Reviews

Batman Endgame Is No Joke

Batman Endgame

MAJOR SPOILERS: READER BEWARE

From the moment I put down the first issue of Batman Endgame, I felt as though this Joker story was different. While Death of the Family impressed, it left many fans unsatisfied with its cliff hanger ending (see what I did there?) Having the ending be an "emotional impact" on the Bat-family seemed like an interesting take in theory, but the impact was abandoned by most writers after one issue. It was almost as if the characters had forgotten why they were upset with Bruce at all. While going through D.O.T.F., I more or less knew what I was getting. Joker kidnapped the Bat-family, did a bunch of evil stuff, killed a bunch of no named cops and civilians etc etc. I loved it, but it wasn't exactly ground breaking. Scott Synder had hinted that D.O.T.F. was a set up story, and that he had a punchline coming.

Well, he wasn't joking.

Endgame set itself a part from all preceding Joker stories with its first issue. Batman was left to defeat the entire Justice League at once. However, prior to that, we can assume the Joker himself did the same feat, infecting them all with his new strain of Joker Venom (the Joker Virus lets call it.) Right off the bat, Synder places Batman and the Joker leaps and bounds above everyone else in the DCU. Their conflict, their struggle, goes deeper than super powered aliens and power rings. Not soon after, we find out that the Joker hasn't been "missing" for the two years after D.O.T.F. He was right under the Dark Knight's nose, posing as Eric Border an orderly at Arkham, and even befriending the Bat. But what happens next is what truly separates Batman Endgame from the rest.

Joker reveals to Batman that without a shadow of a doubt, he knows his true identity. This concept has been thrown around by fans for a long time. That Joker always knew but never cared. Well now, he most certainly does. Not only that, but the Clown Prince of Crime survived a bullet to his heart like it was nothing. Commissioner Gordon, and the Pennyworths have also been uncovering the disturbing realization that the Joker has seemingly always been in Gotham. We last leave Batman, clueless as has to stop the Joker Virus, and learning that the Joker has made himself basically immortal.

Batman Endgame

Finally, Batman gives up. Yes, that's right. He gives up, and goes to the Court of Owls for help. The Joker has pushed him so far this time, that he has no choice but to enlist his enemies for help. Throughout this entire story everyone has been asking him, "What's the plan, Batman?" and he simply doesn't know. This clueless, stressed, and dare I say, scared Batman is something readers simply aren't accustomed. The only man who could ever bring this out of the Dark Knight, is the Joker and now we see why. The pair has only had one direct interaction thus far, so I can only imagine Synder is building up for an insane climax.  My only fear, as a huge Joker fan, is this might be his last laugh because I don't know how you could top this. Still, it is an absolute classic and it hasn't even ended yet. If you haven't read this yet, start as soon as you can. I'd hate for you to miss the punchline!

-By Adam Tyler Wolfe

Joker fan Extraordinaire

HA HA

Guardians of the Galaxy – THE Summer Blockbuster of 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Yeah, there are a lot of cool movies out this summer, but I’m not backing down off that title. Why? I’ll attempt to explain without spoilers. (Sorry, I don’t do them; go somewhere else if you want to ruin the movie for yourself. I mean, c’mon! Who reads the cliff notes to see if they should read the book?)

So why is Guardians of the Galaxy THE Movie of the Summer? Well, for starters, it is compete. Admittedly, I’m fresh off the “I just saw the movie” glow, but I’m struggling to find any real holes in it. Right now I’m racking my brain, but there really isn’t anything that nags at me or bugs me because it didn’t fit. Often during a movie I find myself getting pulled out and engaging my surroundings because something just didn’t ring true. And yes, I’m well aware that Guardians has a psychotic anthropomorphized raccoon and monosyllabic tree in it. It didn’t matter, totally fit. I was focused on the screen for the whole show.

Beyond that, Guardians of the Galaxy had a nice mix of everything you want in a blockbuster. Plenty of action, great fight scenes, lots of laughs (more than most of the “comedies” Hollywood pumps out) and finally a couple emotional moments that are nicely inserted at some key moments. The beginning ties in perfectly with the end and we even get some hints of what might be to come (especially if you’ve read the comics).

Guardians of the Galaxy Cast

So how abut the acting? What about the actors? Spot on. I went in expecting Bradley Cooper to be a great Rocket Raccoon, surmised that Zoe Saldana would make a solid Gamora in light of her past work with Pirates and Avatar, figured Vin Diesel could pull off a deep “I am Groot!” and had no idea what to expect from Batista. Frankly, the WWE Superstar surprised me, in some part because I’ve watched him in the ring and was uncertain how far his range would stretch. He far exceeded my expectations and did a fantastic job delivering a very believable and unique Drax. Last, but not least, Chris Pratt pulled off a great Peter Quill. His opening scene truly sets the tone for the movie.

Josh Brolin as Thanos - Guardians of the Galaxy

And Thanos? After all, we’ve only been waiting for him since The Avengers set the silver screen on fire in 2012. Frankly the anticipation seems like it has been building far longer than two years.  Josh Brolin gave us a tantalizing glimpse of the Mad Titan. I can’t wait to see him take the role into the Age of Ultron (why, oh why isn’t it 2015 already? Seriously.). In the interim, Lee Pace made a pretty badass Ronin the Accuser and Karen Gillan pares well with him as Nebula. Keep your eye on Michael Rooker as Yondu too.

I should also add that if you have the choice of seeing Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D or not, choose 3D. Especially if it is IMAX. I very willingly punched and kicked my way through hoards of tourists and fuzzy characters in Time Square to ensure I had the best picture and sound quality I could find. I was not disappointed. The 3D fits seamlessly with a fantastic array of CGI. I literally felt myself get dizzy at least once or twice. You really can't beat that for realism.

Bottom line, I walked away from the Guardians with a desire to go back and see it again. And I will. I know I missed a few lines over the laughter and clapping of the crowds, so I might just wait a week or two until they clear out. I don’t advise that you wait though, go see it now! You don’t want to be the last person to see this flick.

Um, really, why are you still reading this? Go on, get out of here and tell them that Mark and the Wayward Raven Crew sent you. You can thank us later.

- Mark The Destroyer

And then there's this

One of our dear friends, Marlene (@iLikeComicsToo) has done a spoiler free Video Blog.  It's full of win.

- Alex The Mad Olympian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omKg-XoO-DQ