Archives for : April2016

What’s In A Name?

So DC Comics has decided to go ahead and reveal The Jokers’ “true name” in the upcoming Justice League #50. In issue #42, Batman sat in the Mobius Chair and was granted all the knowledge in the universe. He asks what The Joker’s real name is and was definitely surprised by the answer by uttering “No, that’s not possible”. Before I get to why I think it’s a bad move (something DC seems to be doing a lot of), let me get something obvious out of the way first: this is obviously being done to garner more attention to the character as he will be returning to the big screen in Suicide Squad.

 

"I'm laughing at your stupid idea!"

“I’m laughing at your stupid idea!”

 

 

While getting eyes on a character that is soon to be seen by the masses is nothing we haven’t witnessed a billion times before, it’s the mishandling that’s got me (and plenty of you) holding your head in shame at DC.

Remember the late 80’s and most of the 90’s in comics? No I’m not talking about the variant cover fiasco, the multiple pouches on utility belts, some of the coolest stories for our favorite characters or even the big comic bust that nearly killed the market. During the aforementioned timeframe, there was a Marvel character who was EVERYWHERE. He was on every comic cover, in every story, all over toy aisles and even part of a Pizza Hut promotion. He was one of, if not the most popular character for comics in a very long time. That guy is none other than Wolverine.

 

If you were reading comics or even Wizard Magazine back in those days, you know what I’m talking about. Wolverine was a kick-ass take no names kind of guy with something that not many characters in comics could say they had: an unknown history. That is part of what made him so damn cool. The rebel with no background, just plenty of false memory implants to keep the readers wondering what was what and coming back every issue. Not including that “Wolverine’s nose has suddenly disappeared” era, one thing that’s always remained constant with that character was that us readers had no idea who he really was and we liked it that way. Then in November of 2001, Marvel decided to change that with the release of the 6-issue mini-series, Origin.

 

 

 

The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

Sure, the mini-series sold like gangbusters but by the end of it, readers were left wondering why it was released in the first place. Revealing his backstory took away from the mystery of who the character was and the guessing game that kept readers interested. In my honest opinion, the character hasn’t been the same since.

The big question here is, “Do they need to”? With a big 50th issue looming, they need something big and this time around, The Joker’s identity is it. They know it will definitely sell (I’m going to buy a copy so their plan is working) and it will definitely create shock and have people talking (you’re reading this blog, aren’t you?).

I personally think that it’ll take away from the mystique that surrounds the character. Sure, he’s had a few origin stories that may or may not have been true but that’s part of the appeal. Hell, the character has even said it himself!

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By the way, since we are on the topic of The Joker and his true identity, I believe Jared Leto’s portrayal is not of The Joker but of Jason Todd or one of the Robins in general. I believe that is one of the other reasons DC has decided to go this route with him in the comics as his origin will play a factor this summer on the big screen. I’m calling it first so when it happens, you can remember that I called it on April 13, 2016!

To wrap this up, my fear is that The Joker may end up like Wolverine…a shell of his former selfs popularity. I hope I’m wrong.

 

 

 

Lassoing Wonder Woman, the Animated Movie

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I’ll admit going into this movie, Wonder Woman is the Justice League member I knew the least about. I knew the basics that everyone knows but that’s about it. With that being said, I really enjoyed the movie. I feel like I have a better understanding of the character.

The movie was very entertaining with Steve Trevor providing a lot of hilarious sexual innuendo one liners. When asked what he thought about Diana, he replied,

“She has a nice rack”.

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One scene that stuck out to me was when Wonder Woman came across a little girl crying on a park bench because the boys wouldn’t let her play fight with them. So Diana picked up a stick and pointed it at them and told the girl to “Go bring hell!!!”

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The animated Wonder Woman adds more excitement for the live action Wonder Woman solo film that Batman v. Superman began.

I give Wonder Woman 3.5 out of 4 stars. A great movie for any DC fan.

3.5

Dawn of Comic Justice?

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The New 52 sought to address a problem that didn’t even really exist. It was believed that the reason comic book sales were down was because there were very few starting points for new readers to jump on board, but like they say, “hind site has 20/20 vision” and we know now that just wasn’t the issue. Even if it would’ve been, DC’s approach was completely wrong.

Changing stories is to be expected and as a reader, often appreciated, but in some cases they completely changed the characters themselves, ignoring what it was that made them fan favorites for decades. Superman being one of the biggest victims of this treatment.

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His look was different, he acted different and even the way he talked was different. Doing this with a B-List character would be a different story but when done to one of your franchise characters, it leaves readers uninvested because it feels like an alternate reality or Elseworld story and you’re just waiting for him to return to normal.

To me the New 52 felt like a straight to video sequel to the original comics. As the sun is setting on The New 52 and we will soon be seeing Rebirth begin, I can’t help but think overall the last few comic years have been a waste; a bunch of time filler issues. It hasn’t produced a single standout story in my opinion. Nothing that will be remembered like “A Killing Joke” or “Dark Knight Returns”. Instead we got “Futures End” and “Convergence” and an empty feeling that comes with feeling like you wasted time and money on comics for the past few years.

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Now we have the promise of a “Rebirth”. Once again starting back at #1’s. I personally hope that Rebirth sticks with the no continuity approach because I firmly believe that it greatly limits storytelling. On the surface everything I’ve read about Rebirth sounds promising. I just hope it isn’t the diehard DC fan in me refusing to believe that DC Comics wouldn’t make the same mistakes again.

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And for #?!* sake, can the deadliest assassin in the DC Universe win a fight soon?

The Perfect Comic Movie Will Probably Never Exist

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Where do I even begin? I saw the movie and have been sitting on this blog because I wasn’t sure how to go about putting it together in a cohesive format as opposed to just typing a bunch of random pros and cons in no particular order. Wait…..”Pros & Cons in no particular order”? That sounds good! Let’s go that route, shall we?

Batfleck! Wow did he pull that off! He was the biggest gripe that fanboys had since the moment he was announced for the part but dammit if he didn’t own that role! He, by far, has been the best on-screen representation of BOTH Bruce Wayne as well as Batman. Well done, good sir! Talking to quite a few other fans and from what I’ve been reading online, the general population agrees with me on this!

Lex was portrayed in an interseting way. They definitely borrowed heavily from the influence of Ledger’s Joker but was it needed? We all know Lex to be a sociopath but this was a skittish, thoughts-all-over-the-place version. While I didn’t mind it, it felt a little off but being that I overall enjoyed it, I’ll call it a pro due to them thinking outside of the box with him and presenting him in a way he has yet to be seen.

Fans have been whining like little schoolgirls with a skinned knee about how dark Superman has been portrayed these last 2 movies. These are characters that have to change and grow with the times. We no longer live in a world that’s all apple pies and sunshine. We live in a real world that is full of violence and bad decisions. We live in a world where people are flawed. A world where we learn from our mistakes. None of us are made great straight from the go and that is the portrayal of Superman that we get. He’s been Superman for roughly 2 years. The Superman that fans are crying for doesn’t exist in this new cinematic universe. I enjoy this version of a Superman that is still learning that his actions have consequences. Fans can’t like Jared Leto’s new version of The Joker for being relatable with the times but not feel the same for Superman.

I still hold my position with that being that Amy Adams is not good choice for Lois. She doesn’t seem as formidable as Lois comes off in other media, be it comics or animation. Hell, even on Smallville, she was a badass! Alfred was cool. Nothing too exciting but not dull either.

There were a lot of memorable moments in this film. Some great and some not so. Some of the great ones were definitely the bombing during the hearing with Superman just left to look around at all of the death. That was a powerful moment. Doomsday continuing to morph was cool. He didn’t end up staying a Ninja Turtle/Goomba/Arkham Clayface looking thing. Wonder Woman showing up to help out was a welcomed addition as well. Gal Gadot came through nicely in her role. The bathtub scene between Lois & Clark was unnecessary. Sure, it showed humanity between a human and a godlike person but that could’ve been done in so many other ways.

I firmly believe that the biggest flaw of the movie came between the instant bromance between Batman & Superman with the mere mention of their mothers’ name. Now following that thought, I have read what director Zack Snyder has said about that scene and what the meaning really is. What it made Batman come to realize. While that all makes sense when you dig for that sort of explanation, it doesn’t make sense on the surface to Johnny and Jane movie-goer who are wondering if they’re watching an alternate cut of Step Brothers.

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My other big gripe actually goes into cameo territory. While it was cool to see Cyborg & Aquaman, I can’t say the same for “El Flasho”.

