Monday, May 30, 2011

Heroic Hangouts!

Every hero needs a place to call "home"...even though it's not. Let's just say it's a really cool clubhouse and go from there. These bases would really make fun places to live!

The Fortress of Solitude

The commute for this one would be killer if you didn't have super-speed or flight on your side, but you have it admit it would be a pretty nice place to hang out. Now I'm not talking about the "ice castles" version you see in the movies and on Smallville...I'm talking about the one in the comic books. 

This thing had gigantic statues, a bottled city called Kandor, a full-sized cruise ship (just for decoration!), a private alien zoo, and so much more. Not to mention the fact that it virtually guaranteed no solicitors at your doorstep. They wouldn't even be able to find the place or lift the gigantic arrow key!

Of course, between all the world-saving and the Daily Planet day job, I don't see how Superman spent any time in the thing.

The Baxter Building

Home to the Fantastic Four since the beginning and almost constantly since, the Baxter Building is the antithesis of the Batcave: It's located right in the heart of the busiest city in the U.S. so everyone knows where it is! Add to that the fact that no one in the team has a secret identity and you get the feeling it was begging for visitors.

Filled to the brim with scientific do-dads and even the entrance to the Negative Zone, the Baxter Building packs a lot of function into a small amount of space.

It took several years and multiple battles before Reed Richards finally bought the place. Before that happened, it couldn't have been fun working in that building.

"What's that sound? Oh great, Doctor Doom's attacking the top floor again. Now I'll have to take the stairs to go home! 35 flights of stairs! I'm getting another job!"

The JLA Satellite

A base in outer space is another way to keep the unwanted visitors off your doorstep. Unfortunately, there are those of us who have crippling fears of heights which would immediately strike this off the list of potential heroic hangouts. 

This is definitely the most unsafe of the bases in this list, as any puncture to the hull would result in immediate and terrifying death for those who weren't built for outer space.

This base got a really bad rap during Identity Crisis, when Sue Dibny was assaulted by Doctor Light in it. To me that was something that could have been skipped over altogether.

The JLA no longer have this place, choosing instead to work out of the Hall of Justice. Those of us who grew up in the Bronze Age of comics still think of this place as the JLA's true home. Even the moon base they had for a while didn't seem as cool as your own satellite in space.

The Avengers Mansion

This one is cool because...well, it's a mansion. It's located in Manhattan (where all the cool heroes hang out) and has been the sight of several titanic battles over the years. Tony Stark originally paid for and built the thing for the Avengers back before they knew he was Iron Man and it's served them well over the years.

The mansion has been the site of several heart-wrenching battles. The "Avengers Disassembled" storyline saw the death of Ant-Man and Hawkeye there before it was destroyed. The Masters of Evil also came in the ripped the place to shreds at one point, almost killing Jarvis in the process.

The Avengers moved to their own floating island/building for a while. Big surprise here, but it was eventually sunk during an attack in the "Acts of Vengeance" storyline. Recently it was rebuilt by Stark and given to Luke Cage as a base for the "New Avengers" after the events of Civil War.

The Batcave

Hands down the coolest place to live on Earth, the Batcave won our reader's poll of best overall base and it's easy to see why. Besides being hidden in a cave (and what guy doesn't think that's cool?) it's filled with the latest gadgets and goodies...along with an awesome car, boat, and plane at your disposal at any moment!

Don't feel like being in the dark? Well, you get the best of both worlds here by just walking upstairs to stately Wayne Manor! Now it's nothing but fireplaces and flat-screen televisions in every room, along with your own butler! No more cleaning up after yourself!

Actually though, there's a possibility Batman could have been a bit of a hoarder with all that junk he kept in there (a giant penny and a mechanical dinosaur? Seriously?). Also, what's the point of having such a boss base and never letting anyone else see it? I'd have friends over all the time, which is probably why I'm not the Batman (or am I?).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game is out soon!

I'm sure this comes as no surprise to anyone, but there is a Green Lantern video game coming out just in time for the new movie. Video games have been tied in to movies for years as a way to boost sales for both, but sometimes they aren't the best match.

This year we've seen a Thor game that's actually pretty fun because you get to start out as the real thing rather than slowly build up a power set that takes forever to create. Now it would appear the Green Lantern game will be following that model.

