#ThemysciraThursday Comic Book Review: The Legend of Wonder Woman #1-9

(Rejoice, Kinky Ho-s, as our long awaited Wondy movie is now just around the corner…Prasie Hera! 😉 Here to help us get properly prepped for the Wondrousness is our resident SuperheoSciFi Guru, Mr. Prince Adam…Thank you, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)

“On the hidden island of Themyscira, the Amazons, led by Queen Hippolyta, live in a kingdom of peace, protected by the gods. But the balance is upset when Hippolyta is granted what no immortal may have: a child, given life from the clay of the island. She is the princess Diana, who alone can sense the evil that is infesting the Amazon’s home.” (DC Entertainment)

The first nine issues of this digital first comic book retrace Wonder Woman’s origins and time on Themyscira. Many elements from the other Wonder Woman origin story I reviewed for you (Wonder Woman: The True Amazon) overlap in this story, but the perspective is different and makes this story unique. What I notice here is that while man’s world was full of hate and war, Hippolyta, along with her sisters forged her nation of woman who spoke of love and compassion, but were equally as mighty with their sword and axes. However, unlike the men, the Amazon’s were never inherently cruel. Impressed with this balance, Zeus granted Hippolyta and her sister’s immortality so that they would be able to oversee the growth and prosperity of the Amazon’s. As years pass, Hippolyta is filled with sorrow because immortals cannot give birth. Her festering anguish led her astray. During the invasion of Hercules, she had a sexual tryst with Theseus, allowing Hercules’ army to gain the upper hand leading to the defeat and death of one of Hippolyta’s sister, Penthesilea. After seeing the results of her indiscretion, she chose to abandon her longing for children and while her Amazon sisterhood were upset that she betrayed them, they chose her to lead them back to peace and prosperity as their Queen. Meanwhile, in the heavens, the gods were at war with a Titan. While they defeated the Titan, the battle ravaged the Earth, so the gods created an island sequestered away from humanity to prevent further disaster. Zeus invites the Amazon’s to live on a piece of said island known as Themyscira, in exchange for making it a place of peace and provide worship to the gods. To seal the deal, Zeus promises to give souls of daughters to mortal Amazons, once every 10 years. Still left childless, it is the mystical sands and wishing of Hippolyta that bring Diana into this world. I find in this book compared to most others, the Amazon’s are far more harmonious with the ancient gods. Most books don’t showcase the Amazons as being so submissive and worshiping the Gods in such detail. So much so, that Hippolyta’s sisters align themselves with worshiping and being somewhat of an emissary of those gods. However, while men are shown for their propensity for hatred and warfare, this books puts the blame for the suffering and devastation in Man’s world on the gods. This book also clearly identifies the Amazon’s as human beings who are granted immortality and extra ability. I think that past iterations of Wonder Woman stories have made them quasi god-like in their own right, however when doing that, it makes the presence of the gods somewhat moot. I didn’t like Diana’s clay origin this time around. The clay being able to bring Diana to life because Hippolyta essentially thinks/wills her into being, basically makes her a Green Lantern minus the ring, or his duties. Diana being given life by the gods, makes her extra special in my book.

Speaking of Diana, she is much more the traditional one we are used to, as opposed to the bitchy spoiled brat from Wonder Woman: A True Amazon. Here, Diana has a strong unwavering desire to join the military of Paradise Island and commence her training. However, her mother would rather groom her to be future Queen so she can win favor from the gods, ultimately being granted immortality by the gods. While mother and daughter are at odds over this, they share the same reasoning; to protect the other. Hippolyta worries that Diana’s mortality will be tested if she joins the warrior ranks, while Diana wants to use her training and warrior status to protect her mother and home world from a dark mystical threat, only she seems to sense. In this segment of the story, ultimately Diana pretends to abide her mother’s wishes, while secretly training with Alicippe. While Diana feels disheartened for disobeying her mother, it turns out she knew all along and despite her misgivings, allowed Alicippe to continue her training because it makes Diana happen. During her training, Diana learns that her mother was the fiercest warrior the Amazon’s have ever known. Thus, Diana realizes her mother’s concern for her because she’s fought in battle and knows the costs. Still, this only brings Diana closer to her mother, strengthening her resolve to fight alongside her fellow warriors. Honestly, of all the Wonder Woman stories I’ve read, this one makes me feel the most genuine and invested in the mother/daughter bond of Hippolyta and Diana. The arrival of Steve Trevor on Themyscira is more purposeful and serves an added purpose in this story. It seems as though whatever great dark threat Diana sensed was to plague Themyscira, actually pulled Steve Trevor’s plane towards the island. Think of it kind of like the Bermuda Triangle myth. I think I like this idea better, then it just being a happy accident. When Hippolyta’s sisters learn of the plane crash, they plan to use a “wild man” scampering unchecked around the island, to discredit Hippolyta’s leadership, and take her place as Queen. One of the sisters even contemplates murder. However, their plan is thwarted by Diana and Alicippe, with Alicippe ultimately losing her life in the process. I love that there is jealousy and resent among Hippolyta’s sisters. Look, I can suspend disbelieve that most women can live on an island and live in harmony together. But I’ve known too many woman who hold grudges and “hate” each other, for the most ridiculous of reasons. So it makes sense that if one sister was favored by Zeus over others, there would be some anger and jealousy at play. The gladiator games that bring Wonder Woman to man’s world are not a mere commemorative ceremony in this book. Here, the winner gets to decide the fate of the intruder Steve Trever. Diana of course wins the event and decides to escort Steve home. I like that the Amazon gladiatorial tournament had more stakes involved then just being something ritualistic. While we never see Wonder Woman in costume yet, she is given her heroic wardrobe by her mother and it’s confirmed that in this iteration, the gods have embed the elements of her heroic costume with blessings, that when worn, give Diana her extraordinary abilities. In previous iterations, her divine birth has been the cause of her abilities. Truly, I’m fine with both interpretations. The relationship/infatuation is just started/teased here between Diana and Steve. It seems as though they are going to expand that over the course of several issues. I prefer this, rather than having it force fed to us in one shot.

The art drawn by Ray Dillon. The art is much more modern looking than the last Wonder Woman graphic novel I reviewed here. It also has a little bit of an animated feel to it, without ever veering into overly cartoonish. Diana, as she ages from childhood to adulthood, looks like our very own Miss Kinky Horror. That’s perfectly fine by me by the way. My favourite page is the splash page of the gods battling Titan at the top portion of the page, while the Earth is being ravaged by volcanic eruption and flooding as a result of their war. It’s powerful and mythic imagery that highlights the powers of the Gods. I noted that the gladiatorial games as drawn in Wonder Woman: A True Amazon looked like Ben Hur. The gladiatorial tournament in The Legend of Wonder Woman visually reminds me of 300! A huge part of the beauty of this art is the colors. The shot of Pegasus prancing elegantly with sunlight shining in behind is literally the most beautiful shot I’ve seen in a comic book over the last year. Also, the cloud of darkness engulfing Themyscira is perfectly creepy and menacing. If you had any doubt that Themyscira is the most beautiful location in the DC Universe, this book will confirm it.

