Category Archives: Jyger’s Rant – The Series

My first video review show! Watch as I go fanboy on my favourite animated and tokusatsu shows and ranting about the ones I hate, all the while accompanied by my partner Poliwhirl and my friend from another world, N.Harmonik. Check it out, hope you enjoy it!

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?

“And I quote…”

“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
  • catwoman und batgirl lesbo sexy
  • kid icarus palutena naked
  • wonder woman harley quinn sexfic
  • nasthalthia luthor porno
  • powergirl and supergirl have sex
  • pokemon alpha sapphire being naked
  • justice league war hentai
  • poison ivy and robin fanfiction
  • injustice harley quinn naked
  • ladydevimon rape
  • bruce wayne and selina kyle naked
  • batman supergirl fanfiction
  • pokemon elesa hentai
  • powergirl and supergirl have sex
  • barbara gordon hentai
  • diana undressing lol
  • gay bruce and damian wayne having sex
  • birds of prey comic sex rape
  • ivy hera venenosa orgasm sexx
  • power ranger panties fuck
  • wonder woman manga hentai
  • nightwing captured fanfiction

…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!

Jyger’s Rant – Freedom Planet Review

So, you know how fans have complained for years and years about how the Sonic games have lacked a lot of what made them great back in the old Genesis days? And, you know, there’s a reason for that, and why 2D Sonic platformers nowadays, while I wouldn’t necessarily call them bad, have ultimately failed to capture that same feel: The people who developed the old Sega Genesis Sonic games don’t work at Sega anymore. It’s that simple. The developers at Sega don’t know how to make a Sonic the Hedgehog game that the hardcore fans (and, let’s face it, they are LEGION) have demanded for going-on-decades now. Mind you, I wasn’t among the fans that were complaining about the 3D Sonic games and begging for more 2D Sonic games… … …Then we had atrocities like Sonic The Hedgehog for the X-Box 360 and Playstation 3, we saw Sonic The Hedgehog 4 ultimately disappoint, and now we’ve got the Sonic Boom spin-off series that seems to have finally caused the fanbase to go completely insane, and at that point, even I couldn’t, in sound mind and judgment, like where the franchise was going.  And if Sega can’t give us good Sonic games, we’re just gonna have to look elsewhere. The only problem is, where are we ever going to find a good Sonic-esque game being made nowa-

… … …HO. LY. SHIT! 😄

Okay, real talk, I’ve actually been following Freedom Planet for some time now, ever since Liam and Woolie did a Let’s Play of the game a few months ago (so, thank you, Super Best Friends, for introducing me to this game), but I wanted to hold off on giving my opinions on it until I’d sat down and played it. As such, I had to wait until it was available on Wii U, which only happened the other day when I wasn’t paying attention. 😛 Also, despite the fact that it was originally thought up by the creators, GalaxyTrail, as a Sonic fan-game, it’s not EXACTLY the same. A number of people have brought up how the game looks and feels like if the video game developers, Treasure (developers of such games as Gunstar Heroes, Wario World, Mischief Makers, and Sin & Punishment), had obtained the rights to Sonic and made a game for the series. As such, it comes off both as a tribute to the Genesis Sonic games and a lot of other 2D platformers of that time trying to cash in on Sonic’s popularity, while also having its own unique identity.

The story of the game (which, FYI, you can pass over all of the cutscenes by playing the game in Classic Mode as opposed to Story Mode) stars Sash Lilac, a water dragon, and Carol Tea, a wildcat, as they find themselves in the middle of a conflict with an intergalactic warlord named Arktivus Brevon. Brevon, having crash-landed on their planet, seeks to leave by using the power of an ancient artifact called the Kingdom Stone. However, the Kingdom Stone is the world’s primary source of energy, and to obtain it, he sets a series of events into motion to force the three major nations of the world into conflict so that he can take the stone in the confusion. I won’t spoil the entire story, and a lot of the details can seem a bit glanced over at times, but let’s just say that a lot of the story focuses on trying to get the three nations to work together to stop Brevon, and on the friendship of the main characters.

One thing I think this game does smartly is that it introduces the idea of multiple playable characters with radically different styles of gameplay right away, and doesn’t have a single character get top billing. Sure, one can make the argument that Lilac is the main protagonist, since a lot of the story’s more epic moments occur around her (and, in early development, she was a hedgehog…and it shows, lol), but Carol is most definitely not left out of the fun. Let’s be honest: A big part of the reason people complain about other playable characters in the Sonic games is because the game is called Sonic The Hedgehog. It’s got nothing to do with if these characters are good or not (and, a lot of times, I actually rather like the side-characters in Sonic), or if they add anything fun or unique to the gameplay, it’s about how the game is supposed to be about Sonic. Here, we don’t have that problem. Lilac, even if she IS the main protagonist, does not do everything herself. Even when playing as her, there are points in the game where her friends will pop in to lend a hand, such as during a running boss fight where Carol rides her motorcycle (which is badass, btw) and does occasional attacks to the boss while your other friends drop items.

Such an awesome boss fight, it's the loading screen for the Wii U version when you start it up. XD

Such an epic boss fight, it’s the loading screen for the Wii U version when you start it up. 😄

As for the gameplay itself, like I said, Lilac mostly plays like Sonic, but with other abilities tacked on, although these abilities are oftentimes required to survive. Her Dragon Boost allows her to rocket through the air in different directions, and she can use her hair to whip enemies and do a spinning double jump. Carol can scratch and pounce on foes, do wall jumps, and kick at lightning speed. The last playable character (and only in Classic Mode), Milla Basset, can do flutter jumps, dig through the dirt, pick up items, and produce energy fields that form shields, lasers, and blocks. I’ve heard that they plan to add more playable characters later on, but for now, these three are all cool, despite the lack of a Milla campaign taking place in the actual Story Mode. There’s also different difficulty levels: Casual, Easy, Normal, and Hard. Naturally, because I kinda suck at the old school Sonic games, I opted to go with Casual, just to start myself off. And frankly, I like that there’s a Casual Mode for guys like me to start off with and gradually grow in skill.

So yeah, if you’ve been missing games like the classic Sonic The Hedgehog games, Rocket Knight Adventures, Ristar, and so on, go and get Freedom Planet. It’s currently available on Wii U and Steam for less than 20 bucks, so as long as you have the means to pay for it, there’s no reason you can’t get it. And hey, when you do, feel free to come back here and lemme know what you thought of the game. Also, be sure to check out the designer of the main protagonists, Ziyo Ling, and her work. Ja né!

Jyger’s Rant: Avengers Age of Ultron Review (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Well, I’ve let my thoughts on the movie sit and stew for a couple of days, so now I feel ready to talk about the eleventh movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron. I should warn right away, though, that if you have not seen the movie, there are massive spoilers ahead, so if you don’t wanna have the movie ruined for you, skip to where I have labelled ‘Spoilers End Here’ to get my overall thoughts on the movie. For now, let’s run down the plot of the film.

So the movie kicks off with the Avengers going to Sokovia, a fictional country in eastern Europe. Remember that mid-credits scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where we found out Baron Strucker was using Loki’s Scepter (likely procured due to Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D.) to enhance human beings? Well, apparently, in between these two movies, the Avengers realized that Hydra had it, and have been going through the process of finding hidden bases and clearing them out in the hunt for the scepter. However, while the operation goes well, save for Hawkeye taking a bad hit, and they wind up apprehending Strucker, the two Enhanced, the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, not only escape, but Wanda uses her powers to feed Iron Man a vision of the future. In it, Tony sees the Chitauri return and the Avengers are all killed because he couldn’t do enough to save them. As such, he’s encouraged not only to take the scepter, but to examine it and, after he and Bruce find an artificial intelligence inside the gem of the scepter, try to use it to finish work on Tony’s Ultron program. Basically, a first line of defense against external threats to the world that wouldn’t necessarily require a second one. Meanwhile, Doctor Helen Cho repairs the damage done to Clint’s side with synthetic tissue. Remember this, it’ll be important later.

Unfortunately for the Avengers, during a victory party they’re hosting, which features appearances by Rhodey (who has gone back to being War Machine instead of the more PC branded Iron Patriot), Sam Wilson (who is still on the trail of Bucky following Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and quite possibly the best damn Stan Lee cameo EVER, Ultron comes online and is a bit…confused. After a quick search through the database and a conversation with J.A.R.V.I.S., though, he’s lead to believe that, for his mission to save the world to be successful, humanity needs to be eliminated. Specifically, those who want to protect the world but don’t want it to change. As such, he seemingly destroys J.A.R.V.I.S. and takes control of the Iron Legion, pitting them against the unprepared Avengers. Even after the Avengers manage to come out on top, it’s clear that Ultron is a massive threat, made worse when he escapes through the internet. He kills Strucker and regroups with Wanda and Pietro, and they plan to get rid of the Avengers. Luckily, said Avengers manage to figure out that he’s going to pay Ulysses Klaue a visit, who apparently smuggles vibranium (the metal used to make Captain America’s shield) out of the fictional country of Wakanda (which, if you’ve never heard of, you will in the Black Panther movie). However, while Iron Man is able to destroy Ultron’s newer, tougher body, he nonetheless escapes again, this time with the vibranium. To make matters worse, all of the team but Hawkeye are trapped in nightmarish visions from Wanda, which have caused the Hulk to go berserk in Johannesburg. Luckily, Bruce helped Tony build something to help contain him should he go out of control: The MK XLIV modular exo-skeleton, AKA V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A., or as comic fans know it better as, the Hulkbuster. While Tony DOES eventually bring Hulk down, though, the damage done to the city is pretty bad, and backlash against the Avengers is also bad.

