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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Happy 50th Birthday, Star Trek! Had I realized this earlier, I would’ve saved my review of “A Piece of the Action” for this week. So instead I’ll be reviewing a vintage episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They both have ties to Paramount & Playmates so it’s not as random as it could be.
Wingnut & Screwloose will finally be on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this week! (I just noticed I have both “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” & “TMNT” tags. Which should I be using?) I am way too excited about this! In the meantime, checkout this TMNT short by Jhonen Vasquez.
This installment is a tad late because I spent the week writing two brand new chapters of my difficult second novel. That brings the tally all the way up to a whopping four! Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about my process in future entries. Now let’s proceed to my SPOILER review of Amazon’s The Tick pilot & updates on the best kitty this side of Behemoth!
The first attempt at a live action The Tick was underwhelming because it skewed more towards sitcom for lack of a budget for superhero hijinks. Amazon’s The Tick is disappointing in the opposite direction. This show takes itself way too seriously. It feels like yet another standard superhero show (Can you believe we’re now at a point where we’ve got so many to choose from?) that just happens to have the Tick in it. So far this show is just playing superhero tropes straight rather than comically sending them up. (The Ninja Hedge would be topical again thanks to Netflix’s Daredevil.) Where has its absurdist satire gone?
I was one of a rare group of people to both see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows in the cinema & enjoy it. The upside to liking a movie that bombed is that its merchandise gets discounted sooner!
I took advantage of the franchise’s misfortune to acquire the giant-size Rocksteady & Bebop for a quarter off at Toys R Us! Then I had to repaint them because Playmates barely put any effort into it, especially on Bebop. Much like its Classics Bebop (which I also customized & should eventually show you), the movie Bebops are inexplicably whitewashed. Rocksteady includes the Neegan-style club wrapped in barbed wire & festooned with nails, except it’s been toned down for safety so it looks like it’s wrapped in a rosary. They should’ve given him the sledgehammer instead. Neither was born with fingernails. Much research was put into them looking more like their cinematic doppelgangers.
Please proceed to a plethora of pictures, punks!