Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem Review

monster-mayhem-batman-unlimited-movie-2015-san-diego-comic-con-heavy-paper-promo-poster-23
It’s time to look at the next Batman Unlimited film! The first one was pretty solid so I would expect nothing less from the sequel. It’s nice to have a Batman film that feels more like the classic days. It’s a bit of a cross between something like Brave and the Bold and The Batman in terms of atmosphere and character designs. It all works pretty well and the film delivers on what it promises, a lot of action with a good story behind it.

The film kicks things off with a new character who has joined the fray. Gogo is a genius who likes building VR games. Unfortunately he is confronted by his co-worker who tries to destroy him. Gogo quickly figures out that she is actually a robot who is pretending to be his friend, but this knowledge is not enough to turn the tables. Even Batman is unable to save him from this menace. It turns out that the robot is working for Joker along with other villains like the Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, and Silver Banshee. For once Batman realizes that he can’t defeat all of these foes on his own so he decides to call in Green Arrow, Red Robin, and Nightwing. Together these heroes will have to save the world!

In a subplot, Cyborg is still adjusting to his new boosters. Unfortunately he doesn’t have much time to do so because a virus has infected the city and as Cyborg doesn’t have too many security firewalls he is quickly taken over. I’ve already talked at length about how Cyborg is a Teen Titan and not a Justice League member so I won’t go into that here, but this movie doesn’t help his case. I figured that the whole point of being half human and half machine was that the human side could help him fight against viruses and such. That never seems to be the case so he might as well be all robot then right? Technically Cyborg is very strong, but none of that matters if villains can just hack into him every day.

This film is naturally pretty light hearted as you may expect although it does get some serious scenes. The intro where the robot tries to murder Gogo is actually played pretty seriously. Likewise, the film isn’t afraid to have some real fights thrown in and the animation is pretty solid. It doesn’t really have any choreography and the fights do tend to get paused for quick one liners and such, but the film looks good when it actually tries. It’s a nice animation style and works well enough for the film. Unfortunately the soundtrack is basically nonexistent so don’t expect to remember any of the tunes by the end. This just isn’t quite that kind of film. The humor isn’t bad for the most part. It can feel a little forced, but it could be a lot worse. I’d give the writing a pass.

Then we have a nice Matrix homage near the end as Batman and Joker fight in the Cyber World where they each have to corrupt the other. It’s a battle of wills so naturally you’re never too worried for Batman. He’s not going to lose when it boils down to a fight of resolve. The pacing is pretty good for the film as well which makes sense since it’s so short. At most you may find it a bit redundant how the heroes keep beating the villains, only to have them escape for another round. I feel like this happened at least 3 times. The villains just wouldn’t quit which is admirable but then there’s no reason to think that the rematch would go any differently. Joker’s robot at the end was pretty cool though. If not for a serious amount of plot hax he definitely would have won in the end. All he had to do was actually try moving so Cyborg couldn’t hit him and then it would have been all over. Maybe deep down Joker actually wanted to lose. That would be quite the twist eh?

The movie also decided to go with a pretty interesting set of characters here. Batman is an obvious pick of course and likewise for putting in Tim Drake as Red Robin. While the latter is treated as comic relief a little too much, he still gets the job done. For Batman, while I mentioned that the animation is solid I have to admit that Bruce Wayne looks very off. It’s something about his human design that makes him look like a character out of Space Dandy or that crazy future 90’s aesthetic. Not a bad thing, it’s just different. Nightwing is another good teammate to have around and while there’s not much in particular to say about him, I do like how the film turned his trope of self doubt on its head. When Scarecrow tries playing the mindgames Nightwing doesn’t fall for it. As he said, he got over that a long time ago.

Then we have Green Arrow who does his best but as always he seems to be a step behind the others. After all, he’s just as rich as Batman, but doesn’t have the hand to hand skills or large array of gadgets that the Dark Knight possesses. As for Cyborg, he was getting mind controlled the whole time so while he is a nice guy there isn’t much to say about him either. As for the villains, Silver Banshee was fun. Her ability is always pretty lethal against most opponents since they will actually get older which can’t really be undone. Solomon Grundy is still the power hitter, but he’s never the most enjoyable villain since he isn’t too smart. The film did a reasonable job of not making him too annoying though and dressing up as the pizza man was smart. Scarecrow was pretty good here. He was a legitimate threat and kept the heroes on their toes throughout. This was also one of Joker’s better outings easy. He balanced out the humor and serious traits of his character well and as always his plan took Batman to the edge.

Overall, Batman Unlimited continues to be a solid series. I look forward to seeing how the third film fares. If you like action films or just want to see some light hearted fun then I would recommend this film. What you see is what you get so there are no real surprises here, but the plot is executed well. You’ll be kept entertained all the way through and since this is one of your only chances to see Red Robin in action, how could you miss it? With a solid blend of writing and animation, this is definitely a complete film.

