Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

WonderCon recap Part 2: 'Prometheus' and 'Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' impress, 'Community' returns and Batman isn't crazy

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

"Sound of My Voice" writers Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling at WonderCon 2012.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" author Seth Grahame-Smith holds up a Twitter hashtag after a surreal video of a darkly comic Tim Burton allegedly dying, at WonderCon 2012.

Nathan Rupert/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

A fan dressed as the "Young Justice" version of Batman sidekick Robin at WonderCon 2012.

Nathan Rupert/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Kids get geeked up young at WonderCon 2012, dressed as Spider-Man and Iron Man.

Terry Tyson/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

A fan dressed as Batman villain Bane tweaks the idea of "free hugs" with a "FREE SHRUGS" sign at WonderCon 2012.

Nathan Rupert/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

WonderCon 2012 fans dressed as Ghostbusters.

Nathan Rupert/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Fans dressed as Pokemon characters, including Pikachu, at WonderCon 2012.

Nathan Rupert/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

A WonderCon 2012 attendee dressed as Big Bird of "Sesame Street."

You can check out the first part of our WonderCon coverage here.

Batman isn't crazy and DC Comics commits "story genocide"

As part of WonderCon, they put on the Comics Arts Conference, which means smart people offering fancy opinions about comic books. It's kind of great. I had the chance to see a few of these sessions, including "Batman vs. Iron Man: Can Biology Best Technology?" (Answer: Probably not), "What's the Matter with Batman?" (Nothing diagnosable, apparently) and "Story Genocide, Fanboy Tears: The Moral Questions of DC Comics' 'New 52' Project" (Yup, genocide!).

To elaborate a bit more on some of this, the Batman versus Iron Man looked at what circumstances each could win a fight in, and while Iron Man generally had the edge, Batman's intelligence, planning and sheer drive left him with some hope. As for what's wrong with him, they ran down potential disorders he could have from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder, and ultimately concluded that the character has experience trauma but doesn't suffer from any of these disorders. As a fan of this stuff, it's nice to see it being treated seriously (or, as seriously as it's possible to take it).


The Roundup: 'Community' returns, 'Frozen Planet' premieres, Web series & more

"Frozen Planet"

Discovery Networks

This Sunday at 8pm, Discovery premieres its beautiful new series, "Frozen Planet"

The big news in TV this week is the return of "Community," the little show that could, to NBC this Thursday [*Update: Comedy Central has announced that they will begin airing reruns of "Community" in 2013 - also on Comedy Central this week is the return of "South Park," but perhaps more importantly, "Ugly Americans," beautifully drawn, surreal, and brilliantly funny, Wednesday at 10:30pm]. Sunday, Discovery launches its spectacular new series, "Frozen Planet," at 8pm. This is another beautifully shot show exploring the nature of the colder parts of our planet, both above and below the surface. Kind of ironic that this show hits the screens on the tail end of one of the warmest winters on record in North America. Sunday also brings the season finale of AMC's "The Walking Dead," a must watch, although it might be difficult to top the episode from two nights ago which had major developments.


Watson's a lady, Twitter won't keep your secret identity if you threaten violence & Jimmy Kimmel gets more meta

Mercer 8838

Warner Bros.

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes

  • Jimmy Kimmel offered a pretty spectacular post-Oscars video, a trailer for "Movie: The Movie" starring a cavalcade of stars including George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Cameron Diaz and many more. Well, now he's managed to get one more level of meta with "Making the Movie: The Making of Movie: The Movie."

  • Everybody loves Sherlock Holmes, with a hit movie franchise and a BBC TV show, so CBS is making a new modern American take on the character called "Elementary." Except it takes place in New York and now Watson is a lady played by Lucy Liu.

  • Looking for something to do in a couple weekends? Well the WonderCon comic convention, run by the same folks who do the ultra-famous San Diego Comic-Con, is moving from San Francisco to Anaheim for this year, and they just released their full schedule. (You can see my tentative schedule here, which will change 58 times by the time the convention rolls around.)

  • OK, we know that none of us probably saw most if any of the Oscar-nominated shorts, so here's your chance to see the winner for Best Animated Short, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." (Hat tip: Vulture)

  • Hey everyone who wants to be anonymous on Twitter: Maybe don't threaten to violently rape political candidate Michele Bachmann? A judge says Twitter has to reveal the mystery tweeter's identity, even though the judge didn't believe the person was an actual threat.

  • Greendale Community College is back in session; two weeks from Thursday, "Community" returns to the airwaves. Before that, check out this interview the Daily Beast did with the female stars of the show, as well as writer Megan Ganz.

  • Oh great, another way for comic books to take my money: Now there's a comics section in the iTunes bookstore.

  • A shoutout to one of my favorite blogs, the Mary Sue, offering geek girls a voice; they're celebrating their one year anniversary.