Last time I did a collaboreview with The Wages of Cinema, it was just Jack & I on Pacific Rim: Uprising. This time we’ve got the whole kooky quartet back together! Forsooth this is the most ambitious crossover event in history! Alas, they can’t all be odes to dirigible crime! Infinite Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War would be a lie because I eventually run out of them. I did throw in some for Agents of SHIELD because everything is tenuously connected.
You ever go to a barbecue joint you haven’t been to in a while & decide you might as well splurge on a full rack of baby back ribs? Then when they bring out your food, it looks like almost too much food? But then you start on the first rib & it’s even more delicious than you remembered. So you quickly strip the flesh from a second rib. Then a haze sweeps over you. Once it passes you see your glass of sangria is empty, your plate of ribs contains naught but a heap of bones, the other patrons have expired with large chunks missing, & your hands are covered in red goo of assorted viscosity. Then you declare that it was really yummy! Luckily the kitchen staff appears intact so you may return. That’s what Thor Ragnarok is like!
The Wages of Cinema invited me back to collaboreview it with them. I agreed since they had nice things to say about me in their retrospective podcast of favorite episodes. Verily doth SPOILERS roam free onward!
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?
Benedict “malapropism generator” Cumberbatch may be slightly overexposed, but he’s actually a great Doctor Strange! I didn’t need him to affect a American accent, but I guess he wanted to show he’s not just coasting on his Sherlock reputation. Sadly he never utters “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!” It’s a missed opportunity for Marvel to subvert the white savior trope by casting someone that’s not a WASP, yet Cumberbatch still knocks it out of the park. His Dr. Stephen Strange is Marvel’s cockiest protagonist since
Iron Man Thor Star-Lord. Despite or because of his supreme arrogance, he’s always compelling if not necessarily likable. Cumberbatch definitely earns his starring role.
The special effects are superb. There’s plenty of Inception geography tessellation on steroids. Applying gravity to these shifts leads to some fun sight gag action. Other spells look generated from firecrackers & shards of molten glass. There’s a fight across the Astral Plane while both participant’s bodies are unconscious. The best scene is a psychedelic tour across dimensions. The plot may be cookie cutter, but the visuals are a feast for the eyes.
Now journey with me beyond the veil of the page break for movie spoilers, source material nitpicks, & social commentary!
My book has made its way into at least one public library thus far! That’s kind of like a reverse heist!
You can now borrow it directly from the Sparta Public Library or via inter-library loan if you reside in a compatible NJ library district. If you don’t live in the Newest Jersey but want to read the paperback for free, request your library to add it to its own collection. That’s what librarians are there for! The power is yours!