Zack Snyder vs the DC Universe

If you know anything about Zack Snyder’s body of work, you are probably quite familiar with the term “schlock.” So when it was announced that he was going to bring Alan Moore’s classic “Watchmen” to the big screen there was certainly a mixed reaction.

Initially I was hopeful about the project and, after seeing costume photos, thought it was going to be excellent. Then the reviews started coming in and my hopes sank. I watched it so I could judge it for myself, and I was largely left flat. It looked like the comic, no doubt there, but the movie itself was missing something.

The executives at Warner, however, decided that Snyder should be in charge of their Superman reboot, Man of Steel. And we got a grim, humorless superman who wrecks half a city battling another Kryptonian. Audiences were outraged by this devastation and the death of General Zod at Superman’s hands. But Snyder was then placed in charge of the long-anticipated team-up movie Batman vs Superman. And Snyder was also going to be given creative control over the entire DC Universe.

Personally I learn more towards Marvel than DC, both in terms of the comics and the films. The idea that Snyder would be given total control over the DC Cinematic Universe struck me as a rather bad idea given the reaction he was getting for previous work. Well, it’s that time of year again and Comic-Con has once again taken over San Diego. And, as has become custom, it was in Hall H that we first got to see the new, extended trailer for Batman vs Superman.

In spite of myself, I was impressed. It looked like he really had a goal when he made Man of Steel, and this movie is his explanation for those of us who didn’t get it. Zack Snyder has claimed that he wanted people to see the gritty consequences of a superhero fight, even those who don’t have superpowers, which is why Watchmen was so brutal. This is something that David Wong has harped on continuously, and yet, when Snyder delivers a movie where superhero fights have consequences, people are upset. So, to silence his critics he gives us a second act where Bruce Wayne watches two gods destroying a city, stands helplessly as these titans kill thousands.

While most people would be too awestruck to react, Bruce Wayne makes plans to take this threat down.

Here’s the story that I saw unfold in that 3 minute trailer:  Bruce Wayne watches helplessly as two godlike figures battle it out in a city and kill thousands of his employees. Wayne rushes headlong into the maelstrom to save his people.

Cradling a crying child he feels so small and pathetic and helpless. And he feels compelled to put on the suit again, a costume he abandoned some time ago. The reason why is in the form of a smaller costume, Robin, his sidekick. It’s been defaced, likely by the Joker. The implication is clear:  the joker murdered Robin and Batman hung it up. Shit was just too difficult after that.

Meanwhile Superman is being worshipped as a god by some, treated as a threat by others. People plan to use him, one way or another, to further their own agenda. Who will he trust?

And finally we see them face each other down, man to god.

It is logical and visually impressive. Yes, the Jessie Eisenberg version of Lex Luthor sounds dumb as shit, but I am interested in seeing where Zack Snyder is going to take this. Already, though, I think having Wonder Woman in the movie (as well as any other heroes except as part of a stinger) is a huge mistake, but only time reveals.

 

 

Rise of the Villains

Unless you understand the logic of the way this show is structured you cannot understand how Joshua made it to the final seven. He can trace anything and replicate it in a tattoo, but when he has to design something, he fucks it up. Constantly.

When he returned to the loft instead of Craig, people were not shy about expressing shock and disappointment. Even his Ink Brother Kyle was unhappy, and he did not spare Joshua as he explained all of the flaws in the other man’s pin-up.

Flash Challenge

To test the artists consistency they were taken to a science lab and given Dremels and replica human skulls. They could carve any design they wanted, as long as it was consistent, and as long as they got it done in 3 hours.

The marker really makes that shit pop.

The marker really makes that shit pop.

 

I love that tribal design.

I love that tribal design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the judges it came down to Jime and Joshua, and they chose Joshua. I don’t know if I support that decision, but that wasn’t my decision.

Elimination Tattoo

After spending so much time at the bottom Joshua really needed the advantage. He is running out of time and he knows it, so he is going to have to keep eliminating other artists by assigning them difficult tattoos. Jackie and Jason are much closer to him than he is to Joey or Jime, so he knows who he can get rid of quickly. The pressure is getting to Tatu Baby, she nearly quit last week, so giving her a tough canvas or design could get her gone also. So many targets.

When comic book artist extraordinaire Greg Capullo came out to be the guest judge, I knew comic book tattoos would be forthcoming. This time they were going to be the DC Rogues Gallery, some of the best villains in the business. These tattoos would be testing the artists consistency, their ability to perfectly render these iconic characters.

I would totally rock this Darkseid by Kyle Dunbar. That thing is just sick, even taking into consideration what the judges called out on it. I would still wear it, but I don’t have really pale skin, so the yellow would fucking pop on me.

Hell yeah. Fuckin’ Darkseid, man.

Jime Litwalk, however, really pissed Oliver off by ignoring the DC Comics aspect of the challenge and doing a Jime Litwalk tattoo instead. She really does look like the Jolly Green Giant’s daughter, doesn’t she?

 

Ho ho ho...but not in the way you might immediately think.

Ho ho ho…but not in the way you might immediately think.

 

 

Tops and Bottoms

Jason, Joey, Jackie, and Jime found themselves downstairs and only Joey was there to receive praise.

here kitty, kitty, kitty. What, you were expecting a pussy-whipped joke?  Shame on you.

here kitty, kitty, kitty. What, you were expecting a pussy-whipped joke? Shame on you.

The worst tattoo of the day, by far, came from Jackie who just decided that it didn’t matter which side of Two-Face was burned. You can just swap that around as it please you.

Two-Face as done incorrectly by Jackie Jennings

Two-Face as done incorrectly by Jackie Jennings

The human canvass jury completely hated Jime‘s tattoo and he refuses to acknowledge that he seems to be just a New Skool artist, possibly the best in the world, but he is not an Ink Master.

His plan worked admirably, and Joshua was able to send both Jackie and Jason, the only two artists weaker than himself, to the bottom. He also completely outsmarted Jime Litwalk and gave him exactly what he needed to fall. How much further can he go?