SpartanNerd Review-Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Long time no blog….Should I drop some spoilers?  Not yet.  But I will give you some overall thoughts.

 

This movie is serious.  It is for the DC Comics fan.  It is long.  And it sets the stage for upcoming movies.  Exactly like DC does with its comics.  (Teasers for Convergence were WAY back in Action Comics at the beginning of The New 52.)

 

Since I am a comics fan, and have been vested in DC for several years, most recently absorbing all of the New 52 Batman stuff, I enjoyed this movie.  I had to explain a few things to the SpartanKid, who hasn’t been as invested as me.  (He just reads Sonic the Hedgehog and Megaman.)

 

(There is an odd scene where Batman is using a gun on some thugs.  I had to explain what was happening.  “Batman doesn’t use guns.”  And the way that scene ended with the what was apparently The Flash giving a warning.  This was obviously a reference to “The Flashpoint.”  There were other occasions, as well.)

 

The other BIG THING.  I think this movie has the best portrayal of Lex Luthor.  EVER.  He is totally psycho.  And he twists Christian imagery in a way to mock Superman as a “god.”  I especially like how he inverted the lyrics of “I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day,” with his final words being “Ding, dong, ding dong.”  Wow.  And switching the painting to show Lucifer throwing Michael out of heaven.  At least to the SpartanNerd, who is is HUGE FAN of that image, (the correct image where Michael is the victor will likely be my tattoo someday.) this was storytelling genius.

 

Ben Affleck was OK as Bruce Wayne and Batman.  Henry Cavil was the same Superman as he was in The Man of Steel, but much moodier.  This Batman was definitely not the same that we saw in Christopher Nolan’s films.  A Frank Miller inspired anti-hero, not such a good guy.  And then there was Wonder Woman.  Maybe the one who carried her role as a super hero was Gal Gadot.  Who is/was she anyway?  She was a knockout.  I almost thought she was The White Rabbit from “The Dark Knight” comics a few years ago.  A stunning, foreign beauty.  And she swung that sword exactly like Wonder Woman should.

 

Should I give away more?  There was the obligatory Batmobile chase scene.  There was massive city destruction.  We have all seen Robin’s costume spray painted up in teaser images…there is some reference to The joker in this film.  I have summed it up and given you the essence of the movie with few details.

 

I recommend it if you like DC Comics.  I recommend it if you like Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman.  I suggest you sit this one out if you are looking for a Marvel movie.  Like the Man of Steel before it, there are few laughing moments.  I am also unsure how much you might not understand if you didn’t see Man of Steel.  There is mass reference to that movie in this film.  I only saw that movie once…I loved the Kryptonian scenes, etc.  But this movie depends on having some knowledge of what happened in that movie.

 

I rate Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice 5/5, being a DC Comics fan, and owner of every Batman/Superman comic since they began printing them in The New 52.  (I am referencing the comic where they work together, mostly against Darkseid’s daughter.)  You might disagree with me if you were looking for Thor, Deadpool, or Spiderman.  So I would like your opinion, Hub City Geeks!  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Thoughts…Death of Batman and Joker, as well as the New 52

We all knew it was coming…The Convergence, and the end of the New 52 branding.  Months of announcements.  Lots of speculation and a few spoilers.

We read “Batman Eternal” all the way through, and slogged through Forever Evil, Future’s End, and Batman Zero Year.  We saw Robin (Damien Wayne) fall and rise.

It has been thrilling, really.  A far better expense than buying satellite or cable TV.  Much better investment.  (The only thing I miss about live TV is no NFL.  Otherwise, Netflix and DVDs and other media do just fine.)

I have to say it hasn’t been without its problems, though.  I haven’t been entirely happy with every storyline.  I canceled my subscription to Action Comics, Justice League, and Aquaman.  I didn’t even care about the characters or the story the way a good comic book should make you.  Shazam!  (who cares?)  (The Others. Etc)  I would receive my books ninety percent of the time over a week after the release date, and with these three titles, I would not even have remembered what happened in the issue prior.  In the case of Masters of the Universe (which I still will be reading) I cancelled the subscription because many of the books arrived damaged!  (I will be picking up my MOTU books from The Tangled Web from now on.)

