Episode 94 SDCC 2017 & Justice League Trailer!


Episode 94 is coming right at you! On this week’s episode we have so much to chat about and catch you up on! We start this episode out with the news that Danny Elfman is now scoring “Justice League.” Then we bring up that very reavealing article from Kim Masters about Ben Affleck’s Batman being ‘Phased out.’ We finish off the episode breaking down that incredible “Justice League” trailer. Line up the new Justice League trailer, strap in and enjoy the ride with Episode 94 of Shanlian On Batman!


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Review: “Look To The Sky”




Drew Kiess

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see Look to the Sky, the latest documentary from Brett Culp. Batman fans will know Culp from his documentary Legends of the Knight (2013), which looked at individuals who were inspired by Batman into overcoming obstacles in their lives and communities. Legends as a film lead me on an interesting road to learning about story.

Look to the Sky is not a movie that I feel like I can review. Not to say that I have a long list of complaints about how the film was made, because I don’t (I thought it was beautifully constructed and truly inspiring), but I think when a movie or a book or whatever touches you in a certain way, that talking about it on a technical level can be reductive in how we look at story.

The film introduced me to Daniel Taylor, who’s books have been a huge part of my life the past few years. They have given me much comfort in my educational goals and my own personal life. The way he writes about stories and how our lives revolve around them has made an impact that is immeasurable.

This was why I struggled with my Wonder Woman review. That was a movie that I thought was absolutely beautiful, but there were things that happened in that movie that spoke to me on a personal level, and I felt like offering a counter-story was a more honest response at that time.

A counter-story is a term used in narrative therapy when a therapist uses a fictional or historical story to help their client reframe a difficult time that they are going through. I think we all use stories this way. Look to the Sky was no exception for me.

Look to the Sky is about the spirit of Superman. It featured the story of several young people and the adults who surround them and how they had a spirit of heroism like the Man of Steel. I could go through every story and talk about what I like, but I would much rather you experience that when you have an opportunity to see the film for yourself.

I work in a community where I am surrounded by stories of kids who are facing obstacles in between them and success. And going into this summer, I was feeling burnt out. I had come to a place where I felt like I had given everything I could and I wasn’t seeing the kind of results that I had hoped for. There is one story in Look to the Sky about Annaliese Cobb, a young girl who swam across Lake Ontario to raise money for a camp for children with cancer. And things for her didn’t really seem like they were working out at times.

During the night, Annaliese was pushed backwards by strong currents and wind. Even though she was physically pushing herself forward, the water was taking her backwards. She could have quit at that moment, but she kept swimming. And when the weather improved, she began making progress again. I think that this is where I have been, and maybe some of you are there, too.

As superhero fans, I think we all have a natural desire to see things get better, but we are often times surrounded by stories that make it seem like change is impossible. I think what our heroes teach us is that if we persevere in the midst of the worst storms and the darkest nights, we will see change happening at sunrise.

If you have an opportunity to see Look to the Sky in a theater near you, I could not recommend picking up a ticket more. I guarantee you will leave encouraged, and perhaps a bit tempted to go out and buy a red cape. The great things is though, is that Look to the Sky proves that you can be heroic both with or without one. But honestly, the cape could be a really cool look.




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Episode 93 wsg Mark Hughes


The crew is so happy to Welcome Back one of our favorite guests, Mark Hughes. If you are follower and frequent listener to this podcast than you know that we love to chat with Mark about anything and everything Batman and DCEU related. In Episode 93 the crew chats with Mark about the ongoing rumors that surround the reshooting of Justice League. But first we start off the episode chatting about the tragic passing of Adam West. We also get into DCEU talk and we gush about Wonder Woman and the upcoming film Aquaman!

Make sure that when you are done listening to this episode you check out Mark’s stuff on Forbes and read his reviews and/or articles that he publishes. Or you check our copious back log with Mark Hughes on Shanlian on Batman, you know a Mark Hughes episode never disappoints! So get into your podcast zone and lets Batman out for awhile with Shanlian on Batman featuring our very special guest Mark Hughes!


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Episode 92 WSG Daniel Alter


This week the guys have on a guest that is no stranger to the world of Batman, Mr. Daniel Alter. Dan sits down for an in depth conversation on some of his favorite and not so favorite portrayals of The Dark Knight! Additionally, he gushes over The Dark Knight Returns and gets into some spoiler heavy talk on Wonder Woman, which has just surpassed $500 Million at the Worldwide Box Office.

Daniel also reveals details on what he hopes to see in the upcoming Justice League film, and of course what he wants to see in future solo Batman films . Sit back and put your ear-pods in and enjoy Episode 92 of Shanlian On Batman with the amazing Daniel Alter!



