05 June 2009

Spotlight on Bat-Mite

Bat-Mite first appeared in the pages of Detective Comics in 1959 as the Batman writers answer to Superman's pesky villain Mister Mxyzptlk. Bat-Mite isn't a real enemy of Batman, he is more of an overzealous fan of the Dark Knight. The imp from the fifth dimensions appears to have near limitless magical abilities which he uses to see his idol in action.

Bat-Mite was a regular in the 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman He tried to help Batman, but usually ended up making things more complicated at which time his whiny catchphrase, "All I wanna do is help!" would be uttered.

Some postulate that this incarnation of the Mite was the inspiration for Orko in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Bat-Mite next appeared as a cameo in the 1994 episode of Batman: The Animated Series, "Deep Freeze" as an annoying toy.

Though the mighty Mite himself did not appear in the Teen Titans series, he was a clear inspiration for "Robin's biggest fan"Nosyarg Kcid" who appeared in the 2004 episode "Fractured."

Most recently, the Dark-Mite returned in 2009's "Legends of the Dark-Mite," an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

The episode played homage to Batman's rich history even including some meta-discussion involving a comic con parody discussing the appropriateness of Batman fighting Easter Bunnies.

Whether we like him or not, Bat-Mite is part of Batman's history, and has been around for 60 years. It doesn't look like he is going away anytime soon. Hopefully we will just be treated to small doses of the imp rather that recurring guest status. And hopefully, he wont be crashing into the live-action continuity any time soon.

04 June 2009

The Justice League: A Super Friendly Tour (Part 6)

Following up on the success of The Challenge of the Super Friends, the series returned to its previous format in 1979.

The World's Greatest Super Friends

Once again, the core team was comprised of Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman along with Zan, Jayna and Gleek. Only eight new half hour episodes were created for The World's Greatest Super Friends which were paired with episodes of The All-New Super Friends Hour for airing. Lex Luthor made an appearance in one episode, tying this new incarnation to the previous season.

One particularly memorable episode pitted the Friends against their evil doppelgangers including an eye-patched Aquaman and mustached Robin.

Availability: Check YouTube.

Up Next: Super Friends (Shorts)

03 June 2009

Hex Marks the Spot

Here is your first look at Jonah Hex from the upcoming August 2010 movie. Yep, his face is messed up, though not quite to the extent of interpretations such as the one from Batman: The Animated Series (compare below). If the Dark Knight featured Two-Face, then on that scale, Jonah earns a nick name One-Point-Five-Face.

Logos a Go Gos

Some preliminary movie title cards have debuted, and if you can get excited about these, perhaps you have some sort of heightened excitement mutant power, cuz there aint too much to see.

The first and best is from Dreamworks upcoming Oobermind (formerly Master Mind) which hopes to satiate the thirst for The Incredibles 2 (it won't). Here we get our first look at some of the characters from the film described as "a villain gets depressed after accidentally killing his superhero nemesis Ooberman."

Up next. Look! Its Iron Man. Yeah, he pretty much looks like he did last time. I guess we can conclude that Iron Man will indeed be in Iron Man 2.
Next. Title cards for Marvel's slew of Avengers themed movies. Excited yet?

And perhaps least exciting of all, a tease for Spider-Man 4 which from the card may or may not have Spider-Man in it. But it looks like it might at least have some webbing.

Wow, I sure feel teased...

02 June 2009

What to Expect From The Last Airbender

Some may argue that The Last Airbender is not a "superhero." Well, I would assert that Aang is a hero, and he certainly has super powers. I mean, can you control the four elements? I didn't think so. Thus, the upcoming The Last Airbender will be covered on this site.

The movie is based on a popular animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender which aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon. Each episode of the series was introduced as follows:

Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony; but that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements could stop them, but when the world needed him most...he vanished. A hundred years past and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar, and airbender named Aang. And although his airbending skills are great...he has a lot to learn before he is ready to save anyone. But I believe...Aang can save the world.

Here is perhaps a better description for the uninitiated:

In a world where the four elements (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) can be controlled, the Fire Nation is waging a ruthless, oppressive war to control the other great nations. The only hope for stopping the brutal Firebenders rests on the shoulders of a reluctant young boy named Aang. The last known survivor of the peaceful Air Nomads (Airbenders), Aang is also the "Avatar", the physical incarnation of the world itself who possesses the ability to manipulate all four elements. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara and her bull-headed brother Sokka, Aang begins a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world. Standing in his way is the Prince Zuko, the banished Prince of the Fire Nation, who seeks to capture the young Avatar in order to restore his honor.

The series had a surprising amount of character development, continuity, and cultural detail for each of the 4 element-based nations in the show. Also, the main antagonist, Zuko, was a refreshingly developed and interesting villain.

The movie incarnation is dropping the Avatar to avoid confusion with the upcoming but unrelated James Cameron movie Avatar (what are the chances of two films called Avatar being made at the same time?). It is hoped that this live-action adaptation will launch a trilogy of films, each based on a season long arc of the original series.

The original source material was superb (check out my season 1 review), but I am apprehensive about this film series. In animation, it is much more believable that kids could win a fight with adults. But in live action, I don't care how many black belts you have, an unpowered kid shouldn't be able to defeat an adult soldier. Its just not believable, see The Chronicles of Narnia. The film is going to be directed by M Night Shyamalamadingdong, who I personally like quite a bit, but who has fallen from popular favor over his last few films. Hopefully, people wont expect a trademark twist from The Last Airbender and will give M Night a break.

The film also got off to a controversial casting of an all white group of kids to represent the ethnically diverse characters from the original series. This has since been somewhat rectified with some recasting. The Last Airbender opens on July 2, 2010, hoping to capitalize on the 4th of July Weekend. I have tempered high hopes. Look for the trailer to be attached to this months Transformers 2.