#37 – Damian Wayne

Damian is the Son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul, The Grandson of Ra’s Al Ghul and was trained as a master assassin by the age of 9.

Damian is the one character on here that will get the most hate because a lot of people hated him when he came on the scene because it was like he was pushing Tim Drake out of the Role of Robin…but they forget, that’s what makes the story interesting. I previously talked to you about Tim and how he fought to be Robin. He worked hard to become the Boy Wonder. 4 years later, Talia shows up with a son and says that Bruce needs to train him. Bruce takes him in and wants to show him that lethal violence and blind aggression is not the right way to go to war with Evil. Damian is an arrogant, self-entitled little jerk that sees everyone as beneath him, especially Tim Drake. He even fights Tim and nearly kills him to overtake him as the new Robin until Batman intervenes.

Now, you’re probably wondering this kid is the second highest Robin on my list, he’s terrible, right? No. He’s one of the best new characters to come from comics since I’ve been alive. Damian knows nothing but hate and rage until he meets Bruce. Bruce takes him in and is brutal with him because he realizes that’s all he understands but after Bruce disappears(Another story for another time) Dick Grayson becomes Batman and takes him on as Robin. It’s here that he learns how to be a true hero.

One of my favorite moments from Damian is when he goes to war with the other three Robins. He wants to prove that he’s one of the best by defeating them in combat and taking a personal affect of theirs. He starts by attacking Jason Todd and stealing his Red Hood mask then he attacks Tim Drake and takes his Bo-Staff and finally he’s about to attack Dick Grayson. Dick turns around and throws him his escrima stick and says “You have nothing to prove to anyone.” Damian takes this as final acceptance and apologizes to the other Robins and they work together to save the City. He finally gains a friendship with Tim Drake while still having a slight rivalry.

Damian Wayne learns from his mistakes and strives to do better. He is the epitome of playing with the hand you’re dealt. That’s why he’s so high on my list.

The Son Of Ice And Fire(GOT S6)

This was the first season that was past the books, none of us had any idea what to expect from this new territory and it all became just insanity even from the end of the very first episode. From Melisandre’s revealed form and Jon Snow’s return all the way to the feast of the hounds and the reveal of Jon’s true lineage as a Targaryen this was full of incredibly memorable and well shot scenes.

Most Shocking Moment : Hold The Door.

THIS FREAKING SCENE! I don’t think I’ve ever felt more hurt or heartbroken then in this moment. It shocked us and by revealing a great mystery while also tearing out our hearts.

Hodor was already a great character but it was his finale that solidified him as one of the most heroic ones in the series. Naturally I was furious with Bran at first but he was just as heartbroken as the rest of us.

Favorite Episode : The Battle Of The Bastards.

This is absolutely my favorite episode of the entire series. This was just a perfect episode, it started with a great scene of Daenerys just being Daenerys and taking what is hers with Fire and Blood. Love her, she’s just great.

The last 40 minutes or so are all devoted to the battle of Winterfell. This was one of the best parts of the series because it’s just very well shot and well written.

The primary calvary charge that begins the battle is one of the best in television or film history, rivaling only The Ride of the Rohirrim from The Return of the King.

Honestly I think one of my favorite moments leading up to the climax was the general support that Tormund and Davos show for Jon and the rest of his forces. It’s genuinely just a perfect hour of television.

Favorite Scene : Jon Vs. Ramsay.

Look, there isn’t any big reason I love this scene. It’s just beautiful in it’s simplicity. There’s nothing better than watching Jon just punch Ramsay over and over again.

Knowing that Jon gets to be the one who defeats this true villain is one of the best moments of the series.

Favorite Quote : “My Name Is Arya Stark. I want you to Know That.”

Arya’s character development is honestly one of my favorite storylines during Season 6 and it’s because she’s one of the few characters who gets exactly what she wants. Becoming a deadly assassin and getting revenge on two of the main people on her list was another great payoff that we’d been waiting for and it was this quote, this moment where we realized that there was nothing she couldn’t do.

Walder Frey was awful and fully deserved exactly what happened to him in this scene. The fact that it was Arya made it even better. Like Varys once said : “Even a small man can cast a very large shadow.” and Arya Stark is one of the best examples of this.

The Long Night Comes… (GOT S5)

This is the last season where I could call what was going to happen cause the last shot of this season is also the last thing you read about in the 5th book. A lot of crazy stuff happens in this season and I’m convinced it’s all leading up to one of the craziest final seasons in television history.

Favorite Episode : Hardhome.

This is probably my second favorite episode of the entire series and it’s honestly just because of two major scenes. The first is the meeting between Tyrion and Daenerys which leads to the infamous “I am going to break the Wheel.” Line and it’s really just a great scene between two of the performers on the show.

But of course, the core of the episode is also it’s namesake. Hardhome is the area where all of the wildlings that weren’t at the Battle of the Wall were stationed aNumbering around 5,000 strong, Jon makes the decision that they need to be saved before the White Walkers come and kill them which would also turn them into Wights and that’s just not good for anyone. After convincing them to join is when the battle begins. There’s an army of Wights bearing down on the gate and they’re doing everything they can to hold them off to give people time to get to the boats. Meanwhile thr White Walkers are just standing on top of the mountain just staring at Jon, Tormund and the rest.

As the battle starts to go bad is when the best scene kicks in, one of the White Walkers starts attacking and you’re thinking that Jon is done until he gets his sword and you realize that Valyrian Steel is the same thing as Dragonglass which makes Jon the second person to kill a White Walker in over 1,000 years.

Also, that’s the coolest sound effect in the series and I just love the shared look of Confusion on Jon and The Walker’s faces.

It then ends with Jon getting to the last boat as the Night’s King comes down and raises all of the dead wildlings back to life in one of the creepiest scenes of the series…which is also the cover photo for this article.

Favorite Scene : The Flight Of The Dragon.

This was it, the moment we had all been waiting for since the introduction of the dragons. Daenerys is about to be executed by the sons of the harpy and when you think she’s done is when Drogon swoops in, saves the day and she rides away flying on his back with Tyrion, Jorah and the rest just dumbfounded before what they just saw. It’s just a fun scene that was also a great payoff for all of us.

Favorite Quote : “Kill The Boy, Jon Snow, and let the man be born.”

I just always loved this quote. Having grown a lot in the years since this show started I understand exactly where Aemon is coming from with this. Jon will have to do many things that are against his better nature or even against the laws of the Night’s Watch but it’s what he’ll have to do if he’s going to be a worthy Lord Commander. Jon’s the only one who wants to fight the real battle of the realm and that’s ultimately what leads to…

Most Shocking Moment : For The Watch

I mean, I don’t even have to say anything, do I? There was nothing worse or more shocking than the death of Jon Snow. But as we know : Valar Morgulis.

Being betrayed by the skeleton crew of mutineers right after he’s attempted to save their lives about 8 times in the last two seasons is just awful but it’s the way this show goes. You think Jon is this great action hero? Nope, he’s dead. The final shot of Jon bleeding out in the snow is something none of us will forget anytime soon.

The Watchers on The Wall (GOT S4)

*Major Spoilers for Season 4!*

This entire season was why I love Game Of Thrones. Sweeping character development, scenes coming to fruition that we’d been waiting years for and of course the battle at The Wall which is still one of my all-time favorite episodes in television history.

Down in King’s Landing we also have the death of Joffrey and of course, everyone thinks it’s Tyrion who did it and so he goes on Trial and when he just has had enough he calls for Trial By Combat after telling everyone off.

And across the sea, Daenerys is taking over these three cities and freeing all of the slaves…until it starts blowing up in her face and they start planning to kill her. It’s a whole big thing.

Best Episode : The Watchers On The Wall

Obviously from my previous statement, this is my favorite episode of this season. Currently this is the second time that they’ve focused an entire episode on one area(Blackwater being the first.) The Watchers On The Wall maintained the power of being a perfect mix between character moments and a battle that’s as good as any big film production. Between the great tracking shot, the brutal fight between Styr and Jon or the tragic falls of Grenn, Pyp and Ygritte this is one of the most memorable episodes of the series and it’s easy to see why.

Favorite Scene : The Beetle Speech.

I’ve told this to people before and they always have the same response : “So your favorite scene in your favorite season doesn’t have your favorite character?”(Jon Snow is my favorite) It’s weird but it’s true. I’ll never forget where I was during this scene cause it stopped me in my tracks. Tyrion’s discussion of his cousin seems innocent enough between two brothers but if we really look into it, it works on multiple levels. What it’s effectively saying is that we often times feel like Cousin Orsin where we forget about how our actions are hurting others and sometimes we’re the beetles just running around trying not to get crushed but sadly, most of the time we’re Tyrion. We try to make sense of these things as they happen but we can’t because sometimes there is no absolute answer to why something happens. It’s my favorite scene because it’s a perfect commentary on the series in general.

Most Shocking Moment : The Mountain and The Viper.

Going chronologically, The Mountain VS. The Viper has to be the most shocking moment and it’s because there’s a point where we think that there’s happiness in the future. Unfortunately, there isn’t. The entire season, Oberyn Martell has been trying to get to the truth of who all was involved in his sister’s murder and when he finally has his victory over the one who killed her, he gets greedy. He starts taunting him and he wants him to confess about who else was involved but that’s when he screws up, the mountain gets the better of him and crushes his head with his bare hands. This was the point where we all screamed in horror because, like the red wedding before it, we still weren’t prepared to see it on the screen. A brutal finale for one of my favorite characters unfortunately and since it was a trial by combat, they sentence Tyrion to death.

Favorite Quote : “I have always been your Son.”

The ultimate quote for Season 4. The entire season has led to this moment, the death of Tywin. I just love how calculated Tyrion is in this scene, this isn’t a random killing and it isn’t a spur of the moment kind of thing. He’s wanted this and has planned for it ever since he was convicted. After everything that’s happened it was just perfect to see Tyrion kill Tywin and just leave the city after that. There was nothing left for him there and he had done all he could do. So…time to join forces with Someone stronger…

The Rains Of Castamere (GOT S3)

*Huge Spoiler Alert for Season 3!*

Ah, when we finally understood true heartbreak and betrayal. Game Of Thrones up to this point wasn’t overtly predictable…but after this season we definitely understood that we couldn’t call anything anymore. This whole season was really just one great moment after another whether it was a great moment of Character Development, storylines getting crazier by the second or even the soul-crushing betrayals.

Favorite Episode : Ep. 5, Kissed By Fire.

So many great things happen in this episode. You’ve got The fight between the Hound and Beric Dondarrion, the introduction of Grey Worm, Tywin just being Tywin, Jon and Ygritte in the cave and then my favorite scene of the episode : The Bathhouse. Jaime’s confession and his ultimate vulnerability in this scene is brilliantly performed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and it delivers a complete turn for his character. Most of the acts he commits in the previous seasons and from here on out are all driven home by this one scene. Jaime is a very complex character and one who can be very sympathetic…but all of this is why that one really controversial scene in Season 4 is so jarring but we’ll get to that next time.

Favorite Scene : The Gathering of the The Unsullied.

I’ve always said that Season 3 is basically the season of Daenerys and this singular scene is one of those primary reasons. When she turns around and starts speaking Valyrian is one of my all time favorite moments from the show. I just love the shock and immediate fear on Kraznys face when she says “A Dragon is not a slave.” It’s just absolutely perfect and I love that the entire Unsullied army chooses to follow her afterwards.

Favorite Quote : “Chaos isn’t a pit, Chaos is a ladder”

This right here…this quote is why Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish is one of the most terrifying characters in the series. The fact that he gives up Ros to be killed and threatens Varys all in the same speech is just so unsettling that you immediately start to fear him. Also, it’s followed by a perfect juxtaposition of Ygritte and Jon climbing the wall which is another great scene.

Most Shocking Moment : The Red Wedding.

Did you really think it’d be anything else? This moment shocked viewers everywhere, even if you had read the books then the brutality of the scene would still get to you. This moment hit people so hard that many viewers questioned even continuing to watch the series. This also paved the way for new characters to absolutely hate in Roose Bolton and Walder Frey. Although these guys weren’t great to start with, this was the point where you started counting the seconds until they died.

Our Friendly Neighborhood Hero. (Spoiler Free Review)

How do you make a hero better? You learn more about him and start to relate to him. A lot of films fall into the trap of the origin film not being enough of a character study to make you really care about them but I’m here to tell you that this one doesn’t fall into that trap at all.

Having recently discussed The Dark Knight with a friend of mine, we both came to the realization that there are no wasted scenes in that film and each one progresses the story forward. This film is the exact same way, between easter eggs and multiple references to different Spider-Man characters you would think that it would be way too crowded and yet, it never feels that way. It doesn’t drag and it doesn’t rush, it’s honestly just a near perfect film.

Tom Holland absolutely steals the entire show and it says a lot that he can maintain scenes with Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei without being overshadowed at any point in time. He manages to nail the contrast between Peter Parker and Spider-Man in a way that few actors could, particularly in a scene where he is trapped and screams for help. When you first see it you start to wonder how he’s the hero until you remember that he’s basically just a kid who’s just trying to learn as he goes. It genuinely felt like he came right off of the page and that’s what makes him the perfect casting for the role.

Michael Keaton is always a great actor in his own right but I never really cared about the Vulture until this movie. He’s not some petty crook that’s easily defeated, no, Peter has to think about it and makes multiple mistakes while trying to stop him. They changed a lot of his storyline to make him more of a sympathetic character and I was glad it never seemed forced like some characters have in previous incarnations.(See: Sandman)

The different side characters such as Ned, Liz, Flash and the rest all play their parts very well. Their roles basically make it feel like it’s a John Hughes movie and it works exceptionally well.

Of course Tony Stark, Happy Hogan and Aunt May are all welcome inclusions as well and they all do just as well as they always do.

I was a little upset about the Donald Glover Cameo, I like what it’s hinting towards but I was hoping for something a bit more in the first film. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in later films.

Overall, it’s a great Spider-Man film which gives us an in-depth look into his characters and gives us a Queens, New York that felt just like another character in it’s own right. I loved everything about this movie and it’s quickly jumped up to one of my favorite films from Marvel Studios.

What’s in a Legacy?

Marvel Comics formula for overarching storytelling over the last few years has been this cycle : Fall – New Books, New Characters, New Creators and new parts of continuing stories.(Allowing certain writers/artists to stay with the characters for a while)

Winter – Continuing Stories, something big should happen to set up the summer event.

Spring – Prelude to Summer event, big set-ups for hopeful payoffs.

Summer – Huge blockbuster style scenes, touching character moments, Nothing will ever be the same, some characters die, others come back, we all get ready to restart in a month.

Now, as a fan I have applauded this system before because when it works, it really works.(Secret Wars) but when it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t work.(Civil War II) Now we can discuss why certain summer events work and some don’t at another time but today we’re looking at what follows : The Relaunch.

Arguably, the most important of the steps is the relaunch. Wanna fix last season’s problems? Relaunch. Wanna get new readers? Relaunch/Perfect Jumping On Point. Marvel had honestly perfected the system there for a while there cause making it seasonal instead of a gimmick was a brilliant move on their part but now we get to the main topic here : we want to restart, so what are we going to do? Well Marvel has been teasing Marvel Legacy since April and their first announcement was Marvel Generations which is a series of 10 One-Shots that feature two characters who have carried the same name. (Tony Stark and Riri Williams, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, Peter Parker and Mile Morales…etc.) Following that will be Marvel Legacy #1, The big comic that will start it all off. Not much is known about this comic or really any of the ones that will follow it. The entire line-up of books has been released but only the covers of them with very few of them talking about the creative teams behind them. We’ll, most likely, hear more about these books at Comic Con here in a few weeks but I don’t know why they didn’t wait to reveal it all at once.

There’s a few interesting things to take from Legacy such as no Captain America title, very few new titles and the fact that most of these are just continuations from the previous books. Some of these make sense like Thor, Invincible Iron Man and others but when you think of a relaunch you typically expect somewhere between a 70/30 or 60/40 split between old and new titles. So this raises the question : Why have a relaunch at all? Most people are already comparing it and saying that it’s only to keep up with DC Rebirth’s steady sales over the lasy year. I honestly can’t blame anyone for saying that cause that’s basically what it looks like and if you wanna check out what we mean then you can see all of the covers they released and the classic covers they’re based on then you can check them out here or if you wanna see just the new covers and dissect what you think is going on in them then you can check it out right here.

So we have a return to Classic Numbering, a giant one-shot to launch it off that says that every marvel story ever is important to it and of course “52” released books and a few more on the way. It’s hard not to draw some comparisons to what DC has done over the last few years. I understand why their goal is to play it safe here, I mean if I made everyone’s favorite hero into a nazi then I’d probably go ahead and play it safe with a soft reboot too. Which leads me to my major issue, this isn’t a reboot. It’s a continuation of the stories we’ve had already and there’s really no major point to draw this much attention to it if it isn’t going to really change anything. It’s honestly reminiscent of how they handled Secret Wars a few years ago where it was basically : “Nothing will ever be the same…except for this, this and this.” You had a genuinely phenomenal event comic and it was rendered all but useless due to most of the comics that followed it.

Jesse Schdeen over at IGN wrote about this and said a few of the things I’ve already said but he also mentioned the hope that they’ll bring back talent like Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction or Ed Brubaker and I would fully support everything about this if that is what they did.

I’m not trying to say that I don’t believe in Marvel because I absolutely do, I just believe that there are other ways to go about doing this. I want nothing more than to be wrong in the next few months and I very well may be, we’ll just have to wait and find out.

Fandom Review

Nintendo

Nintendo has announced that they’ll be releasing the SNES Classic and has already said that they’ll be putting more systems out this time then last year’s NES Classic which was considered almost impossible to find due to them putting out less than 3 million units. Considering the Switch sold more than that in it’s first month you would think that they would’ve put more out. Bottom line, hopefully they can learn from their mistakes this time around.

The controller cord will be longer and there will be 21 games for it including The Legend Of Zelda : A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country and the previously unreleased Star Fox 2.

Dynasty Warriors

I absolutely love the Dynasty Warriors series. I love the history of the stories it’s based on, I love the over the top action and I love the wild, outrageous characterizations of some of histories most powerful generals. This looks phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what they do with the series on a modern day console.

Marvel/Sony

Well it appears that sony has no idea what they’re doing. The recently announced films of Venom and Silver and Black have been confirmed as having no connections to the MCU…which is pretty stupid in my opinion but then again, I’m not a producer for either company. I personally think that Sony can give us a good film but it doesn’t make sense for them to not continue along with Marvel. The merger giving us Spider-Man in Civil War helped to make it into one of the best films of 2016.

We’ll still have to wait and see but I do worry about what this means for Spider-Man films in the long-term. I do love Tom Hardy as Venom and I think he’ll give us a great performance…I would just love for that performance to be alongside Tom Holland.

Meanwhile the Producer of Marvel Studios has announced that the sequel to Spider-Man : Homecoming will be the only film confirmed for Phase 4 until after Infinity War. Supposedly the sequel will be the perfect film to lead us into the future of Marvel following the insanity of Infinity War.

Han Solo

And our final story gives us huge, unfortunate news coming from the set of the Han Solo film. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have left the project due to “Creative Differences” which is the fanciest way to say “I don’t like them anymore” ever.

This does worry me a bit due to Lord and Miller alway appearing very laid back and easy to work with during interviews. Was Lucasfilm that difficult to work for?

According to different sources, The duo have said that they felt like they had no creative freedom with this film and that there was no chance for what they wanted to do with it. There were rumors about the Rogue One reshoots being very similar but overall it was said that Gareth Edwards was still proud of the final product(and he absolutely should be.)

Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan have come out and said that Lord and Miller would film 2 or 3 camera setups on one scene when they could have easily done the 10 to 15 that the studio wanted for editing purposes. Supposedly, Lord and Miller listened but didn’t follow through. Naturally, this is all hearsay from a few different sources but the bottom line is that they’re out and now Ron Howard has stepped in to finish shooting the film which is still scheduled to come out in May.

Also, apparently they’ve hired a acting coach for Alden Ehrenreich. This is a very odd choice to do this late in production but at least they’re trying to fix the problems.

So the real questions are will Lord and Miller return to filming The Flash? Will Han Solo be a disjointed mess? And will Ehrenreich’s performance be so flip floppy that we won’t even be able to focus on the good parts? Hopefully all good things will come to fruition soon.(I.E. Apparently Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm got along great during The Last Jedi so that’s great!)

#38 – Star-Lord

I actually didn’t plan to have two Guardians of the Galaxy back to back but it works.

Peter Quill is one of those characters that changed a lot due to the films but I think it works very well for his character.

After losing his mother at a young age, Peter Quill is whisked away to the stars and becomes a pilot and smuggler all across the galaxy. His cavalier approach to situations is probably why I love him as a character. He always seems so calm and cool even if his own ship is blowing up around him. There’s never a point where you think that this is actually the end of Star-Lord.

The true core of his character comes from the love he has for those around him. Both him and Rocket put on these brave faces but when it ultimately comes down to it they just want to hang on to this new family they’ve found. A lot of times Quill can come off as a jerk but ultimately he has one of the biggest hearts around and that’s what makes him such a great character.

Of course we can’t mention him without talking Chris Pratt’s great performance and the wonderful addition of the classic rock songs. Honestly, together this all brought Star-Lord to the forefront of the company and it’s worked wonders for them.

The War Of Five Kings (GOT S2)

Season 2 of Game Of Thrones was a very interesting mix because it does have one of my favorite episodes but I do believe it to be the weakest season of the series.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s certainly not a bad season. It’s just that in comparison to the introductions of Season 1, the heartrending moments of Season 3, the character moments of Season 4, the scale of Season 5 or the new ground of Season 6 then it’s kinda hard to compare.

For those of us that were upset about the lack of battles in the first season, the second season more than makes up for it in the epic ninth episode : “Blackwater.” Which covers the battle of Blackwater Bay between The Lannister forces and Stannis Baratheon. It’s phenomenal by itself but it’s the exceptional lead-up to the episode that makes the season worth it in my opinion. Tyrion is clearly the lead character of this season and it’s because he’s the only one that can keep everyone alive in King’s Landing. His command of the army and his plan for defeating the navy is what saves the day…even though he gets no recognition for it at all.

Other characters like Jon and Arya find themselves in very different surroundings than what we saw for them in the first season. Jon being beyond the wall and ending up with a group of wildlings and Arya just trying to get out of Harrenhal alive. This actually leads to some of my favorite scenes in this season with Arya becoming Tywin’s cupbearer and trying to avoid them finding out who she really is. Jon’s story has some great moments but really they’re all just lead-up to his great story progression in Seasons 3 and 4.

Unfortunately the bad parts of this season are that Daenerys, Bran and Sansa basically just have the worst luck ever. Granted, Sansa basically ended up there herself but Bran couldn’t really do anything and Daenerys’ story is just sadness after sadness until she gets her Dragons back in the last episode. But it all works out for her cause season 3 basically belongs to her.

Favorite Episode : Blackwater

How could this not be the best episode? From the scale of thr battle to the character moments between Bronn and Sandor, Tyrion’s Speech to the troops or even Cersei’s story to Tommen. This was the episode that truly proved that this was going to go down as one of the greatest shows of all time.

Favorite Scene/Favorite Quote : The Riot.

This might seem like an odd choice but it’s genuinely one of my favorite. From Tyrion realizing exactly what’s about to happen, to Sandor saving Sansa and then of course, the most perfect quote : Tyrion : “We’ve had vicious kings, we’ve had idiot kings but we’ve never been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king.”

Joffrey : “You’re talking to a king!”

Tyrion slaps him and then : “Now I have struck a king! Did my hand fall from my wrist?!”

Just perfection.

Most Shocking MomentThree Blasts for White Walkers.

The grand finale for season two had to be the most shocking moment. Knowing that The White Walkers were finally heading south in force was one of the biggest shocks to all of us. Even those who had read the books were surprised because this scene actually takes place at the beginning of Book 3…which, of course we’ll get into in my Season Three retrospective : “The Rains Of Castamere.”