Young Justice TV Pilot review

27 11 2010

The Young Justice premeire was a very promising start to the series. The creators have a very solid grasp on what makes each character, no matter what size the role, great. The feeling of the series is much closer to that of Justice League Unlimited and Batman Beyond then to Teen Titans and Batman: Brave and the Bold. The story has a much more serious and darker tone but stars a colorful cast making the adventure fun, suspenseful, and action packed. Everything that makes comic books great!

"Today is the day!"

For those of you unfamiliar with Young Justice, the title was used by a comic book series starring DC’s sidekicks before relaunching as Young Justice.  Robin and Kid Flash are both iconic and fresh at the same time. Kid Flash in this series is Wally West, which is great because so many modern day fans identify Wally and the Flash. There aren’t many modern stories that remind us what Wally was like in his early days. Robin is more of a merger between Dick Grayson and Tim Drake (although the kid behind the mask is Dick). He has Grayson’s swashbuckler attitude with Tim’s knowledge of computers. He is quickly identified at the tech specialist. Aqualad and Superboy are the ones the creators have taken the most liberties with, and the changes work really well.

 

 

Superboy much more headstrong and is fresh out of the cloning tank, so the entire world is new to him. Aqualad is going to be the character for fans to watch. Since this series has been released so closely to Aqualad’s comic book premier, it’s going to be interesting to see which version fans tend to identify more with.

The plot of the episode is classic comic book. The League has brought the sidekicks together to begin their transition into the league. However, the kids felt that the introduction was more of a junior tour and many of them aren’t happy about it. One sidekick even walks off on their mentor. While the league is called to do another mission, the sidekicks (who ironically enough hate being identified as such) decide to investigate a problem at Cadmus labs.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

Right off the bat, some of the things that I love as a comic book fan is how extensive of a Universe the creators have already made. As long as I can remember, DC animated series have been bogged down by rules, some legal some not, implemented by DC about which characters they could and couldn’t use (Batman got it the worst). During Justice League Unlimited, no Batman villains could be used. During The Batman, Scarecrow couldn’t be used. How lame is that? You had a Justice League series that didn’t have any Batman villains! A show about the most iconic super heroes lacked almost all of DC’s most iconic villains! (You know what Bat villain we got? KG beast. Who’s that you ask? Exactly my point) And then the series that seemed like they had more freedom, didn’t seem to take advantage of it. For example, Teen Titans never used Wonder Girl. Young Justice seems to be very very different.

Right off the bat we get a full out, old school, satalite era JLA. I’m talking Captain Atom, 2 Green Lanterns, and a couple of Hawk people. None of this “Big 7” “Trinity” stuff! They have someone for every era in this line-up! We get to see 5 different classic villains, and we see 4 different classic DC locations! And for real fans, there are lots of Easter eggs! The first mission for the team stars Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad, who where the very first 3 sidekicks of DC to team up and make the Teen Titans. For fans of the Young Justice comic book series, Red Tornado has been identified as their overseer, like in the series! It was refreshing to see a DC teen line-up that didn’t use Robin as the leader also. So often Robin is defaulted as team leader, but for this line-up Aqualad really is the sensible choice.

SPOILERS END

The animation is great. The motions are fast, but easy to tell what’s going on. The characters fight as though they have all be trained, which is an impression you don’t always get in the comics. They also use their powers & abilities in very entertaining ways. Whether it’s Robin hacking into a comic system while on the run or Aqualad making a whirlpool to catch carry people with, it’s a lot of fun to just watch these characters come alive. And what would a comic book series be without funny one liners? Kid Flash literally pulls the nose off of a monster and says “Got your nose!” Corny? Yes! But those are the kind of things we love about comics!

Bad voice acting can ruin an animated series, and I’m glad to say that the voice acting in this series is top of the line. Many actors from other DC shows return in new roles, and the new voices all fit their characters very well. Robin and Kid Flash are both just as you would picture them, and how can you not love an Italian version of Zatara? You can’t!

DC has always carried a strong line of animated cartoon series, and this is no exception. The character history, the iconic heroes, the legacies, and everything else that make DC great is nailed by Young Justice. When you watch the show, you really do get the feeling this isn’t a “Young Justice” cartoon, this is a DC Universe cartoon which stars the cast of Young Justice. If you where planning on sitting this one out, you need to think again. DC has once again delivered a hit animated series!

Advertisements




Who will be the women of the Dark Knight Rises?

18 11 2010

According to Deadline News (http://www.deadline.com/2010/11/chris-nolan-lines-up-actresses-for-batfilm/) Christopher Nolan is looking for two female leads for the next Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. One will be a love interest while the other a villain. As well all know, there are no shortage of woman after Batman’s utility belt. From Wonder Woman to even Lois Lane, the ladies from left and right have all taken a swing at him. But which ones would be good fits for Christopher Nolan’s franchise?

Talia Al Ghul

She is the first woman to come to mind. Nolan has already said he wants villains from the previous films to appear, and who would be a better fit in reference to this Batman’s origin than the daughter of his mentor. In the comic books Talia has always had a deep confliction with following the wishes of her father and standing by the man that she loves. This is easily transition into the movies. Talia could be on a quest to complete her father’s last mission, the destruction of Gotham, but falls in love with Batman….that is till she finds out Bats left daddy to die.

Why she’s awesome in the comics: This lady has been the head of the League of Assassins, a chair in Alexander Luthor’s Secret Society, and even ran Lex Corp! Add in the fact that she hooked up with BOTH Bruce Wayne & Jason Todd and you’ve got yourself quiet the Shakespearian play.

Catwoman

Catwoman needs some damage control after what Miss Berry did to her. Along with Joker and the Riddler, Catwoman is one of Batman’s most recognized foes, as well as one of the most interesting. In the comic books she has always danced the line between hero and villain. One minute she will rob a museum, and the next she will be saving the lives of citizens. She lives in the world of grey that Batman struggles with, which is perfect for how the previous film ended. With Batman on the run, and the people of Gotham unsure if Batman can be trusted, what better character to use than Catwoman? A character that not even Batman is sure can be trusted. Picture it now: Catwoman is robbing the mobsters of Gotham, but not harming anyone besides the mob’s accountants. So even though she’s breaking the law, does Batman bring her down or let her continue? Add some sexy leather and we’ve got a movie!

Why she’s awesome in the comic books: She’s one of the few Batman villains who, for the most part, have turned into a hero. While she still enjoys the occasional robbing, she has assisted Batman in taking down villains ranging from the Scarecrow to Ra’s AlGhul. Catwoman has even assisted the Justice League a few times.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is a villain perfect for the Chris Nolan franchise. Take away the monster plants and anything related to “Batman & Robin” and you’re left with a very interesting and realistic villain. Rather than have Poison Ivy riding on plant horses, turn her into a bio terrorist. A villain using toxic weapons makes sense in a modern day Gotham. Many of the best poison ivy stories involved her poisoning politicians and manipulating both men and women with her sexuality. Add her twisted love for plants around and you’ll find that you have one creepy ass villain.

Why she’s awesome in the cartoon series: One classic story involved Poison Ivy wanting her own husband and children. Problem is she’s not attracted to humans. What’s a plant lady to do? She kidnaps another family, and uses their genetic make-up to grow plant-clones of them.

Vicky Vale


Batman took the bullet for Harvey, but if a savy detective or reporter did the proper searching, they could find the holes in the story Commissioner Gordon gave. Enter Vicky Vale, a reporter who not only has been on the search for Batman’s true identity, but a love interest to Bruce Wayne. Vicky has become a very prominent character recently in the Batman comic books, making several appearances in Streets of Gotham and Red Robin.

Why she’s awesome in the comic books: Most of Batman’s supporting cast is made up of vigilantes, superheroes, or crazy folk. It’s nice to have a civilian be a part of the Batman universe and not die after their third appearance.

Lady Shiva

For non-comic book readers, this is the most obscure character but one that could be the most entertaining to watch in The Dark Knight Rises. Lady Shiva is the deadliest martial artist in the world. She’s been a member of the League of Assassins, which makes her a great fit for this franchise. And let’s face it, on a physical level, most of Batman’s enemies in the franchise so far have not been a match. Joker, Two-face, and Scarecrow are all great villains, but they aren’t going to go toe-to-toe with a angry Batman. Shiva not only can take Batman on, but in the comic books she’s been established as his superior.

Why she’s awesome in the comics books: The short list of characters Lady Shiva as pummeled includes: Batman, Nightwing, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, Batgirl, Green Arrow, The Huntress, Catwoman, Cain, and Black Canary.





Superman Earth One review

2 11 2010

Story A

Art A

Reread ability C

Price C

Overall B

Superman's in the "hood" (get it?! Wocka Wocka)

Looking at the DC message boards, several people seem to not be fans of “Superman Earth One.” Well forget you jerks, cause I loved it! This was a fresh and much needed reincarnation of Clark Kent.

The reason I say “Clark Kent” and not Superman is because this is really a story about Clark. The story begins with Clark arriving for the first time to Metropolis. Like most people his age, Clark is trying to find his place in the world. It’s not until the earth is attacked by an alien armada that he realizes that he was born to fight for good. Motivated by his adopted parents and a hand full of good citizens (Lois and Olsen) Clark accepts his role as Superman.

The reason why I enjoyed this take on Superman is because it is a classic, yet original take. His strong relationship with Ma and Pa Kent shines brightly, as it should. Superman would not be Superman without the Kents. They are in many ways one of the most important parts of his mythos, so a strong characterization of them is vital, and our writer, J. Michael Straczynski, handles them perfectly.

The biggest difference in this telling of Clark’s origin is Clark himself. In most incarnations Clark is a bright eyed boy scout who was to protect the world. He takes a job at the Daily Bugle in order to increase his response time to disasters and crisis. This incarnation? Clark’s got all the power in the world, he knows it, but he can never truly apply himself. Forced into a life where he must always hold back has left him board and unmotivated in life. This is a fresh take which makes sense. Clark still has a very good heart, but he doesn’t know what to do with himself. Considering that this book is targeted at a newer comic audience, several young adults can relate to this.

I can hear some of you complaining that “Clark is to emo” or “Clark seems like a douche.” Well….yeah he does. Most people in their early 20’s are! As a 25 year old male I’m going to say that most of my peers and people younger are either dicks, tools, hipsters, dorks, or just plain ridiculous. This interpretation of Clark is far more relatable then the guy who didn’t go to college, got his dream job, and never had a confliction of morals.

Another great part of this version was the supporting cast. Lois wasn’t immediately introduced as Clark’s lover interest and rather then have Jimmy as a side-kick, he was just as much a hero as Clark was. Jimmy and Lois both ran towards the danger in hopes of helping others, powers be damned. This leads to a very interesting role in Clark’s decision to join the Daily Planet.

But my favorite part of the entire story was how they explain Clark Kent and Superman’s identities. The reason why Clark wears glasses and Superman does not. Ma says it best in the line “The mask is what you’ll have to wear the rest of the time.” When you read the rest of the scene, Straczynski does a great job in pointing out why a character such as Superman is such an important heroic image, both inside and outside of the pages of a comic book.

I realize story really isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of purist and other fans who won’t like the interpretation. But don’t just look at the cover’s “Emo Superman” in a hoodie and right off the entire book. Give it a chance and you very well might find yourself enjoying the ride.