Put on your capes and cowls, everybody! There’s pine needles on the living room floor, snow on the ground, and a scent of cinnamon in the air. Your dogs and cats are tearing apart wrapping paper, your family’s in town and you can’t stop drinking sparkling cider for some reason. That could only mean one thing, folks, it’s the nondescript religious holiday season! And that means that it’s time to go into credit card debt so that you can show those closest to you that you care, you know? And to make it a little bit easier on you guys, we here at Geeks of Doom have been shoveling our driveways so that we can deliver to you this, The Holiday Geek Gift Guide – Batman Edition! The best bat-gifts possible for the geeks on you gift-giving list!
As you can see, I’ve changed up the intro a smidge, and that’s simply because today we celebrate the holiday in the best way possible, with The Batman. Yes, The Batman. And while it may not make much sense to you that we’re doing this, you fail to realize that Batman makes everything better. In fact, the presence of Batman-centric holiday gift guide on this site makes not only this site better, but also it makes the world better. And isn’t that truly what the holidays are about? Making things better or something like that? Sure, why not! Anyway, it’s been a pretty big year for The Dark Knight, and that will certainly be evidenced by the majority of this list. We’ll also be making it a little easier on you by narrowing this list down by separate topics such as comics (and comic-inspired items), statues, Batman: Year One, and Arkham City. Sure there will be some overlap, but that’s all right because we’re talking about Batman! So let’s start of with the merriest of merries, comic books!
Note – prices listed with each item are the list prices; most items are actually lower in cost.
Batman Noël (Lee Bermejo – $22.99): In the spirit of Christmas, first-time writer, awesome-time artist Lee Bermejo takes the helm in this Batman story that places The Caped Crusader in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in this Batman-starring adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic A Christmas Carol. And that alone is enough to buy this comic. It’s a Christmas story starring Batman. That’s enough. But if you don’t think that’s enough, all you need to do is look at Lee Bermejo’s art. It’s incredibly gorgeous, and his snowy Gotham City populated by the realistic portrayals of the Gotham heroes and villains, which is colored beautifully by Barbara Ciardo. It’s not the best story, and it falls flat in a couple of places, especially take into consideration that it’s way out of continuity and it’s not the interpretation of Batman that I prefer, so the art is clearly the real star of the show. But back to the story, it works more than anything because it’s Dickens’ concept, and that’s why this book is a must read. Amazing art, a strong concept, and a good showing from an artist with his first time penning a book. All in all, a great read. Maybe not a great read at anytime of the year, but certainly a perfect read, and gift, for the holidays.
Batman: The Black Mirror (Scott Snyder, Jock, David Baron, Francesco Francavilla – $29.99): I wrote about this collection previously on the comics list, but it’s so good that it needs another mention. In my eyes, this is the hottest Batman comic during this holiday season, so it’s a perfect gift for any fan of The Bat. It’s an easy pick up considering that this story is pretty much self contained, other than the fact that it’s Dick Grayson as Batman, and basically this story closed down Detective Comics before the DC Relaunch, so nothing comes after it! It’s a brilliant murder mystery/psychologic thriller featuring some of the most beautiful artwork that’s ever been imagined, and the oversized deluxe format will be a wonderful way to showcase it’s glory. This team was able to capture lightening in a bottle and tell what could go down as one of the defining Batman stories of the current era, and they did so without seeming to even realize how incredible the comic actually was. As I said before, it would be an amazing gift to any Batman or comic book fan out there.
While these may not necessarily be new editions, these Batman Absolute Editions are certainly a popular and brilliant idea to give as presents. They’re expensive, they’re heavy, and they’re pretty much worth all of the hassle. But if you are going to get these for someone, the expense alone should tell you that you’re gonna want to give this to somebody you truly care about, not the shmuck in the next cubicle who plays Arkham City on his work PC when he should be filling out spreadsheets. The headphones don’t make it impossible for me to hear when you’ve got ’em cranked to 11, Michael! Anyway, here’s a run down of the different Batman related Absolute Editions:
The Absolute Long Halloween (Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale – $75.00): It’s a 13-issue series of a killer who strikes on holidays, even Christmas! Go seasonal reading!
