Who the fuck is "Wells"?

The idea that "Wells" is a time-travel joke referring to H.G. Wells has been pointed out. We know the guy has got a secret. His legs are a bigger factor than the actual hidden closet thing. And what about his assistants at S.T.A.R.? Are they in on his secret, or has "Wells" planned out his charade so well, that he has them fooled? If they're in on the plan, are they, idk, the wonder twins maybe? Bart and his cousin XS?

Since Barry was supposed to become the lightning bolt that gave his old self his powers, (and since he had a hand in the particle accelerator "accident") I thought it was Barry. Eobard Thawne had taken the possibility of Zoom. But some say "Eddie" is just an ancestor (he could also be Cobalt Blue) Tom Cavanaugh and Gustin ALSO LOOK VERY SIMILAR, physically. Zoom was such a Flash fanboy, that he did plastic surgery on himself to look like Barry, so much so that he could fool Iris into believing he WAS Barry. Zoom was so obsessed, that he wanted to play with destiny and timelines, he's currently trying to control what's going to happen. At the end of episode 1, i thought it was Barry from the future. But after he killed a guy, I can hardly believe Flash being wrong in any way. Barry's a saint for God's sake. In that last scene, i feel they gave him prominent yellowish lighting on his face. Barry wears a red tie/shirt, Eddie wears a blue tie. Wells is dressed all in black, meaning he's either that BLACK Flash who appears before the death of every speedster, or Zoom

Since the show is big on references to the old show, like how John Wesley Shipp is Barry's father Henry, and how Teena McGee's role is mirrored by Kaitlin (Cisco reminds me of Barry's partner with the dreads) and the fact that blood sugar levels was a deal in both series, I should also take a moment to recall my favourite episode from the old series, This episode was about clones? (AND, S.T.A.R. labs got hold of a sample and created a clone? What other possibilities could that suggest? A FLASH clone?

There are so many hints. You never know what you miss and what you get. However, on Detective Allen's investigative bored, on his "timeline" we see the years "1982" and "1998". Crisis happened in the 80s, 85/86, but Barry was still running in the early 80s as well. But from then, to Rebirth in 2009, there was no Barry, the Flash was Wally. IF everything was prevented and "Wells", whoever he is, manages to manipulate the time stream with his knowledge of what COULD happen, (and assuming Wells is Zoom, and jealous, would take Wally out completely) we may have Barry for longer.

Start the Conversation

Batman and Aliens (Batman sucks Part IV?)

Well, this blog is in FAVOUR of Batman. Yes, Batman has the potential to be a realistic, noir, people's hero. But, here's an excerpt from grant Morrison's "Supergods", a review and historical explanation of superheroes throughout history. (so yes, this is not a blog of my own, but an excerpt of what someone else had said)

"..decade's worth of unfiltered madness as DC writers used every trick in the book to keep Batman away from the crime-haunted streets where he belonged"

Oh look i decided to provide you with pictures instead of writing it out. Then it's done. This is why Batman should stay away from aliens, and does not necessarily belong with a JLA. People WANT to see him in a JLA, and if aliens DID attack Earth, he would be a valuable asset, in strategy and equipment departments at least. Superman fighting aliens is equally dumb, but at least he has cosmic heritage. This chapter (titled "Superman on the Couch") also has a lot to say about how dumb and retarded Superman stories from the Silver Age were. Ideally I'd say the component of Aliens should be kept at bay unless relevant, the Swarm, the Skrulls and Kree are kind of different, but they also portray the attitudes of European countries in the Age of Exploration.

But Batman works best at "where he belongs", in Gotham, fighting on the street level. Yeah he does. And it's a great story when he does.

Start the Conversation

Teen Titans, please Go! (Beast Boy, Greg and the whole character/actor thing)

"I'm not agree. Is not about evolution is about recognition. I don't need a replacement I don't wanna a replacement"

I hate the bitter, frustrated version of myself. I work in circles where I try not to get too happy, and then when I do, it's followed immediately with some depression or angry phase. This is what happened at the abrupt end of Young Justice as well. Harvey Dent said in the second Nolan Batman, (no i'm still not a bat-fan), that "you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain". I find myself becoming the very thing I hate. I used to get into internet arguments with people who were dicks. And now, I'm turning into one.

Teen Titans was fun. Robin was fighting Deathstroke, Trigon's influence was real. Starfire's sister shows up, and Beast Boy's heart is broken by (a hot) Terra. Beast Boy is vegetarian. It was a COOL SHOW! Then it died down. YJ happened and it was awesom-er.

Teen Titans died, the VAs called for the fans to speak up, and it was brought back. It was goofy, and it took YJ's spot.

I don't think I want to stand by for that to happen again. Greg Cipes is awesome, but he can't hog the character forever.

I like funny, but primarily, I like action. I want to see superheroes kick butt, or use their wits to solve cases, even tackle politics. I like some sciencey stuff, I like fantastical fiction. And although funny can mix into fiction, I don't like my action to get too goofy. I don't think anyone does. Imagine Terminator or Rambo. A couple quick jokes would be cool, but you really want the explosions, guns and muscles, and the plot about Vietnam war veterans or how in the future, we're going to be ruled by robots. What's wrong with that, why can't we have that?

Sure, Beast Boy is always funny, he's comic relief, but do you know WHY he's always cracking jokes and acting happy? Because he's actually very complex, that's why! Why can't we see Beast Boy for that type of guy? And you know who BBoy's adult counterpart is? His JLA role model, would be Buddy baker, who has similar powers and under Grant Morrison's pen became an Animal rights advocate. Beast boy (AND Cipes I believe) are vegetarian. So should we allow a character of so much potential to be wasted as forever humorous, and never to be taken serious? Well, so far my problem has been about immaturity and lack of action rather than the actor who plays it. I'd be more than happy to have Cipes's voice behind the impish little monkey, as long as the character stands up to a better amount of seriousness. But can we expect Cipes to be serious? I mean, maybe we could! His work as Iron Fist lately has been nothing but mostly serious. Spiritual, yes. Honorable and self sacrificing. But not goofy, at all. Yet, is it Iron Fist/Danny Rand, or Greg Cipes acting as Iron Fist that we're looking at? Both of them are young, tall, slim-yet-muscular, blonde, white males with this Californian surfer dude aura (have i mentioned that i'm SO GAY for Greg Cipes, over looks, voice and everything?) Iron Fist is supposed to be IMMORTAL, because the idea of the IF, or the dragon's heart, is like Zorro. It's whoever dons the mask that becomes the icon, and it lives on through generations (and I was under the impression that that was the same point in animation) Then again,...

Don't get me wrong. I love Voice actors, or entertainers of ANY kind. If i had a shot (and talent) for entertaining, especially in animation, i'd jump for it. I love rooting for the under dog too, and VAs are sort of underdogs for their voices are heard, but not always their faces, and they don't get Oscars. I grew to recognize some voices, like the different voices of Sam Vincent, in Martin Mystery or Luri Lowenthal's or Tara Strong's wide spectrum of cute, hoarse, male, female, adult and mature voices. Jesus Tara Strong has THE most amazing talent. But in her case, she voices so many characters, including Timmy Turner. That show's great for many reasons, including references to Terminator (Jorgen) and Superman/Batman (Crimson Chin). Also, Tim's an original character so Tara could be directly associated with that character, and she could even claim ownership of that character for sure since she's both the first and only person to voice him, BECAUSE HE DOESN'T EXIST OUT OF ANIMATION. Or at least was born in animation. I'm sure she has a lot of those originals, including Bubbles and Ben 10, two of the newer generation's best cartoons. A character like Robin though,... not so much. The four Turtles have been voiced by many people over many generations and each turtle has many delegates on their BTVA page.

So what about Beast Boy?

I think Greg Cipes is awesome, he's made me laugh a lot, and he's a genius with what he does but does he have a right over a character that's older than he is? Yes, he was the first person to voice BBoy and before Teen Titans (the cartoon), I doubt anyone young knew much about him. I had heard of Doom Patrol and seen Beast Boy in comics, but I'm not sure if that was before watching Teen Titans on Cartoon Network. Plus, Cartoon Network is better than Nick or Disney. They have some of the best action, and they also had Billy & Mandy, and Foster's Home for Imaginary pets, and oh god that horrible Cow&Chicken show, and Courage, which was... i don't even know what genre that was. And he's been doing it for 10 years. Still.... what about Beast Boy? If he really cares about enlightenment, Cipes wouldn't hold on to BB. But they ARE so much alike irl.

However, this isn't just about Greg, this is about bigger things. This is what one of his fans replied with when I said that TT Go! had cost us YJ fans a great show:

"Voice actors are not responsible for that. Actually I love Teen Titans and I like Teen Titans go."

These are the people that ruined YJ (the fans who voted TT back) And these are the people who are liable to mess things up again.

Start the Conversation

Batman sucks part III: Insanity factor

I painted a bat symbol on my chest, when i was 13. Moving on,.. let's explore the elements of unstability in Batman's head.

As I was watching Kick Ass 2 this weekend, (for the first time, I'm so behind, now i got it on DvD) I couldn't help but notice the dialogue that calls Batman (or "Big Daddy", KA's version of Batman) insane!

First, Dave (Kick Ass) and Hit Girl are in a taxi and Kick Ass says they should be like Batman and Robin. Big Daddy's costume is LITERALLY, that of Batman. Later, both Nic Cage's old partner Marcus, and Kick Ass tell Hit Girl they think her father was insane. But that's just Kick Ass' version of Batman, right?

Then again, WHY does Batman, a normal man, surround himself with superheroes?

Ok, he did break off saying that the League is a joke, and made his own "Outsiders'' group. In the cartoon, after he and the other 6 defeated the White Martian invasion, Batman said he was not much of a team player and opted out, temporarily. But he's constantly trying to improve his physical strength, (the term "fitness junkie" was attributed to another Bruce, Kung Fu superstar Bruce Lee, who may have also bordered on insanity/schizophrenia) and be strong, even though he realizes that he is MORTAL. All around him, are questionable on this account. Martian Manhunter was revealed to have been secretly watching and interacting with human kind for a long time, acting as a Bronze something. Wonder Woman literally has all the powers of the Olympian Gods. She's an Amazonian warrior and the average Amazon is supposed to be immortal. Artemis had to drag herself out of hell, after she "died". Superman's body chemistry absorbs all he eats, i.e is a 100% efficient in metabolizing, and therefore does not cause him to age. In Lois & Clark, Lois was afraid she would keep growing old while her husband wouldn't age a day, at least in appearance. He's probably not immortal, but has prolonged life. Something tells me Batman's just jealous, and sad.

Psychology is a big part of Gotham, especially the villains at Arkham and Blackgate penitentiary. Riddler's OCD, Two-Face is a multiple personality/bipolar case. Clayface, geez I probably relate most with an actor who has lost himself in all the characters he's played. Joker, what is he, mistaken identity? guy's a bit amnesiac, and DEFINITELY psychotic, unpredictable violence being a signature. I will admit, this is a very exciting form of entertainment, and is the biggest reason Batman, and everyone in Gotham is so popular. Batman, just like his villains, has mental issues. Among these issues seem to be PTSD, multiple personality syndrome, an addiction to some stuff, like violence, and a problem with women. A grown man, he constantly mourns the death of his parents, even when he should realize that that event was exactly what pushed him to becoming something strong, formidable and dangerous. He wouldn't be Batman, HAVE PUSHED HIMSELF to becoming Batman, if he had a nice life, or childhood. If his parents had lived, he would have either been boring, or more likely (assuming he was always destined for greatness) turned out to be more of an Owlman. I'm sure that parents would have a HUGE effect on a child's life, and i'm not saying it wouldn't have caused him significant trauma. Let's analyze this in NBC's Gotham. But how long can the damage go?

Batman learns to fight, because he can't be bothered by his personal tragedy if he keeps fighting right? Occupy himself, repent for the guilt he puts on himself for his father's death. Literally, beat back his fears. Then again,

He's trained with the League of Shadows, so he must have been taught not to get his emotions in the way. "cold and calculated". I really, truly believe that he's at his best, most efficient, when he's on the edge of being hero and being not. The guy IS dangerous. I do love him, at times. But if he's holding on to the tragedy of his parents and uses it even to fuel himself, as an intentional way of adding adrenaline, he directly contradicts himself. Unless, you pick out which of these two parts is the real guy. But the fact is he's only human, right? no matter how hard he tries, he can only do for so long. In the end, he's only fighting a losing battle.

He's in constant denial of the fact that one man's actions won't make a difference.

But he keeps doing it, why? For himself. He doesn't save the city to keep the city safe. Well not just because. He's not as benevolent as he shows to be. He's a little selfish, he wants the credit, and therefore, he's not a complete hero. Also in the Killing Joke, Joker challenges him to kill him, and says that the Bat will go crazy without the nutcase. They have one of the cutest bromances.

Then again, for the greater good, he's able to rationally, logically, paint himself as the bad guy, for everyone to point the finger at. There,.... he's not trying to get the credit. But secretly, he feels good, for doing a "selfless" deed. I got to hand it to him, he is a very complex character. I'm not a psychologist, but a professional could easily break him down. But how many layers has he made up for himself?

Then, there was Bane. No matter how much he hyped himself up to be, fighting Killer Croc, fist to fist, and Riddler or Two Face at a mental game, there was always going to be someone who's better than you, at your own game. But, Bane uses steroids, and i do believe Batman recovered and went back for bane, and beat him. How this connects to his insane factor was that the man keeps trying to top something that he can't and refuses to understand (or realizes, and ignores) that he does all this stuff for himself, making up reasons to live, to keep himself from going (completely) crazy.

29 Comments

Batman sucks part 2: Batman sucks at fighting

I'll keep this short. Seriously, this only needs that much.

Batman is supposed to be a world class martial artist, he's studied in Japan, he's faced off against the League of Shadows, touched hands with both Ra's and Shiva, he knows what? 147 types of martial arts?

Really? This guy?

Ok, that was Silver Monkey, a trained fighter (though it was Batman's fault he got cocky and walked into that trap) But this? This is a civillian.

I mean, how does batman have any respect for himself? He even admits that the kick was a mistake. He punches like a ballet dancer. It's not fair for us to judge an entire character from the ancient mistakes of one artist. Obviously, Adam West is going to be lamer and Christopher Nolan, coming in 40-something years,

Let me end with, this is a fun blog, and I actually gained a lot of respect for Within the issue where he fights Monkey, and the issue before that, Batman's doing a few cool moves and speaking cool lines like "we got to stay cold and calculated", where I did develop some respect toward his prowess. But... if he's near-perfect or good at fighting at all,... why does he keep on making so many mistakes?

25 Comments

Batman Sucks: part one, (on originality)

Batman's not an original concept at all.

He's a mash up of Zorro, Sherlock Holmes, count of Monte Cristo, lesser known comic book characters like the Bat and the Black Bat, a silent film called the bat whispers, even D'artagnan. That's 7 sources from which Batman was copied off of, DIRECTLY. Everything you like about Batman, right down to Nolan's films, is from somewhere else.

Allowing for tribute and homage, and the fact that no work of fiction is completely independent of SOME inspiration from the real world or from other works,... Batman is still a clone and therefore, not a worthy character/franchise to praise.

What is homage and what is inspiration? The cover's of some issues have been re-done a few times, like Amazing Spider-Man #15, (http://ifanboy.com/articles/top-5-tributes-to-amazing-fantasy-15/)

or Death & Return of Superman, or a picture of 2 Flashes running together, or GL & GA. This is homage, but what was the original inspiration for the first cover?

There are different types of inspiration as well. It could have been something reflective about current society, like machines taking people's jobs, or possibly spontaneous ideas, before or during creation. The inverted drawing/colouring technique for creating Gotham City on paper, i think, was an awesome, original idea. But this type of thing in Batman, at least in his creation, is lacking. There was also some repetition with sidekicks. Ok, adding a girl sidekick is not repetition, and caters to a need, whether this female sidekick is a Robin, or a different character. But geezus, how MANY Robins did we have and how many differences did we have between them? There WERE differences. But there was repetition.

Let's look at cases of acceptable inspiration that we don't have to count as "copy-cat". I think if it's not as obvious, it's ok. Being the creation of a collaboration of young Jewish men, after WW II, a couple of inspirations for Superman could be identified as a) Golem, or Gulam, a guardian figure of Jewish mythology, and b) maybe a version of the all powerful Nietzsche-ian Superman, but benevolent, acting with more moral consideration. Inspired by, but not copying off of.

I could compare Superman's character to that of others, like Tarzan. Borne by a superior race, raised in an unusual or foreign environment, by loving foster parents, growing into exceptionally strong men who have feats of "heroic" proportion to back them up, they're not much different. It may have been intentional, or co-incidental.

The movie Bruce Wayne watched with his parents, the night Joe Chill shot them down, was "Mask of Zorro". It pays tribute to Zorro, openly admits that Batman was inspired by his looks and style, with a little bit of Monte Cristo thrown in there. That's like saying, you can't have a masked adventurer without having him worry about his secret identity. Not only would you not be exploring a practical problem with dual identities, which is as real in history, but you would also be taking out a traditional form of entertainment people may want to see. So what I'm saying is, if we can understand that this has been done before, and the author admits and brings out the resemblance, then I would find myself appreciating that than looking down on it.

What about Tarzan, and Mowgli, the archetype of the wild-boy? Well, if you consider Tarzan, Mowgli and George of the Jungle etc., to be part of a genre or stock, then it is impossible for a character to not draw from it's forefather. So for example if Batman's a detective, then he's allowed to draw from Sherlock Holmes stories.

BUT, what about the scene in Nolan's movie, and in the comic "Batman: Year One" where a Bat flies in through the window? the scene that was taken STRAIGHT out of pulp character, The Bat? Or the fact that Harvey Dent and the Black Bat were both DAs who had their faces burned with acid?

But if Batman's a copy cat, what about Spider-Man? All of Spidey's villains, or neighbours... I shouldn't say all of them, MOST. Black Cat, Goblin, Aunt May, all mirror somebody in Batman, and even the Spider symbol and the Bat are "spooky" animal symbols.

And so kids, we conclude this section saying that's why Batman sucks, because he's a copy cat, (and that's only one reason) but it doesn't mean he can't evolve and become a better character. MANY people have taken up the duties of writing and drawing/designing the character, and the mistakes of the early days should not dictate the entirety of the character/franchise. Even though, the hype at the beginning is what gave birth to the hype today.

NEXT TIME, we talk about how overpowered Batman is, and how he's not actually that great a fighter, (or something of that sort). Feel free to drop in your ideas to make this blog better, (by which I mean more hateful toward the Bat), and tell me why you like Batman. What reasons make him popular? That's what i'm trying to identify and challenge. Here are what i got so far. Add.

⦁ Batman is a man among Gods (surrounds himself with super-beings, yet represents us)

⦁ Batman is realistic, because he has no powers and uses weapons instead

⦁ His flawed character makes a more interesting story

⦁ Batman is darker and grittier

3 Comments

Michael Bay trailer (thoughts on)

I know there's a bunch of fans who are going to boycott the movie, just because Michael Bay is handling it, but I never committed to that, thinking maybe we should give it a chance. They may all be slightly different, but up until this point, all trailers released have been too premature. But yes I get excited every time I see something Turtles-related, and I'm usually bored so I'm frequently looking up "Ninja Turtles" on Google, and that's how I found these.

So we've already had an idea for sometime, before any of the trailers, about how certain guys are going to look. Btw, is this the first time we're seeing Donnie?

Now Two snapshots interest me, one of Shredder, and one of Raphael.

The best, coolest character in the whole damn franchise is Shredder. If I had to choose my favourite Turtle brother, I would still choose Shredder. Idk, maybe not, the Turtles are all cool, I couldn't pick a favourite one, but the Shredder probably doesn't outrank them. Though I might like Shredder more than Splinter. Point is, Shredder is the most baddasest villain in the whole entirety of everything. So why try to "fix" something, that ain't broke? Something important about Shredder's look, is that he has to stay traditional. But that's kind of been broken before, when they put a Utrom in his stomach.

What bothers me the most are the claws. Shredder's armour is taken to the "next level", and it looks like a Super Shredder, but ok, we'll take that. And then, out pops a blade in Wolverine style *snikt* action. And now, he's a peacock with blades.

Raph's picture. This picture summarizes a few things about what we could expect in the movie, and I would like to talk about it in 2 parts. 1) appearance or more specifically, SIZE, and 2) plot.

What we can gather from the scene where Raph says "lets go find my brothers", (love that accent. Very Brooklyn) to a Splinter that's been trapped under a block of cement, is that the central plot, or at least a large part related to the plot, deals with a flipped version of what we've seen in the 1st and 2nd original movies.

In the first movie, the turtles are out dropping April at her apartment while a Foot spy who had followed Raph home heads back to Shredder. When the Turtles return, they find a) their lair in ruins and b) Splinter missing. And so the motivation for the Turtles, while moving around avoiding the Foot and waiting for Raph to heal, is to save Splinter.

In Secret of the Ooze, Raph gets kidnapped trying to infiltrate the new Foot Clan. Kaito comes back to tell the other 3 that Shredder is back. Shredder uses Raph to lure the rest in to the plot of the movie, which are 2 new mutants in town.

Raph has a bad habit of wandering off on his own, and a lot of great stories start there. He's the guy who goes back in search of April, to retrieve the Sai he left behind from the first scene, and ends up saving April (for the second time) at the subway station. To see April meeting the Turtles again at a subway train in this trailer, was very cool. I like the homage it pays. I mean, New York, subways, chances are high they would go back there. But i think it's definitely on purpose. Raph also gets attacked on the roof, runs into Casey Jones this way, and when he got kidnapped in Secret of the Ooze, and several episodes in the cartoons, (plural) it was because he's a loner and he's always doing things by himself.

But, this time, he doesn't actually get captured, the other guys do, and it's up to HIM to get THEM back. Which also means we might see a lot of stealthy covert ninja action after all. How else is Raph gonna charge at his enemies as a one man army, and win?

This kinda segues in to my next point, or actually has gone past the segue. Size. Raph is he-YUUUUGE in this picture. MASSIVE! Now where have we seen a Turtle that big before? ah, right. I do like his voice/accent though. Very Brooklyn, and that's how I'd imagine the Turtles to speak if done correctly.

Actually, muscles were one of the most impressive things about the Turtles starting from day 1. BUT, ninjas aren't supposed to be that big. I suppose they can be, but they don't have to be, but smaller size definitely helps stealthy ninja action. But here, while still probably very agile, the Turtles are more street fighting, brawling, giant tough guys (or wrestlers) than ninja.

Facial features wise, they still got those damn nostrils! Coupled with those teeth, their faces look like some horrible crossbred offspring between Shrek and Donkey. (BTW i made the Shrek analogy first) Since when have the Turtles ever had teeth?

Oh, right.

Start the Conversation

TMNT cartoon review (1987 Fred Wolf vs 2003 Image/Mirage vs 2012 Nickelodeon)

We'll be comparing everything on a few key terms, Animation, Story, Characterization, Action (included in animation) and Music/Sound

Animation comes in 2 parts, stills and action. How are the turtles drawn, and how good is the action? I think in physical appearance, Image/Mirage wins hands down. The turtles are drawn hardcore, they're buff, they're not necessarily mean but they're serious, they got different shades on their bodies even though they're all the same height. It's got some cool screencap material, and juxtaposed sequential shots, like Leo slicing Shredder's head off in mid air, a classic Samurai element. A moment of stillness.

Body heights of other characters match up well with the turtles too. Human characters (be it April, Casey, Shredder or at least his armour) are taller than the turtles, because I remember from my oldest back info from toy boxes, that the bros were 5' 3" or something, and that Mike loved ice cream pizza. Splinter is hunched up and grey, the way one of my toys from the 90s looked like, predating the cartoon by many years. But I think he was meant to look more like a wolf. He still had a rat's snout. All characters were in great physical form, and that's what I loved about it. Colours were bright and everything was in high def, but that’s not necessarily all win, because the picture may have been flatter. They took a lot of liberty drawing things like the crustacean/insect-like subterranean characters from Tales from the Underground, and later did about the same thing with the “Dark Turtles”. New characters.

1987’s Fred Wolf cartoon did have good art, but just not as great as Image/Mirage’s. They did emphasize on muscles. Their colours were awesome too, comparative . Buildings were drawn so cool, April was cooler, and maybe Splinter too. Shredder had less on and this version or the movie version is probably my favourite version of the Shredder, but that’s not to say 2003’s Oroku Saki/Shredder in armour lacked in coolness. Samurai armour is awesome.

Where 2003 made a step UP in animation (art), in both technology and style, Nickelodeon went down. The blocky style of drawing appeals to some people, and since they ARE turtles, those elephant-hoof legs may make some sense. Then again they’re also mutated, badass, action heroes. That’s their appeal. The process of mutation can’t be scientifically explained, because in all versions, it had an alien hand in it. Don’t try to make things realistic in fiction, keep this loophole to make the art better.

The art is also less macho/cool and more childish, and that’s assuming that the target audience had to be children. The anime eyes do not work, at least not for me. Still, I have to ask, what’s wrong with children’s shows with some tough characters? I was heavy into action when I was a kid, I enjoyed it, and I turned out fine. (sure I skinned a couple kittens every now and then, had homosex a lot and terrorized villages, but that had nothing to do with the cartoons I watched)

As far as action sequences go, Nick has the best Aikido/Jiujutsu moves and philosophy. I think I saw a few “Randori”s in the training scenes, usually with Splinter in the middle. That’s when everyone gangs up one dude and the dude has to get out/stay alive.

Nick also has a lot of depth perception, the turtles get up VERY close to the camera, that it’s almost invading on my personal space. The foreground is used excessively whereas Fred Wolf animation was mostly flat, except in the intro and in select scenes where they swing toward the camera, or away, or jump into sewers. I could pick out scenes from 2003’s animation where they had one thing in the foreground while something was happening in the background, like walking away from an explosion, but it wasn’t as emphasized.

2003 still had some cool moves. In the pilot itself, there were fights, sneaking around, and even wind blowing on bandanas, which is an awesome effect. I remember Raph flipping up and out of the public’s view was something that cemented my love of that second cartoon series, at age 19. Unfortunately though, the fight scenes were not AS awesome, they still never used their weapons the way they’re supposed to (Leo would use his lethal blades on people and they would end up getting knocked on to the ground with a few bruises. What are his swords rubber?). But there were a LOT of fights, and every episode was so fast passed, which is something that makes the 2003 cartoon one of the most entertaining shows of all time, both Ninja Turtles and overall.

What ran the action in the Fred Wolf cartoon was the music. When you heard that music, you would know it was a battle, and you’d be excited anyway because it’s fun, and because you wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. The use of weapons, as has been criticized very famously about this cartoon, was minimal. They would CARRY these weapons with them, but unless they were chopping up a statue or a vehicle, or trying to open a door,…. those weapons were supposed to be used a certain WAY, dammit.

Storytelling might be a big factor.

The Image/Mirage cartoon was obviously closer to both the comics and even the movies. The IMAGE comics, that is. But the Nickelodeon drew from it’s own sources, Archie’s owns Wingnut and perhaps Mutagen Man, (or else, he started in the Fred Wolf cartoon). IDW has touched all bases from reprints of the original Eastman/Laird run, (and is in fact directly affiliated with Eastman) to solos and comics inspired by the nick series. So it’s a matter of how good the parent stock is, when talking about closer to the comics. Image/Mirage beats Archie’s hands down. If there was one company/universe I would like to erase, without too much negative impact on all the things I love, it would be Archie’s, and maybe perhaps Hanna Barbera, (but then I’d be missing Johnny Bravo and PPG, and a lot of the stuff on Cartoon Network)

However, for a children’s cartoon, Nickelodeon’s cartoon is pretty Noir, and they got that much right. Many of the mutant trouble makers are quick to be put down before they could cause more trouble. SpyRoach, Mutagen Man and Slash/Spike all faced the consequentialist verdict, (not always carried out). Plus, hallucinogenic mushrooms. Enough said.

In contrast, Archie’s and Nickelodeon both drew inspiration from and paid homage to Fred Wolf. Fred Wolf’s intro had meaner turtles that looked like they did in the Eastman/Laird comic. That intro also gives us a good idea of who the Turtles are and who the enemy is in a matter of seconds, but it leaves so much more. Nickelodeon’s intro is heavily based on the Fred Wolf intro, in fact they basically re-mixed it, but that’s not all it is. It DOES pay tribute to other stuff.

Except for the Green Lantern style dying alien arc, which went on for 3 or 5 episodes, Fred Wolf is generally more episodic than any of the other cartoons. Yes, the same characters like Baxter Stockman will re occur, some elements like “Shredder and his goons are the bad guys” would re occur. The Technodrome or Shredder’s enmity with Splinter were objects and elements you had to know to follow what was going on. If they said “dimension X”, you had to know what was meant by that. But it was a shallow show for kids. What’s gonna happen today? Some thugs broke into a bank, Turtles saved the day. Some ghost came in from ancient Japan, in a vase, Turtles saved the day. I liked the style before there was anything to compare it with, and because many shows at the time would follow that method. But in all forms, Fred Wolf was more childish.

While child friendly, 2003 was more adult oriented, “kick-ass”, fast paced, entertaining and if you were too lazy to read or couldn’t get your hands on the comic, from Fugitoid to City at War to Usagi Yojimbo, the creators revived and immortalized what the Turtles were really about. I started with Fast Forward, that was lame. But 2003 is more serial, save for a few stand alones, but usually connecting in somewhere. It has both several arcs consisting of at least 3 episodes in a single season, and arcs reappearing/continuing spanning multiple seasons. THAT I liked. Only at least a semi-mature mind could keep up. They would recollect a little in case someone hadn’t watched a past episode, and to not create too much confusion (which is one harm for serials vs episodic) but there was never any confusion for me, and if I ever found something boring, it was the stand alones.

Nickelodeon’s only had 2 seasons so far, and while the Karai stuff was closely tied together, I feel that it’s more episodic than serial, BUT the single episodes are much more fun than anything else. However, these episodes aren’t necessarily “filler” or “stand alone”. For example, I initially wrote off Metalhead Rewired as filler, but at the end of it, we get a recount of what mutants/aliens are still around and they’re all set free. Little bits and pieces like how Donny gets a blade in his stick, SEEM episodic, but are important in the long run. One thing I think was bad about it, was that to follow the serial part of the first and second seasons was that there was no break there. I could easily recall what happened in each season, roughly, in the 2003 cartoon. Season 1 had the “Shredder Strikes” arc, a “filler” arc about Tales from the Underground, and went back to “Shredder Strikes Back”. IF, like the Dark Phoenix Saga of X Men TAS, 2003 had gone all out with 6 episodes of continuous story, at THAT fast pace, I would have been lost. (I wouldn’t have been, because I’d have had a slight idea, and since I usually read up on episodes before I watch them, but a newcomer would) Nickelodeon’s story from when Karai first comes in, (or actually from Bradford and Xever) might have been too much, and too condensed. At the time, it was easy to follow because I watched it every week, except for between mid season breaks, that took a few months to recover. But if I were to recall them, they’re not drawn into my head as easily.

So, the moral is, serial is more fun than episodic, but you risk losing the audience’s attention if they miss too much. 2003 never had this problem because someone would always fill the viewer in on what’s happened so far, a “previously on the show” style catch-you-up technique. This shouldn’t be too much a problem though, because these days, you have access to episodes you may have missed through other methods, like you could always go online and catch up with what you’ve missed, like if you had a final or a meeting the day it was gonna be on. But you really have to invest your time in Nick, which is GOOD, but annoying when you’ve finally grown up.

What 2003 REALLY screwed up on as far as the story, was the Utrom Shredder. WHAT THE FUCK? You have such a perfect character like THE SHREDDER, and you make him a robotic shell for a criminal alien worm,….. I am sooooooo disappoint. This affects the entire history of the Ninja Turtle mythos, and is probably the worst mistake anyone has ever done.

The Kraang Is given more complexity in Nick, giving them mass telepathic communication and telekinesis. They’ve combined both the Utrom race and Kraang and his rock soldiers into one, but they’re all evil now, unlike the benevolent beings that healed Master Splinter in both the comics and the cartoon. Again, impacting Turtles continuity. However, Turtles Forever has built up a multiverse to separate each creation and make them awesome. It is also too funny. A quick joke every now and then is ok, but what Nick did is in comparison what Teen Titans GO! Is to Teen Titans. Greg Cipes is equal parts amazingly funny and over the top. But at the end of the day, that’s how the Turtles started, and were supposed to be. A spoof, and funny.

The main themes of each version may differ. With Fugitoid’s D’Hoonib, everything became Star Wars, and the Turtles gained all their enemies from outer space, and ancient myth/legend,.. which works if you’re into Sci-Fi. I’m not. Nick gets all their bad guys from Mutagen, which is better. But 2003 and Fred Wolf also deal with the city and it’s bad guys. Sometimes, a theme that is ordinary and seemingly mundane CAN be the best. Like crime. 2003 deals with gangs, a topic that is probably too heavy for kids, but very realistic too.

