Month: January 2012

Fifth Week Extravaganza

Since it’s not a common occurrence to have five Mondays in a month, we don’t have a set theme for what to do with that fifth Monday, other than something special.  And to me, something special is something that I would not normally take the time to do.  So, with that in mind, I am going to live blog a viewing of the Batman & Robin for your reading pleasure.  This is a terrible movie, and I take no pleasure in viewing it, other than to make fun of it.  The last time I watched it was several months ago, when I told my wife that viewing this, and Batman Forever, would give a greater appreciation for the Nolan films.  We didn’t make it all the way through this movie.  So, sit back, and read what I have to say about the movie, and be thankful that you’re not watching it with me.

Batman and Robin T&A.  I want to know who thought that would be a good idea.  Seriously.  Who thought nipples on the suits was a necessary feature.

HA!  A Superman reference, because there’s time to crack jokes, while something bad is happening to the city.

Wait, Commisioner Gordon made it sound like this is Mr. Freeze’s first criminal activity.  One would think that with his finely tuned use of puns, he’d been doing this thing for a while.

Silly Robin, there are no hockey teams in hell.

I wonder how long they had been waiting for a ice-themed villain to come around so they could use the ice skates they’d built into their boots.

I do commend Mr. Freeze on the patience to get some very high tech equipment, like a rocket ship, before starting his life of crime.

And wings.  Freeze has wings.  You’d think he’d need bigger wings to compensate for how heavy his armor is.  But I guess there’s less gravity in Shumacher’s Gotham City, which looks ridiculous, since Batman and Robin have no problem falling hundreds of feet.

A thermal ray.  It’s like they made these gadgets hoping they would get an ice-villain someday.  Wonder what other villains they hope show up.

Well, they got Poison Ivy right.  No…wait, they have her creating Venom.  My mistake.  Oh “Bane.”  He makes me want to send angry letters to everyone involved in the decision to make him a scrawny serial killer, and then a mindless monster.  My soul weeps.  Wait, is that John Glover playing the scientist.  He’s a far better villain as Lionel Luther in Smallville.  Just forget about him being Skylar’s father in Heroes.  (No spoiler alert, it’s really unimportant.)

Since Poison Ivy is plant minded, why bother with the snakes crawling on her after she’s “killed.”

If Freeze was so smart, why didn’t he have a railing behind him so he wouldn’t have fallen in the the cryogenic fluid.  And would someone please find me a device that runs on diamonds.  Do they exist?

This “Robin wanting to be treated like a grown up” thing would have been better if it was leading to him being Nightwing, and if they hadn’t used an already grown up Chris O’Donnell in the origin story for Robin.

I don’t think Uma Thurman was a bad choice for Poison Ivy.  But, she is the only well cast new character.  And I while I’m on casting, I don’t hate George Clooney in this as much as some people do.

Of course Mr. Freeze would his henchmen signing songs from Christmas movies.  Why wouldn’t he?  But man, he must have been extremely rich before starting his life of crime.  How else could he afford all of this stuff before robbing anyone?

Okay, I think Alicia Silverstone could have been a fine Batgirl, had they not introduced her in the ridiculous way that they did.  I don’t mind that she’s not Barbara Gordon, but a relative of Alfred’s that he just happens to have a uniform for.  Oh come on.

No, they don’t have fax machines on elephants.  What a stupid thing to say.

Uhg, Bane in a fedora.  Are fedoras really that good at hiding people’s identity?

Can you not tell that under the fedora is a turtle's face?

Wow, a random scientific thing that encircles the entire world.  I can’t imagine that this would ever come back to haunt Bruce, and be used by the villain.

It is true.  George Clooney is essentially the same person in every movie he’s in.  Except O Brother, Where Art Thou.

The sentimental times with Freeze frustrate me because they show that the filmmaker’s know how troubled the character is, but they choose to ignore it so he can spout horrible puns.

Doesn’t anyone find it suspicious that Bruce Wayne didn’t come to this charity event, but Batman is there?

