It’s tough to believe that The Asylum is behind “Black Summer.” It’s definitely one of the biggest surprises of 2019 as I’ve made it no secret about my disdain toward the company and “Z Nation.” I thought the show was insanely dumb and boring, but I was very much open to “Black Summer.” Keeping my expectations rock bottom (because The Asylum has done horribly with zombie entertainment consistently) I was stunned to very much enjoy “Black Summer.” In fact if it continues its course and settles down a bit in season two, it might end up being one of the great zombie TV series.
The 90s were a turbulent time for Marvel Comics. While they nearly saw financial ruin, they also met with success by teaming with Saban Entertainment to introduce two of the most beloved animated series of the decade: “X-Men: The Animated Series” and “Spider-Man: The Animated Series.” Boosted by their success with Saturday morning cartoons, it wasn’t long before Marvel attempted to bring even more of their biggest properties into the world of animation… with varying results.
While Marvel Comics has dabbled in animation since the mid-60s, it wasn’t until 1999, when they joined forces with Saban International and 20th Century Fox, that the publisher offered up its first animated series based on The Avengers. The series, “The Avengers: United They Stand,” was heavily promoted and much hyped among Marvel and comic based publications. The collective fan response upon its debut on FOX Kids, however, was less than enthusiastic, and even to this day, there’s a relatively middling response to “United They Stand” especially in the face of superior fare like “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”
I’ve managed to become a huge fan of the “Marvel Rising” TV specials as they’ve given a big spotlight to superheroes that don’t get their proper due or are overdue for their own spotlight very soon. Among them, there’s Squirrel Girl, Miss Marvel, Spider-Gwen, and Inferno. Disney has taken advantage of these specials to give some side adventures to some unique superheroes and heroines and I have enjoyed what has unfolded for this new team, as well as the diverse team of voice actors.
Adam Mason’s “I’m Just Fucking With You” is about business as usual for Hulu’s “Into the Dark,” the anthology horror series that’s given viewers a new episode every month. Like all episodes before this April entry, there’s a slow build up, a very good hour, and a final twenty minutes that drag in to a luke warm climax. All in all it’s another mediocre episode that never quite recovers once the second act is introduced. I think it’s time worth spent, don’t get me wrong, as one of the fun things about anthology films is the ability of the authors to convey social commentary. “Into the Dark” has covered social commentary in droves, whether it’s rabid consumerism (“Pooka!”) or the Me Too movement (“The Treehouse”), they’ve covered some interesting bases for the modern generation.
Season nine was a big turning point for “The Walking Dead,” it’s the season where we lost a ton of big players in the series including Lauren Cohan and one main character Andrew Lincoln. With the exit of both dramatic forces, “The Walking Dead” has had a ton of foot work to cover, and season nine was a pretty good rebound that’s managed to keep the pace going now that the main driving force of the show has left. With a very good season, “The Walking Dead” presented some stand out moments. These are ten of the most shocking.
I think one of the two reasons why Bruce Timm’s iteration of Batman continues to be such a celebrated staple of animation is that Timm didn’t just take Batman seriously, he took his audience seriously. Before then, if you wanted to see an animated version of Batman, you had to watch “The Super Friends,” “Scooby Doo Movies,” or the Filmation series. “Batman: The Animated Series” stands on its own in the annals of 90’s animation and is still considered the gold standard by fans, right down to the voice actors.
With the end of Batman: the Animated Series, the DC Comics/Warner Bros. animation golden boy of the 90s, Bruce Timm, was called upon once again to create another hit Saturday morning series. This time it would a series geared to a much younger audience, full of futuristic technology and action packed, and it would be called Batman Beyond. The show wasn’t a pandering, youth-oriented take with no substance (I’m looking at you Spider-Man Unlimited) either; it was a dark, complex, and very unique spin on the Batman lore.