It used to be a recurring joke that any comic book character would get a movie before Wonder Woman. At a 2013 NYCC afterparty hosted by The Mary Sue, one of the cocktail specials was called Wonder Woman Movie so guests could demand “Give me a Wonder Woman Movie!” This would’ve been effective more promptly if the bartenders were WB executives. (I slightly preferred the Strong Female Protagonist cocktail because it was green like She-Hulk.) A Wonder Woman movie has even been a recurring part of her comics mythos since the 1940’s, so it’s about time Hollywood caught up. Now it’s finally her turn! I was concerned by all the positive press the movie was receiving because I feared I’d be the lone weirdo that didn’t love it. Fortunately it lived up to the hype, even incorporating some of my ranty demands! That’ll teach Marvel Studios to cheap out on bribing me! I’m collaboreviewing Wonder Woman with The Wages of Cinema! (They’ve just done a podcast where they responded to my comments!) It’s a wonderful film!
Although she was still as wooden as the surrounding film, Gal Gadot was the best part of Batman v. Superman:
Yawn Dawn of Justice because she was a cedar in a forest of larches. Here Ms. Gadot shows she can actually act! Her expressive face conveys childlike wonder at the world outside of Themyscira. She’s a DC protagonist allowed to smile without being a baddie! She’s violent without being dour! They convey her strength through compassion perfectly!
Hereafter come the SPOILERS. If you’ve yet to purchase a ticket to see this film, please stop reading here & watch this Nerdist medley featuring Ciara “Hawkgirl” Renee!
One of my readers’ suggestion for 2017 was for the sort of listicles I used to write for Topless Robot & io9. While I’m eager to resume writing these for professional websites, I’m honoring reader requests in the meantime. Lists of what I’d like to see at Toy Fair this year (I’m accepting Toy Fair press passes) seem like a good topic to start with. The event is a month away, but I figure I ought to start now. A month is sufficient for the big toy companies to change their plans to suit my whims & make complete prototypes, right?
DC Collectibles is already doing sneak peeks including an expensive BTAS set of Renee Montoya, Killer Croc, Bane, Mr. Freeze, & Poison Ivy. So let’s start with them before it’s too late. They also take a really long time to get product out, so it’s best to get things onto their radar early. Since DCC does DC Icons based on the comics as well as toys based on CW shows, I’ve concocted a separate list for each. (I guess Mattel could make entries off this list too. They just won’t be as good, although I am looking forward to their King Shark BAF.) Read onward to see the top ten DC TV characters that deserve plastic immortality!
As threatened last installment, let’s kick off the 2016 Fall TV season with spoilery reviews of Agents of SHIELD & Gotham nobody demanded!
Agents of SHIELD’s fourth season opened much stronger than the last, in no small part due to the absence of Ward & Lincoln. Nothing in its content so far indicates that it was necessary to move an hour later, as parts of last season were grislier & more risque. Not that it needs to be edgier, so long as it doesn’t backslide into season one’s syndicated 90’s vibe.
As it turns out, ABC was right that Ghost Rider was the only selling point this season needed. The Ghost Rider transformation effect was amazing! Where have they been hiding this CGI? It was The F-Lash worthy! SHIELD’s effects generally look embarrassing in comparison to its cinematic siblings’, so this was a very welcome surprise. Featuring Marvel characters that don’t have movies lined up is exactly what this show needs to do more often! He’s already a better vigilante than the Punisher as he has a nifty jacket & his menacing key-spinning is on point. He doesn’t preclude Danny “best Ghost Rider” Ketch from being in the MCU either!
Driver Rider drag race Lola? I’m guessing not, as flying cars have been seriously underused in the MCU despite being a prominent part of SHIELD lore. They only gave us three very brief & cheesey scenes of Lola being flown in season one. I’m still mad that Nick Fury didn’t get to fly his unchic SUV in The Winter Soldier. If you won’t do anything cool with flying cars, maybe you shouldn’t have entrenched them in movie canon, Marvel?
I’m overdue on saying Chloe Bennet as Quake is the most improved cast member. She’s come a long way from being the insufferably perfect hacker snowflake a whole spy squad instantly accepted back in season one. She & the writers make it seem like her going rogue is genuine character development instead of an obvious delaying tactic for getting the band back together. I dig Quake’s raccoon eyes, but her hair is still too long.
