Wonder Woman ’77 Volume 2 Review

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It’s time to look at the next volume of the Wonder Woman ’77 series. Sadly this will be the end of her solo adventures but at least we will have some crossovers coming up. From the various retro DC series this one has always been very popular and probably only loses out to the Adam West show and maybe the old Superman serial but I’m inclined to say that it may edge that one out. Wonder Woman’s stories are fun and this comic is pretty solid as well with only one story being rather lackluster. It’s a good volume that I’d recommend to anyone.

The first big comic sees Clayface attack Wonder Woman’s home island. As the island is basically made on clay this becomes very dangerous. He becomes so powerful that only Wonder Woman can stand up to him. Clayface is actually very powerful so it’s nice to see him getting some good respect here. His abilities are really only limited by his imagination after all. It’s a good way to start the collection off and we’ve never really seen these two characters duke it out before.

The next comic is the weaker one as we go to an animal sanctuary where it turns out that hunters have been eradicating all of the animals. Wonder Woman goes in to help and finds out that the web of lies stretches out quite far and wide. The villains have been pretending to help the animals all along as a cover. Wonder Woman stops this madness, but not before there are some casualties. It’s handled as well as it can be I suppose, but definitely a story that could have been skipped and the volume would have been better off for it.

Next up we have a politician who has gotten quite a large following. People are defecting from the U.S. just to hang out with him on the farm. The government gets suspicious and sends in Diana Prince since there is no way that this is legit. People are giving up everything their own up to this complete stranger as well. The villains don’t like this and decide to attack. It turns out that they were using aliens to mind control the citizens which is definitely an interesting tactic. The aliens were strong but they were definitely no match for Wonder Woman.

On the next adventure we have a bunch of crooks trying to sabotage a boat. Diana and Steve are sent in undercover but how can they make a move without breaking their cover? Well it might be difficult for Steve but Diana has a lot of speed so she can handle herself pretty well. It’s a fun enough thriller story even if there isn’t much of a sense of danger here since Wonder Woman can end the threat at any time if need be. In the meanwhile she is just focusing on handling this like an agent.

Following that up is a story about a villain with psychic powers. He can mind control anyone near him and this makes him a tough threat to stop. After all Wonder Woman can’t afford to hurt his host too badly. That’s why she decides to allow herself to be mind controlled to fight him on the astral plane. It’s a pretty good plan and makes for a solid fight scene as well. This is probably the only opponent to give her a real tough fight in this series so this guy was no joke. (Clayface also gave a pretty good fight to be fair so maybe I should say the 2nd toughest fight) It’s probably the best comic of the volume. There’s quite a lot of action here.

Next up a musician accidentally scores a tape with a lot of confidential government secrets. The terrorists who initially got the tape naturally want it back now, but will they be able to get this guy to talk? Well, probably but fortunately Wonder Woman is on the case. She quickly shows up to end the threat, but it also gets complicated when a patient who is near death wants to hear the guy play. The villains still don’t have an excuse here, but the patient didn’t ask for this so the heroes allow her to hear one last song. It was a nice enough story even if the musician doesn’t seem as nervous as he should be in such a situation.

Finally we have a space mission. As always we have governments fighting each other as everyone wants to be the first in space. It appears as if the Russians have launched an attack on America, but Wonder Woman thinks that there is more to this. She infiltrates their base where they believe the same thing about the Americans. It turns out that a super villain has been manipulating everyone and this fighter has a jet pack. Wonder Woman is still able to win fairly quick, but it was a fun comic and one of the better ones. It was nice to see Wonder Woman also using some detective work to win the day.

The art is quite solid as always. It seems to change a bit from comic to comic, but there were no issues that looked bad or anything like that. The character models seem right and the fight scenes look good. At the end of the day that is the important part. The size of the collection is also pretty good as well and it manages to fit in quite a lot of stories.

Overall, This is definitely a comic that I would recommend to all readers. It has action, suspense, and doesn’t really step into any holes. I’m not sure if I’d put it above the first collection, but it’s a good sequel. I have the crossover with Batman ’66 coming up so I’m looking forward to checking that one out. Crossovers tend to be a blast and I believe the best one from the retro adventures is Batman meets Green Hornet so far. We’ll see if this one is even able to top that one.

Overall 7/10

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Justice League Review

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After all these years of hype the Justice League movie is finally upon us. The series has been amazing so far despite getting critically pounded. Not every film was great, but for the most part they were all solid. This film also ended up being an excellent addition to the cinematic universe. It can be a bit of a slow burner at times but one that does build up to a great climax.

After a quick scene that I actually forgot until after the film, Justice League opens up with an action scene where Batman takes down a Parademon and realizes that the invasion is closer than ever before. This was a perfect scene to kick off the film since it immediately has the aliens show up so the heroes can form the team. While I will have a bunch of critiques coming up, there is nothing I can say about this scene. It was basically perfect from the set design to the Parademon’s special effects. After this Batman decides to track down Cyborg, The Flash, and Aquaman so that these super powered individuals can stop the invasion. Wonder Woman has been alerted to what was happening as well and shows up to help. Can this alliance really stop the armies of Apokolips?

Let’s start with the basics. The soundtrack is really good. It’s not as memorable as Man of Steel but it does a good job of sounding epic. The Wonder Woman theme returns which is always fun. I was expecting the cool Man of Steel tune but maybe next time. The graphics are also really good for the movie and that’s one area where DC really excels. I have yet to see a CBM top BVS, or this film with the backgrounds. Man of Steel and Avengers are also pretty high up in the rankings. Essentially the whole climax of Justice League is in a fiery, apocalyptic future backdrop which makes every scene even more epic.

You also have to give the film credit for most of the outfits. Batman’s is definitely one of the best he has ever had and maybe it is the best. It reminds me a lot of his look from Justice League Heroes. Superman and Wonder Woman’s costumes also look pretty sharp. I’m still not sold on Aquaman and Flash so those didn’t hit it off for me. Cyborg’s was pretty good and I actually liked the mysterious cloak/hoodie costume.

Now let’s get on to the characters. Batman is essentially the lead here. I’d say that he looks pretty good. He is still the brains of the group although his plan is typically just to get whoever he is talking to upset. It took him quite a bit to realize that the guy was Aquaman as well unless that was part of the plan. He gets beat up and saved quite a bit but his reckless self sacrifice plans are still on point. He did have a nice contingency plan for Superman again as well. When it comes to personality he’s still my 2nd favorite character as expected but he is really going to need more power ups as the films go by or he is going to have an even tougher time dealing with the villains. That is give him some prep time once again.

Superman is my favorite character as always even if they decided to go with the edgy route for this film. I don’t mind an edgy Superman if done right after all. He was comically out of character for the entirety of his first scene when he attacks the League. Sure he isn’t too thrilled about why he is around but the Superman you’d expect would just endure this quietly or at least ask some questions. Trying to seriously injure and destroy the other heroes just doesn’t seem to be in character at all. The film played it off like he was actually going to destroy Batman even using one of Batman’s edgy lines from the last film to show how the tables have turned. Later Superman is rather reluctant to help out and must be told to do so. He then does a complete 180 ad starts cracking some jokes and laughing with everyone. It’s almost like they had two different writers and the 2nd one took over just for the climax act of the film so the scenes didn’t gel well.

What both acts really got right was Superman’s power and speed though. If you’re familiar with the characters, you’ll know that Superman is way stronger than the other League members. He could beat them teaming up without using all of his power. The film demonstrates that quite nicely. Even when he’s not been able to be in the sun for a while and was likely not at full power, the heroes just couldn’t hurt him. Wonder Woman is very strong but not strong enough to actually deal damage to him. Flash is fast, but not fast enough to actually land a hit on Superman. This is essentially how every fight with Superman and the League should go and I was incredibly impressed with how Superman looked here. I get the feeling we won’t get to see him look quite as impressive ever again so remember these scenes well.

Going back to Superman’s personality for a second, it is also weird that he holds such a grudge against Batman. It’s true that only Batman called them friends and Superman was rather cold to him throughout the climax but I thought he got over that by now. Wouldn’t Superman give him a second chance or let bygones be bygones? At the very least I’d expect him to try and arrest Batman instead. I still say that Batman should have called in Martha right away. She would have ended the whole situation right away. Despite this, Superman naturally does make the hero calls in the end and he’s still the best. In a way it probably is annoying to have to save the world every other day since nobody else can do it, but Superman will get over it and be inspired again before long.

Wonder Woman naturally gets a big role as well to close out the trinity. It’s likely only second to Batman’s. Until Superman shows up she is the only power hitter of the team so she basically has to fight Steppenwolf on her own. Wonder Woman does a pretty good job of lasting and while he is a little too strong for her just having one more ally who could fight would have been very useful and could have tipped the scales. She’s certainly a solid character as well and I wouldn’t have minded if the main 3 had been the focus of the film since the rest of the League members weren’t all that good compared to them. The only scene where Wonder Woman looks bad is when she decides to go against Batman in his master plan. I’m cool with her disagreeing with him since not messing with death can be sound advice. That being said, she immediately goes for the personal attacks and brings Superman into the discussion yet when Batman responds in kind she snaps and breaks his shoulder. She can dish it out, but evidently she can’t take it. Batman’s response was also pretty on point since she did randomly vanish for a century. We can blame DC for not thinking that plotline through since it was out of character for her, but it happened so she doesn’t have a whole lot of room to counter here.

On a side note, I would have liked to have had more scenes of Batman insulting the League. He had to play ball with them since Superman wasn’t around and he was a bit of a leader for them, but it feels like a missed opportunity. If Superman had been around the whole time, Batman could have acted like the stone cold detective he usually is with subtle burns and verbal shots throughout the film. Maybe next time though and he still got his share of memorable lines. Next up is Aquaman. He’s the worst member on the team so I won’t dwell on him too much. He’s basically just a drunk guy with slight super strength who is supposed to be funny, but never quite makes it. He contributes absolutely nothing to the film. If you take him away then the events don’t change. He feels like filler throughout and the guy seems to just be around to annoy everyone. The film also tries to use him for humor which doesn’t work too well. This guy should not have been in the film and I had a feeling this would be the case ever since the first trailer.

On the humor side, I was impressed with the film. From the trailers/ the last two DC films I got the vibe that the film was going to be over the top with humor. Adding a ton of jokes here and there to liven things up. Surprisingly, the film is still pretty serious the whole time. This does feel like it’s in the same universe as Batman V Superman and the whole opening is very grim. I honestly wouldn’t have minded if the whole film was like the Batman vs Parademons scene as it’s dark out the whole time, but that brings along its own set of risks I suppose. While some of the humor can be forced, it never becomes too distracting from the film. The characters are all pretty serious during the fights as well so it’s not as if they’re distracting themselves. The film handled the balance quite well.

Our next League member is Flash and naturally the TV show comparisons will start the instant he appears. I’m not sure how they could have gotten his design and costume so wrong with the big budget. The TV show’s version looks superior in every way. I can’t speak for the personality since I never saw the Flash, but from the clips I’ve seen he also seems like a much better character. This one looks too young and the fact that he is a novice with his powers can be pretty grating at times. He doesn’t even feel all that fast compared to Quicksilver from the recent X-Men films. Flash would get decimated in a fight if we base it on the movies and while the nerf is okay if the writers felt like they would be getting into plot hax moments like Quicksilver vs Apocalypse, it sort of defeats the purpose of the Flash to an extent. He needed to be more confident and self assured. We got glimpses of Flash being quite intelligent, but they were very subtle and he never even got to fight in the film. He barely threw a single punch until near the very end and those may have just been tackles since it seems like he vibrated through his opponents. He’s essentially a Peter Parker ripoff right now so I’m hoping he improves for next time.

Cyborg is the final main member and he’s all right. He comes across as annoying and whiny for a while though as he’s inflated with self importance. Maybe it’s because he starts off as a Cyborg, but you don’t feel any sympathy for him. He would have died if the parts weren’t merged with him so I don’t think he has a whole lot of room to complain. Now, the process did look painful so if he talked about that then maybe I could buy into it, but he spends the whole time complaining and feeling bad for himself. It’s one big pity party with this guy and his plan at the end was really flawed as well. Without going into detail, he said he could stop the boxes by doing a cool magnetic pulse and all. The thing is, apparently he needs someone to actually push them apart as well and the only way to even have a chance is if you have a guy with Superman-like abilities…and Superman wasn’t around. The plan was for him to do it himself..but how? There’s no way he could have done it so he effectively led the team on a suicide mission. I still think of Cyborg as a Teen Titan and this film didn’t change that, but now that he’s accepted his powers he should improve quite a lot.

Unfortunately Lois Lane was a big miss in this film. Her depression over Superman’s passing is used as the excuse for why she’s not a daring reporter anymore, but this also doesn’t really work well with her character. While she’s never been all that great in this series, at least she took a lot of risks like in BVS where she went to get the spear or in Man of Steel where she broke into an alien ship. In this film she has completely given up on everything and has been reduced to a weak character. Her role is very small anyway, but it’s definitely not the Lois that I expected. Martha Kent is all right I guess, but none of her dialogue is particularly funny or heart warming despite that being the intent. The scenes of Martha and Lois chatting was easily the worst part of the film since it just felt like filler and didn’t add anything to the movie. You would basically just wait for the scenes to be over so we can get back to the plot. Fortunately this film was good at constantly shifting from scene to scene so you were usually not in one place for too long.

