Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Iron Man Music Video by Rooney



Here's something cool! A music video for Iron Man: Armored Adventures by the Los Angeles based rock band Rooney. This will be theme song for the up and coming Nicktoons animated series.

I have to say that I wasn't impressed at the beginning but really liked the chorus. Catchy, energetic, and great harmonies! Plus we see Iron Man fighting a villain we haven't seen yet: Unicorn! What do you think?

Subtext




Season: 1
Episode Number: 24
Season Episode Number: 11
Production Number: 211
Airdate: March 16, 2009

Writer: Nicole Dubuc
Director: Kevin Altieri

Voices: Josh Keaton (Spider-Man), Lacey Chabert (Gwen Stacy), James Arnold Taylor (Harry Osborn), Alanna Ubach (Liz Allan), Vanessa Marshall (Mary Jane Watson), Jeff Bennett (St. John Devereaux), Steve Blum (Blackie Gaxton, Green Goblin), Alan Rachins (Norman Osborn), Brian George (Miles Warren), Dee Bradley Baker (Curt Conners), Eric Lopez (Molten Man).

Plot: In an attempt to pay off some gambling debts, Mark Allan agrees to undergo an experimental procedure which turns him into the Molten Man!

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Green Goblin, who has been sneaking around for the past few episodes, has finally come out to play and he does that by claiming the spot of the Big Man of New York!

Spinning directly out of the events of the last episode, we get to see the Goblin acting a bit more like the Goblin that fans have come to know and love over the years. Slightly crazy, but intelligent, scheming and manipulative.

So the big question on everyone's mind is whether or not Harry is still the Green Goblin. He has been seen with the Globulen Green formula in a few recent episodes. Could he be back?

On the other hand, the Goblin enlisted Mark Allan for experimental testing, but Norman Osborn was the one behind the actual test. There seems like an obvious connection there.

Molten Man's animation debut doubles as his origin story which is told in a way that is different than any other iteration of the character.

Instead of a brilliant scientist that gets greedy and spills his experimental liquid all over himself, Mark Raxton (renamed Mark Allan for this series) is a teenager with a gambling addiction. Mark's attempts to get himself out of debt ends up turning him into the Molten Man with the Green Goblin able to control when Mark uses his powers.

From the beginning of this show, I have really been impressed with what they decide to be faithful to and what they decide to change. Montana being Shocker, Silver Sable being Silvermane's daughter, Harry Osborn being the first Green Goblin, Kraven becoming a beast-person, and the Venom Saga are all changes to this series that give Spectacular Spider-Man its own identity while at the same time paying faithful tribute to the comics in stories such as the Master Planner arc and the Colonel Jupiter story.

The change in Molten Man's origin story is another change that I am okay with. This new tale creates a more sympathetic character for Spider-Man, and if Mark is to eventually be an ally for Spider-Man like he is in the comics, this change will be more natural.

Another change they made for this series is making Mark and Liz biological siblings rather than half-siblings. A minor change in my opinion, and one that works for the show since Mark and Liz seem to have a closer relationship.

Subtext lives up to its name by crafting a creative tale woven together by flashbacks as well as the Shakespeare subtext that bookends the episode. This episode is a highlight of season two.


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Monday, March 30, 2009

Gangland




Season: 2
Episode Number: 23
Season Episode Number: 10
Production Number: 210
Airdate: March 13, 2009

Writer: Andrew Robinson
Director: Jennifer Coyle

Voices: Josh Keaton (Spider-Man), James Arnold Taylor (Harry Osborn, Frederick Foswell), Lacey Chabert (Gwen Stacy), Vanessa Marshall (Mary Jane Watson), Joshua LeBar (Flash Thompson), Alanna Ubach (Liz Allan), Grey DeLisle (Sally Avril), Eric Lopez (Mark Allan), Kelly Hu (Sha Shan Nguyen), Andrew Kishino (Kenny Kong), Daran Norris (J. Jonah Jameson), Jane Lynch (Joan Jameson), Clancy Brown (Captain George Stacy), Steve Blum (Blackie Gaxston, Green Goblin), Deborah Strang (May Parker), Dorian Harewood (Doc Bromwell), John DiMaggio (Hammerhead), Kevin Michael Richardson (Tombstone), Peter MacNicol (Doctor Octopus), Nikki Cox (Silver Sable), Miguel Ferrer (Silvermane).


