Archive for October, 2014

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Cover Thursday 10/30/14

Posted: October 30, 2014 in Cover Thursday
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I have many strings.

I have many strings.

You know, when you see that whoever that puts television shows together decides to make a show based on the Batman universe, I get interested. When they say they’re looking to not have Batman on TV every week, a few ideas come to my mind. My first thoughts go straight to a Gotham Central type police procedural show. Gotham is almost that show, but then they go and do weird things.

First thing, the time. Gotham takes place just after Thomas and Martha Wayne met their end in an alley, and before Batman shows up. So naturally, a younger fresh transfer to a new city James Gordon and his partner who’s been there Harvey Bullock are the protagonists. Which is fine, but then every then every colorful character Batman deals with in the future should be younger, and they aren’t. Bruce and Selina Kyle are the same age. Selina was a convienent witness to the Wayne murders. Everyone else who is or could be part of the foes and allies of Batman are all older, either already plotting and scheming like Oswald Cobblepot, or in the background doing their thing like Edward Nigma, Gotham Police Science Man.

The dialogue is not good at times, and dipped with cheese in others. I’m not a fan that Bruce Wayne seems to be a part of the show, and it doesn’t help I don’t think the kid they have playing him is any good. Whatever he’s a kid, I’m sure he’ll do fine later. However the the girl playing the young Catwoman is a little bit better, and looks a lot like a young Michelle Pfieffer. That Penguin character might be the most interesting person in the whole show, and despite them toying with certain aspects of the Joker but never giving you anything concrete in other characters, it wouldn’t surprise me if they Arman Tamzarian the whole thing and make Oswald Cobblepot into The Joker. He does use a number of fake names and when Montoya and her partner were asking his supposed mother questions about him being missing she doesn’t use the name Cobblepot. (I am aware that really doesn’t mean that much I’m just thinking)

And then there’s the show.

The first episode served as the pilot episode. Which was all right. It did what it needed to do, set off Bruce down a path, introduce a bunch a players to the world, and set up the story of the show itself. So, with that in mind, the number of cameos and mention of Gordon’s girlfriend last name, just so people who know that would go, hey thats a small detail they looked into. But then, Harvey Bullock seems off, like he’s not supposed to be a corrupt cop. Harvey is a tough cop, who might bend the rules a little to make things go his way, which the show implies, but they often show him trying to look the other way, or not getting involved in certain cases because he knows it’s just going to bring him problems.

It wan’t a very good first showing, It didn’t make me want to watch the rest of the season to see what’s next, to see how things shape out. Their’s the beginnings of a mob war because the death of the uncorrupt Wayne’s imbalance the power between Falcone and Maroni houses. I just don’t care about it. The new spice of a character for this show is Fish Mooney, who seems to be trying to make a name for herself by playing Falcone, and becoming the big boss of Gotham. But really. If she’s a never before heard of character, and Batman has ties to both the Falcone and Maroni bosses in the future. The fate of Fish Mooney isn’t exactly sealed, but whatever happens isn’t going to be all that surprising either.

Gotham is five episodes in at this point, and I don’t feel compeled to see what happens next. Sure it’s kind of funny to see them use oddball characters like Balloonman, and it’s fun to see a live action portrayal of Renee Montoya, but in the end it’s all whatever, we all know what’s coming.

Gotham is one of those shows I can’t get into, but maybe once the show has it’s legs under it and knows where and what it’s doing is another story, and maybe then I’ll like it, just not currently.

Cover Thursday 10/23/14

Posted: October 23, 2014 in Cover Thursday
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Scarecrow

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Character
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Doctor Jonathan Crane, like the better Batman villains takes an aspect of his adversary, and takes it to an extreme level.

Better known as Scarecrow, Dr. Crane uses a toxin he created to get people to hallucinate their greatest fears. Batman uses fear, but in more natural way of freaking out thugs, he uses the dark to play on people’s senses and once they get into a vulnerable state the caped crusader uses intimidation to finish off the bad guys.

When Scarecrow is used effectively he makes an excellent opponent, playing Batman at his own game, sometimes giving the hero a taste of his own worst fears.

Fear is something that has to be used sparingly. Or else it gets tiresome, and just becomes a bunch of tropes. The best uses of it tend to be where you don’t realize whats going on until the very end. Like the episode in The Animated Series where Batgirl falls to her death in front of her father, and Commissioner Gordon hunts down Batman, Robin, and Nightwing because in his eyes, they are just as guilty as whoever made her fall. The spoiler ending is that she was unconscious, dosed with some fear toxin giving her the most dramatic nightmare. It’s one of the better episodes near the end of the series, and well worth a watch.

I thought Batman Begins had an unexpectedly well thought out version of the character. In a cinematic telling origin story of Batman, Scarecrow isn’t exactly at the top of most movie goers lists.

Scarecrow can be an effective villain against Batman, it’s just difficult to find the proper place where he can foil Batman convincingly.

Cover Thursday 10/16/14

Posted: October 16, 2014 in Cover Thursday
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Picture this, you see one of your favorite television series, Batman: The Animated Series on the cover of a video game. Then you see there is a version for a console you own, and can purchase the game at that moment. I was excited when that very scenario happened to me in my youth.

Say what you will about the Sega handheld itself, it did what it set out to do, and destroy batteries. I never took mine anywhere to make it a portable system, I always used the A/C adapter, so I could actually finish Sonic 2. But that’s neither here nor there… Batman!

The game itself is a two-dimensional platformer, where you as The Dark Knight go through various stages and levels punching bad guys, who are all robots, in the face until you reach a named boss like The Mad Hatter at the end of the level. Then you move on through the series of stages to a showdown with The Joker and rescue Robin, or something. I don’t remember the story being very clear, but it has been awhile since I’ve had a chance to play.

Playing as Batman is fun. The jumps are a little wonky and slow, but when you’re a child that is only able to get a limited number of games you learn to deal. And not even for that long either, the game has maybe four or five stages with multiple levels, the hardest ones having lame elevator puzzles. Bosses pose a little more threat than regular enemies though not much more, that just means they might have a special attack or two and a longer health bar.

What makes the game even easier, are the weapon pickups. You can easily stock a pile of super effective weaponry, taking down the like of Mr. Freeze in a matter of a few quick button presses. Which works in other games, like Mega Man. Difference being, in Mega Man you can pick which levels you want to play in any order and figuring out which boss is weak against which weapon type is a bigger puzzle, in Batman the levels are in a linear order, and the weapons are so plentiful it doesn’t matter. Just bulldoze through the whole game.

Adventures of Batman and Robin is not a bad game, there are a lot worse, less obscure titles out there. It is however, not that great a challenge, and super short. First time I played this I had the game beat and was watching credits within a few hours. So if you find this in a garage sale, and you’re Game Gear’s left directional pad button isn’t broken, the game is decent enough to not where out its welcome and you get to see most of it before you get too bored of it.

Bat-Dancer

Posted: October 12, 2014 in Photo
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photo

I don’t know what this is, or what it’s suppose to do, but it is funny.

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