Comic Review: DC Legends The Collection

LEGENDS: THE COLLECTION

Many of the greatest comics ever written were done in the 80s and part of that reason was the invention of the mini series or limited series. In these takes, even though the character was ongoing, you got a complete tale of that character. A more educated person would suggest these takes were more story driven than character driven, but I’m not, so I won’t suggest that.
DC were particularly good at it as they crafted more deliberate stories, a habit Dark Horse took up later with their Aliens and Predator mini series’s. DC gave such amazing tales as Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, and of course, the genre and universe re-defining Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The objective of Crisis was to clean up the ‘multiple Earth’ theory that DC had devised so that both their pre-60s relaunch and the earlier stories could exist together, our earth having younger heroes but ‘Earth-2’ having heroes who fought in WW2.

After Crisis occurred, there were many questions left unanswered, and several new series started to re-explain origins of various DC stalwarts, including a brand new Superman title. One of these new titles was a clean-up mini-series called Legends.

Legends was a six issue mini, tied in many other titles, but it still could be read without needing those others, which were more decoration to the core story told in it.

What was Legends about, well, Darkseid makes a bet with the Phantom Stranger that the general populace of Earth would turn on their heroes if opportunity arose, and so, to prove his point, sends his minion Glorious Godfrey, who has to power of coercion, to start creating a scare campaign.

In his nefarious plans he also puts heroes in positions where they seem to cause problems, but Doctor Fate can see what is happening, and bands together a group of heroes to stand up against Godfrey’s ‘Hounds of War’, machines contain humans under his thrall, who are descending upon Washington… can they be stopped?

Many titles came from this series, including a new Wonder Woman, a new Suicide Squad, a new Justice League comic (rebranded as a comedy), a new Flash comic, and fresh minis of both Captain Marvel (Shazam!) and Cosmic Boy.

This collection also has a wonderful introduction by former group editor and director for development for DC, Mike Gold, who talks about how he managed to get the idea together, and how he managed to land John Ostrander, a writer who had a different approach to comics as could be seen by his First Comics published stories of Sargon, Mistress of War and Grimjack.

Story: John Ostrander creates an amazing story that really highlights some heroes that don’t always get much credit, like Robin (even though it’s… bleargh…. Jason Todd), Blue Beetle, Doctor Fate, and his revamped of Task Force X aka The Suicide Squad is a perfect addition. Add to that scripting by Swamp Thing legend Len Wein and you have a winning tale!

Score: *****

Art: The art in this comic is top shelf. My second favourite artist of all time, John Byrne (my first is Jack Kirby) inked by Karl Kesey, the inker who shows off his work best. Sweets for the eyes.

Score: *****

WIRIA: I love this comic and probably drag it out once a year. Finding a collection was a blessing because it meant I didn’t have to touch my individual issues any more.

Secret Origins: The Origin of DC Comics (2010) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Secret Origins: The Origins of DC Comics (2010)


Film: As of the date of this review, I have been a comics fan for 45 years. Every Sunday, as a child in the coastal town of Thirroul, my father would take me to the newsagency down the road so he could grab the Sunday paper, and we would return with a comic for me as well (and once a month, a Famous Monsters magazine), and that turned into a life long addiction to the panelled arts.

Ok, except for during the early nineties when the ‘Image look’ took over and every man and his dog was attempting to ‘draw’ like Rob Liefeld… yuk!

My first comic is emblazoned in my mind: issue 46 of Iron Man where he fought the Guardsman and I remember the cover well. In those days I didn’t know there was a ‘universe’ and I just read comics based on each individual issue. 


Sufficed to say I very quickly ended up with a collection of comics and even though my first comic was a Marvel one, in those days, it was DC that floated my boat, especially Superman and Batman.

…and still to this day I declare Superman to be the greatest hero of all, even though he is not created by my favourite comic creator, Jack Kirby: an artist whose talent I adore so much I even named my daughter after him!!

Anyway, DC comics always are close to my heart and I was so happy several years ago when I discovered this doco existed, along with its supporting doco, Necessary Evil, which explores the villains of DC comics, which are far more interesting as characters in general than the good guys.

This documentary, Secret Origins: The Origins of DC Comics, is narrated by Ryan Reynolds, and tells the of DC comics, and thoroughly explores the entire history: the ups and downs, the successful TV shows and films, the cartoons, the merchandise and the comics as well, but not just the history of the characters, also the creators, historians and all the business and style changes throughout the history.


This documentary features interviews with Karen Berger, Neil Adams, Frank Miller, Bob Kane, Marv Wolfman, Dwayne McDuffie, Neil Gaiman… just so many interviews, both new and archival, and all of them relevant and informative.

It also explores the legends of the greatest heroes of the DC Universe: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Watchmen, Swamp Thing and so many others.

The entire film is also illustrated with some of the finest art comics has to offer, and some awesome footage from the films and TV of DC, including some amazing behind the scenes stuff.

If you love DC comics, this is a must watch, and even if you just like any comics from any publisher, this is an incredibly informative and interesting look at the history of comics in general.

Score: *****


Format: The reviewed copy of this documentary was the American, region 1 DVD, which runs for approximately 90 minutes, and it is presented in a 1.80:1 widescreen, of varying quality due to some of the footage being archival, but the comic images and new footage and interviews are clean, and the audio in an excellent Dolby Digital 5.1.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: None, unfortunately.

Score: 0

WISIA: Being a comic and a documentary fan, this is a wonderful meeting of the two things, and gets watched possibly once a month.

Justice League Dark (2017) Review

 

One from the to watch pile…

Justice League Dark (2017)

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Film:  As a teen I read any comic I could get my hands on, and that evolved into me pretty much exclusively reading only Marvel comics. I stopped reading comics in the beginning of the nineties as basically, well, they sucked.

I started reading comics again in the early 2000s. I started with Marvel but drifted to DC, and now read a bit of both. Even though Marvel have nailed down the movies with their cinematic Universe, DC seem to be struggling. The interesting thing though in their animated movies, which are released direct to bluray, are amazing.

The reason is quite simple: there is an assumption that the viewer knows who the heroes are and they don’t feel the need to retell and retell their origin story every time a new one comes out.

I’ve pretty much enjoyed most of them, though their have been a couple that have meandered a little; this is one of them.

Justice League Dark tells of the darker side of the DC universe: when a villain of magical proportions threatens the DC Universe, Batman employs the assistance of those from the darker side of the DCU, including John Constantine and Zatanna, who bring along other magical beings such as Etrigan the Demon, Swamp Thing, Deadman and all the magical powers of the House of Mystery and Black Orchid.

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The problem with this story is it’s just not entertaining. The whole thing felt quite flat and dull, and at times I was struggling to maintain any sense of interest. Batman’s inclusion is strictly as lip service to the DCU and even he comes off like he feels like he shouldn’t be there.

That’s not to say the character design and the animation is great, because the film looks fantastic, and I’m really enjoying the character design in these animated features.

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Several of the voices will sound familiar as Matt Ryan, who plays the live action TV show Constantine, plays him here too! Zatanna is portrayed by Lara Croft (the video game) actress Camille Luddington and Jason O’ Mara returns as Batman. Most of the voice acting is pretty cool except for one glaringly awful choice which is Nicolas Tutturro as Deadman. I always expected Boston Brand to have an other-worldly voice, not that of an annoying stand-up New Yorker.

Unfortunately this was a big miss for me, but I do hope the JLD return for another adventure, maybe just with a better thought out story, and without the yoke of Batman following them around like a lost dog.

Score: **

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Format:  This Australian region B bluray release of Justice League Dark runs for 75 minutes and is presented in an excellent 1.78:1 image with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio track of similar quality.

Score: *****

Extras: This disc opens with a trailer for Wonder Woman (the live action one with Gal Gadot) before taking us to the menu screen.

As always with these DC animated films, we are treated to a look at the next film to be released, in this case it being Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. I love the Teen Titans so I for one can’t wait!

The Story of the Swamp Thing looks at the genesis of Len Wein’s creation of Swamp Thing, a DC muck creature created in the 70s who became a staple of DC’s Vertigo line in the 80s and beyond. This has interviews with Wein, artist Kelly Jones, writer Mike Carlin and others and is one of my favourite docos of this type on these discs. Still a shame Alan Moore wouldn’t make any sort of commentary on the character.

Did You Know? is broken into 4 mini docos ‘Constantine Origin’, ‘The Color of Magic’, ‘Black Orchid’ and ‘Deadman Casting’. These are just 30 to 60 second vignettes talking about various aspects of the movie and it’s characters. Interestingly, the casting of Deadman is talkied up when in fact I think his vocal casting was the worst.

Justice League Dark at the New York Comic Con 2016 sees the creators and cast of the film talking about the film. It’s a pretty interesting look at the challenges of making the continuity of these new ‘animated universe’ features. It ends with a pretty good Q and A session too.

There are two other ‘sneak peeks’ for previous releases of Justice League: Doom and Justice League: Gods and Monsters, as well as episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold guest starring Deadman and The Demon.

There is also trailers for the DC All Access App and Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.

Score: *****

WISIA: Whilst it’s not my favourite one of these DC animated features, I’ll probably watch it again just because of Jack Kirby’s Demon making an appearance.

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Harley Quinn’s Greatest Hits Review

HARLEY QUINN’S GREATEST HITS
There is no doubt in my mind that DC Comics do female superheroes better than Marvel. Of my top five favourite super heroines, 4 of them are DC: Supergirl, Power Girl, Batgirl, and Harley Quinn. (For full disclosure’s sake, the Marvel heroine is She-Hulk).

I’ve been a fan of Harley Quinn since her first comic appearance in The Batman Adventures issue #12, but I really liked what I saw in the Bruce Timm/ Paul Dini story Mad Love, though they came at a time when I was drifting out of comics because of how awful they had become in the early 90s so I missed out on a whole pile of her adventures until I became re-united with her when her own comic became a part of the New 52 Universe that DC started several years ago. She wasn’t one of the 52 launch titles, but once her comic started, I was well and truly into it. Harley’s actual first appearance was actually in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series as a sidekick of the Joker.

Who is Harley Quinn, I hear you ask? Harley’s origin sees her as a psychologist Harleen Quinzel who was manipulated by the Joker whilst treating him in Arkham Asylum to fall in love with him. The Joker has a firm ‘treat ‘me mean and keep ‘me keen’ ethos and that really works on Harley.

The Joker decided at one point that she cramped his style, so he attempted to kill her but she was rescued by Poison Ivy (another Batman villain) who assisted in her recovery by giving her various plant potions which also made her more limber, and increased her strength and endurance. She is also resistant to most toxins, including the Joker’s laughing gas.

Harley’s popularity also rose from her appearance in the amazing ‘Arkham’ video game series and she has been a cosplay favourite for a while too. Her appearance in the TV show Birds of Prey went by with just a blip, but her portrayal by Margot Robbie in 2016’s film Suicide Squad nailed her look into people’s regular day-to-day wear,

This collection is a series of 8 stories taken from various comics which show the evolution of the character from throwaway gun moll to superhero in her own right (if you have read the Harley Quinn/ Power Girl 6 issue mini series written by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, with art by Palmiotti, Stéphan Roux and Justin Gray). Her character goes from flat out villain to crazy fun-loving within a few pages that represent many years, so it’s funny to see just how much the character has evolved to suit the affection the comic loving populace have for her. Some of the stories are only a few pages long and serves as character vignettes, but others really display the character is all her crazy lights!

Story: This being a historical collection, there is a variety of writes who have worked on it: Scott Beatty, Kelly Puckett, Jeph Loeb, Paul Dini, Adam Glass, Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV, Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti and Rob Williams, and the stories are presented in historical order. The Rob Williams story is the most recent and clearly sees the film version of the Suicide Squad become a more comic related group and is an interesting look at where Harley’s mind is as far as wanting to be a superhero is concerned, but for me, the Kicked in the Teeth, from 2011’s Suicide Squad #1 by Adam Glass is the most effective story. The least effective story is Jeph Loeb’s The Opera but only because it was a past of a bigger story that was presented over 12 issues, and there are minor subplots unresolved. It’s not a criticism of Loeb’s writing, but more it’s appearance here is a misstep as it is only a snippet of an entire Batman story.

All in all it’s an uneven story collection, but as a character evolution and dissection, it almost works!

Score: ***1/2

Art: As with the story, the art is of varying quality, but is mostly representative of the story it is presenting. Modern comics art legend Jim Lee makes two appearances here, his better art featuring in the The Opera story, but for me, the fun, cartoony are of Mike Parobeck, whose art lends itself to both an animated or a traditional comic style, in the Batgirl: Day One.

Overall though, I really liked all of the art in this collection.

