12th Level Intellects: February & March ’18

The 12th Level Intellects keep on keepin’ on through February and March with new episodes of the podcast every other week, available on both iTunes and YouTube. James Strecker and myself are the usual hosts, but were joined by a few other folks in some of the segments this round, who you’ll be introduced to shortly.

Comics writer Matthew Manning joined us on the podcast to discuss his work on last year’s BATMAN / TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ADVENTURES series, and some various stand-alone issues for DC Comics such as JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES, THE BATMAN STRIKES, and BEWARE THE BATMAN, as well as his sole artist credit drawing a necklace on Mera in on a random 1990s AQUAMAN comic. Manning is a local to Asheville, so I was able to visit his home, record in the living room, and check out his amazing collection of Batman memorabilia.

For episode #11, James and I go back to the roots of the Watchtower Database channel and discuss something specific to the DC Animated Universe. Particularly, we take a look at the Flash, and whether Barry Allen existed in this world when all we ever saw was Wally West in the superhero role. Personally, I lean towards no.

Nothing more notable for the 12th Level Intellects than its twelfth episode. Mattie Washburn was our guest on this one while he and James were at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately, my audio recording glitched, so James and Mattie navigate the main conversation themselves of what events happened ‘for sure’ between animated series JLU and BATMAN BEYOND. This episode goes out to all the fans who know the Plasma Rifle was invented in 2005.

While at ECCC, James and Mattie had the opportunity to chat with Phil Lamarr, the voice actor behind major DCAU characters Static from STATIC SHOCK and Green Lantern, John Stewart from JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, as well as many other familiar voices in animation like SAMURAI JACK and FUTURAMA. While I missed the meet and greet with Mr. Lamarr, you can still hear me talk about upcoming movies and comics in the News and Comic Relief segments of the podcast episode.

WDb // Trivia Tuesdays (cont’d)

A few Tuesdays have passed, and with them, new episodes of my Trivia Tuesdays segment on the Watchtower Database channel on YouTube. I narrate a fact related to the DC Animated Universe, such as easter eggs or behind-the-scenes info on cast and crew. Clips and pics are edited in accompaniment by James Strecker and Mark Daniel Martinez. All are roughly one minute long, and drop every other week.

First, we take a walk on the dark side, and dive into the similarities between the SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES episode “Legacy” and SUPERMAN: THE DARK SIDE graphic novel from the Elseworlds imprint. Both stories feature a Superman who never grew up on Earth, but was raised by Darkseid on Apokilips instead.

Next, we analyze the actors who have portrayed DC Comics characters in both the DC Animated Universe and CBS’ THE FLASH from the early 1990s. Most notably would be Mark Hamill, who played the Trickster on THE FLASH, and also reprised the character in JLU. Hamill also played Solomon Grundy in JUSTICE LEAGUE, and his most famous role as the Joker, which Hamill has provided for over twenty years.

Last, we look at BATMAN: THE LOST YEARS, which was a comic book tie-in to the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Several chapters of the series were later produced as episodes of THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES. Though the art from THE LOST YEARS used designs from the previous incarnation of the series, the comic was actually based off scripts for the show, and not the other way around.

LEGACIES Special: “Powers That Be”

“Powers That Be” is the latest issue of LEGACIES OF THE DCAU, now available to read online as of Saturday, February 24th. This special follows up plot threads established in “Asylum”, both of which were written by myself, with art by Marcello Millicay, James Strecker on composite effects, and covers by Robert Castellano.

The issue picks up mere hours after Killer Croc’s capture at the hands of the New Arkham security force. We reveal where he was taken, and why his appearance is more monstrous than the last time we saw him in the DCAU. Originally, the script was written as issue #5 with “Asylum” being the other half, but we split the story into specials to speed up the production process. “Powers That Be” also brings a few new characters into the DC animated universe, particularly Geri and Warren Powers, a husband and wife team with the entrepreneurial drive to force Bruce Wayne out of business, which sets up plot threads later seen in BATMAN BEYOND.

Click the cover to read “Powers That Be”!

The characters established in this issue will continue to appear throughout LEGACIES, and their connections to our other story elements will be revealed over time. Issue #5 is currently in production as the first part of a new arc called “Shadow Play” which will feature some of the DCAU’s more familiar villains, and show what they have been up to since the fall of the Secret Society, and their “five minute head start” at the end of the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED series finale.

12th Level Intellects on iTunes!

12th Level Intellects, the bi-weekly geek entertainment podcast hosted by James Strecker and myself, is now available for streaming and download over iTunes!

The podcast will continue to retain its affiliation with the Watchtower Database YouTube channel where all episodes will be uploaded per usual. The iTunes platform will allow for a smoother streaming experience on mobile devices, especially since iOS users already have the Podcast app included on their phones. Be sure to subscribe, give us a 5-star rating, and write a review if you feel inclined.

Click the logo for the podcast!

 

LEGACIES #4: “Destroyed, Part 3”

Another issue of LEGACIES OF THE DCAU dropped on Saturday, November 25th. Issue #4 concludes the first major story arc “Destroyed”, which takes place days after the conclusion of the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED series finale episode “Destroyer”, and sets the stage for LEGACIES’ future as it ventures into uncharted territory, setting up a confrontation between the Justice League and black ops agency Checkmate, led in part by the political powerhouse Amanda Waller.

This issue is essentially a love letter and homage to the Fourth World characters created by comic book legendary creator Jack Kirby. After an action packed intro where Mister Miracle saves the day, Superman leads a peace treaty between the New Gods and the World Assembly of Earth. Orion is the focus of one sequence where he reclaims the throne of Apokolips after his father Darkseid’s apparent demise at the end of the JLU animated series, which was one of my favorite scenes to write so far. Read the full issue linked below on the webcomic’s official website.

 

Click the cover to read LEGACIES #4!

Six-page special “Powers That Be” is coming soon, following up on last summer’s “Asylum”, both of which were written by myself and drawn by Marcello Millicay. These Gotham based specials will culminate in a thematic series of issues leading into the eventual aesthetic of the BATMAN BEYOND animated series.

12th Level Intellects: Expectations for “Justice League”

James Strecker and I recently debuted the first episode of our new podcast 12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS, named after the DC Comics term for a cosmic genius, and an offshoot from the fan theory discussions of the same name we recorded for the WATCHTOWER DATABASE. We focus the conversation specifically on niche topics relating to DC Comics and DC Animation. Adam Mullen composed the intro music.

We hope to release an episode every other week where we discuss relevant news, comic book recommendations, and dive into a random topic, the first being our expectations for the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE feature film. Listen to the episode embedded below via YouTube or find us for streaming on Soundcloud.

LEGACIES Special: “Asylum”

The next issue of LEGACIES was released, a special 6-pager titled “Asylum” which was written by myself, pencilled and colored by Marcelo Millicay, composite effects by James Strecker, with a gorgeous cover by Robert Castellano. Serving as a companion to the issue’s release, Strecker animated a 20-second teaser trailer with voice acting from Brizzy Voices as Batgirl and Zizzoro as Killer Croc.

“Asylum” is set in Gotham City, shortly after Darkseid’s siege destroyed Arkham Asylum off-screen, resulting in the early release of its inmates with Robin and Batgirl the only ones around to clean up the mess. I thought it was important to put all of Batman’s villains back on the table for LEGACIES after they were noticeably missing in the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED animated series due to the studio imposed Bat-embargo. Many familiar Bat-villains will return in future installments. 

Click the cover to read LEGACIES!

“Asylum” was originally written as the first half of issue #5, but we split the issue into two 6-page specials instead. Expect the next special entitled “Powers That Be” to follow up on similar plot threads that will continue to unfold over the series.

NC Comicon Oak City 2017

I joined Jarrett Rutland in Raleigh, NC over the weekend of March 18th for the two day NC Comicon Oak City event to promote the all-ages ESCAPIST COMIX brand. We worked a table in Artist Alley where we sold copies of the first four issues of ROBOT SAMURAI PENGUINS, and first issues of new releases LITTLE PREACHER and DARK PLOTTER, along with extra swag like stickers, high quality prints, and T-shirts. It was a great success and so much fun to get feedback directly from fans.

NC Comicon

A post shared by Jarrett Rutland (@jrutlandart) on

Jarrett has been building his line of books over the last two years, but I came onboard as the Marketing Director only a few months ago to help with the technical aspects, hone in on the branding such as the name and logo, and develop an online presence, primarily through Patreon for monthly crowdfunding and ComiXology for digital sales. I’ve also started writing an upcoming series that will be announced down the road, but I can say it has a very exciting premise. I’ll come up with a fun Project Codename whenever I discuss the development process in a later post.

comical comics creators @nccomicon #artistalley #escapistcomix #comics #comicon #ncart #kidslit

A post shared by Ted Kendrick (@ted.kendrick) on

As this was my first convention on the other side of a table, I learned all about the patience required by artists when waiting for crowds to both arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon. Comic conventions are always colorful, exciting, but sometimes overwhelming events, especially when high profile creators are involved. I briefly said hello to Neil Adams, known for his work on characters like Batman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern in the 1970s, also had my issues of MOTHER PANIC signed by artist Tommy Lee Edwards, and picked up multiple signed copies of the BATMAN / TMNT ADVENTURES #1 Director’s Cut as gifts.

Attending discussion panels is also a fun element, and I found myself at two this time around. One was an action choreography panel from BEAT DOWN BOOGIE, the Raleigh based YouTube channel known for MARIO WARFARE, and the other was a discussion by the BATMAN / TMNT ADVENTURES team of Matt Manning, an Asheville based writer and friend who I had previously interviewed about the book for the WATCHTOWER DATABASE, and Jon Sommariva, an Australian based artist who had flown all the way to Raleigh to meet Matt in person (after completing the 6-issue mini-series together) and hang out with their publishers at IDW Comics.

While on the topic of Jon Sommariva, I commissioned him for a sketch on a blank cover of Superman / Batman #30. As the cheapskate I am, I couldn’t afford two characters, so I compromised for the oddball Composite Superman mashup villain whose face is half Superman, half Batman, as a way to cheat the system.

NC Comicon was an incredible event. Since they hold two per year, Oak City in March, and Bull City in October, I have no doubt I will surely return soon enough.

WDb // History of the Supersuits

I recently provided research and narration on another video essay through the WATCHTOWER DATABASE channel on YouTube. The DCAU has such a rich history after its long run of various interconnecting animated series, and Superman appeared more often than anyone, aside from perhaps Batman. THE SUPERSUITS is a follow up to similar THE BATSUITS video that went online last October, and provides an excellent look into the evolution of Superman’s design over the years using explanations and evidence provided from the animated series themselves.

Ted & Daniel talk BATMAN BEYOND

Daniel Dockery, an editor for Cracked.com, approached me to start a “written podcast” looking back on the BATMAN BEYOND animated series by the legendary team of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, et all. As one of the primary sources for the LEGACIES OF THE DCAU webcomic, I’ve already watched this series through many times, but it’s been a few years, and I have no doubt my memory needs refreshing.

We focused primarily on the first two episodes “Rebirth” which set the stage for the series. We discuss the growth of Bruce Wayne, changes that have happened to Gotham over the years, and the new villains such as white collar criminal turned glowing green skeleton Derek Powers and his scarred henchman Mr. Fixx.

Read the first post on Daniel’s blog Daniel Is Funny entitled “Great Villains Need Cool Eyeball Scars” and watch the classic theme song embedded below with music composed by Shirley Walker and animation by Darwyn Cooke.