Happy Free Comic Book Day, true believers! Question: who’s strong and brave, here to save the American Way? That’s right, comic creeps! It’s Captain America, the Star-Spangled Man with a plan! I just love a man in uniform, especially one who knows how to work a (flag)pole! 😉
We all know Cap is a Hitler-punchin’, swear-hatin’ butt-kicker with a heart of gold, but how did he get to be that darn awesome? Captain America: The First Avenger gave us an origin story, but it wasn’t the first. Oh no, sir! That ho-nor belongs to first episode of Captain America from 1966!
Airing as part of The Marvel Super Heroes, the first episode of Captain America was actually three chapters that made up a whole story. These chapters were The Origin of Captain America, Wreckers Among Us, and Enter Red Skull.
What makes this cartoon eXXXtra special for today is that, like all The Marvel Super Hero shorts, this superheroic adventure was taken straight out of the comics in every conceivable way! The animation consisted of photocopied images taken directly from the comic art and manipulated to created “motion.” These Marvel toons certainly didn’t move much, but what they did do is showcase the art of Marvel’s best and brightest. In this Cap Cartoon, you’ll see some art work from the legendary Jack Kirby come to life, and what could be more appropriate for Free Comic Book Day than that? Excelsior!
Boils and ghouls, your attention please! Kinky Ho-rror presents an all-old cartoon program, featuring a thrilling adventure of an amazing and incredible personality. Faster than a speeding demon! More powerful than a loco maniac! Able to leap tall tombs at a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bat! It’s a witch! No, it’s…
That’s right, boils and ghouls! We’re presenting a classic outing of the Man of Steel in glorious Technicolor! Of course, with our minds in the grave, we picked a short that’s a little on the fright side… The Mummy Strikes (1943) is the fourteenth of seventeen Fleischer Studios/Famous Studios Superman shorts, but it almost feels like a condensed Universal horror film. There’s a dead Egyptologist. an assistant accused of murder, a terrible curse, and two very unfriendly mummies. The two mummies are actually rather unnerving for a superhero short. It may be rather silly to admit, but this scene still gives me the willies… I mean, it ain’t Boris Karloff driving a man insane in The Mummy (1932), but that’s still one heck of a resurrection! This short isn’t as heavy on the superheroics as the other 16 shorts, but it’s got ominous atmosphere in spades. It’s creepy, it’s thrilling, and it has the Big Blue Boy Scout roughing up some ancient abominations. I’d say there are worse things to get WRAPPED up in on a Saturday Morning! Hey, if you think that’s a groaner, this short ends on the most wonderfully ho-rrible pun imaginable. It’s a play on a line from Blues in the Night, and I can’t imagine a better way to end a mummy story! For thrills, chills, mummies, heroes, and puns, click on the moving picture box below:
(Submitted by the stately Prince Adam…Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Kinky Ho-mie. 🙂 xoxo)
March 25th marked the one year anniversary of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. To commemorate this fact, Warner Brothers dropped the first legitimate trailer for the first ever live action Justice League film. Before I discuss that, there’s another important DC Films project releasing on June 2. That film is the long awaited, long overdue Wonder Woman film. For my money this is the first bonafide female led superhero film. No I don’t count the Catwoman or Elektra films, as they were utter horse shit and complete bastardizations of their characters. Unlike those farces, Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot looks incredible.I love that the film is a straight up origin tale. Some fans may be getting tired of origin films but Wonder Woman has never had one and thus, I think it is necessary.From the trailers, specifically the most recent one, I love the contrast of the pristine, seemingly untouched beauty of Themyscira, compared with the smoke filled war torn London England. The home of the Amazon’s is a parallel for heaven, while man’s world looks like hell.Diana’s journey from childhood princess to warrior/superhero is reminiscent of Bruce Wayne’s journey from orphan to vigilante in Batman Begins.My favorite scenes of the trailer are the training on Paradise Island and Wonder Woman emerging from the trenches onto the battlefield, deflecting bullets with her bracelets. That’s symbolic because Wonder Woman is emerging from the trenches into a no man’s land while the men fall behind her. This film is culturally and socially important because Wonder Woman is stepping out of the shadows and standing front and center, in a film genre, that for far too long, has been dominated by men.I think the movie is going to be a big hit at the box-office. However, there is a smear campaign going on against the film in the blog sphere.It started way back when Gal Gadot was first cast.They said she was not muscular enough and that her boobs were too small.Then she appeared in BvS and fans loved Gal as Wonder Woman. So now that the fans are onboard, the clickbait websites need a different kind of hate to spew, so they make up headlines about Wonder Woman’s armpits being bleached, and joke about the JL Wonder Woman poster looking as though she’s pissing fire.My message to fans of Wonder Woman and DC Films; when Wonder Woman hits theaters, buy tickets to see the film.If you can, pre-order them. Buy Wonder Woman related products and apparel from the film. Let’s show these haters that we want more Wonder Woman, we want more DC Films and we want more female led superhero films.
June 2nd isn’t the only time you’ll see Wonder Woman on screen in 2017.She’ll join Batman and form the Justice League on November 17th.The first trailer for the film has just been released and I love it. It is a fantastic teaser. I know it’s long to be classified as a teaser, but they’re typically all that long now.As a teaser, it gave us the right amount of nuts and bolts of story for still being 8 months out.An alien threat has come to earth, and Batman and Wonder Woman are recruiting a team of meta humans to stand against them. We then get character moments highlighting how “super” each one of them is.Aquaman got the best few solo shots of the trailer.First, parting the sea by smashing the butt of his trident to the ground.I mean, even Moses would be jealous of that shit! There’s also the scene where he throws his trident, impaling two pardemons.Ezra Miller’s take on The Flash looked cool as well. This iteration seems to run through the speed force every time he uses his speed, which is a novel approach that differentiates from the television incarnation. I love how happy he is to be doing the superhero thing and being part of this team.For the most part, I liked the look of Cyborg.My favorite frame of his was when he was in flight. You can tell the visual effects on him aren’t finished but given that we’re 8 months out, I’m not concerned.We know how BADASS Batman and Wonder Woman are already, but Zack Snyder reminds us by showing Batman using the Gatling gun on the Batmobile to take out parademons. I’m honestly shocked to have seen this because after years of WB being under the Chris Nolan worldview, the thought of Batman fighting aliens seemed like a nonstarter. Also, Wonder Woman’s apparent signature slow motion leg sweep/kick is present and accounted for.The humor in the trailer works, it doesn’t seem forced at all. Barry asks Bruce what his super-power is, to which Bruce says; I’m rich.There’s also a scene of Batman being joined by Aquaman on the roof of the GCPD, where Aquaman says; “Dressed like a bat. I dig it.Also, this scene gives us our first look at J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. God bless Zack Snyder for giving us vintage Jim Gordon, complete with big white mustache, fedora and trench coat. The brief moments of character interactions we got between the heroes reminded me so much of the Justice League animated series. In fact, my favourite scene is the “line up shot”, featuring every Justice League member with the sun glistening behind them.This was a clear homage to the intro of the animate series that gave me goosebumps.
What I love about the last Wonder Woman trailer and first Justice League trailer, is that they showed us a lot, while revealing very little.With Wonder Woman, we have yet to see Ares and for Justice League, we’ve yet to see Superman’s return or Steppenwolf.To be honest, I hope we don’t see them until we’re all sitting in the theater watching the films. No need to blow your proverbial Ares and Superman loads too quickly Warner Brothers.I was extremely happy and satisfied with both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.However, Wonder Woman and Justice League prove the best is yet to come for DC Films,
WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED COMIC REVIEW TO PRESENT YOU WITH THIS VERY IMPORTANT #SUPERHEROSATURDAY ANNOUNCEMENT: THE FREAKING JUSTICE LEAGUE TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED!!! *REPEAT* THE FREAKING JUSTICE LEAGUE TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED!!! (And it’s dope AF, as the kool kids say. ;))
Sooooooo badass, yes, but also sooooooooo far away!! 🙁 Which brings us back to this rockin’ review from Mr. SuperheroSciFi himself, Prince Adam…Thanks for giving us a lil’ something to help fill the gap, Heroic Ho-mie. xoxoxo (PS- #thatswhatshesaid ;))
“In the wake of the unspeakable tragedy he unwittingly helped to trigger, Superman faces his greatest loss and his most challenging moral decision ever. Everything is about to pivot on the choice he makes; it could change the course of the world–and the lives of all the super heroes–forever. Green Arrow is featured in a solo adventure. Fearful of Superman’s vengeance, the archer is put in charge of protecting the Joker’s crazed accomplice, Harley Quinn. Finding somewhere to hide Harley isn’t the challenge–keeping his sanity during prolonged contact with her is. But who will be the first one to drive the other crazy? Still reeling from the destruction of Metropolis, news from a war-torn country creates a tipping point for the Man of Steel. He decides it’s time for him to take a more proactive role in stopping man’s inhumanity to man. But does the sudden appearance of Wonder Woman mean he’s created a new enemy or converted an ally to his cause?” (DC Comics)
Two out of the three books deal with the fallout of the Joker’s heinous crimes, while the middle issue is a humorous but still heartfelt interlude that lightens the mood. Issues 4 & 6, show Superman going through stages of grief and anger. The scene with Superman holding a deceased Lois Lane in his arms in the middle of the detonation zone was such a quietly haunting moment, which lingers long after you’ve read the story. There’s an incredible exchange between Batman and the Joker that calls to mind The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight. When Joker explains that he did what he did, because it would be fun to see how Superman would react, proves that Tom Taylor has grasped Joker’s chaos and sick mentality. Issues #4 & 6 really set up Superman’s status quo hinted at in the game. Superman kills Joker in such a way that is so shocking, at least to this Superman fan. The death of his wife, the fact that he broke one of his cardinal rules, and add that to what he’s witnessing in a war-torn country and Superman decides to be more forceful! After revealing his identity, he puts the world on notice that he won’t allow the loss of anymore innocent lives. Killing and getting involved in wars, foreign or domestic, are against type for Superman but given what he’s been through, completely understandable. Even though this book is a video game tie-in, none of these reactions feel forced to line up with the game. These occurrences progress very naturally. Issue #5 was a nice change of pace. It was mostly Green Arrow babysitting Harley Quinn, a.k.a. keeping her hidden from Superman. The result is an exchange between Harley and Oliver, where Tom Taylor reminds fans that at one point in comics’ history, Green Arrow was a cheap Batman knockoff. In the midst of the humor, Mr. Taylor manages to remind readers that a hero who is not afraid to go over the edge for justice and a homicidal maniac are still people with emotions and a need for human comfort.
There are so many great images in these three issues. Seriously, the scene with Batman & the Joker looks so much like the “The Dark Knight”, especially Batman. The scene where Superman kills Joker will leave you speechless. It’s quite the jarring imagery. Likewise, the previously mentioned image of Superman cradling Lois’ lifeless body will send shivers through your body. Mike Miller does great work in issues #4 & 6. Bruno Redondo draws issue #5 and treats fans to a look at vintage Oliver Queen, while giving Harley Quinn a more dangerous yet sexy updated look. The only thing I didn’t like was the Arrow car. It looks ridiculous to me. Jheremy Raapack creates a stunning depiction of a Batman vs. Superman confrontation for the cover! Seeing as these are my two favourite characters, this cover leaves me captivated yet conflicted, just like the movie did!
The creative team continues to create a book that I consistently want to read. It firmly makes my top 3 “must read” list, despite have great “new” comics to read every week Since it feels like there is so much more to come, it could easily find itself standing at the very top of that list before too long!