This is a fantastic read. You may feel as though you know Wonder Woman’s origin, but the twists to familiar scenarios, a deeper connection between mother and daughter, and spectacular looking art makes this a must read for Wonder Woman fans everywhere. Now I don’t know specific details of the Wonder Woman film, but there are scenes from the trailers that seem to be pulled right out of this book. For that reason, I recommend reading this book, as a pre-movie ritual leading up to your viewing of the film. For myself, the week leading up to the release, I plan on doing a Wonder Woman marathon consisting of, the television series, episodes of the Justice League animated series and a stack of comic books. PS: The wait is almost over my friends!

Opinion Piece: Justice League Trailer Breakdown & Wonder Woman Thoughts

(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,

#SuperheroSaturday Comic Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us #4-6

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!

In the Mirror: The Reflections Edition, Part 5

(Submitted by our beloved Smutmaster, Eric…Thanks, my Kinkiest of Ho-mies! xoxo)

Featuring: Lynda Carter, Helen Slater, Maika Monroe & Olivia Hussey

Wonder Woman: Season 3, Episode 5 – Disco Devil (1978)

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A telepathic disco dancer is using his powers to steal information from government scientists visiting a Washington D.C. hot spot. Diana must enlist the aid of a second telepath to foil the scheme.

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A House in the Hills (1993)

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An aspiring actress gets a housesitting job and finds herself in a cat-and-mouse game with a deadly ex-con.

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It Follows (2015)

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A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

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Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)

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Norman Bates recalls his days as a young boy living with his schizophrenic mother while fearing his unborn child will inherit his split personality disorder.

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Ho-stess’s PS-
Eric requested I post a new mirror pic with this set, but I’m currently visiting my sister (and very lil’ nephews:) in NC, and private mirror time isn’t really a thing right now. So, you’re gonna have to settle for these #TBT pics (circa 2007) instead…I owe ya one (thousand ;)), Eric!! 🙂 xoxo

#SuperheroSaturday: Wonder Woman: The True Amazon

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, Heroic Ho-mie! This is perfect for today… 😉 xoxo)

“See Wonder Woman like you’ve never seen her before in WONDER WOMAN: THE TRUE AMAZON, an original graphic novel from Eisner Award-winning writer and artist Jill Thompson. Join Princess Diana in her early years, as she develops into the formidable hero we know and love.” (DC Entertainment)
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This book is a unique interpretation of Wonder Woman. The book is essentially Smallville for Wonder Woman. At the tail end of the book, we get Diana in Wonder Woman attire and setting off for her super heroic adventures in man’s world. The  focus is on the origins, specifically highlighting Themyscira as well as what drove Diana to become Wonder Woman. In this book, while Amazonia was distant from other areas of man’s world, the Amazon’s still lived and interacted  with men. Things went awry, when the majority of men complained that the Amazon’s were a scam and corrupting their daughters, almost as a cult would.  They call on Herakles to battle with Queen Hippolyta and vanquish the Amazon. The wars were fierce and brutal, with death on both sides of the ledger.  As the battle rages on, Hera discovers that Zeus admires and is enamored with Queen Hippolyta and plans to secretly join her army and get intimate with her, before swaying the war to Herakles and man’s side.   Hera teams with Poseidon, to grant Hippolyta and the Amazon’s safe passage from Amazonia to the island of Themyscira.  Themyscira is still a secret and secluded island, but the fact that it is an island that was used to keep the god’s most prized possessions and secrets hidden. It’s fitting then that the most prized and  powerful, unique and  ancient civilization in the DC Universe resides there. I applaud writer Jill Thompson, for writing in scenes that tell us that Themyscira was rather baron of culture and civilization, prior to the arrival of Amazon’s. Through the years, it was turned into a peaceful, loving society. They excelled in a variety of facets. Art, clothing and food were some highlighted. Usually, when we see Themyscira in other books, it is a fully formed and functioning society, Having it inferred and seeing snippets of what make’s that society tick, on day to day life  was a nice change of pace. If the Amazon’s are all about piece and love, what are the purpose for the gladiatorial competitions.  In most iterations of the story, it’s to win the honor of going to man’s world, being both the ambassador and their champion, Here, the ceremonial war games are a tribute to all the fallen Amazonian’s, who lost their lives in the battle with Herakles and his forces. To me, this reason is a little more powerful because hit hits close to home for the Amazon’s, and tugs on the heart strings of the reader, more than the traditional explanation does.
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In terms of Diana specifically, this book goes with the made of clay iteration of her origin. Full disclosure, the clay origin is my least favorite of Wonder Woman origins. I always imagined one of the god’s playing with play dough, leading to the creation of Wonder Woman. I prefer her origin as the daughter of Zeus a la the New 52, or even the daughter of Hercules, as seen in Wonder Woman: Earth One. Having said that, Jill Thompson did a wonderful job of making me connect to the clay version. This book sees Hippolyta head to the sea every night. She sits by the sand and molds a baby, She then sings a lullaby to the lifeless creation, detailing how she would nurture and care for the child if it were real. Her sad songs are heard throughout Themyscira and reverberate below to Poseidon in the sea, and all the way up to the Gods of Mount Olympus. Zeus and the other gods are so moved by Hippolyta’s song and emotion. It brings them to tears. Those tears are imbued with life, manifesting as rain and when they hit the mold of the child, it is brought to life and begins to cry. Thus, Diana Prince is born. Showing Hippolyta in the light of a bereft mother broke my heart. No joke. I cried during this part of the story, I was so emotionally invested. When Diana let out her first cry I cheered. Suddenly, what once seemed hokey to me became very legitimate.  When the synopsis says that you’ll “see Wonder Woman like you’ve never seen her before”, they weren’t kidding, From childhood through to adulthood, Diana is a pretentious spoiled brat. Since birth she is thought of as a gift from the gods and constantly exalted. As a child., she would constantly throw tantrums when she didn’t get her way and play cruel tricks on her nanny to get what she wanted. She’d make her seamstresses start all over again if even one element of the garments wasn’t to her liking.  As she got older, she would always brag that she was the best of the Amazon’s, better then all her sisters. To prove it, she went to the darkest corners of the island to battle the various mythological creatures. When she subdued them, she trapped them in a silver serpent horn. Her fellow sisters were inspired by this and constantly wanted to be around her and part of her inner circle All accept Alethea, a stable maiden.  She won’t pay Diana any attention. When Diana questions her as to why,  Alethea say a persons actions are more important then their words.  So Diana  shadows her and tries to live a similar life. Alethea knows it’s an act and isn’t having it.
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Diana decides to join the Gladiatorial Games and feels that by winning the games, Alethea will see Diana’s honesty and heroism, becoming her BFF.  As Diana progresses in the games, she fears she may lose, so she pulls out the serpent horn and releases the monsters she had trapped in an effort to distract the other warriors and horses, long enough to win the final chariot race. However, her plan backfires and the creatures injure and kill both horses and Amazons.  Diana then enters the fray. Even she is being overwhelmed by the beasts. One of her fiercest competitors in the games leaps in to help Diana, but is bitten and thrown around like a rag doll. While the mythical monsters that remain flee the scene, the Amazons are horrified by the death and destruction Diana’s actions have caused.  When the warrior that was killed is prepped for burial, her head armor is removed to reveal Alethea. Diana was already distraught over what she caused, and after this reveal she is absolutely mortified. This is the revelation Diana needed to see how horrible of a person she had been. This leads her to her Bruce Wayne moment, where she vows to use her strength and abilities for good and to serve others. One thing that I loved  about this book is it’s presentation of Diana and how she actually had a character arc. There’s a transition of being spoiled and self absorbed, to realizing you were wrong, and dedicating life to something more and better. Diana is going through her own heroes journey in this book.  Many of the stories I’ve read, feature an already warm, loving and altruistic Diana.  There’s nothing  wrong with a hero being good from the get go, however in a coming of age/origin story like this one, that conceit can be very limiting. Despite Diana’s new outlook on life, she has to face punishment for her actions. Presided over by her mother, all the remaining living amazons vote on her fate. Screams of maiming, burning, and even killing her echoed through the crowd. However, there are compassionate voices in the crowd.  It is decreed that Diana would be banished from Paradise Island, only to return when she atoned for her behavior by being a protector on man’s world. The book ends, with Diana sailing away from Paradise Island. The whole scene had parallels to the “Shame” scene from Game of Thrones, and the scene where Jesus Christ was condemned to crucifixion. There is no Steve Trevor in sight but I like that her arrival on Earth isn’t tied to a man.  Even though her trip to Earth is a mission of atonement rather then the spoils of victory, the end game is the same, while providing a fresh take on her path to heroism.
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Jill Thompson pulls double duty for this story and provides the artwork that emphasizes her words.  The art doesn’t look like your typical comic book art.  Instead, it’s more akin to art you’d see on a tapestry or on one of those collector plates.    In terms of her look, Wonder Woman closely resembles her Golden Age counter part.  I love that there was a practicality and reasoning for her costume. The Golden Girdle, lasso and bracelets are to remind her of her heritage. She carries the silver serpent horn as a reminder of her “deeds and miss deeds.” Her crown is enchanted like a crown of thorns, which she can’t remove until she has made up for what she has caused. There’s a great image of Herakles’ Army battling the Amazon’s, that is drawn in a map of Greece. To me, that is one of the most unique depictions of a war scene in comics. Another favorite image of mine is seeing a young Diana fly with the birds. It’s as riveting and impressive as any first flight scene featuring Superman. The Chariot races were so reminiscent of the scene in Ben Hur. When I say Ben Hur, think the good film but with modern visual effects.  The mythical beast all looked different, and while they had traits of modern animals, were very much mythical in nature. The color contrasts in this book are exceptional. When you first see Themyscira thee is a lot of blue, white’s and green, which give the book a sense of hope,  In the scene where Hippolyta is singing her whaling song to her clay sand child, the color is predominantly grey and black.  When the monsters attack the pages are overwhelmed by deep red and some shadows. The page where Alethea gets bitten and tossed around in the monsters mouth is particularly unsettling. The art and colors used in all scenes puts you in the frame of mind of the Amazons, as the events unfold on the page. Who needs virtual reality technology, when comic book art is immersive and expressive!?
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Wonder Woman celebrated her 75th Anniversary and this year, is finally getting her first live action big budget film.  To celebrate these facts, I will review various forms of Wonder Woman media this year. I’ll be looking at more graphic novels, the animated film and the television series to name a few. Follow along with my celebration of Wonder Woman, the Queen of the superhero genre buy buying and reading Wonder Woman: The True Amazon.

Review/Opinion – DC Films Represented Wonderfully In Hall H At San Diego Comic Con!

(Part One of our better-late-than-never Comic Con Coverage, brought to you courtesy of Prince Adam. Thanks for this, my Heroic Ho-mie!! 🙂 xoxo)

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I’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con. Trust me, it’s on my bucket list and one year, I’ll make it happen. (Dude!! Come cover it for the site neXXXt year!!-D.P.:)) Until then, I’m the guy every year, hitting the refresh button every minute for new information. This year however, I was up north at a cottage, celebrating my nephew’s birthday and had no internet access. So when I got home, I was flooded with information. That information…Oh Boy….It was INCREDIBLE! Essentially, DC Films Won Hall H! The fun started when the various directors of these DC Films were bought on stage. David Ayer (Suicide Squad), Patty Jenkins, (Wonder Woman), Zack Snyder, (Justice League) Rick Fumiyawa (The Flash) and James Wan (Aquaman) were all introduced. That led to the official announcement and reveal that Ben Affleck will direct a standalone Batman film. Each director said a word or two about their respective film. David Ayer promised that Suicide Squad would kill it, also saying that he wanted the film to look and feel as much like a comic book as possible. Patty Jenkins let it be known that it’s been a lifelong dream of hers to direct Wonder Woman. She referenced Superman: The Movie as a favorite of hers and said that, in today’s world, with all the negativity and hatred out there, a Wonder Woman film is definitely needed. Zack Snyder, should have said a big “F**k You” to all his haters, instead he discussed how fun and exciting it was to be on set, seeing the entire Justice League interacting. Rick Fumiyawa was in awe, as this was his first Hall H panel and comic con. He described DC Comics as the cornerstone of our understanding of superheroes (#SuckItMarvel), and that he’s excited to play in and explore the DC Universe. James Wan promised to bring some of his horror sensibilities to Aquaman (The Trench would be perfect) but was most excited about bringing this character, and the world of Atlantis to the screen for the very first time. Last but not least, Ben Affleck said he felt the pressure of upholding the legacy of Batman, when it comes to directing. He compared directing Batman, to doing a play, that’s been done and redone, and that he’s excited to add another layer to the legacy of the character. After seeing The Town and Argo, I have no doubt Affleck the director, will deliver something special. During the panel, logos for each character these directors were working on were revealed.

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Unlike last year, Warner Brothers released their comic con footage online in HD, simultaneously with the respective panels. That’s the smartest and best way to prevent piracy, and to limit leaked and grainy footage getting out. The first bit of footage was for Suicide Squad. The 3min: 19secs of footage was a mix of previously seen footage and new clips, cut together with three songs from the soundtrack to the film. Each trailer has gotten better and better. This one is no exception, possibly being the best trailer of the bunch. What I love about this trailer, and the Suicide Squad marketing campaign as a whole, is that even with all this footage, I still have no idea what the major story beats are, how or why the team comes together and who the main villain is. And I love that because I can sit in the theater and be totally surprised come August 4th at 7pm.

