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Consoles Gaming

The 16 Best Batman Games of All Time

You can’t help but be enamored with the nightly heroics that Gotham City’s eternal savior always embarks on.

In the comics, in animated adaptations, and on the big screen, billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne dons his famous superhero costume to take on his alter-ego of Batman. And ever since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (March 30, 1939), “The Dark Knight” has amassed a following of fanatics that come out in droves to follow his latest adventures across all forms of media. The video game medium has done right by the “World’s Greatest Detective” on numerous occasions – he’s starred in a collection of quality titles that have spanned numerous console generations.

Since 2022’s The Batman movie is gearing up to be one of the best cinematic interpretations of the DC Comics character to date, I think it’s the perfect time to show him lots of extra love. And I’m going to do just that by reflecting on the 16 best Batman games of all time.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qr0RSz-HPIw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed1. ‘Batman: The Video Game’</div>
1. ‘Batman: The Video Game’

This one’s first-up since it’s one of the earliest examples of a great Batman video game. Based on the 1989 Tim Burton cinematic take, Batman: The Video Game is a dope side-scroller that feels like the perfect marriage between Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania. There are solid platforming elements intact, the ability to wall jump, and a collection of side tools that widens Batman’s combat repertoire. As far as superhero video games from way back in the day go, this one is a top-of-the-line experience that doesn’t feel like a cheap cash-in on DC’s iconic savior.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/32VvR9Nl0kA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed2. ‘Batman Returns’ (SNES)</div>
2. ‘Batman Returns’ (SNES)

If you’re an OG out here in these gaming streets, then you’ll remember the major differences between certain games on the Sega Genesis and SNES. In the case of Batman Returns, the Super Nintendo version is miles better than the inferior Genesis rendition. And that’s why I decided to drop it on here. You can never go wrong with a solid beat ’em up and that’s exactly what the SNES version of this game is. Since it was developed by Konami, it’s easy to see why this beat ’em up came out as good as it did. Walking from left to right to assault a horde of clowns and getting involved in some wild boss encounters was & remain as fun as ever here.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/nO9yLwg95M0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed3. ‘The Adventures of Batman \u0026amp; Robin’ (Sega Genesis and SNES)</div>
3. ‘The Adventures of Batman & Robin’ (Sega Genesis and SNES)

Here’s a rare case of two versions of a 16-bit game both being equally acceptable. The Adventures of Batman & Robin on Genesis was pretty much a side-scrolling shooter, while the SNES rendition was more of a traditional beat ’em up. Both games do right by the cartoon series as evidenced by their crisp 2D visuals, which still look impressive to this day. The opening cinematic and music in the Genesis version is much preferred, while the SNES version comes with better visuals. In the end, both games are amazing as a combo deal and a respectable representation of a classic 90s cartoon.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/cEVoc3FXCpI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed4. ‘Lego Batman: The Videogame’</div>
4. ‘Lego Batman: The Videogame’

There are so many worthwhile Lego games out there based on a wealth of legendary IPs that will always stand the test of time. And of course, we got one that’s about the “Caped Crusader” and his band of sidekicks & popular members of Rogues Gallery. Lego Batman: The Videogame sticks to the formula of the many Lego games that came before it – there’s fun co-op gameplay involved as you and a buddy run around themed locales seen in the comics to collect Lego studs, solve quick brainteasers, and beat up random baddies. The jokes come a mile a minute and the fun factor stays at an all-time high for all ages, too.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/T8bu2Y_cZb8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed5. ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’</div>
5. ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’

Rocksteady Studios became a household name within the world of gaming once it created a true AAA experience that radically changed the sub-genre of superhero video games. Batman: Arkham Asylum came onto the scene with a combat system that’s been imitated by many due to just how well implemented it is. Landing finishing blows, pulling off cool counters, and utilizing gadgets in this game perfectly encapsulated Batman’s combat prowess. The non-combat portions of this game are just as amazing – exploring the island that Arkham Asylum calls home is just so fascinating. There are so many Riddler trophies, Easter Eggs, and unique ways to explore every nook & cranny this game cleverly hides. Arkham Asylum’s strong narrative also sticks out for being just as intriguing as the comic books that built up its many personalities.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/3TZPpynjZpo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed6. ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame’</div>
6. ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame’

One of the most underrated cartoons that delved into the bold and colorful world of DC Comics is Batman: The Brave and the Bold. It’s quite fitting that the game based on the show is just as slept-on as its source material. What’s presented here is one of the most beautifully animated beat ’em ups that’s ever been released. The art style sticks close to what the show looks like, which makes the game feel like a true love letter to that series. Beating up random thugs with a friend in tow is just so awesome here – Batman, Hawkman, Robin, Green Lantern, and Blue Beetle make up the game’s charismatic roster. Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame is a very undervalued gem.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/YQgF0NYzZO8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed7. ‘Batman: Arkham City’</div>
7. ‘Batman: Arkham City’

Batman: Arkham City improved upon the greatness of Arkham Asylum and then some. Players could finally deliver Batman’s brutal batch of justice and put his detective skills to work within a greatly expanded hub world that truly felt alive. The combat got some welcome upgrades, such as the utilization of additional tools for additional combat maneuvers. There are so many unforgettable moments to speak of with this quality Batman experience – the first time you get to fly around the city, the epic Dr. Freeze boss fight, the many side campaigns featuring Catwoman & other members of the Bat Family, etc. Arkham City may just be the very best Batman project Rocksteady has ever produced.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/SoOmSrrUsz8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed8. ‘Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes’</div>
8. ‘Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes’

Those Lego games always throw in an extra wrinkle for their sequels that always make them worth returning to. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes‘ big change is the fact that Batman and his allies can now fight alongside some of the most beloved members of the DC Comics superhero roster. All the fun of the first game is retained here, which makes the act of exploring a blocky Gotham City such a captivating experience. This celebration of DC all-stars does so much right and still holds up as one of the better Lego games ever released. Shout out to all the extra characters that came with this game’s Heroes Pack and Villains Pack, too!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FoTAQr1jBuY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed9. ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’</div>
9. ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’

Batman: Arkham Origins got a raw deal from fans at the time of its announcement. The fact that it was a prequel and not a full-fledged sequel disappointed some, plus the fact that a non-Rocksteady development studio worked on it gave those same fans reason to worry. However, the game ended up being another exciting foray into the tumultuous world of Gotham’s savior. This game holds a special place in many fans’ hearts due to its wealth of excellent boss battles – getting to square off with Deathstroke will forever be one of Arkham Origins’ main highlights. The snow-filled locales, the intriguing plot that put Black Mask & an early version of The Joker center stage, and the Shock Gloves accessory are just some of the many reasons why this prequel deserves way more acclaim.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/crZs4dskOZo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. ‘Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate’</div>
10. ‘Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate’

Alongside Arkham Origins came this fun side-scroller that worked surprisingly well as a portable title. And once it eventually got ported over to home consoles, a lot more gamers got to delve even deeper into Batman and Catwoman’s initial journey together. Arkham Origins: Blackgate feels like the most fitting Metroidvania take on the series – venturing through the infamous Blackgate Prison to take on The Joker, Penguin and Black Mask’s goons alongside Catwoman delivers plenty of thrills. The signature combat system of the previous games in the Arkham series gets lovingly recreated here in a different form that lends itself well to the game’s 2.5D environments.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/RSdN3t-yTPk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed11. ‘Batman’ (2013 Arcade Game)</div>
11. ‘Batman’ (2013 Arcade Game)

There are no crimes to solve here and no stealthy segments to embark on in this exclusive Batman arcade experience – all there is to do here is to hop in different variations of the famous Batmobile to take down his many foes off the roads of Gotham City. Raw Thrills and Specular Interactive came together like good old Batman & Robin to create one of the most action-packed Batman games ever made. It’ll always feel so good to hop into one of the many Batmobile’s from the TV show and movies to gun down bad guys’ vehicles, employ sick power-ups to do even more damage, and get engaged in some tough boss encounters with familiar Batman villains.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/8vznzTBvPl4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed12. ‘Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’</div>
12. ‘Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’

The final installment in the Lego Batman series went out with a decisive bang. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham went comes with jam-packed with DC goodies to enjoy – there’s a who’s who of iconic & even slept-on characters to take control of during you and a co-op buddy’s escapades the LEGO-ized DC Universe. The swappable costumes added another fun element to progressing through the game’s light environmental puzzles, plus the unique abilities afforded to the game’s marquee characters did right by their comic counterparts. The amount of DLC mini-campaigns that came with this thing is pretty insane, too – the Batman 75th Anniversary pack stood out as the very best!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FX1uGqXD2n8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed13. ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’</div>
13. ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’

The final stretch of Batman’s Rocksteady-developed journey came to a close with an emphatic bang. This was the ultimate conclusion to a series that built up tons of respect among gamers and comic book fans alike. Batman’s final crusade brought him into contact with a truly sinister version of the Scarecrow that looks to incapacitate the good people of Gotham City for good.

