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Apr 052017
 

The LEGO features just keep on coming. In LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League, Superman meets up with Bizarro. Now I never really understood who Bizarro was before when I saw him on Superman the Animated Series. It turns out that he’s a clone that thinks backwards.

In this version he’s not such a bad guy. Since Bizarro is so backwards, he ends up harming the citizens of Metropolis when he means to help them. As a solution, Superman sends Bizarro to a backward planet that’s uninhabited. However, Superman was creative by naming the planet Bizarro World and using the many radioactive rocks to build citizens and left Bizarro to build homes for them.

Next we get to a more exciting scene. The Justice League battles Giganta, Gorilla Grodd, the Penguin, Deathstroke, and Captain Cold. As great as it is to see these characters, they don’t return once they’re caught and I find that a bit disappointing.

Of course the real focus is on Bizarro when he returns to Metropolis and creates clones from Justice League members Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Cyborg. They are just as backwards as Bizarro and go by the names Batzarro, Bizarra, Greenzarro, and Cyzarro.

It turns out that there’s trouble in Bizarro World, so the Justice League and their clones go there and discover that Darkseid is stealing the radioactive rocks to power a weapon to take over the galaxy.

I met Tony Todd, the voice of Darkseid, at Vulcan Events 2010.

When the Justice League arrives, their powers are affected. Wonder Woman is clumsy, Cyborg falls apart, Batman’s gadgets don’t work, and Green Lantern can only make chickens. At least it’s better than Greenzarro’s teddy bears.

Oddly, Superman isn’t affected and frankly neither is Darkseid. Could it be because they’re not Earthlings?
Darkseid’s first stop is Earth. Luckily, it’s protected by other Justice League members like Hawkman, the Flash, Green Arrow, and Plastic Man. It’s nice to see these characters also.

This was an interesting LEGO feature, but like in the previous one (Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super heroes Unite) Batman doesn’t trust Superman. It’s so annoying how the issue just drags on while hearing Batman’s thoughts throughout.

Sep 282016
 
Many pop culture villains are straightforward with their evil plots. Then there are ones that use a more creative approach to either terrorize the innocent or force the hero(s) to alter their tactics when challenged. Here are some of my most favorite interesting villains who stand out in that unique manner.
Cheapo
#10) Cheapo from Stripperella: Of all the villains on this series, he is the most unusual because he’s very cheap as a crime lord. Cheapo’s resourcefulness is based on how he plans everything the cheapest way possible. However, it affects his common sense. So much so that his own henchmen appear to be smarter then him. Seriously, what criminal mastermind prefers copper to gold?
Floatzart
#9) Floatzart from Ghostbusters (1986 version): This ghostly maestro uses music to subdue his victims, whether it’s to conduct ghosts with his baton or play his float flute that’s made from a long bone. Very little is known about Floatzart since he was only in a few episodes and, like the other evil ghosts, his background from when he was alive is not revealed. I do like his style though. He is one of few musical villains that aren’t annoying.
#8) Leaky Faucet from Power Rangers Zeo: Many of the monsters on Power Rangers normally don’t stand out too often because they’re only featured once before getting destroyed, twice if they’re lucky to be brought back. In this version, Leaky Faucet is different than most. He can liquefy at will and easily sneak into water pipes in order to spread his toxins. For a machine monster, that’s quite impressive.
#7) Dr. Bad Vibes from C.O.P.S. the Animated Series: He’s a brilliant scientist that invents high tech gadgets for the Big Boss. Along with his robot companion Buzz Bomb, Dr. Bad Vibes commits crimes with unusual inventions from a circus train that can bash through buildings to speed suits that make criminals run really fast. I still can’t get over the fact that he has his brain under glass and never takes off his wild shades. I wonder why that is.
#6) Ty-Lee from Avatar: The Last Air Bender: There are many benders, but this cheerful acrobatic girl has the skill to chi block a bender’s power using pressure points. This makes Ty-Lee a very dangerous opponent along side her friends Mai and Azula. It just goes to show that Ty-Lee may be beautiful, but looks can be deceiving.
#5) Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons: Bob Terwilliger used to be Krusty the Clown’s sidekick until he was put in prison for framing Krusty for armed robbery. On each of Bob’s return appearances, he seeks revenge on Bart while coming up with crazy but ingenious plans like running for Mayor of Springfield and abolishing television, yet it’s always Bart and Lisa who defeat Bob and put him back in prison. Aside from Bob’s dangerous persona, he always ends up in funny situations. That always makes me look forward to Bob’s next appearance, since he’s only a reoccurring villain.
 
#4) Mystique from X-Men franchise: If there’s one mutant power that makes a villain tough to beat, it’s the ability to shape shift. Mystique is a unique mutant with smooth fighting abilities, but what really makes her interesting is that she can turn into anyone. If she turns into another mutant, she can use their powers against her opponents. It’s very difficult to see through Mystique when she takes another form. This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Master of Disguise”.
#3) Live Wire from Superman franchise: She was once a radio personality named Leslie Willis. After getting struck by lightning, she became a super villain with the power to control anything electrical. Not only are her powers smooth, Live Wire can easily travel through electrical wires anywhere. What I like most about Live Wire is her witty personality. She always has something funny to say while fighting her enemies, next to Harley Quinn of course.
#2) Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise: Once again, the most creative villain is the deranged scientific genius. Stockman isn’t really a much of a fighter on his own, but he can be a very tricky adversary. Whether he’s leading an army of mousers, wearing advanced battle armor, or fighting as a mutant fly, Stockman’s skills always give him an edge that even some of the strongest villains don’t have.
 
#1) The Riddler from Batman franchise: Batman has faced a huge number of creative villains, but none come as close as Edward Nygma a.k.a. the Riddler. Using his brilliant mind, he comes up with brainteasers that are so advanced that they often have a double meaning. Somehow, Batman is always able to figure them out. After he does, it’s so interesting to see the different angles from the advanced riddles. I’m not sure how the Riddler comes up with those so efficiently, but it’s so cool how he can make a game out of a crime caper apart from the Joker.
Jul 062016
 

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and J’Onn J’Onzz the Martian Hunter are back again in Justice League: Doom. With the assistance of Cyborg, the task is to once again save the world from a horrible threat.

It starts with a real exciting battle with the Royal Flush Gang. These villains are real high tech, even though they don’t appear to be the same ones from Batman Beyond.

The real threat is the Legion of Doom. Now I can remember when I first heard about the Legion of Doom headquarters on Challenge of the Super Friends (1978-1979), which consisted of 13 archenemies. This time there are only five, not including the mastermind behind it all.

Each arch villain has a personal vendetta against a different Justice League member. They are Bane, Cheetah, Metallo, Mirror Master, Star Sapphire, and Ma’alefa’ak. From what I understand, these particular villains were handpicked because they are the toughest in each group of colorful archenemies.

Originally the leader of the Legion of Doom was Lex Luthor, but he’s not even in this movie. This time it’s a new villain named Vandal Savage. He’s an immortal intent on destroying most of the world’s population and creating a new civilization to lead. I’ll tell you, his back-story is strange. Simple, but strange.

The tactics the archenemies use on the Justice League are so intense they actually come very close to succeeding both physically and mentally. I thought that nothing ever stopped the Justice League. They always come through when they are together.

This was a good feature with its superhero action with a touch of nostalgia by bringing back the Legion of Doom headquarters. Can you believe that it was still in the swamp and in good condition since the old Super Friends animated series?

Jan 272016
 

LEGO toys have been around for a long time. I know because I used to play with LEGO when I was a kid. However, It wasn’t until about the late 2000s when LEGO took well known franchises and made video games, then eventually animated features with a cute style of humor.

One such feature is Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite. Apparently it’s about Lex Luthor trying to become President of the United States with help from the Joker by using destructive means to make it happen and it’s up to Batman to stop them.

Robin also helps out and so does Superman, despite how Batman only believes that he can only rely on himself. That’s a bit annoying but not nearly as annoying as Superman is when he talks in the third person. What’s the point of that?

The action is cool. As Joker disrupts an award ceremony, it gets real interesting when the other major Batman villains like Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, Riddler, and Harley Quinn help him out.

Steve BlumRob Paulsen

I met Steve Blum, who was the voice of the Penguin, at CollectiveCon 2015 and Rob Paulsen, the voice of the Riddler, at MegaCon 2014.

What’s real common in LEGO features is buildings and machinery falling to pieces as well as being put back together. Lex Luthor has a weapon called the De-Constructor that can tear powerful black objects apart like Batman’s vehicles and it’s powered by Kryptonite.

After Luthor breaks Joker out of Arkham Asylum, Joker frees the other Batman villains who even include Bane and Poison Ivy. It’s so cool how Batman and Robin keep them from escaping with exciting vehicle chases.

 

Then it all comes down to a giant Joker robot that runs on Kryptonite. As much as Batman hates to admit it, he needs help. That’s when the Justice League comes to the rescue. Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg all make an appearance.

This was a good LEGO movie. Lately many of the modern straight-to-DVD Batman movies have been darker and more brutal. In comparison, it’s nice to see that this one is a least a little bit lighter for a change.

Jan 242014
 

It is true that I have always been more of a Batman fan than a Superman fan. One Superman series that really stands out to me is Ruby-Spears Superman (1988-1989), mostly because it was part of a Saturday morning lineup. It came on at 6:30 AM, right after The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy.

The man of steel defends Metropolis against many types of villains. Of course, the most common threats come from his archenemy Lex Luthor. In this version, he’s a billionaire industrialist that always manages to elude the law by eliminating any evidence that traces back to him. Plus he often wears a Kryptonite ring to keep Superman from fighting him. Where do you suppose he got it?

A unique addition in this series is Luthor’s live-in girlfriend Jessica Morganberry. She’s pretty and soft-spoken. I find her likable in the same manner as Harley Quinn. Jessica isn’t funny like Harley, but still likable.

Lois Lane isn’t exactly labeled as a love interest to Superman, but is always glad to be around him. As a reporter, Lois is like a rival to Clark Kent since he always manages to out scoop her. Lois does all she can to change that.

Every episode includes a short segment from The Superman Family Album, which is about the misadventures of Clark Kent’s past in Smallville. It has everything from Clark as an infant to when he first becomes Superman. It’s not so easy having to hide your superpowers among normal Earth people. If you’re a fan of the series Smallville, The Superman Family Album makes a good precedent for it as long as you don’t mind the lack of any drama or superhero action.

This was a good series. The main downfall is that it doesn’t include enemies like Brainiac, Metallo, or Bizarro Superman. That might explain why I never heard of those characters until I saw Superman the Animated Series (1996-2000).