Score: ****

WIRIA: Am I gonna read a collection of one of my favourite characters more than once? Of course I am.

Batman The Killing Joke (2016) review

One from the to watch pile…
Batman The Killing Joke (2016)


Film: Batman has never been my favourite superhero, but he’s always been right up near the top. His parliament of villains though, are unsurpassed by any other comic. Characters like Two-Face, the Penguin, Killer Croc, Catwoman and the Joker in different circumstances are Travis Bickle, The Godfather, Hannibal Lector, Lisbeth Salander or Freddy Kruger; since the 80s, the writers of Batman have always given a real cinematic personality to Batman villains.

Specifically this has happened since the 80s because of three comics that took the childlike elements of comics, and made them for adults. These comics all came from DC because in those days, Marvel weren’t anywhere near the same page as DC in terms of understanding that there were now adults who had been reading comics since they were kids and they still waded in the kiddies end of the pool. DC though, struck out with three comics that changed the face of comics: Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and the comic that this DC animated feature is based on The Killing Joke.


The Killing Joke specifically is a Batman/ Joker story and explores not the differences that they have always shown… The good/bad dichotomy… But instead the similarities of their psychoses.

The Killing Joke introduces us to Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl, a sidekick who also has somewhat of a crush on him. We explore her and Batman’s relationship in the first act with an investigation into a mobster, and how it grows into something more that just a professional relationship.

After we get that relationship down, we lead into the real horror story which is of the Joker on the loose in Gotham City, and when he maims Barbara and kidnaps her father, Commissioner Gordon, Batman’s investigative powers go into high gear… As does his need for revenge…

In and amongst this story, we get a glimpse into the origin of the Joker… Or one of the many origins he claims, anyway.


The animated version does have a slight difference in the story from the comic, in that they have included more Batgirl as an introduction so what the Joker does to her has more gravity to someone who may enjoy these movies, but don’t necessarily have a large volume of DC Universe knowledge running through there skulls. Within the confines of this feature it works well, and the actual comic itself probably would have been far to short for a feature over an hour, so it’s a welcome addition, though there is clearly two completely separate acts. The thing I found real interesting is that obviously Moore’s resistance to his stories being translated into film or TV have resulted in his name being completely removed from the credits. I can’t say whether this is upon his request or DC’s, but I assume the former is the truth.

This film received a lot of criticism about the relationship between Batman and Batgirl, but I don’t think it’s as bad as they say, and doesn’t really vary from Batgirl’s origins. Almost every incarnation of the comic version of the character have had Barbara become Batgirl due to an obsession with the Dark Knight, and to have her act in that obsession isn’t completely unreasonable. Also, the character has always been of varying age, sometimes she’s a university student, so maybe 18 to 22, or working in a library, and not an ingenue librarian either, but an established one, so we are talking mid 20s to 30… These ages aren’t unreasonable to have a sexual liaison with a man in his late 30s to early 40s.

The animation is great, and lies somewhere between TV animation and a Disney feature, but it does emulate Killing Joke comic artist, Brian Bolland’s art satisfactorily, but obviously, and those that know Bolland’s work will appreciate it would be difficult, not exact to his style. It does replicate his layouts and animates them efficiently.

The voice acting is perfect and reuses the Batman regulars Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker and Tara Strong as Batgirl, and they all complete their roles perfectly. Hamill’s Joker particularly has a comic psychosis too it that is truly disturbing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this take of The Killing Joke, and look forward to, considering the post-credit sequence, a Birds of Prey animated film sometime in the future. Batgirl has always been a favourite of mine, and this was a great introduction to the character!

Score: ****

Format: The review copy of this film was the Australian region B bluray which runs for 72 mins and is presented in an immaculate 1.78:1 widescreen with a Dolby digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Score: *****

Extras: These DC animated features almost always have a bunch of features, and The Killing Joke is no exception.


The disc actually opens with a trailer for Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and an ad for the DC Season Pass, which incorporates all the DC TV series’s currently airing like Supergirl, Gotham, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

Then we get into the REAL extras, which include trailers for the animated feature Batman: Bad Blood, the film Suicide Squad and the DC All Access App.

From the DC Comics Vault has two cartoons: ‘Christmas with the Joker’ from Batman: The Animated Series and ‘Old Wounds’ from The New Batman Adventures.

We also have Sneak Peeks of their next animated movie, Justice League Dark, and previous releases, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and 2 and Assault on Arkham.