Plot: A secret meeting between New York's top mob bosses, Tombstone, Doctor Octopus and Silvermane, ends up in gunfight and superpowered fisticuffs. Too bad Peter Parker is out on a Valentine's Day date with Liz Allan!

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Gangland brings to a close the storyarc that focuses on Spider-Man's relationship with organized crime. This element of Spider-Man's history is not often touched on nowadays, but in the past, Spider-Man had his work cut out for him what with Silvermane, Tombstone, Hammerhead, Kingpin and many others battling to be king of the underworld.

Ordinary super-villain thugs made up the majority of Spidey's battles in the first season. Sandman, Rhino, the Enforcers, Shocker, Vulture and many others all relied on their powers rather than their brains.

Season two has already seen a change in the types of villains Spider-Man is fighting. The season started out with Venom who used his brains to torment Peter, Doctor Octopus who was brilliantly organizing his crimes from jail, and now in this episode, Spider-Man has to fight the leaders of organized crime. Three men who didn't get to where they are because the have fancy powers.

Spider-Man is out of his league in this fight and this fact is obvious as the Wall-Crawler stays on the sidelines for the most part and rescues civilians.

Silvermane finally makes his appearance in this series but instead of being a cyborg, this version of the aging gangster has an exo-suit that enhances his strength. Silvermane was built up to be an intimidating force not to be messed with in the past few episodes and I'm glad that he proved this to be true. One complaint I had with the Silvermane from 90s Spider-Man cartoon was that Silvermane was too much old man and not enough Robocop.

While not the focus of the episode, the plotline regarding Peter's love life takes a step in the right direction as Mark confronts Peter about his attitude toward Gwen and how that is affecting his sister, Liz, whom Peter is dating. That moment was probably more painful to Peter than being squeezed to death by Silvermane.

While not the best of the series, Gangland is a fairly enjoyable episode. Although I found the three episodes that made up this story arc to be a little tame compared to the rest of the season.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekend Round-Up - March 27-29



Here is a list of new superhero cartoons debuting this weekend in the US:

Please note:
  • Wolverine and the X-Men will be in reruns on Nicktoons until May.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold will be preempted on Friday March 27 for the Ben 10 season finale






  • Here is a list of new superhero cartoons debuting this weekend in the Canada:

    Saturday, March 28, 2009
    YTV, 11:30am (ET)
    Wolverine and the X-Men - Rover


    Marrow's attachment to a reprogrammed Sentinel proves to be a liability when the future X-Men break into Mastermold's home base in order to gather information about the exact day the world was destroyed and are depending on the reprogrammed Sentinel's help to get out alive.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009
    Teletoon, 9:00am (ET)
    Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Deep Cover for Batman!


    Batman must travel to a parallel Earth disguised as Owlman, the alternate world version of Batman, in order to stop the Injustice Syndicate from destroying his home world.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009
    Teletoon, 10:30am (ET)
    Spectacular Spider-Man - Subtext


    Determined to be a better boyfriend to Liz Allan, Peter Parker wishes he could help her brother Mark Allan. But when Green Goblin blackmails Mark into doing his bidding, neither Liz, Mary Jane Watson nor Spider-Man may be able to save him!

