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!
In his eighty years of existence, Dick Grayson has held many titles and roles; acrobat, Robin the Boy Wonder, Teen Titan, various undercover identities and even Batman sometimes, but it is his identity as Nightwing that he is perhaps now most recognized for; one that was adopted nearly forty years ago.
So it does come as a surprise when it is learned that there was a long period of time between Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing, and when he would finally graduate to a title of his own. Just over a decade in fact, and it especially becomes mind boggling to think that characters such as Tim Drake Robin, Catwoman and even Azrael all got solo titles before Dick did. For a character that has such a rich history, giving him a title seemed like an obvious thing to do, especially after he left the Titans in ’93/’94.
A miniseries in 1995 would be considered his first volume, but his solo adventures did not really kick off until Chuck Dixon and artist Scott McDaniel debuted the ongoing second volume the following year. Fans of that title and creative team will tell you the first three years were absolutely electric and very much what the fanbase longed for in a solo outing by Nightwing. Dixon’s tales were exciting, exploring new territory, while still keeping Dick Grayson just within the sphere of the other Bat-titles. And Scott McDaniel’s art… was and is, absolutely kinetic, with sequences that often felt like they would leap off the page at you. Their run would eventually end and they would move onto different projects.
Dixon and McDaniel would reunite to tell two more Nightwing tales after the fact. One of those reunions would be on the Nightwing title itself, and that story would be be Nightwing: Year One.
Fans of the Dick Grayson character are familiar with the broad strokes of Nightwing’s development, but most of that history still focussed on Grayson’s time as a sidekick, and as Robin. Even his Bronze Age tales were either back-up features in the Batman titles, or shunted over to Teen Titans, where Dick was just one of many heroes with which Marv Wolfman and George Perez had to plot out page space for each month.
There was also the issue that a definitive telling of that period has never truly been done, or better put, properly defined. We knew the basics, Robin was “fired”, and Dick taking it one step further would fuel his recent failures under Batman into a new costumed identity and a new desire to prove himself to the greater superhero community. Unfortunately those early days of him being Nightwing are largely covered in Titans’ related books, and, it did not really address the time period immediately leaving the Batcave and emerging as Nightwing, in any real depth.
In six issues, Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel not only fill in those gaps, but also address the larger part of Dick’s first year in his new identity, and for some, the fan favourite “disco suit”. Surprisingly, the retcon used to justify such a wardrobe choice was done with such brilliance it actually makes the suit itself a little less ridiculous looking. Breaking away from using Batman as much as possible, we see Dick interact with the greater DC universe, and the story told becomes more enriched as a result. One or two guest appearances should not come as a surprise to most fans, but one certainly does stand-out as an interesting, and effective inclusion to the narrative.
Detractors will say that this this is just another year one concept done by Chuck Dixon. While that is a fair assessment, it does not take into account the uniqueness that this story holds. While Robin: Year One and Batgirl: Year One felt like love letters to those characters, Nightwing: Year One takes it a step further; it feels like a love letter to Nightwing and Nightwing fans, alike. If this is not a perfect piece of comic book storytelling, it is damn close.
Collects: Nightwing (Volume 2) 101-106
This week is another Jim and Mike comic focused episode, we discuss our newest purchases Jim’s being the first part of his Doom Patrol puzzle. Then we take a nice deep dive in the the Tales of the Dark Multiverse and the first 5 issues – Batman: Knightfall, The Death of Superman, Blackest Night, Infinite Crisis and Judas Contract!
Magic can be such a bitch.. – John Constantine
So here we are, the final film in the DCAU series that started with Flashpoint Paradox, challenged for the Throne of Atlantis, dealt with some Bad Blood, survived a Judas contract and went through a Reign of Supermen is here in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. Its been 7 years and 15 films in the series building to this epic finale and I promise you this film is EPIC!!
There will be no spoilers in this review because I think you need to watch this film, so just a quick synopsis of where we’re at, Darkseid is coming, his plan to take over the universe is in full affect and his parademons have been upgraded! The Justice League with help from all their new members including John Constantine are planning an all out attack on War World to end Darkseid’s reign of terror for good, but are they jumping in at the deep end without a rope and what happens when you attack someone who knows every move you’re about to make…..
So this being a Justice League Dark movie this doesn’t exactly focus on the main Justice League as such, like the first Justice League Dark movie (find our recap of that movie here) Constantine is the main character for this movie once again voiced by the amazing Matt Ryan reprising his role from previous films and of course playing Constantine in the Arrowverse’s Legends of Tomorrow, Matt just gets this character and you can tell he enjoys every minute of it and in these films there’s always a little more crazy magic than you can expect on a TV show and he just revels in it, along with Constantine is Etrigan The Demon and Zatanna as expected in the magical realm of the JLA Dark but due to enormity of the challenge they face they are joined by a whole slew of other characters from across the DC Universe, that’s one thing I really love about these films, you get to see how all these different characters that you wouldn’t normally put together interact with each other. Things happen in this film that blew me away, totally came out of left field and floored me, I had no idea what was going to happen next and that’s what made me love it.
The voice acting in this as usual is phenomenal I’ve already mention Matt Ryan as Constantine but others reprise their roles like Jerry O’Connel as Superman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Jason O’Mara as Batman and of course Tony Todd as Darkseid, who already has DC cred as the voice of Zoom in The CWs The Flash. But that’s not all of the heavy hitters you have Nathan Fillion, Rainn Wilson, Rebecca Romijn and Sean Astin to name a few, this film is stacked with star voice power and they all do it so very well. Also shout-out to John DiMaggio as King Shark who is a shark…
If you’re like me and you’ve kept up with this film series you’ll know how amazing they’ve been and how DC and Warner Bros have just been knocking them out the park and this film is no different, the level of insanity is ramped up so much that so many times while watching this i kept saying ‘Holy crap!!!’ I loved every minute of it. So m I happy with this finale? Absolutely! it was a suitably epic finish to an incredible story and journey! Am I happy its over? No I wish they could continue this universe but I get they want to go to different places, do different things and I’m all for that too, as long as DC and WB keep making animated movies I’m going to keep enjoying each and every one!
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is out now to own on Digital and on Blu-ray/DVD on Monday (18th May) Pre-Order here at Warner Bros Store UK