Category Archives: Comic Books
Y’know, I’ve made it clear that I’m not a fan of Batman killing people. I just think that’s contrary to who the character is in the modern age. Batman should not kill people. However, let’s assume you’re whoever it was that decided Batman must be a killer in the current DC movies. Regardless of my own personal feelings on the matter, let’s go with that premise. However, beyond simply acclimating us to Batman killing people, as Confused Matthew recently pointed out in his own review of Batman v Superman, you need to make sure that there are no contradictory issues involving him killing people with his other actions and inactions. And, in the case of these movies, I think I may have found one.
Now, I know we all liked to think that the ending of Man of Steel, where Superman snaps Zod’s neck, would act as the catalyst for him deciding to never kill again, that being forced to do so and feeling so awful about it would, in turn, make Superman a better person. However, considering he kills at least two more times in BvS, I think it’s safe to say that was never the plan. Sorry, it just wasn’t. BUT, let’s give the benefit of the doubt and assume that, given Batman’s decision not to kill or brand Lex Luthor at the end of BvS, he’s decided to abandon his killing ways. That way, we can even craft character development around it, in that meeting Superman and Wonder Woman and saving Martha Kent’s life, something has changed inside of him, and he’s not going to kill anymore. That means that, whenever the situation comes up where he COULD kill someone and doesn’t, we know why and it makes at least some sort of sense. However, there’s still a problem that’s been nagging at me ever since the movie came out…and I think I finally figured out what it is. And ultimately, it comes down to three panels…
And that’s when I realized the biggest plot hole regarding Batman killing people: Given what we’ve seen and heard in these movies, we can infer that Batman started down this much darker road after Joker killed Jason Todd. And, as I’ve mentioned before, that actually makes sense when you consider what happened in the comics. The biggest difference between what happened there and what’s going on in the comics is that, apparently, in this universe, Tim Drake never stepped into Batman’s life, and he went down a route of killing his enemies. But, if all of that’s true, then why in the hell is the Joker still alive? Why wasn’t he the FIRST person Batman killed? And don’t give me any bull about how he hasn’t been able to catch him, because I refuse to believe that, in all of that time, he NEVER caught him. Hell, according to Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn was an accomplice in Robin’s murder. Why didn’t Batman kill HER when he fished her out of the bay? Honestly, I think the only reason he doesn’t kill Deadshot is because his daughter was there watching the whole thing go down. Now, admittedly, we don’t know EXACTLY when he caught both of these individuals, but I was under the assumption they were both just a little bit before BvS, since the Justice League trailers and the ending of BvS seems to indicate he immediately began putting all of his efforts into locating and bringing Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman into the fold. So even if he DID decide not to kill anymore by the end of that movie, these events would’ve happened BEFORE then. Harley and the Joker should both be dead as shit. It makes no logical sense, if Batman kills people, and they’re the ones who sent him down this dark path, that he wouldn’t kill them. So yeah, add this to the LONG list of ways that the makers of these movies have failed hard… … …Though it’s hardly the worst way.
Are there any other plot holes you can think of regarding Batman killing people? Lemme know in the comments below. Ja né!
Okay, I know this is not the first parody song I’ve ever posted, but just reminding everyone, I did not write the song this was based on, nor do I profit from this in any way. Also, this is meant to be read from Harley Quinn’s POV in observation of Poison Ivy. lol
I never seen ya lookin’ so lovely as ya did tonight
I never seen ya shine so bright
I never seen so many men help ya shut down some factory
They’re lookin’ for a little romance, just like me
I never seen that flower yer wearing
Or the flowers in yer hair that match yer eyes
I have been blind
Pammy in green is dancin’ with me, cheek to cheek
Mistah J’s not here, it’s just you and me, it’s where I wanna be
But I hardly know this redhead by my side
But I’ll never forget, the way ya look tonight
I never seen ya lookin’ so gorgeous as you did tonight
I never seen ya shine so bright, ya were amazin’
I’ve never seen so many people hypnotized to be by your side
And when ya turned to me and smiled, it made me wanna take ya an-Imeantookmybreathaway! Yeah, that’s it.. … …
I have never had such a feelin’, such a feelin’ of complete and utter love, as I do tonight
Pammy in green is dancin’ with me, cheek to cheek
The Bat and Birdboy ain’t here, it’s just you and me, it’s where I wanna be
And I really hope DC won’t retcon us
But I’ll never forget, the way ya look tonight
I never will forget, the way ya look tonight
Pammy in green
Pammy in green
Pammy in green
My Pammy in green
Y’know, in comics, when you’re setting up line-ups of different titles to try and sell to your customers, say as part of a reboot or relaunch or whatever, it’s a good idea to keep it varied. After all, you never know when something different might stick with someone. But, at the same time, there are certain books that have a certain name value to them that need to be kept in, no matter what you’re doing. DC Comics, in particular, seems to have several of these high name value books. But which ones are the ones that I feel are the ones that MUST be kept in, regardless of what they’re doing? What books, no matter what kind of universal reboot or retooling or new direction, do I feel are the titles that should be kept around? Well, strap yourselves in, because I’m about to go over them now. These are the 12 essential DC titles I feel should be a part of every line-up. So, let’s start with an obvious one…
If for no other reason, Action Comics needs to be kept around for DC’s entire life-span because it’s the book that started this whole incredible ride. And because it’s been around for so long, it can provide for great anniversary moments. Hell, at this moment in time, we are coming up super close to a legitimate Action Comics #1000, and it’s frigging awesome. I would keep Action Comics running from now until the end of time if I could, and I would NEVER attempt to renumber it ever again.