    Foresight, Part Three




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 26
    Season Episode Number: 26
    Production Number: 126
    Airdate: March 12, 2009

    Writer: Greg Johnson
    Director: Boyd Kirkland

    Voices: Steve Blum (Wolverine), Nolan North (Cyclops), Fred Tatasciore (Beast), Danielle Judovits (Shadowcat), Kieren van den Blink (Rogue), Kari Wahlgren (Emma Frost), Liam O'Brien (Nightcrawler), Jennifer Hale (Jean Grey), (John Grey), Jim Ward (Professor X), Gwendoline Yeo (Domino), Unknown (Mastermold), Tom Kane (Magneto), Mark Hildreth (Quicksilver), Kate Higgins (Scarlet Witch), Unknown (Sebastian Shaw), Unknown (Selene Gallio).

    Plot: The Inner Circle manage to draw the Phoenix out of Jean Grey but it proves to be more powerful than anyone could have imagined. Now Cyclops, Emma Frost and the rest of the X-Men must find a way to stop it before it destroys the world! Plus, the future X-Men begin their assault on Mastermold and the Sentinels!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Wolverine and the X-Men Season One ends with a bang, and it's a big one! All the plots are brought together in a way that you can tell the writers have planned since the very first episode. Even in this final episodes there are major twists that change everything you thought you knew! And the X-Men finally get to see some action!

    The future storyline brings back Polaris, a character I thought we'd never see again. But it's nice to be wrong as she proved to be a valuable team player. And Mastermold reveals her true form and it appears to look very similar to the manifestation the Danger Room took on when it gained self-awareness in Astonishing X-Men #9.

    As I said in my review of Foresight, Part One, we have grown attached to this future band of X-Men and it is mostly likely that they no longer exist in the next season.

    I suppose that Marrow is the only character that actually got any development so hopefully the writers will find a way to bring her to the present, and we'll see Xavier and Domino in the present in the next season, and I suppose Bishop could just travel back in time, so I guess we will see most of these characters after all. But what about Vanisher, Berzerker and Hellion?! Oh wait, I don't actually care about them.

    The main bulk of this episode focuses on Emma's story. I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that we don't get to see a little bit more of evil Emma. They built up her character a little too soft throughout the season, so the revelation that she was a mole made fans jump for joy. But it was short lived as she quickly realized what side she should be on.

    And the love triangle didn't really play out like I was expecting. Although it was nice to see Scott be completely faithful to Jean and not fall into Emma's skanky rebound radar, Emma's swooning over Scott felt completely out of character to those who are used to Emma being a real bitch. Like many elements of the show, Emma's character has been rewritten for the show and a comparison between the show and the comics, however natural that may be, would not do the show justice.

    As I said in a previous review, I'm glad that they played out the Phoenix Saga in a way that is different than what had been done before. It is new and fresh and kept us not knowing what would come next! And the ending... wow. It is so hard to write a review without giving away the major spoilers! Go watch this episode now if you haven't already.

    This season has been really impressive. I'm glad to see that it lived up to all the hype and delivered us a quality program with top notch writing, acting and animation. Here's to an even better second season, which looks like it will be set in the Age of Apocalypse, one of my favourite comic book sagas! And I don't even care that I let that major spoiler out of the bag.



    DVD Releases:
  • Wolverine and the X-Men, The Complete First Season (Canada Exclusive)


  • Back to Episode Guide

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    More Juicy Iron Man Info



    You can tell that Iron Man: Armored Adventures is just around the corner because there has been plenty of news lately! In case you have been living on the moon, IM:AA debuts in Canada on Teletoon on April 12 and on Nicktoons in the US on April 24.

    Today, Marvel Animation Age has posted episode descriptions of the first seven episodes as written by Teletoon. They have also provided the schedule for the first four episodes.

    I personally think that episode descriptions should be a bit more vague then what Teletoon has written. I felt the same way about the Spectacular Spider-Man episode descriptions that Teletoon provided that site a few months back. So be warned! There are plenty of spoilers!

