Get Prepped for Your Dark Knight

Are you ready to see the climactic ending to Christopher Nolan's Batman films? If not, here's the essential preps you need to be Dark Knight ready.

Find a Screening:
We know it sounds like a simple task, but if you're planning on a midnight trip to the multiplex, you needed tickets weeks ago. Hundreds of screens will be showing The Dark Knight Rises at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning, but the legion of Bat-fans have nabbed up tickets to some of the biggest screenings faster than you can believe. Some of those theaters are even doing marathon screenings of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and the latest film in a row. Harkins Theatres in Southlake says they've had people wait for hours in line for their marathon, just to get the best seat in the house.

Dress the Part:
Hardcore Bat-fans will pull out some wicked costumes for tonight's premiere -- see this Comic Con slideshow for proof -- but even if you don't don the cape and cowl, you could still pull out a Gotham-inspired look. Check out this Reel Style slideshow for some fashionable inspiration, or just go simple and grab a Bat-logo tee from Target.

Do Your Homework:
Sure, you could Wiki who Bane is, or find out Catwoman's real name (it's Selina Kyle, by the way), but that robs you of the fun of reading the source material for the film. Though we haven't completely confirmed that the events in the film will match perfectly, the Batman "Knightfall" storyline, featuring big bad Bane is rumored to be an influence. Beyond that, digging through the epic "No Man's Land" -- which sort of inspired the amazing Batman Arkham City video game -- might show some of the Bat-comics influence on the cinema. Both are collected into trades, so they shouldn't be hard to find at your local bookstore.

Dive into Comics:
Between this year's Avengers, Spider-Man, and Batman films, plus all the other comic-inspired movies and TV (like The Walking Dead), there's never been a better time to get into the source material. Like we just mentioned, many of the long form stories that run for many months in individual issues are conveniently collected into trade paperback versions and are available at your local bookstore. But if you like the feeling of "what's going to happen next?" like you get at the end of each episode of your favorite show, get out to your local comic shop (LCS, for short) and start buying issues. DC Comics, who publish Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and many others, recently "re-launched" their lines to simplify (arguably) their characters and give new readers a jumping on point. Marvel has a new set of books called "Season One" that go back into the complex histories of Spider-Man, The X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, as well as other characters, to re-tell the origins and early adventures in a more modern way. In fact, both companies are aggressively catering to new readers who want to dive in, and with the decades of previously published content, finding a character you love and reading the wealth of content about them is getting easier and easier. Find your local comic shop using this tool and get reading, True Believer!

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