Though superhero movies are Hollywood’s biggest moneymakers, too often we forget their source material.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League, an Invaluable Historical Document of the Age of the Fan
The result of a years-long fan campaign, the massive reedit of 2017’s much-maligned Justice League holds many lessons about contemporary film culture, production, and editing.
Holy Bidding, Batman! Bruce Wayne and Tintin Break Comic Art Auction Records
A pristine copy of “Batman No. 1” from 1940 is now the most expensive Batman title ever sold, and a rejected 1936 Tintin cover illustration became the most expensive work of comic book art.
Joker Is a Thinly Veiled (and Thin) Take on ’80s NYC
The film is far too derivative, far too wedded to juvenile mythology, and far too tentative to deserve its elevated profile.
Batman for President and the American Political Imaginary
Batman, we might say, created the space in the American political imaginary for a President Trump.
Damien Hirst Is Building a Batcave Beneath His Historic London Mansion
Damien “World’s Richest Living Artist” Hirst is expanding his historic home facing London’s tony Regent’s Park, though you won’t notice much of a change at street level.
Whether Gotham or Metropolis, New York Is the City of Superheroes
Superhero stories mesh easily with New York, whether it’s the new Jessica Jones series, which follows its super-strong private investigator around a noir Manhattan, or the first appearance of Batman, in 1939, soaring over the city.
An Army of Artists Draws Batman
There are few fictional characters that can be evoked through just a symbol, but Batman is one of them, with the outline of his flying namesake, or a suggestion of the crime fighter’s black mask.
A Sculptural Sequel for Blockbuster Movie Miniatures
The Swiss Institute’s basement gallery space looks like the set for an avant-garde science fiction movie right now.
Joyce Pensato’s Messy Imagination, Laid Bare
Joyce Pensato is best known for her stark, large-scale paintings of cartoon characters and in particular for her series of Batman paintings that depict the cape crusader’s iconic mask using splashy skeins of black and white paint.
When the Joker Was a Contemporary Artist
Today is a very important day in contemporary art history. Yes, today is in fact the 47th anniversary of “Pop Goes the Joker,” a very amusing and at times slightly disturbing two-part episode of the original Batman television series starring Adam West. The episode depicts Gotham’s “art world” and opens with a scene in which The Joker enters a rather proper art gallery and sprays paint all over a series of priceless works, which are later praised as an act of artistic genius.
The Artistic Nightmares of Dark Knight Rises
Hyperallergic writers and siblings Brendan and Marisa Carroll recently went to see The Dark Knight Rises, the final film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The gist of the last installment: After eight years of self-imposed seclusion, Bruce Wayne/Batman returns to the fray to save Gotham City from the “reckoning” imposed by a fearsome terrorist named Bane, who has the entire city under siege as a bomb ticks away. Wayne must also contend with a slinky cat burglar named Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), who is on the hunt for a device that will virtually erase her criminal past — and who will do anything to get it.