To celebrate the new animated Batman movie Gotham by Gaslight, we’re reflecting on the Dark Knight’s history of awesome animated movies.
For simplicity’s sake, we’re restricting the list to movies that were direct-to-video (sorry, LEGO Batman) and we’re highlighting the top 10 that are absolutely worth checking out. From Batman: Year One to Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker to Under The Red Hood and beyond, let’s celebrate some of Batman’s best animated movies!
If your favorite one isn’t on the list, go give it some love in the comments. Tell the IGN community why they should go watch!
And for even more on the Caped Crusader, check out our two-part history of The Dark Knight Returns below…
Warning: this review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
The biggest drawback with the current crop of Star Wars novels and comics, compared to the Expanded Universe days, is that these stories have far less freedom in which to operate. The days where where you could resurrect Emperor Palpatine in a comic or kill off Chewbacca in a novel are well behind us. That’s the trade-off to having a new, Disney-sanctioned universe where every new story has its carefully chosen place in the larger scheme of things. Nowhere has this problem been felt more than with Marvel’s meager offering of comics set in the post-Return of the Jedi era. It too often feels like creators are being constrained by Lucasfilm and prevented from venturing away from a very narrow path. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – DJ – Most Wanted #1 is no exception, sadly.
The FBI has publicly challenged a push by Republican lawmakers to release a controversial memo which purports to show anti-Trump bias at the agency.
“We have grave concerns about the material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the FBI said in a statement.
A top Trump aide said on Wednesday they would release the top secret document “pretty quick”, despite the objections.
Democrats claim the memo is an attempt to discredit the FBI-led Russia probe.
“It will be released here pretty quick, I think, and the whole world can see it,” White House chief of staff John Kelly said during an interview with Fox News Radio on Wednesday morning.
Hours later, the FBI issued a rare statement saying that it had had “limited opportunity” to review the document before the House Intelligence committee voted to release it on Monday.
“We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) process,” the FBI statement added.
What is the memo?
The four-page memo, which was compiled by staffers for the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, claims that the Department of Justice abused the surveillance programme known as FISA to unfairly target a member of the Trump campaign.
According to lawmakers who have reviewed it, the document purports to show that the agency obtained a warrant to spy on a Trump campaign aide after submitting as evidence the unproven “Russian dossier”.
That dossier was compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele with money financed in part from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The committee voted to release the memo earlier this week, and Mr Trump has until the weekend to decide whether to de-classify the information for public release.
Mr Trump was heard following his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night telling a Republican lawmaker that he is “100%” for releasing the document, but on Wednesday White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told CNN “there’s always a chance” that it will not be released.
But Mr Kelly was less equivocal, telling Fox News on Wednesday morning that Mr Trump “wants everything out so the American people can make up their own minds and if there’s people to be held accountable, then so be it”.
Why is it controversial?
Before the FBI statement on Wednesday, the Department of Justice had already said it would be “extraordinary reckless” to release the document.
Democrats, whose efforts to release a competing memo were blocked by the committee, claim that Mr Nunes cherry-picked highly classified information that they say could jeopardise national security.
They argue the memo is an effort to embarrass the FBI and discredit the investigation, led by special counsel Robert Mueller, into alleged Russian meddling and possible obstruction of justice by members of the Trump administration.
But Trump officials say the memo proves his claim that he has been treated unfairly by the FBI.
Chairman Nunes, who served on the Trump team during his White House transition, said on Wednesday it was “no surprise” that the FBI has objected to the memo’s release.
“Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DoJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies,” he said.
A top Democrat on the House committee, Adam Schiff, said that releasing the memo “increases the risk of a constitutional crisis by setting the stage for subsequent actions by the White House to fire [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller or, as now seems more likely, Deputy Attorney General Rod J Rosenstein”.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who serves on the Senate Intelligence committee, said that the Republicans are clearly trying to “undermine the special counsel’s investigation”.
“There’s no excuse for playing politics with highly classified information,” Mrs Feinstein added.
Before she left for eight weeks of unpaid maternity with her second baby, Jen — a dental hygienist from Indiana — made sure to tell her practice’s office manager she planned to keep breastfeeding when she returned, which would require pumping throughout the day.
The office manager spoke to the dentists in charge. They informed Jen, who is an hourly employee, that she’d need to clock out every time she pumped, meaning she’d be docked the time.