But Batman has been different.  When I started reading The New 52, I found a character that I could really relate to.  I watched “Batman the Animated Series” and all of the Batman movies as a kid, and also watched re-runs of that campy TV show from the 1960’s.  We had some Batman comics around as well, and Batman was something my Grandma could relate to and talk about some…she said she read Batman comics as a child.  The character of Robin has always had some appeal to me as well.  Always somehow balancing the seriousness of Batman.  Robin is someone usually missing from the movies, and it makes me feel like the stories are missing a crucial element.

So I hung onto the titles Detective Comics, Batman, and Batman and Robin.  And didn’t even think twice about purchasing the weekly Batman Eternal title…I was dedicated!

The Joker is the other part of this.  Readers were captivated by Detective comics #1.  Joker’s face was cut off!  What did this mean?  How would this work?  DC got our attention!  And it about drove me insane.  For an entire year I loyally read every Batman book (except Batman Incorporated, a lingering soul from the old universe), and was then rewarded with the HUGE “Death of the Family” story arc.  It was brilliant!

And after the epic conclusion to that story, we went right into Robin’s death, and the Batman and Robin title became a sort of variety show, with Batman either teaming up with or having drama with some other main character.

I could go on and on.  But I am finally satisfied at where it all ends.

Batman #40 is the finale of the Joker returns story…And at the end of this strangely covered issue, (in contrast to the other covers in the “Endgame” arc,) the two arch enemies find their demise.  The fight was SO EPIC!  Of all the Batman fights, this one may be the most gruesome.  More blood spilt in this comic than almost any other Batman book before now.  And did I see Batman bite off the Joker’s ear?  Incredible.  And then he turns the Joker’s own deception against him.

For me, this is the perfect conclusion.  I’m still a little shocked.  I didn’t really see it coming.  Sure, I heard the spoiler about the Jim Gordon in the robotic Batman suit.  But killing Batman and Joker seemed out of the question.  This is sort of old hat, no?  Bruce Wayne has been killed before.  And we always know that Joker will be back.  And Bruce was just re-unified with Damien…

With Batman and Joker’s deaths…I feel I have a complete Batman collection of stories.  I picked up the free comic book…which confirms at least Bruce Wayne Batman is gone for the next foreseeable run of DC books.  We all know both characters will be back…But I don’t feel the need to read this for awhile.  I have a story from Zero Year (beginning) to Endgame (conclusion).  And feel a sense of relief.

Thanks, DC for a great run on Batman!

What’s next for the SpartanNerd?

More Masters of the Universe…

More Gundams…(forthcoming!)

More action figure reviews…

More Magic the Gathering posts…

Possibly a return to Spider-Man.

I am interested in Transformers…especially classic types.

But I am going to take the time to go back and re-read my Batman books, from beginning to end.  And enjoy them.  Summer Vacation is just around the corner!  Maybe I’ll even post reviews about the story arcs, like I originally intended.

Keep reading, oh Hub City Geeks!

SpartanNerd Thoughts…The End of the New 52, Batman Eternal, and Future’s End

It’s Spring Break!  I have some time, readers.

I have pretty well determined I am jumping off of the DC Comics at this point.  I am not going to read Convergence.  I feel I have collected enough comics.  In fact, I have a nearly complete collection of Batman comics from the New 52.  This is a good stopping place for me…I recently purchased a “drawer box” and moved my MOTU comics to that box.  The other three top loader boxes I have a almost completely full.

I have been very devoted to reading Batman titles.  The only titles I skipped were “Batman Inc.” and I didn’t read all of “Batman: Dark Knight.”  logically, I felt Batman, Inc was a holdover from the old DC Universe…the universe I didn’t read.  I also didn’t think the art was as good as the other titles.  I hated that they killed Damien in those pages.  I eventually purchased a copy of that issue.

