Wednesday, February 25

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (Warner-DC 2015)

Directed by Ethan Spaulding, "Inspired by the Graphic Novel, 'Justice League: Throne of Atlantis'"

A few evenings ago, I watched the newest DC Animated Movie, the second “New 52” offering, Justice League:  Throne of Atlantis.  I enjoyed this one much more on the initial viewing than I did the first [LINK].  Even though I’m still irked they replaced Aquaman with Captain Marvel “Shazam” in Justice League:  War, it allowed them to give the King of the Seven Seas a really good story in this one, being introduced and discovering his heritage right along with his teammates-to-be (because he’s been admitted to the still-new Justice League” by the end).  It also gave his mother a larger, and heartbreaking, role in the story (but still better than how they’re currently treating her in the comics, although that story is still playing out).  Of course, it simplified and streamlined the story as it appeared in the comics, even beyond the necessary changes to the storyline.  Mostly it worked, even though Orm comes off as nothing more than a villain here, with no redeeming qualities as he’s been given in the comics.  Mera's comics origin seems to be completely negated here.  And there was ‘way too much continuous fighting toward the end – inevitable especially when you’ve got such a large cast to juggle.  I was reminded of Man of Steel.  Overall, however, I really liked this movie.  This was the Aquaman I would like to see on the big screen.  Although I try to give Zack Snyder the benefit of the doubt in what’s coming for Superman V. Batman:  Dawn of Justice, Jason Momoa is just nothing like the Aquaman I would like to see – he may do a fine job (he does seem to have enthusiasm for the role), but the image they released last week ... 
...was the first thing connected to the upcoming movie that I’ve just had a visceral “No!” ripped from me over – literally, sitting with my wife, waiting for an appointment, paging down my Facebook feed, I blurted out a strangled “No!”  … She did not understand even once I tried to explain.  But I think I could show her this movie and maybe she would get it….  I definitely will be watching and enjoying this movie again.

Cheers! ... and Thanks for reading!

(N.B.:  I have no idea what is up with the duplication of the title "Throne of Atlantis" for two different graphic novels.  I have the original comics, in which the story arc crossed over between the two ongoing titles.  Did DC publish all of the chapters in each series' collections?  Or, horrific as it might sound, did they only the chapters proper to each series in that title's collections?)

Tuesday, February 17

The Scarlet Jaguar (An Original Pat Wildman Adventure, 2013)

By Win Scott Eckert (Kindle ebook ed. 2014)

I grabbed this book last year right after reading The Evil in Pemberley House [LINK], but only just, on a whim, set out to read it.  I don’t have a whole lot to say about it.  With the permission of the Philip Jose Farmer estate (who share the copyright), Eckert takes the baton to continue the adventures of “Doc Savage’s” daughter on her own in the 1970s.  He does so very ably, even more than the first volume managing to reproduce the feel of “Kenneth Robeson’s” (Lester Dent’s) 1930s pulp prose.  A continuing mystery, referred to but undeveloped in this novel, is what exactly became of the Man of Bronze and his wife themselves – doubtless being saved as a subplot running through future adventures. 

The plot is pretty standard Doc Savage fare – a deafening howl accompanies the transmutation of persons and objects into crimson glass which then shatters to pour forth scarlet smoke in the form of a yowling jaguar, striking first individuals to inspire terror which paves the way for an extortionate threat to the global economy.  Pat and a small (but obviously to grow) band of companions are drawn into the crisis, first through her new England-based Empire State Investigations and then on behalf of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  I’ll say no more than that, other than that since this is part of the Wold Newton universe connections with the wider pulp, Victorian, and pop-culture world of literature abound – it’s well worth reading for yourself.  And I have quite a bit less hesitation in recommending this novel than its predecessor [q.v.] which bore much heavier the stamp of PJF with regard to sexual perversion, which is only really hinted at in these pages.  Personally, I’m thankful for that – it’s one reason I delayed so long in actually reading this novel.  I doubt I’ll let the next installment, whenever it appears, lie unread for so long.  All in all, this was a quick, light read, much like the 1930s pulps themselves.  And sometimes that’s just what the old boy needs.

Cheers!, and Thanks for reading!