Batman: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of a Beloved Superhero

This past weekend there was a back to back marathon of all the Batman movies on ABC Family. I watched them all, in chronological order, cringing and cheering depending on the moment. Is it just me, or did the films get progressively terrible as the franchise continued? It seems that the entire series plummeted downhill after the second one, Batman Returns. Batman and Robin? Come on, people… You can’t have thought that was a good movie. And Uma! I love you, girl.. but what were you thinking?? Not to mention Mr. Freeze and his plastic ice lair…

All of that, put together with a seemingly drunken Batman (George Clooney, I abhor thee), a cartoony Robin and a phoned-in performance by Alicia Silverstone (Batgirl) made for one of the worst experiences I’ve had watching a movie. How is it possible that a stellar cast could collectively do a horrible job?

Now, you know me, I love me some camp. But there’s a distinct difference between the hilariously bad, and the badly bad. The kind of bad that is so bad because the cast and crew just apparently gave up. It’s like they were coasting on the success of the previous films. They didn’t even try.

Now, enter the saving grace of a beloved superhero, 2005’s Batman Begins. This is a much more realistic, much darker interpretation, and thank God for that. Christian Bale takes us on a journey that made billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne into a crime fighting, raspy-voiced lord of the night. I adore this movie. Cillian Murphy as the scarecrow… holy sh&*! Terrifyingly awesome. Liam Neeson? Yes. That guy hasn’t seen a bad acting day in his life. Sidenote: his portrayal of a pervy ghost in High Spirits (1988) is inspired. Such a funny movie, and Steve Guttenberg is in it. Now that is some good camp!

Now that we’ve acknowledged that the Batman franchise has had its ups and downs, we can get back to the amazingness that is the new incarnation. Since Batman Begins, there have been two new films, each incredible in both storyline and execution. The Dark Knight (2008) and the latest in the bunch The Dark Knight Rises (2012) were both great movies in their own right, but that’s a chat for another day…

Right now, I want to show you some of the awesome Batman gear Heavenly Swords has in stock for you. Let’s put away the bad, and focus on the greatness that is Batman today. Here are a few items to get your blood lust going:

Batman Dark Knight Mask

This is a perfect replica of the mask worn by Christian Bale. It has an adjustable Velcro strap so it can be worn on any size head. Made from resin, it is very durable. When you aren’t fighting crime, you can hang it on your wall with the included wall hanger. Just don’t do that if you’re trying to keep your identity hidden…

Dark Knight Rises Bokken

Now you can combine your love for Batman with your love for swords. This is a bokken, which is in itself a great weapon. It’s basically a wooden practice sword. This one would be perfect for cosplay, or just to practice your katana moves without lethally injuring anyone.

Batman Battle Axe Batax

Now this weapon is no joke. It has super sharp stainless steel blades, and is overall about 10” long. It’s the perfect throwing axe, but be careful!

These are just a few of the many Batman products we carry. We have arm guards, throwing stars, and double bladed folding knives, so check us out!!

 

 

Anime Obsession: Bleach

I know I’m a few years late to the party, but just one look at an episode of Bleach and I was hooked. This anime series airs on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, and oh man. I was hesitant at first, anime storylines can be very complex, and can be quite confusing for someone tuning in mid-episode. The animation had me hooked instantly. Its use of light and dark, the inventiveness, yet realism of its characters, not to mention the larger-than-life weapons, all work perfectly together to honor the Anime tradition, while creating a world if its own. No other cartoon looks like this.

After closing my agape mouth when the episode ended, I went online to find out more about the series. My first question was, “Why is it called Bleach?”
The only possible answers I found on IMDB. It states,

“It’s generally accepted that the title Bleach comes from the fact the Shinigami use their Zanpakto to cleanse (bleach) the souls of Hollows.

Another accepted meaning for the title is because of Ichigo’s hair color. He was often picked on as a kid for having orange hair and many people accuse him of bleaching it. Both are acceptable reasons, but neither have been completely confirmed or turned down as the right answer.”

Not too certain, but I’ll take it. The title of the series was the least of my concerns. I needed to know who these people were, where they came from, why are they here? So I did some research to find the backstory.

The series began a manga comic in 2002. It came to Adult Swim as an Anime series in 2006, and has since then taken North America by storm. In the series we follow a teenager named Ichigo Kurosaki. He can see ghosts. He runs into Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper who was chasing after a Hollow, or lost soul, that attacked Ichigo and his family. She becomes injured and ends up transferring her energy to Ichigo, who ends up fighting and defeating the Hollow. Ichigo and Rukia join forces to battle souls… and all kinds of craziness ensues.

The swords on Bleach are awesome. Now you can have your own Bleach replica, in case a Hollow should come your way. We have over 60 different Bleach sword replicas and accessories in stock!! Check out a few of these beauties:

Ichigo Tensa Bankai Sword

This sword is over 37” long overall, with a 27” stainless steel blade with a black liquid finish. Intense. It also comes with a manji-shaped guard and a matching black scabbard.

Ayasegawa Yumishika Shikai Fuji Kujaku

Incredible replica from the series. It comes with a wall mount so you can show off this magnificent weapon to all your friends. Each blade is black and silver, and are 23” long. This sword does not play games.

Renji Abari’s Awakened Zanpakuto

This wooden sword is 52” long, and super impressive! Perfect for cosplay or an event that won’t allow real weapons. It’s really impressive, and isn’t as heavy as it looks, so you can carry it around with no problem.

We have so much more to show you. Check out the rest of our Bleach items right now!