The day before the Wonder Woman panel and trailer, a new poster for the film was released:

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Look at that poster. It deserves to be framed and hung on my wall. The tagline reads “Power, Grace, Wisdom, Wonder”. That not only describes the character, but the emotions and feelings the poster elicits. The trailer itself, clearly lays out that this film is an origin film, and plays out very linear in nature. We start with seeing Steve Trevor wash up on the shores of Themyscira, after being rescued by Diana. These shots are followed by brief snippet of Queen Hippolyta bidding her daughter farewell, as she leaves for man’s world. We get a quick snipped of a battle where Amazonian’s defend Themyscira against armed forces from Diana’s new land. Speaking of Diana, we see some more exposition between her and Steve Trevor, before a series of action clips, showing her kicking the enemy military’s ass! One thing is clear, after this trailer, I want to see LOTS of Themyscira. On one hand it looks so beautiful, elegant and serene, while on the other hand, the warriors of Paradise Island are even more epic then the stuff we’ve seen in Gladiator or on Spartacus. The scenes of Wonder Woman in the trenches of World War I, and her full reveal in costume, packed just as much of a punch, as her debut scene in BvS did. We got a much clearer look at how effective and useful her golden lasso of truth can be in battle. I can’t believe I’m going to say this…but the lasso just might be cooler than Batman’s Batarang! I thought the chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in these few scenes was fantastic. Gadot displays a confident strength and command, but also lets Diana’s naiveté in certain situations show. I never doubted Gal Gadot’s casting, and it seems I was right to put my faith in her. Also, her enthusiasm, joy, and the amount she cares about doing right by this character and being a role model to girls and boys alike, is evident in her interviews at the Comic Con panel! June 2, 2017 can’t get here soon enough!

Even though they weren’t scheduled to appear, Zack Snyder brought the entire Justice League on stage. Following this, the first official group shot of our heroes from the film standing together, unified was released:

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Now that’s one heck of a hero shot! Notice how the background is brighter in this shot, than it was in the promo shot for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and even Man of Steel? A reflection that the tone of the film be lighter perhaps. Even Superman’s costume is brighter then it’s been to date. So I’d expect a more hopeful Superman when he returns to the land of the living. Speaking of costumes, I really love that The Flash’s costume looks similar to his costume in Injustice: Gods Among Us. It fits so well with the DC Films aesthetic. Cyborg’s armor looks streamlined and very realistic given that it’s all CGI. Each character’s costume is uniquely specific to them, yet they all look like they belong together in a group. The footage itself features two vignettes of Bruce Wayne recruiting Arthur Curry aka Aquaman and Barry Allen, better known as The Flash to the Justice League. Aquaman doesn’t take kindly to Bruce Wayne, while Barry Allen is quick to join the cause. The portrayals of Aquaman and The Flash, especially in their interaction with Bruce Wayne/Batman, are reminiscent of the Justice League animated series. Even Bruce Wayne’s interaction with Diana in this footage also has that animated series flare to it. I hope that romantic flirtation from the cartoon also carries over, as Affleck and Gadot have tremendous chemistry with each other. The brief shots of Barry Allen’s super speed looked great. Aquaman staring down a giant tidal wave makes him an instant BADASS! I’m calling it now; Jason Momoa and especially, Ezra Miller will be scene stealers in their respective roles of Aquaman and The Flash! Bring on November 17, 2017!!

There was plenty of DC TV news, but I’ll detail some of that in my reviews of Season 2 of GOTHAM and The Flash, and Season 1 of both Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. Look for those reviews, right here at Kink Horror later this summer! For now though, know that film wise, DC Films is shaping up to have a great year in 2017! While we wait, be on the lookout for my review of Batman: The Killing Joke, and Suicide Squad, very soon.

#ThemysciraThursday Comic Book Review- Wonder Woman: Earth One

(This could also be a #ThrowbackThursday post to yesterday when I was supposed to post this for #WonderWomanWednesday/#WCW. I’ll let you decide for yourself ho-w you’d like to categorize it. 😉 Regardless, this bit o’ wondrousness was submitted by my Superhero SciFi Superfriend, Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, my Heroic Ho-miebot!! 😉 xoxo)

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“From the masterful minds of Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS, THE MULTIVERSITY) and Yanick Paquette (SWAMP THING, BATMAN, INC.) comes the most provocative origin of Wonder Woman you’ve ever seen—a wholly unique retelling that still honors her origins. For millennia, the Amazons of Paradise Island have created a thriving society away from the blight of man. One resident, however, is not satisfied with this secluded life—Diana, Princess of the Amazons, knows there is more in this world and wants to explore, only to be frustrated by her protective mother, Hippolyta. Diana finds her escape when Air Force pilot Steve Trevor, the first man she has ever seen, crashes onto their shores. With his life hanging in the balance, Diana ventures into the long forbidden world of men. The Amazons chase after her and bring her back to Paradise Island in chains to face trial for breaking their oldest law—staying separated from the world that wronged them. Thought-provoking yet reverent, thoroughly modern but still timeless, the power and courage of Paradise Island’s greatest champion—Wonder Woman—is introduced in this new addition to DC Comics’ NEW YORK TIMES best-selling Earth One original graphic novel series.” (DC Comics)

So far, I’ve read and reviewed all three Superman: Earth One graphic novels, and both Batman books. I’ve loved all five. With the addition of Wonder Woman: Earth One, we can officially make it an even 6 out of 6. One of the aspects I love is that Grant Morrison told his story in a non-linear fashion. The story toggles back and forth between the ancient past, recent past, and the present. This allows the story to take place both on Paradise Island, and on Earth. I think the majority of the story takes place on Paradise Island, which I am totally fine with. Our story starts 3,000 years in the past, and we see why the Amazonians abandoned man’s world. We see Hercules standing over Hippolyta, as she kneels in front of him in subjugation, as he berates her. Hercules calls her his bitch, and looks poised to physically assault and possibly rape her. She gains the upper hand and eventually kills him, before vowing to leave with her Amazonians to Paradise Island forever. Amazonians’ disdain and distrust of men stems from this moment. The story cuts 3000 years forward and we see Diana, being brought before her mother the Queen, and being put on trial. We learn the whole story of why Diana is on trial, through flashbacks. She, of course, is on trial for breaking their rule of going to “Man’s World” to save Steve Trevor and return him home. Before we get to that though, we see a Diana who is overprotected by her mother. She won’t allow Diana to compete in the trials, and she always changes the subject when Diana brings up “man’s” world. She is overly protective of Diana but she often also belittles her, by minimizing her in that she’s been made from clay, and the will of the gods. All these factors further advance Diana’s desire to leave, prior to Mr. Trevor’s arrival. While Grant Morrison is using the “made from clay” origin, he also works in the godly angle. She’s not the daughter of Zeus, but more shockingly, she is the daughter of the man-god Hercules. Queen Hippolyta had taken the egg from her womb and the seed from Hercules loins and “blended them in her alembics and mixed them with her fury.” This is the most stern, forceful and demanding Queen Hippolyta I’ve ever seen. She and Wonder Woman have different definitions of feminism at play in this book, and you’ll see why in a bit. Queen Hippolyta had intended Diana’s birth to be the ultimate revenge against Hercules, as his line of descendants would be devoid of a son. Furthermore, she wanted to use Diana’s pull towards humanity, and eventually send her to man’s world as a weapon against them. As Diana grew, her mother noticed she was so graceful and filled with love, and abandoned her plan. She even made Diana feel less than human, in an effort to suppress her desire to go to man’s world. So hell-bent is Hippolyta on keeping Diana away from humanity, that she implores the underworld to show Diana how frail and temporary everything on man’s world is. She even summons Medusa down upon Earth. This is where most of the action in this story stems from, but I really loved this part because it reminded me of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. I adored those two shows by the way. (“Me, too!!” -D.P.)

