Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Flash Annual #1 (Spoiler Free)

Who Remembers Wally West?

I love annuals. Some of my favorite stories have been in the comic annuals of olden times. Well, in the last 30 years. The Elseworlds Annuals had some stories I still go back to.

In The Flash, we get a Wally West tale, and while I won't spoil, he is looking for his place in the current time and place he finds himself in. Barry Allen and Kid Flash are major players in this story, and the ending sets up the next big arc.

Joshua Williamson writes with Howard Porter and Christian Duce tackling the art. Williamson, in particular, does a nice job getting to the heart of Wally, making him as familiar and inviting  as he was when Mark Waid took him to the next level.

Highly recommended. 5 out of 5 lightning bolts.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Batman 1989

Netflix is quite possibly one of man's crowning achievements. It might not be as big of a deal as, say, the polio vaccine or mayonnaise, but it certainly has to rank higher than frostbite or American politics.

Recently Netflix has added several Bat films for your viewing pleasure. Or displeasure, as it were. I'm looking at you, Clooney.

As a 20 year old "man" in 1989, my biggest concerns centered around NBA basketball, but when I heard Batman was coming out, the not-so-hidden nerd inside me was ready to go. I wasn't alone. The film grossed hundreds of millions of dollars and was a pop-culture phenomenon.

In the cape and cowl is Michael Keaton. He is my favorite actor in the world. Bar none. Way higher than Clint Howard or that dude who played Balki. Keaton's casting was controversial in that fanboys everywhere couldn't believe that a comedian would be able to pull it off. Exhibit A: Clean and Sober. End of discussion.

His portrayal of Bruce Wayne is still the best we've seen in film. Keaton nailed it. Batman is not Bruce Wayne's alter ego, it's the other way around, and it was done exceptionally well.

Jack Nicholson played the villain (as he does so well). The Joker was truly insane, and who better than Nicholson? Heath Ledger's Joker, while brilliant, is a different kind of Joker. If you have the maturity to look beyond the ridiculous comparisons, you will see that both were completely mesmerizing.

There is a lot of praise to go around, from Burton's visionary approach, Danny Elfman's iconic score, or the unbelievable design work by the late Anton Furst. I could go on for hours.

Lucky for you I will not do that. There are a couple things in the film that could have been done differently, but hindsight is 20/20, especially for armchair quarterbacks.

On the Field of Geeks podcast, we recently did a commentary track for the film, and as much fun as it is to poke a little fun at movies, I still found myself loving the movie. Check it out at https://youtu.be/Okl4epVdibo and enjoy! It's Clooney-free!