(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam, and contains spoilers…Consider yourself warned on both counts. 😉 xoxo)
“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.” (FOX/Marvel)
17 years of Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine comes to a close with this film. It’s a great bookend for the character overall. This movie does borrow from Old Man Logan and X-23: Innocence Lost. What they take from Old Man Logan is an aged Wolverine traveling desert landscapes. They also take the family dynamic from that story. However in the movie, Logan’s family aren’t two children and a wife we’ve never heard of. Instead, the family dynamic consist of Professor Xavier, Caliban, an albino mutant with mutant tracking abilities, and Laura, a girl implanted with the mutant gene, created from the DNA of Logan. While in Old Man Logan, Wolverine and company take the fight to that story’s big bad, in this film, the group is fleeing being hunted by Dr. Rice. Speaking of X-23, a majority of that plot point was kept intact. A company called Transigen headed by Zander Rice are breeding mutants. Laura is one of the results but unlike the X-23 comic book, other kids survived the breeding process. However, when Dr. Rice realised that the kids were harder to control as they grew and their powers continued to develop, he began working on the X-24 project. When that was ready, he ordered the X-23 kids to be terminated. When nurses at Transigen realized what is happening, they help some of the kids escape to a safe haven known as Eden. A nurse Gabriella takes charge of Laura and goes to Wolverine for help in transporting them to North Dakota. Before they can leave, Gabriella is killed, which leaves Logan and Charles Xavier with the task of getting Laura across the border, while evading cybernetically enhanced Reavers hired by Dr. Rice and led by Donald Pierce. The reavers, armed with X-24, a younger clone of Wolverine constantly in a berserker rage, are determined not to let Logan, Prof. X and Laura cross the border and get to North Dakota. They track our trio using Caliban, who they kidnapped and tortured. Yes, there is a power-hungry man named Donald trying to prevent Mexican born children from crossing the border to America. Think that was done by accident? I think not! Talk about a film being socially and politically relevant. It could win an Oscar for that reason alone. As for why mutants are being bred? That’s because Transigen’s previous experiments suppressed the mutant gene by tampering with everyday food products, which eventually led to no mutant birth’s in 25 years. This plot point takes its cues from an X-Men story known as Messiah Complex, I love that this film continued the trend of borrowing elements from several X-Men stories and fusing them with new elements. The result is a fresh but familiar story.
Something I’ve never seen in one of these X-Men films are Logan and Professor Xavier ill. This movie gives us that right away. When you see these two men and characters, who have been physical and mental pillars of strength in this franchise, suddenly struggling with a mental illness and physical degeneration respectfully it’s incredibly jarring. Charles Xavier has a neurodegenerative disorder similar to Alzheimer or ALS. He loses control of his abilities and has psychic seizures. Due to Xavier’s powers, he can paralyze those in his vicinity. These seizures ended up killing the X-Men a year earlier and several humans, This scene is heartbreak when the truth is revealed, reminding us how powerful Xavier is and why the government fears unchecked mutant abilities. The idea that the adamantium inside Logan’s body was poisoning him, is something that has been explored before in the comic books and the fact that his bones are coated in it, is why his healing power is slowing as he ages. The scenes between Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are so emotionally raw. The father son dynamic is more present than ever here. Seeing Wolverine carry professor X, remember to give him his medication, and have to deal Charles bouts of memory loss and fits of anger and paranoia, are hard to watch. I think this movie genuinely depicts a little of the frustration, pain, heartache and ultimate toll it takes on a person dealing with ALS and Alzheimer’s, as well as the loved ones who care for them. When tensions are really high, Professor X accuses Logan of waiting and hoping he’ll die, and he tells Logan he is a disappointment. In his moments of clarity, Professor X still counsels Logan, telling him it’s not too late to have a family and how he needs to and should approach being a father to Laura. Several times he stresses and reminds him she is still a child. The two also share playful banter with each other. The history and chemistry with these actors, throughout the previous movies makes the relationship feel authentic. You don’t have to have seen a previous X-Men/Wolverine film to appreciate these movies but the references are there if you have. Charles references the Statue of Liberty event from the first film. Logan mentions that Charles used to run a school that Logan got kicked out of and left a few times. This of course, referencing X2: X – Men United and X-Men: Days of Future Past. I love that this film went meta and featured X-Men comic books existing in the film. I mean, in the film universe it makes sense that comic books and depictions in other media of a group as well-known like the X- Men would exist. I liked that Logan said the books were only partially how events happened. However, Logan’s protest about Wolverine wearing the costume, were a little insulting, referring to it as being self-absorbed and a form of branding. While it may be true, doesn’t that hold true for the black leather outfits and the yellow and blue 60’s era flight suits seen in this film franchise before. Writer/director James Mangold is somewhat deriding the franchise he is a part of. That doesn’t seem all that smart.
The character of Laura/X-23 was a great new addition to the X-Verse and was played wonderfully by new comer Daphne Keen! This little girl was absolutely fantastic in the role. She was silent for about half the movie but her body language sold the unease of a young girl who had little contact with the outside world and who was held captive and experimented on for much of her young life. One of my few criticisms of the film was that the X-23 backstory was far too truncated. Having just read the comic version, I felt the levels of horror and harm these kids went through was definitely watered down. Expanded scenes would’ve amplified the characters stand-off silent nature, which the young actor played so well. This young actress is adorable. It’s amazing how insane she can look when she goes full berserker rage. You could definitely see why her attackers would not be alarmed by her at first glance given her general adorability when she first enters the film. Her chemistry with Hugh Jackman was on point. I love that the relationship built from uneasiness, anger and a lack of understanding, to one of, loyalty, respect and love. That growth and transition, as well as, watching Logan navigate fatherhood brought much levity to this otherwise dark, emotional film. Also her instant bond with Prof. X will have you saying aww. It’s the Granddaughter/Grandfather relationship you didn’t know you wanted but you absolutely needed from this franchise. Her ability to act side by side with these two acting powerhouses bodes well for her acting future and the future of the X-Men film franchise. I thought Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce and Richard E. Grant as Dr. Zander Rice should’ve swapped roles. Both actors were good, but their performances seemed as though they would’ve been better serve as the opposite role. Plus, Boyd Holbrook actually looks like Zander Rice from the comic books.
