Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

MOVIE REVIEW: Joker (2019)

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*Minor Spoilers here*

Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker. -IMDb

The never-ending battle between Batman and Joker is a good vs. evil scenario that will continue into pop culture history. We all know the story of Batman. Ten-year-old Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. Thus the beginning of our epic hero begins.

However, what do we know about the Joker’s backstory? How did this man descent into such madness and psychopathy to cause great harm to Gotham City?

Throughout the Joker’s comic history, his origin story keeps changing. He has told so many origin stories that he doesn’t remember which one is the correct one. So this somewhat ambiguous backstory gave the writers of Joker the freedom to create their telling of Joker’s beginning.

I had heard early reviews that this movie was a different take on the Joker character. I am up for a unique story or a different way to tell an origin story. However, when I watched this movie, I had found a movie that I needed to chew and digest.

First off, Gotham City is experiencing not only a garbage man strike but a bad financial recession. In the comics, Gotham City has always been portrayed as the ghetto or where lower-income families live. I feel these circumstances extenuate how not only how Arthur feels, but how the lower-income citizens feel.

This film came under a lot of controversy for “glorifying gun violence”. To a certain extent, I can understand where those people are coming from. The Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting caused a ripple effect when it comes to movies and portraying violence. On the other hand, where the Deadpool movie was just pure chaos. I felt like the people Arthur, and then Joker, murdered were meaningful and had a reason behind each one.

Of course, this brings up the issue that comes with all violent acts, real or fictional, where mental health is the main factor. People use gun violence because it’s a tangible concept “I can see a gun, and I’ve seen gunfire”.

Whereas the idea of mental health isn’t tangible to most people who are either uneducated in the matter or choose to ignore mental illnesses. “I can’t physically see mental disorders” or “I don’t know anyone with mental illnesses” plague the evergoing argument.

Joker is about a man with mental disorders. Life keeps throwing him hard balls, and he loses his sanity after he lost his job and can no longer afford his medication. He gives up on trying to hide his disorders and trying to just be satisfied with the way the world is in Gotham City. He lets the madness consume him.

Overall, I really enjoyed Joker the psychological aspects of this and my love of the comics made this movie my favorite movie of 2019.

Check out my other movie reviews here!

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Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Green Arrow: Quiver by Kevin Smith

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Collection of Green Arrow (2001) #1-5

*No Major Spoilers*

The original Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, reemerges after years of being assumed dead. But many people, including Black Canary, his ex-lover, Arsenal, his ex-partner, Connor Hawke, his son and temporary successor and Batman, the Dark Knight Detective, want to know how Green Arrow survived the airplane explosion and where he has been.

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Superman and Batman having an intense discussion during Green Arrow: Quiver.

I love Green Arrow! Not the one that is on TV, the one(s) in the comic books are better. I was excited to find this graphic novel at my library, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you today!

A lot of casual comic book fans like me, feel intimidated at times when selecting a graphic novel. Overarching stories, major events, and other things that cause comic books to become confusing can make selecting a stand-alone story to be difficult. However, I felt this graphic novel explains things that happened previously, in a nice way so I didn’t feel like I didn’t know what was going on throughout the story.

I felt the story was well written and well put together. Even though the story gets “trippy”  about midway through, I was still able to follow along and came out satisfied.

To elaborate on the “trippy” aspect of the story, it kind of reminded me of the Doctor Strange comics at times, with the likes of supernatural beings and realms it gave an interest to the story I didn’t really expect coming out of Green Arrow. Green Arrow is usually a traditional story without supernatural elements, but this one was a nice change of pace.

One downside I found is, there’s not much action, it’s more of deep thinking and philosophying with splashes of magic and kicking butt.

Overall, this book was a good read, the art style fit the moods really well when necessary, the story kept my interest, I would definitely recommend it for the casual Green Arrow fan as well as the comic book aficionado.

 

Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Batman: Gordon of Gotham by Chuck Dixon

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*No Spoilers*

Collects BATMAN: GORDON OF GOTHAM #1-4, BATMAN: GCPD #1-4 and BATMAN: GORDON’S LAW #1-4.

Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon stars in this new collection of crime stories from the 1990s that stars the colorful, determined cops of Batman’s home town.

The first story in this volume, Batman: Gordon’s Law, Commissioner Gordon has stumbled upon a coverup of a huge money laundering bust, the only trace is the few remaining $1,000 dollar bills.

Now, without Batman’s help, by Commissioner Gordon’s request, is a man on a mission to set things right and bust up the corrupt cops involved.

I felt like this novel set the tone for the rest of this collection. It was gritty, rough, and brought Gordon into a light not many others get to see. He might be the commissioner of Gotham City, but he’s still a cop no matter what politics may say.

Seeing him take this case on without much of Batman’s aid, makes you truly see how rough and corrupt not only the Gotham Police Department but Gotham City as a whole. Gordon is just one man, but he’s doing his best to clean up the police corruption.

The second story, Batman: GCPD includes three stories from three of Gotham City’s finest detectives. I have read some of the comics surrounding the GCPD, and I have enjoyed them. It’s interesting to see an inside look into Gotham’s police department.

The story starts when Sargent Harvey Bullock beats up a costumed low-life and his partner goes to request a transfer. Commissioner Gordon grants her the transfer, and so she reassigns Bullock a new partner. All while Harvey is dealing with a rampant serial killer, Internal Affairs breathing down his neck, and his partner getting kidnapped on her new case, Another set of detectives are on the hunt for a string of high-stakes thefts.

I found Sargent Bullock’s case the most interesting, someone in Gotham is going around killing seemingly random men and only leaving them with a teddy bear dressed up as their profession. The mystery was entertaining and intriguing.

Overall, I enjoyed this second story in this collection. I would say the writing was good, and the characters had interesting storylines and characteristics.

The final and main story: Batman: Gordon of Gotham is as fantastic as the other two stories in this epic volume. The story is about Gordon opening up to Batman about a time in his past when he was a beat cop in Chicago. An assassin who got away.

I love how Gordon is telling Batman a story about his past. Both are lonely characters and to see them bonding in this way makes me happy. I just figured the this was just Gordon getting something off of his chest. Boy, was I wrong!

After storytime is over, Batman tells Gordon something he already knew he had to do: go get sweet vengeance.

Overall these three stories, I enjoyed each of them for different reasons. I would highly recommend this collection for lovers of crime dramasCommissioner James Gordon, and of course Batman. Even though Batman doesn’t have that much of a presence in this collection, it’s not Batman’s story, it’s the hard-working detectives at GCPD who make this collection worth reading.

Check Out My Review of Gotham Central!

Check Out Some of the DC Comics I’ve Previously Reviewed!

Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Aquaman, Vol. 2: The Others by Geoff Johns

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*No Major Spoilers*

The adventures of Aquaman continue as old memories resurface as members of The Others return in the search for Aquaman for help. Black Manta has been hunting each member down for a piece of their jewelry, but why?

Aquaman, Mera, and The Others start the hunt for the infamous arch-nemesis to figure out why he’s needing these pieces of jewelry. However, will Aquaman let his long lost friends aid him in the search?

As the saga continues, I’m enjoying every moment of this storyline! The art, the relatable characters, I just love a good story. This is that story.

I think this could be a stand-alone graphic novel, it doesn’t bring up the plot from the previous volume. So if you’re just reading this for Black Manta, then you’re good to go.

I am not familiar with The Others, and some of their own storylines left me confused and made me felt like I needed to research them. Hopefully, this will be resolved to go further into the main storyline.

Buy it on Amazon (not sponsored)

Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Aquaman, Vol. 1: The Trench by Geoff Johns

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*No Spoilers*

The reader follows Aquaman as he tries to live with the humans. However, he and his wife Mera face harassment and prejudice from the humans. He doesn’t want to be the ruler of the Atlantis because of the fact that he’s half human and half Atlantian. The people of Atlantis won’t accept him as their ruler.

Things go awry when these unknown creatures arise from the trench and start feeding on the human fisherman. So, it’s up to Aquaman to save the day for the tiny fishing island. To unravel the mystery of what these creatures are and how to stop them from attacking humans ever again.

I think people have this idea of Aquaman as a lame superhero. Thinking him as useless to the Justice League, and the DC comic universe as a whole. However, he keeps the waters safe for both the sea life and the humans.

I thought the conflicts within Aquaman that occur throughout this story made him feel like a fully fleshed character. He and Mera just want to live a quiet life amongst humans, but the prejudices and jokes can make people unbearable.

Posted in DC comics, Personal Blogs

Welcome back to D.C. Week!

Hello everyone!

I hope you enjoyed Marvel week! Even with some minor complications on my end (insufficient library), we got it figured out. Jessica Jones is one of my favorite female superheroes! She’s relatable, realistic, and she’s got the hottest husband ever!

I also hope you also enjoyed my review of The Ballad of Black Bart by Loren B. Estleman! This western, even with its difficult vocabulary, has won me back to the genre so you might be seeing more westerns in the future!

However, let’s get this pony show on the road, let’s announce what the theme for DC week will be *insert drum roll here*

Next week’s theme is Aquaman! Can this seemingly “lame” superhero be given new life both on the big screen and in the comics? Let’s find out together!

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I wish to see you soon!

Elisha’s Book Reviews

Posted in Book Reviews, DC comics, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: The Joker: Endgame

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*No Spoilers*

This horrific graphic novel follows Joker as he prepares for his final joke on Gotham. He is tired of the games and his “friendship” with Batman. So this is one last hoorah. This joke, however, might be the deadliest one yet!

This novel also follows Batman as he’s trying to figure out how to solve the Joker’s deadly endgame plans and save Gotham from total destruction; not only from Joker but from themselves. With the help of the Bat Family will they be successful?

Meanwhile, a small group of inmates from Arkham Manor abduct one of the doctors and take her to meet Joker. Each one tells her these delusions on what the Joker told them. Each wants their delusion of the Joker’s backstory to be true. But are they really correct?

What is the joke that Joker’s planning? Is Joker just a man who went mad, or his he something else entirely?

This book left me befuddled, amazed and had to ruminate about. I was not expecting the way it ended! I know I continue saying that, but I only say it when the book leaves me not having an immediate response. That’s when you know it’s a good read!

I had to do a little research on YouTube from fellow comic book enthusiasts so I could make sure I understood this story to it’s fullest content. I might have been cheating by doing this, but it’s just a lot to take in and digest. I will link to the resource I used in case any of you are interested in hearing a summary of this epic novel.

Credit: https://www.youtube.com/user/fluidicbeats

The video does contain spoilers of course. I would say that this is a must read for all comic fans. I would say light research might be needed to fully understand the plot, but I wouldn’t let that detour you from this graphic novel.