was I added The Infinity Gauntlet to my basket, then Civil War, Platinum Avengers, a Wolverine novel, and a few Batman ones, just to prove I had never forgotten my first true love. Things were getting sillier. The comic podcasts I listened to had mentioned a Wolverine G.N. (graphic novel) called Old Man Logan, everyone raved about it, it was added to my basket. By this time, and remember, this was a virtual basket, the thing could barely contain the comic awesomeness contained within, I clicked buy, and thought, I’ll worry about the consequences later.

Now obviously, I haven’t even looked at some of the things Mr. Amazon sent me, but I am working my way through them. Currently I’m reading Captain America, and really loving it. It seems an odd time for someone to get heavily into comics, at the age of 31, but it feels right. The atmosphere is crackling with comic energy, the film world is obsessed, and to be honest, so am I. Recent Comic Con news hasn’t helped matters, it has just added petrol to a fire that was already burning way out of control.

But I think sometimes it does one good to indulge in a new obsession. It feels good, and doesn’t feel like I have wasted money, at least not yet. We can all geek out about stuff from time to time, at least I hope you can, you are reading this on a website called All Geek To Me. At the moment, I’m into all things comic book, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I type this, we are 3 days away from The Dark Knight Rises, and I am very excited to see how Chris Nolan has rounded off his trilogy. I’m sure it will be great, but until I finally get to see it Friday morning, I shall have to sate my desires by plunging into more and more comics. These things won’t read themselves you know. Till next Wednesday, so long folks.

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