Nightmare was going to be the villain of Doctor Strange but Marvel Studios predicted it’d be too on the nose for reality.
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?
Agents of SHIELD didn’t bother showing up this week, so I can focus on spoiling the DC shows for you. (I will get around to marathonning Luke Cage eventually.) First off, everybody watch Superhero Fight Club 2.0 right now! If you’re not caught up yet on TV, zoom to the end for plenty of NYCC photos! Maybe let the page load a bit longer than usual if you’ve a slow connection.
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.
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!
By the time you read this, 2016 SDCC will be happening. (It might even be over, if you choose not to read it while on queue for Hall H as the headline suggests.) Thank you for accidentally clicking on a link to my blog while you’re at the con! I’m not there myself, so this will mostly be reacting to preview night stuff & furiously updating as news is released on publication day. The more thorough armchair coverage will be up next week (will Marvel continue to troll X-Men fans?), but do stick around for exclusive photos of my cat tormenting a mouse.
It’s that time of year again to vote for the next Star Wars Black fan choice figure! How is Mara Jade the lowest polling of the lot? She’s even doing worse than Dengar, & he’s legitimutantly terrible! You have until this Friday at noon Pacific to make this right.
There’s going to be a King Shark BAF! It even has alternate heads so you can make it from The F-Lash TV show or New 52’s Suicide Squad comic. Jawsome! Too bad the Mattel figures it comes packed with still aren’t up to DC Collectibles’ snuff. The amount of Frank Miller toys is disturbing, but The Reaper looks tempting with its Eiko Ishioka vibe. (How does proto-Phantasm take his mitts off?) Good on them for finally giving Wonder Woman some attention to tie into her movie, even if it means they’re wasting plastic on her mercifully short-lived costume with Azrael vambraces & a suggestively-framing V-loincloth.
Speaking of DCC, its pinup-inspired Bombshells are expanding into the world of toys. I love the deranged look on Bombshells Wonder Woman’s face! Its manic joy is the anti-grimdark. Now this is a Wonder Woman that should be played by Abbi Jacobson!
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.
I saw Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice on Thursday, possibly so you don’t have to. As promised, these are my thoughts on it. This is a special review because it’s both audio & visual! Embedded below is my guest review of the film on The Wages of Cinema podcast. Beneath that is my solo written review. This counts as visual because you need to read letters with your eyes.
So if you opted out of the audio review, let me reiterate that this movie is dumb & pretentious. I am on record as thinking this movie would be a bad idea. Much of my doom foresight proved accurate. If you hated Man of Steel, you’re not going to like this either. That said, I didn’t completely hate this movie. I didn’t read all the negative reviews for it, but touting it as the worst movie ever is hyperbole. I say this objectively, having seen far too many abysmal movies in my life. It’s not a very good movie, mind you, but loathing it that much gives the film too much credit. Or it doesn’t give the film enough credit in the wake of all the obstacles & expectations it faced, if you’re in a generous mood. Now let’s dive into SPOILERS & nerdy nitpicks for a critique that’s as overly long as the movie’s name!