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    Wonder Woman: A Movement Disguised As A Movie

    Please Note: This article features light spoilers for the Wonder Woman 2017 Feature Film. While we feel that these light spoilers won’t impact your initial viewing of the movie in any way, if you are adverse to spoilers you might want to see the movie first before reading this article.

    Wonder Woman.

    Light spoilers ahead.

    “[Wonder Woman] was like the best unorganized mutual party…”

    I had to think about this but I wanted to talk about the experience we had at the theater last night. I think I’m finally able to put into words the feelings that were running rampant in my mind as I watched the movie and afterwards as I talked with Shawna, my wife. One of the best things about last night, other than the fact that I got to see one of the best super hero movies out there with my wife, was that the crowd watching the movie was amazing.

    Prior to the film starting there was a very strong sense of occasion. There was excitement in the air. People were up & walking about, not content with just sitting to wait for the movie to start. They were talking with neighboring movie-goers, laughing, getting drinks & food, wide-eyed and ready but all of them were in good spirits. It was like the best unorganized mutual party you could fathom.


    The crowd cheered and clapped and hooted and hollered. Especially when Diana made very strong metaphorical references to the cowardice of men in positions of power in the New World. We were all silent when the mood was somber. We all laughed together and with the characters on the screen when the time was right.

    What I can surmise is this; we ALL became involved in a movement that was titled Wonder Woman.

    “…this is a boost we all need to do the right thing.”

    I could feel that in that theater. We could all feel it. Every one of us. It was tangible and it was real. I felt it strongest as the movie unfolded before me and for the first 40 minutes of the movie, I could not stop wiping my eyes. Not because the movie was sad but because of the very real truths Diana and this film brought to us. Not just what her character was saying on screen but what this movie being in theaters worldwide means to people every where.

    If there was a negative thought in my mind last night it was simply to wonder why this film had not been released a decade ago. But then I think, maybe the timing is right. Maybe this is a boost we all need to do the right thing. To be better than the sum of our parts. To carry the weight that others are unable or too weak to carry.


    When Diana tells Steve Trevor and his men “But it’s what I’m going to do.” as she launches herself into the bloody battlefield to bring peace and safety to the poor and downtrodden, I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the theater. Because this is what we need. This is what we should be doing. Standing up for those who are weaker, smaller, lost, confused and war torn.

    Wonder Woman told us to stand.

    And the theater stood.

    As we all should.

    Thank you Gal Gadot. Thank you Patty Jenkins. Thank you Allan Heinberg.

    Thank you for bringing the heart of what a super hero is to the people of the world.

    The views and opinions expressed on this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily represent those of TFAW.com or its affiliates.

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    Post-Killing Joke: DC’s Next Animated Film – Justice League Dark

    If you’re any sort of fan of DC Comics, then you’ve heard of the Justice League, but did you know that there’s another league in the DC universe? One that handles weird and supernatural situations that the more visible Justice League can’t? Of course I’m talking about Justice League Dark, or JLD, featuring John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, The Changing Man, Shade, Swamp Thing and Zatanna. First introduced in Justice League Dark #1 back in November 2011, JLD brings a much needed sense of the eerie and mysterious to the DC world.

    With the recent release of the animated Batman: The Killing Joke on DVD/Bluray, Warner Bros. animation announced that its next project would be none other than Justice League Dark, releasing a dynamite eight minute sneak peak at San Diego Comic Con 2016:

    If you haven’t heard of Justice League Dark or its individual members that’s ok, because I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce some of the team.

    John Constantine:
    A Magician originally appearing in Allan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing, he grew out into his own Vertigo series Hellblazer. Lasting for 300 issues from 1988 to 2013. Then John joined the DC universe with the New 52 and has been there ever since.

    Sorcerer, con-man, stage act, asshole. John is a lot of things, but what has kept him around for so long is his mischievous, manipulating ways. Reading his stories, you feel for him when he’s in danger, but know this: He ALWAYS has a way out.

    Swamp Thing:
    Debuting in House of Secrets 1979. It has had various incantations, such as (the original) Alex Olsen, Allan Hallman, and Aaron Hayley. The most well known and longest lasting person to take on the mantle is Alec Holland.

    Swamp Thing has the ability to control any plant life, native or extraterrestrial. Along with controlling it, he can also travel by the plants getting from one spot on earth to another in a matter of seconds. If wounded he is able to regrow parts to heal.

    Zatanna

    Zatanna:
    A stage illusionist, and magician. Zatanna first appearing in 1964’s Hawkman series, over the years has appared in several DC books including Detective Comics, Seven Soldiers Of Victory, Vertigo’s Hellblazer series and even Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic.

    Being one of the most gifted Sorcoress’ in the DCU. Zatanna has the ability to control elements, conduct energy based attacks. Even heal. Most of the time she has been limited to conducting spells if she cannot speak them. In some cases she has been able to write a spell down to cast it, or in rarer occasions cast with doing either.

    Deadman:
    AKA Boston Brand, first appearing in Strange Adventures in 1967. Brand was a trapeze artist kill during a performance by The Hook. His powers were granted to him by the Hindu Goddess “Rama Kushna” in order for him to obtain justice.

    Deadman is in all context dead, he is a ghost. What he can do is posses living creatures but is limited by their physical limitations. So say he possessed you or I, he couldn’t fly, but if he possessed Superman, he could. Deadman also has the ability to pass through any object, and has the ability to travel to both the land of the living and the dead.

    Ready to rock ‘n roll with Justice League Dark?

    After the success of Batman: The Killing Joke, I’m definitely eager to see what Warner Bros. does with the colorful cast of Justice League Dark. If thi animated feature does well on the small screen, along with Doctor Strange in the theater, perhaps we’ll see that live action Justice League Dark Guillermo del Toro spoke of years ago?

    Catch up on the entire Justice League Dark story here at TFAW.

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    Movie Review: Batman: The Killing Joke

    batman the killing jokeOrigin films seem to focus primarily on the protagonist, the hero of the film or franchise. That’s not unreasonable because usually the good guy is far more interesting than the bad guy. But what happens when that’s not the case, as with Batman’s most frightening villain, The Joker? We know the quick sketch of his origin, a petty thief who is horribly disfigured when he falls into a vat of caustic chemicals during a botched robbery. He goes insane and The Joker is born.

    But as a foil to Batman’s relentless grim visage, The Joker also acts as Yang to Batman’s Yin, the two of them trapped in a weird, unhealthy and dangerous co-dependent relationship. It’s an exploration of this relationship that primarily propels the powerful Batman: The Killing Joke animated feature film. And it’s quite a ride!

    Based on the edgy and controversial graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, with story by Alan Moore and art by Brian Bolland (pictured), the animated film is written by Brian Azzarello, directed by Sam Liu, and stars the voice talents of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker, Tara Strong as Batgirl – who all return from the 1997 animated series The New Batman Adventures – and Ray Wise as Commissioner Gordon.

    The story begins with tension, the uncomfortable relationship between Batman and his ostensible sidekick Batgirl. She has a schoolgirl crush on him and even tells her best friend that she’s “seeing someone, I guess” without sharing his identity. Batman really can’t handle emotional connection, however, and he’s rude, abrupt and peremptory towards her, treating her with a haughtiness that borders on contempt in moments. Is he covering up his vulnerability or is he truly disconnected from his humanity?

    Nonetheless, Batman and Batgirl, are intimate in the film (off screen), though even that doesn’t thaw the block of ice that is The Caped Crusader. Then The Joker shows up and in flashbacks we learn his back story as a hapless loser of a comedian who weeps in frustration when he can’t earn a buck and provide for his beloved pregnant wife. He inevitably falls in with the wrong guys and gets pulled into helping with a robbery that goes wrong, he falls into that iconic vat of chemicals and The Joker comes out of the muck.

    And so begins the only relationship in the film that really matters, the tension and co-dependence between Batman and The Joker. Batgirl is still in the picture, as is her father Commissioner Gordon, but they’re bit players in this drama. At one point Batman even acknowledges his dysfunctional relationship with The Joker, saying resignedly “This is going to end with one of us killing the other.”

    There are a number of troubling scenes both on screen and implied, making this film controversial and provocative. The Wall Street Journal describes it as “a shocking film”, Gizmodo says “The Killing Joke Movie is a Disaster” and MoviePilot.com says that the film has “a huge problem”. And yet it’s time for superhero films to come back to Earth and address the everyday themes we all face, issues of morals, ethics, mortality, love, vulnerability and betrayal. For the bad guy to be ambiguous and the hero to be, well, not always so heroic after all.

    Batman and Joker face off in The Killing Joke

    I really enjoyed Batman: The Killing Joke and found it well worth my time, as did the packed theater of comic book geeks and fans who shared the experience with me and cheered (and, yes, jeered a bit) at the ending. Recommended. And do something smart: grab a copy of the graphic novel so you can compare the two versions of the story as there are some pretty notable differences!

    Tip: Rated “R” for violence and tense situations, I think a hard PG13 is more accurate: I’d take my 16yo son to see this, but not my 12yo daughter. FYI.

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    “Batman: The Killing Joke” The Movie!

    batman the killing joke by alan moore and brian bollandSeems like every time we see Batman on screen, we have to sit through his origin story yet again. It’s like Spider-Man, for some reason directors think we’ve forgotten the whole nerdy high school kid + radioactive spider bite equation. Fact is, origin stories for superheroes is de rigueur for the genre, and that’s okay because it is usually interesting to learn what extraordinary circumstances turned someone “just like us” into a man or a woman with great powers and capabilities. Not to mention great responsibilities to the human race, which apparently is also part of the unwritten superpower deal.

    And then there are bad guys. Where do they come from, or are evil characters just evil from the start? With many we never get the origin story, but then there are the thoughtful backstories. One of the most colorful of all super villains in the entire DC universe is The Joker, and while you may immediately flash to the intense, powerful performance Heath Ledger delivered in The Dark Knight, the character has been a fixture in Batman’s world for quite a long time.

    The best origin story for The Joker is courtesy of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland: Batman: The Killing Joke. It won the Eisner Award and even appeared on the NYT best seller list when it came out. In the intense graphic novel, we learn that the man who is destined to become The Joker is just a rather dorky guy who works at a chemical company and when he fails horribly as a stand-up comedian, he tries to make a buck by agreeing to help some criminals steal chemicals from the plant. That, rather predictably, goes awry and when Batman confronts “Red Hood”, the engineer jumps into the chemical waste flow to escape and, well, wakes up as The Joker.

    Really great book and now it’s going to be a movie. In fact, here’s the just released trailer from DC:

    So what do you think? Have you read Batman: The Killing Joke, and are you going to see the film?

    Tip: You can pick up a copy of Batman: The Killing Joke here on TFAW and catch up!

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