Diecast #147: Disney, DC Universe, LA Noire

By Shamus Posted Monday Apr 4, 2016

Filed under: Diecast 137 comments

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Mumbles.
Episode edited by Issac.

It’s a rare non-Shamus Diecast. Trust me, this is for the best. I sound like Mr. New Vegas gradually drowning in a vat of runny oatmeal. Not to worry, I’m on the mend. If I take extra-special care of myself, then in another three or four months I might regain the ability to get out of bed and eat things besides soup. Who knows? I might even find rediscover the will to liveSeriously, don’t worry. I really am almost better.. In the meantime, here’s an internet show about nerd stuff:

Show notes:

02:10 Oculus, the Vive and VR Games

12:00 Disneyland

19:13 Rutskarn talks about old timey-time newspaper comics.

29:42 Mumbles vs. Batman v Superman – SPOILERS

The cast barely discusses the movie. Most of the time is spent talking about the DC universe and the creative people involved. But once in a while the conversation circles back to drop a huge spoiler.

57:05 LA Noire



[1] Seriously, don’t worry. I really am almost better.

From The Archives:

137 thoughts on “Diecast #147: Disney, DC Universe, LA Noire

  1. Phill says:

    Mumbles vs Batman vs Superman? (Goes to make tea and get some popcorn). Should be fun…

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      And once this gets some google hits,it will be fanboys vs Mumbles vs batman vs superman.

    2. Tektotherriggen says:

      Clearly, Batman wins. Batman just has to say, “Hey Mumbles, you wanna be deputy Batman?”.

      Mumbles says, “F*%$ yes!”. Batman and Mumbatman beat up Superman together. Mumbatman beats up Batman, steals all his stuff, and becomes just Batman*. Therefore Batman wins.

      * OK, biologically I suppose she’d be Batwoman. But if you’re Batman, people have to call you what you want to be called, and I can’t quite imagine Mumbles answering to anything other than “Batman”.

      1. Phill says:

        I can't quite imagine Mumbles answering to anything other than “Batman”.

        Dunno – she might go down the Galaxy Gun route.

        1. Tektotherriggen says:

          Good point – I was slightly disappointed she didn’t permanently adopt that name.

          Although it wouldn’t work here, because Batman doesn’t use guns (except possibly batguns (guns that shoot bats (as in, “shoot bats out the barrel” rather than “used for hunting bats”))).

  2. Corsair says:

    Oh my god, Shamus, you cannot tell us you sound like -that- and not let us hear any of it.

  3. Majere says:

    I am so excited for a half hour of Mumbles ranting about BvS.

  4. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I find it telling that the next movie DC thinks it needs is Suicide Squad. I just want to write a loud scream as the rest of my post.

    DC is trying to bring back the fucking 90’s. Fuck the 90’s. It was my decade as a teen and I’ll gladly throw it under a bus and then drag it back to the curb and nurse it back to health so I can throw it under another bus. That would at least finally justify the overall attitude of grimdark pointless cynicism of the comics and music of that decade. I don’t want to go watch a movie about supervillains. I don’t give a shit about Deadshot or Harley Quinn or whoever the other guys are (I’m sure I know them but I haven’t bothered to look up who the others are supposed to be. I don’t care.)

    Yeah Marvel technically went back to the 90’s briefly too, and they picked out Deadpool, one of the few characters born in the worst trends of that era that managed to above them and be fun.

    They had it so right for like 5 minutes with Batman Brave and Bold. That series remains my oasis of what DC could be in the wastes of misery DC is inexplicably obsessed with.

    DC, Marvel did the work for you. They made it acceptable to watch movies about fun colorful superheroes. Your characters do well with that modernized take on the four color sensibility. WHY ARE YOU BLOWING IT?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The best part of growing up in the 90s was all the 80s things that I watched and listened.

      1. Wide And Nerdy says:

        Just saying, we need more of this

        1. ehlijen says:

          You mean like the gratuitous car chase in Star Trek Nemesis?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Since that came out in 2002,nope.We need 80s gratuitous car chases.Like in mad max.And lo and behold,fury road is a great movie.

            Which was technically released in the 70s,but since it is so close to the 80s it can be considered 80s.Also,the sequels,which had way more cars,were in the 80s.

            1. ehlijen says:

              My point was that we’ve been getting more of this, and it’s not always good.

              Fury Road was all thumbs up all the way, but Star Trek is not the right place for that. The SW prequels might have been, but they still didn’t succeed.

              Even dumb action schlock requires some skill to do well.

              1. Wide And Nerdy says:

                Its not the action schlock I was calling attention to. Its the fact that I’ve never seen actors more excited than this in a movie. They’re so excited, their facial muscles are almost tearing their heads apart.

        2. I’m constantly surprised Michael Bay hasn’t remade that movie yet.

    2. Mike S. says:

      After seeing the movie, I went home and watched “Worlds Finest” (the delightful Berlantiverse Supergirl-Flash teamup), “World’s Finest” (the DCAU Superman-Batman movie), and “Battle of the Super-Heroes” (the “Batman: the Brave and the Bold” salute to the Silver Age cum Batman/Superman fight), to rinse off the grit. And to remind myself that DC has consistently had people who know how to do this in visual media, in registers from whimsical to serious, for decades. Just not on the big screen.

      Then I watched “Knight Time” – Bruce Wayne disappears, and Superman investigates by, with the help of Robin (“Kick over the desk!”), impersonating Batman. (Man, the Timmverse was good.)

      1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

        You’re right. I’m not giving them quite enough credit. I thought the Timmverse, outside of Batman TAS, could be bland much of the time but at the time, it was still a pleasure to see the heroes somewhat faithfully rendered. And while I haven’t seen Supergirl, The Flash is not completely terrible. It gives me Smallville flashbacks at times which is not good but at least its not Batman V Superman.

        I really wish someday they’d actually give Superman a chance to just be Superman on the big screen.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Ive watched knight time,it was fun.

        Anyway,while waiting for this movie,I encouraged everyone to watch justice league:war instead.Its a way better cartoon,and the fight between batman,superman and green lantern last for maybe 3 minutes,and is resolved by batman saying “you dont kill,clark”.

        Or,if you really want to see superman killing people,watch justice league:gods and monsters.An elseworld story where heroes who kill are still acting more like superheroes than the Snyder brigade.

    3. Jean says:

      I actually like 90s DC Comics, since it was actually good back then. Books like Robinson’s Starman, Waid’s Flash and Impulse, Morrison’s JLA, No Man Land, DC One Million, Gaiman’s Sandman, etc.

      The real problem is that DC Comics is trying to be like 90s Marvel, which sucked, and you can tell because they keep around their castoffs like Jim Lee, Bob Harras, The Rob, and Scott Lobdell.

      1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

        You’re right too. A lot of the series you named were the reconstructions that helped pull us away from the horridness of the 90’s. I’m especially grateful to Morrison and Waid (I feel it worth mentioning here that Waid’s Kingdom Come was also a big influence in this regard. I’ve always appreciated Waid’s resistance to the Dark Age.)

        But DC did bear the taint of the Dark Ages too. You could definitely see them giving some of their heroes overhauls to try to cash in on the inexplicable popularity of the Liefeld brigade. Guy Gardner comes to mind. Superman and Batman were taken out temporarily and replaced with edgier counterparts. They claim that they did this to show fans that they didn’t want what they thought they wanted but they also would have kept the changes if fans had responded positively.

        And Superman had a mullet.

        Side note: Easiest way to think of a Mother Box is its a superpowered sentient smartphone.

        Side Side note: “Why is Lex in league with Darkseid?”

        He’s not. He just knows they’re coming because of the time he spent on that Kryptonian ship.

        Side Side Side note: I think they have one last chance to make this work before they need to reboot and thats Justice League. They could use the return of Superman and the dawning of the Justice League to justify a shift away from cynicism and super seriousness. Like show us how we got the bright optimistic DCCU. I doubt they could pull it off though.

        1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

          Another note. Its trendy now to backlash against Heath Ledger’s Joker because he was so overexposed but that was still an amazing Joker. I wouldn’t say Ledger was better than Hamill in terms of performance but when you slap together Ledger’s great performance with the ideas he embodied, it was the most interesting Joker I’ve ever seen. I never particularly liked the character until The Dark Knight.

          Its just a shame that, because they actually walked away with the first and, to date, only Oscar for an actor playing a comic book character, that DC feels the need to build on that.

          1. Falcon02 says:

            Also, whenever I’ve see Mark Hamil on The Flash as “The Trickster” I keep expecting him to wash the flesh tone make-up off his face to reveal he’s actually the Joker underneath.

            More on topic… it seems DC is able to do great work with their Animated series (pretty consistently), great work with their live-action TV series (Arrow, The Flash) at least recently… but for some reason their movie department can’t get their act together.

            I kinda wish they could just kick the film folks out and replace them with the people who do the TV and animated series (of course balancing strengths that translate best to the big screen)… and we’d finally get an awesome DC universe movie.

            But Warner Brothers can’t seem to figure this out… that or I’m highly overestimating how easy this would be (quite likely)… or both…

            1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

              Worth noting here. We are getting Lego Batman in 2017. Somebody over there understands whats going on. I believe at one point Mumbles said he was the best version of Batman.

              1. Mike S. says:

                The teaser trailer for Lego Batman was easily the best thing about Batman v. Superman.

                1. I completely agree!
                  The worst is Snyder pretending to be Nolan when he’s trying to be Bay.

              2. JAB says:

                Except, LEGO stuff goes through different people than everything else. From what I understand, anyway.

                1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

                  Even better.

            2. Mike S. says:

              Though it’s worth noting that Mark Hamill’s Trickster predates his Joker, having originated in the 90s Flash series. One of several recurrences from that show, along with Tina McGee being played again by Amanda Pays, and 90s Flash himself John Wesley Shipp as Barry’s dad, Henry Allen (who, alas, seems to have been crowded out of the show by Barry’s many other father figures).

              1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

                That was a weird move bringing both Hamill and Pays back to play almost 25 years older versions of their characters when the rest of the characters have been recast with younger actors. Especially with John Wesley Shipp being moved from the Flash of that same series to the father of the Flash of this series (shame they didn’t instead make him Jay Garrick, or even better, have him return as The Flash of his series but having switched to a Jay Garrick style costume over the ensuing 25 years.)

                Since they’ve opened the door to the Multiverse and brought back so many of the actors, there’s nothing stopping the new Barry from visiting a veteran Barry Allen in the universe of the 1990 series. And why wouldn’t the Flash of that series look like Barry’s dad? Makes sense to me.

                1. Mike S. says:

                  I agree that having Shipp play Older Barry (either via parallel Earth or time travel) would be a great idea. Likewise having made him Jay.

                  (Leaving aside spoilery developments, I was disappointed that they introduced Jay Garrick as someone only a few years older than Barry.)

                  They’re clearly at something of a loss re what to do with Henry Allen. (“Gosh, son, I’ve missed you in all my years in prison! Thank you for getting me out! Welp, time to leave town.”) Even if they don’t want to pay him or Shipp doesn’t want to appear regularly, I’m not sure why he couldn’t just be living in Central City with Barry visiting him regularly offscreen. I fear they’ll eventually simplify things by killing him off.

                  1. I applaud the show for opening up the larger DCU (though they could use a bigger budget for some of the heroes to not look worse than some cosplay I’ve seen), but I find it interesting that both The Flash and Batman vs. Superman seem to have left the door open for retconning almost their entire continuity.

                    Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the show and the BvS movie laid the groundwork for the Flashpoint event to happen? I suppose it’s a good thing to have in your hip pocket in case you’ve written yourself into a corner and/or you’ve had massive cast turnover or something, but it also seems to hint at a lack of faith in one’s own continuity.

                    1. Mike S. says:

                      Time travel means that no decision is irrevocable, but [spoilers for the season 1 finale] the whole thrust of Barry’s decision at the end of Season 1 is to reject the sequence of events that (as I understand it) resulted in Flashpoint and the New 52. But Barry’s time travel can and does change events, so retcons are inherently available.

