Batman (General Brand)

News Archive

Click on the links below to check out thousands and thousands of archived news stories. News coverage includes episode and comic previews, interviews, artwork and so much more. Features programs and movies include Batman: The Animated Series, Young Justice, the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line and much, much more.

News Archive:
A Message from The World’s Finest
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A Message From The World’s Finest

First off, apologies for the rather bland subject line up there. It comes off more ominous than it should. Sorry about that! Anyways…

With 2014 now done and over with, the last news story from The World’s Finest has officially been posted up. As I mentioned on this site a year ago, it’s time to ease back on the overall workload of this site, and that starts with wrapping up the daily news post for the foreseeable future. Thousands and thousands of news posts, including three straight years of news posts at least five days a week, without a single weekday missed. And, with 2015 now here, that ends as The World’s Finest will return to its roots as an unbeatable resource for fans. An archive of content, a collection of materials covering a host of different shows and movies, a wealth of information – call it what you will, but The World’s Finest will be embracing that once again.

What does that all encompass? Well, don’t get alarmed … it’s all good! As the site shifts into a content destination, certain aspects of the site will stop while an emphasis will be placed on others. Daily news posts will cease, as I said, and no new subsites will be added to the site as of this time. Does that mean the end of updates and new material? No – there will always be new content added here, but the site will now just be easier for me to manage.

Site updates will continue going forward, reviews will still be posted, more content will be added (images, behind-the-scenes material, etc.), along with the odd interview. However, now, the site updates will now fall more onto the resource side of things. As I said, there will be no new additional subsites added to The World’s Finest going forward, with the possible exception of smaller pages dedicated to installments of the ongoing DC Universe Animated Original Movie line. Assorted DVD, Blu-ray, and other media releases will also still be covered. A new Batman: The Brave and The Bold Blu-ray? We’ll cover and review it – 100%. New soundtrack release? We’re on it – count on it. The only thing really changing is the end of daily news posts (which, honestly, it didn’t seem like a lot of people noticed anyway, given how so many stories broken here went unnoticed or stolen over the years).

A lot of factors played a role in this decision. For one, this site is too unwieldy for one person to handle. I cover about 95% of the work on the site, the forums and social media outlets. This includes emails, press work, reviews, finding reviewers and content, all of that. I spend many hours a day working on this site, volunteering countless hours. Juggling that with a regular job, a family, etc., and, well, something has to give. I have more responsibilities than ever before and there are just not enough hours in the day. But I can’t just abandon the site – no way. Given how long I’ve been working on this site, from its first iteration back in 1997, and how attached I am to it, I opted not to pass the torch. I did ask for help, more than a few times, but no one came to bat. So, I opted to scale the site responsibilities down to its skeleton in order to keep it going. I am expecting to reduce my presence and update rate overtime, though. The forum duties will be passed over to someone else entirely, for example. Still, with this, I’m able to balance my workload easier, have a bit of a better life, and explore other options.

This site is not going away. It’s not going anywhere. It’s going to stay right here. There’s no way I could let it go, anyways. All the content that you see here is not budging an inch. The only thing really changing is the removal of daily news updates and an easing back on the frequency of updates. This site will always be here for you to access and explore. In fact, to this day, there are some nifty secrets still not uncovered here on the site, which tells me there’s plenty for all of you still to explore.

For those worried, this isn’t the end. All you need to do is keep an eye on the “Site Updates” section to see that. Over the next few days, you’ll see the main page here change a little. The news will be replaced with links to the major site sections here, and the daily news shuffled off into an archive (where it will be readily accessible to look through). All portions of this site, I think, will be more easily accessible for those wanting to look around and just see what we have to offer. This site is the biggest DC Comics-animation (and Batman animation) site out there to this day, and I doubt that’ll change, even with the evolving trends of internet culture. But hey, no matter how much all of that changes, The World’s Finest will always be right here.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to drop a line. The social media portals for The World’s Finest will remain up until I decide what to do with them. I can be easily reached there, or through the contact links scattered throughout the site here. If all that fails, just catch me on the forums.

I’d like to express a quick “thanks” to all the folks who have helped me over the years. Zach, Ian, James, Barry, Eileen, Brian, Michael and a wealth of other people I can’t thank enough. This seems like a nice moment to tip my hat to them as I follow the site through a few minor changes and lifts. For your daily news fix, which plenty of you are clearly already getting elsewhere, I suggest you keep it tuned to Toonzone and DCAU Resource. The forums right here are also a good spot for any developments or concerns, as well. I may post the odd piece up from time to time there.

And that’s all from me for now, folks. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask. Don’t hesitate. That’s what I’m here for. Thanks!

-James

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New “Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered” Special Airing Late October On Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network has released the initial logline for the upcoming animated one-shot Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered, a new special tying in to the upcoming Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham video game, airing Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 6:00pm (ET/PT). The one-shot movie special, written by Jim Krieg and produced by Brandon Vietti, is based on the highly-popular Lego DC Comics and Lego Batman franchises. The special is part of Cartoon Network’s “Hallo-Week” promotion, a week-long event of all-new special programming airing weeknights at 6:00pm (ET/PT) from Monday, October 27th, 2014 to Thursday, October 31st, 2014.

The initial synopsis is below with further details set to follow later in the month.

Lego DC Comics: “Batman Be-Leaguered”
Monday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m. (ET, PT) on Cartoon Network
Batman prides himself on being a loner, a totally self-sufficient one-man-band. Just ask anyone; Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, Alfred… anyone. So, he is understandably irritated when his nightly cleanup of Gotham City villains is interrupted by Superman, who pesters Batman to join his new superhero team, The Justice League. After Batman makes it quite clear to the Man of Steel that his invitation has been declined, Superman flies off disappointed… whereupon he is overcome with a strange energy and vanishes!

Additional information – including voice cast details, new images and more – should be available soon.

On a related note, it was also reported today that Warner Bros. Pictures is looking to release a theatrical Lego Batman animated feature in 2017, spun off from the character’s appearance in the 2014 hit The Lego Movie. Expect further details to be released for that movie in the coming months.

Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered airs Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 6:00pm (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network. Stay tuned for additional updates right here at The World’s Finest.

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Matthew K. Manning Discusses “Batman: A Visual History,” Animated Comics, And More

The World’s Finest caught up with writer Matthew K. Manning to discuss his latest project – the epic Batman: A Visual History tome – along with his thoughts on the classic DC Comics character and his storied past. Manning has a long history with DC Comics, particularly when it comes to the animated adventures of the World’s Greatest Superheroes, having written for some of the “animated” titles the last few years. And now, Manning is channeling all that history, along with his own love of the character and the mythos, into an epic hardcover release celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary.

Batman: A Visual History – now available to own – is a massive hardcover collection which offers something new even for the most diehard of Batman fans, Manning promises. He dives further into the book, his past work, and his own personal influences, in the Q & A below…

The World’s Finest: First off – tell us about Batman: A Visual History Why is this massive tome worth adding to the bookshelf? And, secondly, why are you the perfect person to write it?

Matthew K. Manning: This particular Batman books is about as thorough as you can get. We start in 1939, and tell the character’s history from a real-world perspective month-by-month up until 2014. Not only do you get a bit of behind-the-scenes history here and there, but it’s essentially a complete summary of all the Dark Knight’s important adventures throughout his entire career. There’s not a book on the shelves that’s ever attempted quite this level of detail.

As for why I’m a good fit for this book, well, I mentioned on my website that I’ve been training for this book since the 5th grade, and I really wasn’t exaggerating. The Tim Burton Batman movie hit theaters back then, and it forever changed my life. I’d always liked Batman when he appeared on Super Friends and such, but I never really sought out the comics until that movie debuted. Since then, I’ve read over 10,000 Batman-related comics, and really enjoy every era of his history. I’ve also been lucky enough to write a dozen or so comics for DC about the Caped Crusader, and plenty of books on the subject. But none quite like this. I co-wrote a book called The Batman Vault for Running Press, but that was more of a general overview with great little pull-out “artifacts.” My book The Batman Files for Andrews/McMeel was a faux scrapbook/journal written by Batman himself about his entire history, told through the character’s voice. It dealt with his fictional timeline, rather than the real world one. So this book is unique in that it shows how the character’s history has changed and evolved with the times.

