A couple of weeks ago we had one of the best nights out in ages, in fact it was possibly the best Halloween night I will ever have. We had an absolutely ace evening of immersive fourth wall crossing, Gothic shocks, surprises and dreams coming true. It all started when I received a creepy email inviting me to a Halloween get together at The Crypt Gallery, Kings Cross to view “The Rogues Gallery - Creation of a Super-Villain”.
|The Rogues Gallery - Creation of a Super-Villain|
What was this all about? I wondered. But as I was very keen to visit The Crypt Gallery an underground venue that had piqued my interest over the years – we were in. The invite was accompanied by a rather disturbing and edgy recording purporting to come from the inside of Arkham Asylum and the voice sounded a lot like Mr Long Green, the Laughing Man, The Ace of Knaves, Joe Kerr, Dr. J Reko, the Harlequin of Hate or the Clown Prince of chaos himself The Joker.
Of course this was all pointing to one thing - The Rogues Gallery may be a super villain team synonymous with Central City's Flash but since the 80s The Rogues Gallery has slowly shifted to also mean a super group of foes based around Gotham. Had the Crypt been turned into Arkham Asylum?
On the evening as I looked out across the river it was almost as if a signal was shooting up and lighting the sky alerting me to start our journey north to Kings Cross.
Arkham Asylum interior for Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins across the street and on arriving at The Crypt of St Pancras Parish Church my jaw dropped and the 10 year old kid in me let out a whoop and jumped up and down with raised arms - as between the grated bars of the grounds, under the full moon I spotted a George Barris design 1966 Batmobile parked outside the Crypt.
And on cue like a lucid dream the 60s Bat Theme kicked in as I strolled up to it. Mark the guy who built this Batmobile and runs Character Cars must have seen my glee as he let me get up and close to the Batmobile and even pose with it (fortunately I always carry an extra cape and cowl with me) before taking me for a short ride with the Bat-jet turbine firing.
More pictures of the Batmobile can be viewed in our gallery here!
Too be honest I could have spent my whole night outside with the Batmobile bathing in its ambient "Holy Armour Plate" gloriousness. But a couple of people mentioned to us that we should go have a look downstairs as it was pretty awesome.
We turned the corner to see that the Crypt had indeed been transformed into a Gothic and spooky Arkham Asylum.
After taking some pictures of the 66' Batcycle we headed down the granite staircase into the bowels of Arkham Asylum.
The small chamber was absolutely jam packed with local luminaries and film talent and I spotted actress Emma Connell, Kevin Leslie currently tearing it up in Rise of the Krays with his co-star Richard Goss, Coz Greenop, Matt Hookings, author Colin Llewelyn Chapman, the Deals Wheels and Steals team Jim Lewis & Melody Munday, crooner Mike Crawshaw from The Overtones, Vanessa Feltz and everyone's favourite gadget guy and presenter TV Ortis Deley.
Sadly between the tight space, packed ante chamber and almost pitch black setting I couldn't really take any decent photos but really wanted to try capture some of the experience.
We quaffed a wine, scoffed some candy including the bespoke Bat cupcakes made by Elise's Cups 'n' Cakes, after a while we were getting a bit antsy as everything seemed to be shrouded in mystery.
After a little while one of the black curtains was pulled back to reveal a much larger and creepier crypt with passages leading off into the darkness. The Crypt was decorated with Super Villain portraits which turned out to be illustrator Ben Jones' artwork from - The Rogues Gallery – Creation of a Super-Villain book by Christopher Manoe.
On closer inspection it turns out that is exactly what The Rogues Gallery – Creation of a Super-Villain book is - a glossy book of make-up techniques and case studies of how to recreate the look of selected Super-villains for Cos play and fun.
A fresh imagining of the famed Super-villains of the DC Comics universe, the creative talent from London's Agency105 present 'The Rogues Gallery - Creation of a Super-Villain'.
The Book is a visual, sensory experience suitable for the young, old and daringly creative. A wonderful photo album in comic book colour, focusing not on the superhero, but the more infamous, dastardly villain's. A mixture of photography, graphic design & illustration. Additionally, the creatives show in 'step by step' guides how to create these colourful characters and showcase them in their evil glory.
Bound in a stunning faux leather jacket with beautiful cream stitching, protective amethyst tissue paper and pressed silver foil cover emblem.
For the cosplay follower or dedicated Halloween enthusiast, the book contains ‘step by stepʼ procedures and product guides on how to create these colourful characters to showcase in their full evil glory.
But as the old adage goes - the proof is in the Puddin'! With this in mind the organisers put on a bit of a proof of concept as the Crypt was filled with (genuinely creepy) orange jumpsuit wearing Arkham Asylum inmates in various stages of physical distress wandering around scaring the hell out of us at every opportunity.
Just as I thought I had the lay of the land it was revealed that the inmates weren't the only things running around in the dark as we were taken on a tour through the dark crypts of Arkham Asylum that had been taken over by the Rogues Gallery.
We were greeted by Harley Quinn who not only guided us through the darkest recesses of Arkham Asylum, but taunted the inhabitants as only Harley Quinn could.
We passed Edward E. Nigma aka The Riddler's cell where we played an unsuccessful game of “riddle me this...”,
then Oswald Cobblepot also known as The Penguin who lamented his abandonment issues and the lack of proper appendages,
the eerie Mad Hatter beckoned me over,
then a sultry Selina Kyle street name Catwoman slinked by on her way to her boudoir,
before The Joker revealed himself, finally we were led to a chamber where Pamela Isley also known as Poison Ivy had set up her lair where the Rogues gathered together in their Gallery.
The candlelit crypt was super creepy, the costumes and makeup were great but the real highlight for me was the performers characterisations. It was pleasantly surprising to see the team had obviously done their research and were drawing on DC Comics, Batman films, the Gotham TV Show as well as the upcoming Suicide Squad film to flesh out their roles. Full kudos on the effort as well as getting the characters so right it was a real pleasure to experience these comic Supervillains being brought to life in such a creepy environment.
Sadly this was a one night only experience but I wish they could have put the show on for a longer period of time so more people could have seen it as it was absolutely ace.
More information about The Rogues Gallery – Creation of a Super-Villain can be found here:
The Rogues Gallery on Amazon
Information on The Crypt Gallery can be found here:
The Crypt Gallery, Kings Cross, London,NW12BA
The Establishing Shot: I VISIT ARKHAM ASYLUM FOR THE ROGUES GALLERY - CREATION OF A SUPER-VILLAIN BOOK LAUNCH & TICK OFF RIDING IN THE BATMOBILE BUCKET LIST ITEM - EVENT REPORT
|Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond.|
When not watching or making films he takes pictures, eats, drinks, dives, mentally storyboards the greatest film ever made & sometimes utilises owl-themed gadgets to fight crime.
A list of his 133 favourite films can be found here! If you would still like to contact Craig please use any of the buttons below: