Tag Archives: DC

Ladies and Gentlemen…the “Real” John Constantine.

A spot-on Constantine, at least the look anyway. (image property of NBC)

A spot-on Constantine, at least the look anyway. (image property of NBC)

Since the unofficially leaked pic has created such a buzz, NBC has released an official image for their upcoming television adaptation, Constantine, based on the comic series John ConstantineHellblazer. And I’ll be damned if he doesn’t look almost exactly like he came straight off the pages of the comic. This makes me incredibly excited because Hellblazer is one of my favorite comic book series’ and John Constantine being a close second to Batman as favorite comic book character.

Welsh actor Matt Ryan will be portraying the titular character in the pilot (which will hopefully lead to a series), with David S. Goyer writing the script. The pilot (and potential series) will stay truer to the comic books than the 2005 Keanu Reeves film of the same name (which I am also a fan of, even though it strayed from the comics a bit). With Goyer writing and the spot-on look that Ryan has, I have great faith in this pilot. The only thing that worries me is NBC, but not much. Constantine isn’t exactly TV-PG or TV-14 material, it’s more TV-MA, which means there may be a possibility of the network watering it down a bit. However, with shows like Hannibal, The Blacklist, and Grimm being such huge successes for the network and being of a darker, more mature nature, I think they’ll be able to keep it as close to the original material as possible.

If this pilot does well, a series should follow, and if we’re lucky we’ll finally get a Justice League Dark movie (directed by Guillermo del Toro). I could see a Swamp Thing film or television series spawning from a Constantine series, since he was a recurring character in the comics. And if a JLD film is made and does well, we may even see a Deadman and/or Zatanna film in the near future. To me, this is more exciting than a film about the main Justice League. This is even more exciting than Batman vs. Superman, and I’m a huge Batman fan.

I’m crossing my fingers that this works out.

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NanaNanaNanaNana BAT-NEWS!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better than Batman: Arkham Origins, this happened:

That’s right, Rocksteady is back with Batman: Arkham Knight. Everyone thought they were done with the franchise and Warner Bros. Games Montreal would be taking over the series, but while you were busy with Origins, they were secretly creating the grand finale that is Arkham Knight.

I want to drive it SOOOOOOOO bad!

I want to drive it SOOOOOOOO bad!

From the trailer, you can see that Two-Face and the Penguin have returned to wreak more havoc and carnage on the city of Gotham. It has also been announced that the legendary Kevin Conroy has returned to voice Batman, as it should be. And it appears that Batman is more armored than he has ever been, so I’m gonna say that there will be a MASSIVE amount of fighting in this game. Best bit of news that I’ve heard is that the Batmobile will be drivable! ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?!?! The beastly-looking, Tumbler-style Batmobile is drivable. Thank you very much, Rocksteady. If you were real, I would hug you.

Unfortunately for me, this game will only be for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Windows. I do not currently have either of the two systems and my computer is not powerful enough to run a game as incredible as this will be. If anyone would like to donate either a Xbox One, a Playstation 4, and/or a powerful gaming computer to me before this game comes out, I’ll be waiting a while to play it. Sad face.

In other Batman-related news, Gotham has cast its Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Fox has cast David Mazouz as the preteen Bruce Wayne and Camren Bicondova as teenage Selina Kyle before she became Catwoman. Bicondova is a newcomer, while Mazouz recently co-starred with Kiefer Sutherland on Fox’s Touch. Along with following Gordon’s pre-Batman years with Gotham P.D., the show will also follow Selina’s early days as a thief and pickpocket. However, the show will also follow a young Bruce Wayne after his parents were killed and before he becomes Batman, which means we may be looking at a lot of crying and whining and tantrums about how unfair it is that his parents were taken away from him. I’m sure we’re in for some rebellious acting out and more things of the like. The first season might get annoying for Bruce’s story, at least until he starts training. Hopefully it’ll be more of a background story to Gordon’s tale.

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MoS2 is to The Avengers, as GoBots are to Transformers

You could also say “Man of Steel 2 is to The Avengers, as Mega Bloks are to Legos.” Either way, it works. Now I shall explain what I mean.

The Avengers was well made, well assembled, and everyone wanted it, just like Transformers and Legos (I’m referring to the toys in this instance). From the moment Marvel started piecing their gigantic, kick-ass puzzle, all the pieces fell together so nicely and at no point did I worry about their casting choices. Even when Chris Evans went from being the Human Torch to Captain America, I thought it was a good choice. The whole damn thing just felt right. Not to mention, they started off on a damn good foot with Iron Man. From there, they built up to something absolutely spectacular, as they should have.

The same cannot be said for DC and whatever it is they’re doing with Man of Steel 2 (aka the Batman vs Superman movie). To me, the only solid casting choice they’ve made so far is Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman. Actually, their casting choices for characters in the first film was actually pretty damn solid, my favorite being Michael Shannon as General Zod. However, casting for the sequel has left me question the mental stability at Warner Bros.

The new Batman. How ya like dem apples?

The new Batman. How ya like dem apples?

First, there’s Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I have not been a fan of this decision from the very beginning… but I’m willing to give him a chance. He’s shown in recent years that he has matured as an actor and is an excellent writer and director. But does he have what it takes to be Batman? I’m still very iffy about that. He could be awesome and rank up there with Keaton and Bale or he could suck like Clooney did and be forever shunned. I have a strong feeling that he’s not taking this task lightly and he’s really going to dedicate himself to the role. As a Batman fan himself, I believe he knows this is not a role one can just phone in. The fanatics will eat him alive. My doubts will remain until the film is released, so I guess only time will tell if this was a good choice or not.

Next is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Honestly, I really know nothing of the woman, other than what I’ve read since she was cast. A model/actress who’s big break came from the recent Fast and Furious films. Doesn’t really give much assurance. I mean, it’s not like I’m really in an uproar about this one. I was never a huge Wonder Woman fan anyway. She may surprise the hell outta all of us and be the best damn WW they could’ve cast. She might also be completely awful and end up making Warner Bros regret not casting someone else. But still, don’t care too much on this one.

I just don't see it.

I just don’t see it.

This most recent bit of casting really boggles my mind: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. What the actual eff?! I don’t see it, I just don’t. When Eisenberg was cast, the must have misheard the request for Heisenberg (Bryan Cranston) and cast Jesse instead. That’s the only thing I can figure. I’ve come to terms with the notion of Bryan Cranston being Lex Luthor but I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with Jesse Eisenberg in the role. There is nothing about him that makes me think he can play the character well. Nothing about the way he looks or acts or anything. He’s gonna need to pull a serious hat trick for this one. For me, he’d be better suited to play the character of Lenny from Superman 4, if they decided to bring him back.

And as for Jeremy Irons, I’ve always seen him as more suited for the villain role. He’s played heroes before but he makes a much better villain. I mean, have you seen Die Hard with a Vengeance?! He’s better suited for Alfred than Eisenberg is for Luthor but I would’ve cast him as Mr. Freeze or Ra’s al Ghul before I cast him as Alfred. He would make an incredible Mr. Freeze, without a doubt. I could even see him as The Riddler. But I guess, his casting is a bit more palatable than Jesse’s.

Like I said before, my doubts will remain until the film is released before I make my final judgement but it would be nice to have the confidence in this film like I did with The Avengers.

One last thought: I want Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow to be part of the DC Cinematic Universe. No one else should play the part. Back off, Justin Hartley.

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Man of Steel 2: Batman, Superman, & the Who and What I Want to See

Over the past few weeks, after DC/WB’s announcement of the MOS sequel, I’ve been thinking about who I would like to see in the film (characters and cast) and what should happen.

I’ve been wondering a lot about how this story is going to go. Are Bats and Supes going to be friends or enemies or enemies then friends once they realize they have a common goal? Who will the villain or villains be? Where will it take place? Metropolis or Gotham City or both? And this film is supposed to be a lead-in to the Justice League film, so will there be any guest appearances or clever references to other DC characters or places in the DC Universe?  There has also been talks of crossing the DC television universe into the cinematic universe, so is there a chance of “The Hood” making an appearance?

The World's Finest playing nice? (image source: WB & DC)

The World’s Finest playing nice? (image source: WB & DC)

First, for the story, I think they should do a combination of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and the animated feature The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest. The Joker (or The Riddler) shows up in Metropolis wreaking havoc, teams up with Lex Luthor for some sinister plot, and Superman has to ask Batman for help since he’s dealt with The Joker before and somewhat knows how he works. When Supes shows up in Gotham, Batman isn’t pleased after seeing the destruction he caused in Metropolis some time back, so at first they’re at odds. There’s a big epic fight but then they realize that they should be working together to thwart a greater threat, so they team up. Which means the film will spend a small amount of time in Gotham but will mostly take place in Metropolis.

Obviously, that means the villains of the film will be Lex Luthor and The Joker, the heroes of course being Batman and Superman. Recasting the Joker after Heath Ledger’s phenomenal performance in The Dark Knight will be difficult and Lex Luthor is never an easy task. There’s also the highly-likely chance that Batman/Bruce Wayne will be recast. However, I thought I’d take a crack at it.

1 – All recurring characters from Man of Steel should be played by the same actors because that was perfect casting.

A perfect choice, I think. (image created by Javier de Mairena)

A perfect choice, I think. (image created by Javier de Mairena)

2 – Batman/Bruce Wayne: Josh Brolin. He’s an incredible actor with great range, he can handle the physicality of the role, and he has the look. Strong jawline, gruff-looking, older, that’s what WB is looking for with this recast. Now I would love to have Christian Bale back, but on the chance that he doesn’t come back, Brolin is my top choice to put on the cowl.

3 – Lex Luthor: Billy Zane. I know many people don’t think much of Mr. Zane, but I find him to be an exceptional actor. He can play smart and sophisticated, as well as cold, calculated, and maniacal. Not to mention, he can pull off the bald look nicely.

4.1 – The Joker: Adrian Brody, Crispin Glover, Damian Lewis, or Robert Carlyle. One of these four actors would make a superb Joker. It’d be difficult for them to top Ledger’s performance but I’m positive they would give it their best, knowing that they have big shoes to fill. Honestly, Crispin Glover has always been a top choice for me but I believe Damian Lewis might actually be a better choice.

Tennant's Riddler.

Tennant’s Riddler.

4.2 – The Riddler: David Tennant or Matthew Gray Gubler. I’m partial to Tennant because he’s my favorite Doctor, a brilliant actor, and can play the conniving genius quite well. Gubler is also an incredible actor and would do well in the part but Tennant is my first choice.

5 – Commissioner Jim Gordon: Gary Oldman. If they bring Gordon into the film, there is no other actor that should play him than Oldman.

As for crossovers and references, I don’t think any crossovers should take place other than Bats and Supes, of course. It would be nice to see Stephen Amell make an appearance as Oliver Queen at least, but not “The Hood” (of course by the time this film is being made, they may actually be referring to him as “Arrow” or “Green Arrow” though). But WB could get by with just making references to other heroes and their respective cities without actually including them in the film. They don’t wanna blunder and pull a Spiderman 3 move and have too many characters in one film. Just stick with the two heavy-hitters and their main arches and don’t overdo it. I’d also like to make a point that Robin should not be involved in this film at all, neither the comic book character or Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character from The Dark Knight Rises.

The way I see it, this film could be the perfect stepping stone for DC/WB to lead them into the Justice League film and helping them to making the DC Cinematic Universe as successful as Marvel’s has become. On the other hand, this film could be a complete disaster and be a huge setback for DC/WB. Either way, I’m willing to give it a chance and see what happens.

Are you? What are your thoughts and predictions for Man of Steel 2?

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Updates from the Realm of Comic Book Films

This week I thought I’d drop some updates on ya. Fo’ shizzle!

Sorry. Didn’t mean to get “gangsta” on you.

Anyway, let’s kick this pig. Metaphorically speaking.

Man of Steel

There was a new trailer released this week, and it is, for lack of a better word, beautiful. It showcases everything that is going to make this film a possible cinematic masterpiece. An iconic new version of Superman (played by Henry Cavill), epic narration from Jor-El (Russell Crowe), gorgeous and grandiose battles on Krypton and Earth, and who I’m sure will be one of the most badass villains since Heath Ledger’s Joker, General Zod (played by Michael Shannon). And let’s not forget the score by Hans Zimmer. Magic.

If you haven’t seen the newest trailer, take a gander:

Like I said…beautiful. I may cry when I watch this film.

The Amazing Spiderman 2

Pictures from the set of TAS2 were released this week, showcasing Jamie Foxx in costume as Electro. Luckily for us, they aren’t going with the classic green and yellow lightning bolt costume. What worries me is that the design they’re going with somewhat resembles Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze. That, or a thuggish version of Dr. Manhattan. However, Jamie Foxx can act circles around Arnold, so I’m not all that fearful. I can’t wait to see what Paul Giamatti’s Rhino looks like.

Have a look at Electro’s new look:

Jamie Foxx's Electro

Jamie Foxx’s Electro

 

Guardians of the Galaxy

Michael Rooker

Michael Rooker

Adding to the cast of Chris Pratt (Star-Lord) and Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Michael Rooker has been cast as Yondu, one of the four founding members of the Guardians. Strangely enough, Rooker has been trying to get a part in this movie for a while now, but as Groot. I’m just glad he got a role, even though I think Rocket Raccoon would have been an interesting role for him. Michael Rooker is one of those actors that you have to take a chance on with every role. They might be completely awful or completely awesome, but you’re gonna watch either way and still find some form of enjoyment out of it. There’s also news that Zoe Saldana is in talks to play Gamora.

 

 

Doctor Strange

Marvel has given the green-light to a new live-action Doctor Strange film. The film will be part of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with Ant-Man. No word yet on who might direct or star, but I’ve always been a fan of Guillermo del Toro directing with Jim Caviezel starring. I’m slightly excited for this, but I’m hoping for another Incredible Hulk film in Phase Three with the possibility of a live-action World War Hulk movie to follow.

Here’s a clip from the 1978 TV-movie version of Doctor Strange. The new film probably won’t be anything like this.

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Reading Flashpoint: Three Lessons Learned From A Brand-Wide Comic Event

Most people probably know that DC cancelled all of its titles in September of 2011 and launched 52 #1 issues of their “New 52” brand. I say most people because it was a pretty big deal at the time. While some of their books like Detective Comics retained their number since the first issue was released in 1939, no company had ever done something so drastic as this  before.

What is less well-known is that the relaunch is actually an in-continuity timeline change that followed the company-wide “Flashpoint” event before the New 52 launched. Which means that while DC reset their book numbers they, technically, are working off the same kind of continuity reset that they did during Crisis On Infinite Earths. For the layman, that means we should think of the New 52 like a sequel to what came before instead of a reboot. All the old stuff that was canon before can still be considered so… but as part of an alternate timeline. It’s a subtle difference, but important for a couple reasons.

Continuity Is An Excuse 

My biggest complaint about modern comics is how ridiculous the continuity is. Since 1985 DC has had four universe-altering events that changed the history of their characters. That doesn’t include all of the ridiculous crossovers (Crisis On Two Earths), cameos and smaller events (Death Of Superman). That minor distinction was important considering that the New 52 came with five years of history. Most of what had happened to the characters in the previous timeline still occurred in one form or another.

So despite the reset there’s still continuity.

And after reading Flashpoint, continuity feels like an excuse to make you pay for pieces of a story. The Flashpoint event consists of 5 main titles of the same name, but it also has more than 50 tie-in comics. All together, there are 60 books in the entire event:

  • Abin Sur (3 issues)
  • Batman: Knight Of Vengeance (3 Issues)
  • Booster Gold (4 Issues)
  • Citizen Cold (3 Issues)
  • Deadman & the Flying Graysons (3 Issues)
  • Deathstroke & the Curse Of The Ravager (3 Issues)
  • Emperor Aquaman (3 Issues)
  • Flashpoint (5 Issues)
  • Frankenstein & the Creatures of the Unknown (3 Issues)
  • Green Arrow Industries (1 Issue)
  • Grodd of War (1 Issue)
  • Hal Jordan (3 Issues)
  • Kid Flash Lost (3 Issues)
  • Legion of Doom (3 Issues)
  • Lois Lane & the Resistance (3 Issues)
  • Project Superman (3 Issues)
  • Reverse Flash (1 Issue)
  • Secret 7 (3 Issues)
  • Canterbury Cricket (1 Issue)
  • The Outsider (3 Issues)
  • The World of Flashpoint (3 Issues)
  • Wonder Woman & the Furies (3 Issues)

Sometimes you need to see it all written out. Many books of varying quality. And I will grant you, a lot of this stuff isn’t central to the main story. Comics like Hal Jordan, a what if to demonstrate how much things have changed, are pretty optional. There’s really only one key plot point in the book while the rest is context. And others, like Frankenstein & the Creatures of the Unknown and Canterbury Cricket are wholly unnecessarily and pretty poorly written to boot.

But a lot of these are essential and read as if they are missing chapters from the main story.

ToBeContinued

Here Wonder Woman discovered a plot between her aunt and Aquaman’s half brother that caused their two peoples to go to war. Now she’s running off to do something, but as you can see, you need to read the third issue of another book to find out what. This isn’t a small plot point. It’s not a throwaway moment. It’s a good example of why it’s so hard for amateurs to get into the big titles. Even if you only like one book, eventually there will be a crossover or event that forces you to read a bunch of different books or miss what’s happening.

Reading all of these makes it feel like you are paying for the story by chapter, which I suppose you are since that is the nature of comics. But it’s so self-referential and complicated to get one story from all these books at a combined cost of between $100-$300.

Even ignoring the cost, just figuring out what goes where is a total b****. Last spring I tried to read Countdown to Final Crisis, which was a prequel company-wide event to a forthcoming company-wide event, with over 100 books of various numbers. I actually had to research it beforehand and, I s*** you not, draw a flow chart to understand what to read. Once you figure it out, a lot of these could have most of their pages put in a sequential order that would work as a single, mass tome, but even the graphic novels have to be organized by kind.

Quality Control Is A Absent

Some of these books are absolute garbage. Obviously the main title, Flashpoint, is pretty solid and the art for Wonder Woman & The Furies #1 is absolutely gorgeous. Superman and Batman’s books are excellent, but the rest is so too inconsistent from a premier comic book business.

As an example, Booster Gold features a women named Alex. In issue #47 she and Booster Gold are captured by the army and in the span of 3 pages she experiences a seemingly random costume change.

 

LongSleeves

First she has long sleeves.

 

NoSleeves

Then she has no sleeves.

 

ShortSleeves

It’s cool though. She alternates a couple times and then settles on short sleeves.

What the hell? This is within 5 pages of each other in the same book. I get when different books doing the same scene have different art, but the same art team on the same book? Why? And this happens ALL OVER.

The Dialogue Is Awful

Something that really bugs me is that the dialogue feels hokey and out of place. Granted, this is a subjective area, but look at some of these and tell me I’m wrong.

Brain drain? That was your best insult? brain drain?

Brain drain? Your go to insult is brain drain?

 

Ugh, can we go back to brain drain?

Ugh, can we go back to brain drain?

 

 Ozzyreference

Aside from using “thrashing” to describe listening to music and the flippant use of “old farts”, I’m pretty sure that’s an Ozzy Osbourne reference more than two decades out of date. The writer, Scott Kolins, is 44. It’s cool that he was a child of the 70’s, but was it too hard to ask his kids for a contemporary artist? Yes, it’s possible that this guy, who’s name escapes me, may just be an Ozzy fan, but it’s not believable and I’m assuming most kids that read these books won’t know who he is. Actually, do kids still read comics?

Whatever. Moving on.

PlaneSpeed

That is Hal Jordan asking someone how fast his plane goes. I’m not an aircraft expert, but I expect a pilot to have some idea how fast his own plane can go before he gets into it. And the “gigahertz and nanoseconds” comment makes him sound like he’s trying not to be smart. If you can fly a supersonic jet you can, hopefully, do some math too. I fully expect him to ask “where are the brakes on this thing?” after reading this. No wonder he crashes his plane in everything I’ve ever seen him in.

Lessons

Yes, there’s some wiggle room here since comic books are the first pay-as-you-go form of entertainment, but it’s not about the observed problems as much as what we learn about DC. First, I have no idea how much money it costs to organize, create, produce and distribute a company-wide event, but it feels like a lot of money that’s going into a very niche form of entertainment. It doesn’t have to be niche, but the interconnected nature of the titles, ridiculous continuity and prohibitive cost make it so.

Now extrapolate that. Since 2006 I’m pretty sure DC has had somewhere between 4-6 company-wide events depending on how you count the Green Lantern craziness that ended in Brightest Day. Who can keep track of all those stories? The funny thing is that it’s so complicated it’s kind of brilliant. All these stories do come together by the end which is a real accomplishment. A very exclusive accomplishment.

Second, I’m not surprised DC properties haven’t been able to tie together a unified movie universe. Launching a brand-wide comic event is way smaller and it’s not a great experience unless your a die-hard fan. Actually, that’s a guess. Maybe die-hard fans didn’t have so much fun with this either.

There has to be a better way, right? Or am I just complaining about the necessary evils of the comic book industry?

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Iron Man 3: Marvel’s Answer to The Dark Knight Rises?

I’m sure by now that all of nerdom has seen the newest trailer for Iron Man 3. (If not, shame on you, and it’s at the bottom of this article.)

Kingsley's Mandarin (image source: Marvel)

Kingsley’s Mandarin (image source: Marvel)

Anyway, the trailer was pretty epic, and it made me even more excited to see it. It also made me a little more confident that Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin won’t be a caricature of the villain he should be. He feels like he’s going to be a very menacing nemesis. I was worried when they cast Kingsley due to his somewhat less than favorable performances in BloodRayne, The Love Guru, and The Dictator. I was starting to lose faith in him as a quality actor, but I just kept reminding myself of how sinister he was in Sexy Beast, which if you haven’t seen, you should really check it out. From the looks of the Iron Man 3 trailer, he’s going to be phenomenal.

One concern I have after seeing this trailer is whether Marvel is trying to make this into their version of The Dark Knight Rises or if that’s just how things happen to turn out. I mean, the premise is the same – billionaire hero meets a new foe, foe turns out to be his greatest threat, foe destroys his entire world and strips him of everything, hero finds strength and rises up to fight back and defeat foe. Kinda makes you wonder if Marvel is taking notes from DC on this one. After the disappointment some people felt after Iron Man 2, it might be a good idea.

RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man (image source: nme.com)

RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man (image source: nme.com)

I want this film to be great, I don’t want it to turn into Spiderman 3. This is my biggest concern – overkill. The numerous Iron Man suits that will be appearing in the film make me wonder if it might. They’ve got the Patriot Armor (War Machine with a new paint job), Tony’s new armor (Mark number whatever it is now), the Hulkbuster armor, and then all the drones. It seems to be a bit much. If they throw in Fin Fang Foom, I might walk out of the theater. Learn from Sam Raimi and Brett Ratner, don’t try to do too much. Overkill is called that for a reason.

If Marvel can manage to make this film the grand opus that it looks to be, this could be their greatest film to date. I don’t think it could outdo The Dark Knight but it could definitely one-up TDKR. If they’re not careful though, they could end up with another X-Men: The Last Stand.

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The Fate of the Justice League Movie

According to some online sources [here and here], the fate of the upcoming Justice League film (and by upcoming, I mean a few years from now) depends on the success of the new Superman film, Man of Steel. So any DC fans out there who have been eagerly anticipating a Justice League film to compete with Marvel’s The Avengers, whether you believe in a god or not, should probably start praying. Not to mention, plan on seeing Man of Steel whether it sucks or not.

Superman himself doesn't look too sure about the WB's decision.

Superman himself doesn’t look too sure about the WB’s decision.

Now as I’ve said before that I’m looking forward to the new Superman flick. I think it will be phenomenal. Excellent cast, director, producer, and Hans Zimmer. I’m gonna enjoy the hell out of it, but that’s just me. It’s gonna take a lot more than just me for this this to be successful enough to convince Warner Bros to greenlight a JLA film, as well as any other DC superhero films to follow (ahem…Aquaman!). And given the success of past Superman films, the JLA film’s fate seems a bit shaky. I don’t think there’s been a successful one since maybe Superman II. Even Smallville was a bit rocky at times. That whole season with “Doomsday” made me want the CW to cancel the series. So banking on Superman to save the day might be a longshot.

I haven’t really had much faith in a Justice League movie happening in a while anyway. The only successful character on the big screen has been Batman (obviously), no one else can touch him. Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns bombed, Green Lantern flopped, and no one can get a Flash movie going. Wonder Woman can’t even get a pilot on TV, let alone a movie. Green Arrow’s doing alright on the small screen, but the Oliver Queen/Super Max movie is pretty much canned. And Aquaman gets no respect whatsoever in any media, except for maybe the New 52. So yeah, I haven’t really had much hope or anything to give me any hope in a JLA film in a while. Plus, DC and Warner Bros seem to be scrambling to get this film made just because the Avengers and all the other Marvel films did so well and they wanna make money too.

Wait….didn’t Warner have the Harry Potter movies, The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, and The Dark Knight Trilogy? Those were all done well and time was taken with each of them, so why rush JLA? Geeks and nerds aren’t going anywhere and superheroes aren’t a passing fad. They’ll be around. But if you piss them off by making their heroes look like crap, they won’t be as dedicated and won’t be as will to fork over their money. Think about that.

Could/should JGL be the right Batman for the JLA movie?

Could/should JGL be the right Batman for the JLA movie?

Take the time and build the back-stories on some of the characters that people don’t know as much about. You’ve done enough with Batman for now, let him rest. You can’t have Bale, but you’ve got Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he’ll do pretty damn well, even though I really want him to be Nightwing or Batman Beyond. Fix Green Lantern – recast, let Ryan Reynolds be Deadpool and find someone else. Give Aquaman and Flash their due and find someone that can make Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter work on the big screen. Honestly, I’d save Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter’s films for after the JLA movie.

Again, I have faith that Man of Steel will be huge. Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan have never let me down, and I’m really hoping for a super-sweet Superman/General Zod fight. I’m sure they’ll deliver it. But banking everything on a Superman film is like shooting fish in a barrel. Batman did do well because it’s easier for people to connect with Batman. Yes, he’s a millionaire, but underneath it all, he’s still human. Superman just acts human. Deep down, he’s essentially a god and people have a tough time connecting with that…unless you’re egotistical like Kanye West.

I may have said the majority of this before, but it needs to be reiterated as Warner Bros gets closer to making the final decision. Pull your heads from your collective asses and things properly. It’ll pay off more in the end.

But anyway, here’s the Man of Steel trailer. You should go see it. Not to up the chances of JLA being made but because it looks frickin’ awesome!

 

[featured image source: Alex Ross]

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Justice League: Doom

Image property of Warner Bros

Image property of Warner Bros

I am not a traditional geek. I do not game, have little interest in comics and my choices in fiction tend to skew more realistic. While I enjoy a nice piece of science-fiction, I am far more drawn to a historical work, crime, or political thriller.

The blockbuster superhero films certainly ring my bell– though, often as an outsider. In discussing my geek status with a friend last week I received a challenge. My friend suggested that I come off of my high horse and watch a Justice League cartoon; I enjoy the occasional animated sitcom. I have logged many hours on the creations of Matt Groening; both The Simpsons and Futurama are programs I have enjoyed. My enjoyment of the animated superhero story started somewhere around Superfriends and ended just after Fox’s  X-Men series.

After accepting the challenge I logged onto Netflix to find a suitable feature. I selected Justice League: Doom. The story centers on a villain named Vandal Savage. Savage wishes to wipe out most of the human population and enslave the remainder. He hires some lesser known players from the rogues gallery of DC Comics to each take out their opposite member of the Justice League.

The hired guns are equipped with what appears to be the perfect plan for executing or incapacitating the heroes. Where did the plans come from? That is the interesting part– Batman! I have heard my geek friends say on many occasions that if he were given enough time for preparation Batman win any contest. Here Batman has made a contingency plan for dealing with every member of the Justice League and somehow their enemies have this information and use it in an attempt to destroy the heroes. This will make way for the new world order of Vandal Savage.

