First Impressions On The New DuckTales

Oh, hey; I can talk about something happy for a change!

At this point, you know that I have a bit of an axe to grind when it comes to Disney. However, don’t take that to mean that I hate EVERYTHING about them; I am a human capable of love after all and Disney was still a formative part of my child. And one of those parts I loved was DuckTales.

Looking back, it was a very simplistic show – very much your standard, 1990’s, baddie-of-the-week, action-adventure serial. It was light on plot and character development, but it was completely serviceable with high-energy action, decent humor,  and still holds up surprisingly well after over two decades.

But, you want to know what they changed in the 2017 reboot and if they stayed true to the original source material, right? Well, let’s rap about that (NOTE: SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT).

The first thing I took note of was a heavier focus on an overarching plot for the series. The first two episodes (conveniently mashed up as an hour long premiere in the video above) starts with Donald Duck struggling to make a home for his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie as the life of a sailor isn’t conducive to being a family man. Donald is forced to drop the trio off at the mansion of their grand-uncle Scrooge McDuck while he heads off to a new job interview. As the plot continues, new elements are added such as Huey, Dewey, and Louie being disillusioned with Scrooge’s greatness, Scrooge struggling to patch up strained family relations, Donald having to choose between family and success after unintentionally being hired by Scrooge’s arch-rival Flintheart Glomgold, and – end-capping the second episode – the discovery that Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s long-lost mother might have joined Scrooge and Donald in their early adventuring days.

With heavier plot came a greater chance for character development. This was where things started getting risky as this meant a chance of people complaining that the characters weren’t true to the originals. However, I didn’t have those concerns while watching. For the most part, I felt they were the same lovable goofballs I grew up with.

Donald is still a neurotic ball of rage, panic, and feathers (playing up the foul-mouthed sailor cliche… heh, FOWL… ’cause he’s a duck), but now he has the humanizing element of being an adoptive father figure to his nephews. Now his anger and frustration are justified because he’s constantly agonizing over the well-being of those in his care.

Scrooge is still the money-grubbing miser that he always was, but now he’s learning to accept family back into his life now that he’s made his fortune, thus making him a warmer and lovable character. Now, he has a chance to share his glory days with the next generation and has new meaning in his life by teaching them how to be, in his own words, “tougher than the toughies and smarter than smarties.”

Of course, the two biggest changes in character and the ones everyone wants to discuss are Scrooge’s maidservant Mrs. Bentina Beakley and her granddaughter Webbigail “Webby” Vanderquack. It’s understandable why the internet would go nuts over these two as their previous incarnations were a bit troubled from a modern feminist perspective.

Where the original Mrs. Beakley had almost no character other than being a doting nanny and mother figure to the child cast, this new incarnation is much more strict and professional – characterized as being very hard-nosed about how things are run around the McDuck mansion. She’s also not afraid to call Scrooge out on his B.S. when she smells it which has the effect of making her the Alfred Pennyworth to Scrooge’s Bruce Wayne. Her visual design reflects this by replacing her round rimless spectacles and frilly blouse with square horn-rimmed glasses and a broadly shouldered blazer to harden her appearance while keeping her bun hair-do, frilled apron, and giving her a classy brooch to remind us that under her sternness, she’s still a loving soft-hearted gentlewoman.

And she needs to be loving because she’s looking after the new Webby.

The original Webby was an example of one of the WORST kinds of female characters in fiction, the one that insists on being involved in everything with the boys for no discernable reason despite having no useful skills and calling sexism when someone tries to explain how dangerous that is for them and the rest of the team. Here though, she keeps this ‘up-for-anything’ personality while mitigating the problems previously attached to it.

For starters, there’s a reason why she wants to be with others on an adventure; she’s been horribly sheltered. Mrs. Beakley, fearing for her granddaughter’s safety sharing a home with a famous thrill-seeker, taught her every survival technique she knows but insisted that she be in a position where she’ll never actually need to use them by keeping her in the house. She’s bouncing off the walls with her growing social awkwardness. So when she finally meets Huey, Dewey, and Louie, she clings to them as the first living creatures she’s interacted with outside of the mansion.

Oh, and those survival techniques. Yeah, that means she actively contributes to the team instead of standing off to the side until she inevitably becomes a liability. It also makes my previous Mrs. Beakley/Alfred comparison stronger by suggesting that she’s a total badass.

And, of course, I’d be foolish if I didn’t mention the reworking of the original theme which is just as legendarily catchy as the before but doesn’t wear out its welcome nearly as quickly.

So, basically, this is just a REALLY wordy way of saying that I’m looking forward to seeing what else Disney comes up with. It seems they’re still making good use of those pages from the Cartoon Network school of plot and character development in animation that they borrowed when making Gravity Falls. The only difference is that they had the guts to apply it to one of their longest running franchises.

Now then, which of us is gonna start petitioning for a Darkwing Duck reboot?

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4 Reasons Why Deadpool Is The Greatest Hero Ever Conceived Of By Man

This blog is Deadpool approved!
Source: Screen Rant

As of the previous night from when I’m writing this, I had the joy of seeing Deadpool at my local IMAX theater. I have to say that the film lived up to the hype. We fans can finally say that we got a true-to-character depiction of Deadpool outside of the comics that we can be proud of. They even managed to turn the upset of having their budget cut from under their feet at the last minute to their advantage.

But upon returning from the movie, I and my colleagues got to discussing why we love D. Pooly so much. What is it about this loud-mouthed cross between Ryan Reynolds and a shar-pei that makes us love him so?

Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but for me…

He Isn’t A Hero (Technically)

It’s the thought that counts…
Source: The Deadpool Catalogue

As pointed out in my breakdown of the one-shot comic The Gaeneviad, the problem with self-proclaimed heroes is that they tend to come off as holier-than-thou douchebags hiding behind the veneer of righteousness and justice.

On the other hand, our dear Deadpool acts on the principals of moral relativism; i.e., the definitions of good and evil being subjective and based on one’s own cultural upbringing and environment that they occupy.

Wade may have a massive ego, but he has no delusions of being a hero despite what he occasionally insists. He simply acts as he feels he needs to in order to protect his own interests and those of the ones that he cares about/are paying him at the time.

He’s a Surprisingly Tragic Character

Yes, this comic just made you feel bad for a foul-mouthed, murderous, sentient tumor.
Source: Cynic No More

Behind his snappy comebacks and gleeful destruction, Deadpool has a lot of emotional baggage to unpack. It’s easy to forget that this is a man who was dishonorably discharged from the military, forced into mercenary work to get by, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, horribly disfigured by the people that “cured” him, and then tortured so badly that he spent nights in his cell simply chanting the words, “Ow, my skin.”

Once you remember that, you start to realize that his manic personality is just a coping mechanism – a mask that he likely puts on to cover up his own pain.

He’s Sexually Progressive

I sense the feeling isn’t mutual.
Source: The Odyessy

Despite looking like someone beat Rod Stewart with a baseball bat and held him down in battery acid, Deadpool has a shockingly healthy sex life with a long list of partners.

And when I say long list, I mean it’s suggested that he’s f***ed pretty much EVERYONE.

Deadpool is often characterized as being pansexual, meaning he is not limited by things like gender identity or biological sex when considering a love interest. He flirts with the likes of Thor, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, has been married to strange alien lifeforms, and has even had multiple flings with Death itself.

Basically, I like the idea of a man that looks like ten miles of bad road telling me that we’re all beautiful people.

He Knows The Importance of Engaging the Audience

Never upstage the protagonist.
Source: comicritico.blogspot.com

One of Deadpool’s key features is his love of breaking the fourth wall – the act of directly addressing the audience and acknowledging the medium one occupies. While only a hand full of characters can do this right, something interesting happens when they do.

By becoming self-aware of their role in the entertainment industry, characters like Deadpool will often start playing to the audience. This forces the writers to do the same and results in a more engaging and entertaining story.

In short, since Deadpool WANTS to play to the crowd, the writers HAVE to play to the crowd.

4 Warner Bros. Properties That I Want To See As Mortal Kombat DLC Characters

One of the nice things about being in my new apartment is the fact that I’ve been more active with my hobbies thanks to kicking the depression linked to my previous setting. Among those hobbies are, of course, video games and movies.

Last Month, the folks at Netherrealm Studios kept the proud tradition of adding new DLC Characters to the Mortal Kombat franchise from the available list of Warner Bros. Movies and properties by giving us the option to play as The Predator in Mortal Kombat X. And while he makes a nice fit, I can’t help but feel some other opportunities could be found with a little digging.

Basically, I’m saying that I won’t be happy until I can push Quan Chi’s head down into his colon while playing as…

Leatherface

Sure, we already have a silent, masked killer on the roster. But HE doesn’t have a chainsaw.
Source: Super Villain Wiki

You know, for being an iconic horror film, I’ve heard a lot of hate TowardsThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I imagine that’s mostly the hyper conservative crowd that can’t handle a horror film that’s ACTUALLY horrifying talking.

Regardless, the movie’s iconic killer Leatherface would be an obvious fit. The property is now owned Warner Bros., he’s a classic horror villain well known for brutally dispatching his victims, and he would be easily recognizable. Just code him in the next DLC, hand him a chainsaw and a meat mallet, and have him go to town.

And while we’re getting the obvious choices out of the way…

The Xenomorph

Bonus points if they have the stones to use the queen.
Source: Alien Species Wiki

 

Look, we have Predator, naturally Alien can’t be too far behind.

There’s actually a good reason why I want The Xenomorph as a playable character though; the lack of creative, inhuman designs in recent Mortal Kombat games.

I remember seeing characters like Goro, Kintaro, and Motaro for the first time and having my mind blown. These days, they seem to be playing it safe in terms of design. D’vorah is still surprisingly humanoid for a bug woman and even Milleena has been toned down a bit from her previous appearance. We could use a wholly inhuman monster in the roster.

Still, perhaps these last two are too obvious. There are more surprising options that could rock the community with the news. Options like…

Sweeney Todd

His ‘friends’ would be working overtime.
Source: FanPop

Ha! Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?

It’s funny how most people don’t talk about this movie anymore. It’s arguably the last role that Johnny Depp did that you can call ‘good’ without qualifying that statement. What’s more, it’s a Warner Bros. owned horror film – making it a valid choice for DLC.

I feel that someone this unexpected could create a lot of buzz and make the game interesting; the lost soul of ‘The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ so consumed with vengeance that he’ll fight his way out of the netherrealm to get it.

Also, I’ve just really wanted to slowly slit Johnny Cage’s throat with a straight razor ever since I first saw him.

Guyver One

The fact that this exists proves I’m not alone in the universe.
Source: ultimate-savage.deviantart.com/

Okay, this one’s a bit complicated.

Before anyone asks, yes – the Bio-Booster Armor Guyver franchise was originally a manga published by Viz Media that was adapted into an anime published by Manga Entertainment. HOWEVER, New Line Cinema picked up the movie rights and released two films based on the franchise. And since Warner Bros. merged with them in 2008, it’s possible that they still have the rights.

“But Agent,” I hear you plea, “Weren’t those movies inconsistent and ham-fisted schlock that even lovers of bad movies have trouble stomaching? Why would you include that in a game like this?”

Well, I’m thinking of it as a chance for redemption. There’s nothing saying that they need to follow the note set by the films. This could be a chance to bring the character back to his sci-fi/action/horror roots. Plus, it would be a nice change up to see a hero in a DLC instead of a villian.

I only have one request; please go back to calling the kid in Guyver One Shō Fukamachi instead of Sean Barker. We really don’t need stuff like that in this day and age.