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Tag Archives: DC Comics

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

I’m a big fan of the DC animated movies, so when I noticed that our library had a new one in I had to give it a try. The title sounded promising, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis.

Then I realized that this was a sequel to Justice League: War, a movie that I have little affection for. How did this new movie turn out?

I considered summing up the movie in one sentence but I couldn’t decide between, “Not as bad as War,” and, “The fields of Atlantis are burning.”

The characters are not quite as unlikable as they were in War, but I’m still left with the feeling that if these are the heroes defending my world I would not sleep well at night. It’s enough to make me think that Lex Luthor has a point. Unfortunately this is what DC thinks we want in our heroes.

Buried within this mess of sub-plots that go nowhere is a serviceable origin story for Aquaman. One that would be better served if they cut out all the parts with the Justice League and used that time to flesh out Aquaman, Mera, Ocean Master, and Black Manta. It’s a standard plot of treachery, usurpation of the throne, and the true heir fighting to claim his birthright, but there is little time left to connect with the Atlantian characters and the central plot feels rushed.

Among the more glaring plot problems with Throne of Atlantis are several smaller points that bother me:

When on the ocean floor Cyborg and Flash need masks. Hal does not, which makes sense, but neither Superman nor Wonder Woman need them to breath or talk normally. This is never explained.

Several league members are very liberal (one might say gratuitous) with the use of lethal force. This is never commented on.

Superman and Wonder Woman go out on a date in their secret identities. Lois Lane shows up and cattiness ensues, because of course it does. This has no bearing on the story.

When Ocean Master invades Metropolis he leads off with a massive tsunami, but then casts it aside before it hits the city. I’m okay with this because it’s a great evil villain move. “I’m so powerful I don’t need to flood your city! I have eeeeevil showmanship skills!” However he follows this up with an invasion force that isn’t very large and whose technology isn’t that much better than our own. I was left wondering why the Justice League was needed to repel the Atlantean forces.

Black Manta initiated the war by launching a torpedo attack on Atlantis and blaming it on the surface dwellers. In the process he wipes out many Atlanteans who were out tending their crops. The fields of Atlantis were burning.

The fields… of Atlantis… were burning…

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Movies & TV, Reviews

 

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Justice League: War

I love the DC animated movies.

They have a few clunkers, but they also boast some of my all time favorite superhero animated movies. Some of which, like Wonder Woman, I’d put in the same league as the live action Marvel movies. One of the most amazing things they have ever done is take the Batman: Under the Red Hood story, which I hated in the comics, and turn it into a fantastic animated movie.

So even though it was based on the New 52 continuity, I decided to give the adaptation of Justice League: War a try.

The results?

 

Congratulations!

I have found my new least-favorite superhero movie. Compared to this, Braniac Attacks is a Kurosawa flick.

I’m going to need to marathon watch Justice League to recover from this.

 

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Books and Comics, Movies & TV, Reviews

 

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Wonder Woman Short is Released

The fan-made Wonder Woman short is out!

The short was created by Rainfall Films, a Los Angeles production company, so they have more resources available than your standard fan-film fare.  Though while it may not be an amateur production the creators clearly fall into the fan category.

It’s a beautiful short with a good look, nice effects, solid music, and packs a lot of punch into two and a half minutes.

That amount of time doesn’t leave much room for character development, but they do a good job of showing Wonder Woman as a warrior divided between the world of mortals and gods.  I like the suggestion that she slips between the worlds, dividing her attentions between battles in both realms.  The multi-ethnic Amazons are a nice touch too, an often overlooked element that has been part of the DC Amazonian canon for years.

There is nuance to the character that nicely captures what I want to see in Wonder Woman.  Unlike Batman, her fighting style uses enough force to get the job done, causing no more harm than necessary even to gun-wielding thugs.  In the end she rises into the sky like a demigod, not springing into flight like Superman.

It’s an impressive piece of work that whets my appetite and makes me wish this was the trailer for an actual movie.  While DC and Warner Brothers continues to fret about how tricky the character is I’ll have to content myself with fan productions like this.  And the fantastic Wonder Woman animated movie.  And her presentation in the Justice League animated series.  Maybe throw in some old Linda Carter episodes for a dose of nostalgia.

Take a look and let me know your thoughts.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Books and Comics, Movies & TV

 

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Wonder Woman short film? Excellent.

This makes me happy!

I love comic books, especially super hero comics.  I also have had a soft spot for live action heroes ever since I was watching Shazam! and Isis on Saturday mornings, and I’ve been a fan of Wonder Woman since Linda Carter was kicking butt and taking names.  I am also the father of an adventurous daughter who loves superheroes and I want her to see more women who kick butt.

With the huge popularity of super hero movies and TV shows it is mind boggling that Wonder Woman hasn’t received the big screen treatment, though given DC’s track record with movies maybe it’s a blessing that she hasn’t.  After all, there was the infamous pilot for the Wonder Woman TV show, a nightmare that must be seen to be believed.

Seriously, track it down and watch it.  Rarely has a show so completely missed the point of a beloved character than this fiasco.  Better yet, watch this review.

To make matters worse, people at Warner Brothers and DC never fail to deliver a PR gaff that really makes me wonder why they still have readers.  Wonder Woman has been described by DC’s president, Diane Nelson, as “tricky” and that “she doesn’t have a single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes.”  Add to that the uneven quality of the book over the years and maybe there is good reason to be skeptical of Wonder Woman being able to cut it on the big screen.

Except that it’s all bogus.  Let’s run through a few of these reasons and others and shoot them down.

1) The target audience is men/women don’t read comics.  Look at any crowd pictures from Dragon-Con, especially groups of people cosplaying super heroes.  We’re done here.

2) Women action movies don’t do well.  Hunger Games, Kill Bill, and anything with Michelle Yeoh.  Moving on…

3) She’s “Tricky” and, lacks a compelling, recognized story.  First off, no she’s not.  She’s a diplomat and warrior given powers by the gods who made it her mission to protect the world, encouraging peace where she can and fighting against evil when she must.  Second, she has one of the most unique origin stories in comics (we do not speak of the New 52 gutting her origin.  That was a fever dream like Highlander 2.)

Most importantly, it does not matter if she never had a compelling story.  Write one.  Write something original for her.  Write something that will knock people’s socks off.  Stop using the things people wrote decades ago as a crutch.

This is all particularly baffling when you look at the DC animated movies, a lineup filled with excellent stories.  Among those outstanding stories is a Wonder Woman movie that both embraces the traditional character origin and delivers a compelling story newly created for the movie.  The Wonder Woman movie ranks among my top two favorite DC animated movies, with only Batman: Mask of the Phantasm competing for first place.

I hope this short movie is superb.  I hope it becomes an internet sensation.  I hope it will be something my daughter and I can watch together.  I hope it’ll get DC and Warner Brothers off their tails and bring their A-game to a feature motion picture.

If not, there’s been a lot of rumors about Marvel Comics doing a Captain Marvel movie.  Hope springs eternal.

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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Books and Comics, Movies & TV

 

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