    Foresight, Part Two




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 25
    Season Episode Number: 25
    Production Number: 125
    Airdate: March 11, 2009

    Writer: Greg Johnson
    Director: Nick Filippi

    Voices: Steve Blum (Wolverine, Vanisher), Nolan North (Cyclops), Fred Tatasciore (Beast), Jennifer Hale (Jean Grey), Kari Wahlgren (Emma Frost), Jim Ward (Professor X), Kevin Michael Richardson (Bishop), Gwendoline Yeo (Domino), Unknown (Mastermold), Tom Kane (Magneto), Liza del Mundo (Polaris), Kate Higgins (Scarlet Witch), Mark Hildreth (Quicksilver), Unknown (Sebastian Shaw), Unknown (Selene Gallio).

    Plot: Sentinels begin their attack on Genosha causing dissension in the ranks when Scarlet Witch makes an important decision about which side she's on. Plus, the Inner Circle's true intentions with the Phoenix are revealed causing Emma Frost to question her loyalty. Meanwhile in the future, the future X-Men form their plan to take down Mastermold.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Part two of the three-part finale continues to deliver plenty of action, unfortunately none of it has to do with the X-Men.

    Once again, the X-Men are treated as totally useless characters, focusing on the dozens of other characters that have been introduced over the course of the season. The X-Men get captured, then walk into a building. Whoop-de-doo. I sure hope that the last episode actually features the titular team.

    This griping may make it seem like I didn't enjoy this episode. On the contrary, I thought it was really good. We get to see the return of X-23, a character we only saw briefly in Stolen Lives. But this time there is four of her! An army of Wolverine and four Wolverine clones would probably be enough to take down Mastermold. I don't know why Logan asks the rest of the team to help.

    We get to see the members of the Inner Circle (they still haven't been called the Hellfire Club) use their powers.

    Here's how they break down: Donald Pierce emits a blast from his hand. This is because he is a cyborg; Harry Leland has the power to change an object's mass, which is why Cyclops is forced to the ground; Sebastian Shaw absorbs kinetic energy, much like Bishop, but does not redirect it. The energy simply makes him stronger; Selene has the ability to drain one's life-force.

    Even though the main plot of this three-part finale focuses on the Phoenix and the Sentinels, the real arc is in the characters of Emma Frost and Scarlet Witch, both of whom have to make a big decision in this episode about loyalties.

    Foresight, Part Two is another excellent episode. However, if I have one thing to say, it is this: I feel that the episode falls into the trap that many second-of-three episodes fall into. There is too much story for two episodes, but not enough for three. I thought that much of this episode was drawn out because there wasn't enough content. But this is a minor squabble, especially since the optimal viewing experience is on DVD where all three episodes can be watched as a whole rather than on television.

    DVD Releases:
  • Wolverine and the X-Men, The Complete First Season (Canada Exclusive)


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    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Iron Man Villians Line-Up



    MarvelKids.com has produced a new online game that ties into the new Iron Man: Armored Adventures animated series. The best part of this site is the Bios section that gives a look at a few of the villains that we will see in the series. Check out these bios for Killer Shrike, Madame Masque, Mr. Fix, Black Knight, Living Laser, Whiplash and Count Nefaria!













    Iron Man Character Designs



    Head on over to Dario Brizuela's blog to see some of his character designs for Iron Man: Armored Adventures. The sketches show some concept art for Tony Stark, Iron Man and Arthur Parks, aka the Living Laser!

    Dario Brizuela is a talented artist who has worked on many of the comic books that are based on animated shows, such as Teen Titans Go!, The Batman Strikes and Justice League Unlimited.

    And while we're on the subject, check out Marvel Animation Age for a complete list of episode titles for the upcoming series.

