Posts Tagged ‘Catwoman

17
Feb
13

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 283: Bruce Willis and Bruce Wayne

showcase logo smallIt’s a big week for Bruces and Blake and Erin take in Willis’s newest film, A Good Day to Die Hard, and talk about the repercussions of Wayne’s lastest battle with the Joker in the conclusion of Death of the Family. We also talk about the return of The Walking Dead, rejoice in the crapitude of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and Blake recommends that if you’re not reading Morning Glories, you go back and start at the beginning. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 283: Bruce Willis and Bruce Wayne

20
Jul
12

2 in 1 Showcase at the Movies Episode 29: The Dark Knight Rises

It’s gonna get all spoiler-tastic up in here! Blake and Erin caught the Dark Knight Trilogy last night, and after a few minutes of discussing the latest Batman film, they give up and get into specifics. Spoiler Warnings are in effect for their review of the conclusion of Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

At the Movies Episode 29: The Dark Knight Rises

02
Oct
11

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 239: One Month of the New 52

The new DC Universe is a month old now, and in an extra-sized episode Blake, Erin, and Mark sit down to talk about how that first month shaped up. Mark gives us the retailer’s perspective on how sales have changed not just for the New 52, but for other titles as well, and the gang discusses the hits and misses of the last two weeks of titles. In the picks, Erin is just getting into the Dresden Files, Mark is a fan of Annihilators: Earthfall and Herc, and Blake cheers the premieres of Ghostbusters and Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 239: One Month of the New 52

07
Aug
11

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 232: Spider-Man, DC Changes, and Phineas and Ferb

Blake and Kenny hang out this week and touch upon a wealth of new comic book topics, but not before giving their ecstatic review of the TV movie Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension! After that moment of geeking out, the guys talk about the Ultimate Spider-Man news, images of Henry Cavill as Superman and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, the aftermath of War of the Green Lanterns, a more thoughtful reaction to the DC Relaunch, the prospect of a Tuxedo Gin movie, and more! In the picks, Kenny chooses Power Girl #26 and Blake goes with Flashpoint #4. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 232: Spider-Man, DC News and Phineas and Ferb

18
May
11

Classic EBI #92: What’s So New About It?

In this week’s all-new Everything But Imaginary, I talk about the terrifying news that Seth MacFarlane has been hired to reboot The Flintstones, an in the process pick apart why some reboots work and others don’t.

Everything But Imaginary #399: Runaway Reboots

But moving back to December 8, 2004, I had a particularly pertinent discussion. As rumors swirl about massive renumbering over at DC comics, I back then I was already discussing renumbering and misleading prefixes in…

Everything But Imaginary #92: What’s So New About It?

In the land of comic books, there is one thing you can be certain of — publishers will never tire of starting a comic book over with a new issue #1 in the desperate attempt to boost sales. We’ve seen it with Captain America and Iron Man, we’ve seen it with Catwoman and, soon, She-Hulk… we’ve even seen it with stalwarts like Wolverine. Legion of Super-Heroes is about to start volume five of that title. And if you don’t mind, I’d rather not even discuss the Punisher.

This drives the people who care about such things (geeks like me) absolutely crazy, if for no other reason than that we’ve got to constantly remember which volume of a series we’re referring to while having a debate. (“It happened in Fantastic Four #12!” “Which Fantastic Four #12?” “Er…”)

If a company feels the need to relaunch a title with a new #1, I prefer them to at least make a slight alteration to the title. Give it a subtitle, for instance — instead of Doctor Strange Vol. 3, the series was Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme. That was cool. Or make a massive alteration that still keeps the feel of the book, such as when Justice League of America gave way to simply JLA.

There’s one other trick, of course, that publishers can pull out to make it seem like they’re launching another title instead of repackaging an old one, a trick that’s been used frequently of late: stick a “new” at the beginning of it. This isn’t a recent trick, it’s been happening at least as far back as the 80s, when Marv Wolfman and George Perez resurrected Teen Titans as The New Teen Titans. Marvel Comics turned Defenders into New Defenders towards the end run of that title, and even Jim Valentino turned his ShadowHawk property over to Kurt Busiek as New ShadowHawk for seven issues.

