Friday, October 31, 2014

Review, Part 2: Ultimate Spider-Man "Halloween Night at the Museum"

As a crossover, this episode was absolutely terrible. It fails logically, logistically, it fails in its purpose, it just fails all around. And yes, to make sure you know this isn't just hyperbole, I will be listing all the myriad failures. But first, some unfinished business.

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man "Halloween Night at the Museum"

At the time of this writing, "Halloween Night at the Museum" is the worst-ranked episode of Ultimate Spider-Man on IMDb, ranking at 6.1 stars out of 10. (Second place is a three-way tie between "Sinister Six," "House Arrest," and "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" at 6.9.) Now, I think this particular episode's score should be taken with a grain of salt. You can't really deny that a lot of people are just going to be upset that this show is crossing over with a live-action kidcom. Heck, I was one of those people who spewed hate at the idea since hearing about it.

But as I've said before, I give everything a fair chance here at the NewtCave. And by Odin's beard, was that ever put to the test.

For this initial Review, I'm going to ignore the fact that this is a crossover. I'm going to treat it the same as any other episode of the show. I'm going to ask myself how this episode fares in a standalone context, independent of any soul-crushing, white bread, unfunny Disney sitcoms.

For the purposes of this first Review, this is just a random group of multi-ethnic kids.

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "Halloween Night at the Museum"

It's time to skip ahead a bit in my coverage of Ultimate Spider-Man. Time to do my first "official" look at an episode of Season 3: Web Warriors.

Should be just... just a knockabout of fun.
I know I basically told you in my Recap of "Blood Feud" that I'd be going over the "Blade and the Howling Commandos" two-parter. But instead, I'll be going over a more recent episode of Ultimate Spider-Man that I think we'll all... enjoy. Today... no, screw it. I quit. I'm done.

Hope y'all enjoyed the NewtCave while it lasted.

"Who's quitting what now?"
Unshaved Mouse? What are you doing here?

"I sensed that there was an animal-themed reviewer doing a Disney-related review.
Knowing that it wasn't me, I got a bit confused. So what's the haps?"
Well, I'm just quitting my blog over the latest Halloween episode of Ultimate Spider-Man.

"Really? Newt, it's just a half-hour cartoon.
I mean, yeah, it's not the best, but I think I can safely say this episode can't be as bad as, say, Home on the Range."
It's a crossover with a live-action Disney sitcom.

"...what the close up mouth whore f...?"
Exactly.

"And you're giving up? Just like that?
You're gonna lie down and let yourself be Disney's bitch?"
Well....

"No. You can do this. There will be a day when the strength of men fails. But it is not this day.
Great moments are born from great opportunity.
You're gonna get back in there and review this one for the Gipper!"
For the Gipper!

"Attaboy."

"Hey, Mouse, I hear someone's reviewing the Ultimate Spider-Man/Jessie crossover?"

"Yep."

"There goes a stupid, stupid man."

"Poor dumb bastard."

"Want to watch his impending mental breakdown?"

"Are you kidding? I made popcorn."
What was that, guys?

"Nothing."

"Nuffing."
(Munch, munch....)
So, yeah. A crossover between Marvel and a Disney sitcom. Can you imagine what awaits us?

"Bertram, I'd like to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative."
But I'ma break before the Recap real quick to say something important.

I will give this episode a chance. I may think that this crossover is an absolutely stupid idea, but I am going to absolutely be fair to this episode. As such, I will not criticize this episode just for being a pointless crossover. Yet. I will recap this episode. I will give this episode a fair review. Then, and only then, I will re-review this episode in context as a crossover between these two shows. And then, Ultimate Spider-Man, you have my permission to die.

So, yeah. George Gipp better dang well appreciate this. Let us begin.

Halloween hasn't been this horrifying in years.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: The Batman "The Bat in the Belfry"

As a nifty bit of trivia before I review, there are many sources online that state that this series in in continuity with Batman Begins. Quite simply, no, not at all, for many obvious reasons. More than I can bring up.

Recap: The Batman "The Bat in the Belfry"

I've already covered two episodes of this series, but I'm returning to The Batman to take a look at it from the beginning. But before I do, there's something that I really need to go over. There's an elephant in the room, and it's called Batman: The Animated Series. Batman: The Animated Series defined Batman for many people. The music, the voices, the writing, the character designs; they were all pretty much spot on. When the show ended, it was naturally going to be a tough act to follow.

The creative team behind The Batman had an unwritten guideline. They were fully aware that they were riding the heels of the immensely successful B:TAS. As such, when faced with a situation or character that already came up in B:TAS, the writers would generally say, "Let's take it in a different direction." Immediately noticeable is Batman's chin being pointy instead of the manly-man man-jaw it is in most other adaptations.

But because of this approach to things, Mr. Freeze became an entirely villainous sociopath, Penguin lost his gentlemanly qualities, Riddler became a tragic villain, and Joker changed from the dapper gentleman of deadly mirth into, well, someone who's just batsh*t crazy. Pun definitely intended.

To all of you who know nothing about this series, I have one piece of advice: Forget everything you think you know about Batman. Within reason. His parents still got shot in an alleyway. And he has a butler. And he's rich. Just keep an open mind, I guess. 

It may look like Batman's about to be attacked by a gigantic Joker, but that's a few seasons from now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Attraction"

Women. Just, women; am I right? For the record, the correct answer is "no."

Recap: Beware the Batman "Attraction"

Today, I'm returning to Beware the Batman for the last time for a while. This is the last Recap of mine to remaster, and this was the last pre-Toonami episode. Which is a major source of grief for me. Not only have I grown to adore this show, but I could always use a break from the show that leads people to find my blog by typing “she hulk farting.” Or "agents smash titania she-hulk tickle fight."

Sometimes, the incoming blog traffic is made out of TMI. Let's begin this Recap.

I'll miss you. Will you miss me?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Instinct"

First and foremost, this was a filler episode. And you know what? That's not automatically a bad thing. On the one hand, it gives me less to review because the overall story and character arcs were put aside to have Pyg and Toad return for an episode. On the other hand, Pyg and Toad returned for an episode.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Instinct"

Well, we've reached the part in Beware the Batman where villains will start returning instead of debuting, since we've seen all the villains on the preview poster.

Frog-Guy, Monkeyman, the A, Lady Gaga, Potatoface, Porky Pig, Green-Green, and Evil Princess Jasmine.
Last time, it was Anarky and Lady Shiva. In this episode, Pyg and Toad return! What sort of ecoterrorism will they commit this time? Before we find out, a moment of silence, please, for the death of the show. This was the last episode aired on DC Nation. This is the last hurrah of Beware the Batman before it slowly limped into the grave.

...

Now let us begin.

Travel, change, interest, excitement!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Sacrifice"

Huh, another ninja episode where they want to steal a MacGuffin. What a shock. I guess the idea was to team up Batman's nemesis (Anarky) with Katana's nemesis (Lady Shiva), but it's hampered by the fact that both villains aren't that great.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Sacrifice"

"Sacrifice," eh? I know that Lady Shiva shows back up. Please let this character be sacrificed in order to make room for a better class of criminal.

Seriously, Evil Princess Jasmine just isn't much of a threat.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Control"

Well, Tatsu seems to be falling for Dr. Burr, and Dr. Burr will probably turn evil. Other than that, there's pretty much nothing that wasn't already established.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Control"

During the original run of this episode, the full theme was played for the first time. So now I'll critique the intro for realsies. The intro is nice and moody, using only red and black. It features Alfred, Katana, and Batman in little action shots, and ends with Batman swooping off of a building. Awesome. The song is awesome sauce, too. I don’t know why some Batman shows like to have themes that are almost James Bond-esque, but I approve, especially here.

I originally predicted that this was the beginning of Beware the Batman hitting its stride. Let's see if I was right.

A stride or a stumble? Hopefully, this episode won't lose control of the series' momentum.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Allies"

Hi, status quo that we were promised! Glad you could make it.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Allies"

And now, we finally get what we were promised since the beginning! Batman and Katana, kicking butt and taking names. Does it meet my expectations? Let’s find out!

Finally.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Family"

Let me just get it off my chest right now.

I hate it when present-day ninjas dress up in their best pajamas while carrying around swords.

Back in the day, when ninjas actually existed, they dressed up like peasants. Because looking like everybody else is a good way to blend in. The idea of the black pajamas comes from traditional Japanese theatre, where stagehands would wear all black so the audience wouldn't notice them as they did stagehand stuff. So when a stagehand suddenly attacked a character onstage, that was their way of showing the audience that this guy's "invisible."

Present-day ninjas should logically dress in hoodies and carry guns.

Thank you for bearing with me; I'll actually critique the episode now.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Family"

Because Batman's quite the family man. No, wait, that's the last thing that describes him. What's with the title? Are his parents back from the dead? Is Aunt Harriet coming for a visit? Did he knock up Catwoman? Again?  Did Talia al Ghul steal his sperm? Again?

Boy, Batman should just not trust women. Nah, that's an unfair generalization. I mean, it's not like a long-standing female character will betray our hero in this episode, right? ...right?

Let's recap.

Bat-Family Begins.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Toxic"

You call that "toxic"? P'shaw. Try eating Hot Pockets four days a week. Now that's toxic.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Toxic"

And now we've arrived at the final episode of the first chunk of Beware the Batman. As it was originally aired, Beware the Batman had a fairly set schedule... for the first eleven episodes or so. How appropriate that the end of the first block of episodes heralds many things that would come later. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go ahead and look at "Toxic."

Britney Spears doesn't show up, but there are a couple blondes involved.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Broken"

I don't have much to say in this Review, but I still have some important points. All my points are important; haven't you learned that by now?

Recap: Beware the Batman "Broken"

It can't be anymore broken than Alfred's knowledge of chess! Or Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Pick which comparison you're less sick of me harping on.

Let's hope this episode doesn't need any fixing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Safe"

The most important thing about this episode is that it marks the point where the subplots start moving forward. And it starts with Tatsu.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Safe"

Will this one actually deliver what it promises? That'd be a boring episode. Let's hope this is more interesting than Bruce lying safely in bed for half an hour.

Fingers crossed, y'all.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Tests"

First of all, I do like the inclusion of Daedalus (Doodlebug) and Junkyard Dog (Junkyard Dog) as minor antagonists. It really makes Gotham feel more three-dimensional. Daedalus, in the comics, makes art until someone dies, then he keeps going. In the comics, Junkyard Dog is obsessed with trash. It kind of seems like they've been changed from generic comic book "psychos" into generic angry teens. It's nice that they're deciding to use more "unknown" characters, but it'd still be nice to see a character adapted semi-accurately. I don't necessarily mind a good reinterpretation, but still.

Speaking of reinterpretations....

Recap: Beware the Batman "Tests"

Previously, on Beware the Batman:
Alfred: "Tatsu is more than capable of being your bodyguard and driver. Test her. You'll see."
Bruce: "Let the tests begin."

I guess all that stuff about fighting Magpie was just filler, then. And so, Episode 3, "Tests," begins.

Lesson 1: Heroes? There is no such thing. Except for Batman. There's always Batman.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Secrets"

I'm not keeping it a secret; I like this episode. Now let's review it.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Secrets"

In this episode, will secrets be revealed? Yes, but not the ones I thought. Is this a well-played misdirection, or are they just jerking us around? Let's find out.

Secrets revealed: First, Alfred's a furry. Second, Bruce loves ABBA. Last, Tatsu writes Twilight fanfic.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: Beware the Batman "Hunted"

Before I can fairly review the first episode, I need to give you a quick and dirty history of Batman adaptations.

They adapted Batman into a bunch of TV shows and movies.

Hmm. I may need to go into a tad more detail.

As I've said before, there are a lot of ways to adapt Batman. In the 60's, Adam West's Batman was the definitive Batman. Then it was Tim Burton's vision in the 80's, Batman: the Animated Series in the 90's, and the Nolan Trilogy in whatever we're calling the 00's. (The double-O's?) You may like some of these versions, you may hate them. You may prefer a film version (Batman Forever? Anyone?) or a TV version (Where my TBATB fans at?) that I didn't mention, but in terms of the mainstream average Joe, it's West, Burton, Animated Series (maybe), Nolan. Soon to add Affleck, but that's neither here nor there.

The point is that each "mainstream" version of Batman owes a lot to what came before it. Tim Burton's Batman blended the Adam West flamboyancy with his own gothic stylings. The Animated Series is a lighter and softer take on the Burton aesthetic. The Nolan Trilogy took the darkness of the 80's, shook out all the Tim Burton and Adam West, and added psychological thriller elements.

Beware the Batman came to us in late 2013, right after the end of the Nolan era. But like Batman: TAS, Beware the Batman is taking what came before and blending it back in with the original comic elements a bit. We get a blend of Nolan's tale of a broken man putting inhuman strain on his mind and body to fight a war, and we also get to see a crusade against a city full of super-powered maniacs. A blend of both worlds.

With that in mind, let's review the first episode of Beware the Batman.

Recap: Beware the Batman "Hunted"

The light that burns twice as bright burns only half as long. Also, sometimes shows get canceled for dubious reasons. But I've already gone over that. It's time to pay tribute to Beware the Batman the only way an internet reviewer can; I'm going to riff it in a linear fashion while making in fun of it! Because I care. Let's begin at, where else, the beginning.

Spoilers ahead. And snark. And Batman. And the word "blunderbuss."

