Batman: The Killing Joke

Michael Critzer

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Before the Bruce Timm production is released to DVD and Blu Ray this July, why not brush up on the major themes and storytelling techniques of the 1988 graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke? Comics and Batman fans everywhere hail this story as one of the greats. But most can say little as to why, other than to mention the pivotal moment of Barbara Gordon’s continuity. “It was just, a really great story, you know?” Don’t be that guy. Brush up on your literary verbiage and be able to articulate part of what makes this work great. Watch the first part of my Killing Joke analysis, and subscribe to the channel so you won’t miss the second part. Then blow your friends’ minds with your insight as you watch the animated film together this summer. No need to thank me. Just like and subscribe!

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Professor Geek

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Hey Iconicasters!

It’s Michael here to do some self-promotion. A few weeks ago, I began my own YouTube channel to promote my work:scholarship, fiction, or otherwise. I approach the channel as a college course for geeks. Everything is superheroes! If that sounds interesting to you, do me a favor and check out the channel. And please subcribe! Help me grow so I can continue to give superhero stories in comics, on film, and on television the literary treatment they deserve as high forms of art! Below is the beginning of my three part look at Marvel’s Civil War from 2006. Enjoy, and thanks so much for your help and support!

The Last Book I Read

Our very own Sierra with some great thoughts on The Killing Joke. And stay tuned for Michael’s three part analysis on his YouTube channel Professor Geek!

Sun in Pisces, Moon in Cancer

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Alan Moore’s, Batman: The Killing Joke. It was actually a re-read; I had read it once before. The subject matter is quite dark and heavy so I hadn’t picked it up in awhile. With the new animated film version of the book coming soon, I decided to read it again. It’s still just as heavy, but I see more in it than last time. A little background first though.

Published as a one-shot graphic novel by DC Comics in 1988, BTKJ, was a groundbreaking story that rocked the continuity of DC Comics in an unprecedented fashion. Writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland changed the game for the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime with a story that made the two characters essentially the same. It also forever changed the character of Barbara Gordon AKA Batgirl.

The story speaks to every man having a spark of insanity within him, and all…

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Episode 2.2

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Episode 2.2 is here! In preparation for Captain America: Civil War, we’ve rewatched Winter Soldier (and most of the rest of the Marvel library). Join us as we analyze Cap’s story arc, the progression of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and talk about our hopes and fears for Phase 3!

Download at the following link (click right here!) or on iTunes (sometimes it can take a day or two for new episodes to show up in the iTunes store, but if you subscribe to our podcast then check your subscriptions, episode two should be there), or simply use the player below.

00:00:00  Introduction

00:08:00   Anticipating Phase Three and Civil War

00:27:57  Captain America: The First Avenger

00:32:42  Winter Soldier

00:43:38  Civil War

00:59:20 New Characters and What Cap Means to Us

Iconicast theme music written and performed by Jared Featherstone http://www.jaredfeatherstone.com

Our Youtube channel will be updated soon! YouTube

Check out Superman Lives! The new podcast co-hosted by Chris Meaux and Iconicast’s own Michael Critzer. Tune in for news, commentary, and analyses of the traditional Man of Tomorrow!

Discover Chris Meaux’s own The Big Sheaux with Chris Meaux for an excellent blend of late night comedy, geek news and editorial! Check it out on itunes and podbean!

And Caped Wonder Image group has gone public on Facebook! If you enjoy delving into rare images and behind the scene shots of the Christopher Reeve Superman films, read the rules and enjoy the posts!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/capedwondersuperman

Episode 2.1 The Anniversary Ep!

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Episode 2.1, our one year anniversary episode is here! Listen to our thoughts on the Batman v Superman fiasco and our discussion on the most iconic superhero works and portrayals of yesterday and today!

Download at the following link (right click here) or on iTunes (sometimes it can take a day or two for new episodes to show up in the iTunes store, but if you subscribe to our podcast then check your subscriptions, episode two should be there), or simply use the player below.

 

 

00:00:00  Introduction

00:01:15   Why Iconicast Exists (from Man of Steel to Batman v Superman)

00:20:19  How We Define Iconic

00:32:42  Iconic Recommendations from the Past

00:53:38  Most Iconic TV and Film Portrayals

01:14:32 Contemporary Iconic Recommendations

Iconicast theme music written and performed by Jared Featherstone http://www.jaredfeatherstone.com

Our Youtube channel will be updated soon! YouTube

Discover the work of our good friend, Chris Meaux on The Big Sheaux with Chris Meaux for an excellent blend of late night comedy, geek news and editorial! Check it out on itunes and podbean!

And Caped Wonder Image group has gone public on Facebook! If you enjoy delving into rare images and behind the scene shots of the Christopher Reeve Superman films, read the rules and enjoy the posts!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/capedwondersuperman

Episode 10

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Episode 10, our very belated Valentine’s episode, is here!

Download at the following link (right click here) or on iTunes (sometimes it can take a day or two for new episodes to show up in the iTunes store, but if you subscribe to our podcast then check your subscriptions, episode two should be there), or simply use the player below.

00:00:00  Introduction

00:01:34  “Prom Night” (Michael)

00:12:14  Winter Soldier (Sierra)

00:19:24   JLA Unlimited “This Little Piggy” (Big Al)

01:33:58    Super Fan Answers

Rants and Recommendations

Iconicast theme music written and performed by Jared Featherstone http://www.jaredfeatherstone.com

Our Youtube channel will be updated tomorrow evening. Check back then!

Discover the work of our good friend, Chris Meaux on The Big Sheaux with Chris Meaux for an excellent blend of late night comedy, geek news and editorial! Check it out on itunes and podbean!