                      They also do strongly imply a Crisis on Infinite Earths-like event by the future news page. But that’s set in 2024. If they want to avert it (or just have a red skies crisis without a continuity rewrite) they can, and that’s assuming that the CWverse is still running by then. I’m guessing that they were seeing that as probably outside the scope of the franchise. (And if they’re still in business by then, they can cross that bridge when they come to it.)

                      Ultimately, it’s all in the hands of the writers. But it always was– Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I keep thinking of when I see BvS) retconned Dawn into their backstory without resorting to time travel at all. (And showed how it could have been done with Jonathan in “Superstar”.) If they ever spin completely down the reboot rabbit hole I’ll be sad. But right now, with cross-Earth teamups, time travel, and an ever-expanding universe of superheroes, I’m very much enjoying the ride.

    4. Vermander says:

      I’m usually the first the rail against “Darker and Edgier” superhero adaptations, but I’m strangely excited for Suicide Squad. I hate it when heroes act like violent psychopaths or spend so much time brooding over their own problems that they have to be coerced into saving the day, but I don’t have a problem when it’s characters who are supposed to be the bad guys.

      What I’m really sick of is the whole trend of self-doubting superheroes constantly debating “Am I doing more harm than good? Am I really a hero? Do the people even deserve saving?” I realize it’s a reflection of modern anxieties, but I feel like the whole “who watches the watchmen,” thing is pretty played out at this point. I’d like to see a hero who actually enjoys saving the day and takes more of a cavalier, swashbuckling attitude. In other words less “action” and more “adventure.”

      1. Mike S. says:

        While the Berlanti shows get into some angsty territory at times, Flash and Supergirl are pretty close. Both characters clearly think their powers are awesome and fun, and both actively want to be heroes rather than being driven to it like Batman or Green Arrow.

        (Barry has at times been a little too cavalier if anything. He probably either needs to have fewer disastrous consequences from his time and dimension travels or else to become more cautious– but I’d prefer the former.)

        One thing I desperately love about “Supergirl” is that no matter what else is going on in the plot, we regularly see her saving ordinary people from dangers unrelated to supervillainy, just helping out and being happy about doing it. Forest fires, car accidents, snake up a tree, schoolyard bullies– no job too big, no job too small. Whatever obscure Kryptonian meaning the writers handwave this week to pretend that the emblem the cousins wear isn’t an S, that’s what it’s supposed to stand for.

        1. Christopher says:

          I adore the tone of the Flash show, but honestly it’s not enough of a superhero show for me. I have watched only around ten episodes so maybe it changes, but it’s the kinda show where they are afraid to have villains come up with their own names and use actual costumes. The advantage of the DCAU is that the animated stuff is the least embarassed about just going HEY, these are a bunch of comic book dudes. So while it’s pleasant to watch(and I’d probably like Supergirl too) it really only makes me want a good, new cartoon.

          What Mumbles describes about Dawn of Justice get to me in this show as well. There will be a sign on a cage saying GRODD or one of the characters will have a name that makes me go “That’s some villain’s civil identity, but I can’t remember exactly who!” and that kinda thing makes me excited to watch. It takes so little.

          1. Mike S. says:

            The CW shows in general have evolved in the direction of more superheroey as they go on. In its first season Oliver Queen couldn’t even be bothered to have a real superhero name and the closest they had to superpowers was cutrate Miraclo (backtranslated through Japanese). Now everyone has costumes and codenames and there’s magic and resurrection. Likewise, Flash started with the costume being repurposed fire gear, but by now we’ve seen costume rings and Jay Garrick’s winged helmet.

            Cisco being the guy who gives names has remained a thing (and he always complains when someone tries to name himself), but there are villains who come pre-named and others who embrace the name Cisco came up with (like Captain Cold). And the Flash show in particular is much freer with time and dimension travel than even the DCAU was. (It also managed to make Grodd both menacing and emotionally engaging, which the DCAU didn’t really try.)

            “Supergirl” is unabashedly four-color– Kara came right out of the gate with a proper Supergirl costume (after briefly experimenting with one that included elements from every decade of her existence as an in-joke), with no handwaving about its being functional. (Except a never-again-mentioned bit about the cape helping steady her flight.) And her villains have no qualms about introducing themselves as Livewire or Reactron.

            (Or sometimes with the names of unrelated third-string heroes, like Vartox and Jemm, presumably because Berlanti couldn’t shake “the Persuader” and “Despero” respectively from whichever WB fiefdom has each reserved. But they work with what they have.)

            1. krellen says:

              There is a scene in World’s Finest, the Flash/Supergirl crossover episode, where Livewire tells the Banshee she is not allowed to go out dressed like a normal person, and the next scene shows her in a nicely done ridiculous supervillainy costume complete with face paint.

              1. Mike S. says:

                Which is extra hilarious because she’d already attacked her target, her former coworker, at their workplace, while using her powers in her civies. So it’s not as if it’s even nominally a disguise.

          2. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

            I agree about the code names and costumes. We’ve seen in real life that even people with no powers and lacking Batman like training will still put on colorful costumes and adopt kitschy code names to fight crime. And criminals will sometimes use colorful gimmicks when committing crimes (like the infamous presidential masks or Anonymous using Guy Fawkes costumes).

            In a universe with actual superheroes and supervillains it is demonstrably not a stretch to have the villains don colorful costumes.

            One possible cause though is budget. Designing and creating a new costume for every villain of the week is probably expensive and they want to reserve budget for special effects.

            1. Mike S. says:

              Though both the real-world would-be heroes and protesters are largely inspired by comics themselves. In the case of Anonymous, Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta”. (True in some superhero worlds as well. Wildcat and the Silver Age Flash were both inspired to put on costumes, in-story, by reading comics, as were the Minutemen in “Watchmen”.)

