This week you’re getting a two-for-one review of Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (that exclamation mark in mid-title vexes me) & the first season of Cloak & Dagger! The former has fewer spoilers than the latter.
I remember when there was backlash against the Teen Titans cartoon for deviating from both the comics & the DCAU. After that wormed its way into audience’s hearts, there was backlash against Teen Titans Go! for seemingly disrespecting its predecessor. (I find it to be a better show than it gets credit for, though I only watch it infrequently.) Now we’re all united in hating the Titans trailer because it’s awful. (Does this mean we’ll have fond memories of Titans by the time the next reboot is teased?) Teen Titans Go! To The Movies makes DC Universe’s flagship series look even more embarrassing because it’s legitimutantly fun!
San Diego Comic Con 2018 just happened. (As expected, nobody cared about “Fiction & Felines!” while it was occurring.) I have opinions. Armchair coverage & the possible spoilers associated therewith happen below.
The biggest news out of this year’s SDCC is … Cutthroat Island is finally getting toys! Thanks to Blitzway, you can own a Hot Toys-style replica from the film that sunk pirate movies until until Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl surprised everyone! Congratulations, Geena Davis!
So many scripted shows got axed like timber this TV Upfronts season! Pretty soon I’ll have to resume blogging about books! I’m blaming The Shadow King. Why? Because I made a custom action figure of him, & I don’t feel like either is meaty enough for separate blogs.
Turn around, Bright Eyes!
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.
That remains my favorite line delivery in Batman & Robin.
As foreshadowed a fortnight ago, here are my Robin entries from the Topless Robot contest. These include the various underage vigilantes that have acted as Robin as well as the identities they assumed afterwards. However did you survive the agony of waiting an extra week to see them?