Deciding to hide out somewhere and regroup (the team is still pretty shaken from their visions), Hawkeye takes them to his place: A farm house in the middle of nowhere, where Clint lives with his wife and children…and if you’re like me, you’re more than a little surprised by that. It seems only Black Widow knew about them, as S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to keep the families of their agents in safe locations and the knowledge of them known only by a select few. The team tries their best to recover from their mental trauma, with Thor going to meet with Eric Selvig to learn about his visions of Ragnarok and the Infinity Stones, Bruce and Natasha confiding in each other about their tragic lives and a possible desire to escape everything and make a new life together (they’d been showing less than subtle hints of a mutual attraction for a while now), and Steve and Tony doing what they’re mostly known for doing nowadays in the comics: Arguing. lol Well, okay, Nick Fury also shows up (was he just hiding in that barn this whole time?) to help get the team back on their feet, and they learn that, while Ultron has been going after launch codes for various weapons of mass destruction around the world, someone or something has been constantly altering the codes, keeping Ultron out. Instead, they eventually figure out the next phase of Ultron’s plan: To create a new body made of vibranium and synthetic tissue. As such, he’s used Loki’s scepter to take control of Helen Cho and is using her to make said body. He even cracks open the gem in Loki’s scepter, revealing, you guessed it, an Infinity Stone, which he embeds in the new body’s forehead. However, as he begins to download himself into this body, Wanda is able to peer into his mind, realizing what his ultimate goal is: Essentially, he’s going to enact an Armageddon-level attack on the world with the intent of forcing what survivors are left to evolve into a stronger race, though it’s entirely likely that there may not BE any survivors. As such, the twins decide to leave him and, as the Avengers arrive to take the body before Ultron can finish downloading himself, come to their aid, as well as help keep the civilians in the area from getting hurt. Unfortunately, Ultron again escapes, and has captured Black Widow along the way.

You may have noticed one thing about the film already that can be a problem: The overall structure. Most movies follow a basic three act structure. As far as I can tell, Age of Ultron more or less has a four or five act structure, which can be off-putting for some people. Regardless, the team regroups at Avengers Tower, where Tony and Bruce are at work. Tony realized that the one rotating the launch codes and keeping Ultron at bay all along was actually J.A.R.V.I.S., who survived the attack on him and went into hiding. As such, they’ve decided to reconfigure J.A.R.V.I.S.’s program and put him in the body Ultron built. This leads to a fight between the six present at the tower, and when I say a fight, I mean they literally come to blows, until Thor arrives and uses lightning stored in Mjölnir to awaken the body. Apparently, it was in his vision of things to come, and that the Mind Stone is the source of Ultron’s AI, the twins’ powers, and was what was powering Loki’s scepter. The power of the Mind Stone, combined with Thor’s lightning, the new vibranium and synthetic body, and J.A.R.V.I.S.’s program, brings to life a whole new being called The Vision. Vision makes it clear that he doesn’t WANT to kill Ultron, but because of what he’s planning, there’s no other choice. He has to be stopped before he annihilates humanity. Luckily, Natasha managed to get a message out to Clint, and they figure out that Ultron is hiding right back at where the movie started: Sokovia.

Arriving on the scene, and evacuating as many people as possible, the Avengers confront Ultron, who reveals his ultimate move: He uses a machine made out of vibranium to physically lift a huge portion of the land out of the ground and into the sky. Once it’s high enough, he’ll drop it with enough force to wipe out humanity. He’s also built an army of robots to contend with the Avengers, with himself in an upgraded vibranium body. However, while it is possible to blow the machine up before it can hit the Earth, there’s still people left in the city that will die if they do. Thankfully, Fury arrives with a helicarrier, a skeleton crew of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and War Machine to evacuate anyone still left in the city. Bruce manages to save Natasha, and the two regroup with the others, as they assemble to stop Ultron from activating the drop mechanism. Vision cuts him off from the internet, and they crack his most powerful body, causing him and his army to retreat. Wanda stays with the control panel to keep it clear, while the others go about helping evacuate the civilians and destroying all of Ultron’s bodies before they can escape, as if even one of them gets away, Ultron will survive and do this all over again. However, in the midst of the chaos, Ultron steals a jet and tries to gun down Hawkeye as he saves a child, only for Pietro to save him at the cost of his own life. In a rage, Wanda finds Ultron and destroys his primary body, which allows one drone to crawl over and activate the machine. Luckily, they all manage to get away at the last minute as Iron Man and Thor destroy the machine, blowing the landmass apart, as Vision tracks down and destroys the last Ultron body, ending the threat for good. However, fearing for Natasha’s safety, Hulk takes Ultron’s jet and flies away in stealth mode, deciding to go into hiding alone.

In the aftermath of the battle, Fury sets up a new base for the Avengers in upstate New York, since…y’know, having a giant tower in the middle of NYC makes you and everyone around you a massive target. Cho, Selvig, and Maria Hill all set up shop there, as well as the rest of Fury’s agents. Clint decides to retire from the team to be with his family, and Thor opts to return to Asgard, hoping to learn more about his visions as he believes someone is manipulating events to set up for something bigger than they’ve ever dealt with. Finally, Tony decides to take his leave of the team as well, which just leaves Captain America and Black Widow. Thankfully, though, it seems they’ll have a few new recruits, as Steve prepares to train Falcon, War Machine, Vision, and Wanda as the Scarlet Witch as the new team of Avengers. However, they may need more than that, as the Infinity Gauntlet is taken by Thanos, who proclaims “…Fine. I’ll do it myself.”

…SO, let’s get character stuff outta the way. First off, let’s talk about Tony Stark. This movie continues to delve into his PTSD following the first Avengers movie. He’s not having attacks like in Iron Man 3, but you can nonetheless tell how affected he is by what happened. Every decision, every move, everything he does in this movie, you can tell that he’s motivated by the fear of watching his friends be killed by the returning Chitauri. And what’s worse is that, as irrational as he comes off, as often as he makes decisions that are clearly not thought out that well, he’s right to be afraid. We know that this is all leading to Thanos looking to obtain the Infinity Stones, and where is one of them right now? On Earth. Worse, they’ve already earned his rage once. If he comes back with the rest of his army at their front door, AND the Infinity Stones, it’ll be a slaughter. They only won last time because of a conveniently placed off switch for the portal that let the Chitauri through. If it wasn’t for that, they would’ve eventually been exhausted, overwhelmed, and obliterated. Granted, the nuke kinda helped too, but something tells me that Thanos’ army will be prepared for that next time. So as much as what he does earns the ire of his now ex-team at times, you nonetheless understand what he’s going through and want to continue to root for him. Plus, y’know, he’s Iron Man and he’s a badass. And, as always, his snark levels are high for this. Oh, and the Hulkbuster being named V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A.? Apparently, that’s an inside joke. Veronica, as in opposite of Betty, like Betty Ross, the Hulk’s ex……..Not sure what to do with this information, especially considering that Bruce Banner actually helped build the thing. lol

Speaking of Bruce, I don’t know what happened between the first Avengers movie and Age of Ultron, but Bruce seems to have gone from having control of himself and acceptance of being the Hulk…to constantly having to keep himself as restrained as possible and being hesitant to releasing the Hulk. Seriously, what the hell happened there? Is there story we’re missing? I mean, I know there was a prequel comic to Age of Ultron that helps fill in when they got back together and started hunting Hydra, but if that’s where this development happened, I gotta call foul. Like, I get that it’s probably more compelling story for him, but it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Still, I will give it this much: Seeing him leave on his own in the end is sad. His decision to keep Natasha from getting hurt by being around him is tragic……although, it would be MORE tragic for me personally, if this wasn’t a complete rehash of Oz leaving Willow in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Even Joss Whedon describing the Hulk as a werewolf makes it clear he’s falling back on that story heavily here. Hell, Willow and Natasha are even both redheads!

If Hulk’s story throughout this movie was sad, though, Black Widow’s is HEARTBREAKING. I’m not gonna lie, and N. Harmonik can attest to this since we went to see the movie together, when Natasha explained that, as part of her initiation as a Russian spy, she had to be sterilized, I was on the verge of tears. I’m not much for crying. I’ve never really had a problem being emotional, but tears requires some doing. So yeah, while Joss loses points with me for retreading ground I watched him tread over 15 years ago, he nonetheless makes it back here, as does Scarlet Johansson for really selling this scene. There’s something about her subtle yet strong delivery that makes me wanna weep for her. And for Nat to go through all of this and wind up alone in the end, it’s all the more horrible. Still, as one should expect from Black Widow, she takes the worst that this movie can throw at her and powers through like a boss……Seriously, though, how many movies does this character and the actress playing her have to steal before Marvel Studios finally green-lights a Black Widow solo movie? Honestly, I’m not asking for the moon here, I just want a frigging Black Widow movie. lol

Captain America’s personal journey in this movie is probably the least compelling of the group, but it’s nonetheless something that plays into his overall character arc throughout these movies. Steve Rogers is a soldier, built for war, but when the war’s over, he’s not sure what to do with his life. The love of his life is on death’s doorstep, nearly everyone he knew in his old life is dead, his best friend is missing, and he’s a man out of his own time. By the end, we see signs that he’s accepted his life as a soldier with no possibility of a ‘normal’ life, but one has to wonder. Still, like Black Widow, while he might get put down by these things, he will not allow himself to stay down. Cap fights like a man possessed in this movie, pushing himself as hard as we’ve ever seen. He’s also got a device on his arm that lets him recall his shield, which is handy since, with some of the enemies in this movie, his shield doesn’t so much bounce off of them as it does STICK into them. There’s a running gag throughout the movie wherein he chided Iron Man for his language early on and people keep teasing him over it, and while it’s funny, I think they maybe pushed it a little too far. But most of all, no matter how bad things get, he refuses to give up or give in, continuing to be the symbol of everything we should aspire to be, to the point where, during a scene where the team all try lifting Thor’s hammer, he actually manages to budge it, showing he’s well on his way to proving himself worthy of Mjölnir.

