Saturday, November 30, 2013

Movie Talk - Direct-to-DVD Justice League Movies

Well, it's been a pretty short month. Today's post will be talking about the direct-to-DVD movies that featured the Justice League. Unlike some that I still haven't seen (Wonder Woman...I know I still need to), I've seen all four of these movies in one form or another. I own JL: New Frontier and rented JL: Flashpoint Paradox when they came out. I saw Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths... on YouTube. "I should be ashamed," I sarcastically say. Justice League: Doom is available on Netflix, so I was able to view that there.

Justice League: The New Frontier
Justice League: The New Frontier came out in 2008. It was the second movie that was released by Warner Bros. It's basically a close adaptation of DC: The New Frontier, a six-issue miniseries that came out back in 2004. The story takes place between the 1950's and 1960's. It's supposed to bridge the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics together. We see the origins and beginnings of the Silver Age Flash, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter. We end up see them and other heroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman team up against an evil force called the Centre. The mini-series also delved into other areas of DC and even touched upon the social issues of the era like racism, war, and McCarthyism.

Hal Jordan: All right, guys! This is the promo shot for the trailer! Suck those guts in!

Since these movies can are mandated to last 75 minutes long, a lot of the story that revolved around things not related to superheroes got cut out. The movie primarily focused on Hal Jordan, J'onn J'onnzz, and Barry Allen with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman only for supporting cast. I will go on and say that I really enjoyed this movie when it came out. It's probably one of my favorite from the line. There really isn't much that's bad about it. The only thing that could be negative about it is that so much of the story from the books  is cut out.

The voice-casting is all-around good. We have David Boreanez as Hal Jordan, Miguel Ferrer as the Martian Manhunter, Neil Patrick Harris as Barry Allen, Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, and Brooke Shields as Carol Ferris. The one shock of them all of is that they got Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman. Now that's cool. The animation is pretty good and fits the tone the story set. The action is pretty awesome and not held back. This was also one movie that made me want to go out and find the mini-series based on it. It's that good.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Graphic Novels - Justice League: Origin

Ughhh... Stomach bug... I'm just lucky I write these things way in advance now.

I have finally made it to the present… or at least 2011. I was working at UPS and about to start Grad school. I also remember stressing out about that $250 thing called the GMAT. What else happened… oh yeah, the New 52 happened and fans threw a fit! It was mass hysteria! Dogs and cats flocked to Massachusetts! Grass started growing on Mars! Men started to treat women with respect… wait. Grass can’t grow on Mars!

In September of 2011, DC did another reboot which changed a lot of continuity and peeved off a lot of fans. DC was (and still are) trying to gain new readers by updating a lot of concepts and characters. The only properties that really remained untouched by this were the Batman books and the Green Lantern books. At the beginning, I was pretty interested. I added only 5 books to a pull list… hey, I got a budget!  The list itself has changed a lot because of funds and interest, but one of the books that I still want is Justice League. It’s also a book I need to add back to that list because I took it off for “Villains Month” which was something I nor my wallet wanted to participate in.

Justice League started the whole line by being the first book to come out in the new continuity. The team is made up of a lot of the popular DC heroes. It’s really a new take on the original team. The only difference and my main complaint about this team is the replacement of the Martian Manhunter for Cyborg (Victor Stone). Now, I like Cyborg as a character and he’s one of my favorite Titans. I do believe he belongs on the Justice League but not at the beginning of the whole thing especially since everything’s rebooted. Other than that, the team is fine.

Today, I’m looking at the first arc of this run, Justice League #1-#6.  The writer is the man known as Geoff Johns. You might have heard of him. If you haven’t, you should know that he’s one of the premier writers with DC. He’s also the main crossover writer and you might have seen at lot of his work on this blog. The penciller is Jim Lee who is a bit of a big name himself. He’s done work for Marvel, DC, and Image. Scott Williams is the inker and he has inked a lot of Lee’s pencils over the years. With names like these, you’d think this would be the most awesome thing EVAR (yes, I meant to spell it that way). Let’s find out, shall we?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

TV Talk - Young Justice

Here's a little story. Originally, I was going to let this post be about unaired pilots like the Justice League of America pilot from the 90's and the somewhat recent Wonder Woman pilot from 2011. I've now decided not to view those potentially dreadful things (I also couldn't find a whole airing of them on YouTube) and have decided to look at a good show that sort of featured the Justice League: Young Justice.

I watched Young Justice when it premiered on Cartoon Network back in 2011. I tried to stick with the show on TV, but I would miss some episodes because of work. So, I had to YouTube them after they aired. I had to do the same for all of Season 2 especially since our family basically got rid of cable. It was a pretty frustrated second season. CN would air episodes and then not air them. When I found out that the show wouldn't get renewed for a third season, I was (and in some ways still am) pretty annoyed about the treatment of that show.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Random Pics of the Month - November

Here are the pictures for the month of November. 

Happy Birthday, Doctor!!

Oooh!! Punked!

