Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cleopatra in Space: Part One

This is a serial that will feature two volumes from the Cleopatra in Space series as will the proceeding.

by Mike Maihack
Phil Falco; Book Design
David Saylor; Creative Director
Cassandra Pelham; Editor
Published by Scholastic, Graphix

One of the most fun comics I've read for awhile, it's pacing and story are better than most stories and graphic novels. That's it, I'm flat out saying it, the story and art are amazing and fluid, structured with the skill of a seasoned professional with the charm and passion of a webcomic. The book it's self is the best and most interesting pleasing designs and reading experience I've had in awhile. Cleopatra in Space floats between the Epic Adventure (Lord of the Rings),  and a Space Opera (Flash Gordon, Star Wars), but has the feeling of a Saturday Morning cartoon (Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys). Though you'll have to read this series yourself to feel the enjoyment that I have, though experiences do change, so here's my impressions of the first two volumes of the series.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

shorts SHORT Review: Robot Girls Z

Manga Mecha Movie
Robot Girls Z

Directed by Hiroshi Ikehata
Written by Kazuho Hyodo
Production Studio by Toei Animation
English | Japanese

If there was one thing that this blog is known for it's its obsession with robots. The only thing that rivals that obsession is anthropomorphic beings. Japan has created something that has been tailored to this blog. Robot Girls Z is about anthropomorphic versions of the Mazinger Z giant robots as magical girls or like a Super Sentai team. There was another series like this called Mazinger Angels, it was an alternate history (or reality) that the female pilots of the series donned their giant robots against the forces of evil. It was an interesting take on the series, since it was always centered around Koji Kabuto, though Sayaka Yumi (pilot of Aphrodite A) did play a major part, it was great to see her in a more direct role. Anyhow, if you're unfamiliar with Mazinger Z it was an amazingly popular giant robot TV series in Japan during the 1970's by the awesomely talented Go Nagai (Kiyoshi Nagai). You might know him better for his characters Devilman, Cutie Honey, Getter Robo, or Kekko Kamen. I've been personally interested with his life and his stories, since most of these tales involve comedy and cyborgs or giants robots or magic in someway or form. This has been reflected into the three episodes that make up Robot Girls Z, so grab your stylish hat with a tiny aircraft and put on your rocket fists, you're in for a keen trip.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

shorts SHORT Review: Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles; Twisted

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles

Written by Alan Burnett
Directed by Bruce Timm
Distributed by Warner Brothers Animation and Machinima

Hyperlink to the short Twisted
<--- Also check out the first review of the feature film here
Then there's the second short review of Big over here --->

This (to me) feels like the first of the three, if you were to watch these shorts "Twisted" would be a way to ease into the micro-series. Everything about this feels like a Batman animation, the mood and the setting, it's like Bruce Timm never left, though this was penned by Alan Burnett long time contributor to both Batman series (Batman: the Animated Series and Batman Beyond).

Like in Batman Beyond (Rebirth part 1) it opens with a factory at night with a Batman flying to deter villains. We see the City that all know, Gotham a place of darkness and disheveled life. A Batman soaring about them all, as Bruce he's a rich man, riches beyond anyone's dream, as Kirk he fits right into the night. Another face in the crowd, though this throng keeps more than skeletons in the closet. Speaking of, Batman is on a case to find (at the very least) the bodies, based off of whispers through the night (and the Police Department). They really know how to set a mood in this animation, there's been no conversation between anyone, the victims, the heroes, not even an inner monologue. It really makes you feel like you're within this warehouse with the dark knight, groping for anything that could be a clue to find the missing people.

Then we stop for a Bat-Snack, as we always do, remember kids, there's always time for nutrition.

Though what we find is the macabre in the fridge of this slaughter house, body parts of all different types of people frozen, also a nice treat for ice cubes. You take an ice tray and pour your favorite soda in it and bingo you have yourself a nice little treat or a tasty ice cube for a glass of water or booze. Batman has no time for the habits of others and closes the door moving into a darker part of the warehouse. In this room he finds boxes, jack-in-the-boxs to be more specific, one's a toy, the other is half a man, limply bouncing on a spring. Seeing no joy in this practice Kirk moves on, without a word. Another box moves and, with the same easy, Kirk not thinking that there's anything of danger that could spring from the next box, opens the moving cube. Inside a woman persists that she needs help through her eyes since she is tied up, Kirk removes the gag. The woman's warning is too late, but Batman isn't bested by a sledgehammer, but the corpes-in-the-box is knocked over.

Oona Kulte, friend of Tea and local.
Dressed in her harlequin outfit.

Harley looks a bit different in this world, I think it's a tongue-in-cheek joke about how she looks in the video game. She's very dressed down and has a belly ring, a diamond tattoo, and red and black dyed hair. It's an interesting take on the original, also it's something that the original wanted, a family, well at least that's through the assumption on the direction that's been consistent through a lot of Bruce Timm's interpretations of Harley (well these are my assumptions of Harley based off of the media I've seen). Harley wants a family, a gang, a group that she can love. It's been seen in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and Batman: Mad Love (Comic and Animation), she's always had a motherly appeal (and sex appeal) it's an interesting dichotomy for this Batman Femme Fatale, which is why she's a wonderful villain. This Harley has taken the Baby Doll (as seen in Batman: The Animated Series, episode of the same name, season 3 episode 4) route for family, well the darker path.

The woman runs off, though Harley is even more annoyed at the B-Man, then her "Sis" getting away. Again the tone for this short is spectacular (I really mean it, it's haunting). Harley doesn't pull punches, nor does Batman as he releases his cling to the ceiling, but that only sets up his ribs for Harley's hammer. Though with a second swing the Bat stops her and punches the ghastly greasepaint grinning girl through a pane of looking-glass into a family room. Four individuals (assuming Harley propped them up, you never know, maybe they died that way) each with a haunting and stunning smile. A Mother, Father, little brother, and Grandmother, all dead, waiting with an open seat for big Sis.

With this being absorbed into Kirk's mind, Harley comes out again, though this time with something a little more dangerous than a Hammer. A Chainsaw, toothed and ready to add a Bat-Butler in the family room. Wagging the saw around the room Harley buzzes into many of her "loved ones", till she grabs a wrong spin into a wall and busts the chain, slicing her side open.

Gom dressed in his best Batman outfit,
grabbing hold of his next pursuit of justice and meal.

Kirk jumps down from the rafters, holding Harley's wrists. She gives into defeat and allows Batman his duty as Justice to take her away. This amuses our darker Knight, as he produces his fangs and takes a bite into his meal. Leaving only the sounds of pain and shock that this Harley's victims know so well.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
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Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Generation X

Here's a little history, I saw the commercials and billboards for this film back in the day and I was super excited. It was something that I was waiting to see, since it was characters that I really wanted to view in action away from comics. In the 90's I only knew X-Men from the 1992 Cartoon and Action Figures. It was a new experience to see them in live-action form. At the time there was Spawn (that didn't come out till a year later, 1997) and Batman Returns (that I was too young to really love, but still love to this day, it was a great rainy afternoon). These were the films in my life, though there were flicks like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, The Shadow, The Mask, Tank Girl, and The Phantom that rounded out my pulp and punk heart (click the linked titles for the review). Though I can go on further, but you'll see in future reviews where I've been in the decade of the 90's for films and media. Today we'll be entering a land of TV movies, a land that's not well budgeted, though has a cast of folks you'll be surprised to find in a feature such as this, on a channel that didn't play the movie more than twice (to my knowledge). Join me on this journey into the past, for a movie that needed to wait another four years (maybe 7) to get the full cast of characters to reflect their comic counter-parts.