The action and fights are incredibly violent, as it should be when you make the decision to go for an R rating. The violence was necessary and had consequences. It wasn’t violence just for violence sake. The scene in the bunker on the Mexican border where we see X23 in action for the first time is one of my favorites. When you see her go berserker rage for the first time it’s shocking. For the longest time, we’ve only seen Logan slicing and dicing and that was always restrained given the PG 13 rating of the other films. When you see that berserker rage coming from a 10-year-old, 4’1 girl, who not only has hand claws but foot claws as well, you can’t help but echo Wolverine’s sentiment and say; “Holy F**k!” I mean she cuts off limbs and walks out of the bunker with a severed head in her hands. The next brutal fight is when Logan, Xavier and Laura stop at a farmhouse for dinner and a good night’s rest. X-24 aka Wolverine’s clone lays waste to the entire family, while the reavers burn the house down. While the family isn’t Logan’s family, the scene does echo the pages in Old Man Logan, where Logan’s family is killed by The Hulk gang. Although, Professor Xavier is killed and Laura is almost kidnapped and they are very much Logan’s family. Professor Xavier is stabbed in the heart by X-24 as he wakes from what he described as his best sleep in years. When I first saw the scene and the killer was revealed to be “Wolverine”, I thought it was a dream. It wasn’t. This drove an already wounded Wolverine nuts and he went to town, ultimately wounding X-24 and taking out his eye. At Xavier’s burial, Logan is so choked up he couldn’t utter a word. Did I cry? You bet your ass I did! For many, Patrick Stewart is Captain Picard, but for me Sir Patrick Stewart will ALWAYS be Charles Xavier and I was emotionally gutted, as Charles was physically gutted. The third act is a battle in the forest, which seemingly is a prerequisite for every X-Men film. This fight has a bit more of a traditional X-Men battle as the young mutant survivors of the X-23 project use their powers to battle and defeat the reavers. Meanwhile to protect his daughter Laura, Logan battles his evil doppelgänger X-24. The fight is brutal. Logan gets stabbed an endless amount of times, prior to ultimately getting impaled on a tree branch. The fight harkens back to a cover image of Wolverine crucified on an X in the Uncanny X-Men issue #251. It’s a brutal fight and it’s somewhat poetic that Logan is killed by an evil Wolverine. Hugh Jackman brought Wolverine to life on-screen and he also literally killed him off of the big screen as well. The scene where Laura cradles the body of her dead father in her arms, and finally refers to him as “daddy’, felt like stab wounds to my nerd heart. Yes, I cried again, but damn it, Hugh Jackman’s been Wolverine for 17 years of my 33 years of life. His goodbye to the character deserves my tears.
I can’t think of a better way to end Hugh Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine than this film. He started in this franchise as a lost soul who didn’t have a purpose or a family. Professor Xavier took him in, mentored him, gave him a purpose, and the X-Men became his family. 17 years later, Logan takes in a lost soul, a child who’d been tortured and experiment on. She had no family or true purpose. Logan gave her a father and before his death, helped her find her own family of mutants. He also gave her a defined purpose; to not become what they made her. The story of James Hewlett aka Logan aka Wolverine is truly complete. Thank You Hugh Jackman for 17 years of dedication to the role and always making sure you gave a BADASS performance as Wolverine!
Full Moon Features has always been known to be a bit “strange,” but they took that to nearly metaphysical plane with an unofficial adaptation of Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The story goes that producer/director Charles Band held an option for the mystical Marvel comic, but lost it before production started. In a rather pragmatic move, Band decided to go ahead and make the movie… but without Doctor Strange. The result was Doctor Mordrid, a neatly packed dark fantasy that embodies everything that made Full Moon great. Considering that Disney’s take on the Sorcerer Supreme was just released on home video about a week ago, I think it’s a wonderful time to summon Full Moon’s Master of the Unknown.
Our film concerns Anton Mordrid (Jeffrey Combs), an enigmatic sorcerer sent to protect Earth from magical and mystical threats. One such threat is Kabal (Brian Thompson), a malevolent and powerful contemporary of Mordrid’s who intends to literally unleash Hell upon us all. For 150 of Earth’s years, Mordrid has watched and waited for Kabal’s inevitable arrival. When the dark magician makes his presence known, Mordrid seeks out his nemesis and prepares for their final confrontation. Caught in the crossfire is Samantha Hunt (Yvette Nipar), a research consultant to the police and a new ally in Mordrid’s war on evil. Will the good doctor prevail in his honorable quest, or will the Earth be consumed by darkness? That, dear friends, is an answer best answered by the film itself.
Looking at the other low-budget superhero films of the time ( Captain America, The Punisher, Fantastic Four, etc.), I doubt the film would’ve changed much if they had retained the Doctor Strange name. The Doctor we got still wears a mystical amulet/blue tunic, astral projects, resides in New York, has a vast library of the occult, battles a former colleague, and defends Earth from the supernatural. Even his cloak is similar to the one featured in early Doctor Strange appearances. There are some major differences, but I have a feeling that very little would’ve changed in an actual Full Moon Doctor Strange. I could be wrong on that, but the superhero films of the time weren’t exactly known for their accuracy. In my eyes, this film is as much a Doctor Strange movie as Nosferatu is a Dracula movie.