It was good that Ivy took control of the DJ first, so he could play different music so people would automatically turn around and notice this pink ape dancing.

You mean to tell me that Batman hadn’t prepared a pheromone blocking gadget?  He had frickin’ ice skates in his boots.

Do none of the women in the audience find this suspicious, or are they too subservient to say anything?

Oh the Batman credit card.  It was here that my wife couldn’t watch any more.  I just hope it’s a better credit card endorsement than the Kardashian Kredit Kard.

One of the most sinister men in Gotham?  This was the second thing Freeze had ever done.  Maybe they mean sinister men living.  Since the Joker, Penguin, Two-Face are all dead.

Have I mentioned how much I hate the way Gotham City looks in these movies?  Really, Burton’s movies are about as outlandish as you can go.

And poof, Freeze is defeated.  That didn’t take much.  Not even enough to get a proper fight scene.

It should be noted that I had to take a break here because I had other things to take care of.  We rejoin the movie mockery, or mockery of a movie, almost 48 hours later.

This arguing would be better if it led to Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing.  And if it wasn’t cause by Ivy’s pheromone thingy.

And the Alfred dying thing, looking for someone to take his place is stupid.  The entire draw of Alfred is that he is essentially Bruce’s father.

Wow, a deep moment when Alfred tells Bruce that Batman is an attempt to control death, but he can’t.  It’s a shame there aren’t more of these moments.

Gasp, Dick found Barbara coming back with one of his motorcycles.  Sure hope she was doing anything illegal like street racing.  That would be stupid.

ZOMG!!!  It’s Jesse Ventura as an Arkham Asylum guard.

Man, this is some phenomenal acting when Freeze is outside of the cold and can’t breathe.  Like a fish out of water.  A little too much like a fish out of water.

Bane’s one moment to show off how badass he is and beat up several people, and it’s a plank gag with comedic sound effects.  Uhg, clearly someone never read Knightfall.

Bruce Wayne would never date someone for over year.  And neither would George Clooney.  You know what, after thinking about it.  Clooney could be Batman.  The suave exterior is just a disguise for what lies beneath.

Damn.  It was illegal street racers, from the set of The Warriors.  (Look it up.)  Hey look, Coolio.

If someone from out of town could easily find the illegal street races, then shouldn’t the cops be able to find them too?

What an odd sized explosion for a motorcycle.

I will commend how much memorization it must take to participate in this street race.  There are so many turns, and nothing marking them.

Oxford can expel someone for street racing?  May have to look that up.

Barbara wants to buy Alfred’s freedom?  Never knew Alfred was a slave.  Never really saw it that way.

Man, that Mr. Freeze is one hell of an ice whittler.

Ivy, you’re supposed to hit them with the pheromones before they fall for you.

HA!  It’s the Riddler and Two-Face costumes from the previous movie.  Remember them?

No one can push a cart and shrug off cops quite like Bane can.

“Always winterize your pipes?”  That’s not punny.

Wow, what a non-suspicious picture of Ivy and Bane arriving at the airport, all thanks to the power of fedoras.

How cold must it be for lungs to freeze enough to immobilize you, but not kill you in a matter of seconds.

What is wrong with Bane’s skin?  It’s all green and stuff.  He should get that checked out.

Is there anything funnier than several people in a row falling down circular stairs?

Batman versus Bane ends with with a pipe to Bane’s head?  Seems perfectly reasonable.

HA!  Robin is in green goo.

Gordon has the nerve to ask how they got away.  Try your inept cops falling down stairs.

It doesn’t make sense that Ivy would want Freeze.  She’s closer to plants than humans.  Wait, she’s just using him, because obviously she knows that he knows how to make another ice age, killing everyone on Earth.

Alfred has the same disease as Freeze’s wife?  No way.  What are the odds?

Is a telescope unveiling really that big of a deal?

Either it doesn’t take many keys to open the doors at police HQ, Gordon has a master key, or he keeps them on multiple key rings.  Take your pick.

You know Bane, all that really needed to be done was to destroy the Bat-signal.

Wait, Alfred was worried about Barbara staying, then gave her all of the secrets to hold onto, make it an easy password, but still had a uniform for her.  I’m detecting mixed signals.

The scientists don’t known who one of the most sinister men in Gotham is?  They must not watch the news.

It’s a good thing that Venom warms the body, otherwise Bane would freeze with everyone else.  Oh wait, it doesn’t.

Oh Batgirl.  I really don’t know what to say.

Stupid Ivy, telling Robin the plan.  When will they learn?

Rubber lips?  It sure is a good thing she only kissed his lips.

And with the power of her Bat-suit, Batgirl suddenly knows everything.  It must be all of the martial arts training she received while illegal street racing.

Why did Ivy’s throne eat her?

Batman seems strangely happy that there is another person now, someone he just recently met, fighting crime with him.

Seriously, it’s great that they had all of this equipment to deal with the ice.  Including the cold weather suits.  My wife brings up the fact that they seem to have been able to change gear since it’s only been 3 minutes since Freeze started freezing everyone.

My mistake, the reflective satellites are the deus ex machina to solve everything.

Silly Robin, icicles can’t support your weight.

And with a simple flick of the wrist, Bane is defeated Robin.

Wait, time’s moved backward.  There was 1:20 left, but now there’s 1:58 left.

Hope Batman doesn’t burn anyone while trying defrost everyone.  Or create a massive flood with all of the melting ice.

Pray, Robin?  Really.  Wow, you are useless.

Can telescopes explode when falling a long distance?

Wait, Robin and Batgirl are computer geniuses?  Where the hell did this come from?

How the hell did Batman get video of Ivy unplugging Freeze’s wife?

Sure is convenient that Freeze had the cure for what Alfred has on him.


Would Arkham really put Freeze and Ivy together in the same cell?  I don’t think so.

You don’t need a bigger cave.  You’d already been planning for her to join you.


So, for you, our loyal readers, I have subject myself to this terrible movie.  I hope you enjoyed reading this.




All of the Capri Sun ads

Earlier in the week, I mentioned a Capri Sun ad that I found in an old issue of Batman, and that I may try to find the other parts of the story.  Today, feeling like I should write an entry, but not really wanting to think, I found parts 1 and 3, and also 4, 5, and 6.  Yes, Capri Sun had a 6-part, 6-page total ad campaign going on.  The premise of the story is that Dr. Standley, Neil, Dora, and Paul are on expedition.  With their expedition threatened due to specimens that are too moist, the kids set off on their own to find dry specimens.  It is then that they make friends with an ape, who really enjoys Capri Sun.  The ads will appear after the break.


I miss ye olden times

In what’s going to be another irregularly updated column, I am going to reminisce about what I miss from ye olden times.  Will this be a nostalgia fueled romanticizing of the past, where I remember things as being much greater than they actually are?  Maybe, but I’m going to try to keep it from being that.  This entry focuses on the ads that appeared in older comics.  Today’s entry was inspired by the issues that were featured in this month’s Crossover Madness.  Admittedly, these ads were not something I paid a whole lot of attention to back then, but I find them greatly amusing reading them now.  Since they are a couple of big pictures, I’m putting them after the break.


Around the Web

This month’s edition of Around the Web features a webcomic called “Catspaw.”  It is written by John C. Hocking, and drawn by Storn A. Cook.  Their website says that it is updated every Tuesday, so I’ll see if that is true come tomorrow.

The story is about a trader named Talene, who comes from a land called Akuronda, the land of 27 Tribes.  Traveling with her is an unnamed bodyguard.  They travel to the royal city of Janarax, where they are greeted by a Lord Ambassador, who promises her that he will help her sell her gems and invites her to the Debutante Ball that night.  Instead, Talene meets with a young woman that gives her something called the Philosopher’s Spike.  Immediately, Talene and her bodyguard have a fight, and kill several assassins.  After the battle, they go out for a drink.  And that’s the end of Chapter 1.  Chapter 2 starts with Talene lying in bed, and the Philosopher’s Spike speaks to her, telling her that there is violence hidden in her and she needs to wake up and let it out.  More assassins break into her room.  She fights them off for a bit, then her bodyguard comes to her aid.  And that is where it currently leaves off.

