It’s the end of the year and on the internet that means it’s time for “Best of” lists and holiday gift guides. And since we are the #1 Batman fan site online, it’s only appropriate to deliver a guide to the best gift ideas specifically for the Batman fa– What? What do you mean MTV already did one? …but it’s not like they only covered Batman stuff. They did? Well that’s fine. It’s a big outlet and they got the jump on us by a week or…a month? Who gets their Christmas shopping done a month ahead of –It’s fine. Whatever. So we’re second, no big– IGN did one too? WITH MODELS? They had attractive girls showing off Batman comics, movies, and video games! Well that’s… Ya know what, we are still going to do one ourselves! MTV might have been first and IGN may have shown off some hot bodies for the boys to ogle over, but what about the ladies? Mainstream nerd sites have neglected a target demographic for far too long– the demographic that desires Batman merchandise AND candy, man-candy that is. Some things are worth waiting for…
All of the other guides out there go on and on about graphic novels and yeah, those are great but they’re also way far behind with what’s going on in comics right now. Floppy, monthly comics can be found on eBay or in the back-issues section of your local comic shop and if your friend or family member likes it they can start going to the comic shop immediately to continue the story. When someone reads graphic novel alone they have to wait months and months for the next installment. Single issues are also far more collectible and if you know someone who is really into collecting the older Batman memorabilia, I suggest you try and find Batman #27.
Or what about World’s Finest #153. What’s special about World’s Finest #153 you ask? It’s the source of this meme:
Now that actually doesn’t happen in the comic book, it was altered to become a hilarious online meme. That said, it would still be a funny, thoughtful gift. Another great present for a comic book fan, something that no one ever considers: bags and boards.
Graphic novels are great for someone who is new to comics. Most folks have a hard time knowing where to begin with comics so they never bother checking the Wednesday releases. These books deliver multiple issues in a row or a complete story from beginning to end. Batman: Year One, The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween, and many others are all classic choices but I’d like to recommend the new stuff that you might not be as familiar with. Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls, Batman & Robin: Born to Kill, and Batman Vs. the Black Glove DELUXE EDITION are all great choices. I have an entire section here at Batman-News with reviews for most of the new graphic novels currently available so feel free to check in on that. If you want to stick with the holiday theme like with the old comics I mentioned, I suggest picking up Batman Noel. It’s essentially the Batman version of A Christmas Carol.
Is all that comic book talk getting you hot? Perhaps it’s time to cool off with some…
Mountain Dew Dark Berry Soda
This stuff is getting increasingly hard to find. I haven’t seen it in stores anymore so you might have to go looking for it on eBay. In case you’ve never tried it before, it tastes like the Taco Bell Baja Blast soda, but it’s more fruity. Does this gift suggestion give you the feeling that I just grabbed something in the same room as me and made it a gift just so I would have something to take a picture of? Ignore that feeling. It’ll pass.
Coffee Table Books
Let’s get the rest of these books out of the way, eh?
The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy is a must-have. If you’re a fan of Nolan’s trilogy you need to own this book. It’s not all pictures, there’s real content here that’ll take you a good long while to get through. You’ll want it handy anytime you re-watch the films.
The Batman Files is a great encyclopedia of Batman knowledge. It’s also a very attractive book with a faux leather cover and magnetic flap. The whole thing is written as if this is Bruce Wayne’s own work, something left behind in his will to explain why and how he did what he did as Batman.
Bill the Boy Wonder is the untold story of Bill Finger, the unsung architect of the Batman mythology.
Obviously The Dark Knight Rises is going to be on this list but most fans will have already bought this thing by now. If they haven’t, well there are a number of options for you to choose from. The one our lovely model, Justin, is showcasing is the Limited Edition 1 of 35,000 version. I like it, and I’m sure many of you are freaking out that I didn’t keep it mint-in-box but my reasoning is that I’m never going to sell this thing so what’s the point of keeping it in the box? So one day my ungrateful grandchild can try to sell it on eBay 3.0 to support their Neuroin habit? I don’t think so. And it really isn’t quite as spectacular as you may think. There’s no heft to it. It’s only plastic and it’s a pretty terrible holder for your movie. There’s not an actual case, it’s just a little compact clam shell thing that locks all three discs together and then slips inside the base of the cowl. Still it looks cool and you can say you have one of the only 35,000 ever made. You’ll have a tough time finding this edition anywhere but eBay now and although I bought mine in-store at midnight for $24 bucks or so, you won’t find one on eBay for under $60 bucks these days. One guy had his for “Buy it Now” at $800 plus $3 shipping. He’s since marked it down to $499 with free shipping, what a saint!
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 makes a great gift for the casual Batman fan because they probably don’t even know it exists. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the book it’s based on or not, you’ll be pretty entertained by this tale of an older Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement to take his city back from the criminals and the corrupt.
For the Kids!
The Dark Knight Rises toys suck. They do. As awesome as Nolan’s movies were, you couldn’t have asked for less imaginative toys than what came out of that franchise. I have a 5 year old nephew who is Batman obsessed and anytime I take him to a toy store and shove a Bane action figure in his face he pushes it aside and goes straight for the Imaginex or (Mattel’s other line of Batman figures) Power Attack Batman toys. Those sets feature Clayface, Killer Croc, Batcaves with gizmos, and vehicles that don’t look like one big black abstract geometric shape. They look fun! So I say go for those instead or perhaps the Young Justice toys. Better yet, scour the internet for Batman: The Brave and the Bold action figures. Those are pretty fun with quite a few villains and even some other DC heroes. Or just get the kid their very own batpod like the one shown above. Why get ‘em a Batman toy when they can be the caped crusader themselves!
You’d be hard pressed to find a Batman fan who hasn’t played Batman: Arkham city, but if you know of one then you’ll definitely delight them with the Arkham City Game of the Year Edition. Another Batman game that came out this year was Lego Batman 2. This game is more kid friendly, but adults should get a kick out of it as well. It features hilarious cut scenes, tons of unlockable vehicles and characters, and the co-op gameplay will last you countless hours if you strive for 100% completion.
Look, But Don’t Touch!
Now let’s end this brief (and rather unnecessary if we’re being honest, MTV and IGN really touched on everything) guide with the things that are really expensive. Pricey decorative pieces so costly that you’re not so sure if the person really likes Batman or simply hates having money. Items that are purchased and never, ever removed from the box or if they are they must be handled more carefully than one would hold a child. I couldn’t take my own photos of these items because, let’s face it, you’re reading an article littered with pictures of a male model whose rate was listed as “steak dinner” by the agency. These are all things that are out of my price range, but I would own if I had just a fraction of the bankroll of Bruce Wayne.
Of course it’s cool looking, but is it $324.95 cool? This 1:6 scale statue of Bane breaking Batman by DC Direct is made of hand-painted porcelain and would look great on the shelf where you keep your favorite Batman graphic novels.
Behold one of the most lifelike toys ever created. Hot Toys produces really, really awesome figures. They have one of Batman, Catwoman, Gordon, Bane, a few different Batmobiles (one model is autographed by Christopher Nolan), Two-Face, Jack Nicholson’s Joker…the list goes on. However, these posable toys are incredibly pricey. How much? Around $300 bucks.
Of course it’s not all sculptures and detailed, articulating figures. You could also buy original artwork from the comics. CadenceComicArt.com has the original penciled pages by recent Batman artists such as Chris Burnham, Becky Cloonan, Jeff Lemire, and Rafael Albuquerque to name a few. But know that you’ll be paying anywhere from $100 to upwards of $1000 dollars depending on what page you want.
So there you have it. That’s as many things as I’m going to list and I can’t take anymore pictures of Justin because my camera melted from the heat this glorious man was radiating. For even more gift ideas, check out the guides that the big outlets posted earlier in the season. Feel free to write in the comments what present you want the most, it might just give someone else a great gift idea. Thanks for reading and happy holidays!
Model: Justin AKA Johnny Fontane
Photos by Andrew with an iPhone