Wait! Go back and check out my first installment from the 2016 Halloween season in case you missed it!
Savage Skull is an obscure Batman villain who (so far) has appeared in only two Batman comics way back in 1983. A disfigured Gotham City police officer who was fired for police brutality, Savage Skull attempted to exact his revenge by taking Commissioner Gordon’s life but was stopped by Batman. Really kind of a slasher villain, I would love to see Savage Skull dusted off once more.
Debuting in 1939, the vampiric Monk (also known as the Mad Monk) is one of Batman’s first super-villains. In one story in the early 1980’s, he succeeded in turning Batman into a vampire.
Well, we’re well into Phase III of the unlimited number of “phases” that Marvel’s cinematic universe will be having, and Marvel releases three or so movies every year, so obviously this list will need to be updated quite often, but let’s give it a go…
#15 – The Incredible Hulk (2008)
The second MCU movie to be released (it followed Iron Man). This movie is a big improvement over Ang Lee’s 2003 standalone Hulk snoozefest, but it’s nothing special on its own terms. Apparently, Edward Norton agreed as he decided not to reprise the role of Bruce Banner/Hulk for 2012’s Avengers. It would be interesting to see Marvel give it a go again with Mark Ruffalo, but we’re already getting elements of the popular “Planet Hulk” comic book story in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok movie, so I don’t think Marvel has any plans for the Hulk to star in his own movie again anytime soon.
#14 – Iron Man 2 (2010)
It’s amazing to me how spot-on Marvel was with the release of the first Iron Man movie, but then could release this garbage. The movie was a financial success, making just a little less than the original, but man, is it terrible. I mean… Whiplash? That’s the best you could come up with as the villain? And he looked completely ridiculous and nothing like his comic book counterpart. This would easily be the worst Marvel movie of the bunch if not for the fact that The Incredible Hulk was so boring.
#13 – Thor (2011)
Very cheesy/squeaky clean/visually polished movie that really overdid it with the CGI. Sometimes, watching these “live-action” superhero movies is more like watching a CGI cartoon. Plus, to me, Thor just isn’t interesting as a standalone character. Continue Reading
The second most popular cold-based villain in the DCU. A long-time foe of the Flash and leader of The Rogues. Really just a bank robber in a parka with a freeze gun but he’s interesting because he has sometimes been portrayed as having a sense of honor.
Similar to Mister Freeze, Cryonic Man wished to save his wife from dying by cryogenically freezing her. Cryonic Man debuted in the ’80s and battled Batman and the Outsiders after trying to steal organs from a Gotham City hospital. He hasn’t been seen in the main DCU since that failing effort.
To date, there have been three villains known as the Icicle. The original Icicle ( debuted in the 1940s, had a mischievous appearance, and functioned similarly to Captain Cold . The second Icicle’s run was extremely brief. He was the grandson of the original and had a more horrific, ghostly appearance. The most recent version of the Icicle is the son of the original and does not need any type of cold/freeze gun to use his powers. Both the first and third Icicle have been members of the Injustice Society. Continue Reading
Why only six? Well, because I need sequel material for Halloween Scream 2016, that’s why! Besides, the alliteration works.
Just like Batman, Spider-Man has all kinds of kooky and gimmicky foes. Both characters seem to excel in attraction villains that would fit right in a horror movie or at a Halloween costume party. Here’s a handful of spooky Spider-villains that are dressed for Halloween all year ’round!
Well, might as well start off with the most obvious one! The Green Goblin has been a thorn in Spider-Man’s side since 1964. Variations of the costume have come and gone, as have the characters behind the mask, but the original version seen above (with both Norman and Norman Osborn donning this look) is iconic. Absolutely perfect design for a villain and perfect for Halloween! C’mon, the guy rides a Goblin Glider and throws pumpkin bombs!
Continuing my reignited fascination with Batman, I was burning through movies based on the character thanks to DVD, Blu-ray and Netflix back in December and January. So here I’ll toss out my thoughts on the original movie franchise, the Nolan movies and a few animated movies. I know there’s tons of animated Batman movies now but I’m only discussing the earliest ones that I recently re-watched.
The other week I discussed the live-action Superman movies. So be sure to check that out!
Batman: The Movie
1966, 20th Century Fox
I grew up watching the ’60s Batman TV show on The Family Channel every afternoon. I was obsessed with it and this was then Bat-mania was sweeping the nation thanks to 1989’s Batman movie. When I realized the TV show had spun off it’s own movie, I nearly went insane.
I thought it was a great idea to bring together the four biggest villains (Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and Riddler) to take on Batman & Robin. This movie is a super-sized version of the TV show, but I mean that in a good way because I LOVE the TV show. It was great to see the villains teaming up and interacting. I don’t think that was ever done on the TV show.
First I was on a Batman movie kick (more on that later), then I got on a Superman movie kick. So here’s the rundown on all of the live-action movies and my not-so-quick thoughts…Superman: The Movie (1978)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980)
Superman Returns (2006)
Warner Bros. Pictures
I’d never owned the first two Christopher Reeve movies and had Superman Returns on DVD. When I decided I wanted to re-watch all of the live-action Superman movies, I couldn’t pass up getting this Blu-ray triple feature for only $10 on Amazon.
It had been an extremely long time since I’d seen Superman: The Movie and Superman II. I don’t think I’ve watched either in full in over 20 years. I remembered bits and pieces of them (mostly from the sequel) though. I think the first two Reeve movies had a great style to them. It really felt like a comic book come to life and the movies seemed to take a lot of inspiration from Superman’s 1950’s and 1960’s comic book appearances.
Though a bit on the slim side, Reeve was a great Superman/Clark Kent, Gene Hackman was a great Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder was surprisingly hot at times playing Lois Lane.
The Blu-ray I bought featured Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II, or as close as Warner Bros. could get to using the rest of the Donner footage that was cut from the film. Some of Donner’s shooting script was unfilmed. He was replaced by another director during shooting and alterations were made to the story.
I don’t think either of these movies are great, but they are worth watching at least once to see how superhero movies used to be. Looking back on them now, they feel more like campy made-for-TV movies because it doesn’t feel like a whole lot actually happens and Luthor’s plans in the first movie seem so ridiculous and flimsy.
Superman Returns was the much awaited return to the big screen for the Man of Steel. I remember being very excited to see this movie when it came out and walking away mildly disappointed after seeing it. I was never a fan of Bryan Singer trying to make this movie a pseudo-sequel to the first two Christopher Reeve movies and didn’t like the fact that the movie begins with Superman returning after a five year absence from earth. It never made sense to me that Superman would leave Lois behind for that long.
I didn’t care for the casting of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane but Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor were great choices. But, this is third movie in a row (since Singer’s take on Superman does not acknowledge Superman III or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) where Superman loses his powers and gets beat up for awhile. They really couldn’t have come up with something else? At least Man of Steel gave us a Superman movie with some real knockdown dragout fully-powered fights. Yes, Superman II had some fight scenes but they were done at a slow pace.
For some reason, I have this need to comment on virtually every superhero cartoon or movie I watch. Actually, I could’ve sworn I wrote up (and possibly posted) reviews for Son of Batman and JLA Adventures but I can’t find any proof of that. None of these movies are fresh in my mind anymore but I’ll briefly give my thoughts on these animated Marvel & DC movies for the record books. :)
Son of Batman
2014, Warner Home Video
Instead of randomly releasing direct-to-video movies set in their own universes in order to adapt certain stories from the comic books, it looks like DC is finally having many of their recent animated movies set in the same ‘New 52’-inspired universe. Son of Batman shares its world with Justice League: War (which itself will have its own sequel in the form of Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis).
Son of Batman is still based on a storyline from the Batman comics called “Batman and Son”. This was during the Grant Morrison era of writing the Batman comics and I think he’s one of the worst and most overrated comic book writers of all time. That probably explains why I wasn’t that big of a fan of this movie.