We’re back with Jim and Rob as DCTV has finally come back!! Albeit just Batwoman at the moment but there’s lots to talk about just on that show! we also look forward to what’s on the horizon on TV and we also just a bit about the DC animated universe!
So its back to comics this week for Jim and Michael, they revisit Batman Cacophony written by Kevin Smith and give you their thoughts on his version of a Batman story. Michael has been reading the OG Young Justice run and Jim talks about his impressions on the original Doom Patrol run and even took some time to read some Future State stuff, its all going on in this weeks ep, so have a listen now!
This list is meant to appeal to casual fans, curious fans, or fans who just want a good tale, but do not want to get bogged down in continuity or have to wait for the next collection to see what happens. This is stuff you could easily gift for new fans, or use as an introduction to a new character for yourself.
Batman: White Knight
What you need to know: You do not have been reading any of the current titles. This is an alternate take on the Batman, one that often feels a bit like a video game in its pacing. There are sequels to this that are currently ongoing, but Batman: White Knight stands incredibly well on its own. This series feels familiar and fresh in equal measure.
Collects: Batman: White Knight 1-8
Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands
The first of a few year one/origin style tales on this list. This one is a bit unique in that the original creator has come back to do a modern retelling of his creation’s origin. It is fresh, both in story and in visuals as we follow the adventures of Jefferson Pierce, who is not exactly seen as a hero in the vein of Superman, Wonder Woman or others. Extremely satisfying storytelling.
Collects: Black Lightning Cold Dead Hands 1-6
JLA/JSA: Virtue & Vice Graphic Novel
Throughout the Silver Age and early Bronze Age, there was a tradition of yearly crossovers featuring the JLA/JSA. Now that both teams reside on the same earth, that tradition has largely been dropped. JLA/JSA Virtue & Vice takes a modern approach, giving us a big graphic novel with some fantastic storytelling. And then there are quiet moments featuring Superman and Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern that bookend this tale; comic book perfection.
Martian Manhunter: Identity TPB
Like Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, this a modern retelling of a classic character. This time the Martian Manhunter’s takes the spotlight with an origin tale possessing incredible depth and nuance, both narratively and visually. Truly one of the best stories DC has put out in recent readers, and it certainly leaves the reader wanting more, and wondering why they do not get more of these self-contained stories.
Collects: Martian Manhunter (Vol. 4) 1-12
Mister Miracle TPB
This one has been raved about by all corners of the internet, so if you are one of the few that has not read this recent epic, you should really just bow to peer pressure. In many ways, this series comes the closest to the original heart Jack Kirby’s, with some incredible modern flourishes.
Collects: Mister Miracle (Vol. 4)
Robin: Year One
Often referred to in other reviews and even on another Curated List (Dick Grayson by Chuck Dixon), but that is the instantly accessibility of this four issue Year One tale. Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty ad Javier Pulido have easily created on the best Dick Grayson as Robin stories you will ever read. When reviewers refer to art pieces that are love letters to previous interpretations, this easily fits that mould.
Collects: Robin: Year One 1-4
Scott Snyder’s take on the Man of Steel, with Jim Lee along for the pictures. This blockbuster is surprisingly contained to just nine issues, including back up features. Even people who are not fans of Superman need to check this one out; it is well worth the read. Action packed, big storytelling and high-octane adventure.
Collects: Superman Unchained 1-9
For this animated movie we head to the seas and meet Arthur Curry who is down and out while mourning the loss of his Dad. This film should be used as a template for origin films. It was so much fun, so entertaining and what I appreciated the most is that as someone who hasn’t ever really been that interested in Aquaman as a character, it changed my perspective.
Throne of Atlantis takes place after the affects of Justice League: War and there’s commotion in the ocean as Prince Orm (Ocean Master) believes they have been attacked by land dwellers. He teams up with Black Manta to over throw Queen Atlantis but perhaps takes things a little too far. One thing I always appreciate about these DC animated films is how the animation, story telling and actors come together so well and once again there’s some perfect casting with Sam Witwer and Henry Lennix as Orm and Manta. The two of them together make a great double act.
As soon as Arthur meets Mera you can feel the spark. Their connection is instantaneous and this film does a brilliant job in conveying this really subtly. Matt Lanter and Sumalee Montano inject these characters with loads of personality and allow them to become people you connect with and care about. Arthur’s journey is pretty similar to Jason Mamoa’s live action version but the biggest difference is that both his parents are dead. The fact that he was minutes away from meeting his Mum properly for the first time really saddened me. Portraying just how strong and powerful he is and how awesome his trident is, makes you take him seriously which may not have always been the case and now I’m on a mission to read more about him.