              And there are limits to how far it’s realistic to go. Most real-world “superheroes” do relatively innocuous things like visit kids in hospitals or unarmed neighborhood watch-style activities. The ones who try to go in for vigilantism tend to get arrested under circumstances that are less than admirable. E.g., http://abcnews.go.com/US/citizen-superhero-phoenix-jones-arrested-seattle/story?id=14704985

              But that’s why proper superhero stories need serious support from genre conventions to function. My feeling is if they’re going to tell superhero stories, they should tell them, rather than tiptoeing into the genre. But Hollywood’s been very slow and cautious about that, always afraid of being embarrassed. (Even something like the Reeve Superman movie is constantly reminding the viewer that it’s in on the joke.)

              Marvel has just about managed to work around to the idea of costumed heroes with no excuses in the second wave of movies, but is still hesitant about, e.g., using the code names in dialog. BvS does have “Superman” (which had been said one and a half times in “Man of Steel”), but also “the Gotham ‘bat'” and [mysterious woman with a lasso going by the name of Diana Prince, I Wonder what she should be called?].

              1. Wide And Nerdy says:

                It helps that they had a good starting point in the Marvel universe. Captain America’s colorful costume is a mascot gimmick ala Uncle Sam. And the original Superhero costumes do originate from his era anyway, having their basis in the circus strongman and other colorful show outfits as well as pulp sci fi.

                So Captain America becomes the codifier in a universe that lacks Superman comics. That said, even they don’t exploit it that often. Iron Man’s look is based on Tony designing his armor to be like a wearable sports car. Thor is wearing royal armor. Hulk’s skin just happens to be green. Hawkeye and Black Widow are falling back on the form fitting black outfits that have been acceptable since Xmen. Spiderman is going to be the first hero since Captain America to unabashedly don a superhero outfit.

                I’m realizing that Marvel is little different than anyone else. They just found some clever ways to sneak some color into the line up.

                1. Mike S. says:

                  That’s an insightful analysis.

                  I’m a little less than halfway through Daredevil, and he’s still “the devil of Hell’s Kitchen” insofar as he has a name while in action. But my understanding is that he gets his red outfit at the end of the first season or the beginning of the second. I don’t know to what extent it’s justified as utilitarian vs. symbolic.

                  Agents of SHIELD does some codenames, but not a lot of costumes, as I recall.

    5. wswordsmen says:

      If I had to guess I would say that DC is trying to one up Marvel with Suicide Squad. Here is how:

      Name the biggest flaw with the MCU. You said 1) All the movies are too similar, something DC can’t do much about. Superhero movies need to end with a big fight where the bad guy is defeated. Or 2) The villain suck. Suicide Squad means they can establish the villains give them character and then release them to fight the heroes in solo films. The villains get characterization w/o eating into the hero’s screen time.

      That said Zach Snyder doesn’t seem to know what he is doing, so I could be just projecting competence where there is none.

      1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

        That is a very interesting theory. If you’re right, it might well prove to be the one worthwhile innovation that the DCCU adds to the live action movie genre.

      2. Ninety-Three says:

        Name the biggest flaw with the MCU.

        I have been completely underwhelmed by the idea of the MCU as a cohesive whole. New York gets trashed by an alien invasion that’s like ten 9/11s at once, but even the MCU show set in New York can barely be arsed to give a “tell don’t show” indication that it ever happened. Iron Man 2 set up that poisoning plot that got dropped like the big dumb rock it was, and Iron Man 3 had Stark destroying the autonomous robots he built because it’s Too Much Power For One Man, only for Avengers 2 to show him having built a bunch more autonomous robots.

        The movies feel like they want to do the whole “shared universe” thing, but are burdened by being big budget blockbusters that can’t afford to actually use any continuity beyond cameos because that would alienate the common moviegoer who hasn’t seen the other movies in the series.

        1. Cinebeast says:

          They’re spotty with it, that’s for sure, but they’re also the only people actually doing it. I’ll criticize them when someone else does it better, or at least tries.

        2. ehlijen says:

          As a moviegoer not terribly interested in inter-character-line continuity, I have to say they’re not really doing a great job of appealing to what you call the common moviegoer either.

          The cameos and character overload is hurting movies like Iron Man 2 and Avengers 2 quite badly, and Guardians spending several minutes to hint at the overarching MCU plot at the expense of its own wasn’t what I consider a strong move. Even Iron Man 3, which tried to make strong use of continuity with Tony’s PTSD from New York, faltered a little because they spent very little time recapping (and then undid all that character development for Avengers 2…).

          I believe cinema movies are just not the right medium for ongoing continuity. The costs are too high to appeal to just comic book readers at the expense of everyone else, and the production times involved mean most other potential viewers don’t care for the cliffhanger gaps.
          I’m told this is the binge watching age of TV with DVDs and streaming making overarching plots and continuity more viable, and personal observation agrees, but cinema movies just don’t work for that kind of format. Unlike TV, they haven’t changed in how they are presented or consumed.

          Marvel, as far as I can see, is getting by on being new and fresh for now. Once continuity reaches a certain amount of density, I fully believe their audience will shrink. With each new movie coming out, there’ll likely be a few more people who didn’t go to that one and to whom the next might not be as enticing for its referencing of that predecessor.

          I think they need to figure out a solution for the apparent dichotomy in desires for a cinematic universe vs the desire for complete standalone stories, because I don’t think the current compromise is going to keep either side happy forever.

          1. Bubble181 says:

            This. I haven’t gotten around to seeing Winter Soldier, therefore I felt I couldn’t go see Avengers 2, and because of that I now feel I shouldn’t go see Civil War before I’ve seen those other ones. I’m a bit of a nerd and I’m interested in the movies, but not seeing all of them has made it hard to follow.

            As for TV continuity…continuity in series is great, but across shows it can be very problematic – us non-US viewers get different shows at different times, with (too) little regard for that sort of thing. I’ve seen Flash season 2, but Arrow only season 1 and 2 as well. Every cameo or cross-over with characters from Arrow spoils plot points from that show for us, because the channel broadcasting Arrow is lagging behind (because of costs). Yay.

