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Bat Week Roundup!

8 May

The Bat Week just ended and we aren’t ready to leave batty. We bat-ified both the FB Page and the blog for it. Now it’s time for a quick overview of what we did the whole week. Below is the blog archive for the week.

May 1, Sunday: Batman vs. Superman: The Battle for Ideals by Amanda White
May 2, Monday: From Bruce Wayne to Batman! by Vinay Pawaskar
May 3, Tuesday: Nish’s Notepad: Batman #500 by Nishkarsh Chugh
May 4, Wednesay: A Bat for Ages by Akshay Dhar
May 5, Thursday: M views: Why do we read Superhero comic books by Mayank Khurana
May 6, Friday: Stewart (and Lee)’s Slate: Batman and Robin Vol.1-2, Batman/ Punisher and Batman/ Judge Dredd Books by Stewart Loud and Lee Roberts
May 7, Saturday: Aalok deciphers DC – The Demon’s Head by Aalok Joshi

Next big thing is the MAIN EVENT QUIZ. 3 questions, many answers, no winner. Yes, nobody was able to answer all the questions correctly.. Here are the questions:

Q. Under which title and issue, Batman gained a mature appearance, according to his creator Bob Kane?
A. Detective Comics #33
W. Shashank Avvaru

Q. Gotham : Robin: Jason Todd :=: England : ? : ?
A. Squire : Beryl Hutchinson
W. Lee Roberts

Q. Why is May 1-7 celebrated as Batman Week?
A. The anniversary of Bat’s first appearance.
W. Lee Roberts

Another thing is that some freelance artists also drew for the Bat-Week.. Here are the artworks.

by Avishek Sarkar

by Anshul Chaurasia

Leaving you with all the fun we had on FB with bat here.. and an exciting news here! (via Akshay Dhar)

Aalok deciphers DC – The Demon’s Head

7 May

Welcome to another edition of Deciphering DC. /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

You shall judge a man by his foes as well as by his friends. – Joseph Conrad

That said, I thought for Bat Week, let’s take a look at Batman’s “adversary” Ra’s Al Ghul. While many people use the term adversary, I prefer the term “reluctant ally”.

The Joker is the Batman’s opposite number; where the Batman stands for order, the Joker represents the forces of chaos. But Ra’s isn’t Batman’s enemy; if anything, he’s a like minded soul. Batman agrees with Ra’s motives, but not with his methods, and nurses a romantic relationship with his daughter Talia.


Writer: Dennis O’Neil

Artists: Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Ed Hannigan and others

This book collects almost all of Ra’s Al Ghul pre-Crisis adventures written by his creator, Dennis O’Neil.

The introductory story features Talia in conflict with the League of Assassins. Ra’s Al Ghul makes his appearance in the next story when apparently; Robin & Talia are kidnapped by the same unknown enemy. Ra’s deduces Batman’s identity in the first few pages itself, as if it were as simple as adding 2 and 2. They then go around the world on an adventurous romp, to find Robin in the Himalayas, revealing this was all a trick by Ra’s to gauge Batman as his future son in law.

In further issues we see Ra’s plans for Batman, who almost ends up marrying Talia. We also have a look at how Ra’s stays young – using the Lazarus pits, in which periodic immersion lengthens one’s life span, at the cost of his sanity. We also meet the Sensei, who is the leader of the League of assassins and also witness the first use of Matches Malone as Batman’s cover identity within the mob. These stories were pretty elementary, but they work due to the mystery surrounding the character, also due to Adams & Giordano’s moody art.

Rating: 8 on 10


Ra’s later appeared in three standalone graphic novels, of which the first is titled BATMAN: SON OF THE DEMON, by Mike W Barr & Jerry Bingham.

It deals with Batman & Ra’s as allies against a mutual enemy, Qayin, who was instrumental in killing Ra’s wife and also responsible for the murder of an eminent scientist, for which he was being pursued by the Batman. During the course of this story, Batman marries Talia & has a son with her. However, realizing that Batman could never give up his grim life, Talia claimed that she has miscarried & leaves the child for adoption. These was previously considered as an imaginary story, but recently have the events become canon, with Grant Morrison introducing Damien as Bruce & Talia’s son.

The next part of the trilogy was a lackluster BATMAN: BRIDE OF THE DEMON, wherein Ra’s falls in love with an aging actress. The most lackluster of them all, though by the same writer, with art by Tom Grindberg.

