Categories
Episodes Television

Doom Patrol: Season Three, Ep. 4 ”Undead Patrol” Review

Gabrielle: Now, I wanna start with a very specific thing: The Dead Boy Detectives. If they come back later in the season, that’s beyond our knowledge. But based on what we saw, I really hope so and that their spin-off works out well. I feel like a horror/mystery show with dark comedy with both of them, Crystal, and Dorothy could be something great. That’s another thing; Dorothy’s with them now. It’s kind of sad to see her leave since I like her character a lot, but I believe she will make a great addition to the detectives.

What’s your opinion on the Dead Boy Detectives and the possible spin-off, Dan?

Dan: So I know we didn’t have the space for it last week, but I found them fascinating. As with everything else, their writing was hilarious, and their group dynamic was wonderfully complicated. I had no idea they were up for a spin-off until you told me, so I was so excited to hear that!

What I loved most was Larry offering Edwin Paine a word about accepting who he is and telling the other how he feels. It was really nice to see one of the Doom Patrol use their 300 tons of trauma to guide someone to find some joy. I hope they get a spin-off, and Mark Sheppard can show up there too.

Gabrielle: Of course! And Dorothy too. Now that we know she’s leaving with them, I wanna see more of her too. It would be a shame if the character just…disappeared. I find it fascinating how the Dead Boys never really interacted with the Doom Patrol in the comics, but their first show might have a Doom Patrol character starring in it. Although apparently, HBO is thinking about recasting them, for some reason, causing Crystal’s actress, Madalyn Horcher, to ask the fans to show their support with the hashtag #KeepTheDeadBoysCast. Honestly, it seems so nonsensical to me that they even considered recasting.

Justice League of Fuck Ups

Gabrielle: SO MUCH STUFF HAPPENS IN THIS EPISODE. First of all, we see the last episode’s consequences: The Doom Patrol turn into zombies thanks to the vomit of that underworld monster lady. They slowly descend into putrefaction and an unstoppable hunger for brains. It’s really funny stuff. I love how they still retained their personalities, just a little more zombified.

Kipling returns too, which I thought was to help them. But instead, he considers killing them after getting their help to recover Niles’ decapitated and resuscitated head. Now, the person who stole Niles’ head is Darren Jones from the Bureau of Normalcy. I’ve gotta say, I absolutely loved what they did to the character. They could’ve done a lot of stuff, but a Were-butt is not something I ever would’ve expected. I think that was the point where I just went ‘’Damn, this season really is the weirdest yet’’. Seeing zombie Larry killing butts with a chainsaw is something I never knew I needed, and a phrase that could only come from something like Doom Patrol.

Of course, we also have the growing mystery of who exactly is Madame Rouge, and now, how Rita fits there. Rita is amazing as always, and Michelle Gomez keeps proving how excellent of an addition to the show she is. We have another mini-mystery added, too, related to Larry. I don’t think I’m wrong to think this, but…did the negative spirit got Larry pregnant?

What was your favorite part of this absolutely delirious episode, Dan?

Dan: That canonically the Doom Patrol eats ass. The Doom Patrol theme on a theremin was actually my favorite part of the episode. It has such a classic sci-fi horror vibe, but it’s always been my favorite instrument because it’s so weird. You essentially play the air around the instrument. It’s very much a Doom Patrol vibe.

The Tragedy of Never Truly Mending Fences

Dan: Something that Doom Patrol does better than any other show is to show just how complicated “making up” for things is. It explores the idea that a sorry and a quick one-episode storyline isn’t enough to mend some relationships. People are complicated, and sometimes, when you think a wound is closed, it was just in remission for some time. Forgiving people is sometimes a thing you can never do as much as you try,

I bring this up not because of Niles, which we will get to, but because of Silas Stone and Cyborg. When Cyborg is unwillingly tasked to fix a time machine, he asks his father to come help him. Although, it’s with the ulterior motive of asking about what his mother told him in the afterlife. Turns out, Silas had a choice to use another experimental method to save his son, which was synthetic skin. A choice that could have given Vic the humanity that he believes he has lost since the accident.

It’s so interesting to see this relationship tried and tried again because, in other media, it usually has some sort of finality. But finality isn’t something Doom Patrol gives you. There is no catharsis in this questioning of his father. It can’t change what has been done. Time and time again, Silas has had to defend what he did to save his son’s life. It’s clear that this time he has had enough when he storms out. It’s all very messy and complicated because Silas did take away Vic’s autonomy with his choice, but he also saved his life which would have otherwise ended before it really began. While in some other shows, this may feel like retreading old themes, in Doom Patrol, it’s an interesting theme of “Can you truly fix the broken things?” which seems to be in every facet of the show. What did you think about our mysterious time traveler’s speech to Niles’ head?

Gabrielle: Joivan is always so good as Cyborg, and his relationship with Silas is really complicated. He can try to move on, but he never seems to be able to forgive him (Can’t blame him, obviously). Like we saw back in season one when he found out Silas lied to him about his mother’s death. We know his father doesn’t want to actively harm him and does love him. But his view of how the world and people function is so disconnected from everything else that it obviously left a mark on their relationship forever. I don’t see it as retreading but as expanding in a deeply complicated relationship. They’re never gonna be a happy dad and son playing baseball in the backyard, but you can see how their relationship developed; Silas is less controlling, a lot of the truth has come out, they try to work together. But there are some things that you simply can’t change or fix, and Doom Patrol understands the complexity of that.

Now, regarding Rouge and her conversation with Niles, I think it’s evident now that she was indeed a villain (If sending Rita and the rest to death wasn’t enough proof), but the question is, will she stay that way? She questions how Niles speaks as if she was a bad person because she doesn’t feel like one, and it’s not something that can be erased along with our memory. But as we have seen with a lot of the members in the Doom Patrol, that’s not the case. They were bad persons, even if it was because of their trauma. But at one point, they chose to be better. We’re not aware of Rouge’s past for now, but the question stands: if she gets her memory back, will she let it define her? Or is it even possible to come back from that? I mean, getting THE Niles Caulder to hate you and think of you as a bad person is truly an achievement that tells you a lot of stuff without really telling you anything.

Mystery is something that the previous season didn’t really have, but it fits astoundingly well with the show, giving it a different vibe and really making it stand out.

Categories
Film

Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog – Review

Before going into the movie, it must be stated that Courage’s creator, John R. Dilworth, didn’t have any knowledge about the movie in question or the utilization of his character, finding out at the same time the public did when the trailer was released. While the creative team’s not at fault, using another artist’s creation without permission is unacceptable, even more, when dealing with a multibillion-dollar company.

Keeping up with the two direct-to-video movies a year module, Mystery Incorporated is back on our screens once again! You could say this one is a particularly special occasion since it’s not only a new Scooby-Doo movie but a crossover with the other easily frightened canine; Courage the Cowardly Dog! His show came to an end almost twenty years ago in 2002, and the last time we saw him was in a CGI special that only aired in Southeast Asia during Halloween of 2014. This movie not only marks the first time we see him since then, but the last time Thea White got to voice Muriel Bagge before her passing on July 30, 2021.

The movie starts as they often do in this era: with the gang at the end of a mystery, about to unmask another monster. However, Shaggy and Scooby decide to take a picture with the criminal, who, in this case, is a crazy clown. With the rest of the gang and the audience confused, the film takes the opportunity to slip in the central theme of the movie, which is courage, and what it means. They are trying, with the help of an app, to stop being terrified by everything. The other team members are very supportive of what they’re both attempting, but Scooby himself interrupts them, dancing uncontrollably and hallucinating, only to run off without warning. With their priorities in mind, the gang gets in the van to go look for Scoob, while Daphne says to the clown she’s sorry to not finish that properly, but there’s a family emergency, leaving him to grab the money and escape.

This is a truly great Scooby-Doo intro. It sets up the theme and conflict of the movie while characterizing our beloved teens (and dog) perfectly; they are not pseudo-mystery cops. They are a family who’s in it for the adventure and mystery.

But the presentation’s not over, as we then cross over (pun totally intended) to Courage’s home, who’s experiencing the same anomaly as Scooby, coupling that with Eustace’s torments. He runs outside, the sun already set, and finds Scooby. The two communicate in the best way two dogs with speech impediments can, but are suddenly attacked by giant cicadas. Thus, the team-up starts.

What follows is a rollercoaster of out-of-world oddities as the gang resides in the isolated house of Courage, miles away from anything at all and at the mercy of whatever dares attack them. While not nearly playing with horror as something like Zombie Island or even Camp Scare, it’s an interesting atmosphere and nice change of pace after two movies that concentrated more on the action and adventure, parodying Mad Max and telling a medieval story. It’s not an atmosphere that lasts long, but a welcome one, and what’s next is equally exciting, as the oddities continue to come their way, giving place to fun and creative set-pieces with time to shine for both sides of the crossover.

If you’re a fan of either franchise, this is a definite must-watch. It’s one of the best Scooby-Doo crossovers, managing to mix both the Scooby and Courage formula in a great, fun, and entertaining way that is easy to recommend.

Categories
Television

The Robotman’s Fatherhood

“We’re only making plans for Nigel/

He has his future in a British steel/

We’re only making plans for Nigel/

Nigel’s whole future is as good as sealed”

-XTC

They tell you a lot of stuff changes when you have a kid.

It’s hacky. Obviously bullshit most of the time, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Your world both shrinks and explodes outward. As Matt Fraction plaintively wrote, it’s as if your heart is now able to run around outside of your body. It’s an irrevocable change. But one that you get to face together. It’s just part of the cycle.

What they DON’T really tell you, though, is how the way you WATCH stuff changes. How you bristle now at the mere hint of violence against a child. How all too real a loss in the narrative can hit you now. How tactile that all is now, even on a screen and in the most overwrought of circumstances. After my son was born, I tried to watch that movie, Patriot’s Day, about the Boston Bombings? And ended up unable to finish it on the day simply because it had about a half a second shot of a toddler with a touch of EFX makeup on, screaming.

Diane Guerrero and Riley Shanahan as Crazy Jane and Cliff Steele in Doom Patrol (S01E01 ”Pilot”) / Source: HBO Max

Now, is that a GOOD movie? Absolutely not (though Kevin Bacon is quite good in it), but you get what I am scratching at here. How it just isn’t “a movie” sometimes when someone of about that same age is building some LEGO in front of you. It just HAPPENS one day, and you are somewhat forced to reorient yourself in terms of what you can and can’t see on-screen now.

This brings me, in a very roundabout way, to Cliff Steele. The Doom Patrol’s Robotman. One of my personal favorite Patrollers and someone who got to “live” through this very arc throughout the still-ongoing run of HBO Max’s Doom Patrol.

Someone who had grand plans for himself and his family. And fucked them up every possible way he could. And it only took him and said family “dying” (in the way that anybody in comics can really “die”) to make him make good. The jury is still out on how successful he’s been, but the change came all the same. That’s what really counts.

Now, just to clarify, I don’t think the show, nor should we think of Cliff as necessarily a “good” father. Though soulfully performed by Brendan Frasier and Riley Shanahan, who physically inhabits the Robotman prosthetic onset, the show, and its writers have no intention of allowing Cliff off the hook. In the opening season, we are provided scant flashes of Cliff’s life pre-The Chief, only to really come to a head during the episode in which Cliff’s brain comes under attack from an errant rat that had made a home in his rusting chassis (don’t ask).

Diane Guerrero and Riley Shanahan as Crazy Jane and Cliff Steele in Doom Patrol (S01E04 ”Cult Patrol”) / Source: HBO Max

From then on, we are shown the real Cliff Steele. A man who constantly put himself before his wife and daughter. All for the sake of some ill attainable glory he “needed” to grasp. Not for the betterment of his family, like he claims, but for a long-abandoned approval he needs from his HIS OWN father.