Just looking at the various screenshots available out there from the PR firm doing a real bang-up job of getting the word out to everyone, I think this game is going to be amazing. The movie already has my vote for best trailer of the summer.

Now it would seem the game will allow you to actually create things to fight with, just like you would if you had a ring for real (admit it, you'd make some fun stuff like a giant glove or something). Whatever you build, you can fight with.

I am by no means a hard-core gamer and finish very few of them, but this looks like one I might be tempted to stick with for a while. It comes out right before the movie on June 7th, so make plans to get out there and scream the oath in your own living room for the fun of it!

Monday, May 23, 2011


I have no idea what makes the rank of "Captain" so important, but it seems like everyone wants to be one. Just take a look at all these:

Captain America

This is probably one of the first you think of when you hear someone mention a hero named "Captain...?" The shield-slinger has been around for decades, and is just now apparently getting a fairly decent movie treatment.

For a while, he was Steve Rogers, then Bucky Barnes took over, then Steve came back and Bucky went to jail. Technically this leaves us with no clear Captain America as the movie is coming out, but I'm sure that will all be fixed up quickly.

Any way you look at it, the guy is popular with more statues and figures out there than any other hero on this list.

Captain Marvel (Marvel version)

This is one of the few "Captains" who actually has a military rank for his name. Granted, it's in the Kree army, but it counts. Mar-vell died in the very first Marvel graphic novel ever created called (surprise) "The Death of Captain Marvel".

The story did so well it paved the way for many more graphic novels over time. Unfortunately now every TPB is branded a graphic novel which cheapens the title. Read the original story in light of the comic books coming out at the time and you'll see why it was such an amazing story.

Captain Marvel (DC version)

This poor hero had a hard time of it for a while. When he first came out, DC included him in their rash of legal challenges against any and every hero who even remotely resembled Superman. Even though he was a popular hero with a lot of differences from the man of steel, DC won and the character spent years in comic book limbo. Ironically enough, DC bought the character and later brought him to his own series of stories that proved very popular.

He has fought Superman a lot over the years, though their titanic battle in Kingdom Come remains my favorite. In that one he truly cut loose against Superman and took him down, answering once and for all who would really win if the gloves were off.

Captain Carrot

One of those "funny animal" heroes, Captain Carrot really is a pretty cool dude. I remember reading that first issue as a kid and being hooked from that point forward. Spending years in limbo, they were brought back two years ago in a mini-series that ended up making them real animals in our world. They did get to come back in Final Crisis, but nothing has happened with him since.

To me, I think a Captain Carrot action figure would be a huge hit. The costume was cool and I'd love to see it in 3D as a figure, though I doubt he'll ever get one. Then again, if Animal Man can get a figure, surely some custom figure guy will try his hand at Captain Carrot and put him on Ebay!

Hey, tomorrow's my birthday, so if you're good at that thing and feel generous, it would be one of the coolest geek birthday presents I've gotten in a long time!

Captain Britain 

There are rumors he'll be a cameo in the upcoming Captain America movie. If he is, I highly doubt he'll show up in his awesome 70's outfit with the medallion and staff. Oh there are plenty of haters on the internet who hate that thing, but it beats out his later spandex outfit to me.

This character started out as Marvel's answer to Captain America for England, but he eventually made his way over the pond to team up with Spider-Man against Arcade in Murderworld. Years later he proved popular enough to lead a team called Excalibur (Marvel's attempt at a British version of the X-Men with a few mutants thrown in for the mix).

Captain Comet

Known as "The Man From the Day After Tomorrow", Captain Comet showed up for several issues as the lead hero during the run of "Society of Super Villains". After that he was pretty much banished to guest-star-only status for over a decade.

Even though he's been in several books since then, he has yet to really make a long-lasting impression on many readers. Most of the titles he appears in tend to be canceled shortly after he joins the roster. It makes no sense to me though, because I think the guy is pretty fun to read about. Great costume too!

Captain Universe

I still remember Micronauts #8 where we first saw this hero. Though the idea of a person becoming a hero to help in a situation and then losing that power isn't new (remember "Dial H for Hero"?) the way the character moved into his own series later on was a nice touch. Each issue would see a different person get the power and use it their own way. Sometimes they helped people, and once a cat burglar got it and tried to use it for his own selfish gains (it didn't end well for him).

The Uni-Power has even taken over a number of superheroes. Spider-Man was the first, then later the Silver Surfer, the Hulk, Sue Storm, and Daredevil all got their chance at unlimited power.

