Analog EP88: Hot Takes, Baby!

Josh, Theo, and Bovi are back for some hot takes, and heated discussion! Covering the latest cool shit that pop culture has to offer!

A jam packed episode of first details on Disney+ and many of its programming, plus Swamp Thing, Titans casting, Tomb Raider, Halo, and even more on this week’s episode of Analog! Check out the episode, and follow us on Instagram – Instagram.com/AnalogCast! Check out the links below to listen, and please Rate & Review us on iTunes!

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Pull Box: April 17

The end of “Knightmares” has finally come with the truth behind all of this finally coming to light. An innovation on Scarecrow’s fear toxin has driven Bruce into his own mind, to face his own fears, and only his greatest fear can save him: the truth about himself. Maybe Batman truly isn’t capable of that type of love. The type that drives a relationship forward, allowing two people to give themselves to one another completely. It’s horribly tragic, but maybe it’s true. On top of that, Thomas Wayne really is there, working with Bane and claiming himself the true Batman, but how did he even get there? Still more questions remain.

I’m not sure what it is, but the mysteries in this book have me eating out of the palm of their hands. Naomi’s past is so interesting, even though we know next to nothing. Now, we know that Dee and her Father are warring aliens who decided to just have normal lives on Earth, and we know that there is certainly something different about Naomi herself. The mysterious black box, and what almost looked like a White Lantern logo? It couldn’t have been, given the small differences, but it is certainly inspired by that.

And the award for best retcon of all time goes to Scott Snyder and Justice League. With an effortless flick of his pen, Snyder has merged the entire history of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the Anti-Monitor, as well as his motivations and history into the modern age. We now know the true history of Perpetua and her children, and the life they cursed themselves to in order to stop her machinations. That was storytelling at its most masterful.

As expected, even after being eaten by his own Frost Giant Father, Loki still cannot die. Even being digested, quite grotesquely, I might add, in the gullet of Laufey, he just subconsciously will not give up despite his pleas otherwise. Knowing that Loki is indirectly responsible for the creation of the horrible Malekith that started the War of the Realms was quite the revelation. Now, we get to see what Loki does with that information.

That was a jam-packed issue that was full of everything you could possibly ask for. Insane action, revelations and character development galore, and even more insane action. Jane Foster is the All-Mother of Asgard, as Freyja leaves for Jotunheim to find Thor, and Odin falls into the Odinsleep to heal his wounds before leaving for Svartalfehim to destroy the Black Bifrost. This is absolutely fantastic, and easily the best even Marvel has had in some time.

It’s interesting to see the front-row seat that Punisher of all people has taken in this massive war. The anti-hero with the fewest powers taking on these otherworldly creatures of unspeakable horror is impressive, and that’s most likely why that choice was made. With that being said, the usual amount of gore and blood was at play here, and it was jarring in all the right ways given how Thor books usually can be.

This is how you know Marvel is taking the War of the Realms seriously, with these small tie-in stories that show just how many heroes are actually involved in this event. The Daredevil story was obviously the stand-out here, and I’m actually excited to see how the Man Without Fear got a hold of the sword of Heimdall, giving him god-like powers. The Wolverine and Punisher story was also pretty fantastic, but one has to wonder where all of the Avengers are?

Iain Glen Cast as Bruce Wayne in Titans Season 2

In the final episode of the first season of Titans, Batman went on a rampage, with Bruce Wayne only being seen in the shadows, in what was revealed to be a nightmare from Dick Grayson. Now, the second season of Titans is set to show the man himself, albeit a bit older than we’re used to. According to Deadline, Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) has been cast as an older take on Bruce Wayne.

“After decades of fighting crime as Batman, billionaire Bruce Wayne is just as driven to protect Gotham from evil as he was in his prime. Needing to reconcile his relationship with Dick Grayson, the duo hope to forge a new dynamic as Bruce tries to help his former sidekick and the Titans achieve success.”

Pull Box: April 10

The last few months of Batman have been torture for the man, as I haven’t seen Bruce Wayne with this level of regret since the death of Jason Todd. He’s not only torturing himself, but his enemies have been endlesslly using that torture against him, as he is still trapped within his own mind. Things are slowly coming together since the reveal of Thomas Wayne’s Batman to Bruce, but we’re not quite there, yet.

That was a wildly successful relaunch for the new era of Detective Comics. Fancy new logo, new villain, and new creative team, all to freshen up an already fantastic book, creating an even more fantastic experience. Seeing Batman on the receiving end of the Arkham Knights’ machinations this quickly is a surprise, but it made for quite the closing image. Most certainly a fantastic start for the new team.

It’s pretty ridiculous how long James Jesse must have been planning this, because he’s actually thought of everything, getting the better of the Flash pretty handily. Not only that, but that gruesome imagery of him taking Barry’s legs off to keep him from running and saving the day will certainly stick with me for a while. However, as effective as it would be, part of me still thinks it’s some sort of trick.

Now that we’re fully caught up on what’s happening with Jonathan Kent, and his age difference, we’re immediately thrown into the craziest image I’ve seen in a Superman book in a while. An insane, intergalactic war started by Rogol Zaar with Jor-El, Thanagarians, and damn near every alien race capable of interstellar travel. I’m curious to hear what sort of deals and sacrifices Jor-El had to make to find Jon, but I’m sure that will come later.

Suddenly, Diana is given hope that the Amazon’s could still yet live. While it was a little more lame than expected, the sword belonging to Antiope, and not some legendary God, or hero, it still adds another important ally in Diana’s quest to discover the truth about what happened to the Gods. I’m hoping things decide to take a more epic turn soon, though.

That was a wildly fun tie-in. Honestly one of the best tie-ins that Marvel has ever done, which is surprising. This event has had some serious build-up going on in the background, but what seems like little-to-no fanfare from Marvel Comics, thanks to the upcoming release of Avengers: Endgame. So, meanwhile, Marvel is pushing out one of their best comic events in years, and they still don’t care. A little disappointing, honestly.

It’s basiaclly cheating that not only is Idamm a skilled fighter, but he’s also immortal, now. Not to mention his entire army being immortal, as well. Though it was pretty funny when it was revealed that the Dragon of Barbatos, the world forger of the Dark Multiverse was also sent through the portal as aid to Carter Hall. It still wasn’t enough, which is to be expected, I suppose. But what will it take?

Comic Books: April 3

The War of the Realms has finally begun! After years of build-up we’re finally here, and most of the major players are already either out of commission or busy destroying armies of Frost Giants on Jotunheim. A clever distraction while Malekith lays waste to Midgard, he’s confident his armies can tackle the many heroes on Earth, but that’s not exactly worked in the favor of many. It likely won’t work here, either. But it’s going to be damn fun to see him try.

The conclusion to the Blackstar arc seemed a little more rushed than I was expecting, but the so-called sacrifice of Hal Jordan that catapulted him, without a ring, to the edge of the universe was a nice touch. Now we can continue with Grant Morrison’s many strange creatures and worlds, which has been the highlight of this entire story up to this point.

Future Superman was really the World Forger all along, choosing to take a form that the Justice League could trust and comprehend. For being the son of Perpetua, he seems somewhat fair, even giving the League the choice to integrate the current universe with their own, and skip the war and all of the casualties. But at too great a price, they couldn’t do it. Now, in this alternate future, Lois Lane is the warden of a prison on Apokolips, and Superman is dead. That’s quite the bleak situation, if I do say so myself.

Many of my favorite heroes are returning, and it’s the best feeling. First, Plastic Man came back. Now Bart Allen and Conner Kent are both back, and it feels so great. This story is light and quick, with a pace that matches the tempo of Bart Allen’s speech, and the way the team just came back together, like they’re meant to be, is so fun and it makes me smile every single issue.

First Teaser Trailer for Epix’ Pennyworth Series Online

DC Entertainment and Epix have shared the first teaser trailer for their inexplicable Batman prequel series, Pennyworth, which spotlights the past of Batman’s most loyal friend and confidant during his time with the British Special Forces. While the reasoning behind it is strange, it’s a beautiful looking series, with fantastic cinematography clearly running amok.

The 10-episode series stars Jack Bannon (The Imitation Game) as Alfred Pennyworth, with Ben Aldridge (Fleabag) as Thomas Wayne, Ryan Fletcher as Dave Boy, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett as Bazza, Paloma Faith as Bet Sykes, Jason Flemyng (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as Lord Harwood and Polly Walker as Peggy Sykes. The series debuts this summer.

Pull Box: March 27

This was exactly what it needed to be. 1,000 issues of the hero that has become iconic to people across the planet. The caped crusader. The dark knight. The world’s greatest detective. The Batman. Each of these stories were fantastic, though a few were particularly great. Ending the issue on the comic book introduction of the Arkham Knight was fitting. It left off once again leaving us all wanting more. And it will continue that way for another 80 years. Happy Birthday, Batman.

That was a twist I did not see coming. Of course, Harley couldn’t kill Booster, even though she saw Booster kill Poison Ivy, who also wasn’t dead, thanks to Wally. But, Wally killed himself? Took his own life? Maybe? This is intensely confusing with twists and turns all over the place, creating a fantastic story that I cannot stop reading. Can it be the next issue already?

This Leviathan story is yet another example of just how fantastic DC is at telling stories. There are so many layers and mysteries in play here. Amanda Waller is the most untrustworthy person in all of comics, and she’s inside the Fortress of Solitude while every single secret organization on the planet is targeted one at a time by a single mystery culprint with super advanced technology. This is getting good.

What a way to start this reboot. Inspired by an act of kindness from Superman, a young boy lives his life looking to push himself to his limits and feel the rush of being saved by Superman once again. Now he has the power of the H-Dial, which is mysteriously calling out to several seemingly random heroes. I’m not entirely sure, but something certainly seems up here, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Maybe The Trickster has a bigger plan than I was expecting. Brainwashing and infecting the entire city with some sort of Happy drug that forces them to be better people, even against their will is quite a trick. But is it only a distraction from the true threats? Zoom? The forces scattered across the world? Unless this is all linked, somehow? I suppose we’ll know more soon.

Honor is dead-set on making this ruse work, no matter the cost to her humanity. Whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Now that may have cost her, as she’s unleashed her “sister.” A telephatic, smoke-phasing mutant that immediately dispatched their “brother,” moments after he was set up to be a stone-cold killer. Pretty fantastic way to really set the tone for a new villain.

After numerous attacks, the Freedom Fighters have successfully revived Uncle Sam, and the Nazis seem to be on the run, with the exception of the crazy son of the Fuhrer. Who seems to be on a whole other level of crazy from everyone else. I’m still not sure of the dynamic between these new Freedom Fighters, and the old, but I’m sure it will be explained more as time passes.

This was already a fairly interesting story with loads of additions to the lore and continuity of Shazam! and his magicla abilities and past. But that ending just threw an entire wrench into the mix that makes things a million times more exciting. Black Adam is there, and he knows about the Seven Lands of Magic! He knows their danger, and their true reason for being closed. But what could that reason be?

It would make sense that amongst the many gods and villains the fall of Olympus hurtled towards Earth, some legendary weapons would be among them. The kinds of weapons bestowed upon heroes of Greek mythology. The sort that Wonder Woman could totally use at the moment while she’s fighting false-Titans alongside Giganta, one of her oldest enemies. This is a crazy arc, but I’m enjoying it.

That was a long arc to finally get this team rolling but it was totally worth it. Not to mention the ending was way more than any of us deserved. Not only did Mr. Terrific, one of the most deserving heroes in the DC Universe, find his wife across the Multiverse, but now they’re on a team together. Both happy to see the other. That’s quite the happy ending that you don’t normally get in stories, and it’s nice to see it.

Pull Box: March 20

Sometimes you just need issues like this. No crazy arcs, no over-arching stories and hints. Just a single issue, with little to no dialog, some incredible art, and a frantic foot chase between the Joker and Batman through Gotham. Brutality reigning supreme as the two try to one-up each other, and take the other down. This was a gorgeous issue that really eased up on the tension in favor of just telling a good, simple story.

These future designs for the Justice League are incredible, with particular focus on Superman and Flash. Even Wonder Woman has a kick-ass future design, and it’s great. In fact, this future is clearly too good to be true. Some insane form of deceit from Mxylptlk to be sure, but how is the more important question here. I absolutely cannot wait for the next issue of this. Batman sees through the veil, not trusting what he’s seeing, and J’onn and Kendra have had thir eyes opened to the truth. But what is the truth?

Naomi is full of some crazy twists and turns, with her small town seeming more and more like a small refugee camp for aliens than anything. Dee the mechanic is a Thanagarian, her parents are both aliens from another world, and what does that make her? Her connection to Superman implies Kryptonian, but that just seems like such a reach. So many mysteries, with such loving and fantastic characters are really making this book great.

After years and years of build-up, it’s finally here! The War of the Realms is upon us, and every God across the realms will be sucked into the largest conflict that Yggdrasil will ever see. Jane Foster is in complete remission, opening the door for her return, and Thor has finally come to terms with the loss of Mjolnir, tossing his last remaining piece into the sun, to return it to the rest of its remains. The Earth’s heroes are ready to fight one hell of a war, and I’m certainly ready to read it.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer Now Online

Warner Bros. Animation has shared the first official trailer for the upcoming crossover animated film, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The trailer gives us an idea of the story, based on the comic by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II. The film boasts an incredible roster of heroes and villains, with both heroes’ bevy of rogue’s making an appearance, with an all-star voice cast to boot.

Check out the announcement post for more information on the massive cast, with Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hitting shelves on March 31st.

James Gunn’s Suicide Squad Roster Revealed

With production set to begin later this year, we now have our first bit of news on James Gunn’s upcoming soft reboot, The Suicide Squad, which will feature a new roster for the most part, with Margot Robbie returning as Harley Quinn, and Idris Elba replacing Will Smith as Deadshot. Collider dropped the news, and as expected for James Gunn, he’s made some pretty off-the-wall choices.

First up is Ratcatcher, who will be gender-swapped from the comics, as the studio is looking to cast a woman of any age or nationality. She is described as “an exterminator in Gotham City that turning to a life of crime, aided by an army of small rodents she can communicate with and control. She’s also a fan of poisonous gas.”  She is also set to be mentored in the film by Deadshot.

Next is King Shark, a super-villain and humanoid who is believed to be the son of the Shark God. He was last seen in live-action on The Flash.

Then there’s the most insane choice: Polka-Dot Man. Another Batman villain, he’s described as being able to “grow multi-colored polka dots on his body that he can turn into fireballs and other weapons. For the most part, he’s embarrassed about his awkward abilities.”

Lastly, there’s Peacemaker, aka Christopher Smith, an agent of peace whose motives are driven by an extremist form of pacifism that makes him so committed peace that he would kill for it. The report indicates that James Gunn is eyeing his friend Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) for this role.

It’s currently unknown if Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg will return, as well as Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller.

Pull Box: March 6

The ramifications of this issue are massive. Now comes the question… is Doomsday Clock canon? Or just a side-story? Either way, Firestorm was created by the government, as well as Rex Mason, and even Kirk Langstrom, aka Man-Bat. Not to mention the entire Justiec League was defeated by Doctor Manhattan fairly easily. Though they got in some good hits, his abilities just proved too much. Only Ozymandias knows the true secrets behind his abilities, but Batman seems to know more than he lets on, thanks to the journal of Rorschach. This book is moving slowly, but it’s starting to ramp up finally.

It’s been so long since we’ve seen The Question, that just seeing him in this issue elevates it. Couple that with his interrogation of Selina in regards to her leaving Bruce and you have some fantastic tension. Particularly with him getting her to admit she lied about the note. But how did she lie? She did truly believe she would him back, and that the world needs him. So, what’s different? Does this have anything to do with Bane’s massive plan that involves the Bat’s entire Rogue’s gallery?

This was a fantastic, light-hearted issue of Justice League with a strong story at its core, that quickly became more and more serious. The introduction of the Future Superman was perfectly executed, but something seemed off about him. Now, thanks to the shocking end of this issue we know that something was off. Was Mxylptlk messing with him? Was it a trap for Superman all along? Or did someone intervene? How will he escape a trap… an entire galaxy of a trap, made specifically for him?

This was probably the best issue yet of Grant Morrison’s crazy run on Green Lantern. Jordan infiltrating the Blackstars, and choosing the name Blackstar Parallax for his “reborn life” was chill-inducing. Now, Adam Strange is in the mix as DC’s space-faring adventurers slowly start to fill out the pages of this ever-growing story. The earlier issues were a bit ridiculous, but Morrison’s found a groove, now, and it’s firing on all cylinders for this newest arc.

They managed to pack a lot of good stuff in this issue! Not only did we get a heartfelt reunion between Conner Kent and Bart Allen, two heroes that have been sorely missed since the beginning of Rebirth and beyond, but we even learned how Conner got to GemWorld in the first place. Not to mention he has a beard, and a wife and son! Conner has a son! Does that make Superman and Lex a Grandfather of sorts? I would love to see the look on Clark’s face when he learns that Conner has a family. He’ll most certainly be proud.

Pull Box: February 27

This entire time, this arc that has been an insane roller coaster of recollection and remembrance for Bruce’s upbringing and road to Batman… was a simulation. Created by Bruce to kill himself, every year on his birthday, he uses it to hone his skills and evolve. Getting better each and every year. That’s a level of dedication that I didn’t think Batman was capable of, but yet again he has shown why he’s the baddest dude in the DC Universe. The ending, with Batman’s goal of Absolute Zero becoming known gave me goosebumps, and the Epilogue was charming. Fantastic end to a fantastic arc.

This was such an incredibly masterful setup for the future of the DC Universe. So many of DC’s biggest stories have centered around the relationship between the Batman and The Flash, because the chemistry there is so real that they just make a great team. With the events of Heroes in Crisis becoming a focal point, as that mystery deepens and the big event for the year starts to unfold, The Year of the Villain, expect things to start to ramp up with mysteries and twists all over the place.

So, first off, all this time Amanda Waller has known the identity of Superman. That’s quite a crazy thing to think of, but she does understand his importance, as well as just how powerful he is. Not to mention calling down the wrath of the Justice League isn’t sometime she would like to do. But the threat of Leviathan, which seems to grow each and every week has forced her hand. Now, Sam Lam is possibly dead, just days after learning the truth about Superman and possibly re-thinking his stance. Attack after attack is happening, and things are getting pretty crazy, now.

Sneaky sneaky Honor Guest, manipulating Talia and playing along with her charade. It’s a clever plan, but she needs to make sure she plays it just right. Talia is wildly intelligent, and twice as dangerous. Add on the tech that her family discovered in the backyard, what looks like a laser shield of sorts and you have quite a predicament on her hands. The closer they get to the truth, the more danger they’ll be in with Leviathan as they become more and more of a threat across the DC Universe proper.

The pace of this issue seemed incredibly slow, but it was still yet another fun throwback to the days of comic books old. Mr. Terrific discovering his wife alive on another Earth, with the exact same circumstances as himself was quite the lucky break. I just hope that this ends up being a bit of a happy ending for the team. With that being said, I’m ready for the team to move on from Doc Dread and his Dreadfuls. That villain seems to have made his mark, and I would love for the team to take on some new threats.

This book really pulls no punches. Bringing out the darkest and dirtiest the world has to offer to show how truly terrible that future could have been. Thankfully, the Freedom Fighters seem like a competent team, prepared for many contingencies when it comes to their enemy. The evil German Plastic Man is still the most horrifying thing ever, and he just seems to get more and more creepy. I can only imagine how creepy he’ll be when he starts fighting again.

It was pretty obvious that King Kid had some tricks up his sleeve, but I wasn’t exactly exepcting it all to rush to the surface as soon as he saw them as Champions, turning into adults. The Seven Lands are of course still mysterious, but it seems we’re going to learn more about them pretty quickly given the next issue. I honestly wish we would have seen more on Mr. Mind and Doctor Sivana in this issue, though, as that cliffhanger last month was fantastic.

Doom’s trick was finally revealed… at least part of it. He plans to harness the power of Galactus as an endless energy source. That’s a bit old school of an idea for a villain like Doom to concoct, leading me to believe there’s a little more at play here. The confusion that Reed had on his face when Victor revealed the “Good Galactus” and Johnny and Ben backed him up was pretty priceless. I would certainly like more moments like that in upcoming issues of this Fantastic Four revival.

A slow-paced, emotional issue based around the caveman Gnarkk and Harley Quinn, finally give us a better idea of what happened here. Harley broke into Sanctuary to help Poison Ivy, and get help from Ivy. They’re friends, and lovers, that’s what they do. Meanwhile, Booster Gold, who has been on a considerable decline in the last two years, has finally snapped, and laid waste to everyone there. But, there’s still the mystery as to why this Wally was older than he should have been. Still, there are questions unanswered.

I’m starting to get fairly bored with this story, as it’s pretty convoluted and a bit ridiculous. Even for comic books. But, seeing them address the events of Justice League, with the Source Wall being torn down, and all of the New Gods being killed was certainly worth it. Darkseid was protected in the Ghost Sector, but how much longer can he keep the danger away?

That lawsuit business sure seemed to last a long time, didn’t it? That strangeness aside, it makes perfect sense and reassures the character of Veronica Cale that through all of this, all she wants is her daughter back. She spent years attempting to save her daughter, and when she finally does, she has to leave her behind in Themyscira. Now, with Themyscira destroyed through the paradox of Ares’ death, she’s lost, alongside the other inhabitants of the Amazon homeland. With the help of Aphrodite, Diana starts a new quest, and a fascinating new arc that could have some big repercussions in the future.

Pull Box: February 20

Gotham Girl’s story is so tragic, simply because of how much her and her brother have been used, abused, and tossed aside like trash. Left to suffer and fizzle out from their powers, or become corrupted infinitely by them. All she wants is her brother back, and to be a hero alongside them. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, she’s still a child and doesn’t see the cost that being a hero really holds. Who’s manipulating her is the real question, but all signs point to Bane as we continue down the rabbit hole of Tom King’s 100-issue arc.

I wasn’t expecting Brainiac and Lex Luthor to essentially be joined on a spiritual level to unleash Perpetua on the universe. I was expecting the usual villain betrayal, but that’s not exactly what Scott Snyder is about is it? This incredible retcon of the past of Lionel Luthor and his working with Vandal Savage before having his memories erased is so flawless that it fits like a puzzle piece in a blank space that we never knew we needed. It effortlessly gives Lex Luthor a grandiose history that takes him from hyper-intelligent mastermind, to destined villain. Fantastic.

Jacob Kane Cast in Batwoman Pilot

The pilot for The CW’s Batwoman series continues to expand its cast with Entertainment Weekly reporting that Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible II) joining as the male lead, Jacob Kane. The Father of Ruby Rose’s titular Batwoman.

Kane is described as “a former military colonel with a chip on his shoulder for Batman, Jacob Kane now commands Gotham’s private security firm The Crows, and has made it his mission to protect his city better than the Dark Knight ever could. But it’s only a matter of time before his unwavering disdain for vigilantes puts him at odds with Gotham’s new caped crusader…who also happens to be his own daughter.”

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Announced

SYFY has revealed that Warner Bros. Animation is working on a fantastic new crossover film, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which will see the Caped Crusader come to blows with the Half-shell Heroes via trans-dimensional portal.

Based on the comic series by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II, the film will star Troy Baker (Batman: Arkham Origins) pulling double-duty as Batman and The Joker, Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) as Raphael, Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live) as Michelangelo, Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie) as Donatello, and Eric Bauza (The Woody Woodpecker Show) as Leonardo.

They join Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as Batgirl, Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants) as The Penguin, John DiMaggio (Adventure Time) as Mr. Freeze, Tara Strong (The Powerpuff Girls) as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911!) as Bane, and Cas Anvar (The Expanse) as Ra’s al Ghul.