Speaking of the God of Thunder, Thor’s story in this movie is actually something I wanna get into later. Suffice to say, beyond the pacing and act structure of this movie, there’s one other problem this movie has. For now, though, it seems like some of the stuff regarding his arc in this movie may have been cut for time. There was talk that Loki was gonna be in this movie, which I imagine would’ve been in the visions (because otherwise, how else would you even get him in here?), and a scene of a woman stepping into the pool that Thor enters at one point in one of the trailers, but neither occurred in the movie. One other running bit in the movie is, again, when everyone tried to lift Mjölnir and failed, though you could see a look of concern on his face when Steve budged it. Then comes The Vision, who is somehow able to lift it with ease, much to Thor’s stunned amazement. However, by the end, while Steve and Tony are trying to comfort him over it (in a rather amusing manner), we see that Thor’s alright with it, and uses the fact that Mjölnir deemed Vision worthy as proof that the Mind Stone is safe with him.

And that brings us to The Vision…who I absolutely loved in this movie. His overall power-set is a bit different in this movie from how he is in the comics, but I’m fine with that. And while he sounds like J.A.R.V.I.S., and even has maybe a tiny hint of his old personality, he’s clearly something wholly different, born from the sum of his parts into something completely new. His cape is probably justified in the movie due to having been created through Thor’s lightning, feeling a connection to him. He also has an interesting relation to Ultron. Despite Ultron having tried to eliminate him as J.A.R.V.I.S., he doesn’t want to destroy him. He sees Ultron as a unique being, whether he counts as alive or not. But, ultimately, he doesn’t have a choice. To him, Ultron is less-so evil than he is a rabid dog: He doesn’t WANT to kill him, but at this point, it’s the only humane option left. And while the team is at first distrusting of him, when he rallies them all together and even lifts Mjölnir, there’s no question in their minds from then on that he’s not only on their side, but he may be the only one who can save the world.

Let’s talk next about the twins, Wanda and Pietro…who, for some reason or another, are never, at any point in this movie, referred to as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. I dunno, maybe it’s a rights thing. Speaking of, because Fox owns the cinematic rights to the X-Men and Mutants, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are obviously very different in this movie. They’re ‘Enhanced’, humans that were given powers through the Mind Stone in Loki’s Scepter, who had volunteered to such a process as a means of eventually getting revenge on Tony Stark, as his weapons were used to destroy their home, their family, and left them hidden under a bed for two days with what turned out to be a dud, waiting to die. As such, when Ultron plans to eliminate the Avengers, they’re all to happy to join his cause, but once they find out what he’s really after, they immediately realize their error and switch sides. Plus, after spending some time with the team, they quickly begin to learn that they’re good people and start integrating themselves into the group, becoming Avengers themselves.

While I still prefer the version of this character from X-Men Days of Future Past overall, I really liked this Quicksilver from pretty much his first scene. He’s snarky, cocksure, and full of energy. He doesn’t like staying in one place for very long, unless it involves protecting Wanda (because he’s technically the older brother by being born twelve minutes earlier than her, a fact he likes to point out). When he first meets Hawkeye, he develops a rivalry with him that, by the time they’re working on the same side, develops more into an annoying brother sibling rivalry type of thing. And, I’m not gonna lie, watching him sacrifice himself to save Clint and the child he was protecting was heart-wrenching. As I told several people, I had a feeling someone was gonna die in this movie and have it be for real (a lot of the Marvel movies like to do fake-out deaths), but I wasn’t expecting it to be him. And seeing that Clint named his newborn son Nathaniel Pietro Barton really brought it home that they’d developed a tight connection, and that his sacrifice would always be remembered. Personally, I kinda want a memorial for him in the new Avengers facility.

Regarding Scarlet Witch…….Okay, here’s where I’m honestly finding myself having to tread lightly, so bear with me here. I really like this character, and I’m SO glad that we got another woman on the team. Plus, after she had a little Heroic BSOD and got a pep talk from Hawkeye, which I’ll talk about in a sec, she bounced back and became BADASS. She was clearing Ultron robots out like a fucking demon, and when Ultron killed Quicksilver, she got her revenge by literally ripping his ‘heart’ out of his chest. Having said that, beyond her relationship with Pietro, I don’t really think I would consider this character all that faithful to her comic book counterpart. She’s a good character, she just doesn’t feel like Wanda. Honestly, with the changes to personality and powers, she feels similar to, ironically enough, Jean Grey. But regardless, that doesn’t devalue her as a character, just let it be known for comic book purists, you’re probably not gonna be 100% satisfied with this portrayal.

And then there’s Hawkeye……who has my favourite damned scene in the entire movie, when he says to Wanda during her breakdown, and I quote, “Hey, look at me. It’s your fault, it’s everyone’s fault, who cares? Are you up for this? Are you? Look, I just need to know, because the city is flying…okay, the city is flying, we are fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense, but I’m going back out there because it’s my job. Okay? And I can’t do my job and babysit. It doesn’t matter what you did or where you were. If you go out there, you fight. And you fight to kill. Stay in here, you’re good. I’ll send your brother to come find you. But if you step out that door, you are an Avenger.” In that one scene, they completely redeemed him not getting a lot of character time in the first Avengers movie. That and including his family. That being said, if they kill off his family like in the Ultimate Universe just to bring Clint back for Infinity War, I’m NOT going to be happy.

And last of all, let’s talk about Ultron. I actually thought the idea to make his personality seem like a dark reflection of Tony’s worked out great. He’s got a lot of the same snark levels and actually beats him to the punch of certain jokes. It also gives him a character trait wherein he more or less has daddy issues with Stark, and actually cuts off a man’s arm for comparing the two. But one thing I find very interesting about him, though, is how he interacts with Wanda and Pietro. He seems to legitimately care for the two, despite the likelihood that his plan might kill them, although it’s possible he’s not mentally registering that fact. He even comes off as somewhat hurt by their betrayal. Even in the end, when he’d inadvertently killed Pietro and was confronted by a vengeful Wanda, all he could do was tell her that, if she stayed, she’d die. In that moment, her safety still mattered to him. One has to wonder if Vision was correct about him, that he wasn’t really evil, just wrong and dangerous, and simply went too far in his misguided quest. And whereas Vision looks to him with pity, Ultron likewise feels disappointment in how Vision turns out, seeing him as a puppet. There’s a reason the original teaser trailer used lyrics from “I’ve Got No Strings”, and why he sings it during his escape. Ultron doesn’t want to simply be a puppet under anyone’s control. He wants to be his own individual with his own free will…which one can see as ironic and a little hypocritical for someone who builds his own legion of robots that respond to his will, but again, that can be seen as further enforcement of how he’s unwilling or unable to see his own mistakes. His last words to Vision were “You’re unbearably naive.” But, really, while that might be true, the same reflects on himself. Likewise, Vision’s retort that he was literally born yesterday also can be applied to Ultron, since he’s only got him beat by a couple of days. He’s quite literally a child. If he’d simply given himself more time to think things out, to learn about the world and how it works, and to learn about himself and his own emotions, he might’ve turned out differently.

So, before I wrap this up, let’s talk about one aspect of this movie that, while I personally don’t mind too much, is nonetheless a problem: All the advertisement for the Phase 3 movies. Look, I’m just gonna say it, and I don’t care who gets pissed with this one, but Iron Man 2 SUCKED. Why did it suck? Because the actual plot took a backseat to being a 2 hour commercial for the Avengers, which we were gonna see anyway. This movie’s plot didn’t necessarily take a backseat to being a 2 1/2 hour commercial for Phase 3, but it was still pretty blatant. Thor’s visions are setting up for Thor: Ragnarok. Captain America and Iron Man’s issues in this movie are setting up for Avengers: Civil Wa-…Oh, I’m sorry, Captain America: Civil War. I got confused because I looked at the cast for the movie and saw a lot of the Avengers on there. Wakanda’s mention is to set up for Black Panther. The mid-credits scene is setting up Infinity War, but I guess the mid-credits scene is always where we see advertisement for the next movie, and that’s okay. But seriously guys, we’re already gonna go see these movies, you didn’t have to do this.

Spoilers End Here

Anyway, with all that said, my overall opinion is that the movie is really great. It’s got a couple of problems that maybe hold it down a bit, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. That said, if you didn’t like the first one, this one’s probably not gonna sell ya. So yeah, definitely for fans of this franchise, but the plus side is, those that are fans of this franchise will likely love this movie. Those are my thoughts, but hey, feel free to leave your own. Ja né!

Jyger’s Rant 500th Blog Entry – Bible Black (WARNING – MATURE SUBJECT MATTER AHEAD)

WARNING! The following article is a general review of the plot of a hentai series (Japanese animated pornography), that also deals in controversial and disturbing adult subject matter. While there will be no pornographic images posted, the story includes moments of rape, ritual sacrifice, and forms of torture, none of which the writer of this blog personally endorses. Reader discretion is heavily advised.

…So, here we are. 500 articles, ranging from Pokémon, wrestling, various anime and video games, comic books, movies, and other forms of nerdom. However, one thing I’ve been kinda trying to avoid delving into is hentai…I know, I’ve been very careful about that (and to kinda spoil my own joke, if you looked up the uncensored pics from that last link, you’d know she’s not actually naked in any of them, tee hee). However, given the number of times people keep coming to this blog looking for porn, I figured, what the hell, I’ll get it out of my system and milk it for everything it’s worth. LOL

Now, I should clarify a few things before we get started with this ‘review’, a term I use loosely.

  1. There will be no images with any kind of nudity present. I’m being extremely careful not to show any of that.
  2. I’m not gonna be talking about the games, or any of the sequel seasons/series, just the original six episodes.
  3. I’m probably gonna be skipping over a few details here and there, as to present a GENERAL synopsis of the plot, providing one paragraph per episode. However, after the synopsis, I will be going over my general thoughts on the story, so some details may be saved for then.
  4. I cannot and will not provide links on where to find the series. That said, it probably wouldn’t take much effort to find it on your own.
  5. YES, despite my proclamations of not watching and enjoying porn, I HAVE watched this series before. As such, I suppose I should probably define and specify my terms when I talk about porn: Specifically, I don’t watch live-action pornography. I do, however, read adult fanfiction (and have tried my own hand at writing some), I have watched movies with sex scenes (I typically blame Basic Instinct for my warped little mind, lol), and again, I have watched this series on a couple of occasions (and have had to watch it again for this review). So why don’t I watch porn? Honestly, it’s got nothing to do with any kind of moral standing or feminist views. Hell, as College Humor once pointed out, girls watch porn too. Really, it’s more of a personal issue: When I’m watching something that has sex in it, it kinda has to serve a point. I can’t just watch two people screw for the sake of screwing. There has to be a story involved. And yes, I know there are some porns that have plots…it’s just they’re usually REALLY bad. Don’t believe me? Ask Brad Jones. lol

So, after all that, I’m sure the most obvious question on everyone’s mind is “Does Jyger like Bible Black?”. Well, that’s the question I’m gonna try to answer when this is over. First, let’s take a look at the story, and save my overall thoughts on it afterward. So, for those that can hang onto their sanity throughout this review, let’s go ahead and dive into Bible Black…

The first episode opens with pretty much what this entire series is known for: Religious symbolism, occult rituals, and a shit-ton of nudity, as a girl is used as a sacrifice by a group of women in dark robes. The leader stabs a sword that’s so obviously supposed to look like a cross into the girl (because SYMBOLISM), and the screen fades to white. We then cut to a high school drama series already in progress, with pretty much the exact stereotypes of the boy and girl who are longtime friends and obviously crushing on each other, except that the boy, Taki Minase, has a book hidden in his desk that he won’t tell the girl, Kurumi Imari, about. He’s also apparently been practicing making some sort of magic charms, despite his apparent disbelief in magic. However, something otherworldly DOES seem to be at work, since not only do these charms seem to make the people they’re made for want to have sex uncontrollably (including president of the student council, Rika Shiraki, who is now madly in love with Minase), but the school nurse, who can use some strange ability to grow male genitalia, seems to be seducing the girls in the school in her search for a virgin. All of this is noticed by Kaori Saeki, who has a keen interest and talent in black magic, who seduces Minase into giving up information on the book: That he found it in the same room that the ritual from the opener was performed in.

“Once people begin using magic, they can never again escape temptation. You just have to obey me. I’ll show you how wonderful the darkness is…”

Episode two opens with Minase hitting Saeki HARD (what a nice man) when her interest in the book becomes more clear, leading her to warning him that he’s likely being possessed by a demon. He finds that his cousin, Yukiko (who he calls ‘sister’ for some weird reason, I don’t get it), is out, but little does he know that she also asked Imari to come over later to cook for him. Unfortunately, Shiraki comes by, still obviously under the love spell, and Imari ends up walking in on the two having sex. The next day, Minase tries to explain that Shiraki’s feelings for him aren’t real, but she doesn’t believe it, thinking he’s rejecting her for Imari, and jumps off the roof of the school…and lives…I honestly don’t know how. I think it’s suggested that the fall was cushioned with magic or something, but I’m not sure. Anyway, this is enough for Minase to decide to quit magic, despite Saeki asking him to join the new magic club. However, when he goes to the room in the school basement where he found the book, probably planning to return it, he’s intercepted by the school nurse, Reika Kitami. She tells him about the book, Bible Black, and what happened on Walpurgis Night twelve years ago, that she was the girl who was to be sacrificed, but survived by making a contract with the devil. She also tells him that once people start to use magic, it’s impossible to give up the temptation, and thus seduces him with her powers (and a good ol’ heaping of sex) to join her. After Minase uses these powers on his cousin to make her unable to control her sexual urges (ah, that’s why he calls her sister: Because incest with one’s cousin wasn’t creepy enough), he and Kitami go to do the same to Saeki and the magic club, bringing them over to their side. The next day, Minase’s art teacher, Hiroko Takashiro, confronts him, seeming to know that something is very wrong, but is knocked out by Saeki. That night, Minase tries to call out to Imari for help away from this path, but she shuts him out, and thus he continues into darkness.

During episode three, we learn more about the botched ritual from twelve years ago. I’ll summarize for ya: The ritual required Kitami to be a virgin, but the men that the head of the cult (now revealed to be the school’s old magic club) left her with raped her. The leader, who had already been on a downward spiral into bonkersville, completely lost it, and decided they needed more blood, murdering the other members, and thus turning her back on Kitami, who killed her. The devil then gave his offer to preserve her life, but clearly, these events took the once kind and gentle Reika and turned her into a demon of her own sort, as she proceeds to torture and violate Takashiro, who she believes (correctly) is a survivor of the magic club. Shiraki is also brought into the fold, but during an orgy the next day in the art room, Imari finally comes back to school and walks in on it, horrified by what she sees. Kitami has her taken prisoner, but not before she slaps Minase across the face during an attempted spell. Kitami later has Minase held by thugs, believing he’s hiding something, and it’s revealed that he had Takashiro moved to his apartment in secret, away from Kitami’s clutches. However, it seems that Kitami has something more valuable to her: Her new captive, Imari.

Episode four spells out why Kitami needs a virgin: Apparently, her contract with the devil is running out (musta been the fine print. They ALWAYS get ya with that), and she needs to transplant her soul into a virgin’s body in order to trick him and continue walking among the living. However, it seems that slap to Minase knocked some sense into him, as seeing Imari being violated (not vaginally, mind you, as that would ruin Kitami’s plans) makes it clear to him that he needs to save her. Unfortunately, he’s powerless against Kitami and is tossed out of the group, all while warned not to interfere. Back at his apartment, Takashiro tells him that the ritual will take place tomorrow, on Walpurgis Night, but it seems the aphrodisiac pills are still in affect, so she has Minase ‘relieve her’. I’ll get more into that later.

This woman has two modes in the entire series: She’s either a badass, or a helpless damsel getting raped. There’s no middle of the road. It’s BIZARRE.

In episode five, Minase goes running back to save Imari, but finds that they’ve all left, save for Shiraki. In a jealous rage, she stabs Minase, then begins to rape his slowly dying body, only for Takashiro to come save his stupid ass. It’s revealed that only something called the Forbidden Spell can stop the ritual. However, as shown in flashbacks during episode three, when one of the magic club was going to use it to stop their leader, she was murdered and her blood spilled onto the pages with the spell on it (I’ll ignore that this somehow doesn’t ruin the whole book, since magic and shit). So, Minase and Takashiro decide to try and use the latter’s memories and some translations to try and recall the spell. As such, they go to interrupt the spell, but it seems that Kitami was prepared for this. She begins to show Minase images of her men assaulting Yukiko and Shiraki, with orders to kill them after they’re done with them, but Minase tries to press on despite the horrific images, all while Kitami continues her own spell…

…Gosh, I wonder where I’ve seen THIS before? lol

As episode six opens, Kitami seems to take Imari’s virginity, but despite the images of his cousin and Shiraki being violated (and Takashiro being captured and raped, because that’s what she does when she isn’t saving Minase herself), Minase finishes the Forbidden Spell, and it seems to work, stopping the ritual and banishing Kitami’s soul to Hell. Afterward, everything seems to go back to normal, as the magic club have their memories erased of the events, and the police believe that Kitami committed suicide. Minase and Imari hook up and have sex (which can’t even avoid having kink involved for what is SUPPOSEDLY the most romantic of the encounters in this entire series, which I’ll get to later), after which Imari muses over some memories of Kitami’s that found their way into her head, the two realizing that Kitami was, in the end, just another victim. However, as the episode draws to a close with Saeki finding Bible Black in the school basement, before it was supposed to be sealed, she’s confronted by Imari, who burns the book in blue flame and proceeds to rape Saeki as the horrible truth is revealed: The Forbidden Spell failed, and while it’s clear that there’s still some of Imari in her, Kitami’s soul was transplanted into Imari, who proceeds to enjoy the benefits of her new body.

“Imari…If I see your face…If I hear your voice…I feel like I can turn back.”

So, let’s talk for a second about what is easily my least favourite element of this story. No, not the rape and various forms of exploitation, since at least this series (and the game it’s based off of) knows what it is and sticks to that. No, my least favourite part of the story is the protagonist, Minase. I HATE this guy. He knew, whether he wanted to admit it or not, that Shiraki was under a love spell, and had sex with her anyway. It was suggested by Saeki that he was under the influence of a demon, but that didn’t actually happen until after he had sex with Kitami, when she bestowed the lesser demon Rasha onto him. However, we see moments when he COULD very easily resist it. He only ever strays from the path of evil when Imari gets involved, and even then has to be thrown out of the group rather than leave it, and even then, he ‘relieves’ Takashiro when she’s under the influence of drugs, AKA he TOOK ADVANTAGE OF HER. Now, I think part of the problem is that Minase is based on the player character from the video game, and in the video game, his morality and the choices he makes are up to the player. As such, since this is an adaptation, several of his decisions are from different points in the game based on different paths the player takes. However, when put together, they don’t add up well to make a good protagonist, and he instead comes off as confused, bland, and unable to control his hormones, even in the face of evil. And, yeah, I know, he’s a teenager, clearly at the point where your hormones are raging the most, but it’s just taken to a level that I find horribly unlikable.

"That's right, I'm crazy. But the entire world is crazy. People just don't want to admit it. Take a look at our world. Genocides, science out of control, corruption as a way of life. God has forsaken us. Humanity ignores the Ten Commandments, and continues to commit mortal sin after mortal sin. Ruled by a bunch of hypocrites, this world is filled with sin. And in a world like this, we're the only ones who fit in perfectly. This world needs people like me."

“That’s right, I’m crazy. But the entire world is crazy. People just don’t want to admit it. Take a look at our world. Genocides, science out of control, corruption as a way of life. God has forsaken us. Humanity ignores the Ten Commandments, and continues to commit mortal sin after mortal sin. Ruled by a bunch of hypocrites, this world is filled with sin. And in a world like this, we’re the only ones who fit in perfectly. This world needs people like me.”

Conversely, Reika Kitami is a horrifying villain in all of the best ways, both in what she does and what she’s become in comparison to who she was originally (see Bible Black Origins for more on that). She shows how we could all be turned into monsters if we allow ourselves, and serves as a great cautionary tale. But, as I’ve mentioned before, the most horrifying aspect of her character is how she makes people want her, that they know she’s bad news and still get drawn in by lust for her body and/or power. And just the fact that she believes she has to be this way because it’s the ultimate resolution of a person in this day and age accepting the truth of who they are in the world they live in is just nuts and terrifying. It’s kinda like the Joker, when he said he wasn’t a monster, just ahead of the curve, except that she believes that we’re all inevitably monsters. And just like all good horror villains, just when you think she’s gone forever, she comes back with a vengeance.

“It’s fun watching people suffer over and over again. A face filled with pain, a face filled with pleasure…They all turn me on in different ways.”

But let’s get right down to the controversy of the story: All the rape. Because let’s be honest, it’s not that this series has a ton of sex in it that makes it truly controversial. It’s not even really all the religious symbolism, or at least not to me anyway, since it DOES paint for some truly horrific villains. No, the problem is that pretty much every single sex scene in this series can be seen as a form of rape. The people involved are almost always pressured, drugged, or magically influenced into having sex every time. The only person I can think of who had any kind of sexual act performed on and didn’t resist was Minase, albeit he did a couple of times after he started to ‘break away’ from Kitami. He’s even a perpetrator of said sexual violence, even when he ISN’T possessed. And again, he’s supposed to be our main protagonist. With that said, though, even he becomes a victim once or twice. Hell, when Minase and Imari are having sex in the last episode, that can be seen as sex under false pretenses if it turns out Kitami was in the driver’s seat at the time (it’s honestly a little hard to tell, though). With that said, one can at least make the argument that the sexual violence is kept gender equal, since it DOES happen to him…except that he’s the ONLY guy it happens to, other than one guy under a love spell. In fact, aside from him, Minase’s the only guy that plays a part in the narrative. And frankly, the men in the other series don’t exactly do much better…Anyway, moving on…

As for the religious symbolism present, and all the occultism at work, the rituals, and so on, do I find this story blasphemous? Well, first off, I should explain that I’m not the most committed Christian around. While I believe in God, I do have a lot of questions, concerns, and even disagreements with certain aspects of my religion. But even if I didn’t, the satanic rituals are presented as being just that. These ARE the bad guys doing these horrible acts, so if you’re offended by what they do, it’s only because you’re supposed to be. If anything, I’m more concerned that people who do read about magic, belong to magic clubs, and so on may feel horribly misrepresented as evil sadists who like to lure people in with drugs and magic, violate them into wanting to join their cause, and commit virgin sacrifices to talk to demons. And frankly, I feel like the cautionary tale of being overcome by the desire to do magic was done better in Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

So, that ultimately brings me to the question of if I like this series, to which I respond……hard to say? As I said, the biggest problems are the mass amount of sexual violence toward women and the fact that our protagonist is more than a little bit defective. If the sex involved in the story wasn’t pretty much 99.9% non con, I’d probably enjoy that aspect a lot better. Really, what I enjoy are some of the more frightening moments, and some questions it raises. What WOULD the average person do in this situation? How would they react and respond? It’s easy to judge how these people do so negatively when we’re not actively in the story, but what if we were? How easy would it be, if we were in Reika’s position, or Minase’s position, to do as they did? Maybe a story like this needs to exist, so we can look at these horrible acts and find ways out of their predicaments that they didn’t, so we can say that we can avoid falling into the same traps of darkness and evil…….Or, maybe it’s just shameless smut trying to pass itself off as something more meaningful. Either way, though, it clearly has found success in that, and whether I agree with its content or not, I can’t argue that it’s left an impact. You just have to judge for yourself which you think it is, and if you like it, that’s okay, as long as you see the acts perpetrated in this story for what they are and don’t practice them yourself.

I’ll get you next time, Jyger…Next time…!

 

Anyway, whether you agree with my views or not, I wanna thank you for reading my 500th article on Jyger’s Rant. Leave a comment below, and hopefully, I’ll see you all again for my 1000th. Ja né, and let’s all try to be better people than Minase…who, thank GOD, wasn’t in the sequel. lol

Why I Am Officially Divorcing The Pokémon Anime (WARNING – ANGRY RANT AHEAD)

…So, you may have noticed that I haven’t done a review of the Pokémon anime in a long time. It’s taken a long time to admit to this, but after watching Best Wishes with my friend N. Harmonik, and she can attest to how many times I’ve brought up what’s wrong with the anime as of late, and clearly seeing that no, Ash has NOT grown up in the new series, and no, he probably never will, and seeing that every season from now until whenever the show ends will likely be ‘second verse, same as the first’…I hate this show. I hate this show so much. It is everything that an anime should NEVER be: Characters do not grow, there is little to no story, and there is very little resolution to the characters’ journeys because, at the beginning of every new series, they hit the reset button. It’s not even really an anime, it’s a half-hour advertisement for the games, and when the Pokémon games have had better stories than the anime has, that’s a BAD thing.

If yer wondering what exactly it is that has broken the camel’s back, allow to explain. There is a movie that has come out recently that involves Mewtwo going up against Genesect. This was the movie I was actually really looking forward to, because this was the battle that seemed practically gift-wrapped to the writers: A Pokémon with a very similar back-story to Mewtwo, but with a severe type advantage. And when I saw that there was more than one of them, and they’d be going up against a Mega Evolved Mewtwo, my jaw dropped and I said “That’s gonna be AWESOME!”

Now, as my excitement wore down a little and I learned more about Mega Evolution, the question then was, “Well, how does Mewtwo Mega Evolve? In the games, that requires a Pokémon to be holding a Mega Stone, and to have a close enough a connection to a Trainer with a Keystone that they achieve this new evolved form.” So then I thought, “Well, the connection between Ash and Mewtwo is pretty strong, after their meetings in the first movie and in Mewtwo Returns, so maybe they find the stones and Mewtwo evolves that way?”…And then the prequel special happened, where it was revealed that Mewtwo just had the ability on its own to do this. Also, since the release of the movie, it has been revealed this is NOT the same Mewtwo. As a matter of fact, Mewtwo is actually voiced by a woman in this movie.

… … …Writers, animators, editors, whoever works on the movies and/or the anime. You had this AMAZING story just BEGGING to be written, where Mewtwo reaches that point where it knows it can trust humans, and upon doing so, discovers this whole new power that it never knew existed. You had this story that would’ve connected all the way back to the first movie and actually helped to make that raped-me-in-the-ass reset button ending WORK. But you didn’t, when it was easy, because you don’t care enough to do so, and if you don’t care, why the hell should the audience care? Why should I ever give a flying fuck about a show that never changes, never shows the characters grow, and never lets them enjoy any kind of achievement? And before ANYONE says Orange Islands or Battle Frontier, those stories and how those accomplishments played out were clearly tailored to let Ash win without actually becoming ANYTHING more, and then IMMEDIATELY, on both occasions, saw him get smacked back down by a guy he, by all rights, surpassed LONG AGO. And if your concern is that letting Ash grow up and become a Master might alienate your primary demographic, that being kids, might I recommend you read the manga and see how they handle it there.

Lemme bring up an alternative to this: Pokémon Origins. Now, the English dub isn’t out yet, and despite some fears of what they do with the English dub, I still plan to see it, but just from watching the four episodes in their original format, I can tell you that those four episodes are better than what we’ve gotten out of the past four seasons of the main anime. Now, it has the same curse as the anime has, in that it’s pretty much an advertisement for the games. Pretty sure that’s the sole reason for including Mega Charizard X. Where it’s different…well, first off, it’s for fans of the original games, so it’s clearly tailored towards a slightly older audience, while still being just tame enough that kids can watch it. Second, you can tell that the people who worked on it actually…what’s the word…? Oh yeah, gave a shit. They WANTED this to be good. Third, Red actually BEATS the Elite Four, becomes champ, and completes the PokéDex…well, the Kanto Regional PokéDex, anyway. He’s gonna be PISSED when he finds out there’s another hundred Pokémon just a little bit west of him. lol Oh, and while the animation is still good and keeps up with stuff you see nowadays, it isn’t SO bright and flashy that it gives me a headache, unlike THAT OTHER SHOW.

So yeah, sorry to disappoint, but I’m officially DONE with the Pokémon anime, at least how it is now. It sucks beyond redemption. It sucks beyond the ability to be fixed with the current team working it. I’m just DONE with it, and until something is done to fix it, which will not happen without anything short of a fucking miracle, that is my final word on the subject. Bottom line, if you want a great story involving the characters from the Pokémon games, read the manga, watch Pokémon Origins, hell, even some fanfics out there handle the characters better than the show does nowadays. In fact, I think I WILL go re-watch Pokémon Origins now, just for fun, and just ‘cuz I’m sick of complaining about the anime. Ja né!

Jyger’s Rant – Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths

Recently, DC Comics decided to bring back the Crime Syndicate of Amerika for a huge crossover event, Forever Evil. If you aren’t familiar with them, the jist of them is that the Crime Syndicate are evil versions of the Justice League from a parallel world. While their ranks have changed from time to time, they usually consist of Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick. Well, this got me feeling nostalgic for an animated movie made a while back that also featured the Crime Syndicate, simply entitled Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths.

Justice League Crisis On Two Earths

Based off Gardner Fox‘s story, “Crisis on Earth-Three!”, and Grant Morrison‘s “JLA: Earth 2“, this movie was originally conceived to act as a bridge between season two of the Justice League animated series and the start of Justice League Unlimited. However, for reasons I’m not sure I completely understand, that plan was scrapped and it was instead reworked into its own story in its own continuity. So, how does it fare? Pretty awesome, albeit not perfect. As usual, let’s do a summary of the plot before I talk about what I really liked and didn’t like.

ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!

So the movie starts off with Lex Luthor and an alternate version of The Joker called The Jester breaking into a maximum security vault to steal something called the Quantum Trigger, but it becomes clear right away that this isn’t the Justice League’s Earth (which, for simplicity’s sake, we’re just gonna call their world Earth 1 and the Syndicate’s world Earth 3) when evil versions of its members corner Jester and try to kill him, only for him to go out with a bang to buy Luthor time to escape. While Luthor is briefly cornered by the Crime Syndicate’s five leaders, he manages to get away by escaping to Earth 1. Once there, he contacts the Justice League and, since Superman can tell he’s from a parallel Earth right away with his x-ray vision, they hear him out. Apparently, Luthor’s Justice League has been taken out one by one, with him as its last member. The Syndicate have almost complete control of the world, and only the threat of a nuclear response is keeping them from achieving that much. As such, the Justice League votes on the matter, with Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Wally West, THANK GOD, lol), Hal Jordan, and Martian Manhunter vote to go help, with only Batman opting to stay behind, as their new Watchtower isn’t even complete yet.

The evil Vibe, “Breakdance”

Arriving on Earth 3, the Justice League find Lex’s base of operations being ransacked by the Syndicate, who are looking for the Quantum Trigger. The Quantum Trigger is the last component to a bomb capable of destroying the world, which they plan to use as leverage on the government of the world to make them bow to them. A huge brawl breaks out between the League and a large number of villainous counterparts to various heroes of the DCU, including Vibe, Vixen, Elongated Man, and the Shazam family. Barely escaping with Owlman’s jet, the League go to Jester’s hideout, where Luthor explains the command structure of the Crime Syndicate, and Superman decides they need to move out in teams of two to stop their various operations. Meanwhile, Owlman has learned of Luthor’s device that allows him to travel to alternate worlds, and it becomes clear to Superwoman, who is his mistress, that he’s growing increasingly nihilistic. After all, even if they were to detonate the bomb on Earth 3, all it would do is cause the world to branch into two: One where they made the choice to detonate the bomb, and another where they didn’t. In essence, he feels that nothing he does will ever matter because there’ll always be another world where he did the exact opposite, or worse, where he never existed at all. As such, he commits himself to finding the original Earth, the one from which every Earth in the multiverse spun from, and destroy it with the bomb, as it’s the only decision he could ever make that would have lasting consequence, and since Superwoman is a murdering psychopath, she goes along with it.

Power Ring, Johnny Quick, Ultraman, Superwoman, and Owlman

Superman’s operation turns out to be a complete success, even to the point where he and Luthor manage to get Ultraman arrested. However, President Slade Wilson (seriously) orders his release, on account of the fact that there’d be no way to protect anyone willing to prosecute. This enrages his daughter, Rose, who thinks her father a coward, but Martian Manhunter suggests that isn’t the case, having accidentally read her thoughts since they appear to be attuned for some reason. Superman simply tells the President that they’re not leaving until the Syndicate is defeated, and they show themselves out. Afterwards, Slade is visited by Ultraman, who tells him to tell his daughter to stop speaking against the Syndicate in public, or he’ll do to her what he did to the First Lady. Slade is rightfully pissed off and threatens to nuke Ultraman if he comes anywhere near Rose, but Ultraman laughs him off, informing him that the Syndicate are creating a bomb of their own.

The Justice League have a ‘talk’ with President Wilson

Sure enough, during a public speech, Rose is nearly assassinated by an evil version of Green Arrow called Archer, but Martian Manhunter had been posing as one of her guards and easily stops him. It seems that, being attuned to Rose, J’onn can’t get her out of his head, and the two are quickly falling in love due to how well their minds compliment each other. Meanwhile, Owlman sends Superwoman and the evil Shazams to Earth 1, as it seems that Lex hid the Quantum Trigger on the Watchtower when he was there. Batman puts of as good a fight as one can expect, but it’s clear that he’s out-numbered and out-gunned, so he calls in the Calvary, teleporting Black Lightning, Aquaman, Red Tornado, Black Canary, and Firestorm in to tilt the odds in his favour. While this works for the most part, Superwoman still gets away with the Quantum Trigger, and while Batman gives chase, he finds himself captured instead. Despite being completely outmatched by Superwoman, however, even to the point of being toyed with, Batman outsmarts her by tricking her into breathing in enough anaesthesia to kill an elephant, knocking her out. After calling the Justice League, Lex admits to hiding the Quantum Trigger on the Watchtower, but only because it was impossible to destroy it, and the Watchtower was the safest place to hide it, or so he thought. A quick off-screen interrogation of Superwoman reveals Owlman’s plans, and, with Rose granting knowledge of the Syndicate’s base on the moon, they go to face them, with J’onn remaining behind for the time being.

The Justice League Reserves

Once on the moon, Superwoman manages to get free and knock Lex out, making it a 5-on-5 fight with the League each squaring off against their evil counterparts. While the League gets the advantage, Owlman’s computer locates Earth Prime (no, not Superboy Prime’s world), and he teleports himself there with the bomb. Once the rest of the Crime Syndicate figure out what’s happening, they all come up with a plan to stop him: Johnny Quick will vibrate his body as just the right speed to piggyback on Owlman’s signal and open a portal, but they can only send one person, so naturally, Batman decides to go, squaring off with Owlman 1-on-1. It becomes clear in the fight that Owlman has the advantage in nearly every way, but Batman manages to trick him, tying him to the bomb as he teleports it to another Earth in the computer’s memory banks: A frozen, uninhabited world. Owlman has enough time to abort the detonation, but opts not to, claiming “It doesn’t matter”, dying in the explosion. Batman returns, but despite desperately yelling at Johnny to stop vibrating, he dies, having gone so fast that his body aged to the point of death. Ultraman quickly decides to end their truce, but J’onn arrives, accompanied by the President, who was not to thrilled with the attempt on Rose’s life, and the Marines. They’ve also come packing nuclear warheads, and in the face of that, the Syndicate surrenders. In the end, while Rose asks J’onn to stay, he made a promise to protect his new home, so sadly, they say goodbye, the League returning home as Superman suggests they could use a few extra hands in the future. Batman agrees, opting to start a membership drive, as Black Canary and the others greet them on the Watchtower.

“There IS a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss. But when it looked back at us, you blinked.”

So, like I said, this movie is pretty awesome, but it does have its flaws. And, since I wanna end this review on a high note, let’s look at those flaws first. Oh, and before anyone asks, no, I have not read the source material this was based on (yet), so I will not be making comparisons, with a single exception, and you’ll understand why when we get to it.

  1. While I don’t have a problem with Hal Jordan or the casting of his voice actor in this movie, it’s pretty clear he was not intended to be here. I’ll get to why in a second, but there just isn’t enough of Hal being the snarky, flirtatious, and possessing-the-greatest-of-wills kind of guy that he is in this movie. In fact, a lot of the time, it doesn’t really feel like he nor Power Ring are really doing much of anything. Of all the main characters involved, they seem like the ones with the least going on…though I DO love the Rock Beats Scissors moment Hal has in the Earth 3 JLA headquarters. lol However, as I said, it’s clear he wasn’t meant to be here, which brings me to the second major problem I have with this movie…
  2. Why the hell did they abandon the plan for this to be a Justice League animated series movie?!?! Think about it, all of the pieces are in place: The Justice League in this movie consists only of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter, which were the same team at the end of Starcrossed when Hawkgirl quit. The Watchtower had been destroyed, which would explain the new one being built here. Black Canary, Aquaman, and the others all become supporting members of the JLU. The only thing off is that, in the movie, this world’s Lex Luthor is in prison, Aquaman doesn’t have his hook hand, and, as I mentioned before, John Stewart is swapped out for Hal Jordan. And speaking of which, because they did that, they left out a great opportunity for a story with John here: He could’ve encountered evil Hawkgirl, which would in turn dig up his issues of having broken up with her recently and put him in a situation where he needs to deal with it.
  3. Okay, this isn’t so much a complaint, just a sorta WTF moment when I sit back and think to myself “How the hell did they get away with Superwoman in this movie?” This is a PG-13, and in case it got past anybody’s brilliant senses, Superwoman’s character is pretty much that of an evil dominatrix…No, really. Watch the scene where she takes on Batman again and tell me you don’t see it. Also, while I said I wouldn’t be comparing to the source material, I do have to admit that I find it a little jarring that they changed Superwoman from being an Amazon Lois Lane to being Mary Marvel (hence the evil Shazams), which is kinda icky because now I have no idea how old Superwoman ACTUALLY is…o.O
  4. This is actually something that even the movie points out as making little sense: Why is Batman the one to save the universe? Think about it: The bomb’s gonna blow the whole multiverse up. Wouldn’t you wanna send your best guy in to stop it? Y’know, SUPERMAN?! Really, the only reason Batman is there is because it’s his evil counterpart, which I don’t think is enough to justify his presence, and because he’s DC’s biggest meal ticket, which I swear to God is making it harder to be a Batman fan EVERY DAY.

And that’s all the stuff I didn’t like. So, what stuff did I like the most?