So Ben Affleck randomly released test footage of Deathstroke on the Twitter. This version of Slade Wilson looks great although, just like with Magneto, I miss his studded gorget. I can’t believe how vibrant the blue, orange, & silver are!
He’s awful squinty, but odds are it’s Joe “remember when I was Flash Thompson?” Manganiello (who was hinted at for the role while Suicide Squad was being made) … or a random stuntman. It’s been rumored Deathstroke will be the prime antagonist for the solo Batfleck movie that’s not in production yet, so way to spoil the Justice League’s after credits scene, Affleck! Pitting Batman against Slade Wilson is an unorthodox choice, but I’ll embrace it if it spares us more of Jared Leto’s Joker. What if the Batfleck film is inspired by Beware The Batman, & the big showdown is Deathstroke vs. Alfred Pennyworth?
San Diego Comic Con 2016 dished out sensory overload before stumbling to a preordained conclusion. True to form, barely any of the news was directly related to comic books. I figured I’d give you hyperlinks to various trailers & add commentary. I got halfway through writing this when I noticed that that’s what all the reputable nerd news sites were doing anyway. And this is why is nigh-impossible to make a living at this anymore. So thank you for coming here to get the news that’s available everywhere. I also threw in some stuff about action figures. I’m posting early this week so it might not be completely irrelevant by the time you see it. Anyway, here’s the giant-sized part the second of my SDCC 2016 armchair coverage!
Exclusive memento mori!
Last year I missed out on New York Comic Con because I was swept up in publishing & promoting The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. This year, my friends told me I should get tickets to attend with them. The system had been rejiggered so I had to pre-register before it would even take my money. So yesterday, I clicked my personalized NYCC ticket link exactly at noon, & this was the screen it directed me to:
I’m going to be on the virtual queue forever, aren’t I?
Needless to say, this was not a reassuring page to land on. This virtual queue didn’t provide an approximate wait time, nor did it even generate a wait number for me as an analog deli would’ve. All it did was periodically update on how the multi-day passes were already selling out. This must’ve been real exciting for folks with paranoia & anxiety disorders.
After staring at this screen for nigh two hours, I was almost ready to give up. Suddenly & without warning (as sudden events tend to be), the page transformed into one that gave me exactly thirteen minutes to purchase tickets. Since I only wanted one Thursday ticket (try to hunt for me on the con floor!), this was actually pretty easy. That still didn’t justify how user unfriendly the lead up proved to be. Boo for First World problems! The new system was supposed to thwart scalpers, yet multi-day passes still popped up on StubHub at exorbitant prices. Congratulations on not achieving your goal, NYCC!
So I’m going to a major comic con … just not the one that gets the good exclusives.
Some 2016 movies spawn article after article of newsworthy tidbits. Most just get a review before fading into obscurity. (Why are buddy crime comedies bombing this year?) Such seems to be the fate of my beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Aside from reports of its financial disappointment, there aren’t any thinkpieces to piggyback off & convince skeptics it’s a good movie. Had I realized this in advance, I wouldn’t have waited so long to see it. Of course it’s crazy to think that the second week of a theatrical run is still too late if you want to attract eyeballs. So China, after you’ve finished bolstering Warcraft’s coffers, could you please do the same for the new TMNT2 so I can get another with Mousers & Triceratons? Thank you kindly.
Despite being a much worse movie that came out in March, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice continues to be in the first group. This is probably because the R-rated version is being released this month. The DC movieverse is also chugging along in hopes of eventually bearing financial & critical fruit, so some news is merely tangentially Bat-centric. (See, you should’ve had the Mighty Mutanimals spinoff in production already, TMNT!) To stay ahead of the curve, I’m engaging in the time-honored Interwuzzle tradition of WILD SPECULATION! So while BvS:DoJ (is that the correct style for its acronym?) remains rant-worthy when real news is sparse, you should really go see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows instead of it.
Anybody that’s been collecting Mattel’s BVSDOJ line since December to build a Bat-grapnel gun, will finally be fulfilled with the recent release of the last batch of toys. So the final mystery figure is … the Bat Creature from one of Batman’s nightmares?