Eight years ago, the Affordable Care Act mandated that employers provide women with reasonable break time in which to pump and a space to do it, though businesses with fewer than 50 employees can apply for an exemption if they can prove the policy burdens them.
Jen, who asked to not to use her real name out of fear of employer retribution, wasn’t sure if her practice had officially received an exemption, or whether she was covered by the policy as a contract employee. But she didn’t want to push it. She was worried about losing her job. And with two children to support, it was a risk she felt she could not take.
So for three months, the 31-year-old tried her best to swing it. She got to work by 7:45 a.m. every day, flying through her first appointment so she could clock out, run to her car, pump, wipe down her pump parts, throw her milk into the refrigerator, and be ready for another patient — all in about 20 minutes. At lunch, Jen repeated the routine, eating and pumping in the dental practice’s bustling parking lot, trying to avoid eye contact with the patients whose mouths she knew she’d soon be staring into.
One day, she decided enough was enough. She was losing two hours of work a week ― or about $60. Her milk supply was shot. A co-worker had complained it was gross to see Jen’s breast milk in the communal fridge. She considered asking her bosses for more time or some help with the arrangements, but she didn’t want to get fired. Five months after giving birth, Jen stopped breastfeeding altogether.
“I was disappointed that I didn’t make it as long as I wanted to,” she told HuffPost. “But honestly, it was also a relief to not have to fumble with it all and to try and make it work.”
While some medical professionals, writers and mothers have in recent years pushed back against the one-time dogma of pushing breastfeeding, the research is nonetheless clear that there are health benefits to moms and babies, particularly in the infant stage. Babies who are breastfed have decreased risk for diarrheal diseases, infection and even sudden infant death syndrome, and nursing a baby can help postpartum mothers heal.
The public health goals pediatricians have laid out for breastfeeding mothers are clear: six months of exclusive breastfeeding, followed by breast milk and complementary foods through at least the first year. But as has been well documented, the number of mothers who actually hit those goals is relatively small — and experts point to the lack of support and public health infrastructure once women leave the hospital as reasons why many fall short.
In the United States, 80 percent of moms start out breastfeeding, a rate that has greatly improved as hospitals have adopted policies to support nursing moms and education has spread. But by six months, only 50 percent of moms are still going, and at one year, it’s down to 27 percent.
There is a tendency to lay the blame at the feet of women, who are told in direct and oblique ways that breastfeeding is their responsibility. But the reasons why women abandon their goals are complex and often systemic. Pumping at work is at best drudgery, if not downright impossible, and many new moms often find their only “choice” is to quit pumping or quit their jobs, despite public policies that are supposed to protect them.
Barriers To Meeting Guidelines
Even with some protections in place for nursing mothers at the office, there are other fundamental impediments for women meeting breastfeeding guidelines. One of the biggest factors is the lack of parental leave policies in the U.S., which lags behind other developing nations on the issue, and is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t mandate paid leave.
A quarter of American women return to work less than two weeks after giving birth — often when they’re still bleeding and just days after their milk comes in. And about 40 percent of workersare not eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act, meaning they have zero guarantee that their job will be waiting for them if they choose to take any kind of leave.
But the research is clear that longer leaves and higher breastfeeding rates go hand-in-hand. In a 2011 study in the journal Pediatrics, moms who went back to work after 13 weeks were almost twice as likely to still be giving their babies predominantly breast milk at that point than those who returned sooner. A 2011 study in the American Journal of Public Health found that a woman who returns to work after having a baby has more than double the odds of quitting breastfeeding in her first month back than a woman who stays home.
There is a physiological basis to these differences. Babies are uniquely adept at getting milk from their mothers’ breasts, which signals to the body that it is time to produce more milk. Breastfeeding is fundamentally a supply-and-demand process, and babies are just better at it than breast pumps.
“Pumps rely on sucking, but infants don’t just suck at the breast. They compress it with the tongue, so in effect you’re doing two very different actions,” explained Julie Matheney, a Los Angeles-based lactation consultant.
Better pumps will go a long way toward making breastfeeding at work more manageable, she added, and they are on the horizon. But there are other factors at play. Women experience a love-related hormone rush when they nurse their babies at the breast that triggers the letdown reflex and helps milk flow. That can be challenging to replicate with a bottle, some plastic tubing, and a wheezing machine. Matheney says the work she does with mothers often involves teaching them how to try and “woo” their pump.
