Batman: The Killing Joke Movie Review

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After much debate, the highly controversial story created by Alan Moore has finally been brought to the silver screen, for better or worse. It is one of the most infamous Batman storylines, as it attempts to create an origin story for the hero’s greatest villain, the Joker. This was the first DC Animated movie to receive an R-rating, since the story has many dark undertones and themes.  

untitled1The first act of the film follows the duo Batman and Batgirl as their relationship develops prior to the events of The Killing Joke. In an interesting, if anything, turn of events, this story displays a Batgirl who has developed romantic feelings for the Dark Knight, although he is closer to her father’s age. At any rate, this story is used to convey who Batgirl is and to get the audience invested in her character before her crippling by the Joker. We see a smart, ambitious, funny, and bright young woman who still does this for “fun”, as Bruce puts it. She hasn’t seen the abyss yet and had to come back from experiencing a dark and personal enemy. She soon encounters that in Paris Franz and understands more about Batman and job in the process. Ultimately, she decides to hang up the cape and cowl, after she becomes romantically involved with Batman and her dangerous battle with Paris.

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The story then follows the TKJ arc and we see the panels come to life on screen. At first glance, it’s another story following the Joker’s escape from Arkham and Batman’s hunt to find him before he does anything too bad. Batman realizes the path that they’re on will only lead to his or the Joker’s death. They complement each other and represent two sides of a coin. Batman knows this dance can only truly end when one of the dies so he makes one last effort to avert that outcome. However, Joker takes it to another level this time, hoping to prove that anyone can go insane after one bad day. Choosing one of the Gotham’s finest, Jim Gordon, the Clown Prince pays the Commissioner a visit, shoots and cripples Barbara, sexually assaults her, and later tortures Gordon with the slideshow of events. All the while, Batman is searching for clues and making the rounds to discover what the Joker is planning and where he’s located. In the end, the Joker fails, as Gordon remains sane and Batman brings the Joker in by the book, proving that they can overcome the tragedy one can experience in a day.

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Mark Hamill does a great job balancing the present day chaotic Joker with his failed comedian persona of the past. Kevin Conroy is excellent as the Dark Knight once again and the familiarity of his voice along with Tara Strong, really make this film worth watching. Bruce Timm and Sam Liu make use of the R-rating and show everything from drug use, prostitutes, city corruption, brutal deaths, and pretty explicit sexual innuendos. Some have gripes with the dialogue, which was torn straight from the page. It can come off as cheesy and comical and the ending with Batman laughing maniacally with the Joker is just plain odd to hear. Many still have issues with Barbara being objectified and only serving as a plot device to motivate Batman, regardless of how much they tried to develop her character in the prologue. 

Batman: The Killing Joke is available now digitally and will be on DVD August 2nd.

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Fall Television Lineup Preview

This fall will have some great new seasons for some of our favorite shows and promising premieres as well. Check out some of the shows I’ll be looking out for!

Gotham

With Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy complete and Zack Snyder’s take on the Dark Knight a ways off, we’ll have to pass the time with this version of Bruce Wayne and Gotham. The show follows a Gotham before the time of the Batman and will focus mainly on a young Jim Gordon. This era in the Batman mythos has rarely been depicted across any medium so it’s exciting that we will get a look at some of the major characters before they become who they’re known as. “Gotham” stars Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, and Jada Pinkett Smith as a character known as Fish Mooney.

 

“Gotham” premieres September 22nd on FOX.

 

The Legend of Korra Book Four: Balance

Recently, the title of Book Four was released for the hit Nickelodeon show. What surprised fans most was how soon the new season would be airing since Book Three just finished a few weeks ago. Book Three featured some of the best bending, story lines, and character development throughout the entire series and the season finale was nothing but spectacular. Korra looks to restore balance to the world which was left in a chaotic state after Zaheer and the Red Lotus sought to end the world’s order.

 

You can find the new season of “The Legend of Korra” on nick.com and the first episode will air October 3rd.

 

The Flash

The CW seems to have replicated the formula used on “Arrow” and looks to start their fall lineup strong with the spinoff series “The Flash”. The show will follow one of the most popular Flash characters, Barry Allen as he defends Central City against evil. After a short stint on “Arrow”, Grant Gustin returns to the role as the speedster once again and will be given the chance to really shine in the role.

 

“The Flash” premieres October 7th on the CW.

 

Arrow Season 3

The fan favorite will be returning with this third much anticipated season. Oliver Queen looks to rebuild Starling City in the aftermath of Deathstroke’s attack. Stephen Amell returns as the Green Arrow and continues his crusade as the city’s infamous vigilante. We’ll also be introduced to the likes of Ra’s al Ghul and many other villains.

 

Catch “Arrow” on October 8th on the CW.

 

The Walking Dead Season 5

“The Walking Dead” has drawn quite the audience over the years for its action, character development, and well, zombies. The fifth season picks up right where the last left off. Rick and company are still being held in the mysterious Terminus. This season will definitely be entertaining as the group is no longer safe and are now at the mercy of these deadly people. Will everyone make it out alive?

 

You can catch “The Walking Dead” on AMC and the season five will premiere October 12th.

Injustice Year Two #5 Review

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Chapter 5 entitled Confrontation first displays Superman’s backstory as the first half of the chapter focuses on Krypton’s impending doom. I wasn’t a fan of the artwork but  you can really see the emotions of Jor-El and Lara-El before Krypton is destroyed.

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The latter half of the issue focused on the confrontation foreshadowed up until this point. Although the Guardians seek to advise Superman to cease his reign, it’s clear he is well beyond stopping voluntarily. Superman is no longer the beacon of light and morality of his previous years. I like how Superman notes that the Guardians choose to intervene some times while letting things run their course other times. The Guardians could have intervened and possibly saved Krypton but let their leaders do what they thought best. While that could happen on Earth eventually, that is up to the people of Earth to decide. Without Superman.

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Sinestro’s alliance with Superman is clever since he also decided to rule his own planet but was hindered by the Guardians. Sinestro is obviously seeks to display the Guardians in utter most negative light and it works when Superman realizes his planet could have lived. Although Superman mistrusts the Yellow Lantern, he will need him and Superman and Sinestro could be rid of the Guardians in the forthcoming conflict.

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This arc is greatly centered around the heroes outside of Earth with Batman out of commission and will mostly likely lead to a battle between the Guardians/Green Lanterns and Superman. But where will Hal Jordan side? In Issue Four, Jordan lectures Congress on doing their duty and notes how he does his but his allegiance to the Guardians may be diminishing. At the end of the issue, he does leave with the Guardians but I’m not convinced he’s siding against Superman. While sympathizing with former teammates and allies, he’s been leaning with Superman in the end. We’ll see where his allegiance is in the next issue as the GL’s head back to Oa to discuss their course of action.

 

Overall

  • (+) Ganthet being Bad Ass
  • (+) Superman noting flawed logic of the Guardians
  • (-) Decent artwork

6.5/10 GL’s

Top 5 Current Must-Read DC Comics

The New 52 will be approaching its third year anniversary this September. There has been some discontinuations for some titles while others have flourished. I’m going to go over my favorite comics to pick up week in and out so here are my Top 5 DC Comics to read!

5. Justice League

The Justice League has experienced wide ranging success in the DCAU with hits Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. (Side note: Justice League: War comes out in about two weeks!) The New 52 launched with the League and it’s been pretty good from the start. Justice League has had some members drop, new additions, Supes/WW love story, crossover with Aquaman and Atlantis, and led into Forever Evil. Trinity War was a little underwhelming but Forever Evil seems to be picking up speed now. At any rate, the Justice League remains one of fan favorites for its great artwork from Lee and popularity of characters.

4.  Nightwing

Major Fanboy here for Nightwing but his comics have been pretty decent. There are numerous titles under the Bat Umbrella and Nightwing stands out among some of the best of the titles. The story arcs have included Haly’s Circus, Death of the Family, and his move to Chicago in search of Tony Zucco. I like seeing Nightwing’s relationship with Batman and the remains of his connection with Batgirl. The dynamic between Bruce and Dick is different from the Robin’s or Batgirl. Nightwing is currently battling Marionette and I suppose it should be leading into the events of Forever Evil soon. Now that should be interesting to see since his identity has been revealed. Hopefully he survives the outcome so we can get some more of Grayson’s humor and wit.

3.  Aquaman

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The end of so many jokes is no longer something to laugh about. Geoff Johns has turned a character who has been ridiculed into something great. The King of the Seven Seas had a great run under Johns and continues to thrive after his departure. I loved Aquaman and the Others. (A lot of people must have since they will have their own book come April) Their stories were interesting and added a level of depth to Aquaman’s character. Whether Aquaman was battling for the throne, his life, or his friends it was alway captivating and made you look forward to the next issue.

