Tag Archives: dc comics

Comic Book Tropes: The Circus of Crime

For this week’s episode of “Because Comics,” I ended up re-reading the original six issues of “The Incredible Hulk” (because they are just so bananas), and noticed something odd… In one of the issues, the Hulk fights an evil gang of circus folk, and I realized that circuses show up a LOT in comic books, and that most of your favorite heroes have fought an evil gang of circus folk at some time or another.

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DC Animation’s “Justice League: War” Review, Part 2: It’s Like “The Avengers,” But Terrible

Welcome back to the review of DC’s latest leaving, “Justice League: War.” Last time, we learned that Darkseid was coming to Earth. Well, a big dude who looked sort of like Darkseid was coming to Earth. Also, there are a bunch of heroes, but mostly they’ve just been beating each other up.

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Spoiler alert: This movie blows.

Continue reading DC Animation’s “Justice League: War” Review, Part 2: It’s Like “The Avengers,” But Terrible

DC Animation’s “Justice League: War” Review, Part 1: What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and Likable Characters?

I remember a simpler time.

I remember a time when “mature storytelling” meant mature characters, and not gratuitous violence and overt sexual references. I remember a time when we were presented with main characters you could root for because you liked them, and not just by default because they were punching worse people. I remember when “the heroes bicker and then they team up” felt like a logical extension of the characters’ personalities in action, and not like the cast of Jerry Springer shoved into a foxhole together. I remember when animated superhero movies were appropriate for children, parents, and literally anybody else.

I remember a time before “Justice League: War” was released on home video.

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In the latest dropping from DC Animation, “Justice League: War,” we get the third animated adaptation of the Justice League’s founding, which presents us with a generic villain, unlikable main characters, and the first use of the word “shit” in a DC animated film. This is not progress.

Spoilers after the jump. Wait, are they technically “spoilers” if the movie is already garbage?

Continue reading DC Animation’s “Justice League: War” Review, Part 1: What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and Likable Characters?

DC’s Animated “The Flashpoint Paradox” is a Very Faithful Adaptation of a Very Bad Story

I recently watched DC’s latest animated movie: “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox” (adapted from the DC comic by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert).

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A bit of background: The Flash is a guy who runs really fast. He’s a member of the Justice League. In most modern portrayals, he’s the funny guy on the team. DC has historically made very good animated movies and TV shows.

Got it? Good. Because those are all the things you should have to know going into a movie like this. This film, however, also assumes you’ve been reading comics for 30+ years, including probably the original Flashpoint comic. This does not feel like something an average person can pick up and enjoy, because (A) most of them won’t have any idea what’s going on, and (B) it’s basically terrible.

Lots of spoilers follow.

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The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Three

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

Buckle up guys, this is going to be a long one.

Maturity (2008 – 2012)

At a certain point, as an adult, you have to get your act together. You have to start planning for the future, making a life for yourself. You start to leave your goofy friends from high school and college behind, and start forming new relationships as an adult. This doesn’t mean you don’t still do stupid things from time to time (your old buddy from college comes into town and you get wasted; you forget to pay your credit card bill on time, and end up deep in debt), but they tend to be less frequent, less severe, and less insurmountable. And more and more, you start to figure out the kind of person you want to be.

In 2008, there were a slew of comic book movies, but two of them in particular ended up completely changing the game. The first of them was Iron Man.

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Three

The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Two

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

I could easily write 1,000 words about any of these films, even the bad ones (or, some might say, especially the bad ones), but I’ll try to focus on their role in the ever-developing Hollywood Superhero Movie. (But if anyone really wants me to write a whole post about Daredevil, just let me know, I’m ready to go.)

The Teenage Years (2000 – 2007)

When you become a teenager, you start being much more responsible for your actions, both good and bad. And whenever you achieve something, it’s all the more impressive since you have actually accomplished something of merit, all on your own. Likewise, when you make mistakes, you tend to do so in a spectacular fashion. It’s an age where you start to figure out what kind of person you are – and what kind of person you want to be.

The first movie to usher in this era of superhero movies was X-Men (2000).

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part Two

The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part One

Hollywood has been trying to put superheroes on screen since the very beginning. And while they may not all be winners, on the whole they have been gradually getting better, both as stronger films, and as films that are more faithful to the source material. And you can see the stages of evolution, like a child developing through the years…

Infancy (1930s – 1960s)

Ever since the movie serials of the ’30s and ’40s, superheroes have been cropping up on the big screen, with heroes like Green Hornet, Batman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel getting their own serial stories. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, because you can kind of guess how good they were, or how faithful they were – which is to say, not so much (to both). There’s nothing quite like watching a Batman with a saggy gut stumble around a set and casually toss around ethnic slurs. (It’s okay, they were government agents fighting an evil Japanese scientist… actually, no, none of that is okay.)

I’m also not going to spend a lot of time on television series that have come and gone over the years – but I do want to take a minute to discuss Batman ‘66.

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Continue reading The Superhero Movie Learning Curve – Part One

Musings – The New Green Lantern, or How Diversity is Sometimes Still Super-Racist

I’ll freely admit I’m not reading a lot of current DC comics. Despite being hailed as a brand new jumping on point, the New 52 did nothing for me. I’m reading Scott Snyder’s Batman (which is amazing), and a couple others, but overall most of the books just aren’t for me. And again, in all fairness, I’ve never been a big DC fan. I love their animation QUITE a bit, but when it comes to the comics, a lot of their characters just don’t grab me – I’m down for anything if it’s well-written, but for my money, once you get past Batman, pickings get pretty slim.

So, yeah, I’m not necessarily the target audience for DC’s latest character reveal, but I still had some thoughts to share on the new Green Lantern, an Arab-American named Baz.

First things first: I have no issue with an Arab-American superhero, and I think more creators should be aiming for diversity. But I think DC may have missed the mark on this one. See below.

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More after the cut.

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