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  1. #1
    Nygma's Avatar
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    Vandal Savage (Justice League) vs. Vandal Savage (Young Justice)

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    This is an article from GregX's (the reviewer of Young Justice) blog that I found, that I think is pretty interesting. It's basically an analysis on both takes that we've seen on television up till this point:

    [top]Vandal Savage VS Vandal Savage






    I originally wrote this on a forum where some of us were debating which versions of Vandal Savage were better. The one from "Justice League" or the one from "Young Justice." Well, I sided with the YJ one, and my post also turned into a scathing critique of the three-part "Savage Time" from the end of JL's first season. I'll probably edit this, and expand it a bit from the original post, but here it is.

    Let's start with casting. Phil Morris and Miguel Ferrer are excellent voice actors, both sound sinister and carry an air of intelligence and charm to sinister voices. But just listen to Phil Morris' Vandal Savage talk some time. He speaks very fast, like he's constantly in a hurry. Like he's very, very impatient.

    Miguel Ferrer, by contrast, sounds very patient and methodical. He's been alive for fifty thousand years, this is a guy who knows how to wait. A true schemer. A real predator who stalks his prey. He's calculating dozens of ways to stick the knife in you.

    The design for him is also better. He looks prehistoric. He still looks human, while at the same time looking not quite human, like a neanderthal. The one in JL just looked relatively normal. Being immortal was just a gimmick, but didn't seem to factor in to his mannerisms, the way he carried himself.

    That and this Savage's plans actually seem to be working. The one in JL actually got defeated by the time the episode was over, both times. It doesn't help that there was no logic at all to the time travel... okay, so he sends himself a laptop with plans, builds new weapons and gear, takes over the Third Reich and turns back the invasion of Normandy. Then gets defeated when his big jets crash into the water. So the Nazis need someone to lead them and decide to thaw out Hitler.

    Let's go into what was wrong with this plot line.

    - The Nazis had A LOT of tech left over created from Savage's laptop. There had to be copies among copies of plans and blueprints passed out so all of this stuff could be built. He couldn't conduct a war, run the Axis, and build these things all by himself, as well as keep the laptop a secret... he had people working on these things. Plans and specs were copied and passed around. More of these things could be made without him, and without the laptop... by this point, the Allies could not win.

    - "The old Fuhrer may have been a little crazy, but at least he had respect for his generals." Um, anybody who has read a book about Hitler knows this was not the case. Hell, he had most of his generals declared traitors. They got the crazy part right, but not the respect for his generals.

    - So, when Savage is gone, the Nazis just happen to decide to thaw out Hitler so he could lead them to victory? At this point, a lot of the higher brass thought Hitler was leading them to defeat. So many of them conspired to kill him. It's far more likely Himmler would have come to power... but considering the circumstances and true history that was going on, they'd have left ol' Uncle Adolf in the fridge.

    - History was still irreparably altered. Normandy was still an epic defeat for the Allies. The League didn't change that. Assuming you buy into the notion that history can be changed at all via time travel (I don't), the world the JL would have come to would have been far different than the one they called home. Even if by some miracle the Nazis were defeated, with the advanced tech they still have, you know who would have likely acquired it next? Russia. The Cold War would likely have gone very, very differently. None of the existing tech just vanished when Savage crashed into the ocean. If you're going to write a time travel story where history can be altered, you really need to stop and think about the implications of such things.

    "Maid of Honor" is better, but they could have used any wannabe Bond villain for that.

    And "Hereafter" would have been far more poignant if Superman and Savage had ever met each other on screen before this.


    Granted, we won't find out until Saturday just how well YJ's Vandal Savage arc worked out, assuming it ends next week (which I won't assume). But he was smart, operating from the shadows, and slowly moving his pieces into place and now he has the entire Justice League under his control. We'll see where this goes next, but this Savage is absolutely terrifying.