Same deal as Action Comics. Detective Comics has been a major staple of DC (right down to the frigging name), and is likewise creeping up on 1000 issues. This needs to keep running for as long as DC Comics does. Maybe even longer, if say someone like Marvel or whoever bought out DC and kept their characters and stories going.
They are the three pillars of DC Comics. Let’s just be clear about that. No matter how big anyone else gets, and there are plenty of big freaking names, these are the ones that best define DC: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. You do not have DC Comics if you don’t have these three characters, and they MUST have their own solo titles. Admittedly, though, Action Comics and Detective Comics of the modern day are pretty much just Superman and Batman books respectively, but at least said books also feature plenty of their supporting casts. Hell, for a time, Detective Comics primarily starred Batwoman. But yeah, these three HAVE to be around.
Okay, I know what I just said about the Trinity, but if there was anyone else in DC that I can’t imagine the books existing without, it’s The Flash. This is probably because of the fact that he’s been central to so many major events that revolve around the Multiverse and the central continuity of the stories. Think about that: Any time there has ever been a major shake up, Barry or another Flash was in the middle of it. As such, Flash is very much a central part of DC’s legacy, and needs to continue to be as much moving forward.
It’s the A-List group of superheroes within this universe. There is no shared universe of any sort without the Justice League. And I don’t care what you call them, be it the Justice League, Justice League of America, JLA, Justice League International, or Justice League United, there MUST be a Justice League of some sort no matter what is going on. That said, there are maybe two other teams that need just as much focus…
With so many great superheroines in the DC Universe, it’s hard to imagine there ever being a time when the Birds of Prey didn’t exist. I mean, I know there was, but I can’t imagine how or why. It’s bizarre. That said, one thing that the Birds of Prey books need to stop doing is introducing whole new male characters that no one cares about. Specifically, Condor from the New 52 version and the new Oracle in the Rebirth version. It’s infuriating. lol I would also probably use this book as a means of getting the Gotham City Sirens (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy) involved in major storylines if they didn’t have their own books. I mean, I would probably make sure they did have their own book, but again, I’m going specifically for the bare essentials here.
Again, with so many younger heroes, there simply MUST be a Teen Titans (or just Titans) book at all times. Even if you rebooted back to square one, to where Dick Grayson is Robin and so on, there are still plenty of options to go with. You still have Kid Flash, Aqualad, Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, so many younger heroes that would be welcome in a Titans book.
Granted, this hasn’t always been the case, but Green Lantern, more than any other hero, helps to unite the events on Earth with the events throughout the universe in DC. So many cosmic heroes and villains that are brought into what goes on with Earth via connections to the Green Lantern Corps. I don’t even care which one you use (I personally prefer John Stewart, but whatever), but there MUST be a Green Lantern with their own book at some point. Hell, there are so many, each with their own unique stories, you could give the vast majority their own books.
Of all of the characters who have rotated in and out of the Justice League, Aquaman is one of the few that has stuck around the longest. For all the jokes people STILL sling at this guy, none of which are warranted, he remains one of DC Comics’ signature characters. And dammit, he needs to remain as such forever. He’s earned it.
So, that leaves us with #12. And, I’ll admit, this is the hardest one to decide, because whoever gets in, that means everyone else is left out as being one of the essentials, which I feel is a slight against all of them. No matter how I spin it, I’m purposely leaving out each one of the above characters who aren’t chosen as #12 as being one of the most important characters with the most important stories. And it doesn’t help that my own personal bias affects this, too. And yes, my personal bias makes me want to say Gotham City Sirens or a Stephanie Brown book. But, in the end, I have to choose what I feel would be the most important to DC’s line-up and its legacy. So, with that in mind, and I KNOW I’m gonna piss someone off with this, here is my pick for #12…
I think that one thing that’s been universally agreed upon in terms of what was lost with the New 52 was the DC Universe’s legacy. Not just where it’s headed, but where it came from as well. Both the legacy heroes who came before and are yet to come. No matter what kind of reboot or reset that happens, it’s important, for the sake of those that continue to keep up with DC, to have something that speaks to its legacy. And no team better represents DC’s legacy, where it’s been, and where it’s going, than the Justice Society. And it can be either a book set on an alternate Earth, or a book about a team that existed back in the days of the Golden Age of comics, but there MUST be a Justice Society. Ironically, at this time, Earth 2: Society has finished its run, and a Justice Society book is still in the works. Hopefully, though, DC doesn’t leave us waiting for too much longer with the latter.
And, just to be clear, if I was running DC Comics, I would of COURSE have books like Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Martian Manhunter, Gotham City Sirens, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Secret Six going at the same time as the other twelve I’ve mentioned. They’re all important characters and stories to me. But this isn’t just about me. And besides, with the choices I gave, there’s still plenty of room to involve all of those characters and more. And, like I said at the beginning, it’s good to throw other, varied options around for the reader to pick up and see if they like it. Give different heroes and stories a chance to shine. But, at the end of the day, these are the twelve that I think NEED to survive above all others from now until whenever this crazy age of comic books comes to an end.
