Category: Fantasy Realms


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You wouldn’t be off base thinking of Batman when you see the superhero The Black Bat, as their history and origin is linked in controversy.  Both The Black Bat and Bob Kane’s Batman derived the look of their characters from common pulp fiction renderings.  Both characters emerged at about the same time and the publishers Thrilling Publications and DC Comics sparred over rights until a DC editor who had worked with The Black Bat’s publisher mediated the dispute where both publishers could continue using the characters.

Which brings us to 2013 and Dynamite Entertainment.  Dynamite has the rights to publish The Black Bat along with the great pantheon of classic 1930s and 1940s characters we have discussed before, including the featured characters in their ongoing series Masks: The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Kato, Miss Fury, Black Terror, Zorro, and The Spider.  But don’t confuse the Black Bat with a similar modern noir retro-creation, Francesco Francavilla’s The Black Beetle from Dark Horse Comics, which we previewed here at borg.com earlier.  But both The Black Bat and The Black Beetle are different enough and similar enough that if you like one you probably will like the other.

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The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher’s popular series of fantasy meets mystery novels about a wizard living in modern day Chicago, has had an incredible run in print, with some 14 books released since 2000, including the November 2012 release Cold DaysIt also was turned into a Syfy Channel (then Sci Fi Channel) TV series (albeit short-lived one) starring Paul Blackthorne as the magic wielding Harry Dresden.  A bit X-Files meets a grown-up Harry Potter, The Dresden Files revolves around a fun lead character.  Dresden has also been turned into a roleplaying game, and four works in comic book form: Welcome to the Jungle (a prequel to the first novel Storm Front), Restoration of Faith (a Free Comic Book Day one-shot), Storm Front (in two volumes) and Fool Moon (in two volumes).  Arriving at your local comic book store next week is The Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin, Issue #1.

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Beginning with with a nicely designed cover by DC Comics Supergirl artist Ardian Syaf, Ghoul Goblin #1 drops readers into the middle of Dresden’s strange world, with Dresden battling a sea monster he chased into Lake Michigan.  Whether you’re a fan of Butcher’s novels or the TV series, this Dresden and his optimistic and confident cheery inner voice will be familiar to you.  We even get to see Dresden discuss details of the new case with long-time spirit companion Bob, who lives in a skull.  Here Dresden is minus one Karrin Murphy, friend and police department partner in fighting crime, presumably to resurface in later stories.

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