Taking into consideration the complexity, how hard/easy it is to keep up with, pace and entertainment value, originality and sticking to the original, even characterization, I think the best storytelling is in 2003. Nick doesn’t do bad at all, the stories are fun, continuous, evolving, very original, yet classic, but 2003 is a better show.

Characterization

The only difference between the four Turtles in Fred Wolf were the colour of their masks, the letters on their belt buckles and the weapons they may or may not draw. They’d usually draw them, at least. But in 2003, they were given a little more depth and individuality than that. The character of each dude was intensified. Raph was a lot tougher, and running off by himself. In fact, aren’t most of the funnest tales start with Raph running away? Donny was always smart, Leo was always the leader, and Mikie was never serious. So after Raph, “characterization” may stop.

Nickelodeon wins the bracket for characterization since they’ve spent a lot of time and detail and height variation, skins, shells, attitudes and personality of each Turtle and even the other characters. Slash was very evil, amazingly done. Even the bad guys have been fleshed out well. Karai of 2003 vs Kelly Hu Karai is a HUGE difference. We wouldn’t know much about Shredder’s adopted daughter who starred in the comic’s ‘City at War’ storyline if it weren’t for 2003. But 2003’s Karai was stiff, and boring. Not to say we didn’t get a glimpse into her past and why she works with Shredder, and she still makes her own choices, to some extent.

Kelly Hu is much more interesting. Let me commend the entire voice cast of the show btw. Nick’s Karai is much more entertaining. She’s bad, and she loves being bad. She kicks ass, she plays around with Leo, she’s better than him but isn’t in a hurry to win, she maintains her allegiance to Shredder and…. She’s just awesome. Kelly Hu can actually fight, too. Plus she’s voiced other ninja/kunoichi before.

The only bad thing about Nick’s characters is that Shredder doesn’t do enough. The only two times Shredder has fought might be at the docks when the Turtle bros were going to bazooka him, and at the end of Worm Quake, when Splinter was lured into a trap and poisoned. Shredder is such a great (and honourable) villain. WHY don’t people utilize him?

Cementing characters as sensitive or aggressive might be risky in that, once you confirm them too thoroughly, there’s no room for change. Raph is the easiest Turtle to work with,because his emotions are all on the surface, with the second being either Mikie or Leo. Mikie maybe more complicated, hiding his real pain or insecurity under all those jokes. Donny is reserved and could be interpreted in several ways.

Each cartoon has it’s own unique characters too, be it Bebop and Rocksteady, Hun, Agent Bishop and the Guardians, or Snakeweed, Fishface, and the AWESOME Newtralizer. There’s a difference between the show’s protagonists being children and the show being childish as well. The Turtles were supposed to be 15 when they reached the surface and fought the Purple Dragons. Although Casey Jones doesn’t work as a kid, everyone else sure as hell do. Nick’s Splinter maybe a little too straight.

Music/Sound

To me, the theme song is always the HOOK. I may decide to watch or not watch a cartoon by judging it’s theme song. Fred Wolf has such an intense intro, that drove my adrenaline through the roof before I even knew what the cartoon was about. Like I said, nick remixes this already existing intro. Not as awesome, not original. Did 2003 manage to beat or at least live up to the Fred Wolf theme? I think I was impressed by the intensity of it, the Turtles were jumping over rooftops and racing through the sewers, Shredder would make an appearance, each season might have it’s updated Intro, and it was ok. Back to the Sewer and Fast Forward didn’t do as well with Intros as it originally did. Fast Forward was crap.

I still think the better intro belonged to Fred Wolf.

Fred Wolf’s score throughout the rest of the episode was awesome too. It had a funny theme for characters like Irma or Vernon, then it had suspicion scene music. You’d know it was a battle scene or a rescue with the type of music too, with a small “heroes in the half shell” to announce the day’s victory. And then there was the theme of the lair, whenever you switched over to Dimesnsion X or the Technodrome. I LOVED the music. It was almost a Power Rangers technique as when Zedd would appear. Each type of music would set the setting really well.

2003’s music SUCKS. If there was one thing,… make that 2 things I could hate that cartoon on, and probably the only 2 things in it that I disliked, it would be Utrom Shredder and the fact that the music is usually so loud it blots out the damn voices. HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO LISTEN TO A CONVERSATION THAT MIGHT BE IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT, when the music is a) TOO LOUD and b) NEVER STOPS?

I haven’t noticed Nick’s music as much, meaning it probably doesn’t play to win or lose in the music dept. this puts it in the middle ground, a step below Fred Wolf, but still a step above 2003.

So which do you think is the best out of all 3 cartoons? I’ve given art and story to 2003’s Image/Mirage, my favourite version, Fred Wolf takes Music+Intro and Nickelodeon has the best characterization, and original characters. Action can be tied between 2003 and Nick, but I think Nick would win it, because of their usage of actual martial arts techniques and usage of space. Nick has the worst art though, and 2003 has the worst music. You can show me where I’m wrong and point out what I have missed to notice.

Start the Conversation

TMNT "April Derp": This shit is not cool

Dear Nickelodeon,

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CHILDHOODS YOU HAVE RUINED WITH THIS EPISODE? DO YOU REALIZE HOW MANY HEARTS WERE SCARRED? ARE YOU INSANE? What the hell was the meaning of this?

