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Nov 012013
 

The modern adventures of the top icons of DC Comics continue with Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. A spaceship crash-lands in Gotham City. Batman goes to investigate and all he finds is pieces of Kryptonite near the ship. Where could it have come from?

It turns out that someone was in that spaceship and she’s walking around town in the nude. As Batman tries to chase the young girl down, she unintentionally causes havoc. She has all of the same super powers as Superman, but doesn’t know how to control them. Luckily, Superman was around to save everyone.

Afterwards, it’s revealed that the girl is Superman’s cousin Kara. Now I understand that this film is an alternate take on the Supergirl origin story.

Kara’s arrival causes friction between Superman and Batman. Batman believes that Kara is dangerous, but Superman is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and that she’ll be safer with him.

Kara does warm up to Superman. As Clark Kent, he shows Kara how to be an Earth girl. Kara catches on quickly with the pleasures of shopping, junk food, and nail salons. However, with Kara’s lack of control being an issue, Wonder Woman shows up with Batman and they take her to Themyscira to train. Superman reluctantly agrees to it.

The main villains the heroes face are Darkseid and Granny Goodness. They want to capture Kara to make her captain of their guards on the fiery world of Apokolips. As a diversion, Darkseid sends an army of Doomsday clones. Wonder Woman and her army of amazons, with the help of Superman and Batman, fights them off in an exciting battle.

With Kara captured, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman decide to go to Apokolips and rescue her. In order to get there, they seek the help of Barta, who used to be Darkseid’s captain of the guards. Barta is hesitant at first, but agrees to go with them.

After arriving in Apokolips, the heroes fight their way past some giant tanks. A battle I found really exciting was when Wonder Woman and Barta fight Granny Goodness’s female furies, Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina, and Stompa. They are amazing warriors, but these ladies are brutal and out for blood.

This was an excellent film with exciting superhero action. I also liked that the amazons accept Superman and Batman as allies on Themyscira, even though they are men.

Jul 302013
 

The iconic superheroes of DC Comics unite once again in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths with the group consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and J’onn J’onnz the Martian man hunter. In this feature, there’s another world where all of the superheroes and super villains are all opposites from the real ones.

The only surviving member of the Justice League in that other world is the leader, Lex Luthor. He arrives on Earth to seek the help of this Justice League to save that other world. It doesn’t take much convincing to trust Lex, thanks to Superman’s x-ray vision that he used to check on the real Lex Luthor in prison.

Later at the Justice League’s home base, Lex explains the situation to the other heroes. His world is in danger from the Crime Syndicate. They consist of Ultraman (evil Superman), Owlman (evil Batman), Superwoman (evil Wonder Woman), Johnny Quick (evil Flash), and Power Ring (evil Green Lantern). The Crime Syndicate rules the other world through fear. Anyone who stands up to them pays the ultimate price, if you know what I mean.

The Justice League agrees to help Lex, but Batman chooses to stay behind. Once they all arrive in the other world, the Justice League already has to go into battle, which is a real exciting one against Owlman, Superwoman, and a group of other colorful counterparts I don’t recognize.

Superwoman calls for backup, so the battle continues in the sky. I can’t help but feel sorry for Flash because he’s the only one who can’t fly. I still can’t figure out how Wonder Woman can fly without the invisible jet.

Afterwards, the Crime Syndicate creates a bomb powerful enough to blow up the world. However, Owlman discovers that there are many other worlds out there in the multiverse. In order to truly succeed, the Crime Syndicate must destroy the source world called Earth Prime. It takes a while to find, but once Earth Prime is destroyed all of the other Earth worlds will go with it.

The president in the other world is Slade Wilson. He believes that in order to keep the people safe, he should let the Crime Syndicate do whatever they please without consequences.

The Justice League disagrees with that notion and so does Rose, the president’s daughter. She’s not afraid to speak out against those super villains.

Meanwhile, Owlman discovers that the quantum trigger, which activates the bomb, is back at the Justice League home base because Lex hid it there. So Superwoman and some henchmen go to look for it. Batman struggles to fight them all by himself. Luckily, he called for backup, which includes Red Tornado, Black Lightning, Firestorm, Black Canary, and Aquaman. It seems like it’s been ages since Aquaman fought alongside the Super Friends.

This was a good film about the Justice League. One thing that’s different about this story about another world with evil counterparts is that when one dies, the other doesn’t die too, which is very good.

May 142013
 

I have come up with something special for my 600th post. Batman has faced many colorful villains in Gotham City over the years, but one of his first archenemies, who is also one of the most dangerous is the Joker, also known as the clown prince of crime. As Batman has an evolution, so has the Joker. I’ll admit that the Joker has gone through quite a few changes in the comics over the years, but what I remember best are his appearances on various Batman movies and TV shows.

1966: In the original Batman TV series, Cesar Romero played the role. The Joker uses practical joke devices to pull off his crimes, some of which are highly sophisticated contraptions. Other times he leaves riddles as clues, but not like the Riddler does. Joker uses a more joke-like method.

1968: As much as I enjoy the first Batman animated series, The Adventures of Batman, the storylines and characters are pretty mediocre. The Joker is no exception here.

1972: When Batman and Robin made appearances on The New Scooby-Doo Movies, they always go up against the Joker, accompanied by the Penguin. They like to use spooky tactics on the heroes, but are extremely mild in comparison.

1977: The Joker returns to his old tricks in The New Adventures of Batman. The biggest differences are that he likes to leave joke riddles more frequently and has a pet hyena named Giggles. He can also do voice impressions that are highly convincing. Now that’s a rarity.

1989: Next came Tim Burton’s movie version of Batman, which features Jack Nicholson as the Joker. At this point, Joker’s background is finally revealed. He was once a gangster named Jack Napier, who worked for Underworld mob boss Carl Grissom. During a battle with Batman, Napier fell into a vat of acid, which bleached his skin and paralyzed his face. After some cosmetic surgery, Napier kills Grissom and becomes the clown prince of crime. Come to think of it, this is also the first time Joker actually kills anyone.

1992: Mark Hamill voices the Joker on Batman the Animated Series. He is now funnier than ever before and as an added bonus, it’s the first series to feature Joker’s girlfriend, Harley Quinn, who is just as big of a favorite.

2000: When Batman Beyond came along, the colorful archenemies were all new ones, but stay true to some of the original classics, particularly the Joker. One of Gotham City’s biggest street gangs is called the Jokerz, who all dress like Joker minions. However, in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the clown prince of crime himself returns with more of an edge than he ever had before and Mark Hamill reprises the role. How exciting is that?

2002: The Joker (Roger Stoneburner and voice of Mark Hamill) was only featured briefly during the pilot episode of Birds of Prey, but he did leave quite an impact. After losing a major battle against Batman, he took revenge by killing Catwoman and shooting Batgirl, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. And it was all because Batman refused to kill his biggest enemy.

2004: The Joker is back in yet another Batman series called The Batman. This is a more wild and crazy take on the classic super villain. His fighting skills are smooth and his comedic persona leans on the psychotic level more than ever before. When he pulls a crime, he goes all the way.

2008: Then there was the highly popular version of the Joker in The Dark Knight, played by Heath Ledger who brings the character to a whole new level. This Joker is highly psychotic. His background isn’t revealed, only that he wears the white makeup to scare people along with a smile that’s cut on his face. It looks all swollen and creepy with several stories behind it. Whichever story is actually true is anyone’s guess.

2009: It seems like the Joker has gone back to his old roots as a reoccurring villain on Batman the Brave and the Bold when he wasn’t so brutally psychotic. However, Joker still remains to be an unpredictable criminal, considering how many theories there were about his back-story.

2010: Then came the Joker on Batman: Under the Red Hood. He’s comedic, but merciless. Even in the face of danger, Joker can’t help but make funny remarks and not show any fear.

2012: Last, but not least, the most recent version of the Joker was on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. He is a lot different from other Batman films because he’s more brutal than ever with the way he kills innocent people so smoothly. Joker still uses comedic remarks, but they’re not as creatively funny as they used to be.

Although the Joker is basically on the same level as Batman’s other archenemies like Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, etc., he will always be Batman’s first biggest foe to bring comic relief to the franchise in his own twisted way.

May 042012
 

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies goes to a whole new level on many of the classic superheroes of DC Comics. In a troubled future, Lex Luthor has become President of the United States and Superman is the only one who doesn’t believe that Luthor has turned over a new leaf. Superman’s disloyalty has turned everyone in Metropolis against him, including other superheroes.

It starts with Captain Atom, Black Lightning, Power Girl, Katana, and Major Force, who Luthor has brought into the service of the U.S. government. However, another major problem has occurred. A meteor made of kryptonite is heading for Earth and Luthor thinks missiles will be enough to stop it. Of course the superheroes could do better, but Luthor is more concerned about his ego, or is there something else.

Luckily, Superman still has Batman as a trusted ally, but is it enough? Luthor decides to meet with Superman to bury the hatchet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go smoothly thanks to Metallo showing up under Luthor’s orders. Superman barely escapes with Batman’s help. However, Luthor made it look like Superman murdered Metallo and the kryptonite meteor has affected his mind. On the bright side, Power Girl doesn’t believe it at all.

Luthor has also put a one billion-dollar bounty on Superman. Now more super villains arrive to get him. Ones like Banshee, Mongul, Grundy, Shiva, Nightshade, Gorilla Grodd, and others. (Some of which I recognize from the old Super Friends cartoons.) The battle is smooth and exciting as Superman and Batman go up against all of these classic villains that have a more updated look.

Soon, the superheroes working for Luthor arrive, but not to help. They were sent to arrest Superman. So the battle continues, Superman and Batman verses all of them. However, Power Girl has mixed feelings about it. Once the battle is over, Superman and Batman retreat with Power Girl. Meanwhile, Luthor fires the missiles at the meteor, but it wasn’t enough to stop it. Why am I not surprised?

Later, Captain Marvel and Hawkman, who also work for Luthor, go after Superman and Batman. After getting past them, Superman and Batman find a solution to stop the meteor, courtesy of a 13-year-old boy named Toy Man. Unfortunately, Power Girl is not comfortable around him, mainly because of his x-ray goggles.

I really found this movie interesting. Even though most of the classic heroes and villains only had cameo roles during some of the battle scenes, it brings a great sense of nostalgia, especially if you’re a fan of DC Comics.

Sep 282011
 

It has been a long time since the Super Friends had adventures together back in the 70s. Years later, there came a new edgier version called Justice League (2001-2006). Of course it would start with big favorites like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Then instead of Aquaman and the Wonder Twins, the Justice League includes the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawk Girl.

Some members now have new revelations on this series. First off, Wonder Woman can now fly without the invisible jet for some unknown reason. The Flash is more of a comedian and tends to be arrogant. Like Sonic the Hedgehog, super speed can cause overconfidence, or so it appears.

And lastly, Hawk Girl used to be a mere sidekick to Hawkman who hardly fights at all, but not anymore. She totally kicks butt as an independent warrior, who likes to shoot first and ask questions later, if you know what I mean.

 

On the movie pilot, Justice League: Secret Origins, a brand new hero joins the team. He’s a Martian named J’Onn J’Onzz a.k.a. Martian Hunter. As the sole survivor of his kind and with his abilities to shape-shift, go through solid objects, and telepathy, J’Onn J’Onzz joins the Justice League.

The level of action is smooth and exciting, which is similar to Batman Beyond. However, like on The Super Friends, there are no back-stories, secret identities, or any arch villains, only super powers with super hero action. At least there’s no constant narration this time.

This was a good series that brought all of these iconic superheroes together. It’s also interesting to know that the Justice League also has a watchtower up in space to keep track of any invaders trying to conquer Earth. I don’t know why they didn’t think of it before, considering that the occasion has happened many times on Super Friends.