WF: You’ve commented this is the book you were born to write. Can you expand on that and tell us about how influential the character has been on you and why he’s a pivotal part of your life?

MM: Like most kids, I grew up a fan of superheroes. I was also fascinated with newspaper comic strips, and really wanted to write and draw them. Back then I started reading a few Marvel Comics, but didn’t get truly immersed into the superhero world until the ’89 Batman movie. It was a great time to be reading comics, with recent hits like Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns still on the shelves, and I was completely hooked. From there I branched out to the Outsiders and the Justice League, and eventually back to Marvel to see what Spider-Man had been up to. But really, those hours spent reading the likes of Denny O’Neil, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison and the like really influenced my worldview and my own personal morals.

WF: Why do you think Batman has remained so enduring all these years, and has been able to amass such a history? There are many other comic character who have been around for roughly the same time, but what makes Batman so…predominant among them?

MM: Firstly, I think kids can identify with Batman’s origin. They understand what that particular pain would be like. And both kids and adults are fascinated with the idea of a person literally being as good as he can be. It’s something we all wish we had the willpower to do, and like Batman, we want to be our personal best without the use of powers. Plus, there’s the simple fact that he looks cool. He’s fun to draw, so he attracts the best artists. And that makes for some great looking comic books, which in turn constantly attract readers.

WF: Can you walk us through your process for creating this book? The research, the writing, deciding what stays and what goes … how big of a project was this for you?

MM: Unlike past volumes of DK’s chronicle series, I attempted to write this one solo, so that meant a lot more work. The hardest part was the outline. It was a process of going through every single issue of my Batman collection, and flipping through hundreds of issues I haven’t read yet. There was an attempt to record the debut of every new Batmobile, Batwing/Batplane and costume, as well as every major and minor villain and supporting character. After the outline was finished, the rest was just reexamining those stories and trying to fit in all the important details in the limited space available. As it happened, a deadline change caused me to have to give up writing the 1960s and hand that chore over to the capable Matt Forbeck. I would have loved to handle that one as well, but I was content with just supplying the outline for it. All told, the book took at least a half a year to write.

WF: When some folks see these types of books, the “ultimate guides,” etc., they usually scoff at them because they assume they already know everything that’s going to be in the book. How is this book different? Why is this book a must-read for fans?

MM: I doubt there are many people that will know all the information in this book. It’s more than a summary of a handful of major story lines, and even I learned plenty in the course of writing it. This covers everything from the debut of Batmouse to an obscure future Batman of New York City from the old Hex title. There’s plenty of new info for diehard and casual fans alike.

WF: The animated adventures of Batman have played a huge role in the character’s popularity? Can you give us an idea of how you handle their importance and role in this month-to-month breakdown of major Batman events?

MM: Unfortunately, because of licensing issues, we weren’t really able to get into the movies or TV shows here. Those would require separate negations between DC and DK. While they shows and cartoons are mentioned here and there, this book remains mainly about the comic books themselves. Which is probably just as well. It’s already 350 pages as is…

WF: Now, you’ve been a part of the animated comic lore, having contributed to some of the popular DC “animated” comics. Care to run through some of your favorites with us?

MM: I absolutely love writing those types of titles, so it’s hard to pick my favorite. I really enjoyed my first issue of The Batman Strikes (# 10), the tie-in title to The Batman cartoon. We were able to tell the story through flashbacks in an interesting way, really adding to the mystery of the issue. Also, my final issue of Beware the Batman (# 6) was a lot of fun, as the entire story was told from Alfred’s point of view, like a first-person shooter video game. It was an interesting experiment that I think really worked thanks to the very fluid and lively work of the artist, Luciano Vecchio. And while not an animated comic, I was really happy with how my Calendar Man story ended up in Batman: 80-Page Giant 2010.