The turtles fighting, and KILLING April? Clones, yes, but that's another problem. I'm one in the school of thought that believes clones are living beings too, and therefore deserves to be treated as such, (R.I.P. Ben Reily, long live Superboy) It's bad enough that we have to deal with all this monsterification of all kinds of squirrels and sidekicks. Sometimes, the ethics are questionable. Like Mutagen Man's case, in which the turtles could have listened, talked and helped the guy, which they DID at first, yes, and after a while you had to agree that was the best thing at the time to do, but THIS IS APRIL! Everybody's sweetheart, the turtle's mascot, APRIL! And you KILLED her. In GOO! Clones don't justify, I don't want to see April die like this.

In fact, i think "April-Derp" (WTF Nick? that's such an offensive move to make April a retard, or more precisely, a retarded version of April) might have made a good ally. You can make Metalhead an ally, but not "April-Derp"? It PAINS me to write "April-Derp". You guys are dicks. And for this, the entire creative team, as much as I love you, should go to hell. I don't even believe in hell, but for you, I'd make an exception. F--k you.

Sincerely,

Scarred-for-life.

Start the Conversation

Lawmen in fiction

"Well, sometimes kids need role models" - Officer Murphy in the first RoboCop movie.

This blog is in response to @cbishop's blog from AGES ago! My first tv series was Flash. It was actually scary. They tied a guy to a bike and blew him up. Fuck! There was a lot of killing involved, and as violent as a child i ALREADY was before i started watching any TV, at least because someone put this expected fear into me, i was a little scared. I was also watching a few other shows like Tropical Heat, Renegade, eventually something called Highlander, starring Adrian Paul, (you know, guys in ponytails,) and later on Lois & Clark, and I was also watching Star trek: Next Generation + RoboCop, the series. The Ninja Turtles came in later, but they were there too.

All these shows share one theme in common. Cops. Except Highlander, but there were episodes featuring cops. I wanted to be (or imagined myself being) a cop from the earliest days, because I loved action, and i loved that blue uniform. It's nice to see 2 of my earliest shows, RoboCop and Flash, making a come back on the same year. Of course, I was discouraged heavily and I was/am a reeeeally wimpy person. Still my first superhero character reflected a lot of these elements, being a cop in his secret identity (lab and street), being artificial (and a mutant, and a clone, because everything cool those days were about mutation and clones) and amnesiac, which was more RoboCop than Savage Dragon, because I hadn't run into Dragon yet, but Dragon and I immediately clicked.

Lawmen. Actually, censorship and stuff made everyone (even the Street Fighter gang, as I just found out today -_-. Totally kills the original characters. Now the Street Fighters are a strike team? Under Guile? wtf America? Mortal Kombat wasn't bad enough? Idk, pre-pubescent may have still gotten behind that. Heroes, are those who fight for the good)

Even Superman, though not a true cop in legal occupation, lived for those 3 core directives RoboCop received; Uphold the law, protect the innocent and you know, cop stuff. The Thundercats had their code of honour, Truth, Justice, Honour and loyalty (in such a great order too, Loyalty being the dumbest, but still a good quality when used right, honour is a personal thing that should be considered later, but definitely a motivation for a good guy, Justice being one of the highest good guy things, as long as there are beings interacting, and the truth, which is eternal, regardless of humans existing)

The Ninja Turtles,... omg. On Fred Wolf and the movies, the law enforcement part was stressed pretty heavily. In the Image cartoon, which was, as I think, the closest to the actual thing, even though I haven't read much of the actual, what the Turtles really are, catching bad guys on their own but not too high on the moral scale. But the cop element was still there.

Even Tarzan on Filmation, a wild man raised in the jungles, among animals, was made to be such a wise, honorable role model. Talks perfect, gives great advice, takes responsibility over his territory, upholding the rights of his subjects,... corny, but at the same time not too wrong. Tarzan, and most wild boys (inspired by Tarzan, the original template), tend to dare to fight against an oppressive predator and free the "innocent", implying a) a messiah complex and b) a sense of justice existing within the primal being of the human.

I keep repeating this, but I'll keep doing it no matter who gets tired, but yeah dude, being a hero has to do with a couple things. Being able to perform acts that a normal human could probably not, (actions, feats, performance, an outwardly thing) and not being a dick. Being a nice, caring guy. When I say "caring" he doesn't have to be too soft, just as long as he's compassionate, sympathetic, and stuff you know. The internal, moral aspect as opposed to the physical. Superheroes have always been given jobs, but compared to the JSA era, or Avengers, where people had a lot of doctors, archaeologists, "adventurers", even astronauts, random railway/radio related jobs (wtf GL?) military men, newspaper boys, tech geniuses,........ stupid jobs. Stupid jobs, that don't excite me. Even military men. Oh they got action, yes, but they're not as clean cut and lawful as cops. I grew up in the middle of a war, I knew many soldiers growing up, frequent visitors in the household, but not as cool as cops. I'm guessing it's a question of Domestic vs International levels of protecting/enforcement. They all use guns, but cops are just, nicer guys. War is also an extreme case, that's relevant at some times, but not always.There's also that moral scale, as in whereas cops are on the lawful-good side, soldiers could (and sometimes have to) be on the neutral or chaotic sides, of good or evil. But anyway, even if their day jobs are reporters, astronauts, doctors or some other stupid shit like that, they either all end up fighting for the law (or at least innocent people) or rampaging around on their own causes, as adventurers, like Batman (there's your answer to why I called batman a D-bag, Bishop). The Apollonian hero gives people hope and something to believe in. And cops are the Apollonian, (well, ideally) In fact cops and the military might be the anti thesis to each other.

But every good superhero story has a cop in it, that's all I want to say. Either intentionally. like RoboCop and Flash, or by accident, like... well, RoboCop and Flash?

1 Comments
  • 32 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4