Patrick Stewart has always been a fantastic stage and Shakespearean actor, so it stands to reason that Broadway isn’t too far out of his range of abilities. It’s always fun to see the older generation of actors still embracing their fun, silly side.
Archive for August, 2011
Over a decade ago, Marvel Comic’s Studios brought us a film that would define a cinematic genre…X-Men. This film marked a new era in Superhero films, calling out to studios, challenging them to make Superhero films just as good as any other action drama hitting theaters…and it seems to be working!
It’s interesting to see these single films give birth to there own franchises; Spider-Man, Batman, The Avengers, Iron Man, Superman, the list goes on. But here’s the interesting thing; Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are the top three superheroes that non-comic book fans can name off of the top of heir head. It’s even arguable that Spider-Man is less popular than Wonder Woman. The big three in DC’s arsenal are almost household names and it’s very difficult for anyone to grow up without knowing who these three superheroes are.
So here’s my question…Why hasn’t Wonder Woman gotten her own film franchise??
As the years have past, wonder Woman has grown from being a figment of one man’s sexual fantasy to being one of the most iconic and powerful womanly figures that BOTH men and women can enjoy from a literary standpoint. And while most of the male superheroes have survived off of their masculinity, (come, Thor, ya got nothin’) Wonder Woman’s character is what has kept her treking on through the years.
As I was working on this edition of “Wonder Woman Wednesday” I saw on Facebook, a post made by one of the Girls Gone Geek, Erika D. Peterman. It’s an article asking movie studios why they haven’t taken this opportunity to create a Wonder Woman film that represents the quality that has been implemented into the superhero films within the last decade. The article can be found here, Where is my “Wonder Woman” Movie.
Erika lists many good reasons why this film has the potential of being great, as well as listing all the reasons why it’s idiotic that a film hasn’t been made. Wonder Woman’s last big success that got popular recognition was the Lynda Carter TV serial that remains, to this day, a campy classic. Even the recent animated Wonder Woman, direct to DVD movie, as fantastic as it was, did not receive the popular recognition.
Personally, I’ve been anxiously waiting for a Wonder Woman film for the last five years. Ever since Gail Simone started writing for Wonder Woman, my love for the character has become greater than my love for the Bat and Supes. She is a combination of the two, representing the justice that Superman wishes to instill in life, but also maintaining that dark and gothic persona held within the Dark Knight’s soul.
Amongst these two qualities is the womanly and motherly instincts that Wonder Woman adopted as a child to help balance her other two characteristics. She is one of the most compelling characters within the DC Universe and I still wish to see DC take on the Wonder Woman franchise. Everyone’s waiting for it…why not give them what they want right?
There’s something fishy about John Constantine, always had been. He’s one of those comic book characters that I can never make up my mind about. And in this issue he’s motives are finally revealed…in order to bring the world back to normal, and to calm the beast known as Swamp Thing, he must kill Alec Holland!
So question remains…who’s the bad guy if this DCnU preamble?
My Heretical Opinion
Swamp Thing and John Constantine have been allowed by the DCU higher arcs to leave the realm of Vertigo and entire into the more popularly known DC Universe. The two fellow newcomers have always been at odds, but Swamp Thing has always maintained a consistent, noble trend. But Constantine has never been that graceful. This issue is no exception as Constantine decides to kill Alec Holland in order to bring balance back to the world.
Of course, always trust Superman and Batman to intervene when things take a turn for the worst. As always, Constantine’s interaction with the two power houses of the DCU is witty and just frustrates the Bat and the Alien…always a funny site to see. However, one thing that seemed quite out of place for me was the sudden change of heart Constantine developed right at the issue’s end,
“Alec Mate, I came here to make a choice for you. I think you know what that was meant to be. But now, I’m keen to hear what YOU choose.”
I never took Constantine for a flake, so this seemed quite out of character for him. But that doesn’t mean Vankin didn’t deliver a quality issue, leaving so much more mystery to be discovered and created excitement (for me at least) in what lies ahead for the upcoming Swamp Thing series!
In addition to being a good read, Search for Swamp Thing #3 presents an incredible amount of artistic talents by Castiello. Much like its previous two issues, #3 is dark and gothic amongst the swampy realm, giving the horror aspect of the yet to be debuted Swamp Thing series a nice warm-up before hitting stands next month.
Castiello also gives each character perfectly sculpted figures and expressive faces. But I must say, Castiello presents an absolutely gorgeous Madame Xandadu, giving her a mature and respectable demeanor while making her a nice bit of eye candy as well…
So #3 gives us a lot to look forward too, and it’s unclear as to what will happen to Swamp Thing next month. Swamp Thing is still disconnected from mankind. We all know the swampy creature won’t bond with Constantine due to his connection the Justice League Dark, so who could the unsuspecting victim be? Excitement boils within my veins!
9 out of 10
The numerous Doomsdays have brought down the Super family, and Superman is having a major case of deja vu as Doomslayer brings in the pain. Earth’s demise is closer than it has ever been, and only Superman can save the day.
My Heretical Opinion
1938, the year Superman appeared in Action Comics #1. Superman, arguably the greatest superheroes of all time, now meets his end in the figurative sense as #904 of Action Comics is the final issue of longest running comic series in DC’s repertoire, and one of the longest running titles within the genre…until the relaunch in September when Action Comics will meet its first renumbering in history, which has left many fans angry.
Paul Cornell is a great writer, but the reign of the Doomsdays story arc has been less than interesting to me. The story in and of itself is written satisfactorily, but Doomsday’s involvement with Superman and the DC Universe has been an overplayed to the point of annoyance. #904 does nothing to change that opinion, but Cornell does a fine job at making this final issue of Action Comics a worthy ending of the long running title. And while I still wish to see Action Comics hit issue #1000, I feel content with the ending #904 provided.
Alex Gimenez blew me away with his fantastic and gorgeous artwork. The second page is evidence enough of how talented Gimenez is. Brad Anderson does wonders in making everything pop out with gorgeous colors and lighting; nothing more than the very best for the last issue of Action Comics and Superman.
Like all the titles have been doing in the last few weeks, #904 is a farewell of some sorts for all fans of Actions Comics, trying to maintain a level of respect for title and the fans who may or not may be happy about its rebooting. It neatly wraps up the story involving the super family and the Doomsdays, but also revitalizes the knowledge that Superman truly is one of Comic’s greatest superheroes.
The issue’s ending shows Lois and Clark having dinner at a very prestigious restaurant. It seems fitting to end Actions Comics this way as Lois and Clark are the only REAL legitimate couple in the history of comics. And, like always, Lois is Superman’s rock in which he remembers why he does what he does. The reminder helps us, as readers, to realize that it wasn’t the fact that Kal-El came from Krypton that made him Superman, but the love and care that his adopted parents provided him which made him the Man of Steel…the hero he is today, further solidifying the notion that, in the debate over nature vs. nurture, nurture is the ultimate explanation for why humans turn out to be who they are and why they make the choices they do.
In the grand scheme of things, Action Comics ends in a way that allows its readers to relax and know that, even though this is the final issue, the Superman story isn’t really over. I’ve been a reader of Superman since I was a boy. My nostalgic sensibilities wish it wasn’t ending, but I certainly can rest easy with the type of ending Mr. Cornell gave us. But now it’s on to the September reboot!
10 out of 10 stars.
Fellow bloggers extraordinaire, Vanessa Gabriel and Erika Peterman of Girls Gone Geek, has already posted her photo for “read your comics in public” day. I still have time to get mine taken and posted, but it’s currently raining outside. If it clears up, maybe I can convince my wife to help and snap a photo of me. Or, I could wait until Thursday when I’m with all of my friends and get a good shot of EVERYONE reading a comic with me at Old Chicago’s. hhhmmmmm, ideas are forming.
But, in the meantime, enjoy Vanessa and Erika’s submission of their time reading a comic book in public. Looks like a Starbucks???
WARNING, SPOILERS AHEAD!
Subject Zero and Subject One go tooth and nail in a fight to the finish. One is more mature in how long he’s used his powers, and the other is still waiting to realize his potential. Who will come out victorious? Depends on your point of view I guess…
My Heretical Opinion
For those of you who spent your hard earned cash on the Lois Lane Flashpoint tie-in, I’m sorry to say you might be a little irked by this issue’s end.
Nothing to do about it, Project Superman #3 is a wondrous light show of color and art which any fan of comic books can appreciate. This is the final chapter in Kal-El’s Flashpoint experience…until Flashpoint #5 that is. The three issue miniseries has been a fun ride, and #3 definitely shows potential as being a legitimate alternate origin story for the Man of Steel.
One thing I’ve always enjoyed about origin stories is their dark nature. There’s always something about a heroes past that’s packed with loss and neglect. Superman, on the other hand, grew up with an incredibly positive upbringing. Sure he lost his entire planet, but it wasn’t too hard for Supes to move on since he never experienced a real life on Krypton. Superman’s origin story is filled with a virtually positive upbringing. But for the Kal-El of Flashpoint, nothing could be further from the truth.
Held in captivity for most of his life, Kal is a skinny, pathetic creature who hasn’t been exposed to the sun long enough to know his true potential. He’s unsure of himself and uncertain of how to deal with the oncoming onslaught provided by Subject Zero.
To top it all off, Lois Lane becomes victim to a nasty explosion caused by Kal-El himself. Now Kal has to deal with the fact that HE caused the death of the person he was probably already in love with. And in the ever known tradition of the Superman family, Kal holds the dead body of Lois, throws his head back and cries out in anguish.
This is the dark kind of story I like! If only the Elseworlds would pick up where issue number three left off, I would definitely be a follower despite the fact that Subject Zero look like a grownup Goku look alike.
Speaking of visuals, Gene Ha brings everything to the table plus some extra dishware; filled with awesome character designs and just the right amount character expressions. And give Art Lyon a round of applause for his amazing display of color and lighting on every page.
As much as I like this Superman origin story, I’m glad it won’t be archived into the Superman’s canonized history. But, as a stated above, Elseworlds would do well to continue with this awesome storyline!
10 out of 10.
Writers: J. Michael Straczynski, Phil Hester
Pencillers: Don Kramer, Lee Garbett
Inkers: Drew Geraci, Robin Riggs, Trevor Scott
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Josh Middleton
Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston
It’s the final battle for Wonder Woman and Nemesis! Wondy discovers the burden her green-smokey villain must endure as she slices as the neck of her foe. But the Amazonian Princess must now endure the same burden of murdered souls. Now, her quest is at an end, and Wonder Woman must now harness all that she has learned to defeat this new evil.
My Heretical Opinion
If your start in reading Wonder Woman began with issue #601, and you’re trying to figure out what makes Wonder Woman so great…pick up some back issue when Gail Simone was writing for said title and you’ll see why.
Straczynski did his darndest, I’ll give him that, but Wonder Woman lost what made her great for fourteen issues. Granted, this issue is probably the best of the odyssey arc, but it’s still lacking in those character trademarks which have defined Wonder Woman for so long. I’m not saying that writers shouldn’t try out new and interesting concepts with a superhero, but certain things need to stay in place if the character is to survive another 100 issues.
The battle sequence between villain and hero is fine…not great…but fine. In fact, I get a little confused. I’m uncertain as to what occurs in that penultimate moment before everything goes back to normal; Is Diana accepting the responsibility as the new Nemesis, or is she refusing? She actually states “I shall take you place, Nemesis,” but also says “this is not the woman I choose to be.” And this set of dialog/inner monolog toggle back and forth at the same time. Which one is it? There seems to be no indication of an inner struggle! Maybe I missed something but there seems to be a little confusion in what Wonder Woman has decided to do. Consistency, that’s all I need!
Of course, this is over half the issue and truly weighs it down. Thank God for the last eight pages where Wonder Woman’s life reverts back to its original state…minus the new costume. I suspect Phil Hester had more to do with this aspect of the script than Straczynski…it simply brings us all back to the Wonder Woman we have known and loved for years.
The excitement Wonder Woman shows in learning her mother is still alive is a great moment, and the loving embrace her and Hippolyte share takes center stage as one of the more moving single panels I’ve ever gazed upon in a comic. The relationship they share is a fantastic one, filled with mother daughter teasing and fun. “Changed you uniform again, I see,” a playful bit of scolding on her mother’s part, implying that Diana can’t seem to make up her mind about what she wears to the battlefield in the land of men.
Two artists take the helm of this final issue of Wonder Woman, Kramer leading with his pencil, with Garbett following close behind. I do enjoy Kramer’s artwork, but Lee Garbett really blew me away with his stellar pencil work, giving us a mature looking Wonder Woman rather than a 2-dimensional one. Was there a lack of time for Kramer to finish this book, or was this a purposeful move to bring us back to visual maturity that Wonder Woman had been lacking all this time? Kramer still delivers excellent action scenes with Pete Pantazis boosting everything up with his talent for using the right types of colors to define the angst-filled moments.
I was worried for a chunk of the issue, but the last eight pages brought back the way it should be, giving Wonder Woman an ending worthy of her character. Though it may suffer due to its connection with the poorly planned out story arc, I’ll take this issues last few pages as a sign that DC apologizes for what transpired for fourteen issues.
6 out of 10 stars
I have no idea who made this poster, but he/she is on to something! Sometimes I think fans have better ideas than the film makers themselves. Don’t get me wrong, Nolan is a batman genius, but I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing him take on this project. Anyone want to call Nolan up and ask him to sign on for one more batman film????
Artist: Steve Scott, Daniel Sampere, & Andrei Bressan
Colorist: Ian Hanning
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Art: Tony Daniel
It’s another DC trip down memory lane! This time, it’s the history of the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin, in the final issue of the non-stop, non-renumbered Batman title.
The focus is on Dick Grayson as he started as the Boy Wonder and, after a series of incarnations and multiple costume changes, finally draped himself with the cape and cowl. By the issue’s end, however, it’s clear that the Batman legacy has evolved into more than simply a man behind a mask
My Heretical Opinion
So how does someone end the uninterrupted run of the most popular superhero in the history of comics? 713 issues and this title has remained one most popular and bestselling comics ever written, and now it’s coming to an end. Or it’s ending until the reboot next month. Batman has been consistently good ever since issue #1 and continually got better through the years. Can DC really pull off an appropriate ending for Batman, Volume 1?
The answer? Probably not. Certainly, Batman has been met with numerous conflicts that are all worthy of a Dark Knight ending, much like with Grant Morrison’s “Final Crisis” and Neil Gaiman’s “What Ever Happened To The Dark Knight?” As the final issue came closer and closer to being published, I wondered more and more if DC could deliver a proper ending to Batman’s unrelenting reign of awesomeness. Don’t get me wrong, #713 is entertaining, but disappointing at the same time.
Seeing as how Dick Grayson is the main bearer of the cape and cowl, #713 dives into a montage of Grayson’s past; from his days as Robin, to his current state of being as the Dark Knight. Overall, this issue feels more like a fill in issue before the next big event. Of course I have no doubt that Fabien Nicieza was meant to write this issue, but not as a mere “fill in” writer. DC wanted the right person to give Batman the right kind of ending, which this story would have been had it not been for the onslaught of titles taking a trip down memory lane.
Of course, we, the comic book fans of old can’t deny our love for a good piece of nostalgic literature. Especially as we meet the end of the current Batman as he slingshots into the revitalized DC Universe. And while I find the trip down memory a tad bit cumbersome, Nicieza is a good enough writer that the issue itself is still enjoyable to read.
As many of you many know, Damien Wayne and I simply don’t see eye to eye on things. And even though it is the most appropriate way to end things, I found Damien playing the “wise man” to be a little out of place. Ever since Damien took over the role of Boy Wonder, he never seemed to mature enough in order to pull off the wise man role. Deep down inside, I hoped Damien would have simply become another bad guy to stick into Batman’s list of villains. But, I guess if DC wanted to keep Damien around for the long haul, this was a good way for Nicieza to end it.
The barrage of different artists was expertly executed as the artist toggle jump around to all the different Bat-time periods. I don’t like artist toggling in the same issue, but this one was done quite well.
Well, it’s over! The Batman of my upbringing is now gone. It’s a fun, enjoyable issue, but leaves me disappointed at the same time. And sadly, this will not be a Bat-installment that will be remembered within a year’s time.
6 out of 10
I don’t think a movie trailer has ever freaked me out more than this one…GOOD GRIEF!!!
This film is based off of the 1983 thriller novel of the same name. It later was made into multiple stage productions and a made-for-TV movie. Hammer Films began production of this cinematic remake of the TV movie in 2010. The theatrical version will star the boy who live himself, Daniel Radcliffe, and many other notable theatrical thespians such as Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Alisa Khazanova, and Paul J. Dove.
I remember seeing a live stage production of this by the theater department at Northwestern College in Orange City, IA…the college I attended from 2001 to 2006. I remember being freaked out then…I can only imagine what a true cinematic presentation of Susan Hill’s suspenseful novel will be like.
The Woman in Black isn’t a horror tail filled unnecessary violence that spews gore and guts. In the same degree of classic horror and suspense stories like Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, and the Village, The Woman in Black is a mystery that forces viewers to use the analytical side of their brain and become engrossed into the dark nature of each character. Truly, this is one of the only stage productions that made me cringe and cover my eyes almost the whole way through.
Director James Watkin’s thiller is set for a February 3rd theatrical release date. If you enjoy being scared out of your mind…put this date on your calendar!
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Art: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, & Peter Steigerwald
The League has reached the end, and each member takes time to recap their life with the league, their current situations, and what that means for their future. Now all that is left to say is…goodbye.
My Heretical Opinion
The issue starts out with a bang, destroying robot after robot in an intergalactic battle to the death, all portrayed perfectly with the talents of Sampere and Faucher. I’m not familiar with Sampere’s work but I’m definitely willing to expand my horizons and become a fan of his art.
Even during the long and drawn out dialogue scenes of boringness, both artists are able to shine with glorious colors and character definition. A sample of the amazing artwork can be found on a single page where Supergirl stands victorious and triumphant…
If I were rate this issue solely on its artistic genius, #60 would be receiving a solid 10 out of 10 stars. But the literature is weighed down with a barrage of boring dialogue and uninspiring bits of oratory. Robinson is doing his darndest to give the League a very fond farewell, but it comes off more as an issue that really had nothing to work from.
If we go back in time to when Robinson started writing for the League, we find a very definite trend…A whirlwind of differently colored thought boxes where each character reminisces on his/her past and decisions. His entire run on the League has been met with nothing more than regretful thought after regretful thought by each character, which sets up the league very well in this issue…where they can all finally say “I should never have been on the League in the first place.”
Robinson unintentionally cleared everything about what a Leaguer is meant to be like, and none of its current members fit that description. Supergirl has always been a bit indecisive, Starman keeps getting hurt and causes the team to lag behind because of it, Congorillia is just way too big to fit in the same room with the rest of the league, Jade is always wrestling with the memory of being reborn and how she’s a threat to everyone around, and Donna Troy is always trying to figure out her place in the universe. This was not a team filled with confident heroes and James Robinson failed in every attempt to give this League a legitimate place within the JLA history books.
Now I understand that the plot to ANY story is truly insignificant to a reader’s interest and it’s more about going down a journey of great writing rather than solving the mystery, but Robinson never gave this team what it needed. And now we are left with an unworthy ending to one of comic’s greatest superhero teams to ever exist. #60 provided its readers with no meat to consume.
Monet’s paintings were awesome, filled with incredible life…it wasn’t just about the water lilies! This same philosophy can and should be implemented into storytelling, and Robinson never seemed to grasp onto that. Brad Meltzer gave this series such an amazing start. It really pains me to see that the League had to end in such a way before the DC reboot.
2 out of 10 stars
Three threats, three different places around the world…all of which will be occurring in 60 seconds. I know Power Girl is just as fast as Superman, but even he had trouble stopping two missiles going in opposite directions. (See Superman: The Movie) Does Power Girl stand a chance at stopping all three of these cataclysmic events in time?
My Heretical Opinion
This last Wednesday began the epic tour of fond farewells for the DCU. While we can all rest in the knowledge that heroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman will be making a return into the DCnU, there are a few heroes that aren’t getting that time on the stage of rebooted titles. It saddens me to say Power girl is one of those few. While I’m sure that PG will make regular appearances in some of the TEAM books, her lack of air time in the DCnU is going to hurt my literary and comic book satisfaction.
The issue itself is nothing but fun. Ever since this title began, Power Girl has gone up against a non-stop swarm of alien attacks, jerkface cloners, masculine pinheads, genius primates, and the worst of them all…apartment hunting. Sturges serves Power Girl well by staying true to what made this title so good. We get not only the awesome power and persistence that defines Power girl, but also that incredible personality that makes her likeable. All done in 60 seconds!
Which brings me to my next point…this all happens in 60 seconds! Once I saw the title of this issue I thought to myself, “uh oh,” and not in a good way. I was very worried that, if the entire issue was to be confined to a 60 second time frame, I was going to be left feeling empty at the end. And my fears were met as the issue ended as if there was more to the story…that a part two was coming next month. But of course, as we all know, that just isn’t true. I’m sure Sturges meant for this to be a symbolic ending of sorts; letting us know that even though power Girl is ending…it really isn’t. But to me, I felt like Power Girl’s fond farewell to me was stripped away.
But this ending shouldn’t dictate the quality of the issue as I was never sure what was going to happen until it did. Power Girl dropping the giant boulder into the water was confusing…but then I got it. There was even a nice suspenseful moment after all the threats were thwarted where her actions put a large group of people in jeopardy, and their survival was dependent on a flawless act of superheroism on Power Girl’s part. I began to wonder if the major monkey wrench in this dastardly deed would be the fact that the person hanging by her wrists wasn’t really Cyclone, but an imposter. You can’t see her face in the beginning, that’s a clear indicator of fowl play! Of course I was proven wrong, but that’s how good Sturges is at telling a story.
Prasetya shows himself equally as talented as an artist (as always) with his quality action scenes and expressive character faces. And I know that many of you are going to say, “Jimmy, that’s your crotch thinking for ya,” but I have to say that the cover to this issue is absolutely gorgeous. Sure, it’s nothing more that PG showing off her sexuality…but it’s still an amazing piece of artwork!
Power Girl had become a fan favorite for DC Comics. It wasn’t like the epic titles like Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, and many others that were always fighting the angst driven fight. Power Girl was a unique entity that kept bringing fans back for more. I am certainly hoping that, after the fan outlash occurs, Power Girl will be making a comeback sooner rather than later.
9 out of 10 stars
So the move was successful and our internet is back up and running! I still have some work to do around the house, but I do have more time to post regularly. So, for your own enjoyment, please enjoy this little teaser trailer (emphasis on the word teaser) for the upcoming and much anticipated video game, Arkham City. Please note, if you ever doubted your attraction to animated women, allow all the scenes from the 1:00 mark to the end to test your cartoon fantasies.
You can check out more Arkham City game trailers at IGN’s official youtube page.
Hey Everyone, so that time has arrived where the wife and myself are moving! We’ve got the keys to the new place joyfully attached to our keyrings and ready to move. However, that means little time to post regularly. Our official MOVING date is the 15th of this month, but we’ll be gradually moving all of the smaller things day by day until Clarissa’s family comes with their truck to help move the bigger items like furniture and what not. But every day will be occupied with going to work, and moving boxes into the new place.
So please be patient with me as we begin the grueling process of moving…ugh! I’ll probably post once or twice during this period, but not a lot. But In the meantime, enjoy your Monday and laugh a little bit with this hilarious comic strip I found online…
With any big name convention comes the pouring of funds and revenue into the community. San Diego reaps so much of the benefits from Comic-Con being Comic Geek Mecca of the world, where ALL the geeks around the country come too! And the city takes full advantage of this occasion with numerous charities, businesses and what not coming to the convention every year, hoping that the advertising will do them good, and the geeks that attend typically contribute all they can to help build up the economy.
However, this biased RT America anchor in the video below attempts to make Comic-Con attendees look like part of the problem for the decline in the American economy. And the reporter states that she, herself, has gone to Comic-Con numerous times to cover it, but I doubt she can really appreciate the Con for what it is based on how she prefaces and phrases the questions…she simply misses the point of Comic-Con. Just goes to show that if you don’t do your research and try to make a report of it (whatever “it” is) on public television…you only make yourself look foolish.
Penciller: Andy Kubert
Inker: Jesse Delperdang
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Cover Art: Andy Kubert, Alex Sinclair & Sandra Hope
It’s the lover’s quarrel from Hell! Proof in how the battle between Diana and Arthur has escalated to Earth shattering proportions. Atlantis and the Amazons are going at it tooth and nail, and nothing is going to stand in their way!…
Except maybe the Flash who seems Hell-bent on brining Batman and the rest of the heroes of this new reality together to save Earth from Atlantezonian onslaught!
My Heretical Opinion
There is a common thread within all the DC Crisis’s…Kill off a well-known hero and let the sadness and despair be the catapult of the final Battle!
Of course, having Billy Batson take the fall seemed rather insignificant while still being ruthlessly climactic. But this issue is all about bringing in characters only to lose them a few pages later. We were given the entire Shazam family, with Billy in the spotlight for obvious reasons, and already we’ve lost him to a lightning bolt to the chest. Likewise, enter the Element Woman, who comes off as more of an excuse to get a few cheap laughs rather than actually contributing anything to the story itself.
So what happened to Flashpoint? The first three issues were fantastic! Now we’ve gone into a contrived storyline that doesn’t seem to be progressing as well at it should. Did Geoff Johns overestimate the likeability of his characters? Or does DC not realize that creating an entire new universe that only lasts for five issues doesn’t allow for character introductions of this magnitude?
But of course, let’s not forget Barry Allen’s sudden change of plans; going from restoring Earth to its old self to saving the current world of Flashpoint. It’s a rather sudden change and negates everything that Barry AND Thomas Wayne wanted to do. Why focus all your efforts on saving this alternate world when turning it back the way it was will erase everything in the world of Flashpoint from the history books. But this sudden change of pace not only feels too quick, but also means that for the past three issues, Barry’s been running around in circles chasing his tail.
However, the most daunting thing for me was the complete disregard for Superman’s involvement in the story. There was such a captivating storyline going on in #3 and this issue starts off by bringing in Element Woman. Maybe I’m overanalyzing this issue but I felt Superman has a bigger role to play in this storyline…hopefully issue #5 will finalize any lingering plot devices and not allow things to dwindle off into oblivion.
With all the negativity I’m throwing at this issue, it isn’t without its positive aspects. Barry Allen and Thomas Wayne work well together and have the chemistry needed to pull off the protagonist spotlight. Likewise, the interaction with the whole Shazam family was interesting, getting an idea of what’s to come in the DCnU.
Andy Kubert was on his “A” game this issue, bringing cleanly drawn and beautifully sculpted characters as well as incredibly riveting action scenes. I wasn’t entirely sure why the cover had Wonder Woman and Aquaman diving at the Flash with death on their minds, (unless it somehow means Flash is in the middle of this lovers quarrel) but I love it all the same!