            1. kanodin says:

              The way I see it if I wasn’t interested enough in a movie to go see it then I don’t care if it had some shallow character development and other continuity I missed, that stuff wasn’t good enough to get me to the theater in the first place. I’ve skipped a ton of marvel movies, but I think I’ll see Civil War since it’s actually doing something new and different.

            2. Having seen Winter Soldier and Avengers 2, my guess is that you’d mostly be okay. You might not know who all the heroes are (Falcon, Scarlet Witch, the purple dude) or their backstories, but I suspect a few moments on the net before hitting the theater would give you what you need/want to know.
              I would see Winter Soldier because I think it’s a good movie (and a bit of a change of pace from the other marvel movies), but Avengers 2 was kinda meh.

              1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

                Ditto on Winter Soldier. See it because its a good movie, not because of continuity. I feel the same about Iron Man 3 even though it makes Avengers 2 more confusing (its almost better to view Iron Man 3 as happening at some point further down the road).

                To extend Melfina’s point, if anything, watching all the movies between the two Avengers movies could create some confusion as they give the impression that the Avengers have only kept in loose contact since the events of the first movie whereas the second movie opens with them acting like they’ve been doing lots of crimefighting together (substantially improved banter, advanced team tactics, etc) and shows that they have a shared base of operations. Sure that could have all happened between all the movies but it only calls attention to the classic “Where was Thor when Iron Man needed him?” argument.

                And there’s other things that happen in specific movies that would be confusing (like some of the stuff in Iron Man 3).

              2. ehlijen says:

                That’s my issue though. I don’t want to need to do research, however little, to make up for the movie’s shortcomings in exposition. That’s what I mean when I say I want a complete story: all the exposition and buildup for anything important should be included in the story.

                Of course I make allowances for direct sequels, but even then there is the danger of overload. If I like Iron Man but think Captain America is too boring (example, not actually true), why should I need to watch Winter Soldier to get Civil War (which has Iron Man in it).

                And I’m not confident about Civil War. Avengers 2 showed that 2 1/2 hours weren’t enough to handle all the character load. And Civil War looks like it’ll include even more.

      3. SlothfulCobra says:

        Honestly, I couldn’t care less for the schtick of all the movies comprehensively sharing the same universe. Getting too caught up in the nitty gritty of how all these superheroes exist within the same world is what led the comics to tedious crossover events and endless continuity scrubbing.

        Ant-Man would’ve been a better movie if it took all the time it spent on that pointless fight with the Falcon that was just there to remind you about the Avengers and spent it developing the characters more. My favorite of the MCU movies is Guardians of the Galaxy, and outside from a quick little setup for a sequel, it paid no mind to the greater MCU as a whole. Why bother with constantly taking time out to build up things outside of the focus of the movie that they’re in?

        1. ehlijen says:

          I actually thought Guardians had one of the worst examples, when the eccentric collector figures out the dopes trying to sell him the mcguffin don’t know what it is and thus what it’s worth…doesn’t try to rip them off to get the thing comparatively cheaply. Instead, he switches to full exposition mode and tells them just how awesome the thing is (and implies it’s really really valuable).
          All so the audience can be told about the infinity stones that have had hints cropping up all over the MCU.

      4. One red flag about Suicide Squad: DC is sinking $10 million into reshoots for the movie to try and make it more “fun” after the “much dark, wow grim, so edgy” of BvS.

        Reshoots are seldom a good sign, and doing reshoots because a different movie had flaws doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

    6. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      The irony is, Suicide Squad COULD come off as flippant and fun in the helplessly dire universe they’ve created in the DC Cinematic Murderverse. Like, since Batman and Superman are so hopelessly dire, characters like Deadshot who are sarcastic quippers to a point and jokers (natch) like Harley are kind of refreshing.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “A couple that did it in the disneyland”

    “If you are obvious about it,then you are in trouble”

    “If you are sneaky about it,they kind of allow it”

    And now we have dirty out of contest quotes for Mumbles as well.So thats all of them?

  6. Henson says:

    I think Rutskarn’s standup bit about newspaper comix is my favorite thing of the last month. Archie vs. The Punisher sounds amazing.

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      It’s not quite as amazing as it sounds. Punisher is very PG in the comic. Shame too because if it had been written recently, it probably would have lived up to the promise.

      1. Is that true in the later comics like War Journal? The ones from the 80’s are, as you say, hysterically PG. I have an old issue of Marvel Team-Up with Punisher and Spider-Man where every building the Punisher levels with his Doom-level ordinance is followed up with Spidey thinking to himself something like, “Good thing that building was totally empty!”

        As I understand it, that kind of lampshading was done in BvS before the Doomsday fight.

        1. Mumbles says:

          Drive-by Mumbles comment to say the Punisher War Journal from Civil War is probably the best thing to come out of that mess?

        2. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

          I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I came to that crossover as an Archie fan, not as a Punisher fan. That is to say, I don’t really follow Punisher. I’ve seen a couple of his movies and know the basics of his character concept.

        3. Taellosse says:

          Yes, it was lampshaded in almost that exact fashion, not only for the Doomsday fight, but also for the one between the title characters. The port where they fight is supposedly “abandoned” (which is nonsense – it’s either “the port” of Gotham or Metropolis – it’s a bit unclear which they fight in – which are both major, if fictional, cities, and there is no such thing as a major coastal city whose entire port is abandoned, unless the entire city is as well).

          And the news report that is shown covering the sudden appearance of Doomsday is quick to mention what a lucky thing it is that it’s nighttime in “the business district” so nobody’ll be there while this giant monster lays waste to it. Because, you know, “business districts” in major cities completely empty of all people after the sun goes down, right?

    2. Vermander says:

      I haven’t read it, but I believe they also recently did “Archie vs the Predator.”

      1. Tizzy says:

        archie v Predator was mentioned in the podcast.

        Also, I can confirm it exists. I saw it last summer, in an actual comic book shop. given that I visit those about once every ten years or so, I was very surprised by the selection in general, but especially by this one.

  7. Ninety-Three says:

    I had never thought about the problem of the Oculus having weight, but now that I do, eesh, I’m never going to be able to use VR. I have a $2000 computer hooked up to a pair of shitty $30 headphones because all the fancy headphones weigh two hundred pounds and I can’t stand it. I have said “This is way too much, how can anyone wear this?” about headphones that weigh half what the Oculus does, and with those I wasn’t planning on moving my head around.

    (Reference: The Oculus weighs one pound, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but boy is it a lot to put on your head)

    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Especially pronounced since the weight is mostly distributed away from the head’s center of mass, exaggerating it’s impact when you turn your head.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Next-gen headsets will be lighter and slimmer, but that doesn’t help us in today-times. There’s currently headsets that use Fresnel lenses to cut down on the weight, but apparently those also have problems. I guess what I’m saying is that VR is a hard problem to build tech for, and I hope we get some inexpensive, non-sucky headsets some day. :)

        1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

          The great thing is, they’ll have a lot of this figured out by the time most of us can afford it.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You didnt see carth complain,and he was wearing it for days.

      1. Trix2000 says:

        That’s because he couldn’t see anyone to complain to.

    3. Echo Tango says:

      I’ve got a massive head, which is already hard enough to move around. Hopefully I’m able to wear VR headsets, ’cause I totally want to try this stuff out. :)

    4. Tizzy says:

      suddenly, the rollercoaster and VR combination doesnt sound tgat great any more…

    5. Galad says:

      you’re not likely to see this, but I’ve been using Creative Aurvana Live headphones for an year and a half now. Lightweight, comfy, good sound. Only downside is, now that they finally needed repair, they still need it 2 weeks later.

  8. James Porter says:

    Wait, could we get a link the the reviewer that Ruts was talking about? I wanna read weird reviews of weird comics!

      1. Henson says:

        “Guys with hairy backs always get the job done.” Oh god, I’m dying here…

        This is gold.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          Except for Rutskarn’s comment which is not gold for some reason.

      2. Josh says:

        I OBJECT.

        I do not read, sir!

      3. Hermocrates says:

        Man, this commentary is on point! Also, I had forgotten how painfully . . . banal newspaper comics are. Like, it’s not just that the punchlines are bad; you’re lucky if there’s a punchline at all.

        1. Phill says:

          If you ever want to read depressing, existentially bleak three panel comics, I recommend


          It has the curious advantage of showing just how much Garfield cartoons are improved by removing Garfield.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Mumbles,how can you be so ungrateful?Zack Snyder is just trying to grow up your heroes,and you are still stuck up in your pre 40 year old non dc reading phase.

    1. Mumbles says:

      I read this as “Zach Ryder” like three times and it made my brain hurt.

  10. No idea how many here are fans of the old “Bladerunner The Game” but I stumbled upon a lookback at the game with a interview/commentary by one of the guys at Westwood (who created the game). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D623rBiAVX0

    1. Andy_Panthro says:

      It has some bad bits, but I do love the atmosphere of the Bladerunner game. I think I still have the big box version somewhere. It really did feel like you were in the movie, at least for several parts of it.

  11. Benjamin Hilton says:

    Did anyone esle think the description of Hamil’s comic book movie sounds alot like con men from Alan Tudyk?

    1. Phill says:

      Ah yes. I knew it sounded familiar, but I knew the one I saw didn’t have Mark Hamil in it, and couldn’t remember anything about it. Bit that Alan Tudyk one was the one I was thinking of. And yes, it sounds very similar.

    2. Sunshine says:

      That was exactly what I thought too. Getting Nathan Fillion as his successful friend is also a great move.

  12. Christopher says:

    Between Ruts being really knowledgable about Archie and Newspaper comics and Mumbles going DING DING DING TING TING TING for a minute there, this Diecast killed me! Great episode.

    1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

      I was trying to figure out what Lex was referring to and didn’t realize till Mumbles said. I can’t believe I missed it. In my defense, I was too distracted trying to figure out how to describe structure of the film and why that bothered me.

      1. Mike S. says:

        I caught the allusion to Darkseid, but the connection of the sound effects to a mother box hadn’t occurred to me. (Though in my defense, I haven’t read any of the stories with evil Apokoliptan father boxes, as far as I know.)

        It is striking to me how omnipresent Darkseid has become, when he was basically dormant during my formative comics phase, which mostly fell between the end of the original Kirby Fourth World books in 1973 and Paul Levitz’s use of him as the obscure, mysterious figure who turns out to be the master villain of the Legion of Super-Heroes Great Darkness Saga in 1982.

        (If he hadn’t done that, I wonder who would have been the recurring Big Bad in DC’s other media properties. Krona, maybe?)

        1. He makes for a nice Galactus/Satan analogue, someone who Superman can just pound with all his might without any moral qualm and who represents a threat that you’d actually need a Justice League to fight.

          1. Mike S. says:

            Oh, sure, it absolutely works. It just wasn’t obvious for a decade. Probably in part because the Fourth World wasn’t really part of the DCU so much as bordering on it via the Superman cast (mostly Jimmy Olsen, and Superman’s encounters with Intergang and the Forever People).

            Though it looks like the first encounter with the larger world wasn’t the Legion, but a 1980 JLA/JSA crossover. (Which makes sense, since those were often used to showcase otherwise-dormant properties.)

  13. TMC_Sherpa says:

    Stupid work making me work while I’m at work. What do they think this is a job?

    Lemme preface this by saying I’m a couple weeks behind in my wrestling news (Forgive me Mumblo for I have sinned) but I think Mumbles comparing the DC movies to the WWE was spot on.

    When someone goes from face to heel we get a story to explain why. I mean it’s like if Jericho walked into Mania without the tag team match with AJ or the promos and everyone was confused by what the heck was going on. Instead we got to go “OK, Got It.” He’s pissed at AJ and by extension the audience for supporting him. Done.

    This was going to be longer but now I have more crap to do so I’ll end with Roman Reigns is Superman in this analogy I guess?

  14. Andy_Panthro says:

    Rutskarn’s idea for the Joker planning everything to make it seem like he’s being chaotic, reminded me of something I read ages ago about great stand-up comedians.

    Some of the best stand-ups will seem like they’re making everything up as they go along, and everything just flows so naturally. But this is (usually) down to meticulous planning and practice.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Stephen Colbert is a great example of this.Its rare to see his genuine surprise or actual breaking of character.But when that happens,its hilarious:


  15. Dovius says:

    So, Mumbles, post Mania thoughts now that the show’s over?

    1. Mumbles says:

      This was the first wrestling show that made me really introspective and sad, lol. Like after the Taker/Shane match I was just lying on my bed asking myself existential questions. Loved Steph’s Lady Macbeth impression, tho. That was on point. The rest of the show just made me SAD.

      1. Dovius says:

        I mean, at least the IC Title match and the Women’s Title match were good. And the butterfly belt is dead, which is a plus.

  16. Josh says:


    1. Phill says:

      And every one of those ‘E’s are silent…

      I do wonder how you go about determining gender agreement between terms in different languages. In French it is ‘noir’ for masculine or neuter, and ‘noire’ for feminine nouns. ‘Film noir’ is fine because the phrase is French in its entirety, which is presumably the inspiration of the LA Noire name, but is the Spanish plural Los Angeles masculine, feminine or neuter in French?

      Of course the game *is* called LA Noire, whether that is grammatically correct or not.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        but is the Spanish plural Los Angeles masculine, feminine or neuter in French?

        French-speaker here. First, French doesn’t have much gender-neutral stuff, if things aren’t feminine they default to masculine (for instance, a group of men gets “he-plural” pronouns, a group of women is “she-plural” and a mixed group is “he-plural”).

        Short answer: Los Angeles is masculine in French.

        Long answer: Much like most of the English language, French subject gender is a goddamn trainwreck. City names are usually gendered based on whether they sound like a French woman’s name, or a French man’s name. Of course there are exceptions because it turns out that’s a ludicrously subjective criterion to base part of your language on, so sometimes the lunatics assigning genders to things will come to an arbitrary conclusion that differs from the one most people will reach.

      2. Josh says:

        For context: LA Noire has come up as a talking point two or three times over the past few weeks in the Google doc we use to organize show notes. Every single time, Shamus has spelled it wrong, and every single time I’ve had to correct him.

        1. Shamus says:

          You can just send me a note in Gchat. You don’t need to scream it me in the comments.

          In my experience, “noir” is overwhelmingly more common than “noire”. If Rockstar released Grand Theft Autoe, I’d spell it “wrong” 90% of the time, too.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            What about commander shepherd?

          2. No, “Noir” is that shampoo-like stuff that removes hair.

  17. Grimwear says:

    I wonder what Mumbles thinks about the report that they’re doing millions of dollars of reshoots for Suicide Squad to make the movie more lighthearted and fun since according to the report every single joke in the movie was in the trailer.

    1. Mumbles says:

      That movie is going to be a fucking train wreck lol.

      1. Grimwear says:

        Honestly I was really put off when they used Bohemian Rhapsody in their first trailer. Dangit DC why do you have to just ruin everything you touch that song is too good for you!

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Have you seen the suicide squad on arrow?

        Personally,I thought those were the better episodes of the show.Which is not that high of a praise,admittedly.

        1. Mumbles says:

          No, but I really liked the animated movie and some of the comics. It has the potential to be awesome but my mood regarding DC movies is sooo sour.

        2. Falcon02 says:

          Personally, I do like Arrow overall (though it feels like it’s started to get into a rut)…

          But, I did like the way they handled Suicide Squad. I didn’t like the idea going into it (never read the comics), but those episodes showed how it could be done well. I was kinda hoping to see them use Harley Quinn given the teaser they gave for her, but they didn’t.

          As far as the movie… I very low expectations for it. I haven’t seen the trailer, but I’m not expecting anything near the quality of the Arrow episodes. Better special effects maybe?

  18. 25:44: I loved how Rutskarn’s usual method of reading comics bled through when describing his interaction with a book.

    “I scrolled– I flipped through…”

  19. Sunshine says:

    Especially intended for Mumbles: have you read Austin Grossman’s book “Soon I Will Be Invincible”? It’s a novel set in a superhero world that alternates between cyborg Fatale, who is joining Avengers/Justice League-style hero team The Champions, and the real star, supervillain Dr. Impossible, escaping from prison for the thirteenth time and trying to start up another scheme to take over the world, because his vast intellect and “Malign Hypercognition Disorder” compels him to show them, show them all.

    So there are times where Impossible considers why he builds a robot army or a death ray instead of making financial instruments or Facebook, and how any fool can smash up a doomsday device, but it takes real brains to build one.

    1. Mike S. says:

      Second the recommendation for the novel. Doctor Impossible’s narrative voice is a lot of fun.

      In Chicago a local theater company put on a musical adaptation, which was also quite good, including a nice job of adapting the setpieces and costumes on a budget.

      (Where possible. Lily’s appearance in the book, for example, isn’t something you could do in a live production at all.)

      1. John says:

        What? When? I live in Chicago, dammit, and I had no idea. Curses!

        1. Mike S. says:

          Last May-July. (Sorry!) Lifeline Theater, which put it on, is worth keeping an eye on. The previous summer they did a production of Terry Pratchett’s “Monstrous Regiment” (my niece’s first exposure to Pratchett– she loved it).

          Next season they’re doing a gender-flipped Holmes and Watson, A Wrinkle in Time, and a play where Shakespeare and Marlowe have to team up to save Queen Elizabeth.

          The other great genre work I saw last year was the House Theater’s Hammer Trinity, which is a cool mashup of high fantasy tropes, American folklore, and pop culture focused on the power of storytelling. (For example, the hero is named Kent, a major antagonist Wayne, and there are– or may be– limits on who can lift the titular hammer.)

          Gone from Chicago for now, alas (though the House put so much into it, it wouldn’t surprise me if they remounted it someday), but if anyone’s in southern Florida it’s running in Miami through May (at the Arsht Center).

      2. Sunshine says:

        A live musical adaptation on a budget sounds really interesting and a lot of fun.

    2. John says:

      Soon I Will Be Invincible is my favorite contemporary novel. So, so much fun. It’s a serious character study of supervillains and superheroes set in what I think is supposed to be a Silver-Age-on-the-cusp-of-Bronze sort of universe, but there’s a lot of humor and Grossman is obviously very fond of the comics he references. Dr. Impossible is a loving mash-up of early Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom. Fatale is a sort of a temporary, second-rate Avenger kind of hero.

      Austin Grossman (not to be confused with Lev) has another novel, You, which is about game development, the history of the games industry from the perspective of a second-tier development studio working on an epic fantasy RPG with a deeply-simulated open world–like a cross between Dwarf Fortress and a Bethesda game. It’s a pretty good book, but it isn’t as wacky as Soon I Will Be Invincible so don’t go in expecting the same tone.

      1. Mike S. says:

        Austin Grossman (not to be confused with Lev)

        Though it wouldn’t be hard, since they’re identical twins.

        1. John says:

          Ah, but whenever I read the plot summary on the dust cover of one of Lev’s books, I put the book right back on the library shelf. The ennui of callow young magicians does not interest me.

          1. Mike S. says:

            I will say this: I found the latter part of the first book very hard going. The protagonist is extremely unlikeable during that phase, and the people around him mostly not much better. And things get a lot worse before they improve. But I ultimately wound up glad I kept going and completing the series.

            That said, I know plenty of people I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to, so this isn’t an unalloyed “Press on, you’ll be glad you did!” At most, I’ll say it might be worth it.

            (One thing that’s clear from both their works: both Grossman brothers are enormous geeks. And if I didn’t know they were about my age, I’d be able to tell from the obscure and specific references.)

          2. Matt K says:

            I actually read the first two books in the series and you didn’t miss anything. The first book squandered what could have been an interesting premise, plus the main character is terrible. The second book actually just pissed me off, although it was better written than the first.

    3. Alex says:

      I have also read Soon I Will Be Invincible, and I also recommend it.

    4. Mumbles says:

      Thanks for the recommendation! I needed a new book to read. Right now I’m going through this collection of short stories about Hellboy!

      1. Sunshine says:

        Great! Hope you like it.

  20. IFS says:

    I’m going to side with Rutskarn with regards to the Watchmen movie, it was faithful to the source material in a lot of ways (and I’ll even say that I actually really like the change to the villain’s plan), but it was very heavily favoring style over substance and in doing so it missed a lot of the point of the original story. In the movie they try to have their cake and eat it too, give the narrative of these superheroes as dysfunctional and heavily flawed people but also somehow glamorous, the violence as gruesome and unpleasant but also stylized and over the top and it really doesn’t work.

  21. Tizzy says:

    So… Afleck is one of the best part of Bats v Supe?

    man! When I think back about the shitstorm this particular piece of casting caused!… Who could have imagined this would end up being the silver lining?

    1. Alex says:

      To be fair, it’s more that he’s the least terrible part of Batman v Superman. The part in the trailer with him going all Arkham series on a roomful of thugs is good, but he’s still a Batman who is trying to murder Superman with guns.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I never understood the initial hate.Affleck is a good actor.Shocking,I know.So what if he picked some shitty movies here and there.Everyone does that.

      And he is an even better director,so at least next batman will not be this bad.It may not be good,but it wont be as awful as this one.

  22. Artur CalDazar says:

    Rutskarn nails the delivery of backing down from a lie in LA Noire, fantastic. Never really liked the ending to the game, its where the troubles start to shine though I think.

  23. Retsam says:

    *1PM hits*

    *frantic refreshing*

    1. Retsam says:

      Huh, now the store page just redirects to the Steam homepage.

      *refreshing intensifies*

  24. Groboclown says:

    Mumbles mentioned that Superman fans have to be sad over the state of the Supermans in film.

    I always point to a very old friend of mine who’s a big time Superman fan (note: written before the film was released). He’s also totally convinced that Superman would beat Batman.

    I think I have a point in there somewhere. I think it’s that Superman fans enjoy what they have? Something like that.

  25. Grudgeal says:

    Personally I disagree with Mumbles. Watchmen was not a very good film, if you (like me, who admittedly is a huge Moore fan) judge it as an adaptation of the original work. It is completely tone-deaf to the idea that the “capes” in Watchmen are deeply flawed people who don masks and beat up people and examines just what that does to society. This starts from the very beginning with the film treating the “Watchmen” as a literal superhero team, instead of as the reference to the Juvenal satire as an allegory for superheroes (the in-universe team was called the Crimebusters, and the second incarnation never got off the ground because of the Comedian — a scene that wasn’t in the film because the idea that five ‘superheroes’ can’t stop nuclear Armageddon and motivating Adrian to prove the Comedian wrong isn’t an idea Zach Snyder is interested in exploring).

    Gone is Dan, Laurie and Rorshach being overwhelmed by Adrian’s mass murder because this is simply beyond their ability to judge (or in Rorschach’s case, possibly drove him to suicide by Dr. Manhattan). Gone is almost the entirety of Rorschach’s psychiatric sessions and the entire subtext of why he’s turned himself into an obsessed vigilante. Gone is almost all of the Mars monologues for Laurie as she comes to realize the truth of her heritage for herself. Instead we get more punches and ‘badassfully’ condemnation, and fight scenes where the arms break in slow motion. Heck, even the deleted scene of Hollis Mason’s death is turned into a slo-mo fight scene ala 300, which ends up subverting the original’s intent of Hollis being, after all that, just an old man.

    It’s the same things that later happened to Man of Steel, only instead of it turning a non-complicated optimistic work into a non-complicated pessimistic work, it turned a complicated pessimistic work into a non-complicated (and therefore pessimistic for another reason) pessimistic work.

  26. Kotsmos says:

    I don’t really get the ”Mark Hamill should be the joker in a movie” talk. He’s been in like 1 movie in the last 30 years and that was because of nostalgia reasons. D.C. can get really popular, oscar-winning actors like Nicholson, Ledger and Leto to play the joker. There’s no way they would go for someone just because they can do a good joker-voice.

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