Just in time for the release of "The Dark knight Rises" on DVD and Blu-ray, comes the Comic Book Fan's Gift Guide.
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"Dark Knight Rises" Trailer
Here it is, our first teaser for the third and final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga. The film, which stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Liam Neeson, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard and others, opens July 20, 2012.
This is undoubtedly the greatest gift-giving season ever for Batman fans. Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" is available on Blu-ray and DVD, and comes with a bonus disc loaded with three hours of in-depth features. Throw in hardcover editions of "Batman: The Court of Owls," which Will Brooker, aka Dr. Batman, has suggested be the source of the next Batman film, and "Batman: Earth One", the long-awaited release of the "Arkham Asylum" video game for Mac, and the animated film "The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1," and the Caped Crusader could get you more than halfway through Hanukkah all by himself.
This is also a great year for fans of the Marvel of yore. "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story", by Sean Howe, draws from more than 100 interviews to tell the history of a cultural juggernaut, going all the way back to its humble beginnings in 1939. If that's not enough inside baseball for you, it's not to early to pre-order "The Secret History of Marvel Comics," by Blake Bell and Dr. Michael J. Vassallo, which focuses on the '30s and '40s, when publisher Martin Goodman simultaneously ran another house producing sexually-charged pulp and gossip news.
Publishers have been progressively moving their titles to digital formats, and no one more comprehensively than Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited--$59.98 gives you unlimited access to more than 10,000 old titles. There's no better way to get your hands on all these titles without winning the lottery. And for another look at old-school Marvel, Rittenhouse Archives has come out with Marvel: The Bronze Age, a set of 81 trading cards featuring art from 1970 to 1985.
In late 2011, DC rebooted their entire line under the banner The New 52, with a fantastic new take on the Man of Steel, and now Volume Two of "Superman: Earth One" is here in hardcover. Clark Kent's date with his sexy new neighbor is interrupted when an energy-eating creature starts tearing apart Metropolis. Who'd've guessed that J. Michael Straczynsi, a man who once wrote for "Murder, She Wrote," could breathe new life into such an iconic character? And for those of you who grew up on "The Super Friends," you'll barely recognize "Justice League Vol. 1: Origin," in which our heroes all meet each other for the first time, and must band together to battle Darkseid. GL comes off as a wisecracking tough guy, Flash is tormented by self-doubt and Batman gets made fun of by his new co-workers because he doesn't have any powers. And if you really dig the new-look JLA, there's a fresh line of action figures, too.
Part of what made "The Avengers" movie so great was the chance to watch them fight each other. But this year also saw Earth's Mightiest Heroes battle another classic team of heroes in the pages of "Avengers vs. X-Men", in which the two sides prepare for the return of the universe destroying Phoenix. The whole eye-popping saga is now available in a single hardbound edition, and comes with a digital download code so you can read the whole thing on your iPad. When you consider the book weighs some 3 pounds, this is essential, and it also provides readers with all manner of extra material.
Eisner Award-winner Eric Shanower has been doing comic book adaptations of Frank L. Baum's "Oz" books for 25 years, among the latest is "Ozma in Oz", in which Dorothy Gale finds herself blown off a ship, only to awaken floating in a crate with a talking chicken named Bill, as they drift toward a strange island. Shanower's excellent writing and Skottie Young's gorgeous artwork make for series of great bedtime stories.
If you like your comics a little bleaker, may we recommend "The Stand"? Stephen King's most ambitious novel has been adapted into a 768-page comic by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Mike Perkins, with King himself overseeing the project. Collected here for the first time are the 31 comics that the trio produced starting in March of 2009.
Todd McFarlane is one of the most influential comic book artists of his generation, having done groundbreaking work on Spider-Man, Batman and The Hulk, as well as creating Spawn. For any serious fan "The Art of Todd McFarlane: The Devil’s in the Details" is a must, featuring400-pages of McFarlane's work from across his career.