… … …BUT, I’m sure you all have your own picks and selections, so feel free to leave them in the comments below. Ja né!
Well, it’s finally out, folks. And if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is, the Thor: Ragnarok trailer.
…So, first off, I need to be completely honest with everyone reading this right now… … …I laughed my ass off at the scene where Thor is confronted by Hulk. That was the best possible reaction Thor could’ve given in that scene. I almost fell right out of my chair. Also, considering that we already knew Hulk was going to be in this movie, ending the trailer on the fight between them was a good move, since we’ve really only ever seen the two fight once before in the first Avengers movie, and this time, Thor’s going in without Mjolnir, so it’s a completely level playing field. And while his appearances in the trailer were brief, it’s great to see Tom Hiddleston back as Loki. Not sure if any of what he did in the last Thor movie is going to play into his role here (for reasons I’ll explain later), but he was an element that NEEDED to be present. One of the biggest issues with the MCU has been its lack of good villains, so having Loki back is a huge asset.
Now then, let’s talk about what I didn’t like. And that’s not to say that anything in this trailer was actually particularly BAD, either. No, my problem is with the tone. See, I want you to think about some of the things you just saw in this trailer: Mjolnir was destroyed, Asgard was overrun and possibly destroyed as well, and Thor and Hulk have been captured and forced into gladiatorial combat, all while God knows what kind of havoc all of these events are going to cause. Hell, just look at the title: RAGNAROK, the word meant to describe an apocalyptic event in which the world basically dies and is reborn again at the cost of much that came before. It’s a really bleak situation. And yet…the tone of this trailer doesn’t seem all that bleak, does it? And I know what you’re thinking: “But Jyger, you complain about how dark and dire the DC movie trailers are, so why would you want this one to be like that?” Well, first off, I’m not saying we should do DC’s muted colours, darker palette, and overall lack of joy. No, what I’m saying is, this should feel more like Thor is dealing with his greatest challenge and is at the end of his rope. The bit where he yells “YES!” at seeing Hulk is fine, and in fact would act as a great moment of levity for the trailer, but otherwise, a lot of the trailer’s tone should’ve been different. And just throwing this out there: Jeff Goldblum as a major villain does not inspire terror… … …Well, at least not in the way he was supposed to. lol
But more importantly than that, what bothers me most of all about this trailer is that this should feel less like Guardians of the Galaxy and more like a fucking THOR movie. Now, if you’re confused by that statement, lemme clarify something: I LIKE Guardians of the Galaxy. I love those characters. I love the GotG trailers. However, Thor should no more feel like GotG than GotG should feel like Thor. They are their own separate entities within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and should have their own unique feels to them as a means of bringing in their own fanbases. And what REALLY bothers me is that, from what I’ve heard, this movie is meant to act as a soft reboot for Thor (not erasing everything that came before, but just changing the overall direction from here on out) within the MCU. And if this trailer is to be believed, then that new direction change is to basically be Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a mistake for the very reasons I just explained. And maybe I’m alone in this attitude, maybe it’s just a me issue, but that’s my opinion. Like I said, I don’t think the trailer taken on its own is bad, but that it should’ve been different. And maybe it’s just this one trailer that’ll feel like this, and it was just done to get a bunch of attention. We’ll see in the months to come.
Anyway, lemme know what you all thought about the trailer, if you agree with my assessment or not, and we’ll see what happens from now until November. Ja né!
OMG, I just now realized I was wearing my Superman hat and Heroes Beacon (local comic shop) t-shirt while watching two superhero movie trailers. lol Anyway, if you haven’t seen them, here’re the trailers we watched today…
…and here’s our reaction to them. Enjoy!
Welp, Injustice 2 is four months away, and we’ve got a new story-based trailer up, so let’s take a look, shall we?
So, with this trailer, we have confirmation of Robin, Poison Ivy, Brainiac, Bane, and Darkseid all either being playable or playing a role in the story. If they are all playable, then they join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Atrocitus, Aquaman, Deadshot, The Flash, Gorilla Grodd, and Harley Quinn. Also, as I understand it, at least A Green Lantern (probably Hal Jordan) will be in the game, there’ll be skin/voice patches to include Reverse-Flash, John Stewart, and Power Girl, and we’ve had hints that Doctor Fate and Captain Cold will be in the game. All in all, a rather impressive roster so far.
As for the trailer, I could do without the call back to Lois and little Jon’s murders, since, as you all should know, that’s kind of a hot button issue with me. Wasn’t fond of it when it was first revealed, still don’t like it now. But, I understand that it was the event that kicked Injustice off in the first place, so it would be impossible to continue this story without it. It sucks, but what can you do?
Anyway, still plenty of spots open on the roster, and more to come via DLC, so who would you like to see announced? Lemme know in the comments below, and we’ll see what happens between now and May 16th. Ja né!