  1. Pretty much every time Wally opens his mouth. lol Seriously, I miss the crap outta Wally in the comics these days. There’s also a running plot (pun intended) of Flash thinking Batman REALLY doesn’t like him, until the end when Johnny Quick is dying and correctly deduces that Flash could’ve opened the portal, but Batman told him he wasn’t fast enough because he knew there was a chance it could’ve killed him. I thought that went pretty well.
  2. Wonder Woman gets her Invisible Jet in this movie, but it’s actually Owlman’s jet. Thing is, it has a cloaking device, but when the Shazams blast it with lightning, it fries the circuitry and keeps it invisible. I thought that was a really good explanation, plus I loved Owlman’s little Air Force One moment when he told Diana to “Get off my plane”. Cute, Warner Bros.
  3. While the romance sub-plot with Rose and J’onn seems kinda rushed, the explanation allows me to forgive that, and really…J’onn doesn’t get enough romantic interests! I honestly feel bad for him sometimes. When you watch Justice League, where is he most of the time? Cooped up in the Watchtower. It wasn’t until the last season he finally met someone, and that was off-screen! And these two actually do give the feeling that they would work well as a couple…although I dunno if that justifies people making AMVs of them to the song, I swear to God I’m not kidding here, “Kiss From A Rose”. Also, I admit to getting a small giggle out of him saying that, knowing his luck, the Earth 1 version of Rose is evil, to which I always say “…Erm, kinda…ish…Depends on who’s writing her.”
  4. EVERYBODY is in this movie! Freaking EVERYBODY, whether it’s the real them or their Earth 3 counterparts, are in this movie. On top of the ones I already mentioned, there are CSA versions of Looker, Gypsy, Halo, Katana, Hawkman, Mister Terrific, Man-Bat, Wildcat, Power Girl, Swamp Thing, Lobo, and TONS more! And while a few of them do stand in the background, a lot more are shown using their unique powers and abilities so that they aren’t wasted. Heck, Vibe’s evil counterpart actually gets a good shot in on Superman…before being promptly punched out like a jobber, but still, a good shot. And, of course, seeing the Justice League Reserves show up for an awesome fight scene is really cool too, though it would’ve meant more if they had, again, gone ahead with the original idea for this movie.
  5. All in all, with a possible exception for Hal Jordan, I find the characters are all well-represented. Aside from the ones I already touched base on, Superman is distrustful of Lex Luthor, but would still risk his own life to save Lex’s world. Wonder Woman is a kickass fighter that’ll punch out Superwoman when she gets outta line, but is compassionate to her team-mates and even suggests that if J’onn wants to stay with Rose that he should. Ultraman works as a great cautionary example of what someone like Superman could’ve been if he hadn’t been raised by the kindly couple that he was. Batman and Owlman work as great opposites, as one is occasionally paranoid of others but would still lay down his life for his team, while the other is sleeping with one of his team-mates but would still kill her to get what he wants. I should note, though, that while the voices aren’t what I’d call bad, in fact some are really good, the voice actor for Batman had clearly been watching The Dark Knight Trilogy. He doesn’t quite go too far with it, but he’s got this growl in the back of his throat that makes me think that, at any moment, THIS was gonna happen…

So, overall, how does this movie stack up? Awesome. Yes, it has a few flaws, and I REALLY wish they’d stuck with the original idea for this movie (especially since we woulda gotten the DCAU voice actors), but if I were to do my best to ignore that and not fault the movie for it, I’d say this movie is one of the better DC Animated Movies out. So, if you’re looking to start a collection of DC movies, this should DEFINITELY be on your To-Buy list.

So, what do you guys think of Crisis On Two Earths? Love it, hate it, indifferent towards it, never seen it before? And hey, how do you think it compares to the current story in DC, Forever Evil? Leave your comments below, and will see you next time. Ja né!

Jyger’s Rant – What I Liked and Didn’t Like About Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So I just got finished watching Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which is an animated movie based off the event comic Flashpoint. If you’ve never read the book or seen the movie, then I’m sorry, spoilers ahead. However,I’d wager to bet that everyone reading DC nowadays at least has heard of Flashpoint and knows that it’s the event that closed out the previous continuity in DC Comics, established with Crisis on Infinite Earths and shaping the modern DC universe, and began the DCnU, also known as The New 52 (even though it’s two years old and does not currently consist of 52 books like it originally had). Either way, here’s a brief summary of the events for those who don’t wanna read it, or who have and need a refresher on what happened. This is Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.

The Flash (Barry Allen) is consumed with grief over the loss of his mother, so he decides to use his speed to travel back in time and save her. However, when he wakes up the next day, the world isn’t like he remembers. Kal-El was never found by the Kents, instead held in a government compound. Bruce Wayne was shot by Joe Chill and his father, Thomas Wayne, becomes a gun-totting Batman while his wife, Martha Wayne, goes insane and becomes The Joker. Aquaman has an affair with Wonder Woman, which Mera discovers, and is killed in self-defense when she attacks Diana, leading Themyscira and Atlantis to all-out war. And lastly, Cyborg is working for the government, trying to bring together a group of heroes (and a villain or two) to stop Diana and Arthur from causing World War III. There’s a ton of other characters involved, like Grifter, Hal Jordan, Lois Lane, Shazam, and Captain Atom, but it mostly centers around Flash, Batman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Professor Zoom.

Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, Barry travels to Gotham City and meets Batman, telling him what happened. He finds Professor Zoom’s suit in his ring instead of his own, and Batman theorizes that Zoom planted it there to let him know he’s still around, leading Barry to believe Zoom is the cause of the change to history. However, after the final battle between Aquaman and Wonder Woman begins and the heroes try to stop the war, Zoom arrives to tell Barry that he didn’t do anything: Barry is the cause. When Barry broke through the time barrier to save his mother, he created a time boom (comparative to a sonic-boom created when someone breaks the sound barrier) that altered history. Batman kills Zoom, since he was siphoning off the Speed Force and keeping Flash from going through time again, so that Barry can go back and stop himself from altering history, thus averting the crisis that almost destroyed the world. However, while that succeeds, we see in the end that he and Batman’s costumes have changed, though neither notices the difference, as the universe has still been changed into that of the DCnU.

There’re a lot more details to go over, but because I’m honestly left liking a lot of moments in this movie and hating others, I’m gonna give my thoughts based on lists of what I liked and hated. Also, I don’t wanna compare this to the book, since the only part of Flashpoint I ever read was the ending, but there IS something that happens there that didn’t happen in the movie, so I’ll leave that for after my lists. So first, here’s what I liked about this movie.

  1. Pretty much the entirety of the Flash Museum battle, in particular how Professor Zoom’s bombs are dealt with. The Justice League show up to help Barry with the situation, as Zoom has planted bombs on The Rogues, and we see them all using their unique powers, skills, and quick thinking to deal with each one: Aquaman has millions of microbes eat one bomb for dinner, Batman and GL disable one in space, Atom fries one in the atmosphere, Wonder Woman uses Captain Cold’s freeze gun on one, Flash uses his speed to gather a ball of wind to knock out one he can’t reach, and Superman…Well, Superman just clutches the last one in his hands and lets it blow up rather harmlessly. lol
  2. Lois Lane is not shown to die…I KNOW, RIGHT?! I mean, we can infer that when Aquaman blows up Captain Atom to destroy the surface world that she would’ve died, but since we never see her die and Flash goes back in time before the blast is completed, we can’t really add her to the kill-count in this movie (which sadly, there IS a rather lengthy kill-count, but I’ll get to that later). In fact, not only does she not die, but she joins Grifter’s team and starts kicking all kinds of ass in the final battle.
  3. I love just how many characters are involved in this. The Batsons, General Lane, Harley Quinn (now called YoYo for some odd reason), Flash’s Rogues Gallery, BOTH AQUALADS! I’m just a sucker for stories that involve LOTS of characters, because it makes me wanna brush up on what I know about them all.
  4. This is a great movie for fans of Barry Allen. Actually, I would daresay it’s a good movie for people who don’t like him too, because we pretty much get the best of him in this movie. He goes through the process of recreating the accident that gave him powers, TWICE, even after the first time fails and leaves him covered in third degree burns. He rallies the heroes together to try and stop the war. He’s CONSTANTLY pushing the boundaries of what should be possible even for him, just to give this insane world a chance. And when he finally realizes exactly what’s happened, what he did to cause all this, he undoes it, because he knows what his mother would WANT him to do, and that the cost of letting himself do what he did was too high. No second guesses, no easy way out. Be a hero.
  5. There’s just something about the ending where Barry gives the letter from his father to him that gets me emotional. It even lets me ignore the simple questions of how he should even be in possession of it if the timeline it comes from was erased.

…So that’s what I liked about the movie, but what did I hate about it?

  1. As I mentioned before, the kill-count in this movie gets kinda crazy, and the violence gets pushed pretty high for a PG-13. Steve Trevor is hanged, Mera is beheaded, Cyborg is torn apart until his heart is exposed, Kal-El accidentally fries some soldiers when he gains his heat vision for the first time, Billy Batson (who I must remind is a kid when he’s not Shazam) is stabbed, and Professor Zoom has a hole shot through his head. Look, I’m generally the first to stick up for kids and what they can and can’t handle, but this woulda traumatized me as a child. And frankly, just the fact that we see these characters killing each other in such graphic detail when a lot of them are the otherwise good guys is so hard to watch sometimes.
  2. Kind of a minor one, but Batman referring to Cyborg as a ‘boy-scout’ and Cyborg working for the government just makes me think of Frank Miller’s writing…in a bad way.
  3. I’m not sure why this is called Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, when the members are only seen as being the Justice League in one scene. Other than that, it focuses primarily on The Flash and Batman (because he’s DC’s meal ticket, and as much as I love the crap outta Batman, it can get EXTREMELY annoying how much they push him, even in other people’s stories). Flash being the central protagonist is kind of the reason the comic was originally called Flashpoint.
  4. Why is Wonder Woman a mass-murderer who assists Aquaman in cheating on his wife? Come to think of it, why is Aquaman an adulterer who then goes to war when his wife that he cheated on went to go kill Diana and was killed in self-defense? I get it, it’s a different version of the characters, but the changes in personalities and perspectives for the characters are usually explained, except for these two. The problem with that is that their conflict is the major conflict of the movie, since Flash has to stop their war from destroying the world.
  5. Not that big a deal, but…WOW, Cyborg is tall in this! I know it shouldn’t bug me all that much, but in every scene that he’s in, I just can’t stop thinking “Holy shit, Cyborg’s tall!” He’s bigger than Superman, for crying out loud! And he’s got that big honking blaster on his right arm. Dude, I don’t think you need to compensate for anything! You’re freaking Cyborg! lol

