Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What I like about Justice league 2017

No I do not still give the 10 out of 10 I proclaimed it on this blog right after seeing it.

It's a flawed movie, I'm sure The Snyder Cut is better but as much of a apologist for Snyder's Superman movies as I've been his take on the DC Universe is still not my ideal.

But I enjoy the Theatrical version of Justice League because it got the characters right.  In terms of characterization that movie is genuinely in my opinion the best depictions of Superman or Batman ever seen in a theatrically released Live Action film.  And the other characters are great too

And I watch these kinds of movies first and foremost for the characters.  So I don't care how much of a mess the plot is or how inconsistent the tone and aesthetic turned out to be from switching directors.

With Superman the idea was always that the entire Trilogy is his origin story, so no this Superman isn't suddenly being more bright and cheerful solely because DC made Whedon course correct.  This was always the character Snyder was building.

With Batman as well how different he is from most of BvS naturally follows how BvS ends.  Honestly the only thing I expect to be different in the Snyder Cut is how Superman comes back, everything else is just a matter of Snyder's cut being longer and more fleshed out.  And I'm pretty sure the score will be better.

One of my favorite moments in the movie is when they go on their first team mission to rescue Cyborg's father and the other Star Labs people and Flash's fear suddenly catches up to him and he explains that to Batman.  I feel like a lot of writers would have defaulted to having Batman take a very General Patton approach to that situation.  Instead this movie has Batman take a very understanding and reasonable approach that worked out great.  That's the Batman I like to see, that's why he's a great mentor figure to the various Robins and Batgirls.

Still the movie does not shy away from the ways Batman can be difficult to get along with as we see when he first brings up the subject of resurrecting Superman and how he pisses off Diana.

This is core to why I say Ben Affleck is my favorite Live Action Batman regardless of the overall quality of the movies he's in.

Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman are all great in the film too.  Cyborg is perhaps given the moments to truly shine but is still good.

So next time you re-watch the movie just try to focus on that and shut up about plot holes.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Anime 2020, Railgun T is heating up

Follow my Anime viewing in real time at these links..
https://myanimelist.net/profile/JaredMithrandir
https://twitter.com/JaredMithrandir

BOFURI episode 5 was a blast.

Nekopara episode 5 kind of got boring to me pretty quickly.  I finished the episode later and it got fun again, still not sure I’ll keep following this one, it’s appeal is limited.

Railgun T episode 5 was awesome, it has instantly elevated the entire season, this is what I watch Raildex for.

I can imagine people who value Railgun S for the same reason I do being frustrated by the end of episode 4, simply contriving a reason to isolate Misaka from her friends again, but I had faith in the show and this episode rewarded that faith.  We see that Misaka hasn’t regressed on that development by how she without hesitation asks Kongou for help, and Kongou is awesome, and then that brought her friends into it.

Raildex as a whole is possibly becoming my favorite Anime franchise.

Also just finished that Harley Quinn cartoon, it was pretty fun but the Birds of Prey movie was better.  I’m holding off on Clone Wars season 7 for now.

I think I’m gonna hold off on commenting on the Aniplex Dubs and PreCure for a bit.

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Bruce Wayne Murderer/Fugitive story-line

This is one of those 2000s Batman story-lines that your Michael Baily and Linkara types usually hate.  But for me this era is my personal Golden Age for Batman comics.

It is a story-line that begins with a female character being Fridged, and like when I defend the Princess Massacre of Code Geass and Identity Crisis that's the criticism I most sympathize with.  But one thing that makes me more okay with any individual example of this is when that's kind of what it is in universe, and more then once the text kind of addresses that.  And given what Bruce Wayne's public persona is I can't imagine a plot to frame him rather then Batman involving any other presumed motive.

The story has other flaws, there are things that confuse me, but it just has so much good melodrama while also having fun with it's premise.  It has interesting moments with some of my favorite characters, and is an epic Batman story not dependent on gratuitously throwing in any of the Iconic Rouges Gallery.  Now days that has become a lot more common, some people are sick of most Batman events being new villains rather then the classics.  But this was really the first to do that, Knightfall and No Man's Land were constantly falling back on what the Arkham patients were up to.