“I love this world. But there’s something missing.” By now, the current crop of DC Comics fans should be well acquainted with these words. They’re the words of a hero whose return to the DC Universe has brought back life, optimism, and legacy to it. His name is Wally West, and he is the fastest man alive… … …aaannd he’s wearing some pretty awesome new threads. ^_^
With the end of The New 52 this past June (happy birthday to me, btw, lol), a new era has begun in DC Comics. While it continues telling the story of the universe established at the end of Flashpoint, it’s nonetheless balanced things out to be more similar to how it was prior to the reboot, as well as set up the groundwork for some big stories in the future. It’s also helped to establish exactly how and why the characters and their stories are different from how they once were. This is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth officially started with DC Universe Rebirth #1. However, the seeds of what would become Rebirth were planted almost exactly one year beforehand during DC Convergence. In that story, several pre-Flashpoint worlds were reintroduced, and the events that led to the collapse of the original Multiverse were undone, causing it to become infinite in size once again (though with the currently established Multiverse at the center). In the year that followed, several stories followed up on those events. In particular, we learned that the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, his wife Lois, and their new son Jon had all someone been transported to the current Earth 0, AKA Prime Earth. Furthermore, as a result of events in Justice League and his main books, the New 52 Superman found himself dying and, before the end came, asked his pre-Flashpoint counterpart to continue protecting the Earth in his stead. This brings us to today, where Clark is Superman once again, and his son Jon is the new Superboy…and there’s another Clark Kent who has no powers who may or may not be the New 52 Superman, I’m honestly not sure what that’s all about. We’re supposed to get an explanation in March, though.
Another thing that happened in the year between Convergence and Rebirth was the return of the Titans. Basically, it was retconned that the original Titans team really DID exist (although how is anyone’s guess when one considers the backstory of the New 52 Donna Troy, and that’s ALL I’m going to say about that, lol), but that they all lost their memories of ever having been a team. After a while, they finally all came back together, minus one individual who they knew was missing but couldn’t pin a face or a name to. Luckily, as it turned out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
Anyway, those were all big parts of the Rebirth, but the official era didn’t actually kick off until DC Universe Rebirth #1. In it, we see the pre-Flashpoint Wally West has apparently been trapped in the Speed Force, is regressed in age by a few years, and is back in his Kid Flash costume. Also, it turns out that he and the New 52 Wally West are cousins. Might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I have both a brother and a half brother named Randy, so I can tell you from past experience, it ain’t impossible…though it IS confusing. But more of a big deal is the fact that nobody remembers him. He keeps trying to remove himself from the Speed Force by making contact with people he knew, but without that connection, he keeps falling back. Even Linda Park doesn’t remember him. Finally, he appears to Barry Allen, ready to disappear, but at the last possible moment, Barry remembers him and pulls him back into the world. After five years, Wally West has returned.
Wally gives some exposition, and between it and stuff we can make guess work at, we learn that someone has literally taken away 10 years of history. At this exact moment, we don’t know how, why, or which 10 years exactly were the ones taken. We don’t even know if they were 10 full years or just bits of time here and there that added up to 10 years. But here’s what we do know: The New 52 DC Universe is essentially the same universe that existed prior to Flashpoint, just with those 10 years taken away. That’s the biggest contributing factor as to why this universe is so different. Because, without certain key moments that occurred during those 10 years, relationships were either changed or outright erased, characters were de-aged, and several other contributing factors occurred to completely mess with peoples’ lives, who they were, and what they meant to the universe at large.
Now, with that said, you might ask “But Jyger, wasn’t the reason the DC Universe was changed was because of Barry’s traveling through time and Pandora’s merging elements of the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes with it?”, to which I reply “Yes, that WAS the reason given”… … …Ugh, okay, let’s TRY and unravel this, shall we? So, first off, let’s assume for the moment that this isn’t just a blatant retcon (although, let’s be honest, it probably is). If I had to make a guess at what happened, it’s that someone took advantage of Barry’s breaking the time barrier and used that opportunity, when history itself was vulnerable, to remove 10 years. Pandora, seeing what had happened, decided to strengthen the now weakened universe by fusing it with the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes. That, I THINK, is what has happened here: That, while having some cosmetic differences and whatnot, the New 52 Universe wouldn’t have been AS different as it has been without the loss of that decade worth of history. Oh, and speaking of Pandora, during the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, she was apparently fried…in a very familiar fashion, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Also, because of certain other events going on in some of the newer stories, I have my doubts that she’s really gone.
Anyway, other stuff happened in DC Universe Rebirth #1 that has started to balance things out to be more like the previous continuity. For starters, Aquaman proposed to Mera, so we can finally put it to rest as to the nature of their relationship. Green Arrow and Black Canary met up during an investigation into New 52 Supes’ death and were left with a feeling like something was missing from their lives, which is being explored in the current Green Arrow book where the two are finally tag-teaming against criminals and dating again, except without the baggage of some of the shittier things Ollie did while they were involved in the previous continuity. And characters like Ryan Choi, Jackson Hyde, Ted Kord, Johnny Thunder, and Saturn Girl were given their appropriate reintroduction to the universe (okay, technically, we’d seen Ted beforehand, but now he’s working with Jaime as he should be).
