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Posts tagged “Batman

The Original DC Extended Universe Movie Line-Up

 

How I Would Have Planned The DC Extended Universe.

 

I think it’s pretty much fair dinkum to say so far, the DC Cinematic/Extended Universe is barely batting averages. I mean, we could forgive the error that Man of Steel movie was – but since then, things have been pretty much downhill, with the critical failure Dawn of Justice is, the beautiful mess Suicide Squad is, and the obviously-rushed forthcoming Justice League movie intending to force us to root for characters we barely know or give a shit about.

 

Honestly, I don’t have a lot of hopes for Wonder Woman.

 

As far as I’m concerned, there’s a reason Marvel is doing so much better; they have fanboys at the helm of things. Jeph Loeb is executive producer. Joe Quesada is also pretty much high up there. How about Avi Arad, Stan Lee – and a number of others? When you put people who know their stuff in charge of stuff they have been working on for years, stuff they have grown to love, you can hardly go wrong.

 

Anyways, so here’s me in the DCU executive producer’s chair. In other words, if I began from Man of Steel, what would a DC Extended universe of my creation look like?

Check this out:

 

 

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Man of Steel

I’m not particularly crazy about this one; there are a couple of things I would change (the ending, introduction of Lex Luthor/Bruce Wayne) but that’s fine. We can still make do.

 

 

 

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The Batman

A solo Batman movie would definitely be next. This would happen the same time as Man of Steel. Bats would hear about the arrival of an alien in Metropolis, but before he can investigate, Deathstroke arrives Gotham and is gunning for Batman. He leaves the alien issue and goes to battle the deadliest assassin he’s ever come across.

Tie In To Extended Universe: At the end, footage used as the excuse for the Batman vs Superman conflict will come into play here. Is Superman really out of control? What if he decides to take over the earth and blah blah blah – who’s to stop him? Superman takes objection to Bats M.O in Gotham. Battle lines are drawn. Luthor begins his plot to destroy Superman, and he gains an ally, somebody mysterious who points him to STARLABS. Cyborg cameo.

 

 

 

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Wonder Woman

Pretty much a Captain America: The First Avenger rip-off, but that’s okay. Where do you think Civil War came from? This will remain pretty much as is; except that it takes place BEFORE Dawn of Justice.

Tie In To Extended Universe: Darkseid will be introduced here – as a shadowy, mystic entity who just noticed Earth and is wondering if it is ripe for conquering. Aquaman/Superman cameo.

 

 

 

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Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice:

This will also remain pretty much as is; except for a much less convoluted plot, ridiculous elements and story-line, and a better defined bad guy. Doomsday is unleashed, he destroys half of Metropolis and kills Superman. Darkseid is revealed as Lex’s ally, he dispatches Steppenwolf on a mini-invasion of Earth.

 

 

 

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Suicide Squad

The aftermath of a world without Superman. Amanda Waller recruits her squad – and in the process, falls prey to Joker who wants Harley back. We take away the Enchantress as the main villain (shudders) and make Joker the bad guy. He’s gotten his hands on some kind of weapon of mass destruction and he’s threatening to blow up an entire island, He has a gang of minions and the Royal Flush Gang at his beck and call. Will the Squad stop him or join him?

Tie In To Extended Universe: Batman and Flash cameos – just as in the original movie. Flash’s is a bit extended though, he’s in the beginning (extended sequence featuring the capture of Captain Boomerang – similar to the Batman/Deadshot sequence) and in the end (Batman AND Wonder Woman recruit him). Some strange activity is going on around Superman’s grave.

 

 

 

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Green Lantern Corps I

The creation of the universe’s largest police force. Reckless pilot Hal Jordan and Vietnam vet John Stewart find employment with Danvers Flight Company. While on one of their test drives, the prototype fails and Jordan saves their lives with a dangerous maneuver. Suddenly, there’s a green flash of light and blah blah blah.

You know the story.

Tie In To Extended Universe: Darkseid’s activities have been stirring up some interplanetary energies and some Lanterns are sent to investigate. They engage with some straggling parademons – and then, John Stewart is dispatched to follow Steppenwolf’s forces. Meanwhile, Sinestro  switches sides to Darkseid because of a promise of greater power. He’s the bad guy for this movie.

 

 

 

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Justice League I

This will be the mashup to end all mashups. My Justice League will look pretty much like the one they have now – except I’ll have a Green Lantern, probably John Stewart in there as opposed to Cyborg. I know Snyder’s trying to remain true to the New 52 Justice League line-up – but let’s face it; Cyborg’s not much of a compelling character. He’s pretty much as useful as Hawkeye in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe – and that’s putting it highly. Cyborg was moved up from the original Teen-Titans roster, why that was done is beyond me. But anyways, This movie has the originals Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, John Stewart – and they are in a firefight. Steppenwolf’s forces have arrived and they are tearing the Earth apart. The Leaguers are in the fight of their lives. As they continue – a black-clad figure suddenly appears and turns the tide of the battle. It’s Superman back from the grave!

While the Justice League gathers around him – there’s a sudden flash of light.

Darkseid the conqueror has landed.

 

 

What do you think? Would you have done yours differently? Let us know in the comments!


Another ‘Why’ Marvel Will Keep Killing DC At The Box Office

 

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Have you seen the new Spiderman trailer?

 

You need to have – if you want to fully appreciate my point. However, you will get it nonetheless, so we can continue on.

 

When I look at – when I compare movies from the two greatest comic companies on Earth, I cannot help but feel that one pretty much knows what she’s doing, the other seems to be making it up as she goes.

 

If you have been watching the same movies I have been watching the past two years – or even if it’s just for 2016, you should know which is which. However, I would not want to take us back through the entire movie reel – which is why I asked if you’ve seen the latest trailer for Spiderman: Homecoming.

 

In the latest Spiderman, the bad is Vulture. For those of you who don’t read comics, Vulture is actually one of the webhead’s earliest enemies. He has been several people but the first Vulture, which of course is the one appearing in the movie, is Adrian Toomes. He will be potrayed by Michael Keaton, the lucky bastard who brought Batman to the big screen, playing Bruce Wayne/Batman in two movies; Batman and Batman Returns.

 

But I digress.

 

So far, I have seen six Spiderman movies.

 

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There was one done in the eighties; Peter was an adult, there was no Mary Jane, the girl here was a ditzy redhead named Julie Tyler and the bad guy was a hypnotist whose name I do not recall now. And then, we had the critically-acclaimed Tobey Maguire run; with the bad in the first one being Green Goblin, the second being Dr. Octopus, and the third bad guys were Hobgoblin and Sandman and Venom.

 

And then, there are the Andrew Garfield ones; The Amazing Spiderman I with the bad guy being Lizard Man, and the second one with the bad guy being Electro. They introduced Rhino and Green Goblin – but that line of Spiderman movies were scrapped so as to integrate Spiderman into the Marvel Extended Universe which explains the Civil War appearance, and why you will be seeing a lot of Stark (still Robert Downey Jr.) in Homecoming.

But where am I going with this?

 

 

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The way DC presents their characters – at least as far as the movies go – you would think they only had a number of characters to play with. Considering the fact that The Joker is the most popular of Batman’s enemies; he has been in every retooling of Batman since the 60’s wham bam TV show, I am sure I speak for several millions when I say; I am tired of seeing Joker. Before we even get to the bad guys sef, let’s talk about the heroes themselves. Batman and Superman look like the only heroes DC have. As much as I find the Arrow TV show boring, kudos to them for giving that guy a chance.

 

But I am tired of seeing the same guys over and over.

 

You wouldn’t believe how impressive a character roster DC has. Have you heard of a guy named Lobo?

 

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Well, before he played Hellboy to critical acclaim, Ron Perlman had been billed to bring the big white guy to the big screen. Thanks to Arrow again for making Deathstroke (who Deadpool was ripped off from) famous, kudos to Affleck for choosing him to be the bad guy in the forthcoming Batman movie. But then, how about the Teen Titans?

 

How about Hawk and Dove? How about The Question, Guy Gardner, Fire & Ice, Bizzaro, Captain Marvel, Darkseid, Orion, Lightray, Martian Manhunter, Mr. Miracle – and so on?

 

Don’t even get me started on the villains.

 

DC keeps showing us the same characters over and over, and no matter whether it’s the fanboys or general public, sooner than later we will get tired of them. As much as I love Batman (and I do, make no mistake), I’m about getting to that point where I just don’t want to see him so much again. I mean, give me a break from Bats!

 

Marvel is utilizing their roster quite well, with the way Black Panther, a mostly unknown character was introduced in Civil War and embraced by the audience, you can be sure a notable box office showing is sure for the guy’s solo movie. I mean, imagine Deadpool na, grossing $750 million on a $50 million budget. What could be more impressive?

 

 

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Kudos to DC for greenlighting Suicide Squad – a quite unknown team, and they didn’t do too badly. But I really didn’t see why The Joker is in that movie, and as far as Jared Leto’s performance…

 

More on that later.

 

I would just really love to see DC expand their roster. Give us fresh heroes, stop playing safe with sure box office darlings; specifically Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Let us see more diversity, and broaden the field. They can definitely be making way more money than they are right now.

 

What’s movies with a little risk?

 

 

As an aside; why the frack is Mary Jane black? THAT; makes no sense to me. NONE.

 

Like a friend of mine says, “What self-respecting Black woman names her daughter Mary Jane?!”

 

Is there a particular significance of her being black to the overall nature of the movie? Is it going to affect her character arc somehow? If not, if it’s for no other reason than political correctness (kinda like Perry White in DC movies), it’s bullshit.

 

Yeah I said it.

 

 

God bless and good night.

 


An Impending Batfleck Crisis; or How Zack Snyder Has Backed Himself Into A Corner

 

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“Let Me Read That Headline Fest….”

 

An Impending Batfleck Crisis; or How Zack Snyder Has Backed Himself Into A Corner

 

Having seen every live-action version of my all-time favorite superhero, believe me when I say this: Ben Affleck is the best Batman so far.

 

 

 

 

You no go wan try that jawline.

 

I know; that may sound farfetched – especially considering the track record of all the other Batmen against Affleck’sin 1943 Lewis Wilson played Batman for a fifteen-part serial film (actually the first man to portray Batman on screen), Robert Lowery took over the role in 1949 for another fifteen-part sequel to the original, Adam West, the most popular of all the early portrayals played the Dark Knight from 1966 1969 in a one-hundred-and-twenty television series. Fast forward to 1989 with Michael Keaton taking over the role and playing for two hugely successful films; Batman and Batman Returns and then Val Kilmer for Batman Forever and George Clooney in Batman and Robin, a role he is still apologizing for (he starts talking about it at the 1:30 mark).

 

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“LOOK! Batman has nipples!! I’m traumatized for life!!!’

 

 

Then came what I call The New Wave with Christian Bale breathing new life into the character for three movies; Batman Begins (my all-time favorite), The Dark Knight (where Heath Ledger’s Joker successfully made Batman a sideshow freak in his own movie) and Dark Knight Rises (which really made little sense on a lot of levels).

 

And then, Ben Affleck, who at the time of this writing has not made a full-length Batman movie.

 

So why am I convinced he is the best man for the job?

 

First, a little on Affleck’s superhero movie history.

 

A fan of Daredevil comics as a child (I knew we had more in common than looks!) Affleck jumped at the chance to play his hero in the 2003 tragedy that was Daredevil. Affleck himself hated the movie and reportedly vowed to never wear tights again.

 

Daredevil

The costume looked one-kind sha.

 

After he’d recovered and turned in a solid performance directing and starring in The Town, Fox offered him the chance to direct and star in a Daredevil reboot — but Affleck turned it down for obvious reasons.

 

 

Now, when I heard back then that he was cast as Batman I was upset. One thing that calmed me was the fact that I’d the same reaction to the news of Ledger’s casting as the Joker – and look how that played out. So I choked my ire and held my peace and I have been greatly rewarded for my silence.

 

 

Oh. What a reward. Every moment Affleck’s Batman is on screen in the monster failure BvS is a gem, even his brief unaccredited appearances in Suicide Squad, as Batman and Bruce Wayne. Even Will Smith admitted to being a fan and becoming giddy when the Batmobile appeared on the Suicide Squad set.

 

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“Tell me; do you bleed?”

 

To avoid going on and on, here’s Cinema Blend’s piece on why Affleck’s the best Batman. Go read, I’ll wait.

 

Are you done? Good.

 

Now, apart from raising the bar for every Batman appearance, Snyder has set himself up for some backlash if he’s not careful. Probably the biggest criticism of the latest Batman is his utter disregard for human life, as seen in the way he riddles bad guys with bullets from the Batmobile (I always wondered what those canons were for!), drops a car on some, makes another set drive through a fuel tanker and even being willing to kill Superman.

 

Personally I don’t mind, even though I understand Batman’s overly strict adherence to his no-kill policy (it becomes a too-easy solution and triggers a faster descent into insanity for him ala Frank Castle), it makes little sense as we progress in the world and in film-making.

 

Now, as said before, I take some delight in watching Batman brutalize criminals. This Batman is a wrecking ball, tearing through criminals like wallpaper. And I make some allowances; the world has evolved so much from the black-and-white zone it was many years ago. In fact, the initial Batman stories had him using handguns and breaking necks ((Yes, I have some of those comics. Kill yasef) Affleck’s Batman is older, he has lost his Robin and has witnessed the crumbling of Gotham in spite of his twenty-year war on crime. It’s a silent testament to the character that he hasn’t lost his sanity.

 

But he has to grow; he has to become disillusioned with the reality that legal justice is a revolving door especially where Gotham’s maniacs are concerned. They escape just as quickly as he catches them, and in the most severe cases ala Joker, another thousand pay for that.

 

So I have made my peace with the fact that Affleck’s Batman is a killer. Are you with me?

 

And here’s the trap Affleck and Snyder have set for themselves:

 

Batman had better kill Joker or have an extremely good explanation – like maybe there’s a bomb attached to his heart or something.

 

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Already, that may not happen considering he left Harley Quinn alive after capturing her in Suicide Squad; even though he knows she helped kill Robin (in case you missed that scene in same Suicide Squad, it’s the part she was introduced in the club. She was implicated via on-screen text).

 

If Bats has no qualms offing common thugs and criminals, how much more a couple that has more homicides to their name than Adolf Hitler?

 

I also questioned Bale’s Batman’s saving Joker from falling in the Dark Knight movie – after he left Ra’s Al Ghul to die in the first Batman movie (‘I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you’); it made no sense other than a selfish reason to preserve an object of personal fascination.

 

I really hope Affleck can tie up those loose ends in the impending solo Batman movie; already my second most  favorite character Deathstroke is being teased as the bad guy and I’m just biting my fingers. I didn’t like the character in Arrow; I hope this one is way better.

 

Justice League shows in 2017/2019 and the Batman solo movie is being prepped for 2018.

 

GEEKASM!!!!!!!!


Movie Review: Suicide Squad

 

REAL BANNER

 

 

I will be completely honest with you guys; I was afraid for Suicide Squad.

If you didn’t know by now, I am an unabashed DC fan. This is simply because around the time I was finding myself i.e my formative years, I had access to a number of comics from both DC and Marvel. And for someone who had been reading paperbacks since – you would know; stories drew me in.

They still do.

So, I gravitated towards DC because while Marvel had the better art and glossy pages, DC had the writers. DC had the stories. DC characters were easier to connect with because somehow, no matter who they were, they never lost their humanity.

The pre/post-Crisis Suicide Squad I grew up reading had a lot of craziness. There was no Harley Quinn, Joker had nothing to do with them, the team lineup consisted Bronze Tiger who was the big bad, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Slipknot, Plastique. Rick Flagg was post-Crisis. I liked them because 1) it was an unusual story; a bunch of bad guys saving the day (or maybe not so strange; I watched The Dirty Dozen and The Inglorious Bastards* quite early) but it was unheard of in comics, and 2) John Byrne was the artist!

Later on I came to know John Ostrander was the writer of the revamped Suicide Squad (spoiler alert – there’s a key building in the movie called the John F Ostrander Building – watch for it) – but that was years later. I heard about a movie and I thought; ‘Smart move! It shouldn’t cost too much to make, and hopefully DC will do again what Marvel managed with Guardians of the Galaxy!’

And then, Dawn of Justice came out.

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I was disappointed. I was hurt. I was pained. How could DC have managed to mess up a movie with three of the world’s biggest heroes?! Even the Lego Movie line was doing a better job! Imagine; the last time a DC superhero movie grossed over a billion dollars was with Christopher Nolan’s ‘critically acclaimed’ (I have my comments on that) Dark Knight Trilogy. Man of Steel fell a few million short of a billion. Same with Dawn of Justice.

I was worried for Suicide Squad. I worried for Will Smith as Deadshot. I worried for Margie Robbie as beloved Harley. I worried for Jared Leto’s Joker. I worried for Viola Davies’ Amanda Waller. Hell, I worried for Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg.

But I needn’t have worried.

I have seen enough movies written/directed by David Ayer to trust his judgment – up to a point. And that point is when he allows darkness-loving Zack Snyder interfere with his process. I knew in his hands, Suicide Squad would be okay.

Let’s be clear on one thing; Suicide Squad is a good movie.

It starts right where it should; a brief introduction to two of the movies brightest stars; Harley Quinn and Deadshot. We get to see just how crazy they are – though I wonder why they started with just those two. Are they more important than the rest of the team?

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When Amanda Waller comes on screen, I have to smile because it wasn’t coincidence that she was introduced to the song Sympathy For the Devil. And then – just to confirm my suspicions, Harley asks Amanda first time they meet;

Harley: Are you the devil?

Amanda: Maybe.

The story is simple and stays true to the source material – they introduced the DCU Extended Universe brilliantly – Superman is dead, and while the world mourns, Amanda is rightfully concerned because; ‘We were lucky to have a Superman who shares our values. What if the next one doesn’t?’

She argues with the government to sanction a Task Force X, a team comprising the baddest of the bad guys who can handle super threats and covert missions. And if anything goes wrong, they’re bad guys. They get thrown under the bus.

Watch for un uber-cool scene – the first one on screen in which June Moone becomes Enchantress. CGI done right.

Sounds like a plan, right? Only one of the proposed team members, Enchantress who ‘has been alive longer than you can imagine, and will still be alive long after you’re gone’ doesn’t want to be anyone’s puppet. She was once worshiped, along with her brother, as a god and wants that feeling again.

So she goes rogue and the newly-formed Task Force X have to stop her, less than 24hours after they are officially approved.

That soured the plot for me. Suicide Squad; according to the source materials were more of a political tool than a supernatural-battling one. And the choice of Enchantress as a villain was lazy, to say the least. What did she want?

 

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‘What every bad guy wants. To rule the world’.

Lame.

To the characters; Will Smith was a really good Deadshot. He played the role of the world’s greatest assassin t perfection and the part of a father – he nailed it. The humor was Will’s, yet he convincingly passed it off as Deadshot’s. The only thing I missed is this; Deadshot has a deathwish. He throws himself recklessly into missions, hoping to catch a big one.

That was missing here – but not to the detriment of the character/story.

 

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Margot Robbie stole my heart (well, actually she’s had it since Focus) as Harley Quinn. Damn. She was crazy and funny. Though some of her lines came off as cheesy (check ‘We’re bad guys. That’s what we do’) she was awesome without trying to be. She literally stole every scene she was in – well, almost.

 

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I didn’t get to have an opinion about Leto’s Joker because of the way he was used in the movie. In fact, if they cut him out entirely he wouldn’t be missed. He was just there to sell the movie and continuously rescue Harley; including a completely nonsensical sequence in which he comes to get her after the mission is ‘concluded’ and then the helicopter gets shot down and then she reunites with the team – and they continue the mission like nothing happened.

 

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Oshisko.

Katana normally doesn’t run with Suicide Squad, she’s an Outsider. I think it’s the New 52 attempt at using her more – but she’s just there. Diablo is another interesting and annoyingly-underused character, would have loved to see more from the guy than just flame. Agbaje Akinnuoye killed it as Killer Croc, I like the swag; the way he bounces.

 

 

What was Captain Boomerang doing in this movie? For that matter, what was Slipknot doing in it? Or even Common, who Joker killed for looking too long at Harley? That particular scene was built up to perfection. The shooting was an anti-climax.

The Batman cameos were sweet – but they could have been taken care of with a line of dialogue. I guess that’s DC trying to establish their joint-universe thingy. It came off as forced at points though. Flash catching Boomerang was cool – everyone knows they’re mortal enemies.

What was Boomerang doing here – oh. Sorry.

I’ve said that before.

Suicide Squad is a love movie too; Joker and Harley, Rick Flagg and June Moone/Enchantress, Katana and her dead husband, Deadshot and his daughter – there’s enough emotion in there to make Bats hurl. Even I kept rolling my eyes at all the ‘awwwws’ in the cinema. It was somewhat disappointing they didn’t explore the Joker-Deadshot-Harley love triangle – maybe that is being saved for the sequel.

I’m aware that the internets and geeks like me have been raving about Viola’s performance as Waller – and I acknowledge she’s freaking good – but some inconsistencies jar with me.

 

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For example, she coldly murders four FBI agents who were helping on the mission with her, tries to kill Enchantress when Enchantress goes rogue – and then she’s asking Bruce Wayne for help to cover her tracks because she’s afraid of consequences?

The same woman who answered Flagg when he said;

Rick Flagg: I’m not afraid. I’ll take the consequences.

Amanda Waller: I am your consequence.

That probably has to do with how she was written; not Viola’s performance.

Some parts of the movie made no sense. For instance, Waller is standing in front of guys defined as ‘the baddest of the bad’, she’s holding the one thing she’s using to control them and nobody thinks to jack it off her. Deadshot could easily have put a bullet in her brain stem before thought of pushing the button became action.

I guess movies aren’t supposed to make too much sense.

The biggest problem with this movie is the writing. Plot holes have been the bane of DC movies since Man of Steel, and Suicide Squad is no exception. Why did a military team follow them for the mission? Why does the villain (I hate that villain so much) have to kiss men to convert them? And how come the strike team had only males?

Questions and more questions.

With all these issues, I’m sure you’re wondering why I still think Suicide Squad is a great movie.

Well, because it is.

The characters are a joy to watch. There’s a lot of humor – enough to almost rival Marvel’s whose movies are noted for laughs every two lines. With all the love and romance flying around, that part of the movie never gets cheesy or irritating. And as clumsy as the plot is in fitting together, it is a movie with a heart.

And sometimes, that’s enough.

 

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Five Ways Batman Is More Badass Than Iron Man

 

 

Comic book superhero fanboys are quivering with excitement. I know; I am one.

 

2016 brings with it a couple of the greatest superhero movies any fan can hope to see – Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War in which Robert Downey Jr. gets to reprise his role as the armored avenger; again, and there’s that Suicide Squad with Will Smith baba!

 

Oh joy!

 
But before that; can we have our own legendary face off (not)?

 

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Both are billionaire playboys. Both are orphans. Both are really cool superheroes.

But who do you think takes the ‘superhero cake’ – Batman or Iron Man?

For the sake of clarity and easy understanding; this ‘facticle’ is based on the strings of movies produced by DC Entertainment Legendary Pictures (for Batman) and Marvel Studios (for Iron Man/Avengers) and released from 2005 through to 2015.

None of their respective comics are referenced.

Now that is out of the way…

 

Five Reasons Batman Is More Badass Than Iron Man

1. Batman is the More Realistic Superhero.
Let’s face it – the entire superhero thing is far-fetched – at least for the nearest foreseeable future (even though there was news a couple years ago about some superhero patrolling the streets of Chicago) – but Batman is about the closest thing to a true-blue life-sized superhero we have.

Never mind that Kick-Ass fellow.

Iron Man on the other hand is less far-fetched than Superman – but definitely way out on a limb compared to Bats. A man in a personal flying suit? The closest thing we have to that is Michael Jackson’s jetpack – and he almost caught fire flying in it.
Trust me; you can be Batman. You just need an obsession, a high tolerance for pain –
And it doesn’t hurt to be worth a gazillion billion dollars either.

 

2. Batman Kicks Ass. Literally.
If you followed the first movie in the Dark Knight trilogy closely, you’d see Batman – or rather Bruce Wayne (portrayed by Christian Bale) getting his tush kicked time and time again by ninjas, martial artists and even convicts. Follow a bit longer – and you’ll see him constantly and consistently lay down the smack on bad guys – from corrupt cops to drug dealers.

Bats is a thoroughly physical hero.

