Friday, May 29, 2009

Weekend Round-Up - May 29-31



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

Friday, May 29, 2009
Nicktoons, 7:00pm (ET/PT)
Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Field Trip


Tony's trial run of his new stealth armour backfires when his armour is drained of its power leaving him trapped inside Stark Enterprises. Forced to leave his armour hidden inside the building, it is up to Tony, Rhodey and Pepper to arrange a class field trip to Stark Enterprises to retrieve the armour without arousing Obadiah Stane's suspicions!

Friday, May 29, 2009
Nicktoons, 8:00pm (ET/PT)
Wolverine and the X-Men - Greetings from Genosha


The boat carrying Nightcrawler and the other mutant refugees finally arrives at Genosha. And while Magneto and Scarlet Witch treat their guests with the utmost respect, things are not exactly as they seem.

Friday, May 29, 2009
Cartoon Network, 8:30pm (ET/PT)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Legends of the Dark Mite!


Batman's biggest fan, Bat-Mite, is also his biggest nightmare when the 5th-Dimensional imp pops up and in an effort to make Batman a better hero, throws Gotham City into chaos. Kidnapping the Dark Knight and traveling to the surreal 5th Dimension, the adventure continues with references to many of the classic villains.




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

Sunday, May 31, 2009
Teletoon, 8:00am (ET/PT)
Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Ancient History 101


The search is on for the Makluan Rings, and Tony and his friends go back to square one… the site where Tony’s dad found the first ring. But at the site, they find more than they bargained for, namely a test… and a Guardian.

Please Note:
  • Still no word on when Brave and the Bold is airing new episodes.
  • The Mermen of Emor




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 1B
    Season Episode Number: 1B
    Production Number: Unknown
    Airdate: September 10, 1966

    Writer: Oscar Bensol
    Director: Hal Sutherland

    Voices: Jackson Beck (Narrator), Bud Collyer (Superman), Jack Grimes (Jimmy Olden), Unknown (Triton), Unknown (Orange Diver), Unknown (Green Diver).

    Plot: After receiving orders from Clark to not dive to the bottom of the ocean, Jimmy Olsen dives to the bottom of the ocean only to be captured by a race of mermen who are collecting deep sea divers to use in their Romanesque area games.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Mermen of Emor marks the animation debut of Superman's pal, Jimmy Olson. Much like his Silver Age character, Jimmy is a eager, naive photojournalist who leaps before he looks. Lucky he has his signal watch (which is apparently very water proof according to this episode) that alerts Superman of any danger he is in.

    Voicing Jimmy is Jack Grimes, who is reunited in this series with Bud Collyer, the voice of Superman. Both actors, along with Joan Alexander, the voice of Lois Lane, appeared together in a Superman radio program in the 40s.

    As with many of the episodes in this series, many basic human fundamentals are lost in the writing of the show, such as not being able to breathe underwater. Apparently, according to this episode humans are able to breathe and talk underwater and there is no need for air. And can Superman fly underwater? I'm not sure about that.

    The underwater city of Emor bares a strong resemblance to the lost city of Atlantis. So why didn't the writers use an actual mythical city rather than make one up that is very similar? The Roman influence would even sort of match the time period of when Atlantis existed above water.

    Overall, this episode is just okay. There are some of these six minute episodes that I would like to be a little bit longer in order to develop the story a bit more, but this one is just the right length.

    DVD Releases:
  • The New Adventures of Superman

  • Back to Episode Guide

    Thursday, May 28, 2009

    R.I.P. Tony Peters



    I just read that animation writer Antony Peters passed away last Sunday in New York. Peters is best known for his work as a designer for Rankin/Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In fact, he was a big help in the development of the stop-motion animation process that Rankin/Bass called Animagic.

    Peters worked for Grantray-Lawrence Animation in the mid 60s developing Rocket Robinhood and was one of the writers responsible for adapting comic book stories for The Marvel Super Hero Show.

    If you want to learn more about Tony Peters and what he contributed to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I recommend reading Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Making of the Rankin/Bass Holiday Classic.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    The Color of Revenge!




    Season: 2
    Episode Number: 18
    Season Episode Number: 5
    Production Number: 118
    Airdate: May 22, 2009

    Writer: Todd Casey
    Director: Michael Chang

    Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman, Solomon Grundy), Cranford Wilson (Robin), Jeffrey Tambor (Crazy Quilt, Green, Red), Jeremy Shada (Young Robin), Sean Donnellan (Officer, Blue)


    Plot: Batman travels to Blüdhaven to assist Robin, now grown up and independent, in the recapture of Crazy Quilt, who blames Robin for the loss of his eyesight and is out for revenge. The only problem is that Robin doesn't want Batman's help, and Batman just won't go away.

    Teaser: An early adventure of Batman and Robin Boy Wonder leads to the capture of Crazy Quilt. This teaser is a set up of the main episode.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): I found that the topic of Batman and Robin's strained past is a bit odd for Brave and the Bold. A story so wrought with tension and history doesn't seem to fit in a show that features a fun, adventurous Batman.

    That being said, not only does this story not fit in the series, it also might be hard for new Batman audiences to understand the gravity of their past due to the history not really being explained in this episode. There is a jump from the campy Adam West intro where everything is okay, to the present day with no word about what happened.

    I know this show isn't Batman: the Animated Series, so I shouldn't really expect the same sort of depth, so maybe this episode does work on more superficial level. Maybe I just need to ask an eight year old and get them to tell me what the episode is about to see if it works. Or maybe I should just watch The New Batman Adventures episode, Old Wounds.

    This version of Robin is an adult Dick Grayson in his Earth-2 Robin costume with major Dick Sprang influence. However, he is protecting the city of Blüdhaven, which makes me wonder why they didn't go with Nightwing, the persona that Dick takes up after quitting being Robin.

    Don't take my bellyaching as a sign that you shouldn't watch this episode. You should. Through all its shortcomings the adventure is still fun, the episode plays out well, and it is great to see the dynamic duo together for the first time in this series.

    You will also want to check out Crazy Quilt who, having had a couple of cameo spots in previous episodes, finally gets a starring role. His origin is fairly true to the comics, including his hatred of Robin for what Robin did to his eyesight. While not the most intriguing villain, his is a classic one that will hopefully be more developed, should we ever get to see Robin again.

    Back to Episode Guide

    Monday, May 25, 2009

    A Pictorial History of Lex Luthor

    Many of you may be thinking "How many possible ways can you draw a bald guy?" Well, here are eleven! This is the pictorial history of Lex Luthor starting from his first appearance in The New Adventures of Superman in 1966.

    I have included pictures of Lex in his power suit so that you can see some of that progression as well. However, I have not included pictures of Professor X, Obadiah Stane or Uatu the Watcher.

    Which one is your favourite?


    The New Adventures of Superman (1966)


    Challenge of the Super Friends (1978)


    Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984)


    Superman (1988)


    Superman (1996)


    Justice League (2002)


    Krypto the Superdog (2005)


    Justice League Unlimited (2005)


    The Batman - The Batman/Superman Story (2007)


    Superman: Doomsday (2007)


    Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)


    Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)

    Field Trip




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 8
    Season Episode Number: 8
    Production Number: 108
    Airdate: May 17, 2009

    Writer: Len Uhley
    Director: Stéphane Juffé and Philippe Guyenne

    Voices: Adrian Petriw (Iron Man), Daniel Bacon (Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes), Anna Cummer (Pepper Potts), Vincent Tong (Gene Khan), Alistair Abell (Happy Hogan), Mackenzie Gray (Obadiah Stane), Kristie Marsden (Whitney Stane), Unknown (O'Brian), Rebecca Shoicet (Tricia), Unknown (Principal), Ron Halder (Professor Abraham Klein), Lisa Ann Beley (Iron Man Onboard Computer).