Overall 7/10

Advertisements

Swamp Thing Review

MV5BYWNjMTZiM2YtMDkwOS00ZmJhLThmNzItZjFhMjEyZDliM2Y5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_UY1200_CR75,0,630,1200_AL_
It’s time to look at an old school DC film. This movie doesn’t really feel like your average comic book film and could easily be mistaken for just being another horror film. That would probably be the best outcome for all parties involved since I doubt anyone wants to take credit for this movie. It just isn’t good and does so many things wrong that you’ll end up wondering what the film was thinking. The characters aren’t very smart and so it’s hard to root for anyone.

The film starts off with the main character, Alice heading over to the Swamp. She is here to fix some sensors, but the broken sensors were sabotaged by terrorists so she isn’t allowed to go near them. Since she has nothing else to do she hangs around the pair of scientists who are trying to make some breakthroughs and insults them the whole time. The main guy is married, but seems to forget this all the time so all scenes with him are cringe worthy. That’s when the villains come in and murder the two scientists in the hopes of getting their research. Alice managed to snatch one book though so their collection won’t be complete. The villains don’t like that and decide to give chase, but they have one more obstacle to try and get past, The Swamp Thing!

The film doesn’t exactly hide the Swamp Thing’s identity, but I won’t allude to it in case you need that reveal. Needless to say, The Swamp Thing is here to help. “This is My Swamp!” should have been his opening line but he’s a creature of action as opposed to words. As the film goes on he does start to get a little more chatty though so I guess that’s a good thing? Unfortunately, he isn’t quite as intimidating as the average creature. In most of these horror films you see the monsters just destroying everybody until they die in the end. Since the Swamp Thing is a heroic creature, he doesn’t get the same treatment. He gets captured and beaten by the crooks. He doesn’t do a good job of taking the villains out of the equation so they always pop right back up to give him some more grief. He isn’t opposed to murder as we see him do it several times, he is always in just too much of a hurry to get away. He’s just not a very likable character. His abilities also don’t seem all that impressive in this film. He was nerfed all the way into the ground.

Alice isn’t a bad main character although she can also be a little iffy at times. For the positives, she is a fighter. Alice does put up a struggle whenever she appears and even lands in some good hits. On the other hand, she is rather slow on the uptake. Even when seeing the Swamp Thing mowing down her opponents she keeps telling him to back off. She’s certainly safer with him than without. She also has an unfortunate tendency to trip over just about everything. She probably hit the ground at least ten times. Cmon Alice, you can do better than that!

Then I have to quickly rewind to the beginning of the film to explain why the normal joe characters always fall below expectations. So you have a guy running through the swamp when a few guys with guns walk up to him. He quickly lets them disarm him and then runs. What’s the point? They’ll just shoot him down. He’s dead either way so he may as well have held on to his gun and taken one of them down with him. This is preferable for many reasons. One of which is that by firing right away you at least have the slimmest of chances to survive. Second, at least they’ll be forced to gun you down right there which is a far less painful death than the alternative. Third, you get to die with some dignity. Trying to run away in a swamp when you’re outnumbered like that won’t work. Even if it was just one guy he could shoot you once your back was turned. These hostage situations always drive me batty.

This film is a little on the violent side with people getting snapped and crunched. The main villain’s transformation scene was also shown to be as grotesque and violent as possible which is a little on the rare side for transformations. Usually you expect those to at least be a little pleasant right? The violence isn’t extremely over the top but certainly is high enough that it’s noticeable. There isn’t really animal violence if you look at the film casually, but it’s there when you drill into the specifics. The unlikable main characters were running experiments on the animals which is a no go. These animals don’t care about the science so why should they have to be used like this? The animal certainly didn’t look like it was having fun being all wet like that.

Swamp Thing also goes out of its way to make the villains unlikable. A good villain should command respect but also be fun to root for/against. None of that is here with these villains. At the most the main villain isn’t bad. He’s one of those random rich guys who wants to see the world burn. The main villain is really one of his subordinates though who chases Alice around quite a lot. Naturally he is shown to be rather depraved and of course he couldn’t just be a professional trying to earn a paycheck. I get that guys like him will typically end up being the villains since it makes sense, but it doesn’t make any of his scenes work any better.

The best character in the film is definitely the kid who owned the gas station. He was on point and could sniff out danger a mile away. It’s a shame that his gun was defective but there’s no way he could have known that. Even though he was just a kid he did a lot of work and helped get Alice to a safe place. He brought the film a level of charm and wonder that it didn’t have previously. Not enough to save the film or anything like that, but it was still neat.

Overall, Swamp Thing is definitely not a film that I would recommend. The characters aren’t all that smart and Swamp Thing himself looks quite weak. I’m glad he kept in his healing powers, but being able to fight a little more would have been great too. The film drags on a bit and the only good character got a really small amount of screen time. This is definitely one of those movies that you should skip and I’d advise you to check out some of the classic Godzilla films instead if you want to see how a creature should be portrayed. I can guarantee you that at the very least he wouldn’t go down easy like the Swamp Thing.

Overall 3/10

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 Review

5723a8065d8298286b3fd642d3c115db_xl
It’s time to look at the big crossover between the retro Wonder Woman and Batman series. As they both starred in different eras the comic decides to have adventures that take place in both along with a third that he even sooner. It’s cool how the series was able to tackle all 3 eras and even added a sense of continuity by making them all connect to each other in some way or another. If we ever do get a Justice League comic with these characters it would definitely be intense!

The first comic takes place when Batman was still just a child. The Nazi’s wanted to obtain a book he owned that would lead to the Pit of Eternal Youth and many other places including Wonder Woman’s home. Ra’s Al Ghul and his criminal organization also wanted this info. Finally, Wonder Woman and government agent Steve Trevor also showed up to grab it. Batman’s in a little over his head here, but he needs to try and get the book to safety while also looking out for Talia. Although little does he know that Talia can certainly fend for herself as she was already taught much about martial arts when she was a kid.

It’s a fun comic and probably the only time we will see Batman’s parents for a while. Talia was probably the highlight here as it’s a nice look at how she could have been as a hero if not for the guidance of Ra’s. She probably would have been an even better Batgirl than the one we are all used to. Wonder Woman had a pretty easy time mowing down the opposing troops herself. Protecting the kids would probably be the toughest part and even that seemed rather simple for her as well. Even Steve got to contribute a bit.

The middle story has Ra’s make his way to Paradise Island. No man can arrive there without an escort so Batman convinces Catwoman to take them there. The villainess has a rather large role in both the second and third stories as she even gets a redemption arc. Her fans will likely be pleased as she does tend to go back and forth a lot but at the end of the day she always does have a lot of potential for good. Batman is rather skeptical the whole time as he should be, but doesn’t make a scene. He also doesn’t have much choice since she asks for sanctuary on the island and Wonder Woman grants it to her.

There’s not too much to say about this comic as it’s very to the point. The heroes fight with Ra’s and his team. We do get a cameo from Wonder Girl which was cool as she stood up to Ra’s. Naturally the comic does its best to keep Ra’s away from Wonder Woman because he wouldn’t last a second against her in an actual fight. Honestly that’s why Batman’s villains stay back for most of this collection as well. They can give the Dark Knight some trouble, but Wonder Woman? They are of no consequence to her and that’s considering that this isn’t even close to her strongest incarnation.

In the final story we have Wonder Woman head back to Gotham because Ra’s has returned once more. You have to respect the fact that he keeps on coming back for more each time. The guy just never gives up. Unfortunately she finds out that Batman has retired and now Robin is the only fighter left. Wonder Woman can’t accept this and convinces Batman to come out of retirement. Granted, he basically has to make this choice since Ra’s finds out about the Batcave and brings the fight to him. A more serious Bruce Wayne rejoins the fight and it’s a pretty fun climax.

This is the story that ends off the collection and it’s certainly a great pick for it. Aside from the fact that the stories were intentionally chosen in chronological order, it just feels like the most epic adventure from the 3 with the highest stakes. Ra’s is finally taken out of the equation as well so in theory the heroes no longer have to worry about him. That will certainly be a big relief for them.

The characters were all on point as you can probably guess. I’d say that Wonder Woman looks the best here as she looks out for humanity and saves the day many times. Batman isn’t as impressive since he gave up at one point, but did recover quickly and beyond that he looked solid as always. Robin still tries hard whenever he pops up and it was nice to see him as Nightwing. He deserves his share of respect at that point since he is a veteran and the heroes give it to him.

The artwork looks pretty solid throughout the issues. The character models are on point and the action scenes look nice as always. It’s not quite up to par with the mainstream DC adventures but it does a good job of recreating the look of the old shows. The panels all stand out so it’s always easy to see what is happening at a glance. Even though there is quite a lot of pages in this collection, it will all be over very quickly with how solid the writing and pacing are. This will come to no surprise as both individual series were always very good in these two areas though. If anything the writing is why these titles got so big in the first place.

Overall, This collection hits all the right notes. It’s a crossover where both heroes get a lot of tim to shine. It’s definitely interesting to see a more serious Adam West here even if you will miss the light one from the second story. I suppose that is definitely setting him up to play the role of Batman in Justice League as one more people would be familiar with from newer stories. That or since he was re inspired by Wonder Woman, he will go back to his usual style in time. Either way, hopefully we actually do get a Justice League story soon. That would definitely be a lot of fun.

Overall 8/10

Juistice League Action Review

33931639_sa
It’s time to look at a recent DC show that was rather short lived. Granted, it hasn’t officially been cancelled yet as a few sites still hold out hope on it returning, but the odds of that happening do seem rather slim at times. It’s a shame because the show was fun even if it was severely limited by the dreaded 15 minute format, still one of the worst modern innovations for cartoons in general. We got some action and some more adventures with the heroes so that was pretty cool.

Naturally there isn’t really any kind of ongoing plot here. Most of the episodes are stand alone adventures with maybe a reference or two in there somewhere. Interestingly enough the first 4 episodes was a multi part epic though. It would have been cool if the rest of the show had gone that route. It’s a way that you can get past the animation and the time constraints to tell more of a full story although I suppose that wasn’t the priority here. It’s leagues better than DC’s other current show Teen Titans Go though as this one puts the action as more of a priority than the humor with Teen Titans does the opposite. The humor we do get from Justice League is also just a lot better than Go’s.

The animation will take a lot of getting used to, but specifically it is probably the character designs that seem a little off. Everyone’s super skinny which may just be a flash thing as that’s the same way the characters are drawn in Teen Titans and for the most part MLP. I’m definitely not a big fan of Flash and to be honest at this point I’m pretty sure that CGI has started to pass it for the most part as well. I’m not sure if this is Flash or an odd form of hand drawn animation but it looks more like the former. The fight scenes can be pretty good when the show tries though and I can see them pulling something off with this art. We don’t get big fights all that often though as mostly they are quick skirmishes but we’ll take those. We also do have the good sound effects from the old DCAU days back as well.

There isn’t much of a soundtrack here, but whatever is around goes well enough with the story. Again, you don’t want to expect too much here, but the beginning of the show did have a lot of promise. The first elemental villains that we got were a lot of fun. They were even very powerful as they gave Wonder Woman and Superman a pretty good fight. We had Batman going up against some classic thugs in a fight that may sound boring but it was handled very well and hearing Batman’s old voice again was great. The first few episodes actually took themselves very seriously and it felt like it could be a Justice League sequel.

Gradually the show switched up its approach a bit though. It acts more like a homage to the JL show than a sequel and the comedy episodes became more frequent. There’s nothing wrong with a comedy series of course, but I think the show would have been able to reach the next level if it had just stayed like the first few episodes. For the most part they were the best ones. Other good episodes were: Firestorm’s debut episode where he has to fight off a group of androids, The Time Travel episode where Batman has to stop Chronos from murdering him on his first night as Batman, The Arcade Game where Toyman puts the heroes into a video game, The episode where Lex gets Amazonian abilities, and the one where Lex and Batman have to match wits with the fate of the world at stake.

Most of the episodes are quite solid but in particular those are some of the episodes that I really enjoyed. I could probably count the number of mediocre episodes on one hand in comparison. So at the very least JL Action was always a lot of fun. With each segment being so short it was also pretty clear from the start that pacing would not be an issue. Each adventure feels like it goes by very quickly.

Another thing I liked about the show is that it did give more screen time to some characters who didn’t do a lot in the main series. Firestorm gets a big role and is featured in many episodes. His abilities are very handy to have after all and in general he could be one of the team’s strongest members. Booster Gold also appears quite frequently to mess with time and try to get rich. At the very least you have to respect his resolve since the guy never gives up no matter how many tries it takes. We even get an episode for the Super pups as they fight the Red Lanterns. There was some serious power level shenanigans here since Krypto should have looked a lot better than he did in the fight but I’ll let it slide. In general power levels are often tricky for super hero shows and a good out to use is that the heroes are probably holding back quite a lot in order to not seriously hurt the villains.

Hopefully we do get a full Justice League show at some point. To put it one way, Justice League Action feels more like a RWBY Chibi kind of series where it is made to complement the main title. We need a full length Justice League series to air at some point and then Action could air while it’s on break. Justice League is a huge franchise so you’d think that it would sell quite well and yet DC hasn’t really made a move in a while. It’s a gold mine just waiting to happen.

There’s not much else to say about this show because we’re all already very familiar with the characters and there’s not much of a plot to discuss so even as a show review it’s a little on the short side. As a final note before the wrap up, I will say that Batman and Superman are the best characters as always. They always tend to have great episodes backing them up and the contrast between the two fighters is always nice as well. It’s why they are so legendary at this point.
maxresdefault (5)
Overall, This was a fun DC show. I would put it behind most of the other recent ones but it didn’t really make any mistakes. I’m not a huge fan of the format but it probably did about as much as it could with it while still keeping the comedy elements that Cartoon Network demands. I’d like to see the DCAU return again at some point with a full show. If you haven’t seen it yet then I’d recommend checking out JL Action. It’ll give you a chance to hang out with your favorite characters once again and it should feel pretty nostalgic in general.

Overall 7/10

Wonder Woman ’77 Volume 2 Review

61egjGBAmlL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_
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

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 4 Review

TU_V4_front_cover
It’s time to look at the next Scooby Doo crossover adventure! The gang is back to solve a bunch of cases, but they may need a little extra muscle to back them up this time. The villains are growing more dangerous and most of them don’t even bother with a mask anymore. It’s unfortunate but the Mystery Inc may be out of their depth this time. As always it is a pretty fun assortment of stories. The franchise has always done a pretty good job of being consistent.

One of the stories involves the Men in Black (Not literally them but same concept) going after all of the alien superheroes on Earth. This is because the Martian Manhunter delivered a press conference to the world where he said that the aliens were going to take over. That’s when the real one shows up and asks the Mystery gang to help him clear his name. They are happy to do so, but it won’t be as easy as all that. Who can they trust and how can they debunk a television broadcast that everyone saw?

There is a bit of a cop out ending to this one, but nonetheless it is a fun story. The stakes probably felt a little higher here than in some of the other stories to be honest. The aliens really needed the help of a good detective and the main characters delivered. Well, most of the detectives did t any rate. This may have been the best story.

Then we’ve got an adventure with Zatanna. Her father is missing so she heads to our usual gang of detectives. They aren’t very helpful though and just recommend that she checks with some other magicians instead. They all meet up with a bunch of spellcasters, but they’ve all been robbed of their magical artifacts and are now helpless. Whoever has done this is certainly a big threat, but the heroes won’t give up. It’s a fun enough comic although I have a hard time believing that all of the magicians would get punked so easily. Zatanna’s always a fun character though so it was nice to see her get a story. The Mystery Inc needs to step up their game a bit though because Shaggy and Scooby always make them look so bad.

Another comic has the heroes go to a concert where the Infinities are playing. They’re a bunch of teenage superheroes who thought it would be smart to use the same name for both their human activities and super ones. Fortunately nobody has suspected a thing yet. A giant robot attacks along with a bunch of giant monsters so the heroes have to stop them. Thing is, the robot is usually a good guy, but he is being controlled remotely by an evil scientist with a criminally devious master plan. The heroes will have to think of something very quickly but what can they do? It’s a fun comic even if I’m not really familiar with any of the characters here. I didn’t like the giant robot but everyone else seemed mostly reasonable. I don’t think I would like the Infinities much either, but at least they can fight so it was good that they were around. This issue was a little weaker than the others.

Then we have a comic where Harley Quinn shows up to join the heroes. Fred and the others are skeptical but allow her to join anyway. It turns out that she is pretty good at the mystery business but the problem is that the Joker is after her. By extension this means that the heroes are also in quite the jam now. Batman is on the way but can they hold out long enough? This comic was fun, but what really took it to the next level was the surprise appearances of Batman and Robin at the end. I definitely wasn’t expecting to see them so that was neat. They do end up stealing the show as you would expect, but that’s par for the course for the Dynamic Duo.

Then we have the worst comic of the bunch. The heroes make it to the wild west where they decide to help out a pair of Donkeys. The Donkey sheriff has a secret identity where he puts on a cape and acts as a Zorro impersonation. The costume isn’t downright terrible but you know what the humor style will be like from the start and it never tries to be anything more than that. I couldn’t really get invested in the comic because the guest characters just weren’t interesting. I suppose they tried their best and it still isn’t a bad comic, but it just wasn’t very eventful.

Then we also can’t forget the appearance of the Space Ghost. He’s all business as per usual while the kid assistants just get captured a lot. The Space Ghost also look just as frightening on the page as in the universe going by how even Fred and the others seemed a little nervous in his presence. The Space Ghost commands respect after all. The villains know better than to mess with him and that’s why they always go after the kids. The comic isn’t really a mystery so much as it is just a fight against the Space Ghost’s usual villains, but it was definitely a lot of fun. The hero’s design has really aged very well.

The art is nice as always. The characters are always on point and it is just very consistent. You will be able to easily fly through the pages on your way to the end. The writing is also on point so you know what you are getting yourself into from the start. If you’re a fan of the Scooby Doo team and their usual antics then you should have absolutely no problem here. If you find them annoying then this won’t change your mind. Honestly, there’s just no saving Scooby and Shaggy at this point since they just aren’t brave enough to hope to stand up to anyone. The team needs to cut them loose. It’s unfortunate of course, but they just don’t add anything to the team.

Overall, This was another solid team up volume. It has the right blend of humor and some action that the franchise is know for. If anything, it probably has a little more action than the show would thanks to all of the superheroes running around. There’s nothing particularly unique about the volume as its just another installment that you could interchange with the previous 2, but that’s why you are focusing on the guest stars. Every time a new issue comes out we have a chance at a new guest star. Hopefully we get many more volumes of this series in the future.

Overall 7/10

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 3 Review

91Jr-gT2kgL
It’s time to look at another volume of the Scooby Doo and DC team up series. It’s been quite a while since I read the last one so it’s pretty nostalgic to see it return. The Mystery Inc definitely makes for a good crossover cast with how confident they are in their deductive skills. No matter how powerful the villain is they just continue to solve the case their way. It’s admirable even if it causes them to get in a lot of trouble. The stories in this volume are all pretty solid even if the final one is a bit weaker than the rest.

One of the stories has the gang head over to Fawcett city when Shazam and the rest of the Marvel family disappears. Granted, Uncle Marvel stuck around along with the cat mascot. Unfortunately they have no idea what happened but the Mystery Inc is up for the challenge. Along the the way Velma and Shaggy even get their own blend of Marvel abilities do they can finally fight with the best of them. It’s a nice payoff for fans who have always been waiting for some kind of power up. Definitely a nice story and seeing the gang get abilities is always fun as well. It’s not like Shazam got beat in an actual fight either so at least it wasn’t a moment of plot hax for him to be saved either.

Another story had Scooby Doo get recruited to help The Galactic Dog Patrol (Not their exact name but it is nice and descriptive) as their main members where all destroyed by an evil villain group. There are 2 groups running around, a cat group and then there is an evil dog. The cats are defeated rather easily but the dog ends up being an issue. Good thing Scooby is here. Surprisingly the issue actually has quite a lot of action so that helped it get past the issue of the human characters not being around. Pretty much the whole comic was a bunch of fight scenes and I can always get behind that. Scooby Doo can get rather annoying though. Even when the villains are making a move and the stakes are serious he actually tries to desert the team. There is being a coward and then there is just being a traitor. Abandoning your friends to die gets into the latter’s territory so the dog couldn’t save himself after that.

Another issue was with the Phantom Stranger. He visits the gang on Halloween and asks for their help. A villain has been defeating all of the cosmic beings of DC. This should surprise no one and the gang takes it in stride. They figure that the Spectre can save them but alas he was defeated as well and then the Stranger is tricked into falling in the cage. Scooby will have to use a forbidden power to save them all but at what cost? It’s good to see Scooby step up even if it isn’t willingly. A pretty fun comic and it’s always nice to throw the gang into a situation or cosmic significance like this.

We can’t forget the issue with Hawkman and Hawkgirl either. They are up against 3 ghost related villains so naturally the Mystery Inc are the first people the cops call. The superheroes actually seem rather offended about this, but it’s not like the cops have their cell numbers. Meanwhile everyone knows how to contact the detectives. It’s a pretty nice issue like the rest. I may not be a big fan of either Hawk character, but maybe that’s why it’s so good as the Mystery Inc puts them in their place.

The Flash issue brings back Gorilla Grodd who is certainly a classic character for his mythos. It was a little less interesting than some of the other stories for that reason though. I can’t really take Grodd all that seriously usually. A slow villain vs a fast hero? This does not compute. Still, it’s not as straight forward as just tackling the guy sometimes (Even if it could be) and it’s still a good issue. Finally we also have the Aquaman team up. His kingdom is being attacked by Black Manta and the Ocean Master so the King has his work cut out for him. Honestly there wasn’t much that Scooby and the gang could do to back him up in this case but they did give moral support and were always willing to yell if they saw something. If I’m giving them a fair trial then I guess I have to admit that they did help in beating the enemies a little bit, but there just wasn’t much detective work for them to do in this case since the villains were already known.

Now this is probably around the part where I have to point out that Shaggy and Scooby are still as annoying as ever. They constantly let the world know that they are scared of what is happening and it’s just embarrassing for the rest of the gang. They are always ready to ditch the others and prove time and time again that they aren’t really heroes. You just can’t trust these guys and it might be time for Fred to cut them loose. It would be tough to fire a friend like that, but Shaggy and Scooby have failed them for the last time.

Fred, Daphne, and Velma are solid as always though. Their roles here naturally aren’t as big as the dynamic duo’s, but they get their moments. Fred actually manages to knock one of the villains to the ground which prevented him from escaping. Velma manages to use her deductive skills a few times to determine who the villain is and Daphne is always around to keep everyone in line.

The art for the issues is pretty good. All of the characters are on model and it’s easy to tell what is happening at all times. The art style goes for a rather basic approach which is smart if you ask me and it’s easy to read through. It can also make for good fight scenes although of course you shouldn’t expect too many of those. It’s just a nice nostalgic style which will remind you of the classic Scooby Doo days. The writing is also good and helps equally in achieving such a nostalgic frame for the volume. These stories could very easily be turned into episodes and nothing would appear to be out of place.

Overall, This was a fun Scooby Doo adventure. I certainly had fun reading it and not actually having any bad stories is always a plus. It’s a rather quick collection so it won’t take you long to finish it all off. I already have the next volume at the ready so I will be reading that one shortly. We’ll see if it can match this one. The team ups deliver on what you would expect from such a crossover. It has the comedic charm of the Mystery Inc while also adding in a little extra action for the DC fans. Now all we need are more Superman and Batman team ups with the gang.

Overall 7/10

Batman and Harley Quinn Review

MV5BNTQzM2JkYTAtY2ExNi00N2ZhLWE5NDctMDQyMWU5ZjcwZDEwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjM5NDQzNTk@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_
It’s time to look at a fairly recent DC film. The DCAU was one of the best things to ever happen to comics in general so it’s good to see it make a comeback with this film. Unfortunately its comeback is on a rather low note here as the film makes too many mistakes but if this leads to a new Justice League installment or maybe even a Superman film then I’ll be up for it. It definitely got a good retro vibe going for it.

The film starts off with Poison Ivy and the Floronic Man deciding to form an alliance and turn the world into plants. Batman and Nightwing figure that they won’t be able stop this threat on their own so they enlist the help of Harley Quinn. She agrees to help but is determined to make the heroes regret bringing her along. Will this team be able to keep it together long enough to save the world or do they just need to hope that the villains make a mistake somewhere along the line? The time is ticking!

One thing you’ll notice right away is that the film does a good job of recreating the classic sound effects from the DCAU. One thing that always stood out back then was how hard each blow sounded. Every movement had power behind it and it’s likely also due to the animation style. This film recreated it quite well and then throwing in the familiar voices made the experience even more authentic. On a technical level the film certainly didn’t disappoint. The hand to hand fights are also quite solid like Nightwing vs Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy vs Harley. Both fights were nice and long. It does bring up a mild question though of how Poison Ivy is so good at martial arts. I can understand Harley being really good, although I think she should not be able to do so well against Nightwing, but then how can Poison Ivy hold her own against such an opponent? It seems like everyone is apparently a martial arts master at this point.

Batman is a solid main character as always. While I think he was rather quick to throw in the towel by asking Harley to come along I guess time was of the essence here. The villains plan was actually pretty quick and well thought out for a change. It’s certainly a fairly unique threat. Batman is also upfront with the constant insults to the government so it’s nice to see that he is still feared by villains and heroes alike. I mean, the henchmen at the bar didn’t fear him, but they were quickly taught that lesson afterwards.

Lets talk about where the film went wrong now. For starters, it definitely is trying quite a bit to be edgier than the old days. Not in a cool well written way like Batman V Superman as that’s dark, but not edgy. Here we have Harley Quinn throwing in swear words just to remind us that she’s one of the villains from time to time. The script never gets too crazy, but each moment feels forced. Then we have random comments thrown in to show us that everyone is rather terrible in Gotham. The government agent guy is cheating for some reason and the normal citizens are all James Bond and Captain Kirk types.

The film also includes quite a bit of fanservice with Harley Quinn. As with Suicide Squad all it does it help defeat the point of trying to make her a strong character. The scene with her and Nightwing takes the cake of being the worst scene in the film though. It’s no surprise to see Harley Quinn back on the rebound, but Nightwing should have had the will power to stay true to the mission and refuse her. He looked terrible in that scene and this leads to a lot of painful lines later on as it keeps being brought up. On second thought, the writing was actually rather bad in this film. We even get crude humor thrown in.

So, Batman is the only good hero in this film. Nightwing was completely destroyed by this scene and just couldn’t make it back up the charts. There’s no way to take him seriously by this point. Then Harley Quinn is also beyond saving because her character is just no good. It’s great that she doesn’t want to be a villain anymore and she tries to earn sympathy points by showing how rough it is for an ex-con in Gotham, but she certainly doesn’t make it any easier on herself. She gets a happy ending at least so hopefully she doesn’t mess it up this time.

The villains are a lot more interesting and they’re better handled. The Floronic Man is the completely evil member of the duo and he can’t wait to destroy the humans. He’s a villain who has never gotten the spotlight before so it was cool to see him here. The guy seems like a reasonable villain. He may not be much of a threat, but can still put up a fairly good fight. Then we have Poison Ivy who was always good in the DCAU. She isn’t as insane as the average villain and ultimately at least has a good reason for being evil. I do think it was a bit iffy how Floronic Man was basically the leader of their partnership though since he is basically made out of plants. I think Ivy should be able to defeat him rather easily, but of course walking within punching distance wouldn’t be wise. These two villains are probably the 2nd and 3rd best characters in the film.

There isn’t much of a soundtrack, but we hear a really solid remix near the end of the film and overall it was rather fast paced. I wasn’t crazy about the lyrical songs though so I guess they roughly cancel out in the end. This film isn’t too long and the pacing is good so at least it doesn’t end up dragging on. I do have to question why the film plays up a certain death near the end like it’s a big deal though. It was a character that nobody cared about and it’s not as if he died in a particularly brutal way or anything. I guess the heroes are heroic enough to care though so I can’t fault them for that.

Overall, Batman and Harley Quinn wasn’t a good movie but I think anyone probably could have guessed that based on the title. Whenever there is a film based around Harley Quinn you know that it’s not going to work out very well. This film pretty much made every mistake that it could here. At least it wasn’t all that violent so it dodged that. Still, excessive fanservice and bad writing is enough to bring a film down. Also the quick case of animal violence as a mouse blows up. That scene is so incredibly unnecessary that you have to wonder what the film was thinking. I would recommend passing on this film as there are plenty of other, better DC films to watch instead.

Overall 4/10

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash Review

91Ay255rj8L._SL1500_
It’s time to look at one of the newest Lego films around! DC has had a pretty good track record with their Lego adventures and are certainly leading the pack. This is because their specials actually have some pretty solid action scenes to go along with the good one liners. I dare say that DC has taken Legos to the peak of where they can reach and this one continues their roll. It still has some competition ahead of it for being the best DC specials, but I would put this one up there as probably top 3. Flash makes for a great main character and always makes the right moves.