I must say that for an animated feature, this film had a great deal of depth. The inner struggle, trust and distrust of one’s fellows and impending feelings of betrayal are on full display. The animation is fantastic, and the voice talent is superb. The guy from Wings (Tim Daly) does a great job as the last son of Krypton, while Castle provides the voice of The Green Lantern.

So in answer to my friends challenge, Cartoons aren’t just for children anymore, and I apparently am not too cool for them.

 

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I’m Anti-Superman, and Even I Want to See Man Of Steel

Well, I’m not completely Anti-Superman.

When it comes to comic book films, I typically want to give the film a chance even if it looks like it might be completely horrible. But, right from the beginning, I knew Man Of Steel was going to be extremely epic. That’s saying a lot, because I don’t like Superman. I mean, I mostly don’t like the character himself.

Generally, the incarnations of Superman on film I’m all for. The first three films with Christopher Reeve, Smallville, and the newer animated features and series are some really entertaining and definitely worth viewing. I even slightly enjoyed Superman Returns, even though he was kinda stalkerish and somehow, by the sheer force of will, I’m guessing, moved an island of Kryptonite. I call BS on that one, but whatever. I also enjoy Superman in print (Red Son was fantastic!), but I just enjoy seeing him come to life on screen more.

I’m a Batman fan, however. Always have been, always will be. I enjoy his human side, the fact that he’s not essentially a god. I also like the fact that almost anything can kill him, but he still keeps being a badass.

Superman has a limited number of vulnerabilities. Kryptonite…that’s it. Once you have Kryptonite, anything can kill him. But if you don’t have it, forget it. You can be stronger than him, but that probably isn’t going to work.

Characters like Superman have always been on the bottom of my favorites list.

However, after watching the trailer for Man Of Steel, I think I may grow to like Superman a little bit more.

[Image source: Warner Bros.]

I knew from the beginning, this film was going to be pretty solid. Zack Snyder is directing, Christopher Nolan is producing, and Henry Cavill is in the lead role. Damn fine start. (If you haven’t watched Immortalsby now, you should check it out.)

Then, the cast started growing and so did my excitement. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Ma and Pa Kent, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. You could not have a better cast than this. I’m probably gonna catch hate for saying this, but the Man of Steel cast rivals the casting for Nolan’s Batman series. It’s a close call. And then to top it off, they get Hans Zimmer to score the film. Done. This film is solid freakin’ gold!

The newest trailer for the film has me more excited than ever, and it’s primarily because it looks like Snyder and Nolan are attempting to show more of Superman’s human side and not just the god-like superhero side that we’re all accustomed to.

I think this might be the most excited I’ve been for a Superman film, maybe even a comic book film in a while…at least since The Dark Knight, anyway.

Here’s the trailer:

Pretty phenomenal, right? Tell me what you think in the comments.

Man Of Steel opens June 14, 2013

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Recaps & Ramblings

I wasn’t really sure what to write about this week; I didn’t have a super-stellar idea for an article, so I thought I might just talk a bit about what’s going on in some of my favorite, and possibly NEW favorite shows, and offer my thoughts and musings.  Potential spoilers lie within.

Arrow

Arrow [source: megavideozer.com]

Honestly, I’ve only seen the first episode of this (the lack of cable television make it difficult to watch things on a regular basis), but it seems like it has potential. I know TJ has talked about it, but I thought I might offer some additional words. I was skeptical about the show at first because Justin Hartley wasn’t playing Green Arrow, but the new guy, Stephen Amell, seems like he might be okay. His acting comes across as a tad stiff sometimes, but hopefully he’ll grow out of that. Actually, I’m still warming up to most of the cast. It may take a few more episodes.

The stunts and fights have been pretty on-key, and his archery skills aren’t too shabby either, making for the potential of a great Green Arrow. There’s hints towards key characters, mainly Deathstroke, and they’re done very subtly, hinting that the writing might be pretty decent. And I’m stoked to see how John Barrowman’s character is going to fit into the mix. This show may end up being a new regular of mine.

Dexter

Dexter [source: wikia.nocookie.net]

I knew after last season’s ending that this season was just going to be amazing right from the beginning– it’s delivered. I mean, Deb figures out pretty much everything before the first episode ends. Well, the basics anyway. Sure, she took 6 seasons, but whatever, she knows–and there’s no going back now. This means Dexter has to be more restrained and a lot more careful with his kills because she is watching him like a hawk. It’s going to be incredibly tough for him, but I think he can pull it off. Just thinking about the tricks he might pull to get a kill gives me goosebumps. Also a plus, Ray Stevenson, aka “the good Punisher,” is on the show this season as the potential main bad guy, which means he has work. And that always makes me happy. I still have yet to see the latest two episodes, but I’m sure that they are incredible.

 

Supernatural

Supernatural [source: wikipedia.com]

This show just gets stranger and stranger, which I guess works for a show of its nature. The first five seasons had this huge story arc involving their dad, the yellow-eyed demon, and the Devil, all of which lead up to the apocalypse. After that, it’s pretty much gone on a season-by-season basis with tie-ins here and there, possibly leading up to something big. Not quite sure.

Series creator, Eric Kripke, only planned for fives seasons, so after the fifth ended and CW wanted more he handed over story control to someone else and became an executive producer. That might have something to do with the new weirdness. Season six was about Castiel‘s search for Purgatory, then finding and absorbing it to become “God,” then things got out of control so he tried to put it back but the Leviathan got out, and that’s where season seven took off. Seven was all about Leviathan and the brothers stopping them from using humans as a continual food source. Well they stopped Leviathan, but Dean and Castiel ended up in Purgatory and that brings us to the current season. Dean gets out (because it seems that neither Hell or Purgatory can hold Dean) by making buddies with a vampire and hitches a ride though some portal, but Castiel doesn’t escape. Apparently he’s dead, but probably not. It’s possible Dean may have left him there.

Sam tried to live a normal life and Dean got pissed because he didn’t try to find him, but they got over it. There was also an auction where some creepy old guy bought Mjolnir with five-eighths of a virgin, which I just shook my head at. (I thought you had to be worthy of it to possess it, but apparently you can buy it at auction. I’m gonna check eBay.) I hope this season doesn’t turn into a confusing ball of “When is this getting cancelled?”

Finally, my favorite:

Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy [source: Collider.com]

By far, the best show on television. Hands down. And I know that I’ve already talked once about the show this season, but I have to speak again. I just finished the past week’s episode (“Small World”), and eagerly await my chance to watch this week’s episode (“Toad’s Wild Ride”), and let me just say that my mind has been blown once again by this show’s awesomeness. First off, the title “Small World” makes me happy. If it had not been titled as such, then it should have been titled “Opie’s Redemption.” Because that was the best thing about this episode, payback for Opie’s murder. I breathed a sigh of relief when it all went down and smiled devilishly when it was over. Does make me slightly sadistic? Some more stuff happened that was also pretty damn good, including a total WTF ending, but the redemption part was the best. I can’t wait to see where this season is going.

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Arrow Review

I have a huge man-crush on Stephen Amell. Or maybe I’m just jealous of his abs. I just wanted to get that out of the way.

Arrow is the new superhero TV series on the CW. It was definitely made to fill the void left by Smallville‘s ending, and I think it does the job. While it hits many of the same beats, I think it surpasses Smallville (at least the first 5-6 seasons) in many ways.

Ollie is an adult.

Thank goodness. High School drama is ridiculous. If I’m going to have ridiculous drama in a show, I want it to be about adult superhero problems. Being an adult gives Ollie a certain amount of jaded-ness. He used to be a bit of a jerkwad; after the shipwreck (and the revealing of a dark secret by his father), he, like Batman, has to walk the line between the jerkwad public face and his more noble secret identity.

Dinah Laurel Lance and Tommy Merlyn

Remember how at the beginning of Smallville, other DC characters were doled out in such a miserly way? Arrow didn’t do that at all. Two of the main characters are Dinah Lance (who becomes Black Canary in the comics; she goes by “Laurel” on the show) and Tommy Merlyn (arguably Green Arrow’s arch-nemesis; here though, he is Arrow’s best friend, much like how they did the Luthor/Kent dynamic on Smallville.) 

The other big reference that I noticed was Deathstroke’s mask on the beach where Ollie was living. If Deathstroke is going to take on Green Arrow, we could be in for some epic hand-to-hand combat. Speaking of which…

Action

Remember how Clark Kent would just throw people? Green Arrow isn’t super strong, so he relies on his agility and hand-to-hand combat skills… and it works so well for televised action. The fights mean a little more when the hero could get knocked out or tazed at any time.

I like the parkour on the show. I think it’s fitting for the character.

Also, I don’t know if Ollie will take an oath not to kill people later, but he’s doing it right now. Arrows are a weapon meant for killing things, after all. He snaps people’s necks. He’s a bit brutal. Honestly, I think it makes more sense for the character, but I’m not sure how it’ll work out in the greater DC universe of the show.

Mystery

Ollie’s dad told him a secret. Then he killed himself. When Ollie comes back, he is out for revenge. We’re not sure exactly why, but we know his mom is probably working for the bad guys.

The cops are also looking for a guy in a green hood. The lead detective on the case (played by the guy that played Harry Dresden, Paul Blackthorne), who is also Laurel Lance’s daddy, already hates Oliver Queen because his other daughter died in the shipwreck that marooned Ollie. So, there’s drama everywhere.

I’m going to keep watching. It has its cheezy and nonsensical moments, but that’s par for the course on a superhero property. Looking at the descriptions of some future episodes this season, we’ll see some guest stars like Kelly Hu and John Barrowman (squee!), and some other DC characters like Deadshot will be showing up. All-in-all, I’m glad that the CW has a superhero series again.

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Saturday Morning Cartoons

My son loves cartoons. His current favorites include Jake & The Never Land Pirates, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. He tends to watch them while playing with his trains or monster trucks and loves to sing along with the songs. While these shows are a bit simplistic (hey, he’s three! And, really Jake and Daniel Tiger are really well done), they definitely provide a welcome distraction when I need a break from him for a little bit.

I love cartoons; well, I like certain kinds of cartoons. Animation is often the best medium for science-fiction and comic book shows, so when Saturday morning rolls around, my son and I settle in for a block of animation goodness: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Young Justice, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Clone Wars is a show I can take or leave. I’ve only gotten back into it after a couple of years hiatus, so I’m not fully understanding everything that is going on. However, the show is much better than ANY of the prequel movies, and it actually focuses on good writing and plot. I recommend it for any Star Wars fan.

Green Lantern is nothing like the movie, and thank goodness for that. It’s just starting a second season, but things are already shaping up to be pretty great. Last season dealt with the Green Lanterns fighting an invasion by the Red Lantern Corps. The Red Lanterns were upset over sins that the Guardians of the Universe had committed many years ago. The season was full of action, political intrigue, and it introduced a ton of plot points and characters from the comics (even my personal favorite, Mogo!).  If you’re a Green Lantern fan at all, check it out. And if you have a budding comic book fan in your life, let them watch. My son really loves it.

Young Justice is my favorite part of our Saturday morning cartoon block. The show deals with a group of sidekicks that form their own team to work in the shadows… kind of like the Justice League’s black ops team. Since that premise, the show has evolved from being solely about the sidekicks and more about the entire DC pantheon of characters. The cast of characters is vast, but most of the heroes are thematically consistent with their DC Comics counterparts. Young Justice is episodic storytelling at its best. Given enough time, it might even be better that Justice League Unlimited. In my opinion, anyway.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started just last week, and I had my doubts leading up to the debut episode. TMNT was one of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid, but its ’90s cheesiness hasn’t aged all that well. Newer shows have gone waaaay too far into the seriousness route (the comic was pretty gritty and dark) and kind of lost the joy of the goofy premise.

The pilot episode of this new TMNT walks the line perfectly. It’s goofy but not off-putting. You can tell that the storylines are going to get into some dark territory, but the characters are instantly recognizable. Leonardo leads. Donatello does science. Raphael wants to crack some skulls. Michelangelo is a lovable idiot. This show’s version of Splinter is my favorite yet, and Shredder was only in the pilot episode for about 30 seconds (however, since he’s voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, he’ll probably be awesome.) Even Krang showed up, albeit in a new twist; the Krang are an alien race invading the Earth in creepy, dead-eyed robot bodies. All-in-all, I’m looking forward to watching it weekly with my son.

Cartoons are awesome. If you’re looking for a good story on TV, don’t overlook animation. You’d be missing something really special.

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The September 11th Attacks in Geek Fiction

Many of us remember where we were and what we were doing when the September 11th attacks happened.

I was a lowly freshman in college, and I was in Radio Fundamentals, my first class of the day on that Tuesday morning. My teacher walked into the room, and while  I don’t remember what was said, I’ll always remember the look on her face when she informed us of what was happening. Since we were in what amounted to a functional news studio, I was able to watch things unfold in mostly real time. I remember seeing the second plane as it hit the South Tower.

I don’t really remember that day very well beyond a profound sense of sadness. And of shock. For some reason, when I think of that day, I think of the color gray. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the metal of the buildings. Or the dust as the buildings crashed down.

Obviously, I was not the only one affected by the attacks; writers, artists, and actors were all deeply affected as well. I’m going to talk today specifically how geek culture dealt with attacks–dealing with every instance would take years to write, so this is a small sampling.

Comic Books

Comic companies love New York; Marvel and DC are headquartered there, after all, so it came as no surprise that they wanted to reference the attacks. These are just a few of those stories.

Spider-Man Volume 2 #36 — Also called “The Black Issue” due to its completely black cover. A lot of people took this issue the wrong way, I think. Many people pointed out that Doctor Doom probably wouldn’t actually be crying over an attack, or that there was no way that the other supervillains would care all that much (especially with all the destruction they bring about themselves!), but I think those critics probably missed the point. Those beloved characters (yes, even the villains) were surrogates for the writers and artists at Marvel Comics, and they were expressing themselves through the medium that they were a part of.

Altogether, it’s a little goofy, but it’s also genuine.

