Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Graphic Novel Reviews: Nightwing 0

The Story
After Dick's parents are murdered, he is taken in by Bruce Wayne, while the police investigate Tony Zucco. While at the Wayne Care Center, Dick goes out at night to track Zucco down himself. He comes across Batman, who he recognizes as Bruce Wayne, and Bruce starts to train him.

At first Dick works only as support, working the computer and providing inteligence for Batman. But when Batman runs afoul Lady Shiva, Dick dons the costume and goes out as Robin for the first time.

The Review
The main thing I took away from this issue is that DC seems to be doing their best to PC their characters up. One of the running jokes about Batman in the fandom is that he's kind of a horrible human being for training a kid to fight crime. However, in this version of Dick's origina story, Batman initially does not take him out to fight crime. Rather he trains him to help him protect himself, and then uses him as support staff to keep him out of the fight. Essentially, Dick was going out and getting into fights on his own, Batman is just doing what's necessary to protect him. It almost feels like the central message of The Princess and the Frog, where Disney backtracks on their "Wish upon a star" philosophy. Except that DC never encouraged child endangerment, so it feels more like clarification upon a misunderstood point.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Editorials: Disney Aquires Lucasfilm

I saw this on twitter. Didn't take it seriously. Foolish me. Press release and commentary after the break.

Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman 0

The Story
There are two stories in this issue. The first features a young Bruce Wayne, before he adopted his Batman persona, training himself against Gotham's scum by infiltrating the Red Hood gang. He slips up for not doing enough research on them, and the gang turns on him.

He manages to slip away, and make it to his Brownstone hideout, where he has his base of operations established. Alfred tries to talk him out of his crusade, but Bruce is adamant, and refuses to listen to Alfred.

While he is training with his boomerang on the roof, Gordon visits him, trying to get information about the current CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Philip Kane. He asks if Bruce has heard anything about the vigilante that's running around the area. After Gordon leaves, the Red Hood gang arrives to blow the building up.

Graphic Novel Reviews: Batgirl 0

The Story
While Barbara and James are taking a tour of the GCPD for her school assignement, cultists attack, releasing Harry X, an inhumanely large human trafficer. During the assault he zeroes in on Barbara, trying to take her hostage. She dons the mock-up of Batman's costume from the task force room, and beats Harry X.

The rest of the story is a montage of her year as batgirl, and how she left it all behind for a normal life. All up until that fateful night, when the Joker came calling.

The Review
From the two issue zeroes I've read, I've noticed that montages feature extensively. And I like how this book takes the montage, but only applies it to the end. There's an actual story with a beginning, middle, and end in the first part of this comic. And as far as I'm concerned, it was a really good story.

Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman and Robin 0

The Story
Batman and Robin #0 chronicles Damian's life, from his birth to his growth into the character that he was when he first met Bruce. The story uses the central theme of a duel between Damian and Talia on his birthday to show the passing of time. Ultimately he defeats her at the age of ten, after being trained in all disciplines imaginable, and he gets to learn the identity of his father.

The Review
If the New 52 did anything right, it's change my opinion of Damian. Initially I couldn't stand him, as I'm not the biggest fan of arrogant characters. But like so many movies where a character starts an arrogant jerk, but learns his lesson towards the end, I've grown fond of Damian.

Graphic Novel Reviews: Justice League 012

The Story
The Justice League fights off Graves and the spirits he was using to try and possess them. After finishing him, the league is beset by people questioning their capabilities.

Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman have a falling out, while Green Lantern decides to leave the team and act as the scapegoat in the fight against Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman and Superman share a moment alone, and end up kissing.

The Review
I was reading Justice League back in the early days of the New 52. I figured I'd read everything that had Batman in it, but after I found myself with nothing to say in my reviews, I eventually just stopped reading altogether. I can't really say that this was because the book was no good, it really had more to do with my lack of interest, which just might be the signs that the book was no good.

The BownBlog Reopened

I've been a bit of a slacker on my writing blog, partly because I've been trying to focus on this blog, and partly because I haven't been writing in a while. But all that has changed! Read the details here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Comic Reviews: Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"

I orginally read these strips as part of a larger collection. I can't remember which collection specifically, but it was fun to come back to some old favorites in a new format.

By this point in the series Watterson was almost exclusively working with longer storylines. Of course there were still a lot of single strip gags, but the stories were getting longer and more frequent.

The titual story in this case was the episode where Calvin duplicates himself and proceeds to get in trouble as his duplicates all go and do their own thing.

As an adult I can't help but wonder what stories like this look like outside of Calvin's imagination. Seems to me that a lot of the adventures he gets up to would have to be explained by a lot of running around.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Comic Reviews: The Revenge of the Baby-sat

In my last review I said Weirdoes from Another Planet contained one of my top three favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips. This collection completes the triforce of comedy, with my other two favorite strips.

