DC Comics

Guiding Gotham


I have been faithfully keeping up with the new Fox series Gotham. The premise for which is a show based on the city of Gotham that a young Bruce Wayne grows up in after the death of his parents. Since He is a child, there will be no Batman in this series. That is the biggest challenge of the show. How do you do a story about Gotham City, when the dark knight isn’t there to challenge the injustice and corruption? From the comics and various television shows outside of the Adam West series, Bruce Wayne’s origin story starts with the death of his parents. Their death not only symbolizes the end of a golden era for young Bruce, but in fact, Gotham City itself. The origins always point to the Waynes as a strong adversary against the crimes and immorality that always pushed against the city. The death was a means of removing that road block. Now we are left with a city where all of the biggest crime lords and villains have free reign.

This is why we have the character of Detective Jim Gordon, one of the last uncorrupted members of the entire legal and justice system. We know that Jim Gordon will eventually go on to be the Commissioner, but now we get to see why he earned it. We follow him through a city that is falling apart as he continues to try to make a difference in any way that he can, regardless of the odds stacked against him. He initially takes on the murder of Bruce’s parents, realizing quickly the deterioration of the justice system he represents. He has to come to terms with balancing what is more important. While he understands that justice can’t be done for the Waynes’ murder right now in this system, he doesn’t forget about it. He simply knows that he will have to put it aside as well as other cases he comes across until the city has the right people in power to give justice.

Detective Gordon should be the show focus, and he is half of the time. This is really what I expected when I heard about the show concept. That being said there are some big issues that I have with this show. The first one being Bruce Wayne. His story arc is unattached to the rest of the show. Yes, his parents death was necessary for the show, but all Batman fans know that Bruce Wayne will never get anywhere close to justice for the death of his parents until he puts on the bat suit. Since he isn’t even big enough for the Robin gear yet, then what is his purpose on the show? That is my nagging question. He hasn’t been given real purpose outside of growing up and maybe uncovering conspiracies within the family company.

Detective Gordon works with the police and is constantly tangling with the mob. We have characters within the mob and police that we follow and focus on outside of Jim. These scenarios make sense because these two entities continually clash throughout the show. Having side stories concerning Fish Mooney is not a stretch since she is involved with the mob and trying to take over. Her character is always used as an asset and a hindrance to Jim. Knowing more about her character is interesting, because her character is relevant in the current time line. Oswald Cobblepot is a budding power hungry contender in the crime world. We are watching him become the Penguin, and his role is just as interlaced to the main theme of the story as is Fish Mooney. His character continues to be relevant. Hell, even Edward Ngyma is a nice touch. He is the forensic specialist for Gordon’s precinct. Gordon is one of the few people who treats him with respect and values his work. It is a nice way of watching how his transformation into the Riddler will be with the significant role he plays with the police. He is a bit odd, but his character has never come off as mean or destructive.

Bruce Wayne and Alfred have yet to make their characters significant enough to the show as a whole that I care about them like I do Penguin and Riddler. The same can be said about Selina Kyle, outside of the initial murder of the Waynes, her role is played out way more than necessary at this point. If they are continued to be used on the show, then the show needs to fix it or stop it.

Also, can we quit with the damn cameos of who’s who in the Gotham universe. I get it. It’s fun, but if you want to continue this show for at least five seasons, then you need to keep some of those aces in your pockets to hand out later. I am hoping the show did this to ensure that it would be picked up for a second season, because hey, networks are quick at the chopping block. We have damn well seen every major Batman villain in this first season outside of Joker and Harley Quinn. The majority of them are kids, who can’t do a whole lot villainous things at the moment. Oh, wait, I forgot about Mr. Freeze. They haven’t done Mr. Freeze yet. Maybe they are holding out for an Arnie cameo. No. Stop it, Gotham. Stop it right now. You need to spread this out.

I am going to continue to watch this, because I am hoping the show will throw back some chamomile tea and calm the hell down. If that happens, and they align the focus well, then this will be an excellent show. Be the show that Gotham deserves…………I know, I’m stopping now.

She-Ra Is Better Than Ever

She-Ra glimpse in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe # 5

She-Ra glimpse in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe # 5

If you are a Princess of Power fan, and have not been reading the recent He-Man and the Masters of the Universe­ comic series, you are sorely missing out.

DC Comics revived the Masters of the Universe story a few years back by placing readers in the middle of an Eternia completely under the spell of Skeletor. Everyone’s minds and existence were reshaped with the belief that Skeletor was their ruler. Only Skeletor and his faithful minions were exceptions to the spell and knew of the true reality. The Sorceress, who was being held captive by Skeletor, was also aware of the true reality being that her magic is too powerful to deceive. That played out to be very unfortunate for Skeletor and the Sorceress herself.

