If you’ve seen part 1, I’m sure you can’t wait for part 2. Lots of superman action in this trailer for part 2. Check it out:
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Real quick before you read on, there are some spoilers in this article. I don’t think anything in here will be a shock considering how old the comic version of The Dark Knight Returns is. If you haven’t read it, shame on you all I can say. You’ve really been missing out of something special.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller is the best Batman comic ever published in my opinion. When it came out Batman was transformed from a campy detective to a complete badass. In the comic, super-heroes become outlawed in the United States and Batman retires. Over a ten year period Gotham becomes worse and worse. Without Batman around to protect Gotham, a gang called The Mutants have become a plague on Gotham committing violent crimes without repercussion throughout the city. As Commissioner Gordon announces his retirement, Batman reappears and begins his one man fight against crime in Gotham. There is much more to the story like a female Robin, Superman getting his ass kicked by Batman, and a one armed Green Arrow, but I’m trying to keep the spoilers to a minimum.
DC Comics has taken this most fantastic Batman story and animated it. When I originally heard the title and saw it was part one, I was somewhat disappointed and thought it may be a way to easily double sales. Thank goodness this is not the case. The five issue series has been broken in half and gaps not in the comic have been added to make the story more cohesive. In Part one, Batman returns and puts an end to the Mutant gang by defeating its leader in a one on one fight to the death. Instead of the Mutant gang disbanding, Batman inspires them to become The Sons of Batman. Batman now has an army in The Sons of Batman who start protecting the people of Gotham instead of terrorizing them. The only thing missing from the animated version of The Dark Knight Returns is the internal dialog Batman has. Without the internal dialog in just the opening scene, a slightly different tone is set for the rest of the story. Bruce Wayne is racing a car and ends up crashing it near the end of the race. In the comic there is internal dialog where Bruce ponders about the crash being a good way to die but he can’t because he has more work to do, hinting to Bruce struggling with the idea of not being Batman anymore. At other points Batman’s age is a factor he worries about in internal dialog where he bargains with himself to continue on and not have a heart attack. Amazingly enough the extra parts added to the movie make up for this internal dialog in the comic.
The Dark Knight Returns manages to keep Frank Miller’s artwork and Klaus Janson’s colors from the comic yet give it an anime type style that really fits the story well. This is no surprise when you read the credits and find of the names are Japanese. Though there are parts in the animated version that are not in the comic, they are there for a reason and only make the story better. Peter Weller of Robocop fame voices Batman and does a great job of bringing us an older grittier Batman.
I recommend getting The Dark Knight Returns Part One and Part two when it comes out on Blueray to every comic geek out there. I hope when they release part two they also offer a version that has both parts meshed together into one long movie. If you’ve ever read a comic and wished for an animated version, this is it. If you haven’t read Batman The Dark Knight Returns I heartily recommend reading it.
On a side not many of Frank Miller’s comics have a cinematic quality to them. 300 and Sin City are just a couple of examples that have been adapted into movies. Over at Marvel Frank Miller did a run of Daredevil before working on Batman and wrote some of the best Daredevil issues ever written. The character of Electra was not only introduced in this run but also killed. Daredevil is taken from a super high to a super low throughout the story that would make a fantastic movie or animated series of movies. Frank Miller also did the artwork on the daredevil run and would look fantastic in the same anime style Batman The Dark Knight Returns was done in.
Here is a trailer for of The Dark Knight Returns Part 1:
NBC has been hyping its new show Revolution for weeks and last Monday night it premiered. The concept behind Revolution is what would happen if all the technology and electricity in the world suddenly stopped working? In the beginning of the first episode this is what happens. The power around the world goes out, planes fall out of the sky, and everyone is sent hundreds of years back in time as far as how we all live. All modern technology no longer works. The show jumps fifteen years after the power goes out and US Government has fallen apart. The story follows a teenage girl as she journeys to find her uncle who she has never met to assist her and her friends to rescue her brother who has been kidnapped by a rogue militia. Her brother is kidnapped because the militia tried to capture her father and ended up killing him in the process and took the brother instead. The militia feels her father and uncle may have the key to turning the power back on. Even though the concept sounds good, Revolution fails to have any character development. The characters are boring and fail to make a connection with viewers. When the commercials first started airing for this show I immediately thought they adapted a book called Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling where a similar event happens that changes the way physics around the world works. All technology no longer works like in Revolution but other things such as gun powder has changed as well. Unlike Revolution, the characters in Dies the Fire are fairly well developed and by the end of the book readers become attached to them. Hopefully Revolution will take some ideas from Dies the Fire and develop the characters better. For now I plan on watching a few more episodes and give the show a better chance to grow on me.
Revolution airs Mondays on NBC at 10 PM and is directed by Jon Favreau and produced by J.J. Abrams.
Counter-Strike: the grand daddy of technical shooters is back with a new version called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Unlike other games that evolve over time and change, Valve has continued to modify and update Counter-Strike over the years keeping Counter-Strike relatively unchanged. Originally released as a free mod to Half-Life in 1999, Counter-Strike has had several versions over the years. The first big change being with Counter-Strike: Condition Zero where bots were introduced to make a single player like experience followed later in 2004 with the release of Counter-Strike: Source utilizing the graphics and physics of Valve’s Source Engine. Counter-Strike has primarily been a PC game even though console versions have been released because of the modding community behind the game who produced versions of Counter-Strike such as Gun Game and Last Man Standing mods that were later copied over to games like Call of Duty. Now Valve has released a new version of Counter-Strike called Global Offensive that has a more of a console feel to it than a PC game. Since the game is download only and multi-player only the price has been set low at $15 and is available on PC, X-Box 360, and PS3. What is different besides the console feel is the modes that are available. Gun Game is now standard along and called Arms Race plus a new take on the Gun Game called Demolition. Arms Race is more of a Death Match free for all while Demolition is team based. Both of these game styles award players with the next level of guns for achieving kills. The original version of Counter-Strike game play is where the game really shines though. Teams are broken into Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist where the Terrorist must either plant a bomb somewhere on the level or guard hostages and stop the Counter-Terrorist from rescuing them. As rounds progress players are awarded money they can use to buy weapons, gear, and accessories such as grenades, flash bangs and newly added molotov cocktails . When a player dies he loses what he has purchased and much re-purchase new equipment at the beginning of the next round. Even though the game is objective based, a round can be won by eliminating all the players on the opposite team.
So what version is the best? The PC version of any Counter-Strike game is always going to be the best because the servers are community run and offer different styles of game play, different rules, and custom maps. If you are not a PC gamer Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is still a great game to have at $15 and will supply plenty of fun times for you and your online friends. If you enjoy first person shooters, geek out, enjoy the nostalgia, and buy Counter-Strike: Global Offensive!