Captain Atom

Another hero who got his "Captain" title from military rank, Captain Atom was originally a Charleton character that was bought by DC. One of only three that really made an impact in the DC universe (the other two are the Blue Beetle and the Question), Captain Atom is the only one of the three still the original character from Charleton. 

The good Captain even made his way into a nice Justice League Unlimited story arch on television, working for the government to stop the Question and Huntress. He's recently rejoined Justice League International members Booster Gold, Fire, and Ice in Justice League: Generation Lost.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So Many Masks

Several weeks ago we had a poll asking which type of mask you'd wear if you were a hero. You never really realize how many there are out there until you break them down...which we'll do right now.

Domino Mask

Worn by: Nightwing, Green Lantern, Robin, etc.

Probably the most famous type of mask, it also covers just about the least of the face. I still have a hard time believing this would fool anyone, but it apparently has for years.

The mask begs the question "What in the world is keeping it on your face?" First of all it has to be something that will stay on in the middle of a fight no matter how sweaty you get. But then it has to be removable without ripping the skin around your eyes off.

Yes, I know Green Lantern's mask is created by his ring and is therefore part of the costume, but Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, and many others have had this little thing stuck to their faces for years without a problem or reasonable explanation.


Worn by: Batman, Nighthawk, Red Robin, etc

The most popular choice in our poll, the cowl serves this purpose of keeping the hair covered at least. Now it's not necessarily as easy to figure out who you are under the mask as the domino mask would be.

Add to that a certain streamlined effect and you have a pretty cool look. The fact that it's attached to the flowing cape doesn't hurt either. All in all it can be a fairly intimidating appearance when it's done right.

There's a reason Batman's iconic look has stayed with pop culture for decades. It's an old faithful design that just works.

Full Face Mask

Worn by: Spider-Man, Union Jack, Deathstroke, etc

For a real mystery man look, it's hard to go wrong with this type of mask. Covered completely, heroes sporting this look have that mystery surrounding them that leads a lot of people to wonder what person is really under all that.

Truthfully though, it's hard to imagine Spider-Man without his full mask. And Deadpool just doesn't seem as funny any other way. Union Jack was able to use the look to his advantage to fool Baron Blood into thinking he was an old man when in actually he was young Joey Chapman.

There are a lot of advantages to going this route...though the cost of material goes up a little. That, and it's hard to figure out how you can breathe that well in a tough fight with cloth on your face.


Worn by: Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Plastic Man, Vigilante, etc.

Now this one is hard to pull off right. The first time I read a Plastic Man comic in the 70's I couldn't figure out what was going on with his eyes. Which way was he supposed to be looking? Eventually I figured it all out and the craze seemed to catch on.

Now heroes like Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle have added to the mix of using a functional mask. I mean, when it's raining outside which hero can still see in a torrential downpour? Try that Spider-Man!

Seriously though, I think this could be considered cheating just a little.


Worn by: Nomad, Hitman, Blade, etc.

If you're not up for goggles, there's always a cheaper way out through sunglasses. While I consider Jack Munroe's Nomad to be one of the best heroes out there and best costume for a casual hero type, I've never been one to follow how he kept the sunglasses on. Also, how are they handy in a fight indoors?

It's really hard to see a hero pull this off and not look like someone off "Jersey Shore", but it's been done. Oddly enough, this is the one look that looks best in the movie versions of the characters. It's hard to pull off a mask on a real person, but sunglasses always look tough.

I almost threw Cyclops in with this group, but I'm not really sure it would be fair. I think he'd fall more under a mixture of the goggles and sunglasses crowd.

No Mask

Worn by: Superman, The Sentry, Punisher, etc.

Of course, there are those who skip masks altogether and just say "Here I am. Look at me!" It's usually done by someone with nothing to hide because their identity is public (like the Punisher) or they look differently when in their secret identity (like DC's Captain Marvel or The Sentry). And yes, Superman hides behind glasses (even dumber than a domino mask) and still folks can't figure out who he is.

Whatever the reason, this is the easy way out. Fight as hard as you want to and never worry about someone seeing your face because your mask got shredded. I can't say I'm a fan of this though. For me, I think it's always cooler to see a hero in some form of mask. The only exception I'll give is the Punisher. I think he'd look a little weird wearing one for some reason.


Worn by: Ant-Man, Iron Man, Doctor Fate, Forbush Man, etc.

For real protection, it's hard to go wrong with a good old-fashioned piece of metal on your head! Whether you're using it to control an entire suit of armor like Iron Man or just to hide your identity like Red Hood, you can't say anything about the functionality of one. However, hiding the costume takes a lot of creative thinking when you can't just cram it all under your tuxedo and walk in.

I've always  thought artists probably love drawing helmeted characters more than anything else. No worries about emotion on the face or anything...just a blank slate.

The only character easier to draw would have to be the Question.


Worn by: Green Arrow, The Spectre, Moon Knight, etc

While hiding identity, I have to say this one would be hard to justify as safe. Think about it: your peripheral vision is absolutely shot. True, you're ready for a rainstorm, but if someone comes at you quietly from the side you are dead.

Also, how do you keep this on your head while you're running after (or away from) a bad guy? When I have my hood on and I go running to my car in the rain, it always flies back and lets me get soaked.

Functionally, I have to say this one is at the bottom of the barrel. Yes, the "mysterious stranger" look works when stepping out of the shadows...but it's not the best choice in a fight.

Over-the-Head Mask

Worn by: Captain America, Hawk and Dove, the Atom, etc.

I'm not sure of the official name for this look, so let's just say it's a cowl without the cape kind of thing. It's been popular for years with everyone from the Flash to Vindicator wearing one.

The thing that makes this one slightly less believable is the way the heroes usually have it during "casual times". Most of the time their whole head is through the mouth part with the mask laying behind their head until the pull it up over their head and on. That sucker would be so stretched out it would blow off in a light wind.

There is a variation of this mask where the hair is seen. Marvel's version of Captain Marvel and the original Captain Britain look are two heroes who go that way with it. Again, I'm not sure what it's officially called though. You know what I mean, right?

Weird Everything-But-The-Face Mask

Worn by: Puck, Justice, The Angel, Gambit, etc.

Ok, I had no idea what you actually called this one, but I've seen it from time to time. I guess this would be considered a "face frame" more than a mask.

I suppose this one would be more for those heroes who want to wear a mask, while still wanting people to know what they looked like underneath. This might even fit into the "no mask" category.

Maybe you're proud of your hair, or maybe you just like the way you look in the mirror, either way, if this is your choice it's not very functional for anything other than keeping your ears warm in the wind.

There are a lot of characters that fit into combinations of categories that I didn't cover. For example, Magneto would fit into the helmet/face-frame mixture. Doctor Doom would fit into the helmet/hood group. Deadshot would be an entirely new combination, with full-face mask/eyescope group. The combinations are endless.

As you can tell, it would be impossible to categorize them all. Hopefully I've covered the most often used ones though.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Smallville's Series Finale - The CW's Finger to the Fans

I just finished watching the Smallville series finale. If you haven't seen it and don't want spoilers, stop reading right now.

For the rest of you...

Ten years. We watched this show for 10 years for one reason: to see the suit. How many times did it suffer horrible words flung at it from critics everywhere, while we fans fought and defended it because we hoped for a happy ending? Through every stupid Lana episode, we held on even though she would never die. With every moronic "I didn't ask for this destiny!" speech we heard from Clark, we kept on tuning in. Even when Lex himself left, we still stuck around through horrible storylines and cheap villains just because we wanted to see the suit.

Yep, I got a million bucks for those ten minutes.
And here we ended up, 10 years later, and we only wanted two things: Michael Rosenbaum to return to the role he made his own: Lex Luthor (check, we got that one), and we wanted to see Welling in the suit. After teasing for weeks on end about it, showing clips of it and even an outline of the cape for a few promos, the night came to deliver.

What did we get? A half dozen long-range shots of a tiny figure in the suit that actually looked less convincing than 98% of the Photoshop fan pictures I've seen on the internet! And when it finally swung around to give us a glimpse, it cuts to a comic book? Are you kidding me??? Do they honestly think we don't know what Superman looks like in the comic books???

Suck it, viewers! You'll never see this! Hahahaa!
Rosenbaum did great, and the "memory loss powder" was a very nice touch that allowed the mythos to step in there for no memory of Smallville. But 10 minutes? And all we got was a speech to Clark and a speech to Tess (right before he killed her...nice touch and points for you there, writers). They should have skipped the whole Darkseid angle and just given us two hours of Clark versus Lex.