I saw this in Opry Mills... Eh?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Graphic Novels - Justice League of America: The Tornado's Path

This installment… of Graphic Novels… is brought to you by… some guy named Ryell Williams.

(If you’ve read any of Brad Meltzer’s run on JLofA, you’ll see what I’m making fun of.)

Welcome back the Justice League Month. This time, I’m stepping out of the 20th century and am entering the 2000’s with the re-launched series, Justice League of America. This  series came out around 2006/2007. My comic buying was pretty sporadic at this time. The walk from campus to The Outer Limits was a long one and I had other things to spend my money on. When I heard they were re-launching the book, I decided I would try this series out. I bought the zero issue and issue 1. I didn’t stick with it much though mostly because of funds, but I did get some later issues from this series. Today’s post will cover #1-7.  I’ll also browse over #0 (which isn't in the trade for some dumb reason) and a couple things you might need to know about this era of the League.

On the outset, this might be my favorite version of the League. You have the popular heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and GL. You also have lesser known heroes like Black Lightning, Vixen, and Arsenal aka Red Arrow. Yes, Black Lightning is on the JLA and it’s about time. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long because some idiot decided to ship him back to the Outsiders for some dumb reason. Anyway, this version of the League really reminds me of the League from the 1970’s.

The writer for the first 13 issues of the series is author Brad Meltzer. Meltzer has written on books like Green Arrow and has even written his own novels. He’s also well known for a 2004 miniseries called Identity Crisis. I have no opinion on that series, but I’ve heard that it has a mixed reception with fans. The penciller for the issues is Ed Benes. He’s been drawn on books like Superman, Birds of Prey, Supergirl, and Captain Marvel. I also know that he is mostly known for drawing fine women… I think I might like this. The inker is Sandra Hope and she’s been an inker for a lot of DC’s comics. Well, with that out of the way, let’s see how this new league was formed…

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"It's a Video Game!" - Injustice: Gods Among Us

Welcome to a new segment called "It's a Video Game!" To be honest, that's just a working title for now. I really didn't want to use the term "Video Game Talk," so I'll just stick with this title for now.

When I was younger, I used to love fighting games like Tekken, Street Fighter, and that puddle of blood called Mortal Kombat. I have to say that I haven't been much into these types of games in a long time. I basically lost interest in them and have been playing games that have a more of an adventure or role playing feel to them. That changed when I heard about this game. I was even more excited for it when I heard it was being done by Netherrealm, the developers of the Mortal Kombat games. This game (and another I'll get to one day) is probably the first PS3 game I've bought for full price. Was my money well spent? Just Guess.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tales from the Library! - Justice League International Volume 1

This installment of “Tales from the Library!” has been brought to you by the “evil” known as Sallie Mae… yes, I have college loans to pay and they suck so much.

Don’t worry; it’s not a new segment. This time, I’m talking about old books I don’t own. For the 1980’s, I decided to visit the public library for this one. Today, I’m looking at a version of the League done by Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire. I’m sorry I left out Justice League Detroit. I just couldn’t get past the break-dancing hero known as Vibe. Now, this version of the League was actually formed in another crossover called Legends. I talked about that crossover a while back. At the end of the crossover, Dr. Fate asked those selected heroes if they would want to restart the Justice League. Only a few accepted the offer.

The writers are Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis. Giffen has worked on many books including Legion of Superheroes, Lobo, Blue Beetle, and other Justice League books. Giffen is also an artist  and was on books like OMAC and 52. DeMatteis has also worked on a lot of books including the Spider-Man books, the Defenders, and other Justice League books. He’s also the one who decided that that this series would have a comedy vibe. Kevin Maguire is the artist and he’s been on too many books to list.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Graphic Novels - JLA: New World Order

Well, it looks like I had to skip a decade for this post. Don’t worry because I will eventually venture into the time known as the 80’s. Today’s post is going to look at a version of the League from the 90’s. No, it’s not EXTREME JUSTICE nor is it Justice League Task Force. Today’s post is going to talk about the first four issues of Grant Morrison’s and Howard Porter’s JLA series. Now this is the League I remember from my youth. It’s the Big 7 and it might be my favorite version or my second favorite version of the League. This version of the team was actually formed in a story called Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare. I haven’t read it, but I might one day.

They’re the heavy-hitters. While there aren’t any lesser known characters here at the time, more characters do come to fill in the ranks. I was actually able to read a lot of this series thanks to my hometown’s public library. They have all four volumes of Morrison’s and Porter’s JLA omnibuses. I’ve read all four of them, but I haven’t set out to buy a lot of the issues in them. I did find this four issue trade at McKay’s and I found the storyline, Rock of Ages, through 50 cent bins.

The writer for the book is some Scot named Grant Morrison. You might have heard of him. The man’s done it all from Animal Man to the X-Men. While I like his stuff, he can be… weird. Just read his recent Action Comics run. The penciller is an artist named Howard Porter. He’s drawn on books such as The Flash, Trials of Shazam, and the upcoming Justice League 3000. He’s alright in my book. John Dell does the inks and according to Comicvine, he’s done inks for a lot of books. So, let’s see if this is pretty good.

