Diecast #162: Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad, Telltale Batman

By Shamus Posted Monday Aug 8, 2016

Filed under: Diecast 183 comments

Like I said in the show intro, I’m working on adding the podcast to Google Play and (eventually) to iTunes. While this is going on, the post will be a little wonky. (For example, as of right now there are two media players on this page, although if you’re reading this from the archives in the future then I’ve hopefully fixed it by now.) Please bear with us. Here is the podcast on Google Play and here is a link to the GP RSS feed.

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster, Mumbles.

Episode edited by Rachel.

Show notes:

1:00: We compare Chris to Strong Sad.

If you don’t know anything about Homestar Runner, then this video probably won’t even begin to help you to have an inkling of an iota of a notion of what you’re missing. But it’s got Strong Sad in it, and that’s what’s important for the purposes of our discussion.

Link (YouTube)

4:05: Diecast on Google Play and iTunes.

To submit to Google Play / iTunes, you need a custom RSS feed with their company-specific special-snowflake tags added. Assuming you have better things to do than manually generate your own RSS feed (or write and maintain integrated WordPress plugins to do same) then this means using an existing WordPress plugin. The one I’m using is the best I found. (Read: Simplest to enable and roll out on an existing site. Most plugins seem to be written with the assumption that your blog BRAND NEW and ONLY for the podcast and thus everything should be added to the RSS feed.) But this one comes with its own player and problems and frustrations.

Anyway. If you’re a Google Play user then please let me know if it works like it should. If you have any advice for adding the show to iTunes without needing to install stupid iTunes on my PC, I’d love to hear it. If not, then it sounds like Mumbles can take care of it.

I’m asking this on the show because I don’t use RSS, I don’t listen to podcasts, I don’t use Google Play, and I don’t do very much with mobile devices, so there’s no way I’ll know if I’ve gotten it wrong.

7:55: Star Trek Beyond

Here’s the Twitter fit I threw last year when the first trailer came out, along with the trailer in question:

But like I said in some follow-up tweets, I’ve long since made peace with the fact that Trek movies are just action films now. I’m okay with that as long as they’re GOOD. (Which both Josh and Moviebob say this one is.)

25:48: Suicide Squad

34:47: Telltale Batman

52:14: Humble Monthly Bundle

Here is remote control Claptrap the Mumbles talked about:


From The Archives:

183 thoughts on “Diecast #162: Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad, Telltale Batman

  1. Da Mage says:

    Woah, new Diecast splash screen!

  2. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    Shamus, your Strong Sad is brilliant.

    As is your decision to set up a virtual machine just to run iTunes. Worth it. The software sucks so bad, I’ve always wondered if they’re doing it on purpose to get you to buy a Mac to run it better (yeah thats all I can figure).

    And Star Trek Beyond is the most Star Trek thing I’ve seen in years and years apart from just watching the reruns.

    I like how the connections to other stuff in the series were more about taking what happened in the original and running it through this alternate universe. It was stuff like Kirk Prime and New Kirk both struggling with what they were doing with their careers, whether they still belonged out here, but for reasons unique to each version of the character. The scene with Bones and Kirk at the bar, while echoing The Menagerie (which I’d forgotten) also mirrors Star Trek 2 with Bones and Kirk at the beginning.

    It was stuff that felt like specific elements of Star Trek without explicitly just copying those elements.

    1. Christopher says:

      I haven’t got any idea what Strongbad is besides an Old People Internet Thing, but the Strongsad bit was hilarious after watching that video in the description.

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        “Old people thing”

        heh. I mean the cartoons do traffic in the nostalgia of people who are, as of 2016, mostly in their 30’s and 40’s but it was created in 2000 and ran regular-ish updates till 2009.

    2. AdamS says:

      I had a macbook pro a few years ago, and it didn’t run much better. If that’s their plan, it’s not a very good one.

  3. Spruggs says:

    Ohh Mumbles I saw suicide squad and despised Letos Joker. I get were your coming from in that he was meant to be a subversion of the “gangsta” style but I just thought it was bad. Found him unfunny, unintimidating and just a case of trying way to hard. Maybe part of the problem for me is that its impossible to take the piss out of the modern “gangsta” style. I already find it just a joke and the style really silly to begin with, I just can’t take it or this Joker seriously. Say what you will, while it started as a parody of gangsters of the time the bright zuit suit and style has taken on a timeless quality to me. Take the Jack Nickolsons Joker into this decade it would still kind of work, take Ledgers Joker a decade later and yah he would still work, take letos Joker in a decade and he will be dated if he isn’t already. The rest of the movie is to disjointed tonally and in editing for me to like but as always I’m glad somebody got something out of the movie even if I can’t recommend it. I will say I liked it better than BVS but that’s not saying much.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I will say I liked it better than BVS but that's not saying much.

      But did you like it better than batsex?

      1. Spruggs says:

        Is that a porno or a documentary on bat matting patterns?

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Its the killing joke cartoon.

          1. Spruggs says:

            Honestly havn’t seen it yet. My brother who is a way bigger fan than me has the blu ray and was not inpressed. Will see it at some point but all the extra sceans like that just sound awkward.

    2. Geebs says:

      Leto’s Joker was terrible. He came across as if he was trying to be Heath Ledger and failing.

      Plus the only way I could imagine his tattoos could have been made more embarrassing would be if that thing on his face had read “#damaged”

  4. thatSeniorGuy says:

    Hi Shamus, it doesn’t look like the Google Play thingy is working; I’m just seeing a blank screen when I open the link.

    1. Shamus says:

      Hm. I changed the link. I THINK it should be this:


      Sadly, you MUST be logged in to Google to use this, so I can’t switch to incognito mode to make sure it’s working and I have to rely on other people.

      1. matthewhoffman says:

        The link seems to work fine for me on desktop. Also I was able to find it searching on mobile, but you got buried deep in the podcasts section behind a band called Diecast.

      2. The Mich says:

        Tried to check it out, and then I discovered that Google Play offers podcasts only in US and Canada… -.-‘

        1. thatSeniorGuy says:


          I’m from Australia, so that explains it. Never mind then.

      3. Hezamu says:

        Reposting to this thread to unbury.

        Anyway, we’ve been listening to Diecast over RSS for years, with Android and iTunes/iOS. Everything from shownotes to podcast icon works perfectly. Just subscribe to this feed in your favorite podcast player:


        The small sprinkle of magic needed to make it happen looks like this:


        As far as I can see discoverability is the only relevant thing this solution is missing.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          That’s the ‘unofficial’ feed set up by ydant, and it works fine, but it does (or at least did) have the drawback that it doesn’t work if ydant’s laptop is switched off! :D

          (Although I’m guessing the second link is a good way around that if you know what you’re doing – which I don’t.)

          1. Hezamu says:

            The feed is served from Amazon so its always available. The script that updates the feed needs to run every now and then, but knowing Ydant, I bet he has it running from a cron job in a server somewhere. At least I haven’t had any problems with the feed since I subscribed to it in 2013.

            1. MichaelGC says:

              September 29, 2014 at 8:24 am

              The script that generates the feed only runs once an hour during hours when my laptop is turned on.


        2. Zak McKracken says:

          I found that the shiny new RSS feed works nicely (With AntennaPod, on Android, with no access to the playstore, also in Firefox and Vivaldi on Windows, ):

          Lots of props to Ydant, whose feed I’ve been using for a long time, but unless this one breaks in some way, that should solve things for good.

      4. Zak McKracken says:

        As stated below by The Mich, the playstore thing does not seem to work in Europe*.

        And it seems as if the regular podcast RSS link is broken for this episode.
        For this episode, Antennapod only shows me the shownotes, including the two audio widgets (which don’t work offline…) but does not even offer to download the episode itself. So it seems to think that there wasn’t any audio to go with the shownotes…
        For previous episodes, it still works fine.

        * and while I have an android phone, I have no Google account, so it wouldn’t help me anyway.

        1. Zak McKracken says:

          Argh! Just now realize that the Google play RSS link works independent of the playstore. Changed over from the old RSS feed and all seems fine now!

  5. Mephane says:

    My personal problem with Nu Star Trek is the shoddy world-building, in particular how they get space travel all wrong on even the most fundamental accounts. The most glaring example, in one of the new movies:

    To illustrate, here is a quiz.
    The Enterprise is in orbit around the moon, (or if not actually in orbit they are very close to the moon; the convention in Star Trek is unless specified otherwise, you are in orbit). They suffered massive damage and the engines are no longer functioning. What happens?

    a) They continue orbiting the moon until a rescue team arrives.
    b) They fall down to the lunar surface.
    c) They fall past the moon and all the way to Earth.
    d) They fall past the moon and all the way to Earth, crossing ~380,000km in free fall in a time span of just a couple of minutes.

    Yeah, I rigged that quiz by escalating from the most sensible expectation towards silly ridiculousness. And of course what happens in the film is d). If they’d just fallen to the lunar surface, the scene might have worked for me.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So its exactly like in the original series is what youre saying.

      1. Mephane says:

        If you mean specifically TOS, I can’t comment because I know too little details about it. If you just mean “everything before the new movies”, well, it wasn’t always completely realistic on that account, but they usually made sure to keep these things as vague as possible. And I don’t even remember a single episode where a ship was going to crash down on a planet just because its engines were off.

        There is a certain degree of unrealistic things I can easily accept, but this example I cited just had too many glaring problems all at once.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Specifically TOS,the show that has a planet sized amoeba.But other trek material is no exception to this kind of silliness.There is a reason why technobabble is considered one of the staples of the universe.Its easy to ignore it in good trek(khan forgets that ships move in 3d),and it only gets noticeable in bad trek(“Detonate torpedoes 1000 meters above planet surface!”,torpedoes explode in high planet orbit).

      2. Even still, the writers at the time were often fairly well-respected sci-fi authors (i.e. Harlan Ellison) who acknowledged the far-fetched aspects of their scripts but still kept to having decent characterization and plot.

        I’d put forward that Trek’s biggest problem isn’t impossible tech, since what was once impossible is not only commonplace, it’s gone beyond what the people who imagined it thought it would do; Trek’s biggest problem is that people don’t change because of the amazing tech they have. The Borg shouldn’t be all that scary, a flavor of that should be the norm. Starfleet personnel should have communicators implanted in their brains (try to confiscate that, alien menace) and HUDs projected on their retinas at the very least, not to mention immortality via transporter, and probably the need for human-manned ships having been eliminated.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          The show kind of addresses that at some points.First,with its genetic engineering wars,its safe to say that biotech implants would fall under the same stigma.So humans are kept “pure” because the one time they tried improving themselves it ended badly.Second,data lampshades this one time,when he says “Geordi can see better than regular humans,but you wouldnt force every star fleet officer to wear glasses like his”.

          Even still, the writers at the time were often fairly well-respected sci-fi authors (i.e. Harlan Ellison) who acknowledged the far-fetched aspects of their scripts but still kept to having decent characterization and plot.

          The point of my comment was that the original show was just as silly and fantastical,and it was good DESPITE that,not because it had realistic physics.

          1. “Realistic physics” was a luxury that their special effects couldn’t afford. Transporters are fantastical, but they’re cheaper than showing the shuttlecraft launching/landing every episode.

            They also addressed a great many “problems” with their “unrealistic” tech as a nod to the needs of having their TV show work. For example, the transporter’s specs has a “Heisenberg Uncertainty Compensator” to account for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. When asked how it worked by a fan, the response was “it works very well, thank you.”

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              but they're cheaper than showing the shuttlecraft launching/landing every episode.

              I wouldve thought that reusing the same footage of it taking off/arriving would be an excellent way to pad the episode.Cheap too.

    2. MichaelGC says:

      Was that in this new film, or in Into Darkness? (I haven’t seen either!)

      I got the impression from the Half in the Bag guys that Beyond was trying to edge away from some of the stuff in the two previous films, with that sort of thing presumably being a prime candidate. Or hopefully being a prime candidate, anyway!

      1. Matt Downie says:

        That was Into Darkness. It’s the kind of bad physics you can get away with because 95% of the audience won’t notice, especially when in a fast-paced movie.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Ah, goodo. Ta!

    3. Wide And Nerdy® says:

      I assume Nu Star Trek is like Star Trek but with blue mostly spheroid artificial creatures with green mohawks who don’t talk much.

      1. Incunabulum says:

        And with a lot more Korn.

      2. Blake says:

        I did not get this the other day.
        Now I wish there was a new Chrono Trigger for me to play.

        1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

          There is. Its called the old one.

          Cuz it never gets old. ; )

      3. You guys are kind of freaking me out with this “Nu Trek” thing because way back in the day, there was an ASCII Star Trek game, and a new version came out called “NuTrek.”

    4. Matt Downie says:

      Are the nebula physics in Star Trek films as bad as suggested?

      Nebulae can be hundreds of light-years across. If you’re ‘close’ to something in a nebula, like a hundred million miles away, that thing will be as visible as normal, because they aren’t very dense. But spotting a planet several light-years away in a nebula would be almost impossible, and a warp-speed starship battle could plausibly take place at incredible distances, making it easy to slip out of enemy vision.

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        This is also a good explanation for why they’d have to go through the nebula. If Voyager’s speed is any indication, it could save considerable time to go through a nebula instead of around it.

      2. Philadelphus says:

        because they aren't very dense.

        And that’s putting it mildly. The very best vacuums we can create in a laboratory here on Earth are still thousands of time more dense than any nebulae out there.

      3. Echo Tango says:

        As Shamus pointed out, nebulae are less dense than the best vacuums we can create in a laboratory on Earth. The nebula in the movie, meanwhile, is more like driving through a fog on a rainy day (bad enough) which has giant chunks of space rock floating in it (?!?!?!!!!!). So “yes”, the nebula in the movie really is that bad, if you’re going for realism. :)

        1. Incunabulum says:

          Star Trek 2 rocked – so I’ll give them a pass on bad nebulae. but only the space cloud.

    5. Geebs says:

      All of that stuff finally begins to make sense when you realise that J.J. Abrams literally has no concept of scale.

      1. Mephane says:

        Which showed in Star Wars Episode 7, by the way. I always said he would be a good director for Star Wars, but there is one scene where it still broke down for me. Even though Star Wars is mostly fantasy, that fateful scene just made me shake my head.

        It was the scene where They fired the superweapon. I could have accepted the stream of plasma from the local star coming at what would have had to be superluminal speed, fine. But not the shots travelling towards a distant star system, precisely hitting several planets there, while simultaneously being visible in the sky (individually even) from a planet in a different system. The only way that scene could have played out realistically would have required all these to be part of a single planetary system (i.e. between a planet and its several moons).

        1. ehlijen says:

          It’s the same problem he showed in ST(2009), where the collpases of a planet into a black hole was visible in the sky from a moon several warp minutes away from the planet. (When all it’d have taken was to give old spock a telescope…)

          But on its own, it could still have been fine in Star Wars. But compounded with everyone always being mere light hours at most away from each other, the universe felt tiny.

          Both the first order and the resistance are called about BB8 visiting the lady of of the lake’s bar, and both arrive within hours at most. Then, within one extended battle preparation scene, we’re told the resistance sent not one but two recon missions to Starkiller base (first found it, second announced it to be charging), and while it’s countdown was running, a two stage attack mission was launched from resistance HQ. Just how close were those places to each other?
          The movie made the trip seem as trivial as dropping by the corner shop for a snack.

          1. Taellosse says:

            In fairness, this is a sin of all Star Wars, not just the newest one. Travel times involving hyperspace are deeply arbitrary starting with A New Hope and continuing right on through Revenge of the Sith, to the point where it becomes difficult to tell if hyperspace travel is not, in fact, functionally instantaneous – there is only a single example in the entire 7 movie series where any significant amount of time is shown spent in hyperspace – the very first, traveling from Tattooine to Alderaan’s system. And it is unclear how long that trip actually takes, since there are two scene changes between when it begins and when it ends. Every other trip into hyperspace is shown pretty much just as entering hyperspace, the scene changes, and the next time the travelers are shown, they are arriving at their destination, often with little to no apparent passage of time.

            Of course, this is done because, as Shamus defined it in his Mass Effect retrospective, Star Wars is a drama-first story, and George Lucas clearly felt that travel time was boring, so it’s mostly left out. There are hints that several trips at various points take considerable time we simply do not see, while at other times interstellar journeys apparently take no time at all, as dictated by the drama of the moment.

            1. Mike S. says:

              Written SF certainly has a stable of authors willing to run the numbers and play fair with them, from Heinlein to C.J. Cherryh. But are there any major TV or movie properties that a) use FTL travel (which leaves out things like “Two Thousand One” and “The Martian”), and b) have ships move at other than the speed of plot? (Which phrase comes from JMS on B5, as I recall, and that’s several ticks further up the Mohs scale of hardness than Star Wars.) They have a general pace (travel usually takes one of hours, days, or weeks, depending whether it’s supposed to be more like a plane, aircraft carrier, or sailing ship), but rarely will you know for sure that Earth is exactly nine days from Bajor at normal cruising speed.

              Trek Warp numbers exist in part precisely to obfuscate the question. (Not that SF TV generally cares how fast lightspeed and its multiples actually are in the first place.) No number of fans trying to come up with a consistent formula will manage to ensure that travel time between Earth and Vulcan, or the Klingon homeworld, will ever actually be pinned down.

              1. Taellosse says:

                It’s certainly true that vague travel times are a staple of SF in both film and television. Partly this is because it’s seldom dwelled on – Star Trek is almost as likely as Star Wars to gloss over transit times unless it is relevant to the plot (though, in fairness, it is far more often at least acknowledged as existing) – but yes, it is also distinctly rubbery.

                I suspect this is largely because even the hardest sci-fi on screens is seeking to appeal to as large a market as possible, and entertainment value is more important in that context than accuracy.

    6. Zak McKracken says:

      I suppose with the way they go in and out of orbits all the time, they’ve probably no problem correcting every now and again, so they may often be a bit too slow or to fast. So… it miiight just be that they would either fall on the moon or leave orbit to crash onto the planet, especially because an orbit around a moon can be destabilized by the planet.

      … unless the engines fail while they’re still slowing down from cruise into the orbit, or unless they have so much propulsion power left over that they don’t bother with proper orbits at all, that would take time. Lots of time.

  6. baseless_research says:

    I rate this show 4 Phobos out of 7 Saturns

    1. MichaelGC says:


      Wait … am I doing this right?

  7. Ninety-Three says:

    I haven’t seen Suicide Squad yet, but does the movie even try to justify why the government equips Deadshot with body armour and a giant gun, while it equips Harley with a baseball bat, stiletto sneakers (!?) and half a pair of pants? Like, was she last one to the equipment locker and that was all that’s left?

    1. Matt Downie says:

      We’re in a universe that operates by superhero logic, where a boomerang is as good as a gun, if not better. In superhero world, it’s impossible to shoot Batman in the face, but quite easy to stun him with a baseball bat.

    2. Falterfire says:

      The government only equips them in that it gives them the gear they were using while committing crimes. Basically they pull all the stuff they had when they were arrested out of storage and give it back to them.

      They don’t offer Harley anything else, and she doesn’t request anything. She is a comic book character though, so really there’s no reason she couldn’t be a threat with just a baseball bat and a revolver.

      With regards to the costume: While pulling out various bits and pieces from her box-o-stuff during the suiting up scene, Harley pulls out her classic animated series costume and then tosses it to the side. That bugged me more than it probably should have since it felt like the prop designers sticking up both middle fingers to anybody who was a fan of the original outfit and/or wanted her to wear a proper supervillain costume like Deadshot’s.

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        What bugs me is that this team was apparently put together as a reaction to Doomsday and Zod.

        What exactly is this team supposed to do about that? Even Killer Croc isn’t in their weight class. Deadshot’s guns are useless unless he happens to have something like Kryptonite, same with Quinn’s bat* and Boomerang’s boomerangs.

        *Even if they started Quinn with the powers she eventually gets in the comics which are somewhere between Captain America and Spiderman in terms of power level from what I can tell.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Ah,but these guys can do something that no kryptonian can:They can laugh.

          1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

            Curses. You’ve found their . . .

            . . . hangon,
            2)Red Sunlight
            3)Kryptonian atmospheric conditions
            5)high amplitude hypersonics
            6)Sensory overload
            7)Solar overload
            8)Solar deprivation
            9)Wounds healing too fast to remove foreign bodies.

            Their 10th weakness . . . I think . . . 14th or 15th if you count the different kinds of Kryptonite separately. 16th if Orange sunlight still cuts Kryptonians down to half power. Also, the third weakness is only canon in New52 and the DCCU

            1. The Rocketeer says:

              I think it’s fair to count different kryptonite separately, since they tend to have radically different effects. But I don’t know if I’d count varying colors/intensities of sunlight more than once if they’re just varying levels of (in)efficiency.

              Speaking of, since they’ve done the whole “red sun no make super power,” have they ever introduced a variety of sunlight that’s better for Superman than Earth’s yellow sun? Has Superman ever gone to a planet with some funky sun that makes him even more ridiculously strong, so he gets, I dunno, laser nipples and telekinesis and lightning breath?

              1. venatus says:

                haven’t read the comic were it happened, but apparently blue sun radiation is suppose to up superman’s power

              2. Wide And Nerdy® says:

                lol. laser nipples. He’s had similarly ridiculous powers at different times.

                But yes, at some point they established that blue sunlight makes him more powerful, to the point that he can give other people his powers.

            2. Mike S. says:

              Their 10th weakness . . . I think . . . 14th or 15th if you count the different kinds of Kryptonite separately. 16th if Orange sunlight still cuts Kryptonians down to half power. Also, the third weakness is only canon in New52 and the DCCU

              Pre- and early Silver Age, and sometimes after, gravity (specificially Kryptonian levels or above) was another. There’s a 50s story where Superman magically time travels to meet Jor-El and Lara. When they and the villain get beyond Kryptonian gravity (which happens in low orbit, because what’s physics?), they immediately all have the full range of superpowers from flight to X-ray vision. The first minions of Darkseid Superman meets in the 70s, his “Gravi-Guards”, are likewise able to incapacitate him. (Why Darkseid never used them after than, who knows?)

      2. Shoeboxjeddy says:

        The thing is, thanks to Injustice, the Arkham series of Batman games, the current Harley Quinn comic, and the current Suicide Squad comic, she hasn’t worn that costume in YEARS.

        1. Incunabulum says:

          She put it aside because all the startchy prison food has put too much weight in her thighs and muffin top.

      3. Ninety-Three says:

        The problem is that campy superhero weapons and impractical outfits work because the author generally has the good sense to not put them side by side with actual weapons and armour. Harley’s outfit demands the audience suspend their disbelief, which is a lot harder to do when she’s standing beside a reminder of what practical gear looks like.

        Other than problems with suspension of disbelief, Harley’s new outfit bothers me terribly because it reminds me of a problem plaguing the comic industry: Artists who clearly wish they were drawing porn instead (no Greg Land, spandex does not look like body paint no matter how tight it is). Much like, say, New 52 Harley, Suicide Squad Harley feels like it defers making something interesting and instead prioritizes lowest common denominator sex-appeal.

        Seriously, stiletto sneakers!?

        1. Matt Downie says:

          Batman’s been wearing a cape and throwing bat-frisbees at heavily armed gangsters for decades now…

          I’m with you on the shoes, though.

        2. Wide And Nerdy® says:

          If you can’t make the campy impractical colorful stuff work, you’re writing superhero stories wrong. You just are.

          It isn’t supposed to “work” its supposed to be imaginative and fun.

          Besides, even the supposedly serious deconstructions of superheroes still cheat. Watchmen, Kickass, Dark Knight, they all cheated.

          And Batman, for all the praise he gets for being realistic, is completely impossible. You cannot be Batman, period. Even if you rolls natural 18s and 100s during character creation. You have to start with the theoretical maximum possible human and then add another 50 points to get Batman.

          So in a genre that cheats no matter what, you might as well not let the cheating stop you from having fun.

          1. Ninety-Three says:

            I wasn’t asking for realism. I specifically mentioned suspension of disbelief.

            Harley's outfit demands the audience suspend their disbelief, which is a lot harder to do when she's standing beside a reminder of what practical gear looks like.

            It’s not that Harley’s outfit is stupid (I mean those shoes are a travesty, but that’s not the point here), it’s that it’s tonally inconsistent with Deadshot. Is this a world where people wear heels into combat and we’re not supposed to think about where they got them (did Harley commission a thousand dollar pair of custom heels?), or is it a world where people wake up in the morning, think “I might get killed by bullets today” and realize “I should do something about that”?

            TL;DR: Harley is drama first, Deadshot is details first, and there are obvious problems with trying to have it both ways.

            1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

              I think its better to say that they’re both appeals first characters. Which is what they should be in a comic book adaptation.

              Harley’s appeals are her persona and her appearance. She’s fun and charming but also very creepy. Its always disturbing to me when they play up her hotness.

              With Deadshot, they’re tapping into that love of guns and gear. Showing the individual pieces, describing what they do, how they fit together, showing the character suit up, slap ammo into guns. Etc. A lot of people like that, so Deadshot is there to appeal to that.

              1. Ninety-Three says:

                In arguing that they’re not details versus drama, you described Harley in terms of her charisma, and how her appearance communicates her persona, while you described Deadshot in terms of what his stuff does and how it fits together.

                I stand by my assessment.

                1. Wide And Nerdy says:

                  It’s common in the superhero genre to have heroes that have differing, possibly contradictory tropes occupy the same space. This is no different.

                  Typically this is ignored and the writers simply play to each hero’s appeal.

                  You have occult next to pulp scifi, next to gritty street level heroes. Or villains in this case.

                2. Christopher says:

                  Harley and Joker, despite being insane and having no apparent superpowers, are somehow some of the most dangerous enemies of a highly trained, Scrooge McDuck-rich, incredibly well-equipped and intelligent ninja detective, and his friends and colleagues that might be inclined to help him out include super strong aliens and the world’s fastest man. You’ve just got to roll with it, or it’s gonna be unbearable. Giving them any kind of fun superpowers or practical clothing at this point feels like a lost cause, even if I would love to have a Joker with Hisoka’s powers. Wide and Nerdy is spot-on about the appeal stuff.

                  1. IFS says:

                    Rather than see the Joker with Hisoka’s powers I’d like to just see Hisoka dumped into the DC universe, that would be fun.

                    1. Christopher says:

                      That would be wonderful, too.

            2. Matt Downie says:

              Thor hanging out with Iron Man and Hawkeye seems weirder to me…

              We’re in a world where some people can fight in stylish but impractical-looking ways. It doesn’t follow that everyone should fight in a stylish but impractical way. Just because some people dress as bats to fight crime, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t also people who join the police force to fight crime.

              It’s disjointed if you think of it as taking place in a world with a ‘Deadshot’ level of realism and then you try to shoehorn in the sillier characters (just as I wouldn’t expect Swarm, the Nazi made of bees to show up in the upcoming Punisher TV series). But it’s not so bad if you go in the other direction and put grounded characters in a more far-fetched universe.

          2. IFS says:

            I had a professor in college teaching a course about comics who liked to say that Batman was the least realistic superhero because at least Superman has the excuse of being an alien. Batman just somehow gets through all these fights and whatever else gets thrown at him while being ‘just human’ with no powers or anything.

            1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

              ^^^Very much this. Its always been my gripe with Batfans when they bring up their reasons for liking him more. Now if you like Batman, you like Batman. If you want to buy into the incredibly unrealistic fantasy that a human being can accomplish what he does, fine.

              1. Loonyyy says:

                So much what the two of you have said.

                I hear it every so often, Superman or Batman, and the answer is always something along the lines of “I can’t like Superman, because he’s indestructible, he’s OP”. I’ve even heard it to that effect when compared to characters like Wolverine.

                First it obviously shows that they’ve never actually looked at these stories, because Superman has a rogues gallery of plenty of dangerous threats to him and the world, Zod, Darkseid, etc.

                Second, whoever has their name on the cover of the book usually wins, that’s how it goes. Batman does perfectly fine in the Justice League, outside of his own series, fighting alongside literal gods. Not only that, he’s not a less powerful entity, he’s explicitly shown beating most other characters, basically because of his popularity.

                Plus, his motivation isn’t exactly realistic either. Depending on the version, crazy Batman or obsessed Batman doesn’t make sense. Plenty of people experience the death of family members, even at young ages, plenty of people have phobias. Nobody turns it into righteous anger for their entire life, they either get over it or forget (Most) or they don’t and develop a serious pathology, which they joke about with Bats, but seriously, it’s ridiculous.

                1. ehlijen says:

                  All super hero stories are power fantasies. Different people have different power fantasies.

                  Some like to hear tales about indomitable forces of good that can’t be vanquished, others like to hear stories about heroes that struggle hard through immense pain to succeed and yet others like ‘heroes’ who scoff at society’s rules and essentially get away with actually being assholes, albeit heroic ones. (And that’s just counting the people who want to read about heroes actually being heroic, which does in no way encompass all super hero story fans).

                  For some people Superman being nigh omnipotent puts him too far way from self insertion to work to start with. For others, Batman prevailing against titanic odds strains their ability for self insertion too far. Or the alien and/or billionaire part are the stumbling blocks.

                  None of this is bad. If one hero fit all, we’d not have the range we have today.

                  But I think crossovers or team ups weren’t necessarily a good idea, because they basically invite X-guy vs Y-man stories, and those have a tendency to be firestarters for fan arguments. (‘Who’d win?’, ‘who is most realistic?’ and ‘who’s the objectively best?’ are essentially the same, unanswerable question (the answer is author fiat, every time).)

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Batman has the superpower of being insanely rich.

              1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

                And money might spackle over the problem.

                Honestly I thought it would be interesting to have a version of Batman that turns out to be an entire team with logistics crew and investigative team and multiple agents taking turns with the same identity so that they can recuperate or have Batman pull seemingly impossible stunts. Maybe there are specialist who are deployed based on what stunts “Batman” needs to be able to perform. There’s a Batman thats really good at driving. Another one that is great hand to hand, and so on.

                I guess that’s a lot like Rutskarns recent take on the Joker.

                1. Incunabulum says:

                  That would be pretty awesome. And a way to manage the continuity from the original to today.

                  It can get pretty mythical when, as a budding criminal, you think you’re fighting a guy who’s been in the game longer than you’ve been alive and can still – *somehow* – go toe-to-toe with anyone.

                  Its a ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ solution – or a ‘James Bond is just a guys code name’.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Hasnt there been a story like that already?I think one of the cartoons had that,and Id be really surprised if the comics havent done stories like that at least a few times.

                    1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

                      There’s been:
                      -Batman International where Bruce Wayne openly funded an international team of Batmen (and women) while also suiting up and going out into the field as one of them.
                      -The “Superheavy” storyline where the police created a Batman division, using Batman or better level tech to make specially trained operatives do Batman’s job (fighting super villains, dealing with monsters) within the bounds of the law. Ex-Commissioner Gordon is the first guy to take up the (mecha) suit and go on the job.
                      -We Are Robin, where the concept of vigilantism is crowd sourced on a more massive scale.

                2. Syal says:

                  Everyone Is John Batman.

                  1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

                    And now, TIL, there was a real dude named John Batman who died, almost to the day, 100 years before the publication of Batman

                3. Neil W says:

                  I came to a similar conclusion while watching the TV show Alphas – basically everyone on the team could be replaced by a team of specialists in a van, except for the one with the mind-bending persuasion powers. Since then this has been my definition for low-powered superheroics – could you basically do the same thing with a team and a van of equipment?

                  (See also Person of Interest in which a hacker-billionaire teams up with super-spy with mad combat skills to prevent crimes. It becomes obvious when they recuit Ace the Bat-Hound to the team)

              2. Philadelphus says:

                “I sometimes think access to cash is the greatest superpower of all.”
                ““The Revenant, PS238

              3. Tom says:

                Which is deeply ironic given that, especially in the more recent movie canon, most of Gothams problems are the result of unchecked rapacious capitalism creating massive social stratification, and funneling wealth away from social infrastructure where it’s needed to support a feckless, decadent elite. You know, the very mechanism by which Bruce Wayne gets all his money, since he doesn’t actually produce anything and is grotesquely inefficient in fighting crime. This is why it rings especially hollow when he acts with supposed disdain towards his fellow upper-class parasitical playboys and allegedly just pretends to be one for cover, given that he’s still content to get all his money the same way they do.

                Remember the scene where he orders TEN THOUSAND graphite bat helmets from some nameless overseas factory (think how much he could improve Gotham by using that money to create jobs IN GOTHAM, rather than funneling it out of the country altogether) because large industrial orders can escape oversight more easily? That line speaks so much about how messed up the exploitative, corrupt corporate system Batman is fighting to protect really is. And he wastes all this expense to wander around Gotham taking out criminals ONE BY ONE. The amount of money he blows in order to to work out his deep seated mental issues by beating up other mentally ill people could instead hire an army of additional police and fund massive social improvement.

                Don’t even get me started about the strawman socialists he fights in the third film.

                Batman is the worst hero ever. One could even make the case that he’s actually a supervillain that thinks he’s a hero.

                1. ehlijen says:

                  Batman is a feel good character. He shows you can beat crime by punching it, he shows you can be rich without being an asshole (his parents seemingly held the copyright for Charity(TM), and the stories tend to try to tell us that he’s always donating to something good, such as Harvey Dent’s career). And he’s super smart and knows how to drive race cars.
                  And apparently he’s a ninja now, because he found himself while ‘trying out the lesser life’.
                  He is the One Guy Who Will Stand Up To The System, while being both one of the system and one who knows not being in the system.

                  None of this is realistic. That’s not the point of super heroes.

                2. ? says:

                  He could hire 10 people on minimum wage for a year for the cost of those masks (ignoring taxes and other costs of labour, no health insurance yadda yada yadda), that’s how much 10k of motorbike helmets (far more complex than half assembled cowls) costs in China. A drop in the vast ocean. As much as I think Batman’s crusade is ridiculous, punching every single drug dealer in Gotham might have bigger social impact than those 10 dead end jobs would have. It takes massive amounts of resources to build infrastructure or to run social programs, piles of cash available only to governments and out of reach of even mightiest corporations. Now, if he used all the Batbudget to lobby policy changes that would help the people, he might get results.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Its not about the cost of those ten helmets,its about the fact that he couldve opened (or repurposed) a factory in gotham that wouldve built them for him.Doing so would employ a BUNCH of people(suppliers,workers,managers of all kinds),turning them away from crime,and not to mention that aside from doing his costume,they could build a bunch of stuff useful to gotham that would further improve the city.

                    Also,he isnt just rich,he is super rich,meaning he CAN rival governments with his wealth.Because he is batman!

                    1. ? says:

                      The whole point of buying them through shell corporations in Asia disassembled from multiple suppliers was to hide the connection between Bruce Wayne and Batman. How do people in Gotham not realize they are mass producing batgear for Bruce Wayne and not ask questions? And way more than a lifetime supply of Chinese batmasks (since rest of the gear is made by a factory owned by him, it’s called Wayne Enterprises R&D department) is worth 10 shitty jobs at most. “He can build factories and make Gotham great again” is just as much a unrealistic fantasy as “he can punch this city into social order”.

                    2. ehlijen says:

                      So batman should, before becoming batman (because he needs the gear for that), erect an entire bat industry inside Gotham and very likely en up employing some of the criminal element he intends to be fighting?

                      How is he going to keep his identity secret if a good portion of the city’s labourers know which factory batmasks are made in? How is he going to ensure that none of these new businesses end up sheltering money laundering or weapons dealing operations for the mob if he has to set them all up before even starting any of his batman-ing?

                      Does it make perfect sense? No, because any explanation will always need to assume Batman is justified in his existence and that’s ludicrous. But we still want batman stories, so we accept some degree of nonsense.

                      The particular bit in the movies you’re referring to were an off hand comment with no story impact. Batman was getting started, he needed an existing manufacturer, and Alfred was insistent on not being traceable. Foreign markets seemed like a good bet. I have no problem with that bit.

                3. Wide And Nerdy® says:

                  The problem with Gotham is cronyism, not capitalism. Note that when Batman cleans up the corruption, the mob doesn’t keep coming back even though there’s capitalism. And the rest of the country still has capitalism and doesn’t have the same problems.

                  An organized criminal element bribing the law to let them maintain their black markets can happen in any economy and/or system of government and is actually more likely to happen in more rigidly controlled systems.

                4. Syal says:

                  I thought the first movie established that Batman’s father (what’s his name? John? I think it’s John) is killed for trying to do that “improve Gotham economically” thing. People need a hero before any of the other stuff, because the people who stand up publicly get shot publicly.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You dont need to justify it.You either go the full camp route,and never address the ridiculous costumes(except for an occasional joke),or you go the realistic route and use them only as as briefly appearing cameos.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        Exactly, they need to justify it here because they didn’t go full camp, they put campy Harley in the same movie as realistic Deadshot. I can accept either of those, but not both.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          His costume just looks realistic,but I doubt it is.Plus,its Will Smith,thats camp from the get go.

          1. Ninety-Three says:

            I’ll grant that it’s probably not actually realistic, but at the very least you have to admit that it’s on the opposite end of the campy-grimdark spectrum.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Sure.But such dichotomy can still work.I mean both of them,just your regular humans,are in the same group as a giant mutated crocodile man.The whole team is built on the premise of mismatched ragtag group of random villains.

    4. Vect says:

      Thing is, Harley shouldn’t even be worth Waller’s attention since she’s not exactly comparable to guys like Deadshot or even Boomerang as far as being a physical threat. That and the threat they’re sent after in the film is way beyond anything that they should reasonably be used to deal with (Imagine if the MCU Defenders got placed into the first Avengers plot). The Suicide Squad in the comics are used for Black Ops missions (take out this dictator that America doesn’t like, recover something that Waller wants for personal power) rather than the threat they deal with in the film (and it should be noted that their intended purpose is as an Anti-Superman Team).

      1. Loonyyy says:

        That would require an additional level of darkness. I’d love it, but they whitewashed the hell out of everything. They even edited out the abusive elements of Joker and Harley’s relationship. Most of the supposed villains are ambiguously villainous, and they’re serving exactly the same purpose as superheroes.

        Suicide Squad is trying to get by on looking edgy, but not actually being edgy. They think having Suicide in the name and looking like Hot Topic counts.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I never understood that.If they want to make turn a character into a strong woman,why harley?Thats like deciding to make a character into a good looking man,and picking penguin for it.Oh,wait…

  8. Droid says:

    5:35 :

    And thus, The Sellout began!

  9. Aitch says:

    Yeah, definitely just tried to find the hidden clicky bit in the end screen of the Strongbad video, then remembered it was only Youtube. Now I feel old… and like feeding the ducks.

    1. SlothfulCobra says:

      Same here. It’s not the same!

    2. CraigM says:

      Oh, I definitely wanted to do the same. In fact I remember watching those videos while basically tapping TAB the whole time, as often they would sneak hidden bits into videos at random points.

      Lots of one off goofs hidden that way. Oh Strong Bad, how I miss those days.

  10. Baron Tanks says:

    On the TellTale Bat-Man. I’ve been watching a lets play of episode 1 and it looked alright to me. It takes some liberties with the characters as Mumbles points out. Dent seems like more of the smiling playboy that Bruce is often depicted as, crossed with a politician in the way that he’s sleezy. Oswald Cobblepot is nothing like a precursor to the Penguin, but he does seem like a schemer who might be quite unhinged. Catwoman just rubbed me the wrong way and seemed like a tired collection of clichés so far. Like any Catwoman in adaptations (i.e. movies and videogames, I have no experience with comic book Catwoman and I hope they do something occasionally interesting with her there at least).

    With the aforementioned two though, they’re different from what you expect but it looks like they’re using a different take on these characters to at least tell a story. I’m quite intrigued to see where they take it, hoping they end up different than what’s expected (else the changing of the characters seems quite moot). The rest of the first episode seems sufficiently Batmanny and I’m glad to be watching it as I have no desire for playing anymore of TellTale games having played Walking Dead 1 and 2. Additionally that keeps me blissfully ignorant of any technical issues*. Lastly, I enjoy the larger emphasis on Bruce Wayne than I’m familiar with. Both Bruce and Bat-Man can be played from classic to unhinged and that does seem quite fun. So yeah, if you, like me, have no desire to actually play another QTE fest with your ‘meaningful choice’ being some rather transparent smoke and mirrors illusion, but do enjoy the occasional piece of Bat-Man media, I recommend watching a lets play. For me it didn’t really diminish the experience, perhaps even enhanced it.

    Come to think of it, maybe a good candidate for a future Spoiler Warning? I can see Josh enjoying playing a psychotic Murder-Bat, while Mumbles can go on long rants about how everything is wrong with the characters. And it wouldn’t be an overly long season. Perhaps something to consider when all the episodes are out.

    *Speaking of technical issues, after seeing a good deal (15 euros) for Arkham Knight, I took the gamble and got it on pc. With all settings on low (Radeon 7800 Series, 8 GB RAM) I enjoyed a mostly smooth running and still good looking game, played on the couch with a controller about 2 meters from the screen. It was an enjoyable romp and like Shamus before me, I loved most of it outside the Batmobile. The tank fights were ok and at least you got less of them, but for navigation purposes I avoided it as much as possible as I much more prefer and enjoy the gliding and the insistance of the game of using it for environmental puzzles was annoying. The Arkham Knight reveal took way too long and I had it figured out long before, basically as soon as Azrael showed up and he was ruled out as my other suspect (not a comics expert, but I did watch Under the Red Hood the other day and the game is not really subtle about it) and I wish there were more Riddles, but all in all still great fun. Loved everything with the Joker and it was a good capper for the trilogy. I feel they have nowhere left to take this story anyway, not in an escalation sense at least. If anything, a smaller Bat-Man story would be great.

  11. Christopher says:

    I don’t really get the thing Campster talks about with Bruce Wayne and the detective element. I have heard people talk about wanting stuff like that in Batman games sometimes, but it just strikes me as weird. It’s never come up with anyone else. “This Spider-Man game is pretty good, but what I really wish is that they would add is a stealth mechanic where you have to sneak past Aunt May before every mission and watch out so people don’t see you put on the suit. How come Spider-Man is always well equipped to deal with every threat in this game? I want every villain to beat me at least once, and then I get to go to a lab and do a little minigame where I make a gadget that freezes Hydro. Then after the mission I get to make out with a hot girl while hanging upside down. I’m not looking forward to the part of every mission where I present photos to J. Jonah Jameson and he chews me out, though.”

    It’s such a weird portion of the stories to have a videogame focus on, because it’s the filling round the actual superheroics. It makes more sense in an adventure game than anywhere else, but it’s still not something I’m interested in playing, and it’s better as a cutscene if it has to be there.

    Edit: But it’s clearly really funny to make up Bruce Wayne Simulator ideas, so I hope the next game jam picks that as a theme.

    1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Actually, Spider-Man games have incorporated:
      -Needing a better weapon/tech to fight a villain, with missions involving building or taking that gear from somewhere
      -Taking photos of villains for more upgrade points (aka cash)
      -Saving girlfriends from danger

      So I get the sense you’re not super familiar with the genre, maybe?

      1. Christopher says:

        I have totally played like five minutes of Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions once. I get that they’d incorporate the parts of the comic that fits into objectives and collectibles, but I don’t believe you play the parts that would be boring in an action game.

        1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

          I can understand you objecting to the Bruce Wayne element.

          But the detective element and, even better, the prep element are things I think they should continue to develop.

          To me, my ideal Batman gameplay loop would probably be:

          30% detective work (you can allow Batman to punch some info out of people as part of that)

          50% prep. Including looking at plans, choosing load out, maybe one specialized gadget thats really good for that scenario, and then casing the scene to plan out how you’re going to beat the bad guy, maybe setting up a few pieces of equipment to make your plan easier. This can also include some punching to take down key goons either to thin out their numbers or to comandeer their stuff/setup misleading communications, etc.

          20% payoff as Batman leaps into action and performs the seemingly impossible aided with all the tricks and prep you set up, villains frightened and befuddled by your sheer awesomeness. The game could reward you for how many villains are taken down at once, how many of their attacks are thwarted by your prep (guns jammed, machines disabled, backup goons dispatched in advance).

          Maybe the percentages could be tweaked but I’d like to play a Batman who is rewarded for his prep and investigation and I want to be a part of that.

          But the Arkham gameplay loop is great. I’ll always come back for more of that.

          1. Ninety-Three says:

            So you want a Hitman game?

            1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

              I have no idea what Hitman is like. When Spoiler Warning played that, I had them on in the background.

              1. Ninety-Three says:

                It’s for the best that you didn’t see any of it, that was the bad Hitman. Like “We don’t talk about the Matrix sequels” bad.

                Good Hitman is about memorizing every detail of a level layout through careful scouting, then eventually pulling off a flawless run with massive points bonuses for things like “never spotted” and “made it look like an accident”. I suppose it blends detective work and prep into one category, but given how poorly suited videogames are to anything other than either extremely linear encounters, or the widest of open sandboxes, it’s the only thing I can think of that even comes close to what you describe.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You know whats funniest about the reboot trek movies?They are basically tng and enterprise in movie format.Trying to mimic the original for the first two seasons/movies and failing to do so,and only getting good in season/movie three.So now we are either going to have one more ok movie,and then it will be canceled,or we are about to have 4 more great movies.

    Im not sure where discovery fits into that equation.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      Hey, the first reboot Trek was a decent movie. Reboot #2 was genuine garbage, but I’d argue the only reason #3 is better received than #1 is because in 2009, “What the hell is Fast and the Furious doing in my Trek!?” was sincere outrage instead of a joke masking weary acceptance of Trek’s desecrated grave.

      1. Incunabulum says:

        The first reboot was a decent movie – for one viewing only. I admit that I enjoyed it while it was on. Then I got out of the theater and its was just a whole bunch of ‘hang onnnn!’s.

        Its not one that improves with further viewings either.

        There’s simply too much ‘just cause’ in that movie along with the rush to get through the inevitable (but completely unnecessary) origin story – How many people do you think went to see that movie because they saw the poster and went ‘That Pines dude is hot, I’ma gotta see more of him’ or ‘hey! Its that guy from Heroes’? – so they can move forward to the sequel.

        So, while I don’t regret paying for the ticket, I wouldn’t pay to see it a second time.

  13. gadget593 says:

    Google Play works fine. The art is cropped and it still has the download links in the show notes, but whatever. You don’t need to install iTunes to put your podcast on the store, just google “Podcasts Connect” and do it all from the browser.

  14. Kelerak says:

    Any day somebody brings up Homestar Runner is a good day for me.

    Also, snazzy new splash screen you got there.

    1. Groboclown says:

      You mean like an announcement about their anniversary live show?

      20 Years of Homestar.

      1. Kelerak says:

        why does this have to happen across the entire country from me

  15. Dev Null says:

    But like I said in some follow-up tweets, I've long since made peace with the fact that Trek movies are just action films now. I'm okay with that as long as they're GOOD.

    And if by that you mean “good action movies” – i.e. the plot won’t hurt your head _too_ much as long as you promise not to think about it at all, and stuff does, in fact, explode – then I’d say this one counts. It does feel like the bar has gotten pretty low.

    1. Incunabulum says:

      To be fair – and I *hate* to be fair – the bar as far as Star Trek films goes was not left at that high a point for either the TOS or TNG crews.

      While I didn’t like Trekking to Darkness and have no plans on seeing Before (at least not for money) I have to admit that they both look at least as good as the mid-level Trek movies.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      And thats different from old trek how?Going around the sun to travel back in time to gather some whales;A genetically engineered superhuman does not consider that spaceships travel in three dimensions;A planet full of 30s era gangsters;A planet full of nazis;Racist people who are black on one side and white on another;Making gunpowder in a tree trunk;People being quiet on a spaceship because they are trying to stay cloaked IN SPACE;Spocks brain;Kirk teaches a robot to love,so its brain fries out;People get drunk from water,twice;A navigator becomes the chief engineer,while a teenage boy replaces the navigator in time of crisis;Time freezes,but only for some people;And I could go on and on and on.

  16. SlothfulCobra says:

    I think DC has dug itself into a hole with origin stories, because they have this whole system of making everything old new again constantly by doing these little reboots with massive events, which means it only enhances the feeling that with these big iconic characters, they exist as some kind of titanic legend beyond any singular incarnation. And so every new incarnation of a character is going to feel like it needs to stake its claim with its own origin story.

    It’s a little crazy that Penguin is a prettyboy, since every other incarnation of Penguin has been leaning even further towards making him some sort of monster. One time he canonically had grotesquely deformed hands, and the Arkham games turned his monocle into an embedded beer bottle in his face.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The fun thing is that this variance between the various stories depending on who wrote them got incorporated into the canon for joker.Though Im not sure how it could be done with a more serious character.

  18. Grudgeal says:

    Chris sounds more like Seà±or Cardgage. Next episode you should make him say “Oh… I should eat a pony”.

    1. Chris Robertson says:

      The comment I am replying to looks like it could easily be mistaken for an automated posting by a non-human.

  19. Joey245 says:

    Haven’t listened to the podcast yet (I’m at work, and there’s a pretty strict “no headphones allowed” policy), but the show notes already have my attention. In particular, this bit:

    ” I'm okay with that as long as they're GOOD. (Which both Josh and Moviebob say this one is.)”

    Just the fact that Josh went to see a movie is blowing my mind right now.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Has anyone who has seen suicide squad watched a bunch of arrow before?Because Id like to know how smithshot compares to the roweshot.

    1. Geebs says:

      Imagine the Deadshot from Arrow, and then mentally replace every last scrap of that image with Jim West and you have Deadshot from Suicide Squad.

      At least 10 minutes of the movie is wasted on establishing Will Smith as a sympathetic character, and I am 100% certain that’s because they had to according to Will Smith’s contract.

  21. TMC_Sherpa says:

    No show notes Claptrap video link?

    1. TMC_Sherpa says:

      Thank you :)

    2. Echo Tango says:

      The really cool part, is we alllllmost have the tech needed*, to build a claptrap that’s as mobile as in the games. It wouldn’t be much smarter than a Roomba, but I think you could at least program it to randomly knock things off of your desk / shelves, and shout witty non-sequiters, and it would be close enough. :P

      * Mostly, it comes down to having fast-enough reflexes and actuators, to balance dynamically. This “Dancing” ball-bot here is similar, but really, the tech is in self-balancing unicycles plus doing more complicated math (read: need even more computer power than today) to get his arms dynamically balancing him in the directions his wheel doesn’t.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        It wouldn't be much smarter than a Roomba

        So, 100% accurate?

  22. MichaelGC says:

    Aye – I don’t know about the other fella, but Simon Pegg is a huge Star Trek fan. He was the guy almost pleading with ‘real’ Trek fans to ignore the trailer, essentially saying it was something of a misrepresentation.

    So, I’d certainly warrant that the reference to the pilot was entirely intentional, and may even have been there to lightly suggest, “we begin again…”

    Oh, and I believe the cool nerds refer to Abrams/Lin Trek as ‘the Kelvin timeline’. Just adds that nice little dash of needless esoterica.

    1. Incunabulum says:

      He’s also the guy who got really pissed at people for not liking Trekking to Darkness and its ‘totally not a retread of ST2’ retread of ST2.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        He got pissed at people for calling it the worst ST movie, rather than for generally disliking it.

        Anyway, my main point was that the reference would definitely have been intentional.

        1. Loonyyy says:

          The wording he used was at best, ambiguous, and the reasoning he ascribed to people for disliking it was, to use his word “asinine”.

          He said: “It absolutely isn’t the worst ‘Star Trek’ movie (..)it’s asinine, you know? It’s ridiculous. And frustrating.”

          “To be subject to that level of sort of, like, crass f””ing ire, I just say f”” you.”

          “I think it’s like when you tire of an indie band that you love because, suddenly, they get a number one single, (…)You don’t necessarily start disliking their music, but you stop liking them because you’re pissed off that they’re famous.”

          I grabbed the quotes from here, and the elipses are there because I don’t know if anything has been removed, not because something has.

          Who’s he to say that it can’t be the worst Trek film for someone? It was a pretty abysmal film. He calls it “crass f-ing ire”, which is funny, because the film is a crass cash grab written by shallow and crass hacks and nuts, and directed by another hack. It’s not that the thing is popular (Which is really a ridiculous way to put it, since it’s not popular among Trek fans, which was why he chucked a tantrum, and even if it were, it’d still just be an appeal to popularity anyway), it’s that the thing doesn’t take off from the end point of the last one to do something, it introduces a hamfisted terrorism story, the plot is nonsensical garbage worthy of a Golden Riter, they stunt cast Cumberbatch to play Khan, everyone knew it was Khan, etc. It’s an extraordinarily crass film, it thinks the audience are morons, and it didn’t improve on the original reboot which some had tentatively accepted in the hopes that things were going to get better.

          Pegg just insults anyone who thinks it’s the worst, and then tells us what we’re thinking, which is apparently that it’s just too popular. He at no point defends the film, he just lashes out at the critics. I like the guy, and I like that he got to write this one, but this was a low point for him, and I lost a good deal of respect for him as a result.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            To be fair,he is not 100% wrong.It may be bad,but its not star trek 5 bad.And he is also correct that some people disliked the reboot simply because it appealed to larger audiences.

            But,just because 5 is the worst does not make this one good,and just because some people are hipsters does not mean that the majority of them disliked it simply because its a reboot.

            1. MichaelGC says:

              I’ve not seen it – is it worse than Nemesis? Or Generations? I’m waiting until I can watch it somehow for free, but if it’s worse than both of those then I don’t think I’ll watch it if even I’m paid to.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Well….its not as boring as nemesis.As for generations….killing kirk with a bridge or spock yelling KHAAAAAN….its hard to decide which is worse.

                1. MichaelGC says:

                  It’s Spock getting all Fight Club that I’m particularly not looking forward to. But thanks! – I’ll give it a shot when I can do so without the studio directly making any money from my view…

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    I can give you a link if you really want to see it.Dont know if its worth it though.To me,the movie was mostly forgettable.I remember that they use the teleport anywhere thing from the previous movie,khan wants to get the human popsicles,and the reverse death of spock scene.Not a lot from a two hour movie,either good or bad.And I say that as someone who likes Cumberbatch,Quinto,Urban and Pegg.

                  2. MichaelGC says:

                    That’s OK – as you say, probably not worth my trouble. And I’ll say it’s definitely not worth yours! Many thanks for the offer, though. :D

  23. MichaelGC says:

    Drunk Batman? What the …? Has there been an incarnation of Batman with a drinking problem that I’m not aware of? (Entirely possible as I’m a good decade or more behind the times.) Or is that a new thing they thought up just for this game?

    Which, if so, fine; it’s at least creative. I guess. It just doesn’t sound like it would work at all. (I mean, just look at Crazy Steve…)

  24. DasMann says:

    Mumbles, thanks for your discussion of Leto’s Joker, I found it super interesting; I didn’t know that Joker was originally supposed to be a parody of gangsters, and being aware of that makes Leto’s whole schtick feel a lot less weird and jarring.

    I still think that Leto’s Joker was pretty bad for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I felt that his actual performance was pretty bad at times, ranging from “the delivery of that line was poor” to “I feel like I’m watching someone do an impression of the Joker, not seeing an actual character”.
    Secondly, I thought his Joker didn’t fit the tone of the movie. The movie as a whole was actually relatively funny, but his Joker wasn’t “jokey” enough to fit that. The other way it could have worked would have been if his Joker was dark and scary enough to contrast with the general tone of the film, which would have made his appearances feel visceral. However, for me he wasn’t at all scary (or on screen enough), so he just felt empty. He seemed really tacked on (and to some extent he was, because of poor editing/writing).

  25. Ghost says:

    So I saw Suicide Squad over the weekend.

    I can understand why all the stereotypical white boy comic book nerds hate it. If you immediately identify strongly with the white male “good guy leader” character, you will see him repeatedly disrespected, repeatedly captured and rescued by not-white-men, and generally show a bunch of weakness. The badass characters are not white men. The white men are generally the failures. And if that is who you sympathize/identify with in the movie, it is going to be uncomfortable and you probably aren’t going to like this movie.

    This movie has some flaws. It has a lot of characters. For each character, it tries to show backstory and character development. It tries to give each character their solo moment to shine both in combat and dialog. But given that there are a lot of characters and they all have completely separate histories, this means there are a lot of flashbacks and solo scenes. And this can make the movie feel very oddly paced and lacking focus.

    There is this awkward bit where they chose a very sexed up version of Harley Quinn. But then they show that she will just break you if you try anything. And everyone on the team “goes yup, more badass than us” and that’s the end of her in any way being thought of as a sex object. When “Captain Boomerang” had to make an inappropriate pickup line to show he’s an ass, they target it at the grieving japanese widow with the sword that will literally eat his soul, because it is clear she’s the closest thing they’ve got to someone who might actually say yes. But I feel like Harley would have been just as effective and interesting character in a less fan service costume.

    This movie has some strong points too. Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Enchantress, El Diablo were all great. I’d been dubious about Will Smith as Deadshot and he managed to pull it off with heart. Margot as Harley pulled off the deadly manic pixie bad-ass awesomely – and really carried the movie with her performance. I’d been super dubious of Enchantress in a movie, but they pulled her off well. Whoever did music for this movie deserves some real praise. There is a lot of good music, chosen well, throughout the movie that is super appropriate for a summer fun movie.

    This is not a deep movie. It’s a romp with lots of no-blood combat and a bunch of “bad guy” characters who you may come to enjoy. It’s a summer popcorn flick, and it succeeds at this well.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Soo,most people hate this movie because they are racist and/or sexist?Yeaah,I highly doubt thats the case.

    2. HBC says:

      Maybe crank the racism and nerd-punching down a couple dozen notches next time, hey? :(

    3. Shamus says:

      As others have noted, this was a pretty inflammatory opening. You start off making broad generalizations about “stereotypical white boy comic book nerds”, which is a good way to open up an argument on three fronts. (Race, sex, and anyone who self-identifies as a “comic book nerd”.) They probably aren’t going to appreciate you explaining their opinion of the movie in terms of them being bigots.

      In the future, I’m much more interested what YOU think of a movie than what you think [some cultural group] thinks of it. The internet is pretty thick with people talking about “white male nerds” and if you’re in the mood for that kind of debate there are lots of places to go. I like everyone to feel welcome.

    4. Wide And Nerdy® says:

      Speaking for myself, I’d decided not to see it the moment I saw the gritty dark aesthetic of the trailer and that it was about supervillains as protagonists. I didn’t like BvS and I have decided not to see another movie set in this universe until they fix things.

      I didn’t even know about any of that stuff you’re talking about.

      Its like DC has been trying to bring back the 90’s for the last five years. I was a teen in the 90’s and I hated much of the culture. Everything you need to know about it can be summed up by the fact that we had a genre of music named “grunge” and that name was accurate.

  26. Jesus Christ, that Strong Sad impression is on fucking point!

  27. GTRichey says:

    The podcast can be subscribed to in iTunes as is by adding the RSS feed. This has worked well for me for quite a while (can’t remember when I added it). It’s not searchable in the store (but the feed itself is when added) and you don’t get any artwork for it (which may be fixable by adding metadata?).

    This solution may not be ideal for everyone, but I think it’s fine and the biggest thing to be gained by officially adding it to iTunes would be discoverability.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Yep, its definitely do-able to add pics – listener ydant set up a podcast rss before there was an official one, and that had the banner included:


      No idea how it’s done myself, though! It was kinda charming as if you subscribed to both ydant’s and the official feed, your iPhone would get confused and put the banner on both!

      Also, you’re right that it works fine (I use the same method), but I think a bit of a extra discoverability might be the aim here – I’m guessing otherwise Shamus wouldn’t be countenancing allowing iTunes near his computer at whatever virtual remove…

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Er, maybe don’t try subscribing to both now, though, as I’ve just done so and it seems to have broken everything. Which is somewhat less charming.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          So it turns out you can also subscribe to the Google Play feed from the iPhone app, which is useful if you’ve just, say, broken everything. And it has the funky new banner!

          This would be the link to use, for the avoidance of doubt, and breakages:


    2. Hezamu says:

      Yeah, we’ve been listening to Diecast over RSS for years, I use iTunes myself. Code and instructions:


      1. MichaelGC says:

        Right, but Shamus’ own link updates automatically and has been operational since Diecast #88.

    3. Zak McKracken says:


      The new playstore RSS feed works also works without the playstore for me, and really RSS should be RSS and independent of proprietary standards. If there’s some special sauce which will give the iTunes and Playstore crowd additional happiness, I’m fine, but I’d be reasonably angry if the cast moved from a universal protocol like RSS, which every device and every podcast software should support, to some closed thing which only works for users of some company’s services.

      … and the previous as well as the new RSS feeds work completely fine for me, including logo and shownotes and all. If that doesn’t work on all devices, that sounds a bit like websites not working on all browsers back in the days of the browser wars, and it’s equally probable that it’s someone’s client isn’t supporting the protocol properly, as the site not serving it the right way.

  28. Steve C says:

    Realistic looking space is not black. It’s full of an unimaginable number of stars.

    Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot, Al Worden, talked about what space looked like in the shadow of the Moon. He has been further than anyone else away from Earth. Worden said there were so many stars that he couldn’t find the Milky Way. He couldn’t find Sirius or any of the other bright stars. They were all lost in the light of countless other stars.

    Space is only black near the Earth. Where the Sun and reflected light off Earth washes out everything else. In deep space, space isn’t black, it is awash in starlight. I’m sad that is never portrayed in film.

  29. Vermander says:

    I quite enjoyed the new Star Trek movie, but then I also (un-ironically) like Justin Lin’s contributions to the Fast and Furious series.

    This is the first Star Trek movie I can remember where it felt like every single character actually had something to do and they all got at least one memorable scene. Splitting them up into pairs for a good portion of the movie was a really good idea.

  30. Sunshine says:

    I’ve always downloaded the Diecast to my iPad from the Podcast tab, so I’m not sure how that differs from “being on iTunes”. It hasn’t shown up there yet, but not for the first time.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Currently you go to the app and enter the URL to subscribe. Being on iTunes would mean you could search the Apple podcast library and click a button to subscribe. So, in terms of signing up there’s not a great deal in it really, but people have evidently been asking Shamus to provide the latter.

      Being on iTunes would also give us the ability to rate & review. So yay? And they may not flock in their thousands, but it’d no doubt mean some extra listeners finding their way here, which’d be a definite yay.

  31. Hermocrates says:

    Don’t worry Mumbles, I still buy music CDs! Mostly if it’s an artist I particularly care about, though; otherwise I don’t mind buying digitally.

  32. Phantos says:

    Does the theatrical release remove that “joke” about Harley hearing voices because dur-hur mental illness amirite? #3edgy5me

    The first trailer made me kind of interested in seeing Suicide Squad. But that one piece of dialogue was so offensively stupid and hackneyed that I can’t think of any way for it to recover.

    1. Matt Downie says:

      The whole “mentally ill people are so scary but also funny” thing has been an inescapable part of the wider Batman mythos for so long now it’s probably impossible to fix it.

  33. Blake says:

    Adding to the people that say this is actually a really good Trek movie.
    Like in amongst the explosions and epic movie things, it actually had lots of moments that felt very Star Trek.

    I don’t quite know how to explain it, but they managed to capture something special.

    I was quite surprised when I walked out of the cinemas to find I just might have seen one of my favourite Trek movies ever.

  34. Sleeping Dragon says:

    So when they announced the Humble Monthly Bundle I first thought it was an awful idea, then after a week or two I subscribed based on the reasoning that at least for the first few months they’d go out of their way to put in something good to draw subscribers in.

    So far I have been relatively pleased, they usually hit a title or two off my wishlist and I got some games that I was a bit on the fence on as to whether I actually want to spend money on. For example I was considering South Park: The Stick of Truth a couple of times but always sorta backed out not sure if I’d actually enjoy the SP humour (I kinda stopped watching the show years back), similarly the Oddworld remake (I own the original games and wasn’t sure I want to invest in just a remake) and I was sort of holding back on buying the Avernum 2* remake to see when the 3rd part remake comes out. I also got a few titles I entirely missed otherwise and that turned out to be either fun or interesting, like Neon Struct or Magic Circle, I’m having high hopes for Kentucky Route Zero but I hate playing these episodic games until they come out fully so… here’s to hoping.

    This month’s bundle has been probably the most meh one for me, though to be fair I already own the Van Helsing game (played it in co-op with a friend, found it pretty fun) and I was aware that some months may be more miss than hit for my particular tastes. Right now the monthly bundle is within my disposable income range and I enjoy coming back home from work to see what I got feeling, plus I have a relatively wide taste in games so that improves the odds of getting something I’d enjoy. That said I’m definitely keeping my eye on the unsubscribe button because I fully expect things to go sour at some point and I’m not touching the multimonth subscription plans with a stick, in fact I consider their introduction a serious yellow flag.

    *Okay, I’m gonna rant a bit about this one. I got lucky because I already own 1 and was holding back on getting 2 but it was definitely on my list probably as soon as 3 launches (I’m a Spiderweb fan and I’ve played the old versions through and through) so personally I was happy that I got it. That said, putting a middle part of a trilogy in a bundle, especially a bundle where people don’t know what they’re getting in advance, is an utter dick move. This is not a good way to introduce players to your games, many probably won’t even launch it seeing as it’s a 2nd part, this is a move meant to get you a little extra sales on part 1 from people who’ll buy it either because they’ll feel the need to so that the part 2 doesn’t go to waste or who’ll feel compelled to complete the set.

  35. Taellosse says:

    FWIW, the official RSS does not appear to be fully functional at the moment – the most recent update was last week’s episode.

    This does not apply to the old, unofficial one that Hezamu mentions above – I just re-subscribed to that on my phone and it downloaded this episode just fine – nor, I assume, the new Google Play one (which I have not personally checked).

  36. Kelerak says:

    I’m fairly certain Shamus is secretly Matt Chapman.

  37. NotSteve says:

    Holy crap, Chris really is Strong Sad. That’s uncanny.

  38. Maryam says:

    Something about the RSS is broken for me now. My app which I use to subscribe (Podcast Addict) can’t seem to find a file to download and it thinks the Homestar Runner video is the streamable content.

  39. Ninety-Three says:

    Hey Shamus. Comments are disabled on Diecast #163. Is that intentional?

  40. anaphysik says:


    Rutskarn: “I’m going to get in my car and drive to wherever you are in the United States.”

    Mumbles: “I would… love you- I would love for you to do that …”

    nice save, mumbles.

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