It all culminates in the gristly accident that seemingly takes his wife and daughter and lands his brain-meat into the Robotman in the first place. An accident the show also goes a step further to be intimately clear is Cliff’s fault, placing him directly center again for his family’s trials and heartaches. The direct opposite of his stated goals.

Fortunately, his daughter survives, and Cliff is allowed a second chance to make something good with her with the help of his surrogate Doom Patrol daughter, Crazy Jane, by way of teleporting personality Flit, and arguably the team’s “mom” Rita Farr.

She’s grown into a saddened but sturdy bar owner, plagued by a giant alligator that occasionally eats her customers (again, it would be better not to ask). Cliff is able now to finally step up in a tactile way for her, albeit with her little knowing that it’s actually her dad that will slay the beast and retrieve the errant family heirloom it had eaten along with a local yokel. It’s a…truly weird sequence, but one true to the show’s zany emotionality and Cliff’s growth during this adaptation.

In the wake of his “loss”, Cliff finally realized what we all had before then. That your responsibility doesn’t just start and stop at being a “provider” and that your personal investment in your children is more than just a nebulous “responsibility”. That you actually have to LIVE like you have something to live for. More often than not, it doesn’t take dying and getting put into a robot suit to get there, but Cliff gets there all the same. And continues to try and live up to that with each passing episode. Taking threads that were started even in the first Titans’ guest appearance of the Doomies and running with them now even into its current season.

Riley Shanahan and Sydney Kowalske as Cliff Steele and Clara Steele in Doom Patrol (S01E01 ”Pilot”) / Source: HBO Max

There have been obstacles along the way, for sure. A stint in the gulag of the Bureau of Normalcy, a heavy falling out with Jane, miniaturization at the hands of Mr. Nobody in the bowels of an interdimensional donkey (again, just…don’t ask. Just watch). But all the while, Cliff had continued to “do the work”, as it were, taking text from the writers and spreading it across a truly striking and heartfelt adaptation of one of DC’s most irascible leading bots. He lost one family once, but he isn’t about to do it again. If he has to fight a million rats gnawing on his brain to do so, he will. Because that’s what “fathers” are supposed to do.

Now, I fully realize that this is a…pretty specific read on Cliff and the TV Doom Patrol. But it’s one that, for me, has added a whole new emotional dimension to one of my favorite shows and comics. By framing Cliff as the former deadbeat dad looking to make good, not only does it humanize one of the most inhuman members of the Doomies, it also allows so much more breadth of performance. On the page AND screen.

In summation, Cliff had all the plans, but his actions kept his and his family’s futures from being sealed. They made their own futures beyond the cage of British steel. We can do it too. We just have to be present for them. It’s part of the cycle for you and your children. As long as you do the work.

Categories
Comics Television

The Surprising Awesomeness of Superman and Lois

Superman and Lois is great. I’m going to lead with that, no well-thought-out poetic discussion on how Superman is my favourite character (he is). No long drawn-out rambling on my relationship as a fan to Superman, or rants about how certain writers or directors don’t understand the character. I just want people to give this surprisingly great show a chance. 

As someone who generally has very mixed feelings towards the CW, I entered Superman and Lois with very low expectations, however, they were blown away by what I saw. Superman and Lois follows Clark Kent and Lois Lane as they try to balance raising two sons (Jonathan and Jordan), both unique with their own struggles and needs, as well as the couple’s responsibilities to the world, all the while dealing with emerging threats. The show is connected to the ArrowVerse, however, it seems quite separated in its own way, first and foremost there’s been a lot of money spent on it to look good, like HBO-level good. The action is great and the CGI is solid. 

Then there’s the drama; as the family makes big changes to their lives, the boys navigating their adolescence and growing pains, Clark being Superman, and Lois exploring big stories within and without the community they’re now a part of. Everything about the drama works extremely well, carried by compelling performances from the two leads, Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch. The kids are kids but they’re not unnecessarily annoying and angsty, their struggles with being the son of the most important and powerful hero is very understandable, as well as just trying to fit in at school. 

