Late to the party: The Killing Joke – NO SPOILER – review

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I was ecstatic, when I heard The Killing Joke was going to be made into an animated feature. It is easily one of the best Batman stories ever written and one of my favorites. To say that I was happy when I heard that Mark Hamill was going to play The Joker would’ve been an understatement. The DVD/Blu-ray release is set for August 2nd . My excitement was increased exponentially when I found out that there would be a theatrical release of The Killing Joke and it would be a week earlier than its release. I invited a few friends to see the movie with me, but they didn’t see the point in spending the money when it would be out next week. Seeing The Killing Joke in the theatre while eating raisinettes added another level of enjoyment to the experience for me. Not to mention, The Killing Joke isn’t a kid friendly story, and as a nerd dad, I would have to wait until I could watch it without the kids.

The flick seemed to stick close to the source material. Without spoiling anything, there are some other story elements involving Batgirl that starts off the film. I purposely avoided the internet speak about The Killing Joke so I could watch it without any preconceived notions. I enjoyed the Batgirl “backstory”. It addressed an issue that was a loose end in the Batman mythos. Still, while some were shocked and others were hit with a touch of internet nerd rage, I viewed the story as it was. As far as I’m concerned, it is one version of events, simply an adaptation and/or interpretation of a good story.

The animation was good. There were a few points that it could’ve been a little sharper. I thought the translation of the story was handled honorably. The story is a dark one and it’s kept that way. Conversely, the colors reflect the themes of the story, for instance sometimes getting brighter when focusing on the Joker. Voice acting was flawless. I’m delighted that the legendary Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, and Kevin Conroy returned to the roles of The Joker, Batgirl, and Batman respectively. I think they were born to play these roles. The music fit the mood through the story. The score put me in the mind of the Tim Burton Batman film regarding the quality of the music. Hamill’s contribution to the score was eerie and frenzied. I felt the madness trickle through each verse.

There were two featurettes that were also including in the viewing. Before the flick, we got a short reflection from Mark Hamill about playing the Joker. He spoke about how it he first got the role and how it would play out against his identity as Luke Skywalker. This didn’t take long and I didn’t feel like unnecessary stalling before the main attraction began. After the story, there was another featurette about the music of the movie. It was also interesting and I enjoyed hearing from the different professionals that added their expertise to the production.

I give The Killing Joke a solid A. It is a necessary part of any Batman fans DVD/Blu-ray library. I believe that fans of the graphic novel will get a charge out of the movie.

Fan made animated Firefly looks good!

If you are a fan of Firefly, then you need to check out this trailer. Before you slip a disk jumping for excitement. It’s a fan made trailer, still its 30 seconds of pure NERDvANA!

This was put together by artist Stephen Byrne. The likelihood of this moving forward is pretty slim, but it’s a cool watch that can’t be denied. I’m not the only one excited about this teaser. Geek and Sundry as well as Nathan Fillion both give the teaser a thumbs up.

Lang also released a production video to show how much work went into just a few seconds of this nerdtastic masterpiece.

What do you think? Would you contribute if this project was crowd funded?

Justice League: Gods and Monsters REVIEW – SPOILERS

Years ago, one of the first comic book titles I collected was Marvel’s WHAT IF series. How they changed outcomes or had characters make other choices that affected their lives. I loved how the writers took established characters and flipped the script on them. When I began reading DC Comics, this love increased exponentially. DC had the multiverse, countless alternate universes with characters whose lives changed while seemingly slightly…ended up monumental. Elseworlds stories have for the most part been awesome. Stories Superman Red Sun, The Nail, Flashpoint, The Dark Knight Returns, and Kingdom Come are just a few titles that came from our favored heroes choosing the other option or fate taking another path and those choices made for epic stories.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters was an equally impressive addition to the Elseworlds fiction. The animation for the feature was well done and was fine for telling the story. While DC Animation has yet to disappoint me with the art from their projects, the involvement of Bruce Timm (creator of Batman: The Animated Series) was apparent. Reimagining DC Comics trinity (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman) made for an interesting tale.  I really enjoyed how other heroes and villains are present in this reality, but are on the cusp of getting their powers. One of the best parts of watching the feature was looking at characters and figuring out which hero or villain they were destined to become. We see glimpses of Cyborg, The Atom, and Mr. Freeze to name a few. There were a few names that were dropped that I didn’t recognize and had to look up after the movie. Fed right into my nerd nerve….I think I had a few nerdgasms during the flick and for sure at least one afterwards.

I liked the villain of the story as well. It’s often said that DC comics has the most interesting bad guys. Whether you figured out who the big bad was early in the film or if you didn’t see it coming; the villain worked well for the story. You’re almost meant to think Lex Luthor is the antagonist, but that’s a little too obvious. Will Magnus and his Metal Men was an intriguing villain in motivation as well as action.
Perhaps the best part of Justice League: Gods and Monsters isn’t the art or the story but the fact that like the Elseworld stories Kingdom Come and the Dark Knight Returns… the Gods and Monsters universe isn’t stopping with the single feature film. Prior to the animated release there were three online short episodes that featured each of the main characters (Gods and Monsters Chronicles). I watched each one and they were well done…cool, interesting, and each gives a brief look at each characters personality. There are several follow up comic books being published as well as an action figure line.

For Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the future continues to look bright. With all the follow through and follow up on the universe through various media, I give the flick a solid A. It’s a must see for any DC comics, DC animation, and general super hero fans.