Gotham Review (Pilot): "I'm Batman...Or Maybe I'm Not"

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I am a huge Batman fan.  On Monday, Fox aired the pilot episode of its new show “Gotham”, a show focusing on Jim Gordon and to a lesser extent Bruce Wayne long before he decides to become Batman.  I’ve been…nervous…about this show for awhile, and now its time for me to give my thoughts on the Pilot.

The reason that I have been so nervous about this show is that the premise is somewhat flawed: we all know what Gotham looks like when Batman arrives, so we know that no matter what happens in the show, it's always going to be worse, not better.  That and the previews made it seem like the Batman references would be way over the top.

After watching the pilot, I have mixed feelings. First, let's talk about what the show did well.  The pilot sold me on the premise that the show would work best as a crime procedural focusing on future  commissioner Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock.  During the pilot, the tension and drama between the two was set up very well and was interesting to watch.  If the show had focused only on these two trying to solve the Wayne murder, I think it would have been a great pilot.

Where the pilot falls short is the Batman references.  First of all, there's way too many just in the pilot.  We've been told that in future episodes it will not be as bad but Gotham needs to take a page from the Arrow playbook.  The DC nods in Arrow work because they are subtle but visible enough for even the average fanboy.  In Gotham, the references are so obvious it just feels like the show is screaming "HEY THIS IS A BATMAN SHOW DID YOU KNOW THIS IS A BATMAN SHOW LOOK BATMAN!". I mean, you can have Oswald Cobblepot  and Edward Nygma in the show as supporting characters, but leave it at just their names.  Don't have thugs tease Oswald and call him a penguin!  And don't have Nygma trying to make a riddle every time he opens his mouth!  There are so many other ways that you can build up their characters, but making the obvious reference straight out of the gate just makes it feel campy.

Also, Ive seen several interpretations on screen of Alfred in my years, but jeez the one in Gotham has to be the worst version I have ever seen.  He sounds more Australian than British, and just the way he talks and acts just pulls me out of the show every time he is on the screen.  Its like nails on a chalkboard to me!  Can we get a descent actor in this role please?

Overall, it was a pilot, and we all know that pilots can tend to be pretty rough.  I am intrigued by the show and will continue to watch the show over the next few weeks to see how it goes.  If the producers are smart, they will make it more of a procedural set in Gotham than the lame Batman prequel that keeps trying to come out.

Obsessive Comics Disorder #54: "I'm A Superhero, Not A Doctor"

This week, Mark joins us again for some fun and we start a new segment - the OCD top 3!  You guys get to play at home with this one by sending us the funniest things you'd never hear Batman say and using the hashtag #ocdtop3.  We'll read the best ones on next week's show.

This Week In Gotham

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/01/riley-allen-mullins-ipod-facebook_n_5426693.html?utm_hp_ref=crime

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/31/bear-in-a-hammock-daytona-beach_n_5424012.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/30/father-son-urinal-thieves_n_5420448.html?utm_hp_ref=dumb-criminals

Current Obsessions

Chris:  @midnight, infinite crisis, the Wil Wheaton project

Philip:  Tons of Netflix

Mark:  Hearthstone

Blog Post Mad Libs

Top 3: Things You'd Never Hear Batman Say

Letter From A Douchebag Editor

Closing

If you'd like to comment or contribute to the show, send us an email at 

feedback@ocdcast.com

.  You can also talk to us online, I'm @ChrisTheProf on twitter and Philip is 

@Philip_OCD.

  You can also follow us on facebook at facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder.  The background music in this episode was composed by Andrew Allen and can be found on his CD's "Free Play" and "Smooth Federation" - thanks for letting us play them on the show!  Check out ocdcast.com for other great stuff, including my tabletop gaming podcast "Boards & Swords".

Obsessive Comics Disorder #49: "A Giant Cat Crushed My New Phone!"

This week, Philip and I try out a new bit at the beginning of the show, talk about the new phone and tablet that Verizon gave Philip (he just had to sign his life away for it), and make fun of Fox for trying to create a family friendly version of The Walking Dead.

This Week In Gotham

Lab Accident Releases Giant Cat!

A LexCorp subsidiary in Tokyo, Japan was experimenting with new types of Kryptonite and its effects on animal life, but the  company bit off more than it can chew when one of its test kittens grew to 30 stories tall!  The cat initally ran amok, causing serious damage to skyscrapers as it scratched I ts claws on them.  Since then, the Tokyo police have been able to keep the animal contained by shining the Japanese Bat-signal on the ground to distract it.

UPDATE:  LexCorp is touting that the incident was not an accident and was planned in part with YouTube to promote Lex Luthor's new web series.  A spokesman for LexCorp stated: "Hey, people love cats, and Lex Luthor is a man who gives the people what they want, and much more."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/18/lotte-gum-ad-japan-cat_n_4986249.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news

Current Obsessions

Chris:  X-wing, Cards Against Humanity

Philip:  New Phone!!!!  New Tablet!!!!

FAIL! of the Week

An Edited, "Family Friendly" Walking Dead Is Coming To A Fox Channel

http://ift.tt/1g4W4Y4

Closing

If you'd like to comment or contribute to the show, send us an email at 

feedback@ocdcast.com

.  You can also talk to us online, I'm @ChrisTheProf on twitter and Philip is 

@Philip_OCD.

  You can also follow us on facebook at facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder.  The background music in this episode was composed by Andrew Allen and can be found on his CD's "Free Play" and "Smooth Federation" - thanks for letting us play them on the show!  Check out ocdcast.com for other great stuff, including my tabletop gaming podcast "Boards & Swords".

Obsessive Comics Disorder #47: "Trying (And Failing) To Do Something New For A Change"

) This week, I tried to do a couple of different things in an effort to improve the show. Some of them didn't pan out the way that I had hoped so standby as I'll be working on them for the future. What we do have on this episode is a special guest! Mark from the RambleOn podcast joins us to talk Diablo, board games, and who would win in a fight: Batman vs the entire Green Lantern Corps!

Quick Fix #19: Nightwing #25 (DC Comics)

photo 5
photo 5

Today marks the last Quick Fix for awhile - let me know if you liked them and perhaps they will come back!  Today I'm looking at Nightwing #25, another Zero Year tie-in.  Can Dick Grayson make it back to his family when he's stranded in Gotham City when all hell breaks loose?

feedback@ocdcast.com

http://ocdcast.com

http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf

http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

Quick Fix #18: Action Comics #25 (DC Comics)

photo 4
photo 4

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today, I'm talking about *another* Zero Year title, Action Comics #25.  Can Superman use his amazing powers to help the people of Gotham from the oncoming super storm heading their way?

feedback@ocdcast.com

http://ocdcast.com

http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf

http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

Quick Fix #15: Batman #25 (DC Comics)

photo 1 (6)
photo 1 (6)

Welcome back for another week of Quick Fix!  Today, I look at Batman #25, a "Zero Year" issue.  Batman's on the run from the cops as he and Detective Gordon both try to figure out who is killing Wayne Enterprises scientists.

feedback@ocdcast.com

http://ocdcast.com

http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf

http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

Obsessive Comics Disorder #43: "It's Technology At The Intersection of Dick Tracy and Knight Rider"

In this episode, we jump all over the place; like talking about new wearable technology like Dick Tracy had.  Speaking of Dick Tracy, who came first: Dick Tracy or Batman?  Will Warlords of Draenor suck us back into WoW (Spoiler: Probably)?  Will either of us buy the new PS4 or Xbox One?  And what the heck are we going to do for a Christmas Show?!  All that and more this week!

Originally Recorded on November 17th, 2013

We live and die on your feedback!  Send us an email, let us know what's on your mind.

feedback@ocdcast.com

http://ocdcast.com

http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf

http://twitter.com/Philip_OCD

http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

Quick Fix #9: Forever Evil: Arkham War #2 (DC Comics)

photo (6)
photo (6)

While the Bat's away, the villains shall play!  Gotham's worst seem to be split down the middle, eager to take the city for themselves.  Today we are talking about Forever Evil: Arkham War #2 of 6 by DC Comics.

What did you think?

feedback@ocdcast.com http://ocdcast.comhttp://twitter.com/ChrisTheProfhttp://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder 

Quick Fix #8: Forever Evil #3 (DC Comics)

photo 1 (5)
photo 1 (5)

More details are revealed on where the Justice League have gone!  What's this?  Lex Luthor and other villains are banding together against the Crime Syndicate?  Today, we look at Forever Evil #3.

feedback@ocdcast.com http://ocdcast.com http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

Quick Fix #6: Batman And Two Face #24

photo 3 (1)
photo 3 (1)

The woman who turned Harvey Dent into Two Face is back in Gotham!  Can Batman put aside his grief over Daiman's fate and help bring her to justice?  Today, we look at Batman And Robin Two Face #24.

feedback@ocdcast.comhttp://ocdcast.com http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

Quick Fix #5: Batman, Incorporated (DC Comics)

Batman_Inc_Volume_2_logo
Batman_Inc_Volume_2_logo

This week, I'll be going back to talk about a few comics that aren't necessarily "new" releases, starting today with my thoughts summarizing Grant Morrison's Batman, Incorporated run in the new 52.  When Batman decides to take his mission global. a new terrorist group known as "Leviathan" decides to strike back, having a score to settle with the Dark Knight.

What did you think?

feedback@ocdcast.comhttp://ocdcast.com http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

Quick Fix #1: Damian: Son of Batman #1 (DC Comics)

photo (5)
photo (5)

You may have seen it elsewhere, but in November I've set myself of goal of updating this site at least once a day.  So, to help me with that, I've decided to start a "mini-cast" to go in the OCD podcast feed called "Quick Fix" - short reviews of individual comic issues where I can give you my thoughts and opinions on what comics I am reading.  Today, its Damian: Son of Batman #1 by Andy Kubert.

Summary: When a tragic explosion kills Batman, his son and current Robin, Damian Wayne, is left to pick up the pieces and continue Batman's mission - but first can he get over his own guilt?

feedback@ocdcast.com http://ocdcast.com http://twitter.com/ChrisTheProf http://facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder

"What Is Your Favorite Superhero?" - OCDtv #23

This week, I decided to try something different and ask my followers on Twitter/Facebook if they had any comic/gaming related questions that they wanted me to answer. Tani posted up on my Facebook page (facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder), curious about what my favorite superhero was and why.

Let me know what you think of the video, and feel free to submit questions of your own that you'd like to see me tackle.

Comic Review: Batman Earth One - OCDtv #21

On this week's episode, I actually review some comics!  Imagine that!  I take a look at Geoff John's "Batman Earth One" Trade Paperback from DC Comics and let you know what I think about this.  It's been out for awhile, but I had just recently been able to get my hands on it.  Let me know if you've read it!

Got any suggestions for other comic stories that I should be reading?  Leave them in the comments below!

Comic Review: Legends of the Dark Knight #1 (DC Comics)

Yesterday, I decided that I had so many ideas for Batman-related blog posts that I would just make this week Bat-Week. So far, you can read my review of The Dark Knight Rises or check out one of the not as popular new 52 Batman comics. Today, I thought I would offer up another comic review, but this time I'm reviewing the digital exclusive comic Legends of the Dark Knight by Damon Lindelof and Jeff Lemire. Read on for my thoughts...

width=500

I had heard of this comic when it first debuted not too long ago, but I picked it up recently for the same reason that I tried out the Red Hood comic: it is only $0.99. That price point is my prime target for digital comics and I will try out just about anything at that price. So earlier this week when I was looking for some cheap comics I rediscovered this title and decided to try out the first issue.

Let's just say I won't be picking up anymore issues. I hated this comic! First of all, it felt like there was hardly a story here at all. There was 20+ pages, but each page is formatted landscape and there is not much on each page. We end up getting a small story about how Alfred teaches Batman a lesson early on in his crime-fighting....and that's it. In my opinion, there isn't hardly anything here that is entertaining on any level: if this lesson was incorporated into a normal comic, it would have taken up 2-3 pages and that is it. Which is basically what I got: 2-3 normal comic pages worth of story.

Not only that, but the story itself plays out as very weak. The Batman in this story makes some fairly big mistakes, ones that I couldn't really believe he was doing upon first read. When I sat back and thought about it, it *might* make sense that they would be mistakes that Batman would make early on--but its a stretch. To make matters worse, I am NOT a fan of the artwork in this issue at all. There was one particular panel that was a close up of Batman's face and it almost made me gag.

IN CONCLUSION: Don't bother with this comic. There are plenty of other good digital comics that take advantage of the $0.99 price point very well - IDW's Transformers: Autocracy series is a great example of this. Go read that comic instead.

Have you found any really cheap digital comics lately? Let me know in the comments below, or send me an email at chris@ocdcast.com.

Comic Review: Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 (DC Comics)

With everyone in the Batman mood, I thought that I would continue the Bat-theme of this week with a Batman comic that some of you may not have heard of. It's Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort, which came out last year in September with The New 52 initiative that DC has going. Jump past the break to see what I thought about this comic.

width=500

With DC's new 52, I was trying to limit which comics I read and which ones I passed on. Honestly, if I had the money, I would have read them all. Even though it is a Batman related property, I haven't been a big fan of Jason Todd, so I passed on it for now. Yet, today I was browsing through comics on Comixology and this comic along with its $0.99 price tag convinced me to try it out.

In this comic, we have Jason Todd, who was once Robin but is now parading around as Red Hood. Joining him is Green Arrow's former sidekick Roy Harper and the alien princess Starfire. Together, these misfits band together to form a team that specializes in the tasks that lie in the morally gray area. I remember when this comic came out it got a lot of bad press for its portrayal of Starfire. It is not the cartoony Starfire shown in Teen Titans, that is for sure. While there are a few moments where I wish she was more of a stronger woman figure, she has been given some skimpy outfits by artists for quite a long time now. So her personally does not really shock me that much. Plus, as a band of misfits, she works in this group.

I like this comic. To me, it seems to be of the same sort as the Secret Avengers title that Marvel has - the black ops group that does the deeds that the A list super heroes can't be seen doing. It isn't perfect - for instance as much as Jason Todd makes it seem that he is trying to get away from the Batman, he runs around with a big red bat on his chest. Even with its minor flaws, it is an interesting story that has captured my attention.

IN CONCLUSION: Buy this comic. The first issue is less than a buck, so what do you have to lose? I've already went ahead and bought the second issue, and I'm sure I'll be buying the third issue really soon as well.

Did you enjoy this comic? What other Batman comics should I review this week?

Why I Was Disappointed By The Dark Knight Rises

What? You might be saying to yourself right now, How could someone as big a Batman fan as Chris be disappointed by that movie? Everyone else is talking about how great it is. Come forth, reader, as I explain my mixed feelings on the matter.

 

In the midst of all the horrible news surrounding Aurora and the shooting (my prayers go out to all the friends and families of the people involved), I decided to go see The Dark Knight Rises, the conclusion to the Batman trilogy that I have loved so much. Now, before I got into why I was disappointed, let me explain myself a bit. This movie was epic. It was a fitting piece to the Nolan trilogy, tying itself back into the other two movies so seamlessly that it makes me wonder if Christopher Nolan had planned this all along. From a movie goer perspective, I loved this movie. It is the Batman fan in me that is conflicted.

 

For three hours, I sat and watched, both curious and anxious as to how Christopher Nolan was going to end his tale on Batman. Afterwards, when it was all said and done, I felt....conflicted. It was a very weird feeling, as I could not completely explain why I felt the way that I did. To put it into perspective, when I saw Batman Begins for the first time, I was so completely amazed and excited. I couldn't stop talking about it for weeks.

 

For The Dark Knight, I was still amazed/excited about the movie, but for different reasons. Mainly, I was very much impressed with Heath Ledger's Joker. In fact, I think part of my disappointment with The Dark Knight Rises stems from the fact that we will never get the conclusion that was supposed to happen: the conclusion where Batman and the Joker face each other for the final time. The Joker storyline in The Dark Knight was left open, but because of the death of Heath Ledger we will never know what the 3rd Batman movie would had been like if he had been in it.

To me, my biggest letdown was the ending. I am not going to spoil anything, but I enjoyed the way that the movie set up Batman with obsticles that he had to rise above - I just didn't like the fact that these obsticles led to the conclusion that we got. Honestly, I spent a long time trying to think of what I would have done in Nolan's place. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the end of the movie should be chopped off and we needed a fourth Batman movie.

It was at this point I realized why I was disappointed by The Dark Knight Rises: a series that I had come to love was over. The conflicting feelings that I had were the same as when my favorite TV shows come to a finale - you may enjoy the ending, but you hate the fact that its over. Now that I have figured this out, I want to go see the movie again and just enjoy it for what it is. Actually, what I really want to do now is watch all three movies back to back and take in the movies as a trilogy and see how I feel then.

Bottom Line: Go see the movie. It is a very good movie; and I want to know what you think. Am I off base here? Did you feel any differently? Let me know.

 

The Best On Screen Version Of Batman

In celebration of the release of The Dark Knight Rises, I thought that I would write about the version of Batman that I have loved the most over the years, which is, of course Batman: The Animated Series. After the jump, I explain why I feel this is the case.

width=445

Batman: The Animated Series (or B:TAS) is the version of Batman that I grew up with. I remember every day coming home from school, doing my homework, and watching Batman while my mother was cooking dinner. In fact, I loved it so much that mom started taping episodes for me, so I could watch them over and over again. Those VHS tapes actually still exist, and it is so great watching them again and seeing all the commercials from the '90s.

Watching that show as I grew up was what made me a Batman fan. I did not really get into Batman comics on a regular basis until just a couple of years ago. So that version of Batman is the version that I compare all iterations of Batman against. The way that Kevin Conroy voiced both Batman and Bruce Wayne as two separate people is something that was new to the Batman mythos - and something that we still see to this day in Christain Bale's Batman. The show was written for people of all ages; there was enough to appeal to me as a kid and even to this day I am amazed by the deep storytelling in each episode. Going back and watching episodes like Heart of Ice - which would forever redefine Mr. Freeze - is always entertaining. It is the kind of writing and storytelling that you do not really see in a cartoon. It actually is more like American anime than your standard Saturday morning cartoon.

There is no doubt in my mind that Batman: The Animated Series is not only the best portrayal of Batman on screen, but probably the best cartoon/TV show to ever be aired on television. One of my dreams is to be able to interview Kevin Conroy for one of my shows. I buy any Batman-related items that he lends his voice to, because I enjoy his portrayal that much.

What about you? Did you enjoy B:TAS as much as I did? Or did you have another favorite show/cartoon that affected you in the same manner? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Relative Dimensions #10: "Blown Away By Batman And Digging The DCUO"

We take a break from our normal format this week to bring you a special video game edition of Relative Dimensions.  Specifically, we talk about Batman: Arkham City and DC Universe Online, in addition to other games that we've been playing.
Email: relativedimensionspodcast@gmail.com Website: relativedimensionspodcast.com “Our theme music is ‘L3’ by Skyhawk from his album ‘Function’, which you can find on iTunes”.