What makes for a good villain?


It’s time to look at what makes for a good villain. Now, there are a lot of factors to consider when looking at such a sweeping generalization. There are many different kinds of villains and different situations to put them in of course. As such it can be difficult to just grab a few attributes and say that they make a villain. As a disclaimer you have to consider a whole lot but I am going to list 5 factors which I see in my favorite villains. If you have all 5 you are basically guaranteed to be an amazing villain but even just having one of them should help quite a lot in rising you up the charts. As you may or may not know, I consider Bass EXE to be the greatest villain of all time. He is an example of a villain who meets all 5 criteria. He also happens to be the most powerful villain if you ask me but that’s a discussion for another time. So without further build up, lets take a look at the 5 main criteria.

Cool Design

This first one is pretty obvious. It’s hard to like a villain when you just don’t like their design. It would be next to impossible for me to like a villain like Bubbleman. No matter how powerful he may become, I wouldn’t be able to take him seriously. To a degree voice is a similar aspect that can make or break a villain but it’s not universal the way a design is. You could be reading a book or a manga where the description of the design is still there but you can’t picture the voice as well. A good design is a great first step for a villain. It helps you instantly assess what this guy/girl is all about. It’s your initial impression and those are absolutely critical. You’re not likely to forget your first impression of a villain.

As with just about everything media related designs are very subjective. What I consider to be a good design will typically have a strong color contrast/sleek design. Purple is a color that is usually associated with villains and always tends to work quite well. Red and black make for a solid pair. Then you’ve got pure white/silver like Zeref which is pretty great. Ideally you want a design that looks combat ready although you can also go for one that is startlingly happy/unassuming which can work out well like the final boss of Undertale. A bad design to me is one that is either very generic so you forget it, or a design where you can instantly tell the villain can’t fight.

Honor Code

The honor code is definitely a pretty big one. I don’t want a villain who hides behind others or hostages all the time. I want a villain who is confident in their own abilities and isn’t afraid to tangle with the heroes whether it be physically or mentally. A good villain knows exactly what their goals are and sticks true to them. It’s a matter of pride and villains need to have that as well as heroes. The main example I’m using for this is Grimmjow. He and Ichigo had a rivalry right from the start of the series. Grimmjow absolutely wants to crush the lead but he wants to do it on his terms. He’s not going to be satisfied beating up on a weakened Ichigo. He even has Orihime heal the lead so they can tangle which is pretty much unheard of. That always helps me gain respect for a villain. A true villain should be able to overcome his opponent when they are at their peak and without outside help. Grimmjow’s even willing to fight other villains to ensure he gets his fair fight.

I’m not opposed to friendship power within the villains of course, but in general I like when a villain can just handle his business right from the start. Likewise a “dirty” trick during a fight may not be out of bounds if it was already 1 on 1. At that point anything goes of course and if the villain has already been fighting then more power to him. A villain who admits defeat and starts attacking random civilians to distract the hero has already lost in every sense of the word. You have to stay true to your ideals to the very end.

Has to be a threat

This is another one that probably seems obvious but is worth noting. If you’re a villain who gets completely wrecked time and time again then it’s going to be very hard to enjoy the character. This could work for a comic relief villain which follows a very different set of rules but not for a big villain that we’re supposed to take seriously. A villain needs to take care of business and that should be established early on. This is very common so there are probably millions of good examples I can use. The one I choose here would be Hideyoshi’s first appearance in Sengoku Basara or at least his first appearance in the war. He immediately sets the tone by forcing both armies to acknowledge him. He stops a huge array of arrows in their tracks with simple wind pressure and then takes down a captain in a single hit. This guy’s power is on a whole other level and it’s just hard to top that debut. I was certainly very satisfied at the very least. When you’re a threat like that, you’re forced to acknowledge the villain right away.

Has solid motivations

Now, I’m all for the villains who just want to destroy the world of course, but what really takes a villain to the next level is when they have solid goals. If the goal is something you can understand then that will play a big role in how endearing they are. A villain who is upset because some guy elbowed him when walking through a line? That’s so petty you may lose respect. A villain whose world is about to be crushed but can save it by destroying the other world first? Well, that’s something you can buy into. He would even possibly be considered the Hero from another point of view. There’s a saying that everyone is the hero of their own story. While I don’t find that to be true necessarily, I think a villain’s motivation should feel that way. You never lose sight of the fact that they are a villain but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that this is now a villain you can sympathize with.

For this one I’ll use Mr. Freeze as an example from Sub Zero and the Batman animated series His wife is terminally ill and only has a slim shot of survival. The way to do this is to do a blood transfusion with someone from a rare blood type. Only problem is that the transfusion will destroy whoever undergoes the operation because of how much blood is needed. Perhaps if you could find two people then this could work but there isn’t a whole lot of time and Mr. Freeze is already a known criminal. As a result he decides to kidnap someone so that he can save the wife which leads into the movie. This is a perfect example as you know that what Freeze is doing is wrong and he knows it as well. Still, it is worth it to him in order to save his wife and that’s as solid a motivation as you can get. It made him a particularly great villain in the DCAU and one of the best Batman villains out there. Later on Freeze eventually begins to get buried by feelings of rage and feelings of revenge towards society but this is how he started out,.

Overwhelming confidence

Finally we have another trait which ties in to the others. A good villain needs to have absolute confidence. These villains aren’t afraid to defy authority even if a higher up tells them to do something. I already used Grimmjow as an example but that’s something he did quite well. The villains who are quickly to kneel before another don’t have the same true respect for themselves that other villains have. A lot of the best villains in history have always been overwhelmingly confident to the point of arrogance. They may readily lower their defenses just to show the heroes how absolutely outclassed they are. Honestly, it was hard to pick an example here because you could pick almost literally any villain and you would be good to go. That just shows how critical this factor is.

Ultimately I’m going with Jiren. How confident do you have to be to close your eyes and meditate in the middle of a battle with your universe on the line? You got to admit that this takes a whole lot of guts on his part. A lot of villains absolutely wouldn’t dare even if they were powerful. It’s a great moment though because that unwavering conviction in your abilities is exactly what you need in order to succeed.

So those are the 5 traits a good villain really should have. If you have all of these traits then you are probably going to go down as one of the all time great villains. Whenever a villain is introduced with some of these traits I get excited. Now, there are certainly things a villain can do in order to lose that hype which I will go into in my reverse editorial on what makes for a bad villain. That one should be fun and I already know quite a few off the top of my head. A lot of villains will end up having traits from both in which case you just have to see which side wins out. It’s rare to find a perfect character like Bass EXE but there are still tons of other amazing villains. In theory every great series should have a great villain to combat the hero. If you have no great villains then that could be trouble for the series long term.

The Flash: Starting Line Review


It’s been a while since I read a comic, especially a Flash one so it was good to see the ole speedster back in action. It’s a fairly modern one too so we get to blast through the origin stuff and get right to the adventures. The Rogues get a solid revival and quite a bit happens here. The story sets up a lot of future plot lines that’ll keep on going for some time so this line is off to a good start.

While each issue has a different villain for the most part there is still a larger plot in the background. The Flash used to be a very well liked figure in Central City but lately people have been turning against him. The cops think he is a wild vigilante who causes more harm than good and the reporters are all trying to frame him. One of Barry’s best friends even betrays him to run a social experiment. The guy has a point that they weren’t all that close though. Only Barry really took it hard while to the friend it was just good business. It’s why you certainly have to be careful on who you trust because some will turn around and back-stab you quite quickly.

It always makes for an interesting plot to see everyone turning on the Flash or whoever the hero of the adventure is. It’s annoying too as you can easily lose respect for these characters. The fact of the matter is that the Flash has saved all of these guys time and time again. It’s a bit late in the game for people to say that they’re better off without him. I could never comprehend the argument of the hero attracting trouble. If Flash wasn’t around then the city would have been destroyed many times over. You need a super hero when it comes to tricky cities like this. Otherwise the villains will just have their way. You also can’t do much better than the Flash. With his speed there is always a chance that you can be saved.

The first main arc deals with Mob Rule a lot. One of Barry’s old friends went missing one day. He has returned, but seems to now be a villainous sniper who is way in over his head. Barry tries to talk with him about this, but it’s a complicated situation. Some experiments were done on Manuel and now every time he is injured or a part of him is severed it turns into a whole other him. Now they are an army known as Mob Rule and they want to find a cure. The downside to having all of these clones is that they die after a few days. They kidnap Manuel and work on a bunch of cures but nothing is working and the group is getting more and more radical. Barry has to try and get Manuel out of this while he still can.

It’s more of a mystery thriller than the other Flash stories. Not only is the mob pretty discreet and hard to stop, but Flash has also been creating a lot of temporal anomalies lately so he is’t sure if he should be running full blast. I’m not a fan of Manuel though. He does seem to start a lot of the trouble which gets him into these sticky situations. He’s also quite quick to ditch Barry which puts him in a lot of danger. Finally the guy had no real gratitude to the Flash for saving him. Somehow he did the mental gymnastics of saying that it’s Flash’s fault that the cure didn’t work when it was obviously about to destroy him anyway. Everyone was really giving the Flash a hard time throughout the whole series.

The other big arc in the series saw the return of Captain Cold. He blames the Flash for the big blackout which prevented the hospital from helping his sister out when she was in critical condition. He now wants the Flash dead so their fights are a little more serious than usual. Flash just got done dealing with a crazy guy in the Speed Force who was messing things up so he doesn’t have a lot of time to worry about this. Captain Cold’s new freezing abilities make him much more of a serious threat than he used to be though. The fact that he naturally makes the Flash slower is quite handy in a fight. We also get to see the rest of the Rogues show up as they banded together under a new leader known as the Golden Glider. She wants the Rogues to be a purely evil group as opposed to what she considered to be weak tactics under Cold’s leadership.

They’ve got a very different approach on how to run a group. Cold believes that having an honor code is best and he does seem better equipped to be a leader. It is hard to keep that level of nuance while you’re a villain group though. I don’t see most villains really playing ball for very long. Most of them are in this business to murder the heroes and civilians. Captain Cold also isn’t a strong enough fighter to keep them in check. He was having trouble with Heatwave who isn’t exactly known as a powerhouse. Regardless, he does have a lot of experience and credibility though so people tend to listen to him. Golden Glider’s leadership was fairly short lived although I doubt her ambitions are over for now.

I mentioned him briefly before, but Turbine is a guy who was stuck in the SpeedForce for decades. I really don’t blame him for trying to get out. Flash guilt trips him because Turbine’s attempts for hurting the planet, but what else could he do? The Flash can’t reasonably expect this guy to just stay stuck for his whole life right? Turbine seems like he’s going to end up turning evil, but at least right now he seems pretty reasonable to me. The guy just wants to get home and Flash seemed to have absolutely no sympathy for him.

Meanwhile Iris gets a smaller role than usual as there is a new heroine around. This has allowed Iris to get her own plots away from Barry though. She’s now more of a detective/reporter like Lois Lane to the point where I’m sure they’re basing this interpretation on the iconic DC character. She’s an interesting character and this is probably her best portrayal. I think there’s a lot the series can do with her so hopefully she doesn’t go back with Barry. Patty is the new character involved with Barry and she seems reasonable. The relationship doesn’t seem too stable though since she can’t stand the Flash. Whenever the heroine doesn’t like the hero form you can’t help but think that things won’t really end well. That’s just too big of a split to remedy since the hero has to break the news at some point right? At least she does seem quite loyal when Barry is around and does her best to help him out. Patty has connections and skills in her own right so she can contribute quite a lot when it comes to detective work and solving cases.

There’s a whole plot with Gorilla Grodd which serves as his origin. It’s the least interesting part of the volume although it’s not like it’s bad or anything. I just can’t bring myself to care about them at the moment and the Flash getting amnesia felt incredibly convenient since otherwise he could have gotten out of there pretty easily. They’re clearly going to have a big role soon so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve never been impressed with Grodd’s strength even if he is technically considered to be one of Flash’s deadliest opponents. Give me the Rogues any day.

I basically talked about everyone except Barry so let’s take a step back here. Flash is a solid lead who does deal with some issues at the beginning but ultimately gets past them. He realizes that his speed is necessary to saving the world and stops overthinking things. He’s trying to learn how to speed up his mind as well and once he does this he should really be a super powerful hero. The Flash is already one of the strongest characters in DC if you ask me so if I were the writers I would make it take a super long time for Flash to actually master this technique. It’s effectively Ultra Instinct in the DC world. Barry’s always been my favorite Flash because he’s also got those detective skills on top of his super powers and he’s a very reasonable guy. His Barry Allen persona is simply interesting and the comic did a good job of showing that off.

The artwork is also pretty solid here. It may not be the most colorful I’ve seen, but it holds its own pretty well. I like the speed effects and there’s a lot of weight behind each hit. There was a good amount of effort put into the artwork for sure and it shows. It’s part of what makes this an easy read along with the quality writing. You’ll be drawn into the pages and ready for the next adventures to come.

Overall, This is a pretty solid collection of comics. The best issues are the ones where Flash is dealing with the Rogues and going undercover in the shady part of town. The Grodd stuff is less interesting but the comic does use him for a good cliffhanger. You can’t help but feel like Flash should wreck them all as soon as he wakes up so their gameplan should be to destroy him while he is still knocked out. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then I’d recommend reading it. There are a lot of other plot lines going on that I haven’t even mentioned. While there are references to earlier comics you don’t really need to read them to get what is going on.

Overall 7/10

Batman: Hush Review


It’s time to look at the most recent Batman film to come out. It’s adapting what I consider to be one of the most well known Batman arcs out there. I’m still waiting for Battle for the Cowl, but it’s always nice to have more adaptions at the ready. I haven’t read Hush yet so it was interesting to go into it fresh. (Of course I already knew about the Superman fight though) It’s a good story although some parts of it were a bit weak which keeps this from being one of the best Batman films. It definitely gets obliterated by Bad Blood which is quickly becoming one of the definitive Batman titles.

The movie starts with Catwoman being back in town and back to her thieving ways. Batman is disappointed but he goes in to stop her only to be shot from behind and knocked out. A new villain named Hush is around and he has been following Batman for quite a while. Somehow he is getting a lot of the villains in Gotham to make a move so Batman is busier than he has ever been before. He still believes that Catwoman can be changed and so one part of the plot is that he’s hanging out with her both as Batman and as Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile you have Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Riddler, Joker, Bane, and a bunch of other Batman villains running around. Batman does have his support staff of Nightwing, Batgirl, Damian, and others but will they be enough to stop this new threat?

Well, let’s look at the good things first. As always the animation is great. Regardless of how the films have been in other areas at times, the animation has been consistently great for all of the main-line DC films. It’s quite top notch and the closest thing you’ll see to the classic DCAU animation. It’s really come into its own and all of the fight scenes are very good. The wind effects after each blow is swung are handled very well and the choreography is great. The character designs are all really good and same goes for the backgrounds.

The story is engaging as always. You’ll be eager to see what’s next at all times. This movie also feels like a crossover of sorts as you see guys like Superman and Lex Luthor show up as well as Nightwing, Batgirl, and Damian. While the latter 3 are Batman characters you still don’t see everyone show up like that all too often. Batgirl in particular feels like a bit of a guest star character as she shows up for one quick fight scene and then leaves again. Personally I feel like she should be able to defeat Catwoman, but typically that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Now I think where the film is at its weakest is with the romance here. Batman is borderline out of character for a good chunk of the movie. As always he lets his interest in Catwoman get personal but to a greater degree than usual. There’s quite a lot of romance in this film and it’s not like Batman to let such things distract him during such a dangerous time. He knows Hush is around so he has no time to be with Catwoman right now. Taking up time as both Bruce and Batman is also time he could be using to solve the case. He was even awfully close to letting her convince him to leave the city for a while even with the villain at large.

Batman also loses control of himself in the scene with Joker awfully quick. I get that it was a big moment, but I don’t see how it hit him quite so hard. Surely it’s not quite as traumatic as what happened to Jason Todd and Batman was able to control himself a lot better there. You could make the case that it’s how these situations keep piling up which pushed him over the edge, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch. Batman is portrayed as extremely emotional in this film compared to the others and I don’t think this was a good idea. He just doesn’t feel like Batman at times. Damian is the voice of reason instead and it’s too bad that he only got a cameo here.

Meanwhile Catwoman also looks pretty bad here. She does do a good job of trying to get past her thieving ways to an extent although it’s hard to really buy into it since she’s said this many times before. (Albeit, not in this continuity) The way her character arc ends doesn’t make any sense though. The way she acts at the end doesn’t make any sense because what happened shouldn’t have been new information for her. I’d understand if we saw something more drastic, but Batman didn’t do anything that you wouldn’t expect him to do. It makes Catwoman appear a bit shallow. She’s never been one of my favorite characters anyway but it’s still not great for her.

Then we’ve got Joker who looks downright terrible here. The guy is usually not a bit player that everyone has their way with, but you wouldn’t know that from this film. He’s completely overwhelmed and out of his depth from the start. He doesn’t even realize that he is walking into a trap. Usually the Joker is able to match wits with Batman so this was odd. I was expecting him to look more like how he did in Phantasm where he turned the tables pretty quick. Here all he did was get wrecked for a while and do a terrible job of trying to explain what was going on. Harley Quinn did better as she was at least doing something about the situation.

We get other villains but they don’t get as big of a role. Poison Ivy kept some of her hype here since Hush was worried enough about her abilities to have a bomb at the ready. Poison Ivy may not be one of the biggest Batman enemies, but she is definitely one of the most dangerous. Her plants are just really handy to have around. Bane and Clayface are just here for cameos but they are cool to see as well. Superman is the biggest guest appearance, but he looks pretty terrible as well. There’s no conceivable way that Poison Ivy should have been able to get the drop on him. I don’t care if she had Kryptonite make-up and a green suit, he should have been ready. The instant she got close he would have detected it but not been weak enough to faint. That’s when it’s time to dash out of there. I also wish he had more will power since he tends to get mind controlled in every other film. Lex looked good at least and he has a point that Batman should treat him with more respect since he is now a League member. Without him Batman would have been in trouble.

How about Hush? Well, he’s definitely a solid villain. It’s always nice to have a villain that can really test Batman’s deductive abilities. Hush does a good job of keeping everyone wary and he has a good design/voice. The guy is an intimidating villain and you’ll be interested in seeing who his true identity was. The movie did a good job of giving you a fair chance to make the connection without making it obvious. I wasn’t able to figure out who it was before the film ended so the movie did good there. He also gives us a solid fight scene at the end of the film.

Batman movies usually have some kind of mystery in it and that’s part of the draw. So having a solid mystery with Hush in it does help this movie stay interesting. Then you’ve also got a solid array of fight scenes which help support the movie. The pacing is solid and something is always happening here. It’s really just the romance and some of the characters being out of character that holds this film back. Put it this way, I’d put this movie above Son of Batman, Batman vs Robin, Batman Year One, Gotham Knights, and Mystery of the Batwomen, but I’d put it under Sub-Zero, Mask of the Phantasm, Bad Blood, Return of the Joker, and Red Hood. I’m probably missing a Batman film or two, but these are the ones I knew off the top of my head. It’s a reasonable ranking and that puts this movie around the middle of the pack which is pretty good.

Overall, While I had my issues with Batman Hush it is still a very good movie. It’s the kind of title where even if you know the outcome of the mystery it still works pretty well for re-watches. There is a lot of replay value to be found here and any Batman fan can quickly get into the film and enjoy it. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then you should definitely check it out. I can see why the arc is pretty well known as one of the big Batman arcs. Now I hope we can get a Battle for the Cowl arc soon. We’ve got all of the necessary characters introduced into the series already so it would definitely work and we’re running out of Batman arcs to use anyway. I think it’s the next logical step.

Overall 7/10

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 Doomed Review


Time for some more team ups with the good ole Mystery Inc and some more DC heroes. The series has done a good job of grabbing so many DC characters. We’re 7 volumes in and still seeing new fighters. While you may be skeptical as to how the Mystery Inc will actually be of help, typically they are really here as distractions. Think of them as extra shields to buy the heroes an extra second. Usually that’s all the extra time that the hero needs.

One of the stories has the heroes head to the swamp where they meet up with another one of Shaggy’s relatives. They’re here to look into the Voodoo Woman so they can put the swamp at ease. They have to stop her meddling, but unfortunately she already has a whole bunch of zombies at her beck and call. The only being who can really help them out of this dilemma is the legendary Swamp Thing, but will he really be able to defend against such a powerful villain? Interestingly this comic also squeezes in Solomon Grundy towards the end although he is definitely way out of his league this time. Typically I would actually pick him to win, but in this comic Swamp Thing had the edge from start to finish. There was never any doubt as to how this would end.

It’s a pretty nice comic. It’s always good to see Swamp Thing getting some time to shine after all. The comic also poked fun as how the heroes have also defeated Swampthing in another issue. The space in between the words is the key to really knowing who you are dealing with. This is an example of an issue where the Scooby gang doesn’t really get to do much though. Mostly they just run away from the Voodoo Woman a lot or they’re in awe of how strong Swamp Thing is.

Another comic features the Doom Patrol and this was actually my favorite issue of the bunch. The team is bickering as usual, but the strange part is there enemy seems to keep changing form. At one point a whole group of enemies show up, but they all seem to be ghosts. This is a case for the Scooby Doo gang. There’s definitely a trick involved and they’ll have to figure it out fast. The Doom Patrol was always a fun X-Men sort of group but with a lot more in-fighting. I also like how their leader has a lot of weapons ready inside of his wheelchair. Honestly it’s just the smart thing to do when you’re the leader of a super hero team. This way at least you can defend yourself right? This story has so much action it feels like a real Doom Patrol story with the Scooby Doo gang just guest starring in it. It’s handled really well.

Another story featured Supergirl as she called the gang in to help her deal with the ghosts of her parents. She was quite serious too as she even told them her secret identity which was a bold move. The heroes know something is wrong because the parents keep calling her Supergirl rather than Kara or her kryptonian name. That seems like a scam and of course the heroes are right. I would have liked a more powerful Supergirl villain to have been the main villain here, but it does help reinforce the mystery element of the issue. Supergirl could have looked better here as she spends most of the issue getting outsmarted, but she did call in the crew to handle the mysteries so in a way she won the fight before it even started.

There’s a subplot with her cat and Scooby not getting along, but it doesn’t hold up as well as the main one. The cat is just annoying and Scooby really isn’t much better so they both end up being guilty in this one. The whole temporary superpowers for a few minutes thing is pretty fun even if the time range isn’t nearly long enough to be all that useful. By the time you are really getting into a rhythm you would be taken down for the count.

In our next adventure we’ve got the return of the Blue Falcon. The issue here is that he has been acting awfully shady the last few days. His dog sidekick asks the Mystery Inc for help on figuring out just what is going wrong. Unfortunately they all fall for one of those classic net traps and find out that the real Blue Falcon was actually taken down by one of his old cronies who is now impersonating him. Can the heroes stop this guy or is it already too late? It goes without saying that Blue Falcon doesn’t look good here. He went down off screen and apparently he is so nondescript that someone can easily change places with him and nobody can tell the difference. He’s clearly got a ways to go before he is known as one of the big leaguers. It’s a good comic, but a little less eventful than some of the others. It was nice to see the characters constantly taking shots at him by saying that he was copying Batman though.

My least favorite issue was the one with all of the apes. Basically it’s an ensemble cast with a bunch of DC monkey themed characters. It’s a pretty impressive bunch as they even got some I didn’t recognize like the guy in a cage who can switch minds with an ape. What hurts this one is that I don’t even like a lot of them. Gorilla Grodd and Detective Chimp just aren’t my cup of tea. I also have to question why the Mystery Inc was really called in. They try explaining that it’s because one of the gorillas is a vampire Nazi so that’s like a ghost, but is it really? If I were the mystery inc I would still be questioning that. This is way out of their power levels. Still a good issue, but it wasn’t quite as strong as the others. Also the ending doesn’t really make sense.

So as I mentioned the main guy can switch minds with a gorilla and it is through his amulet/ring of sorts. He somehow manages to switch places with Titano at one point, but how? Unless his powers work differently than how I had interpreted them he would have needed to get the ring on the other ape and I just don’t see how he could have had time to do that. It would have been too difficult and he was out of range. That part just stuck out at me and I read it twice, but still couldn’t put that chain of events together.

In the next story the heroes are confronted with a bunch of powerful spirits. Dr. Fate sends them to the past so the heroes can find a way to deal with them, but it means that they will have to survive some world war II adventures as they try to find the answers. This means that the old school version of the Justice League shows up. Green Lantern’s weakness to wood is still a huge liability to deal with but the others manage to pick up the slack. The solution to stopping the demons ends up being incredibly simple, but I suppose that’s why it was hard to note it. This was definitely one of the strongest stories. It was nice seeing all of the heroes and everyone got to contribute in some way or form.

Finally we have a team up with Penelope Pitstop. I’m not familiar with her character but her gimmick seems to be that she gets kidnapped a lot. As a result there are a bunch of mini mobsters who look after her as well as a real estate agent of sorts. The Mystery Inc are called in to help her as well but with this many bodyguards nobody is sure who should take point so there is a lot of in-fighting. The Mystery Inc needs to figure out who is planning to kidnap Penelope before it is too late. The clock is ticking.

This is definitely the most mystery focused out of all the stories and I dare say that the Mystery Inc is at their best here. They get to do some old fashioned detective work here and they aren’t out shadowed by the other heroes. This time they can actually hold their own since they are in their own element and it ends up working out quite well for them. Penelope is definitely the most obscure of the characters we’ve seen, but in some ways that helps with the mystery since I wasn’t as familiar with her supporting cast. I definitely won’t be forgetting this adventure anytime soon though so it’ll be fun to see if she appears somewhere else in the near future.

As always the artwork here is pretty solid. The characters all look like themselves and the fights can take themselves seriously when necessary. The colors pop out and it’s clear that the artist was putting a lot of effort into the drawings. It just looks really good and it manages to be colorful/vibrant while keeping the serious tone for the heroes’ side of things. I’ve definitely got to give the comic a thumbs up here.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 is yet another strong installment in the series. By this point you should definitely know if you’ll like it or not. It’s a steady formula that the series has going on in these adventures and it’s one that works quite well. The Mystery Inc are here for the humor as they get chased and one upped by all of the villains while the DC Heroes come in with a lot of confidence and save the day. That’s exactly how it should be and this works out quite well. The art is good as always so these volumes just go by in a flash. I look forward to seeing who the heroes get to team up with next.

Overall 7/10

Wonder Woman Forgotten Legends Review


It’s time to look at a Wonder Woman comic. It’s been quite a while since I read one of her trade paperbacks. This one seems to take place right after one of the big DC crisis events. I think it may have been Crisis on Infinite Earths which would work out pretty well since the CW is about to air their version. It was a pretty big deal having the universe merge together and such. In a way this trade is to allow the Amazons to remember some of the good times before they vanish.

It starts off with Wonder Woman’s mom looking into the Crystal Ball at one of Wonder Woman’s biggest adventures. The Amazons are getting ready to all be vaporized as the universe ceases to exist, but they are all feeling rather down at the moment since Wonder Woman is no more. Perhaps looking at her greatest exploits will help them return to the afterlife in a smoother fashion. The Queen is also determined to keep her memories of Wonder Woman and would prefer to have them and be a star than to live on with her memories wiped. I don’t really blame her since having your memories wiped is never any fun. It’s always better to remember each and every detail for as long as you possibly can.

The main story is about Wonder Woman helping to protect a parade from any possible attackers. The attack turns out to be a lot more dangerous than the heroes could have imagined. A powerful lady named Atomia has conquered her world as well as many others and now Earth is next. She manages to enslave Steve Trevor and also kidnaps Etta Candy’s daughter. This little girl has now been transformed into a full fledged villain as well. She’s a little kid so while you can’t take her too seriously, she is definitely well aware of what she is doing so it’s hard to like the kid at all. Wonder Woman will have to save everyone and stop this threat to the planet but it won’t be easy.

Atomia makes for an interesting villain. She may be more of a typical conqueror than some of WW’s other enemies, but what helps her case is that she’s succeeded. She’s actually conquered many planets already so she was on a bit of a winning streak before Earth. Naturally this was one location that was a little too much for her, but she put up a good fight. Her decision to get the kid on her side was also pretty smart since it can result in having a good hostage. Atomia did let her guard down a bit quickly here though.

Then you have the two princesses of one of the other worlds she was targeting. I wasn’t a big fan of them for different reasons. One of them wasn’t great because she was a traitor. Even if she saw the light by the end of the issue it was way too late to even begin to trust her and it was too soon to forget the betrayal. The other one was a little too oblivious and got suckered too easily. It’s all well and good to give the villain a second chance, but maybe making her one of the rulers was a little too much.

Steve Trevor looked pretty good here and I dare say that it was one of his best appearances. He manages to hold out for a super long time even while poisoned and organized a whole resistance. This is one issue where he really did assist Wonder Woman quite a lot and wasn’t just around as a hostage or anything like that. Meanwhile Wonder Woman looks good as always. She has a pretty good grip on the situation and manages to basically foil an entire planet ending threat. She even pretends to be captured for a bit to try and talk sense into the villains, but that didn’t really work since they were totally on the evil side.

The comics are written and drawn in a way that really resembles Wonder Woman’s original adventures from many decades ago. It’s an interesting approach. The artwork looks good, but I do have to admit that the modern era stuff always looks better than this super retro style. The action scenes and such naturally don’t pop out quite as much as they would, but I do have to give the comic full credit for fully re-creating the look. You really would not be able to tell that this is a modern comic because even the writing is old school.

There are two bonus stories at the end though. One of them involves Wonder Woman returning to help the Amazons when they are rendered powerless by an invasion of men. It’s still pretty unfortunate for them that they lose all of their powers as soon as a guy steps ashore. It’s a pretty big weakness and it does give a little credit to the queen’s argument on why the island needs to keep its protection. The main problem here was that they only opened the borders for a split second, but I don’t see how much better it would be if they had opened it permanently. It would just be even more people and they all have guns so that’s game over. Wonder Woman still does a great job in saving them all and getting them their powers back, but this time I’m not really sure I agreed with her assessment.

The other story is about a kid whose wish for a monster causes it to be real. Wonder Woman helps him learn that monsters are cool and all, but at the end of the day what he really needs it the ability to protect instead. This helps the kid protect his sister and he learns that you have to be really careful as to what you wish for. The story is less exciting than the last one, but it’s still got a pretty good message there. Wonder Woman’s stories usually tend to have good morals like that.

Overall, Wonder Woman: Forgotten Legends is definitely a fun comic. It’s got a good story and solid writing to back it up. I don’t think you’ll be remembering it as one of WW’s greatest adventures, but it does serve its purpose as a lost story. It’s nice to have one last adventure from this era before jumping into the new timeline. Any fan of Wonder Woman or long-time DC comic reader should find lots to appreciate with this adventure. It’s less about Wonder Woman being a big time superhero who is saving planets and more about how she was always a role model and inspiration to the people she saved. She continues to save the day while setting a great example.

Overall 7/10

Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans Review


It’s time to look at the most recent Teen Titans Go! movie. This one brings back the classic Teen Titans for a quick crossover event. While the film doesn’t manage to be quite as fun as the first Titans Go movie it’s definitely still a quality film in its own right. You’ve got action, comedy, and a final boss. What else would you even need right? One thing to watch out for is the opening credits makes the interesting decision of spoiling the entire film. It literally goes section by section from start to finish and shows all of the big scenes. It’s a very odd choice.

The movie starts off by showing us that the Teen Titans have still got it as they beat the Gentleman Ghost. People may doubt their abilities, but they shouldn’t because these kids are the real deal. Things get a little hectic when a portal appears and they’re all kidnapped. It turns out that the Master of Games is kidnapping Teen Titans from various universes to make them fight. The Go Titans are eager to start the battle while the modern ones just want to find a way to save their world. It looks like both of them may have to team up, but can the two groups possibly learn to work with each other in time?

Going forward I’m going to call the original Titans the Gen 1 crew and the others will just be referred to normally since they are the main characters here. The Titans act about as well as you’d expect them to. They’re still treated like comic relief because even they acknowledge that they aren’t serious the way that the Gen 1 guys are. They can’t help but constantly be at the center of the gags. The only one who tries to be serious is Robin and even then he is constantly overshadowed by his Gen 1 version. I’ll give him points for effort though and he’s the only Titan who really understands the gravity of the situation. He needs the portal device and he needed a win to secure the team’s confidence. It’s just a shame that he isn’t able to fight quite as well as the others. The other Titans are all on point except for the fact that Starfire was not taking this seriously enough. None of them were all that serious, but at least they tried in the tournament. Starfire was too busy trying to make friends to do much of anything which was disappointing.

As for the Gen 1 crew, it was fun to see them again. Robin and Raven probably get the most to do here. Raven has a lot of experience with the demonic realm so she coaches the kid version on this. Meanwhile Robin is ready to lead the team and he definitely does not like the baby titans. He’s constantly belittling them and when they don’t listen to reason he is quick to put them down. Gen 1 Robin certainly enjoys being the leader and makes sure to stretch things out when possible. After all this is his chance to lead two different teams to victory so you can bet that he is going to milk this as much as he can. It’s just an opportunity that he cannot miss.

The movie moves pretty quickly through the different phases to the climax so it never drags on. I didn’t feel like any of the humor was all that bad either. I would consider this to be one of the stronger Teen Titans Go episodes if it was on TV. The return of Santa Claus was also a lot of fun. It’s always great to see him as an antagonist and he is one of their tougher opponents. Of course taking on a group this large would be difficult even for the greatest of villains.

Then we’ve got more crossover appeal towards the end of the film. If you managed not to see who was included already then I won’t spoil it for you. Needless to say it’s a pretty solid lineup. I would have liked to have seen them all a little more to be honest, but what we got was pretty neat. Imagine if the whole film was the tournament though and we got to see a lot of different verses duke it out. That would have been really cool and then this probably would have beaten the original film. The animation here does look pretty good, but more standard than the first movie. The colors are a little brighter and there is extra detail either way. There’s no super catchy theme like we got in the first film, but I guess it’s hard for Lightning to strike twice.

Where the film really shines is in how absurd the whole thing is. The Go characters are in full parody mode and they just don’t care what the Gen 1 group thinks. They’re here to have fun and nobody’s going to stop them. That straight forward goal really keeps the film going and it’s why you don’t even need the crossover aspect for this to be a success. The group can hold their own as is. If anything I’m just glad that the Gen 1 group weren’t too obnoxious in trying to question the Go characters at every turn. They quickly learned that the Go characters weren’t going to change and just rolled with it.

Overall, Teen Titans Go vs Teen Titans is a fun film. While it’s a versus title there isn’t a lot of action between the two teams. A good chunk of the action scene is just comedy, but to an extent that is to be expected with these guys. It’s probably the only vs title I would give a pass to because of that. Whether you’ll enjoy this film or not is completely dependent on whether or not you enjoy the Go series. If you like the TV show then you’ll like the film and if you don’t like the show then the movie won’t be for you. This basically feels like an extended few episodes and it’s really a movie for the fans. It brings all the best qualities of the show together.

Overall 7/10

Batman and the Justice League


Who’d have thought that DC comics would have another manga at long last right? This one’s actually got an ongoing plot and it’s the first time I’ve gotten to see the Justice League in this format. It’s off to a good start and I’m expecting good things to continue. I’ll have a review for this series up once I finish it.

Overall 7/10

Reign of the Supermen Review


It’s time to look at a pretty recent Superman film. This one is the follow up to the big battle with Doomsday that came out a while back. It’s a solid follow up that doesn’t quite match the action and intensity of the earlier film, but does give Superman’s supporting cast more of a role. If the last film was an end of the world type event then this film is the quick breather before things get back to end of the world stakes.

The film starts off by introducing us to the Supermen who have arrived to take over for Superman. One of these guys is Superboy who was created by Lex to show the world that the new Superman is under his leadership. He is fairly strong, but definitely has an ego and doesn’t seem ultra heroic. Then you’ve got Steel who doesn’t have any fancy super powers, but he does have his hammer which is pretty sturdy. You’ve got the Eradicator who is the most merciless of the Supermen and has made it his life
s goal to destroy all of the criminals. Even if the law doesn’t recognize someone as a criminal like Lex Luthor the Eradicator will try to take him down. Finally you’ve got the Cyborg Superman who claims to be the real one. He definitely seems the most compassionate of the 4 and the most powerful as well, but is it too good to be true? Lois must get to the bottom of this and get some closure on the status of Superman.

I’m less familiar with this follow up arc compared to the Doomsday one, but the film seems like a good take on it. Definitely more of a loose adaption since it’s putting this one in the New 52 continuity along with the Justice League. I miss the Blue and Red Supermen since I think they were in the original arc, but it is possible that they came in a little after. Either way, the important thing isn’t so much the adaption, but just how it stands up on its own.

First off the animation is still really good. I like the New 52 style animation, it’s actually decently close to how DC used to look at its peak. It may not be the DCAU, but it’s one of the next best things. It works well for the action scenes as well as the general landscape around the fights. Then the soundtrack is decent although not really memorable. The sounds and such work well during the film which is what counts.

From the 4 Supermen my favorite is still Cyborg Superman. He’s always been one of the better Superman characters so it’s nice to see him here. He may not be one of the most popular Superman villains, but he is still known well enough where people will probably be able to see through him pretty quick. His character arc goes down a pretty different path here as he actually works for someone which is a bit out of character. He does rectify this by the end which is good though. Then we have the Eradicator who is the next best member of the Supermen. It’s pretty interesting to see a Suprman who uses energy blasts instead of his fists. There’s a twist about his identity which works pretty well. It also makes him very versatile since he can really go anywhere.

Superboy is fun enough. He feels like the B grade version of Damian though. He is super confident, but tends to lose the fights he is in. It’s not his fault that he happens to be in a film with guys who are way stronger than him, but you would think that it would tone down his confidence a bit. He also has one critical moment where he just abandons someone to die as well. As I said, he’s just not very heroic. I think he’ll only get better from here on out though. Then you’ve got Steel who is the most out of his league here. He’s got a hammer, but what’s that gonna do against people who are as strong as Kryptonians? They can just shatter the hammer with ease. Steel means well though and he’s definitely a nice guy. He always gives me flashbacks of the old Steel film. I’m sure he’ll continue to be a useful ally as the films go on.

I do think that including the Justice League and the Darkseid plot was a bit of a mistake though. The main issue is that it brings in a lot of extra power level situations that aren’t actually needed here. One big question you’ll have is where are the League and what are they doing about the Superman situation. Well..not much of anything. Wonder Woman mentions that they’re stretched thin and then later on when they show up to help the President none of them actually want to go talk to Cyborg Superman. The way that they are written out of the film is also on the lazy side. You won’t actually be able to buy the scene for a second, not as long as someone like the Flash is there. This subplot does lead into the after credits scene which will likely be one of the best of the new line of DC titles. It still could have happened without the League actually appearing though. Just have the Cyborg Superman plot twist happen at the very end as he’s being defeated which leads to the cliffhanger. Darkseid and the gang are hype, but you know there’s no time for a proper round 2 anyway, that needs its own film.

The writing here is pretty solid. You’ve got an interesting plot that, while it may not have a whole lot of replay value thanks to the minimal amount of fights, makes for a good watch. It’s a fresh story so you’re ready to see where it leads you. The pacing here is good and it’s always interesting to see a world without Superman. The only scene that does drag on quite a bit is when Lois meets up with Wonder Woman. It seemed like a homage to one comic where they met up, but the dialogue was a lot stronger there. This scene mainly feels like it’s trying to buy time and it didn’t seem like it really set anything up either. Good to see that WW and Lois get along, but you could have probably guessed that anyway. I think if that had led up to a cool team up as they infiltrate LexCorp or something then that would be hype. Lois also has to use her charms to try and get some info at LexCorp so in general her plot was definitely one of the weak links here.

The best scenes are all when the Supermen are around and picking fights with each other. I haven’t mentioned Superman himself much yet, but he’s solid as always. He’s not really at full power here or even close to it so you don’t get to see him really taking it to anyone this time around. No worries, I’m sure he’ll get a lot of cool fight scenes in future movies as it is.