I am going to start cherry picking comics.  Maybe picking up graphic novels.  Doing more digital comics.  And I will continue to get Masters of the Universe comics.  I am a SLAVE!

(I also will pick up Batman #40…the final issue of “Endgame.  This book is late, coming out April 29.)

I have two reviews to offer here at the end.  One positive.  The other not so much.  Lets start positive.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

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Batman Eternal: Issue 52, (conclusion)

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Batman Eternal ends with an oversized final issue, finally revealing our secret bossman as Lincoln March and tying up the loose ends of “what happens next” with the different characters.

What I really liked about this issue was the beating scene, where Lincoln tries to take out Batman when he is tired and weak. But Bruce proves to be the stronger fighter.  And when the city people rise up and fight down the evil people that are burning down and pillaging the city, this answers the question about whether Gotham really is a victim…a city of good people ravaged by criminals.  I like how Batman’s allies rally around him, including Jim Gordon, to bring in Lincoln.

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Other points of interest…In the “One Week Later,” Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown seem to find the beginning of their romance.

Maggie Sawyer is the new Police Commissioner.  Am I wrong in thinking that now she knows Batman’s secret identity, being so closely aligned with Batwoman?  (i don’t know much about Batwoman.  But isn’t Maggie her partner?)

The Court of Owls takes Lincoln March back under, explaining their appearance in Endgame.

This feels like a good closing to a series that is fifty-two issues long.  And the dedicated reader is rewarded with more details about the Court of Owls.  There is supposed to be another Batman Eternal series on tap soon.  I am going to miss that one, though.  All around, I feel like I got my moneys worth, which brings me to the next not-so-positive review.

Future’s End: Issue 48, (conclusion?)

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This is the worst ending I have ever read in comics.  EVER.  I am going to try and keep the four letter words down…but that is how strongly I feel about it.  Mad enough to cuss.

Really, when you read every issue, weekly for 48 weeks straight, and then you are rewarded with the ending we have here.  Oh yes.  Reason to be mad.

This book has been a terrific read.  Why such a dumb ending?  Really.  UGH.

So why am I so disgusted?  Two issues ago, Terry McGinnis was killed.  OK.  Fine.  I haven’t ever been a Batman Beyond fan.  But I like what they did with him.  And I enjoyed the unlikely romance between him and Plastique.

So Tim Drake takes his costume.  I’m OK with that too.  He is certainly worthy.  But next is where the rushed writing, nonsensical ideas, and the flat ending all come in.  In issue 47, Tim Drake (Batman Beyond) goes back in time to prevent Brother Eye from terminating humanity (just like in Terminator, oh so cliche’.)  They wind up having a conversation, and Brother Eye, seeming still to be a “good guy”, agrees to preventing the action that triggered it all.  Then Brother Eye uses his time travel capabilities to send Tim back.  We are greeted with a final panel of issue 47 with Tim in a situation where a peaceful light is shining on him.   Nothing more.  So I was hotly anticipating what would happen next.  Tim would find the world fixed.  etc.

In issue 48 we see what that peaceful light was.  The reader thinks “Oh yeah.  Heroes save the day.”  And we now have a nice happy conclusion to the New 52 timeline.  IF ONLY THIS WERE TRUE.

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I’ll admit I was a little thrilled when Maddison’s eyes turned into Brother Eye’s eyes, and her speech text became red.

The peaceful landing that Tim received was apparently a ruse.  Brother Eye intended to trap him and assimilate him as one of his bugs.  So the real madison jumps in, is thirty years older, and Tim is apparently now in the 35 years in the future timeline, where the whole thing started, not in the year he was supposed to be returned to.

Basically there is a resistance against the machines, led by Madison, they manage to escape.  But the book ends with Brother Eye looking down on the ruins of the city.

So the heroes failed?  Brother eye has taken over the world.  Tim says that Brother Eye hasn’t won.  Not yet.

OK, how has he NOT WON?  The New 52 universe is ending, and this is the end of the Future’s End comic book.

