Justice League vs. Teen Titans
I have to admit that I have not really read much of the New 52 (some of which is currently getting half-rebooted?). In fact, it has been a while since I have read any DC Comics because of Man of Steel and the loss of a lot of characters that I really liked. The new grim and gritty direction turned me off but the animated features seem to be based on the New 52 but seem lighter. Maybe it’s the vocal performances. This movie is done in the same animation style as Young Justice and it is really pretty even if the colors seem a bit muted. I had already seen the new 52 Justice League (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg) but I had not seen the Teen Titans yet. This movie surprised me as it was centered around Damian Wayne as Robin. The other big star of the movie is Raven dealing with her father which is a threat big enough to draw in both teams. Most Teen Titans groups have been centered around Dick Grayson or Tim Drake. I am always happy to see Beast Boy, Blue Beetle and Raven but I was happiest to see a grown up and not-so-naive Starfire. There was a bit of comedy here and there to lighten the mood which is always needed. The story is a great introduction to the Teen Titans while continuing the Justice League and Damian’s stories from earlier animated features I have seen. There are a lot of moments I did not expect and it was a movie well worth watching. It was like a blend of Young Justice, Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited and the New 52. I recommend watching it as it is a pretty good look at some older characters made new again.
Birds of Prey
This has been on my list for quite some time. The Birds of Prey series was a way to make the best of a bad situation with Barbara Gordon. While The Killing Joke had good artwork and a good story, it discarded Barbara Gordon like a cheap bit of tissue which was unfair to her character. Better writers picked up her character and gave her a new direction, using her mind instead of her body. It still did not really make sense but it was better than letting her die or gather dust. This show is about Barbara Gordon (as Oracle) mentoring Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Along for the ride is Dinah, the daughter of the Black Canary who has psychic powers. They are up against Harleen Quinzel (still a psychiatrist somehow) and a cavalcade of superpowered lackeys. The show has a bit of an interesting feel to it. Since it is an alternate history that deviated from the comics early on, I had little idea what to expect. It has a bit of a Riot Grrrl feel mixed with early 2000 electronica slickness but it is extremely dated. The show was created by the same company that created Smallville but it did not survive after its first season. I can see why as it is a bit clumsy and lacks an iconic character like Superman or Batman but the show had heart. The actors and actresses are really trying their best with less than stellar scripts and there were actually a lot of actors who I love. Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds), Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl), Mia Sara (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers) are all solid. Aaron Paul even makes a cameo in the first episode. It’s a shame this never really got off the ground but it’s worth a look if you think you might like a combination of Charmed and Smallville.
Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants
This movie was based on a toy line that is available for purchase in toy stores everywhere. Therefore, it has a specific look it is going for which ends up being a pinch of Young Justice mixed in with a bit of Bruce Timm’s Batman the Animated Series and a lot of The Batman. Once again, I was surprised to see Damian Wayne again but he is definitely an interesting Robin. Let us not bury the lead, though. This movie is about Batman using a giant mech to fight giant monsters. As such, it does not pretend to be anything else for even a moment and does not take itself too seriously. It is a story that definitely lends itself to wackiness and a campier tone. It is also definitely a toy commercial, not that this is necessarily bad. I watched both GI Joe and Transformers when I was a kid and that is all those shows really were. We also get appearances by great characters like The Flash, Green Arrow and Nightwing as part of Batman’s team. For villains, we have Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Killer Croc, Bane, Chemo and Clayface. One of the most interesting elements to me, is that Damian is now a teenager (or older?) and has shed a lot of his arrogance. I think my favorite part is The Penguin, voiced by Dana Snyder who plays Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The heroes are kind of white meat but the villains really shine in this as snarky weirdos who made me laugh more than once. It is probably not a series that I will pursue but I did not hate it and I was amused throughout. I would definitely recommend it for younger Batman fans.
Music of the Week:
Jet Black Stare – Ready to Roll
– I watched more of The Magicians and it’s great
– I started watching Dusk Till Dawn Season 2
– I’m almost done Season 3 of Arrested Development
– I am on Season 5 of The Office
– I am on Season 3 of Parks and Recreation
– I can watch RAW and Smackdown again since my schedule changed!
– This week’s theme is “The Wayne Family Does it Again”
Which was the first planet discovered?