Category Archives: TV Shows

Generation X (1996)

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As if my weekly television didn’t consist of enough comic book properties on February 8th FX is premiering a new show called Legion which centers around David Haller, aka Legion, aka Professor Xavier’s son.  I am pretty excited, the previews so far have been pretty awesome (check out the trailer here) and I’ve always been a big fan of the X-Men.  Which brings us to the matter at hand!  Legion is considered the first live action adaptation of X-Men to come to television but that is wrong.  Back in the dark times before the internet (1996) the X-Men appeared on TV in one of the most epic trainwrecks of all time, Generation X.

generation-x-1-comic

Generation X the movie is based on Generation X the comic which was first published in 1994.  Generation X (Comic) was a spin off of the main X-Men series created by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo.  It centers around the teenage students of the Xavier School, Chamber (Jonothon “Jono” Starsmore), Husk (Paige Guthrie), Jubilee (Jubilation Lee), M (Monet St. Croix), Mondo, Gaia, Penance, Skin (Angelo Espinosa), and Synch (Everett Thomas).  Some of which were mutants from other series and a handful of new mutants created for the series.  They are mentored by teachers at the Xavier School Banshee (Sean Cassidy) and Emma Frost (The White Queen).

In casting aspect Generation X (movie) was actually kind of faithful to the comics.  Banshee and Emma Frost are the teachers at the school in the comics as they were in the movie.  Jubilee, M, Skin, and Mondo are also in both the movie and comics, while they added two new mutants Kurt Pastorius and Arlee Hicks.  Kurt doesn’t appear in any comics, he seems to have powers simlar to cyclops but it is fairly unclear what they really are.  Alree has super strength powers which cause her to be really buff.

Movie Summary

The movie starts off with our villain Russel Tresh moments away from cutting the brain out of an unsuspecting mutant.  At the last minute steps in Emma Frost with some cops to shut him down.  However, after saving the mutant, he is immediately apprehended by the cops for being unregistered and Tresh goes away free.  Smash cut to an arcade.  A young Jubilee is playing Virtual Fighter which is also laced with subliminal messaging to keep the teenages playing.  In a trance Jubliee accidentally uses her powers which destroy the machine and cause her to be arrested.  Cut to Emma Stone waking up in a four post bed being all super sexy.  She Banshee go to pick up another mutant (Skin) and stop off to get Jubilee on the way.  They convince Jubliee’s parents to let her go to the Xavier school where she will learn to control her powers.  They then get Skin who we learn has stretchy limbs powers similar to Mr. Fantastic (except they seem to hurt him).

Jubilee and Skin are brought to the Xavier school where they are processed and meet the other students.  They join in a pick up game of football where they are hazed a little but seem to fall in with the rest of the kids.  There is a montage of the kids living together and all of them standing in line for the one bathroom in the school (seriously? just one?) where we learn that there is something weird with Arlee’s body and she wears baggy clothes to hide it.  We then see the kids at class where they learn to hone their telepathic powers which apparently all mutants have in this world.  Skin finds out that there is a machine locked away that lets you enter people’s dreams and shows Jubilee (this will come in to play later).  The kids then convince Banshee to let them take the car and go to town where Skin meets a pretty blonde but her jock friends pour food on him.

While all this is happening our villain is creating the same dream machine that Emma has for a super shady corporation.  He tells them it will be to sell products to kids while they sleep subliminally but he is really just wants revenge on Emma Frost.  After a disastrous presentation to the companies board of directors he is fired.  Tresh however is plugged in to the dream machine when they come to get him, pulling the plug and locking him in the dreamworld.  Tresh gets revenge killing his boss by making him jump out of a building while he is asleep.

Skin and Jubilee use Emma’s dream machine which Tresh is able to find them and freak them out.  Tresh then blackmails Skin in to helping him by threatening to harm his little sister.  Once Tresh is saved from the dream world by Skin, he turns on Skin and wants to cut out his brain so he can have mutant powers as well.  Jubliee discovers Skin is missing and alerts Emma.  The school goes to Tresh’s lab and defeat him.  The movie ends with the students getting suits.

Stray Observations

While this movie actually films at the same mansion that is used in the 2000’s X-Men movie there are literally no other mutants in the mansion.  Besides the 6 students and 2 teachers the school is empty.

Even though there are X’s everywhere and the school is the Xaiver school there is no mention of the X-Men or Charles Xavier outside the name of the school.

I’m still uncertain what was wrong with Arlee’s body.  There is a scene where Jubilee accidentally walks in on her in a dressing room and you see a sort of buff back for a half a second but it is still unclear.

Tresh is super annoying.  He has a Jim Carey Riddler vibe going on and his motivations are super unclear.  He focuses most of the movie around getting this technology built to go into the dreamworld but really seems to want to cut open a mutants brain to get telepathic powers.

If you thought you’d see a badass fight with mutants using their powers, too bad!  Almost all the action takes place in the dream world which is super murky and unclear what it is.  For a movie about mutants they spend a ton of time dealing with this weird dream world.

The version of the movie I watched happened to be the UK version which has a few differences.

  1. Jubilee has to talk her clothes off when she gets to the mansion for a full body scan.  There isn’t actual nudity but it was weird and doesn’t play out to anything (see the 18:45 mark).
  2. Jubliee goes on a weird F-bomb run after they first go into the dream world.  This is when I realized this version was different.  It’s only at this part of the movie that there is any swearing and its really weird (see the 52:13 mark).
  3. When Tresh threatens Skin he says he will rape Skin’s sister.  It’s really creepy and dark (see the 1:11:12 mark).

Final Thoughts

Generation X was better than I thought while still being weird and a disaster.  I was surprised they actually had a decent amount of big name mutants from the Generation X comics.  However they managed to barely have them use their mutant powers at all.  I get it.  The technology wasn’t there and on a TV budget they just couldn’t afford to have them use their powers and make it look good.  But still they had to no it was an issue going in to it and using this weird dream world was a huge mistake.  Anyways you don’t have to take my word for it, the entire movie is posted on YouTube for free!  God bless you internets.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Playlist

Batman v Superman Poster

This weekend the two greatest superheros of all time are going to face off for the first time in theaters everywhere.  This of course begs the question, what am I going to jam out to while the two juggernauts duke it out?  Well no fears, Comic Books and Cats has got you covered with fresh new playlist to hype you up for the movie (if you haven’t seen if yet) or to nurse that sweet post movie hangover.  You can listen to the directly through the app below or here is a direct link to the playlist on Spotify.


Batman: Bad Blood

Batman Bad Blood Cover

Before we get in to the movie we have to address the elephant in the room.  There is no way to talk about this movie without first thinking about the Taylor Swift song.  I’m sure that DC Animation Studios picked the name for this movie way before Taylor Swift released 1989 but it doesn’t really matter at this point.  The name Bad Blood will forever be associated with Taylor Swift and we just have to deal with it.  It’s Taylor’s World, we are just visiting.  So that being said here is the music video for Bad Blood so you can just have it playing in the background while you read the rest of this post.

While this is a stand alone film it lives in the same world and continuity of the Son of Batman films.  The first film of this series is Son of Batman, followed by Batman vs. Robin, bringing us to the third entry Batman: Bad Blood.  While all these movies live in the same continuity you definitely don’t need to see the first two films to understand what is going on in Batman: Bad Blood.  There are a couple of little nods to the first two films but it is mostly original material.

Battle of the Cowl Cover

This film is loosely based on the 2009 Comic Book event Batman: Battle of the Cowl.  The key word here is loose.  Battle of the Cowl takes place following Batman R.I.P. where Batman was killed (kinda) and was lost in the time stream to become Batman during various ages in time.  Bat-mite is involved, its written by Grant Morrison and barely comprehensible (comics be crazy yall).  So Batman: Bad Blood is like that, in that Batman is out of commission and Nightwing (Dick Grayson) takes over the mantle of Batman, just for a lot shorter duration.

Detective Comics 854

During the year or so that Batman was out of commission during Batman R.I.P. we were also reintroduce to Batwoman as she took over Detective Comics for issues 854-863.  So it’s fitting that we also see the modern Batwoman (Kate Kane) introduced in this film.  There was a DC Animated film, Batman: The Mystery of the Batwoman in 2003 but this Batwoman isn’t anything like the modern new 52 Batwoman.  If you want a kickstart into the character of Batwoman, Batman: Bad Blood is your best bet.

Batman Bad Blood Heretic

The movie starts with typical bust up job where we think we see Batman taking care of business, but surprise, its Batwoman.  Batman does wind up joining her and the two take care of the lower level baddies and confront a new villain “The Heretic”.  The fight moves over a giant catwalk, because of course they do, and Batwoman winds up falling off.  Batman saves her but in doing so is stuck in the building as the Heretic blows it up and is persumed dead.  Cut to two weeks later and Batman has not been seen since the accident.  Nightwing (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne) come back to Gotham to help figure out what happened.  I don’t want to just spoil the whole thing so I’ll just leave it (more or less) at that.  Batwing gets involved and the four of them (Nightwing, Robin, Batwoman, and Batwing) have to work together in order to figure out what happened.

The movie is great.  It fits in the same tone and world as Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin so if you enjoyed those movies you’ll likely enjoy this one.  Because these Batman movies have started to tie together it gives a lot more weight to the events in them and gives you a feeling of actual stakes to these films.  There are a couple of deaths in this movie and they have a real impact to them.  They definitely aren’t just trying to keep the status quo in these films and are taking the story where ever it needs to go.

Batman Bad Blood Batwing

The introduction of Batwing and Batwoman are done well.  We get a lot of backstory on Kate Kane, who she is, why she’s doing what she’s doing.  We don’t quite get as much for Batwing.  We see his origin on screen but other than a line or two about him being in the military we don’t really get a lot of information about him.  There is only so much time in these films so I don’t fault the film makers that much for it.  If you had to choose between spending more time on Kate or Luke, I’d rather it have been Kate.

Batman Bad Blood Kate Kane

If you don’t already know Kate Kane is a lesbian and this part of her life is in the film.  We see her go on an awkward first date with Renee Montoya and her father keeps trying to get her to go out and find a nice girl.  This was all handled matter of factly and as a part of who she is instead of her defining characteristic.

Batman Bad Blood Robin

We also see Damian has grown a lot as a character since his introduction in Son of Batman.  He’s no longer blood thirsty and genuinely living by the code of justice, not vengeance.  He’s no longer just doing this to please Batman but it really seems to be a part of who he is now.

Batman Bad Blood Nightwing

We get a closer look at the relationship between Nightwing and Batman and a explanation of why Dick felt he needed to take up the mantle of Nightwing and leave Gotham.  Grayson takes up the mantle of Batman in his absence for the sake of Gotham but only reluctantly.  Grayson has been trying to get out of Batman’s shadow his entire life and the movie does a good job of inner conflict within him.

Batman Bad Blood Batgirl

We’ve never gotten a “Marvel Style” teaser at the end of any of these DC Animated films but Batman: Bad Blood may have given us just that.  At the very end of the film we see the Bat Signal turn on and Batman, Batwing, Nightwing, and Batwoman all suit up and respond.  And then, right before the credits roll, BOOM! Batgirl!  We’ve never seen Batgirl in any of these DC Animated films and not only is this Batgirl but it’s the Babs Tarr New 52 Batgirl as well!  We haven’t heard any announcement of what the next Batman Animated film will be but I would bet money we are finally going to see a Batgirl solo movie.

 


DC Comics Movie / Graphic Novel Combo Packs

DC Comics Bluray Graphic Novel Combo

Back in May DC Comics announce they would be releasing Blu-ray / Graphic Novel Combo packs for some of the DC Comics Original Animated Films.  Well this week they are finally available to buy.

The complete list of Movies / Graphic Novels (GN) are:

  • The Death of Superman GN / Superman: Doomsday Film
  • Justice League Vol. 1 Origin / Justice League: War Film
  • Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals GN / Wonder Woman Film
  • JLA Earth 2 GN / Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Film
  • Batman Black and White GN / Batman Gotham Knight Film
  • Batman: Year One GN / Batman: Year One Film

This sounded like an awesome deal to me as I love the DC Original Animated films in their own right and figured I could pick up any I don’t already own with the bonus of the graphic novel.  Now that these combo packs are in the stores I’ve discovered they are actually a even better deal than I initially thought.  Not only do you get the Blu-ray movie and hardback graphic novel but you also get a DVD copy of the movie, a ultraviolet HD digital copy of the movie, AND a HD digital copy of the Graphic Novel on Comixology.  You get basically five things for the price of one.

What makes this even sweeter is that this week they are all on sale at Best Buy and Amazon for 14.99 each!  This is the best deal I’ve ever seen on any of these movies or graphic novels so if you are interested in either I suggest picking them up while they are still cheap.

Hopefully this is just the first wave and we’ll be seeing some of the other movies turned into these sweet Graphic Novel / Blu-ray Combo packs as well.

Side Note: Best Buy also has some of the other DC Original Animated Films on sale as well.  Right now you can get the following Blu-ray / DVD / Digital HD Combo Packs for 9.99

  • Batman Vs. Robin
  • Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • Son of Batman
  • Justice League: War

Top 10 DC Animated Moments

In honor of the latest DC Original Animated Film Justice League: Gods and Monsters DC All Access put together a list of the Top 10 Moments from their library of 24 original movies.

I definitely agree with a few of these on the list.  I think they were spot on with their number one pick and the scene from Superman vs. the Elite is definitely one of the best.  The only moment that really stuck out in my mind that should of been on this list was the Joker reveal in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.  I put a link below but if you haven’t seen it I’d suggest just going ahead and watching the whole movie.


Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice League Gods and Monsters Deluxe

The next DC Comics Original Animated Movie is coming out on July 28th and will be a little different than the usual fanfare.  Instead of being a movie based on classic story arc from the comic books, this film will be a completely original property from Bruce Timm (the man who created the look of Batman: The Animated Series from the 90’s).  This will be an Elseworlds story that will be taking a radically different approach to the Justice League we know and love.

Justice League Gods and Monsters

In this world Batman is not Bruce Wayne but actually Kirk Langstorm (Man-Bat) and is a Vampire.  Superman is still the last son of Krypton but no longer the son of Jor-El.  In this world Superman is instead the son of General Zod.  Wonder Woman isn’t an Amazon in this world but one of Jack Kirby’s New Gods named Bekka.

Not only will there be a new movie but there will be a slew of other material as well.  First, there is a 3 part web series by Machinama, which you can watch below.  DC has already announced will be a second season in early 2016 featuring 10 additional episodes.

There will also be a line of action figures.

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And lastly, a daily digital-first comic book.  The series will debut digitally on July 1st and release 18 issues daily ending on July 18th.  This series will be a prequel that will dig into the origins of the Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman of this new universe (source).  You can the first part featuring Batman here on comiXology.

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I am planning on going all in and buying the movie along with getting all the issues of the digital-first comic series.  It is no secret that I love a good Elseworlds story so this whole thing is right up my ally.


New Comic Book TV Part VI: iZombie

iZombie

This past Tuesday (3/17) was the premiere of iZombie which is a new show on the CW based off the Vertigo property of the same name.  There have been ads for this and I knew it was coming a while ago but forgot until it showed up on my DVR.  I don’t know anything about this series.  I have never read the comic and honestly was barely even aware it existed.  iZombie first came out in 2010 and ran for two years for a total of 28 issues.  Not a huge run so its pretty surprising that the powers to be decided to make this into a TV Show.  Here is the trailer below.

My first impression was that the main actress looks like Thea from Arrow.

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Second I thought this looked like a very dumb idea.  I’m all for interpretation but the hallmark of zombies is that they are mindless.  If you take away that it takes away their essence and you should probably just call them something else.  I had the same problem with Warm Bodies, which I’m sure is a great movie but I have no interest in watching.

Warm Bodies

So going in to iZombie my expectations are low.  The good news is the show is actually pretty good.  It started off at break neck speed.  We open on our main girl Gwen at her job at the hospital where she is invited to a party on a boat.  We quickly meet her fiancé to tells her to go, “what’s the worse that can happen?”  It then immediately cuts to her becoming a zombie and 5 months later when she has a job as a Medical Examiner for the police.  This is within the first 3 minutes maybe.  Her boss at the Medical Examiner’s office figures out she’s a zombie which he is totally cool with.  The only thing that being a zombie seems to negatively effect is she has a desire to eat brains.  She users her job at the Medical Examiner’s office to access brains to eat.  Her boss is ok with this.  A side effect of eating the brains is she gets flashes of what the person saw when they were alive and takes on small traits of said person.  So she uses her brain powers to help a detective on the police solve crimes.

It’s not a terrible premise.  Even in the pilot they had a crime of the week which she was able to solve.  The show doesn’t take it self super seriously and its fun.  I’ll probably keep watching it but I still think there was no real need for her to be a zombie.  The only thing her being a zombie does is give the excuse for her to eat brains but it could have been something else that gave her the visions and such.

iZombie Sale1

I also went ahead and got the first volume of the comic book on kindle.  All the issues are on sale for 99 cents and the trade’s are on sale for half off until March 23rd.  They can be found on comiXology here or on kindle here.


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