And during this battle against the sinister madman, players got to glide, drive and sneak through an even more expanded version of Gotham that was rife with baddies to beat up, secrets to uncover, and enemy tanks to wipe out with the Batmobile. Driving around in Batman’s trusty vehicle provides plenty of thrills (even though its combat encounters were a bit overdone). The reveal of who the Arkham Knight really is could be seen from a mile away, but it still felt awesome to come to blows with one of Batman’s earliest sidekicks. Batman: Arkham Knight is a must-play.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/eS4g0py16N8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed14. ‘Batman: Arkham VR’</div>
14. ‘Batman: Arkham VR’

Even though there’s no combat to speak of in Batman: Arkham VR, that shocking omission isn’t enough to keep it from being enjoyable. Stepping into the body of Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego and seeing the world through his eyes is super trippy at first, but you’ll eventually come to grips with your new role as the “World’s Greatest Detective.” Tinkering around with Batman’s gadgets and solving a whole host of mind-bending puzzles is the name of the game here. And thankfully, all of those elements come together nicely to produce a virtual reality endeavor worth embarking on.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/hXVkXYaKqxM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed15. ‘Batman: The Telltale Series’</div>
15. ‘Batman: The Telltale Series’

During Telltale Games’ storied run, the adventure game publisher/developer got their hands on some pretty huge franchises. When it stepped into the realm of DC, Telltale caught everyone off guard when it announced a Batman game. The way Batman: The Telltale Series flips the hero’s established story elements on its head is praiseworthy – longtime fans who’ve never played this game will be surprised by the seedy activities Bruce’s parents were involved in and the true identity of Lady Arkham. The combat sections in this original Batman tale are way better than you’d expect, plus the detective work you’ll engage in works so well within a point & click adventure game format.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/pKGMCPhExhw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed16. ‘Batman: The Enemy Within’</div>
16. ‘Batman: The Enemy Within’

Telltale didn’t rest on its laurels while it still had the right to create Batman content. Its equally exemplary follow-up came in the form of Batman: The Enemy Within. And this time, Batman came into contact with his most popular villain and the one man that knows him inside & out – The Joker. This second season of Batman goodness improved upon the first season’s main features while involving players in a wild affair that also stars The Riddler, Amanda Waller, and Harley Quinn. The decisions that had to be made here were certainly tough, but they all paid off in the end by establishing Batman’s archnemesis as an ever-looming threat. Batman: The Enemy Within’s plot is definitely on par with that of the comic books that inspired it.

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Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Spider-Man Games of All Time

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

We’re guessing the license holders for the world’s most famous wall-crawler uttered that line to every video game publisher/developer that was given the right to utilize him. Notable names, such as Sega, Activision, and Sony Interactive Entertainment, were all tasked with giving one of its talented development teams the tough task of creating an “amazing” video game adaptation that encapsulated everything people love about Spidey. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has been featured in everything from arcade beat ’em ups and top-down action RPGs to legendary open-world adventures.

And through it all, Spider-Man has had his fair share of memorable games that still stand tall when compared to the finest comic book video games of all time. The 10 games we’re about to wax nostalgia for are the most preferred way to take control of the lovable web-slinger and act out his most heroic feats in playable form.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/0_Y80vd0Qgk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed1. ‘Spider-Man: The Video Game’</div>
1. ‘Spider-Man: The Video Game’

If a franchise was hotter than fish grease back in the day, chances are it was given a video game adaptation of some kind. And seeing that video game adaptation implement side-scrolling beat ’em up mechanics was usually a given. Sega did just that once it got to play around with Marvel Comics’ avenging web crawler. This arcade beat ’em up was simple and straight to the point – get you and three buddies together to choose from Spider-Man, Black Cat, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Hawkeye.

Then proceed to smash a bunch of evildoers on your way to clashing with bigger baddies, such as Kingpin, Venom, and even Doctor Doom. The game’s visuals were quite striking at the time as it presented each character as bold and tall heroes that elicited comic book sound effects from their foes every time they hit ’em. Spider-Man: The Arcade Game is another classic Marvel beat ’em up that we still can’t get enough of.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/6iYjezUC-6U” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed2. ‘Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage’</div>
2. ‘Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage’

That red SNES cartridge blew everyone’s minds at first sight. It still wows us every time we spot a random image of it on eBay or some retro gamer forum. That color change went hand in hand with the vicious villain at the heart of the struggle in Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage. The comic book series itself made a huge impact and so did the game based on Carnage’s coming out party across the pages of his story arc.

Maximum Carnage is another one of those 16-bit beat ’em ups that always gets mentioned among Marvel’s best video games. Those who played it look back fondly on Spider-Man and Venom’s crusade through NYC as they vanquished a whole army of thugs. The coolest part of this game is the way in which superhero assists could be called on – by finding specific items, allies such as Captain America, Black Cat, and Iron Fist would pop in to lend a hand. This game kicked our asses plenty of times, but we could never put it down. Someday we’re finally gonna get to the end and put Carnage down for good!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/kBflRKjleAY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed3. ‘Spider-Man’ (2000)</div>
3. ‘Spider-Man’ (2000)

Fun fact – this Activision-published Spider-Man game actually relied on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game engine for the PlayStation. At the time of its release, many regarded it as the best Spider-Man game ever made. While it may not hold that high honor anymore, this 3D foray into the dangerous world of Spider-Man still deserves plenty of praise.

While the icon Stan Lee narrated, players took control of Spidey as he fought to clear his name after being framed by a doppelgänger. And on top of all that, players also had to combat an incoming symbiote invasion. Webbing around this game was such a joy, plus webbing up foes and getting into some wild boss fights with familiar members of Spidey’s Rogue’s Gallery was equally engrossing. Clashing with a giant-sized Mysterio will always stick out in our minds regarding this awesome Spidey simulator. We gotta hand extra props to the Sega Dreamcast version, by the way!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/7e28ktAPQvI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed4. ‘Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace’</div>
4. ‘Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace’

All praises are due to Activision for packaging this slept-on Game Boy Advance Spidey game with X2: Wolverine’s Revenge. For someone that owned a GBA, it was actually worth getting your hands on this game since it was way better than most licensed portable video games at the time.

Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace was a pretty straightforward side-scroller, but it performed its job quite well. You navigated numerous stages, webbed up & knocked out random bad guys, and met a recognizable supervillain at the end. It didn’t get any more complex than that, but we were fine with that! Throwing hands with the likes of Hammerhead, Rhino, and even the often ignored Big Wheel played the part of final bosses during their associated stages. Spider-Man’s best handheld adventure is most definitely this one.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/4uXPV7lTy7Q” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed5. ‘Spider-Man’ (2002)</div>
5. ‘Spider-Man’ (2002)

Tobey Maguire is still held up as the best onscreen interpretation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man by a good majority of comic book movie fans. Seeing as how crowded theaters full of those same fans lost their minds when he appeared onscreen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s easy to see that Tobey’s Spidey still gets a ton of love.

The video game adaptation of Tobey’s 2002 blockbuster adventure is a damn good time. The open environments gave way to some solid web-slinging segments and brawls with various assailants that made us truly feel like the hero himself. The visuals really shined here and shone brightly, especially when you got to swing around the city under the guise of some dope alternate costumes (those Matrix Spidey and Shocker skins were our faves!). We gotta give Treyarch plenty of love for doing right by Spider-Man with this game and its astonishing follow-up!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/u_qNg4YTLUA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed6. ‘Spider-Man 2’</div>
6. ‘Spider-Man 2’

The follow-up to the original Spider-Man movie game is a massive improvement in every way, shape, and form. This sequel threw players into a truly open world that allowed Spidey to glide through the air in a beautiful rendition of the “Big Apple.”