BOO!!!  They should have given us a clue about what to read next.  And if that something was supposed to be Convergence, then TOO BAD DC.  YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR.

Enough of my rant.  All I’m saying is I might just throw up if Endgame doesn’t end well.  (Alfred’s hand got chopped off!)

Maybe I shouldn’t be so mad?  Didn’t the other DC Universes in the past come to abrupt decay?  I have heard about Superboy Prime punching reality, and am knowledgeable somewhat of the Flash inadvertently creating the New 52 universe, with the old universe just “disappearing.”  These worlds are supposed to be revisited with Convergence.  Because I am so ignorant of all that, I am just going to refrain.

SpartanNerd…The End of an Era (Convergence)

Back in 2011, I was getting interested in comics again.  I had discovered “Comixology,” and was reading Conan the Barbarian and other titles lightly.  This was new to me…I had never read this stuff before.  But I thought it a good alternative to Marvel, who’s take on Spider-Man had pushed me away, and from DC whose universe seemed so large and old that I was intimidated by it.

When the news that DC was going to relaunch it’s whole lineup and re-number to #1s came down, I thought, “now is the time.” I began getting the digital copies, and enjoyed it really too much, probably.  So I subscribed to the physical copies of the titles I liked best, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, Batman, Justice League, Action Comics, and Aquaman.

Eventually I pared this down to only the Batman titles, and Masters of the Universe, of course.  And Batman has been a part of my life for several years.  I didn’t mind that his universe wasn’t completely re-booted.  I figured they would have alienated a ton of fans if they did.  I had little trouble getting into his universe…most of his enemies and allies did receive new treatment.  The only thing that jarred me at first was Damien, and I think he grew to be my favorite Robin, though.  I really felt wronged though, when they killed him off in the only title I wasn’t reading, “Batman Inc.”  And I wrote about that here on SpartanNerd.com extensively.  (I also think they gave haven’t written Tim Drake correctly.)

Still, this wasn’t enough to make me stop reading.  And I have enjoyed “Forever Evil” “Gothtopia”and all of the other “events” that involved Batman.  Also, Batman snd Superman has been a really good title, tying back to the beginning of the New 52 with connections to the Justice League story.  I wouldn’t know as much about Wonder Woman, Supergirl (Power Girl) or Huntress.

Finally, I thought the resurrection of Damien was really good.  And am happy, even ecstatic that he is back, and that he has super powers now as a new twist.

But DC Comics is voicing dissatisfaction with the New 52 universe.  I don’t know why…I guess just re-naming it wouldn’t be enough.  I heard things like they are out of ideas.  Or there are continuity errors.  The idea thing is a croc.  But there is no denying there are continuity errors.  Batman Eternal is busting with background noise from the Robin Rises story…for instance, this past week Raj Al Ghul referring to Batman’s leaving him in a frozen ravine…and in the same issue Batman looking longingly at one of the future Batmen and saying “Damien…”  Other continuity errors have come up as a result of writers leaving and other problems.  Geoff Johns just needed to keep a tighter reign on everyone.

And maybe that is what’s going to happen.  I have been lightly reading “Multiversity.”  I actually have the first issue and the guidebook.  What “Convergence” is supposed to do is do away with the Multiverse, and leave only the continuity established by the DC New 52.  They will use this event to correct some inconsistencies.

I am OK with this, but I feel a little bit of loss.  With the end of the Multiverse, that will take those Earth 3 “Heroes” out of the picture.  And what about the “Obama Superman.”  He will be gone.  No more Earth 2.  I never even read Earth 1.  The Multiversity guidebook presents a lot of cool characters.  Are these all going to be gone?  DC never has explained how Masters of the Universe fits into the New 52 universe.  He-Man “killed” Superman for crying out loud!

I think it will be cool to see the Flashpoint universe characters again.  I think it might be cool to see the old universe characters again.  The Convergence is supposed to bring these popular ideas back.  (I read the Flashpoint Batman stories after getting into the New 52…creepy!)