So with the penultimate issue now published, #5 has a lot to deliver. There’s so much going on and there are only 40 pages in which to wrap it all up with. And right now, based on what was presented in issue #4…I’m not that optimistic.
5 out of 10 stars
Penciller: Jamal Igle
Inker: Jon Sibal & Robin Riggs
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: John J. Hill
Cover Art: John Cassaday & David Baron
The “Feet-Firmly-On-The-Ground” Plot…
Lisa Jennings reveals herself to Superman as the one who’s been causing all of the perils that have befallen on the Man of Steel during his walk across America. And now, Lisa’s goal is to make certain Superman undergoes an equal amount of pain and suffering that she’s had to endure ever since being burdened with his painful memories.
With Lois in danger, and Lisa being driven a little loopy form the effects of the Kryptonian Sunstone, Superman is now faced with answering that that Pulitzer Prize winning question posed by Lois herself so many years ago………
Does The World Need Superman?
Of course, that question refers to an imaginative world where men and women fly around, shoot beams of power from their eyes, and fight inter-galactic super battles that results in either the end of the world, or a delay until the next Earth shattering, climactic event…so don’t take it TOO seriously.
But the question is a good one for the DC Universe…does it actually need Superman? I would reply in the affirmative. Lisa Jennings, in a way, proved that much with her constant meddling in Superman’s walk across the U.S., sending anything and everything she could Superman’s way to make him pay for the suffering she had to endure. And if her statement, “It made me the living embodiment of your depression…Of your doubt,” is a representation of how plotty and slow this story arc was for over a year, I’m surprised I didn’t loose my mind either!
But this issue, in and of itself, is one of the more enjoyable issues to come out of the Grounded
arc. It starts off quick with a damsel in distress with Superman swooping in to save the day. Straczynski and Roberson do their best to include all of those trademarked characteristics that has made Superman who is today; we are given a fantastic moment between him and Lois, an intergalactic crystal that always seems to be at the heart of any Superman chaos, and the corny bits of public oratory that defines Superman’s “boy-scoutish” demeanor. This was not merely a way of trying to end an excruciatingly awful Superman story arc, but rather a way of honoring one of comic’s most glorified and memorable superheroes, and what better way than to have him going out with a Mon Lisa smile? (Seriously, is he smiling or frowning on that cover? Or was it Cassaday’s purpose to make us wonder?)
The point of this issue was to establish Superman as a much needed commodity in the DCU. You can say it until your blue in the face, but Superman’s “boy-scout” persona is simply a myth. How many boy-scouts do you know of that actually fight alien invaders and stop worlds from blowing up, causing other galactic threats to tramp on Earth’s surface? And while Superman’s declaration of standing for truth, justice, and the American way may sound corny, (which it is) Superman is the only superhero out there that lives life in a happily . Sure, he’s has his ups and down, but he looks at life with optimistic lenses, always looking for the good in people, where everyone else sees the bad. Superman is the most incorruptible force on Earth…and he’s a made up character at that!
Lisa Jennings was a lost cause, or so the rest of the world would have you think. Superman didn’t give up on her and brought her back to reality where she became a leading force in, what will soon be called, the Superman Squad. And, as sad as it is to say, Superman is the closest to being like the Biblical Jesus than anyone could ever hope to be.
Artistically, Igle is flawless as is the colorist as is Maiolo. They both poured as much of themselves to this final storyline as they could to make sure Supes has an appropriate fare-thee-well before he is rebooted into his younger DCnU-self. And with Igle’s work on Supergirl, it made him the perfect candidate to end Superman’s glorious seven hundred and fourteen issue run.
So…Everything Was Good?…
Because #714 was the ending to a pretty boring story arc, I met this issue with a lot of bitterness. I feel as if the DC reboot came unexpectedly for all the free-lance writers and both Straczynski and Roberson had to find a way to give Superman a good ending with little time to prep for it. So many things within the world of Superman has been left unsolved and so many of his enemies are more deserving of being a part of this final Superman issue. And the way it ends is with Lisa Jennings? An unknown character who plays very little significance in the grand scheme of things? I was very disappointed with how the story arc in general ended. It was a good way to end the series itself, but intermingled with the Grounded story arc just doesn’t suit the Man of Steel.
So take what you want from this. It’s a great ending to the series, but sad to see that it took a terrible story arc to catapult into that ending.
7 out of 10 stars.
So with three new comic book movies now released, I decided to create a NEW list of my top ten greatest comic book films ever made. For those of you who care, comment below with your disagreements, agreements, or anything else you wish to say concerning this list! Enjoy!
Director Christopher Nolan gives the most popular superhero even more popularity with this fantastic piece of cinema. While the comics have always given Batman some type of realistic persona, Nolan gave the caped crusader purpose.
The car, the suit, the gadgets, they all were given a reason for being apart of Batman’s utility belt and arsenal. But even more important, unlike the past director’s and writers of the first batman films, Nolan designed a story that was not centered around the villain and how many Batman characters he could fit into a two-hour period.
Much like X-Men, Batman begins was one of the first films that helped to change the image of comic book superheroes and gave it a much more respectable aura. Good writing and tiresome work makes this film worthy of a top ten spot.
The most recent superhero film made its way to the theaters, but not without worried fans. Everyone seemed excited for Cappy to come to theaters, but could it stand the test and compare to the other superhero films that have come out thus far?
In my own opinion, it does just that! It brought back memories of growing up watching a glimpse of my parents cinematic childhood. The World War II era of films were so joyful and fun to watch, and Captain America brings all of that and more to the table; combined with action, suspense, and wonderful character development, this film more than worth the price of admission.
Of course, it does seem to have a bit of anti-climactic dialog and a few over-the-top moments that feel somewhat of of place. But these are only minor criticisms to an overall fantastic film.
The Spirit was met with scrutiny and hatred, often times being referred as a mockery of the memory of creator, Will Eisner. The film was a very blunt and radical deviation from Eisner’s original concept and went to new extremes that was never a literary and visual component of the comics. If I were to rate the film based on that fact alone, the film would have been met with a ZERO out of ten stars. Thankfully, I consider myself a film viewer who doesn’t base a film’s quality on how well it sticks to the source material.
The Spirit represents Film Noir at its best, digging deeply into the darkness of the characters and how that affects their lives. I have always criticized Frank Miller as being a below average comic book writer, but his film making and directing skills are, without a doubt, extraordinary!
It’s a strange film, no arguments there, and adding Samuel L. Jackson to the cast just adds to the film’s strangeness, but I left that theater wanting to see this film again, and again, and again.
Ang Lee puts so much heart and soul into every film he makes. With “Hulk,” Lee decided to begin slowly and hold off with the superhero side of Bruce Banner’s “Hyde” State and build up his character struggles with himself. This allowed for a much better story telling to sling shot into more Hulk films. But, sadly, with bad reviews also comes Marvel Studio’s reevaluation of the franchise.
I’m very much someone who enjoys films which take a little risk, and Hulk does that to an extreme; Combined with a story border-lined on confusing, new and interesting filming techniques, and slow-moving dialog based scenes, Hulk does take certain risks in the film making techniques and not being well received because of that.
However, I found the film to be quite entertaining, using expert film making techniques that most other films could model themselves after.
Just like with The Spirit, Sin City brings Film Noir into the comic book world. And Frank Miller, being an excellent film director and the writer of Sin City, decides it would make for a great piece of cinema.
Sin City was a stepping stone for comic book movies as it was the first one from the comic book genre to apply the actual comic book storyline onto the big screen. Thus followed a barrage of animated and live action comic book films that took advantage of the literary talents that exist within the genre. When a story is already written well, why try to find someone else to write it better?
Sin City was also one of the few films of the day that gave even more legitimacy to the comic book genre. People enjoyed the film! But more importantly, Sin City showed non comic book readers how adult and mature comic book literature can be, as well as showing a vast amount of artistry and creativity. All that remains now are the rumors of a Sin City sequel. Will it happen? Hopefully.
Just like with Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and many other novel inspired films, Watchmen was met with tons of criticism prior to its release date. Excitement filled the air, but fans, as always, were worried the film could not meet the standard of quality within the graphic novel.
But with how successful the other films based on Alan Moore’s work were, (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, and V for Vendetta) DC felt the best thing they could do was make Moore’s greatest literary achievement a cinematic reality.
The film, of course, did not meet the standard of quality in the graphic novel, but that in and of itself doesn’t make the Watchmen movie a failure. Director Zack Snyder went above and beyond to make certain Watchmen was the best movie it could be, making sure every scene and every line matched up with the graphic novel. Now obviously many things had to be left out, which caused a change in the story’s ending, but each character was treated with respect, and the story itself stayed true to the original meaning left in the comic book.
the film making techniques used within Watchmen were extraordinary, paying close attention to camera angles and cinematography and utilizing the advance CGI technology available today. While it may fall short as an adaptation, in and of itself, Watchmen is a joy to watch.
The movie that started it all! While there had been tons of comic book films prior to this one, X-Men was the film that jump started the comic book film frenzy. Released when I was still in high school, X-Men has had five films made, and numerous animated features, making it the most powerful film franchise within the comic book film genre, and one of the best film franchises in cinematic history, getting beat only by Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings.
X-Men wasn’t made to simply show off “mutant powers,” but rather was made to give a new sense of humanity in these classic characters. Prior to this film, no one outside of comics really knew who the X-Men were, and Bryan Singer sought to change that, giving each character depth and development that was sorely lacking within the public eye.
So, if you were wondering if comics could ever be taken seriously…Just watch X-Men and your question will be answered.
There aren’t too many comic book films out there that aren’t based on superheroes right? Mostly because in this day and age, people have forgotten to sit back and enjoy good writing and become much more enthralled with explosions, CGI effects, and sex in film. (Thank you James Cameron for ruining movies and people’s perception of what a GOOD movie is.) Persepolis takes us on a journey of growing up as a young girl in Iran and how that impacted her perception on life.
Marjane Satrapi writes about her own life after the Islamic revolution. The title itself represents the ancient capital of the Persian empire which brings tremendous implications to the story and how it applies to the world of today.
Both the film and graphic novel were drawn in black and white, but the film takes liberties and presents many scenes in color as well. The film also mimics the visual and written humor within the GN and is available in both French and English.
The Dark Knight, second highest “opening weekend” grossing film ever, second only to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was blown away by how amazing this film was. The characters, story, effects, acting, music, etc, it was all perfectly executed. I left the theater with this thought in my head…”This is the best representation of what the Batman comics are truly like.”
Jilted at the Oscars for not receiving a nomination for best picture, The Dark Knight truly did inspire something within Batman fans and non Batman fans. Their was a new level of respect for the character, giving Nolan full license to do whatever the Hell he wanted to with the third and final film in his Batman trilogy.
Arguably being one of the most intelligently made comic book films ever, The Dark Knight has also been suspected of being one of best action films to date. It combined thrilling dialog, compelling angst, and amazing suspense that would make Indiana Jones wonder if HIS movies went far enough. The only negative thing I would say about the Dark Knight was the sound editing; it was very hard to hear the dialog, but MORE than easy to hear to explosive action.
without a doubt the Dark Knight instilled in us an undeniable fact…Batman is one of the greatest superheroes…if not the greatest superhero…of all time. He’s even been thought to have the skills to beat Chuck Norris in a fight! Now that’s saying something!
Yes, my top choice for best comic book movie, V for Vendetta. The graphic novel is amazing and I knew even before the film came out that I was going to fall in love with the movie right away. However, I still had reservations that the film wasn’t going to be near as good as the graphic novel. I was pleasantly surprised however that some scenes in the film were actually BETTER than they were in the graphic novel.
But what I enjoyed the most is how well-defined the characters were. Alan Moore is known for his love of the weak damsel in distress, which comes off in the character of Evey. The film, however, presents a new interpretation of Evey, making her out to be a much more confident and strong-willed character. Even the story’s main character, V, was so much more poetic and politically driven than in the comics. but that could have been due to Hugo Weaving’s extraordinary acting abilities.
The changes made in the movie felt very smooth and effortless, as if Alan Moore could have written it himself. Likewise, the adaptation was flawless in how well it stayed true to the original intention of the author while JamesMcTeigue added his own unique touch to the overall feeling of the movie.
V for Vendetta is not as well-known as Batman obviously, and they both rank up their as being equally as good. However, V for Vendetta calls out to my love for good literature and poetic prose. V is the embodiment of poetry and the classic storybook swashbuckler, something I tend to lean towards over the dark and sinister. So, if you haven’t seen V for Vendetta…you’re missing out.
Artist: J. Calafiore
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Calafiore & Kalisz
This Is How it All Ends…
The Secret Six is on the cusp of fighting one of their toughest battles ever with Bane leading the charge!
Torn by the new discovery of his destiny in Hell, Bane decides to quench his hateful thirst for the Dark Knight in one final battle. But this last installment of the Secret Six is much more than a mere vendetta held by Bane, but rather of team coming to terms with themselves and each other. Decisions will be made, hearts will mend, and only one ending can meet the standards of this legendary, yet villainous, comic book team. But is it truly and ending?
The Most Suitable Ending…
Where do I start? Since issue #1, The Secret Six has been the title I anxiously wait for every month over all the rest. Even during Gail’s time on Wonder Woman, the Six has always had my attention the most. When I heard that my favorite title was one of the few that was not transitioning into the new 52, I wept on the inside and wondered if any comic could ever equal the standard of quality established in the Secret Six. A few come close, but ultimately the Six wins.
I’ve never truly been satisfied with the ending of most comic book titles’ runs; the only ones I can remember being truly satisfied with was The Batman Adventures and Justice League: Generation Lost. But I can now add the Secret Six to that list of perfect endings to outstanding titles.
#36 wraps up many of the amazing aspects that made the Secret Six DC’s best comic book title; allowing friendships to finally be realized, loving relationships to be explained, and providing a happy ending in the only way the Six are able to understand.
But, They’re Bad Guys! Shouldn’t I be Happy That They’re Gone?
The Secret Six is a team of bad guys, no question about it, but the amount of heart that each character developed as the series progressed over the last three years is so much more than any of DCs most iconic characters ever had. As we came along for the ride, we’ve seen the darker side of the Six more than we have the lighter side. However, as the darkness loomed over us, we found a hint of respectability and good within each member of the six…even King Shark.
Issue #36 shows how a team like the Six becomes a family defined by their own principles and not by how the world expects them to be. Even in the face of the most powerful heroes, the six decide the best way that they can end their time together is by taking on their foes head first, without allowing them to be the victorious despite being outnumbered. If you truly look and examine the final battle, the Six were in control of the fight despite how outnumbered they were.
But the Secret Six is no stranger to tragedy as every major story arc this title has had has ended in such. How often has Gail written a truly happy ending for the Six? Almost never! It was nice to see some goodness come into the lives of each character for a change; Bane receiving a type of love he never thought he would experience, Scandal uniting in a happy and wondrous trifecta of love, and Deadshot and Catman doing the manly thing and showing how much they actually do care for each other as friends…even if they never actually admit to that fact. These types of joyous occasions have never occurred in the Secret Six. I think Jeanette hit the nail on the head by saying, “A happy ending…I’d forgotten they existed.”
But no one comes out of this final installment unscathed, even the superheroes realize this. This wasn’t a mere team of bad guys. The Injustice League had little purpose except to destroy their enemies, and the Legion of Super-Villains hated each other to the point of being…well…pointless. The Secret six, as Huntress pointed out, weren’t like the others. This was a family, and the superheroes knew it. The Six fought and protected each other…they loved each other. Which is why Huntress damned herself and the rest of her superheroes peers to Hell…they just killed a family. This is the most heartfelt and emotional ending to a comic book series I’ve ever experienced in my life!
Being the true guiding light to the Six’s artistic endeavors, J. Calafiore adds an even greater element with the visual perspective of #36, combining images of rage and love that has been intermingled in the series since day one. Likewise, John Kalisz enhances every panel with perfect coloring and shading, feeding into the emotional impact this final issue gives.
I can’t end this review any better than by simply thanking Creator, Gail Simone, and artist J. Calafiore for bringing the greatest superhero comic book series in history into the hands of readers like me. As much as I wish that the Secret Six was a part of the new 52, I think I can rest easy with this ending and let go. I’ve come to terms with the ending and needn’t any reboot nor revamping. They went out in the best way possible.
10 out of 10 stars.
+ 10 incentive points