Friday, November 8, 2013

TV Talk - Justice League/JLU: Favorite Episodes

Favorite Episodes
Now, it’s time for the hard part. Here are my 20 favorite episodes of both Justice League series. I bumped it up to 20 because there are so many good episodes. Also, I had an “honorable mentions” list that just got too big, so 20 became the magic number. When looking through both series, I realized that Season 2 of Justice League was freakin’ awesome. You might see a lot of love towards that season. I’ve also grouped some episodes together for reasons you’ll find out below. Well, let’s get to it!

20. Legends 
In this Season 1 episode, some of the League members get accidentally transported to another Earth where they run into John Stewart’s comic book idols, the Justice Guild of America. This team was supposed to homage the Justice Society of America. I don’t know why they decided to do this instead of actually use the JSA. It would have been pretty cool. It might have had to do with the big twist at the end about the world the League was transported to. Either way, it’s a nice two-parter. I especially liked the contrast between the two teams.

19. This Little Piggy
This is a pretty hilarious episode from Season 1 of JLU. The episode revolves around Wonder Woman being transformed into a pig by Circe. Yes, that happens sometimes to these characters. Zatanna guest stars and we get the ridiculous looking B’Wanna Beast. We also get some nice bits between Batman and Wonder Woman. We even find out that Kevin Conroy has a nice singing voice.

18. The Ties That Bind 
This is a pretty cool episode that involves the Fourth World characters. Oberon, Mr. Miracle’s mentor and friend, is kidnapped, is kidnapped. Mr. Miracle, Big Barda (great name), and the Flash have to go rescue him. This is a cool one because it does involves some of the New Gods and this was Flash’s first official episode in JLU. 

17. Comfort and Joy
This is a Christmas/Holiday episode. That’s right, folks! they actually had one of these episodes. While it’s not in my top ten, it’s pretty cool. It shows most of the League having a break for the holidays. Clark and J’onn go to the Kents for Christmas, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl continue to get close as a couple, and Wally helps out some kids. It’s a pretty funny, light-hearted episode. The placement of this episode is also a little weird for John and Shayara because it’s right after “Wild Cards” and right before “Starcrossed.”

16. Doomsday Sanction
This episode from JLU 2nd season furthered the whole Cadmus arc. We also get an origin for this show's Doomsday. The biggest thing about this episode is the fight between Superman and Doomsday. While we did get a small fight between Doomsday and Justice Lord Superman in "A Better World," this is the real Superman here. It's a pretty good episode with a bit of a dark edge.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TV Talk - Justice League/Justice League Unlimited

They will never know that I was the one who stole the cookies from the cookie jar!

So, here it is. Approaching a show like this is kind of hard. I mean, it’s perfect! It had great stories, great voice acting, and awesome animation. It was the culmination of everything that came before with DC’s Animated Universe (DCAU). Without a doubt, it is one of my favorite shows. Let’s get to it.

I came across the show on Cartoon Network in 2001. I remember that the show came on in the evening which was pretty awesome. After it shifted in Justice League Unlimited (JLU), I was only able to watch some episodes. I was in college and Cartoon Network keep airing the show randomly at this time. Later on, I was able to get caught up on episodes through YouTube and other video sites.

When I found out the show(s) were on Netflix, I didn’t really care mostly because I’ve seen just about every episode. After a while, I decided to go through both shows. I mostly wanted to see ones I haven’t seen in a while. I haven’t completely finished watching both shows, but I’ve seen them enough. For simplicity’s sake, I’m putting both shows together on here. Heck, JLU’s just Seasons 3, 4, and 5 of Justice League.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Justice League of America #164-165

This installment of Tales from the 50 Cent Bin has been brought to you by the late, great Jim Kelly:

“Man, you come right out of a comic book!”

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to a little thing I call Justice League Month. As the title suggests, this month is going to be dedicated to one of my favorite superhero teams. I’ve got a few stories I want to go through this month and all five of them are from each decade. Today’s two-parter is Justice League of America #164-165 from the late 1970’s. Now, I have a little history with the second issue. My uncle used to have comic books in his youth. I remember someone (maybe my mom) saying he lost them one day which definitely sucks. Luckily, I was able to find a couple of stragglers around my grandmother’s house. One was JLA #165 (which still holds up physically) and another is a remnant of a Man-Bat issue (didn’t hold up so well). When I decided to do this month, I searched for and found #164 at The Great Escape.

I don’t know too much about the creative team behind the book. I’ve heard of Gerry Conway’s name since he’s known for being the writer of this book at the time. The actual team featured is what some dub as “The Satellite League”. This version was comprised of the popular heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Flash. It’s also has lesser known heroes like Red Tornado, the Elongated Man, and Zatanna. It’s really not a bad make-up for the team. Well, enough with the preamble! On to the issue!!!