DC TV Winter Finales Are Low-Key

The Shape Of Water still isn’t playing at a theater near me yet, so I guess I’m writing about TV again this week. It’s winter finale time again for DC TV. Compared to last week’s epic Nazi-slaying crossover extravaganza, they’re on the subdued side. This year the Gotham mid-season finale (which they’re technically right in calling a season finale since its second half airs in spring) was considerate enough to line up with the CW’s. Things will be spoiled, unless you’ve seen them already. (I don’t say too much about Legends of Tomorrow as my brain has yet to fully parse its ratio of brilliant to inane this week.)

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Justice League Is Served!

Ice! Mr. Freeze! Captain Cold! Killer Frost! Icicle! Ice Maiden! Blue Snowman! Minister Blizzard! Together they are The Just Ice League! And none of them appear in the Justice League movie!

I’m pleased to say that Justice League doesn’t suck! That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s spectacular. Do not go in expecting a Marvel Studios film. It’s a good movie but not a great movie. Much of what holds it back is having to clean up after Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Fortunately the Justice League itself is a charismatic team instead of the maudlin worst case scenario we’d feared. The action is kinetic, the jokes are funny, & the story is coherent. So says The Wages of Cinema!

Fans of Eureka please send them feedback! Then read onward for THE SPOILERS OF JUSTICE! (They’re like the Hammers of Justice, except you can’t make bookshelves with ’em.)

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Tales Of Gotham & TMNT

After last week’s Thor Ragnarok review, I was going to tell you how Inhumans ended. The problem is I’m so far behind on Inhumans it’s not even funny. (Let me know if anyone really wants me to go Statler & Waldorf on the rest of it.) So instead I’ll write about comic book TV shows I actually enjoy: TMNT & Gotham!

Almost every arc of the shortened Tales Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles season could serve as the series finale depending on which aspects of the show you prioritize. “When Worlds Collide” is the coda to the series’ alien intrigues. The Usagi Yojimbo arc is the most independent, but still awesome. Sadly none of the villains ever screamed “We can’t stop these radical dudes!”

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Heaven Is Now Gotham

Since last we saw Gotham, it won an Emmy for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role! Presumably it’s returned earlier than usual because it needs a head start on all the hiatuses it’ll be taking. It’s also moved to Thursdays so we can get double-header of Batman-inspired shows once (Green) Arrow follows it this season. Gotham seems to be a very polarizing show despite it embracing comic book-iness while taking liberties with canon to the same degree as the CW’s DC shows. (If you dig Gotham, I highly recommend you checking out Preacher.) Weirdly Telltale’s Batman games get praised for doing its own altverse take on the Caped Crusader but this show is hated for the same principle? I’ve heard Zoo is even more bonkers, but my credulity has its limits. Irregardless, Gotham’s fourth season is off to a great start!

“Pax Penguina’s” wedding Rickroll with Mr. Zsasz was comedy gold! Oswald Cobblepot licensing crime is peak Penguin! (Studying Discworld’s Lord Vetinari the Social Justice Tyrant was a wise move.) You can tell it’s Gotham City because the nameless new Mayor & Police Commissioner eagerly agreed to his scheme. (I love that this Gotham City is a venal villain factory instead of Nolan’s insistence that it’s a regular city with Batman being responsible for all its supervillains.) He even told reporters he froze The Riddler until his terminal illness could be cured as if Nygma was the late lamented Nora Fries! Despite his lax security, Cobblepot is a way better kingpin than dull Carmine Falcone. Kingsmen has made weaponized umbrellas hip again, so how long until this series hooks him up? If I ever meet Robin Lord Taylor, I’ll probably end up calling him Lord Robin Taylor. (It puts his initials in alphabetical order!)

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He’s off to see the wonderful Wizard of Oz?

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Great Disturbances In The Force

Colin Trevorrow has been booted from Untitled Star Wars Sequel: Episode IX. People who’ve had the misfortune of seeing The Book of Henry tell me this is fantastic news. (That’s not to say there isn’t a deep pool of worse directors they can plug into this too big to fail conclusion.) He’s the fourth director (Remember Josh Trank’s aborted Boba Fett film?) to be let go by Disney’s Lucasfilm. WB gets dissed for its DC plans being in a state of apparent entropy, but obviously this phenomenon is not exclusive. If fans are going to come to Lucasfilm’s defense for trying to right the mega-franchise ship to avoid cinematic icebergs, maybe grant WB/DC some of that courtesy too? Or rag on them both?

 Michael K. Williams’s performance has been cut from A Star Wars Story: Untitled Han Solo Film (Why isn’t it just Han Solo?) because he couldn’t fit extensive reshoots into his packed schedule. Rather than axe the character completely, replacement director Ron Howard has replaced him with Paul Bettany in the quickest instance of whitewashing. I’m hoping this half-animal character is a Selonian because Han Solo punching a giant otter in the tummy is actually something I’d like to see. At least he’s going full nepotism by giving Clint Howard a role so he can be in both of the big Star franchises.  If Rogue One can be a non-swashbuckling war movie, why wouldn’t Lucasfilm let Lord & Miller make this a comedy? Millennial Falcon & Red Letter Media deserve some Imperial credits for cracking the screenplay. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

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The Joker’s On You!

If you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving the total Eclipso of the heart! The big news that dropped just as I was reviewing  The Defenders is that WB will be making stand alone Elseworlds movies separate from the DCEU (this is still a yucky name). These could be really interesting palate cleansers for folks that are bored with the current film continuity & tradtional superhero movies in general. The first one up is … a gritty The Joker origin movie set in 1980’s Gotham City? So this will still have nothing to do with anything fans like about the Joker? So far it’s just produced by Martin Scorsese not directed by him, so don’t get your hopes up.

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Pre-Defenders / Post-DuckTales Escapism!

The Defenders comes out on Friday! Until I get a chance to watch it at a leisurely pace, here’s some random other musings! If you make it to the bottom, I’ll tell you about DuckTales!

My feline overlord had her ferocious fifth birthday! She actually liked her presents this year! I don’t know how to process this.

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A Purricane of judgmental kitties would be more terrifying than any Sharknado.

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