    Plot: Tony's trial run of his new stealth armour backfires when his armour is drained of its power leaving him trapped inside Stark Enterprises. Forced to leave his armour hidden inside the building, it is up to Tony, Rhodey and Pepper to arrange a class field trip to Stark Enterprises to retrieve the armour without arousing Obadiah Stane's suspicions!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): We knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. Tony Stark loses his armour and has to spend the whole episode as Tony. This is a great chance to explore the world of teenage Tony, find out a little more about his personality and how he deals with stressful situations.

    The writing for this story is top notch, bringing us a compelling plot that will make you think "Ocean's Eleven for kids". The elaborate plan that Pepper concocts not only serves as an engaging story, but also establishes how well this trio will work together throughout the course of the season.

    Also used well are the supporting cast members, who all get to play a role in Pepper's plan. It's nice to see Happy have another side to him, and the exchange between Gene and Rhodey shows Gene's potential, should he ever be let into the "Scooby Gang".

    I really like Gene. He is the most interesting character in the show. I only hope the he and Tony become good friends for a little while, sort of how Clark and Lex are friends in the first few seasons of Smallville.

    This episode introduces us to Whitney Stane, the daughter of Obadiah Stane. In the comics, Stane has no daughter, but Tony has an "on again, off again" girlfriend named Whitney Frost, the daughter of Count Nefaria, who also shares an "on again, off again" superhero relationship with Iron Man as the villain called Madam Masque. Is this Whitney one and the same? Only time will tell. My only complaint about Whitney is that instead of having only one annoying female character (Pepper), it looks like we might have two annoying female characters in this show.

    As usual, I will end my review stating that the animation in this show doesn't show off the characters' emotions as well as it could. And nowhere is it more evident than in this episode where none off the characters have armour to hide behind.

    That being said, I still enjoyed the episode because of its writing and can look past the animation to enjoy its finer points.

    DVD Releases:
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Volume Two

  • Back to Episode Guide

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    Weekend Round-Up - May 22-24



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

    Friday, May 22, 2009
    Nicktoons, 7:00pm (ET/PT)
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Iron Man vs. The Crimson Dynamo


    The Crimson Dynamo, a robotic super suit carrying an Russian astronaut, returns to Earth. Only problem is everyone thought he was dead! Now the Crimson Dynamo only has one thing on his mind: Destruction of those who left him in space to die!

    Friday, May 22, 2009
    Nicktoons, 7:30pm (ET/PT)
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Meltdown


    When a new super villain called the Living Laser appears, Tony realizes that he can no longer juggle school and Iron Man. Already brilliant and rich, he decides to give up school. He soon discovers that the entire future of Stark International rests on him graduating from high school, so he must find a way to be both Iron Man and Tony Stark.

    Friday, May 22, 2009
    Nicktoons, 8:00pm (ET/PT)
    Wolverine and the X-Men - Future X


    In the future, Xavier is captured by Sentinels and taken to a mutant concentration camp. With the help of Bishop, Xavier leads the mutants in an escape plan. Meanwhile in the present, Wolverine and the X-Men search for clues that will lead them to Master Mold.

    Friday, May 22, 2009
    Cartoon Network, 8:30pm (ET/PT)
    Batman: The Brave and the Bold - The Color of Revenge!


    Batman and Robin team up again, but it's not like it always was -- there was a reason Robin left to go work on his own. As Crazy Quilt comes after Robin for revenge, all the dirty laundry comes out between the dynamic duo!


    Please note:
  • Nicktoons is airing two back-to-back episodes of Iron Man: Armored Adventures this week.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men returns to Nicktoons with new episodes today!
  • Don't forget about the 12-hour Teen Titans marathon airing on Monday, May 25 on Boomerang!



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

    Friday, May 22, 2009
    Teletoon, 6:30pm (ET/PT)
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Meltdown

    When a new super villain called the Living Laser appears, Tony realizes that he can no longer juggle school and Iron Man. Already brilliant and rich, he decides to give up school. He soon discovers that the entire future of Stark International rests on him graduating from high school, so he must find a way to be both Iron Man and Tony Stark.

