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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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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Triple Toy Threat!

This week, I was invited to two advance movie screenings. One starred Scarlet Witch, Shadow King, & Mantis. The other starred Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, & Punisher. So I went to the first. Not only did I enjoy it very much, it’s tangentially in the nerdy wheelhouse. Unfortunately I’m not supposed to tell you about it because of a stupid NDA which prevents me from building advance buzz for the movie without being subject to legal action.  Unless the point of that clause is reverse psychology. Even with the astronomical odds of the studio reading my blog, I’ll err on the side of paranoia & talk toys today.

The Bradford Exchange of Canada is producing a talking 12″ Justin Trudeau doll! Several articles are reporting that this is a bizarre product, seemingly oblivious to the fact that replicas of prominent political leaders are quite common in the high end 1/6 scale doll world. What’s actually bizarre is that the Bradford Exchange & its international affiliate websites refuse to sell this Prime Minister effigy outside of Canada!

Speaking of dreamy world leaders, here’s T’Challa!

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Includes authentic Wakandan jungle diorama!

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The Future Is Bad For You

If you’re reading this, congratulations on having survived 2016! Let’s all begin our venture through 2017 with low expectations! After all, 2017 is the year of The Running Man. They say to be the change you want to see in the world, so this year I’m having myself drawn & quartered!

Some good news is that both my 2016 views & visitor stats markedly increased over 2015’s, though WordPress hasn’t sent me a qualitative analysis like last year. Seeing as how my 2015 tenure was two months shy of of a full year, I’m especially glad the opposite wasn’t true. The most read blog was “Let’s All Ride Deadpool’s Coattails!,” so click through some of my lesser viewed blogs to even things out.  I was going to include a Top Ten Movies of 2016 list since I saw exactly ten movies at the cinema last year, but then I realized my quantitative rankings would be mostly arbitrary.  You’re better off reading my full reviews because they’re made of ambivalence & anhedonia!

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In 2017, don’t be that deranged hermit who shirks his societal responsibilities & criticizes others’ attempts. I already called dibs!

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Winter Must Break You!

Pantone has declared “greenery” the color of 2017. That means this blog’s  eye-bleedingly vivid hue is ahead of the curve!

Neither version of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s trailer wowed me. It somehow looks simultaneously too similar & too different from earlier Spider-Man films. As the Vulture, Michael Keaton threatens Spider-Man’s loved ones with all the disinterest he musters whilst disturbed in the middle of lunch by well-meaning Beetlejuice fans. How is the Vulture even a challenge to Spider-Man when he’s already pals with Iron Man? Marvel Studios will eventually do its take on Green Goblin, so why lessen his impact by starting off with bargain basement Green Goblin? I’d nitpick it more, but I will take the un-journalistic approach of saving it for my eventual review of the full movie.

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The porn parody should be named Spider-Man: Home Cumming, right?

I vowed to start talking about books again as TV has run off on winter break like a lazy cow herd coward. (Nickelodeon hasn’t even aired the final four episodes of TMNT’s fourth season! I can still mumble about how lackluster Gotham’s & Legends of Tomorrow‘s fall finales were if I really get desperate for semi-timely content.) So I guess that’s what I’m (barely) doing this week.

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So … How About Them DC Shows?

Nightmare was going to be the villain of Doctor Strange but Marvel Studios predicted it’d be too on the nose for reality.

So let’s dive right back into fantasy! Since my last entry was thoroughly Marvel-centric, this week’s topic will be DC-focused. Except when I write about about other things. I still insist I have a topic.

One of my favorite bits about Legends of Tomorrow season two is how much the team isn’t a well oiled machine. It’s not that they’re terribly incompetent; it’s just that they’re still not used to working with each other. Not only does this prevent the team of superpowered specialists from seeming automatically unbeatable, it allows for more humor & dynamic character interactions.

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All of Heatwave’s dialogue in the cliche-ridden “Shogun” was solid fried gold! (“League of Assassins, class of ’09,” was the the only memorable competition.) Wouldn’t atomizing a real life political figure, Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, be the sort of time crime the Legends are supposed to avert?

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Holy Metafiction On A Half-Shell!

Wingnut was one of my favorite action figures & a favorite character of the Archie comics. When the current TMNT toon started, I was dismayed to see that its Wingnut was apparently just a mutated Kirby O’Neil with a stumpy arm & huge cranium. The fact that his merchandise was officially labelled Kirby-Bat gave me some hope the real deal would show up. When they went into space for the first half of season four, I expected them to meet the real Wingnut & Screwloose. They didn’t, even though they could’ve tied the destruction of their homeworlds in with the Kraang, Triceratons, or Lord Dregg. I finally got my wish during “Bat In The Belfry”… sort of.

Both are conjured out of Michelangelo’s comic book via April’s Aeon Crystal as a clever way to explain why they’re dressed like Batman & Robin. (The Fantastic Four Food Groups is the best comic book nod in the episode.) This is a unique spin that still keeps them recognizable, unlike the Neutrinos or Antrax. They’re still extraterrestrials, albeit emphatically fictional ones. This allows for fun homages to Batman ’66 & Batman: The Brave & The Bold!  (I will always be delighted that the show has turned Turflytle from a one-shot gag into a running joke.) The Wingnut-a-rangs being live bats just like on the toy was cute. Bonus points for Monoculus & Skullface McGillin!

Although they were presented much better than the generic brainwashing aliens of their classic cartoon appearance, my main problem is that we don’t get to spend enough time with them. Secondly, Wingnut’s brown & black costume is too drab. If they weren’t going to do blue & grey like the toy, blue & purple like the comics (with Screwloose in green) would’ve looked better. His alternate suits in their lair would’ve also popped more. Thirdly, they don’t call anyone “plankton chip.”

Their crystal-crazed faces were wonderfully deranged. Was that heel turn a commentary on how trying to make fantasy too lifelike spoils it, much like Amazon’s The Tick Or was it referencing how TMNT developed a life of its own distinct from its parody roots? It was probably just further foreshadowing April going Dark Phoenix since she’s also ginger, but sometime I like overthinking stuff.

Sadly Wingnut & Screwloose are returned to the printed page before we get a chance to really know them beyond their archetypes. I wish they would’ve stuck around to join the Mighty Mutanimals. We’d just need Dreadmon, Man-Ray/Ray Fillet, & Jagwar to round out the classic team.

So I guess this version of Wingnut & Screwloose substitute for the Donatello Micro-Series story where April’s superintendent is Jack Kirby who makes Fourth World drawings come to life via the crystal on his pencil? That was adapted very well in the 2003 series. Did you know that Peter Laird retconned April to have been a drawing brought to life by that crystal in the last series he worked on? I missed the final two issues of that. TMNT comics are weird.

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