People love to say that Batman is the real person and Bruce Wayne is the mask, SFDebris talks in his Mask of The Phantasm background video about how that was part of the core foundling premise of Batman The Animated Series.  This story is great to me because it is a deconstruction of that interpretation of the character, Batman makes decisions fans like me and those who hate the story don't like to see him make because he's gotten lost in that way of thinking about himself.

Sasha Bordeaux is probably my favorite Batman character who's over 20 when they're introduced.  And one of my annoyances at DC's decision making on what to release trades for is that none of her appearances prior to this are in any trades, I wish they'd release a sort of prologue trade for this like War Drums is for War Games.  During the time prior to when this story-line officially starts Alfred was living with Tim Drake helping him out (a period of the Robin series also not seen in any Trades yet).  And Batman is now compartmentalizing everything so much that this makes Sasha an ally completely isolated from everyone else who knows Bruce is Batman.  And that dynamic itself is so interesting to watch, because once this starts everyone suspects she must know but can't risk giving it away by asking her.  Sasha will be important again later to the OMAC Project part of the Infinite Crisis build up which may soon also be something I'll discus on this blog.

[Also when I first read this story-line I didn't know what I do now about French and always pronounced the X in my head.  And when I first wrote this post I relapsed into that, forgetting all my Paul Feval obsessing lessons.  So I'd like to inform potential future fans that her name is pronounced like the Wine.]

This is also important to Cassandra Cain's history, in the chronology of her comics this happens effectively right after the Death Wish story-line.  It is in this story-line she first learns Batman is Bruce Wayne, and how she figures it out is kind of exactly like John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises.

It also has a few interesting scenes with Stephanie Brown.  Steph didn't know Bruce Wayne was Batman at this time (I'm not sure she ever knew?), which is weird mainly because she knows how to get into the Batcave, we her try to drive her bike into it.  I guess she just never thought about the Geography of it that much.

Black Canary also doesn't know Bruce is Batman in this, something that was pretty much Retconned by Identity Crisis, guess that was another Superboy Prime wall punch.

This story really is some of the best writing I've even seen in Comics.

Update:  Apparently the New Gotham trades include a good deal of Sasha's earlier appearances, collecting Detective Comics stories written by Greg Ruka.  I simply had missed the word on it.  (Chronologically Officer Down goes between those two volumes.)  Her appearances in Batman meanwhile are in Batman by Ed Brubaker Vol.1.

It seems Ruka has written almsot everything featuring Sasha, from those stories to much of this story-line to OMAC Project to the later Checkmate series.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

I finally saw the Titans TV show

I'm as a much of a Batman as I am largely for what's been done in adaptations, my favorite actual Comic Book franchise has always been the Teen Titans.  I have fondness for their Silver/early Bronze Age incarnation, I consider the Wolfman/Perez stuff from the 80s and early 90s among the most important ground breaking comics of all time, I like what I've read of the turn of the century run Linkara considers his favorite incarnation, and I have a lot of personal Nostalgia for the Geof Johns run of the mid 2000s.

This personal investment in the Titans and their lore has had me at times pickier about their adaptations then I am of any other Comic Book adaptations.  Thus the 00s Cartoon so many people my age are nostalgic for I always resented and the DCAMU Titans aren't much better.  Both have good qualities I can recognize but they don't speak to the Titans fan within me.

This Titans adaptation is still not the Teen Titans show I would have written.  But all things considered, I love it, underneath everything that should at face value turn me off it has proven that it understands the heart of the Titans comics in ways none of those other adaptations have.

Look I get it, everyone hates DC stuff being dark and gritty now, and for the films I'm more inclined to understand.  But on Live Action TV you have the CW shows that have a much more MCU tone, especially Legends which is practically Silver Age.  So let these writers experiment with doing something darker then a big budget Hollywood blockbuster would ever be allowed to even when technically R rated.

I very heavily enjoyed season 1, but season 2 was even better.  Though frankly I kind of think this show is better watched as if it were one 24 episode season.  To everyone who has a Michael Baily attitude to edgy DC stuff, just grit your teeth and bear through it, trust me the pay off will be more then worth it.

The most important thing about the Titans is that it's about Family, a Found Family to be exact.  That's the core that I feel is missing from every Animated property with the Teen Titans name.  On this show that theme was becoming apparent in only 3 episodes and it really really earns it by the end, but it is a slow burn in a lot of ways.

Donna Troy was my original favorite Comic Book character.  Sometimes I have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that the amount of time Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain have been about equal to her has now long dwarfed the time it was just Donna.  And one thing that has repeatedly frustrated me is Donna not even being in Teen Titans adaptations because of weird complicated Copyright issues.  A decade ago I never would have imagined that I'd get to see a proper Donna Troy in Live Action before Animation, but that's what has happened.  And she was great, she was perfect, this is exactly the character I have been a fan of for longer then YouTube has existed.  And in her I honestly think we have the best version of the Wonder Woman lore put to screen so far, I like Gal Gadot's movie and I liked Bloodlines but both are too New52 influenced for my taste.

Deathstroke has been adapted a lot, on live action TV and in animation and even has a Cameo on the Big Screen now.  But the point of why Deathstroke works has been repeatedly missed time and time again making him just some generic mercenary.  This Titans series in season 2 finally got Deathstroke right because it included Jericho and Rose and while there are deviations it ultimately does include them properly.

Another comic book element never seen in adaptations before is Dick Grayson's career as a Cop.

And I think there is plenty to enjoy about this show for people who aren't all that specifically into the Titans.  KyleKallgreenBHH made that video with the segment where he via Civil War commented on how Superhero stories can bring together things from different genres in ways that would seem randomly nonsensical anywhere else.  This show is also a great example of that, in season 1 the main plot is about Raven so it's an Omen/Haunting of Molly Hartly kind of story, but where else does that kind of story throw in urban crime fighting vigilantes, a space alien, a woman connected to the Amazons of Greek Mythology and a green haired were-tiger?

I hope we get a season 3 before 2020 is over.

Update: Binging

I think I enjoyed this show more then many partly because I binged it.  Season 1 in particular seems like it was written under the pretense of following the Netflix model but then DC changed their minds on how they wanted to handle their streaming service.  But even beyond that I think I'd have been less okay with how season 1 ended if I didn't get to watch season 2 right away, if I spend a year with that being where it ended I'd have felt a little annoyed.

A season 3 is confirmed already, should I wait and binge it too?  I think sometimes the difference between binging and week by week viewing matters less once you're invested.  Like with the Rialdex Anime, those shows definitely work better binged so I'm glad i binged it in November of 2018, but now that I'm invested I can follow Railgun T week by week pretty well.

A lot of complaints about this show are pretty silly.

Dick has had rage issues in the Comics, I've read scenes where he punches the dashboard of his own car.  And there has been prior precedent for writing being more willing to let Kill under the right circumstances then Bruce.

And the complaints about how little of the show is them actually doing traditional Superhero stuff and being apart so often, that's frequently exactly what the Teen Titans comics are actually like, and generally what the ones I'm most fond of are like.  I like that this show isn't forcing itself to follow a traditional formula.

Monday, February 17, 2020

My thoughts on the Batwoman TV Show

I had been for over a year wanting to write a blog post on how one of the things you only see in Anime are same gender Fraternal Twins.  Generally writers are only interested in the plot device of Identical Twins and the mystical symbolic value of Male-Female twins.  Only in Otaku media is it actually common to see Fraternal Twin Sisters like the Hiragi sisters or the Fujibayashi sisters or the Shikoueska sisters.

Then in December of 2019 I decided to finally check out the CW's Batwoman and low and behold the main protagonist and antagonist are Fraternal twin sisters.  And I discovered this had been a thing in the Comics since before Flashpoint even, so that thesis always had this fatal flaw.

I like Batwoman over all, so it's unfair that the rest this post is gonna focus on some negatives, I do recommend checking it out.

I'm enjoying watching Alice because of the Actress, but she's kind of a text book example of what I think has been wrong with attempts to create new Batman villains in the last 25 years or so.  Lots of villains who arguably worked as the Big Bad of the status quo shaking event that introduced them, but attempts to make them part of the regularly recurring cast of Bat Rouges do not work.  Of course comics kind of don't tell simple villain of the week stories at all anymore which is sad on it's own.

Frequently people feel the most important thing for any Batman villain is that they be crazy.  But besides maybe sometimes The Joker, the iconic Arkham inmates are people who have a method to their madness that puts clear parameters on how they should be utilized, the challenge for any new Batman writer should be how to make them fresh without breaking those rules, but too often writers wants to just break the rules instead because now anything is praised if it "subverts expectations".

Alice is just crazy, randomly spouting Alice in Wonderland quotes as if she doesn't know there's already a Gotham Supervillian with that routine, but mostly it feels like this show just wants her to be The Joker to to Kate's Batman.

Because that's the thing, the show too often doesn't feel like a Batman spin off, it feels like Batman as a Woman rather then Batwoman.

When you pick up a Comic where the title character is another Bat-Family superhero, it's usually not a Comic about a point in the story-line where Batman is retired or gone for some reason.  Batman is still in Gotham just dealing with something other then what this protagonist is dealing with.  But for some reason on a TV show studios think the audience can't handle that. The early 2000s Birds of Prey show had the same problem, but interestingly the new Birds of Prey movie does not, there is no attempt to even hand-wave why Batman isn't here, they trust the audience to just assume he's doing something else, and I appreciated that.

The show is also based on the most recent version of the Batwoman mythos, even more recent then the New52.  Frankly I hate the idea of giving Bruce Wayne cousins.

So those are really just complaints about bad Batman writing in general the show makes me think of.  I'm hoping the show eventually gives us a Flamebird of some type.

I want to make a post about the Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earths adaptations which I also really liked, but having trouble thinking of exactly what to say.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

More Winter Anime 2020

Follow my Anime viewing in real time at these links..
https://myanimelist.net/profile/JaredMithrandir
https://twitter.com/JaredMithrandir

BOFURI episode 4 was great fun.  This show may be the highlight of the season.

Nekopara episode 4 was cute.

Episode 4 of Railgun T has started the plot of the season, this should be interesting.

Episode 5 of the current season of SAO was pretty emotional, more satisfying then last week.  But I’m again for when we actually Asuna’s search for Kirito.

Episode 2 of Magia Record was pretty intense.  I also actually find the Main Character Sexy, usually I like never find characters in Otaku Anime sexy, my taste in Sexiness is mostly 90s Shoujo.

Episode 3 of Healin’ Good wasn’t bad at all.  But I’m still unsure how well it’ll hold my interest.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Winter Anime 2020 lineup solidifies

I want to include in each of these posts links to my MAL and Twitter so you can follow along my experience in real time if you want.
https://myanimelist.net/profile/JaredMithrandir
https://twitter.com/JaredMithrandir

Healing Good PreCure had an interesting pilot.  I don’t think any prior one has spent that much screen time with the Mascots before awakening the first PreCure.

For now I’ve decided to put FGO Babylonia on hold for now deciding I’d rather binge it later.  I also dropped that Sherlock Anime.

I’m also dropping Isekai Quartet.  I was never that into it and right now It’s not what I’m in the mood for, Shield Hero additions or not.

BOFURI episode 3 was fun, it got me excited for next week.

Nekopara episode 3 was pretty neat.

Railgun T episode 3 was super high quality, this is what I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve decided to forgo my original plan for February, I’d rather post these after watching Healing Good on Sunday.

As for SAO Alicization War Of Underworld episode 4.  I'm used to Anime waiting till later to flesh out the villains.  I wanna see Asuna look for Alice for a few weeks.

Turns out Magia Record is getting a Simuldub, just starting later then the others, ones that aren’t FUNimation I don’t know how to find out about in advance.  The first episode was certainly interesting.

Healin’ Good PreCure episode 2 was interesting, usually by the end of episode two we have two PreCure activated already.