Iron Man/Tony Stark (portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) flies up and down, points his palm and shoots. Wonder why some bad guy didn’t think to rig a giant magnet or something – and then blow him up. It would have been that easy.

You can tell a lot from a hero’s choice of bad guys, no?

Which leads us to;

 

3. Batman’s Bad Guys Are Way Cooler
You can judge a man by the quality of his enemies; fact.
Remember the final, genre-defining, Oscar-winning performance of heartthrob Heath Ledger? How about the whisky-leaking gruesome mask that was one-half of Aaron Eckhart’s Two Face’s face? How about Uncle Liam Neeson’s Zen-philosophy spewing genocidal maniac? Another thing entirely fascinating about Gotham’s Caped Crusader is his Rogue’s Gallery – his collection of baddies. They range from the strange to the macabre to the downright crazy.

 

Iron Man’s enemies – at least as far as the movies are concerned – can be summed up in four words;
Robot. Robot. Exploding Man. His own ego.

 

The Mandarin (seen in Iron Man 3) would have been a colossal success but for the twist introduced – the President-threatening terrorist was nothing but a patsy – a drug-using washed out actor. Maybe the twist worked for the fans but against Bats?
Rust Bucket.

 

 

4. Batman is Driven, Obsessed and Haunted
All necessary recipes of success; if you have something to prove.
When he was barely a teenager Bruce Wayne watched his parents gunned down right in front of his eyes. This trauma made him decide to become a vengeful character preying on the criminals of his home city. He spent years honing himself to physical and mental perfection, is a detective bar-none and has a really cool car. Rachel Dawes, love interest in the first movie touches Bruce’s face and says, “This is your mask. Your real face is the one the criminals fear.”
How’s that for disclosure?
Compared to Tony Stark’s epiphany, Batman’s origin story is the stuff of nightmares.

 

5. Batman Has The ‘Tall, Dark And Handsome’ Thing On Lock
There’s no other hero who fits that bill better than Batman. Dark, mysterious, a freaking unstoppable force of nature with just the right sprinkling of psychopath to keep things interesting. Who else but Batman could seduce two femme fatales in the space of one movie?
Besides, just scroll through Bruce Wayne’s conquests in the first, second and third movies and compare with Tony Stark’s. Seriously – just to prove a point he ‘absconds with an entire Russian Ballet’. Who else but Wayne?
Mysterious? Check. Only a handful of people know Bruce Wayne is Batman’s civilian identity. On the other hand, Tony Stark; at the end of the first movie goes on national TV and blurts; “I am Iron Man.”
Takes the fun out of things does it not?

 

Bonus Fact: Batman Has More Impressive Toys
Check out the Batmobile – called ‘the Tumbler’ for the Dark Knight Trilogy. Wipe the drool and then peep the Batpod – a bike you don’t actually need to turn to navigate. The tires spin – and help change your direction. How about the Batplane (though I think it’s a bit childish to name all your things after bats)? Remember the red carpet scene in The Dark Knight Rises – in which paparazzi are all over your favorite vigilante after no public sighting of him for eight years? What does he do? Pull out a particular doohickey and poof! All cameras are on the fritz!
We know Iron Man can build most of anything from anything – but what do we actually see him build in the movies? What are his toys like?

 

 

In movies or comics – or anywhere else, Batman still remains the number one comic hero – actually has been for a number of years. Another fun fact: Batman always wins.

 

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What do you think? Do you agree Batman is better than Iron Man – or you have a contrary opinion? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

*image credits – Google


Review: Son Of Batman Animated Movie

 

Good morning! This here’s a little something for my comic-reading, cartoon loving family! The geeks!

 

What happens when the much-vaunted bachelor Bruce Wayne or rather his world famous alter-ego Batman suddenly finds out he has a son – and not just another boy but a barely-teenage psychopathic sociopathic homicidal maniac?

 

 

Son of Batman sheds some light on the matter.

 

sonofbatmanposter

 

Son of Batman is an animated cartoon produced by Warner Premiere/Warner Bros Animation/DC Entertainment on April 22 2014 and distributed by Warner Home Video. It was adopted from the Grant Morrison/Andy Kubert 2006 story Batman and Son.

 

 

The plot is simple. Someone tries to take over the League of Assassins created by dreaded Ra’s Al Ghul – in fact, as appearances go, the old man who has lived for over five hundred years is done in. Killed. Exterminated by Deathstroke, who apparently for the sake of this continuity has been retconned as Ra’s protégé.

 

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And according to his daughter Talia Ghul, he’s so cooked (literally) his greatest invention, The Lazarus Pit cannot bring him back. But then, to truly take over the League, Talia and her son Damian (Ra’s daughter and grandson respectively) have to be killed. Seeking revenge, Talia hides Damian with his father – the Dark Knight. Batman.

 

 

Son-Of-Batman-e1390245583789

 

Then begins a clash of values and ethics as Batman strives to go between loner and father in less than a day. Damian is self-important, arrogant, rude, obnoxious – in fact the boy barely has a single redeeming quality. His solution to every problem is one-dimensional – kill. And even his grandfather Ra’s didn’t sound so bloodthirsty.

