Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants Review


Batman Unlimited was a fun experiment by DC. It’s basically what you get when you mix today’s animation with a far lighter 80’s Batman tone. The first two films were solid. On one hand the designs could use some work but on the other you are getting quality fights without having to worry about the film going all in with violence. This installment ends the trilogy on a high note as it is probably the best of the 3. It’s quite solid and I’ll miss having the gang around.

The movie’s plot centers around the Penguin and Mr. Freeze. Freeze wants to stop some nearby ships and Penguin wants to rule Gotham. As such they form an alliance and Penguin teaches Freeze how to be more ambitious. The icy villain quickly becomes good at this. Meanwhile Damian is having a rough start as Robin since Joker humiliated him on TV. He is determined to get better though and this latest threat to his city could be a perfect opportunity.

I’ve probably talked about this in previous installments but I really like how Batman Unlimited basically has nonstop action throughout. There aren’t many breaks for talking at all here yet the movie still does build up a very complete plot. Who doesn’t want to see Batman in a giant mech suit fighting a Godzilla homage? The concept of having robots vs monsters is certainly a classic one with Pacific Rim being the latest big film to bring attention to the genre. We also get traditional Batman style fights like the Arkham battle where Batman and Robin face off against the villain group. It’s a fight where you get the feeling they will lose from the start since it’s too early for the villains to be defeated, but it’s a fun fight nonetheless. Honestly I think the heroes were pretty well matched up against the villains.

As always the animation is pretty solid. It looks like a main line DC film except for the fact that the character designs are quite different. Some can be a bit off putting, but at the same time I wouldn’t call them bad. Batman’s (Bruce Wayne form) for example looks like something out of Space Dandy or Johnny Bravo. It’s a bit of an odd look for his Bruce Wane persona considering you’d expect something a bit more formal. Still, when you’re rich like that you can dress however you want with whatever hairstyle you want so it’s not as if it’s unrealistic or anything. Anything goes in that scenario. The fight scenes are pretty sharp with a lot of vibrant colors. I think with some fine tuning this could even be a decent basis for a Batman anime of sorts. The scenes when inside the mech could certainly work.

There’s not much of a soundtrack so I’ll skip over that. Maybe the sequel would work on that. Green Arrow still gets shown up by Batman the whole time here. It gets to the point where I feel like he starts to acknowledge this by intentionally trying to sabotage Batman. Keep in mind that even if this is for humor such a stunt can easily cost lives when up against villains. Batman and Robin were getting ready to sneak up on the villains when Green Arrow broke through the glass which announced their presence. Somehow the villains didn’t hear them but you can still see what Arrow was trying to do. Additionally Arrow tries to prevent himself from getting one upped by ordering his own mech suit. Unfortunately for him it simply wasn’t strong enough to win any fights so once again he had to watch Batman come to the rescue. Green Arrow takes all of this pretty well though and overall I’d say that it was one of his better incarnations. It’s not all about power after all so as long as he’s still cracking jokes and trying hard that’s a start.

Meanwhile Damian has his own plot about trying to stay out of Batman’s shadow. He’s the newest Robin as the others have all graduated and gotten their own titles. At first you may even think that he is Red Hood or Red Robin since the costume is basically the same but it turns out that it is Damian. This also helps tie in to the main titles where Damian is currently Robin. He’s a pretty good Robin. You can’t help but feel bad for him during the intro since losing to Joker while being recorded on the internet was a pretty hard blow to take considering it was his first real day on the job. He does his best to improve and study from there. Damian never makes excuses for himself and I’d say that he has a lot of potential if we do get another installment.

Nightwing gets a small role near the end, but ultimately is just here as a cameo. As always Batman’s quite excellent here. He’s got everyone right where he wants them and reminds the other heroes that you don’t need powers to win fights. He’s pretty strict with everyone but never comes across as fair. I think Batman’s character is usually consistent in the movies and that doesn’t change here. He’s just as fun as he always is. As you can tell the character cast here was quite solid. I’d thank the writing for that. The film always seems to be on point and with its short run time the pacing is also good.

