Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Long Arm of the Law!

Season: 2
Episode Number: 28
Season Episode Number: 2
Production Number: 201
Airdate: December 11, 2009

Writer: Jim Krieg
Director: Ben Jones

Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman), Tom Kenny (Plastic Man), Stephen Root (Woozy Winks), Jeff Bennett (Rubberneck), Jeffrey Combs (Kite Man), Jennnifer Hale (Ramona).

Plot: Kite Man kidnaps the Plastic Family in an attempt to get revenge on Plastic Man.

Teaser: Plastic Man and Batman must be vewy, vewy qwiet while trying to save some Boy Scouts from the Shaggy Men.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Rather than Batman: the Brave and the Bold, this episode seems like an episode of Plastic Man: the Brave and the Bold with this week's guest star, Batman! With much more character than he has ever received in this series so far, an excellent supporting cast, and the beginnings of a rogues gallery, I wonder if this was a little taste of the Plastic Man series that never made it past pilot phase back in 2006.

Due to a scheduling switcharoo, this episode is actually the debut of Plas' comic relief sidekick, Woozy Winks, even though we have already met him in the episode that aired previously, Death Race to Oblivion.

I'm not sure why Plastic Man need comic relief, but Woozy is a welcome addition to the Plastic cast and brings a different form of comedy to the episode. Plas' wife and child are introduced, taken straight out of the Ruby-Spears Plastic Man - Baby Plas Super Comedy Show from 1980, although Penny's name is changed to Ramona for reasons unknown to me.

The plot of Long Arm of the Law is pretty straight forward but allows to really expand on Plas' character and backstory. We are reintroduced to Kite Man, a fairly obscure character from the 60s, who is out for revenge on Plastic Man who used to be a Kite Man thug but ended up ratting him out in court. You will remember seeing a bit of this story in Terror on Dinosaur Island. This show is light on continuity, so it is nice to have little moments like this.

Kite Man is clearly not a serious character. I mean, wanting to be the most famous kite-related person in the world? Yet the writers are able to not only keep Kite Man's illusion that he is actually on par with the Joker, but also make him a viable threat. That takes some work but they pulled it off here.

Plastic Man episodes have some of the best animation. I am a big fan of Looney Tunes, so it is especially exciting to me any time I see a character squash and stretch in a world of densely animated characters.

This episodes teaser was amusing, using some rather obscure characters, the Shaggy Men, and an ages-old joke. Nothing special, but not a downer either. Over all, this is a great episode and one that should have kicked off the second season, but for some reason didn't.

Back to Episode Guide

Marvel Anime Series Descriptions - Plus Iron Man Anime Trailer!

It has been announced that G4 will be the exclusive U.S. television network for Marvel Entertainment's four new anime series produced by Madhouse and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan and will premiere in 2011. These four new shows will re-imagine some of Marvel's most popular characters as if they were originally created for a Japanese audience. Each series will be 12 episodes long with storylines that tie the four series together thanks to the brilliant mind of Warren Ellis.

Iron Man - In an effort to make amends for his weapons manufacturing past, Tony Stark has dedicated himself to building the world up rather than tearing it down. Traveling to Japan to build a new arc reactor that will deliver unlimited free energy to the Japanese people, Stark is challenged by the Japanese government and the media when he attempts to import the necessary nuclear priming device. And when the reactor-in-construction is repeatedly attacked by the mysterious Zodiac consortium, Stark must gather his allies to take on Zodiac and its mastermind.

X-Men - The X-Men are reunited following the death of a teammate, and are summoned by Charles Xavier to Japan following the abduction of Hisako Ichiki (Armor). There, they confront the U-Men, a lunatic cult that steals and transplants mutant organs to further strengthen their own army, and the battle for justice is on.

Wolverine - Based on the popular graphic novel by Frank Miller, the series begins in Japan, where Logan is challenged by Shingen Yashida, the notorious leader of a powerful mafia clan. When Shingen's employee Yukio, a female assassin, falls out of Shingen's favor, she must kill him or be killed. Teaming up with Logan, the pair seek out the villain to exact their revenge.

Blade - Eric Brooks -- known as Blade -- seeks revenge on Deacon Frost, the vampire lord who killed his mother while she was still pregnant with Eric. With all the powers of a vampire and none of their weaknesses, Blade's quest leads him throughout Southeast Asia in search of Frost, and, in Vietnam, he discovers a vampire plot that threatens to take down the whole world.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Death Race to Oblivion!

Season: 2
Episode Number: 27
Season Episode Number: 1
Production Number: 203
Airdate: November 20, 2009

Writer: Greg Weisman
Director: Michael Goguen

Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman), James Arnold Taylor (Green Arrow, Guy Gardner, Desmond), Tara Strong (Huntress, Billy Batson), Gary Anthony Williams (Mongul), Kevin Michael Richardson (Steppenwolf, Blockbuster), Jeff Bennett (Joker, Captain Marvel), Stephen Root (Woozy Winks), Tom Kenny (Plastic Man).

Plot: Mongel forces the greatest heroes and villains to race to the death against Steppenwolf, with cities all over the world at stake!

Teaser: Batman and Captain Marvel prevent Blockbuster from stealing a valuable diamond.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Season two premieres with the third second season episode produced. It is unclear why this episode was chosen to kick-off what many fans are anticipating to be an even better season than the first.

For an episode written by Greg Weisman, it falls quite flat. The majority of the episode is made up a giant race with goofy cars and snappy one-liners. It's not at all the character driven writing that we have come to expect from the creative force behind Gargoyles and Spectacular Spider-Man.

There are only a few things that I don't really like about Brave and the Bold and the use of CG vehicles is one of them. So, to have an entire episode devoted to showing off how poorly the CG blends with the crisp, sharp line art of the 2D animation is not my idea of a good episode.

However, there are a few things that I liked. Seeing so many characters in one episode reminded me of some episodes of Justice League. Having a principle cast that voices multiple characters makes this a reality, yet there are still some characters (Catwoman, Gentleman Ghost, Black Manta) that don't speak at all.

Using the Joker as the race commentator was a smart move and sort of a throwback to Hanna-Barbera's Wacky Races cartoon from the 60s. Plus, he's driving his Jokermobile which probably hasn't been seen since the 60s!

Another throwback, this time from the 40s, is Woozy Winks, Plastic Man's comic relief sidekick from his Quality Comics days. This is his animation debut and is a welcome addition to the Brave and the Bold family.

Those things, plus the Captain Marvel teaser, was all that was good about Death Race to Oblivion. The rest of the episode is full of bland characters, no interesting story, and bad CG. Over the course of the first season, expectations got higher and higher. It's too bad that the second season had to begin with a disappointment.

Back to Episode Guide

Warner Releases First Apocalypse Clip!

There you have it! The first look at the Michael Turner-influenced character designs for the upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse!

This film will drop in just a few short months, September 28, on DVD as a single-disc and double-disc, and on Blu-ray, and will include a DC Showcase starring Green Arrow.

And speaking of DC Showcase, Duncan at Superheroes-R-Us tells me that there will be a DC Showcase DVD release that will compile all of the Showcases made thus far (Spectre, Jonah Hex, Green Arrow) and will feature the all new 22-minute short, Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam! This one is coming our way November 9!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Red Hood, Upcoming Movies & DVD News!

Today's the day many fans have been waiting for!

Batman: Under the Red Hood is finally available on DVD in a single-disc and double-disc package as well as on Blu-ray!

Not only will you get a great feature film, but included in the package is a short starring Jonah Hex which looks a heck of a lot better than the recent live-action film.

Other bonus features include a featurette on Jason Todd, a featurette on Dick Grayson, a few episodes of Batman: the Animated Series, and a sneak peek at Superman/Batman: Apocalypse!

Here are a few more pictures, just in case you need more convincing to pic up this movie!

SDCC brought the announcement of future DC Universe Animated Original Movie releases. Check this out:

  • Batman: Year One - An adaptation of the popular graphic novel, coming Late 2011.
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Knights - A compilation of short stories, similar to Batman: Gotham Knight, with each story focusing on a different Lantern.
  • All-Star Superman - An adaptation of the popular mini-series, coming in 2011.
  • Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam - A DC Showcase short subject to be packaged with an upcoming animated movie, written by Michael Jelenic. Jerry O' Connell will reprise the role of Captain Marvel and Shazam will be voiced by James Garner.

    In other DVD news, I totally forgot last week about the release of Super Friends: Season One, Volume Two. This two-disc set completes the first season with 8 one-hour episodes featuring guest appearances by Green Arrow and Plastic Man!

    Just announced, Wolverine and the X-Men - The Complete Series coming October 12. Canada has already seen a complete series DVD box set, but the big news is that this US release will not only be on DVD, but on Blu-ray as well! Bonus features will include a 'making of' featurette, "The Inner Circle: Reflections on Wolverine and the X-Men", and 29 audio commentaries!
  • Monday, July 26, 2010

    Avenger's Earth's Mightiest Heroes Trailer!

    The San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, but the news is plenty! I know that many of you have probably kept up to date over the weekend, so this may seem redundant to you, but please feel free to share your thoughts! Since I don't have time today to post all the comic-con news, I'll be featuring a show every week.

    Today: Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

    View it in hi-def!

    Tell me that wasn't cool! I think this could be on par with the DC "Timm-verse" as far as animation and character designs go. Only time will tell if the writing will also be on par. I'm super excited for this show which is coming to Disney XD and Teletoon this fall!

    What do you think?

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Avengers Comic-Con Images

    Marvel has sent out a press release regarding the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes panel at SDCC tomorrow at 4pm. (See this post for more details.) After the weekend I hope to have lots of news to share with you! But in the meantime, feast your eyes on this new poster (above) that came with the press release! This is the best I've seen Iron Man in all the promo art so far. And the Hulk looks great too. I'm looking forward to this series!

    Also, here is an image that was attached to the Marvel booth. This one features Hawkeye. Will he be a prominent member of the team? While not a founding member, Hawkeye is one of the longest-standing members of the Avengers. Plus, he would add a bit of comic relief. I found this via Avengers Site.

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Can't a Black Panther Get a Break?

    After only airing three episodes (technically 1 and a half 22-minute episodes), Black Panther has been pulled from iTunes and other digital download platforms. Other motion comics such as Spider-Woman and Astonishing X-Men are still there, but no T'Challa. There has been no word from Marvel about the removal, but I'm guessing there are still some legal matters with BET to sort out.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Your Animated Superhero Guide to Comic-Con 2010

    Although Marvel and DC animated superheroes aren't quite as present as they were at last year's Comic-Con, there are still some really great screenings and panels that you will not want to miss! I won't be able to be there so those of you who go need to let me know what you saw, especially in regards to IRON MAN ANIME!

    Friday, July 22, 2010

    Room 6A
    Batman: The Brave and the Bold Screening and Q&A

    The Caped Crusader swings back into San Diego as Batman: The Brave and the Bold returns to Comic-Con for its third consecutive year, with an advance screening of an upcoming episode as well as a lively discussion with voice of Batman Diedrich Bader (Surf's Up), executive producer Sam Register (Teen Titans), producers James Tucker (Justice League Unlimited), and Michael Jelenic (The Batman), and voice director Andrea Romano (Superman: Doomsday). As a special bonus for fans, the panel will also screen the world premiere trailer for the upcoming and highly anticipated Cartoon Network/Warner Bros. Animation series Young Justice...don't miss this Comic-Con exclusive!
    Room 6BCF
    Marvel Animation

    Hosted by an all-star cast of Marvel Animation talent and featuring a special guest of legendary proportions, this interactive game-show panel will get you more than excited about Marvel's new and continuing animated series. Here's your chance to snag some sweet Marvel merchandise! Come be a part of the action, with all new seasons of The Super Hero Squad Show and Iron Man: Armored Adventures as well as Marvel Knights, Marvel Anime, and other upcoming Marvel Animation properties!