 

 

Alfred, as is with the case of a lot of Batman’s portrayals in other media provides the wit and emotional core of the movie. In a delightful scene, Damian is the very image of pompous spoilt idiot. After some back and forth about tea, Damian says, “Watch yourself Pennyworth. I’m not so young that I don’t understand sarcasm.”

 

And Alfred, with his characteristic calm replies, “Well I, am much too old to care.”

 

 

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I for one think it’s about time Nightwing had his own animated movie to himself. I mean, he’s been holding Bats down for quite some time (check him out in Batman: Under The Red Hood). Though Damian’s analysis of his fighting was on-point, I think he has age and experience on his side.

 

 

A winning combination.

 

SOBat-Nightwing2

 

 

While the movie as a whole is an entertaining, too many absurdities reveal themselves quite early. Having Damian blind Deathstroke, one of the world’s (at least DCU’s) strongest armed/unarmed combatants is just dumb. In fact, Deathstroke’s whole characterization is just wrong. He flees from a ten-year old, and then asks said ten-year old to fight him. The Deathstroke in this movie is skill-less, tactless and basically a bull in a china shop – breaking everything in his way.

 

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Let’s not even talk about Ubu’s betrayal, Ubu who has been Ra’s right-hand for a while. Ubu would NEVER betray Ra’s – and yet he does for no other reason than to have a threesome in a presidential suite. Ha.

 

 

The League of Assassins is easily the most feared criminal organization in the world – and, according to the movie, stuck in time. Their stronghold is breached and the most they have to offer in terms of defense are arrows and stone-launchers?! Talia is presented as an easy-to-be-rid of damsel in distress here; not the equally-capable villainess groomed to lead the League in her father’s stead – the Talia we saw in Hush for example. And the moment Nightwing meets Damian for the first time, stopping his death slash in midair?

 

 

Downright laughable.

 

 

In his fight scenes, Damian does not look disadvantaged at all. In fact, he could very well be Batman for all the difference his height and age made. He fought Ubu who is quite the hulking giant – fought him to the point where Ubu is afraid and runs for his life.

 

Really?

 

 

And at what point did Damian adopt Batman’s ‘no kill’ philosophy? Note: at the Gotham Coliseum as they ran from the Man-Bats, Batman brings the roof down on them. There would have at least been one fatality in there – ONE. How does Bats – or in this case DC – get away with that?

 

 

Again, why exactly did Damien spare Deathstroke? And at what point did Damian bond with his father so much he would spurn the mother he swam fifty miles to save to stay with his absentee father? And then, in spite of being stabbed through both arms and having one broken (something that conveniently disappeared in all the following chaos), how did Damian still manage to thoroughly kick Deathstroke’s ass? And check this: Damian hacks the Batcomputer and breaks into Bruce Wayne’s office, and when asked he says “I hacked into NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) when I was six” and “this office has the security of a chicken coop” respectively.

 

 

Seriously?

 

 

And then Batman throws a shuriken at his son – and is surprised when the boy actually catches it. What if he didn’t catch it? What did Bats think would happen?

 

 

In my opinion, Kevin Conroy is still the best Batman voiceover artist ever, but Jason O’Mara who voices the Dark Knight here and as well as in Justice League: War (get Comicpanel Magazine to read my review on that) is running a close second.

 

Though his Batman hardly ever gets emotional, his composed Batman is the ish. Damian voiced by Stuart Allan sounds just right too, but Talia (Morena Baccarin) sounds like a bored housewife. Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson) is also so wrong for no reason I can quite put a finger on. He had the lines – but he sounded like he was reading for a recital. In fact, the entire voice-casting sounded like the artists came into the studio individually to record their lines – there was hardly any emotion between character dialogue. The fight scenes were cool – except for where Ra’s is deflecting bullets from guns that surround him.

 

All in all, Son of Batman is not so bad – but if you’re looking for pulse-racing adrenaline pumping action featuring Batman, you stand a better chance watching Batman: Under The Red Hood again.

 

 

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Of Comics and Dreamers – The Emperor’s Groove

 

I like to remind anybody who cares to listen that the first thing I ever read was a comic.

 

Of course, I cannot remember if that’s true or it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but it was definitely one of the first things I ever read. I had a brother who was an avid reader, and I guess the colorful pictures were what drew me in.

 

And then, the possibilities. Imagine a man who dressed like a bat to frighten criminals, a lone survivor – the last of his kind, a nerd bitten by a radioactive spider, another nerd bombarded with millions of gamma radiation (some of it don’t make sense; I know) but it was fun.

 

Also it broadened my mind. My horizons. My vocabulary.

 

And made me a hit with the ladies quite early.

 

All through my growing years I found ways to steadily feed my addiction to comics. When we ran out spots to buy comics I would embrace The Punch (my mom was actually impressed I was reading newspapers in primary five; but it was the cartoons!)  and Vanguard for Garth and Captain Africa respectively. I’m sure some of you seventies-early eighties babies remember Benbella and Lulu and of course, Funtimes (how many people know Papa Ajasco was actually a comic character?)!

