Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Batman poster presents 75 highlights in 75 years of Bat-History

DC Comics

A Batman graphic chronicling Batman's 75 years of history.

DC Comics

A new take on the cover to Detective Comics #27.

DC Comics

A Batman cape.


As part of their celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, DC Comics has released a new poster showing highlights (and, depending on your perspective, lowlights) of the character's history.

(Click here to see the full-sized version of the graphic.)

Those notable moments include hero and villain debuts, Batman TV shows and films, and the iconic storylines that burrowed their way into fans' minds. Sure, the items get a little more clumped together in the modern era, both due to a change in storytelling style and pushing the new as any good PR machine does, but it offers a nice look at what has made Batman a modern legend.

Some fun facts related to this run through history:

  • Commissioner James Gordon, the main character in Fox's new "Gotham" mini-series, goes all the way back to the beginning — he debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27, predating Bat-sidekick Robin
  • Mr. Freeze, made infamous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the critically slammed movie "Batman & Robin," originally debuted in 1959 as "Mr. Zero"; the infamous film is also featured in the timeline, right alongside an Arnold picture
  • The '60s Batman movie had a tight turnaround with the show, debuting the same year as the television series
  • The original Batgirl was short-lived — she debuted in 1961, only to be replaced in 1967
  • In one of the most infamous, darkest moments in Batman history, fans voted to kill off Robin the same year the Tim Burton "Batman" film debuted; of course, a new Robin was introduced the next year
  • Some of the storylines noted in the timeline yet to make a major impact in films, leaving some possibilities for future franchise installments: "Hush," "The Court of Owls" and "The Long Halloween"
  • Sorry, Lego fans — the Lego Batman video games and a direct to DVD film get mentioned, but no love for the classic voice work from Will Arnett as Batman in "The Lego Movie"

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Who is Slender Man? The Internet meme is cited in a brutal crime

Eric Knudsen

One of two original Slender Man Photoshop-manipulated images.

Eric Knudsen

One of two original Slender Man Photoshop-manipulated images.


When two 12-year-old girls allegedly stabbed a friend nearly to death last week in suburban Waukesha, Wisc., the crime seemed baffling — until the girls reportedly told authorities why: They said they were trying to please the Slender Man.

Who is the Slender Man?

Authorities — and the media, which have been tracking this story since it broke — soon found out, peeling back the layers of an Internet meme/urban legend and casting public attention on a story and character previously known only to a cultish following of horror fans.

The crime

On Saturday, May 31, the two girls allegedly attacked their 12-year-old female friend, stabbing her 19 times. One of the girls told a detective they wanted to become Slender Man's proxies, the Associated Press reports, and run away from home to live with Slender Man in his mansion in the Nicolet National Forest. 

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'Star Wars: Episode VII': JJ Abrams' Millennium Falcon tweet and the Mystery Box

2013 Winter TCA Tour - Day 3

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

File: Executive Producer J.J. Abrams speaks onstage at the "Revolution" panel session during the NBCUniversal portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour- Day 3 at the Langham Hotel on Jan. 6, 2013 in Pasadena.

J.J. Abrams, the director of next year’s “Star Wars” sequel/reboot/update, is so famously secretive about his film work you'd almost think he’d be happy to never show his movies to audiences, lest they finally talk about what actually happens in them. The habit — developed on projects from his "Alias" TV shows to "Cloverfield" right up to his most recent film, "Star Trek Into Darkness" — even has a nickname: The Mystery Box (watch Abrams' TED talk on the concept below).

All of which makes Abrams' entreaty Wednesday about leaked photos from the set of his upcoming Jedi movie — assuming there will still be Jedis in “Star Wars: Episode VII” — all the more fascinating.

Over the last few days, several websites, but most prominently the Hollywood gossip blog TMZ — best known these days for leaking the Donald Sterling tape that cost the Clippers owner his NBA team — have been posting purloined images from the Tunisian set of the new "Star Wars" film.

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Edgar Wright quits 'Ant-Man'; here's what it would have looked like

Marvel

Ant-Man seen in an image tweeted by Marvel.

Edgar Wright, fan-favorite director of movies like "Shaun of the Dead" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," has dropped out of directing Marvel superhero movie "Ant-Man."

This comes after Wright started developing the project in 2006, with the official announcement by Marvel of Wright directing coming in 2012.

Wright and Marvel released a joint statement:

"Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Marvel's 'Ant-Man' due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly."

Paul Rudd's already been announced as the star, playing the miniaturized hero. It seemed like a match made in Heaven, with Wright having a geek comic sensibility that would pair well with Rudd, but now it's not to be.

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TBS cancels 'The Pete Holmes Show'; watch 16 of the show's best comedy sketches

CollegeHumor Offline Annual Production

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Pete Holmes and Matt McCarthy perform during CollegeHumor Offline Annual Production at Gramercy Theatre on Aug. 8, 2013 in New York City.

TBS has canceled the Los Angeles-based late night cable talk show "The Pete Holmes Show" after two seasons. The Conan O'Brien-produced show is set to end in June, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The show featuring comedian Pete Holmes followed "Conan" at midnight, but failed to pick up Conan's audience.

"We recognize Pete as one of the most relevant comedians working today," TBS said in a statement, the Hollywood Reporter reports. "We loved the show and gave it two chances. We just couldn't draw the audience needed to justify a third round. We hope we'll get to work with him again."

The show's biggest impact came through its sketch comedy, often deconstructing pop culture, particularly superheroes and video games. The show featured many pre-produced video sketches, several of which became viral hits — with far more views than the show usually scored viewers on television. Here are some of the best. (Warning: Some of these videos contain adult language and themes.)

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