Gobbledygeek episode 288, “Stay Evil, Dollface (feat. Scott Stamper),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Suicide is painless, so they say. But is Suicide Squad? That’s up to Paul and Arlo to decide, as they slather on clown makeup and hide their fuzzy pink unicorns to discuss the third film in the DC Extended Universe. Joining these Mostly Marvel Men is DC fan and opinionated tweeter Scott Stamper, known to the common folk as @DerfelMarek. Does the movie live up to its hype? Does it point to a bold new direction for the DCEU following the disappointments of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? As usual, there is disagreement. Whod’a thunk it. Plus, Paul and Scott dive into the 2015 animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters while Arlo listens.
Next: original Gobbler and proud member of the Three Heathens, Joseph Lewis stops by to talk about his feature directorial debut A/V.
(Show notes for “Stay Evil, Dollface.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 152, “The Killing Bastard,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
The people have spoken! Fan-favorite bastard Jason Tabrys, winner of the Gobbler’s Choice Award for Most Chaotic Fun guest, returns to the show at last. This time he and the boys talk about Batman’s hard-earned sexual gratification, scholarly tweets, reading ebooks in front of the real books, and Paul tries to defend his love of dance. Also, midget Gary Oldman. No words I can put here could ever possibly prepare you for the glorious chaos of this episode. Wade in and enjoy.
Next: Mere Smith returns! (Oh, and Sipple too.) As they prepare for the upcoming Toronto Word On The Street festival, the dynamic duo join us to talk about artistic collaboration.
(Show notes for “The Killing Bastard.”)
When Batman: Arkham Asylum was released in 2009, it was nothing short of a revolution for superhero video games. Before, there had been a handful of great superhero games, but most of them had been arcade side-scrollers or team brawlers (Activision’s first Spider-Man game is a notable exception). Arkham Asylum, however, placed you so fully in Bruce Wayne’s combat boots that it actually felt as if you got to know the hero better just by pushing some buttons and toggling an analog stick. Not only did you battle some of the Dark Knight’s greatest villains, you also sneaked around in the shadows, stealthily taking out bad guys before they even noticed you were upon them. The mix of fighting-and-hiding was extremely addictive and felt like the reinvention of an entire genre.
At the time, it would have been ridiculous to look at Arkham Asylum and go, “Great game, but look at all that untapped potential!” After having played Arkham City, though, it’s a reasonable reaction. Almost everything that was great about the first game has been refined, perfected, and expanded to create the most immersive superhero game yet released. The most obvious example is the fact that you can actually explore the vastness of Arkham City itself. One of the joys of the original was exploring the asylum grounds, but now that a portion of Gotham has been cordoned off as one big looney bin, you can glide past skyscrapers and swing from building to building. Whenever you get frustrated with a side mission or tire of beating down thugs, you can revel in the simple pleasure of zipping around the city, an exhilarating experience in and of itself.
Welcome to Last Month’s Comics, in which I discuss, uh, last month’s comics. I get my comics in bi-monthly shipments from Discount Comic Book Service, and as such, I can be a little behind. So here we are. This feature started last month.
So, September 2011, what kind of havoc did you wreak? Let’s find out…
BEST RETURN TO FORM
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #1
Writer: Joss Whedon
Art: Georges Jeanty (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Michelle Madsen (colors)
Publisher: Dark Horse
To say that I was pleased upon finishing the first issue of the new “season” of Buffy is an understatement. Season 8 started off very well, with Buffy leading an army of 500 Slayers and trying to unmask the mysterious foe Twilight. And to tell the truth, it was great for much of its run, with an occasional stumble (vampires being outed to the public wasn’t handled with much finesse). But the last story arc, with the reveal of Angel as Twilight, cosmic sex, and general batshit insanity, was so damaging that even someone who considers Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be the greatest piece of entertainment ever given us by man had come to the conclusion that it might be for the best if Ms. Summers was finally laid to rest. The final issue of Season 8, though, was a dramatic 180 from the pace and structure of the last few issues leading up to it, and the Season 9 premiere continues in that vein. With Giles gone and magic vanquished, Buffy is depressed and adrift, working as a waitress and getting blackout drunk. It’s all done with Whedon’s razor-sharp wit and keen sense of twenty-something angst. The final “shock twist” is so humdrum and everyday it’s hilarious. In many ways, the metaphorical “party” is over for our Scoobies; now what? I can’t wait to find out.
Welcome to week 3 of 5 in our analysis of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on Uncanny X-Men. Weeks 1 and 2 can be found here and here.
From #122, “Cry for the Children!,” to #128, “The Action of the Tiger!,” almost every X-Man experiences considerable developments. Since I spilled a boatload of digital ink in the first two columns by going through each issue chronologically, I figured I’d take a different tack this week. I’ll discuss each X-Man individually, then offer some overall thoughts after the fact.
In 2009, Rocksteady Studios hit it out of the park with their multi-platform phenomenon BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM. Now we get our first official look at gameplay footage to the follow-up, ARKHAM CITY (October 18, 2011 for U.S. Xbox 360, PS3, and PC) in the newest trailer.
Hugo Strange. Two-Face. Harley. Catwoman. Some new Bat-fu moves. And of course… the Joker. All set to the grooves of “Short Change Hero” by The Heavy.
Obviously we haven’t seen the third Bat film yet, or the other 99.9% of this game. But I’d be beyond thrilled if the next Nolanverse entry were half as badass as Arkham Asylum looks to be.