9-11 – There were two volumes of this, and both parts contained work by superstar comics writers and artists: Joe Kubert, Stan Lee, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Dave Gibbons, etc. Some of the stories are simple (a woman reaching over and touching the empty side of her bed), some of the stories are overt (Stan Lee’s fable about mice wearing 666 shirts waking up a giant), but all of them deal with the real issues of revenge, justice, hope, and despair.

Big props to the creators of this, because ALL the proceeds went to charities.

Big props as well to Joe Kubert, who gives these last words of hope: “I’ve lived long enough to see the worst turn into something better.”

Ex Machina – While not a 9/11 story, it is affected by the events of that day. Ex Machina takes place in an alternate reality where a superhero called The Great Machine manages to stop only one of the planes. While his actions get him elected mayor of New York, he still lives with the guilt of being indirectly responsible for the death of thousands.

Books 

There weren’t really all that many books in the geek realm that dealt with 9/11 (that I remember anyway), but I would be remiss not to mention Stephen King’s short story The Things They Left Behind.

It’s the tale of a man whose inner voice tells him to call off work and enjoy the day. Yep, that that day is Sept. 11, 2001. After the attacks, he begins having problems with his survivor’s guilt, and objects that belonged to his co-workers begin appearing in his apartment. If he throws them away, they always return. If he gives them to someone else, they give the person nightmares.

Eventually, he begins returning these items to the families of the people they belong to and starts to finally deal with his guilt.

Television 

TV has a lot of references to 9/11. Law & Order, CSI: New York, The West Wing, and Rescue Me all have characters that have to deal with the aftermath of the attacks.

In geek TV, Fringe deals with the 9/11 attacks, including glimpses into an alternate universe where the WTC attacks were averted, only to bring other types of terrorism into the country. The money shot is at the end of season one, where Olivia and William Bell (played by Leonard Nimoy) are standing inside the World Trade Center south tower.

 

Conclusion 

I think the further we get away from the events, the more they will be referenced a little more dispassionately… and maybe with more clarity. For us that remember the day, it seems that the sight of the towers in fiction elicits certain types of responses: shock, sadness, anger, numbness.

How do you feel when you see the towers in movies or TV? Have your feelings changed at all with time? I’d be interested to know. As for me, I feel a certain amount of melancholy and numbness, not just thinking about the attacks, but the consequences of them as well.

Generally on 9/11, I try to remember the unity, the camaraderie.  I remember how everyone suddenly seemed ready to help everyone else out. Strangers were nicer to each other. It only last a couple of weeks, but that kind of unity was pretty nice. I’d love to see that again.

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Comic Book Movies: Marvel’s Future Looks Bright, DC’s Looks Dim

Pardon me whilst I rant for a moment.

So what does DC have now that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is done? Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel? A Justice League movie? That seems to be about it. What does Marvel have? Sequels to Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Avengers, plus a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Advantage: Marvel.

Even though I’m hopeful for the new Superman film (due to Snyder directing, Nolan producing, and the amazing cast it has), I’m still quite fearful for DC. Their Wonder Woman show didn’t even make it off the ground, their Flash movie is constantly stuck in limbo, and Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max is never going to happen. And let’s not forget the bomb that was Green Lantern. Yeah, they’re not exactly knocking ’em outta the park. They have plans for Hawkman and Aquaman movies, and there are even rumors that they may even reboot Batman AGAIN, but they probably won’t happen until the Justice League movie gets released, which may or may not ever happen. Other than Man of Steel, the only thing they really have going for them is Arrow on the CW, and honestly that’s only there to fill the void that Smallville left when it ended its 10-season run. Not that I think it will or anything.

DC has really got to step-up their game in order to catch up with Marvel. Now, I know that Nolan’s Batman trilogy has made billions of dollars, and those movies are pretty much three of the greatest comic book adaptations ever made, but seriously, that’s only one character. Marvel is having major success with multiple characters. The Avengers (in solo and joint films) are kicking ass and taking names in the box office and there’s only more success to come. As I mentioned, all the sequels, as well as an Ant-Man film, and a Daredevil reboot should be in the works sometime soon thanks to film rights reverting back to Marvel from FOX. There’s even a new Hulk television series in the works, as well as AKA Jessica Jones, Mockingbird, Cloak and Dagger, and The Punisher. Advantage: Marvel.

I know some of you reading this are gonna say, “Well Marvel has made some crappy films! Ever heard of Ghost Rider?” Yes I have. But Ghost Rider, as well as its sequel, came from FOX. As did X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Wolverine Origins. Spider-man 3 came from Sony and I believe Blade: The Series came from New Line. See what I’m saying here. Marvel Studios makes the good stuff, that’s who I’m talking about. The actual crap-tastic films have come from other studios. Once Marvel decided to go into the film production business for themselves, things got better. And it didn’t hurt that they were bought by Disney and now have their backing. But I’m not saying DC should step away from Warner Bros. and start producing their own stuff, although it is an idea.

What I’m saying (and I realize that I haven’t actually pointed this out yet) is that DC needs to stop trying to do things the Marvel way. They don’t need to make a Justice League film right now, they just need to make better movies. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises were all steps in the right direction. Man of Steel might be as well. And a few solid steps are all you need to get off and running, but don’t rush and trip up. Start working with better directors and writers, cast your characters properly, keep things smart and realistic (or as realistic as you possibly can),  and stay true to the comics (solid stories have already been written, you just have to look for them). This is all DC has to do and [most] fans will be happy. [Editor’s note: Die-hard fans can never be pleased. NEVER.] Get to work on The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman movies. Don’t worry about rebooting Batman for a long time. And if Christian Bale won’t play him in the Justice League movie, get someone else who will do him justice [pun intended]. But don’t worry about his backstory, I think by now we’ve got that part figured out.

I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t want to see a movie about these two? [image property: DC Comics]

Stop worrying about quantity and start worrying about quality, DC. Once you do that, the money will just roll in. Sure Marvel has a good lead on you, but that’ll happen when your only opposition is sitting with their heads up their butts, waiting for a miracle to happen. Well your miracle happened, his name is Christopher Nolan. Follow his example, make better comic book movies, and stop screwing around.

And would it kill you to make a Booster Gold/Blue Beetle flick?

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Avengers Reassemble…in 2 Years

 

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

 

The theatrical release for Marvel’s second chapter in the Avengers saga has been set.  The film will open May 1, 2015.  At this moment I am very excited for this movie. Over the course of two plus years my opinion may change, but I doubt it.  I can see myself now flying to the theater in my hover car, because my jet pack is in the shop.  Oh the many changes we will experience before we get to see this block buster sequel.

The world will end…or it won’t:

The Aztecs, the Maya, that dude with the cardboard sign in front of the mall they all say the world will end 12/21/12.  Numerous books and  terrible straight to DVD movies have foretold of great disasters that could end life on this planet before this cinematic masterpiece debuts. Unless of course you factor leap year.

We will have a new president…or we won’t

On November 6th 2012 Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will square off in the least interesting election to date.  When we see the Avengers 2 one of them will be President and the other one will not.

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

All of the Avengers characters will have solo films…except the Hulk…and Hawkeye.