Spider-Man 2 gave everyone so much to do as the hero everyone in the big city relied on – you saved countless kids’ balloons, stopped plenty of speedy cars, rescued numerous construction workers while they’re falling to their death, etc. And alongside all that was Spider-Man’s conflict with Doctor Octopus, which gave way to an intriguing storyline that everyone already adored from the movie itself. Spider-Man 2 is a goated comic book video game for another reason, by the way – it’s narrated by the great Bruce Campbell!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/8rZQcuexK7E” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed7. ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’</div>
7. ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’

The Ultimate Spider-Man comics presented one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes in a new light during the imprint’s storied run. And once Treyarch got the green light to make a game based on that spinoff universe, gamers got treated to something on par with Spider-Man 2 with the release of Ultimate Spider-Man.

The game’s cel-shaded visuals still look amazing to this very day (it’s awesome how games that stuck close to that animation style stand the test of time!). The main crux of the fun from this game came from being able to venture through Manhattan and parts of Queens as Spidey and his nemesis/ally Venom. In the case of Venom, his playstyle allowed for more destructive behavior that felt like a mix between Rampage and Grand Theft Auto. Ultimate Spider-Man is pretty much a prettier version of Spider-Man 2 that sticks close to its comic-book roots.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/W-7iyF0bSwI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed8. ‘Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions’</div>
8. ‘Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions’

Before Spider-Man: No Way Home took a trip into the multiverse of the famed web-slinger, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions did it in video game form. Beenox put forth a great game that not only featured the traditional “amazing” Spidey fans instantly recognize but also showcased Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man.

With four different Spider-Men in tow, this game introduced four different playstyles that kept a full playthrough of the game fresh throughout. Spider-Man Noir stuck out as the most unique thanks to his stealthy segments, while Ultimate Spider-Man’s bigger focus on chaotic combat added to the game’s fun factor. We hope Sony and Insomniac Games revisits the concept of Shattered Dimensions with a video game adaption of Into the Spider-Verse someday!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/_odHWsYOm2k” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed9. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’</div>
9. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’

When news came out about a PlayStation 4-exclusive Spider-Man game, everyone’s hype levels went through the roof. And upon its official reveal at E3 2016, it was clear that this highly-anticipated release was in capable hands. Insomniac Games, which is the studio most known for its work on the Ratchet & Clank series, did a bang-up job with its open-world foray into Spider-Man’s difficult trials as a citywide superhero.

Everything was on-point here – the web-swinging, combat mechanics, alternate costume lineup, side missions, etc. all came together to produce the greatest Spider-Man game of all time. If you played through this game to the point of getting the platinum trophy and experienced all of its DLC, then you certainly got your money’s worth. Spider-Man for the PS4 encapsulates everything that makes him great and perfectly showcases his Rogues Gallery as one of the very best in the comics industry.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/NTunTURbyUU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’</div>
10. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’

After the last game on this list threw Miles Morales into the mix, it was only a matter of time before the lightning-infused Spider-Man got his own playable experience. Once the PS5 hit the scene, Miles got just that via a short yet oh so sweet foray into his coming-of-age adventure. Shout out to Insomniac once again for their quality work on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Miles stood apart through his signature special abilities that made zipping through the air and putting down a whole set of baddies even more lively. And with his very own struggle to get engaged in while Peter Parker is away, Miles came into contact with some lethal villains and even one that’s been close to him since childhood. And the mood was set just right by the proper representation of Afro Latino vibes in NYC and the original soundtrack. Miles Morales’ solo endeavor is definitely on equal footing with Peter Parker’s PS4 epic.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

These DC Characters Deserve Video Games Next

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<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/KRKZ1ewc9f0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

The days of dreadful to mediocre superhero games are starting to become a thing of the past. Now don’t get us wrong – there’s still the occasional comic book video game dud that hits the market. But there’s far more of an abundance in good to great titles that are based within the worlds of Marvel and DC.

In the case of Detective Comics, the giant comic book imprint’s caped crusaders have starred in a wide array of memorable games – the Batman Arkham series, the Injustice games, DC Universe Online, and even The Wolf Among Us can be counted on as some of the very best. And with three new releases on the horizon (Gotham Knights, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and Wonder Woman), DC fans certainly have a look to look forward to.

Now that it seems like DC and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are exploring the rest of the comic book line’s characters for video game adaptions, we figured it was time to help them in that regard. Here are our most requested suggestions when it comes to our dream DC video games.

1. Superman
DC

“The Man of Tomorrow” is none other than Krypton’s favorite son, Superman. He’s the quintessential superhero and DC’s front-facing superhero that’s known far and wide. Even though he’s prospered in the world of film, TV, and other forms of media, Superman has had the worst luck when it comes to quality video games. He’s always been better served in DC ensemble adventures instead of solo-themed journeys, sadly. After seeing just how well Batman’s been incorporated into the world of big-budget AAA games, we’re more than ready to see the very same lessons learned from those triumphs applied to good old Supes. At some point, we’re going to need to see Superman get his very own open-world epic.

Flying and running at top speeds across Metropolis is the ultimate dream scenario that we’d love to be a part of. Now the issue of Superman being far too powerful to be taken down at any point is understandable, which is why this game would need to incorporate one of his big bads as the central foe whose minions could provide even a mild threat to his wellbeing. Putting someone like Brainiac or even Darkseid at the very top of the food chain makes sense. And having additional foes such as Doomsday, Metallo, and Bizarro in place would make for some amazing boss encounters. Having Lex Luthor work behind the scenes to throw even more hazards in Supes’ way sounds fun to us, too! We’d love for Rocksteady Studios to handle this one.

2. The Flash
DC

The “Scarlet Speedster” known worldwide as The Flash almost got himself a full-fledged solo adventure back in 2005. That open-world project was in the works thanks to the combined efforts of Bottle Rocket, Brash Entertainment, and Warner Bros. and was set to make its grand debut in 2009. Sadly, The Flash’s AAA solo game met its unfortunate end due to Brash Entertainment going out of business in 2008. Unseen64’s footage of that lost game looks amazing in action, which is why we’re hoping the awesome concepts featured in it can come back in a brand new Flash game at some point.

The main concept we saw and loved from that lost project is the way in which Flash’s supersonic speed applied to his open-world exploration. We also enjoyed how the corresponding face buttons played a huge part in how The Flash engages in combat against numerous foes. That concept would need to be expanded in some way though since The Flash should have more than four foes to clash with simultaneously. A big-budget Flash game would be incredible if it included Sonic the Hedgehog-like platforming courses and races against additional heroes/villains that can also tap into the Speed Force (a special head-to-head rally against Superman would also be amazing!). Plus it’d be pretty cool to tangle with the likes of Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold, and Mirror Master. Maybe Avalanche Software can take a crack at this project.

3. Deathstroke
DC

Slade Wilson may have started out as a villain, but now he’s most known as DC’s most cunning mercenary. Under the guise of Deathstroke, he sets out to fulfill his contracts by any means necessary. His superhuman abilities and masterful skills in the art of swordplay & marksmanship were perfectly captured during his role as a boss in Batman: Arkham Origins. After engaging with Deathstroke as DC’s “Dark Knight,” we were left asking ourselves asking “how come Deathstroke doesn’t have his own game yet?”

If we were Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we’d hand off such a lofty assignment to the development studio known as WB Games Montréal. It worked on Arkham Origins after all and is responsible for making Deathstroke look his very best in 3D, so it’d make sense for them to further build upon the foundation they already have with him. This game would clearly have to be rated M and play/look like something along the lines of Volition’s 2004 video game adaptation of The Punisher. Slashing and blasting everything in sight as Deathstroke sounds dope to us. And encountering his Rogues’ Gallery (Snakebite, Jackal, Odysseus, etc.) would make for the perfect boss encounters. This dream AAA Deathstroke game sounds like the sort of project that would have a lot of legs.

4. Teen Titans
DC

The co-op goodness that’s been put on display so far for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights made us ponder about games for other DC teams. And the first one that came to mind is the fan-favorite Teen Titans. The comics and cartoons for DC’s young heroes and heroines have catapulted their popularity, so there’d be a huge fanbase in place for this dream game we’re proposing.

The Teen Titans lineup this game would need to incorporate is Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy. It’d not only be dope to instantly switch to the other party members in the middle of battle, but it’d also make a ton of sense for players to be able to send out teammate commands a la Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. And on a local/online level, this Teen Titans game would make for a very rewarding experience thanks to co-op capabilities. Having everyone fighting on the field during skirmishes with Cheshire, Harvest, and Deathstroke sounds like the perfect scenario for this team-based experience. And you know who’d we commission to make this game? Get WB Games Boston off the bench for this one, we say!

