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)

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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.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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