Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sketchbook: Suprema and Radar

Just a quick one today. I've been working to archive previous posts as well as tidy things up a bit, as you may have noticed. Also, everybody go read Alan Moore's Supreme: The Story of the Year. Right now.

Actually, no. Here's a quick sketch from my archives first.

DC Film Archive
 Batman: The Movie (1966)
- Intro
- Part 1: Pow!
- Part 2: Zap!
- Part 3: Wham-O! 
- Review

Superman (1978)
- Intro
- Part 1: Last Son
- Part 2: This Looks like a Day Job For....
- Part 3: Double Jeopardy
- Review  

Batman (1989)
- Intro
- Part 1: Jack-a-napes
- Part 2: Harlequin, Columbine, Clown
- Part 3: Pagliacci
- Review

Batman Returns (1992)
- Intro
- Part 1: The Bat
- Part 2: The Cat
- Part 3:  The Penguin
- Review to Come!

Steel (1997)
- Intro
- Recap Part 1: Foul Play
- Recap Part 2: Rebound
- Recap Part 3: Hack-a-Shaq
- Review

View Log: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Superman: The Animated Series Archive

"In the end, the world didn't really need a 'super man' ...just a brave one." -Superman
Season 1
Episode 01: "The Last Son of Krypton, Part I"
- Recap
Episode 02: "The Last Son of Krypton, Part II"
- Recap
Episode 03: "The Last Son of Krypton, Part III"
- Recap
"The Last Son of Krypton" Parts I-III
- Review
Episode 04: "Fun and Games"
- Recap
- Review

Episode 21: "Mxyzpixilated"
- Recap
- Review

Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes Archive

Episode 01: "Doomsday"
- Recap
- Review

Episode 06: "World's Tiniest Heroes"
- Recap
- Review

Episode 18: "The Cure"
- Recap
- Review

Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: "Steel"

Shaquille O'Neal has been on a retro kick lately. Though he's retired from his rap career, he's successfully gotten a Kickstarter project off the ground for a sequel to Shaq-Fu. And he has his eyes set on Steel 2, as well. Apparently, Shaq is convinced that the problems with the movie were in the special effects and cinematography and he wants to see what he can make with some 21st century movie magic.

Shaq, that's a terrible idea. I don't know if anyone's pointed that out to you, but it's true. Steel was terrible, but the effects were the least of its problems.

Along with Batman and Robin, this movie is often blamed for the temporary death of the comic book movie (as I outlined in greater detail in the intro to my Iron Man Recap). And for good reason. This thing that special kind of terrible. That kind where it's clear the filmmakers were reaching for the stars, but somehow ended up sticking their hand in a backed-up toilet. All the work and effort put into this film failed to create a masterpiece, leaving behind the wreckage of the final product. Now let's sift through the wreckage.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Editorial: Fantastic Four (2015) Teaser Trailer Breakdown

20th Century Fox has just released a trailer for their upcoming reboot of the Fantastic Four. Surrounded by the mega-hype of the Avengers sequel, the Superman/Batman crossover, and the fact that Ant-Man’s movie was apparently filmed when no one was looking, Fantastic Four has slipped relatively under the radar, emerging only to respond to people’s complaints about how the movie’s taking more than a few “creative liberties” with the source material, like Dr. Doom being a blogger/hacker named Victor Domashev, the team being teenagers, and the Human Torch being black. I’ll be addressing that last issue in an upcoming post. For now, let’s break this trailer down and see what’s in store for Marvel’s First Family.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recap: "Steel" Part 3: Hack-a-Shaq

When we last left our hero, he was fighting crime with an armored suit he made IN A JUNKYARD! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS! But whereas Tony Stark refined his scrap-suit into a modern marvel of engineering, Shaq's trash suit is apparently already a technological marvel.

This movie should have been called Garbage-Man.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Recap: "Steel" Part 2: Rebound

And so, in the first part of Steel, Steel did not show up. Great start, everyone.

Is it too late to hope that Shaq won't show up for the rest of this?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Recap: "Steel" Part 1: Foul Play

Steel. Just... Steel. 2.7 on IMDb. 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm not beating around the bush. This is terrible. Now let's have a blast tearing it apart and making fun of it. That's the only way we're going to get enjoyment out of it.

Which is probably what the director said after seeing Shaq's acting.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Recap: "Steel" Intro

This week, I'm going to be looking at the story of a brilliant inventor who decides to stop manufacturing weapons for the military after great personal tragedy involving one of his own creations. Taking matters into his own hands, he will use a suit of metal armor to wreak righteous vengeance upon those who would use his devices for evil purposes.

LOL nope.
You poor, optimistic fool (who apparently didn't know I already covered that last Hanukkah). Go back to 1997.