The thing is, I'd forgotten about one of them, but when I rediscovered it I couldn't stop laughing for a good five minutes. It's the story where Calvin's dad is trying to take a picture of Calvin, for their Christmas letter, only to have Calvin ruin every single picture with the faces he pulls. The very first one of those is my number two favorite, where Calvin pulls his face, and the last panel has him running away from his dad.

My number one favorite is the mostly silent strip where Calvin's mom puts on her nice clothes to go out, only for Calvin to be waiting for her at the door. The grin on Calvin's face cracks me up every single time.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Comic Reviews: Weirdos From Another Planet!

What can I say about this collection that I haven't already said about the others? If you scroll down the page you can see the grade I gave it, though you probably don't need to, because I'll never give any Calvin and Hobbes book a lower grade. So why even bother with this review?

Well, I don't know about you, but I for one never get tired of lavishing praise on Calvin and Hobbes, so we're going to keep going until I run out of books. Which will probably happen around the time I run out of money. But this is not that day, so sit back and enjoy a brand new batch of Calvin and Hobbes reviews.

As always, Calvin and Hobbes is the greatest comic strip ever, etc, etc. And besides the trip to the Zoo, yet another vacation, and their journey to Mars, this collection has some of the strongest stories in the series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Comic Reviews: Yukon Ho!

The best part of this collection is that I could have sworn I read it before. But as soon as I got halfway through the book I found myself confronted by several pages worth of strips I'd never read before. For a moment I considered how much of a failure I was for not having read all of Calvin and Hobbes. That moment didn't last, as I realized with glee that I had brand new Calvin and Hobbes I had never read before!

It's like that moment, when you find a pristine five dollar bill in your pocket. And then you use that five dollar bill to go buy more Calvin and Hobbes, because what else would you bother spending your money on?

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Youtube Channel

Here it is. You should go check it out. This is currently where you can get the newest MANimation episodes. Unless you just want to wait for the blip videos here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Comic Reviews: Something Under The Bed is Drooling

I would like to say that Calvin and Hobbes is timeless, and in the ways that matter it is. While there are minor markers of time, such as typewriters and spin dial phones, the atmosphere of the comic is absolutely timeless.

While reading through this collection, I do my reading in between calls at work, I had it lying on my desk. An older gentleman walked by right as I was finishing up with a call. He took a look at the book on my desk, and the two of us started talking about our favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips.

That is what this comic is, it's the one true bridge between the generations. Young or old, doesn't matter, everyone can find something they appreciate in Calvin and Hobbes.

Cartoon Reviews: Gravity Falls Episode 012 - Summerween


The Story
The town of Gravity Falls loves halloween so much they've created a copy of the holiday in June, Summerween. When Dipper finds out Wendy and Robby are going to a party, he decides he no longer wants to go trick or treating with Mabel. But Dipper's lack of Summerween spirit brings the wrath of the Summerween Trickster on him. He, Mabel, and their friends, are tasked with gathering five hundred pieces of candy before the last jack'o'melon goes out, or the Summerween Trickester will eat them.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Comic Reviews: Calvin and Hobbes

Disclaimer: This is for the first collection of strips, not the entire series.

Oh, Calvin and Hobbes, how you defie convention. Such as my convention to always break a review into a summary of the plot and the actual review. But that won't work this time.

Calvin and Hobbes was my absolute favorite series when I was growing up, much to the chagrin of my parents (go ahead and ask them about the bathtub incident). It's also one of the rare series that I've beena ble to enjoy at any age. Doesn't matter how often I've read it, I always laugh. I just laugh for different reasons every time.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Anime Reviews: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Episode 001 - Dio the Destroyer


The Story
After George Joestar confuses the thief robbing him after a carriage accident as his savior, he promises that man he will do anything for him. Years later the man sends his son, Dio Brando, to be raised by George Joestar, along with George's own son Jonathan.

I don't see anything going wrong with this.
As soon as he arrives, Dio makes Jojo's life a living hell, to drive him out and make himself the heir to the Joestar estate. He physically abuses him, steals all his friends from him, and even steals her first kiss from Jonathan's girlfriend. Enraged by this assault, Jonathan attacks Dio, and beats him for the first time. Their fight is interrupted, and in retaliation Dio has Jonathan's dog, Danny, burned alive.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

MANimation! Episode 001 - Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 100 - Mest

The Story
The first stage of the exam ends, as Natsu, Gray, Levi, Cana, Elfman, and their respective partners move on to the second stage. Rather than a fight, this stage has them scouring the island for the grave of Fairy Tail's first master, Mavis.


But something is afoot, as Mest might not be who he says he is, and nobody can remember anything specific about him. And the mysterious stranger has entered the story, as he runs into Elfman and Evergreen, nearly killing them if not for Natsu's intervention.