Or--and I know this is a crazy thought but hear me out here--they could have given us Welling in the suit! One shot! Just one! If that's all we were worth to you producers and writers, you should have given us one lousy shot.

Now we get to add Smallville's finale to the list of great series bombouts like Battlestar Galactica and Lost.

Hey guys, please let me know when you're starting another series so I can be sure to save my time and money.
Yeah, how you like me now, eh?

On the other hand, I'm sure Brandon Routh is sleeping happily tonight knowing that someone did manage to put together a Superman piece of junk worse that Superman Returns. For that, I'm sure he thanks the writers and producers profusely.

Smallville's season finale...if this is what WB can do with heroes, it's time to stop reading comic books.

The only way they will ever redeem this mess is if they let Welling come into the JLA movie as Superman. Chances of that happening are just slightly less than Spider-Man 3 winning an award as the best comic book film ever made.

Am I wrong? Did you like it? Did you feel those CGI pinpoint versions of Welling in costume were enough? Let your voice be heard in the comments!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Batman's Greatest Hits

Batman is one of my favorite heroes and I got to thinking about some of the better things about the character. He's really had a lot of great moments and highlights, so I thought I'd cover a few of them.

Granted, this is purely subjective and you'll probably disagree on more than one of these, but these are what I consider top times for the Caped Crusader.

Video Game Moment: Arkham Asylum's opening scene
Batman Arkham Asylum: Game of the Year Greatest Hits

After years of struggling to get a good video game, Arkham Asylum came along and completely changed the playing field for Batman video games. If you haven't played this game, stop now and do what you must to get your hands on a copy. Clear your calendar, grab some Mountain Dews, lock yourself in your house and start playing. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill showed up to the do the voices of Batman and Joker, but this isn't the cartoon series.

The best moment for me comes in the opening cut scene from the game. As Batman is escorting the captive Joker to his (temporary) confinement in Arkham, they get into an elevator. On the way down, the lights go out and Joker starts laughing. At this point, you figure he's about to escape and the game will begin.

You will be wrong.

Instead, the lights kick back on and we find Batman standing there holding the Joker by the throat, patiently waiting for power to be restored while insuring the villain doesn't get away. It's the first few seconds of this clip:

The game itself is a lot of fun. You really get to be Batman, trying to scare your foes just as much as drop down and beat them up. But to me, that opening scene sets the mood for how this Batman really is.

Statue: Batman Museum Statue

I have over two dozen Batman statues (and an incredibly understanding wife), but the pride of my collection remains my birthday present from last year. It is the museum quality Batman statue.

This monster statue stands over a foot and a half tall, and has real material for the costume. The cape itself is a leathery material that has wires in it to allow you some posing with it. The statue is incredibly detailed and expensive, but worth the money if you're really into collecting.

While the Batman Black and White statue collection has some amazing contributions to the character, I have to say this statue remains my top choice.

Cartoon Scene Moment: Bruce Wayne's Miyagi Moment

While there are hundreds of various Batman animated cartoons out there, I have to say one of my personal favorite moments comes in the pilot episode of Batman Beyond. The cartoon is supposed to take place in the future after Bruce has retired from being the hero because he almost dies during his last mission.

After years of seclusion, we get a scene right out of the first Karate Kid movie. The teen hero is cornered by baddies who have chased him, and now he stands to be beaten down. Instead, an old man intervenes.

Out of the shadows, Bruce comes up with his cane and beats down the gang, showing age means nothing to Batman. Death wanted him years ago but has been too afraid to show up.

Couldn't find a clip I could embed, but here's the link if you want to see it. It starts at 1:20 of the clip:
Bruce Wayne Can Still Fight

Comic Book: The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (10th Anniversary Edition)
I will be the first to admit this graphic novel has been thrown into the spotlight a million times, but there's a reason for that. The storyline still grabs me every time I read it.

For many, this is considered the graphic novel that changed the face of the hero for them. That was the case for me. Years of growing up seeing him on Super Friends and in various comic books had given me an image of Batman as a casual hero. The Dark Knight Returns changed it all by showing a hero who would beat the living daylights out of bad guys and hurt them just because.