As always, I love having the other Justice League members along for the ride. They’re just finding their feet as a team, avoiding bad team name choices and making connections with each other. Superman and Wonder Woman particularly make a strong connection which again follows on from what we saw at the end of Justice League: War. I loved the scene with Lois crashing their date and the under tones of jealousy both these women have towards each other. The other stand out character for me was Green Lantern and Nathan Fillion wonderfully breathes so much fun and humour into him.
Throne of Atlantis really is a superb DC film which brings Aquaman to the forefront and shows him off fabulously. I genuinely can’t think of a reason why anyone wouldn’t love this.
Jim – This week Batwoman definitely picks up, the introduction of Victor Zsasz is great, feels like Ryan is getting her own villains which is awesome and her settling into the role really well. I’ll be honest I’d rather they continue this way and maybe lessen Alice some, she’s a great character but her story is very connected to Kate which is cool right now but I would like them to move away at some point. From what we learn in this episode it doesn’t look like they’re doing that any time soon!
We also got some hints at maybe a future villain with the mention of a man in a Black Mask, that’s very exciting!! And a mention of Jack Napier, they’re busting all the villains out this week and we finally got to meet the infamous Safiyah, it will interesting to see well this story goes.
Rob – “Have you seen the damn wig!!!!!”
New look, new Batwoman and this episode was more like it. It gave me what I wanted and we saw Ryan have a little more fun with her new role which brought a much more lighthearted tone. This also meant Mary was the Mary that I love watching too. The fun was brilliantly mixed in with a great villain. Alex Morf was pure joy as Victor Zsasz. Victor maybe wasn’t as threatening as other versions we’ve seen but he was great to watch in this episode.
Alan – Week 3, and we have the usual fixtures in place, Luke is still kidding himself that Kate is coming back and Ryan is just a stand in, and Alice up to all kinds mischief in the background. We also find Ryan trying to make the Batwoman her own and disposed of the red wig. I find this is a shame, I like the red wig and feel it is iconic of the character, but I understand the need and desire to differentiate Ryan from Kate.
Alice is still great, and probably the best character, although I really enjoyed the portrayal of Victor Zsasz. I always enjoy Zsasz as a character , and often wish he was used (in any media) as one of the “bigger villains”. We find him captured by Batwoman by the end of the episode, I hope we get to see more of him at some point.
Referring to the bigger villains, this now brings me to the main issue I have with this episode. The reference to Jack Napier. Anyone who has seen Batman ’89 knows that Jack Napier is an alias of Joker, and with so many great villains in the DC Universe, do we really need another Joker portrayal? I love the Joker when he’s done well, but I hope they don’t go in that direction.
Kendra – In Season 2 Episode 3 of Batwoman, a contract killer runs amuck in Gotham and Ryan has to stop them.Victor Zsasz, the hitperson, is a wonderful dip into the villain lineup. While it seem Victor kills indiscriminately…there is a definite method to the madness. I love the balance that this episode provides both giving a short story and playing the long game. It isn’t easy to do and when it happens it is so enjoyable.
Also Kate is brought up again as evidence comes to light that she may yet live, and this raises questions on just what they are planning to do with Kate Kane when the airplane crash would have sufficed to close that story. Guess we will see how this one unfolds as the season comes out.
Justin – This was yet another great episode of Batwoman! Javicia Leslie is truly coming into her own as the lead of this series. Ryan Wilder is officially Batwoman as of this episode and it was great to watch. The new suit is fantastic! Alex Morf was simply brilliant as Victor Zsasz. Charming and terrifying, he was the perfect villain for Ryan’s first true outing as her own Batwoman. I found it fascinating that he also inspires Ryan to make Batwoman her own.
I also love the budding friendship between Mary and Ryan. Nicole Kang continues to be a fantastic part of this cast that always brings heart and humor to each episode. Camrus Johnson’s Luke Fox is finally warming up to Ryan which is a joy to watch. Johnson is truly a phenomenal talent. Shivani Ghai’s debut as Safiyah was fantastic as well. Her regal and powerful portrayal of the Queen of Coryana was definitely reminiscent of Matt Nable’s Ra’s Al-Ghul from Arrow. I can’t wait to see if she is telling the truth concerning Kate or if she is simply manipulating Alice.
I am looking forward to what’s next!