BLOODSHOT – REBORN / ARCHIE vs. PREDATOR / BATMAN vs. ROBIN [Reviews]: God vs. Geeks!
What’s up, my parish people!
This is your boi, “The Belser”, back again on the ‘movie critique’ tip. Now, I know it’s been a minute since my last review, but a brother’s been busy. Between acting and school, I’m all booked up lately. It’s a great time because I’m busy but it’s also a hindrance because I’m busy. However, just a couple weeks ago — Easter Sunday, to be exact — my day went bit different than most. Instead of colored eggs, even more colorful outfits and an obligatory day of church, I spent mine checking out the Anaheim WonderCon 2015. And thanks to the purveyor of this fine site, “Monsignor” Moody, The Belser was able to slip into the big hall at WC and view himself a screening.
Batman vs. Robin, the latest Batman direct-to-DVD flick from Warner Brothers Animation, is also the direct sequel from last year’s Son of Batman. In it, we follow Bruce Wayne and his son, Damian, attempting to try and establish a relationship after the events of the first film. However, tensions from their differing ideologies have made that nearly impossible. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin are investigating the rise of a secret society known as the Court of Owls– both collectively and individually. When certain aspects of the Court start to appeal to Damian (like their head enforcer, Talon), the situation brings the Dark Knight and the newest Boy Wonder HEAD TO HEAD.
The majority of voice-over cast of the first film returns including Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova) and Stuart Allan (Rise of the Guardians) as Batman and Robin, respectively. The script, written by J.M. Dematteis (Justice League 3000), is loosely based from the 2012 storyline Batman: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder.
The production of this film, like the previous film, was supervised by DCAU veteran James Tucker (Superman: TAS, Justice League) and has that sweet anime style to it. The action scenes are amazing. Lots of great movie violence and blood. Very few animated fight scenes can make me say “Damn, that must’ve hurt” but this film succeeds. Yet — common with many animated features — there are a few lull moments due to lack of action. Also, not to spoil anything, they do take a few liberties with the storyline, in particular Nightwing’s involvement.
Would I watch this again? The answer: Yes. The Batman films released by Warner Brothers Animation have consistently been some of the best comic book adaptations out there. Even with a whiney Robin opposing his dad– this film is no different.
Bloodshot: Reborn is a slow burn. It’s a quiet, intense comic about what happens after the very thing that curses you is gone, and what happens when you find that you miss the curse. What do you do when it seems your curse is affecting others? What is your moral responsibility to the rest of the world when someone wears your old face and commits a terrible crime?
Written by Jeff Lemire (Justice League United, Green Arrow) and illustrated by Mico Suayan (Injustice: Gods Among Us, X-Men: Legacy), this comic is a ground-level look at what happens after a hero loses his powers. It’s the story of depression and just getting by, the story of a man who once was special but is now just a working stiff fixing squeaky doors at a fleabag motel. The story resonates – it’s easy to imagine an elite soldier returning from Iraq or Afghanistan experiencing the same sort of ennui – rendered all too real by Suayan’s gorgeously and intensely drawn art.
The guns may all be in the flashbacks, but this comic is a kill shot. 4/5 Golden Bullets.
In the afterword to THE TITHE #1, writer/co-creator Matt Hawkins (Think Tank) explains his love of heist movies, and an interest in moving the high-stakes structure of Heat or The Town to a new venue – in this case, a mega-church. Run by a corrupt minister named Moody (I keed, I keed), the church is set upon by Jesus-masked hacktivist collective Samaritan, who make off with two million dollars and the minister’s reputation. In the wake of the heist, we’re introduced to our government agent protagonists Campbell and Miller – which, unfortunately, is where the fast pace of the opening starts to dissipate. In its place, we’re given the groundwork for the ongoing series which unfolds along fairly standard beats of buddy-cop and cat-and-mouse territory. Southern Baptist Campbell is conservative; hacker Miller is an atheist wiseass. Samaritan’s unseen lead hacker taunt-texts Miller who’s been on their trail for ages. Not that this isn’t a recipe for fun, but the familiarity of the beats feels like it could’ve taken up less page-space, and kept the story moving. Add to it an epilogue that lays Campbell and Miller’s secular/non-secular debate out in plain terms, and the heist opener feels more an exception than the rule. Curiosity may carry me to a second issue, but here’s hoping for more peak than valley. 2/5 Bibles.
Archie vs. Predator #1, scripted by Alex de Campi (Smoke, Messiah Complex) is very much Archie and very little Predator.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed Archie humor since I was kid reading them on Bazooka bubble gum wrappers. It had the humor that one would expect from Archie with some very adult innuendos added to spice it up; but I was hoping for a good frame or two of someone getting their spine removed. Instead, it is just implied as we see the Predator in a tree holding two skulls.
There is good set up in the end, though, to lead into the next issue. Betty seems to have found a dagger that will be important to the entire story and somehow didn’t notice it was on her. Now, the Predator has tracked her back to the city.
While I’m not super excited about the next issue, I am still intrigued to see where this goes. Give me gore! 2.75/5 Betty’s.
Zander (Top 10) Cannon’s new book, Kaijumax is an inventive, exploration into what a super-max prison for giant monsters would look like.
The first issue introduces us to Electrogor, a powerful, giant beast, who is the newest edition to Kaijumax. The majority of the first issue has Electrogor dealing with the typical conflicts and issues that any human prisoner would encounter, but on a monster scale; it’s Shawshank Redemption-meets-Pacific Rim without mechs and far more “cutsie” humor.
Point blank, the characters are all fun and interesting. The art is superb and, despite going 100% digitally, Cannon keeps the silver age aesthetics alive. 4/5 Beast Bibles.