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Shanlian On Batman Episode 91

Wonder Woman came out and it has been warmly welcomed by practically everyone, critics and movie goers alike. The guys of Shanlian on Batman are here to give their reviews of the new film. Three different opinions in the mix make for a very good discussion of likes and dislikes from Justin, Kyle, and Tom. Check out Episode 91 of Shanlian on Batman!

Wonder Woman

By John McGee

Gal Gadot makes her silver screen debut as a major lead in Wonder Woman, and from her first scene to her last you will completely lose her to the iconic titan she so deeply portrays: Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman herself.

The pros:

Wonder Woman is long in the making, but benefits from the wait in terms of anticipation and the visual power of modern special effects. They had years to put this film together and get it right (look out “captain Marvel,” Wonder Woman 2 will be out before you see the light of day) and they delivered big time. The final battle with (spoiler but not spoiler) Ares is rivaled only by the Doomsday fight from Batman v Superman in terms of visual quality and epic superhero action.

Ala Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman also has her signature “warehouse fight” scene. Much in the same way Ben Affleck won over the most vitriolic and vehement of his haters, so will Gal with her passion and fire in this scene, and honestly every scene she graces. I cannot stress enough how much she outwardly adores the role and understands every value the character stands for (and all of her flaws).

As for the supporting cast, Chris Pine does a hilarious and heartfelt performance of Steve Trevor without stealing the show as some critics claimed months ago. He fully embraced the idea that Wonder Woman is the lead in this film and gave it his all. Ares is almost as terrifying as Javier Bardem’s Salazar—they’re a close top 2 on the list of scariest 2017 film baddies.

Whoever wrote this script cannot have had a hand in writing Pan. It’s astounding what a little Geoff Johns can do—the script was tight and well-paced and witty. Hopefully the creative team stays relatively intact for the sequel—they need each other.

The cons:

The only minor gripes I can bring forth for Wonder Woman are timing and set up. The timing is terrible because of the overstuffed money cows coming out this year: Despicable Me, Transformers, Cars, etc. It’s tough to find good release dates, yes, but I’m worried that a sequel might suffer if no one turns out for the first.

The set up is only awkward because I’m seeing Justice League marketing and we just came off of modern day sequels to Man of Steel. In terms of universe connectivity Wonder Woman drags us back and forth between past and present in more ways than its narrative: it’s continuing the modern narrative of BvS and Suicide Squad while giving us past narrative on Wonder Woman. It’s just a bit awkward to piece it together, especially for those new to the DCEU or just watching because it’s a Wonder Woman movie.

In conclusion, it’s a pretty stunning film. You can tell the makers worked hard on it, even though it looks easy due to the quality they managed to produce. Not only does it give the character the platform she deserves, but it’s an excellent addition to an already amazing DC film universe. Get out there and go see it if you want to enjoy your summer movie experience before your kids drag you to the next Pixar or Despicable Me sequel.

Wonder Woman “Doing Something”


Andrew Kiess

We now have our fourth movie in the DC Extended Universe, and it is one we as comic book fans have been waiting for for a long time. Wonder Woman has hit theaters, and fans of the character, especially those who have spent time with her book in the last 10 years, should find quite a bit to be happy about.

I first introduced myself to the character of Wonder Woman during Greg Rucka’s first run (yes, I know, I’m late to the game) and instantly fell in love with the mythology. I followed that run through Flashpoint, and into Brian Azzarello’s brilliant run in the first half of New 52, and I think that the book maintained quality throughout all 52 issues of that era. Since then, as I continue to dig deeper into the character’s history, Wonder Woman has climbed to near the top of my favorite comic book characters list.

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman film feels perfectly in sync with the Wonder Woman mythos presented in the pages of DC Comics (detail nitpicks aside, of course). Themyscira exists at the intersection of the DC universe and Greek mythology and with that background in tact, Wonder Woman sees the DC brand continue its move away from the “how would this work in reality?” trope and embrace the crazy and fantastic that exists in the four-colored pages.

Wonder Woman presents us with one of the most morally courageous heroes in comics and brings her to the big screen. Discovering the horrors of the first World War, Gal Gadot’s character is faced with an impossible task: the world is violent, evil, and is marred with jagged edges and pain, and she sees it as her sacred duty to stop this. Steve Trevor, played perfectly by Chris Pine, is also facing this task; however, instead of seeing it as a duty, he sees the ending of the war as the last option available to him.

I have no context or skill to talk about this movie in terms of where it fits in a quality ranking of superhero movies or how Patty Jenkins successfully recreated emotions not felt since Christopher Reeve made us believe a man could fly. All I really want to write about is how this movie made me feel. I still remember quite clearly when I discovered the jagged edges in the world, and I often find myself feeling the way Diana did in the majority of this film—let’s find the evil and get rid of it. But most often, I feel like Steve Trevor. I may not ever have the ability or the power to end all the pain and suffering in the world, but doing nothing isn’t working anymore. Doing something to save others, to take them away from the pain and hurting that is coming their way, even if we can’t save everyone, is the definition of heroic for me.

I know it doesn’t fit the narratives that we want to spread around this movie, but I think that this film is about Diana learning about what being a hero is all about, and she learns it from Steve and with Steve, who is also learning the same thing from her. That, beyond making for a superhero film that is emotionally satisfying, is a great lesson that we need in these times. We can’t learn to be better people and to better care for the people around us if we aren’t learning from each other and can’t rely on one another. To me, that’s where Wonder Woman shines and the lesson that I take away from it.

So, I’m not going to bother telling you whether I liked this as much as Man of Steel, because, who cares, really? But if you’re looking for a Wonder Woman movie that makes you think and feel the things that Wonder Woman should make you think and feel about, while maintaining the fantastic and the mythos that she is known for, I could not recommend this film more wholeheartedly. And if you’re as inspired by the movie as I am, let’s all commit to stop doing nothing in the face of the pain and jagged edges. Let’s all do something.

Wondrous “Wonder Woman” Delivers



Kaitlyn Reed


Whether you loved Warner Bros. previous DC film outings or not, there is no denying the relatively mixed reviews “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” received. As someone who loved “Man of Steel” but was quite disappointed in the two that followed, I was eager to see Warner Bros. hit a slam dunk.

Although I was ecstatic to see the positivity for “Wonder Woman” prior to its release, I was still a bit hesitant as a result of my disappointment in “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad.” However, I am so happy to say that this film is not only a great, refreshing take on a superhero film, but a great film all around.

The film begins with an introduction to Themyscira; an island of female warriors. When Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) saves Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) after his plane crashes in the sea, she is introduced to a world far different from what she is used to. There’s a stark contrast from the paradise she is used to living and the horrors of World War I. The film follows Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman’s mission to save lives and stop the war.

Patty Jenkins, most known for directing 2003’s “Monster,” brought the most iconic female superhero to life on the big screen. Jenkins’ superb pacing throughout the film allows us to see a serious portrayal of war, great action sequences, humor and more. Each of these elements are so well executed through Jenkins’ direction. Whether it’s Diana’s naivety to the world outside of Themyscira or the witty Steve Trevor, the humor lands at almost every try. Moreover, the action sequences were such a thrill to watch as Diana comes into her own throughout the course of her journey.

Since Jenkins was first announced to helm Wonder Woman, to the release of the film, it was obvious she had a ton of respect for the character and that’s one of my favorite things to see shine throughout the film. Through Jenkins direction and Gadot’s performance, Wonder Woman is shown as not only powerful, but innocent, naïve and above all; kind. It’s so much fun to see Gadot portray these emotions and actions throughout the film. Viewers will get to see a much more inexperienced Wonder Woman than what was shown in “Batman v Superman” and Gadot portrays it flawlessly. If you were unsure of Gadot after “Batman v Superman,” you’ll be convinced that she IS Wonder Woman after you see this film.

While Gadot was excellent, the same could be said about Chris Pine. Pine gives a great performance as an experienced soldier, affected by the tragedies he has seen throughout his time serving in the war. The chemistry between the two is a pleasure to watch. Steve Trevor’s maturity, knowledge and experience in the war is contrasted with Diana’s pure innocence. The two play off of each other so well, some of their moments were my favorite to witness across the whole film.

Steve Trevor’s secretary Etta, played by Lucy Davis, was a delight to watch when she showed up on screen. So much so, that I believe she was underutilized as she was almost guaranteed a laugh throughout the entire theatre. At one point, she is given a great deal of responsibility to help Trevor and Diana, however we barely hear from her again. I had hoped to see more of her humor from that point forward.

While this film is such a departure from “Batman v Superman” or even “Suicide Squad,” I believe fans of those films will enjoy “Wonder Woman.” You will be introduced to a bad-ass heroine, a great story and lots of humor. I hope to see Warner Bros. go in this direction with their DC properties in the future. Well done, Warner Bros., Patty Jenkins, and everyone else involved in the film. It was truly fantastic.

Grade: 9/10

Episode 90

This week the Shanlian on Batman crew is bringing you yet another new podcast! All kinds of news going down in the DC world and Justin, Kyle, and Tom are here to talk about it. Discussions on Wonder Woman and what critical acclaim and financial success will do to future DC films, Justice League Dark’s director stepping down and who is in talks to replace him, Patty Jenkins and her future with the Wonder Woman franchise, some Shanlian on Batman business and how you can contribute, and the tragic circumstances causing Zack Snyder to step down from his role as director for the upcoming Justice League film. Enjoy episode 90 of Shanlian on Batman!