Holy Rewatch Batman! “The Puzzles are Coming” / “The Duo is Slumming”

“The Puzzles are Coming” / “The Duo is Slumming”
Written by Fred de Gorter
Directed by Jeffrey Hayden
Season 2, Episodes 31 and 32
Production code 9731
Original air dates: December 21 and 22, 1966

The Bat-signal: The Puzzler—a Shakespeare-spouting villain—is in billionaire Artemus Knab’s penthouse apartment (for which the Puzzler has a key). Along with his henchmen and moll, Rocket (an aspiring actress, who’s hoping for an introduction to Knab to further her career), they fly a tiny model plane right into Gordon’s office (which happens to be across the street). It drops a smoke bomb and has a note. On one side, it says, “Forsooth, the puzzles are coming.” On the back: “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, inside out the puzzle goes.”

Realizing it’s the Puzzler, Gordon and O’Hara immediately call Batman and Robin. The call interrupts Dick practicing his bird calls, which, amazingly, will actually be important later.

[Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens!]

Series: Holy Rewatch Batman!

A History of Warlords, Kings, and Gods: The Hellenistic Age by Peter Thonemann

The Hellenistic Age refers to that period of time from the death of Alexander the Great in 323BCE to, roughly speaking, the annexation of the kingdom of Pontus by Rome at the end of the Third Mithridatic War. (Some people reckon it ends with the creation of the province of Achaea by Augustus; it’s a lot easier to say where Hellenistic begins than where it ends.)

Yes, I’m reviewing a nonfiction book about the ancient Greek world. Aren’t you excited? I’m excited!

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Captain America Didn’t “Accidentally” Meet Sam in Winter Soldier

It’s easy to ‘ship the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Cap and Falcon. They’ve shared too much screentime, and too many shy lopsided grins, to dissuade fans who’d rather consider them a couple. Over on Tumblr sashayed has just blown that ‘ship wide open. What started out as an idle curiousness over Cap’s running route in the beginning of Winter Soldier suddenly reveals: Steve Rogers had to purposefully be following Sam in order to meet him as many times as he does!

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Skeleton Doctors are the Worst Doctors: The Children’s Ward and Alison’s Baby

Welcome to Freaky Fridays, where we read books from the past in an attempt to understand man’s ancient enemy: the skeleton.

Skeletons are the worst. They lurk inside our skin, waiting to jump out and use our computers, dance obscenely in graveyards, and conduct unauthorized medical procedures on our young. But even worse than a skeleton is a skeleton doctor. First off, I’m not even sure their licenses to practice medicine are legit. Second off, I think every parent’s nightmare is that your kid goes away to college then calls to say he’s gotten married to a doctor, but when he brings his fiance home for Hanukah she’s a skeleton doctor.

“Your father and I wanted you to marry a real doctor!”

“Mom! A Gina is a real doctor, she just also happens to be a skeleton!”

“You’re killing your father!”

And another mother’s heart is broken.

Freaky Fridays has always prided itself on not blindly discriminating against anyone based on the quantity of their skin, so it was educational to read The Children’s Ward by Patricia Wallace and Allison’s Baby by Mike Stone and realize that, yes, in fact all skeleton doctors are fabulously incompetent and should immediately be turned into xylophones.

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Indomitable Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of W.C. Bauers’ Indomitable, the second book in the Chronicles of Promise Paen, available July 26th from Tor Books!

Promise Paen, captain of Victor Company’s mechanized armored infantry, is back for another adventure protecting the Republic of Aligned Worlds. Read the first chapter here.

Lieutenant Paen barely survived her last encounter with the Lusitanian Empire. She’s returned home to heal. But the nightmares won’t stop. And she’s got a newly reconstituted unit of green marines to whip into shape before they deploy. If the enemies of the RAW don’t kill them first, she just might do the job herself.

Light-years away, on the edge of the Verge, a massive vein of rare ore is discovered on the mining planet of Sheol, which ignites an arms race and a proxy war between the Republic and the Lusitanians. Paen and Victor Company are ordered to Sheol, to reinforce the planet and hold it at all costs.

