Review: Superman/Batman:Apocalypse

Many of the DC direct to dvd animated films have been mediocre to say the least, thankfully despite it’s flaws Superman/Batman:Apocalypse still manages to deliver. While serving as a sequel to Public Enemies they have adjusted the art just as they did in the comics depending on the creative team involved. Batman seems much darker in this incarnation and Kevin Conroy’s voice was perfect as always. The voice acting overall was great the only part that was casted incorrectly would have to be Darkseid who just didn’t carry the dark and evil persona we have seen previously in Superman the animated series or Justice League.

While there were obvious changes made to the story the finished product was only slightly affected by it and nowhere near to the extent it had been in Public Enemies. With so many let downs in the DC universe series so far its good to see they are capable of producing something worth while. We may never see another Justice league animated series of the caliber that we had but if they keep this up we may get something worth the 20 bucks a copy they are charging.
Overall score is 4 out of 5.

Review: The Venture Bros.”Pomp & Circuitry”

I’m kind of behind this week due to my new job and school so sorry to the three people who read this. “Pomp & Circuitry” is literally one of the best venture episodes to date. There was no shortage of laughs as the episode progressed and we finally had some story development which had been missing from many of this seasons early installments. Overall Hank’s attempt to join S.P.H.I.N.X. stole the show, despite his seeming ineptness hank shows that everything he and his brother have endured has given him a knack for getting out of trouble. This makes us wonder if the now final Hank and Dean have a leg up on their clone predecessors in some way. This could all have been a fluke of course but you never know Hank may grow up to be like Batman or Brock yet.

The secondary plot set around Phantom Limb has promise and looks to be this seasons real pay off but only time will tell. Overall this episode gets a 5 out of 5.

Review: Left 4 Dead The Sacrifice

For those of you that don’t know I’m a huge fan of Left 4 Dead a game which is a damn near perfect simulator for the zombie apocalypse. The game itself lacks any real story or depth to it other than trying to survive unending hordes of zombies with friends online. Despite what may seem like a shallow concept the game and its sequel have had millions of sales and is extremely popular, which shows that a good concept regardless of how simple can be perfect.

Like I said earlier there is almost no story and we get little to no information about the survivors you play as at least up until now. The sacrifice is the name of a upcomming DLC(downloadable content) that will bridge the two games together. Prior to the DLC’s release at the beginning of October they are releasing a comic book tie in to flesh out the story.

The sacrifice part 1 is short and to the point while the art seems a bit derivative and off the story is interesting and well paced. While it does jump around a bit from present to past, we start to piece together the group dynamic and get a bit more history on the survivor Louis. The action seems a bit typical and they took little liberties with adding in jokes or references to other zombie culture which the game does in spades.

I can’t help but feel that if a decent publisher got hold of the comic rights that it could be a good ongoing series, this is fun mind you but its far from what it could be if handled properly. Who knows what the future holds there is no doubt that a third installment of the game series is forthcoming, maybe more comics are on the horizon. We will just have to wait and see.

Final Score 3 out of 5

Review: The Venture Bros. “The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-Glider”

Our favorite boy adventurers are back with a new season that is actually still the last season technically. The first new episode “The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-Glider” is fast paced and action packed. While featuring some very awkward moments for the Monarch who has unnatural urges for his new butterfly glider conveyance, we also get to see some more of the S.P.H.I.N.X. team and some funny stuff from master Billy quiz boy and Mr. White. 

The episode comes out of no where at the beginning with a fairly good chase scenario then moves in to a series of  inner space jokes that only people who have seen the movie will probably get. Despite how the episode jumps around to several different characters during its course it had a tremendously good flow to it. I think Hank has one of the best lines in the episode with “I’m out of gun food”.

I have to admit i have been jonesing for new episodes for a while now, obviously because the show is done in traditional animation it takes time for production. You would hope by this point Adultswim and Cartoon Network would be comfortable enough with the shows performance and following to order more than one season at a time to keep viewers from slowly going mad.

I will say that this seasons episodes seem a bit less cohesive in some ways that its predecessors. There is no story arc that i can see it could be that I’m missing it, but so far there is a more episodic tone overall than before. I’m hoping this gets taken care of in upcoming episodes because there needs to be some kind of payoff. Regardless this episode was pretty good and left you with that sweaty oh so wrong but feels so right Venture hit you needed.

Final Score 4 out of 5

Reviews: Thanos Imperative#4/ Invaders Now#1

This week there were some excellent reads to say the least the Thanos Imperative keeps going strong meanwhile the Invaders snuck up with an awesome new series.

Thanos Imperative #4 is all about escalation, while this space based book has had plenty of exciting moments so far this issue kicks it up a notch. We see some amazing fight scene featuring the team Nova pulled together previously. This is a real treat seeing just how powerful these characters are, its evident when they start putting a cosmic ass beating on the evil Mar-Vell’s alternate universe squad of Avenger knock offs. Despite little actual story development the issue has a strong standing in the series, this is one of the few books i look forward to every month.

I’m hoping the book will end with something grand and world-changing. Marvel’s cosmic books of late have had some major storylines some were good like “Annihilation” others not so much cough cough “Annihilation Conquest”. We can only hope Imperative has staying power.

Final score 4 out of 5

Like i said earlier this one snuck up on me. Invaders Now! #1 is the culmination of obviously the original Invaders and also many recent series like Avengers/Invaders and The Torch. The golden age vision brings together most of the original Invaders for a mission only they can take on. Interestingly almost all of the originals that died have been resurrected recently with the exception of Union Jack whose successor is brought in.

The tone is one of new beginnings as we find that the members have been drawn two each other two at a time reminiscing over their times in world war 2 against their current lives in modern-day society. The first issue is about picking up where the characters are now but a dark secret from the past is about to loom its head revealing the Invaders darkest moment during the great war. If the rest of the series is anything like this it will be a home run for sure.

Final score 5 out of 5

Review: Taskmaster #1

This weeks pick Taskmaster #1 is a damn good read. The series follows the Taskmaster as he begins an interesting introspective journey to rediscover his past, you see Taskmaster is an amazing fighter with the ability to retain any fighting styles, techniques and strategies he has ever seen. The down side to this unique ability however is that any new information over writes his old memories. So the jumping off point for the story is he no longer has any memories of who he was just who he currently is. While a somewhat obscure character he has trained heroes and villains alike over the years.

The issue itself is fun but takes a bit of time to build up speed. Once it gets going the action is quite literally non stop with just about every obscure evil secret organization in the marvel universe out to collect a bounty on his head. The obvious point of the series is to eventually reveal his origin something that has been a long time coming just like wolverine’s was.

There is a sense of wonder involved when a villain is taking on other villains, that’s something that’s easy to feel from the issue. Taskmaster isn’t a hero by any means not entirely evil though either he simply goes where the money is. This  story of course is different. I only hope the series pays off with something interesting involving his past and origins, there is the potential for amazing future stories if they get it right which could open the character up to a more mainstream audience.

Final score is 4 out of 5 and the book is definitely Bleed Worthy

Stay Tuned

Chris

Review: Shadowland #3

 

The first 2 issues of Shadowland were great, there was action, story and character development in abundance. Sadly issue #3 is nothing like the first two. While we do pick up where we left off the book seems to take an odd turn which leaves an extremely bad taste in your mouth. Shadowland seemed to be built specifically for street level characters and that’s why it worked so well at the beginning, suddenly we have for no apparent reason the supernatural introduced in to the story. Why you may ask? well its an easy scapegoat for why  a certain Man without Fear is suddenly acting like a villain.

This is the best they could come up with, for once they couldn’t simply have a hero actually fall to the dark side? No it’s official Daredevil is possessed and that’s why he is now evil. The entire story feels so contrived now I’m not sure I can even continue reading the series after this issue.

 Despite the now obvious major flaw of the series there is another giant F-U to the reader. The punisher arrives  during the fray only this isn’t the current punisher(After being killed by Wolverine’s son the Punisher is resurrected as a Frankenstein like creature and has been this way for a while in the current continuity.) We have a completely normal Punisher shoved in to our faces and he really seems to have no point in the story whatsoever. So the writers either chose to ignore canon and go with the normal alive version of the Punisher to piss people off or it could just be a giant mistake. The most likely option is that Shadowland takes place after the punisher is returned to human form,but even this just makes the punisher’s own ongoing series rather anticlimactic.

It seemed like  Shadowland was geared up to be an amazing story with groundbreaking character developments and lasting consequences. Now its painfully obvious that it’s simply another lame crossover event that will have little to nothing to do with the future of any character involved other than Daredevil himself. It’s strange how a single issue can destroy so much of what was built before it.

Shadowland gets a score of 2 out of 5

Check back for more reviews soon.

Chris