Tuesday, December 08, 2009

TV Tuesday: Brave and the Bold, Super Hero Squad, Human Target, and FlashForward

"A less obnoxious version of Miles Gloriosus..."



The Aquaman Shrine has a great interview up with James Tucker, producer of one of the greatest cartoon adventure shows ever, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In it, Tucker talks about the inspiration that led to the Completely Awesome version of Aquaman on that show.

I Say Thee, "Yay!"



Speaking of great cartoon adventure shows...

I had a hard time getting into the first couple of episodes of The Super Hero Squad Show. The character designs are horrid and the humor takes some getting used to. It's not nearly as subtle as, say, The Brave and the Bold, which is really saying something. But now that I'm used to its tone, it's one of the shows I most look forward to.

These are not the versions of Marvel's heroes in comics, neither current nor Old School. They're far more simplified (iconic?) and - in their way - far more entertaining. Instead of being the angst-plagued heroes that Marvel fans know and love, they're goofy and fun.

Thor, for instance, with his cocky bravado, is Super Hero Squad's answer to Brave and the Bold's Aquaman. Silver Surfer talks like, well, a surfer. The Hulk is a relatively harmless stooge (unless, of course, you make him angry). Captain America makes Adam West's Batman look like a jay-walking hippie. Wolverine is grumpy all the time. Falcon is... well, maybe not a screw-up, but he certainly takes a lot of chances that get him into trouble.

Ms Marvel is the team's SHIELD liaison who barely tolerates their presence on her helicarrier. And I swear that in one episode - when Ms Marvel kicked the team out of their headquarters and they were looking for a place to spend the night - Iron Man actually thought about seeing if She-Hulk had room, but then reconsidered, thinking, "Well, maybe if it was just me..." In other words, he's a lot more loose and fun than the loser responsible for Civil War.

There are always great cameos too. Valkyrie and Black Widow have both been on. Dr. Strange is a favorite guest-star (all the Super Hero Squaddies are afraid to go into his house). And the bad guys are also great. Dr. Doom is a raving madman who leads the other super-villains, with MODOK and the Abomination being his two main henchmen. Abomination's just as dumb as the Hulk and there's a running gag about his horrible smell.

One of the most pleasant surprises though was the introduction of the character Reptil, who has the ability to replace parts of his body with dinosaur parts.



I silently mocked Reptil when I saw the cover for his one and only (so far) comic appearance. The cover art is by Humberto Ramos, whom I love, so I was probably prejudiced by the spelling of Reptil's name. But he's got an awesome power and my son and I are both big fans now thanks to the TV version. We've even dug in the back issue bins at the comics shop and found that comic. The art's not good (Ramos didn't do the interiors), but the story by Christos Gage is, full as it is of dinosaurs, reptile people, cat-women, cave boys, jungle lords, sabretooth tigers, and missing paleontologists. I'm not holding my breath, but I hope someone's able to continue Reptil's story soon.

Anyway, Super Hero Squad is awesome and you should be watching it.

Human Target



Another show I wasn't sure I was going to like. I enjoyed Peter Milligan's Human Target comics, but I kept hearing this referred to as a Jackie Earle Haley show and - while I liked him a lot in Watchmen (and Breaking Away) - I didn't think he was right to play Christopher Chance.

Turns out, he's not playing Chance at all, but one of Chance's partners and he looks really, really cool. Mark Valley (Boston Legal) is playing Chance and looks much more like what I imagined.

Plus, Chi McBride, whom I dearly miss from Pushing Daisies (he and Kristin Chenoweth were the best parts of that show).

Plus plus, the TV spot that Diane and I saw the other night looked great.

Plus plus plus, when I explained the concept to Diane (a bodyguard-for-hire who disguises himself as his clients and takes over their lives until he can figure out who's trying to kill them), she immediately thought it was cool and I was reminded how much I thought so too. The show starts Sunday, January 17th, and we'll be watching.

FlashForward from an artist's perspective



Robert Ullman explains what drives him crazy about FlashForward. It's not the same thing that drives me crazy about it, but the end result is the same. I'm not as close to being done with it as I am Glee, but I'm caring less and less about it as it progresses.
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