2.  Batman

Batman was one of the first comics I read from the New 52 and it was amazing. The Court of Owls arc was excellent. I felt like Batman wouldn’t make it out alive against the Court. Next, Death of the Family came along and things managed to get even better! The New 52 has an excellent take on one of the most infamous comic book villains. The Joker has always been sick and twisted and really such a fun character to read about.  Scott Snyder has done a great job with the series. Zero Year is the latest arc and its cool to reexamine Bruce in his founding years of being the Bat. He’s battled some tough foes and suffered even tougher losses yet Batman remains one of the strongest heroes because of his will and determination.

1. Wonder Woman

This is by far one of the best things that has come from the New 52 relaunch. What’s made Wonder Woman stand out is the consistent writing efforts from the same team. There hasn’t been a change in writers so things flow better. Brian Azzarello has done a great job with keeping the readers interested in the WW mythos. In the New 52, Diana Prince is a daughter of Zeus, God of War, and Last of the Amazons.  I also like how its really just been one story arc. Some may think it’s drawn out but it’s working nicely. Wonder Woman also hasn’t had any guest appearances from other Justice Leaguers or heroes which is different but allows you to focus on her world. Wonder Woman continues to excel issue after issue and I look forward to seeing what happens with the First Born and the Battle for Olympus.

Notable Mentions: Justice League Dark, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Green Arrow

Comment your favorite titles and let me know what you like the best!!

Injustice Year Two Review

Injustice is back! After a short break period, Injustice picks up in Year Two with a flash back. Chapter 1, entitled Third Wheel, starts with Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Green Lantern as they finish a mission. We see the trio in the past visiting a bar sometime before Superman changed. Bruno Redondo did a great job in the opening issue. The artwork was beautifully drawn and the facial expressions of the characters were humorous. Although Green Arrow was killed by Superman, we still get another chance to see his humor and interactions with other heroes. Green Arrow will definitely be missed.

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The issue jumps back to the present as the heroes take time to bury the dead. Arrow’s funeral was definitely a reminder that there will be losses in the war and sides must be chosen. Green Lantern is no longer a third wheel and still sides with Superman. After a conflict with Superman, we find out that Canary is with child and working with Oracle. I like that even at Ollie’s funeral, Superman remains on guard and for a moment, he almost destroys Black Canary. The first chapter focused a lot on characterization and wasn’t very action oriented but that was fine. We saw a lot of interaction between old friends and new foes.

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What is Black Canary up to now that Batman is sidelined?

The second chapter, Fear, was not as strong as the opener. Superman visits Gotham, we find out what happened to Batman, and Kyle Rayner makes his way back to Earth. Superman’s visit with Commissioner Gordon was of little substance as Superman desperately tries to locate Batman. Even in his condition, Superman realizes Batman is still a dangerous threat to his cause. Bruce is healing in Dr. Fate’s tower thanks to Zatanna. Lastly, Kyle Rayner, who was away on GL business makes his way back home but is intercepted by Sinestro. The title Fear comes into play as Sinestro’s Corps instills said emotion in Rayner, resulting in the Green Lantern’s death. I did not understand this at all. Sinestro wants to ally himself with Superman as he sees how Superman is changing but why kill Rayner? He could have sided with Superman’s cause and been an ally like, I don’t know, Hal Jordan! There’s no way of knowing which side he would have chosen after arriving on Earth. This was our first time seeing these characters in the Injustice comic and for some this will be their only stint.

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All in all, the first glimpse back into the Injustice world featured a lot of character driven stories and slowly built to a bit of action. Redondo’s artwork looks great in both chapters and the facial expressions were accurate. With Batman out of commission, Black Canary assembles her own team and it looks like the eyes of those outside of Earth (the Guardians) are watching Superman closely. While some questions from the end of Year One were answered, many still remain unknown so be sure to pick up the next issue. Side note, the issues seem to be coming out monthly instead of weekly (digitally).

