Tag Archives: comics

Batman & Supeman Vs Movie Critics

I haven’t read any of the reviews of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice because I wanted to see the movie with an untainted mind. Still, when the titles are all along the lines of “This is the worst movie ever” and “I would rather gouge out my eyes with a rusty spoon than see this again”, the sentiment is pretty clear.

My official verdict: The movie is pretty good. There are great visuals and a steady (if slow) build up of suspense and threat. DC is sticking by its grimdark approach to superhero movies, which I’m OK with – there a people who say they should take a lesson from Marvel, but then all the superhero movies would be the same…and they’d probably be criticised for not trying something new.

Ben Affleck played Batman the same way all the other actors since Micheal Keaton have. Henry Cavill played Superman the way you expect him to be played, with possibly less smiles. The actors for the support characters did their job, and Gal Gadot was great as Wonder Woman. I’m looking forward to that movie now.

However, there were some things I thought were mistakes, or which could have been changed to improve the movie.

Too long a set-up
The set-up of the premise – that Batman was going to try to kill Superman – went for ages and ages and ages. A third or a half of the movie. Seriously, they should have checked out Fast & Furious 7, which introduced the main villain and had the entire premise set up in two minutes. If the audience is suspending their disbelief enough to accept an invincible man who can fly and shoot laser fire from his eyes, it isn’t much to ask them to make the leap that some people want to kill that man, possibly for erroneous reasons. Then straight onto the action. There are some subsets of this point:

  • Superman’s Screen Time Was Wasted: Superman’s personal story could have been edited from the film and it would have been just as good, if not better. The only scenes which added were the scenes where he interacted with Batman and Luthor, and the hearing. If the other scenes had been left out it woud have added to the overall impression of him as this distant and overpowered being, instead of changing that to merely indecisive. Or else they could have been used to add more viewpoints and consideration to the themes, rather than just have Supes look mournful and confused.
  • Batman V Superman
    Batman Is a Second-Rate Villain: You know how villains, such as Batman’s line-up of adversaries, often lose because they spend all their time blabbing to the hero instead of just dealing the death blow? Considering how many people he’s thought, you’d really think Batman would know better.

    Featuring The Joker as Lex Luthor: Apparently DC thought that since the Joker is their most popular villain, possibly their most popular character, the movie would be improved by having Lex Luthor talk a lot of oblique nonsense. I don’t think it suited the character at all. Jesse Eisenburg played the character well, but he should have been playing a different character. I think if he’d had better dialogue and direction he would have made a great Luthor. This might lead into the greatest problem of all with the movie:

    The Characters Aren’t Consistent With Their History: I’ll be honest, I don’t much care about Batman or Superman, so I didn’t particularly care that they both seemed rather cavalier with life. However, I think a major idea behind those characters is that they don’t kill people, and changing that really changes the character. I can see how that would annoy fans.

    Finally, the title – Dawn of Justice. What the hell did that have to do with the movie? If it’s setting up the Justice League, it’s pretty lame. You don’t title the movie to be a hint about a sequel.

    Review: Tinkers of the Wasteland

    Nómadas del Yermo (nomads of the wilderness, although it is translated it as tinkers of the wasteland) is a fast-paced manga-style comic by Raúl Treviño, from Monterrey. I’m a fan of his art, which is a little rough around the edges but works well with the theme, and goes into pretty decent detail when warranted. I read the comic in Spanish paperback, but it is available online, and also in English.

    NomadasPortada-baja-400x593The setting is post-apocalypse México, after civilization has been destroyed by a meteor shower. The meteor shower is still underway, which I suppose makes the setting intra-apocalyptic. The survivors band together to get food, protect themselves and attack other people. The plot of the first comic – Los pollos chidos del Apocalipsis – revolves around the three heroes/protagonists and their quest to liberate however many chickens they can from Rey Kuir, local crime boss and chicken hoarder. There is a lot of surreal absurdism, with the inclusion of aliens and mutants and chickens, a hallmark of Méxican stories, although the stories aren’t usually in this sort of setting.

    The comic is constructed well; Treviño has worked as a colorist for Marvel, DC and Dark Horse amongst others, so he knows how a comic should be structured to make the reading path natural. The action is hectic; the comic is strongly reminiscent of Mad Max in its long sequences of people battling in souped-up cars with strange attachments and weapons. It’s very easy to keep reading the comic until the end.

    My main complaint is of the character of Milla, the female in the group of three protagonists. She is portrayed as a harridan, forever complaining, insulting and scolding without offering any useful comments, suggestions or plans. I suspect this might be an attempt to create a “strong woman” character, but it falls flat if the character isn’t actually useful. The only other female in the comic is seen in one panel, a woman kept prisoner as a sex-slave. Since this comic is the first part of a three part series (and the only one I’ve read) it’s possible that the character gets further developed in the next couple of comics, and other females are introduced. I’m hoping.
    Final Verdict: I liked it. It’s a good comic if you favor action over moody exposition, and I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

    Review: Alex+Ada

    A few days ago I hopped onto the Image Humble Bundle deal as a good way to read some of the newer comics without paying the exorbitant comic price –
    not that I’m a cheapskate, but my discretionary income had taken a bit of a beating over the past few years. So I paid the dues, started downloading the PDFs and reading them, and this is the first…

    Alex+Ada is a sci-fi comic, a thoughtful one rather than an action comic. Not really what I expect from Image after reading them in the 90s, but it’s good that publishing houses adapt and expand. The comic relies on the depiction of advanced technology to draw the reader in, hoping they have a desire to explore a world of direct mind-connection to the internet, holographic screens and androids. There’s a lot of foreshadowing and no real surprises.

    That being said, I like the five issues that I read: The art is pleasant and the dialogue easy and believable, even during info-dumps. There are a lot of ways the comic can go from here, but it seems to be heading in a how-people-relate-to-technology Frankenstein direction. It reminded me a lot of Chobits, a fantastic Japanese series that explored similar issues, but with more humour and emotion. Chobits also had the benefit (at least, I think it’s a benefit) that it starts out as a simple tween-girl program that I imagine attracts a lot of younger viewers, before getting into some deep philosophical questions about people and how they relate to each other. Adam+Ava requires more patience for something interesting to arrive.

    I’d continue reading if the comics were free or cheap, but it didn’t grab me enough to get me to pay full price for them. If you like a slow pace with plenty of ambiguous emotions, this may be for you.