5. Birds of Prey
DC

Another DC troupe that’s in dire need of a video game adaptation is the Birds of Prey. The modern-day alliance of Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress are lethal on the battlefield and definitely have the toolset needed to transition to an action-packed co-op game. Venturing through the Gotham City underworld and chasing down its sleaziest personalities would make for a lively video game that would translate into a quality three-player ordeal.

Including past members of the squad in playable side character roles would definitely add more replay value to this game – Lady Blackhawk, Hawk & Dove, and Katana would fill those positions perfectly. And throwing hands with baddies such as Copperhead, the Daughters Of Gotham, and Lady Shiva would make for some highly enticing gameplay scenarios. A Birds of Prey game developed by Monolith Productions that incorporates the development studio’s “Nemesis System” sounds like a dream come true to us.

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Consoles Gaming

ONE37pm’s Official ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’ Review

Back in 2014, moviegoers everywhere were genuinely shocked by the overwhelming quality of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy. The once-obscure band of galactic misfits became household names thanks to the combined acting chops of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana (special shout out to Bradley Cooper for his superior voice acting talents as well). Once the Guardians became multimedia darlings, the video game world obviously took notice. But to everyone’s surprise, Telltale Games adopted the IP to create a point-and-click adventure game (which was shockingly good, by the way). Fast forward to 2021 and now we have a big-budget, full-fledged action/adventure epic that’s all about experiencing the madcap adventures of the whole gang. And to this reviewers’ surprise, it’s way better than it has any right to be.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing but a reskinned version of Marvel’s Avengers – it sports a similar art design and comes from the same publishing house that put out the much-maligned games-as-a-service title. But the comparisons stop there – this space-faring journey does things a bit differently in regards to combat, dialogue, audio, and so much more. Guardians’ visuals shine thanks to the wide variety of planets you’ll frequently explore – one minute, you’ll be navigating a lost colony filled with debris from a past war. And the next minute, you’ll be traversing a showy expanse ruled by some vicious wildlife. The graphics also shine whenever you get to navigate the Milano and take in every part of the ship’s architecture. It takes a minute to adjust to the new versions of the human/alien Guardians on screen that don’t look anything like their big-screen counterparts, but you’ll quickly get over that nagging issue once you become more familiar with them and even switch up their attires. Guardians’ looks good and sounds damn good too thanks to the soundtrack that offers sweeping orchestral tunes and 80s jams in equal measure.

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Most onlookers lamented this game’s decision to only allow players to directly control Star-Lord. This reviewer certainly felt the same way at first since it seemed like a lost opportunity to not have the ability to hack & slash as Drax or Gamora and pull off some combined brutality as Rocket & Groot. But once you dig your heels into the game’s combat system, you’ll quickly get over that feeling and realize the sort of game you’re playing here. Guardians’ combat system feels like a Marvel Comics take on Mass Effect – you’ll whip out Peter Quill’s dual laser shooters to do big damage as your fellow Guardians fight on their own, plus you’ll get to give them commands to truly take control of the battlefield. Battles start out simple enough – you’ll deal some rapid-fire damage as you use your jet boots to dash out of harm’s way and float in the air for a few seconds while your allies aid you close by.

But as you get deeper into the game, the battle system introduces interesting mechanics that make them even more enjoyable. Peter’s elemental guns let you switch up your approach to blasting, you’ll unlock new special attacks for your teammates that work great in tandem with each other, and even get to power up the whole squad for a limited amount of time thanks to a clever huddle mechanic. The combat system truly shines in wide-open areas as the action becomes more manageable when it comes to crowd control, but it falters a bit in tighter quarters since it gets a bit overwhelming when it comes to keeping track of everything going on around you. Mapping Peter’s special abilities to holding down the left thumbstick also feels a bit cumbersome while trying to activate them in the heat of battle. Yet it feels all too good to light up the battlefield with explosive fireworks and rack up your combo multiplier with well-coordinated team attacks. Guardians’ combat mechanics are strengthened by its mix of active combat and incorporation of turn-based mechanics.

Square Enix

From a storyline perspective, Guardians does an excellent job of properly retaining each character’s likable personality traits and featuring them within a lengthy campaign filled with emotional, hilarious, & extra hype moments. The team’s adventure starts out on a simple note as they look to capture and sell a rare creature that will solve all their money woes. But soon enough, they become embroiled in a galaxy-wide crusade that involves an army of religious zealots looking to fulfill some sort of “promise.” Making your way through the game means you’ll get embroiled in tons of segments that allow you to chat with your many allies during some intriguing conversations.

Randomly speaking with everyone and everything is definitely worth doing thanks to the strong voice acting and different dialogue options you can select in order to sway the conversation anywhere you want. You’ll find yourself going out of your way to pick up random items just so you bring them up during a quick chat with one of the other Guardians in an effort to get to know them better. After beating this game, you’ll quickly find yourself ready to experience it all over again just so you can explore all the dialogue options you passed on beforehand and see how they change up certain moments within the story.

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Guardians’ has so much going for it, but it’s held back by a lack of polish. While the game works and plays well, for the most part, the myriad bugs and glitches you’ll encounter from time to time are disappointing. Sometimes, the interactable button icon will stay up on the side of the screen even when there’s nothing to interact with. Peter gets randomly stuck on pieces of the environment, too (thankfully, the game resets you to the ground in that instance). At one point in the game, Drax mysteriously followed me around and stood right in front of the camera as I tried to indulge in some serious convos with everyone else on the ship. Future patches will certainly arrive in due time to remedy these annoying issues and make the game feel more complete. But it’s still pretty lame to see those sorts of mechanical issues pop up at the most inopportune moments.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy certainly had me and everyone else worried about its overall quality. But after making my way through its well-paced and action-packed adventure, I came away impressed with what’s on offer here. Focusing on a well-made single-player escapade that’s held up by well-written dialogue, energetic combat sequences, surprise cameos, and so much more was clearly the right way to go for development studio Eidos-Montréal. The litany of annoying bugs and glitches still apparent in the final version definitely sucks and needs to be fixed ASAP. But overall, this Marvel Comics game is far better than one might initially think.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

What Could the Mystery MCU 2023-2024 Movies Be?

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe officially kicked off in 2008 and has been delivering some of the biggest moments in cinematic history. 

For those of us who have been there from the very beginning, the double whammy of Infinity War and Endgame marked the end of some of our favorite MCU onscreen personalities and major story threads. Now the fourth phase of the MCU is currently underway – new heroes are being introduced, familiar faces are being phased into new roles, and an overarching plot is clearly building up to an all-powerful new baddie. Walt Disney and Marvel Studios already have a huge lineup of films and TV shows on the docket – as of this moment, there are two films left to drop in 2021, four movies set for 2022, five films ready to go in 2023, and four movies prepared for 2024. While we actually know what a few of those films are, a good majority of them are still untitled.

That’s left us with one thing to do – MAKE BOLD PREDICTIONS! There are a ton of clues floating throughout the MCU’s most recent story developments that point to what some of those mystery films could possibly be. Join us as we try to break down what the MCU could be giving us on the big screen in 2023 and 2024.

July 28, 2023 – ‘Fantastic Four’
Marvel Studios

When you take a quick peek at the MCU Phase 4 film schedule, the final film within that lineup marks the MCU debut of Marvel’s most famous “First Family” of superheroes – the Fantastic Four. We’ve already been treated to three films of middling quality regarding the foursome of Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic), Sue Storm (Invisible Woman), Johnny Storm (Human Torch), and Ben Grimm (The Thing).

Now that the F4 have transitioned from Twentieth Century Fox to Walt Disney & Marvel Studios, they now have a legit chance at being in a great film. Since their MCU debut is arriving after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023), it seems like a safe bet that this movie date is put in place for the Fantastic Four. With Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Spider-Man: No Way Home) in the director’s chair, this second Fantastic Four reboot could truly be something special. All we know is this – whoever gets chosen to play Dr. Doom better knock it out of the park!

October 6, 2023 – ‘Blade’
Marvel Studios

The great Mahershala Ali has been chosen to play the part of Marvel’s beloved half-human, half-vampire hybrid hero within the MCU. Wesley Snipes’ interpretation of the character was amazing, so we just hope Ali measures up to the high standards set by Snipes’ films. Stacy Osei-Kuffour has signed on to write the film while Bassam Tariq has been handed the directorial duties, so it’s safe to say that this Blade reboot actually has a chance at succeeding. This October movie launch date seems like the perfect month to bring the vampire hunter back to the big screen. Vampires and the month dedicated to Halloween makes a ton of sense, right? Debuting a new version of Deacon Frost to play the part of Blade’s main foe in this film could work. But we’d be more open to seeing Blade come into contact with Dracula and his daughter Lilith from the jump.