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There is an added layer to Wonder Woman’s character here. She is a scientist, and a healer. She uses technology that runs on purple rays. She’s even capable of retrofitting the technology, when she has to save Steve Trevor. Aside from Wonder Woman as a nurse in the old school comics, I’ve never seen these aspects played up before. Grant Morrison does a great job, at showcasing Diana’s naiveté and lack of knowledge when it comes to man’s world. I love that she slowly learns the English language. When she first meets Steve her English is broken, and uneven, but as the story progresses, by the end, she is nearly fluent in it. It speaks to some omni-linguist abilities. Her interactions with Steve Trevor will cause plenty of laughs. When she somewhat nurses him back to help, she asks him if he is a man, and starts to innocently grab his penis. He asks her to “please move her hand”, which to me was the most unbelievable part of the book. If Wonder Woman is grabbing my junk, there is no way in Hades that I’m telling her to move her hand. There’s another scene later in the book were she hands Steve Trevor handcuffs and tells him to put them on, and kneel before her and submit before her loving authority. On Paradise Island, this is how you show appreciation for the one you love. Her innocent conviction in both scenes, and Steve’s reaction made me laugh hysterically. Wonder Woman meeting Elizabeth Candy, and her college sorority was also funny. Beth’s candor, honesty, brashness and bubbly personality, are very startling to Wonder Woman. I had a laugh when Ms. Candy, after Wonder Woman tells her about Amazonia, and Paradise Island, refers to the Amazons as “Science Fiction Lesbians, with a side of bondage.” That was hilarious. Also, I thought that Grant Morrison cleverly weaved the bondage undertones of Wonder Woman’s early comic book stories into the mix. One clever piece of writing by Grant Morrison was to not romanticise “man’s world.” Instead we see a place that is quick to resort to war, and a world that is filled with social injustice. We’re shown people that are old, frail and sick. This heightens Diana’s empathy and strengthens her resolve when appealing to her mother and her fellow Amazonians about being an emissary to man’s world. She believes she can lead by example, and help “man’s world” with their advanced science and medicine. They agree, and hence….Wonder Woman arrives on Earth as its Amazonian champion.

wwe1cI really enjoyed Yanick Paquette’s art on Swamp Thing, which I reviewed exclusively for this site. His artwork on this graphic novel is exceptional. Even when compared to Swamp Thing, this is easily his best work. Paradise Island lives up to its name. It looks like heaven on Earth. And I’m not just saying that because it’s a place filled with beautiful women everywhere. The beautiful brightness of the sun, the rich greens of the plant life. The architecture, and the statues, it’s like a hybrid of Ancient Greece and Rome. I loved the futuristic look of their tech and flying vehicles. For once, Wonder Woman’s “Transparent” jet doesn’t look like something man made. Nor should it. There is quite a bit of diversity in this book is far more then I can recall seeing in a mainstream comic book in quite a while. Even Etta Candy discusses her weight, and multiple times, echoes confidence and happiness about her body. That’s fantastic. It’s a message that needs to be sent to all readers, both verbally and visually. Yanick Paquette treats Beth Candy with as much respect, and draws her so powerfully, just as he does Wonder Woman, and that’s brilliant! Just because certain people don’t fit societies perception of what’s beautiful, doesn’t mean they aren’t or should be minimalized in comics. The Wonder Woman costumes had all the main components you’d expect from a Wonder Woman costume, it was largely made up of everyday clothing the Amazon’s wore on an everyday basis. Her final hero outfit was made up of the top and chest plate from Paradise Island, along with her bracelets and tiara. The boots and shorts were gifts from Beth and her sorority sisters. I thought this was appropriate, as Diana is a woman of two worlds. Yanick Pacquette draws really evocative facial expressions. If it weren’t for him, the funny and awkward moments between Diana and Steve Trevor, wouldn’t have been funny or awkward. There are two hero shots in this book, and they’re amazing. We have Wonder Woman lifting a tank over her head, and saving a bus falling off a cliff. They’re both images that have been drawn before, and while they look new and fresh in Yanick hands, there’s undeniable classic wow factor, especially for the tank sequence.

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I have a definite love/hate relationship with Grant Morrison’s writing. I loved his JLA work, and All-Star Superman. Yet, I hated his Batman run and Final Crisis. If All-Star Superman is his best work, Wonder Woman: Earth One belongs right beside it. Grant Morrison wonderfully juggles Diana’s feminism, with her naiveté, her strength with her sexiness, and her compassion with her physicality and heroics. Add all this, with impeccable art by Yanick Paquette, and we have a story that’s worthy of the incredible character that is Wonder Woman. Buy it, because it’s wonderful!

News Bleed: The Monsters Forever Edition.

Usually I like to save the bummer news til the end of these posts, but we’ve been so bombarded with craptastical crap lately that I figured I’d get the sad stuff out of the way first. That way we can just start looking fwd to frighteningly fun stuff! 🙂 Here we go…

Michu Meszaros (AlfBig Top Pee -Wee) has passed away. 🙁  BBC

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Janet Waldo (aka Judy Jetson) has also passed away. 🙁 NY Times

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Lois Duncan has also passed away. 🙁  New Republic

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(Only slightly relevant, but it’s forever my ultimate 4th of July movie, so it totally stays. ;))

And, last but not least, one of my favorite Tumblr pals, Monsterman has also passed away. 🙁 His blog was/is amazing, and all Monster Lovers should definitely check it out…Mosterously big hugs to his fam and fans, who are all missing him very much. #MonstersForever xoxoxo

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Grrr…So much sadness!!! Let’s move on to the frivolous fun stuff now, ok??