First, the art is pretty.  The fight scenes are nicely drawn.  Which is a good thing, since they make up 7 of the 15 pages of the comic.  And there lies my issue with this web comic.  There’s very little characterization.  We know both of the characters can fight and kill people, and that Talene is young because we are told that she is young.  Oh, and she has a destiny ahead of her, but that’s not characterization.  That is foreshadowing.  If the writer doesn’t want to dive into what has previously happened to these characters to make them who they are, then that needs to come from the dialogue, and how they speak and what they say.  And why don’t we know the bodyguard’s name?  The end of chapter 1 is a perfect time for Talene to mention his name, but she doesn’t.  So, are we to assume that she doesn’t know his name?  And if so, why isn’t that a plot point from the beginning.  It’d add some mystery to him, and leave open a way to develop that character.

But maybe I just demand too much characterization when reading an original story from the beginning.  It’s not too late to develop the characters, and at least the story is focused.  I would recommend taking a look at this if you’re bored and are a fan of fight scenes.

An adult look at X-Men #1

Being that you are currently reading a blog about comic books, there’s a very good chance that you own or at one time have owned a copy of 1991’s legendary X-Men #1.  If not, there’s a very good chance that you know someone who owns or at one time has owned a copy of X-Men #1.

Like I even need to show you this.

Heralded as the most-sold comic ever (selling approximately 17 kajillion copies thanks to its five separate covers and a public who thought it would be worth millions one day) X-Men #1 is one of those issues that everyone just seems to know.  And chances are if you want to go find a copy of it, you can find at least three of its covers in your local comic shop’s quarter bin, since those 17 kajillion copies aren’t worth the millions you dreamed up.

A few months back, Marvel celebrated the book’s 20th anniversary by re-releasing the book with fancy new computerized coloring, since god knows we can’t be expected to go on a nostalgia trip with an early 90’s color scheme.  In one of my rarer moments of common sense, I decided against dropping my hard-earned money on yet another copy of the issue (I’m pretty sure I have like 20 of them throughout my long boxes) since there was nothing new added to the issues.  Sure, all the old stuff was there – even the Jim Lee pin-ups of the villains, the pool party, the original team and the things to come with updated colors, but I was tracing those pictures back when I still thought the Oregon Trail was a rather difficult game to beat.

But beyond the nostalgia trip of looking at all the pretty costumes we remember so well from the X-Men Animated Series, how good of a story was X-Men #1?  Truly classic stories manage to live beyond their time periods – Dark Phoenix Saga is still a remarkable story today, 30 years after its initial release – and this is one of those issues that people seem to remember as a classic.  So now that the wide-eyed 9 year old who bought the issue new is now a somewhat jaded nearly-30 year old, let’s go take a look at X-Men #1 with the added perspective of an actual knowledge of comic books and see if its any good.

(Note: I know 21 year anniversary isn’t as impressive as 20, so let’s just pretend its still 2011 so I don’t have to feel bad that I procrastinated past the point of relevancy on this one.)


eXaminations: 1/18/12

I will hand this to Marvel – despite their inability to set any kind of solid schedule for the release of their books (unlike DC, Marvel tends to ship books on the “whenever they’re done” schedule) they have thus far managed to give the X-Men titles some kind of divide where the Wolverine books come out together, as do the Cyclops books.

Well, almost…but 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.  We’ll be checking out:

  • Generation Hope #15 in which Sebastian Shaw isn’t exactly welcome on Utopia.
  • New Mutants #36 in which the team finishes the Blink mission.
  • Uncanny X-Force #20 in which Fantomex goes on trial.
  • Uncanny X-Men #5 in which the team notices what’s been going on in other books.

We’ll begin after the jump.  Do be weary of SPOILERS within.