As far as the villains go they were solid as well if not a little less impressive. I was pretty surprised to see Chemo since he’s pretty obscure, but it was nice to have him on board. Clayface and Chemo both get their giant monster fights, but don’t do much beyond that. Bane and Killer Croc have a big rivalry going which was fun. I’d probably go with Bane to win that fight ordinarily but it seems like Croc had the edge this time. I suppose since he also had an energy blast he was the more dangerous fighter. Those two were the highlights from the main villains. Of course Penguin is always fun though and is typically one step ahead of the other villains. Mr. Freeze is quite a bit different than usual. His character arc could be a bit cheesy as I think he just didn’t think his goals enough. I hardly see why he would want to help at the end even after Batman’s explanation. Sure, it wasn’t really his plan anymore but the end result was the same. For the villains with smaller roles Joker certainly stole the show here. He had some great moments including his final scene. It shows why you really don’t want to mess with him as a villain. It’s always going to come back to bite you.

Overall, Batman Unlimited is most likely over with this film. It’s a trilogy that probably won’t be remembered very much by the fans but I’m glad that we got it. It’s certainly one that I would recommend and it really delivered on what the core of the project was…a good excuse to bring Batman and the others back for quality action scenes. Also the cliffhanger wasn’t all that exciting anyway so if the film decided to bring back Clayface it’s not like we would have missed much. His abilities can make him a very dangerous opponent I suppose, but his fight scenes wouldn’t be quite as hype as the ones we got here. If we do get a Batman Unlimited 4, I want to see all of the Robins team up since Red Robin missed out on this adventure.

Overall 8/10

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Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 5 Review


It’s time to look at another volume of the Scooby Doo Team Up series. With a lot of the bigger heroes already accounted for this volume mostly focuses on the less known heroes. That being said, these guys are mainly household names, but just not in the same league as the big 7. As always it’s a fun collection with a lot of fun moments and good pacing. By now you will likely know if this series is your style or not, but I’d definitely recommend it.

The first story has Green Arrow and Green Lantern show up. They have been travelling across America trying to find out what the true nature of the country is. Unfortunately their findings have not been all that positive as of yet and they believe that things aren’t going well for the country. Fortunately the Mystery Inc is here to solve a case and along the way they will remind the heroes that there is always hope. Can this band of adventurers and heroes really help this village visit the outside world though? Yes, part of the plot is that a group of people have secluded themselves in a little village and refuse to go to the outside world but now they are being haunted.

It’s a good first story although the whole thing is definitely a little odd. First off, Green Arrow is just really out of character here. He’s constantly being a pessimist and can’t stop thinking about politics. I also wasn’t crazy about the resolution of the story here. Basically the ghosts were the kids of these people who were trying to scare them into going back to town. The reason is that they moved away but are now lonely without their parents. I mean…they could just visit the parents right? It seems like they wanted everything to go their way and it is never necessarily pointed out that this is the wrong approach. The kids just seemed very entitled.

Then we have a crossover with a Kung Fu dog that I’ve never heard of. Essentially the gang are being attacked by fire breathing dragons who know Kung Fu. Scooby Doo and the gang are usually prepared for anything, but for once they have met their match. That’s why calling in the dog made sense, but unfortunately he doesn’t know how to fight and the Kung Fu was all a sham. I feel bad for fans of this character. Fortunately Daphne knows how to fight which ultimately helps the team make it through this adventure. It’s a reasonable comic although I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the dog. If he can’t really fight then I don’t see how he will be able to help anyone.

A pretty fun story features a bunch of obscure groups. They solve mysteries under the sea, in space, etc. All of the groups have similar costumes and egos. This one is pretty strong because the group ends up insulting the Mystery Inc’s effectiveness so naturally this starts a rivalry. Even if this should be pretty lopsided in favor of the team that can actually fight I always like to see the Mystery Inc talk tough. Fred certainly doesn’t back down from a challenge. If Shaggy and Scooby weren’t constantly embarrassing the team I’m sure their rep would be even better than it currently is. By the end the group managed to pull their own weight though and it was fun seeing all of the obscure DC teams. They all seemed pretty likable and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them.

Typically in all of these stories the heroes are teaming up with DC fighters who are much stronger and better equipped to handle a situation. This next story is the first exception to that. There are a group of alley cats who are always causing trouble. This time they have pretended to make a ghost to scare off the cops. Fortunately this cop is pretty smart and calls in the main characters. They decide to solve the case which puts the cats in a pretty bad spot. Things get worse when the Real Estate agents show up to make a mess of the situation. It’s pretty nice to see Fred and the gang get to tackle some actual ghosts here since that’s their area of expertise. You could argue that they controlled the pace and tempo of this case.

Then we’ve got a story that takes place in the distant past. It turns out that there was an original Mystery Inc who worked in the Wild West. They were called in to deal with a monster, but there is also a fugitive of the law in this place who is being hunted by Cinnamon and Jonah Hex. The guy seems innocent though so the Mystery Inc may have to step in. It’s certainly interesting to see the group operating in the past even if it may seem like a bit of a stretch. I suppose it’s the only way they could team up with someone like Jonah Hex though so it’ll have to do. I’ve never heard of Cinnamon, but it’s hard to tell if she’s real or fake. I’m personally thinking that it may be the latter.

Plasticman also shows up. His sidekick was tricked by a fortune teller into thinking that his days are numbered so naturally he is spooked. Fred and the gang don’t believe that the magic was real since they don’t believe in the supernatural but as bad things continue to happen Shaggy and Scooby lose their nerve once more. It’s a fun enough story and I suppose it’s good for some of the guest stars to be spooked so it’s not always Shaggy and Scooby making their group look bad. Plasticman’s abilities are also pretty useful when he uses them right which the comic has him do.

The art is pretty good for all of the comics and is part of what makes the collection so fun to read. The art is very streamlined and everyone has their iconic designs. You can glance at a page and instantly know what is happening. The art is very clear and the colors are vibrant. Each issue has good pacing and writing within so that each story is able to be told without feeling rushed. As the collection contains 5-7 comics it’s also a pretty good value. I hope to see many more Scooby Doo Team Up volumes.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up is a fun series. It’s a nice crossover series that gets to put the Mystery Inc in a lot of crazy situations. While they may not always be very well equipped to handle a situation you always have to give them credit for trying. These issues could easily work as normal episodes in the show which is probably the whole point. It shows that the comic writers know what they are doing here. If you haven’t checked this volume/series out then I definitely recommend fixing that. Everything is basically on point here.

Overall 7/10

Green Arrow vs Gambit


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Suggested by Anon Green Arrow is definitely really good with a bow, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to let him deal with Gambit. Gambits explosive abilities work with anything he can touch and that also applies to a Green Arrow’s arrows. I’m not sure what happens if Gambit touches an arrow that has electricity or a bomb version, but I believe he can absorb the kinetic energy of the latter. The former would be interesting to see, but with his athletic abilities it won’t really be a factor. Green Arrow is actually very proficient in hand to hand combat as well, but I’d give Gambit the slight edge here. Furthermore, having actual powers gives him an edge as well. Gambit wins.

Batman Unlimited Animal Instincts Review

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It’s been a while since DC has been able to deliver a good movie, but I had high hopes for this one after seeing the trailer. It would get away from the excessive violence and bring us the classic Superfriends atmosphere that we had been waiting for. As expected, the film was fun and lived up to my expectations. I could have done with some more hand to hand action towards the second half, but it managed to avoid having many negatives and as the film is quite short, it is something that I could definitely recommend to others as a quick superhero watch.

Mysterious animal related crimes have been surfacing in Gotham City so Batman and his comrades decide to check it out. Batman is evaded in his fight and Cheetah manages to defeat Nightwing with the help of Killer Croc, despite the Flash coming in to help out. The heroes are systematically defeated at each and every turn so Batman decides to take the initiative. Meanwhile, the Penguin decides to make a new building and it ends up being the tallest in the city. Could he have some kind of plan to go alongside this or is he just trying to have fun? The heroes will have to try their best if they want to stand a chance here!

All right, let’s quickly talk about the technical aspects first. The soundtrack was surprisingly good and fast paced. It really fit quite well with the action scenes. I think that the music could have been a little more pronounced though so you could really feel the action, but it was still better than expected. The writing was also pretty solid as you would expect from a Superfriends inspired product. Keeping in this atmosphere for future films would be great!

As for the animation, Batman Unlimited looks good. I doubt anyone will be making a case for it looking great, but it can hold his own when necessary. The opening action scenes actually looked quite good and that’s a plus of being so modern. Even relatively low budget films can still look quite good. One thing that I noticed was that the film would use a longer roll animation than necessary so every time the character hit the ground, they would keep on rolling and rolling. It’s not bad though, just something to notice. The night scenes ere all handled quite well.

That being said, I didn’t care for most of the character designs. I really liked Batman’s costume, but that’s about it. The hair styles of the various characters were just off and the Flash looked really odd the whole time. It reminded me of Superman and the Elite to an extent. Good animation can help to negate the character designs, but it was still very iffy. Nightwing’s hair probably stuck out the most to me. Luckily, the voices also helped to mitigate these losses as Nightwing’s was perfect for his character and Red Robin also got a really good one. DC really pulled out the stops for this one.