    Whilst I don't think as lowly of Justice League's take on Vandal Savage as he seems to, I agree with just about everything else about Vandal Savage. Though I'd also argue that if Uncle Adolf was such a problem for them, I think they should've gone with "the direct approach" instead of just freezing him. Though the problems with the outcomes of The Savage Time I blame more on Season 1 sloppiness than anything that was wrong with the character himself.

    I to prefer Young Justice's take on Vandal Savage. From Miguel Ferrer's voice, his elegant cave man design, the way he carries himself, him being a physical threat when needed, to the writing on him. This version of Vandal Savage is the balls.

    What are everyone else's thoughts on Vandal Savage in Young Justice compared to how he was portrayed in other mediums like Justice League?
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  2. #2
    reflection is offline Member
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    And
    "Hereafter" would have been far more poignant if Superman and Savage had ever met each other on screen before this.

    Agreed. Villian-centric JL eps like Twilight and The Terror Beyond built on the villain's prior interactions with the lead heroes. Hereafter didn't have that advantage. It also would have helped if Vandal Savage had been in on the plot that transmitted Superman in the first place.

    It would have been better if Savage was a known immortal from the beginning in JL as well.

  3. #3
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    I think the Young Justice version is better but I like the DCAU version, Phil Morris is fantastic as Vandal Savage and I would say I prefer his voice but prefer YJ design wise. The JL: Doom version is probably my favourite as its similar in design to YJ but has the fantastic Phil Morris as Savage.
    Consider Yourself Impeached - Superman to Lex Luthor (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies)

  4. #4
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    While I can agree that "Hereafter" would've been better if Savage and Superman met on screen prior, I think that version is perhaps the most refreshing take on the sinister megalomaniac. A lot of baddies want to take over the world, but very few have actually done so and lived long enough to regret it. He was the right blend of eccentricity, remorse, and enlightenment. Maybe that makes him less interesting of a villain, but to me that makes him a more interesting character.

  5. #5
    Bobbywoodhogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFatHairyDeal View Post
    While I can agree that "Hereafter" would've been better if Savage and Superman met on screen prior, I think that version is perhaps the most refreshing take on the sinister megalomaniac. A lot of baddies want to take over the world, but very few have actually done so and lived long enough to regret it. He was the right blend of eccentricity, remorse, and enlightenment. Maybe that makes him less interesting of a villain, but to me that makes him a more interesting character.
    Totally agree, part 2 of Hereafter's awesome and part of that is how quirky Vandal Savage is, I love that he's suceeded in conquering the world and has seen what a mistake he's made it really is refreshing.
    Last edited by Bobbywoodhogan; 04-18-2012 at 08:04 AM.
    Consider Yourself Impeached - Superman to Lex Luthor (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies)

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    Hmm, tough choice. YJ Savage is definitely more sinister and well....just overall awesome. I really like his costume in YJ also and Miguel Ferrer gives a stellar performance. As a fan of "Hereafter" I also really like DCAU Savage, his portrayal in "Hereafter was great. Savage showed a lot of hospitality and showed the good side of him.

    I really like both, but I gotta give it to YJ.
    ​"Anyone can be a hero, even a man who did something so simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders, to let him know the world hadn't ended."- Bruce Wayne/Batman

  7. #7
    quigonkenny is offline Member
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    I certainly don't agree with the take on "The Savage Time", but one of my personal pet peeves is someone knocking "time travel story X" because "that's not how time travel works". Until Doc Brown invents the flux capacitor, and science figures out how to get a DeLorean up to 88 MPH using banana peels and half-empty beer bottles, time travel is a simply a writing ploy. It works however that particular author wants it to work, and doesn't have to work the same as it did in "time travel story Y". Sure, "The Savage Time" certainly had its share of plot holes (and then some), but it was a heck of a lot of fun.