A human subplot that was actually decent was the family hiding in a cabin. Granted, this was also complete filler but at least it showed that some people were ready to defend themselves. The plot didn’t end exactly how I pictured with Superman showing up to save them and all, but it was still okay and didn’t last too long. Steppenwolf is basically the only villain in the film. He’s a miss as far as personality is concerned, but he’s a strong fighter which makes for an engaging antagonist. Not too many fighters use an axe so that was cool. He was really creaming the League and just about everyone else he fought aside from a certain hero. He definitely lived up to his hype and I’m eager to see how the films portray Darkseid. So far they’ve been very good at making the villains both strong and fast. I don’t think he will be an exception so Superman vs Darkseid could very well be the greatest fight in live action if handled right.

I do have to question the Amazonian tactics near the beginning though. So, they know that the box is vibrating and they also know more or less that it’s a bad sign since they fought the owners a thousand years ago. Naturally the Queen posts a few guards by it…and then sends the rest of the army to the other side of the island. Why would you do that? I think even a kid could have told you that you leave most of your army by the box that spells imminent danger. As a result, Steppenwolf tears through the few warriors that guards it. Showing her bravery, the Queen deserts her fellow sisters to get the box away and locks the cave behind her to seal their fate. Steppenwolf still destroys just about everyone as he grabs the box and leaves, but would he have fared as well against a whole army? I think he probably would have shredded them all pretty easily, but since the film played it off like the army was a threat, I think it was a tactical blunder.

The Atlanteans were just as bad and only left a few scrubs to block the box. Steppenwolf wrecked them pretty easily and ran off. Honestly the humans were the ones putting up the best effort when you think about it. At first I was also skeptical of how they beat Steppenwolf in the past as well, but since they had a lot of guest stars helping then I was fine with it. I was convinced once the flying warrior showed up and even more when the gods of old turned up. Lets face it, they did all of the work. The Atlanteans, Humans, and Amazonians were just there for moral support.

I can’t say that I cared for the action scenes where Steppenwolf was wrecking those two armies either. It’s just never very fun to have a big character crushing a ton of powerless ones unless it’s a character you really like or something. As I’m not a Steppenwolf fan, you’re just waiting for a hero to show up so it’ll be a fair fight. Then you just keep on waiting until the fight is eventually over.

So, how high does this film rank in the all time list? Well, it’s definitely below Batman V Superman and I’d put it under Man of Steel as well. After that, it’s close between this one and Avengers for third. I think this one will edge out so Avengers grabs the 4th spot and Civil War grabs number 5 which rounds out my Top 5 Live Action CBMs of all time. What gives this one the edge for 3rd are essentially the action scenes since the one thing Avengers lacked was any big fights. Again, it’s an underrated edge for DC as their fight scenes cannot be beaten.

There are two after credit scenes. Surprisingly the first one is the happy comedy one instead of vice versa. Probably a way for DC to be different from Marvel. It’s a decent scene even if it goes nowhere and the film was playing it too safe. We all know that the guy on the right who scrunched up his face during the scene won because he was taking it very seriously. The 2nd scene gets some setup going for future DC films. It should make for a pretty good plot although I definitely want Darkseid for film 2. The problem with having other villains is that I’m going to be asking the real questions the whole time…how can they handle Superman? Black Adam would solve that equation, but everyone else would get lolstomped inside 2 seconds. Especially since Superman has been heavily amped from his already impressive Man of Steel portrayal.

This is a pretty long review as it is. The thoughts keep on piling up but this review would be way too long if I jotted it all down. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to discuss something in more detail. As for miscellaneous thoughts, one area where Avengers does have the edge is in the fact that the characters were already established. As a result, it felt like a huge crossover since all of the characters were crossing over. It merged at 4 films, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. This one in comparison only merged two, Batman/Superman and Wonder Woman. The other League members debuted in this film so it wasn’t as big and since they were newbies who hadn’t yet had their own film to save the world, they weren’t as impressive as they should be. Marvel’s formula is certainly the right one to building up a team film, but I am ultimately glad DC skipped a few steps because I don’t want to wait 5 more years for the first Justice League. Now that this one has finally been made, we can start expanding the universe more. I wouldn’t even mind if DC forgot about the spinoffs and decided to just focus on churning out Justice League film after film. It would be a pretty unique way to go about it and I’d be on board.