The story starts with the Justice League trying to fend off an attack from the Joker. Unfortunately for them they are getting creamed. Flash should have been there to help, but he was busy enjoying a donut with a milkshake. Truly that is an underrated combo if you ask me. Still, he manages to save the day anyway, but then a mysterious being known as the Reverse Flash shows up. Flash chases him, but finds himself back to the start of the day. This keeps on happening and it seems like Flash is stuck in a time loop. In order to get out he will have to move even faster, but what if doing this ends up wrecking reality itself!? Only one way to find out!

I’m always up for a good time travel story. Nowadays this usually goes hand in hand with the Flash and his story arcs. Flashpoint is probably the most well known Flash event of all time and then the TV show also likes to casually mess around with the past and the future. It makes for good story arcs that open up a lot of moral questions like should you change the past or simply ignore it. Typically they go for the worst possible moral though and that is that the past shouldn’t be altered. Fortunately, it’s safe to say that this special doesn’t really go there at all. The trope can be especially annoying when the villain changed the past first and the hero still isn’t able to go back and correct it. A bit off topic though so lets get back to the adventure.

I do like how Flash handled the situation though. He kept on going after the Reverse Flash because he knew that one day he would surpass his limits. Even though Batman kept telling him to wait Flash would go anyway. The montage showed that he probably tries this at least 50 times. Imagine living through the same day that many times and not going crazy. Flash really kept it together and in the end he made the right move since Batman’s great advice was simply to say “Run faster.” That’s really the best advice that Batman’s got? Flash was able to do it of course, but after Batman’s constant “Wait” moments I was expecting something else. Still, Flash was easily the best character here and that’s not easy to do in a special where Batman and Superman are present.

In the other plot we have Reverse Flash proving to the world that he is a better hero than the normal Flash. Instead of trying to join the League or anything like that he spends his time trying to prove that they aren’t needed anymore. With the speed at which he solves crimes it may even appear to be true. If he were a legitimate hero then he would have a mild point, but of course he would run out of energy at some point so the league would have to step in again. It’s fun how he makes everyone look pretty petty at times like when the League was caught eaves dropping on him. Batman saved the situation from being a tragedy, but it still was not their greatest moment. Ah well, they did their best.

As far as the Justice League goes, they were all in character. Batman and Superman were a great contrast to each other as you would expect. Superman was super cheerful and would try being nice to Flash while Batman would just give him the tough facts. Wonder Woman was more of a mediator and Cyborg was busy messing everything up like usual. Likewise with Plasticman but to a greater extent. The new member of the group who got a lot of screen time was the Atom. If they wanted him to look terrible than they succeeded.

Considering that he is a new recruit the guy seems to have a considerable ego. He complains quite a lot and you have to repeatedly wonder how he actually got on the team. The guy definitely doesn’t seem like he belongs, but I guess that’s just one of those mysteries that you have to think about for a little while. He gets a subplot of his own where he tries to contact the league while he’s tiny and it’s a treacherous journey for him. I’d like to say that it helped him get likable by the end but not really. At this rate the new recruits are all going to keep on losing out.

I will say that the first half of the special does beat the latter though. I enjoyed the Groundhog shenanigans from the beginning as Flash kept trying to stop his evil doppelganger. His route to the trouble involving all of the food and villain arrests were fun as well. The movie accurately shows just how overpowered the Flash should be and since it’s part comedy they are actually able to pull this off instead of totally nerfing him. That’s not to say that the second half is bad, but Dr. Fate singalongs just don’t have the same appeal you know? It was definitely a radically different take on him, but at least it had personality. Dr. Fate usually doesn’t actually do much except get in everyone’s way. I do feel bad for Zatanna though since her training seems like it will take a very long time to actually get anywhere.

There’s not much to say about the animation that hasn’t been said before. It’s Lego animation so it’s pretty much the same every time. I’m not a huge fan of it, but it looks well enough and at this point it’s pretty polished. The action scenes are still solid as I mentioned earlier and they did a good job with the speed animations. As far as I’m concerned, they put in the proper amount of effort there. There isn’t much of a noticeable soundtrack here so it’s a few steps behind some of the others, but the sound effects are good and what music we do get tends to be solid as well.

The writing is on point which is always very important for a film like this one. The humor is actually good as opposed to just being obnoxious or annoying. Well, those two things are kind of the same I guess. Either way, the writing really understands the characters here. Cyborg and Atom are annoying, but it’s not necessarily the humor that makes them annoying, but the characters and I wouldn’t hold that against the writing since I’m pretty sure that it’s intentional. It may not be laugh out loud funny (Almost nothing is) but it works pretty well and the sarcastic wit from the heroes is part of the charm behind the Legos.

Overall, The Flash is a solid movie and one that I would certainly recommend. Whether you are a fan of Lego adventures or comic book films this is one title that you don’t want to miss. It really pulls out all of the stops and each act of the film feels like a complete film. Honestly the first act alone could have worked as the whole movie and I would have been satisfied. It’s a long 70ish minutes, but not in a bad way. They manage to squeeze a lot of content in there so I’d say that it’s actually very fast paced. There really isn’t anything majorly negative to say about the film and that’s how you know that it’s quite solid.

Overall 8/10