Check out Justice League: Doom

December 27th, 2012 | Posted by Emmett in Comics - (0 Comments)
Seriously, it's on Netflix and you can buy it (which I'll probably end up doing if it leaves Netflix). Aside from being another solid animated comic book movie, it's got an unbelievably awesome cast for anyone who likes comics and/or sci-fi. Here are some of the highlights from my perspective:
  • Batman: Kevin Conroy (the Batman)
  • Green Lantern: Nathan Fillion (yes, Nathan-fucking-Fillion!)
  • The Flash: Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor from Smallville)
  • Cheetah: Claudia Black (from Farscape and Stargate SG-1!)
And the rest of the cast is what you'd expect, which is great. Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg, and Carl Lumbly anchor down the remaining JLA voices, and many of the villains reprise their usual roles as well. Except for Carlos Alazraqui, where voicing Bane follows five years on Reno-911 which overlaps with 10 years on The Fairly OddParents. So yeah, clearly Bane was his next logical career move. And then there's Mirror Master, who is voiced by Alexis Denisof, i.e. the guy that plays Sandy Rivers on How I Met Your Mother. You couldn't make this stuff up. But oddities aside, it's a great movie with a bomb cast, and right now you can watch it on something you're probably already paying for. Enjoy.
With my one day off this week where I was actually home, I was able to finish the last few chapters of Dishonored. So before I get too far into that, I'll issue a spoilers warning. They're coming. Prepare yourself. For starters, I was surprised how the story went. I know I shouldn't be, the spy being betrayed by his handlers isn't exactly a new thing, but I was. It was to the point that even when the world was getting all fuzzy during the party that I didn't go straight to being drugged, I thought it was the Outsider doing something that only I could see. There was no obviously sketchy Loyalist who you knew was going to rat the group out. Even Martin, who I was the most skeptical of, seemed genuine. I didn't even slightly suspect Havelock. He was always presented as such a firm believer in the cause; and even though your clockwork heart tells you of his ruthlessness, I assumed that honor and duty would win out. I really did enjoy the gameplay though. I went stealth the whole game, and attempted my no kills and no detects playthough first. Which would have been completely successful if not for the Granny Rags / Slackjaw debacle in the Flooded District that I couldn't avoid. It was a little tedious at times, but it was still a lot of fun. Even so, I feel like I am missing out on a lot of the game by not using half the tools I was given. There were a lot of situations where I could think of good power/equipment combos that would get me out of a tight spot, but would inevitably kill someone. I know I won't like the world that action will create (which makes we wish I took that approach first and could end on the happier note), but until then it'll be like I've only played part of a game. The environment created was also pretty incredible. There was no involved backstory that fed you the information you needed. Instead, the game gave you glimpses into the world though journals and books that you could read and from random NPCs talking to themselves or each other. These things gave you so much more insight into the dystopian world you're trying to fight against than the world your character is actually able to explore. Not that the gameplay environment wasn't great, but the context you were able to glean added so much to it. Which is what I'd expect out of a Bethesda game. All in all, I really liked Dishonored, and I'm looking forward to another playthough. I think they provided solid gameplay with a lot of cool mechanics and an environment that let you use them in unconventional ways. Combined with a solid, well-told story, this ranks up there as one of the better games I've ever played. So if you're on the fence about picking up Dishonored, my recommendation would be to go for it (especially if it's a Steam Sale day).
In the spirit of yesterday's holiday, I decided to do a little digging to find a good holiday-themed comic cover for this week's post. Interestingly enough, there weren't a whole of options to choose from, but perhaps this is evidence that the modern comic book publisher is avoiding the potential to alienate certain readerships by focusing on a particular holiday tradition. Or more likely, people have just run out of new ideas for Christmas comic stories. There are only so many times a villain with cold-oriented powers or tendencies can escape for a late December crime spree, and the PSA stories of the past have really never found a solid foothold in today's media beyond select children's programming. Even looking outside of comics, I can only remember one Christmas episode from Batman the Animated Series (the one where the Joker escapes Arkham on a rocket Christmas tree singing "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells"... classic) and don't remember any holiday episodes from Spider-Man the Animated Series. Regardless of the comic industry's approach to December sales, I did find a cool cover from last year. Created by Tim Seeley and Leonardo Olea, it definitely got an Avenger's feel to it. Anyway, that's really all I got this time. It's the day after Christmas, and I used all my creative analysis up on last week's post. Besides, I have a rare, free day off, and I hope to use it to finally finish Dishonored. So Merry (late) Christmas, everyone.