Plenty of women are able to maintain sufficient breast milk supply and breastfeed for as long as they want after returning to work, but much like Jen, they encounter workplaces that are not supportive of breastfeeding in meaningful ways.
Workplace Guidelines Fall Short
The provisions put in place when the Affordable Care Act amended the existing Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) were meant to make it easier for many women. Employers across the country must provide employees with a “reasonable break time” to pump for one year after giving birth, every time they need to do so. And workplaces are required give women a private space — not a bathroom, but not necessarily a permanent, dedicated lactation room — in which to pump.
“We think this was a great first step. It was huge. It allowed many women to be able to pump,” Tina Sherman, campaign director for breastfeeding and paid leave with the advocacy group MomsRising, told HuffPost. She added that many states have their own additional protective policies.
“But unfortunately it still leaves out millions of workers,” she added.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the ACA provision, provided they can show the policy places an “undue burden” on them. The provision also applies only to employees who are considered “nonexempt” under the FLSA — basically, those whose employers are required to pay them overtime beyond 40 hours a week.
“As of right now, 60 percent of working moms don’t actually have an adequate place to pump,” Sherman said. “They don’t have adequate break time, or a private space to pump in the workplace.”
A 2015 study in the journal Pediatric Clinics of North America found that the number of employers providing on-site lactation rooms had actually decreased in recent years.
Even many women whose employers are legally obligated to adhere to baseline pumping policies say they are on their own, and that is true across industries.
HuffPost ran a Facebook callout looking to hear from women with workplace pumping problems, and stories poured in from women who work as nurses, teachers, consultants, administrative employees, sales representatives, restaurant workers, and more. One woman described having to pump in her office’s only single-stall bathroom as colleagues banged on the door. An attorney said she has walked into court covered in breast milk on multiple occasions after pumping in the parking lot while colleagues walked by.
A health care employee, who also asked not to use her name, said she received as many breaks as she needed, but that she had to use her supervisors’ offices, which meant asking them to clear out every time she needed to pump.
“I had one supervisor who always had comments like, ’How long are you going to breastfeed, until he’s 10?” she recalled. Her baby was 3 months old at the time.
Elizabeth, a 35-year-old public school teacher from Massachusetts who asked that only her first name be used, tried to pump when she returned to work after delivering her second baby in 2015, and she managed it for two months. But she had to run from class to what she described as a “very dirty bathroom” on the opposite side of the school near the recess yard, and fit in setup, pumping and break-down in 15 minutes or less.
“There was one time I had put milk down, and a ball hit a window,” she said. “I watched this, like, inch ball of dust float down and there was nothing I could do before it settled in my 4 ounces of milk.”
“In this industry that feels so female heavy, I was so shocked that was the kind of space and accommodations we were given,” she added. “I know that we are tight on space, I get that. But it just feels, like … teaching is a lot of young women at childbearing age. It just felt really surprising that it was so challenging.”
Faced with an environment that makes pumping difficult for women, some are increasingly looking to the courts for a legal recourse.
The ACLU has filed discrimination complaints on behalf of a handful of female flight attendants and pilots with Frontier Airlines, all of whom say the company failed to accommodate pregnant and breastfeeding employees. The flight attendants described having to work 10-hour shifts with no breaks for them to pump. A class action lawsuit is currently before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and will soon be filed in federal court, ACLU staff attorney Galen Sherwin told HuffPost, although she was unable to provide further details on a likely timeline.
“I think people are looking at it closely,” Sherwin said of the case. “Certainly, I think it would be the largest case that has been filed related to accommodations for women who are breastfeeding on the job. All of the other lawsuits have been individual cases.”
For now, so much of the onus falls on women to understand to what degree they are covered by state and federal requirements concerning pumping, Sherwin said.
Elizabeth, the teacher, is expecting her third baby in a few months, and while her plan is to continue breastfeeding after she returns to work, her past experiences have made her skeptical that she will be able to succeed. She certainly does not expect any additional support from her workplace this time around.
“I feel really overwhelmed by the lack of time I have now and cannot fathom adding another piece to any moment of my day,” Elizabeth said. “I feel defeated before I’ve even had this baby.”
David Brevik, creator of Diablo, has unveiled his new project, which launches this weekend into closed beta.
Brevik’s new game, It Lurks Below, mixes elements of Diablo, Terraria, and Minecraft and launches on Steam later this year. The game will feature an indie/retro aesthetic, and those interested in a closer look at the game can tune in to the game’s first streaming event this Friday.
