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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Thor: Ragnarok Trailer Looks Hela Good!

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BREAK IT DOWN NOW!

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’s trailer isn’t being unveiled until Friday.  It matters not, for Disney let slip the hounds of awesome with the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok! It looks Hela good! (Look forward to me recycling this pun for my review of the whole movie!) Wardrobe committed to Hela’s insane antlers! She had better be getting a Marvel Legends toy unlike most MCU villains! The fact that Loki’s got his horns back instantly makes this a superior film to The Dark World. And instead of focusing on a floating truck, this one’s stuffed to the gills with stuff that fans actually want to see in a Thor adaptation including Jack Kirby wall murals! My concern now is how they’re going to have enough time to introduce Hela, Valkyrie, Executioner, Grandmaster, & maybe Surtur (but no Enchantress or Balder) since Marvel Studios’ master plan didn’t have the foresight to set up any of them previously.  I preemptively resent “Planet Hulk” being grafted onto Thor’s final solo movie when so much Asgardian mythos needs fleshing out, but Thor is just so adorable when he sees his friend from work! Please subvert the superheroes  pointlessly battling each other trope! The colors are so pretty! The important thing is Taika Waititi’s movie looks like oodles of fun!

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Collector’s Edition Blog #100!

This is my hundredth blog! I don’t believe it either! Arithmomaniac readers may notice that there’s actually 101 entries on this blog, but I don’t count my reblog of Cain S. Latrani’s review of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose.  Contrariwise this one is full of my own substantive content! I made it to 100 installments of Matt The Catania in under two years by sometimes posting twice a week. See, I can be productive when there’s no immediate monetary gain! To celebrate this milestone, I’m writing about whatever I damn well please (as opposed to those previous ninety-nine posts)!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is Marvel’s most delightful comic book. In other news, you can describe water in three states. This is a comic book that’s unashamed of making you learn stuff like how to count to thirty-one on each hand. Eventually it will teach me an entire college education’s worth of computer programming at a fraction of the cost! Where else can you get a Choose Your Own Adventure comic about defeating Swarm, the breakout villain of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark? (Note to self: publish your review of S-M: TOTD while it’s still timely!) Marvel really should’ve put the romance cover to the second #8 (now do you see the folly of constantly cancelling & restarting series?) as the cover for the fourth volume to better match its title, “I Kissed A Squirrel & I Liked It.” (Sadly it lacks Squirrel Girl’s story from Secret Wars: Secret Love.) It, along with Mark Waid’s Daredevil, are the only things that have ever made me care about the Mole Man. Who knew Tricephalous was such a romantic? HawkGuy is the worst, bro!

Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe! thankfully skews closer to Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe than Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe. Did you know I was the first customer to get it signed by Erica Henderson & Ryan North the World’s Tallest Torontonian at NYCC? I read it months ago but didn’t review it until now because I don’t being on top of things.

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I asked for the personalization to prevent me from selling it … unless I find someone else named Matt.

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I just wanted proof of the custom inscription, by my cat just had to make herself the center of photographic attention.

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Is A Star Wars Story Rogue One-derful?

As the prophecy foretold, this is a real Star Wars: Rogue One review, unlike “This Custom Is A Rogue One.” (The secret theme of that one was symbiotic relationships, by the way.) Everything I knew about this movie ahead of time I learned from Jenny Nicholson. As usual, she’s right on the money.

The Wages of Cinema invited me to collaboreview this movie with them. I jumped at the chance to finally critique something that’s not a comic book adaptation. They even upgraded me from guest star Matt to Death Star Matt!

From this point forward there will be SPOILERS. Or as many SPOILERS as you can have for a story whose culmination occurs in a separate forty-year-old movie.

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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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Suicide Squad Goals

The difference between Suicide Squad & the Rio Olympics is that the athletes volunteered.

Just as it broke the August box office record set by the superior Guardians of the Galaxy, my really wordy review of Suicide Squad helped me break some of my own records. August 7, 2016 had my highest number of views so far! I’ve also finally exceeded the amount of visitors I had last year. Thank you, highly polarizing movie! (I guess you helped too, Preacher season one review that I posted the same week.) Why must I always get the best exposure when my book isn’t in print?

With the brutal war raging between movie critics & movie makers,WB might as well quote me on the the DVD. “Suicide Squad is perfectly adequate!”

The other news to pop up over the weekend is the apparently terrible music video for Skrillex’s & Rick Ross’s  “Pink Cadillac Purple Lamborghini” starring Jared Leto’s Joker. Leto was cast specifically so his anti-charm would make the protagonists of BVS:DOJ retroactively endearing, so I’m confident in agreeing that it’s a lousy music video without having seen it. I’m not even going to link it because friends don’t let friends witness bad music videos. People who were paid to endure it tell me it’s like “I’m On A Boat” with all the mirth excised. This song is also about the wrong car. He drove a purple Infiniti G35 Vaydor in the movie.

Did you know there’s already plans for a Harley Quinn movie?  On one paw this could be good since it seemed like Harley’s character development wound up mostly on the cutting room floor. On the other paw, I really don’t want more of the Harley & Joker power couple that David Ayer foisted upon us. He completely missed the point of Harley being a fun yet sympathetic villainess in a dysfunctional relationship. Movie Harley was as much of an unrepentant garbage person as the Joker. It’s only when she was separated from him that she displayed any comedic charm. I’d be all aboard this spinoff if they ditched Suicide Squad’s continuity in favor of what Paul Dini intended.

I wish Mattel released all the figures needed to build Killer Croc at the same. I wish more that he was a figure I could just buy instead of being a BAF. (Well there is a better looking DC Collectibles edition on the way but it sadly lacks the option to go shirtless.) But what I wish most is that the main antagonist had an action figure. Where’s Enchantress?

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Prioritize her fancy costume over the grimy one, Mattel & DC Collectibles!

The Joker’s panda henchman got one, & he’s even less of a character than Slipknot! And if Mattel can make not one but but two incredibly banal versions of Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, surely it can make one Amanda Waller.

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Agents of SHIELD’s Tepid Third Finale Killed The Right Characters

Last week someone found this blog just by searching “awesome.” Moving on …

Season one of Agents of SHIELD was lousy television. Then season two surprised me by being addictively entertaining. The third season turned out to be a hybrid of the two by being thoroughly average. Losing Kyle MacLachlan, Ruth Negga, Dichen Lachman, Lucy Lawless, & Edward James Olmos was a harsh blow.

Somehow they made HYDRA even more perfunctory & flavorless even with Powers Boothe in charge. The only thing it had going for it was Mr. Giyera a.k.a. Magnoto. Whitehall telling the Malicks that their family branch of HYDRA is dumb immediately after their dad’s funeral was the most I’ve ever liked him. Every time I think they can’t make defeating HYDRA more anticlimactic, they underwhelm me.

What’s worse is that the big Inhumans gamechanger set up last year fails to take off spectacularly because the rest of the MCU won’t acknowledge the brave new status quo.

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