Batman Over the Years (Using my Own Collection)

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In the 40’s Batman was a dark avenger then in the 50’s he became a more pulp, campy hero.

In the 60’s Batman was redefined by the Adam West TV show and made Bruce Wayne into a fun loving good samaritan with a level of camp that rivaled that of the Christopher Reeve Superman.

Then came the 70’s and 80’s that brought Batman back to his roots of a dark and brutal crusader in a never ending war against crime, with books like the Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns.

Then in the 90’s there was a focus on making Batman more extreme, making him stand among the gods of the Justice League.

And now the modern era, after 78 years Batman is one of the most profitable and well known characters in the world. And probably won’t be going away anytime soon…hopefully.

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Reflection on the Blog

Image.pngSo, the most effective tool when doing this blog was promoting my posts via twitter. It’s an easy way to get people to see your blog, for those people to share it with their friends. Then of course the worst tool was creative commons. Not so much creative commons as a site but the restriction of having to use only creative commons, or original images. But the only other thing I can say about that is thank god for Photoshop or else my pictures would have been utter shit.

As for what I would want to improve with the blog would probably be just the fact that I’d want to be become popular, then I’d like to get a couple of friends together and do a weekly podcast on this type of stuff. This experience could be used as an example of a resume for digital job at Rooster Teeth or Funhaus. There I would be doing a lot of photoshops and video editing so these skills would come in handy there.

My most popular month was March coming in at around 26 views. And it was all due to 2 posts in particular. It was the 2 posts about Ben Affleck and the upcoming solo Batman film. These two, which did equally “well”, were the most popular because at the time there was a lot of clickbait going on about that story, so I’m not saying I used Ben Affleck being sad to my advantage…but I definitely did that.

The only surprising thing to me was the number of countries I got views from. I didn’t get many but I did get one view from Germany, India, Spain and the Netherlands. Other than that none of my stats were at all surprising.

The Daredevil That Never Was

 

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The character of Daredevil has had a pretty mixed representation when it comes to the screen. We all remember the “amazing” outing the Man Without Fear had back in 2003. If you’re getting painful flashback of Evanescence music videos then you’re thinking of the right thing. It wasn’t awful for the time, but looking back it did not age well. Specifically, the rubbery CGI and overly dramatic soundtrack. But then we got the amazing and gritty Netflix show in 2015. This take set Matt Murdock and the gang in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s gritty underbelly in Hell’s Kitchen. It takes Frank Miller’s run and puts a Nolanesk spin on it with Daredevil being a deeply conflicted catholic who’s going out at night and getting the shit beat out himself while trying to protect his city.

But those two adaptations took place with 12 years of dead space in between. At that time, Fox Studios owned the property and so 12 years is a long time to just have a property sitting in the vault not making any money. So, in about 2012 it was rumored that Fox had a pretty good idea for a reboot. Basically, Fox was borrowing the movie frights for Daredevil from Marvel, for a fee, and they had a set amount of time to make a film using that property. So, since they didn’t Fox didn’t make a movie in time, Marvel got the rights back.

Anyways, in 2012 it was rumored that movie director Joe Carnahan was rumored to be in talks with Fox to direct a gritty Daredevil film set in the 70’s. Now I have no idea how well this would have gone. That director has only done a few works that I’m familiar with so I can’t speak to the potential execution of the project. However, the concept is superb.

As the super hero genre gets bigger and bigger people are going to get sick and tired of the same exact formulaic trends, settings, and stories. One way to combat this is to do period piece stories. Whether it be set these stories in time periods that we haven’t seen in the comic book film medium. Whether that’s this 70’s Daredevil story or a Fantastic Four story set in the space race of the 1960’s. Hell DC took a swing at this, sort of, with Watchmen. And if they really want to do something amazing they could adapt Justice League: New Frontier from the late and great Darwin Cooke. The amount of money I would pay to see a cinematic universe, Marvel or DC, set in the 60’s or even 50’s would be ridiculous. I would step very carefully around the 40’s to avoid some stereotyping. But still period piece superhero properties are a way to give the superhero     genre a bit more depth and variation.