Absolute Dark Knight (Frank Miller/Klaus Jansen – $99.99): Frank Miller has done a lot of amazing, and not so amazing work. This showcases both of those with The Dark Knight Returns (AMAZING) and The Dark Knight Strikes Again (aka DKR2, also NOT SO AMAZING). It may not be a 100 percent cohesive, but there’s no doubting the beauty in this book.
Absolute Hush (Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee – $99.99): Gee, DC loves giving Absolute Editions to Jeph Loeb, huh? Anyway, this is not at all my favorite story, but a lot of people out there love it, so who am I to argue? Like I said, not a fan, but if someone were to give this to me, I wouldn’t turn in down. Absolute Edition are that awesome. But if you’re looking for something like this that’s special but not so expensive, might I suggest the Hush Unwrapped Deluxe Edition that features all of Jim Lee’s pencil work with no inks or colors. I really like the presentation of it, and I wouldn’t turn that down, either.
The Return of Bruce Wayne
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne was one of the biggest things happening in comics in 2010, as it was the capstone for years of progression in Grant Morrison‘s epic Batman run from when he started on Batman and Son all the way up to and through Final Crisis and Batman and Robin. A lot of things happened to The Dark Knight over those years including discovering that he was a father, Batman’s apparent death and being shot back in time to become a figurative time bullet to destroy the world. In the series, Batman was raveling through time which caused him to gather omega energy and become the final weapon of destruction by the alien God of evil, Darkseid. It was a really cool series, and two of the things that came out this year were the Deluxe Edition Hardcover and a series of action figures based on The Batman’s time traveling adventures.
The Return of Bruce Wayne Deluxe Edition Hardcover ($29.99): I loved this comic, but some were less than impressed with the plot points, but one thing you can’t deny is that the art from Chris Sprouse, Frazer Irving, Yanick Paquette, Georges Jeanty, Ryan Sook, Lee Garbett, and Pere Perez was amazing, so the oversized deluxe edition of the hardcover is a must-buy.
Action Figure Set ($74.99) (Cave-Batman, Pilgrim, Pirate, Cowboy): The action figures of this series are really cool, they feature different iterations of the time lost Batman, including Cave-Batman, Pilgrim Detective Batman the witch hunter, Pirate Batman, and Cowboy Batman.
Like The Return of Bruce Wayne before it, Batman Incorporated was the big Batman event of 2011. It featured a new look and attitude for the hero that Gotham City, and the comic reading public needs. After the events of RIP, Return of Bruce Wayne, and Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight returned to face a global threat, and the only way to do that was through expanding his empire. It was a thrilling read that featured all kinds of awesome antics of The Caped Crusader’s growing legion of globe-trotting heroes.
Batman and Robin, Vol. 3: Batman and Robin Must Die! ($24.99): It’s not officially a part of Batman Incorporated, but it absolutely kicks off the concept of the series. In this book, we see the beautifully drawn press conference where Bruce Wayne announces the creation of Batman Incorporated, as well as the debut of the amazing art from Chris Burnham who would go on to do the art for the majority of Incorporated. This book also features the amazing art of Cameron Stewart, who is currently one of my favorite artists, as well. Honestly, this collection is jam packed full of content. It even goes so far as to include the Batman: The Return one shot that showed Batman and company’s discussion and first mission of Batman Incorporated, so this is really the starting point for the series.