In the midst of all of that, though, we found ourselves with hints of what was to come. Batman was seen investigating the revelation that there are apparently three Jokers…and yeah, not sure what to make of that, other than the fact that, with the Silver Age Joker supposedly coming back as his own character, we’ll at least have a Joker who is FUN again. Superman was visited by a figure known as Mr. Oz, who we’ve actually seen in the Superman books of the New 52 before, and who gave some rather cryptic remarks regarding the nature of both Supermen’s existence. Like the new Clark, we’re supposed to get some more info on Oz in March, and we’ve even seen him in the newer Detective Comics issues as well. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, turned 13, hinting toward his future alignment with the Teen Titans. Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) let Ted Kord know that the Scarab is actually magic…because, for some reason, we’ve now gone backwards through retcons. Seriously, I don’t get why they switched BACK to the Scarab being magical in nature, other than as a means to involve Doctor Fate, and with the Justice Society apparently coming back soon, it’s not really necessary. We learned for absolute certain that New 52 Wally West is a speedster, and pre-Flashpoint Wally gave his blessing for him to be the new Kid Flash, which I’m actually fine with. Now that we’ve established the two as completely separate characters, New Wally is free to be his own character. And we found out that Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 will be having to work directly with Simon Baz, AKA the one Green Lantern who carries a gun.
However, all of that paled in comparison to the big reveal. After being brought back from the Speed Force by Barry, Wally told him everything he knew about the current situation and how he felt this wasn’t completely Barry’s fault. In the end, though, he couldn’t place a face or a name to whoever was responsible for taking away time. However, it seems he may have left a clue nonetheless, as Batman investigated where Wally had originally appeared in the Batcave, and found something embedded in the stone wall: A single smiley face button with a drop of blood smeared across it. And so, the story ended with the image of a watch on Mars, along with the following familiar dialogue…
“I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.”
“In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
…Yup, turns out the culprit is none other than Doctor Manhattan. How and why is still unknown. Hell, for all we know, Jon didn’t even do so intentionally. However, considering the all-too-familiar method by which Pandora was killed (as well as Owlman and Metron at the end of Darkseid War, and yes I AM still planning to do a full review of that someday), chances are he’s very much doing this blatantly. But regardless, we do have a reason for Doctor Manhattan’s inclusion from a meta standpoint: Simply put, there are a LOT of writers out there who look at a book like Watchmen and think that the reason it was great was because it was dark and dire, so they try to copy that approach, not understanding that dark stories don’t automatically equal something good. As far as I can tell, between what’s being presented and what Geoff Johns has said in interviews since the release of the comic, Doctor Manhattan is basically being cast as just that: Someone who doesn’t understand that the way his dark story is being written doesn’t work. Of course, no one bothers to mention that Geoff Johns himself has done this in the past, whether he realizes it or not, but he still has a good enough idea as to how things are supposed to work and how characters are supposed to behave that I trust him with this. How exactly that gels with what happened at the end of Watchmen is yet to be seen, but between his involvement and the dialogue at the end of the book, I think we might just know who exactly “Mr. Oz” really is, who has since abducted both Doomsday and Tim Drake for reasons that are currently a mystery. Personally, I’m kind of expecting to see this resolve in some big DC Rebirth vs Watchmen event. How that’ll play out, and just to what degree will its existence piss off Alan Moore, is still a mystery, but it’s still likely to happen nonetheless. Hopefully, they take their time building to it.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “Well, that all sounds well and good, but if that’s the case, then why in the hell has it taken you this long to discuss Rebirth?”. And…yeah, I fully admit that I kind of procrastinated at that. However, in the end, I’m kinda glad I did. Why? Because it gave me something POSITIVE to talk about at the end of the year, and as I alluded to the other day, there hasn’t really been a lot positive to discuss regarding 2016. And while Rebirth hasn’t been perfect, and there are still some issues from the previous era left to iron out, it’s most definitely been an improvement, and I’d likely consider it the best thing to happen in comics this entire year. I’ll probably go more into detail as to some of the ups and downs of Rebirth once it’s a year old…at which point, I’ll be 32 years old…God, I’m ancient. But, for now, stuff like seeing the Titans and the Birds of Prey back together, the pre-Flashpoint Superman training his son, Dick Grayson being Nightwing again, Barry teaming with the new Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman being written by Greg Rucka again (who is fixing EVERYTHING that went wrong with her in the New 52, btw) are all major pluses. Oh yeah, and they’re also hinting at the return of the Blue Lanterns, THANK GOD. You have NO idea how hard it’s been to keep optimistic about a comic book universe that seems to actively hate hope, and to see it on its way back is such a relief.
But for me, the biggest point about why Rebirth works and The New 52 didn’t is because the characters FEEL like themselves again. It’s not just the situations and circumstances, it’s WHO THEY ARE. How they act, how they respond to different situations, and so on. Everything just kind of fits again, but without excluding any of the things about The New 52 that worked. Because this isn’t about pretending The New 52 never happened. This is about putting the DC Universe back on the right path, one that isn’t devoid of hope and fun, nor forgets the lessons learned from the mistakes of yesterday. Really, the only thing about the previous era that’s been undone is the vast majority of what happened to Wonder Woman. And even then, it’s not like those events never happened, it’s more damage control for her origins and the Amazons, and it all unfolds in a way that makes sense and helps make things feel like they’re supposed to be. It’s not just that Lois and Clark are back together. It’s that Lois and Clark FEEL like Lois Lane and Clark Kent. And I hope that, in continuing with DC Rebirth, the writers and higher-ups of DC Comics remember that point and continue to learn from their past mistakes.
But hey, that’s all just my opinion. What do you think of DC Rebirth? What have some of your favourite or least favourite titles been? Lemme know in the comments, as well as how you hope to see things unfold from here, and we’ll check back in June with how Rebirth has been upon turning one year old. Ja né, and Happy New Year!
So, I think a lot of people probably know by now my general thoughts on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Namely that I didn’t like it. However, it wasn’t until a video was posted online that the gears in my head started to REALLY turn as to one thing they could’ve done differently with relative ease to make the movie flow just a tiny bit better. That video was the following:
Now, when I first saw this video, I left the following comment: “Sounds epic as fuck, and would’ve guaranteed given boners to the crowd, but it doesn’t work for one reason: Bale Batman doesn’t kill, Affleck Batman does. Whatever your stance on whether Batman should or shouldn’t kill, that’s the major difference between the two”. However, the more I’ve sat and thought about it, the more I realized just how easily it would’ve been to have Affleck Batman be Bale Batman, only years after the events of The Dark Knight Rises. Let’s go through how the two film series line up, shall we?
So first off, let’s talk about how The Dark Knight Rises ends. Bruce faked his death so he could retire to a normal life with Selina Kyle, and Robin John Blake is given the coördinates to the Batcave, presumably so he could take over Bruce’s place as Gotham’s protector. Now, you may ask how that could transition to Batman V Superman, but let’s look at a few other details. Specifically, let’s look at the one major villain from The Dark Knight Trilogy who didn’t die and is now an important character in the new DC Cinematic Universe: The Joker. Now, granted, the Joker from the Dark Knight movies IS very different from the new one. Specifically, Ledger Joker was clearly wearing make-up and had a permanent smile due to the scars on his face, whereas Leto Joker is hinted at having the more traditional backstory of having fallen into a vat of chemicals. However, let’s say they didn’t go that route for a second and then look at what else we know about Leto’s Joker from details given to us strictly in Batman V Superman: He killed Robin.
Now, lets look at Bale Batman vs Affleck Batman. Obviously, the biggest difference between the two (besides their age) is their methodology and the limits they’re willing to go to in the line of duty. As I said before, Affleck Batman has no problems killing criminals, while specifically not killing was a big thing for Bale Batman. Yes, the Batman of the Nolanverse movies did find loopholes he could exploit to get around that fact, but for the most part, that was Bale Batman’s biggest rule, so something pretty drastic would’ve had to have happened for him to go back on that to such a degree that he’d resemble Affleck Batman’s style of doing things. So, what would make him do such a thing? The answer again falls on one point: The dead Robin.
Anyone who knows anything about Batman in the comics likely knows that the dead Robin in the DC Cinematic Universe is more than likely Jason Todd. However, let’s instead think of Batman V Superman occurring in the same canonical universe as The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Robin is, in fact, John Blake, having used his first name that he mostly opted not to use as his codename while working as Batman’s replacement. Now, imagine if The Joker brutally killed Robin, then publicly taunted Batman (regardless of if he knows Batman is really alive or not) with this fact. Again, Jason Todd dying in the comics was a big deal for a long time, and still sort of is even after his return to the land of the living. It’s often regarded as Batman’s greatest failure. But now imagine this happening under these circumstances, with Bruce realizing that Robin would have never died if he hadn’t faked his death and enlisted him as his successor. Suddenly, not only do you have a great reason for Bruce to return to Gotham and continue his work as Batman, as well as coming up with a convincing excuse for how he, as Bruce Wayne, likewise was still alive (preferably not at the exact same time as to avoid arousing suspicion), but he would also have reason to go more than a little nuts. Remember, the only reason he didn’t in the comics after the death of Jason Todd was because Tim Drake stepped in and helped to keep him grounded. But in a world where that never happened, can we say with 100% certainty that he wouldn’t have lost it, even if we’d LIKE to think Bruce would never do that? It’s certainly a believable scenario to have presented. And all of the aesthetical changes to Batman (his suit, his equipment, his vehicles, etc.) could easily be explained by him changing with the times, especially since the vast majority of his tech was destroyed at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, specifically The Bat and his spare Tumblers. Hell, you can even explain away the voice modifier as him deciding he didn’t need to do the Bat voice himself anymore.
So, with all of that said, why didn’t DC and Warner Bros. decide to do this? Well, there’re a few reasons. For starters, there are characters who appeared and died during The Dark Knight Trilogy that they might be considering making use of later on. Second, all of the characters who would be returning would either have to be recast, or they’d have to convince the previous actors to return. In particular, The Joker would NEED to be recast due to the death of Heath Ledger, and honestly, I don’t know who I would have chosen to portray Ledger’s Joker. And, not to be too disrespectful, but suffice to say, Jared Leto is NOT Heath Ledger. Just saying. Third, while the details DO line up, there likely would still be plot holes created. One that comes to mind is the fact that we know Clark was wandering around and helping in (relative) secret wherever he could for several years before becoming Superman, and odds are good he would not have just sat around and did nothing about what was going on in Gotham during The Dark Knight Rises. And no, there’s NO way he couldn’t have known. And lastly, another big reason why they may have opted not to connect the new DC movies to the earlier ones in any way was so that they could build this whole new movie universe from the ground up. Don’t have to worry about past continuity, doing research to make sure everything lines up, or rehiring anyone that worked on the previous movies, they can just do everything over again. And, admittedly, while they COULD have found ways to iron out all those issues, I can’t really say as I blame them for not doing it. Plus, with the Arrowverse CW shows having established the existence of an infinitely-spanning Multiverse, it’s entirely possible that ALL of the live action interpretations of DC’s heroes are canonically part of it. Still, for what it’s worth, everything I’ve presented can still stand as a neat little idea of how things might have been. But hey, that’s just a theory…A FILM THEOR-Wait, what do you mean MatPat does theories for movies too???