Prince Adam, who now believed he was a woodsman, lived a quiet life under Skeletor’s tyranny caring for his ill father, King Randor, unknowing that he and his father were the rightful rulers of Eternia. He began getting visitations form the Sorceress in her bird form, eventually compelling him with a feeling that he needed to be somewhere and do something. This will ultimately have him run into old friends, like Teela, along the way, though both believe the other a stranger. Eventually, Skeletor is defeated and his spell broken. King Randor and Prince Adam return to their rightful titles and all is well with the world that is until the next series started and a new more terrifying evil threatens Eternia. Not even the wise Sorceress could help out the royal of Eternia. Sadly, the Sorceress was killed by Skeletor during her imprisonment. This isn’t the Saturday Morning Cartoon world we all remember. This turn is grittier and way more realistic.

When the next series started as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, it was a new ballgame. Hordak had sent his Horde to claim Eternia in his name, and he sent his best weapon, Despara. Decked out in armour, a mask that is a shout out to the old cartoon version of Hordak, and a quite a knack for maiming and killing, Despara is Eternia’s worst nightmare realized. She actually gets an introductory issue in Masters of the Universe #8, so that the new series could hit the ground running. In the first couple pages of that first book, you see Despara running Flutterina through with a sword. It gets real very quickly. Actually, all of the nine issues in that series are basically cleverly handle and reimagine origin stories for various characters. There’s a Cringer focused issue that is nicely done and the writers deserve an applause for making that character believable.

Despara and Shadow Weaver

Despara and Shadow Weaver

Once this masked villain takes off her mask and you realize that this wannabe Brigitte Nielsen is actually your beloved childhood Adora, you have to take a minute. At first you get upset set, then excitement quickly settles in. One, Adora was now hardcore and slightly crazy beans, but there is a moment shortly after she takes out our favorite humanoid butterfly. She notices one of the Horde troopers about to execute a woman and her child. She stops him stating they are to be slaves, but the hesitation becomes clear as does the fact that it bothers her. It is then as she seeks Shadow Weaver’s council that we discover that Hordak has been placing his beloved “daughter” under harsh brainwashing to get her to conform to his ruling. Honestly, this is what you would expect a woman that has been suffering forced Stockholm syndrome all her life to turn out to be when someone as crazy and sadistic as Hordak is “raising” you. Then you remember cartoon Adora and wonder how in the hell she turned out so damn sweet. See realism can be just as fun.

Despara and the Horde find their way to the castle and once she reveals her true face, Teela is the one who knows her, and Adora recognizes her as well. We find out that even though the Sorceress failed to keep Skeletor from stealing Adora as a baby, she has always kept an eye out for her. The Sorceress uses dreams to build a trusting, childhood friendship between Adora and Teela. It was an interesting twist and nice build to give Adora power to take her mind and life back, along with help of Shadow Weaver in a surprising yet slightly touching sacrifice.

Currently in the sixteenth issue, Adora is on the unknowing quest to becoming She-Ra. She is too concerned with redemption and making things right, yet is being pulled into a direction she couldn’t help but follow. She is happy to know that she has a brother and a father, but she doesn’t know them. Her life needs to be sorted and that’s what she is doing, until her brother found her and told her the news of their father’s passing. Adam was sent to her by Teela, who had recently taken the mantle of Sorceress….long story. Teela appears in the sky and tells her that she needs to complete her quest, but would need her brother at her side to do it. It was nice to see some sibling bonding between the two. They were good for each other. Adam was in desperate need of a true friend and family, because with his father’s death and Teela’s transformation, he felt he lost that. Adora needed someone to there to help her trust and follow her kinder instincts.

It really is a fantastic series that started as a whim for me, and turned out to be very engaging. I was pretty shocked about that as well. It is not what I expected. She-Ra should be popping up at any time in the next couple of issues. We are in a story arc about the origin of She-Ra. I thought we would finally see Adora become She-Ra in the last issue, but alas no. We have gotten a glimpse of Swiftwind. I am happy to see that they have decided to forego the Spirit/Swiftwind transition as we have a non-armored Unicorn/Pegasus hybrid bonding and helping Adora and Adam. Here’s to hoping our girl makes an appearance soon. Also if Hollywood is still trying to erase that 80’s movie with a more serious remake, they need to look no further than this comic series for a storyline.

Cover of Adora's origin story.

Cover of Adora's origin story.