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 2014:13 Days of Halloween Special

About a year ago, my blog took a bit of a left turn. Though it was originally going to focus on my Character Studies/Assassinations, I had started doing regular Recaps of Beware the Batman. This led in turn to, well, all the Recaps of Avengers: EMH, Ultimate Spider-Man, and even Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

As I went back and looked over my BTB Recaps, I realized that they weren't as, shall we say, polished as my later ones would be. So as a little treat for you all before Halloween, I present to you...

The 13 Days of Batman.

Specifically, the one you should beware. Which is technically all of them.
For the next thirteen days, I will be posting a "Remastered" version of each of my twelve Recaps. These will contain the following:
  • New jokes.
  • Corrected spelling/grammar mistakes.
  • 110% try-harding
  • Soy
  • Brand-spanking-new Reviews of each episode
  • And more!
But what about the thirteenth day? Well, I'll just have to do a Recap for another Batman show. And after all that, it's back to Ultimate Spider-Man for a Halloween Special!

See you tomorrow, for the remastered version of "Hunted."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Avengers Assemble "Super Adaptoid"

This episode is an odd one to review. My notes for the Review ended up being somewhat negative, and yet I have fond memories of this episode whenever I look back on it. What's the deal with that? Well, if I go point by point, I might be able to figure it out.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Super Adaptoid"

Today we return to Avengers Assemble to see what exactly happens when all the Avengers are assembled into a villain.

Not, like, Frankensetin-style. It's not Halloween just yet.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Green Lantern: TAS "Into the Abyss"

I personally consider this episode to be the final part of a four-part premiere. Because at this point, our Avengers have assembled, so to speak.

Green Lanterns! ...get together? Wait, didn't I use that joke on the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Recap: Green Lantern: TAS "Into the Abyss"

Today, I’m still in a little bit of an outer spacey mood, having just fizzled finished my Guardians of the Galaxy Week. So let’s take a look at the do-gooders for the Guardians of the Universe, the Green Lanterns!

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Of course, it’s been longer since I’ve recapped Batman: the Brave and the Bold. Man, I kind of want to do an episode of that now. Oh well, too late. The post title already says “Green Lantern.”

Let’s do this.

Are we talking, like, "bottomless pit" abyss, or "my soul's pit of despair after watching Agents of S.M.A.S.H." abyss?
Previously on Green Lantern: the Animated Series…. Read these Recaps.

Come on, there’s only three of them. You can do it.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy"

The last Review of Guardians of the Galaxy Week. Welcome to the finish line. Will we end with a bang or a whimper? ...what do you think?

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy"

And so, we've reached the final part of Guardians of the Galaxy Week. For you see, the Guardians of the Galaxy film comes out today! ...is what I wrote, once again, before I took a computer-death-enforced hiatus. (Still, I'm giving you free advertising, Marvel. Mayhaps I can get a lil' bit of the kickbacks? Please? Little bit of that sweet Disney dough?)

Being the avid MCU fan that I am, I... did not see it the day it came out. It's not that I wasn't pumped for the movie, it's just that...

A. My family and I were waiting for our schedules to line up so we could go see it together. 
B. I would rather watch it in a theatre that isn't packed to the brim with people dressed up to make the place look like the Mos Eisley Cantina. (No offense, cosplayers and/or Mos Eisley Cantina patrons.) Even then, there were still a few noisy kids. I'll never forget the part where Star-Lord holds up a cassette tape. The youngun behind me literally blurted out "What's that?" I am officially old.

Back on topic, let's be honest. The only reason these episodes really exist is to generate buzz for the Guardians of the Galaxy film. So let's look at the most blatant of these tie-ins, the Ultimate Spider-Man Special Episode that they're even airing before the rest of Season 3.

Has nothing to do with the "Web Warriors" theme, so it doesn't get the new logo. Of course this is important.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: Avengers Assemble "Guardians and Space Knights"

Well, the title ended up being a lie. That's a point against this episode already. Seriously, can Marvel just pay the licensing or whatever and get the rights to ROM back?

Y'all can just bite his shiny metal @$$.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Guardians and Space Knights"

So let's cut the chitchat and start recappin'! I'm excited for this one. With the way they were portrayed in Ultimate Spider-Man last time, I could take or leave the Guardians. But an appearance by ROM the Spaceknight? Yes, please!

Because somebody has to love the characters you've never heard of.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man "Guardians of the Galaxy"

Second appearance of the Guardians of the Galaxy overall, and the first one for Ultimate Spider-Man. How does this episode fare? Let’s discuss.

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "Guardians of the Galaxy"

Well, now it's Ultimate Spider-Man's turn to promote cross over with the Guardians of the Galaxy. What's changed? What's stayed the same? Will Drax and Gamora show up this time? Will Adam Warlock and Quasar make the cut? Tune in! This Spider-Time, this Spider-Channel!

Creative episode title, guys.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: Avengers: EMH "Michael Korvac"

Is this a good episode? Is this a good introduction? Is Wasp learning her lesson? Let's examine, shall we?

Recap: Avengers: EMH "Michael Korvac"

Guardians of the Galaxy will soon be hitting theatres around the country.... is what I wrote before my computer died. (Rest in peace, TARDIS_mkII.) Since that happened, the film quickly became a popular entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Groot's loking a little sick, guys. You may want to check him for Dutch Elm's Disease.
But did you know that the team featured in the film has only been around since 2008? Unlike Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and company, this team isn't decades old. The individual characters have been around a lot longer (Stan Lee himself created Groot), but 2008 is when they took the name of a team from the future that was created in the 70's. (That's comics for ya.)

As such, I thought it would be appropriate to chronicle the team's portrayals through various animated media. As of the time of this writing, they've appeared five times, with a sixth on the way. (To those who would nitpick: The Super Hero Squad Show doesn't count, they were only mentioned.) Of these appearances, I won't be going over Marvel: Disk Wars because I'm simply the wrong person to talk about anime.

But, yes, their appearances in cartoons did start around the time of the announcement. However did you guess? Interestingly enough, though, this episode originally aired May of 2012, and the official Guardians film announcement happened two months later in July. Pretty sneaky way to generate some buzz about the team before you announce the film, Marvel.

So let's look at the animated world debut of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Yeah, I said I'd be doing the 2-part premiere next, but I have a good reason for doing something different; I lied.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 2014: Theme Week Announcement

Welcome to a NewtCave theme week!

While it may not be as topical as it would have been at the beginning of August (when I originally had it scheduled), I still think this will be something y'all will enjoy.

Marvel will never miss an opportunity to cross-promote. Whether it be putting teasers for the next film after the credits of the previous one, namedropping Stephen Strange in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or what have you, Marvel has been shamelessly self-promoting since the days of Stan Lee himself.

And I'll be doggoned if Johnny Storm doesn't remind me of Captain America!
As such, I'm going to be taking a look at the journey of the Guardians of the Galaxy through Marvel animation. Seems appropriate, what with the announcement of their own upcoming animated series.

Not sure whether to be excited or terrified, what with Marvel's new animation track record....
I'll see you back here tomorrow when we look at their debut in Avengers: EMH's "Michael Korvac."

Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: Young Justice "Welcome to Happy Harbor"

Well, we've all said hello to Megan. And she's said it to herself, too. First impressions?

Recap: Young Justice "Welcome to Happy Harbor"

Let us now return to Young Justice. Ready to add a new team member? Let's check out Miss Martian's first full episode.

Happy Harbor, just East of Pleasantville, North of Euphoria Town.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Marvel Film Archive

"With great power there must also come ... great responsibility!" 
Stan Lee, Amazing Fantasy #15, Aug. 1962
Live Action
Marvel Cinematic Universe

Deadpool (2016)
-
View Log


Fantastic Four (1994)
- Recap/Review

Fant4stic (2015)
- Teaser Breakdown
- View Log

Hulk (2003)
- Recap Intro
- Recap Part 1: Ground State
- Recap Part 2: Pair Production
- Recap Part 3: Critical Mass
- Review

Spider-Man (2002)
- Recap Intro
- Recap Part 1: Great Power
- Recap Part 2: Great Responsibility
- Recap Part 3: Amazing Fantasy
- Review


Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- Intro
- Recap Part 1: Tangled Web!
- Recap Part 2; Spider-Man No More!
- Recap Part 3: The Tentacles and the Trap!
- Review

Marvel Animation
Heroes United
Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United
- Recap
- Review
Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United
- Recap
- Review
 
Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel
- Recap
- Review

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: Avengers Assemble "Blood Feud"

I vant to review zis episode! So I will. (Look, I told you I wasn't going to use Twilight jokes. I'm scraping the bottom of the vampire-joke barrel.)

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Blood Feud"

Welcome back to October. I want to give you guys something special. To show how much I care about bringing you guys quality entertainment, I will refrain from making Twilight jokes for this Recap and Review. Completely. No sparkly vampire jokes, no Bella/Edward jabs, nothing. Yeah, I'm putting actual effort into the jokes this week.

I mean, like I always do. All the time. No, you're acting suspicious.