DC Comics released Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics, a sleeper study of the anatomy of a villain, on DVD/Blu-Ray and Digital Video in October. Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics features everyone from Andrea Romano and Neal Adams to Zack Snyder and Len Wein as the ensemble cast of interviews and video clips going deep into the minds of Luthor, Riddler, Bane, and Reverse Flash. If you still have a comics fan on your holiday gift list this is a great pick. Dracula Christopher Lee narrates.

The New 52 was taken over by the baddies in September in a company-wide event called Villain’s Month, coinciding with the limited series Forever Evil storyline written by DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. The comics, with special lenticular (plastic, 3D) varied in quality and interrupted the flow of the monthly titles, but as an experiment was not all bad. Joker took over Batman #23.1, written by Andy Kubert and drawn by Andy Clarke.

Count Vertigo - Green Arrow 23.1 - Cover by:  Andrea Sorrentino

Count Vertigo – Green Arrow 23.1 – Cover by: Andrea Sorrentino

Pointing the spotlight on the villains, in what seem to be increasingly darker themes in our entertainment these days (see our Man of Steel review) makes sense.

Besides, aren’t we all rooting for the bad guy in the movies? I mean, how cool was Bane?


This four-color exploration into what makes a villain want to subvert our favorite heroes gets into the armchair psychology of the thing with interviews from new and classic Batman writers, top DC executives, and even Zack Snyder—director of this year’s aforementioned Zod movie!

Some extreme fans like myself like to hear ’70s Batman artist Neal Adams go on about Ra’s al Ghul and get the latest from the mouths and twitter feeds of Aquaman’s Geoff Johns and current Batman writer Scott Snyder. For the more casual fan this video takes a look at scoundrels of all kinds, and at points clinical psychology researcher Andrea Letamendi, PhD. offers her expert opinions as to how singular events (like being dropped into a vat at ACE Chemical) can or would affect someone’s development.





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Triple Shot With a Digital Chaser: THE JOKER #1, BIZARRO #1, ALL-NEW X-MEN #16 plus THE SIRE #1

Looming over cites such as Boston, New York and San Francisco is similar to the pain that is being brought down upon Metropolis, Gotham and Central City.

Yes, college kids are on a tear of rampant destruction similar to Villain’s Month at DC whereby the bad guys take over your favorite books, coffee shops and bars like they own the joint.

Taking a cue from Marvel, the DC Comics Point One issues of Batman and Superman are now property of The Joker #1 and Bizarro #1. Over at ComiXology Submit, The Sire #1 is trapped by his costume!

WRITER: Andy Kubert
ART: Andy Clarke
Publication Date: September 4, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194131806623121
Buy it HERE

We heard stories of DC messing up the print run of the lenticular (3D) covers for this, but the company made up for it in a way by releasing a plain paper cover as well, and if you are reading digitally, no skin off your face!

Speaking of faces, this Joker is conspicuously full-skinned, and ready to laugh all the way home!

Set a few years in the past, Andy Kubert flashes back to a young boy who’s sadistic Aunt Eunice takes bleach and scrub brush to the young Joker’s face as she beats the boy and barely feeds him.

He does grow up with a sense of humor though! A very sick one.

Joker adopts a baby gorilla and decides like many parents to right the wrongs of his own rearing. This comic takes a turn for the really bizarre and melds ideas of golden age cartooning and animals acting like people and dressed in clothes to a modern day deconstruction of the American family. Via the Joker and his pet!

Andy Clarke (2000AD, Detective Comics) has a fine line Brian-Bolland style suitable for the Clown Prince of Crime, tying in character designs from The Killing Joke and The Man Who Laughs.

Great stuff! And quite possibly the only Joker story in recent times where Batman is no where to be found!


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DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for September 4, 2013


The bad guys take over at DC Comics this month, and if you are lucky you’ll get a copy of the 3D lenticular cover of your favorite baddy. That is, if DC made enough (which they didn’t). Speculators and collectors alike will be clamoring over these special covers! … Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Blackest Night) and David Finch (The Dark Knight) kick it off with the main event title, Forever Evil #1 as Nightwing seems to be teaming up with none other than Lex Luthor before facing the Crime Syndicate of America from another dimension. Keep an eye on Grayson! … Andy Kubert writes and Andy Clark draws the Clown Prince of Crime in Batman 23.1 — Joker!, an early tale of the purple suited lunatic, complete with face! … Me am tell you not pick up Superman 23.1—Bizarro Superman because Sholly Fisch terrible Superman writer. … Picks this week from

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Batman: Dark Knight Returns-videoFrank Miller’s 1986 genre defining and milestone graphic novel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns has been adapted in the latest installments of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. The extended storyline demanded that the story—initially broken into four chapters—be broken up into two parts. The highly anticipated last chapter was made available on Blu-Ray, DVD or Download on January 29thThe Dark Knight Returns as a comic defined the look and tone of Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego for a generation, twisting both tropes of the comic book page and the media’s 24/7 news cycle down to their aging knees while all the while inexplicably breathing new life and reflection on both. We’re hard pressed to find fault with DC attempting to share the story with a new audience in a new medium, and aside from dyed in the wool fanboy nit picks, we’ve gone in depth comparing and contrasting the original art form with the movies to be mostly satisfied with the result. Peter Weller (RobocopStar Trek: Into Darkness) stars as the aging Batman, eventually facing the maniacal Joker voiced by Michael Emerson (Ben Linus onLostPerson of Interest).


Both the movie and the book start out with a moustachioed and retired Bruce Wayne (Earth-31) totaling his racecar over the finish line in the Ferris 6000 motor race. After cheating death, Bruce meets up with outgoing Commissioner Jim Gordon for more than a few drinks and then a solo stroll through Crime Alley. He is confronted by some of the Mutant gang and scares the boys away. A restless night and a trip to Batcave after the encounter with Gotham’s new string of baddies motivates Batman back into the cowl, to the chagrin of our faithful Alfred Pennyworth. Sound familiar?

Christopher Nolan (and Tim Burton, for that matter) have a lot to owe this book for characterization and major plot points.

Another animated property, Batman Beyond owes it’s entire existence and frequently nods at this touchstone of future Bat-legacy.


DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for October 10, 2012



The Joker returns to Gotham City in the most highly anticipated book of the month, Batman #13 (Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo). This story kicks off the ‘Death of the Family’ storyline, we anticipate Snyder’s Joker to be particularly freaky with his face attached to his skull with straps and hooks. Preview at Newsarama. … Here’s some collected editions we think are worth checking out! Smoke and Mirrors is collected and available for pre-order. This book incorporates magic and a strange new world. Check out our interview with the creators here! … Saga from Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples is a must read sci-fi drama recommended for all Star Wars fans. New 52 Nightwing Vol. 1 and Neal Adams Batman: Odyssey Hardcover are also recommended for pre-order. … Picks this week from


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