    Foresight, Part One




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 24
    Season Episode Number: 24
    Production Number: 124
    Airdate: March 10, 2009

    Writer: Greg Johnson
    Director: Steve Gordon

    Voices: Steve Blum (Wolverine, Vanisher), Nolan North (Cyclops), Fred Tatasciore (Beast), Kari Wahlgren (Emma Frost), Liam O'Brien (Nightcrawler), Jennifer Hale (Jean Grey), Jim Ward (Professor X), Gwendoline Yeo (Domino), Tara Strong (Marrow), Unknown (Mastermold), Tom Kane (Magneto), Kate Higgins (Scarlet Witch), Mark Hildreth (Quicksilver), Richard Doyle (Senator Kelly), Phil LaMarr (Bolivar Trask), Unknown (Sebastian Shaw).

    Plot: Jean Grey has been abducted, but as the X-Men begin the search a new problem arises. Magneto has forced the hand of Senator Kelly into launching a Sentinel attack on Genosha so that he can strike back and begin the war! Meanwhile in the future, Mastermold has captured Xavier and is forcing him to reveal the locations of mutants all over the world!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Foresight, Part One is the first part to the three-part season finale. This whole season has been a rollercoaster ride of different stories characters and timelines, and now they have all come together to signal the end. Let's talk about each plotline individually:

    Jean's abductors, as revealed at the end of the last episode, are the Hellfire Club, however they have yet to call themselves that. Shaw refers to them as the Inner Circle, which is the five pictured to the left (White King - Donald Pierce, Black Bishop - Harry Leland, White Queen - Emma Frost, Black King - Sebastian Shaw, Black Queen - Selene Gallio). Also featured as part of the Hellfire Club are the unnamed Stepford Cuckoos, a set of identical quintuplets, all linked psychically, that Emma took under her wing in the comics. This is their first animated appearance.

    Nothing really to talk about with this plotline, except that I really like how they are playing out the Phoenix storyarc without it being "The Phoenix Saga". It is simply part of the overall story.

    In Genosha, Magneto takes matters into his own hands and replaces Senator Kelly with Mystique who orders the Sentinel program back online. I knew that either Kelly or Magneto would find a reason to continue the war. I just thought it would be the pig-headed Senator, but it is a good turn of his character to have Magneto purposefully have the Sentinels attack his kingdom. This shows that he is serious and would do anything to have his way.

    As usual, the X-Men don't really have any part in this episode. At the beginning of the episode they start looking for Jean but don't find her and at the end of the episode they try to attack the Sentinel headquarters but end up crashing the Blackbird and getting knocked unconscious. Useless, the whole lot.

    It's a darn good thing that all the other characters in this show are interesting, because at this point, I don't think anyone actually cares what happens to the X-Men.

    In the future, Xavier's future X-Men get captured. Marrow's plan of only turning in Xavier turns horribly wrong and a new, stronger Cerebro is built by Mastermold so that all the mutants all over the world can be tracked down.

    Unfortunately, we are getting attached to these characters only to find that they will probably be wiped out in the last episode when Wolverine finds a way to stop the war and change the future. It's too bad, really. I kind of like this team.

    Be prepared for a wild ride, because there is so much going on and you can bet that it isn't going to slow down in the next episode.

    DVD Releases:
  • Wolverine and the X-Men, The Complete First Season (Canada Exclusive)


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    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Mask of the Phantasm gets New Soundtrack Treatment!



    Last week, World's Finest scooped the story of a brand new, extended version of the Batman: Mask of the Phantasm soundtrack that is being released by La La Land Records, the same company behind the wonderful Batman: the Animated Series soundtrack that was released late last year.

    La La Land Record will begin taking pre-orders today at noon (PST) and will ship the discs on March 31st. There will only be a limited number (3000) of discs so reserve your copy today!

    The new Extended Archival Edition Soundtrack will feature over 27 minutes of material that didn't appear on the previous release of the soundtrack in 1993 as well as a 20-page booklet featuring in-depth liner notes. Head on over to World's Finest for the complete track listing, then pre-order your copy from La La Land Records before it's too late!