    Sunday, May 24, 2009
    Teletoon, 8:00am (ET/PT)
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Field Trip


    With a new prototype suit of stealth Armor, Tony decides to sneak into Stark International and see what Obadiah Stane is up to. Problem is, the suit is untested and promptly goes dead inside S.I. It’s only a matter of time before Stane finds it, and Tony needs a plan fast.


    Please Note:
  • Teletoon aired Field Trip last Sunday instead of the scheduled Meltdown. Teletoon usually airs the same episode the following Friday and the schedule still has Meltdown as the episode listed.
  • I'm not sure if Teletoon will repeat Field Trip this Sunday, if they will air Meltdown, or if they will move on to Ancient History 101. I guess we'll have to tune in to find out!
  • Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Iron Man vs. the Crimson Dynamo




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 6
    Season Episode Number: 6
    Production Number: 106
    Airdate: May 10, 2009

    Writer: Brandon Aumen
    Director: Stéphane Juffé and Philippe Guyenne

    Voices: Adrian Petriw (Iron Man), Daniel Bacon (Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes), Anna Cummer (Pepper Potts), Catherine Haggquist (Roberta Rhodes), Mark Oliver (Crimson Dynamo), Unknown (Harchov), Unknown (Reporter), Unknown (Isabel Vanko), Unknown (Anton Vanko's Son), Lisa Ann Beley (Iron Man Onboard Computer).


    Plot: The Crimson Dynamo, a robotic super suit carrying an Russian astronaut, returns to Earth. Only problem is everyone thought he was dead! Now the Crimson Dynamo only has one thing on his mind: Destruction of those who left him in space to die!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Iron Man vs the Crimson Dynamo features one of the best battles this series has seen yet. And it's only episode six! I find that the censors haven't been at this show nearly as much as I thought they would have. In the last episode we saw a teen being shot at by a machine gun. And not a laser machine gun, a real, honest-to-goodness machine gun! I haven't seen one of those in a cartoon since Batman: the Animated Series!

    In this episode, Iron Man is beaten, squished, exploded and hit with a tanker truck, and even though the censors have pretty strict rules about kids in peril, slap a suit of armor on him and you're good to go!

    The animation, timing and staging during the long battle is really thought out and well done. This is the show's strengths, especially since the animation can convey emotion through body language better than it can through facial expressions.

    It might have been just me, but it looked like some of the scenes were not put through the same filter that gives the show that flat look as the rest of the episode appear to have done. Take a look at the picture to the right for an example.

    This episode deals with one of Iron Man's oldest enemies, the Crimson Dynamo. Many people have embodied the Crimson Dynamo suit over the years, but this episode focuses on the original wearer of the suit, Anton Vanko. Just like they did with Blizzard, Crimson Dynamo's original origin has been scrapped and replaced with the out-for-revenge-because-the-world-has-turned-his-back-on-him origin. Effective with Mr. Freeze in Batman: the Animated Series? Yes. Effective with the Crimson Dynamo? No.

    The main difference is that Mr. Freeze was a sympathetic character. You could feel his hurt even though he claimed to have no emotions. Anton Vanko is simply full of rage and is an unstoppable force. Not much there for me to connect to.

    Not much on plot, not much of villain, this episode really only had an explosive street brawl to keep me interested. However, the hidden gem is the little bit of character development we got from Pepper. I bet she will become a great character.

    DVD Releases:
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Volume One

  • Back to Episode Guide

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    12-Hour Teen Titans Marathon!



    If you're looking for something to do on Monday, May 25th, you may want to tune into Boomerang's 12-hour Teen Titans marathon!

    Beginning at 12 noon and charging forth all the way until midnight, Boomerang will be airing dozens of episodes from the acclaimed series...without commercials!

    Based on the schedule on the Boomerang website, the marathon will include all of the second and third seasons as well as the first three episodes of season four, ending with the fan-favourite, Birthmark.

