After frantically sprinting from the press to the general admission line and waiting in the queue hall for hours with the help of my Jewel (Jessica Jones’ old superhero identity) cosplaying friend Julia, I had the privilege of attending the Marvel Netflix panel about Daredevil Season 2 and Jessica Jones Season 1, which is set to premiere on November 20. The panel looked back at the first season of Daredevil while showing the first footage of the upcoming second season, and the lucky fans in the audience also had the chance to watch the first episode of Jessica Jones after a discussion with the cast and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter).
In a sentence, Ultimatum is the superhero comic that will make you hate superhero comics and will have you reading nothing but Harvey Pekar, R. Crumb, and Daniel Clowes for the rest of your comics reading career. (My apologies to Fantagraphics.) Jeph Loeb really should have apologized to Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis for destroying their carefully crafted, simultaneously optimistic and nihilistic universe with all the skill of a child knocking over sand castles and then pulling its pants down to take a piss on the wretched ruins.
For someone who had never read, nor even heard of Batman before, The Long Halloween is the best introduction to the Caped Crusader. Unlike Batman: Year One or The Dark Knight Returns, this masterpiece by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale is an epic. It’s not as boring as Year One nor is it as retrospectively over-the-top and self-gratifying as TDKR. Everything that readers want in a Batman comic is found within the pages of The Long Halloween: an intriguing murder mystery, justified appearances by memorable villains, elements of The Godfather, character examinations, and a strong emotional core centered on one of Batman’s most important villain. From the Vito Corleone inspired Carmine Falcone to the Joker reciting lines from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” as he breaks into a house, The Long Halloween presents Batman and his accompanying universe at its most concentrated and seamless. Simply put, The Long Halloween is a perfect comic. It should be at the very top of any Batman fan’s “Must Read” list, and for those who’ve already read it, The Long Halloween deserves to be read and enjoyed again and again.
Unlike Marvel, with its successful Tomb of Dracula series, DC never integrated a specific iteration of Dracula into their superhero universe. However, once the loosening of the Comics Code allowed for them, vampires of all different sorts certainly found their way into the pages of DC’s comics, but there was never a definitive Dracula that existed alongside Superman, Batman, and the rest. As such, the DC heroes have encountered a handful of different Dracula-esque characters through the years. Once such example can be found in 2002’s Superman #180.