November 10, 2023 – ‘Captain America 4’
Marvel Studios

If you’ve seen the entirety of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, then you already know Anthony Mackie’s Falcon has fully taken over the mantle of Captain America. The deal has reportedly been closed in regards to Mackie’s return to the role as he’ll save the world once again in Captain America 4. It’s worth noting that this film is being scripted by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier head writer and creator Malcolm Spellman. This date gives Spellman and the crew ample time to cook up an amazing film on par with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. Setting up this movie as a tentpole fall film seems sensible enough, don’t you think? A fourth Captain America movie that features a fully formed Thunderbolts team or even Red Skull’s daughter Sin are two amazing possibilities we’d totally be fine with.

February 16, 2024 – ‘Deadpool 3’
Twentieth Century Fox

According to Collider, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that the next Deadpool film is official and will be a part of the MCU. Ryan Reynolds’ fast-talking mercenary has technically done some MCU crossover work already by doing a quick trailer review with Thor: Ragnarok’s Korg, so the synergy is clearly already in place.

The Molyneux Sisters (Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin) have signed on to write the film and it’s clear that it won’t go into filming for a long time (2022 seems like a safe bet). Feige’s confirmation about the film’s R rating has us confident in its ability to mimic the vicious, gory feel of the last two series entries. If you remember, the first Deadpool debuted in theaters on February 12, 2016. So this February 16, 2024 date seems like a nice return to form for the foul-mouthed merc. We’d pay good money to watch Deadpool and Josh Brolin’s Cable team up to take on the MCU’s introduction of Mister Sinister.

May 3, 2024 – ‘X-Men’
Marvel

Now there have been a couple of strong X-Men films from Twentieth Century Fox – the first movie, X2, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Logan were and still are cinematic heavy hitters. But the extreme lows of the previous X-Men movie franchise broke a lot of fans’ hearts. Now that Walt Disney & Marvel Studios has reclaimed the film rights to the X-Men, we’re hopefully due for a complete reboot that does right by Marvel’s most revered superhero squadron.

Now it’s going to be pretty tough to figure out a way to introduce the X-Men to the MCU as a whole. Will they be mutants that have been in hiding for years? Or will they spring up from one of the many realms within the multiverse? It’d be pretty wild to see Wanda Maximoff’s role as the Scarlet Witch play right into the formation of the X-Men and team up against an overwhelming threat such as Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants. Getting new big screen renditions of Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm, and Rogue has us super hype. And setting them up for a Spring 2024 debut seems sensible to us.

July 26, 2024 – ‘Shang-Chi 2′
Marvel Studios

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ended up being one of the best superhero films of all time and one of the more satisfying introductions of a hero to the MCU. Trust us when we say that it’s right up there with Iron Man and Black Panther! Based on the financial and critical success Shang-Chi garnered, there’s clearly going to be a sequel put into development for the next MCU Phase.

Based on the post-credits scenes the film delivered (don’t worry, we won’t spoil them!), something major might be connected to Shang-Chi’s mystical ten rings armament. We’re sure that tease will play a major role in who’s going to be the main villain in the next Avengers movie. But for this sequel, we’d love to see Shang-Chi square up with Midnight Sun (look him up cause his origin story is wild!), Moving Shadow, or the Si-Fan Cyber Ninjas as a whole. Setting up another Shang-Chi film for a 2024 release date gives Walt Disney & Marvel plenty of time to bring it to fruition.

November 8, 2024 – ‘Avengers 5′
Marvel Studios

This late 2024 release date seems like the perfect time to drop the next highly anticipated entry in the Avengers films. The mega threats seen in the movies thus far include Loki/The Other/the Chitauri, Ultron, and Thanos. Now, which super baddie could be overwhelming enough to force a new generation of The Avengers to come together and defeat it? Galactus, perhaps? Based on what we learned about the ten rings’ mysterious origin in Shang-Chi’s first post-credits scene, the planet-eating menace could certainly exist within the MCU.

Getting a teaser of Galactus in the Fantastic Four film also seems pretty feasible, while the rest of the movies set after could continue to build him up for the next Avengers movie. Just imagine this scenario – the new Cap, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Lady Thor, Shang-Chi, The Eternals, and everyone else engaging in a climactic battle with Galactus! Phase Four and the one right after it will most likely set up the next universe threatening villain for the Avengers to clash with.

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Culture Movies/TV

Who Should Be The Main Villain in ‘Captain America 4?’

Major kudos to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s quality rendition of Steve Rogers aka “Captain America.”

He delivered a hat trick with the strongest trilogy in the MCU via Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War. And by the end of Avengers: Endgame, he laid down his trademark shield to pass it on to Falcon and live out his final days as a senior citizen. And due to the events of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we now know that Anthony Mackie’s days as Falcon have come to an end as he is the new Captain America. Years from now, we’re slated for a fourth Captain America film with Mackie in the lead role as the proud and powerful superhero. Now that Marvel’s new USA hero representative is in the driver’s seat, who should be his latest onscreen adversary? 

After taking a peek at Cap’s entire Rogues Gallery, we arrived at three potential villains and even a dangerous stable that could present the new Cap with a worthy challenge.

1. Sin
Marvel

The very first MCU baddie that Steve Rogers came into contact with was the infamous Red Skull. This classic WWII-themed baddie got his comeuppance in The First Avenger, but he eventually sprang back up in Infinity War and Endgame as a Stonekeeper. In the comics, he actually fathered a daughter named Sinthea Shmidt aka “Sin.” Her backstory is a bit silly when you really think about it, however – Red Skull basically used a machine that instantly aged her into adulthood and blessed her with superhuman powers. If she was adapted into the MCU, we’d prefer her origin story to get a bit of change-up. 

Having her play the part of a sympathizer that adopts Red Skull’s views and building herself a stable of fellow believers in the Sisters of Sin to target America’s newly appointed Cap sounds like a plan to us. Sure, that concept sounds similar to the Flag Smashers in theory. But it’s about time that someone with a close connection to the first film’s villain comes to life on the big screen against Mackie in his first solo outing. And here’s a dream scenario we’d love to see come to fruition – what if Captain Carter hopped through a multiverse portal into the live-action MCU to fight side-by-side with Captain Mackie against Sin and the Sisters of Sin? We’re sure Dr. Strange could make some sort of arrangement there…

2. Scourge of the Underworld
Marvel

The Scourge of the Underworld may have the right intentions when it comes to his mission statement, but the way in which he acts it out is pretty sinister. He’s an assassin that carries out his own form of justice by killing known supervillains. Having him play the part of Cap’s new main adversary could make for an interesting film that pits the hero’s moral ideals against his foe’s more immoral actions. It’d be interesting to watch the public’s reaction to the new Captain America being forced to confront someone that’s doing something good in their eyes, but going about it the wrong way according to Cap. An MCU Scourge that carries out assassinations on corrupt political officials could be the perfect foe for Cap to take on as our hero comes to grips with the government he’s meant to fight for and the negative influences he seeks to eliminate from it.

3. The Serpent Society
Marvel

If Captain America 4 is meant to go the Civil War route and feature Cap teaming up with some familiar faces, then they’ll need an overwhelming threat to come to blows with. The perfect group of villains they’d engage in epic battles with would most definitely be the Serpent Society. This powerful collective of supervillains is a sort of labor union that seeks to help each other accomplish their sinister goals and rake in all the cash from their seedy business partners. One of the organizations they’re known to work for is A.I.M., which played a huge role in the events of Iron Man 3

We think it’d be pretty cool to revive the evil faction and have them revealed as the Serpent Society’s true benefactors as they look to replace the now-defunct Hydra. We’d pay good money to watch the team of King Cobra, Anaconda, Bushmaster, Death Adder, Rattler, Constrictor, and Viper wreak havoc across the MCU and garner the attention of Cap and his most trustworthy allies. Just imagine how dope it would be to see Cap team up with Winter Soldier, War Machine, Hawkeye, and Shang-Chi. And hey, maybe we could even see Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s U.S. Agent and her very own Black Widow Yelena Belova lend them all a hand!

