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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Toys & Trailers of SDCC 2017!

Thanks for choosing my blog to absorb your armchair SDCC 2017 coverage from! SDCC remains the statistically safest place to avoid comic book news. As someone who has been to San Diego Comic Con ONCE, you can count on me! After all, my SDCC prediction from last week came true! Lots of stuff happened, so I will do my best to ignore that thing you actually wanted to read about! Click on down because we’ve got the bait!

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Triple Toy Threat!

This week, I was invited to two advance movie screenings. One starred Scarlet Witch, Shadow King, & Mantis. The other starred Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, & Punisher. So I went to the first. Not only did I enjoy it very much, it’s tangentially in the nerdy wheelhouse. Unfortunately I’m not supposed to tell you about it because of a stupid NDA which prevents me from building advance buzz for the movie without being subject to legal action.  Unless the point of that clause is reverse psychology. Even with the astronomical odds of the studio reading my blog, I’ll err on the side of paranoia & talk toys today.

The Bradford Exchange of Canada is producing a talking 12″ Justin Trudeau doll! Several articles are reporting that this is a bizarre product, seemingly oblivious to the fact that replicas of prominent political leaders are quite common in the high end 1/6 scale doll world. What’s actually bizarre is that the Bradford Exchange & its international affiliate websites refuse to sell this Prime Minister effigy outside of Canada!

Speaking of dreamy world leaders, here’s T’Challa!

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Includes authentic Wakandan jungle diorama!

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Did Gotham & (Green) Arrow Reverse Polarities?

For a spell during season two of Gotham, Riddler & Penguin were rooming together & singing show tunes adorably as best friends are wont to do. This season upped the queerbait ante by having these two ex-Arkham inmates (DC would make a killing selling Arkham Asylum certificates of sanity signed by Hugo Strange!) be incredibly supportive & tender to each other during Coblepot’s successful mayoral campaign. The ambiguous bromance turned romance when Penguin realized he loves Riddler. I was surprised Gotham made the subtextual homoeroticism text since hooking up two of Batman’s top rogues on prime time TV would be the hugest deal since Korrasami. (I can count who isn’t a murdery bastard in this series on one hand, so another gay villain couple doesn’t seem homophobic in context.) It even looked like Riddler would reciprocate Penguin’s affections … until he stood up the Mayor’s candlelit dinner for a stranger that looks exactly like the ex-girlfriend he killed. GRODD DAMN IT, GOTHAM!

Arkham’s Razor says Kristen Kringle’s dead ringer is Clayface hired by Tabitha to break up Oswald & Ed. Or this Isabella is Kristen’s long lost twin who is going to be the show’s quasi-suicidal take on Bookworm. Wait … Bella & Edward? This is a Twilight riff too?

Hopefully this will just be a short road-bump in Penguin & Riddler being happy together. This show could use a romance that’s healthy, stable, & Gordon-free.  Unlike Hannibal Lecter & Will Graham, Penguin & Riddler would be a mainstream gay pairing that’s not toxic as Hell. (Hannibal was fantastic show, but that relationship was monstrously abusive.) I am worried they’ll use a woman-shaped plot contrivance to turn these best buddies into bitter enemies. Don’t you dare ruin this, Gotham!

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Is Gotham Influenced By Ensnugglement?

Scroll past the Gotham & Agents of SHIELD spoiler reviews to get to what you really came to this blog for: cat anecdotes!

It’s only episode two of Gotham’s third season, so nobody important died. The Court of Owls didn’t kill Bruce because he needs to grow to be Batman & made him promise to quit hassling them until then. Well that plot thread sure wrapped itself up in a timely & economical manner! Penguin doesn’t kill Fish Mooney because she remembers she can make people do idiotic things even without superpowers. She doesn’t kill him because she’s proud she turned him into viewers’ favorite character. Hugo Strange survives because he’s awesome. Harvey Bullock is spared because he’s the least terrible of the GCPD. Sadly this also means Gordon survives to incite poor impulse control in Vicky Vale’s aunt.

Apparently the mysterious Monster (Wo)Man dressed like a gas mask dominatrix is named Nancy & is played by Bianca Rutigliano. Nobody cared who Nancy was until she put on the mask! (The tie is classy too.) Surely she had to be important since they went to the trouble of not dressing her like a hobo? I don’t know what her superpowers were aside from fashion, because she & speedster Sid (DO YOU GET IT?) get killed pretty effortlessly by Penguin’s unruly xenophobic mob (not to be confused with Penguin’s organized crime mob) & then immolated. So much for developing intriguing new side characters! That’ll teach them to be cannon fodder instead of canon characters! Er, canon characters that aren’t Sal Maroni or Sarah Essen.

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Nancy didn’t receive any superpowers. She just wanted to return Hugo Strange’s Hannibal Lecter muzzle before late fees accrued.

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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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Talking Turtles Instead of Trek

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.

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