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Yeah, yeah…HAPPY STUFF!!!!! 😉

Watch (almost ;)) 5 minutes of the upcoming, badass, cannot-wait-for-it Friday the 13th game!! (I helped this sucka out on Kickstarter, btw, so my pic or something is going to be in it somewhere…#SOBLESSED!!!!!!!! :)) Friday 13th Franchise

G.L.O.W., which I was unhealthily obsessed with when I was ten or so, IS CUMMING BACK!!!!!!!!!! All glory to Netflixxx!!!! 🙂 PW Torch

(Vine was my fave, fyi. :))

Our loooooooooong wait for a film adaptation of The Killing Joke is finally (almost ;)) over!! 🙂 Nerdist

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Wonder Woman turns 75, is still totally milf-y. 😉 Comic Book Resources

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(And I so bought these babies to celebrate…Huzzah for Retail Therapy!!! ;))

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Weird…They spelled “Tom Welling” wrong. 😉 GQ

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Have a beautiful, un-sad weekend, Kinky Ho-mies. Here’s one more #FridayFlashback to set things off to a slaying start!! 😉 xoxo

(They so should’ve used this in the movie…It’s glorious!!! :))

Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

This might seem a lil’ late, but our resident Superhero/ScifFi Sage, Mr. Prince Adam, put every bit of his heart and soul into this sucka. I consider it to be The Official BvS Review for All of Time and Eternity Forever, so it needed a lil’ time to cultivate. Also, today is Gal Gadot’s Birthday, so it seemed liked a Wonder-fully appropriate time to post this.

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Without further ado, I give you Prince Adam‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review For All of Time and Eternity Forever…Enjoy your #SuperheroSaturday, Kinky Ho-mies!!! 🙂 xoxo

“Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.” (Warner Brothers)

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Subconsciously, I’ve been waiting for a film starring both Batman and Superman since I was 9 years old. Having seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice three times already, I can tell you I was immensely satisfied. It was most certainly worth the wait! Even though all involved told you this isn’t a straight up sequel to Man of Steel, I think it absolutely is. Everything picks up from where that film left out. Story elements from that film are expanded upon, and themes are carried over. Much like how Batman and Wonder Woman can guest star and appear in the regular Superman monthly comic book, here Batman co-stars in this Superman sequel, with Wonder Woman making a special appearance and oh boy was it special. Personally, I loved the way the film cut back and between Batman and Superman’s respective story arcs. It gave me the sensation that I would get while reading a comic book and I loved that. Also ingenious was the way director Zack Snyder got necessary exposition out of the way quickly, but did it effectively. Yes, we’ve seen the Wayne Murders in almost every Batman incarnation, but never has it been more beautifully filmed, or operatic and grand as it is in scope here. Bruce Wayne’s dream is essentially a flashback within a flashback where scenes of young Bruce falling into the cave are intercut with the scene of the Wayne Murder. Add to this to the musical track A Beautiful Lie, and it represents the first time I shed tears in this movie. We then cut to a redeux of the Superman vs. Zod fight from Man of Steel, the difference being it’s from the ground level, from the human perspective, specifically Bruce Wayne. This scene serves several purposes. It brings people who haven’t seen Man of Steel up to speed, and those who haven’t seen it in awhile get a good primer. The scene where Bruce Wayne has to run into the debris and pull a beam off of one of his employees who lost his legs during the Kryptonian battle is our first intro to the adult Bruce Wayne. He also saves a little girl from falling debris When he asks where her mother is, the girl sadly points to the top of a building that has been scorched and broken apart. The look on Bruce Wayne’s face says it all. In Bruce’s opinion, the Kryptonian’s, including Superman, took that girl’s family away from her, just as Joe Chill took his family away several years ago. With Bruce Wayne’s perspective effectively set up, the film cuts to 18 months later.

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Lois Lane is in Africa interviewing a group of mercenaries; yet unbeknownst to her she is part of a government undercover sting. When that fact comes to light, Lois & her crew are taken hostage, Naturally Superman flies in and saves Lois from gunpoint. Following this scene, we see people at the Senate blaming Superman for the death of several people. Yet, we saw none of that in the scene. Knowing that there is an extended cut of the film, the fanboy in me can look past this, but I can recognize editing such as this as a legitimate complaint of the film. Still the film does a great job of showing us, and telling us that the world both loves and hates Superman. The aforementioned people from Africa, also the protesters outside the senate building when Superman appears in Washington. You see protestors burning a Superman doll in effigy. The more powerful of Superman detractors was Wallace Keefe, the Wayne Enterprises employee who lost his legs in the Man of Steel prologue that opened the film. Seeing him struggle to climb the Superman statue, only to deface it by spray painting “False God” over it was jarring, but even more powerful and evidence of the hatred of Superman amongst some, is Wallace blowing himself up in the courtroom, killing Senator Finch and most people inside. As viewers, we’re not used to this, but this hatred would occur from some segments of society, if Superman really existed, and the events of Man of Steel happened.

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Conversely, we see humanity that loves Superman, so it’s not all doom and gloom for Kal-El. We see him save a Russian space launch gone wrong, rescue a family clinging to a rooftop from a flood, and a woman from a burning building during the Day of the Dead Festival. These people love Superman, and adore him, as if he were their saviour and God. That’s quite the dichotomy, and I absolutely love that Snyder put both angles in the film. Peoples split reactions of Superman in the film also mirrors audiences reaction to Man of Steel. I don’t know whether Zack Snyder did this purposefully, but it’s genius either way.

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While some people were already leery of Superman, the added piling on of discontent towards him in this film is thanks to Lex Luthor. From the trailers, I thought I would hate this iteration of Lex Luthor, but this was not the case. I really enjoyed this conceptualization of the character. Lex, through his company tries to use the government to sanction kryptonite laced weaponry. When that fails, he plays both Batman and Superman against each other, and then when that fails, he creates the Kryptonian killing machine known as Doomsday. This trifecta satisfies 3 core tenants of the character in one film; the sly businessman, the cunning manipulator, and genius mad scientist. Snyder and Chris Terrio’s craftsmanship of this character pays homage to various eras of the comic book Luthor, with all three meshing into one quite seamlessly. Having Lex have all these different plans in motion, speaks to the character always being one step ahead of everyone at all times, as he often is in the books. Specifically, being able to play Batman and Superman against each other proves that he is the smartest guy in the room. Being able to play off of Bruce Wayne’s fears of this “All powerful being”, as well as the blame he puts on himself for happened to Wallace Keefe, clearly states that Lex very much knew that Bruce Wayne is Batman. If using Martha Kent as bait wasn’t enough of a clue, Lex Luthor refers to Superman as Clark Joseph Kent in their rooftop confrontation. Some fans don’t like that Mr. Luthor knows the secret identity of our heroes, but I’m fine with it, as it’s been done many times in the comics. In John Byrne’s Man of Steel he figured out that Clark Kent was Kal-El, and in a recent arc of the Justice League comics, Lex goes to Wayne Manor and calls out Bruce Wayne as Batman. Speaking of heroes, Lex Luthor has been tracking other met humans, which provides reason for the inclusion of Wonder Woman.