On the eve of their deployment, a friendly fire incident occurs, putting Paen’s career in jeopardy and stripping her of her command. When the Lusitanians send mercenaries to raid Sheol and destabilize its mining operations, matters reach crisis levels. Disgraced and angry, Promise is offered one shot to get back into her mechsuit. But she’ll have to jump across the galaxy and possibly storm the gates of hell itself.

Comment in the post to enter!

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Gillian Anderson Channels Marilyn Monroe as Media from American Gods

“Okay,” she said. “Good question. I’m the idiot box, I’m the TV, I’m the all-seeing eye and the world of the cathode ray. I’m the boob tube. I’m the little shrine the family gathers to adore.”

That’s how Media, one of the New Gods and the personification of television, describes herself in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Gillian Anderson posted the above photo to Twitter yesterday with the caption We’ll be telling this story—and yes, we definitely adore this first look at her in-character.

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[Insert Sheep Pun Here]: Robert Kroese’s The Big Sheep

It all starts with a missing sheep and a paranoid celebrity. Blake Fowler works for Erasmus Keane, a private dick who insists on being called a “phenomenological inquisitor.” The two men live and work in Los Angeles in 2039, several years after a devastating economic collapse that resulted in the city being divided into LA proper and the Disincorporated Zone. During the Collapse, crime ran wild and more than a few businesses and labs took advantage of the weak enforcement to conduct morally bankrupt and ethically dubious projects. During this period of chaos, Fowler’s girlfriend Gwen disappeared and was never seen again.

When one of their experimental Lincoln Longwool sheep disappears, Esper Corporation hires Keane and Fowler to track it down. In a seemingly unrelated case, young celebutante Priya Mistry believes someone is trying to kill her and hires the investigators to figure out who is sending her cryptic messages. Priya is freaking out over seeing herself in commercials she doesn’t remember making, but when Fowler and Keane run into her later on and she claims to have no memory of ever meeting them, the detectives realize something big is amiss. Things get complicated when the Case of the Lost Sheep and the Case of the Concerned Teddy Bear turn out to be less unconnected than previously thought. There is a conspiracy afoot and victims piling up and Fowler and Keane must root it out before it gets them, too.

[“Stop spooking the sheep, Keane.”]

“Everyone Believes in Justice. What Else is There to Believe In?” Judenstaat by Simone Zelitch

If I had ever read Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, I suspect Simone Zelitch’s Judenstaat might bear comparison. They are both, after all, novels about a Jewish Nation That Never Was—although Chabon’s locates itself in Alaska, while Zelitch’s can be found in a Saxony separated from reconstructed post-war East Germany, and home now to a Jewish state whose official business is all conducted through German. But I’ve never actually read more than descriptions and reviews of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, so I’ll have to take Judenstaat solely on its own merits.

Zelitch is a prize-winning author of Jewish fiction: her previous novel, Louisa, won the Goldberg Prize. I’m an Irish atheist whose knowledge of Jewish history and culture is limited to a couple of college courses and some reading. There are nuances here, and probably culturally contingent conversations and references, that I’m bound to miss. With that caveat—

This is a very peculiar book.

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Four Roads Cross Sweepstakes!

We want to send you a galley copy of Max Gladstone’s Four Roads Cross, the fifth book in the Craft Sequence, available July 26th from Tor Books!

In Four Roads Cross, the great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back—and the people of Alt Coulumb aren’t happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning’s creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god’s church. Tara Abernathy, the god’s in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world’s fiercest necromantic firm–and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world.

As if that weren’t enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy; jails, hospitals, and temples are broken into and out of; choirs of flame sing over Alt Coulumb; demons pose significant problems; a farmers’ market proves more important to world affairs than seems likely; doctors of theology strike back; Monk-Technician Abelard performs several miracles; The Rats! play Walsh’s Place; and dragons give almost-helpful counsel.

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on June 30th. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on July 4th. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.