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Around the Tubes

It was a fairly quiet Thursday but we still have some news and a review. While you wait for the weekday to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and a review from around the web.

DC – HBO Max Orders Three-Part Documentary Celebrating DC’s History and Legacy – This is cool. More of this!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Meet the LORD OF BLADES in RON CHAN’s SWORDTEMBER Comics – Free comics!

Review

CBR – Batman ’89 #2

Batman '89 #2

Doom Patrol Returns for Season 3 in September

Go through the looking glass with a super-powered gang of outcasts (including Matt Bomer as Negative Man, Joivan Wade as Cyborg, Brendan Fraser as Robotman, and more). Last seen at a decrepit amusement park where Chief (Timothy Dalton) witnessed his metahuman daughter, Dorothy (Abigail Shapiro) engaged in a fiery face-off with “The Candlemaker,” an ancient evil deity who will stop at nothing to fulfill his world-ending destiny, join the Doom Patrol for an action-packed third season.

Stream Season 3 of Doom Patrol on September 23 on HBO Max.

The Suicide Squad review: Blood, Guts, and Comedy

The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad is one of the best movies of 2021, one of the best comic book movies of the last several years, and one of the best movies based on DC Comics of the last decade of their attempted construction of a shared movie universe. Director James Gunn is in his best form, tongue planted firmly in cheek, serving up ridiculous violence layered with humor and pathos. It’s clear that this is where DC should be going with its films: finding hungry filmmakers with a specific take on their properties, and then letting them go wild.

Although really I’m not convinced James Gunn wrote and directed this, or much moreso that “James Gunn” is not actually three kids in a trenchcoat. This movie is ridiculous, violent, and hilarious in all the right ways. It also proves the adage that we shouldn’t be remaking good movies, we should be remaking bad movies (like David Ayers’ Suicide Sqaud) and taking good elements from them.

Because those do exist. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn continues to be amazing, playing incredibly well in this ensemble even with her own specific character arc. And Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is everything we want her to be and more. A scene between her and Idris Elba is a master class by two actors bringing all of the gravitas possible to set the personal stakes for this silly violent comic book movie that is The Suicide Squad.

Gunn also embraces the silliness of the premise. With a team of truly expendable anti-heroes, how do you make us care about each of these people, set up their stakes, and then let us laugh at so many ridiculous deaths. But this is the magic of James Gunn: he makes us care about Ratcatcher. And not just Ratcatcher, but technically Ratcatcher 2. And Polka Dot Man. And he makes their silly powers something not to underestimate.

But the film also smartly anchors us around Idris Elba‘s Bloodsport and John Cena‘s Peacemaker, whose chemistry is great and whose competition over who is better using very similar power sets is quite enjoyable. And a truly spot-on performance by Sylvester Stallone as King Shark is absolutely everything we want it to be.

While The Suicide Squad is 90% ham and cheese and blood and gore, there’s also a surprising amount of pathos. Between this and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I have to wonder if Gunn doesn’t have some unresolved daddy issues. Or? It’s just an easy way to motivate characters. But so much of this is about intergenerational trauma. It’s also stealth feminist and puts a diverse cast of characters at the forefront. The women of this movie kick all sorts of ass, but are also flawed where they need to be. It’s refreshing because it’s usually not something we get in our movies, much less our comic book movies.

The Suicide Squad as a movie is just bonkers. It’s not even worth trying to explain the plot, because that’s not what’s important or impressive here. Here’s what is worth watching this movie for. Harley Quinn’s spree of violence set to “I’m Just a Gigolo”. A fight scene with large sections shot from the perspective of the reflection of Peacemaker’s helmet. So. many. character deaths. Caring about Polka Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2. King Shark being hilarious.

And yes, stay though the credits. There’s a final scene that sets up the John Cena Peacemaker series coming exclusively to HBO Max.

And that’s my ultimate recommendation: as much fun as this would be to go see on a giant screen with an audience and popcorn (and it’s probably the most theater-experience-y movie that has come out so far), the Delta variant of COVID is nothing to mess with. Watching this on HBO Max is going to be perfectly adequate for most people. Or? Make sure if you are going to a theater to go to one that is mostly empty, wear a mask, wash your hands, etc, etc. You don’t want to become a part of the Suicide Squad by catching a potentially deadly disease.

But go watch this movie. Enjoy it. While the squeamish should not check this out, those who enjoy the ridiculous and violent will find this a perfect summer treat.

4 out of 5 stars

WarnerMedia Kids & Family Announces Virtual Panels for 2021 San Diego Comic-Con@Home July 23 & 24

WarnerMedia Kids & Family has announced its upcoming virtual panels for 2021 San Diego Comic-Con@HomeFriday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24. Sit in on discussions with creators, artists and voice-over talent as they delve into what it takes to put together fan-favorite series, specials and cartoon classics.

Also, look out for exclusive content and sneak peeks at the upcoming HBO Max Original special, Adventure Time: Distant Lands – Wizard City, and the highly anticipated HBO Max Original series, Jellystone!, as well as an inside look at HBO Max’s acclaimed Looney Tunes Cartoons and Cartoon Network’s hit series, Craig of the Creek.

Each of the WarnerMedia Kids & Family panels will be available to view at https://comic-con.org, as well as the SDCC YouTube channel.

Check out the complete list of virtual panels coming to San Diego Comic-Con@Home below:

July 23

12:00 p.m. – HBO Max & Cartoon Network Studios: Adventure Time: Distant Lands 
What time is it? It’s time for more adventure in the land of Ooo and beyond with Adventure Time: Distant Lands, based on the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning Cartoon Network series Adventure Time from creator Pendleton Ward and executive producer Adam Muto. Join moderator Bex Taylor-Klaus (Blaine) as they deep dive into the recent special, Together Again, and preview the upcoming Wizard City along with Adam Muto (Executive Producer), John DiMaggio (Jake), Mace Montgomery Miskel (Pep), and Toks Olagundoye (Dr. Caledonius). Uncover some secrets, hear behind-the-scenes stories and stick around until the very end for a special sneak peek at the upcoming Adventure Time: Distant Lands – Wizard City. It’s going to be James Baxter good!

Adventure Time: Distant Lands

July 24

10:00 a.m. – HBO Max & Warner Bros. Animation: Looney Tunes Cartoons 
There’s More Folks! Looney Tunes Cartoons continues to captivate a new generation of fans with over 400 minutes of Looney mayhem and much more to come. Moderated by voice cast member Eric Bauza (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Marvin the Martian), join Pete Browngardt (Executive Producer), Aaron Spurgeon (Art Director), Alex Kirwan (Supervising Producer), Caroline Director (Storyboard Artist), and Keika Yamaguchi (Assistant Art Director) for a panel discussion to find out what’s next for Bugs, Daffy and the rest of your favorite Tunes! Looney Tunes Cartoons is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Stream episodes now on HBO Max.

Looney Tunes Cartoons

1:00 p.m. – HBO Max & Warner Bros. Animation: Jellystone!
They’re back! Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Jabberjaw, Top Cat and all your favorite Hanna-Barbera characters star in the all-new animated series, Jellystone! Join showrunner and executive producer C.H. GreenblattIan Wasseluk (Supervising Director), Jeff Bergman (Yogi Bear), Grace Helbig (Cindy Bear) and Niccole Thurman (Jabberjaw) on a sneak peek tour of this charming town where these beloved characters live, work and play together. Jellystone! is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and premieres July 29 on HBO Max.

Jellystone!

2:00 p.m. – Cartoon Network Studios: Craig of the Creek 
Meet us down at The Stump and get ready to map out new adventures with Craig of the CreekPhilip Solomon, voice of Craig, will moderate this fun-filled panel featuring behind-the-scenes stories and a preview of the upcoming fourth season from the GLAAD-, Emmy- and NAACP Image Award-nominated series. Joining Philip are Ben Levin (Co-Creator), Ashleigh Hairston (Writer), Dashawn Mahone (Supervising Director), Najja Porter (Supervising Director) and Jeff Trammell (Story Editor). With so many places to explore, this is one panel you won’t want to miss!

Craig of the Creek

Batman Gets Animated Again

J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves, and Bruce Timm are working on a new animated Batman series. The series will return the character back to his noir roots. Batman: Caped Crusader is getting a straight-to-series order from HBO Max and Cartoon Network.

The series will dive deeper into the psychology of the characters and Batman’s noir roots.

From the announcement:

Utilizing state-of-the-art animation techniques and technologies available, this powerful creative partnership will once again reinvent Batman and his iconic rogue’s gallery with sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters and intense action sequences all set in a visually striking world.

Batman: Caped Crusader

Jack Quaid Fronts My Adventures With Superman

Superman is returning in animated form with My Adventures With Superman a new series from HBO Max and Cartoon Network. It’s been picked up with a two-season order.

Jack Quaid will play the lead, lending his voice to the series. The cartoon is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on the characters from DC. The series follows the adventures of Superman and Lois Lane.

Set in their 20s, Lois Lane will be voiced by Alice Lee. The series will focus on the two characters and Jimmy Olsen as they discover who they are while working as an investigative reporting team at the Daily Planet. Clark will also be embracing his role as the hero of Metropolis as he becomes Superman. Lois is a star reporting with photographer Olsen under her wing. Of course, Clark and Lois will see their relationship grow as they share adventures together.

My Adventures With Superman
Almost American
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