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Regarding our titular heroes, as a DC fan who loves both Batman and Superman equally, I was beyond thrilled with their portrayal in this film. For those who say Superman never smiles, is always mopey, or never appears to be the Superman we’re “used to” is not factual. When Superman rescues Los in Africa, he is assertive, confident, and I love the shorthand he and Lois have with each other, that they communicate with just a look. That smile Superman gives to Lois is vintage comic book Superman. We see their relationship flourishing. From the touching emotional moment in the apartment, where Lois wonders if their relationship is holding Superman back and Clark reassuring her. We see Lois reassuring Clark that Superman means something to people, especially after the courthouse bombing, for which Superman blames himself for not being able to see or hear coming. Here’s where detractors of the DCEU point to Clark/Superman being mopey. Yeah, no shit! Put yourself in his shoes. If every time you tried to save humanity, something seemingly went wrong, or people blamed you for the fallout, how would you feel? Both Clark and his costumed alter ego have felt this kind of self doubt before in comics during the aforementioned Man of Steel days from John Byrne, as well as Superman: Birthright, and the Earth One graphic novels. We’ve also seen the character go through similar periods on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and even Smallville. Yet, segments of fandom are ready to crucify Snyder and his team, because heaven forbid Superman isn’t smiling 24/7 under every circumstance. I agree with Zack Snyder’s idea of having Superman grow into the Superman we’re accustomed to over the course of the DCEU! It makes things more interesting, makes Superman more relatable, and adds layers to the character. Speaking of character growth, as I mentioned, the Lois and Clark relationship grows exponentially from one film to the next. They are a full fledged couple, but save each other in the literal sense, and the emotional sense. The interplay between the two somewhat reminded me a bit of what Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher had on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. This film also took some cues from there, and showed us these two icons in their Daily Planet habitat, and doing some reporting. Seeing Clark Kent stress to Perry the importance of perusing the Batman story, showed gumption and some backbone to this Clark Kent. I also loved his interview with Bruce Wayne. Even when my favorite billionaire playboy tried to belittle him, he stood his ground. Then there was Lois Lane, the feisty, undeterred reporter who will stop at nothing to prove Superman is being set up and is not responsible for any deaths during the hostage situation. Lois does get into “damsel in distress territory twice during the film, but I’m ok with it since it’s a direct result of her hardnosed reporting. Henry Cavill and Amy Adams both seem infinitely more comfortable in their roles. Their chemistry has increased, making their relationship status more believable. Henry Cavill juggles being a more experienced Superman, who knows how to handle himself and minimize collateral damage, while at the same time, still giving us a Superman who is emotionally conflicted about the public’s split perception of him. His Clark Kent wasn’t bumbling or aloof. He was very straight laced, in the vein of George Reeves and Dean Cain. I liked it. After the actor pulled his Times Square identity experiment, I will never question the glasses secret identity again. Amy Adams, walks the line of being a ballsy reporter, but never veers into that annoying territory. Both actors best scene comes in the third act of the film when Superman is about to endure the ultimate sacrifice to stop Doomsday! Lois pleading with Clark not to, telling him she loves him. Clark, while in pain because of kryptonite exposure saying; “This is my world, you are my world”, kissing her, and then flying to his death in servitude of humanity. What a tremendously powerful moment. If you didn’t tear up after watching that, you have no heart. Better still, if after watching the climax of the film play out, you still don’t think this portrayal of Superman is valid or correct, well, you’d be entitled to your opinion, but you’re wrong.

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I simply must discuss Ben Affleck and the role Batman plays into the story. Remember all those people that sent online petitions to the White House to get his casting overturned? Well Ben’s performance was the biggest and greatest F**K YOU to all those morons. Ben Affleck was simply fantastic. I’m fascinated that this Batman is 20 years into his career. We’ve never had a Batman with this much experience or mileage under his belt. Snyder and Terrio don’t blow their load by detailing his entire history. Save those gems for standalone Batman films. What we do get is a clever reference to The Joker, and a leering shot of the costume of a fallen partner (Robin). The buzz words Snyder and Affleck used were tired, and world weary when describing Batman, Those were good descriptives. Batman has reached the end of his rope, and has gotten more vicious, and violent. At one point he even suggests that he and Alfred are criminals and always have been. Batman’s distrust and anger towards Superman doesn’t simply begin and end with the fact that Superman is an alien, who has the power to destroy the human race. Although, thinking of Superman as an alien, helps Batman rationalize almost going over the edge and killing Superman. However, in terms of his true motives for his actions, it’s the seemingly futile struggle as The Dark Knight that’s driving him. His quote to Alfred says it all: “20 years in Gotham, how many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?” You can see that Bruce has been emotionally beaten by his crusade. He’s channeling his frustration over to Superman, believing that stopping Superman now, before he inevitably goes bad, is the ultimate way to save humanity. Regarding the issue of Batman killing in this movie? Everyone seems to be going crazy over it, not in a good way. My reaction….CALM DOWN. With the exception of Shit on Film, aka Batman & Robin (1997), Batman has killed in one way or another in EVERY film. He also did so in the comic books, both The Dark Knight Returns, which this film is based upon, and the characters first appearances way back in 1939. It’s not like this is sacrilege that has never happened before. Besides, the ending implies that his encounter with Superman has changed Bruce’s mindset going forward, so in my mind….it’s all good. One of the things I absolutely loved is that Bruce Wayne actually did some bonafied detective work when investigating Lex Luthor. He also does a lot of the creative inventing of weaponry himself. Sure, he has Alfred’s help, but Bruce Wayne does more of his own stuff then he did in the Nolan films. That’s not to say he doesn’t have help. Alfred as played by Jeremy Irons is very much his personal mechanic, and GPS service. Yet, he provided the familial bond and stern moral compass you’d expect the character to provide. This Alfred reminded me of a mix of Michael Gough, from Tim Burton’s Batman films and Sean Pertwee from TV’s GOTHAM! The banter between Affleck and Irons was so akin to Batman: The Animated Series. Alfred’s urging Bruce to ease up on alcohol consumption and find a female companion, provide a few good chuckles throughout the film.

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Wonder Woman’s appearance in the film was just perfect. She doesn’t detract or hinder the film, instead, adds one of the best aspects of the film. She is the conduit, leading us, and Batman, as well as Superman towards Justice League. I was grateful that her back story was merely hinted at. This only amplified my yearning to see the solo Wonder Woman film. Not that it needed amplifying. Gal Gadot delivered a powerful, mysterious, and at times, seductive performance. She had spectacular chemistry with Ben Affleck and together, their shared screen time really gave life to these two icons of the genre. I think having Gal Gadot keep her accent was a smart move. It really sells Wonder Woman’s otherworldliness and her Themysciran roots. I know I haven’t said anything about her action scenes, but trust me I will. Isn’t it funny though, that Affleck and Gadot’s casting were the most bitched about aspect of this film prior to release, and they both turned out to be the standouts of the film. Maybe this will be a lesson to the message board brigade, that sometimes it’s best to know your role, and shut your mouth. At least until you’ve seen the final product. The other supporting cast member and character that stood out the most for me was Laurence Fishburne as Perry White. I loved what he did in Man of Steel, and here he was even more the Perry White from the comic books. He is boisterous, loud, and occasionally barks orders at both Lois and Clark, as you’d expect him to. I thought Holly Hunter as Senator Finch put in a solid performance, but you could’ve put any seasoned actress in the role, and it would’ve sufficed. Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves was nothing but fan service to me. The character or actress didn’t embody the core essential elements of the character from Superman: The Animated Series. You could’ve given Tao’s character a totally different name, and it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference. Diane Lane as Martha Kent was severely underused in comparison to Man of Steel. Having said that, she does serve the climax of the film in two crucial ways. As far as I’m concerned, any bits of Diane Lane as Martha Kent we get in the DCEU is welcomed, because I adore her in the role.
Similarly to the Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman V Superman takes two influential story arcs, combines them, and fits them into the framework of the world established in Man of Steel. The two storylines being adapted are obviously The Dark Knight Returns, and The Death of Superman. Obviously, Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio take liberties with both story lines when necessary. For example, in The Dark Knight Returns, the government is questioning Batman’s actions, and deciding whether he is a help or a menace. Superman steps in trying to rein Batman in. With this film, the government and some of the general populace see Superman as a problem and Batman steps in to take on Superman, before he hypothetically goes too far. Snyder and Terrio essential turn The Dark Knight Returns on its head an inverse the story, for the purposes of this film. With The Death of Superman story, the filmmakers have taken Doomsday and altered his origins slightly. Instead of the convoluted origin from the comic books, Doomsday is the by product of General Zod’s corpse, mixed with Lex Luthor’s blood, brought to life by the technology of the discarded alien scout ship from Man of Steel. What we have here, is a dumbed down, easily digestible origin of Doomsday for general audiences, that differs from the source material, yet keeps the spirit of the source material intact. It also makes sense that the filmmakers and studio borrowed from these two stories. After spending years and millions of dollars developing separate Batman/Superman and Death of Superman films, it’s smart to take elements and design works from those aborted installments, and funnel them into this production. While both The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman could’ve supported individual films, I feel the combination of both into one story, worked quite well.

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The visuals and special effects in this film were as SUPER as the three heroes in this film. Zack Snyder is a masterful visual story teller. The previously mentioned montage of Superman heroics is pulled right out of the oversized Alex Ross Story, Superman: Peace on Earth. Especially the scene where Superman rescues the woman from a burning building, and saving that family on the rooftop of the flooded houses. Even the courthouse and Capitol building looks identical to the one drawn by Alex Ross. On the Batman side of the equation, Zack Snyder and his costume designer have given fans the most accurate depiction of Batman’s costumes on film. His standard costume looks like a combination of Frank Miller and Jim Lee. The armored costume is an exact replica of its comic book counterpart. The action/fight scenes were some of the best in this genre we love so much. When Batman rescues Martha Kent from the clutches of KG Beast and Lex Luthor, it single headedly became the best Batman fight sequence put to film. Batman’s technique and the way he moves is a direct homage to the Arkham series of video games. The Batmobile and Batwing in this film get as much love and approval from me as the ones featured in 1989’s Batman. The Battle with Doomsday is one WOW moment after another. The trailers ruined nothing. Seeing the Trinity team up to battle the Kryptonian monster, was the moment we’ve waited for decades to see. When Wonder Woman saves Batman from a deadly blast, the crowd at all three screenings I went to went nuts in applause. We saw her use her bracelets, shield, sword, and her lasso of truth to subdue the beast. The best part was the look of pure joy on Wonder Woman’s face at one point during the battle. Seeing Superman and Wonder Woman double team attacking Doomsday, with Batman hurling kryptonite foreign objects via a grenade launcher felt like an old school WWF/WWE fight. While the three teamed up, it wasn’t enough, and still required Superman to sacrifice himself. He stabs Doomsday with a kryptonite spear, while Doomsday simultaneously stabs Superman, with his arm blade protrusion. It’s not the same as the double punch out death from the comic book, but the result is the same, and the moment is just as epic. If you’ve read The Dark Knight Returns, or seen the animated film, you’ll know that Zack Snyder transplanted that to this movie very faithfully. Ok, so he removed a kryptonite arrow, and made it a spear, and literally threw a kitchen sink into play but still. What I want to talk about is the conclusion of that fight. Many memes have appeared online criticizing the fact that the fight ends because Batman realize he and Clark’s mothers are both named Martha, but there’s so much more to it than that. When Batman has his foot on Superman’s throat ready to drive the Kryptonite spear through Superman, the Man of Steel pleads with Batman to save Martha. The mention of Martha causes Bruce to have flashbacks to his parent’s death, specifically his mother. When Lois further interjects, claiming Martha is Superman’s mother’s name, Bruce’s flashbacks continue. In these moments, several things occur. Firstly, Bruce Wayne finally begins to see Superman as someone’s son, a “human being” not an alien. Secondly, he realizes that if he kills Superman, he would essentially become the criminal who killed his parents. The type of person he’s been fighting against all these years. Batman realizes that he is wrong! That’s why he stops, that’s why he sides with Superman in the end. The name is just the trigger that sparks Batman’s revelation and our heroes’ reconciliation.

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I know that critics have ravaged this film, and it has divided the fan base. Personally, I absolutely LOVED the film. It works as a Man of Steel sequel and as a launching pad for the DCEU. The Justice League cameos were relegated to video clips on a computer screen (Aquaman being my favorite, and a “dream” sequence featuring The Flash.) Those were cool nods for hardcore DC fanboy’s and girls, but the story focused largely on Batman and Superman. Don’t let reviewers change your opinion, or affect your opinions of the film. Not even mine. See it for yourself, because the DCEU is coming, no matter what, and you NEED to see this film to prepare for it. As a lifelong fan of these two characters, and the DC Universe as a whole, this film is a dream come true. I can’t wait for the release of the extended cut of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice on Blu-Ray! More importantly, I can’t wait for all the other DC Extended Universe films we have to look forward to! Suicide Squad….You’re up next!

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News Bleed: The “I’m Still Crushing on Harry Potter” Edition. :)

Did ya hear? The Rogue One trailer was released. (A few folks might have been discussing it yesterday… ;)) CNet

Here’s a look at Maverick filming the Mummy reboot (which I am not ashamed to say I am super looking forward to :)).  MovieWeb

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The kind folks at DC moved up the release date of the Wonder Woman movie, so now it’s officially my birthday movie for next year…Thanks, guys. That was super thoughtful of ya! 😉 xoxo  IGN

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D-Rad continues to earn his nickname. 🙂 Slate

Death Note is still happening, thanks to NetfliXXX…Also, L is my anime boyfriend. (#notlame ;))  ComingSoon
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Eva Green is doing stuff…That’s good enough for me! 😉 Bloody Disgusting

#FlashbackFriday Bonus: D-Rad performing in Equus back in 2008…Those were good times, indeed. 😉 xoxo

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