Now we get to the meat of the story with BATMAN: BIRTH OF THE DEMON by Dennis O’Neil & Norm Breyfogle. Here, we learn in detail about Ra’s past. He was a medicine man of asian descent, who was requested by the local king to save the life of his mortally wounded son. Ra’s saves the prince by immersing him in a Lazarus pit, but the prince driven insane by the pit, strangles Sora, Ra’s wife, who the prince had been eyeing for some time. The king blames Ra’s for the murder of his wife, and sends him to be killed. Ra’s is saved by the son of an old lady he has saved earlier, and locates his tribe from the desert, finally rallying them to attack and destroy the kingdom. Thus was born the Demon’s head.





The demon never dies….whenever we think he’s gone, he always manages to re emerge, but the same can be said for any character in modern superhero comics nowadays.

M views: Why do we read Superhero comic books

5 May
– By Manks

I have been a superhero comic book reader since I can remember, and I have often been asked what draws me into their highly stylised and unrealistic world?

Each person has their own answer to this question, and no single answer is correct.

One of the reasons why we come back to the Superhero comics are because they inspire us. These larger than life creations struggling daily through the worst the world has to offer them, and coming out on top. Their never say die attitude.. ….even after they are literally dead ( there’a  joke here somewhere on the state on Superhero comics – Blackest Night I am looking at you!)

Lets look at some of the tragedies that have befallen the Bat-Characters for example

The most poignant tragedy is perhaps the murder of Bruce Wayne parents, which drove him to haunt the criminals as Batman. This in itself is a commendable feat. But then

When Bane Broke Batman

 Bane conspired and used many of Batman’s enemies to tire him out and when Bruce was at his limts, struck and broke Batman’s back, paralysing Bruce ( Storyline – Knightfall)

Bruce fought through the depression of being beaten , the pain of paralysis and re-learned how to operate as a Bat from scratch (Knightsend).. He did not give up! 

I still remember the scene where after every new fight he would go to Gotham’s tower and attempt to jump, giving up each time. He just didnt have the strenghth of will left anymore. For the first time in his life he was scared. He thought he was invincible and Bane had shattered his illusion.

Richard Grayson ( Robin / Nightwing) : The original robin, after the tragedy of his parents death willingly followed Batman’s directions to become one of the most respected superhero amongst DC community. He IS the next generation leader of DCU heroes. He possesses all the skills of batman without the angst. In his career he has faced deaths of friends and family, yet he trudges on.

Death of Tim Drake’s (Robin) father

 Timothy Drake ( also known as Robin III) suffered a horrible fate when he couldnt save his dad (Jake Drake) from getting killed by the boomerang.
It is incredibly difficult for me to imagine anyone continue to operate under such immense grief and regret. Yet he still does.

Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) is the epitome of courage in the Bat family. She was shot by the Joker in The Killing joke, paraylsing her forver. For a long time she was depressed about losing her legs and not being able to operate as Batgirl.

But then one day she decided not to mourn anymore, but use whatever she has to help in whichever way she can. She took the guise of Oracle and started using her techinical know-how to help all vigilantes. She even formed an all female Superteam called Birds of Prey to go where she couldnt and do what she couldnt.
She is now far more successful as Oracle in fighting crime than she ever was as Batgirl. She has become the information hub for all superheroes and a crucial member of the Justice League.
She took an awful incident and converted it into an oppurtunity. Inspirational stories doesnt get better than this!

Commisioner James Gordon has been suffering since he has come to Gotham. He lost his wife and son to a divorce. He was tortured by the joker and made to see enlarged pictures of his wounded adopted daughter Barbara Gordon in an effort to drive him insane. His second wife, Sarah was murdered by the Joker, which even let Batman to allow Gordon to have a free shot at joker if he wanetd to.Through all of this, his sense of duty and ethical compass has been unwavering. He is an inspiration to Batman himself .

This panel says a lot of things about the Bat-world, Two of most tragic personalities in Batman’s life : Jason Todd ( Robin II) and Hush ( Dr. Elliot) ..
We all know Jason’s story: He was killed by the joker , revived  by the vagaries of fate. Even though he is on the wrong side of the law, in his mind he is still fighting for the innocents. Even death couldn’t stop this now anti-hero
She’s been a villian, She’s been a hero, and then she realised someone tampered with her mind to subdue her criminal mentalities. So whatever she’s doing isn’t of her own accord. She also had to give away her child as it was too dangerous for the child to be associated with her. Is there a greater pain than being forced to split from your child? But she endures. 