Also be sure to look into the new Look to the Sky Superman documentary arthttp://www.risinghero.org

And last but not least, the Caped Wonder Image group has gone public on Facebook! If you enjoy delving into rare images and behind the scene shots of the Christopher Reeve Superman films, read the rules and enjoy the posts!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/capedwondersuperman

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Welcome to Earth-2 Review- By Brian Fischer
Some spoilers follow. 
Aside from the Easter Eggs we have mentioned here, it is important to note that last nights Flash: Welcome to Earth 2, was one of the strongest episodes of the series. 
Barry’s run to Earth 2 was relatively quick in the episode which didn’t leave us waiting for the change of scenery long, which was nice. 
Taking full advantage of the Earth 2 differences right out of the gate was brilliant. Seeing the 1950’s Art Deco/steam punk setting with its futuristic tech was great, while the settings of Barry’s house and the Police Station remain similar to their Earth-1 counterparts. 
Barry, while taking selfies with Cisco at the beginning, had several emotional moments such as talking with his Earth-2 counterparts mother, seeing other Barry being married to Iris, his confusion as to why Earth-2 Joe hates him, and Earth-1’s Barry feeling duty bound to help his counterpart’s family from Killer Frost and Death Storm. 
Seeing Evil Cisco as Reverb was great. He has taken full advantage of his powers and his interaction with Earth-1 Cisco was fantastic as you could feel the jealousy of Earth-1 Cisco. 
You can tell Danielle Panabaker was waiting for the moment to play Killer Frost. It was obvious she was having fun with it and it was a joy to watch. 
Watching Joe as a lounge singer was really fun, and it was a great twist that he hates his Earth-2 son in law, Barry. 
On the Earth-1 side, Jay, still depowered, is forced to jump into the fray using Velocity 7 to fight Geomancer. The formula fails during the fight prompting Earth-1 Caitlyn to go back to the drawing board to redesign the formula for Jay, most likely leading to the disaster that was Velocity-9 in the comics. The very chemical that would create Jay’s Reverse Flash, The Rival. 
The only disappointment I had with the episode was that we saw the end of Death Storm, Earth-2 Joe, and especially Reverb a little too soon. 
The episode ended on a fantastic cliffhanger leaving the question, how is team Flash going to save the day when the Flash is out of the equation stranded on another Earth? 
Overall, as stated, this is one of the strongest episodes that the series has offered. I would easily give this episode a 9.5 out of 10.

Brian Reviews the new Daredevil

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Our very own Brian from the Iconic Flash, Iconic Green Lantern, and Iconic Brave and the Bold pages reviews Charles Soule’s new run on Daredevil:

The post Secret Wars Daredevil series is currently on its 3rd issue, but as an avid fan of the character I wanted to do a quick review. First, Daredevil has to be one of the most unenviable writing jobs in the Marvel U. With all star creators from Lee, Miller, Bendis, Smith, Brubaker, and Waid it is not a job i’d imagine one would go into without thinking of some of the most iconic runs in comics and feeling they can’t match up to whats come before.
The new Daredevil run picks up 8 months after Mark Waid’s run ends. Let me say that Waid’s run was an absolute joy to read. In an era of dark tones, hero fighting hero, and heroes adopting questionable morals, Waid’s Daredevil stood out as a classic superhero story with lighthearted fun and excellent character development. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Charles Soule picks up the darker tone more similar to Bendis and Brubaker’s run. Matt is back in New York. He has left his life in California behind and his secret identity has been restored under mysterious circumstances. Only Foggy knows his secret.
A new enemy is using immigrants to aide his cause. It is a very Marvel trait to take current events and real issues and use them in a topical but respectful way. This new enemy has larger and more sinister connections to a larger force.
Matt has taken on the role of Stick and is training a mysterious hero named Blindspot. Not much has been revealed about Blindspot, but seeing Matt in the teacher role is one that fits the character.

The darker tone is complimented well by Ron Garney’s artwork. He has deviated from his bright and bold style to a more shadowed look which compliments the story perfectly. The initial underwater rescue in the first issue is a fantastic intro to his new look.
It is regrettable that the development and relationships Matt achieved in Mark Waid’s run were all but abandoned, but Soule’s first few issues provide more than enough good material to forgive the darker shift in story and loss of what worked before Secret Wars.

~Brian

Episode 9

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Episode 9 is here!

Download at the following link (right click here) or on iTunes (sometimes it can take a day or two for new episodes to show up in the iTunes store, but if you subscribe to our podcast then check your subscriptions, episode two should be there), or simply use the player below.

00:00:00  Introduction

00:06:35  Arkham Knight Review (Michael)

00:17:22  Batman TV series anniversary (Big Al)

00:32:53   Interview with Scott Cranford

01:14:34    Agent Carter Review (Sierra)

01:37:06   Super Fan Answers

01:46:36   Heroic Inspiration (Michael)

Iconicast theme music written and performed by Jared Featherstone http://www.jaredfeatherstone.com

Our Youtube channel will be updated tomorrow evening. Check back then!

Check out Scott Cranford’s superheroes and Superman’s Book of Morals at http://www.heroicworld.com

Discover the work of our good friend, Chris Meaux on The Big Sheaux with Chris Meaux for an excellent blend of late night comedy, geek news and editorial! Check it out on itunes and podbean!

Also be sure to look into the new Look to the Sky Superman documentary art http://www.risinghero.org

And last but not least, the Caped Wonder Image group has gone public on Facebook! If you enjoy delving into rare images and behind the scene shots of the Christopher Reeve Superman films, read the rules and enjoy the posts!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/capedwondersuperman