Batman Incorporated, Vol. 1 ($29.99): Okay, so this isn’t out yet, but it was originally scheduled to be released at around this time. What happened is that this is going to collect all of the issues of Batman Incorporated, unfortunately, all of the issues have not been released to the public. We’re still waiting on the Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes one-shot to be released at the end of December, but if you want to go ahead and guarantee the lowest price possible, it is available for pre-order. Anyway, this collection will feature a great story from Grant Morrison with incredible art by Cameron Stewart, Chris Burnham, Yanick Paquette, and others.
Action Figure Set ($64.99) (Batman, Robin, Man of Bats, Knight): Batman and action figures go together like shoes and socks. You can have one without the other, but why would you want to? Anyway, of course there’s a line of Batman Incorporated figures! Why wouldn’t there be? This line of figures features Batman in the Incorporated suit, Man of Bats (The Native American Batman), Knight (The Batman of England), and Damian Wayne as Robin. Radical!
Possibly the biggest thing to happen to Batman this year was the release of Arkham City the follow up to the insanely popular and critically praised Arkham Asylum video game. I have yet to play the game because I can’t seem to buy video games anymore, but a whole lot of other people did. And apparently they loved it. But gamers were the only ones who had faith in the game because we saw a host of other products that shared the name of what a good number of people are calling the game of the year.
Standard Edition Game (PS3, XBox 360, PC – $59.99): This is just the game, no frills, no extras, not anything special. So, if you’re just looking to pick up a hot game for your Batman-loving nephew or niece, pick this up for them. Since it’s the holiday season, Amazon is running some insane deals on lots of popular products, so maybe you can find it for around $28, a price they had running on Black Friday.
Collector’s Edition (PS3, XBox 360 – $99.99): Oh my God, it’s glorious. The collector’s edition for Arkham City comes with a hefty Kotobukiya Batman Black and White-style statue, an art book DLC codes to play as Catwoman, the Iceberg Lounge challenge maps, a Dark Knight Returns costume skin, and a digital download code for the soundtrack. Not a bad collection, at all. It’s loads better than the Arkham Asylum collector’s edition which pretty much just had a 12-inch plastic batarang. Anyway, if you’re looking for something for a Batman lover that you adore, this is pretty much a safe bet, unless they already have it.
Soundtrack ($11.85): I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this thing. First of all, whoever thought of making a soundtrack for the video game in the style of previous Batman movie soundtracks should be given a cookie, because it was a great idea. The majority, if not all, of these songs were either written about Batman or inspired by Batman, and that fact alone makes this soundtrack the best album of 2011. Because, as we’ve said before, Batman makes everything exponentially better. Anyway, this album features great songs from the likes of Coheed and Cambria, The Damned Things, Daughtry, Panic! At The Disco, The Duke Spirit, (Crosses), and many other. Know a Batman fan that digs rock and roll? Boom! They’re taken care of.
Batman: Arkham City Hardcover Comic ($22.99): Written by Paul Dini with art by Carlos D’Anda (people that actually y’know, worked on the game), the Arkham City comic book ties together the events of the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City games. I’m not usually the biggest fan of these kinds of books because they usually seem a bit phoned in by the creators, but this is the exception to the rule. Considering the fact that these creators worked on the game and the fact that they’re both insanely talented, I’d say it’s a pretty good comic. Sure, you’re going to want to play Arkham Asylum first to know what’s going on, but the comic is really enjoyable, and if you know a gamer that doesn’t read comics, well then, here’s a gift for them!
Arkham Asylum (PS3, XBox 360 – $29.99): You know, there’s some great deals on the game that came before Arkham City, and if there’s someone out there that has only played Arkham City, it’s imperative that they play the first in the series, Arkham Asylum. It’s incredibly dark and gritty, but more than anything, IT’S SO MUCH FUN!
And then there’s this, I’m not quite sure what it is, but it looks really pretty! I’m guessing a guide with concept art, maybe?
Batman Year One
Batman Year One was the big Batman release from DC Animated studio this year. It was an animated adaptation of arguably the best comic book of all time, Frank Miller’s Batman Year One. While, the comic focus attention on both Batman and Commissioner Gordon, the animated features seems to spend it’s time on Gordon. It’s absolutely fantastic and is a much watch for any fan of adult oriented animation, as it’s themes are mature and the animation is flawlessly appealing to adults. Obviously, I’d suggest the Blu-ray for quality reasons as the animation in High Definition is nothing short of breathtaking, and the in-HD bonus features are also a plus. It’s probably my favorite animated feature from DC, and it’s going to be really tough to beat. Bruce Timm and company did a simply spectacular job with this one.
Batman Year One: The Movie (Blu-ray – $24.98, 2 Disc DVD – $24.98, DVD – $19.99): Pretty much the description listed above, but this movie is great. Awesome special features, beautiful animation, near perfect voice cast, phenomenal story. I’d have to suggest this to anyone that has an idea of what Batman Year One is. It’s an origin story, but not just for Batman, it’s an origin story for Commissioner Gordon and crime fighting in Gotham City. It’s about as perfect as an adaptation could get. And there’s a great Catwoman short film written by Paul Dini, as well. I love this movie.
DC Direct Batman Year One DVD Batman Maquette ($124.99): It’s not Mazzucchelli’s design, but I’ll be damned if it’s not amazing. Standing at approximately 9.8″, this gorgeous statue is a perfect way to showcase your love for the beautifully animated film. It’s obviously a collector’s item, so make sure you’re buying this appropriately.
Batman Year One: The Book (Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli – $14.99): If you enjoyed the movie, or if you enjoy things in general, this comic is for you. It’s one of the best comics ever written or drawn and it’s the basis for the insanely popular animated feature. You seriously have to read this if you’ve ever enjoyed even one single comic. In addition to its greatness, this comic is still influencing stories today. Did you like Batman Begins? Well, Batman Year One is like that but better. In fact, a whole lot of elements from Batman Begins were pulled from Year One, so there. Seriously though, it’s a great comic and it’s a must read for anyone and everyone. Also, it’s not available yet, but there is a pre-order for a new deluxe edition hardcover of the comic that is set to be released in March. As a matter of fact, my birthday is in march, so get on that! But seriously, if you’re buying for a teenager, get them this and the DVD and they’ll love you forever. Just try to be open minded when they start sleeping in the day and leaving the house at all hours of the night dressed in leather. Just saying, keep an eye out.
Batman: Black and White
The Batman Black and White statues are always a crowd pleaser. They’re traditionally beautifully sculpted and feature the designs of the hottest comic book artists in the world. They also make a great gift for anyone you know that loves Batman, especially your favorite Batman fan that writes for Geeks of Doom (that’s me!). This year’s entrants in the Black and White line are absolutely gorgeous and would look amazing on
my someone you care about’s display shelf. They’re an expensive collection to keep up, so I anyone would love this as a gift.
David Finch ($80.00): Featuring the art design of Bruce Wayne in the Batman Incorporated batsuit, David Finch’s design is bulky, muscled and astonishing. It’s probably the only Batman Incorporated Black and White statue that we’ll ever see, but it’s outstanding.
Dustin Nguyen ($79.99): Fan and personal favorite artist Dustin Nguyen has a very specific-to-him style that grabs the attention of many fans out there. It’s uniqueness doesn’t please everyone’s eye, but those whose it does absolutely love him. I’m one of those people. And this leaned down Black and White statue will contrast in an amazing way next to the David Finch statue. I’m not sure if this is intended to be Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson considering Nguyen’s style, but when it boils down to it, I don’t care either. Because this looks gorgeous.
Cliff Chiang ($79.99): I’ve said this before, but Cliff Chiang is one of the greatest artists working in comics today, and the fact that he made the effort to design this amazingly sculpted First Wave-inspired Batman statue is one that you should not take for granted. Everything about this noir-styled Batman statue is perfect and would be appreciated by anyone on your holiday list. Fans of crime stories and Batman alike would absolutely adore this.
