31 December 2013
30 December 2013
"Holy hairdo, it's a girl." Another classic line from Robin who was quite smitten by the space princess. Too bad she turned him into a statue like a regular Lando Calrissian. In fact, I am pretty sure this episode was very influenced by Star Wars as it also had a Death Star like planet killer aimed at a tragic demonstration planet. Once again, Darkseid elevated a mediocre tale to one that wasn't half bad. Now if only I could see him engage in a little hand to hand combat.
Episode Count: 0491
Series Count: (12 of 14)
28 December 2013
With Giganta using jeeps as roller skates, I think we can officially through "sense" out the window. And while these shorts may not have the solidest of plots, this second one is just as visually amazing as the first. And for the record, this incarnation of Giganta is pretty great! Bring on part 3.
27 December 2013
"Don't toy with the Super Friends." Despite the kookiness, I actually enjoyed this episode featuring the Dollmaker and his clay voodoo dolls used to control the Super Friends. A bit of trivia, Dollmaker is the name of a couple of DC villains, the earliest apparently being a fairly obscure adversary of Plastic Man. In this episode, the Dollmaker made Big Shott's Toy World his home base implying (despite the spelling discrepancy) some relation to the Toyman, Winslow Schott. In fact, one Dollmaker in the comics was Anton Schott, son of the Toyman, though he did not appear in comics until more than 20 years after this episode aired.
Episode Count: 0490
Series Count: (11 of 14)
First Appearance: Dollmaker
26 December 2013
After red kryptonite exposure turned Superman into "Superbrat," the Friends had to babysit when who would you know showed up? Uncle Mxy. Overall this was pretty unremarkable except I got quite angry that Jayna chose to turn into a giant T-Rex. How many times in the past would that have come in handy and yet she always turned into an octopus or eagle. This time, she played her T-Rex card to capture a runaway giraffe? If I were in charge, that along would earn her expulsion from the team. Nevermind the fact that the Twins were the ones that brought the red K to Supes in the first place. Bring back Marvin and Wendy.
25 December 2013
Although Superman has not appeared as a character on Teen Titans Go! his presence has been felt. The Man of Steel is a reality in this universe inspiring such brands as Justice Java.
And here comes the obligatory dinosaur battle. There were a couple of redeeming elements. I enjoyed a giant Apache Chief fighting a dino - that could have gone on for a while longer. The story also had heroes transformed into dino peoples, or dinosoids. Not the worst thing ever, but this one was hardly breaking new ground.
Episode Count: 0488
Series Count: (9 of 14)
24 December 2013
That's more like it. This double length episode opened in a intergalactic black market auction showcasing all sorts of villainous weapons of destruction. But Darkseid's eye was on one prize, the rarest of rare, gold kryptonite which would rob Superman of his powers forever. How the aliens knew it would have that effect... who knows. It was also awesome how Darkseid bid a measly 1 buck and dared anyone to outbid him. That dude had a major intimidation factor.
23 December 2013
We may have reached a new season low. The episode opened with a wannabe Penguin robbing a bank, but Batman and Robin just happened to be waiting in the safe. The worst part of this scenario, who would want to be Penguin? Next thing you know a wannabe Incredi-boy calling himself Captain Mystery entered the picture. Not sure why the Friends denied him membership after letting Wendy and Marv join the team, but wouldn't you know that after hacking the JLA computer and accidentally being discovered by Luthor, Cap Mystery ended up saving the whole team. Too bad he didn't get the ol Omega Beam treatment.
Episode Count: 0486
Series Count: (7 of 14)
21 December 2013
Just like the also amazing Bat Man of Shanghai shorts, this stylized take on Wonder Woman may not make complete sense with the traditional take on the character, but who cares. The short was gorgeous to behold and incredibly cool. I especially loved the invisible car. I am glad to see DC Nation being used for projects like this that totally deserve to be seen, but would not be marketable enough to stand on their own. You can keep your animated barn animals, give me more like this... Steampunk Justice League maybe? Anyways, I can't wait for part 2.
20 December 2013
Aw, I had begun to wonder what had become of the Wonder Twins. This episode gave them a chance to ally with the other juniors, Firestorm and Robin - just don't call them Teen Titans. And I suppose the writers were already out of ideas, because we got another shrink ray treatment courtesy of Lex Luthor. To be fair, this was the first time I recall a double shrinking. Still, this one was kind of a dud.-----
Episode Count: 0485
Series Count: (6 of 14)
19 December 2013
And the cruel Mixed Pickle returned to tease a thief by pretending to be a genie. Mxy stayed hidden from the Super Friends making Mr. Crook get pretty cocky about his "magic lamp." Finally the Friends figured out the imp factor and once again the dummy didn't realize he was saying his name backwards. Mxy is always good for a couple laughs, and even though this wasn't terrible, it was not quite up to par with the rest of the season. The only thing I can figure - needs more Darkseid.
18 December 2013
DC Nation's Farm League introduced a barnyard version of the Justice League. This JLA (of Animals) was led of course by Superman's analogue - Supermanatee. Ha ha.
This season has pulled out all the stops, this time teaming Darkseid with the new and improved battlesuit wearing Lex Luthor. Its just such a classic look. This is as good a time as any to mention that Darkseid's portals were called "stargates." I don't know if this was pre-boom tube or if they just had a different name, but the episode put them to good use by catching the heroes as if they were trap doors. I guess Darseid didn't learn from his fallout with Brainiac, because once again he ended up in a spat with his ally after having captured the Super Friends. Nice use of, "Kneel before Luthor" after Lex dubbed himself King Rex Luthor. And no episode would be complete without yet another marriage proposal to Wonder Woman from Darkseid. The dude is desperate. Maybe there are no women on Apokolips.
Episode Count: 0483
Series Count: (4 of 14)
17 December 2013
Something I learned in this episode, the 6th dimension is the land behind mirrors (but what is the 5th? the land of Mxyzptlk?). In spite of the somewhat hokey concept of the mirror dimension, this was a pretty fun adventure with mirrors being basically deadly. And of course a Hall of Mirrors came into play. This was also the first appearance of the Flash rogue Mirror Master. Its a shame there was no Flash in sigh - though I admit, Samurai's invisibility is a good counter to Mirror Masters dangerous reflections. So far, this season has been a hit, can it go 4 for 4?
16 December 2013
Episode Count: 0481
Series Count: (2 of 14)
14 December 2013
Riddle Me This was a bit of a mix-up. The short contained no less than 5 riddles with a DC universe theme and animations to match the punchlines. While I can't really imagine a series of Riddler shorts, this along with the Bizarro short offer a welcome focus on some of DC's underutilized villains. Dare I hope for shorts featuring Black Manta, Larfleeze, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, or the Shadow Thief?
13 December 2013
This episode introduced Firestorm and his ability to transmute any inorganic material including the globe on top of the Daily Planet. You know, that thing is more trouble than its worth. It seems to fall off the building eventually in every show its in. After showing up the League a few times, they decided to attempt to recruit him. One of the problems with Firestorm was that he was pretty much invincible. He could phase through anything and turn anything into anything else. He even had some mad skills with the ladies earning a kiss from Double Dubs. So not only can he get a bit annoying for always saving the day, but for plot's sake the only time he is beaten is when he does something stupid like accidentally turning off a force field. Oops. Anyways, he has a special place in my heart because as a kid I remember him being introduced and being blown away by this new hero that I had never heard of that was even more powerful than Superman.
12 December 2013
After a couple of years with no new episodes, Super Friends rebranded itself with a vengeance and returned strong in 1984 with the The Legendary Super Powers Show. There are a few things that set this season apart. For one, the team's ranks were expanded with the introduction of Firestorm. I tell you what, the dude really made an impression on me because to this day I am a sucker for the character.
11 December 2013
His portrayal in The Dark Knight Returns may not have been the most flattering, nevertheless, Superman played a key role in the story as a prime antagonist to Batman.
I have always wondered why Captain Marvel AKA Shazam wasn't a bigger hero. The dude has a whole array of powers, a mythology, and a supporting cast... but this series perhaps begins to shed some light on the characters' limited appeal. While the Cap and Mary are fine enough, Uncle Dudley, Tawky Tawny and Captain Marvel Jr. each have some strange quirks that were probably exacerbated by this low budget / effort production. And there was just a silliness to the Fawcett world that makes The Big Red Cheese more of a parody or kids' hero than a bona fide DC powerhouse.
10 December 2013
While he was relatively unaffected by Isis' visit in the last crossover, the visit of Mary Marvel really threw Rex Ruthless for a loop. All Mary did was talk about books, but Rex lost control of his gadgets which were all firing off at the wrong times. As with the other guests, Mary was pretty much wasted, she was just there to give the boys a reason to be aroused. No too flattering for a classic heroine.
09 December 2013
In the second crossover, the students of Hero High were hot for teacher when Isis was recruited to substitute. Jealousy ensued and Captain California ended up lovestruck for some old bag. Oh hilarity - at least that's what they were going for. Its kinda sad that this would be Isis' last onscreen appearance for nearly 30 years until she got a brief mention on Smallville. Alas poor Isis, you had such untapped potential.
07 December 2013
Its like getting a visit from an old friend. After quite a break, another Plastic Man short made its debut and what it lacked in shapeshifting it made up for in Batman! There was also a surprising absence of comedy, but It was a real treat to see a little back story of Plastic Man. Truth is, after enjoying this short I was compelled to revisit the previous three Plas shorts. I realized, this shorts series deserves a lot of credit. It may not be one of my all time favs (those would be Bat Man of Shanghai or Amythest) but its been one of the gems of DC Nation. Also, kudos for the Dark Knightish look of Batman.
06 December 2013
This was the first of three Hero High episodes featuring appearances by heroes of the DC universe - this one featuring the Captain himself. Reporter Billy Batson just happened to be in the right place to help the teens bust a bank robbery by Knuckles, who curiously seemed to favor a karate chop. This show managed an even more cartoony feel than the Shazam! episodes and so the even shorter 12 minutes was plenty. Its just too bad that Captain Marvel (not counting a couple of Billy scenes) only managed maybe a 15 seconds of air time. Did I mention there was a shark with a monocle and a penguin with a fire hose?-----
Episode Count: 0478
Series Count: (1 of 3)
05 December 2013
04 December 2013
While Supergirl appeared in all five of the charming SBFF short's her cousin Kal only appeared in Grounded, in which he received a Super wedgie. Not Supes greatest moment, though deserving of a chuckle.
This horrendous episode might have you singin' "Bring back my Tawney to me," after Tony the Tawney Tiger's failed attempt to join the circus. You'd think a talking tiger in a suit would be a big attraction, but I guess no one wants to hear a tiger sing or recite poetry.
03 December 2013
The diabolical robot, Mr. Atom took over an electronics store to build human looking robot police in order to incite mass hysteria by causing traffic jams. As it turns out, Uncle Dudley was just as much of a nuisance, inadvertently creating his own traffic jam (same intersection to save animation costs) with an electromagnetic "door-opener" gone awry. What do you know, the device was key to exploding the robot minions. Luckily, the waves were smart enough to only fry "bad" circuits rather than destroying all electronics on the planet. As for Mr. Atom, the dude was a legit Captain Marvel foe, first appearing in 1947 with pretty much the same classic look.
Episode Count: 0474
Series Count: (10 of 12)
First Appearance: Mr. Atom
02 December 2013
Night Owl made an appearance in this episode, but before you get out the welcome mat for Rorschach or Dr. Manhattan, this Night Owl was a villain with an affinity for darkness and tiger cubs, not a Watchman.
30 November 2013
For the magical short numbered 75, we were thrown a bit of a bone with a cute segment featuring a hyperactive Krypto and a cameo by a Superman (at least Superman below the neckline). While I maintain that Super Pets is better than Farm League, I think I am ready to return to adventures of the human counterparts, unless we are talking about Bat-Cow that is.
29 November 2013
LOST EPISODE or Myth?
This episode of Shazam! has been referred to as the lost episode because, well because its lost. But some recent detective work has led me to believe that it may not exist at all. Maybe it was planned but never produced, or maybe it is just a myth altogether. I will present evidence for and against it and let other draw their own conclusions until more concrete evidence is presented.
28 November 2013
Even though Black Adam had been reduced to an ash pile, somehow he was still the most likely culprit... His plot wasn't very well thought out though - plant a fake story in the newspaper and then make a river explode. Sure... The highlight of course had to be the mummy-ghosts. I always love me a mummy. Though the oozing lava men were also a bit of fun. I am pretty mixed on the Mxyzptlkian defeat of Adam. While it was fun seeing him tricked into saying Shazam, he is not the sharpest tack in the box. Both tricks were awfully feeble. I also don't get why this time he was thrust back in time. I guess that's what you get when dealing with magic.
27 November 2013
Uncle Dudley is a doofus and so him getting the spotlight was not a welcome thought. For some reason, the evil Aunt Minerva wanted a piece of the Dusdter's action. She even had a room devoted to him with its own "chamber". Old people can be creepy... AND I am not sure why she had her own spaceship, even if it was made in Rio de Janeiro. This was such an awful episode and was all over the place it went from love potions to robbing Fort Knox and amnesia. The series is quickly running out of chances to be decent. At this point I am just crossing my fingers that Dudley doesn't get another spotlight.
Episode Count: 0471
Series Count: (07 of 12)
26 November 2013
You know how some shows are so bad they are good? This was worse than that. Does that mean its a masterpiece or a crap pile. See if you can guess. One aspect I liked was the inclusion of Dr. Sivana's family and how his son and daughter managed to be creepy and cost effective by having identical faces with different hair. It was also admittedly funny that the three super powered baddies wound up in a literal block of big red cheese - their nickname for Captain Marvel.
25 November 2013
Black Adam is probably the series best villain so far, even if his "thing" is turning heroes into dogs and aside from the fact that the dude was whipped. At least the story had a semi coherent plot including the origin of (Teth) Black Adam who gained powers from the Wizard Shazam. Too bad he doesn't look likely to return. The magic angle also suits this series much better than the pseudo science of Sivana or Mr. Mind. Even though I did not love this one, I think it must be the best episode so far - hardly a ringing endorsement, but at least a step in the right direction.
23 November 2013
Oh dear. There are some genuinely funny MAD shorts, some that I will cover even if they never make it to DC Nation. This short is one of the worst MAD has to offer. From the ugly designs to the lack of "the funny," this was just a waste of the short slot for the week. At least it aired in conjunction with the release of Man of Steel... but c'mon can't we get something new. And by new, I don't mean more World's Funnest.
22 November 2013
Dr. Sivana was back, this time with a tiny rhiny. Not only was there shrinking, and and alternate "4th dimension," but amnesia, and dino attacks. This episode really went for broke and pretty much broke. Just remember, in the crazy 4th dimension, the laws of physics are backwards... shrink rays make you grow, and I presume time runs backwards. Then again maybe time just exists whereas is Fawcet City which presumably has no time, all things exist at all places concurrently.
21 November 2013
Well, this is the first I have heard of Freckles Marvel who just 3 episodes in is something like the Cousin Oliver of the Marvel family. After that the Izod wearing Hiss-men got to work. This one was full of gags, involuntary shrinking, jumping into books, time travel, and lizardication of the Marvels.
20 November 2013
Superman taught us why we never want him to lose control in 2012's Superman vs. The Elite. He taught that same lesson to Manchester Black and his mates.
The episode introduced two pretty significant villains. Although not too remarkable in appearance, Dr. Sivana actually coined the phrase, "Curses, foiled again." Mind on the other hand, even without the old PhD was pretty smart, especially for a worm.I admit, I am fond of the little guy who communicates via a tiny radio necklace. Cute and dangerous!
19 November 2013
Tawky Tawny, a Tony the Tiger wannabe who wears a suit and tie is given absolutely no explanation for existence. And even though I am sure there are plenty of other things that should have disturbed me, that still seems like a big one. Turns out old Tony also makes dinner for the Marvel family and he also has a keen nose. Whats also creepy is that at the zoo there are also tigers which are anthropomorphized, but naked. Nothing like seeing Tony the Tiger in his birthday suit.
18 November 2013
The Kid Super Power Hour was comprised of two Filmation series, Shazam! and Hero High which aired in 1981-2. While the mighty Marvels appeared mostly on the former series' 12 episodes, 3 episodes of Hero High played host to guest heroes from the DC line-up.
16 November 2013
Superman may be afraid of celery, but by now I am terrified of seeing any more new DC's World's Funnest shorts on the DC Nation schedule. At best these were cute in the beginning, but by now I have grown to loathe them and to resent every week that I get a new one of these rather than Doom Patrol. There is just very little here to enjoy.At this point, I can't even add a screen capture that would identify this particular short. 'Tis a real shame.
15 November 2013
Although this series that never came to be has been reported on previously, I am once again struck by the great design work for the pitched Gotham High series from 2009. "What if Batman and his rogues were in high school?" sounds like train wreck, but this potentially lame premise looks like it could have been a lot of fun given approach described at jeffandceleste.blogspot.com. And although its doubtful this will ever get a full series order at this point, this is the kind of material that could be gold as a set of DC Nation shorts.
14 November 2013
The Batman vs. Hush movie which never quite got the go ahead in 2007 was another project revealed by Legions of Gotham. While The Batman may not be a shining point in the animated Batman's expansive history, the series had some fair moment. In fact The Batman vs. Dracula was one of the high points of the series and so I admit that I am a little saddened that this never came to be. Besides, Hush is an interesting villain and the Hush storyline is ripe for an adaptation - maybe someday Batman Hush will be adapted in a different format, but one thing is for sure, its a shame that to date Hush has yet to make his onscreen debut.
13 November 2013
Superman of Tokyo AKA スーパーマン @ Tokyo was a bizarre take on the Man of Steel used to usher in DC Nation.The two shorts introduced a Baby of Steel that pulled a Shazam! by aging into an adult when wearing Superman's cape as a diaper. Very odd indeed.
What little is known about this cancelled project comes via the Legions of Gotham website. After SubZero, work began in 1999 on an animated Asylum movie which was eventually shelved to make way for the Return of the Joker Batman Beyond DVD.
12 November 2013
In 1983, after the initial run of Super Friends was running down (before the rebranding as the Super Powers Team) Hanna Barbera once again flirted with a Titans series, this time the New Teen Titans. According to the Titans Tower website, Wonder Girl would have been group leader of Cyborg, Raven, Kid Flash, Changeling, and Starfire and storylines would have promised appearances from Trigon and Blackfire. Terra and Robin would have been absent; Robin having been licensed out already.