If we ignore all Strange-ness, does the film work on its own? I very much think so. Doctor Mordridhas a noticeably low-budget, but that only adds to its appeal. The film possesses a wonderfully pulpy vibe, as if it were the first part of a serial that never actually existed. Clocking in at a lean 74 mins, this film is 100% free of fluff, leaving nothing but pure B movie magic. Like the absolute best of Full Moon, this film triumphs over its meager budget and delivers solid entertainment in spades. As any lover of weird cinema might expect, Jeffrey Combs is perfect as the titular wizard. Combs has the uncanny ability to be a real oddball and the coolest cat around in the same instance with complete ease. Just about everyone in this cast is excellent, proving that you don’t need a large budget to attract great talent.
Speaking of great talent, legendary stop-motion animator David Allen brings his own brand of sorcery into the mix. Arguably, the best sequence in the entire film is a showdown between the skeletal remains of a mastodon and a tyrannosaur, animated to perfection by Allen. Much like the sorcerers within the film, Allen bestowed life upon these inanimate monsters and achieved true magic. The sequence is supremely beautiful and likely to thrill anyone with a love for the craft. Admittedly, I am sucker for anything with stop-motion dinosaurs, but this is prime stuff. Besides the battle, Allen also contributed some groovy miniatures and some perfectly wicked demons.
Doctor Mordrid is as great a B movie fantasy as one could hope for. There’s a good deal of excitement and charm to go around for its lean runtime. I highly recommend this film to lovers of the strange side of cinema, as well as those in the mood for some unusual superheroics. It’s rather unfortunate Doctor Mordrid never became a series. This especially odd for a studio know for churning out sequels to so many of their films. Perhaps the success of Disney’s Doctor Strange will bring the good Doctor Mordrid out of retirement. Stranger things have happened…
“Collects X-23 (2005) #1-6. Now the full story can be told – witness the machinations behind the origin of X-23 – who she is, where she came from, and the exact nature of her relationship to Wolverine.” (Marvel Comics)
I recently reviewed Wolverine: Old Man Logan, as it in some ways influenced Hugh Jackman’s last film as the adamantium clawed mutant. Before you read my review of the film (coming soon), let’s look at another book that undoubtedly influenced the film, “X-23: Innocence Lost.” They’ve tried to recreate the Weapon X program before but not quite like this. Creating a clone of Wolverine, or more specifically a genetic twin of Wolverine is such a fantastic proposition, I wonder what took Marvel so long. Writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost avoid any repetition with the Wolverine story by making X-23 a female. What I love about this decision is that it wasn’t done, or at least doesn’t feel like a PR movie, the way Jane Foster becoming Thor did, or whoever the female Iron Man is. Here, X-23 is a female because the male Y chromosome is damaged and fails to bond with the mutant gene during the experiment. So after 22 failures, Mutant geneticist Sarah Kinney decides to double up on the female X chromosome. She does this in secret as she gets strong objection and opposition from the director of Weapon X Dr. Martin Sutter, and his chief surgeon on the project and head of operations, Zander Rice. I feel that their objection to the future of the Weapon X – Program being a female, and the fact that Sarah did it anyways was a play on comic fans fear of change and over-reaction and negativity towards established popular name brand characters being altered or gender bent. I’m okay with it as long as the change is story dictated. I really appreciated that this story was focused pretty exclusively on X-23 and didn’t rely on an appearance from Wolverine. He only appeared at the start of the book in flashbacks to establish a connection between the original Weapon X program and this new iteration. I was very surprised at the purpose behind creating X-23. It wasn’t grandiose. Magneto and Mister Sinister weren’t trying to enslave humanity, or wipe out the mutant population. This was simply a genetics company trying to recreate the Weapon X program, to sell an assassin with the claws and killing prowess of Wolverine to the highest bidder. The simple monetary reason behind Dr. Sutter’s motives are refreshing, disturbing but refreshing. Zander Rice’s motives on the project are more personal. His father was killed by Wolverine in his berserker rage during the original Weapon X program, so he wants to use X-23 to kill both Dr. Sutter and Wolverine, as revenge for his father’s death. While I understand his motives, of the two, he’s more of a douchebag because of how he treats X-23.
I was going to comment on this book exploring the nature vs. nurture theme through the character of X-23. However, it’s more nurture vs. brainwashing/conditioning and which one will ultimately win out. Dr. Rice treats X-23 like a rabid animal, keeping her in a padded Asylum type room. He rigorously trains her heightened sense of smell like one would a hunting or police dog. He sends her out on violent killing missions, to showcase her and to brag about her skill to perspective bidders. This is something that I’d imagine someone involved in underground dog fighting would do, which makes it even more sickening. The most inhumane moments of treatment X-23 receives at the hands of Dr. Rice, including sharpening her bone claws, then coating them with adamantium, without the use of anesthetic. The second overtly horrific moment was when he left young X-23 at the mercy of an AIM firing squad because she was “late” to a rendezvous point, without knowing the extent of function of her healing factor. The nurturing X-23 gets is from the woman who gave her life, Sarah Kinney. We see Sarah comforting X-23 after a tough training session or mission, wiping away her tears when she cries .and cuddling her while she sleeps. She even reads Pinocchio and other fairy tales to her, in an effort to counterbalance the violence and harshness and horror she is participating on. Most importantly she gives X-23 her human name, Laura. The programing and brainwashing clearly worked early on, as she had no problem mowing down everyone from mafia dons, or drug dealers. Her killing isn’t reserved for criminals, as she has no problem killing a Presidential candidate and his entire family, at the behest of Dr. Sutter and Dr. Rice, However, Sarah’s mothering skills also have an effect as X-23 spares the life of Dr. Sutter’s son, despite killing him and his wife. She also uses her mutant ability to rescue Sarah’s niece from a child kidnapper. By book’s end, despite killing Dr. Rice in the hopes of running away from the Weapon X program with her mom, Laura kills her mom after Dr. Rice triggered her berserker rage, by secretly applying the trigger scent to Sarah, hours before his final confrontation with Laura. The book ending on this note actually makes things more intriguing going forward, as the journey of a dark, tortured hero, trying to find their way and seek redemption or not, always ends up being exciting.
Art for this six issue miniseries was handled by Billy Tan. His art was very sleek and modern. It’s from the same style as Brett Booth. First and foremost I love the two claws instead of three. Throw in the single claw on each foot and it makes her so visually distinctive from her three clawed male predecessor. Tan does a great job drawing X-23’s disguises when she goes on missions. Seeing her posing as a girl on crutches in one mission and a girl scout selling cookies on another mission, is believably distracting to the point where even I bought her as this meek, innocent child. That is a sharp contrast to seeing her as X-23, blood red eyes in full berserker rage when she kills her mother on the last few pages. The art perfectly displays the internal struggle of the character. There was violence and blood in this book. The two most violent pages were the end scenes where X23 kills the vice president and his family, and later when she kills Dr. Rice. Sure the battles are bone breaking and you definitely sense that, but 99% of the time, all you see is excessive blood splatter. Yet, I only counted one or two times where you actually see her claws pierce into someone’s skin. Only once, do you see someone lose a body part as a result of Laura Kinney’s claws. After reading two volumes of Deadpool and Wolverine: Old Man Logan, this book definitely skimmed on the violence by comparison. I feel this book merits more intense depictions of violence and I feel somewhat cheated.
This book continues the hot streak of being a great book set in the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe that I have reviewed here. This book did a great job of intriguing and maintaining my interest in a character I had previously only had a passing awareness of. I’m glad they didn’t rely or force feed the character of Wolverine onto this story. This book needed to establish Laura Kinney as a character and get the reader to invest in her on her own merits. I feel this book succeeded in that regard. Plus, now they can save the first meeting of Wolverine and his genetic twin/somewhat daughter for later and maximizing the hype, instead of blowing their proverbial load in the first story arc. I look forward to reading that story and many more. If Laura aka X-23 is half as awesome in Logan as she is in this book, then I think FOX may have the answer to who will eventually replace Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Do yourself a favor…READ THIS BOOK!
(You asked for it, and you got it, fiends!! Kinky Kudos to Mr. Anton Phibes for putting together this complete -save for one dude we couldn’t figure out- list of all the random rogues in Lego Batman…You’ve done the Lord’s work here kind evil villainous sir. xoxoxo)
Greetings, fair citizens. The Lego Batman Movie recently came out and was a Bat-Smash Hit. One of the absolute joys of the film was its clear love for all things Batman. The Dark Knight Detective has been around for over 75 years, constantly changing to thrill new audiences and reflect the current cultural climate. This also applies to his villains. From the very beginning, Batman’s rogues tended to be a reflection of the character. Like like the Caped Crusader himself, they’ve ranged from menacing to goofy, sometimes doing both at once. If you are a fan of any iteration of The Bat, The Lego Batman Movie has at least one villain cameo to put a smile on your face, without the use of Joker Venom. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of nearly every Batman rogue to appear in the film for your convenience and pleasure.
We wish to express our gratitude to the friends of Batman and his fabulous rogues. To them, and to lovers of adventure, lovers of pure escapism, lovers of unadulterated entertainment, lovers of the ridiculous and the bizarre— To funlovers everywhere— This post is respectfully dedicated. If we have overlooked any sizable groups of lovers, we apologize.
The Joker First Appearance: Batman #1
The Clown Prince of Crime headlines this Carnival of Crime. Thankfully, he had that ‘Damaged” tattoo removed before shooting.
The Riddler First Appearance: Detective Comics #140
Riddle me this: what do this Lego-ized puzzle plunderer and The Dark Knight Returns’ David Endocrine have in common? They were both voiced by Conan O’Brien!
Harley Quinn First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series: Joker’s Favor
We have nothing but Mad love for psychotic psychiatrist here at Kinky Horror!
Catwoman First Appearance: Batman #1
“Life’s a brick… now so am I”
The Scarecrow First Appearance: World’s Finest Comics #3
Gotham’s Master of Terror! Dr. Johnathan Crane uses his “fear toxin” to force victims to face their worst fears. Oh, Scarecrow… I think I’ll fear you most of all!
Two-Face and Captain Boomerang Two-Face’s First Appearance: Detective Comics #66 Captain Boomerang’s First Appearance: The Flash #117
We finally got to face Two-Face… portrayed by Billy Dee Williams, Tim Burton’s Harvey Dent. As for Captain Boomerang, he just came back around after Suicide Squad.
The Penguin First Appearance: Detective Comics #58
This crafty criminal has always played fowl.
Killer Croc First Appearance: Detective Comics #523
Born with a Crocodilian appearance, this criminal has teeth.
Clayface and Bane Clayface’s First Appearance: Detective Comics #40 Bane’s First Appearance: Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1
Bane is the man who broke the Bat’s back and would be great in an El Santo biopic.
Much like a diabolical Gumby, Clayface possesses a clay-like body and shape-shifting abilities
Poison Ivy First Appearance: Batman #181
This florid fiend is one with nature. Her kisses are killer.
Mr. Freeze First Appearance: Batman #121
A cold-hearted villain known to give his enemies the cold shoulder.
March Harriet First Appearance: Detective Comics #841
Curiouser and curiouser.. this Wonderlandian crook made an appearance… but the Mad Hatter is missing… Guess he was late for tea.
Gentleman Ghost First Appearance: Flash Comics #88
A notorious highwayman and robber, the ghastly motivations of Gentleman Ghost are transparent.
Clock King First Appearance: World’s Finest #11
Time is on his side. Yes, it is.
Calendar Man First Appearance: Detective Comics #259
This guy is up to date when it comes to dates. A more sinister Calender Man played a role in the classic storyline, The Long Halloween.
