24 December 2009

Deck the Halls with Batman

Although Batman has always seemed a better fit with Halloween, in 1992 the grand tradition of presenting Batman with a backdrop of Christmas began in the Tim Burton Nightmare before Christmasesque prototype Batman Returns. You may not remember it being a Christmas movie after all these years of unwatchabilitiy, but you may remember some talk of eating mistletoe and of the tree lighting girl being thrown off of a roof. Definitely at Christmas.

Later in the same year, The Animated Series would get in on the game with Christmas with the Joker.

Not the best episode of the series by any stretch but the Joker does sing the classic, "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells."

The New Batman Adventures would keep tradition alive with an episode titled, Holiday Knights in 1997.

This effort was a lot better than the earlier Joker one, combining three vignettes into a delightful little episode.

Although Batman himself pulled Watchtower duty, his teammates enjoyed Christmas together in the Justice League episode, Comfort and Joy.

In 2008, Batman: The Brave and the Bold rekindled the Christmas tradition when Batman teamed with the android Red Tornado to teach the true spirit of Christmas while destroying an evil army of Fun Haus' Santas and reindeer.

Invasion of the Secret Santas however wasn't the last time that Batman would be punching Santa Claus on Brave and the Bold. In Legends of the Dark Mite, Batman would have to face off against a slew of holiday themed baddies including hog riding Santas, pumpkin heads and deranged Easter Bunnies.

So just because its Christmas Batman wants to remind criminals everywhere (even those dressed like Santa) crime doesn't pay. Oh, and Merry Christmas to all and to all a dark night.

EDIT: See Comments, there was also this jolly cameo in 1966.

Up Next: Sub-Zero

22 December 2009

Retrospective 2009 - Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, the mid part of 2009 ushered in the year's most mediocre efforts.

Super Capers

In March, the Superhero parody Super Capers made is video debut.

Currently standing at a 3.8 on imdb.com, its safe to say it didn't make much of a splash.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, March also delivered one of the most serious superhero films of all time adapting the acclaimed Watchmen graphic novel. The movie received a decent reception, but I don't think it would be any easier to please everyone with Bible: The Movie than it was with Watchmen. The movie topped out at $107 million and just may have convinced studios that in spite of the Dark Knights huge success, darker is not necessarily the way to go with this genre.

Iron Man: Armored Adventures

To be fair, I haven't really given the series a shot, but there were a lot of things that turned me off to April's new Iron Man animated series. The series features CGI similar to that used in the off-putting MTV Spider-Man series of a few years back. Also, Armored Adventures went the teen route of X-Men Evo and Batman Beyond- which to me, doesn't make a lot of sense with this particular character. Why not a teen Wolverine? or a teen Hulk?

Nevertheless, I have heard the series is pretty enjoyable and offers some decent portrayals of the underexposed Iron Man rogue's gallery.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

On April Fool's Day the world wide web got its first glimpse of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine rough cut and was not impressed. The final version of the film released in May wasn't as different as some had promised, but in spite of mediocre reviews the movie went on to make $180 million by fleshing out the flashback sequences from the first 3 X-Movies and throwing in fan favorite mutants that hadn't yet gotten their 5 minutes of screen time. The movie ended with promises of not one, but 3 possible sequels / X-Men Prequels (Wolverine 2, Deadpool, X-Men: First Class). Which will they tackle first?

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

In June, The Fallen failed to get his revenge in the Transformers sequel. If you think there was a grammatical error in the previous statement you must not have seen the movie. The Fallen is actually an individual rather than a group and therefore receives the singular possessive pronoun "his." You may also be wondering which of the characters in the movie are the superheroes. Well, that's a good question. I guess it would be the Autobots who are sentient life forms with shape shifting abilities. Besides, Transformers used to be a Marvel comic book, so the franchise is more or less part of the superhero genre.

You wouldn't think that writers would matter so much to a movie like this, but that writers strike a couple years back really seemed to take its toll because there are any number of movie elements that just didn't add up. Of course, thanks to plenty of "sick effects" the movie still made a killing earning even more than the first and topping $400 million to become the years biggest movie. You know what that means? Transformers 3 is gonna be even more SICK! or is it SICKER?

Stay tuned for part 3 of the year that was 2009.