Friday, February 9, 2018

"Batman: Gotham by Gaslight" First Thoughts


Gotham by Gaslight has always intrigued me. While it's not my favorite Batman story the world and concept was always interesting to me, an industrial revolution era version of Batman trying to solve the Jack the Ripper murder is just full of possibilitys. So when this animated movie was announced It was probably the most excited I've been for one of these direct to DVD Batman Movie since Killing Joke, maybe even since Year One, and I think it simultaneously holds up to and completely destroys my expectations.

I suppose you are wondering what I mean by that? Well while I did enjoy the movie it changed alot of things from the book. In fact despite the aesthetic and some story beats it's completely different. However that isn't really a bad thing and I think it stands on it's own. First off it would seem that alot of people have a problem with the way the film looks but it didn't really bother me, it did kind of remind me of Spectacular Spider-Man though. One problem I did have though was the cameos. In the book it used the references to the regular Batman characters very sparingly however in this everyone is somebody from the comics.

I really liked Bruce Greenwood as Batman. Plus like in the comics I love his costume, the Batman with a Duster cape just looks awesome. I also liked Jennifer Carpenter as Selina Kyle, I liked her being the champion of the downtrodden and her relationship with Bruce is one of the more believable I've seen. Plus I love that she gives no f*cks about Bruce Wayne's secret identity, if telling the police that he's Batman will get him out of jail and save peoples lives she's going to tell them. Iris West on the Flash TV Show could learn a thing from her. I would also like to mention Harvey Dent voiced by Yuri Lowenthal as the District Attorney who becomes a Misogynistic asshole when he's drinking as the obvious Red Herring. They set it up like he's The Ripper but he's obviously not since he was passed out drunk while the Ripper was killing Sister Leslie.

So now it's time to talk about Jack the Ripper. Now I'm going to give an extra Spoiler Warning here because this is a mystery and I'm going to Spoil who the killer is. So for those who have not read the book, it's revealed that the Killer is Bruce's Uncle Jake who also had his parents killed. Halfway threw this movie it's obvious that isn't the direction they were going with this, which I'll be honest made me worry a bit. I was worried that it would just be some guy or turn out to be The Joker or something stupid like that. However I apparently didn't give them enough credit.

So after Batman escapes from jail he goes to stop Selina from telling Commissioner Gordon that he's Batman and while he's in Gordon's house he finds a secret room full of surgical equipment. Then Gordon's wife Barbra goes full Yandere on Batman revealing that Gordon scarred her really bad cementing the fact that Gordon is Jack the Ripper. Now I know some people might not like this twist since there making Commissioner Gordon a bad guy however I love it. I really didn't see it coming and there were enough hints not to make it come out of nowhere but also not make it obvious. Plus watching it a second time you realize you never see the scarred side of Barbra's face, during the entire movie the left side of her face is always facing away from the camera. This movie was okay but after this twist it is amazing.

I also wanted to mention the fight scenes were great. Specifically the one in butcher shop between Batman, Selina Kyle, and Jack the Ripper as well as the final fight between Batman and Jack the Ripper on a burning Ferris wheel. In fact the movie ends with a very well animated scene of Batman and Selina fleeing with Alfred and the Orphans (Named after the first three Robins) on Horse Drawn Carriage as the entire World Fair burns to the ground. Overall I really enjoyed this movie. I'm really interested in if other people liked this the same way I did or hated it. Only time will tell but I think this will be remembered as one of the better DC Direct to DVD movies.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Comic Panel of the Week: Dark Nights Metal Titans Together Again

"Dark Nights: Metal" has been hit or miss for me but this moment from the "Bats Out of Hell" Tie-In put a huge smile on my face since I'm a huge Teen Titans Fan.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Human Torch And The Mystery Woman Under The Sea: A Look At Marvel Mystery Comics #7

You know I think the Fantastic Four don't get the recognition they deserve. If it wasn't for them Marvel today would be very different if it even still existed, there's a reason why Fantastic Four #1 is known as the beginning of the Marvel Universe. Marvel's hatred for Fox definitely doesn't help, but at least that's over now. Since the ResurreXion line I'm hopeful again for X-Men and Fantastic Four, and the recent "Marvel Two in One: The Thing and Human Torch" might of been one of the best comics of 2017. I'm just happy that like DC with Rebirth, Marvel seems to finally be remembering their Legacy. Speaking of which...
We've come so far

While reading the second issue of Marvel 2-in-1 earlier this week I got interested in reading some more older Human Torch storys, and since I had an old Trade of Marvel Masterworks from the Golden Age Marvel Comics I did just that. You see the Johnny Storm version of Human Torch wasn't the original Human Torch. Introduced in 1939 in Marvel Comics #1 published by Timely Comics Inc. The original Human Torch was an android created by the scientist Phineas Horton with the very important design flaw of bursting into flames when his artificial flesh was exposed to oxygen. Thankfully he eventually learned to control that.

The issue I was most looking forward to reading was issue #7, mostly due to the cover being used as the cover for the trade. (I'm reading this from Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics vol 2) The cover shows a woman, possibly another superhero due to the helmet, in restraints being drugged or experimented on by a guy in what I could only guess is a submarine while Human Torch breaks threw the wall and another guy pulls a lever that starts to flood the room there in. Nothing too special but I guess it could be an interesting story plus I really like that girls design so it would be cool to find out what her story is. However when I started to read that issue I got very confused.

The cover had nothing to do with the story inside. Instead we get a story about Human Torch becoming a Police Officer and fighting against a corrupt politician who was paying off some of the other police officers in order to make them do what he says. They fight Human Torch wins, and the story ends by teasing a fight between Human Torch and Namor. Perplexed I start flipping threw the rest of the issue to see if any of the other storys had anything to do with the cover but nope. So why does the cover have nothing to do with the story? Well the answer to that is pretty simple. Having a damsel in bondage needing to be rescued on the front cover of your comic was apparently a way to sell comics back in the day. If you don't believe me just look up William Marsten the creator of Wonder Woman and his two cents on the subject.
Don't worry this was approved by the Comics Code

There was even a similar cover a few issues before this one on issue #5 where some guys are about to throw a woman into a furnace as well as issue #7 where The Angel is saving a woman who is about to fall into a pool full of Sharks by what looks like some sort of medieval devil Cult. It's bizarre.
These covers are making me think Fredric Wertham was right..then again probably not.

By the way before you ask as far as I can tell both of those cover's also have nothing to do with the books. The thing that bugs me about this the most is that there was way too much effort put into these covers, so much so that they actually seem more interesting then the storys in the books themselves. But why does issue #7 bug me the most? In the other 2 examples at least the girls are just regular damsels but for issue #7 the damsel has a costume, is she a Super Hero or a Super Villain? Where did she come from? Why did they feel the need to design her like that if she was just going to be on the cover and not be fleshed out at all? Why was this cover the one they chose for the trade?
I'm pretty sure she had leggings in my copy of the original cover?

Honestly I will probably never know the answer to these questions but I just thought It would be interesting to ask. Who knows maybe she's some obscure Golden Age character I just never heard of. But if that were the case why is she on the cover of a book that she's not even in. Maybe they'll bring her back one day like DC did to that guy from the cover of Detective Comics #1, who knows. Well anyway I just thought it would be fun talking about this weird little thing I found while reading some almost 80 year old comics. Hope you had fun reading me ramble on about something that maybe no other person on the planet cares about, and If you did read this threw till the end you have my sincere thanks.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Comic Panel(s) of the Week: Mr. Mxyzptlk's Meta Moment

When I was watching the Game Grumps play Doki Doki Literature Club it randomly made me think back to Max Landis's Superman American Alien. Specifically this short one page back up from issue 3 where Mr. Mxyzptlk addresses the reader directly. It goes to show you we can find horror in the simplest of things.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Fighting Vipers (Sega Saturn) Review

How have I not heard of this game! If you told me that there was a fighting game where you can play as a guy who look's like Jotaro from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and punch the clothes off a human version Honey the Cat from Sonic the Fighters, I would be like what the hell are you smoking. For those of you who don't know Fighting Viper's is a 3D fighting game released in 1995 for the Sega Saturn. I'm not too keen on 3D fighters however I don't hate them, in fact Tekken was one of the first fighters I ever played. But when I heard about this game a few days ago I had to check it out.

Fighting Vipers is a game devolped by Sega-AM2 the devlopers of the more sucessfull Virtua Fighter Series. With this game they apparently wanted to appeal to a more western demographic which would explain the 90's-tacular designs for some of the characters, especially Grace with her rollerblades and skate gear. Most of the design's are pretty cool and unique though. With the exception of Bahn because like I mentioned earlier he is just Jotaro, down to the fact that he's a 17 year old High School student despite looking like he's about 30. Plus his alternate colors look like Jotaro's outfit from Diamond is Unbreakable. He's still super cool though even if he's a rip-off.

Like most early fighting games Fighting Vipers isn't big on story. It's just the typical guy holds a fighting tournament and a cast of colorful characters, who come from all walks of life, decide to join for their own reasons. From there it's your typical 3D fighter however what makes this game unique is the armor mechanic where every character has armor that can be knocked off and cause the fighter more damage. Also unlike most 3D fighters the stages are surrounded by walls so you can throw your opponents into them and if you win with a specific move you can actually knock your opponent threw them. Which makes the game super hype when you win against an opponent you were having trouble with by air juggling them and punching their ass threw a wall.

Speaking of difficulty I didn't have too much trouble playing threw the arcade mode until the very end. Except when playing as Honey (Candy in the American version). I don't know if the character isn't very good or I just sucked using her, but when I played threw with Bahn it was a cake walk until I got to Jane and then I had to play a bit more strategically. I say part of the blame is my inability to learn how to properly utilize a block button since I'm so use to just holding back to block I just do it unconsciously even when it doesn't work. Although f--k Sanman and his stupid bowling throw.

In closing I really enjoyed my time with Fighting Vipers, it's defintly up there with the few 3D Fighters I like. I think it actually aged a bit better then the early Tekkens and I haven't really played Virtua Fighter except the shitty port of 2 on the Genisis so I can't really compare this that series. I would love to have a new Fighting Vipers but I doubt that's going to happen. There was a sequel released in 2001 for the Dreamcast but sadly it was Japan only. Even if it dosen't get another sequel Fighting Vipers lives on, Bahn recently made an appearence in Project X Zone and the Sonic the Fighter's version of Honey recently appeared in the "Challengers" story arc in the Archie Sonic Comic.

Anyway we can only hope this game will not fade into obscurity like most of Sega's non-Sonic games like Streets of Rage and House of the Dead. I definitely think you should check out this game if your a fan of 3D Fighters. It's available on the PS3 and Xbox 360 for only $4.99, or if you have a PSNow account on PS4 you can get it for free. So it not that big of an investment, they even added online. Though I don't think there will be a whole lot of people playing it online. Or you can go hard core and buy the Sega Saturn version. But if your willing to go that far I suggest getting the Japanese version so you can play as Pepsiman. No. I'm not joking.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Comic Panel of the Week: The Secret Empire Moment That Broke The Internet

I personally really liked Nick Spencer's run on Captain America, although I will admit the Sam Wilson book was much better then the Steve Roger's one. But I think it's funny how everyone thought that this was going to remain the status quo. It really was Superior Spider-Man all over again.