Saturday, February 28, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "The Three Babes"

We three babes of Gotham town are; We steal things that are not ours.
Gotham's savior, the Dark Knight, won't go down without a fight.
Crime has failed, now we're jailed.
Hate being behind bars.

Surprisingly enough, most of my search results for "The Three Babes" were safe for work.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Avengers Assemble "Nighthawk"

What is it about episodes where villains come in and just utterly wreck the heroes that makes them some of the best episodes in this show? Seriously.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Nighthawk"

Longtime readers of the NewtCave (both of them) may remember that "Hyperion" was the first episode of Avengers Assemble that I ever recapped before I went back to the premiere and started covering the rest of the episodes. (Slowly.) My overall impression of the episode was positive, and it still stands up as one of the better first season episodes. Its Season 2 counterpart is very much the same way. Season 2 of this series started off a bit lackluster (despite many improvements), but this episode changed everything. So in the spirit of my original post, I'm skipping ahead a bit to talk about Season 2, Episode 6, "Nighthawk."

Of course, those of you reading this in February of 2015 might need a quick rundown of what happens between "Savages" and this episode, so here's a summary of the beginning of Season 2.

Thanos appeared on Earth bearing a stone of power that was aptly named the "Power Stone." With it, he started trying to destroy the planet. After Thanos was kicked out into space, the Avengers have been trying to figure out what they can do about these "Infinity Stones" before Thanos returns.

And now, let's begin.

Sorry, Sylvester Stallone and Rutger Hauer are nowhere to be found.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Avengers Assemble "Savages"

Tony Stark learns not to rely solely on his technology.

What haven't I said regarding this plot already? They keep rehashing it.

I could talk some more about the repetitive lesson that's never learned, I could criticize this episode's loose definition of "technology" again, and I could talk about so many other redundant things again and again until the cows come home. But, my dear readers, I think it's finally time to review this show's interpretation of Tony Stark as a whole. No punches pulled, no holds barred.

As always, this is all just my opinion and you're free to disagree.

Shoot, that was the wrong picture of Pinkie Pie.
There we go.
I love reading comments from you guys, and I'd actually love to see your opinions on the matter. But if you ask me, the characterization of Tony Stark has been, without a doubt, the biggest misstep of the series so far.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Savages"

Did you know that Tony Stark shouldn't rely solely on technology to solve his problems? Because even after, like, three-to-five previous episodes made that point, Tony still hasn't learned his dang lesson. Let's see if he finally learns it this time.

Maybe the sixth time's the charm?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Editorial: Heimdall, Nick Fury, and Johnny Storm: Back in Black

Comics books, like many other Western forms of entertainment, were made largely by white men for white men. As such, there is a growing tendency to give established characters "race lifts" to add a little diversity when adapting a comic into film. Unfortunately, this commits one of the most heinous sins in the eyes of many fans...

Changing something.

Many accuse this practice of demeaning characters' established identities, and some argue that this is just tokenism, while others argue that minorities need more representation in the media, and the whole thing eventually degrades into the usual badly-spelled internet arguments.

I'm not here to discuss the practice in general. I'm here to look at three specific examples from recent times and see why they happened, general reaction, and if they worked to the benefit or detriment of the character. Let's begin.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: Avengers Assemble "Bring on the Bad Guys"

You know, you could basically sum up this episode by saying that Red Skull finally learned the true meaning of friendship and used his friends' strengths to accomplish a goal that only togetherness could achieve.

Avengers Assemble: Friendship is Magic.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Bring on the Bad Guys"

"Bring on the Bad Guys"? Geez, even the show itself is getting impatient to get to the good stuff. My God, it's becoming self-aware.

As long as it doesn't achieve sentience, we'll be fine.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Avengers Assemble "Planet Doom"

Before I begin, there's something I want to get off my chest.

I know I give Marvel's current shows a hard time. I've criticized Ultimate Spider-Man for painting Nick Fury as a dictator, I've called out Avengers Assemble on its sexist treatment of Black Widow, and I've said pretty much everything about Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

As a reviewer, I relish the comedic opportunities given to me by terrible episodes. But as a fan of these characters, I want to see good episodes.