    Saturday, July 23, 2010

    Room 6DE
    Marvel Animation: Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

    Enter the Avengers Mansion and become a part of the team! Celebrity voice talent will introduce you to top-secret Avengers files, including never before seen footage, imagery, and the WORLD PREMIERE of two full-length episodes from the all-new Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series premiering on Disney XD this fall! The road to the Avengers starts here!
    Ballroom 20
    World Premiere: Batman: Under the Red Hood

    Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Animation proudly present the World Premiere of Batman: Under the Red Hood, the eighth entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 movies. In the film, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened. The stellar voice cast is led by Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek), Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), John DiMaggio (Futurama), Jason Issacs (the Harry Potter films), and Vincent Martella (Phineas & Ferb). Executive producer Bruce Timm (DCU films), director Brandon Vietti (Superman: Doomsday), award-winning comics writer Judd Winick, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano (DCU films) and members of the voice cast will be around for a postscreening panel that will reveal details behind the making of the film, a glimpse of the 2011 DC Universe Animated Original Movies slate, and a first look at the next DCU film, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.
    Room 6DE
    Marvel: Iron Man Anime

    Witness the dawn of Marvel Anime with the world premiere of the highly anticipated full-length pilot episode of Iron Man! Also: an exclusive first look at upcoming designs produced by the world-renowned Japanese animation studio Madhouse, whose notable films (to name a few) include hits such as Ninja Scroll and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
    Ballroom 20
    Encore Screening: Batman: Under the Red Hood

    Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation offer a second opportunity to see Batman: Under the Red Hood.

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    More Celebrities Hero Up for Season Two!

    News on the second season of The Super Hero Squad Show is starting to make its way to the net. Here is a synopsis of the season which will be airing on Teletoon in Canada in October:

    Just when the Infinity Sword has been rebuilt, Doctor Doom is behind bars and Villainville seems to have been totally destroyed, a new threat arises to terrorize Super Hero City and the entire cosmos: the evil space conqueror Thanos. With the help of new recruit Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Wolverine, The Hulk and the other Squaddies must hurry and stop Thanos before it's too late.

    There will be many new celebrities that will be joining the cast. We already know that this season will take place largely in outer space, so it comes as no surprise that many of the new characters introduced this season are from Marvel's cosmic family. Here's a brief rundown:

  • Jane Lynch (Glee) - Nebula
  • Adam West (Batman) - Nighthawk
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family) - Captain Marvel
  • Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory) - Nightmare
  • Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) - She-Hulk (replacing Kath Soucie)

    You will also see these actors in roles that are yet to be announced: Mark Hamill (season one's Red Skull), Jonathan Frakes and Michael Dorn (Star Trek: The Next Generation), John Barrowman (Torchwood), James Marsters (season one's Mr. Fantastic), Kevin Sorbo (season one's Ka-Zar) and Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries).

    More news should be revealed at next week's San Diego Comic Con!
  • Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Hero Up on DVD!

    Squaddies! Don't forget about THE SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW: QUEST FOR THE INFINITY SWORD - VOLUME ONE, on DVD in the United States for the first time!

    This DVD collection includes the first seven episodes of the series in widescreen, including episode seven, Oh, Brother!, which aired almost toward the end of the first season on Nicktoons. A second volume has been announced, but a date has not been set.

    The set is $10 which I think is a pretty good deal. I know most of you will hold off for a season set, but if you just want to try out the show, or you want to get your little cousin hooked on superheroes, I would pick this one up!

    In other DVD news, there is a great sale on select Warner Bros. DC superhero DVDs on Amazon right now. 60% off! If you haven't bought these yet, now is the time to do it! These prices are great!