Arts and Entertainment Robert Downey Jr as Marvel Comics' superhero Iron Man

Eight of the top 10 financial sucesses of last year picked up on previous films

'Le Batman Francais' finds a formidable foe in right-wing America

Holy baguettes, Batman. Your brand-new French lieutenant – aka "le Batman Francais" – is already in trouble. This must be a job for the caped crusader, or maybe the crusader with a képé.

Megamind (PG)

Voices of: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey

Album: JLS, Outta This World (Epic)

For most of its 14 tracks, Outta This World is boy-band R&B at its most formulaic, tracks like "That's My Girl" and over-autotuned opener "The Club Is Alive" ticking along meekly, with the boys simpering in the required manner through "Love You More", balladry so mechanical you can virtually hear the conveyor-belt trundling around.

A very British squad of superheroes

They're the Asbo avengers who beat 'Spooks' and 'The Street' to a Bafta. Gerard Gilbert welcomes the return of the Misfits

Out with specs, in with skinny jeans – Clark Kent has a super new look

After years of chasing Lois Lane and changing in a phone box, Superman is being hipsterised. In the latest iteration of how Clark Kent, originally from the planet Krypton, swoops to the rescue of a crime-afflicted metropolis, he wears a hoodie and skinny jeans.

Emma Stone: Spider-Man's new girl

This week Emma Stone was named as the arachnid superhero’s co-star. But first she stars in a comedy inspired by Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Gill Pringle meets her.

'Comic book nerd' to direct new Superman adventure

After Christopher Nolan's success at rejuvenating the Batman movies, fans of the Superman series reacted with understandable glee when it emerged that he was in line to produce a new film about the caped hero. Yesterday they discovered he will be joined by a director lauded for his comic book adaptations, Zach Snyder.

DVD: Kick-Ass (15)

"A putz in pantyhose," is how Mark Strong's wise-guy crook, Frank D'Amico, describes Kick-Ass, a crime-buster in a green wetsuit (snapped up for $99 on the internet) and yellow rubber gloves.

My Life in Ten Questions... Newton Faulkner

'I was suspended from school for a mixture of arson, knife-wielding and pornography'

Superman Rossi seventh fastest after stunning return to track in Germany

MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi made a stunning comeback six weeks after breaking his leg with the seventh fastest time in German Grand Prix practice yesterday.

Wonder Woman (age 69) ditches her boots and hotpants

You can get away with a lot when your superhero arsenal includes a "lasso of truth", some "bracelets of victory" and the ability to fly. But as she approaches her 70th birthday, Wonder Woman has finally come round to the view that it's no longer a good idea for a lady of her age to venture outside in a pair of extremely revealing hotpants.

'Wonder woman' jailed for student con

A college principal once celebrated as education's "wonder woman" was jailed yesterday for conning overseas students into enrolling for bogus courses.

'South Park' censored after death threats from Islamists

In the 200th episode of South Park, which was broadcast last week, a proposal to bring the Prophet Mohamed to town is met with short shrift at a community meeting. "Are you nuts?" one character says. "If Mohamed appears in South Park we get bombed!" "We don't know that," another replies. "Maybe enough time has passed that now it's OK to show Mohamed."

Tim Walker: This summer's cinematic trend is the light-hearted ensemble action thriller

The Couch Surfer: We should expect one bad film, one good film, and one so-bad-it’s-good-film from the genre

Masters of the universe redesign the world at Davos

The small village of Davos, hidden in the Swiss moutains, is once again to host the world's most spectacular private gathering of the masters of the universe; among the exclusively invited guests are 2,500 power brokers, including 30 heads of state, royalty, 1,400 executives and owners of billion-dollar enterprises, and at least 12 central bank chiefs.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis