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Batman is an iconic character. Everyone knows Batman and almost everyone likes Batman. But not everyone discovered Batman via his original source material. I speak of course of Batman’s place of origin. No, I don’t mean the bat cave, but the comic books.

Take me for example. My first experience of Batman was through Adam West’s hilariously campy and cult classic sixties show, simply entitled Batman. It wasn’t until 1989, when Tim Burton adapted Batman to the big screen, that the Dark Knight took on a much more serious and darker tone, at least in the eyes of the wider public, that is. This was followed by Batman the Animated Series. I eagerly awaited for it to air on Saturday mornings. Although I was only a child at the time, I still had a sense that this was more than just a child’s cartoon. This was something special! My love for Batman grew even more.

Despite loving Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (lets just glaze over Joel Schumacher’s adaptations, shall we), it wasn’t until I played the Arkham video game series that my interest in the comics peaked. The games did a great job of revealing some of the lore found within the comics. Offering glimpses into all the characters backgrounds and events that had unfolded between the pages over the years. It was decided, I was going to read some Batman comics.

Where I grew up, Batman comics weren’t exactly prolific, but by now I’d moved to London; they wouldn’t be hard to find. Hence, I found myself standing in a comic book shop, staring at an endless row of shelves filled with Batman comics. It was intimidating, but I was determined to give it a go.

So without further ado, here is a list of the five Batman comics I chose, my reason for choosing these specific ones, and my thoughts on them. No spoilers!

Batman Year One

My first instinct before delving into the Batman comics was to seek advice on the internet. I suppose many other people were in the same boat as me, as there were various lists posted on forums showing good places to start. Apparently, Batman Year One was the best choice. I’m sorry to say that I was rather disappointed by this one. It is well made and the art style is great, it’s just that it felt a little dated, especially the dialogue. I get the feeling that when it was released, it was a bold new take on Batman and a great re-imagining of the origin story. However, now in 2017, after countless Batman origin stories, it just fell a bit flat for me.


Because of my first disappointment, I decided to ignore the forum lists and just go with my gut feeling on the next one. HUSH really caught my eye. It looks more modern for a start and the art style is gorgeous. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The story is a rather clever whodunit Thriller and I quickly got invested. I imagine that this one wouldn’t normally be recommended for a newcomer, as there are a lot of characters in it, many of which I didn’t know. Although that didn’t hinder my enjoyment in any way. I was a bit surprised to see that Superman has a dog. In fact, he has a super dog. It wears a little cape and flies and everything… really DC Comics? Really?

The Long Halloween

Now this is one that I suspect lodged itself in the back of my brain while perusing the fan made lists from the forums. The second I saw it, I knew I should give it a go, and by God I was not disappointed. I think that The Long Halloween is a good example of the type of comic book that gets pretentious critics to start calling comic books, ‘graphic novels’, instead. This is a brilliantly made, beautifully drawn, Film Noir-esque Batman story. You can tell that Christopher Nolan was clearly inspired by this one for his movie trilogy. I enjoyed every second of it and plan on re-reading it multiple times.

The Court of Owls and The City of Owls

It was hard to know where to go next after being blown away by The Long Halloween. So, I chose to go for the most recent and picked up two issues in a series named The New 52 (the series reinvents the lore I think? Maybe someone could explain it to me, the world of comic books can be very complicated.) I chose a two-part story: The Court of Owls followed by The City of Owls. Once again, I was not disappointed. These two comic books are exactly what I imagined Batman comics would be like, before I ever started reading them. In these, Batman is a bad-ass with lots of cool gadgets. The villains are intriguing with an exciting backstory. It looks good and both comics are filled with action and intrigue. I didn’t actually buy them both at the same time, I bought The Court of Owls first and upon finishing it, immediately returned to the shop for The City of Owls. I had a blast reading them.

So, there we have it. My Batman Comic Book reading has come to a standstill. I want to read some more, but how should I proceed? Should I continue with the New 52 series? Should I look for more classic ones like The Long Halloween? Should I just choose by gut instinct again? I turn to you, dear reader, for this decision. No more endless internet forum lists, help me make a choice, please! I know Batman would.

Video games have been a passion of mine from the very first time I played one, at the age of five on Amstrad!( Never heard of it? It was an 80s thing) From then on, I developed a great love for video games and have always owned some form of console throughout each generation of gaming, from the NES to the PS4. Call me a casual if you like, I was probably gaming before you were even born, kiddo.

Artificial Intelligence

Gaming models are created by Auctoria using generative AI





Aleksander Caban, co-founder of Polish VR game developer Carbon Studio, noticed a major problem in modern game design several years ago. He manually created rocks, hills, paths, and other video game environment elements, which was time-consuming and laborious.

Caban created tech to automate the process.

In collaboration with Michal Bugała, Joanna Zając, Karolina Koszuta, and Błażej Szaflik, he founded Auctoria, an AI-powered platform for creating 3D game assets. Auctoria, from Gliwice, Poland, is in Startup Battlefield 200 at Disrupt 2023.

Auctoria was founded on a passion for limitless creativity, according to Zając in an email interview. It was designed to help game developers, but anyone can use it. Few advanced tools exist for professionals; most are for hobbyists and amateurs. We want to change that.”

Using generative AI, Auctoria creates various video game models. One feature generates basic 3D game levels with pathways, while another converts uploaded images and textures of walls, floors, and columns into 3D versions.

Like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney, Auctoria can generate assets from text prompts. Or they can submit a sketch, which the platform will try to turn into a digital model.


All AI algorithms and training data for Auctoria were developed in-house, according to Zając.

She said “Auctoria is based 100% on our content, so we’re not dependent on any other provider.” It’s independent—Auctoria doesn’t use open source or external engines.

In the emerging market for AI game asset generation tools, Auctoria isn’t alone. The 3DFY, Scenario, Kaedim, Mirage, and Hypothetic startups create 3D models. Even Nvidia and Autodesk are entering the space with apps like Get3D, which converts images to 3D models, and ClipForge, which generates models from text descriptions.

Meta also tried tech to create 3D assets from prompts. In December, OpenAI released Point-E, an AI that synthesizes 3D models for 3D printing, game design, and animation.

Given the size of the opportunity, the race to market new solutions isn’t surprising. According to Proficient Market Insights, 3D models could be worth $3.57 billion by 2028.

According to Zając, Auctoria’s two-year R&D cycle has led to a more robust and comprehensive toolset than rivals.

“Currently, AI-based software is lacking for creating complete 3D world models,” Zając stated. “3D editors and plugins offer only a fraction of Auctoria’s capabilities. Our team started developing the tool two years ago, giving us a ready-to-use product.”

Auctoria, like all generative AI startups, must deal with AI-generated media legal issues. Not yet clear how AI-generated works can be copyrighted in the U.S.

However, the Auctoria team of seven employees and five co-founders is delaying answering those questions. Instead, they’re piloting the tooling with game development studios like Caban’s Carbon Studio.

Before releasing Auctoria in the coming months, the company hopes to raise $5 million to “speed up the process” of creating back-end cloud services to scale the platform.

Zając stated that the funding would reduce the computing time required for creating worlds or 3D models with Auctoria. Achieving a software-as-a-service model requires both infrastructure and user experience enhancements, such as a simple UI, excellent customer service, and effective marketing. We’ll keep our core team small, but we’ll hire more by year’s end.”

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Syphon Filter on PlayStation Plus Premium: Dark Mirror and Ape Academy 2 Have Awards




Even though trophy support for older games on PS Plus Premium isn’t always great, you can always count on Sony’s first-party games to have it.If you like collecting these digital trinkets, you’re in luck, because today’s big PlayStation Plus update includes two classic games that can now be used to earn Trophies.

Each trophy list for Ape Academy 2 and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror includes the platinum cherry on top. You can look at their respective listings here and here if you’re interested.

The list for Dark Mirror appears to be quite simple—you can basically earn them all by finishing the game. The trophies in Ape Academy 2 appear to be a little more complicated, requiring you to complete particular objectives in card battles and advance to specified rankings. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem too difficult, so we’re looking at a couple of quite simple platinums.

Ridge Racer: Type 4 is this month’s other premium classic game; sadly, it does not offer trophies. But it makes up for it by being a complete banger.

However, will you be obtaining some of these trophies with a nostalgic flavor?

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Beautiful New Book Teaches About the Art of Horizon Forbidden West





This year, Sony produced some truly outstanding work, releasing four high-profile games on the PS5 and PS4 (not to mention the numerous PC ports). The earliest of these, Horizon Forbidden West, arrived in February of 2022 and got the year off to a strong start. One of Aloy’s sophomore journey’s greatest strengths, among the many other things we like about it, is its excellent art direction. The Art of Horizon Forbidden West allows you to now delve deeply into the game’s visuals.

This coffee table book, which was published by Dark Horse Books, contains 200 pages of concept art and developer commentary. It provides an inside look at the process used to develop engaging characters and settings, and Forbidden West is certainly not lacking in either.

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There will be two editions of the book: standard and deluxe. Both are hardback books, with the deluxe edition having pages with metallic edges and a unique slipcase. These are now up for pre-order and will go on sale on April 25, 2023.

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