…So now that we’ve gone over what I liked and hated, let’s talk about what big thing was missing from the movie: Pandora. Again, for those who don’t know, in the original comic, after stopping himself from changing history, Flash heads back to the present, but encounters Pandora. Pandora explains that the universe was split into three (DC, WildStorm, Vertigo) to weaken it for some coming threat, and that she’s using Flash’s travelling through time to recombine the universes, thus creating the realm we know as the DCnU. So, if she’s absent from this movie, what’s the implication? That Flash still managed to botch up history somehow? Now, it’s not as big a deal here as it was in the comics, since the movies jump around wherever they like and most exist in their own universes (although I’m pretty sure Justice League: War is a sequel of sorts to this), but it still makes me question it… … …Also, where the hell was Element Woman? o.O

Overall, what are my thoughts? Well, my biggest problem with the Flashpoint comic, at least what I read of it and about it, is that it seems relatively small when you consider it’s the last story of the former DCU. But again, that’s not a problem for the movie. Heck, I understand another movie they’re gonna do in the future is an adaptation of the story where Bruce meets Damian. The violence DOES bother me a lot, though, as do the Flashpoint-verse Wonder Woman and Aquaman. I DO see the heart of this story on its own, however: It’s about a man who fell to the temptation to do what he thought would be the right thing for someone he cared about, he made a terrible mistake, and when he realized it, he did what was necessary to set everything right, making the sacrifice needed to save the world. So, there IS a good story beyond all the blood and death…which, I think I may have heard was actually made worse for the movie, I’m not sure.

But anyway, those’re my thoughts on The Flashpoint Paradox. Have you got a different take on it? Comment below what you thought of the movie, the comic, the DCnU, whatever, and I will see you guys next time. Ja né!

Tales of Dumbassery – Comic Book Writers Say The Darnedest Things (WARNING – THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WILL PISS YOU OFF)

……..Just show the title card. -_-

Tales of Dumbassery

If it seems like I’m not in a very joking mood this time around, it’s only because I’m pissed off/confused. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a feminist. Not out of any disliking of feminism, it’s just that I wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to start. However, as a comic fan, I’m a bit more in the know about the simple fact that, gasp, WOMEN READ COMICS. Be they newspaper comic strips, manga, and yes, superhero comics, there are in fact women that read them. So why is it that THIS shit keeps happening?!

Mark Millar and Todd McFarlane: Ladies, Comics Aren’t For You”

This paragraph is from the Tumblr page DC Women Kicking Ass: “Over at Think Progress, Alyssa Rosenberg reports on a panel held for the upcoming documentary Superheroes: The Never-Ending Battle. The panel, consisted of Todd McFarlane, Gerry Conway, Len Wein and Michael Kantor. And apparently the never ending battle is trying to handwave why comics is pretty much all white and all male. ‘There hasn’t really been historically a comic book that has worked that is trying to get across a kind of message, if you will,’ McFarlane insisted. ‘So the female characters that work are the ones that are just strong women that actually it’s good storytelling, and the odd character that is a minority that works is the one that is just a good strong character. They’ve tried to do minority characters and bring that label and that surrounding [debate] into it. You’re aware that you’re reading a minority comic book. I think it’s wrong’.” Well thank you, Todd. Thank you so much for clearing that up. Got any more gems of wisdom for us? Perhaps a book detailing your asinine viewpoint?

Oh, it gets better, folks. Here’s what Mark Millar, writer/creator of Kick-Ass, and writer of works such as Civil War, Sonic The Comic, The Authority, and MUCH more, had to say in his interview with The New Republic: “The ultimate [act] that would be the taboo, to show how bad some villain is, was to have somebody being raped, you know?” he told me. “I don’t really think it matters. It’s the same as, like, a decapitation. It’s just a horrible act to show that somebody’s a bad guy.”…Umm, no. No it’s not the same. At all. In one case, the person is dead, or in the case of certain works of fiction, they regenerate. In the other, the person gets to live with the pain and terror of the act, can have up to many years of horrific nightmares, and in the case of women (yeah, I know, what a shocker, MEN can be raped too), they can find themselves pregnant with the rapist’s child. Also, depending on where they live, rape victims have to pay a bitch of a medical bill afterward, but that’s a VERY angry rant for another day.

So since these two are very clearly implying that comic books aren’t meant for women, does that mean that, by your logic, my girlfriend should stop reading them? Or my former teacher, perhaps? Heck, by this logic, Gail Simone shouldn’t even be writing comics. Also, does this viewpoint extend beyond western superhero comics? Should N. Harmonik stop reading Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog comics? Should my friend Nikki stop reading manga? Should cosplayers stop dressing as women from comics? Please, by all means, keep me up to date with how far this belief of yours goes, ‘cuz I’m just fascinated by all of this.

I’m baffled that two people who are supposed to be big names in the comic book industry apparently know nothing about the fan-base of said industry. This actually feels dumber to me than Dan Didio saying that DC does not write books for kids (Really, Danny? Then what the hell do you call Li’l Gotham?), but that could simply be because I’m kinda used to the insane opinions of Dan Didio. It just bothers me so much that this insanity continues to this day.

Anyway, comment below what you think about all this, and be sure to click on the other articles below. Ja né!

Tales of Dumbassery – Hey, Man of Steel! It’s Miller Time!

…Well, this isn’t gonna be pretty, folks. Because not only is this Tales of Dumbassery, but………It’s Miller Time.

PUT THE ALCOHOL DOWN, that’s not what I mean. For those that don’t know, Miller Time is a segment on Atop The Fourth Wall, wherein Linkara looks at the ever-increasing insanity of Frank Miller, who has pretty much become a hack in every single meaning of the word these days. So why am I talking about him today? Well, Superman fans should get ready for this story to break their hearts…

Snyder and Miller to Talk About “Man of Steel” Sequel

“When Zack Snyder announced at Comic-Con that Batman would be included in the sequel to ‘Man of Steel’, he had many Superman fans worried when he had actor Harry Lennix read a quote from Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns‘ graphic novel. While Snyder did say they weren’t adapting Miller’s story, the Independant received word that Zack Snyder is planning to meet up with Frank Miller to discuss the new movie.” And real quick, before anyone attempts to blame Snyder for this, because that was my own knee-jerk reaction, “A Superman Homepage source managed to speak to Zack Snyder yesterday, and put to him the concerns of some Superman fans, with Snyder remarking, ‘It’s too early for me to discuss the film. However, regardless of how I feel about Superman, ultimately I have to go along with the direction that Warner Bros. thinks is best’.”

…Yep. THIS is basically what you can expect, people. Batman vs Superman, for no real reason other than to get them into a fight.

…Y’know, I had so many high hopes for this franchise. Even after Man of Steel was being described as edgy, I kept hope that they knew what they were doing. We were gonna have a couple of awesome Superman movies, maybe one or two for heroes like Batman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman, and then a Justice League of America movie to tie it all together and get these heroes together in a story that would rival the success of The Avengers’ film. And heck, despite some flaws with Man of Steel, I can say that overall, I really enjoyed it…And now, THIS has happened.

Now, lemme clarify something right now: Way back before Frank Miller apparently got infected by a brain parasite that killed all good sense in his mind, he could tell an amazing Batman story. He did so with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and he did it again with Batman: Year One. But, even back then, and this is crucial people, while DKR gave massive new life to Batman, it did equal amounts of damage to Superman. And THIS is the guy you wanna get input from for the Man of Steel sequel?! REALLY?!

This is and has always been Superman in the eyes of Frank Miller: A strong-man puppet of the government.

Then again, maybe I’m the wrong person to judge this decision, since I don’t even get why this is a VS movie to begin with. Shouldn’t the next logical step have been a Man of Steel movie involving Lex Luthor or Brainiac or Metallo? Why involve Batman at all? Look, I get that he’s been DC’s meal ticket for a LONG time now, but the Man of Steel series was supposed to be about Superman. Do you really have that little faith in the world’s first superhero that you had to bring Batman into it? And heck, if they REALLY felt the need to involve Batman, as this was likely their knee-jerk reaction to mixed reviews of Man of Steel, why have them be adversaries? Why not do something like the Superman The Animated Series‘s three-parter, World’s Finest, where they would start off unsure of each other, but quickly wind up teaming up to battle a super-villain duo? And between the two of them, I think they could find two of their rogues to form a pretty lethal team that they’d NEED to take on together.

But you wanna know what I’ve always found funny about the fight between Superman and Batman in DKR? Even though it’s specifically set up in such a way that Batman can emerge victorious over Superman, it pretty much spells out why Superman would beat Batman at least 9 times out of 10. Think about it: Batman had a ton of prep time to Superman’s zero, Batman used gadgets and trickery while Superman just used pure power instead of playing it smart, Batman had back-up in the form of Carrie Kelley and Green Arrow, Superman only lost because he inhaled Kryptonite from one of Ollie’s arrows, and to be perfectly blunt, Clark didn’t even want the fight in the first place. That’s why I generally give it a pass when most won’t. The problem is that, again, Frank wrote that when he was still sane, rational, and had a basic understanding of how certain characters worked. He doesn’t even understand how Batman works now, what makes you think he can help at all with Superman?

…Btw, if they’re REALLY gonna do this, I DO kinda hope Carrie Kelley is in the movie. lol

Anyway, I think I’ve gone on about this enough. Leave your comments below, or vote as to whether you think getting Frank Miller’s input is a good call or not. Ja né!