Batgirl is on Her Way With Joss Whedon at the Helm

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Pretty big news this past week. And overall it’s pretty great. Allow me to build some “suspense”. Come back in time with me if you will, to a much simpler time. 2012. YouTube wasn’t dying and I had just started high school. The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were going to battle it out at the summer box office. It was the personification of the DC and Marvel fanboy war that’s plagued comics for years. On one side you have Christopher Nolan bringing his Dark Knight trilogy to a close and on the other it’s Joss Whedon kicking off the Avengers crossover. Now it’s undecided who won that particular bout but the important thing is what’s happening now. As the once feared enemy of DC comics Overlord Joss Whedon switches sides to bring a particular bat themed heroine to the big screen.

It’s 2017 and we’re going to be seeing a live action film centered on Barbara Gordon, a.k.a Batgirl. Now there’s a few reasons that this is a really big deal. The first one is Joss Whedon. Mr. Whedon is what we in the incredibly nerdy culture refer to as a pop culture god. He’s written comics, created TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and of course been at the helm of the first two Avengers films. Clearly if you’ve been a “nerd” since the 1990’s, the odds are Joss Whedon has done something you’ve liked.

Another big reason to be excited is the character herself. Barbara Gordon is an integral part of the Batman mythos, and incredibly involved in a lot of important and popular stories but she also represents a really important minority in comic books, and no it’s not women, despite that clearly still being an issue. The group I’m referring to here is people who are physically disabled.

This is a chance for DC to push forward paraplegic characters farther than ever before before. For most people the only comic book character that people really know is Professor X. Which is a great thing but then with Barbara Gordon you get to see someone go through being paralyzed which isn’t focused on much with Charles Xavier. That is if DC chooses to take the character in that direction, which if they don’t is a real waste of potential.

The Killing Joke is a graphic novel written Alan Moore. It focuses mostly on the relationship between the Joker and Batman, in an attempt to drive Batman and Police Commissioner Gordon, Bat-girl’s father, the Joker invades the Gordon residence and shoots Barbara through the spine paralyzing her. This was so well received by fans and critics that it was put into main continuity. It’s a really graphic, horrifying scene that sticks to the character to this day. But that’s what makes her return from that so much more empowering. And that’s why DC needs to bring this to the big screen. She pulls herself up from that dark place and becomes even more important as a character and as a hero. She ditches the cape and cowl as Batgirl and sports some glasses as Oracle.

So DC, if by any chance you’re one of the 4 people reading this please, give Barbara a solid couple of movies as Batgirl then show her going through that painful part and how she comes back from that better, stronger.

A Brief Piece About Trailers

trailers
Courtesy of Vimeo

So, this past week has been what I like to call an orgy of trailers. Most notably we got the first official trailer for Warner Brother’s Justice League, I will try to contain my excitement but I make no promises, and on the other side of the fence we have a new trailer for Marvel’s Spider-man: Homecoming, once again my excitement is going to be suppressed…kind of. Then we had the trailers for the reboot of Stephen King’s IT, we got a new look at War for the Planet of the Apes. So, if you’re interested in any of those things then hit the link and enjoy. But the problem isn’t the number of trailers we’re getting for different movies or properties, the problem is when the trailer gives away every major story beat to the point that you can pretty much guess the plot before you see the movie.

Flashback in time with me to a year ago, with me. The marketing for one of the biggest films of all time is in full swing. The third and final trailer drops. It’s going well, hitting a few story beats but not giving away too much. And then, the final minute. It spoils the final fight where everyone teams up to beat the ultimate bad guy and save the day. The movie is Batman v Superman and I was furious. The final trailer ruined all of the other marketing. The premise was the titular heroes battling it out and the catch was we didn’t know to what end. So, when I see Batman and Superman standing next to Wonder Woman ready to fight Doomsday, I know that by the end they’ll all be friends and now I don’t care about the conflict in the rest of the movie as much as I could. Not only that but it also spoils who the end fight is against, Doomsday. Now any true comic fan knows that Doomsday is known for one notable thing. Killing Superman. At this point I now know that the main conflict end with a team up and that Superman will most likely die.

The goal of trailers is to put butts in seats. But when a trailer over extends and shows too much I no longer feel as invested as I should. And now in a weird turn of events the circumstances have been reversed. Spider-man’s new trailer in mine, and a lot of other people’s opinion there was too much shown in terms of plot. I won’t say what just in the rare case you haven’t seen it but it feels like the movie was shown beat for beat.

The point is simple. Dear studios, stop putting out trailers that show too much of the story. I know you hire outside firms to make your trailers but guess what you still have final say on the marketing, and hey here’s a crazy idea. Get the director in on the marketing so that he can tell when it feels like the story loses weight. Also maybe don’t put out as many trailers.

Sony, Please Settle Down

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Image Courtesy of Staticflickr,.com

 

Spiderman has had a very I’ll say rocky history with Sony Studios. In the beginning, back in the early 2000’s, things were great. Spiderman 1 and 2 were critical and box office hits, Tobey Maguire and Nickelback were still culturally relevant. But that all changed in 2007 when the third installment of the Raimi trilogy crashed and burned. You may not remember that one. It was the one where Eric, from that 70’s show, was dressed up like a scary tar monster. Anyways, that’s a clue that we’ll come back to later.

So, after that 2007 debacle the studio scrambled for a reboot was under way and set for 2012 with my much more handsome twin Andrew Garfield. And other than the inconsistent tone I didn’t really have a problem with it and was basically on board but then 2014 came around and once again Sony flew to close to the sun. Just like Icarus with his wax wings, they couldn’t take the heat and fell once again. Then the ultimate business deal happened in 2016. Sony basically got invited to play with the big kids and now Spiderman existed within the MCU along with Captain America and Ironman. Now today. Spiderman is getting his own solo movie, that isn’t an origin thank god, with Robert Downey Jr. set to appear. But the most recent news is that Sony is planning a solo Venom movie that would be loosely connected to the main MCU.

This is a red flag. For one the last time Sony forced the character of Venom upon someone we got Emo Peter Parker. I’m not saying Venom can’t work within the MCU or that he isn’t a good character because I think if he’s done well he could bring a very scary and new element to the MCU. But that’s the lynch pin, everything in the MCU is connected so to say that this new and interesting character has nothing to do with anything else is a terrible waste, especially if Marvel Studios is not involved creatively. By all means put Venom in the MCU, but please Sony do not get ahead of yourself and force characters on people. You did it to Sam Raimi back in 2007 and look what happened.

Logan Is the Send Off Hugh Jackman Deserves

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Logan is by far the best X-Men movie to hit the screen since First Class. It gives a new layer of nuance to a character we’ve been watching for nearly twenty years. And that is all thanks to the performance of not only Hugh Jackman but also Sir Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen. Which by the way, that girl is twelve years old was able to rival Jackman’s intensity and Stewart’s compassion. Did I mention she was twelve? Oh I did. Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for seventeen years and is still able to turn in a performance that was able to add more layers to his character even after all of this time.

Logan is like we’ve never seen him before, at the end of his rope. And is the longest and shittiest rope you have ever seen. He’s not only emotionally and mentally breaking down but his body is finally catching up to the brutality it’s endured over the years. He’s slow, can’t quite heal as quick as he used to and the clean “Snikt” of those claws is reduced to a slow painful screech every time he pops them. And oh boy does he pop those claws.

The action and violence are so gruesome and realistic it makes Deadpool look like an episode of Tom and Jerry. I almost liken it to Mad Max: Fury Road from 2015 in that it’s a gruff loner being forced into basically a two-hour chase scene in an attempt to help someone he doesn’t really want to. Actually that’s exactly what it is.

To sum up my thoughts, this film is incredible. It’s filled with hair-raising action and tear swelling moments of these extraordinary characters displaying incredibly raw human emotions in ways that we’ve not seen before. For me, apparently a lot of other people, this film is on par with The Dark Knight. And as a huge Batman fan boy that is not a compliment I give lightly. So what happens to Wolverine now?

Well as everyone knows or should know, this is Hubert Jackman’s last outing as the gruff Canadian mutant. He’s hanging up the claws for what he says is good but honestly who knows? Maybe he just needs a break for a few years. He’s bloody well-earned it, he’s had to keep in this ridiculous shape with rigorous training and dieting not to mention simultaneously battling skin cancer.

So Fox will probably rest the character for a few years and eventually recast. And I know break ups are hard but all the big ones have gone through it. Maybe we’ll get blessed and they’ll land Tom Hardy in the MCU as Logan. I would honestly donate one of my kidneys to see that.