Madness Set to Music talks to the composers and cast who worked the score of The Killing Joke.

Batman The Killing Joke: The Many Shades of Joker is a character dissection of the Joker.


Score: *****

WISIA: I really love these animated DC features and they always get watched again just because they are so much better than any comic based live-action film, DC, Marvel or otherwise. They don’t feel they need to retell origin stories over and over, and just tell the tale of heroic deeds and villainous acts.

Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Batman Vs Superman (2016)


Film: Seeing as how the Marvel movies have become such a part of the cinema vernacular now, it’s hard to talk about any comic based movie without a comparison or two. Now I have been collecting comics for years and love it when any character comes to the cinema, be it a major company’s superhero, or a more lowbrow attempt like Ghost World or American Splendour.

Sometimes it’s those single films that work better, and unfortunately, when one creates a cinematic ‘universe’, the later films have the potential to collapse under the weight of the amount of story, characters and open/ unresolved plot threads (still waiting for Samuel Sterns appearance as the Leader, Marvel… Where is it?)

As a kid I always enjoyed seeing my favourite DC heroes come to cinema with the Superman and Batman films, and even though I am not thoroughly convinced by some of the later Christopher Nolan Batman films casting choices, they did show that you don’t need to talk down to people who like comic based films: simply make an action film with comic book characters in it!

The makers of Marvel films took that and ran with it too, and their success of their universe creation reflects that, and now, after years of Batman and Superman movies, and Wonder Woman TV shows, DC have decided to follow suit. 

It would appear that DC are entering the cinematic universe world now too, with this film Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (hereby referred to as BvS for abbreviation’s sake), which could also have been called Batman and Superman have a misunderstanding, check out Wonder Woman, and fight some poor cgi controlled by a badly realised super villain. 


I’ll just point out that badly realised super villain is Lex Luthor, not director Zack Snyder.

This edition is the so-called ‘Ultimate’ edition which contains both the theatrical cut, and an ‘ultimate’ cut which contains about 30 minutes more footage. For the intentions of this review, I will discuss the theatrical cut first, and mention any differences with the pacing or story afterwards, before getting to the likes and dislikes of the film.

BvS starts with the briefest re-telling of Batman’s origin before reintroducing us to Bruce Wayne as an adult, visiting his business in Metropolis at the time of the big fight between Superman and Zod at the end of Man of Steel, which is destroyed, killing many employees.

(As a side note, Bruce has obviously been Batman for a long time, and I’d even almost suggest he could be the same Batman as the ones in Christopher Nolan’s films, but older, and more jaded)

Flash forward 18 months and we see that Bruce/ Batman is still concerned by Superman’s presence, and mankind is divided with some praising him, and some fearing him and thinking he should be held accountable for his actions, including one which had potential political ramifications.

Then enter Luthor, a multimillionaire youngster who has concerns for mankind too, but maybe he is manipulating some behind the scene shenanigans. Throw in a search for others with ‘special’ abilities like Superman, including Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash, and a surprise super villain that ends just the way you expect, and you have a full story… To the brim!

The Ultimate cut is certainly the better cut of the film. The extra half hour of story isn’t just special effects and fighting, it actually tells more of the story, and has a few cool surprises and fan service too.

Either cut has a lot of story to tell, and it does so by doing a few things that make it travel along at a decent clip. The first thing it does is not tell us the origins of all the characters. Man of Steel established Superman and that is not revisited at all.. Batman’s backstory is told as a small piece of exposition because we really don’t need to see it again… Surely most people know it by now for how many times comics, TV and film have told and retold it! The best thing is Wonder Woman is hardly given much backstory at all, all we know is she is older than she looks, kills monsters for fun and looks amazing in armour! I guess her movie will tell her story.

Another thing I like about the way this story is told is clearly Batman has been around for years, and perhaps is heading swiftly to the twilight of his career. He is scarred both physically and mentally, and trusts no one but Alfred, who as years have gone by has begrudgingly become complicit in is Batman’s actions. Jeremy Iron’s delivers every line with nothing short of a delicious cynicism.

Actually, the entire cast play their roles perfect. Cavill is the ultimate boyscout, Affleck portrays and older, almost unhinged Batman (akin to The Dark Knight Returns Batman) like he was born for it and Gadot’s Wonder Woman has a fondness for war that’s clearly apparent. The supporting cast of Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diana Lane, Callan Mulvey and Holly Hunter are all spot in as well, but there is one glaring cast issue that sits horribly wrong, and more disappointingly, it’s one I supported all along.

Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is a confused mess. Whilst I appreciate, and earlier endorsed the idea that Lex Luthor would be a young, start-up whiz-kid, with a dark side, Eisenberg plays the role like a slightly hyper-active computer programmer who gets mildly annoyed when he doesn’t get his way. I didn’t get any feel of ‘bad guy-ness’ at all, and his machinations were all organised so distantly from him, that they didn’t come across as organised by him at all! At the very best, he would be most appropriately described as the worst of James Bond’s villains.

My final criticism of the film is the overall look of the battle sequences. Snyder created his own cinematic ‘language’ with the film Sucker Punch that in general serves him quite well, but I believe it fell down in this film. His wind up for the punch that results in a slow motion effect was used far too often that it just slowed the fight sequences down, and considering how cartoony and ineffectual THEY are, I’d be trying to get through them as quick as possible, rather than letting the viewer see how poor they are. Seriously, the Doomsday creature looked like it was made by the guys who did the Incredible Hulk film, and hadn’t had an advancement since then. It seems to me if you want to sell your comic superheroes as serious action films, this is not the way to go.

So all in all I enjoyed the actual story of the film, and most of the characters, but those couple of points really stood out as a step back for ‘comic movies’ as a sub genre.

Score: ***1/2


Format: As one would expect from a HUUUUGE budget Warner Bros film based on several of their biggest properties, the 2.40:1 image and Dolby Atmos audio are immaculate on both the 151 minute theatrical cut, and the 182 minute ultimate edition. 

Score: *****


Extras: So first in the Ultimate Bluray edition’s case I have to talk about the packaging. Whilst I hoped it would come with a metal emblem case like the special edition of Man of Steel bluray did, I wasn’t unhappy with the hardcover comic collection that doubles as a cover. The comic collection contains 6 stories containing Batman and Superman dating back to 1986, and is presented on a gloss stock, and has two cardboard pockets for the blurays. There are also digital editions of both the theatrical version of the film, and the comic book as well!


As for on-disc extras? Wow! There’s heaps, and some sneak peeks at Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman’s movies.

On the theatrical version disc, there’s a whole bunch of extras:

Uniting the World’s Finest talks about the efforts being taken to create a DC cinematic universe… At no time is the word ‘different’ used.

Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants looks at the differences, similarities and history that Superman and Batman share.

 Wonder Woman: The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder looks at the history of Wonder Woman.

Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile. The secret to what this featurette is about is in the name’ the design of the Batmobile.

Superman: Complexity and Truth explores Henry Cavill’s procedure to become the Man of Steel.

Batman: Austerity and Rage does the same for Ben Affleck.

Wonder Woman: Grace and Power… Ditto, but with Gal Gadot.

Batcave: Legacy of the Lair digs into the design of Batman’s hideout, which is a lot different to any cave we’ve seen before.

The Might and Power of a Punch dissects the punch up between Batman and Superman.

The Empire of Luthor examines the character of Lex Luthor, and how he’s been modified and modernised for the film.

Save the Bats looks at how the film cast and crew donated time and resources, including wooden sets being broken down to become bat-houses, to saving endangered bats. Go to Www.savebats.org.

There are no extras on the Ultimate Version disc, but with all those on the other disc, it’s all good.


Score: *****

WISIA: Even the worst of these superhero movies get rewatches from me just for the sheer joy of seeing my childhood heroes come alive, so this being a middle grounder, it will probably remain quite high on the pile.

R.I.P. Prince

For music fans, today is another dark day, just like the many we have had this year, as many great musicians pass, all before their time.

It was with a heavy heart that I woke this morning to read that master of funk and pop legend Prince has passed away.

  
I have always loved Prince’s music, and he is relevant to us here at The To Watch Pile as not only has his music, according to IMDB, appeared in 166 various movies and video games and TV shows, he also won an Oscar for the soundtrack to the film he also starred in as ‘the Kid’, Purple Rain.

  
More to the TWP’s scope though, was his music inspired by the best Batman film, Tim Burton’s Batman.

  
Rest in peace, Prince, and thanks for the music. It’s not only Doves that will be crying today.