El Flasho

El Flasho

Hippie man-bun complaints aside, why does he have a mustache? As petty as this sounds, according to fellow fans, it’s actually pretty big. When I saw “El Flasho” on screen during Bruce’s dream, the first image to pop to mind was this:

Super Amigos!

Super Amigos!

Tell me you didn’t either think the same or just now laugh out loud! While I’m all for diversity/change to iconic characters, (cough cough Nick Fury cough cough), it has to feel right and make sense. I’m sorry but I don’t think “Bernardo Alejandro” is cool. Sigh.

Lastly, the score to this movie really stood out to me as well. It made a lot of the scenes feel that much more powerful. Next time you watch, pay attention to that. Will I go out and buy the soundtrack? No, but I’d be remiss not to memtion the music.

Anyhow, to sum up this long read, I thoroughly did enjoy the movie and am anxious to watch it again. Remember, there will probably never be a perfect comic film. Hell, Watchmen, heralded as one of the greatest comic stories of all time and then adapted for the screen almost identically, still isn’t a perfect comic movie (even before the ending change). Just remember, Star Wars: the Force Awakens is out on Bluray/DVD this week…

3 Star

Son of Batman

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If you are a Damian Wayne fan then you will love this movie. If not then you probably won’t.

Son of Batman is one of my least favorite films in the DCAU. The movie is loaded with alot of inconsistent scenes. The biggest to me being that he beats Ubu to the point of him being put in the ICU but then gets knocked unconscious when a Man-Bat bumps into him.

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Deathstroke is the main antagonist in this film which was exciting to me because Slade Wilson is my favorite DC character but they do not do him justice. His look is awesome but the voice actor seems like he came from a daytime soap opera and he was definitely not the deadliest assassin in the DCU. It was cool to see him lead the League of Shadows temporarily though.

This movie caused me to not like the Damian Wayne Robin because of the storytellers over-exaggerated version. Like him swimming 50 miles to an oil rig before the final fight of the movie.

Overall if you want to see an “origin” story for the newest Robin, then I guess it is worth watching. This movie was not for me. The best thing I can say about it is there is a trailer for Assault on Arkham.

1 Star

Gods and Monsters

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    Forget everything you know about the DC Universe while watching Bruce Timm’s Gods and Monsters. Nothing is as you know it to be. This is a movie about the Trinity, but not quite. Superman is no longer the son of Jor El, instead the last son of Krypton is the son of General Zod. Batman is no longer billionaire Bruce Wayne. Batman is none other than Kirk Langstrom, a.k.a Man-Bat. The most interesting to me is that Wonder Woman isn’t Diana of Themiscyra but Becca, the granddaughter of Ares and princess of Apokolips.
    This movie is extremely interesting to me because nothing is the same. Tons of altered cameos throughout the movie. If you are a tradionalist then you may not enjoy this movie but if you enjoy alternate universes, then it is definitely worth checking out.

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    Also there are shorts on youtube of individual stories of each member of the Trinity that came out back before the movie was released and those are really good. The Batman one especially because of their take on Harley Quinn. If you watch the movie on Blu-Ray be sure to check out the special features. There is a great documentary about alternate realities/elsewords that is worth a watch.

    3 Star

  • Justice League vs Teen Titans

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    I went into this movie expecting to see the Seniors fighting the Freshmen but the name of the movie is very misleading. The movie really has little to do with what the title suggests. It mostly serves as an origin story for Raven.
    That being said, I absolutely loved this movie. I’ve always been a fan of The Teen Titans comics. My favorite character in all of comics, Deathstroke, even originated being a reaccuring villian and sometime ally to the Titans.
    I won’t go into details about the movie to avoid giving away any spoilers but it should be a definite must watch for any Teen Titans fan. I really enjoyed the new line-up of members and I was very skeptical at first about how they would mesh together. Some of the Titans we expect are still there. Starfire is the leader now with Raven and Beast Boy also returning. New members Blue Beetle and Damian Wayne round out the group. Cameos from Cyborg and Dick Grayson add a bit of cool nostalgia to the film.
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    Thanks to watching Marvel live action movies, I’ve been programed to watch every movie past the credits and Justice League vs Teen Titans does not disappoint. I won’t say what it shows but it did leave me wondering, is a Judas Contract movie coming?

    I give Justice League vs. Teen Titans a solid 3 Star