Hello again, fellow adventurers. Today, I’ll end the two-part SDCC preview posts with a look at the upcoming TV shows and other notable things that are coming out. I previously did the films and while I can’t do them all, I figured I’ll only discuss a few here since I don’t watch much TV to begin with these days (unless it’s the latest anime sensation, then I’m all in on it. :D). With that, let’s begin.
I remember seeing the Teen Titans on Cartoon Network a long while ago. It’s pseudo-anime style and unique characters made the show memorable, even if it wasn’t perfect. The show stars Robin, Batman’s sidekick, and introduced to the world several new heroes to the DC Universe. Cyborg, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy. It’s seen a number of follow up adaptations, including an upcoming live-action TV series called “Titans.”
Cyborg originally debuted in Justice League, which made little sense to me. I’m sure we all know he’s among them to be the token black superhero of the group, but considering how long ago these comics have been in publication (well before the civil rights movement, so black superheroes wasn’t even a thought then), I felt this series would have been easier to introduce Cyborg than replace Martian Manhunter with him. But whatever.
Watching the trailer, it’s a lot darker than some of the stuff DC has put out so far. The show seems to revolve a lot around Robin and Raven, and the others seem to be present for now. I’ll get to those in a bit but I do want to point out some minor things I’ve noticed in the trailer.
To preface, I’m not quite sold on this series. For one, I feel coming off of the kid-friendly series is a big change for it. Maybe too big. Going into this violent, gritty, dark world almost seems like fan fiction that doesn’t seem to work for DC, who have always been lighthearted in their motives. Having a horror element in Raven added is okay, but I feel kids who are DC fans (who may also watch Teen Titans GO!), might feel alienated having a TV-MA series based on their favorite characters.
It’d be as if Mario started killing people with an AK-47 and ripped Koopa heads off. Granted, Zelda got a bit dark with Twilight Princess, but it still captured the spirit of Zelda to me. This feels like something similar to American Horror Story than Teen Titans. It’s why I have such an issue with making some shows edgier and alienating the younger audience who would be interested in DC like how the Marvel films, while not exactly kid-friendly, are happily advertised on kids shows. How would they advertise something associated with the younger crowd if it’s TV-MA?
Before we move on, I figured I should address the elephant in the room. Starfire being played by Anna Diop. At least according to the cartoons Teen Titans is based on, Starfire is orange. I should preface by saying that Zoe Saldana, also a black woman like Diop, plays Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy. Gamora is portrayed with green skin (due to her being an alien) while Starfire is…well, it’s hard to say watching the trailer. There were instances where she did appear black, but there were also times when it was purple. Neither of them is her typical orange skin.
While I have nothing against Anna Diop playing Starfire (just like how I have nothing against Zoe Saldana playing Gamora), I do care about canon looks. Anyone familiar with the show will know her as an orange alien, who’s kind, but direct. While I’m not super familiar with Marvel Designs outside of older material (especially the GotG stuff) I felt they should have gone with whatever the fans were familiar with.
Sure, there might be the discussion of “whitewashing,” even though no one complained when Zoe became Gamora, but still, some crossover would be nice. I mean, if the main DC trio looks like their comic book counterparts, why not the others. It’s something I don’t care for in regards to DC, but that’s just me.
I’ll end it there, but I can’t say this is on my must-watch list.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Broly’s a name many hardcore Dragon Ball Z fans are familiar with, being the focus of one of the series most popular movies. I’m sure even if you’re not the biggest anime fan, many are aware of what DBZ is. One of the most iconic franchises from the late 90s, being the be-all-end-all of action cartoons at the time. The series was recently revitalized in Dragon Ball Super, currently airing on Toonami at 10:30PM (In Japan, however, it’s run is finished).
So once Dragon Ball Super ended in Japan, another film was announced, but not much from it. Then we saw the final announcement that fan-favorite character Broly would star as the villain. And then the trailer came out.
The gist is that after the end of Super, Goku decided to become even stronger. His power is put to the test when Broly returns to seek vengeance on Goku. Like our hero, he’s also what’s called a Super Saiyan, a powerful being of immense power. The two face off in a fight of epic proportions.
The animation is the first thing of note. It’s incredible. Super had some hit and miss animation at times, but this movie is where it really shines. The fight sequences look just like the old days and watching Broly and Goku power up looks amazing.
I’m not the biggest fan of Toei as a company, but they seem to want to make this a big one. Broly, again, is a great character amongst the DBZ fandom and seeing a movie that ascends him to canon status (the movies are canon now) is a wonderful thing to see. I hope to see it in theaters someday (thankfully, in January, probably through Fathom Events).
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new show by Matt Groening. You know, The Simpsons and Futurama? Well, he’s back with a fairy tale-type show called Disenchantment, exclusively on Netflix. It’s set in a regular fantasy world where Princess Bean wants to be independent and set off on her own adventures and not be the typical princess material. Her friend, an elf creature and a devil who wants to make the world worse, set off on a fairy-tale adventure like no other.
It seems like a fun show, and being the opposite end of the typical fantasy spectrum gives it a Tangled or Frozen vibe. I can see this catching on, even if it may not surpass his previous shows, it’s still fun to see.
The humor is typical of his kinds of shows. Either you like it or you don’t. I do like the various nods to fantasy works, including the obligatory Game of Thrones reference with the prince’s head being impaled on a throne made of swords (seriously, you could poke an eye out on that).
No doubt many fantasy fans will catch a few nods here and there and it looks to be entertaining enough even if it might not have a core plot. I’ll check it out, regardless.
So that’s about it for SDCC. There won’t be a blog post next week, because I’m taking some much needed time off. I will have an upcoming Novel review and a short story review next week, so be on the lookout for those. After that, I might do another video game discussion about a certain Nintendo Switch title.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
If you have any suggestions for future topics and reviews, hit me up on my social media channels and let me know your thoughts. I always read the feedback, even if I don’t respond. Your feedback is what keeps me going, so thank you for supporting me.
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My Japanese Mythology-inspired short story, Do Not Stare Into The Eyes Of A Kitsune, is finally available. You can buy it on Amazon or wherever ebooks are sold. Help a debut author make his debut worth it.
My next work will be titled “City of Kaiju,” a tale about an unlikely alliance between a young girl and her gigantic dog-dragon monster, as they survive chaos and disaster from a gigantic kaiju invasion. Part of a new Short Novel initiative, intended to fill in the gap between releases. Set for release within the Fall 2018/Winter 2019 period. Read more about it here.