4. Taskmaster
Marvel

Now if the MCU can right its wrongs with the way it initially presented The Mandarin, then it can damn sure do the same for Taskmaster! Black Widow’s onscreen version of the character was nothing more than a mute rendition of the beloved baddie that only retained the original’s battle prowess. Once the stink of that first Taskmaster wears off after a few years, it’d be smart for the powers that be at Marvel Studios to revive the copycat character and showcase him as he was truly meant to be. 

The man is a shit-talking mercenary that carries out his assignments for the highest bidder and utilizes his photographic reflexes in order to defeat his foes. A revised Taskmaster going at Cap’s head on behalf of A.I.M. could make for a great film full of action-packed clashes between the two. And hey, maybe we could have A.I.M. put some other baddies into play to get rid of the new Cap! MCU renditions of Karl Stryker and Abe Jenkins’ Beetle moniker (who could later become a member of the live-action Thunderbolts) could make for some cool side villains, wouldn’t you say?

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

These 4 DC Characters Need a James Gunn TV/Movie Adaptation

Ay, James Gunn really doesn’t miss when it comes to these superhero films! 

He took a relatively unknown Marvel Comics property in the Guardians of the Galaxy and turned its cast of interplanetary heroes into household names thanks to his 2014 film adaptation. Then he delivered the equally entertaining sequel in 2018 and has already been tapped to handle the directing duties for the third film that drops in 2023. The recently released The Suicide Squad has earned plenty of acclaim and has plenty of fans excited about his future DC endeavors. DC Films president Walter Hamada basically confirmed Gunn’s future involvement in the production company’s future film and TV renditions during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter

Since he was pretty much given free rein to go as crazy as he wanted to be with the direction of The Suicide Squad, we’re guessing he’s going to be afforded the very same freedoms on his follow-up DCEU projects. Gunn’s penchant for focusing on gut-bustlingly funny moments, warm character interactions, and explosive action sequences can be seen throughout all of his Marvel and DC helmed movie adaptations. With all that being said, there are four noteworthy DC characters that would make for an incredible movie or streaming series with Gunn in the director’s chair. Let us all bow our heads and pray to the New Gods in hopes of getting these films in Prime Earth instead of Earth-1.

1. Lobo (Movie)
DC

There was a point in time where Dwayne Johnson’s name came up every time some sort of update arrived concerning a Lobo film. After years of rumors, the project seemingly just disappeared into the ether. Now “The Rock” is preparing to lay the smackdown on the DCEU as none other than Black Adam. Since Gunn has mastered the art of zany space capers with a whole lotta attitude and hilarity, it’s about time he got to revive the Lobo film adaptation. “The Main Man” only exists to raise hell as he fulfills his space mercenary duties – he’d make for the perfect anti-hero that would lend a Gunn-helmed project the mature themes it would thrive on. Pitting DC’s baddest bastich against signature foes such as Bludhound and Loo so audiences get a taste of Lobo’s overwhelming strength through their battles could be just what the doctor ordered.

2. Deathstroke (Movie)
DC

The post-credits scene for Justice League pointed to a pretty exciting future concerning the creation of an anti-Justice League. Joe Manganiello, the actor who portrayed Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, excited everyone and even made an additional appearance in the Snyder Cut. This version of the superpowered mercenary was meant to be the main antagonist for Ben Affleck’s version of The Batman, but those plans sadly fell through. Joe’s perfect casting of Deathstroke shouldn’t just be left to die – James Gunn should get his hands on the character and bring it to life in a standalone film. Telling his origin story and having him clash with the likes of rival assassins Cheshire, Deadborn, Ebrax, and Forgotten could produce an action-packed DCEU cinematic joyride. Gunn’s bombastic directing style would do wonders for a Deathstroke film.

3. WildC.A.T.s (Movie)
DC

Some of you may not realize this, but the WildStorm Universe that was originally created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi is a part of the DC Universe. The standout superhero team from that comics line is called the WildC.A.T.s, which is a covert action team that ended up getting caught up in the alien conflict between the Kherubim and the Daemonites. Gunn certainly has a knack for producing films focused on lesser-known teams within the comic book realm, so it’d make a ton of sense for him to work his magic for the WildC.A.T.s. Grifter, Zealot, Ladytron, Void, and the other members of the team’s latest incarnation would make for an incredible ensemble on the big screen. Watching a Gunn-directed movie adaptation that sets the WildC.A.T.s against an equally powerful threat would definitely elicit The Suicide Squad vibes. 

4. Plastic Man (TV Series)
DC

Patrick “Eel” O’Brian aka “Plastic Man” has always stood out as being one of the more humorous characters within the DC Universe. His malleable physiology affords him the ability to stretch his body into a bevy of shapes and sizes. If Warner Bros. is willing to cut a big ass check for Gunn, we think he’d have the funds needed to create a big-budget DCEU series. And of course, it’d make for a perfect addition to the HBO Max streaming service alongside the first slate of DCEU TV shows. A series that follows Plastic Man’s rise from a petty criminal into an unlikely super savior could be the perfect mix of comedy, action, and surprisingly emotional revelations. We’d be so down to see Gunn apply his talents to another HBO Max exclusive series once he wraps up his work on Peacemaker.

Categories
Culture News

This Week in Comic Collecting: Kang Conquers All

In fast-moving markets like collectibles, it can often feel like your attention is pulled in six different directions all at once. Collectors are constantly jumping from one thing to the next, from trend to trend. Having said that, this week there is one man (well sort of, really he is many) that has captivated the comic buying public and that is Kang aka Kang the Conqueror.

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Jonathan Majors made his MCU debut this Wednesday showing up as an unnamed version of himself in the Loki Finale. Those who watched learned what comic fans know, which is that Kang comes in infinite forms across the multiverse with his dominant evil conquering variant Kang The Conqueror clearly on the way to the MCU. This has genuinely excited fans of several Marvel properties such as Fantastic Four (Reed Richards’ father becomes Kang), Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, West Coast Avengers, and Young Avengers. 

Time will tell which direction Kang takes us, but one thing is for certain, his comics are red hot! Let’s look at some of the hottest Kang books as well as a few that are still out there to be had.

Avengers #8
Marvel Comics

This is of course Kang’s first appearance. This book has been desirable with the speculation crowd for a number of years so it is no surprise to see it take off in value the way that it has. This book will cost you four figures in any grade and is rising in value as we speak. If this week’s activities are any indication,  I would get on the Kang train now. If you’re not looking to make that type of play, no worries, there are some more affordable options out there for you on the market. 

Avengers #129
Marvel Comics

Just like when Thanos entered the MCU, I expect Kang’s cover art to be in high demand. Some of his other covers are spiking but this one, while up, seems to be under the radar a bit for a solid silver age major. I love this super dope cover and expect this one only to rise in the next twelve months as we know Jonathan Majors’ contract calls for five appearances with Loki only being the first. $50-60 gets you into a mid-grade raw copy. 

Avengers #267
Marvel Comics

Long a dollar bin book (and still out there in those bins!) this book is seeing heat on the market for its awesome Kang cover with the villain front and center and Marvel heroes all around. This very well could be what we see in the future as it will likely take heroes from all points on the multiverse to come together to stop Kang. The Kang Lives moniker on the cover, I also think, plays into where we are on the MCU timeline and makes this book as desirable as it is. This one has seen a meteoric rise from the $1 bin all the way to $90 raw on the open market. Don’t sleep on #268 and #269 while you are at it. 

Avengers Forever #1 Kang Cover
Marvel Comics

This time-traveling story is what many in the comic community expect Kang to take us toward. This 13 issue Avengers Forever story is low print in comparison to eras before and after it and isn’t an easy find on the open market. Copies are selling for $60 raw and while not a titled solo series, this was the first series that really had Kang front and center. I think this book and the series as a whole have tremendous room for growth. 

Avengers #2 (2016)
Marvel Comics

This is purely a cover art play and a good one to boot. This cover comes from master painter and cover artist, the living legend Alex Ross. The cover depicts some of the many faces of Kang and was an immediate hit as soon as the Loki Finale aired. This one was $4 and quickly rose to $30 raw. Being a modern title, I expect to see some 9.8 copies hitting the market any day now.

Seasons Beatings #1 Variant
Marvel Comics

So few Kang variants actually exist on the market and this one is a no-brainer to be a hit. We have seen this pattern before, buyers grab 1st appearances and then iconic Key covers. After that, they move on to modern variants. This Djurdjevic variant depicts a photo realism style painted cover that is a perfect portrait of Kang. Couple that with the fact that this is a low printer title and a variant cover at that and this is one with great potential for the low buy-in of $20 at current market pricing. 

