Thursday, July 15, 2021

Book: Batgirl To Dare the Darkness by Doug Moench

Following on from the previous post I also have a scanned pdf of Doug Moench's tie in novel Batgirl: To Dare the Darkness.

For those who aren't aware Doug, like Alan Grant, was a writer on the DC comics Batman titles throughout the 80s and 90s. Together with Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan he is credited with creating the character of Bane (I wonder what he thought of the film's loose interpretation of the character) and also wrote many classic stories including big chunks of the Knightfall saga and the popular Elseworlds story Batman & Dracula: Red Rain.

The story picks up after the events of the Batman & Robin movie and sees Barbara Wilson leave Batman and Robin and set up on her own in Gotham City feeling that she isn't needed or appreciated by the dynamic duo. She considers leaving the Batgirl persona behind (much like Robin did in Facing the Enemy) before reaffirming her vigilante commitments and going up against Black Mask (another character Doug created) and the False Face Society.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Book: Robin Facing the Enemy by Alan Grant

One of the cool (pun not intended) bits of spin off merchandise for Batman & Robin were the two novels Robin: Facing the Enemy and Batgirl: To Dare the Darkness that gave us a glimpse of what happens before and after the movie. 

Robin: Facing the Enemy was written by Scottish writer Alan Grant who was a prolific writer at DC. During the 90s he wrote almost every issue of the Batman: Shadow of the Bat title (which lasted 96 issues!). 

The story picks up shortly after the events of Batman Forever and sees Robin fall out with Batman (*groan* again) and leave Wayne Manor to live in Gotham City. He gets a job at a diner and ends up having to take down a wannabe villain who rather unimaginatively dubs himself " The Enemy". 

It's a fun, brisk story (98 pages) that reminds me of the Nightwing comics of the early 00s. If you want to give it a read, here's a link to a pdf:-

https://archive.org/details/robin-facing-the-enemy

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Miscellaneous content: Batman & Robin Style Guide illustrations part 2

 More illustrations by José Luis García-López this week to enjoy. I particularly love the way he's kept the yellow oval symbol. I wish the film would have included that rather than the plain blue one.









Thursday, May 27, 2021

Miscellaneous content: Batman & Robin Style Guide illustrations part 1

Unfortunately I still haven't managed to track down a hardcopy of the Batman & Robin Style Guide however there are lots of images online. I've pulled together as much as I can find. 

These are mostly illustrations by José Luis García-López depicting the various characters from the film. His beautiful line work really works well and lets us see the characters/designs in a fresh light. These were all used in a variety of Batman & Robin merchandise.









Thursday, May 6, 2021

Miscellaneous content: Batgirl To Dare The Darkness Audio Adventure by Doug Moench

Another audio adventure tied in to the Batman & Robin movie was Batgirl: To Dare The Darkness. 

Written by Batman comic book regular Doug Moench and starring the movie version of the character Barbara Wilson. The story is set just after the movie and sees the character go on a solo adventure against Black Mask. 

This was originally published as a short paperback in 1997 and aimed at kids/teenagers (it's only 122 pages). Unfortunately an adaptation was not made of the other spin off novel Robin: Facing the Enemy by Alan Grant.

Anyway, this is an interesting curiosity being one of the only stories to feature the Barbara Wilson character and worth a listen. I don't have the cast list for this but the voice actress does a great Alicia Silverstone impersonation.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Miscellaneous content: Batman & Robin Audio Adventure by Kid Rhino

Some of the most popular videos on my youtube channel are the audiobook adaptations of Batman Returns and Batman Forever. Both are three hours long and read by supporting actors from the films. They are really worth a listen because they pull little extra details from the novelisations that flesh out the stories.

Unfortunately for the more kid friendly Batman & Robin they chose to do this - a short 35 minute audio drama. It's more like listening to a movie than having a book read to you - with only minimal narration. Anyway, it's still interesting to hear the 2 hour plus movie be condensed to a quarter of it's length. 

The cast is as follows:
Don Leslie as Batman
Jim Soriero as Robin
Todd Cummings as Mr Freeze
Deborah Stoll as Poison Ivy
Peter Waldren as Alred
Jay Gregory as Batgirl/Narrator

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cards: Storyboard Card Series 3 & 4 from Skybox

 Following on the previous post - here are the other two sets of storyboard cards from Skybox that cover Mr Freeze's imprisonment and then escape from Arkham Asylum. 

Sadly that's all Skybox released for the Storyboard card line however I have found an interestingly interview with Tim Burgard - the storyboard artist that drew these. Check it out here.










Thursday, March 25, 2021

Cards: Storyboard Card Series 1 & 2 from Skybox

Skybox held the licence to produce trading cards for Batman & Robin (taking over from Fleer who handled the Batman Forever line). They produced a massive range of cards for the movie - all of which were produced in "widescreen" format making them a couple of centimetres longer than most trading cards.

Probably my favourite set is these collection of cards featuring storyboards of some of the key sequences - I believe the artist for these was Tim Burgard. They offer a fascinating look at what the early concept for the movie looked like - in particular notice how Robin is still wearing his old costume.

Here are series 1 and 2 - which cover some of the battle at the museum from the beginning of the film.












Thursday, March 11, 2021

Concept Art: Robin costumes

This week we're looking at concept art of the Robin costume used in the movie. These were designed by Miles Teves and based on the then fairly new Nightwing costume that Dick Grayson wore in the comics. The only change was the addition of a cape and a red bird logo on his chest (rather than the blue in wore in the comics).

I always felt it was a shame that the Robin costume from Forever didn't get reused as it's really only briefly seen in the last 15 minutes of the previous movie. Interestingly the storyboards do depict that costume so the filmmakers must have at least considered that option. 







Thursday, February 25, 2021

Concept Art: Batman costumes

It's about time we looked at some of the concept art for Batman & Robin. I've always had a bit of the problem with the blue suit they used. I really missed the yellow oval and hated the raised eyebrows they added to the cowl. These designs - by Miles Teves - are all vastly superior. I particularly like the second one with reminds me of something DC might have used in an Elseworlds Batman story.