Giving us the final fight with the Joker, a new Robin, and the explanation for him wearing a bright yellow symbol on his chest (SPOILER: it's bulletproof), the comic book just kept getting better with each issue. The climactic fight scene between Batman and Superman just added to the cool factor because of how it ended.

To see the legacy of this comic, just watch the cartoon series from a few years ago. We were given a glimpse into this Dark Knight world. It didn't follow the comic book, but it did obviously pay homage to what Miller had done.

Miller's attempted follow-up years later confirmed a lot of suspicions that TDKR was just a lucky fluke for the writer, but the original remains a must-read storyline for any Batman fan.

Action Figure: DC Direct Modern Batman

Batman 13" Deluxe Collector FigureI have a lot of Batman statues, but my figure collection is much worse. I have over 125 different loose Batman figures on display in my house (again, my wife is the most understanding woman on the planet and indulges my quirky habit). After a LOT of personal debate on the issue, I've decided my personal favorite is the DC Direct Modern Batman 13 inch figure.

There have been 4 different 13 inch Batman variations (Classic, Modern, Dark Knight movie, and Alex Ross Justice) and I have them all, but this modern version seems to fit the character. Alex Ross' Justice figure really does look like he came out of a Ross illustration, but his face looks a little too strange to be considered the absolute look of the Batman.

This figure comes with a stand and interchangeable hands that let you put the Batarang in there and pose him as your heart desires. If I had to choose a figure that would show someone who Batman was, this would be the one I went with.

Movie: The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight: Collector's Edition (With 2-in-1 DC Comic Book and Two-Face Replica Collector Coin) (Full Screen)
So many Batman movies to choose from, but this one just remains Batman's greatest. The scene where he escapes from the tower using the balloon and the airplane? Tell me you weren't just amazed when you saw that for the first time? And hey, I'd bet money you walked out talking about the Joker's "magic trick".

Christopher Nolan created this beautifully perfect film that gave us a great clash between Batman and Joker. Unfortunately, even though the Joker lived through this film, we'll never see Heath Ledger get his rematch.

Was the movie perfect? No way. The absence of Katie Holmes really took away from the character's final fate in my eyes. I just couldn't get it through my head that Maggie was playing the same character because they look absolutely nothing alike. And Christian Bale's Batman voice? Cookie Monster all the way. But at least this Two-Face looked scary and acted more in line with the comic book, rather than Tommy Lee Jones' attempt to "out-Carrey" Jim Carrey's Riddler.

I'm still waiting to see what Nolan does with the last film, but I remain optimistic.

Cartoon Series: Batman The Animated Series

When I first saw the concept drawings for this series in the early 90's, I thought it was going to be stupid. He didn't look like a real person, but a caricature instead. I still tuned in though, and soon my Saturday evenings were spent watching the episode I'd taped on the VCR that morning.

Bruce Timm brought us a version of Batman that had elements of the light-hearted fare we'd grown used to from the 70's, but kept this grim edge from the comic books that made it appealing to adult viewers like myself.

Though the series began to wear out a little in later years when Robin joined the show, those first seasons kept me very happy. Even now the theme music from this show remains a favorite in comic book shops everywhere.

Comic Book Artist: Neal Adams

Oh, this will start a fight I'm sure and I've already covered this in the past. Jim Aparo did amazing things with him. Alex Ross made him look real and gave his costume wrinkles. Jim Lee made him gritty, while Frank Miller made him tough. Ethan Van Sciver gave him menace. All of these guys were amazing and had their moments, but I have to give the biggest moment to Neal Adams.

Oh, I know he gave a possibly-fatal blow to his Bat-cred with the Batman: Odyssey maxi-series that was recently killed by DC Comics, but during the 70's and 80's this man did some awesome work. I was just a child during his Batman time and had no idea who was drawing the book...I just knew the pictures were incredible.

I was able to attend the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con (thanks, Khristian!), and meeting Neal Adams there was one of the high points of that trip. I'm sure he didn't necessarily feel the same way, but I got so many books signed by him that I don't care.

Neal illustrated a lot of heroes over the years (his Deadman is usually the one you'll see on tee shirts even today). It would be hard to pigeon-hole him into one character, I know, and yet it's hard to think of Batman without seeing him drawn by Neal in my mind's eye.

If you're interested, Jim Aparo would be my second choice of top Bat-artist. He very narrowly lost to Neal.

Now fire away! What would you consider better moments than these I mentioned?
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