WF: You’ll be appearing at New York-Comic-Con, starting up later this week. Can you give us a rundown of your schedule and appearances?

MM: I’m signing this particular book at the DK table on Thursday (October 9th) from 5-6 and on Friday (October 10th) from 5-6 as well. I’ll also be at the Insight Editions table on Saturday (October 11th), signing The World According to Joker from 3-4.

WF: Before we wrap this up, can you tell us about your next related project – The World According to The Joker?

MM: Insight’s new “World According to” series are essentially small “advice” books written by the title character. They include lots of great paper pull-outs and the like, and have been extremely fun to write. My first book for them is out now, titled The World According to Wolverine. The World According to Joker is out on October 30th, but I think they might have advance copies of it at the New York show. It’s written entirely in the Joker’s voice (except for a guest spread by Harley and notes from Dr. Arkham), and gives you all the twisted advice you can every need. You can even spin the wheel of death, to decide which way you can kill Robin. I’ve also written two upcoming “journals” for Insight, which are essentially blank journal pads, with a short Batman and Joker story starting each one off.

WF: Now, to bring this to an end, can you give us one last reason to run out and pick up Batman: A Visual History, now available online and retail outlets everywhere?

MM: Without this book on your shelf, you may never read about the most Earth-shattering team-up between Batman and Superman in the history of comics: the day they went to a bar and drank milk. That story actually happened and was even penciled by the great David Mazzucchelli. But you have to read the book to find out when…

Special thanks to Matthew K. Manning for his participation in this Q & A!

The massive Batman: A Visual History hardcover book is now available at retail and digital outlets everywhere for $50US. Published by DK Books, the visually stunning, definitive guide by Manning arrives in a slipcase featuring specially commissioned artwork by DC Comics artist Jason Fabok plus two original prints. Check out the The World’s Finest review for this book here.

Stay tuned for further updates right here at The World’s Finest!

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DC Nation “Batman Beyond” Animated Short Availability Goes Wide

The “Batman 75” DC Nation animated short “Batman Beyond,” which debuted over the weekend at the WonderCon 2014 comic convention, is now available wide for all online outlets. The special animated short was created as part of DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Comics’ combined celebration efforts to mark the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in the 1939 comic Detective Comics #27.

The nearly 90-second short-form adventure revisits the world of the classic Batman Beyond animated series, bringing together members of the original show’s cast and crew. The “Batman Beyond” animated short was written and directed by Darwyn Cooke; starring the voices of Will Friedle and Kevin Conroy; featuring music by Kristopher Carter, Mike McCuistion & Lolita Ritmanis; with additional guitar work by Gabe Moses. Batman Beyond follows the adventures of a young Batman in the future mentored by an aging Bruce Wayne.

Click on the player below to view the animated short.

The animated short can also be viewed here.

“Batman Beyond” will make its official broadcast debut Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 on Cartoon Network – under the DC Nation programming banner – during an all-new episode of Teen Titans Go! at 6:30pm (ET/PT). For more on the Batman Beyond classic animated series, check out the The World’s Finest Batman Beyond subsite. The World’s Finest first broke the news of this animated short back in October 2013.

“Batman Beyond” is part of the year-long “Batman 75” celebrations, commemorating the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first comic book appearance. More details on “Batman 75” can be found here.

The annual WonderCon Anaheim convention is a massive celebration of comics and pop culture . With over 56,000 attendees in 2013, WonderCon Anaheim continues to be one of the top comics and pop culture events in the country. 2014 marks the event’s 28th continuous year.

DC Nation, featuring new short-form animated stories and behind-the-scenes content starring a host of DC Comics characters, airs Wednesday nights on Cartoon Network during the commercial break following new episodes of Teen Titans Go!. Stay tuned for further schedule updates and coverage on the DC Nation programming block – including exclusive content and much more – right here soon at The World’s Finest.

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