Thor, Captain America and Iron Man will all appear in solo outings in the years leading up to the Avengers 2.  I would love to see some kind of Nick Fury film in the interim.  The last attempt was a made for TV film starring David Hasselhoff.  If you have not seen it do yourself a favor-Don’t.

Technology from Back to the Future 2 will still remain unavailable

The second installment of the Back to the Future franchise showed us an impossible future filled with exciting and exotic versions of everyday items. The year was 2015!! While some of these are expected to be available by 2015 (auto lacing Nike tennis shoes, 2015 mustang) some are no where near ready. I’m looking at you hover board!

The DC and Marvel Comic Universes will be rebooted 368 more times.

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

In an effort to encourage new readers the two biggest comic book publishers will make drastic changes to tried and true characters(as apposed to creating new ones…seriously when was the last new hero introduced? 1974??).  Expect more heroes coming out of the closet and more time traveling paternity confusion than a whole season of The Maury Povich Show.

A lot may happen in our world in the next 2 years.  Will there even still be movie theaters? Will all content be delivered to some type of box attached to our heads? Will we all finally rise up against $8 buckets of popcorn and $20 3d movie tickets? Who knows.  What I do know is this- As long as there is a new Avengers movie on the first of May 2015, it’s gonna be a great day!

 

 

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The Week in Geek: August 10, 2012

I’ve slogged through all the cats on the Internet to find you the best, cat-free stuff around. Here’s what happened this week. You’re welcome.

Doctor Pepper

It’s Doctor Pepper’s Lonely Time Lord Band! It was more clever in my head. Image courtesy of raisegrate.

Like a flipping boss in a bad action movie, Mars rover Curiosity emerged from the 7 minutes of terror (that it only had a 30 percent chance of surviving) and made a cheeky quip. Bill Nye was right, science rules.

People take themselves too seriously and it is hilarious. Gabrielle shows us “The Drama of Yelp.”

The real-life inspiration for the film-version of Tony Stark, Elon Musk, wants to put humans on Mars in 15 years. Total Recall really chose the wrong week to not be set on Mars.

Joss Whedon will return to write and direct Avengers 2 and shall helm that live-action Marvel TV series everyone’s chattering about. I’m too happy to make a joke, so just imagine I wrote something snarky about Firefly’s cancellation here.

Julie wants you to know that no matter how empowered Whedon or Christopher Nolan’s superladies are, their clothing is hella impractical.

Is my skirt too short?

Speaking of impractical clothing, this answers the ago-old question of, “What would the Doctors look like in their companion’s clothes?” Image courtesy of Bestiolina.

Sure, she said she was happy to win silver, but American gymnast Mckayla Maroney’s expression on the podium told a different story. What’s a world to do? Meme it, of course!

Here is a painting of a pug as a Jedi with a lightsaber. Your argument is invalid. (Note: I love that the artist went with the realism of tying the lightsaber to the pug’s paw because they don’t have thumbs. Duh!)

Speaking of high art, this guy nibbled highlights of Britain out of Jaffa Cakes. So, it’s not the end of the Internet, but you can see it from here (Joke made with credit to Jon Stewart).

Though millions of World of Warcraft fans might disagree, Tim argues that the MMO bubble has burst.

Last art one, I swear! DC has released prints reimagining classic titles and characters. Minimalist and noir to Victorian and beaux arts, there’s a lot of variety.

Doctor Companions

Everyone should be drawn as beaux arts poster people. It’s a fact. Image courtesy of strawberrygina.

Love the cult comic Love and Rockets? Of course you do because if you don’t you won’t seem cool and hip. In honor of their hipster fans, the cartoonists will be going on a tour of the the Northeast. Shimmy on your skinny jeans and hop the bus to Brooklyn.

Darker than a slice of blackberry pie during a power outage, animated short The Ballad of Poisonberry Pete is a nice way to waste five minutes at work.

Comic writer extraordinaire (and lover of frosted Pop Tarts), Gail Simone is Kickstartering to fund her graphic novel Leaving Megaopolis. It sounds like Irredeemable meets The Walking Dead in the best way.

Emily points out that not only has London declared that they’re going to put on the greenest games ever, it looks like they’re going to pull it off.

Kelly Sue DeConnick, who has been in comics for more than a decade, sat on a panel with Matt Fraction. A news website introduced Fraction by all is work. They introduced DeConnick as the wife of Matt Fraction. Fortunately for my faith in humanity, other creators, illustrators, and tastemakers good naturedly chimed in.

Superman is a more than a jerk. He’s a super-loser at the Interplanetary Olympics.

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Comic Book Wednesday – Distribution

I’m going to generate some controversy today.

I was originally going to just publish a list of comic book releases, but I realized that other places did it better than I could, and I didn’t think a list would be very interesting.

So, instead, let’s have a discussion. You and me. You love comics. I love comics. Maybe you love them more. Maybe less. However, I think that you and I can both agree that the industry has problems. Some big, some small. Some require tweaks, some require a complete change in how the comics business is run.

Let me get this out of the way. I love comic shops. I LOVE THEM.

See that? I used capitals to show you how much I love them. However, I’m not convinced that they are entirely good for the industry.

When I was a kid (really, I’m not that old), comic books could be found in grocery stores, drugstores, and, sometimes, gas stations. Comics are a great impulse buy, but many people aren’t going to buy on impulse if the comics aren’t visible. If I saw comic books in the checkout lane at the grocery store, I would totally pick up one while I was buying milk. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

I don’t want comic shops to go away, but I want comics to expand into other stores. I really don’t think that it would hurt comic shops all that much. Although, it might make some of them work on customer service more…that might be a plus. I’ve been in some unfriendly comic stores (until you prove yourself as “one of them,” anyway).

Next problem: Diamond Comic Distributors. That name shakes every comic publisher to the core. The current business model is that the publishers write, pencil, ink, color, and print the comics, and Diamond is basically the only company that distributes comics. They have had exclusive rights with all major publishers since 1997.  The Justice Department investigated and concluded that Diamond has a monopoly on comic books, but (and here’s where it gets tricky) nothing could be done because the monopoly didn’t include books. See, Diamond is officially a book distributor, not a comics distributor. Bada-bing, bada-boom. The Justice Department couldn’t do anything.

Diamond is the Dr. Doom of comic books.

Diamond charges 60 percent of the cover price for their part in distributing comics. The retailers charge 25 percent to stock. This leaves the publisher with 15 percent of the cover price to pay its creative people and print costs. Do you wonder why comics are up to $4 now? Diamond is effectively driving the prices up. This also makes it nearly impossible for small start-up publishers to recoup their costs.

Unfortunately, I think the only thing that is going to break Diamond’s grip on the comics industry is digital distribution.

Seriously, though. Diamond’s logo looks like a LexCorp reject.

I love books; I love the feel, the smell, the turning of the pages. But, let’s face it, books are probably on the way out. E-readers are becoming too affordable, publishers don’t have to pay for printing and shipping costs, and it’s becoming more economically and environmentally sound. Comic publishers have already signed deals with Amazon and Barnes & Noble for exclusive rights on their tablet devices.

I really don’t think this is change that comic book shops deserve. I don’t want them to go away. Unfortunately, this might be the change that the comic industry needs.

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