Overall, Reign of the Supermen is a fun concept and makes for a solid movie. It won’t go down as one of the more memorable DC titles, but there’s nothing really wrong with it either. It’s more of a low stakes film that focuses on the character development side of things. As Superman hasn’t gotten quite as much time in his Clark Kent form in this continuity I’m sure fans will like seeing how everyone reacts to him being gone. With this film done I’m pretty close to being caught up with the DC titles. Hopefully we get another Superman or Justice League film soon, but in the meanwhile the Wonder Woman one looks like it should be solid and Batman Hush always had an interesting plot.

Overall 7/10

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review


It’s time to look at a crossover that came out pretty recently. I never read the comic although it always looked pretty cool. The film seems to be a pretty straight adaption which is nice and it’s definitely a story that holds up well. I’d consider this to be one of the stronger recent DC films and I’d definitely be up for a sequel since there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end.

The film starts off with a group of FOOT soldiers showing up in Gotham and stealing some kind of experimental tech. Batman decides to look into it and the next target is determined to be Wayne Tech. He prevents them from stealing the device, but is ultimately defeated by their leader, The Shredder. Batman now needs to figure out how to stop this threat and believes there may be a connection with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’d better give him some details or he’ll be taking them down.

With a crossover you always want a definitive victor and the film did a good job with that. Batman does fight the 4 turtles and he pretty easily takes them down. The fight is also very early on in the film which I think was a good idea. I like build up for a film as well but I feel like this outcome was pretty obvious from the start (no shade to the turtles) so this just made sense. Batman and Shredder also have a fight with an actual outcome which was cool. I definitely won’t say who won of course, but it was a really solid fight and there were no cop outs. I can’t say I agree with the outcome necessarily but I can respect it. It’s a pretty close fight either way and as a crossover it’s nice to see them battle since they’re both considered to be in the top% of hand to hand fighters in their respective universes.

The animation will take a little time to get used to I’d say. The character designs are a bit off and it’s definitely a step down from the mainstream DC films. Still, it’s probably this way to look more like the comic. Donatello is a little too slim but the others are mostly on point. I’d say that Leonardo definitely had the best design from the 4. The fight scenes don’t suffer from this as the characters just get right into the thick of the action and the fight scenes are nice and extended. There is time for both combatants to really get in on the action. Batman’s fight with the Shredder round 1 is the best part of the movie without a doubt.

This film has pretty solid writing to back it up as well. There isn’t really a weak point here and that’s important. At worst you can say that the breaking into Arkham for the 100th time was a bit old by this point. I wouldn’t have minded sticking to the main plot, but that probably would have made the film a little too short. The scene of Batman deciding that the turtles were getting in his way was also a little forced for drama I’d say. Still, these are extremely minor things.

Batman’s definitely the best character in the movie. He really gets to make the most of his experience and hand to hand combat skills. He may not trust the others much, but at the end of the day he’ll make the right call. Sadly this is one of Damian’s weaker appearances. He just isn’t nearly as skilled as he usually is and only puts up a fight against the Turtles in a bit of a comic relief battle. I feel like in a serious fight he should be able to beat them like Batman. Batgirl doesn’t get a huge role, but she is around for the Arkham battles and helps out. She gets to show off her intellect a lot here.

From the Turtle side, Leonardo’s the best one. He gets a lot of action and is certainly shown to be the most skilled of the turtles. He is always the one to help the heroes make a comeback and also manages to keep his emotions in check when it looks like it is curtains for the others. Raphael also looks reasonably good here. He definitely doesn’t get to have any real wins compared to Leonardo, but he is quick to get in on the action. Donatello and Michelangelo definitely can’t compete. Donatello at least has the planning on his side but Michelangelo is mainly just here for the gags. The comic relief character is usually doomed to be one of the weaker ones in the film.

For the villains, Shredder definitely looked good. It’s always nice to see him in his more serious incarnations. His armor was also top quality to hold its own against Batman’s. (Although Batman’s spikes were definitely shown to be sharper) I feel like Shredder was on the losing end of the bargain though since he has to trust Ra’s to keep his end of the bargain. Way I see it, you should never finish your part of the plan before the other guy has a chance to start his. Then there’s no incentive for the other guy to do his part. Meanwhile Ra’s definitely looks good. I don’t think this plan was his most brilliant one, but he does a good job of making sure it succeeds. He also puts in a pretty good fight which is to be expected since he’s a premiere fighter as well.

There are other sub villains, but they don’t get a huge role. Most of the Arkham guys aren’t even in their right minds since they took the serum. It was definitely a unique choice for the fights, but I think it would have been even better if they had stayed in their normal designs. The Arkham stuff was probably the weakest part of the film compared to the other acts, but at the end of the day it was basically nonstop fight scenes so it was still pretty solid. You can’t go wrong with a good action scene. Naturally the film does get a little violent at times, but it’s never nearly as excessive as some of DC’s other titles. A few people get sliced and diced but that’s basically the extent of it.

Overall, Batman vs the Ninja Turtles is a great film. There’s a lot of action here and a steady amount of good dialogue. I was definitely on Team Batman all the way, but the turtles make for good sidekicks. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s always nice to have more crossovers get animated and this was a great pick. I’m hoping we get more such titles at some point. Maybe we can finally get the Superman vs He Man movie at some point.

Overall 8/10

DC Showcase: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew Review


It’s time to look at a DC team that probably isn’t one of the more popular ones around. Captain Carrot sadly never became a household name as one of the ultimate animal mascots. It’s too bad since the comics definitely are pretty fun. I will admit that it is pretty weak relative to the other ongoing DC comics back in the day so I can’t blame people for not really buying it. Still, it holds up really well and as always the Showcase series makes sure to bring quite a lot of comics here. You’re in for a fun surprise.

The collection actually starts off with the crossover comic which is where we meet Captain Carrot. Basically he used to be an ordinary rabbit, but after eating a radioactive carrot he gains Super Strength, Speed, and Flight. The guy is also basically indestructible which is really handy. Superman ended up in this crazy alternate Earth after things started getting messy on his Earth. It’s like missing your train stop only Superman missed his whole planet. Unfortunately Superman wasn’t ready for how different this world would be and after Captain Carrot beats him up a bit Superman gets kidnapped. Fortunately Captain Carrot will have the help of other animals who gained super powers thanks to this event. Little does the team know that this will be just the beginning of their outings.

As for how well the team gets along, these guy probably bicker more than most of the others. Very rarely does the team actually really get along. Pig Iron and Captain Carrot are constantly getting at each other’s feelings with the low blows. Then you’ve got Kat and Yankee who seem to despise each other. Fastback also doesn’t get along with Yankee and Rubber Duck tends to be pretty self absorbed. It makes for a pretty interesting dynamic, but I have to say that if I was on the team I wouldn’t be able to trust the others. I’d always be watching my back.

Pig Iron is the strong guy of the group. To an extent that may almost be redundant with how powerful Captain Carrot is, but I suppose you can never have too much muscle right? He is very much like the Thing as he constantly talks about quitting the team. He tends to not be a crowd favorite in-universe because of his scary design. He slowly grows more used to being a part of the team though so by the end he is mostly done with all the quitting talk. He’s not my favorite member but ultimately he’s not bad.

As expected Captain Carrot is definitely my favorite member. He’s the voice of reason and that makes him a solid leader. He still does jump into action whenever needed and always keeps the team from splitting apart. There are times where he was fine with letting Pig Iron go though. You’ll feel bad for Carrot though since nobody really cares about his comics much. He writes a lot of comics, but the team never reads them and whenever he is close to missing a deadline they don’t bother to help him either. Ah well, the life of a leader is never easy right?

Then you’ve got Fastback whose name is pretty self explanatory in terms of his role on the team. I feel like he got less screen time than the others in general to be honest. This also makes him a little less interesting than the others. His super speed is definitely very handy in a fight of course, but in terms of personality he is pretty dry. In comparison Rubber Duck is possibly the weakest member of the group, but he’s a much more likable character. The guy is always bragging and he definitely enjoys being a rich actor. Certainly nothing wrong with that though, you should enjoy your role. What’s the point of becoming the best in your craft if you never take time out to enjoy it? He has the abilities of Mr. Fantastic which helps a lot in a support role, but when the big villains come to town he is pretty much helpless.

Then you’ve got Yankee Poodle and sometimes you may wonder why she is still on the team. None of the other members seem to like her and the feeling appears to be mutual. She’s just in it for the free publicity and to fatten her own wallet. Her ability uses stars to push people away. It’s a bit of a vague ability, but one that is very versatile even if it is lacking in power. Yankee makes for a good member because of how antagonistic she is. She’s not a hero, but just someone who happens to be on a hero team which is an interesting dynamic.

Then you’ve got Cheese who is a rat who comes in to help the others at times. He’s not a part of the original roster, but he does his best to help. The guy can shrink, but that’s really it so he won’t end up being one of the power houses. He’s a decent character, but doesn’t really add anything to the dynamic. Then you’ve got Alley Kat who is potentially one of the most powerful members. While she doesn’t have the strength or speed or the top 3, she has magical abilities which transcend dimensions. In theory her abilities don’t have a real limit. As a result she is usually written out of the scenario or put in a spot where her abilities won’t do a whole lot. She’s a pretty good character, definitely more aloof than the others, but she also tends to stay on task. When the other characters fail you can at least count on her to keep the heroes in the game.

There aren’t any real main villains. A few of them do appear more than once though like the Godzilla homage and the Armadillo. Both of these villains are pretty solid. In general with the writing being so good it’s not surprising in the slightest. When you’ve got writing that is really good then everything tends to fall in place with the character cast. Of course the actual story is still important, but a good cast can carry just about any story if you think about it. Superman may seem to be a bit condescending throughout his appearance, but you have to cut him a bit of slack here. How can you not see a bunch of little animals running around and not at least try to get them to stand down. Superman knows he is strong enough to handle these situations and just wants to make sure that nobody gets hurt.

Most of the comics are stand alones although there is enough continuity to bring them all together. For example for a few comics the heroes plan to go on vacation, but things keep happening that prevents them from doing this. It actually felt pretty tragic by the end because it felt like they would never make any progress. The heroes get kidnapped quite a bit and venture into different worlds more than once. One comic that was especially solid was when a time patrolling villain kidnapped the team. He was a pretty op threat since he can manipulate time. This is one example where Alley Kat was the only one who could match him.

Then towards the end there is a mini series about the Carrot Crew heading over to Oz in Wonderland. It brings in a lot of the classic characters from that series along with a lot of old foes as the heroes must save this world. I’m thinking this comic came out a while after the original ones as it feels more modern. In some ways the team has regressed in this arc though as Pig Iron is back to thinking about quitting and he bickers with Captain Carrot more than usual. It also brings back the romance plot with Alley Kat which happened quite a bit in the old comics, but naturally it didn’t go anywhere.

Still, the romance does need to be mentioned and it’s definitely the weaker part of the dynamic. It definitely seems like Alley Cat is doomed from the start since Carrot fell in love with one of the characters he drew in a comic. She turned out to actually be real in an alternate world and they teamed up at one point. Things got dicey for Super Squirrel since in the comics he likes that heroine. So, the romance may have all been a bit much here, but regardless I did like the crossover with the Justice League parody. It was pretty crazy and a bit one sided, but it was nice to see the Carrot Crew show them up. It’s sort of like the writers way of saying that the Carrot Crew could hold their own against the Justice League.

The heroes are actually pretty overpowered even if it doesn’t always feel that way. Carrot is on par with Superman as they fought to a draw and if anything Carrot seemed more impressive. Then you’ve got Pig Iron who is every bit as strong as Carrot and may even have the slight edge. Then you’ve got Fastback who says he is faster than light and Alley Cat who can warp through dimensions and do just about anything with her spells. That’s a really good roster. At the same time, they still get knocked out by random villains every other comic so you do have to wonder about all of this. Either the villains are that powerful in which case the power creep is crazy or the heroes just tend to exaggerate their abilities a bit. It’s likely the later, but it’s still pretty fun to see them being acknowledged as such a threat.

I think another aspect of the comic that makes it so solid is the fact that we see a lot of the heroes’ human identities as well. It can always be hard to hit a good balance for that, but it’s something that I’ve always liked to see. I understand the logic of just showing the superhero in his powered up form 24/7 but seeing both sides of the story helps a lot for character development. Take a look at the classic Superman animated series, the Clark Kent scenes are essential. Without the human scenes you’re only seeing half a story and with Captain Carrot you get to see everyone’s day to day life in addition to their superhero fights. It’s also done pretty gradually so it all flows well.

Naturally the art is pretty good here. The comics are consistent and all of the character models are on point. It’s pretty easy to read through. It won’t look quite as awesome as it should since the art is printed in black and white for this collection, but it’s definitely solid all the same. I like the facial expressions here and in particular Captain Carrot steals the show whenever he is on screen. He really was the right pick for the leader of this outfit and proves it constantly. The fights are on point as well and the writing is dynamite throughout. The puns and clever lines here just never stop.

Overall, Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew is definitely a collection that I would recommend. There’s a whole lot of issues here so you don’t need to be worried about the value. It’s got all the classic strengths of the DC comics while also throwing in a whole new set of characters to root for. It may not be the next Justice League, but I think you’ll end up liking this collection a lot more than you may dare expect. The comic only really has the one big crossover so it’s nice to see that the characters can hold their own adventures. I checked on Comicvine to see what happened to them after these issues and it definitely looks like things got dark for the crew so enjoy these happy stories while you can folks.

Overall 7/10