And you know what? This was one of them. As I'm sure I've said before, I'm a sucker for two things. (Well, many things, but two in particular.)  Alternate costumes and alternate universes. You can bet I was a happy camper this episode.

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Planet Doom"

Welcome to the first Avengers Assemble Recap of 2015! It's been a while.

When we last left Doctor Doom, the Avengers had left him in Latveria because they couldn't arrest him without sparking an international incident. So let's see what happens when Latveria becomes international. Of course, that would mean that Latveria wouldn't be international, what with there only being one nation, under Doom, indivisible, with liberty and justice for none, but whatever.

"Becoming international" sounded clever in my head.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Fear Itself"

Seriously, though, this is the second episode of this show that writes an unrelated plot when "adapting" a story. What kind of hack does that?

Complaint withdrawn.

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Fear Itself"

"Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins." -Charles Stanley

Not that I'm implying anything by that quote.

Infer from that quote what you will.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man "Attack of the Beetle"

So Aunt May and Agent Coulson went on a date, which was not in the episode description.

See? It clearly said that Aunt Mary was going to date Coulson.

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "Attack of the Beetle"

Happy Valentine's Day, readers.

To one and all.
I hope you all have someone special to spend it with. If not, then here's something to occupy your time today.

"Thanks for rubbing it in first...."
Anyway, let's return to Ultimate-Spider Man, where I know that there will be no surprises in store for anyone.

Shoot, did I just tempt fate?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Review: The Batman "Two of a Kind"

Gonna be honest, I'm really struggling to come up with more jokes relating to the title. The old Olsen Twins show was pretty much all I had. Oh, sure, I could make some obscure reference to a movie or two, but I doubt you kids these days have heard of Olivia Newton-John, let alone Edmond O'Brien.

Now let's discuss whether or not "Two of a Kind" was a Royal Flush or a Dead Man's Hand. (Guess I had one more.)

Recap: The Batman "Two of a Kind"

Based on the last two Recaps I did, it should be pretty clear that Harley Quinn is a crazy sack of obsession and madness. But I already talked about how Joker and Harley Quinn are anything but a healthy couple. Today's Recap answers a "what if."

What if Harley Quinn and the Joker had a relationship that was at least somewhat based on mutual attraction and their similarities instead of obsession and domestic violence?

Ladies and gentlemen, Paul Dini, the man who gave us a heartbreaking tale of obsession and desperation in "Mad Love," brings us its antithesis in today's outing of WB's The Batman, "Two of a Kind."

Has nothing to do with sitcoms starring the Olsen twins. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Pave Paradise"

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT. Because Poison Ivy's going to straight up attack you.

The lyrics they wish they wrote for "Big Yellow Taxi."

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: The New Batman Adventures "Mad Love"

And so, here we are.

I find myself in the position of having to come up with something to say about "Mad Love" other than "It's perfect."

Wish me luck.

Recap: The New Batman Adventures "Mad Love"

"Harlequinade" was where Harley Quinn tried to kill the Joker in a single moment of rage. "Harley and Ivy" was where Harley found herself unable to give up her obsession with him, despite finding someone she could truly call a soulmate. And now, we've arrived at "Mad Love." Possibly one of the strongest Batman stories ever. Not just in the Animated Series, but ever.

This is the story that answers one simple question that has been lingering over Harley's relationship with the Joker since the very beginning.

Why?

Ladies, gentlemen, and others, this is the final episode of The New Batman Adventures.... sort of. Like I've said before, episodes of the show were aired out of order, yadda yadda, and this was the final episode aired. But I consider "Judgement Day" to be the finale, just because it was the last episode to be made as well as just... feelin more like a finale.

But enough about endings, let's look at Harley Quinn's beginning.

Harley Quinn Begins.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Essay: The Many, Many Powers of Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Back in the day, this was pretty unique stuff. Nowadays, it's the standard. As such, Superman's power set has greatly expands over the years. In fact, at the time of this writing, he's set to get a new one: Super-Flare.

Who are you, the Human Torch now?
DC is touting this as Superman's first new power in decades. Yeah, no. At best, DC's exaggerating. At worst, they're outright lying.

Then again, DC seems to have a pretty short memory when it comes to certain things.

A-hem, DC.
Let's take a look at Superman's powers throughout the ages, from the start to the modern day.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review: Batman: TAS "Harlequinade"

According to good ol' Wikipedia:
"Harlequinade is a British comic theatrical genre, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as 'that part of a pantomime in which the harlequin and clown play the principal parts'. It developed in England between the 17th and mid-19th centuries. [...] The story of the Harlequinade revolves around a comic incident in the lives of its five main characters: Harlequin, who loves Columbine; Columbine's greedy father Pantaloon, who tries to separate the lovers in league with the mischievous Clown; and the servant, Pierrot, usually involving chaotic chase scenes with a policeman."

Huh. Seeing a few parallels, but where do the hyenas come in?

"A superstitious cowardly lot! They plan and plot but they always get caught!"

Recap: Batman: TAS "Harlequinade"

Harley's Quinn's big episode! Until The New Batman Adventures, it filled in the most mysteries about our favorite happy harlequin. Not bad for a character whose only appearance was going to be popping out of a cake in "Joker's Favor."

And in the end, the Joker did it himself. Irony.
So, without further ado, "Harlequinade."

Nothing quenches your thirst with a smile like Harlequinade!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Batman: TAS "Harley and Ivy"

I'll give this episode one thing right off the bat. Harley and Ivy showed up. Technically, this episode delivered everything it promised. On an unrelated note, I'd give anything to see a Laverne & Shirley-style Harley and Ivy spinoff. Make it happen, Warner Brothers!

Get Garry Marshall on the horn!

Recap: Batman: TAS "Harley and Ivy"

NOTICE: The following Recap is meant for your entertainment. This is not the NewtCave Manifesto of Gender and Sexuality. This is a Recap/Review of an episode of a Batman cartoon.

The management's stance on Poison Ivy's remarks do not necessarily equate with the management's stance on feminism/lesbianism/gender politics in general. If you're here for general discourse on feminism, then you're going to be disappointed.

If you want to read a Recap/Review of a clown and an ecoterrorist partnering up to take on Gotham's Dark Knight, then read on.

One of the best parts of Batman: The Animated Series is the absolutely phenomenal plethora of villains that can appear. Why, who knows which members of Batman's rogues will show up to....

Yeah, you know where this joke is going.

Penguin's showing up. Obviously.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Site News: February, 2015

Happy February, everyone!

First of all, you may have noticed a bit of construction around here. While archiving some old posts, I've discovered the need for a few more archive pages. So I made some.

Second of all, as is usual for this time of year, love is in the air. Mainly because every single store is shoving their Valentine's Day sales and specials down your throat. So in the forced spirit of the season, in the two weeks leading up until Valentine's Day, I'll be taking a look at everyone's favorite crazy clown, The Joker's girlfriend, Harley Quinn.

I have imaginatively named this month: Harley Quinn Month. Truly, I am a master wordsmith.
I'll be covering the three big B:TAS episodes that take a look at our Miss Quinn's relationship with her Puddin' as well as one episode from The Batman.

"But Newt!" I hear my hypothetical audience say in unison. "We've already had a week of Superman: The Animated Series and a week of recapping Steel. Isn't it time to do some Marvel Recaps again?"

And these people have a point. I can only imagine that my continued lack of Marvel Recaps as well as my continued praise for Superman: TAS is why the Marvel Legion unfollowed me on Twitter. So I've got a few Marvel Recaps and Reviews lined up, and I'll be returning to some semblance of normal operations after Valentine's Day.

On a less-than-happy-but-not-exactly-unhappy note, Character Studies have been postponed for the foreseeable future. After DC and Marvel suddenly deciding to go mess with their continuity again through Convergence and Secret Wars, respectively, I've finally realized exactly how Sisyphean the task of compiling a character's history into a neat little post is.

Having said that, Character Studies will return, but with less of a focus on a character's history and more of a focus on a character's unique and identifiable traits, physically, mentally, etc.

As always, the schedule's to the upper right, posts go up at 8 am, and water is wet.

See you tomorrow for a Recap of Batman: TAS's "Harley and Ivy!"