Zodiac Master First Appearance: Detective Comics #323
I wonder what his sign is?
Condiment King First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series: Make ’em Laugh
This criminal will surely relish your defeat.
Orca First Appearance: Batman #579
After suffering a spinal cord injury, Grace Balin had it partially repaired with a Killer Whale’s spinal cord, transforming her into a whale monster. I hate it when that happens!
Cat-Man First Appearance: Detective Comics #311
This villain has a clear case of Cat Scratch Fever.
King Tut First Appearance: Batman ’66: The Curse of Tut
From the Adam West series comes this Phreaky Pharaoh.
Eraser First Appearance: Batman #188
His inability to do well in school led to a life of eraser-based evil.
Zebra-Man First Appearance: Detective Comics #275
Despite the name, his stripped appearance was the result of magnetic powers. Frankly, I was hoping it had to do with a radioactive zebra.
Kite Man First Appearance: Batman #133
This gentleman is exactly what he sounds like. Go fly a kite!
Crazy Quilt First Appearance: Boy Commandos #15
This colorful crook canonly see in blinding, disorienting colors. His whole life is a Dario Argento film!
First Appearance: The Dark Knight Returns
From the Frank Miller’s gritty classic, this dude knows how to slice and dice.
Tarantula First Appearance: Nightwing #71
You wouldn’t want to get tangled up in this master assassin’s web.
Mime First Appearance: Batman #412
The daughter of a fireworks salesman, her father’s noisy profession and the fireworks-based death of her parents led her to become a crime mine. If I had a nickel…
Polka Dot Man First Appearance: Detective Comics #300
Looking rather like a sentient game of Twister, this felon has the ability to pull weapons from out of the polka dots on his costume.
Killer Moth First Appearance: Batman #63
Known as the “Batman of Crime,” this crook is enemy to justice and clothing alike.
Doctor Phosphorus First Appearance: Detective Comics #469
This skull-faced goon is radioactive! He has a bright career in crime ahead of him.
The Red Hood First Appearance: Detective Comics #168
An alias used by many, the first Red Hood was actually the Joker! Talk about seeing red…
Calculator First Appearance: Detective Comics #463
A calculating crook like no other! Does he know how to write 80085?
Man-Bat First Appearance: Detective Comics #400
Part Man! Part Bat! All Terror!
Hugo Strange, Magpie, Kabuki Twins, and Egghead Hugo Strange’s First Appearance: Detective Comics #36
Magpie’s First Appearance: The Man of Steel #1
Kabuki Twins’ First Appearance: The Batman: Call of the Cobblepot
Egghead’s First Appearance: Batman ’66: An Egg Grows in Gotham
Hugo Strange is one of the earliest Bat-enemies and the first to deduce Batman’s identity. The doctor is in… SANE!
Magpie is villain obsessed with shiny things… She and This Guy would certainly get along
The Kabuki Twins are martial arts experts who only appered in The Batman. I’m seeing double!
A villain originated by Vincent Price! How egg-cellent is that?!
Unfortunately, this post is only nearly complete because of the winged gentleman on the right. If anyone has any ideas, we’re all ears! 🙂
That’s it for now! Keep checking in… Same Kinky time, same Kinky website!
(Submitted by our Heroic Ho-mie, Prince Adam…Thank you, kindest of Super Sirs! 😉 xoxo)
“Following the defeat of Barry Allen’s arch-nemesis Eobard Thawne (aka Reverse Flash), Team Flash quickly turned their attention to the singularity swirling high above Central City, which fans last saw consuming everything in its path. Armed with the heart of a hero and the ability to move at super speeds, Barry charged into the eye of the singularity, but will he actually be able to save his city from impending doom?” (The CW)
The Flash was honest to goodness, my favourite television show through the course of its first season. After being so good right from the start and maintaining quality for all 22 episodes. Secretly, I thought Season 2 was bound to suffer a slight decline. The season opener started in a way that almost proved me right. It had jumped 6 months forward, skipping over Flash saving Central City from the singularity. It opens with a mopey Flash, who is skipping The Flash Day, where he was being honored for his city saving heroics. I felt cheated, in that I didn’t get to see Barry actually save the city from this singularity. Judging from our hero’s disposition, I thought he was going to get all whiney, push his friends away, and fulfil a long standing stereotype of CW programming.. However, to my happiness, this was dealt with in the course of the first episode. After Team Flash come together to battle The Atom Smasher. While enjoying their reunion and victory, they are interrupted by a man named Jay Garrick, a Flash from an alternate universe. He warns them of a Speedster named Zoom hell bent on destroying The Flash and other speedsters from alternate universes, to steal their speed. The arrival of Zoom on the series could have turned out to be repetitive of Season 1. After all, Zoom is another speedster, an evil opposite of Barry, and as comic book fans are aware, Zoom is sometimes portrayed as a derivative of The Reverse Flash or an alternate alias for the character. However, the show makes their version of Zoom stand apart from season one’s Reverse Flash. For one, Zoom is much faster than Eobard Thawne. Where Barry could get very close, and eventually surpass him in speed, Zoom, is much faster then both Reverse Flash and Barry. You can almost sympathize with Eobard Thawne at times. Even though he killed Barry’s mom, when Tom Cavanagh was playing Reverse Flash, I felt sorry for him and that whole, man out of time and wanting to go home routine. With Zoom, I felt no sympathy! He was pure evil, a diabolical villain in every sense of the word. He literally destroys and humiliates Barry/The Flash, paralysing him and dragging him along for all of Central City to witness. After Flash is rehabilitated, he blackmails Barry into transferring his speed to him, and kills Barry’s father right in front of him anyway. The real twist to the season is Zoom’s identity. Zoom is actually the man who introduced himself to Team Flash as Jay Garrick. In reality, he is Hunter Zolomon of Earth 2. The name Hunter Zolomon, as fans know, is another man who wore the mantle of Reverse Flash. This was a great nod to comics’ continuity. Its different then comics continuity but honoring it. Another revelation was that Zoom had the real Jay Garrick of Earth 3 hostage. This character is the Earth 3 doppelganger of Henry Allen. This is a fantastic twist because it allows John Wesley Shipp to stay on the show and it puts TV’s original Flash back into a Flash costume. Teddy Sears was perfect in the role of Hunter Zolomon. He has the look and demeanor of an “All American Boy” and had me fooled pretending to be Jay Garrick. Having Tony Todd do the voice of Zoom was genius.. Not only did it help keep up the ruse of the identity switch, but every time Zoom spoke, you felt uneasy and extremely creped out. That is exactly the feeling I hoped for when they announced the horror legend would be voicing the role. For epic Zoom episodes, check out Enter Zoom, Versus Zoom, and The Race of His Life.
As I mentioned, the introduction of Zoom brought about the plot point of alternate universes. This provided the season with two of its best episodes in the form of Welcome to Earth 2 & Escape from Earth 2. One of the things I liked with this two parter, was the color palate and aesthetic look. Looking at Central City of Earth 2, it seemed to almost have a dream like brightens to it. Aesthetically, it had an art deco 1940’s look to it. If I remember correctly, I think I even saw a blimp flying through the sky. The absolute best thing about these two episodes is that they upend the status quo. It’s fun to spot the differences, and allows the cast to play against their character type. In this continuity, Barry Allen isn’t The Flash, doesn’t have super speed, and is married to Iris West and is a geek in the most stereotypical sense. Grant Gustin is definitely paying homage to Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent with his performance. Speaking of Iris West, the Earth 2 version is a tough as nails police detective. It was such a nice change of pace to see Candice Patton play this, instead of the supportive friend and often damsel in distress. When she’s allowed to go full on feisty, the actress really lets loose. Jesse L Martin is a far cry from his detective and loving father Earth 1 version of Joe West. On Earth 2 he’s a lounge singer, who loves his daughter, yet absolutely hates and disapproves of Barry Allen. Earth One’s Barry Allen’s stunned reaction to this makes their scenes together comedic. However, the most striking difference comes from the characters of Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon. Actress Danielle Panabaker and actor Carlos Valdes get to shed their goody two shoes characters, in favor of bonafied bad guys in Killer Frost and Reverb. Danielle Panabaker embraces her full on sexiness when playing Killer Frost. She even made a joke about her Earth 1 doppelganger constantly covering up her breasts. Carlos Valdez as Reverb, reminds me of a modern day twist on a Bond villain. Another great element from the Earth 2 episodes is the introduction of Earth 2 Harrison Wells, once again, played by Tom Cavanagh. He has the cockiness and the supreme intelligence of Earth 1, minus being the Reverse Flash. What is intriguing, is how our Earth 1 Team Flash reacts to him. No one trusts him but he has to earn their trust. When they learn about his daughter and that Zoom has kidnapped her, the team put their PTSD feelings towards their Wells aside and work with him to save his daughter. The most geektastic moment of the Earth 2 episodes was seeing Barry’s phone directory and seeing the names Bruce, Clark and Diana on there! Yes, in Earth 2 The Flash’s Justice League teammates exist and that makes me happy, so happy in fact, I nearly did a happy dance when I saw that. Even Atlantis was teased. However, the cast and crew had to go and make me sad, by having a scene where Earth 1 Barry has a phone conversation with Earth 2 Barry’s mother. Damn you Grant Gustin! Stop being so good at your job and making me emotional.
The Zoom storyline takes the show to darker places then it’s gone before but Season 2 does have its lighter toned, fun episodes. One of which is the return of Gorilla Grodd in “Gorilla Warfare.” Once again they play up the King Kong similarities with the relationship between Caitlin and Grodd. The effects look even better for Grodd this time around, when looking at him in a brighter environment. We also got a tease at a full on Gorilla City, which looked spectacular! I hope we get a full episode or two there in Season 3! If the special effects of this show still haven’t amazed you, then the episode titled “King Shark” will change that Yes you read that right, there was an entire episode focused on the Man/Shark hybrid. This is the Suicide Squad character, David Ayer cut from the script due to inexperience using an all CGI character, yet The Flash on a much smaller budget, has no fear in using and pulls him off flawlessly. The episode also feature Arrow’s John Diggle, played by David Ramsey, providing his hilarious reactions to the metahuman madness, that surrounds him, this time being King Shark. The visual effects team also seemed to have altered the super speed effect for Zoom. Even if they didn’t, it’s still riveting to see The Flash chase and fight his villains, while racing up buildings or in mid air even. The battle between them in the finale was a benchmark changer in terms of excitement and CGI execution. In addition to Zoom, the show introduced the character of Wally West and Patty Spivot. On the show, Wally West is not the nephew of Iris West. Instead, he is her brother. I’m fine with this change from canon because the familial connection still remains and it bonds them even more. I even liked the actor in the role, Keiynan Lonsdale. However, I absolutely hated his big introductory episode, which was essentially a Fast and Furious rip-off. And I’m not talking about one of the good Fast and the Furious movies. Shantal VanSanten played Patty Spivot. While the actress gave a good performance, her characters relationship with Barry Allen was pointless, thus the character and actress was dismissed at the halfway point of the season. There’s no point in trying to shoehorn a unnecessary love triangle into the show, when your shows mythology has already told the audience, that your male and female lead are destined to be married.
While DC’s Legends of Tomorrow gave it some good opposition, The Flash remains my favourite superhero show on television. Not only did it maintain the quality of Season 1, often times it exceeded it. Season 2 of The Flash has the reliability of Tom Brady, while also possessing the excitement and energy of Cam Newton. With the promise of Flashpoint in Season 3, the series should easily get even better when it returns October 4th on The CW.