New Frontier is one of my favourite superhero comics ever, so I’m excited to see how they adapt it for a direct-to-video venture. I think it will translate pretty well, especially considering the storyboard style that Cooke used for his layouts.
Assuming this round of DC animated projects are successful, another one can’t be far behind. I’m imagining Kingdom Come, Batman: Year One, and Hitman.
One can dream.
I watched Superman: Doomsday yesterday, in a fog induced by the worst cold I’ve had in a while. So my impressions of the movie are definitely clouded by headache, earache, eyeache, neckache, and faceache. I should also mention that I took a three-hour nap in the middle of the Superman/Doomsday battle. All that notwithstanding, I liked it.
It was a little jarring seeing the classic Timm animation models voiced by such radically different actors, but the new crew does a pretty good job. I have to say that as much as I love Adam Baldwin, he sounds a bit gruff for Big Blue. Minor complaint, though.
I was also a bit surprised by the PG-13ness of the whole production. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I suppose years of conditioning by the strictly PG Batman/Superman/Justice League series had prepared me for non-lethal violence and sugar-coated dialogue. Not so. Doomsday kills people. No injuries here. He flat out kills people. And Perry White gets to say “ass”. Twice! Not once does he mention the spectral form of long-dead Roman leaders! It a particularly creepy scene (sorta spoiler – well, yeah, it is a spoiler) Lex Luthor beats furiously on Superman with Kryptonite gloves in a red solar radiation room, finally murmuring “Who’s your Daddy?. And not-so-oblique references to (another spoiler, sort of…) Superman and Lois Lane having sex are sprinkled throughout.
The story is a rather radical departure from the comic its based on, which, if you’ve ever read the comics, isn’t really that bad of a thing. Death of Superman was pretty good (and the first trade paperback I ever owned. Thanks Dad!) but World Without got kinda boring and Return of was weak. Needless to say, Capizzi and Timm make up their own plot, borrowing some vague elements of the original. At times I felt like I’d seen the story before, in one or another of the Superman Animated episodes, but that was probably my drug-addled brain.
All in all, I enjoyed it. If nothing else, it will get you really geared up for the New Frontier adaptation due in February.
This is me, not blogging. I shall not bother you with the reasons for my absence, but simply get back to comics. Or rather, film adaptations of comics. Topic for today: an upcoming JLA film.
Cliff notes version: DC and WB are preparing to make a JLA film using the same motion capture techniques you’ll see if you risk $10 on the Niel Gaiman-penned Beowulf adaptation. The writer is the same guy who called out George for double-dipping at that wake. It would be entirely separate from the continuity of the current Batman and Superman franchises, allowing them to tell whatever story the script monkeys at Warner have hammered out.
My gut reaction is to send hearty kudos in the direction of whoever decided to make this movie. For years I’ve felt that you could make a damn fine superhero movie that wasn’t live action. A movie like JLA, packed to the gills with godlike characters, makes a perfect test case for an animated superhero feature. Keeping the continuity divorced from the other franchises is also a pretty clever little manoeuvre. Now you can have a Batman who’s as expereienced and respected as he is in the comics, and it might almost make sense for him to be running with people who could destroy the world twice over just by thinking. Furthermore, we won’t have to wait until there’s a Flash movie, a Wonder Woman movie, a Martian Manhunter movie, etc. before we see them all in the same film (although I have nothing but high hopes for the route Marvel is taking, I just fear that given the pace DC’s been putting out adaptations, we’d be waiting until 2025).
My one reservation is that the motion capture technique sorta weirds me out. I know this is bullshit, because I just praised DC for choosing to make an animated film, but I can’t help watch the Beowulf trailers and think “If they wanted Angelina Jolie’s character to look exactly like Angelina Jolie, why animate her at all?”. I prefer a more animated look, wherein the character need not be quite so photo-realistic. But this is a minor quibble. I am stoked for this movie.
By the way, Dwayne McDuffie starts on JLA with the next issue. Buy it if you enjoy being happy.
Props to Chew for bringing that article to my attention.
Filed under DC, JLA, soap box
When I first heard DC had setup their own digital comics imprint I had my own, wildly inaccurate picture of what that meant. I imagined DC comics being distributed digitally for download or viewing online. The truth is somewhat less revolutionary.
The truth is that comics are already free for download if you’re willing to… uh… not pay for them. I would not have read Miracleman if this were not the case. I prefer my comics in a physical form, however, which is why I have almost no money but for some reason I cannot fathom, I own the first volume of the terrible Ultimate Galactus trilogy (anyone want to buy it? It’s awesome. Really).
If anyone at DC or Marvel had any balls, they’d be setting up an iTunes-style download service for their comics. Imagine: the Big Two opening up their entire archives for download, at a dollar an issue. Wanna read some ultra rare golden age comic from 1940-something? A dollar. Wanna peruse some short-lived but fondly remembered mini-series from the 70’s? A dollar. That’s the future. The sooner The big two get wise, the better.
I dream of an even more glorious time, when the service I describe above is expanded to offer print-on-demand collections. If the pages themselves are scanned, what’s stopping Time-Warner from buying out some sort of quick-print service like Lulu Press and using it to print collections, as created by the consumer? I want a book that has every Batman/Green Arrow team-up. I do a quick search. I select the issues I want. I click “Collect It!” and select the order I want the issues to be printed in. I pick from a selection of images for front and back cover art. Then I punch in my credit card info and a week later I’m kicking up my heels with an honest-to-god ink-and-paper collection of the very best of the Dark Knight and the Emerald Archer.
I recognise that there are a million-and-one legal and logistical hurdles to this vision being realized, but I think that one day, it will be reality. And that’ll be a good day.
Big Events are a fixture of superhero comics. Every year or so, something appropriately earth-shattering happens to the characters we know and love. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the motivation for these events
Both Marvel and DC do their Big Events on an almost annual basis. We accept them as a fixture of the superhero genre, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, we’ll get a good story out of it. At Marvel, the motivation for these events seems to be:
- Make a ton of money by getting readers to buy a load of titles.
- Tell a good superhero story.
At DC, the thinking seems to follow similar lines, but with an addition:
- Make a ton of money by getting readers to buy a load of titles.
- Fix our confusing and convoluted continuity.
- Tell a good superhero story.
Seriously, why does DC even try anymore? There is nothing as labyrinthine and off-putting as the long, long, ever-so-long history of DC’s universe. I honestly believe they should just cut their losses and move forward without ever again worrying about what earth Kyle Raynor was supposed to protect as a Green Lantern. I, for one, simply don’t care. Continuity is overrated. Leave that tangled mess in the past, and just move forward telling exciting, imaginative stories.
I beg you.
Filed under DC, marvel, soap box
A friend sent me this link, for one of the coolest hoodies you could ever imagine:
There are Superman and Flash sweaers as well, but they’re not hoodies and thus look about half as cool as this one. They should’ve done a red hood on the Superman sweater, and on the Flash sweater given the hood little yellow widgets off each side.
Here’s the kicker of this little tale: the hoodie you see above costs $439. That’s four hundred and thirty nine American dollars. I might’ve paid $70 for something as cool as this, but $439? That’s six weeks of groceries for both myself and the woman. Only someone as wealthy as Bruce Wayne could justify purchasing a garment like this at that price.
Brave and the Bold #4 🙂 It’s been said before, but this title is the most fun you can have in the DCU these days. I wasn’t really sold on it until this issue, which features Lobo and Supergirl tear-assing around the galaxy while Blue Beetle deals with a half-cyborg Batman. One point of procedure, however: are they allowed to say gizz in all-ages comics now?
Captain America #27 🙂 You wouldn’t think a book could have this much life following the murder of the title character. Despite the inevitable outcome of the Winter Soldier’s quest, I can’t help but root for him. Is there anyone left who actually likes Tony Stark?
Incredible Hulk #107 🙂 Speaking of not liking Tony Stark, Amadeus Cho continues his quest to help The Hulk with his war. After this issue, I want Greg Pak to write a Hercules miniseries, even if it’s just him in an internet cafe.
Chronicles of Wormwood #4 🙂 In this issue, we finally find out what happened to Hitler. I continue to enjoy this series, although I’m not entirely sure why Satan and Jacko are working together. Ennis shows once again how easily he can switch gears from the profane to the touching. I wish there were more writers as talented as this.
Ex Machina #29 😐 It’s not that I didn’t like this issue, I just felt like the ending was a bit of a, well, deus ex machina. To have the mysterious stranger (spoiler alert, folks) simply teleport away was a letdown for me. I really enjoyed the coda, however: a flashback to Hundred’s exploits on 9/11. I remain a stalwart fan of this series.