Kang is here! The next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is upon us. This is Thanos all over again. Do not miss out on the chance to get in early even with the current spiking prices. We are only at the top of the iceberg for the potential of this character. There is still so much meat on the bone below the surface. So when you are at the next convention or comic shop, look for those up-and-coming Kang keys and be on the lookout.

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Before I go I wanted to take a second and invite all of you to join me on Sunday as I have the pleasure of being a guest on a panel on the state of comic collecting at this year’s summer Skybound Xpo. Join me and my fellow panelists as we talk about collecting today with Skybound SVP Big Clutch of Comics Vault Live. I hope to see you in the live comments! 

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

6 DC Comics Storylines That Deserve Animated Films

Do you know what’s a common opinion among most comic book heads? “A lot of those DCEU films are buns, but those animated movies they put out are fire!” I fall into that category of fans that feels the exact same way. All anyone needs to do is watch films like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and Assault on Arkham to realize just how strong Warner Bros. Animation’s output is. By the looks of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, it’s looking like the DC Animated Movie Universe will continue to put out quality content for years to come.

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Along with that new trailer for the “Dark Knight’s” upcoming animated venture, everyone got treated to some other awesome announcements. Warner Bros. Animation officially announced an Injustice: Gods Among Us animated film, plus a new Batman animated series (Batman: Caped Crusader) and an additional one based around the life & times of a young Superman (My Adventures with Superman) are also on the horizon. Even with all those dope reveals, I want more! I consider myself a pretty avid reader of all things DC, so I have a pretty good idea of some other classic storylines that would make for great animated features. I came up with six fantasy films that would make for great additions to the DCAMU.

1. ‘Justice League vs. Suicide Squad’
DC Comics

This pick on my wish list obviously stands out as the most recent major DC storyline to have taken place (it’s lifted right from the “Rebirth” line of comics, after all). Amanda Waller’s collective of criminals turned unwilling Task Force X members were pretty dope during their starring role in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, so I’m down to watch them pop up again. And the easiest road to that next animated movie appearance for the team is Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. The premise of the whole crossover is pretty simple and ended up producing some exciting battles that I’m sure a lot of people would love to see in motion. The big reveal behind what’s really going on during the struggle between the JL and the SS hits readers with a nice twist that would play out quite nicely in animated form. In all honesty, I just wanna see Killer Croc take a bite out of Aquaman on the small screen.

2. ‘Justice League/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’
DC Comics / Boom Studios

We already got an animated rendition of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it turned out to be a fun watch. So the next most logical step as far as animated films for DC crossovers go should be a movie for Justice League/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It’s only right that we get to see that fantasy crossover truly come to life in the form of a feature-length film. Watching the best of the DC Universe align themselves with the OG Power Rangers as they go to war with Brainiac and Lord Zedd sounds pretty hype, right? I thought so. I’m down to see this big storyline unfold across the course of an hour and a half long cinematic epic. Just the thought of hearing the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme during this film brings a tear to my eye.

3. ‘Sinestro Corps War’
DC Comics

How hasn’t this incredible chain of events within the DC Universe gotten adapted as an animated film yet? We’ve already seen the origin story of Hal Jordan get that treatment with Green Lantern: First Flight, plus he’s fought the good fight in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and Green Lantern: Beware My Power. Now’s the perfect time to adopt even more of the most prominent Green Lantern’s best storylines. And one of those well-regarded plotlines is the one centered on the grand war between the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro Corps. Critics and fans alike regard it as one of the best comic book storylines of all time, so it’d definitely make for an amazing animated film. The clash between Hal Jordan’s heroic contingent and Sinestro’s formidable lineup of beings powered by Fear would look incredible in animated form.

4. ‘Blackest Night’
DC Comics

While I’m here showing my clear fanboyism for Green Lantern, I might as well bring up another incredible storyline of his that’s ripe for the animated movie treatment. The crossover miniseries that’s overdue for a DCAMU rendition is Blackest Night. I loved reading about Nekron’s grand plan to expunge all life and emotion from the universe. And I damn sure got a kick out of flipping through all the beautifully drawn panels that showed his army of reanimated superheroes fighting by his side. There are so many dope battles that took place during Blackest Night. Plus there were plenty of shocking appearances from an army of once deceased DC personalities. Count me all the way in for this animated epic if it ever comes to fruition.

5. ‘The Great Darkness Saga’
DC Comics

Darkseid is one of the best big bad’s in comic book history. His terrifying might has been on display in animated form on several occasions and I’m in the mood to see him pop up to wreak havoc once again. And this time, he should reappear to reenact his past struggle with The Legion of Super-Heroes. The Great Darkness Saga throws an overwhelming array of Legionnaire superheroes against the equally overwhelming power of Darkseid himself. Even though this storyline has been removed from DC continuity, I’d still love to watch it come to life as a lengthy DCAMU film. The twist at the end is super outlandish and adds even more to Darkseid’s infamous villainy. Imagine watching it unfold with Warner Bros. Animation’s big-budget work applied to it.

6. ‘Kingdom Come’
DC Comics

And for my final selection on this list, I have to show some love to Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ magnum opus Kingdom Come. The plot for that one is practically comic book royalty and the sort of go-to gem that defines the medium as a whole. Kingdom Come pits the old guard of the DC Universe against a new group of crimefighters that employ deadlier tactics in a bid to quell some notable evildoers. Things go awry real quick and lead to the idealistic members of the reformed Justice League clashing with the mission statement of Batman & Lex Luthor’s respective stables. Here’s hoping that we eventually get a DCAMU move that tells the grand tale of Kingdom Come as best it can. Alex Ross’ incredible art definitely won’t be brought to life in this one, sadly. But I’m sure if this movie ever passes the concept stage, the animators chosen to produce it will still do right by his iconic drawings.

Categories
Culture News

The 10 Best Image Comics of All-Time

As a comic book reader, collector, investor, and lifelong fan, no comic book publisher has done more to impact my relationship with the medium than Image Comics. Founded in 1994 when the most popular creators on Marvel’s roster left all at once to form the imprint. They wanted to be in a position to truly own the IP they were creating. Image as a company takes no ownership over the IP it publishes, leaving the spoils to the creative. This freedom and opportunity have made way for some of the greatest stories ever told in comics. So much so that narrowing down the amazing stories to just 10 for this feature was a task! Image has something for everybody, but you can’t go wrong choosing a series from this list. Here are the 10 best Image Comic Series of all time to collect now!  

1. The Wicked + The Divine
Image Comics

Creators: Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Debut Year: 2014

Key Issues to Collect: #1 

Before Gillen would really become a household name with comic readers upon the release of his recent hits Once and Future and Die, he burst onto the creator-owned scene with the critically acclaimed Wicked and the Divine. This series was about 12 mythological Gods who reincarnate as humans every 90 years. The series ran 45 issues and has been proclaimed a modern classic by many critics. Unlike a lot of books on this list, this one has really yet to explode. Universal seems to have stalled out some stop-start movement on a live-action series, leaving this one at about $100 for a 9.8 slabbed copy. Great series like this are evergreen IP, and I imagine it’s only a matter of time before we see this one on a streaming network. There could be a real ROI opportunity by grabbing this one now. I especially think that the heat on Gillen’s other two series he is currently working on and his work as a writer in Marvel’s Star Wars universe could see him as a hot property for Hollywood productions sooner rather than later. 

Buy now on ebay
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2. Jupiter’s Legacy
Image Comics

Creators: Mark Millar and Frank Quitely 

Debut Year: 2013

Key Issues to Collect: #1 

This recently released Netflix hit series comes from the minds of Frank Quitely and Mark Millar, the latter known as the scribe behind Kick-Ass, Wanted, Secret Service, The Kingsman as well as major Marvel stories like Old Man Logan and Civil War. This series focused on the generational divide between a superhero team and their children as the younger heroes look to take their place in the world. One thing that makes this book so likable and relatable is the themes of living up to your parents’ legacy vs carving out your own path. These are universal struggles that seem to just so happen to be set in a superhero story. This series has long been a hit with readers but as of May, 7th it has become a hit with Netflix viewers ranking at #1 on the streamer the week of its release. If you have had the chance to check out Jupiter’s Legacy,  you know that they set up the future of the series in the Finale leading most to believe we will see more of this story play out on the streamer. While copies have risen in value and seen 300% gains in the last several weeks, the book is still affordable at $25 raw and $200 in a 9.8 slab. With more of the shoe on the way, the comic seems like a solid investment at the moment. 

buy now on ebay
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3. Deadly Class
Image Comics

Creators: Rick Remender, Wes Craig, and Lee Loughridge

Debut Year: 2014

Key Issues to Collect: #1 

Set in the late 80s, Deadly Class is about an extremely unique high school where students take classes like ” Poison” and ” Dismemberment 101″. Deadly Class follows Marcus, a kid with a past who never fits in who is brought to an elite academy that teaches and trains some of the world’s most dangerous criminals, villains, and murderers. This can make for a particularly dangerous high school experience. The series was optioned and developed for a SYFY Network series debuting in 2018. The series didn’t last long though being canceled after just one season even though it was a critical hit. Recent years have seen the show develop a cult fanbase with rumors of a return popping up from time to time. The show canceling really hurt the secondary market value of #1 leaving it at a $10-15 raw purchase and an under $100 9.8. 

buy now on ebay
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4. Monstress
Image Comics

Creators: Sana Takeda and Marjorie Liu

Debut Year: 2015

Key Issues: #1, #1 2nd Print 

This fantasy epic is known just as much for its breathtaking art as it is its amazing story. Monstress is part steampunk, part kaiju story following a young girl whose connection to monsters puts her right in the middle of a battle between humans and otherworldly creatures. This series’s popularity only grew as it went along, seeing 9.8 copies of #1 hit above $300 6 years since its release. Even more sought after and extremely scarce is the 2nd print to issue #1, which can trade for $700-$1000 in a 9.8. There have been persistent rumors over the last couple of years of this IP heading to HBO and the HBO Max streaming service. With Godzilla and Kong getting a lot of shine on the service, a new kaiju property could be a big hit. This one hits the trifecta with great art, a compelling story, and investment potential. 

Buy Now on Ebay
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5. Chew
Image Comics

Creators: John Layman and Rob Guillroy

Debut Year: 2009

Key Issues: #1 

The 2009 debuting series Chew followed an FBA agent Tony Chu who solves crimes by using psychic impressions made by food, including humans. This series received critical acclaim winning numerous awards and spinning off two different series one a crossover with one of Layman’s other IP’s Outer Darkness and another one simple titled Chu. The series has been given the Hollywood run-around for the last several years after being optioned by Showtime for a feature film in 2011 only to see that go away by 2015. Then we got the word in 2014 of an animated comedy feature that also was gone by 2017. The Creators have stated that there is movement on the live-action front but long-time Chew fans like myself have learned to take that info with a grain of salt. Stop-start pushes from Hollywood have not stopped this series from being popular with readers or #1 from being popular with collectors with 9.8 slabs trading hands for $550 in recent weeks. 

buy now on ebay
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6. Paper Girls
Image Comics

Creators: Brian K Vaughn and Cliff Chiang 

Debut Year: 2015

Key Issues: #1 

This 2015 series from Brian K Vaughn is one of two series included on this list from the man simply known as BKV. Paper Girls is currently one of the hottest Image Comics titles for speculators and collectors on the market right now. The series just wrapped up their final issue, and news of Amazon developing a series with the creators’ for their Amazon Prime streamer has the market excited. 9.8 copies are selling for $200-250. While this book has certainly accrued value already, it still has a ton of room to go. This time-traveling group of girls gives off serious Stranger Things vibes that make this book both a hit with readers and a real potential investment.

buy now on ebay
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7. Invincible
Image Comics

Creators: Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley

Debut Year: 2003

Key Issues: #1-11, 16, 18, 19, 26, 33,  44, 51 2nd Print, 61, 68, 115, 144 

Invincible is one property on the list. If you hadn’t heard of the ones we have named so far, it might be the first one you are familiar with. This series was the inspiration for the Invincible Animated Series that has been a smash hit at Amazon. The series is Robert Kirkman’s no holds barred take on the superhero genre. The animated series is only the start as a Seth Rogen-produced live-action film is on the way as well. Invincible has long been one of comics sleeping giants; its recent secondary market success is no surprise to long-time supporters, but the animated series has introduced a whole new audience to the Graysons. The show has even reportedly spurned on collected edition sales, with comic shops being bombarded with requests to read the series. With Marvel and DC having large corporate parent companies, Skybound and Image are in a prime place to take these IPs to places no superhero franchise has gone.

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8. Saga
Image Comics

Creators: Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples 

Debut Year: 2012

Key Issues: #1, 2, 53, 54 

Quite possibly the purest reader buzz on this list, SAGA is an example of all that comics are and all they can be. Once dubbed “Star Wars meets Game of Thrones,” this series has been compared to some of the most epic tales from the aforementioned to Lord of The Rings. This series has gotten so many new fans and readers on board as their entryway to comics. This series 54 Issues was an unwavering critical success with fans even waiting patiently between long gaps in Issues in the latter part of the run. This series has seen a passionate fan base who continues to buy and stash #1 issues despite years of the creative team saying no option announcement was coming to the high cost an adaptation would bring. But years have softened that stance from BKV, and rumors circulated in the comic community of a SAGA live-action series or feature film. Issue #1 trades hands for over $600 in a 9.8, and the tragic final issue trades for just over 100 in the same grade. Hardcore believers of the series know that the true Grail is a 9.8 of the #1 RRP variant, which sells for around $3,000. All of this with no solid option talk, just simply an amazing comic.

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9. The Walking Dead
Image Comics

Creators: Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

Debut Year: 2003

Key Issues: #1,2, 3, 6, 10, 19, 27, 53, 61, 92, 100, 18, 132, 192, 193

You would have to be living under a rock not to be aware to at least some extent of the massive imprint The Walking Dead has had on pop culture. The popular zombie TV show from AMC really revolutionized indie comics by showing Creators the power they hold with creator-owned comics and the IP’s value to Hollywood. It feels like ever since TWD exploded on the scene, we have been on the hunt for its successor, dubbing any popular indie title as a possible “Next The Walking Dead.” This series spanned 193 Issues and saw shocking events, heartbreaking deaths, and an out of nowhere ending that wrapped up the series in 2019. While about zombies on the surface, this series has been much more about the human condition and what people will do to survive. Almost every product on the market has been made with TWD licensing, and the following continues to be strong to this day as we enter the final season of the AMC show. More is planned for this franchise as more spin-offs are in the works, as well as a couple already off the ground. My feeling is that this series will be eternal, and the IP will live on for future generations. The series has been a shining example of the potential of the creator-owned model. 

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10. Spawn
Image Comics

Creators: Todd McFarlane 

Debut Year: 1994

Key Issues: #1, 2, 171, 174, 175, 179, 185, 249, 300, 301

What makes Image so great isn’t just the great characters and stories, but also its Creators who take a chance and bet on themselves above all else. No one epitomizes that more than Image Founder “The Toddfather” Todd McFarlane. Todd was at the top of his game with Marvel when he organized a mass exit and the founding of Image and more that. 25 years later Todd is still at it with his original character from 94 Spawn. Spawn, while having seen feature film and animated TV success to some degree in the 90s is due for a big Renaissance in 2021 and beyond with Todd at the helm as director for an upcoming Blumhouse horror feature starring Jeremy Renner and Jaime Foxx as Spawn. This movie has been in the works for a couple of years but McFarlane has been nothing if not diligent in his updates to his fans on progress. On top of that, Todd announced recently an expansion of the Spawn line from one series to 4 adding 3 new series featuring popular side characters from the Spawn Universe.  This will bring a new Spawn Universe book to your LCS every single week by year’s end. This is exciting news for Spawn faithful.  All of that comes after the series broke records by becoming the longest-running comic series as it passed 300 consecutive Issues and counting.  While Todd himself has said to avoid investing in issue #1 and its 1 million issue print run but collectors can’t help themselves as this iconic first issue has consistently risen over the past several years with issue #1 selling for $250 in a 9.8. 

Past and Future

Image Comics has been so transformative for the comic book industry by giving fans eclectic stories from diverse voices for almost 30 years as well as a home to those Creators to tell their stories without losing the bulk of the reward to a giant corporation. The history of Image is filled with amazing stories that truly showcase what comics can be as an art form. What’s quite possibly more exciting is the bright future Image has as they continue to be a home for creatives and entrepreneurs.  New hits like Crossover, Department of Truth, Ice Cream Man, Radiant Black, Stillwater, Ultramega, Shadecraft and more continue to push the needle in the world of creator owned comics and level the playing field between the indies and the “Big 2”.