Best of British – R.I.P. Rollerball Rocco

I was sorry to hear that Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco has died. Pretty much a legend in British wrestling, he fought all over the world, including in Japan (and MSG) as Black Tiger. His dad, grandad AND great-grandad were wrestlers. By the time I got into wrestling he had just packed it in as his heart was failing him. In fact, one of the first wrestling shows I ever went to, in August of 1991 at a seaside theatre in Rhyl, had a programme that detailed his heart surgery. Sorry to see him go, but nobody lasts forever as we’re getting to realise more and more. I thought I’d have a look at a selection of his matches with some stars we all know of.

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The Batman

The first Batman show to follow Batman: The Animated Series was The Batman, and it was not met with a warm reception. Between the character designs (Jeff Matsuda from The Jackie Chan Adventures brought a big influence to the show) and the effects of the Bat-Embargo (this show got to use all the Batman villains except for any to be used in the Christopher Nolan movies for a while, meaning Justice League Unlimited went very much without) and then just being something different and new to something that was so beloved it met some harsh criticism and really had to earn praise, which started to come a little by the end of season one but wasn’t fully achieved until the end of the series.

I’m going to look at one episode from each season today.

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Wednesday Is Comics Day! Transformers Volume One: The World In Your Eyes

IDW Publishing picked up the rights to publish Transformers comics in 2005 and commenced with what became an epic continuity lasting well in excess of 400 different issues and thirteen years. There were good times and bad times for the book, but overall it’s been massively appreciated and transformed Transformers.

But all good things must come to an end, so after a short break a new continuity commenced in 2019 with a variety of artists and main writer Brian Ruckley. Although there are some differences in art, they have stayed very faithful to the character designs in the War For Cybertron toyline or the most recent toys of figures, including ports for attaching weapons and accessories. The last continuity had started with Cybertron off realms, but this new continuity has started on a very different Cybertron.

I’m going to look at the first volume of issues 1 to 12, published as a hardback, comprised of The World In Your Eyes (five parts), Orion Pax: Free Fall (single issue), The Cracks Beneath Your Feet (five parts), and Nautica: Home (single issue).

Read moreWednesday Is Comics Day! Transformers Volume One: The World In Your Eyes

Wednesday Is Comics Day! Batman: The Man Who Falls

Denny O’Neil died recently, and as he made massive contributions to the Batman mythos I thought I’d have a look at The Man Who Falls, a one-shot produced for inclusion in the Secret Origins trade paperback in 1989. It’s been credited with being a big inspiration for the Christopher Nolan movies. I’ve never read it before, so it’s entirely an initial reaction for me.

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Wednesday Is Comics Day! Batman: The Adventures Continue

I’ve been looking at some comics-based cartoon series, but today I’m going to actually look at a cartoon-based comic series. I am a big fan of Batman: The Animated Series and everything it spawned, but due to lack of availability to me at the time I never read the comics based on the series. I haven’t been collecting the very detailed toys based on the show that have been produced in the last few years either, but really appreciate how they’re designed and was intrigued when they started producing “what could have been” figures of characters that didn’t make it to the show, like Azrael and Red Hood.

 

With no cartoon to promote them currently, they are being included in new digital comics written by original series writers Paul Dini and Alan Burnett and illustrated by Batman Adventures artist Ty Templeton. Let’s have a look…

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OUTRAGEOUS! Assorted Antics of Aquaman in Batman: The Brave and the Bold

When it came to Batman: The Brave and the Bold, there was nobody bolder than Aquaman. Aquaman has gone through many changes over the years, and this version takes some elements from a mix of them. Short blonde hair, beard, orange shirt, green tights and gloves, bolstered by the voice acting of John DiMaggio, best known as Bender from Futurama. On request, I’m having a look at a couple of the episodes he appeared in today.

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Batman – The Best of The Brave and the Bold!

Although the DC and Marvel shows I’ve looked at recently have been from the eighties, I thought I’d quickly have a look at a show from the last ten years that did golden age comic book stories with a new twist. Batman: The Animated Series is the stuff of legend, and Batman Beyond luckily was easily accepted as the follow-up to it, but the first non-BTAS show, The Batman, met with a lot of criticism before being appreciated for what it was. This has since opened the gates for newer takes on the Dark Knight, with Batman: The Brave and the Bold being the show to follow it.

 

For the uninitiated, the concept of the show is that Batman ALWAYS teams up with a hero (or villain on occasion!) to fight an enemy, as per the old The Brave and the Bold comic. In the style of James Bond, there’s also always a pre-credits mini-episode, nine times out of ten unrelated to the main episode, and a feeling of fun throughout.

 

However, cartoony appearance and sense of humour aside, the show wasn’t shy about doing some serious stories, much like how Galactic Guardians gave us The Fear. That was actually the motivator for doing this review, to look at the episode where they did their take on the Batman origin story, plus some other great episodes too.

 

Enough yapping, to the episodes!

Read moreBatman – The Best of The Brave and the Bold!

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show

Review for Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show

Previously, on Super Friends…

Well, last time I looked at the Super Friends universe it was to focus on the cool Galactic Guardians show with episodes like The Fear and The Death of Superman. That was effectively the second season to this one, which was heavily influenced by the Super Powers Collection toyline and into the “toy show” era launched by He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I won’t venture any further back, Scott can have the likes of the Voodoo Vampire and Keelhaul Kelly to himself, I’ll stick with the New Gods of Apokolips and the regular Superman baddies.

It’s eight episodes, split into two segments to make sixteen, but two Darkseid-centric episodes are two-parters, so it’s fourteen stories. Enough Steiner maths, to space!

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Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends – The Secret Origins!

Well, as my review of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians got some likes and there were requests for reviews of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, I figured I’d give them a shot. The show came out in 1981, alongside the solo Spider-Man show, and ran for three seasons, spanning 24 episodes. Today, I’m just going to look at season 2, the shortest season, from 1982. Three episodes, each focusing on the origins of Spidey and his two college roommates/partners in crime fighting, Iceman and Firestar. Don Glut (prolific animation writer and pretty much the “father” of the Dinobots) handled the Iceman and Spidey episodes and Christy Marx, head writer for Jem, handled Firestar.

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Dave Reviews “The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians”

The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians

by Dave Newman

 

As a thank you to Scott for finally reviewing the GREEK DEATH MATCH, I thought I’d start from the other end of the Super Friends TV series as he’s promised/threatened to pick up with the Wendy and Marvin shows (lame!). Here, we’ve got Darkseid and THE FEAR!, so let’s go!

Read moreDave Reviews “The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians”