REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE WAR

CAST (VOICES)

Jason O’Mara (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Sean Astin (Cabin Fever 3)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty)
Justin Kirk (Weeds)
Shermar Moore (Birds of Prey)
Zach Callison (The Legend of Korra)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Ioan Gruffudd (Ringer)

A series of strange abductions have occurred in Gotham City, Central City, Coast City and Metropolis among others. Video footage suggests that Batman, a wanted, costumed vigilante, is behind the incidents. When a mysterious, burly, cloaked kidnapper abducts a woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) arrives to confront the kidnapper and saves the woman when she is dropped from above. Green Lantern then attacks the kidnapper, revealing it to be a monstrous Parademon. The creature defeats Green Lantern soundly, and as he is about to be killed, Batman appears and attacks the Parademon, trying to interrogate it. The Parademon then attacks both heroes. They escape from the city’s police and chase the creature into the sewers, where it charges a Mother Box and explodes. Batman and Green Lantern examine the box, deduce that it is of extraterrestrial origin, and decide to ask Superman for an answer. Another Mother Box, supplied by The Flash (Barry Allen) is being studied at S.T.A.R. Labs. Doctor Silas Stone, father of Vic Stone, deliberately misses his son’s football game so he can study the box. Arriving in Metropolis, Batman and Green Lantern fight Superman—who has fought a Parademon previously and believes the heroes are working with it. The battle spreads over a portion of the city; it finally stops when Batman calls Superman “Clark”. Superman uses his x-ray vision and recognizes Batman as billionaire Bruce Wayne. The three heroes then begin to collaborate. On planet Apokolips, Darkseid orders Desaad to begin an invasion of Earth in response to the superheroes’ discovery of his plans.

Vic arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs and argues with his father Silas, who believes that football has no importance in a world that is changing with the appearance of metahumans, and states that he will never come to one of his son’s football games due to his devotion to his own work. At the Daily Planet, Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern realize the invasion has begun when the box activates and several Boom Tubes appear throughout the world, including S.T.A.R. Labs. While Vic is holding the Box being studied by his father during their argument, it activates and explodes, creating a Boom Tube. The explosion fuses the technology inside the Box to Vic’s fatally wounded and mutilated body. With several Parademons attacking, Silas is forced to take Vic to an emergency room to save him. Silas loads Vic into a technologically advanced medical bed and uses experimental nano mechanical and tissue grafting technologies on Vic in desperation, though this seems to fail when his heartbeat flatlines. Countless Parademons appear around the world, attacking everyone on sight. The box’s technology spliced with Vic’s body fuses itself with the various technologies, as well as computers, around the room, transforming Vic into Cyborg, with a body now made from technology capable of transforming and adapting itself and obtaining new features, such as weapons. Just as the Flash arrives to save the scientists, Cyborg’s systems reveal details of Apokolips, Darkseid, and the invasion plan. He sees that the Parademons are actually the inhabitants of countless worlds conquered by Darkseid. The inhabitants are captured and spliced with Darkseid’s technology, allowing it to control and repurpose their genetics and physical makeup, transforming them into mind-controlled monsters and together serve as a highly expendable army for conquering other planets. Vic’s body was affected by the same technology but it had not been programmed to create a Parademon, and fused with other materials and instead. At his foster home, teenager Billy Batson sees a Parademon outside and mystically turns into the superhero Shazam. Air Force One is attacked in the air, but is saved by the Amazon princess Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) and Superman. After the heroes gather, Cyborg reveals that the invasion is a prelude to the terraforming of Earth. Darkseid arrives and proves to be a powerful opponent who defeats each hero effortlessly.

Darkseid uses his Omega Beams while fighting Flash and Superman, with the latter being unable to outmaneuver the beam and is hit, incapacitated and captured by a Parademon. Batman stops Green Lantern from going after them on his own, as his ego has caused him to charge at Darkseid without thinking and be quickly defeated and injured to the point where his arm breaks. Batman then persuades him to think about the many lives at stake rather than his own image as a hero and to help the heroes work together after he unmasks himself and reveals that his parents’ murders were what motivated him to fight evil. Batman unmasked deliberately and allows himself to be captured to save Superman. Green Lantern, acting as a leader, assembles everyone and decides that to defeat Darkseid they must destroy his eyes first, stripping him of his power to use his Omega Beams. Bruce is taken through a portal and arrives on Apokolips, proceeding to escape the Parademon and stop Desaad from turning Superman into a Parademon. Because of a brainwashing process being done on him, Superman becomes unstable and highly aggressive, resulting in him crushing Desaad to death and attacking anything in sight, including other Parademons and Batman. Batman reasons with Superman, helping him reassert his own personality. On Earth, after Darkseid’s eyes are disabled, Cyborg connects with the Mother Box to reopen the Boom Tubes and send the tyrant and his army back to their home world. Though the Parademons are gone, Darkseid remains. Superman and Batman arrive and together they force the tyrant into the portal. With the world saved, the once-maligned superheroes gain the public’s trust and are honored at the White House. The President of the United States asks whether they have a name. Shazam abruptly announces the name “Super Seven”, to which the others object. After a short debate the team of superheroes agree to take the name of Justice League.

In a post-credits scene, an Atlantean ship emerges from the ocean and Ocean Master appears carrying the dead body of his king, possibly killed when the Parademons assembled in the sea during Darkseid’s arrival on Earth. He believes that the surface dwellers on Earth are responsible for his death, calling it an act of war from the surface, or which he vows retribution.Everything in the film was pretty much spot on, the characters were portrayed really well and it was highly entertaining.

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REVIEW: BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD – SEASON 1-3

Image result for batman the brave and the bold logo

MAIN CAST

Diedrich Bader (Vampires Suck)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Jason Marsden (Full House)
James Arnold Taylor (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Marc Worden (Ultimate Avengers)
Grey DeLisle (The Replacements)
John Dimaggio (Futurama)
Tom Kenny (Super hero Squad)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Corey Burton (Critters)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Vyvan Pham (Generator Rex)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Mikey Kelley (TMNT)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Will Wheaton (Powers)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Jeff Bennett (James Bond Jr.)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Ellen Greene (Pushing Daisies)
Armin Shimmerman (Star Trek: DS9)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Tom Everett Scott (Scream: The Series)
Billy West (Futurama)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
Paul Reubens (Gotham)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers II)
Peter Woodward (Crusade)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
James Remar (Flashforward)
Jeffrey Combs (Gothman)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
William Katt (Carrie)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Mark Hamill (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Adam West (BAtman 60s)
Julie Newmar (Batman 60s)
Dana Delany (Body of Proof)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and Thje X-Men)
John Wesley Shipp (The Flash)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Olivia D’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Mae Whitman (Independence Day)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars: Revels)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting)
Michael Jai White (Arrow)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Tippi Hedren (The Birds)
Gary Owens (That 70s Show)
Ted McGinley (Highlander 2)
Henry Winkler (Happy Days)

There’s a gloriously meta moment in the back half of this season of Batman: The Brave and the Bold where the show’s producers are raked over the coals at Comic-Con. One of the twentysomethings in the crowd grouses and groans about how the Caped Crusader in the cartoon isn’t his Batman, and…well, he’s not wrong. DC’s comics anymore are joylessly grim and gritty…22 monthly pages of misery and scowling and torture and dismemberment and death and high collars and way too much crosshatching. Batman: The Brave and the Bold, meanwhile, is defined by its vivid colors and clean, thick linework. It’s a series whose boundless imagination and thirst for high adventure make you feel like a six year old again, all wide-eyed and grinning ear to ear.


You know all about The Dark Knight’s war on crime, and in The Brave and the Bold , he’ll duke it out against any badnik, anywhere. He doesn’t go it alone, either, with every episode pairing Batman up with at least one other DC superhero. Heck, to keep it interesting, The Brave and the Bold shies away from the obvious choices like Superman and Wonder Woman. Instead, you get more interesting team-ups like Blue Beetle (more than one, even!), Elongated Man, Wildcat, Mister Miracle, Kamandi, and B’wana Beast.
Other animated incarnations of Batman have been rooted in something close enough to reality. Sure, you might have androids and the occasional Man-Bat, but they tried to veer away from anything too fantastic. The Brave and tbe Bold has free reign to do just about whatever it wants. One week, maybe you’ll get an adventure in the far-flung reaches of space with a bunch of blobby alien amoebas who mistake Batman for Blue Beetle’s sidekick. The next might offer up Tolkien-esque high fantasy with dragons and dark sorcery. Later on, Aquaman and The Atom could play Fantastic Voyage inside Batman’s bloodstream, all while the Caped Crusader is swimming around in a thirty-story walking pile of toxic waste. He could be in a Western or a post-apocalyptic wasteland or a capes-and-cowls musical or even investigate a series of grisly something-or-anothers alongside Sherlock Holmes in Victorian England.

Batman has markedly different relationships with every one of those masked heroes. There’s the gadget geekery with an earlier incarnation of the Blue Beetle. With the younger, greener-but-still-blue Beetle, Batman takes on more of a mentor role.

More of a stern paternal figure for Plastic Man, and a rival for Green Arrow. Sometime it might not even be the most pleasant dynamic, such as a decidedly adult Robin who doesn’t feel like he can fully step outside the long shadow that Batman casts.

There are some really unique takes on iconic (and not so iconic!) DC superheroes here, and far and away the standout is Aquaman. This barrel-chested, adventure-loving braggart is my favorite incarnation of the king of the seven seas, and if Aquaman ever scores a cartoon of his own, I hope he looks and acts a lot like this. Oh, and The Brave and the Bold does a spectacular job mining DC’s longboxes for villains too, and along with some of the familiar favorites, you get a chance to boo and hiss at the likes of Kanjar Ro, The Sportsmaster, Kite Man, Gentleman Ghost, Chemo, Calendar ManKing, Crazy Quilt, and Shrapnel. The Brave and the Bold delivers its own versions of Toyman, Vandal Savage, and Libra while it’s at it, the latter of whom has the closest thing to a season arc that the series inches towards.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold is every bit as fun and thrilling as you’d expect from a series where every episode’s title ends with an exclamation point. Each installment is fat-packed with action, and the series has a knack for piling it on in ways I never saw coming. Even with as imaginative and off-the-walls as The Brave and the Bold can get, it still sticks to its own internal logic, so the numerous twists, turns, and surprises are all very much earned.

The majority of the episodes have a cold open not related to the remainder of the episode. Despite its episodic nature, if you’re expecting a big storyline in these 26 episodes, you’re going to be pretty disappointed as the extent of an overarching story in the season is the occasional villain that appears more than once, like Starro, but that’s really the only connecting bridge between episodes.

Season 2 contains one of my favorite episodes of not only this particular season, but probably in the entire series, “Chill of the Night!”, which goes back to Batman’s origins as Bruce Wayne learns more about the man who murdered his parents, turning him into the crime-fighter he would become, it’s one of the most well known origin stories in media, ever, but it’s done so well here. Another reason I love this episode is my blinding nostalgia for the voice cast.

The original 1960’s Batman, Adam West, guest stars as Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne, while Julie Newmar, who starred opposite of West as Catwoman from the original Batman TV show, plays Batman’s mother, Martha Wayne. My favorite Batman of all time, theatrical or not, Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman from Batman: The Animated Series and various other series/movies/games, voices the Phantom Stranger. Lastly, the baddie of the episode, The Spectre, is voiced by none other than Mark Hamill, the definitive voice of the Joker.

The Episodes in season 3 are wildly imaginative; so much so that purists will probably be put off, at least initially. They range from “Night of the Batmen”, where batman is incapacitated and it is up to Aquaman, Green Arrow, Captain Marvel, and Plastic Man to don the cowl, and keep gotham safe. As weird as that may sound, this episode is pure fun, and a joy to watch. Other stand outs are the never before seen in the states “The Mask of Matches Malone”, “Shadow of the Bat”, “Scorn of the Star Sapphire”, and “Powerless”.

Special mention has to be made of the final episode of the series however, “Mitefall”. In this meta episode, Batmite does a fantastic job breaking down why the series is ending, and the disconnect of the so-called “purists”, whose baseless, closed minded, ignorance eventually doomed this excellent series.

When all is said and done, we received three outstanding, and criminally underrated, seasons and it is a joy to see.