…Anyway, let me know in the comments (or in the poll below) whether you think DC should or shouldn’t have connected the new Batman related movies to the previous ones, and I will see you guys the next time I decide to show my geekness…which’ll probably not be very long from now. lol Ja né!
Jyger’s Rant – The Killing Joke (WARNING – ANGRY RANT, FOUL LANGUAGE, AND MATURE SUBJECT MATTER AHEAD)
… … …So, it’s been a month. I decided to take some time away from the blog for a few reasons, none of which I really wanna get into. Well, except maybe for the sake of refocusing my efforts on Power Rangers Guardians of Gaia Season 2, but that’s another story for another day. Point is, after a while, I knew that, if I was gonna come back, it would have to be something big that would bring me back. And then DC decided to give me a gift: Something to rant about until I’m blue in the face. Really, you guys, you shouldn’t have…Y-…You REALLY shouldn’t have. I was kinda hoping you wouldn’t, what with DC Rebirth moving along pretty well so far, and the trailers for upcoming DC Films actually looking rather decent (or at least more-so than they were)…And then The Killing Joke happened!
So, I was originally gonna do a review of this movie. Then I decided not to, because I decided I wasn’t gonna see it, for a reason I will explain in a bit. Then I decided that I probably SHOULD see it, and that a review of it would be something worth posting on the blog. So I saw it…and then I read some of the fallout…and ultimately, what I’ve decided is not to review it. Instead, I’ve decided to just highlight one or two problems the movie has, particularly one where I felt like I got gang-raped up the ass…! … …So, let’s.
First off, I should probably make it clear that I’m not talking about anything that was specifically lifted from the book. I’m not here to talk about the book. I think people have talked about the book enough, and I know it’s one of maybe three or four books the higher-ups at DC actually remember releasing, so I’m not gonna go there. I will also award the movie this much: It did exactly as I specifically asked them to do almost a full year back. They not only had Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Batman and The Joker, but they also included in the mid-credits a scene where we see Babs become Oracle. This did not save the movie, mind you, but it did keep it from getting no stars whatsoever, or worse, being…
However, for the benefit of those who have never seen the movie or read the book, and I don’t know how you can be a fan of the character Batgirl and not know this, but this is the story all about how a life got flipped, turned upside down, and I’d to take a minute, just sit right there, and I’ll tell how Barbara Gordon got stuck in a wheelchair. Yes, this is the story where Babs gets shot in the spine by Joker as a means to try and make her father crack, and she loses the ability to walk. This later resulted in her becoming Oracle, where she REALLY got to shine as a character, until the New 52 decided to make her Batgirl again for reasons of iconic, which they themselves can’t even seem to properly define. For a while, we were left to assume that she never was Oracle in this new universe, but the new Batgirl and the Birds of Prey book have re-established this part of her life as being canon. However, all of this occurred after The Killing Joke came out, and none of it was planned, and, in fact, when writer Alan Moore approached Len Wein with the idea, he said, and I quote, “Yeah, okay, cripple the bitch”. Moore has later admitted that maybe this wasn’t a good idea, and it really shows how bad the relationship is between Moore and DC when, unless I missed something, he isn’t credited for the book in the movie, Brian Bolland is.
So, what’s my point? Well, in realizing the story only involved Barbara as a prop, Bruce Timm and Brian Azzarello decided to maybe tack on a prologue of sorts to make her a more active part of the story. Now, here’s the thing: That’s actually not a bad sentiment to have. The biggest problem with the story is how it mishandles her, so making her an actual character and not just someone who acts as a motivation for other characters is a good idea… … …They fucked it up. Royally. And really, should we be shocked? Let’s look again at those names, shall we? Bruce Timm and Brian Azzarello. Now, first off, Azzarello is the guy who decided it was a good idea to have the Amazons be made into lying, raping murderers who traded their children for weapons. Not someone I typically trust to write women in a positive manner. Then there’s Timm. And this is where I actually kinda hate this movie on a personal level, because now I have to say something I KNOW I’m gonna regret later, but I still HAVE to say it, so here goes: I love Batman The Animated Series, and I always will, but it REALLY says it all when the character Bruce Timm helped create that gets the most attention in the media was a female supervillain who was the victim of an abusive relationship. Why? Well, let’s just get to the biggest problem with the movie, and it’s summed up in one scene. ROLL IT.
…Now, in case you’re wondering, this is not what pissed me off. On the contrary, watching this scene in full for the first time? It actually made me laugh. It was like a REALLY bad fanfic brought to life. And trust me, I’m speaking as a fanfic writer who has both read and written some bad Batman-related fanfics in the past. In fact, and I probably shouldn’t mention this, but once, a REALLY long time ago, I once decided to write an adult fic involving Poison Ivy and Batwoman. I don’t wanna go into detail, but it was bad. Not only was it bad, it was offensive, and the moment when I realized that and what a horrible thing I’d created, I got rid of it. So, yes, sometimes people will create bad or even offensive stories in an attempt to be dark, controversial, or titillating. That’s not what pissed me off. What pissed me off was listening to Azarrello and Timm defend this decision and actually act like this was a good thing, not just for the story, but for Batgirl. Let’s hear what Bruce Timm had to say about it, shall we?
“We were aware that it’s a little risky. There’s definitely some stuff in that first part of the movie that’s going to be controversial. Here’s where we came down on that specific issue: It was really important to us to show that both of the characters make some pretty big mistakes. I mean, his ‘parental skills’ aren’t that great. Maybe never having had any kids of his own, he doesn’t realize that if you tell a kid to not do something, they’re going to want to do it even more. And then she makes some mistakes and then he kind of overreacts to her mistakes and then she overreacts to his overreaction. So it’s very human; it’s a very understandable story. It’s tricky because it’s messy, because relationships are sometimes messy. But to me and to Alan and Brian, it was all very fascinating to us to explore that angle.”
…Okay, I’m gonna bring up something here. Part of my problem with Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon being in a relationship is the fact that she is young enough to be his daughter. I can buy her having a kind of schoolgirl crush on him when she’s just getting started, but beyond that, it’s just ridiculous. With that said, I was under the impression that she was presented in this movie as a consenting adult. You, however, Mr. Timm, are treating her like a child. So, which is it, Timm? Is she a child or an adult? Because if she’s an adult, then this line of thinking is incredibly demeaning. And if she’s not, though, then you’re a sick man for producing a movie where an adult Batman has sex with her. And considering Timm’s past with writing female characters on Batman TAS, Batgirl included, I’m honestly not sure if I believe him or not when he says he doesn’t remember whose idea it was to include the sex scene. And if it WAS Brian’s, and maybe it was, the fact that he jumped right in on it doesn’t shock me. Speaking of, Mr. Azzarello, thank you kindly for showing how much you really care about writing women as empowering by writing them as action and violence addicts who will beat up, kill, and yes, even RAPE if they so choose, and then you call someone trying to make a case for this problematic writing at a convention a “pussy”, you bloody moron.
And here’s the really sad part. Babs becoming Oracle in the mid-credits? It still feels really off-putting, and here’s why: We don’t really see her go through any kind of personal anguish over what’s happened to her. And just like in the book, when she wakes up after her being shot, stripped, and having had pictures taken of her, all she can talk about is how she’s scared of what The Joker is going to do to her father. Granted, this does paint her as someone who cares more for her father and what happens to him than herself, which can be seen as admirable and selfless, but honestly, between that and how seamlessly she goes from that to becoming Oracle in the end, she comes off as being in denial about her condition or that she’s lost anything of importance. Let me give you an example of how odd this is, and spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t read Power Rangers Guardians of Gaia: My Green Ranger, Patrick, suffers an incident in the story where he loses the use of his eyes, and has to rely on his other senses and powers to help him beyond that. Admittedly, part of those powers allow him to see mental images of everything the air around him touches, but even he acknowledges it isn’t the same as really seeing with one’s eyes. While he calls the loss of his sight “acceptable losses”, and states that he’d do it all over again for the sake of helping people, he still admits that he DID lose something important. He’s BLIND now. This will only serve to hinder him for the rest of his life, and he knows this. In this movie, however, Barbara is never presented as someone who acknowledges her loss. The only time we see her ever stress or angst over anything is her relationship with Batman and her concern for her father. In other words, the attempt to make her more of an actual character in this story instead only served to make her even more of a prop. Instead of fixing the biggest problem with the book, they made the story WORSE.
Now, because I wanna be a fair man, I wanna bring up something. Bruce Timm has since gone on record that, for him, the implication was never that Babs was raped by The Joker. There’s a line in the movie that highly suggested that for some people who watched it, and he’s said that if he’d known that would suggest that ahead of time, he would’ve changed it. Granted, it was still sexual harassment, but we can at least know that, in this version of the story at least, The Joker did not rape Barbara Gordon. Also, while I asked the question earlier, I’m pretty sure Babs is NOT a teenager in this movie. There’s a difference between being squicky and THAT squicky, and I honestly don’t think Timm is, and probably not even Azzarello for that matter. Again, though, that does not save this movie, just that it stops it and your reputations after releasing it from becoming even worse.
At this point, I’d like to share the closing paragraph from a similar article I shared from The Mary Sue, written by Jessica Lachenal, and I’m quoting once again here: “Ultimately, this Batgirl prologue to The Killing Joke failed to do what Timm said it would do. It didn’t ‘tell a Batgirl story,’ or let us ‘learn that she’s an interesting character.’ What was supposed to be a prologue about Batgirl was, in the end, nothing more than a story about Batman and why he does what he does. In that way, the movie just plain does not work the way that the creators thought it would. The fact that they thought this would be even somewhat of a good thing for her character is, perhaps, the most disappointing thing of all.”
Lastly, I just wanna bring up something somewhat related to this, since I described the Batman/Batgirl scene as bad fanfiction. As part of my site stats, there is something called the Search Engine Terms, which basically shows a list of things people have typed into Google or whatever that, in turn, led them to my site. Over the years I’ve been writing in this blog, I’ve gotten a number of…let’s call them odd terms, that have led people to here. Here are just a few examples…
- bruce wayne in bed with supergirl and powergirl fanfiction
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…Sometimes I hate my job…-_- Leave your comments below, but just know that if anyone starts an argument or trolls anyone, I’m deleting them ASAP. Ja né, and I’m taking a fucking shower.
… … …Don’t you dare follow me!