The other Bat-folk we want to play as in “Arkham City”

The other Bat-folk we want to play as in “Arkham City” (photo)

Posted by on

Warner Bros Games is making more and more of Batman’s milieu come to life in “Batman: Arkham City.” Along with recent reveals of the Penguin and Mr. Freeze as antagonists for the Dark Knight, we’ve also heard about Catwoman falling under players’ control in the game’s story mode and Robin being a playable character in the game’s challenge maps. Then, yesterday, alternate skins were announced for the Boy Wonder, with looks from the Red Robin identity of Tim Drake, the modern-day hooded variation worn by Bat-son Damian Wayne and the 1990s animated series on display.


Well, if the developers at Rocksteady Studios can do all of this, surely they can throw a few more playable characters in “Batman: Arkham City” for fans. Here’s who we’d like to see.

Dick Grayson’s best known as the first Robin, but he created the Nightwing identity when he outgrew being a kid sidekick. He’s as good a fighter as Batman but with more of an acrobatic flair. It’d be great to see his more athletic style-and his signature escrima sticks and wisecracks-brought to life in the new Bat-game.

If Robin can be playable, then Batman’s distaff junior partner should be, too, no? Just like there’ve been multiple Robins, a few different young ladies have been Batgirl as well. Batgirl Classic is Barbara Gordon, who was actually in Arkham Asylum as Oracle, the information broker identity she assumes after the Joker shoots her through the spine and paralyzes her. Then came Cassandra Cain, a mute assassin’s daughter who came under Batman’s aegis after he fought her dad. Most recent was Stephanie Brown, progeny of yet another Bat-villain named Cluemaster. She worked as the vigilante named Spoiler, fell in love with the Time Drake Robin and then briefly supplanted him

Speaking of Robins and girl Bat-partners, Carrie Kelley was the first female Robin as far as real-world chronology goes. She appeared in the seminal “Dark Knight Returns” series by Frank Miller. She helped a gray-haired Batman wrangle steroid-freak street gangs and even survived an encounter with the Joker. In Miller’s sequel “The Dark Knight Strikes Back,” Carrie became Catgirl, an homage to Selina Kyle’s feline identity. There’s going to be a gritty, older “DKR” skin for Batman, and Carrie’s identity as Catgirl would be a nice compliment to that. Plus, she could arguably share much of Catwoman’s move set, too.

The name sounds like a joke, right? And for a while, he was. Thomas Blake was a goofy 1960s doppelganger created by Bill Finger and Jim Mooney who stopped being a big-game hunter to mess with Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. But, writer Gail Simone recast Blake as a grim loner trying to put his laughable past behind him, until a web of machinations forces him to work with other supervillains in a mercenary crew called the Secret Six. Blake’s now a true force to be reckoned with, a feral fighter who’s nearly Batman’s equal and has no compunctions about lethal force.

082311_Lady_Shiva.jpgLady Shiva
Like Catwoman, Sandra Wu-San’s a character who exists in a grey area. Generally regarded as the deadliest martial artist in the DC Universe, she’s been a contract killer for years. But, she’ll occasionally work on the side of the angels when circumstances demand it. And, because, there aren’t any coincidences in comics, she also happens to be Cassandra Cain’s mom. Nevertheless, it’d be great to play as Shiva and decimate hordes of Arkham City thugs with her cool, effortless grace.

David Zavimbi’s a new character created by comics legend Grant Morrison as part of the Batman, Inc organization. Bruce Wayne’s deputizing heroes all over the world to help combat a sinister, underground conspiracy and picked Zavimbi to represent the Dark Knights interest on the continent of Africa. Zavimbi getsaround via jetpack and seems to be more technologically oriented than most other Bat-characters. Incorporating him into the “Arkham City” game could give players the chance to try out a radically different character.

Of course, at the time of this writing, “Arkham City” is almost certainly in the home stretchof it development. It’d be surprising to see any of these characters in the game. But, if “Batman: Arkham City” does well enough to warrant another follow-up, then Bat-fans might have the chance to see of these and other characters in The Dark Knight’s next video game outing.

Have some Gotham-based favorites of your own that you want to see in a future Batman game? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Watch More

Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.


IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

Watch More

Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines


The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

Watch More

Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.


Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.


A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.


Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet