But first: long live the king-isms part 2. Yep, so we have a king now! Last Tuesday, the 30th, it was Queenís Day, and also the day on which our new king was sworn in. I watched the ceremony on live-stream, and it was a pretty cool thing to see. Iím a sucker for traditions like these, so this in particular was really something. And it seems I wasnít the only one either! The whole plaza in front of the church where it all took place was absolutely stuffed with people just as supportive as I am. Donít worry though, in a few weeks time weíll continue the usual bullshit of how the royal family is paid too much and we should become a republic and yada-yada-yada.
Yeah, we kind of have this thing with the color orange. Blame this guy.
Anyway, I just thought Iíd bring you up to speed; you know how much I like sharing these things. Moving on then.
I donít know if Iíve ever told you this, but when it comes to popular culture, I have these ďphasesĒ as I like to call them. They consist of a couple of weeks in which I want to do nothing but drown myself in everything I can find from one series or another. Not too long ago I had a Lord of the Rings phase, Iíve had Legend of Zelda phases, Lovecraft phases, you name it.
This week saw the return of my superhero phase. Strider, Phil? I blame you.
So I got myself a whole bunch of new superhero series to watch, on top of the many (many) animated movies I already had. For one, it turns out that Marvel made four short anime series out of some of their characters: Iron Man, the X-men, Wolverine (yes, another one >.>;) and Blade. Iíve started watching that Iron Man anime already, and itís pretty okay. Because itís an anime itís set in Japan, which makes for an interesting setting. It turns out the Japanese arenít very keen on Tony Starkís playboy attitude and theyíre understandably suspicious of this former weapons manufacturer bringing nuclear material into the country to build his power plant. Itís cool to see how he deals with that. (he doesnít, really) The dubbed voices and lipsynching arenít all that, but I can forgive it.
The other series I havenít started yet, but they all look pretty decent. Iím actually more interested in Wolverine than I should be, mostly because itís the first series Iíve seen in years in which he doesnít look like Hugh Jackman. Weíll see how all of this holds up.
And thatís it for the Marvel side of things.
As for DC, Iíve started rewatching the old Teen Titans series. Series like these were always a massive pain to follow when I was a kid. No channel could ever be arsed to simply run the episodes in order, so I never really had much of an idea of what was going on in the grand scheme of things. Watching it online or on DVD works wonders for that though. Teen Titans, looking back on it, is actually much more kid-oriented than I remember it being, but itís still pretty cool. Slade (= Deathstroke, but I guess they couldnít get away with that) is a delightful villain, but most of all I like watching Raven and Beast Boy use their powers. ďAzarath Metrion Zinthos!Ē and all that. Iím not too far in yet, but it holds up pretty well so far.
Finally, the last series I started watching, and without a doubt the best one, is Young Justice. For those not in the know, Young Justice features a team of all the DC sidekicks performing ďcovertĒ missions which always seem to end up with something exploding. Every episode so far has dealt with a different villain (although they all seem to be working for the same mastermind, some group or entity known as ďthe LightĒ), and they have all been envisioned really well.
The same goes, if not more so, for the heroes. Young Justice manages to make all of these sidekicks forces to be reckoned with despite their age and inexperience, and they all come together beautifully when they get to work together as a team. †Their characters as such are mostly good (with the possible exception of Superboy, who is kind of a dick sometimes), but the series does do nice things with their powers and skills. And isnít that ultimately what we watch this shit for?†
Left to right: Aqualad, Miss Martian, Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash, Artemis
Robin, for example, is more Batman-style hyper-competent in Young Justice than Iíve ever seen him. Heís incredibly clever, especially for a 13-year-old, and has all of the gadgets youíd expect from him, not to mention the skill to use them. Heís also apparently a master hacker, which is used to great effect on multiple occasions. The series sometimes seems to forget that the Young Justice team is supposed to be ďcovertĒ, but when it does remember you can bet your ass that Robin is vital for the mission. Finally, he has thisÖďthingĒ with words. Itís difficult to explain. ††
Miss Martian, Superboy and Kid Flash are all more or less what youíd expect from them. Superboy is strong and refuses to die (yawn), Kid Flash is fast and Miss Martian does the whole telekinesis and telepathy thing. I do really like how the team has basically ditched the standard com-links in favor of Miss Martianís telepathy. Less susceptible to tapping, you know. Again, the real treat is in seeing how this all comes together.
Aqualad, as I understand it, was an original creation for the Young Justice show, and heís awesome-and-a-half. Heís currently the leader of the group (mostly because Robin has this tendency to just assume everyone knows what the plan is without him saying a word), which is sure to please some African-american viewers. †He talks in this kind of old-timey royal way of speaking which I always really enjoy. But what I appreciate most of all about this guy is that they gave him the power to control water with his mind. Yep, heís a waterbender. His coolest asset are his weapons: he wields two empty hilts designed to help him focus his waterbending skills. What he does is he takes these hilts and channels water through them to create water swords, shields, maces, whips, you name it. A really clever way of using that power which I havenít seen since Avatar (interestingly, in Avatar it was mostly the firebenders who created elemental weapons). On top of that, he can generate electric shocks like eels and is mostly immune to poison like jellyfish. Perhaps there are some other powers related to sea creatures that havenít yet been shown; Iím eager to find out. Either way, a really cool interpretation of a character that could have been completely crap.
Finally, before we get to the caps thereís one more sidekick to go over. Fortunately, I can keep this short.
Last but not least, thereís Artemis. Which is to say: