What if a comic book creator were recruited as a spy, and his traveling around the world to different conventions was just a cover for espionage work? An interesting premise for a comic, certainly, but fairly far-fetched, right? Not entirely. While the story is, for the most part, fictional, it’s inspired by the real-life experiences of creator David Mack who spent a couple of years working for the State Department, traveling all around the world.
There have been a few DC Universe Animated films that feature Batman’s son, Damian Wayne, in a key role, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen Superman’s son be given the spotlight. It’s an interesting concept: What’s it like growing up the child of a world-famous superhero and the various ways of dealing with it. Exploring that concept is just one of the things that makes Battle of the Super Sons fun to watch.
It’s been nearly two years since I reviewed the first volume of Adventureman. While I remember the basic story, I was a bit fuzzy on some of the details. So, before embarking on this new graphic novel, I took it upon myself to reread the first volume and be sure I was up to speed. No easy task, to be sure, but I did it for you, dear reader. I made that sacrifice for you. (Truth be told, I probably could have just jumped right into the new volume and been fine, but it was as good an excuse as any to reread one of the most fun comics I’ve read in a long time.)
Did you know that there’s an official, DC-sanctioned, Batman audio drama series? It’s been out for a whole year, but nobody is talking about it, and I can’t understand why. Not only has it got a stellar cast with a whole bunch of big names, it’s also some of the best Batman content I’ve ever seen/heard. And the only way I found it was by accident, combing through the copious DC-related content on HBO Max. So, let me introduce you to Batman: The Audio Adventures. Because you need this show in your life.
I was a little wary at first when I saw the runtime of this movie: 168 minutes, or nearly three hours. I fully expected to end up splitting it up into two different viewings. But honestly, it doesn’t feel like a long movie. It rarely drags, and it kept me engaged throughout. And before I knew it, I’d spent three hours in front of the television. How did that happen?
This comic makes it clear very early on that anything goes. Within the first few pages, we get a flying shark who battles a herd of laser dinosaurs. There’s a knight, a barbarian, a werewolf, a time traveler, and much more. It’s a free-for-all of superhero tropes combined with whatever other crazy, random things the writer could dream up. It’s glorious.
This movie is a perfect example of what I love about the DC Animated Universe. That may come as a surprise, considering the films I’ve reviewed lately. I tend to be more critical of the darker, more serious ones (e.g., Injustice or Deathstroke) and instead rave about the broader, more fantastical ones (e.g., Batman: Soul of the Dragon or the recent DC Showcase). But believe it or not, the darker films were the ones that drew me to the DC Animated Universe in the first place. When done well, they’re an opportunity to explore deeper, more complex themes in a more mature way. Beware My Power does it very well.
When I reviewed Clodagh #2 earlier this year, I found it difficult to describe effectively, even though I really enjoyed it. Now in issue #3 (which will soon launch on Kickstarter), I’m finding the same problem. It’s a really compelling comic with engaging characters, but when I try to write out why, it doesn’t seem to do it justice.
The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it’s 2 hours and 16 minutes long. That’s a full hour longer than other movies of this type typically are. In fairness, it’s actually a three-episode mini-series, with three different, but related, Aquaman adventures, all jammed together into a single, feature-length film.
This is a good film and worth watching, but it suffers from one major problem: The title is extremely misleading. If you go in expecting an epic team-up between two awesome and popular DC animated series, leading to mayhem in the multiverse, you will be disappointed.