But I think I might just step off after the Convergence.  Maybe cherry pick the stories that interest me rather than subscribe.  Already I am forking over to get to the end of Batman Eternal and Future’s End.  I have a ton of comics now.  And I will have a complete collection of New 52 Batman books.  I hear that Marvel is doing something similar, and if they give us a clean starting point with Spider-Man, I will be back to reading that again.

SpartanNerd Comics Commentary…He’s BAAACK!

“No.  No. Not HIM!”  Batman utters this line pretty often.  Is it poor writing?

He says this as Superman grins a Joker-ish grin at him.

Yes indeed.  The Joker returned before Robin has been claimed.  BIG SURPRISE!

Back in Summer 2013, as the “Zero Year” storyline was hitting the shelves, and the “Death of the Family” story fresh in our minds, not to mention Damian’s sudden death, there was an innocuous “Batman Annual #2” issue promising a blurb from Zero Year.  To me, I read this issue and enjoyed it, but thought the Zero Year part of the story was just added as hype to sell the book and maximize money from that particular story event.

But here we are.  November 2014.  A year and a half later or round about.  And all this time, sitting in my comic book storage box and yours too, was a secondary character named Eric Border.  A nice guy.  Someone who cared for the patients…a truly caring doctor.

And he was the Joker.  Biding his time!  (I dug through my comics to re-read “Annual #2”.  Oh the planning that went into this!  There were hints in that issue we would have never seen!)

 

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This twist had me reeling!  When I read this in Batman #36,  I was shocked!  Not real clear entirely how he got his new “mug.”  But he has one, and is looking younger and more current.  (He also has his old face, so what has “Joker’s Daughter” been wearing?)

This storyline, “Endgame,” has been a little disjunct so far.  For instance, suddenly without warning, the Justice League starts attacking Batman.  He is prepared to neutralize them all, but when he spits the “kryptonite gum” in Superman’s face, we don’t really see it making Superman suddenly crash.  A tiny dose of the stuff was enough to beat him?  And because Batman Eternal hasn’t been completed yet, we are having to infer where and why Batman has set up shop by reading the tiny details between the lines.  And we keep seeing a couple of sidekicks, one “Lark” and the other “Bluebird.”  These haven’t been explained sufficiently.  At least “Lark” hasn’t.  (Isn’t Lark the Penguin’s lackey?)

(I’m starting to think Stephanie Brown may be the next Robin.  I’m thinking the “Damian Resurrection” story might be a bait and switch.)

So, I’m not the least bit worried about Batman being stuck in that cell paralyzed by the Joker and being poisoned by gas.  This is the classic Batman scenario.  Classic like in “1960’s” TV show!  Batman will get out of it somehow in issue #37.  Can’t wait!

One more thing…there is a backup story going on, which evidently will give us new information about the Joker and his origin.  A bunch of minor sickos have kidnapped Maureen, (who was dropped off by Eric Border,) and are telling her the stories the Joker told them to tell her.  All different crazy takes on who the Joker is and where he is from.  The first one in Batman #35 about the Joker being a demon rising out of the swamp on a mystical crossroads was pretty freaky.  Actually really disturbing.  And then #36’s story about him being an alien robot, also weird.  We the readers know for certain that these stories can’t be true.

Time to go back and read Zero Year again, and get a look at that chemistry teacher who was loading tanks for the Red Hood gang.  (was this in issue #24?)

Batman and Robin #34…Robin Rises part 3, SpartanNerd thoughts

I only have one big thing to highlight…

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The last page!  Batman flies off into Apokolips wearing the Hellbat suit!   Now we have to wait until OCTOBER to see what happens next!

This book pretty much confirmed that this isn’t the same suit we have been seeing.  It looks awesome!

(It’s not that I’m not excited about the Futures End event, but DC is keeping us in SUSPENSE about Robin!

OK, one more thing to say.  Bruce totally lied to his bat-family AGAIN, when saying he was going to be transparent.  Dick Grayson was alive and well and present at the meeting.  He should have just told them.