There ya go.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Precious Birthstones"

Welcome back to Gotham Girls. You know, I've been giving this series more crap than it deserves. While I do wish more time and effort went into this series, I do appreciate that this was pioneering the way for higher-quality Flash animated cartoons on TV.

Then again, the pioneering didn't really begin until Season 2. Let's keep making fun of Season 1.

Then we'll make fun of the pioneering when we get to Season 2.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: Superman: TAS "The Last Son of Krypton," Parts 1-3


That was epic. And I mean that literally and figuratively.

This is the Superman everyone knows. The creative team took the best parts of Superman's nearly 50-year run and cobbled together probably the most iconic generalization of the character ever.

This, basically.
You have the Krypton of the 40's, the Lex Luthor of the 80's, the Lois of the 50's, all in a timeless setting. It's just perfect. (I'm going to be using that word a lot. Just FYI.)

Recap: Superman: TAS "The Last Son of Krypton, Part III"

Previously on Superman: TAS, Superman.

And now, the continuation.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recap: Superman: TAS "The Last Son of Krypton, Part II"

SPOILER ALERT: Krypton was destroyed last episode.

In other news, Professor Snape killed Charles Foster Kane in the conservatory thirty-five minutes ago because Snape was secretly Tyler Durden the whole time.

And the ghost of Bruce Willis is Luke Skywalker's father, Keyser Soze!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Recap: Superman: TAS "The Last Son of Krypton, Part I"

Superman: The Animated Series is criminally underrated. Sure, you'll find plenty of praise for it around this great, big, wide internet of ours. But you'll typically see more praise for its sister show, Batman: The Animated Series. My theory for this is simple: People generally like Batman more than they like Superman.

People cut Batman more slack than Superman; we've seen all the arguments.

"Superman's too powerful."

"Superman's not interesting."

"The glasses are an impractical disguise." (They're not, BT-dubs.)

But I would argue that Superman does have one thing working in his favor, and that's this show.

After the smash-hit that was Batman: TAS, the masterminds behind it got to work creating the same type of show for Superman. And because the ironed all the kinks out making Batman's show, Superman's just seemed more polished. But that's not to say they just rehashed what made Batman: TAS work. Where Batman's first episode was either a Catwoman team-up or a monster hunt, depending on which episode you consider to be the first one, Superman: TAS began with a three-part epic detailing Superman's nigh-mythological origin story.

And it is truly a masterpiece. In all seriousness, it just might be the greatest story in the DC Animated Universe.

Now let's begin.

Now that I've likely hyped this up too much.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "More Than One Way"

More than one way, you say? Well, Timtoady Bicarbonate, Gotham Girls. Except when you're consistently terrible.

A big hello to the programmers reading this. They are the only ones not wondering who Tim is.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "The Hulking Commandos"

The Commandos didn't hulk a single time. I want my money back.

Recap: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. "The Hulking Commandos"

The more pedantic among you are asking why I'm doing another episode of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. during "Premiere Month."

Answer: I was going to do the premiere of Wolverine and the X-Men, seeing as how that "Coming Soon" message had been lingering down there on the left for quite some time. Then I realized that I was already actively covering between twelve and sixteen shows already. As well as adding Gotham Girls into the mix. Suddenly, it seemed like a bit much. Hence the last-second swap out.

The poor souls among you who have seen this episode are wondering why I'm covering a Halloween episode in January.

Answer: I said "last-second swap out."

Happy Janu-ween, everyone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Fantastic Four: WGH "Doomsday"

And so, it's time to review yet another stock episode title.

Doomsday, Doomed, Dark Side of the Doom....

If Doctor Doom's involved, then he will always be in the title. Appropriate, considering his ego. Anyway, let's review.

Recap: Fantastic Four: WGH "Doomsday"

Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes, aka “There was a Fantastic Four cartoon after the 1990’s?”

Yeah. There was.

It was aired between the first and second films and was meant to draw in viewers of the first one and get people pumped for the second one. And if you’ve actually seen those films, you won’t be surprised to find out that this show lasted only one season. Less than that in the US. Only seventeen episode aired in the original US run, out of order, with a huge gap after the first eight episodes.

Sounds promising, huh? Let’s take a look at the first episode. Well, it was supposed to be the first one. Much like Batman: TAS and Firefly, the series aired out of order.