All right, for a negative, I’d say that the Flash looked really bad. It goes beyond simply plot hax as he is made to be a bit of a joke here. It’s similar to the treatment that Green Lantern got in Justice League War, which I still find to be quite sad. Flash gets tripped by Cheetah here and Man Bat takes him out in a single blow. His high speed punches also have absolutely no effect on Killer Croc, which was just embarrassing. He was treated as a bit of a rookie here and even if this is Wally West, that’s still a bit much. Red Robin was the main comic relief for the film, but he was handled well. What he lacks in hand to hand combat, he makes up for with his intense one liners. I order Sliders from Buffalo Wild Wings myself so I can see why Red Robin was in the mood for it.

Nightwing certainly looked good here. He was on point the whole time and never lost sight of the mission. He felt like a mini Batman and you can be sure that the Dark Knight is pleased with his progress. He may have lost to the villains the first time, but those guys managed to make all of the heroes look bad on several occasions so it certainly wasn’t his fault. Green Arrow also looks good and we get to see him relatively early in his career I’d say because he was still waiting on the patent for one of his inventions. Green Arrow looked good and while he still seems like a bit of a second rate Batman, he isn’t a bad character.

Naturally, Batman looks the best from the group and whenever he decides to take charge, you know that the heroes are about to do well. I don’t care for his Space Dandy design, but this is a Batman who knows what he is doing and that’s always a good thing. He knew how to make a cure for Man Bat and he figured out how to track the villains right away. Batman doesn’t get to look much better than this, his portrayal was spot on.

As you may expect from the film’s short run time, it’s essentially just a compilation of action scenes. There is always some kind of action going on. It can get a little repetitive to see the villains escape the heroes so often though as that really shouldn’t be happening. The heroes had the villains outmatched the instant that Flash appeared. Without him, it would actually be an interesting fight, but I can’t ignore the presence of such a heavy weight. The film probably could have used a better array of villains, although it was a fairly decent team. Cheetah makes for a decent threat, Killer Croc is tough, and the robot Ape wasn’t bad. Man-Bat and Penguin could have been more interesting or imposing though. I’ve never been a fan of those two.

That’s why the sequel looks like it could end up being even better than this film, although I’m being cautious for now. I was pleasantly surprised with some of the fight scenes after all and the film was just enjoyable to watch through and through. This is why Batman Meets the Green Hornet needs to be adapted into a film like this one. I have a feeling that it would prove to be quite the entertaining movie!

Overall, Batman Unlimited was a fun little film. There’s certainly not a whole lot of depth to it and you won’t be forced to ask yourself the tough questions, but it’s a really fun superhero film that will remind you of the good old days. This is certainly the best animated comic book film in a while and it felt like DC’s answer to the Marvel’s Heroes United Run. I’d say that DC took the win here as expected. In the sequel, I want Superman to be added to the roster! I saw the trailer a while back, but that was quite a while ago so I forgot most of it. I’ll be sure to check it out again soon. Let me know what you thought of this film once you see it!

Overall 7/10

Gallantmon vs Green Arrow


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Green Arrow has his arrows at the ready and he’s a decent hand to hand fighter, but he’s just not strong enough to take Gallantmon down for the count. Gallantmon has defeated many powerful opponents in the past and he has a nice arsenal of weapons at his disposal. Green Arrow won’t survive being hit by Gallantmon’s attacks. Gallantmon wins.

Green Arrow vs Batman


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Batman has a lot of tech at his disposal and Green Arrow just won’t be a match for him. Batman’s a lot smarter in combat and he’s definitely a better fighter. Batman’s got his GL Power Ring at the ready to make sure that Green Arrow doesn’t stand a chance. Batman’s experience will be too much for Green Arrow and he’s just the stronger individual. Maybe Green Arrow can at least give him a decent fight. Batman wins.

Green Arrow vs Speedy


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Speedy is pretty good with arrows, but he doesn’t have the experience that Green Arrow has. Green Arrow has been around for a long time and he’s even taken on Batman. That’s pretty impressive and it shows that Archers don’t just need to use arrows. Speedy is a lot quicker, but Green Arrow has his armor and sword skills to tip the balance in his favor. Green Arrow wins.

Green Lantern vs Green Arrow


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Green Lantern is a being of intense power and with a single shot he’s taken down many opponents. Green Arrow has a large array of arrows at his disposal. None of them will be able to do much damage to Green Lantern so in the end it doesn’t really help. Green Arrow takes a loss in this round. Green Lantern wins.