BW’s Morning Article Link: Let’s Go Exploring

Exploring

Exploring (Photo credit: Wikipedia and one of the few images I found that wasn’t a motorscooter for some reason)

I haven’t seen The Explorers, the 80s science fiction movie about kids building their own spaceship. I was just never drawn to it for some reason. However, I do find differences between a movie and novelization interesting. So I still liked this review by Shawn Robare of Branded In The 80s as he looks over the novelization of The Explorers and seems to prefer the book.

(I also finally added a “book spotlight” category and moved Chapter By Chapter to it.)

Chapter By Chapter> Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire ch. 17

Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.

Chapter By Chapter Star Wars - Shadows Of The Empire

For those who came in late: Prince Xizor, leader of the criminal organization Black Sun, has a vendetta against Darth Vader for killing his family years ago, as well as wanting the prestige of being the Emperor’s right hand man. So he has put a bounty on the head of Luke Skywalker, the self-trained Jedi the Emperor wants to turn, trying to frame Vader to make him look bad, as well as sending Vader against Black Sun’s rivals. Meanwhile, Leia learns of the price on her friend’s head and after failing to rescue Han from Boba Fett, sends Dash Rendar to protect Luke while going to Black Sun hoping they can find the real culprit (not knowing Black Sun is behind Luke’s predicament). As for Luke, he, Artoo, and Dash are about to meet with Bothan spies on Leia’s behalf in order to find out what important information they have. (Fans should already know this answer.)

And with that let’s see what are heroes are up to now.

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BW’s Morning Article Links: Wanted This Joke Dead To Begin With

Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Killing Joke is another reason I can’t get into Alan Moore stories, although for me Watchmen was bad enough. In it, Barbara Gordon (retired from being Batgirl at this point) is shot, paralyzed, and presumably raped by the Joker. DC decided to make this canon, which admittedly resulted in an interesting direction for Barbara as Oracle. In the new animated movie coming out, Barbara is still Batgirl and still shot, paralyzed, and presumably raped by the Joker to push Commissioner Gordon over the edge. (In this story Joker wants to prove one bad day can make anyone evil.) But it gets worse, and may tarnish Bruce Timm’s reputation as Batman’s best animated story creator. According to this report by ComicsAlliance Batman and Batgirl sleep together on the top of a building like she’s the New 52’s Catwoman. He also hinted at a Bruce/Barbara romance in Batman Beyond. And IO9 reports more disturbing changes to Barbara’s character. The movie also forgets that Barbara retired, but I’m thinking this isn’t in the movie version because Bruce Timm wanted to make Barbara hook up with Bruce Wayne. Read that sentence again and see if you get the same conclusion I did.

Granted, Barbara is supposed to be too old for Dick Grayson, the original Robin and current (again, thank you) Nightwing, yet that is a relationship that gets set up which ALSO happened in the DCAU and people think was a thing in the comics. (The original “Bat-Girl”, Betty Kane, was the one who dated Robin. Long story. In the Fox cartoon she was de-aged to the same age as Dick.) For some reason Timm really wants to set up the two Bats and it just comes off as fanfic, because this never happened in the comics, including The Killing Joke. Also there was no Batgirl as listed above. Fans defended the R rating to make this a faithful adaptation, but it looks like Timm is really running with the rating. Also that Telltale Games series I mentioned before is getting a “M for Mature” rating. And yet things like Justice League Action (more on that tomorrow) and Batman Unlimited keep pushing him to kids. And some of you get mad there’s a Rambo cartoon for kids? Throw in Gotham and I’m really concerned as to what DC and Warner Brothers are doing to the Dark Knight. This isn’t Spawn, people!

I’d do a full article but this is a book I was never interested in until it was sucked into DC canon, and I care less about the movie. While it’s nice to see Batman get a new animated theatrical movie, even with a limited run, it’s too bad this is the one we’re getting. I’ll happily miss it. Watch Mask Of The Phantasm instead.

Jake & Leon #281: Officer Jenny Approved

Yes, I know about vandalism in the name of their faction. That's not funny.  I only mentioned the muggings because it would get brought up.

Yes, I know about vandalism in the name of their faction. That’s not funny. I only mentioned the muggings because it would get brought up.

Look, anything has it’s faults, but a game that gets kids out of the house, walking around, meeting other people, learning more about their community, and having fun doing all that has more positives than negatives. But positives never make headlines. As for the bodies, I know I would freak out finding a dead body but that’s one less missing person to find and the police can now open an investigation into the person’s death, so that’s also a break for the cops.

Over at The Clutter Reports I got to clean up the top of my computer desk. And I ended up not having to take anything away as I thought I would.

Since I don’t appear to have any medical-related visits (I’m still waiting to hear from the blood doctor so I can get off the thinner) I’m hoping to get the next ConnectiCon video, the interview video, done by Saturday. Things happened last week, but I have an opening now so I plan to take it. Other than that, not much else to report.

Saturday Night Showcase: Space Academy

Filmation's 3rd logo from 1975

Filmation’s 3rd logo from 1975 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was hoping to have the tabling interviews from ConnectiCon done. However, things didn’t work out due to stuff going on. (For once it was my Dad and not me. Luckily it was a minor issue and he’s fine now. The heat in the studio–a problem with attics in the summer–didn’t help much.) So I’m shooting for next week. So what to do this week?

In a previous SNS I looked at Jason Of Star Command, which I would link to but Hulu has lost most of their Filmation licenses. As of this writing you wouldn’t see anything but my writings. So I had to go to unofficial postings on YouTube (this will change if Hulu gets the official license back) to go to that show’s predecessor…Space Academy!

First airing in 1977, Space Academy focuses on a group of young people with different abilities who work together to solve problems. I don’t remember this show, so I don’t know if this first episode is typical, since none of them are shown being trained in anything but just another exploration team. However, Jonathan Harris, better known as Dr. Smith on Lost In Space, takes a command role here just as James Doohan later would for Jason Of Star Command, part of a unit stationed at the academy planetoid.

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My Favorite Intros: Thundarr The Barbarian

My Favorite Intros logo

Give Conan the barbarian a flat bladed lightsaber, team him with a Wookie knockoff and the Sorceress from He-Man and put them on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Congratulations, Jack Kirby , you’ve just made Saturday morning a little more awesome!

Thundarr The Barbarian was just fun and a half. The perfect boys show (which is why that episode that was so obviously a backdoor pilot for a girls show was just odd. Also it was about supermodels brought from the past and given angel powers so…) It’s rare to see a post-apocalyptic show go the fantasy route instead of science fiction or Mad Max but they not only did it but did it well. You know what else they did well? The narrated intro. And this is from Ruby-Spears, the same guys we yelled at yesterday for Plastic Man‘s lame opening. So what did they do right here? Besides putting Jack Kirby on it?  (Yes, THAT Jack Kirby, who did other work for Ruby-Spears, including Goldie Gold & Action Jack.)

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BW’s Morning Article Links: Rucka Versus Cho

Wonder Woman Frank Cho variant

Hey look, Wonder Woman is in the right colors and not carrying a sword! (I do like the updated bracers, though. Better than her old bracelets in convincing me she can block bullets with them.) However, Greg Rucka thought she’s showing too much skin, which is one of many complaints he had with Frank Cho’s variant covers. Variant covers are stupid to begin with, but this is how Wonder Woman is USUALLY depicted. Bleeding Cool has the news side while Four Color Media Monitor rightfully defends Cho (and Rucka’s decision to not work with serial staff molester Eddie Berganza) while agreeing with me that variant covers are lame anyway and below Cho’s excellent skills, as seen above.

Although I do wonder why she’s bending that way. You could make a case for the pose if it weren’t from this perspective. You can’t see her butt, although she is still bending in an angle that pushes her butt out for no reason. Still, I’m on Cho’s side on this one. My biggest problem is that it doesn’t appear connected to any comic story that might be inside, but that’s a universal issue with most modern comic covers.