While a few horses certainly seemed to get hit during the battle with Steppenwolf, the film at least had the dignity to not have them be bleeding or crying out in pain. The film was actually surprisingly tame throughout and that’s something I have to give it credit for. There is some language but it’s all very mild for the film. We get one or two mild fanservice shots for Wonder Woman but the film also managed to restrain itself in this area and at least we didn’t have random bath scenes like in BVS. On the whole you can see that this film didn’t really have any major negatives which is essential to being known as an amazing film. Most of the minor stuff I listed above barely even register on the scale. Even the boring scenes or jokes that may not have been funny weren’t bad enough either. The film was very close to being perfect and while I can think of alternate plots that would have been more fun (Like Superman being around during the whole film) the movie did a great job with what it had. Perhaps the gaps of no action will be more noticeable in a re-watch, but maybe not. As a huge DC fan I was pretty invested from start to finish and I imagine this would be the case on a re-watch as well. What can I say, at the end of the day, I’m a big fan of the Justice League so naturally I’ll get an extra kick out of this film. It’s also why I’m a little more critical on it at times, but I think I did a good job of still keeping a very positive tone on it throughout this review. At the end of the day, all films can be a little bit better, but if it’s a 7 or higher, it means that I am satisfied with the result. (Even more so with a 9)

Overall, This was a great film. Once Superman showed up, it became an amazing one. Honestly, Superman’s depiction in terms of strength was enough for me to know that this would be one of the all time greats. He’s my favorite comic book character and I’ve always considered him to quite easily be the strongest character of all as well. DC has continued to surpass my expectations when it comes to fights and power levels. They are simply unmatched and when you have a character like Superman that just makes a lot of sense. I highly recommend checking this film out. It may not be quite as intense as Batman vs Superman or Man of Steel, but it did get the end of the world vibe just right. Something is always happening and the atmosphere is always tense. I will eagerly await the next Justice League or Superman film. It’ll also be nice to see if DC can save Aquaman and Flash in future films, but I feel like sticking to films where Superman can show his stuff is the safest option.

Overall 9/10

Steel Review

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It’s time for an old superhero film. This one wasn’t exactly critically acclaimed when it first came out, but it’s aged pretty well. It’s a light hearted film that’s pretty fun and never take itself too seriously. This makes some of the fatalities throughout the film fairly unexpected when they happen. It would have been better if they could have actually tied this into Superman instead of treating the latter as if it was fictional, but I’ll take what I can get for now.

The plot follows a man named John who works with the government on testing weapons. Unfortunately, one of their men, Burke, wanted to show off for a senator so that he could get a promotion. He activates the weapon past its safety limitations and destroys the senator by mistake. He is expelled from the army (No real charges aside from a court hearing) and Steel decides to step away from the army. He’s done with the job now. His friend Sparky was injured so now it’s just too personal. She is fated to live in a wheelchair now and is having a hard time adjusting.

Steel isn’t able to lead a normal life as teenagers somehow got the experimental weapons from the army and are robbing banks with it. Steel realizes that he’ll need new weapons to fight these guys with weapons so he teams up with Uncle Joe and brings in Sparky so that the three of them can build a bunch of gadgets. They build him a steel suit, a hammer, magnets, and even a grapple hook. Steel is ready to bring on the hurt, but can he really hope to stop these villains?

Right away you can tell that Steel is going to be pretty fun. The opening action scene with John chasing one of the teenagers who fired at the cops was pretty fun. They weave their way in and out of the subway system and John has to use his super strength to keep up. He lifts a gate off its hinges and this is all before he even gets the steel suit. It was also fun because it shows what a heroic guy John is.

Is John a little on the cheesy side? Sure. The whole film is rather cheesy and campy and feels a little older than it actually is. I’m fine with that though as I’ve always been a fan of both those genres. John himself acts like the perfect hero as he looks out for his community and always does the right thing. Everyone can count on him and he has a really good reputation. He has no dark secrets or hidden memories, he’s just a nice guy. The fact that Shaq isn’t much of an actor only helps this case as he’s constantly grinning and acting like a nice guy that you might meet outside. He doesn’t use as many puns as I was hoping for, but he gets the job done.