So you'd think this would be a good sign....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gotham Girls Archive

"Bad Gotham Girls, you make the rockin' world go 'round." - Newt, 2014
Season 1
Episode 01: "The Vault"
Episode 02: "Lap Bat"
Episode 03: "Trick or Trick"
Episode 04: "A Little Night Magic"
Episode 05: "More Than One Way"
Episode 06: "Precious Birthstones"
Episode 07: "Pave Paradise"
Episode 08: "The Three Babes"
Episode 09: "The Gardener's Apprentice"
Episode 10: "Lady-X"

Season 1 Review 

Season 2
Episode 01: "Hold That Tiger" 
Episode 02: "Miss Un-Congeniality" 
Episode 03: "Strategery"
Episode 04: "Baby Boom"
Episode 05: "Cat -n- Mouse -n- Cat -n- Mouse -n-" 
Episode 06: "Bat'ing Cleanup"
Episode 07: "Catsitter"
Episode 08: "Gotham Noir" 
Episode 09: "Scout's Dishonor" 
Episode 10: "I'm BatBadgirl"

Season 2 Review

Batman: The Animated Series Archive

"I am vengeance. I am the night. I. Am. Batman!" -Batman
Episode 01: "On Leather Wings"
- Recap
- Review 

Episode 13: "I've Got Batman in My Basement"
- Recap
- Review

Episode 56: "Harley and Ivy"
- Recap
- Review

Episode 72: "Harlequinade"
- Recap
- Review

Episode 19: "Legends of the Dark Knight"- Recap/Review

Episode 21: "Mad Love"
- Recap
- Review

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Batman:TBATB "The Rise of the Blue Beetle!"

This show is loosely based on a team-up comic called "The Brave and the Bold." Like this show, it was noticeably less dark and edgy than the rest of DC's fare. This love letter to the Silver Age was produced by James Tucker, who was also responsible for storyboarding and designing the Silver Age throwback bit for B:TAS's "Legends of the Dark Knight."

And it shows.
Tucker's love for DC history shows all over the place. For example, as Jaime and Paco channel surf, they pass an ad for "Plastino Cat Snacks." Not only is Streaky the Supercat the mascot, but it's also a shout out to Al Plastino, the man who drew the Batman comic strip in the 60's.

And yet, I hated this show when it first came out. But I chalk that up to ignorance more than anything. I went into this show wanting to hate it. As such, I ignored all the obvious love it had for DC history. While this show might not be everyone's cup of tea, it's far from the travesty that many feared it would be.

Now let's review the episode.

Recap: Batman: TBATB "The Rise of the Blue Beetle!"

As I’ve said many times before, nothing quite polarizes a crowd quite like Batman. There are fans of Adam West, and there are those who consider him a disservice to the mantle of the Bat. There are some who try to boycott any vocal performance other than Kevin Conroy, and there are those who consider Bruce Greenwood to be the final word. Agree to disagree, blah blah blah; I’ve talked about this already.

But I told that story to tell you this story.

You know that group that claimed that Batman: The Brave and the Bold would be the worst thing since Batman and Robin? And vowed to never watch it (but did anyway just to complain about it)?

I was one of them.

I know, right? Looking at the praise I’ve heaped upon it for the past couple of years, it’s kind of hard to believe. But, surely, after watching the first episode, I changed my opinion, right? Nope. Still hated it. It wouldn’t be until I saw “Invasion of the Secret Santas!” that I changed my mind about this show. So surely, if I look at this episode without being determined to hate it immediately, it will prove to be a classic, right? We’ll see.

Ladies and gentlemen, the premiere episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Because the Silver Age is not a skeleton to be locked in a closet.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Editorial: Thoughts on the Ant-Man Trailer

We’ve just reached a couple important milestones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only has Marvel addressed the lack of female protagonists by bringing us an entire series based on Agent Peggy Carter, but holy crap Ant-Man. As one of the relatively few fans of Ant-Man, I was waiting for this movie since 2008. After all, they just had to give him a solo movie before The Avengers, right?


But he had to show up in The Avengers, right?


But Joss Whedon put his partner Wasp in the script, right?

Yeah, but then he took her out.

But Edgar Wright finally got the wheels rolling on this movie after years of work, right?

Yeah. Then he left the project.

And yet, against all the odds, they just released a trailer for the movie they apparently filmed while the paparazzi was trying to sneak onto the sets for Avengers 2. Thanks, Guardians of the Galaxy for making Marvel realize that their obscure properties could make a metric buttload of money, too.

Now let’s talk about this trailer.

The movie that somehow got made.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "A Little Night Magic"

Well, it was only a matter of time before Gotham Girls went from "bad" to "somewhat offensive."

Just... it has to be seen to be believed.

Or, you know, read about to be believed.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Trick or Trick" Parts 1 & 2

Ladies, gentlemen, anonymous internet dwellers, it's time for Gotham Girls' big holiday special! A special so nice, they split it into two parts! For some odd reason. You'll see when we get there. Let's begin.