8.0/10

  • Great Artwork and focus on character interactions
  • More Green Arrow
  • Lack of Substance/Direction in Fear

Top 10 Moments from Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One

Injustice Gods Among Us was a hit video game that was released last April. The coinciding digital comic series was an even bigger hit gaining a great following. The series had it’s ups and downs but I loved it from the start. While the game story only briefly covers Superman’s ascent to Dictator of the World, the comic shows us how Superman’s reign began. Since Injustice Year Two was released last Tuesday, let’s take a look at the top moments that made us ooh and ahh from Year One.

10. Lois’ Death and Metropolis Destruction

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The Joker mixes together a dosage of Scarecrow’s fear toxin and Kryptonite which caused Superman’s perception to be altered. While he thinks he’s flying Doomsday up to outer space to stop a bomb from detonating, it was actually Lois. The Joker hooked up the bomb to detonate once Lois’ heartbeat stopped. The two things Superman held dear, he could not protect. What made matters worse was the Lois was pregnant so Clark lost his chance to be a father.  That moment threw Supe’s over the edge and led to another significant moment on the list.

9. The Relocation of Atlantis

The King of the Oceans doesn’t like being commanded and in a show of strength, Arthur pushes his armies onto the shores of many nations. That pretty much backfired as Superman and his team showed their strength by relocating Atlantis to the Sahara Desert. Aquaman quickly reconsidered his defiant nature and pulled back. This move showed how strong Superman is. He’s capable of doing virtually anything and any opposition will not sit with him. Injustice - Gods Among Us (2013-) 012-016

8. Martian Barbecue

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After Martian Manhunter is revealed to be allied with Batman, he takes on Superman and Wonder Woman. He tries to dissuade Superman from continuing his conquest but that eventually leads to Manhunter entering Wonder Woman’s body.(Not that way) With no other course of action as Diana’s life was at stake, Superman zaps Wonder Woman, leaving nothing but ash of Martian Manhunter.

7. Nightwing’s Death

Watch out for that ro--

Watch out for that ro–

Robin sides with Superman when he decides Arkham isn’t doing a good enough job. A prison break caused by Harley Quinn led to a battle between Superman’s team, the inmates, and Batman & Nightwing. Robin throws his baton at Nightwing who then falls and lands on a rock, breaking his neck. The death shook both Robin, who wasn’t trying to kill Nightwing, and Batman who has now lost a son.

6. Team Batman

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The President and Batman form a team of heroes to combat Superman’s Regime. Catwoman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Captain Atom, Huntress, Batwoman, and Black Lightning all enlist to save the world. It was great to see two sides “doing the right thing” go head to head.

5. Joker’s Final Laugh

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An enraged Superman fresh with grief did the unspeakable. When Superman killed the Joker, that changed everything. Superman, the poster child for morality, good, and justice murdered someone in cold blood. Side note, the brutality of the kill was something out of Mortal Kombat. No one was safe from that moment on. While Superman justified the kill as “One death to save millions of lives” Batman reminded him it always starts with one and just gets easier.

4. Green Arrow’s Demise

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Batman has said before the Arrow would keep the Justice League from going out of control since he always looks out for the little guys. After attacking the Fortress of Solitude to retrieve the Super Soldier pills, Team Batman discovered Martha and Jonathan Kent there. This led to Superman rushing back to save his parents who he thought were in danger. Arrow, trapped in the Fortress of Solitude, is left to feel Superman’s wrath. Luckily, with his last breaths, he is able to secure the pill for Batman before Superman commits one of many murders.

3. World Regime 

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This event ended Year One of Injustice. Superman’s press conference leads to Super powered Soldiers entering by his side to maintain the peace and ultimately ushered the world into a new era.

2. No Secrets (Identity Reveal)

Biggest Tweet of the Year

Biggest Tweet of the Year

After learning the Martian Manhunter was spying on Superman for Batman, Superman decides its time to release the identity of his enemy. With his Identity out in the open, Batman will be seeing some major changes to his life. He would have no where to hide and who knows what would happen to Wayne Enterprises.

1. Breaking Bat

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The age old question has been asked thousands of times: Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman? We got a great slugfest when Superman brought the fight to Batman’s Cave. Batman stalled for time as his synthesis of the Super pill neared completion. Superman not wanting to kill Batman, takes some notes from Bane and decides to cripple him instead.

Honorable Mention: Super Alfred Bringing the Pain

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Alfred took the Super Pill in an attempt to save Bruce. The Butler finally becomes a true hero and fights fire with fire. Superman now has a new accented nose.

Be sure to check back soon for a review of the first issue of Injustice: Year Two.