This week's cover is one I almost posted about the first week it came out, but I think it got beat out by one of the incredible Batwoman covers by JH Williams III. I'd forgotten about it until this weekend when I saw it a comic shop while I was out buying a copy of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, which I thought provided a really interesting view of Deadpool, but that's getting off topic. Anyway, this week's cover features Karma, a hero I honestly knew nothing about until I first noticed the cover and did some research. Karma is a telepath whose primary ability is mental possession. When I first saw the cover, I thought she was some kind of cyborg like Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers, but it turns out her leg is a prosthetic that she received after having her leg cut off in a flight with Cameron Hodge (who actually is a cyborg) in the New Mutants series. Relatedly, she is one of the founding members of the New Mutants, and is also notable in the comic world as one of the first major lesbian characters in a mainstream series. The cover itself is done by Rachelle Rosenberg and Dustin Weaver, who has a cool blog post that talks about the development of that cover as well as some alternate designs. What I really like about the cover is the scene it depicts and how it reminds me of Stan Lee's vision for more human superheros. This cover, in a more basic sense, shows a girl sitting at the edge of her bed. Illustrate it slightly differently and she could be talking on the phone or tying her shoe or painting her toenails; things that anyone could be doing in this scene and you wouldn't think twice about it. Now, show the same girl is working on her robotic leg, and the image becomes a lot less commonplace even though the task is no more uncommon to the subject than anything else she could be doing at that time. It's like a Norman Rockwell magazine cover, except in a different universe. I can't say I've seen a lot of these kinds of covers (although X-23 Target X #2 is one that comes to mind); but to me, that is the essence of the humanity Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced into superheros with the Fantastic Four that revolutionized Marvel Comics and even comics in a much larger sense. It's the idea that despite the astonishing or amazing or fantastic things that these characters do, they are still people like us. And I like seeing that.
Today we're going a little beyond dinosaurs (even though they're awesome) to look at a couple representatives from a series that I've been holding in my back pocket for a while now. These two covers are issues four and five of the newest volume of Hawkeye, which - if you've been paying attention to any form of entertainment anytime in the last hundred years - is further proof that we think bows and arrows are badass. I've been following this series since it came out a few months ago, and I've been really impressed with the cover art by David Aja. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I like elegant and simplistic comic covers, and these are no exception. Even though the subject of both of these are very simple with a lot of white space, they are very visually appealing and manage to convey a lot of emotion. Although it's not as apparent in these two covers, Aja also frequently uses of color as a theme for his covers. However, what these two covers do serve as is a kind of transition point for those color themes, shifting from blue and purple (issues 1 though 3) to red (issues 5 and beyond). His designs also take on a retro feel to them, and you can see this and these other elements in nearly all of his cover work (and some of his interior work as well). So if you like it, check out his blog that I linked to above, and you should be able to find more.
So my brain neglected to remind me that today is in fact Wednesday, and I neglected to do any research or searching for a potential cover write about prior to right now. However, as luck would have it, Marvel just happened to be releasing this gem by Gabriele Dell'Otto today. The one sentence rundown for the story here is, "Spider-Man fights dinosaurs in the Savage Land." Best thing ever, right? But wait, there's more. What makes it even better (and the reason I chose this cover over the previous issue) is that Spider-Man is teaming up with a dinosaur (specifically, Devil Dinosaur) to fight other dinosaurs (specifically, scientifically enhanced Velociraptors). Yes, comic books are that awesome. So if you were hoping for some intelligent or insightful commentary on a particular piece of comic book cover art today, I'm afraid I don't have any. To be fair though, this is the Internet; and if there's anything the Internet needs to showcase more, it's pictures of Spider-Man riding a dinosaur. Good day.