It Lurks Below features an indie/retro aesthetic and contains elements of Diablo and Terraria.
Netflix has announced a collaboration with Production I.G and studio Bones.
According to Anime! Anime! Biz (via Anime News Network), Netflix has entered into a business alliance with Production I.G, its sister studio Wit Studio, and Bones to co-produce anime episodes and stream them in over 190 countries.
Netflix’s goal is to strengthen its current anime lineup and describes this deal as a “win-win-win” scenario for Netflix subscribers, anime production, and anime creators.
Netflix’s Altered Carbon is some heady, intense science fiction–the most hardcore sci-fi on TV in years. The first episode alone is packed with so many cryptic, futuristic terms and concepts it might make your head spin. And you wouldn’t want that–who knows what it might do to your cortical stack?
Don’t worry if you have no idea what that means. We’ve got you covered with this list of the important cyberpunk and sci-fi terms, phrases, and concepts you’ll need to fully grasp exactly what’s going down in Netflix’s noir sci-fi epic, Altered Carbon, which hits Netflix this Friday, February 2.
Despite the launch of two new consoles last year, PC dominated much of the conversation in 2017 thanks to the phenomenal success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which released in Early Access in March and proceeded to shatter player and sales records throughout the remainder of the year. But while PUBG may have been the platform’s biggest success story in 2017, it certainly wasn’t the only noteworthy PC game to come out last year, with critically acclaimed titles like Divinity: Original Sin II and Doki Doki Literature Club all releasing exclusively for the platform.
2018 is likewise shaping up to be another great year for PC players. In terms of breadth, no platform has more exclusive games on the way this year than PC. Hundreds of games are set to launch on the platform over the course of the next 12 months thanks to digital storefronts like Steam and GOG, which allow independent developers to release their titles to the public more easily than they would traditionally be able to.
The deadliest mass shooting of the year took place just days ago, but you probably didn’t hear about it.
A man clad in body armor and armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, 9mm handgun and a .308 rifle killed his ex-girlfriend and three others outside a car wash in Pennsylvania. He then shot himself in the head and later died. The incident, which happened on Sunday, barely made cable news that day ― there were no mentions of it on CNN and MSNBC. Fox News ran a short segment.
But shootings are happening with stunning frequency: In January, more than 1,170 people were killed by guns. Nearly double that number were wounded, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive and provided to HuffPost on Tuesday.
There have been at least seven school shootings this year that caused death or injury, and 22 incidents across the country where four or more people suffered gunshot wounds. On Jan. 23, a 15-year-old boy walked into his Kentucky high school and sprayed bullets into 16 students, killing two of them. Cable news dedicated just 16 minutes to the attack that day, according to a Media Matters for America analysis.
That’s one minute per victim.
While not a perfect comparison, almost 20 years ago, it took two weeks before the New York Times went to print without a story on the Columbine High School massacre on page one.
Once rare, mass shootings have become commonplace, accepted as part of contemporary American life. They do not inspire protests, or command wall-to-wall media coverage.
“There’s a sense of helplessness and hopelessness,” said Dave Cullen, the author of “Columbine,” a comprehensive account of the 1999 shooting in Colorado and its aftermath.
Part of the reason is desensitization, he said. The public is numb. Most Americans can now tick off a handful of mass shootings in recent memory, the horror of the event conjured up by simply stating their locations: Newtown. Aurora. San Bernardino. Orlando. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs.
In the past, high-profile shootings created a temporary bump in support for stricter gun laws. But the most recent mass shooting in Las Vegas ― which left 58 people dead and more than 800 injured ― brought no significant spike in a call for gun control, according to HuffPost polling.
In another HuffPost poll conducted days after the massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in which Americans were asked which two national issues were most important to them, only 13 percent picked gun policies.
“I think we finally reached a point where we stopped being shocked,” Cullen said, adding even he suffers from “compassion fatigue.” He recalled being in a car with a friend when he heard about the church shooting in Texas. They spoke about it for a minute, and then he changed the subject.
“I hate to admit this but I don’t have anything left in my tank,” he said. “I think that’s where the public is. We don’t know what to say or feel or think anymore.”
The lack of political will to address gun violence contributes to the sense of apathy, he said.
“There’s a feeling that the one way out of this is to do something about guns,” he said. “But our politicians don’t have the backbone to do that, and so we are kind of stuck.”