And these characters are just the tip of the Superhero comics.. They get knocked down but they get up again, no one’s gonna keep them down..
If you aren’t reading superhero comics, you are missing out on inspirational tales that would shame many a “book” reader.
Remember: Nicolas cage , Jerry seinfeld and  Barack Obama all have one thing in common.. They all love superhero comics.. Don’t deprive yourself of these tales because they are just “superhero tales”. 

Nish’s Notepad: Batman #500

3 May

Happy Bat-Week Mates! Since this whole week is for Batman, so I though what would be better than going back in the past? So I digged up my shelf for something like that and found a perfect thing to write a review on: Batman Issue #500..

Script: Doug Moench
Pencils: Jim Aparo, Mike Manley
Inks: Terry Austin, Mike Manley
Colours: Adrienne Roy
Letters: Ken Bruzenak
Editor: Dennis O’Neil

Before I start with my actual review, let me tell you about the Knightfall series of Batman, to which #500 belongs. Before the Knightfall series, i.e. in Issue #491, Bane stages a giant break out of Arkham Asylum, due to which Batman’s fiercest foes like Joker, the Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Two face etc. start a rampage within the Asylum.

The actual Knightfall series start with Issue #492 when Film Freak, who portrayed villains in his movies but then thought that he’d be a good criminal in real life too, is controlled by Mad Hatter, following the Arkham Assylum breakout. At the end of this issue, Mad Hatter is defeated by Batman and Film Freak is killed by Bane… In the following issues, after facing people like Victor Zsasz , The Joker who teamed up with serial killer Cornelius Stirk, Scarecrow, and in Issue #495, it’s turn for Poison Ivy. The police is still chasing Joker and Scarecrow, and Bane is still out there- watching and waiting. In Issue #496, Batman first finishes off (not kills, defeats :p) Firefly, and then Scarecrow. But under the effect of Scarecrow’s fear gas, Batman seeks revenge on Joker for the death of Jason Todd, the second robin. But the villains flee again. The next part of Knightfall is in Detective Comics #663, where Batman finally rescues thaemayor, and faces Bane’s henchmen. On returning home, he discovers that Alfred is lying on the floor. In the next issue, there is a face off. Bane recklessly beats up Batman, where Alfred runs to get help from Tim. The beating continues even in the next issue, and Robin, Jean Paul (Azrael from the Azrael storyline) and Alfred try to save Batman. The next two parts of Knightfall are in Showcase ’93 #7 and #8 where Two Face beats up Batman.. the next issue (Knightfall 15), Batman #498 is a major issue as in this issue, Jean Paul is asked to fill in as Batman. In the next issue, Jean Paul, the new Batman DO stand for the great detective while he’s healing but the new Bat is kind of more brutal. Meanwhile, Tim’s father was missing. In Detective Comics #666, the new Batman confronts Bane, and is literally killed when Bane is about to drop him from a great height. Bane knows. Bane knows everything, that there is a different person under the hood this time.

And here, we arrive on our destination: Batman #500 (Knightfall 19) where first, Jean Paul has a narrow escape from falling from a building and then blames his costume for so. He designs a new costume, completely different from the current one (and a 14″x29″ poster was also free with the issue! :p).Then, the new Dark Knight heads out for a final confrontation with Bane. Bane is powerful, but his power was dependent on Venom. Batman came to knew this, and after ending all the poison, runs after Bane wherever he does. Bane gets caught, and is on the verge of getting killed. Robin’s still there, and he knows that the real Bat would never do that. Thanks to his prayers, Jen Paul doesn’t kill Bane and he is sent to Blackgate prison later. After this, Bat flies away….

This series is followed by another series: Knightquest: The Crusade featuring none other than the new Bat himself. Overall, Knightfall was, is and will remain a great concept but with great concepts, great application of the concept should come, Shouldn’t it?
The last few issues of Knightfall were great, which includes our main focus: Batman #500. But still the later issues of Knightfall were much better than the early issues. I’ve done with my verdict. Now it’s your time to judge Knightfall.
Batman (about to cross the street): “Remember Robin, always look both ways.” 😉

Till then