    As for Savage himself, I certainly expect to enjoy the YJ version more than the DCAU version for the same reason I have enjoyed most every YJ character more than their DCAU counterparts: better writing. Not to knock Timm, Dini, and all their DCAU cohorts, but I've always been a sucker for the kind of consistent, coherent storyline that Weisman puts into all his series (at least as long as he has control). It's much more a "one vision" than even BTAS was, and that always helps to make even the little things better (like a villainous mastermind who's had, what, 7-8 lines so far, and not a one of them wasted).

    I do love the DCAU design for Savage, though. While his rugged caveman good looks aren't as overt as those on the YJ version (arguably the only thing about DCAU!Savage that is more subtle), they're still there. And he certainly better carries off the irony of a smarmy yet aristocratically arrogant caveman...

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    I'll admit, I was never a fan of Vandal Savage in JL, except for maybe his "redemption" in "Hereafter". JL: Doom was what made me really like Vandal Savage as a villain, leading the Legion of Doom and all. YJ has certainly helped things, leading "The Light" and having the entire 20+ members of the League bowing down to him. Bad. Ass.

  9. #9
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    I think YJ's Savage is specifically meant to be their arch nemesis. He has existed for their progenitors, the JSA, and will likely be around for their ancestors, the LOSH. For a show about generations, he is their Darkseid. I actually kinda hope that Savage's ultimatum is to not only takeover the earth, but as it seems to use all of earth's forces to defend against Apokalips invasion.

  10. #10
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    I think this topic deserves a bump now that Auld Acquaintances has aired.

    One thing that really dig about YJ Savage is that he's not acting solely out of simple megalomania, the man has an ideology and a cause which arguably makes him more dangerous then if he was acting out of simple self-interest.

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    I prefer YJ Savage at this point in time. I didn't care for "The Savage Time", and both "Maid of Honor" and "Hereafter" were overshadowed by various other season 2 episodes. That said, he certainly had his moments, like when he burst out of the ground at the end of "Maid of Honor" (now that was a shocking moment), and his redemption in "Hereafter".
    "Are you the dreamer or merely part of someone's dream?" - The Mad Hatter.
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    Whilst I do prefer YJ Savage over JL Savage, I think the Savage in JL: Doom is the best.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Lord View Post
    Whilst I do prefer YJ Savage over JL Savage, I think the Savage in JL: Doom is the best.
    Totally agree, best design, best voice and best characterisation for me.
    Consider Yourself Impeached - Superman to Lex Luthor (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbywoodhogan View Post
    Totally agree, best design, best voice and best characterisation for me.
    Phil Morris FTW, though Miguel Ferrer is a worthy successor. Though in terms of design, I'd place YJ Savage over JLD Savage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlgeaX View Post
    I think this topic deserves a bump now that Auld Acquaintances has aired.

    One thing that really dig about YJ Savage is that he's not acting solely out of simple megalomania, the man has an ideology and a cause which arguably makes him more dangerous then if he was acting out of simple self-interest.
    I agree, and it took all of Vandal Savage's positive qualities on this show, and heightened them with a very unique and human motivation. One of THE best villains in DC Animation. And I look forward to where he and The LIght go next.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Lord View Post
    Whilst I do prefer YJ Savage over JL Savage, I think the Savage in JL: Doom is the best.
    I disagree, for the same reasons GregX does:
    But, I think this is a great motivation and plan for Vandal Savage... and much better than the Bond villain with a gimmick from"Justice League" and "Justice League: Doom." The latter especially, where his plan there was to kill off half of the human race, deprive technology to the other half so the survivors would depend on him and make him ruler. I prefer a Vandal Savage who sees the big picture, not one who is short sighted enough to think the plan from "Doom" is a good idea. This guy is the perfect arch-enemy for The Team... an ancient, immortal against young heroes.

    "Don't cry over spilled milk, get angry and punch a cow!"
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  16. #16
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    Even if Doom's Savage had a really quirky plan, it was the opposite of "short-sighted." Here's a guy who hasn't been happy since modern day man became the dominant species on the planet. He's obviously had a lot of time to think about how to regain that feeling, and he knew the only way he'd get it back was to do something drastic. Most importantly, his plan would've worked if not for the incompetence of his hired goons who weren't willing to confirm that they finished the job.

