Geeky Friday: Batman: Earth One, Potted Potter, Goodbye Carly, Empire Strikes Back Anniversary

DC Comics keeps spreading the Batman love! On the heels of last week’s post on Chip Kidd’s upcoming Batman:Death by Design, comes news of the release of Batman: Earth One by writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank. Another character reimagination, Earth One spins Bats as a flawed and fallible young man fumbling his way through feelings of isolation by pinning them on a quest for vengeance. This Batman is no protector of innocents; he’s an angry vigilante with little interest in heroics and with a lot to learn about the city’s mean streets. Isn’t he always an angry vigilante with little interest in heroics? I thought that was the core of his character.

This is Johns’s, who is DC’s Chief Creative Officer, first original graphic novel. He previously worked on Justice League, Aquaman, and Green Lantern comics, so the dude’s no newb. Batman: Earth One hits comic shops July 4 and bookstores July 10. LJ‘s graphic-novel mistress Martha Cornog offered more on it in her April Graphic Novels Prepub Alert. Sounds pretty cool.

Harry in a Hurry
Harry Potter geeks humping it to the wicked city for BEA take note that Potted Potter just opened at the Little Shubert Theater (422 W. 42 St.). It’s a 70-minute parody of all seven Rowling novels presented by two actors in multiple roles. Seems very silly:

If that looks fun, treat yourself some night after walking your tootsies off at the Javits Center. And if it sucks, hey, at least it’s short.

You sunk my battleship!
Battleship opens in theaters today, and the reviews are atrocious. My favorite so far from NY Newsday: A crass, hollow, hoorah fantasy best suited for nine-year-olds with weapons fixations. OUCH! It’s already cleared over $200 million overseas, so could do well here, at least this weekend, despite the negative press.

The shockeroo of the week: Nickelodeon is pulling the plug on its über-popular iCarly. Despite being a ratings behemoth (four million views weekly!), the cast has gotten restless and want new career opportunities. Star Miranda Cosgrove, now 19, has enrolled in college‚ attagirl!‚ and several of the costars have landed other acting gigs. I’ve seen this show many times with my kid, and it’s by far the best tween fare on the tube. It’s funny rather than stupid and the kids are great‚ Gibby is the bomb! iCarly will end it’s five-year-run this November.

Daddy Dearest
Big Geeky Friday anniversary wishes to The Empire Strikes Back, which debuted May 21, 1980. I remember waiting impatiently for Empire and wondering if it possibly could be half as good as Star Wars or would just be a lame sequel done purely for profits. But then‚ OMFG‚ it’s better! Luke and Han riding tauntauns, the AT-AT attack (watch the cutest fan video ever), the Imperial March, Yoda (Do or do not. There is no try.), Boba Fett, I love you‚ĶI know, and the biggest bombshell in film history (sorry, Rosebud): I am your father. How many nerds dropped one in their drawers at that revelation!

[Star Wars trivia: Vader being Luke’s father was neither in the original Empire script, nor a back story in the first film, which was supposed to be a one-shot deal. Once Star Wars exploded and a sequel was planned, Lucas couldn’t decide whether to add the father/son element because it would completely alter the story’s dynamic from a simple white hat/black hat action flik to a more serious tale of redemption. Just before the scene was shot, he decided to go for it, and took actors Dave Prowse in the Vader armor and Mark Hamill aside to present the new mind-blowing dialog. Well done, George!]

Happy Birthday, Count
Lastly, Geeky Friday birthday wishes to actor Christopher Lee, who turns 90 on May 22. Although Lee found fame in a very successful string of horror films produced by Hammer Studios in the 1950s and 60s costarring Peter Cushing, and went up against James Bond as the title baddie in Man with the Golden Gun, he’s far better known today for his more recent turns as Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels and especially as Saruman in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, a role he reprises in The Hobbit.

To me, he’ll always be Dracula. All due respect to Bela, Lee was better because he played Dracula as a ferocious monster rather than a sophisticated aristocrat. This shot here is still one of the most shocking in film because it’s the first time audiences saw the Big D covered in lovely, red, technicolor blood. I remember seeing this as a kid and just about wetting myself. Despite low-budget productions, these Hammer films are craft to the tenth power, and Lee and Cushing rock together. Happy birthday, Mr. Lee!

Have a great weekend, gang. Get your geek on!


Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.