    12:00 pm How Long is Forever?
    12:25 pm Every Dog Has His Day
    12:50 pm Terra
    1:15 pm Only Human
    1:40 pm Fear Itself
    2:05 pm Date with Destiny
    2:30 pm Transformation
    2:55 pm Titan Rising
    3:20 pm Winner Take All
    3:45 pm Betrayal
    4:10 pm Fractured
    4:35 pm Aftershock: Part One
    5:00 pm Aftershock: Part Two
    5:25 pm Deception
    5:50 pm X
    6:15 pm Betrothed
    6:40 pm Crash
    7:05 pm Haunted
    7:30 pm Spellbound
    7:55 pm Revolution
    8:20 pm Wavelength
    8:45 pm Beast Within
    9:10 pm Can I Keep Him
    9:35 pm Bunny Raven...or....How to Make a Titananimal Disappear
    10:00 pm Titans East: Part I
    10:25 pm Titans East: Part II
    10:50 pm Episode 257-494
    11:15 pm Cyborg the Barbarian
    11:40 pm Birthmark

    I'm not sure why a show that only came in 2003 would be considered for a retro network, but it'll still be fun time!

    Spectacular Spider-Man, Season One DVD News!



    Fans have waited patiently, and now that the four individual volumes of Spectacular Spider-Man have been released, it is now time to unleash the Complete Season One!

    That's right! Spectacular Spider-Man - The Complete First Season on DVD is heading your way July 28th! All thirteen episodes as well as two new bonus featurettes, titled Spider-Man: Re-Animated and Stylizing Spidey will be included in this two-disc set.

    Click the picture to see the eFlyer!

    Plus, click on the image below to see the eFlyer for the upcoming The Batman Double Feature and Scooby-Doo Double Feature

    Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!




    Season: 2
    Episode Number: 4
    Season Episode Number: 17
    Production Number: 207
    Airdate: May 15, 2009

    Writer: Matt Wayne
    Director: Brandon Vietti

    Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman, Punch), Tom Everett Scott (Booster Gold), Billy West (Skeets), Michael Dorn (Kru'll the Eternal, Bane), Jane Singer (Trung, Jewelee), R. Lee Ermey (Wildcat).

    Plot: An immortal caveman has a plot to create an army of immortal super-cavemen and it is up to Batman and Booster Gold to stop him! But can Booster forget about fame and glory long enough to get the job done?

    Teaser: Batman and Wildcat take down Bane.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): By teaming Batman up with Booster Gold, one would think that Batman would fade into the background as Booster hogs the spotlight. Well, like in most episodes in this series, this is the case. However, unlike most episodes in this series, it is not handled well.

    Booster Gold is a wonderful character, but in this episode he comes off way too arrogant and self-centered. I know that those are his defining characteristics, but I would have liked to see a little more seriousness.

    The obvious comparison is the way Booster was written in The Greatest Story Never Told from Justice League Unlimited. Now there was a great version of Booster Gold. I know that this show is not trying to be JLU, but I can't help but make the comparison. Brave and the Bold gets bonus points for recasting Billy West as Skeets just as he did in Justice League Unlimited.

    The main villain in this episode may confuse some of you who know the history of Vandal Savage. The origin story is definitely that of Vandal, however, the meteor that gives him his intellect also provides him with super strength, something that Vandal Savage doesn't have in the comics.

    Furthermore, his character design is based on King Kull, a Captain Marvel villain from the 50s. Slap the two characters together and call him Kru'll the Eternal, one of Vandal Savage's aliases, and you have a brand new villain for Batman: the Brave and the Bold.

    The plot is simple, leaving room for plenty of action which is all well choreographed and animated. Star Trek: the Next Generation's Michael Dorn does a wonderful job of voicing both Kru'll and the various grunts that come out of the mouth of Bane during the teaser.

    Kru'll has a band of historical and powerful leaders that you may be able to discern. To me, they appear to be Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Ramses II, Alexander the Great and one of the Trung Sisters. In the comics, Vandal Savage has claimed that Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan are but few of the aliases he has claimed while trying to conquer the world throughout history.

    I have not had the same enthusiasm over these last four episodes as I did during the entire first thirteen. The quirkiness of the show seems to have been taken to the extreme in the last four episodes, which takes away from the charm and pseudo-believability that the show established at the beginning of its run.

    Back to Episode Guide