Sparky is the main heroine and she’s a fun character. I was worried that she would be lost in doubt for a while as getting crippled really got to her, but she got past this. It was cool to see her gun infused wheelchair and every hero needs good tech support. I imagine we would have seen more of her fighting crime in the sequel if the franchise had ever gotten that far. Uncle Joe is the other supporting character who helped Steel out. He has connections and can get any piece of tech that he asks for. The guy may push Steel rather hard, but he’s another likable old chap. There’s not a whole lot to him, but sometimes there doesn’t need to be.

Finally we have the main villain, Burke. His name doesn’t exactly strike fear into your heart now does it? I couldn’t really take him seriously, but I do admire the fact that he doesn’t waste time. After murdering one of his subordinates, he is subtly threatened by the secretary. At this point, I thought Burke wouldn’t live through the film and she would get the last laugh as a stinger to the next film. Instead, he takes her out of the equation 2 minutes later with an elevator stunt. I came to the realization of what was happening at the same time that she did and it was rather unexpected. As I mentioned earlier, some of the deaths I didn’t really see coming because of the happy tone that the rest of the film had.

Still, that’s not enough to make Burke a good villain. None of the others were any better though so he’s the best by default. The guy he tricked into letting him be the big boss was probably the most gullible gangster boss I’ve seen in a while. Did he really not see Burke’s betrayal coming? I have to give one of the minions some props though because he looked exactly like the Donald Trump impersonator from SNL. It was uncanny and a bit distracting, but pretty novel.

Surprisingly the best fight scene here was the one with the trains. It was more of a chase than a fight, but it was still pretty fun. Once Steel was in the suit, we actually didn’t get many action scenes. He’d usually just use the magnet and then everyone would run away. He didn’t fare well against the tank, but fighting a vehicle isn’t much of a fight either. It would have been cool if Burke had made his own suit, but I suppose you’d wonder how he made it or why he’d bother.

One of the things that really helped the film stand out was its intense soundtrack. The themes were all really cool and particularly Steel’s theme. It would play for quite a few scenes when Steel would show up and it helped get that freestyle vibe to the film. A good soundtrack can absolutely go a long way and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Steel had one.

Overall, Steel has aged well and it’s a fun film that you can watch while eating a bowl of popcorn. It may not have the effects and explosions of a modern action film, but it has all the heart and wit that you could ask for. It’s a simple film at heart and it’s not too ambitious. It just adapts a straight forward plot and keeps it moving. I’d recommend checking it out and I have a feeling that you’ll enjoy it a lot more than you would have expected. I definitely wouldn’t mind a Steel reboot at some point although it would be hard to top this one. Throw in the cape and give us some good action scenes and it’s anyone’s game though.

Overall 7/10

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Review

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This was a movie that I definitely had high hopes for. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Adam West depiction of Batman and seeing it come back in movie format was quite the treat. Recently I got to read most of the trade paperbacks for the current Batman’66 comics (I’m behind by a volume now, but that’ll change at some point) and it just reminded me how cool he was. The film does a great job of bringing the characters back with minimal changes although it is also a huge missed opportunity because it breaks away from what made the series great towards the middle. More on that in a bit, but this is still a very good film that I recommend checking out.

The film starts off with business as usual for the daring crime fighters. They foil another plot by Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, and the Joker. It’s a close fight though since the villains don’t play by the rules and have a lot of henchmen as well. Still, things are going smoothly until Robin notices that Batman is acting a little differently than usual. He’s quoting Frank Miller and using more extreme methods of taking down the villains. It would seem that Batman has now defected to the side of evil so Robin must team up with Catwoman to stop him. Can this unlikely pair defeat Batman or are they doomed before they have even begun?

So, that’s the missed opportunity that I talked about. Batman turning evil takes away from some of the fun because the whole point of what makes Adam West so cool is seeing Batman reprimand everyone and show why he is the perfect citizen. Nothing gets to Batman and he even obeys the smallest laws possible like not walking through a busy intersection. Batman’s antics and great quotes are the best part of the film, but we lose them by the halfway point since he is now evil. It was a risky move and I’m afraid that it did not pay off. As such, the first half of the film is far better than the second. The second half isn’t bad of course, but it is certainly a lot weaker.

I don’t really need to talk about Batman much because you get the memo by now. He’s an awesome hero. As a villain he is fairly interesting as well. The voice actor always does a good job with him and why not? West has a lot of experience voicing the character even though it’s been so many years. Batman may be a little naive and gullible when it comes to Catwoman, but every hero has a weakness of some sort. As far as that goes, this isn’t all that bad.

