Geeky Friday: Batmobile: The Complete History/Dark Knight Manual, Geek of the Week, Slayer Abe vs. Pixar

In anticipation of the July 20 release of The Dark Knight Rises, the final entry in the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman series, two neato books came in this week from publisher Insight Editions. The first is Batmobile: The Complete History by Mark Cotta Vaz (ISBN 9781608871049. $35.). The book covers the Batmobile in its various incarnations from the comics through TV and film. There have been a lot of different models over the years, from vehicles that look like off-the-lot sedans to super custom coupes. The screen cars vary as widely: from the cornball TV show’s tricked out Lincoln Futura to the science fictiony, jet-propelled pimpmobile movie incarnations of Keaton and Clooney up to the tactical version in Nolan’s Dark Knight series. Fans want pix, and the book features more than 100, including some sweet shots of the vehicles’ cockpits. It’s not just chicks who dig the car; if you’ve always had a jones for Bats’s ride, jump on this book bigtime.

Second up is The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles & Documents from the Batcave (ISBN 9781608871049. $40.). This one is exclusively for fans of Nolan’s trilogy, of which there are many. If offers background on the goodies listed in the book’s subtitles. Along with pix, there are concept drawings, blueprints, etc., on Bats’s costume, utility belt, grappling gun, and other wonderful toys plus, of course, the vehicles. This book is a librarian’s nightmare, as it features numerous removable items‚ including a full-size map of Gotham‚ held in sleeves as well as messages written on Post-its to Master Wayne from Alfred stuck to the pages, all of which will disappear after the first circ. Still, this is wicked cool for Dark Knight fans.

Assuming that The Dark Knight Rises is as big a hit as its predecessors, it marks not just the finale of the Nolan/Bale reign, but of DC’s successful films. The last Superman film tanked as did Green Lantern. DC hasn’t enjoyed the luck that Marvel has with having its properties morphed into movies. I say luck because Bryan Singer directed the first two X-Men films, which rocked, but left that franchise to do Superman Returns, which sucked ass. Meanwhile, Marvel has had the Midas touch with Spider-Man (and there’s already a good vibe for the upcoming reboot), Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the billion-dollar combo-plate, The Avengers.

There long has been talk of a Justice League film, and now that The Avengers is solid gold, Hollywood no doubt is scrambling to get a JLA film going. With a real script and the right casting (Jessica Biel), Wonder Woman also is begging for a big screen treatment but so far has languished. NBC’s recent attempt to revive WW for TV imploded before it even got past the pilot stage, so DC seems to stand for Dark Cloud and everyone knows it because there’s already talk of rebooting Batman after The Dark Knight Rises, which hasn’t even debuted yet!

I believe in honoring excellence (or silliness), so, the inaugural GF Geek of the Week award goes to Star Wars über fanboy Mark Dermul who led the charge to save the crumbling Tunisia location used as the Lars Skywalker homestead in three of the SW films. Dermul raised some serious coin (about $10 grand) by appealing to fellow SW nerds, and after some finagling with the Tunisian government was joined by a handful of others to restore chez Skywalker’s igloo-like structure. Here’s the first of numerous videos chronicling their efforts:

After generating the money, Dermul travelled from his native Belgium to Africa’s Tunisia to spend a week in 115-degree heat rebuilding the home of people who never actually existed. As a diehard SW fan, I understand the passion, but really, dude. Now go back to playing with your Star Wars Legos. To each their own.

Weekend Warriors
Not surprisingly, Madagascar III has ruled the box office the last two weekends, with Prometheus running second. This weekend pits Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter against the mighty Pixar’s Brave. Although ALVH looks like a blast, it’s more a novelty film and a better bet for the teen market while Brave will attract kids and parents (who like Pixar just as much), so the smart money is on Pixar’s magic streak continuing, especially since the reviews in this morning’s press ripped ALVH a new one: Not the gonzo mash-up it should have been, but a humorless, self-important slog that seems to think its dopey premise is true, said NY Newsday. OUCH!‚ that’s another bullet in the head for Abe. While not glowing, Brave‘s reviews were respectable, so solid bucks for Pixar while ALVH doesn’t even sound like it’s worth, um, a penny. We’ll see.

ALA in Anaheim‚ Try To Stay Awake!
Have a good weekend all. Let’s hope the heat that’s been pummeling the Northeast breaks. If you’re headed to the West Coast snoozefest known as ALA in Anaheim, all I have to say is: Ha, Ha, Suckers!

The rest of you, get your geek on, baby!

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

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


  1. Mark Dermul says:

    Well, Mr Rogers, I believe ‘Geek of the Week’ is actually a compliment! Thanks for understanding the passion, dude :)

  2. Mike Rogers says:

    As you can infer from the tone, a lot of this is tongue-in-cheek. I think what you did is pretty cool.