The family has good chemistry and play-off each other well. Lois has a lot of agency and her skills at juggling being a reporter and mother are fleshed out. Then there’s the heart of the show, Superman, my personal favourite hero. I was not a fan of how he was portrayed in Supergirl, but in this show, there’s much more respect for him and his honesty in his struggles, and figuring out what is best for himself, his family, and the world. It’s a blast to watch. Clark is great at being superman but interestingly, he’s struggling at being a great father though he’s giving it his all. Just four episodes in and I can say with confidence that the show so far is a great one, and I hope others join in on the fun.

By Bolu Ayeye.

Categories
Comics

GC52 News (DC Comics Releases for 05/11/2021)

If you missed last week’s report, check it out here.

(Spoilers for DC Comics released 05/11/2021)

(Words in italics signal actions)

The GC52 Logo appears on televisions, computers, and all other types of viewing devices at its normally scheduled time. Lead Anchor Dan McMahon sits at the center of the newsroom behind his desk. This week he’s wearing a maroon coat that’s outlined by the large window behind him looking out over Metropolis. The Daily Planet globe is visible behind him as the setting sun sparkles off the crown jewel of the City of Tomorrow. The GC52 theme music begins to dim as the actual program begins.

Dan: Good Morning, Good Afternoon, and Good Evening to all our wonderful viewers from the docks of Coast City to the furthest reaches of Oa, you are watching the multiverse’s best news show that brings you the news that you need to know! As always, I’m your host, Dan McMahon, doing my part to bring you up to the minute updates on the worlds you live in!

The Supermen are still off-planet dealing with some sort of alien infection. From the reports, it’s like a being that takes control of your mind… as long as it doesn’t take over the older man of steel, we shouldn’t have to worry about a thing! Jon is quickly learning to control his powers and sometimes even surpassing his father. Saw some footage the other day of his heat beams stopping mid-way and exploding, pretty neat power. Like that one time Superman did a wave of sun energy or whatever it was… anyway…

Have a weird one for you today. This morning, Jerry put this on my desk, looks like it arrived at GC52 by accident but it does relate to one of the world’s deadliest assassins, Lady Shiva. Let me read it to you.

Dan clears his throat before opening a yellowed letter.

Esteemed Master,

It has been 187 days since I left home to challenge the deadliest woman alive, Lady Shiva. My search has taken me to a vast city called Gotham, where I spotted her entering a lonely apartment with a bag of take-out food in her lethal hands.

From the shadows, I watched her have dinner with a man in a strange costume that she called, intermittently, “Bruce” and “Batman.” They talked of the mounting grief of being left alone by their loved ones, be it by death or abandonment, and I confess I was sorely tempted to shout “BORING!” in a manner most unbecoming of one of your students.

Lady Shiva seemed to agree, as not ten seconds later she attacked the man with a knife. As expected, she drew first, second and third blood, taunting the man about a son he seems to have fallen out of touch with. Enraged, he managed to turn the knife around, and then, shockingly, Lady Shiva threw herself on it and seemed to die.

Fortunately for my quest, the man nursed Shiva back from the brink, and the very next day they set out for a most intriguing place: something called a “mini-golf”. I spotted them spying on a handful of children playing nearby, but I must admit I found myself momentarily distracted by the astounding sight of a miniature windmill, and when I turned around, Shiva and the man were gone.

I swear to never again allow myself to be distracted like this and shall continue this pursuit to the very ends of the Earth… once I manage to overcome Hole 15. This dragon-like creature is extremely vexing.

Your faithful student.

Dan: They didn’t leave a name, but I hope they get the hole in one. Sometimes, it gets you a free game. Anyway, let’s check in with Violet to see how things are going with Wonder Woman.

Violet swivels side to side in her chair and taps her fingers along the desk. She still gets nervous jitters right before her screen time.

Violet: Good morning Earth! I’ve good news about Wonder Woman. You’d be happy to hear she wasn’t swallowed whole by that giant snake! I mean – SHE WAS, but she survived and got what she needed. She’s got the key to the Valkyrie Fortress. 

Back on the Vigrid battlefield, Wonder Woman and Thor took down a massive crab and when things were looking up… Diana’s neck snapped so quickly the Justice Incarnate couldn’t even make full sense of it but they managed to spot Deadman who admitted to reviving Diana each time she died in order to “set things right”. Whatever that means…

“Dr. Cizko” projected this evil alter ego of Diana to try and deceive her from the truth and mystery that’s in Valhalla but of course that didn’t work. Despite not having all her memory, Diana is determined and still a good person at heart. 

Odin returned for a short period of time, then got squished by a giant rock, only to return again as the grim reaper, do TRY to keep up.  Wonder Woman and the All-Father himself set out to the Fortress of Valkyrie, which looks beautiful from the photos, one giant floating crystal. That’s all I have for you today, we’re still waiting on the next update from Justice Incarnate. Once I’ve got it I’ll be sure to update as soon as possible!

Violet smiles and waves the camera goodbye as it cuts back to Dan who looks back and forth as if waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Dan: Violet that was great, you didn’t even break into the office this morning. Now, no time for me to interview my good buddy Grifter, mainly because he’s not answering my calls, but still, I thought he was my friend…

A cough comes from off-screen as Dan starts to get lost in thought. He quickly refocuses on the teleprompter.

That’s all we have for you, so as always… be it the Bat Symbol in Gotham, a red streak through Central City, or a golden lasso on Themyscira… GC52 has you covered with the news you need to know. Till next week, I’m your host Dan McMahon. Be strong in all your convictions.

As Dan finishes the outro and the music starts to play as the credits roll a burst of static takes over the screen. When the picture returns to normal the GC52 studio has vanished, and instead security camera footage of an office is being played. At his desk, Mr. Bones, a cigarette in his mouth, listening to an audio tape. We’ve seen this once before.

It’s difficult to make out what is being played, but barely legible are the words “Jade” and “Obsidian”, the children of the original Green Lantern. A door to one corner of the office opens and in walks the GC52 reporter-revealed-spy Ethan, wearing the customary black suit befitting all covert operatives.

Mr. Bones: Ah, Agent 18, you have something for me?

Ethan: Yes sir, news just out of Gotham. Jim Gordon’s been seen boarding a private plane bound for Belize.

Mr. Bones: And why are the travel plans of an ex-police commissioner important to the DEO, Agent?

Ethan: Because he’s been hired by an as yet unknown third-party to hunt down and kill the Joker, who reports have confirmed is currently in Belize, sir.

Mr. Bones: Ah. Well at least someone’s finally gonna do it. Not like the Bat ever had the balls to see his fight through. Keep tabs on him Agent, but that’s as best we can do, Jim Gordon’s on his own.

And with that another burst of static takes over the screen and the broadcast ends.


Books covered this week:

  • Superman #31 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Scott Godlewski, Norm Rampund, Gabe Eltaeb, and Dave Sharpe.
  • Lady Shiva: Death Wish by Che Grayson, Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque, David Baron, and Tom Napolitano.
  • Wonder Woman #772 by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, Travis Moore, Tamra Bonvillain, and Pat Brosseau.
  • The Joker #3 by James Tynion IV, Guillem March, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano.
Categories
Comics

GC52: The News on Future State Week 1

With so much going on in the world today, only one broadcast network can bring YOU the news that YOU want. Coming to you LIVE from the Gotham City GC52 recording studio, The GC52 Future State Report!

Words in italics signify actions or descriptions.

(Spoilers for Week 1 of DC Comics Future State)

Lights up on the GC52 Newsdesk as the lead News anchor almost spits his coffee out from the lack of warning. His deadly glare washes away as he sees the red light of the cameras.

Good evening Earth-Prime! I am your host with the most, Dan Mcmahon! My commute to work was a little less alarming this morning thanks to the Magistrate! Keeping Gotham City safe from masks and criminals alike!

The anchor mutters “Not like we have a choice” under his breath.

For tonight’s leading story, Dr. Harleen Quinzel, former Arkham Asylum Doctor turned Harlequin of crime has been taken into custody by the Magistrate’s Peacekeepers. She is currently under the careful monitoring of Dr. Jonathan Crane. If former villain Dr. Crane has anything to say she will become nothing but a scarecrow that once haunted the Gotham Streets. 

From the reports, Harley herself is giving psychological pointers to help catch some of the wanted killers running through Gotham. One such mad man is Lazlo Valentin, aka Professor Pyg. Do you think he is a vegan? With a name like Pyg, you can’t believe he eats ham right?

There are no laughs from the newscast or crew, his humor normally falling flat on the floor.

Right… with this trend, we do hope she can help the Magistrate and Dr. Crane put the notorious Black Mask Gang behind bars. 

His weight shifts as he looks at another camera, a camera feed appearing above his shoulder as another reporter is standing in front of a crater. 

We take you now, live, to one of our reporters in the field who is giving us some details on the Metropolis Incident.

A tall, dark, and handsome reporter holds a microphone, almost expressionless if not for wide eyes that one could describe as screaming. 

Well, folks, Metropolis is having a, er, busy day?

His opening line sounds almost like a question, not truly knowing how to state what is happening.

First, we have a massive protest of the Trojan Solutions Zealots calling for Metropolis autonomy. The army arrived on the scene earlier today in order to negotiate. 

The journalist begins rubbing his cheek fighting back all his emotions. It’s clear he’s not used to this much danger. 

The army wanted the Zealots to hand over the Brain Cell artificial intelligence, which Andrej Trojan claims to have made…

The reporter looks around like he was making sure no police were around to hear what he was about to say.

But my sources claim it’s just parts of world ending threat Brainiac… but now he is nothing more than just a big ball of mouths. 

The reporter whispers “so many mouths” to himself.

Both sides opened fire on one another before the young new Superman stepped in, who blocked all the bullets…with his body. The young Kryptonian proceeded to steal the big horrific ball of mouths and flew off with it. 

The reporter turns away from the camera to wipe his eyes as they started to well. 

But then…Bam! Big flash of light and the next thing I know there’s an earthquake and when I look up… all I can see is a big blue armpit. SUPERMAN SHRANK THE CITY!

Now the trickling of tears turns into a near waterfall.

I’m so tiny and scared. Oh god Superman and Supergirl are fighting now, and the sky is glowing green, oh god the Zealots are out of control they’re bur…

The Camera returns to the studio where the lead anchor is holding his coffee and talking to someone just off-screen.

What do you mean a living plant took our camera guy? Plants don’t just grow legs and grab people, Mike. No, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a Swamp Thing, or what did you just say… a Green Father? You need to lay off the-

The cameraman’s loud cough turns the anchor’s attention back to the viewers. His eyes get a bit wide before he shuffles his papers to get back into “character”.

Thanks, Jake. Stay safe out there! We now go over to Ethan on the tip-off desk. What’s going on in the world today?

The camera cuts to a rather befuddled looking reporter who barely takes notice of the lead anchor’s words. He’s wearing a tight tie which, despite being colorful, looks like it’s way too tight. Stress almost dripping from his pores.

Oh, um… thanks Dan, sorry everyone. I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but we’ve just had a tip-off about an incident in… well… The Underworld? Jerry? JERRY! Is this you pulling another stupid joke?

There’s some muttering in the background, off-screen.

It isn’t? Then how the f-. How did we get this?

More muttering. The reporter looks taken aback at nearly dropping an f-bomb on live TV.

It just. Showed. Up. Right, okay then…

The reporter takes a deep breath, trying to compose himself.

My apologies folks but given the nature of this report, I thought it best to ensure its legitimacy. And it seems to be. So, as I was saying there appears to be something going down, heh, down, cause it’s under…

The reporter remembers he’s on air and not at an open-mic night.

There appears to be an incident right now in The Underworld. Yes, that one from Greek Mythology, not the one from those Kate Beckinsale films. It looks as though the new Wonder Woman has been spotted on the scene.

She has apparently caused quite the commotion at the River Styx. First by attempting to steal coins from the dead to barter passage, and then waking the Guardian of the Underworld, the three-headed dog itself, Cerberus.

And that’s where the report ends. I’m still not sure about the accuracy of this given its origin, but if any more info comes in, you know where to come for the best reporting. Looks like we’ve got some BREAKING NEWS coming to you about a situation in Gotham. I mean, it’s Gotham… how much worse could it get?

The reporter puts on an obviously fake smile and then, thinking the camera has cut to Gotham, shouts for a drink of something strong.

The camera pans to a flustered reporter with messy hair and an awkwardly-fixed tie, trying his best to keep his cool appears as he stands in Gotham City. Gotham itself is drenched in neon light and always looks as if it just rained, steam pouring up from the streets.

This is GC52 news reporter Alex Smith-Petersen, bringing you live updates on the scene in Gotham. This just in! It appears there’s a new Batman on the streets of Gotham!

He coughs, clearly feeling a bit awkward and exposed on the streets of Gotham.

As we all know…Masks are outlawed, and it looks like this “Next Batman” is trying to save folks hiding their faces with masks by removing them before they’re shot by the Magistrate’s Peacekeepers.

Unlike the “Old Batman” this one doesn’t want anyone seeing any part of their face!

Without as much conviction as the lead anchor, he makes his first attempt at something humorous. It’s clear that he is the newest member of the team.

They may even be a little smarter than the old man as well… not covering your mouth seems like a silly idea when trying to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. Nothing says fear like a big pearly Bat-smile.

The reporter presses his hand to his ear as he mutters “What now Jerry?” before turning to the camera.

Wait, there’s more! I am hearing reports of a gang known as the “Bane-litos” roaming around the city, masking up and knocking off whoever they want. Word on the street is their recruitment targets young kids, coercing them with promises of found family. The Magistrate hasn’t been able to stop them, and they continue to haunt our streets, so I’m glad that someone like this new fella is finally trying to take these folks–

The transmission is cut short as the reporter is removed from the air. The feed cuts to another reporter back in the studio who has been sent in to take their place by the Magistrate’s News Clearance team. This one is all smiles and is ready to comply.

Looks like we lost the signal from you there, Alex! Real shame. Anyway, my name is Bartholemew T. Iddy, and I’m here with the latest scoop from “The Outside.” Known compatriots of the Batman have been seen escorting fugitives from the city. Outrageous! Everyone knows that masks are to be shot on sight!

Bartholemew seems to be looking past the camera, as if for some kind of affirmation from a source off-screen.

In other news, the outlaw known as Katana was seen rampaging through a Magistrate facility, cutting officers down with impunity. The audacity! Luckily, Kailber was on hand to repel the intruder on behalf of the Magistrate, to keep the peace.

Bartholomew is watching live footage of the incident in question when all of a sudden something rips through the broadcast he and the viewers were seeing.

Wait-holy shit! Was that lightning black?!?! We don’t know what just happened, but it looks like Kaliber has fled the scene, leaving Katana to deal with this “Black Lightning.” Scary stuff folks, but that’s another day in Gotham! Back to you, Dan.

When the camera cuts back to the main news desk, Dan is leaning back in his chair with his feet propped up on the desk. He quickly kicks them off and gets back into position.

Well, that’s all the news for tonight. Following this broadcast will be GC52’s part 4 of our Bruce Wayne memorial documentary “Gotham’s Guardian Angel.” Goodnight, we will catch you next week! This is Dan McMahon, signing off.

As the show’s theme plays and a sizzle reel plays, you can hear Dan shouting at someone behind the cameras. “I told the Magistrate has NO RIGHT sending goons to control the-“