Tag Archives: dc

Review: Justice League: Doom (2012) Animation | My Reviews 21 JUN 2012

The Justice League consists of Earth’s finest super heroes and protectors of humanity. But in the mind of the Dark Knight, it contains potentially the most dangerous people on the planet. Over time, Batman has compiled top-secret contingency plans should any of them go rogue. When these files are stolen by a rising group of super villains, the Justice League embarks on a collision course that will test the very fabric of its alliance!

Director Lauren Montgomery and producers Bruce Timm and Sam Register are back, with the last ever movie script penned by the venerable Dwayne McDuffie before his untimely passing. Released in February 2012, Justice League: Doom is the 13th film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

The JL line-up for this outing consists of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), The Flash (Barry Allen) and Martian Manhunter, with the assistance of Cyborg who ends up playing a pivotal role in the saga. Up against them is Vandal Savage, leading a group consisting of Metallo, Mirror Master, Cheetah, Star Sapphire, Bane and Ma’alefa’ak – basically a villain from each hero’s rogues gallery and thus perfect to round things off. What follows is an excellently paced action drama that sees each of the heroes incapacitated in a surprising manner, as Vandal sets about his plan to create a new world order – which of course makes for quite an epic ending.

Being a team-based movie, not a lot of time is lavished on one single hero, but the air time is split evenly enough that you don’t feel hard done by if you support a particular character, and the various threads all combine very nicely to provide a solid and enjoyable super hero tale that has plenty of drama, intrigue and of course fist pounding action (not to mention a giggle here and there)!

Although not a direct sequel to the earlier Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the movie does use the same character designs as the former, and to be frank, despite some of the more pretty boy faces like Superman to get used to as well as the sometimes too sparse line-work, the visuals are for the most part crisp, clean and very well animated, with some fluid choreography and effects, not to mention the vibrant colour palette it sports.

Christopher Drake scores the film and complementing the great soundtrack is a stellar vocal performance from all of the voice actors attached to the project, which includes the likes of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Time Daly as Superman and Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern.

In summary this is yet another excellently crafted super hero movie and a worthy inclusion in what is a fantastic DC animated movie line-up. Strong story which keeps you engaged from start to finish, great visuals and animation, plus a polished sound makes Justice League: Doom well worth tracking down!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League:_Doom

Review: Justice League Dark #5 (Mar. 2012) Comic Books | My Reviews 20 JUN 2012

Another excellent title in the big New 52 DC relaunch effort is without a doubt Justice League Dark, which throws together DC’s more fringe, occult characters whom you would normally find restricted to the Vertigo line, and thrusts them firmly into the mainstream spotlight.

Issue 5 entitled “There was a Crooked Man” is the finale of the opening salvo that was “In the Dark”, penned by the always twisted and enjoyable Peter Milligan, featuring a stunning cover of the team in action by Ryan Sook.

Madame Xanadu is responsible for separating the Enchantress from June Moone, thereby unleashed a terrifying and uncontrollable witch who seeks to be reunited with her host but who may just tear down all of reality in the process. Xanadu has brought together the likes of Deadman, Zatanna, and Shade the Changing Man to try and confront and stop the Enchantress directly, but in the end it may just be left up to the always unpredictable John Constantine who has to make the hard decisions and end this for everybody.

A fantastically dark and twisted tale as expected, plenty of mystical and physical action seeing as this is the finale and a good ending to the first big story arc.

The real star of the show however is without a doubt artist Mikel Janin, who together with colourist Ulises Arreola produce some of the most fantastic and well suited artwork for this type of book. Janin’s characters, expressions and proportions are just fantastic, and combined with his brilliantly clever panel layouts makes for a superb looking book.

Very enjoyable and well worth picking up, though be warned you do need to enjoy the darker side of comics to get the most out of this title, as it definitely isn’t your run of the mill super hero tale!

Batman Adventures Cosplay: Harley Quinn (San Smith) Cosplay 17 JUN 2012

Cosplayer San Smith turns in this fantastically comical and faithful to the character rendition of The Joker’s right hand girl, Harley Quinn, from the loveable Batman Adventures franchise. (Note the brilliantly built cork pop gun!)

One of the few Batman characters to first appear outside of the comic medium before being pulled into the comics as canon, Harley Quinn was introduced in 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series courtesy of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. Infatuated with the Joker (she was previously his psychiatrist at Arkham – as Dr. Harleen Quinzel), Harley is completely and utterly devoted to the psychotic clown, eagerly partaking in his schemes despite the horrible abuse she has to put up with from him.

Already a talented gymnast, Harley Quinn now finds herself immune to most poisons and toxins thanks to her contact with Poison Ivy, as well possessing above average fighting skills, agility and strength.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harley_Quinn

Lee Moder: Legion of Super-Heroes #66 Cover (1995) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 09 JUN 2012

1995’s volume 4 issue 66 of DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes saw writers Tom McCraw and Mark Waid introduce a number of new characters in their story entitled “Membership Drive”, including the likes of Andromeda (Laurel Gand), Violet (Salu Digby) and Kinetix (Zoe Saugin).

Penciller Lee Moder was tasked with introducing a suitable cover for the issue, and came up with this wonderfully fun piece depicting Andromeda at her jaw-dropping best!

Teen Titans Cosplay: Raven (Camilliette) Cosplay 20 MAY 2012

Cosplayer Camilliette goes over to her dark size and dons the foreboding cloak of the mysterious Teen Titans member, Raven, in this fantastically moody DC comics cosplay shoot.

Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez back in 1980, the enigmatic Raven is an empath, which enables her to take on the feelings on others, steal emotions leaving her victims emotionally “numb” and induce rapid healing by taking away pain.

She also has the ability to manifest her astral projection which is able to interact with the real world, thus providing her with a versatile offensive weapon or defensive shield. Her astral projection takes on either the form of a human or that of a giant raven.

And now you know.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_(comics)

Review: Justice League International #5 (Mar. 2012) Comic Books | My Reviews 08 MAY 2012

We’re well into the first big Justice League International story arc now, and issue 5, entitled “The Signal Masters” comes to us courtesy of Dan Jurgens behind the keyboard, and penciller Aaron Lopresti and inker Matt Ryan on the visuals.

Peraxxus is well on his way to ripping apart the Earth as his planetary dismantling mining operation continues full pace, and with the Justice League International group already put in their place once through the alien and his giants’ awesome power, they’re very much in need of a regroup and a plan of action – fast!

Dan crafts an excellent story here with a unexpected Trojan horse twist as the League are forced to put aside their differences, come up with a plan and then work together to execute it. It still feels strange to have Booster Gold of all people in the front and center as the team leader, particularly because Batman now basically takes a step back and waits for his orders, but once you’re over that, this is a really enjoyable, action-packed yarn that sees Godiva, Rocket Red, August General in Iron, Booster Gold, Batman, Ice, Fire and Guy Gardner put through their respective paces, especially Godiva who questions her very role in this super powered group.

Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan work well to produce some solid, detailed visuals, which are perhaps not particularly exciting, but certainly more than enjoyable enough and which are well suited to a super hero title.

So certainly not a bad read, and a good end to the first big story arc!

Review: Justice League #1 (Oct. 2011) Comic Books | My Reviews 25 APR 2012

Leading the charge of DC’s huge universe overall, dubbed “The New 52!”, was Justice League #1, written by Geoff Johns, pencilled by Jim Lee and inked by Scott Williams.

Seeing as this is the relaunch of the line, Geoff gets to build a brand new origin story for the League, and he starts off with gusto, as we’re thrown right into the mix of Batman being chased by military helicopters, who in turn is chasing a parademon across the rooftops of Gotham. Star City’s Green Lantern intervenes, and in the ensuing confusion, the parademon escapes, forcing Green Lantern and Batman to track it down before it can do any more damage.

With the retrieval of a Motherbox, Batman and Green Lantern head to Metropolis in the hope that the resident alien there might be able to shed some light on their new mystery… though its not like this particular alien likes to be told what to do!

Geoff weaves a great introduction story, and he creates some particularly witty and enjoyable banter between Batman and Green Lantern, capturing their personalities perfectly. The tale flows well and the setup for the final page leaves you wanting more, always the hallmark of a well written issue.

Jim Lee can hardly ever do wrong with the pencil, and once again he and Scott Williams produce some fantastic, detailed and dynamic layouts and sequences, making Justice League #1 a proper superhero visual treat.

Well worth picking up in other words.

Young Justice Cosplay: Miss Martian (Yashuntafun) Cosplay 22 APR 2012

Cosplayer Yashuntafun has a little bit of fun with this one, bringing to life (and placing her in a far more relaxing environment) the young and inexperienced hero, Miss Martian (a.k.a. Megan Morse) from the entertaining Young Justice animated series.

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Jesus Saiz: Manhunter #8 Cover (2005) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 31 MAR 2012

From writer Marc Andreyko and art team Javier Pina and Jimmy Palmiotti came 2005’s Manhunter issue 8, “Trial by Fire Part 3: Bad Influence”, in which Kate Spencer escapes her exploding car and tracks down Shadow Thief, who is in the process of trying to escape from Cheshire.

Needless to say, this doesn’t end with a milkshake at McDonalds.

Anyway, this gorgeous cover of Kate leaping into a flurry of arrows was created by the very talented Jesus Saiz, one of the original creators of DC’s first female to don the Manhunter suit!

And in case you didn’t know, the suit is from a fallen Darkstar, the staff from a fallen Manhunter and the gauntlets from a fallen Azrael. Scavenging at its finest! :)

Comic Book Art: Clark Kent kissing Lois Lane by Ryan Sook Comic Book Art | Comic Books 15 MAR 2012

American comic book artist Ryan Sook produced this peach of a comic book illustration, featuring everyone’s favorite news team locked in a passionate embrace. Yup, that’s Clark Kent and Lois Lane, doing their best to make the rest of the Daily Planet team feel a little uncomfortable.

Ryan has been producing comic book work for years now, having broken onto the professional scene back in 1998 with Challengers of the Unknown #15. Although he has done interior work in the past, he tends to concentrate on cover work, and as you can see from this piece, there is a reason why he is such an acclaimed comic book cover artist in the first place!

Jackson Guice: Action Comics #708 (1995) Cover Comic Book Art | Comic Books 10 MAR 2012

The grand opening of the Social Services center is turned into a deathtrap by the villain of the same name. With technology from Apokolips, the building is a deadly challenge for Superman and Mister Miracle, who is mysteriously pulled to Earth from New Genesis by Boom Tube. Meanwhile, Lois Lane continues to investigate the death of Senator Fulton, and a shadowy figure breaks out of Stryker’s Island Penitentiary.

How can anyone not love a comic book character with the punny name of Scott Free, and as such I have thoroughly enjoyed following the adventures of this particular New God over the years. Issue 708 of Action Comics written by David Michelinie pulled Mister Miracle back into Superman’s life, something which cover artist Jackson Guice tackled with a nice sneaky homage to Jack Kirby’s original Mister Miracle #6.

Comic Book Art: Batman and Poison Ivy by Mahmud Asrar Comic Book Art | Comic Books 02 MAR 2012

Turkish comic book artist Mahmud Asrar (M.A.Asrar) first grabbed attention through his work on the independent anthology Digital Webbing Presents, before moving onto much bigger and better things in both the American and non-American comic book markets.

Primarily associated with Image comics thanks to his run on Dynamo 5 in America, Mahmud is also known for producing some wonderfully muted palette pieces, like this beautifully painted Batman and Poison Ivy bit of artwork as a prime example of his skill.

Review: Batman: Year One (2011) My Reviews 05 JAN 2012

“When Gotham City is in desperate need of heroes, two men take a stand for justice… but on opposite sides. Bruce Wayne returns home after years abroad to become a crime fighter, just as honest cop Lt. James Gordon moves to Gotham and finds corruption at every level. When Bruce becomes the masked vigilante Batman, the city explodes as the mob, his new nemesis Catwoman, and Gordon all close in!”

So another Batman movies enters the fantastic DC Universe Animated Original Movies stable, this time in the form of Batman: Year One, based on the classic Frank Miller’ and David Mazzucchelli’s ’87 story arc. Essentially a tale based in the start of Batman’s career and an exploration of how his relationship with Jim cemented itself, Batman: Year One is gritty, focused, and very much not an overblown, save the world super hero type of story – instead the spotlight hangs for the most part over James Gordon and his early tribulations as he tries to clean up in a very corrupt city, with of course the rather unwanted assistance of Gotham’s first masked vigilante!

Matching the subdued, dark tone of the story, the animation style employed resembles very closely the emotive art of Mazzucchelli, giving the film a very distinct, adult look, resulting in a truly good looking piece of work. Similarly, fantastic voice artist work from the likes of Benjamin McKenzie as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Bryan Cranston as Lt. James Gordon adds to the class already delivered by the stunning visuals, never mind the suitably moody and well arranged musical score that acts as the backdrop for this very serious tale that is being told.

In summary, Batman: Year One is a very, very good movie. Because the source material was already so cinematic in nature, directors Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery didn’t have to fiddle very much in bringing it to the silver screen, and so fans of the original comic arc will definitely be blown away by this fantastic adaptation, as will any other fans of the Dark Knight.

However, that said, I didn’t necessarily enjoy Batman: Year One. I appreciated it, yes, but perhaps it was a little too grounded and dark in tone for me to say that I loved it. However, despite my personal taste, there is no taking away from the fact that this is a VERY well made animated movie, a fantastic new entry into the DC animated movies stable, and most important of all, an excellent example of animation aimed for a mature audience done right.

Well worth picking up then.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Year_One_%28film%29