 

That article is coming soon enough. But I digress.

 

One of the complaints we had back then was a lack of Nigerian comics. We wanted characters we knew and could relate to, characters that spoke our language, wore our clothes – characters who complained about NEPA and water and the government; but then went one step further and SOLVED those problems even though they were the subject of fantasies. A couple of people started some thing in that regard – but due to the normal reasons things fizzle out here, that fizzled out.

 

But not all of them did.

 

Fast forward to 2013, one Saturday morning in September. Just finished one of those ‘meetings’ and I’m wondering what next – and then I remember I had gotten a text earlier that week inviting me to an ‘Emperor’s Groove’. For a moment I was like what?!

 

As I decided to delete the text my side-eye caught the word ‘comics’. Game. Over.

 

Especially comics created and drawn in Nigeria for Nigerians by Nigerians?! It was a wet dream come true (watch Big Bang Theory to understand that).

 

So there I headed o, heart in mouth hoping not to be crushed. There have been so many similar events, so many similar platforms that started – and then died prematurely for reasons best known to the organizers. I was hoping for the best – though fully prepared for the worst.

 

I wasn’t crushed.

 

The first thing I saw was the spread of comics. Beautiful covers, eye-catching fonts and stories…I went from stall to stall, picking up comics and inhaling their fresh-print smell. I was in heaven! There were posters, stickers, magazines, freebies for download – all sorts of fan-boy materials.

 

 

A Stall At The Groove

A Stall At The Groove

 

 

Another Display Stall

Another Display Stall

 

 

 

One of The Publishers

One of The Publishers

 

 

 

Filling The Attendance Form

Filling The Attendance Form

 

 

Free Comics

Free Comics

 

 

 

After buying to my heart’s desire, I went to look for the organizers of the event and got to meet the man behind the whole thing – the head ’emperor’ if you will; Ibrahim Ganiyu, the mind behind some of the creative works seen on today’s screens. Ibrahim had a huge role to play in the inception of the Indomitables (Indomie Noddles Characters).

 

Me: Pleased to meet you, Ibrahim. I’m quite excited by this. Huge shout out on the Indomitables thing!

 

I wonder where the idea came from…

 

Ibrahim: Thank you, Seun.

A comic con we can have every month! Why not let fans and publishers know that every month there’s one place they can meet and do business? So a publisher can’t reach all the stores but a fan doesnt know where to get Nigerian Comics…create a market (not unlike the food markets- regular and all) where both can meet. No frills, just buying and selling of comics!

 

Me: So what’s feedback been like?

 

Ibrahim: 

Feed back has been positive and interesting. We have comic publishers giving away their prints, people coming in from Ibadan to participate, parents asking when the next one will be and if theyll get to see more titles etc.

 

Been good.

Presently EG is funded largely by ICStudios (Ibrahim’s Imprint/Company) but has actually been supported more by the Publishers themselves. Pnuema comics (from Ibadan), Stallion Comics, Elixir Studios, Laffta Chapta, Prex to name some.

 

Me: As you know, the most recent Hollywood blockbusters are movies based on comic stories/characters. Of the two major companies, who’s kicking ass – DC (home to Batman, Man of Steel, Wonder Woman) or Marvel (Iron Man, Avengers, Hulk, Wolverine, X Men)?

 

Ibrahim: Movies: hard to tell these days…I am still reeling in Man of Steel! but I’ll say now, the 2 giants have just about even out. perhaps a new release will shoot one above the other…who knows? Iron Man 4? Avengers 2? Man of Steel 2? Wonder Woman? The future is thick with expectations!!

 

Me: Dark Edge is your studio’s leading character. When are we likely to see a live-action movie – or at least animation?

 

Ibrahim: A Dark Edge movie: Woah! Its a question we’ll love to answer too. Still thinking which way to go: Full animated? Live action? Both are presently in consideration but we are more in the market for a good screen writer to partner with to develop a good play for the movie on either platform.

 

Me: When is the next Emperor’s Groove and what can the fans expect?

 

Ibrahim: It comes up on the 16th of November 2013 at Plot 18, Lateef Jakande Road, Omole Ikeja Lagos.

 

There’s a whole lot to look forward to. We’ll be having Dark Edge collectors edition (issues 1-3), Dark Edge IV on sale and June XII in print at this month’s edition with Dark Edge V previewed. Dark Edge V will be released at the comic con.

 

We will also be having a drawing competition at the venue with an award for the winner. We have more Nigerian Comics coming on the stands too!

 

You should come o. There’s plenty to see and have!

 

Me: Thank you for your time, Ibrahim.

 

Ibrahim: My pleasure.

 

 

And so I went to my house, comics in my arms, joy in my heart. I mean, if someone had told Stan Lee in 1932 (or thereabouts) that one day the characters he created would be earning billions of dollars he might have collapsed.

 

I mean, anything is possible, right?

 

Dream, Emperors. The world is ours.