Robin’s a great sidekick and nice foil to Batman’s character. He’s the guy who always makes the small mistakes so then Batman has to reprimand him. Robin means well though so you can’t really hold it against him. His heart’s in the right place and he also sticks up for Alfred when Batman starts to go over the top. It’s easy to see why Robin’s always been such a fan favorite, this is one of his best depictions. Commissioner Gordon and the Mayor were also fun to have around. They are pretty open about how much they depend on Batman and they do tend to be lost without him. You need a Dark Knight to save the day from even the smallest of crimes when the cops are used to hanging in the background. It backfires a little when Batman turns evil, but at least they took it in stride.

Joker and the gang are also fun. This is the classic Joker that I’ve missed. He isn’t afraid to throw a few punches, but never forgets the one liners. The Riddler may love his riddles, but he does resist the urge to give one to Batman when the plan is fully in motion. Penguin has slightly less character than the others, but he’s a fighter and doesn’t go down easy. As for Catwoman, she mostly uses Batman’s emotions against him to take the upper hand. It’s a viable strategy though and if it works…it works. The 4 villains make for a very potent team and I don’t believe that Two Face will be able to top them in the sequel.

Aunt Harriet is one of those characters that I sort of miss from the old days. She can be super annoying so on one hand it is cool to not have her around anymore. On the other hand, it was interesting to have someone on the inside who was always trying to figure out Batman’s true identity. She really came close many times so I think it’s safe to say that she is a great security risk. One of the best scenes was when Batman arrived in the nick of time to prevent her from picking up the red phone. It did cost Alfred quite dearly, but he really shouldn’t have allowed her to get anywhere near that room. Surely Batman should have had some better defenses in place as well. The characters should all share the blame on that one. Aunt Harriet is certainly persistent with how she constantly goes after Batman and Robin.

There are a lot of stand out moments in this film. Again, the voice acting is excellent and so is the writing. This makes for a lot of really good scenes and Batman is excellent at sarcasm. The brief period where he is still a hero, but a slightly meaner one is also handled well. He’s grumpy, but still reasonable. I would have been more satisfied with the plot if he had stayed at that level instead of becoming totally corrupt. His “Frank Miller” fight scene against the villains was also pretty fun. You can’t help, but feel bad for them by the end of it though. They’re just not used to this level of violence from the normally polite and mild mannered Batman.

The animation is pretty sharp, yet familiar. The designs transition into animation very smoothly. The movie doesn’t get to show off its animation all that much, but it’s crisp enough where you can tell that it is good anyway. This movie’s audio is also quite good with the classic Adam West theme popping up and a lot of other retro tunes that you will associate with this era of comics. It helps to complete the package as a great retro event.

Overall, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is a return to greatness. While the second half weakens it a bit, the film just barely manages to cling to its high score. I have been less than thrilled with a lot of the recent DC films so this was a really nice change of pace. I do think that it was an improvement over the first Batman Unlimited film as well. I’m definitely glad to hear that there is already a sequel in development. This could potentially be a nice long movie series if DC plays their cards right. If you’ve never seen the Adam West show before then I super highly recommend this. You’ll be in for quite the surprise when you see this depiction of Batman. It’s very unique and like nothing that you will have ever seen before. Even if you don’t really follow comics, I recommend checking this film out for the strong dialogue and good technical qualities throughout. If the sequel plays it straight through and through, prepare for an even greater film next time. I have really high hopes for that one so I’m hoping that it can deliver!

Overall 8/10

Supergirl Volume 2 Girl in The World Review

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It has been a while since I read the first comic, but I remember that it was a fun adventure. The collection had a lot of action and it really paved the way for future comics to start off right. Unfortunately, I don’t think that many of them will decide to do this, but it was still nice to see a comic getting the intro right. This volume isn’t quite as exciting as it certainly slows down, but it still makes for a nice adventure.

Supergirl is still trying to live on Earth without attracting attention, but it is tough because she doesn’t know how to fully control her abilities. Moreover, she doesn’t understand English, which makes discussion rather difficult. Luckily, she meets up a girl who is able to learn new languages after hearing them for a few minutes. The only drawback is that the girl is the Silver Banshee’s daughter and her dad is trying to absorb her. Supergirl must now help her new friend, but can she defeat such a menace?

