"Why so serious, son?"
Okay, so it's actually more of a random vandalization of my brother's website, but hey, that's what family's for, right?
A place for my video reviews and toy collecting pics.
I currently collect: Mythic Legions by The Four Horsemen, Marvel's Avengers and Star Wars lines of SH Figuarts, and the occasional Kamen Rider.
I do a little Metal Build Gundam, and the odd Master Grade.
I still have Transformers and related 3rd Party Figs, DC, Star Wars, Statues/Busts and a few other items, but I am cutting back.
Really, I am.
Well, that was quite the hiatus, much longer than intended. Since I'm a fan of coin collecting, I took it upon myself to organize the production of a challenge coin for the Alpine Garrison of the 501st Legion. They look great, and we're quite pleased with them, but it meant that most of my free time for 2 weeks was taken up mailing them out to the various members around the world that ordered some.
Now that I'm done with that—for a while anyway, I was asked by the Imperial Gunnery Detachment to head up a run of coins for them, so we're currently taking orders and over Christmas I'll probably be shipping coins out like mad again, but my processes will have improved—I can get back to talking about toys and Batman: the Animated Series. First up, Toys!
Ninjas are cool. Very cool. One of the first Marvel Legends figures I was really interested in was Ronin, from a 2 pack with the assassin Elektra, because he was a neat looking ninja. When the 2 pack finally came out I roamed all over the county with my cousin in search of this particular pack, and was eventually rewarded with finding it. I don't think I ever posted pictures of it, so I'll have to do a review in the near future.
Anyway, I was even more pleased to learn there was a variant (apparently, a running change as opposed to a chase, thank the maker) with a slightly differently deco-ed Ronin, this time with a brighter, lime green instead of the dark, dull green before, and gold trim instead of bright yellow. A pal from the Fwoosh who lives up in Salt Lake found a bunch early this week and offered me Ronin, I having been vocal on the forums that I wanted him. Ronin was shipped yesterday and arrived today, and he's every bit as cool as I thought he would be, and is as much cooler than the original Ronin as I thought he would be. I'm even more tempted to get a second lime/gold Ronin than I was the original, and I'm even more looking forward to the upcoming re-release of this figure with a new hooded head (as a red Hand Ninja Assassin) in the second wave of 2 packs. I fully intend to get two—since the other figure in the set comes with an alternate head that turns Nick Fury into a generic SHIELD agent, so I need two of that figure as well—of the red ninjas, and if finances work out I can easily see myself grabbing four of them, because I can always use more ninja figures.
Evil Cousin Rish Outfield took time out from his busy schedule of doing nothing to get himself a holiday job at Toys R Us, and was kind enough to help me out with one of the TRU Exclusive DC Universe 2 packs. I was able to get the Lightray & Orion pack thanks to him, which I was starting to get worried about finding, since they've been out for all of two weeks. There have been numerous complaints about these 2 packs, which I hope to go into in a quick review post about this set soon, but mine are mostly okay.
The Evil One also helped me obtain the entire set of Walmart Exclusive Marvel Legends Ares figures, of which I previously posted pics of Heroes Reborn Iron Man and Crossbones. I finally decided I wanted to build the complete Ares, so I did. I've arranged sales and trades for the figures I didn't need, so I don't feel I paid too much for him. He's a big boy, too, with a big ass sword.
Speaking of Walmart Exclusives, I finally obtained my first of the five elusive figures that make up the Metallo wave. Metallo is tied (with Kalibak) for the coolest Collect & Connect figure so far announced in the DCUC line, so I've been pretty worked up about finding this wave. I sincerely doubt I'll see them locally (at least soon enough to matter), so I've been begging and pleading with people on my forums (Fwoosh and SWAN) to help find me these figures. So far, I have the Riddler, who is one of my most looked forward to figures from this wave. He looks pretty cool, though his cane needs a nice coat of gold paint.
Returning to the DCUC TRU 2 packs, one of the other four sets in this first wave was one I was originally planning on getting, because it had a rerelease of Cyborg Superman, one of the hardest to find figures from last year's DCSH line. However, I didn't particularly need the rereleased Mongul, although he looked really great, and I think the blue of his pants was darker, and his boots more metallic pink, and really I would have been fine having a second.
But, some kind soul from the Fwoosh offered to send me the original DCSH release Cyborg Supes, and thinking of the many problems people have been experiencing with these two packs I jumped at the offer. He's paid more for shipping than I would have preferred, but it's probably worth it to have the original version. I have not yet released it from it's plastic prison to beat the crap out of Green Lantern, Steel, and Superman, but have no fear, I will soon.
Katie helped me open the shipping box, as she likes to do, and when we had Cyborg out, I asked her if we should open it. She looked at it and said, "No, I don't like him." "Why not? He's cool," I said. "No, he's scary." And I looked at him, and he does rather have a Terminator-esque, skeletal face, and I guess he is kinda scary.
And the final DCUC update today (since I'm ignoring the fact that my case of wave 4 arrived from CornerStoreComics a couple of weeks ago) is regarding the almost not produced variant from wave 2, Jason Roush as Firestorm. The modern version of Firestorm was suppose to be a running change when wave 2 originally shipped, but factory changes, and other delays cause Mattel to skip the second case assortment of wave 2 and jump ahead to wave 3, though they promised we would see the Jason case in December, and they delivered. He looks really cool, and I like him more than the classic Ronnie version, despite having a bit of nostalgia for Ronnie, since I had the Super Powers toy as a kid. Jason is a repaint of Ronnie (or rather, Ronnie is a repaint of Jason since it was sculpted with Jason in mind) with a new head, and knee pads. The deco differences between the two make the modern version really stand out, and I'm glad to have got him, even if he cost me about $3 more than Ronnie did. If only I hadn't sold my long haired, modern version of Aquaman I would have a complete set of wave 2, and as such I am looking for the modern Aquaman.
And for some reason, these scenes created themselves in my head, and I had to let them out.
I've been really busy the last few days, and I'll be really busy the next few days, so it is very likely I won't get an episode reviewed this week, though I will try. At the latest I'll have one up next Friday morning.
In other news, I saw The Dark Knight again last night, and it's still the best movie ever made, although I also really liked Underworld (which I saw a couple weeks ago).
I love the Sigma 6 line, and will be collecting almost the entire line. Bold yellow are top priorities. Will take loose/complete or unopened figures.
View the entire line at Sigma 6 Central
And finally we reach the last episode of disc 1, P.O.V., which I assume stands for Point of View. This was an interesting episode that didn't focus on Batman much at all, but rather on 3 of Gotham's Finest, Detective Harvey Bullock, Lieutenant Renee Montoya, and some new guy (who we'll probably never see again), Officer Wilkes.
The gist of this episode is the three aforementioned cops go to bust a crime ring, but (to steal a phrase) the proverbial fecal matter hits the oscillating unit and things go poorly. An investigator is called in to interview the three and find out what happened and who is responsible, so we get to see the events from each person's - wait for it...wait for it...wait for it - Point of View.
We start out with Montoya and whatshisname speeding through the streets of Gotham in a black and white, sirens blaring, overheads flashing. Montoya says something about Bullock meeting them at 2300 hours, and that they'll be there with time to spare, yet the way she's driving you'd think they needed to be there yesterday; the car careens around corners, tires squealing, rookie cop screaming. When they arrive at the location the building's on fire, and Bullock's regaining consciousness behind a dumpster. Montoya asks why he didn't wait for them, but Bullock says they were late. There are still people inside the warehouse so they split up to attempt apprehending said criminals. As Montoya and Wilkes run off in opposite directions, Bullock stands and glancing up sees a shadowy figure on the roof. "Batman!" He says, before blacking out.
We next see the three cops sitting in a row chairs in a interrogation room with Commissioner Gordon sitting behind a desk, and some bad tempered guy pacing around the three yelling about how much time and money the city spent setting up this sting, and that they blew it in 5 minutes. He even goes so far as to suggest they were paid off, which gets everybody riled up. Bullock declares the whole thing is Batman's fault, which seriously offends Montoya, but the investigating Lieutenant doesn't believe her. He allows Bullock to give his version of the story first.
Bullock again repeats that Montoya and Wilkes were late, but he saw Batman enter the warehouse and feared that Batman would screw up the bust, so he had to go in alone. Of course, as Bullock gives his side of the story we see the events as they actually unfolded. For this particular moment, there's no sign of Batman until after Bullock enters the warehouse, then Batman appears. It was fun to see how Bullock's story differs from the true events, he embellishes and rearranges events to make him look better, always placing the blame on Batman. He was closing in on the suspects when a loud noise tipped them off - "Must have been Batman!" Yeah right. The noise happens to be him tripping over something and falling on his face.
The entire scene was really good, so I'll let you watch the whole thing rather than talk about it here (I'll talk about it afterward.
However, we see how tough a cop he really is. Three thugs confront him, one with a crowbar, another with an ax, the third by himself, but even larger than Bullock. Bullock stands (no longer armed) and says, "Freeze, maggots! You're all under arrest." Strangely, the thieves don't seem overly impressed and the large one jumps him, but Bullock dodges out of the way. Bullock soundly beats the snot out of them, catching the ax on one swing, dodging on the next which unfortunately smashes into a electrical box of some kind which sprays sparks all over, catching boxes on fire (of course). Anyway, he continues to beat the crap out of the thugs until the fire rages out of control and he gets trapped. I was really impressed with him, I didn't think he could fight that well, and that he had the guts to stand up to 5 different guys all on his own. Of course, then he goes and blames his predicament on Batman again, but I love the way he said, "It's a good thing I was there to save his butt!"
Anyway, Mr Investigating-has-a-stick-up-his-bum-Lieutenant doesn't buy Bullock's story, and again suggests that he went in early to beat the other cops to the money. By this point I suspected that there was something not quite right about Mr IL, and wondered if he was perhaps a dirty cop, especially after he yells at Commission Gordon to back off and let him run the investigation the way he looks fit. It also seemed suspicious to me that he's obviously an older guy (balding and such) yet he's the same rank as Lieutenant Montoya, but then again, he's an investigator and she's possibly just a regular cop, I don't claim to know what the different positions are, so maybe he is senior to her, and not just some bitter sounding old man. As I said though, he doesn't believe Bullock, thinks he went in early, but Bullock sticks to his story of the other two being late.
Now we hear rookie Officer Wilkes' story. His is interesting because he'd never seen Batman in action, and thinks he's got superpowers.
He thinks Batman flies, and can take down cars just by shootings sparks out of his hands, and shoot beams out of his fingers, and such. "It was unbelievable!" Not much to say about this one really.
Now Montoya's version. She's been pretty upset about this whole affair. She's ticked off at Lieutenant Frustrated-Old-Man, especially when he gives Wilkes a hard time about his story, and every time he implies they're dirty cops (but then they all got upset about that too). She also seems sad about something, but we don't know what it us until the end of her story.
She's also pretty gutsy, staring down a couple of really big guys with only a shotgun to use, and also sarcastic regarding Bullock's story of saving Batman. Still, since the stories don't match, and there's no way to confirm either story, they're all suspended. Lieutenant Going-to-Die-Cold-and-Alone-and-Bald is pretty smug as the three turn in their badges and guns. Bullock slams his gun on the table so hard he jumps.
To make an already long post less long than it could be I'll try to summarize more. Montoya's heading home on the light rail and figures out the clues were not Doc for Doctor, but for the dock, Gotham Harbor. She finds a warehouse that has a previously mentioned name, and when she looks in the windows she see Batman with his hands tied hanging from a crane hook high above the floor, while the mobsters go about whatever business they're doing; one of them is examining Batman's belt. She enters the warehouse (full of bad guys, unarmed), and is there to see Batman cut himself free (not cut his hands free, just cut the rope he was hanging from. He beats a guy up the whole time with his hands tied together. Montoya gets the jump on another guy who had pulled a gun on Batman. We get a shadowy glimpse of the boss of the whole operation, and I'm thoroughly convinced he will be revealed to be Lieutenant Hope-He-Didnt-Reproduce-And-Further-Pollute-The-Gene-Pool.
Together Batman and Montoya dispatch the goons, Batman takes on several guys at once, kicking the crap out of them - one guy gets knocked into the water several times, Montoya beats up a guy, jumps in a crane and drops a large crate behind three or four guys as they attempt to gang up on Batman, which smashes through the floor and drops them all in the drink, and finally, she traps the boss man in the jaws of the crane as he tries to escape. Oh yeah, and Batman sinks a ship as it leaves the harbor by crashing a forklift into the side. Bet you haven't done that before.
After Batman sinks the boat (which the boss man was fleeing in) he tries to escape on foot, but that's when Officer Montoya catches him with the crane. I was sure at this point we would see who he was, but he just appears to have been some random guy with round glasses. I guess he wasn't important enough to ever be fully revealed, and we'll never know who he was. Or maybe we'll find out he was Temple Fugate, the Clock King (cause he has round glasses and dresses similarly - what am I talking about, 90% of the males on this show wear a suit, trenchcoat and hat).
The real cops arrive, Commissioner Gordon is appropriately impressed, and when Lieutenant Never-Had-A-Date-Never-Will arrives Gordon grabs him by the collar and throws him around a bit while yelling at him that "This farce has gone on long enough...this investigation is closed!" And he takes the badges back and gives them to Montoya to deliver. Even Bullock's almost personable as he thanks Montoya for his badge.
This was probably my favorite episode so far. I really do like Harvey Bullock, I find him very interesting. He's a good, tough cop who firmly believes that it's the responsibility of the police to take care of the criminals of Gotham, whether they be of the more ordinary kind, or the wackos. He feels that Batman is intruding upon his territory, and probably feels it's an insult to his ability to perform his job. He also seems to not quite respect The Line as much as others might, he's willing to cross certain boundaries if it help him accomplish his duty, but he's not a dirty cop.Similarly, Montoya is also a good, tough cop who is also very good at her job. However, she also respects Batman, and appreciates his help, and was genuinely concerned for his well-being, happy to see him alive when she thought him dead. They're both great characters, and it's no wonder really that they get partnered up so we can see them often.
Let's see, what else to say about it? I enjoyed seeing the different parts of the story as told by the participants, so it's like we're participating with the character rather than being some observer. Credits go to Kevin Altieri, who directed one of the other great episodes of this disc, On Leather Wings, but then he also directed The Last Laugh which was one of my least favorites, so he's only at 66% so far. Mitch Brian wrote the episode (Teleplay by Sean Catherine Derek & Laren Bright) who also wrote On Leather Wings (that we've seen so far) and Bane (which we haven't, but if I remember it right it was a good episode), so he's doing well, but I think that's all he's done for this series. Sean Catherine Derek (three first names, come on people, knock it off!) co-wrote Nothing to Fear, the next episode we will review The Forgotten (which I liked) and the upcoming two-part episode The Cat and The Claw (three guesses who that one is about, and the first two don't count), as well as others, so I guess I like his work too. Laren Bright also worked on several episodes, many with SCD, and also one of my favorite episodes Perchance to Dream. So a great crew working on this episode, which probably explains why I enjoyed it so much.
For voices we of course have the staples, Bob Hastings (Gordon), Robert Costanzo (Bullock) and the great Kevin Conroy as Batman, as well as a visit from not-quite-newcomer Ingrid Oliu as Renee Montoya, I think she does a great job, and some other people I've never heard of. Some guy named Ron Perlman (never heard of him) is Driller. Robbie Benson plays Rookie Wilkes - he's seems to be primarily a voice actor but does appear in somethings, just nothing I've ever heard of. Interestingly, he's the voice of Beast in the Disney rendition of Beauty and the Beast and all subsequent videos (and also the Kingdom Hearts video game series). And some other stuff. Look him up on Wikipedia or IMDB.com if you want to know more. John Considine was the voice of the ever loveable Lieutenant I-cant-think-of-another-insulting-name Hackle, he's some old guy (b. 1935) who's been on shows like Knight Rider, MacGyver, Murder, She Wrote, and Boston Legal, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Marc Tubert voiced one of the thugs named Scarface, and I found his name in a future episode of this series, voicing Carlos. I'd guess it's not the same guy, but I haven't seen that episode yet so I guess it could be. He's also guested on various well-known shows, movies or video games - Star Trek: The Next Generation, Home Improvement, Superman: TAS, Mad About You, Ellen, Pinky and the Brain, Seinfeld, The Practice, Charmed, Dharma & Greg, etc, etc, and even Team Knight Rider. Now that's gotta be a resume highlight. And I guess that finishes off this episode, the final episode of disc one, but don't worry, we're not quite done with it yet, we've got a special feature or two we can look at next time.
Remember kids: Madness is like gravity... all you need is a little push.