12th Level Intellects: Mar-June ’19

12th Level Intellects— the geek news podcast co-hosted by myself, Ted Kendrick, and James Strecker– is continuing steadily forward on its bi-weekly schedule with the Watchtower Database, available for listen on Apple, YouTube, and several other podcast platforms. Ironically for this batch of episodes, we lived in a world where superhero cinema received two Captain Marvel movies in one month; the Marvel Studios entry with Brie Larson and DC Entertainment’s SHAZAM!, though the character stopped using the name Captain Marvel within the last decade.

We took a swerve in topic to discuss the launch of GAME OF THRONES season 8 with my friend and GOT expert John Morse, which ended up getting one of the lowest listening counts in the podcast’s history. I suppose the audience didn’t transfer into wanting to hear us talk about GAME OF THRONES. The rest of the world didn’t seem satisfied with how season 8 ultimately played out either. After that flop of an episode, we stuck to discussing AVENGERS: ENDGAME and going through THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES episodes like the fanbase truly wants.

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX was the final chapter in FOX’s X-MEN franchise after its acquisition by Disney, the film landed with a more expensive flop after an attempt to recreate the same storyline from X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, regarded by many to be the worst installment of the series. On a more positive note, 12th Level Intellects tried its first livestream video podcast, which went pretty well after about 15 minutes of technical difficulties, to chat about the release of the latest LEGACIES OF THE DCAU webcomic issue, “Anno Domini: Prebirth”, the first installment of stories set specifically in the canonical year of 2019 in the DCAU.

LEGACIES Special // “Prebirth”

LEGACIES OF THE DCAU returns for a special six-pager entitled “Anno Domini: Prebirth”. Anno Domini means “the year of our lord” in Latin, which informs the AD in our society’s current calendar listing. The issue was released on June 21st, 2019, which the Watchtower Database team deduced was the exact canonical date that Bruce Wayne retires from being Batman based on a BATMAN BEYOND promotional comic issue retelling the events of the cartoon’s premiere episode “Rebirth, Part 1.” The issue was pencilled by Marcelo Millicay with the cover art by Rick Celis.

“Prebirth” occurs prior to the opening scene in BATMAN BEYOND’s first episode, and reveals what Bruce Wayne was doing mere hours before his final night as Batman. Between appearances by Jim Gordon, Veronica Vreeland, and Derek Powers, the issue is ripe with Gothamites whose stories could use a little more fleshing out before the beginning of BATMAN BEYOND. The issue was an absolute pleasure for me to write, and can be read online in its entirety at the link below.

Click the cover to read “Anno Domini: Prebirth”!

This particular issue of LEGACIES had various coloring duties shared by James Strecker and Mark Daniel Martinez, lettering by myself which insures my script stays in tact, with story editing input from James Strecker and Mattie Washburn. The promo video also featured music by Adam Mullen. “Anno Domini” is the overarching title given to special issues set within the year 2019. Provided all goes to plan, expect more chapters within the “Anno Domini” arc before the year is up.

WDb // Geeky Gentlemen talk LEGACIES

Geeky Gentlemen were a featured guest on the 12th Level Intellects podcast, hosted by James Strecker and myself for the Watchtower Database, also home to our webcomic LEGACIES OF THE DCAU. A few months ago, the Geeky Gentlemen reviewed LEGACIES in a 30 minute video on their YouTube channel, which they do often for high quality works of fan-fiction. They invited us onto their show to reply to their critiques, and in turn, we had them on 12th Level Intellects to analyze another similar DCAU fanfic webcomic DARK KNIGHT ADVENTURES.

I was honored that Ian and Justin took the time to dive deep into the LEGACIES webcomic, because their feedback was so valuable. They had valid criticisms along with utmost praise such as “Better than DC Comics’ FUTURE’S END series” and “The most qualified people aside from the show-runners to continue this universe.” It was a surreal experience to know that my unofficial DC superhero stories are striking a chord with an actual audience, who not only enjoy the read, but intimately analyze the webcomic as well, which is exactly what I was hoping for, since I always plant so many easter eggs, references, and such for the DCAU.

Check out the Geeky Gentlemen’s original review for LEGACIES OF THE DCAU on their YouTube channel above, and watch the Watchtower Database’s guest appearance and response to the webcomic critiques in the rebuttal video below.

WDb // website update

The WATCHTOWER DATABASE upgraded its website to serve as more of a landing board for all things related to the channel, including the YouTube video essays, 12TH LEVEL INTELLECTS biweekly geeky podcast, LEGACIES OF THE DCAU webcomic which bridges the gap between the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and BATMAN BEYOND animated series, and much more. Check it out at the link below.

http://www.watchtowerdatabase.com

Posted by Watchtower Database on Sunday, November 18, 2018

LEGACIES Special: “Scary Things”

LEGACIES OF THE DCAU premiered another issue of the webcomic on October 31st, Halloween day itself. The concept for “Scary Things” was pitched by James Strecker, who also provided the composite visual effects over the finished pages. He suggested the story be written as a poem, mimicking the tone of the legendary gothic writer Edgar Alan Poe, and explaining the Scarecrow’s design shift between BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and its revamped follow up THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES.  The issue and cover was pencilled by Mark Daniel Martinez.

“Scary Things” examines a version of the Scarecrow at his wit’s end, simply rotting in his cell at Arkham Asylum, and craves escape in some fashion. At the chance to seize true freedom from his situation, the Scarecrow jumps at the opportunity, and lands himself in a potentially more damaging situation at the end of it all.

Click the cover to read “Scary Things”!

LEGACIES has multiple specials similar to “Scary Things” in the works, focused on certain characters, featuring them in stories that fits neatly into pre-established continuity within the DC Animated Universe. The issue has a cameo appearance by a classic mythological character who has battled countless times against Wonder Woman and the Amazonians, and will plague them again in an upcoming issue.

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.

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.

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.

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.

LEGACIES #3: “Destroyed, Part 2”

After a few months of prep work, James Strecker and I released our latest issue of LEGACIES OF THE DCAU on Saturday, February 25th. Issue #3 is the second part of the “Destroyed” story arc which takes place days after the conclusion of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED in response to the series’ final episode “Destroyer.”

After an international black-ops agency called Checkmate launch a revenge strike against the planet Apokolips, they realize the necessary devastation would affect its innocent neighbor of New Genesis as well, something seen as the wrong move.

The last issue had too many talking heads, so I wanted to ramp up the action for this installment, especially in regards to the Fourth World characters and concepts created by Jack Kirby, the King of Comics himself. Peacemaker and Agent Chase were also fun to include, though a bit of a gamble since neither character appeared in any of the animated series source material, but I believe readers were genuinely interested by their presence in the chess themed spy agency Checkmate.

This issue was also my first attempt at lettering a comic book. James walked me through the motions at first, and after a few weeks of close attention, I think I got the hang of the procedure pretty well. I enjoyed the process and plan to continue in the future, both on this webcomic as well as my other work in the medium.

Click the cover to read LEGACIES #3!

Issue #4 is in production now, along with a few smaller side stories that could be published more sporadically between main issues. I’m sure I’ll be speaking more about these in detail as they continue to come together. If you enjoyed reading LEGACIES, let us know by commenting on one of our various social media pages!