    When 50,000 years old you reach, look as kept together you will not!

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    I'm going to provide another side to this, I think I actually like the DCAU Savage better. Partly, perhaps, because I'm a sucker for time travel AU's and I thought the "Savage Time" Batman was awesome, but also because I feel the DCAU Savage felt more timeless.

    Let me clarify. YJ Savage is more clearly ancient. The mutton chops, the scars, the sheer beast-like quality of the man--he looks very much like a prehistoric man, as you all have commented. But in a way, I also feel that's the problem. He looks like a man who time has passed by. Obviously he's not, as his ability to outmaneuver the League shows, but he doesn't look immortal as much as really old. The review of "Auld Acquaintance" even points this out by saying that Savage's insistence on "survival of the fittest" is hypocritical, given his immortality. YJ Savage is awesome in a lot of ways, but he comes across as something of a caveman, who hasn't even been able to heal facial scars.

    DCAU Savage, on the other hand, is polished, urbane, and thoroughly modern, even ahead of his times. He commands armies and nations, coming across as much more of a warlord than YJ Savage, who despite his role as head of "the Light" doesn't actually seem to have an army of his own. DCAU Savage was harder to see as an ancient caveman, but it was easier to see him as a man untouched by time.

    And yes, YJ Savage is apparently more clever than DCAU Savage (although to be fair, DCAU Savage DID succeed in destroying the world once), but that's more or less par for the villains on this show. Weisman's villains get an upgrade, even freaking B-Lister Sportsmaster. The only one who's actually gone DOWN in threat level is Luthor. And while that's great writing and one of the reasons I love YJ, it's not really a reason for me to like YJ Savage over DCAU Savage.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afalstein View Post
    I'm going to provide another side to this, I think I actually like the DCAU Savage better. Partly, perhaps, because I'm a sucker for time travel AU's and I thought the "Savage Time" Batman was awesome, but also because I feel the DCAU Savage felt more timeless.
    Time Travel stories are only good if they're done right, as pointed out, Savage Time was not. Although, I did like the ending with WW.

    Let me clarify. YJ Savage is more clearly ancient. The mutton chops, the scars, the sheer beast-like quality of the man--he looks very much like a prehistoric man, as you all have commented. But in a way, I also feel that's the problem. He looks like a man who time has passed by. Obviously he's not, as his ability to outmaneuver the League shows, but he doesn't look immortal as much as really old. The review of "Auld Acquaintance" even points this out by saying that Savage's insistence on "survival of the fittest" is hypocritical, given his immortality. YJ Savage is awesome in a lot of ways, but he comes across as something of a caveman, who hasn't even been able to heal facial scars.
    "With age comes experience," as they say. Also, immortality does not equal eternal youth, but I still don't see how he looks old. As for the hypocrisy, I honestly can't tell if that a compliment or a complaint, the Light is blinded (pardon the pun) by their own arrogance to see the flaws of their plan. At first, I thought they were looking on the bright side (again, no pun intended), but now that the season is over, I can see that the Light was actually being too high-and-mighty to admit they're plans were being delayed by children.

    DCAU Savage, on the other hand, is polished, urbane, and thoroughly modern, even ahead of his times. He commands armies and nations, coming across as much more of a warlord than YJ Savage, who despite his role as head of "the Light" doesn't actually seem to have an army of his own. DCAU Savage was harder to see as an ancient caveman, but it was easier to see him as a man untouched by time.
    Why would an immortal man, who knows all the tricks humanity has, need an army of thugs, when he can have an army of deadly super-villains who are highly trained.

    And yes, YJ Savage is apparently more clever than DCAU Savage (although to be fair, DCAU Savage DID succeed in destroying the world once), but that's more or less par for the villains on this show. Weisman's villains get an upgrade, even freaking B-Lister Sportsmaster. The only one who's actually gone DOWN in threat level is Luthor. And while that's great writing and one of the reasons I love YJ, it's not really a reason for me to like YJ Savage over DCAU Savage.
    Any villain who is not an alien or terminal/dying who wants to destroy the world is a failure from the moment the words come out of their mouths. Not only would they die (Vandal would live, but he wanted to take over a world with people on it, not a barren, deserted one), but with that, they also have people of BOTH sides working against said person because the villains still want to live. Also, I don't believe this is much of an upgrade for Vandal, as much as JL was a downgrade for him.

    On the topic of Lex, I don't see how knowing when or when not to play your ace is a way to lower your threat level. Just because he hasn't used his suit, he's a lower threat? Not only does he have Mercy, his cyborg bodyguard to protect him, the only time he's appeared are when he thinks he'll be safe. Just by bringing Mercy, he's probably thinking of himself as over-prepared.

  19. #19
    AlgeaX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Starz View Post
    Any villain who is not an alien or terminal/dying who wants to destroy the world is a failure from the moment the words come out of their mouths. Not only would they die (Vandal would live, but he wanted to take over a world with people on it, not a barren, deserted one), but with that, they also have people of BOTH sides working against said person because the villains still want to live. Also, I don't believe this is much of an upgrade for Vandal, as much as JL was a downgrade for him.
    I always felt Vandal's plan in JLD felt like rather generic, almost like an afterthought. I wouldn't be surprised if the original story pitch read something like "After escaping their enemies' clutches, the League mount a daring assault on the Hall of Doom to prevent Vandal Savage from [insert evil plot here] before it's too late!"

    It's never a good sign when you can substitute any generic megalomaniac for your main villain without significantly altering the story,

  20. #20
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    "With age comes experience," as they say. Also, immortality does not equal eternal youth, but I still don't see how he looks old. As for the hypocrisy, I honestly can't tell if that a compliment or a complaint, the Light is blinded (pardon the pun) by their own arrogance to see the flaws of their plan.
    A complaint. DCAU Savage was one who evolved with the times, this Savage doesn't look to have evolved at all. Top post says his slow voice makes him sound patient, I think it makes him sound like a slow thinker. DCAU Savage was an articulate man. And YJ Savage's speech would have been a lot more interesting and justifiable if he hadn't been so obviously a flaw in his own plan.

    Why would an immortal man, who knows all the tricks humanity has, need an army of thugs, when he can have an army of deadly super-villains who are highly trained?
    Because the army of thugs conveys his ability not just to convince a few elite people, but also truly administer a massive organization. YJ Savage isn't a warlord so much as a team leader.

    Any villain who is not an alien or terminal/dying who wants to destroy the world is a failure from the moment the words come out of their mouths. Not only would they die (Vandal would live, but he wanted to take over a world with people on it, not a barren, deserted one), but with that, they also have people of BOTH sides working against said person because the villains still want to live. Also, I don't believe this is much of an upgrade for Vandal, as much as JL was a downgrade for him.
    Not having seen much of Savage in the comics, can't comment on that. But I was speaking of the JL Savage, who accidentally destroyed the Earth with his gravity weapon My point was that in the JL, Savage DID destroy the League and conquer the world.. it just led to its destruction and had to be reversed by a time-traveling Superman.

    On the topic of Lex, I don't see how knowing when or when not to play your ace is a way to lower your threat level. Just because he hasn't used his suit, he's a lower threat? Not only does he have Mercy, his cyborg bodyguard to protect him, the only time he's appeared are when he thinks he'll be safe. Just by bringing Mercy, he's probably thinking of himself as over-prepared.
    He's adequate to the occasion. And he's slick and sly. On the other hand, he's also not a) commanding an army of supervillains, b) keeping a nano-tech world-destroying robot in his gut, c) approaching near god-hood. YJ Luthor is still fun in his own way, I'm just saying he's not the powerhouse he was in JLU.

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