Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sketchbook: Fantastick 3, 1602

Sorry about the lateness of the post; I'm still in a bit of a food coma. As such, I don't have much of anything to say before I get down to brass tacks and just show the darn pic.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ranting and Rambling: Riddler, Raiments, and Redesigns

Comic book costumes are funny things, aren’t they?
Some characters, like Jean Grey, Beast, Wasp, Starfire, and Martian Manhunter periodically get new costumes ranging from slight variants to all-out redesigns. There is no objective “iconic” costume for these characters, and everyone has their favorites.

Some characters, however, have costumes that are so iconic, redesigning them is (mostly) out of the question, like Superman, Green Lantern, Magneto, the Flash, etc. Redesigns do happen, but only to the degree of removing red briefs, or other minor alterations.

The Riddler, however, has two iconic costumes to choose from. And yet, people keep trying to redesign his look. It ain’t broke, so why are people always trying to fix it? I’m going to go on a magical journey to figure out what the dealio is. Join me, won’t you?

(Journey may or may not actually be magical.)

Review: The Batman, "Riddled"

Why is this episode like an adventure with Bill and Ted?
Because they're both excellent.

Recap: The Batman, "Riddled"

What am I thankful for? Many things, including the many awesome Batman cartoons.

So, let’s look at what many Bat-fans don’t want to talk about. The WB’s The Batman. 

It was the first Batman cartoon in decades to be created independently of the wildly popular "DC Animated Universe," which included Batman: the Animated Series, Superman: the Animated Series, Justice League, Batman Beyond, and more.

Batman had been “kiddified” for the first time. Joker was turned into a yelling, shouting, buffoon (as opposed to the sly, suave Joker from the DCAU), Bruce Wayne didn’t really brood as much (even taking some time away from crime fighting to watch TV), Batgirl became his first sidekick instead of Robin (kind of foreshadowing Beware the Batman, in a way), they introduced characters/vehicles/gadgets that they could easily make toys of (Gearhead, a new Batmobile, one-time-use special Batsuits, etc.), and more.

We had the Penguin being overused as comic relief, “RPM” trying to get all the little boys who loved vehicles to watch, villains teaming up all the time, and the later seasons had Batman teaming up with another superhero to the point that the final episodes were pretty much a prequel to a Justice League series that never happened.

This was the show that made Bat-fans wary of any new Batman series in general, and lighter-and-softer ones in particular. I’m here to say that this show that disappointed numerous fans, sold out to the need to sell toys, and was created by people who wanted to change seemingly random elements to the mythos…

...was pretty good.

Weren’t expecting that, were you?

Seriously, back when I was in high school, I’d turn on Boomerang late at night and watch Justice League Unlimited and The Batman while doing my homework. I quickly grew to love this show.

Today, I hope to show you why as I take a look at the second episode of the second season, “Riddled.”

Three guesses as to the villain.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Wendigo Apocalypse"

I can't believe it. A good episode. A good episode! The mind boggles! But why? What makes this episode good, when the others have ranged from "Meh" to "Stab-My-Eyes"? Let's think about it.

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Wendigo Apocalypse"

Not a dream!
Not a hoax!
Not an imaginary story!
Here it is, the moment that none thought possible! Today, we’re looking at an episode of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. that’s…
GOOD.
Surely, the endtimes are upon us.

Or maybe I'm just celebrating the 15,000th page view?

Review: Batman TBATB "Return of the Fearsome Fangs"

I've said this a few times already, but I don’t like “ninja episodes” of Batman shows, because they all follow the same basic formula, and this one is no different.

Recap: Batman TBATB, "Return of the Fearsome Fangs!"

I’m sure that by now, regular readers of the NewtCave have noticed that I have a bit of a soft spot for Batman cartoons, particularly Batman: the Brave and the Bold. This is true. Is this why my Marvel reviews have seemed overly negative while my DC reviews have seemed overly positive?
No.
Well... maybe a bit.

What I’ve been doing, I recently realized, is been reviewing the better episodes of DC’s productions while not doing the same with Marvel. As such, I will now be turning the tables a little bit. Today, I’ll be recapping and reviewing an episode of my favorite Batman cartoon that I actually dislike.
I know! Shocking!

So, ladies, gentlemen, Daxamites, let us take a look at episode 11, “Return of the Fearsome Fangs!”

So... where did they go, exactly?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Incredible Shrinking Hulks"

Now, I’m going to say right off the bat that I was not originally a fan of this episode.
But before I go any further, I will mention the fact that there was an episode of the 1982 Hulk cartoon called "The Incredible Shrinking Hulk."

So that's where the "the" went!
In that episode, Bruce Banner was shrunk by a blast of Gamma Rays. As I mentioned in my Captain Atom Character Study, radiation just kind of did random things back in the day. Creepy crawlies were the only menace (probably because Skaar wasn't there to slash them) and General Ross even shows up in his non-Hulk state (because this show aired decades before that storyline).

Anyway, let's not put off reviewing this episode any more.

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Incredible Shrinking Hulks"

I have finally figured out Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
It’s a paint-by-numbers kit. After I go over this episode, I’ll let you know exactly what I mean.

Why don't any of these titles have a "the"? What's wrong with a "the"?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sketchbook: The Doctor's Backup

Now, I think most Whovians might be a bit busy today, but to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, enjoy this bit of Doctor Who fan art!
I was thinking, which companions would be the best backup for the Doctor if he needed to bring some along?
I stand by my choices.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ranting and Rambling: Doctor Who, Regenerated

For all intents and purposes, the 10th Doctor is this generation's 4th Doctor. They both had long, incredibly popular runs and the thought of anyone else playing the Doctor, though an established part of canon, was utterly unthinkable. And yet, sometimes the unthinkable happens.

Legacy Character Study: The 11th Doctor

Spoilers.

Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. 

No, really. Like, if I were to measure it, 1.21 Giga-Bruce-Willis-was-dead-the-whole-times and half a Rosebud-was-the-sled. As the series begins to approach the 50th anniversary, Moffat began doing some crazy-mind-blowing stuff that you should really go watch for yourself.

You have been warned.

Sketchbook: Double Double Down

So, funny story, I just happened to find this page. So, uh... I kinda had to take up that challenge. Twenty-five minutes later...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sketchbook: Roranicus Pondicus

If you've never seen the 11th Doctor's run, than this picture makes absolutely none of the senses to you.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ranting & Rambling: Story vs. Setting

You know what bugs me? Spiders. But besides that, I have a problem with contrived and overly-specific series of events that lead to dystopian futures.

Let me explain. I was looking at the synopsis for Divergent. Basically, in this story of a post-apocalyptic world, there’s these factions that are the equivalent of Hogwarts’ houses, each exemplifying a positive trait for humanity. Some chick born into a "selfless" family finds out that she’s actually suited for three factions, not one! Which is somehow bad…? But that's another issue entirely.

Here’s my problem: How does the future get to that point?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Savage Land"

First of all, this episode fails at all kinds of science, but I’ve already said that.

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "Savage Land"

You know, I don’t look forward to Hulk and the Agents of S.MA.S.H. But I can say that it’s darn satisfying to rip it to shreds. Cathartic, you might say. I’d much rather continually spotlight excellent episodes of other shows, but I feel that there is a need to show the flip side of the coin. If you can identify something bad, you can learn to appreciate something good. And with that, let’s see where this next episode falls in the Good/Bad spectrum.

The answer may surprise you. But it won't be a nice surprise.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sketchbook: Top Redesign

 "You should do one for the Top. I think he's one of the only Flash villains not to be redone in the reboot."
- Anonymous

Okay! Let's redesign an oft-overlooked entry in Flash's Rogue's Gallery.

...this is going to be a tricky one....
At the very least, that certainly is a unique outfit. It would be incredibly easy to just throw him in a generic green outfit with a couple yellow stripes highlighting it, so I'm going to throw in a few self-imposed rules.
  1. The costume must be at least 80% yellow and green.
  2. Any additions must have a purpose besides just looking cool.
  3. It must have stripes as a main feature.
  4. It must feature yellow as the "main" color, to differentiate it from the similarly colored Weather Wizard.

Actually, that wouldn't be a bad costume for Top.
With those rules in place, let's see how I did!

Legacy Character Study: The 10th Doctor

The first regeneration of the revived series.

Let's take a look at this near-instant fan favorite.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Batman: TBATB "Trials of the Demon!"

Can I just say, to start this off, that I thought the title was pretty clever? Not only does it refer to Jason Blood on trial for the crimes in the episode, but Jim Craddock has to go through “trials” to gain immortality from a different demon. Clever wordplay, episode. Shame that I’m going to rip it apart a bit, but I’ll get there.

Recap: Batman: TBATB "Trials of the Demon!"

Now that we've seen Green Arrow dig into Batman's grave, let's dig into the next Halloween-themed Batman: the Brave and the Bold episode!

Sorry for that lame excuse for a pun above. You probably didn't dig it. ...I'm so sorry...

Review: Batman: TBATB "Dawn of the Dead Man!"

So, we've seen Batman as a ghost while he's still alive. Can you believe that's the only thing I'm pretty much leaving alone in this review?

Recap: Batman TBATB, "Dawn of the Dead Man!"

Well, October’s upon us! ...and it's gone now. Despite that, let’s look at a spoooooooky episode of Batman: the Brave and the Bold! ...and another one to make up for this one being so late.

Oh, don't worry, I won't run out of Halloween-themed episodes. I've got enough for next year. Without further ado...

There were budget cuts on the latest Romero flick, so we only get one zombie.

Friday, November 8, 2013

FYI: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Just in case people don't know, I've been doing View Logs on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over at the Critical Cablebox's site.
If you haven't already, you might want should go and check those out.
In fact, go check out the rest of his stuff, too.

Legacy Character Study: The 9th Doctor

And so, the show was once again renewed, against all odds. Let's take a look at the first Doctor of the modern Doctor Who series.

The first fantastic Doctor of the Revived Series.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Batman TBATB, "Journey to the Center of the Bat!"

"Journey to the Center of the Bat!" is a good episode, but that doesn't mean it can't benefit from a little analysis.

Recap: Batman TBATB, "Journey to the Center of the Bat!"

Well, it's been a while since we've taken a look at Batman's adventures with his numerous allies, all of whom are brave and/or bold.

The most it has in common with the similarly titled book is rocks and French people.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Legacy Character Study: The 7th Doctor

History shows us that shaking things up with the 6th Doctor didn't exactly go as planned.

Let's see what we got when the BBC called a do-over.