Nicole Smith Dahmen, associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, said part of the issue is how the media covers mass shootings.
“It’s so routine, and follows a predictable pattern,” she said. “Readers get the sense that nothing can be done, we’ve seen this story before.”
She urged reporters covering gun violence to move beyond the “who, what and where” of breaking news, and focus on the “why and how.” For example, she said media should ask how the young Kentucky student procured the firearms that he used to shoot his peers.
According to a 2004 report on school shooters, over two-thirds of attackers acquired the gun used in their attacks from their own home or that of a relative. Kentucky does not require that guns be safely stored in the home when they are not in use.
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, agreed on the need for more comprehensive reporting.“It is very difficult to be outraged, and to address the crisis when you aren’t told what is causing it,” she said.
She pointed to the current 24-hour news cycle, dominated by President Donald Trump’s tweets, as one reason why gun violence fades so quickly from view. Even the largest stories get very little air time. Trump’s own reticence to speak about gun violence plays a role too, she said.
At his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump didn’t address gun control. He made a passing reference to the Las Vegas massacre, but by lumping the shooting in with “floods and fires and storms,” he left the impression that all were inevitable tragedies.
“Unlike President [Barack] Obama, he is not going to have a press conference about horrific incidents of gun violence,” Watts said. “In fact, he is going to do everything he can to avoid talking about it.”
But Watts took offense with the idea that Americans have grown numb to gun violence. If anything, they’re angry, she said, pointing to the dozens of strong gun violence prevention laws that have been passed at the state level in recent years.
On Thursday, a Massachusetts law takes effect that bans possession of bump stocks and other accessories that make a gun fire faster. The state is the first to enact such a statute, but similar measures are pending elsewhere.
“We are facing a very strong oppositional force, and yet, look at the headway we are making,” she said.
Watts implored the the public and the media not to turn away from gun violence, no matter how fatigued they become.
“Silence about gun violence is exactly why we have a crisis,” she said. “Legislators are willing to vote for stronger gun laws, but only after their constituents prove that they care.”
While Black Panther looks to be a gamechanger for the Marvel Cinematic Universe based on early reactions, it’s not just Marvel’s first movie centered around a black superhero that is helping the movie blaze a new path. Black Panther is also a film filled with powerful female characters that are as important when it comes to saving the world as the titular superhero himself.
While the previous MCU movies have introduced characters like Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Black Panther takes the inclusion of women one step further. The females of the film are put in the spotlight, thanks in large part to the Dora Milaje–an all-female group of special forces bodyguards and operatives. They are responsible for the protection of Wakanda and its royal family, with two high-ranking members, Nakia (Lupita N’Yongo) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) spending much of the film at the Black Panther’s (Chadwick Boseman) side.
“[They] were fully-developed female characters, too,” Gurira explains during a press conference at Black Panther‘s junket. “A lot of times movies, and sometimes comics, have a weird history sometimes with female characters. These were fully-developed women in this movie, which I loved.”
For Gurira, it all started when she shaved her head for the role. “The pride started to grow,” she says. “There’s pride around it, and there’s this sort of embracing of this symbol of power of these women.”
It’s not just the Dora Milaje that are given the spotlight, though. The royal family itself is treated with importance, well beyond Wakanda’s king. “In African culture, they feel as if there is no king without a queen, and I think this story highlights the warrior, the general, the young sister,” Angela Bassett, who plays Queen Mother Ramonda, says. “I was so proud to have my daughter and my son there last night because in their faces and in their spirit, they were feeling themselves, and they stood taller after last night.”
Perhaps what this film attempts beyond showing how powerful the women are, though, is showing how different they are from each other. T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is a 16-year-old genius with a wicked sense of humor, while Okoye is a traditional and proud warrior who serves her nation above all, and Nakia is a skilled spy who thrives in undercover situations. Still, even with fundamental differences in their personalities, the cast takes pride that it doesn’t turn confrontational.
“What I love about the way this film represents women is that each and every one of us is an individual, unique. We all have our own sense of power and our own agency. And we hold our space without being pitted against each other,” Nyong’o says. “I think that’s a very, very powerful message to send to children, both male and female. This idea, often times in movies, we fall into that trap where women–there’s very few of us–and men go against each other. There’s a competitive spirit. This film freezes all of that, and we see women going about their business and supporting each other and even arguing with each other, having different points of view, but not being against each other. I think that’s extremely important.”