Happy Halloween! And only three months late.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Lap Bat"

Welcome back to Gotham Girls, the part of the DCAU no one talks about. The booger on the Mona Lisa, as my old band director would say. Ah, to be back in the era of dial-up, when a cartoon like this would take at least an hour to load. And even longer if someone wanted to use the phone while it loaded. But enough talk about how good you dang kids have it, let's begin.

Dang kids, with your Twitfaces, and the giant holes in your ears, and the Miley Biebers....

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "The Vault"

Among animation/comic book circles, many people hold up the DC Animated Universe up as a crowning example of the heights that could be reached by "kids' shows." Heck, I did that yesterday. The DCAU had award-winning, powerhouse shows like Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Batman Beyond as well as a few well-regarded, if not as widely remembered, additions like Static Shock.

And then there's this thing.

Gotham Girls was a spin-off of Batman: The Animated Series (well, The New Batman Adventures, if you want to be precise) of short, online Flash cartoons, made by Warner and featuring the original voice cast from the DCAU. And according to the DCAU Wiki, the DC Wiki, and the Wikipedia Wiki, this mess is canon.

I've known about it for quite a while, and I've finally decided that it's odd enough, canon enough, and short enough to begin going over in detail.

The step-headed red child of the DCAU.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: Batman: TAS "On Leather Wings"

There has never been a bad Batman cartoon. (Though there are bad episodes.) A controversial statement, but one that I'll stand by. Before you start typing angry comments, let me elaborate.  Obviously, we're all entitled to our own opinion. Maybe you don't like a certain show for whatever reason. That's absolutely fine. We can agree to disagree.

The face that halted a thousand filibusters after I said I wasn't a fan of Razer.
Let me put it this way. There's a difference between movies that some people don't like (Man of Steel) and movies that are objectively bad (Superman 4).

And before you bring up your trump card and inform me about what must be the worst Batman cartoon ever, let me pre-empt you by quickly addressing the most commonly claimed-to-be-terrible Batman shows in no particular order.

Claim 1: Beware the Batman

While it did start off being fairly lackluster, it nevertheless ended up being an interesting and unique take on Batman and the Outsiders.

Claim 2: Batman: The Brave and the Bold

You mean the respectful and well-researched love letter to DC's Silver Age?

Claim 3: The Batman

The Batman may have been a toyetic merchandise-mover, but it was still an imaginative take on the source material with more than a few classic episodes in there. Like "The Clayface of Tragedy," "The Laughing Bat," "Artifacts," "Riddler's Revenge," and more.

Claim 4: Gotham High

That was never actually made and you know it.

Anyway, I can now continue with my original point. There has never been a bad Batman cartoon, but this is something special. There was never a Batman show like this before or since. All the shows before were full-on camp, and the later ones did their best to be different from this one.

Batman: TAS was... It's hard to describe. It could be somber and serious, but it could be lighthearted and fun. It could be moody or ridiculous. It basically distilled Batman down to his core. This is the Batman that everyone knows. Bruce Wayne, Alfred, the Commissioner, Batmobile, Joker. No vast reimaginings, no huge creative liberties. This show took all the elements that made characters and stories work and used them in their purest form, with only a few exceptions.

Batman: TAS was a masterpiece. And that's immediately apparent in this first episode.

Recap: Batman: TAS "On Leather Wings"

Here's where it all begins!

...kind of.

So, long story short, the episodes aired in a different order than what they were made in. Technically, "The Cat and the Claw, Part 1" is the first episode aired, but this episode was produced first. And more importantly to me, it just feels more like a premiere. Mainly because it was supposed to be the premiere. "The Cat and the Claw, Part 1" replaced it because Catwoman became popular after the release of the then-latest Batman film. Batman Comes Back, or something.

Now let's take a look at the very beginning of the DC Animated Universe.

First impressions, people.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

No Sketch Today

...and I'll explain why.

See, I have another job besides this blog. I work half the week and use the other half to update the NewtCave. The person who works the other half of the week seems to have decided that showing up to work is for dorks and done got fired.

Guess who's picking up the slack. Sorry.

Having said that, next week's posts are ready I go; I've had them done since before Christmas. Next week should see a return to normalcy, as we're hiring a replacement as we speak.

See you Monday for the f'real beginning of Premiere Month.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Review: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Season 1

It's 2015. My New Year's Eve was spent working, unfortunately. Not only that, but the very first second of the new year saw a lady telling me that I was doing my job wrong. But I take comfort in the fact that my year will no doubt be looking up from here.

Now let's ring out the old and/or ring in the new by putting Season 1 of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. to rest for good with by reviewing it as a whole season.

No punches pulled.