NOC Review: The Snyder Cut is Good, Actually

Long time readers of this site will know that I have a a complicated history with Zack Snyder’s take on DC’s most iconic characters. While my opinion on his first foray, Man of Steel1, has waxed and waned over the years, I’ve never been able to see Batman v Superman as anything more than a convoluted mess of bombast and pretension feigning to be more profound than it actually was (Batman’s fight in the warehouse was cool, I guess). Moreover, the ferocity of the online debate about these films — both the religiosity of Snyder’s fans and the unnecessary cruelty of his detractors — turned me off to the whole enterprise. Talking about these movies on the internet was not worth the hassle or the harassment (says the guy who actively engaged in online arguments defending Last Jedi for at least three years).

In other words, I didn’t come into my screening of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (the official title of the Snyder Cut which will finally be streaming on HBO Max on March 18) with a lot of high expectations. Well dear reader, I am as surprised as anyone to say that not only did I like what I saw, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing how a proper sequel to this version might play out. Oh my god, am I actually hopping on the #RestoreThe Snyderverse bandwagon?!

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‘Gotham High’ Breathes Fresh Life into the Bat Mythos

Traditional superhero comics have been part of the American pop culture firmament for eight decades. And more often than not, those stories can feel staid and mired in nostalgia for long bygone eras. Which is why creators who come along with bold new interpretations of these characters are usually met with resistance. To wit, when the book trailer for Gotham HighDC Comics’ latest foray into the young adult book market — debuted, the fanboy set went apoplectic.

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Batman R.I.P.: Mattel’s Last Line of DC Multiverse Figures

When it was announced late last year that Mattel would be losing the master license to make DC Comics-related action figures, I wasn’t sure how to react. On the one hand, I had pretty much stopped buying Mattel’s offerings when they ended their DC Universe Classics line around 2012. On the other, I’ve been an avid collector of these figures ever since popular action figure sculptors the Four Horsemen gave us Zipline Batman in 2003. Of course, in the years since, I moved on — preferring more premium toymakers like SH Figuarts for my DC fix. But I couldn’t help coming back to Mattel one last time for an all-Batman wave to close out their 16-year run on the character.

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When Gotham is Ashes, You Have My Permission to Die

Whatever issues you might have with The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane is probably one of the most divisive. Either you loved it or you hated it. Nolan’s take on the villain deviated so much from the comics, it was a wonder why he even chose to go with Bane in the first place. Another strike against Nolan’s Bane is that you could also argue that the character was racebent from the way he’s depicted in the comics. Or not. Personally, I rather enjoyed Hardy’s completely wacky and out there interpretation of the character. Not only are his mannerisms and fuddy-duddy English accent so utterly imitable, but he made a character that is admittedly boring on page really compelling on screen.

The reason that I just spent 100+ words talking about Bane in The Dark Knight Rises is because last night’s episode of Gotham used the opportunity to introduce Venom, the drug responsible for Bane’s abilities in the comic. And the whole time, all I could think about was Tom Hardy in his ridiculous face mask.

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Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor… Wait… Wha?

So yeah. That happened.

If you haven’t heard, the Oscar-nominated actor has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. Oscar winner Jeremy Irons has also been tapped to play Alfred Pennyworth in the film (which has been pushed to Summer 2016). Best know for portraying Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, Eisenberg’s name wasn’t on anyone’s radar for the role — those names belonged to folks like Bryan Cranston and Joaquin Phoenix, to name two. So this news was definitely… unexpected.

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