Y’know there are some things outside the normal gift giving ideas for Batman fans. Normally, people will think comic books, movies, action figures, t shirts and the like. But what people fail to realize is that there are actual books about Batman. I would absolute love to get books about Batman. For a good number of comic book fans, actual books are considered a really nice change of pace. So, with that in mind, I’ve picked out a couple of nice books that you should really consider getting for people on your list. In fact, I don’t have any of these, so if you’re shopping for me, look for reference below.
Murder at Wayne Manor: An Interactive Mystery (Duane Swierczynski/David Lapham – $24.95): I can’t tell you exactly what this is about because I haven’t read it, but I have seen it. It’s absolutely stunning in person, and I can only assume that the content is awesome based on the fact that both Swierczynski and Lapham are both incredibly talented. I can also assume that this is the kind of book where the story changes based on your conclusions to clues and such that are within the book as well. Consider the mystery of this book to be the driving force for your purchase. If nothing else, this will be a fun experience for any wannabe detectives or Batman fanatics.
The Batman Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual (Scott Beatty, David Hahn, Chuck Dixon – $15.95): It’s a handbook on how to be Batman. Seriously, that’s all it needs to be for you to want this. It might be tongue-in-cheek, but who cares? It’s a handbook on how to be Batman! Everyone in the world should own a copy of this, or at least want to!
The Batman Files (Matthew Manning – $100.00): A gorgeous collection of sketches, concept drawings, and memorabilia. It’s basically an FBI file on Batman if he were real. I absolute love this concept, and this is a gift that any hardcore Batman fan will absolute love. It’s for collector’s, and it’s really expensive, but this gift will definitely get you a long, long hug from a Batman lover.
There are so many other things in the Batman related universe that would make great gifts like Bryan Q. Miller’s wrap up story on Batgirl: The Lesson (which makes a great gift for teen boys, girls, men and women alike), Brave and The Bold DVDs, and many, many other things, but this list is pretty much for the sole purpose of having guaranteed great gifts for someone in your life that loves, or even generally likes Batman. Seriously, I don’t always value my opinion on things, either, but each of these gifts, if applied properly, will be exactly what your loved one will want, even if he or she doesn’t even know it.
I could write about all of the awesome Batman related stuff for the rest of my life, but I really need to go outside and experience sunlight or something, you know? *Cough! Cough!*
AMAZON SHIPPING INFORMATION
If you’re ordering through Amazon.com in the United States, here’s their ordering deadlines for delivery on or before Christmas Eve (12/24) for items in-stock shipped to physical addresses within the United States and marked “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com” or “Fulfilled by Amazon.com.”
– December 15th – FREE Super Saver Shipping* [Last full day to order]
– December 19th – Standard Shipping [Last full day to order]
– December 20th – Two-Day Shipping (FREE with Amazon Prime), Last full day to order
– December 21st – Two-Day Shipping (FREE with Amazon Prime) – Order as late as 8pm PST (varies by item); One-Day Shipping ($3.99 with Amazon Prime) Last full day to order
– December 22nd – One-Day Shipping ($3.99 per item with Amazon Prime). Order as late as 4:30pm PST [varies by item]
– December 23rd – Last-Minute Christmas Delivery ($9.99/item with Amazon Prime) While available (varies by item)
– December 24th – ($3.99/item with Amazon Prime) While available (select cities, varies by item)
– December 25th – Christmas Day: Email and printable gift cards can be sent immediately, at any time.
For more details about local delivery, see the Christmas Ordering Deadlines For U.S. Shipments page.
*Super Saver Shipping is FREE on orders $25 and over.
Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Amazon.com Gift Card, you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent to you.
Here’s the list of our 2011 Guides:
– Comic Books (Part 1)
– Comic Books (Part 2)
– Video Games
– DVDs & Blu-rays
– Batman Edition
More Guides to come this week.