The premise is a little difficult for me. Why can’t Supergirl just beat the Banshee with a single blow? She may not be Superman, but her abilities are still on his level so this match should be child’s play. The Banshee’s reason for surviving her attacks so easily is that he is using magic, which helps him deal a lot of damage to Supergirl. I don’t mind magic as an excuse, but it doesn’t change the fact that Supergirl is faster than him. She can easily dodge his attacks with her super speed.

As a villain, The Banshee is a lot cooler than he used to be. I like his design and his abilities are certainly formidable. He is portrayed as being more powerful than he really is, but at least that makes him a threat. I wonder if we will ever see him again. Somehow, I have a feeling that he will definitely return.

As for the daughter, she seems like a nice supporting character. She certainly helps Supergirl out of a jam even though she begins to lose her will power rather quickly. It is too bad that she temporarily lost her abilities since they would have been very useful here. I hope that she stays on the side of the heroes as Supergirl can use an ally against the many villains that she wil be facing soon. The girl also happens to be the only supporting character that I like so I hope that she sticks around.

There’s a who tries to be a nice supporting character as well, but I don’t see the point in his character. He just has a filler role where he starts to like Supergirl. The comic would be exactly the same without him. As for Supergirl, she makes for a very good main character. At times, she can be a little unreasonable like when she told Superman that she would examine the ship on her own, but she is typically a good character. She isn’t afraid to fight at full power and she takes on her opponents with great efficiency. She did take a chance when she blasted one of the opponents in a way that could have destroyed him, but at least things worked out all right. Supergirl has always been one of my favorite comic book heroines and it is safe to say that the comic book did her justice. I do think that it is very early for romance though so I’m glad that the subplot ended before it could truly begin. Supergirl is still overwhelmed by being in a new culture, but this is fairly realistic and she isn’t as dramatic about it as Starfire. I don’t typically like the trope of adjusting to Earth culture, but it’s handled well.

The art style looks good for this comic. It is hard to describe, but it is like a paled version of the Superman comics. The colors are darker and that’s the easiest way that I can put it. This works for just about everything in the comic except for Superman’s design. The artist clearly hasn’t looked at Superman in a while because the character on the page looked nothing like the legendary hero. He seemed meek, timid, and unassuming. Those qualities don’t belong in the same sentence as Superman and even the hair was oddly flat. That was my one gripe with the art, but it is not a major one.

One of the comics had a quick fight with a random villain. That plot will likely come back soon, but it is the being who is on the cover of this collection. He made for a fun villain even if I couldn’t take him all that seriously. If the comic took super speed a little more seriously, Supergirl could have handled this battle with ease. The collection ends with Supergirl’s origin story and it is fairly straightforward. She got out of that planet alive, which is good. Her dad’s plan was sound although he really cut it close. The mom tried to stop him at the end though, but I think it was really because she didn’t really get what he was doing or she just thought that the planet was safe. Because of that, I was on the dad’s side since he did keep some secrets, but he ultimately got the job done. It is just too bad that he also had to do some illegal experiments on the way. This made him seem rather shady and untrustworthy. I’m guessing that Superman’s dad was going to stop him, but with the planet in turmoil, he had bigger fish to fry. Krypton always looks so…unprepared for such a futuristic civilization.

In the end, this volume couldn’t beat the original. Both of them had some really good writing and action scenes, but volume 1 had the better villains. The Worldbreakers were a serious threat and they may just be the strongest villain group to debut in years. As a group, most heroes wouldn’t even stand a chance against them. I do think that it was a little iffy that Superman couldn’t break through the shield last time, but that’s a minor thing. I really can’t wait until they show up again and they were referenced several times so this definitely hints that they will be returning soon.

Supergirl demonstrated some new abilities in this comic, which is neat. I know that Superman recently learned how to weaponize his solar energy and Supergirl is already showing that she can do this as well. When the strongest comic heroes start to get even stronger, you know that some massive villains must be getting ready to pop up. I still do consider Supergirl to be stronger than Wonder Woman is almost all incarnations and this comic certainly helps that as well. It is no stretch of the imagination to say that Supergirl is the strongest comic book heroine so it is good to see her get credit for being so powerful here.

Overall, This volume was a fun way to continue the Supergirl adventure. The series still provides us with a lot of action and some quality dialogue. It is a complete title that I would certainly recommend to comic readers since it is a lot of fun. The art works for the collection, but I expect Superman to look a little better in future issues. Even the way that he acted seemed a little off although I think that Supergirl overreacted in that scene. I look forward to seeing where Supergirl goes from here, but I’m looking forward to the return of the Worldbreakers even more. Now those were incredible villains!

Overall 7/10