21 October 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Hammerhead

We are under 200 days! Introducing the freakish Hammerhead.

Hammerhead is a gansta that dresses the part (He loves his 20's style pin-stripe suits and tommy guns). Due to a skull injury, he had a piece of metal put in his head, giving him that distinctive flat head look. Hammerhead lost his memory from that injury, and when he got back on his feet, he was inspired by an Al Capone poster to start his own retro mob. Hammerhead has quite a bit of pull with the mafia, and delivers a nasty headbutt.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
the Green Goblin

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 195 days!

17 October 2006

Ink Blots XXXIV - The Batman vs Dracula

In September 2004, Batman returned to TV once again in an all new series: The Batman. This series presented a younger hero in a highly stylistic world with many reimagined villains. A year later, The Batman got its first direct to video movie release featuring another "bat man" Count Dracula, or as he likes to call himself in this film Alucard (you see alucard backwards is dracula). For the most part, The Batman is a kid-friendly show. The Batman vs Dracula, as you might guess, with the inclusion of vampires, blood sucking, electrocution, and death delves a lot darker than the Saturday morning incarnation of the show, and that was a nice change.

In Batman vs Dracula, the Penguin and Joker are both in search of hidden treasure in a graveyard. While Batman apprehends Joker, the moron Penguin accidentally revives Dracula who goes on a blood sucking spree. People all over Gotham go missing as the vamps continue to feed. Seeing bats, would be victims accuse Batman of being behind the attacks. Meanwhile Batman races to find a cure for the undead while also trying Bruce Wayne's charms on the damsel Vicki Vale - who's "nice jugulars" also caught the eye of the Count. Vicki is well presented here. Not annoying or needy, she is a worthy match for Wayne. Unfortunately, Wayne is a famous bachelor, and following this movie, Vicki disappeared from the animated series altogether.

As mentioned, present in this movie are the popular bat-foes Joker and Penguin. While these two may be the dark knights best known enemies, they are also probably The Batman's worst reimagined characters. The Joker has long green dreadlock style hair. He basically looks like a big ape. The Penguin is a little hobbit like guy that along with his collection of deadly umbrellas, happens to know kung-fu. But both are actually given a decent treatment in this movie, and both receive a fair amount of abuse as well. The Penguin becomes the personal assistant to the Count, and the Joker gets a case of vampirism that leads to a gruesome scene in the Gotham blood bank.

Dracula has a great haunting theme that accompanies his onscreen appearances. While Batman's enemies are usually grounded in reality,the opportunity to have Batman face the supernatural vampire is too tempting to pass up. The action in this film is top notch. The Batman vs Dracula fights establish the Vampire as more than a match physically for the Caped-Crusader. What really makes Dracula a worthy foe is that along with his physical prowess, he has a sharp mind that truly tests the Detectives skills. The noir animation style full of shadows and billowing capes compliments the dark tone of this clash between "Bat-Masters." This movie really is The Batman at its best and this film can stand proud next to any of the Bruce Timm produced Batman animated features such as Mask of the Phantasm or Sub-Zero. The Batman vs Dracula earns a A-.