Why “new”? Well, what word has better connotations to drag in readers? “New” means it’s bold and exciting and innovative! (And even if the comic isn’t really any of those things, that “new” stamp gives it the feel that it is.) But something can only remain “new” for so long. Even if the book was still good, after a while the “New” Teen Titans weren’t all that new anymore. Eventually DC realized that and changed the title of the book again…

…to New Titans.

Okay, so maybe they kind of missed the point there. But eventually New Titans gave way to Teen Titans Vol. 2, which gave way to The Titans, which gave way to Teen Titans Vol. 3, which if nothing else proves that whoever is in charge of titles at DC Comics has learned absolutely nothing.

These days, though, it’s Marvel that’s really letting the “new” banner fly high. It started when Grant Morrison took over the adjectiveless X-Men comic book and asked that “New” be added to the title. This was done for two reasons:

1. Morrison was trying a totally new take on the superhero genre (well, kinda, except that what he actually did was wallow in the existing superhero genre even as he deconstructed it).

2. It made for a really cool logo that could be read the same upside-down as rightside-up.

When Morrison left the title changed back to just plain X-Men, but Marvel apparently liked the New X-Men moniker and applied it to another title they already had — New Mutants. Volume two.

(Brief aside here, New Mutants, New Warriors and a few other such books don’t quite fall into the category I’m talking about here because they weren’t originally repackaged versions of old titles — although each would be cancelled and spawn a second volume — but rather actual original concepts that were given the “new” label right off the bat to make them appear bold and exciting and innovative, even if they weren’t.)

So New Mutants Vol. 2 became New X-Men: Academy X. Well points to Marvel for at least giving it a subtitle. Interestingly, I think the “new” label fits this book much better than it ever did Morrison’s. While I loved that run, don’t misunderstand me, this book simply feels “new”er. Nunzio DeFilips and Christina Weir have done a great job crafting original characters who aren’t really superheroes, but students that are acutely aware that some day they may be called upon to become the next generation of X-Men whether they want to or not. It makes for one of my favorite reads every month.

This may even be one of those rare titles to not outgrow the “new” label, assuming it lasts that long. The book is about Xavier’s school, after all. It’s not that big a leap to imagine these students graduating a few at a time and a new class coming in to take their place, thereby keeping the book perpetually fresh.

And finally we come to the two big “new” titles to hit the stands in recent weeks — New Thunderbolts and New Avengers. The original Thunderbolts series, for those who don’t recall, was about a group of villains who first masqueraded as heroes in a scheme for domination, then had a change of heart and became heroes in fact. In this incarnation, a few remaining original members of the team begin it again with the hopes of recruiting other villains and giving them the same chance they had at redemption. Is it “new” though?

Well… yes and no.

About half of the characters are new to the title, and the returning characters (Mach-IV, Songbird and Atlas) are cast in decidedly different roles than when they were first on the team. The format of the book, however, seems the same as the original — lots of conspiracies, lots of questions about people’s loyalty and even a big shocker twist ending at the conclusion of the first issue. Not that any of these are a problem, mind you, but they do tone down the “new” aspect.

What about New Avengers? Well, the old Avengers disbanded after several of them died and one of them got crazy and a few of them quit, so when there was a major jailbreak at Ryker’s Island, somebody had to come in and fix things. Who’s that gonna be?

Good question.

We’re still not 100 percent sure who the final “New” Avengers lineup will be, but the safe money seems to include Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man (all of whom have been Avengers in the past), Luke Cage, Spider-Woman and Daredevil (who have at least associated with the Avengers), Wolverine (who already stars in four Marvel Universe titles a month and has absolutely no business being in this book but decided to jump on board since he was barred from being on the permanent roster of New X-Men: Academy X on the grounds that he wasn’t technically a student), and Sentry (who was once a bigwig in the Marvel Universe although nobody remembers him anymore).

So “new” is kind of stretching it here.

Not to say it’s bad, mind you. For the most part I enjoyed the premiere issue and I’m anxious to see how it goes. I’m just not sure how Marvel will still be able to justify having a “new” on the title by issue #25 or so, unless they plan to argue that the original Avengers lasted for 503 issues, so this team will still be newer at least until they hit 504.

Basically what this all boils down to is sort of a note to the comic book publishers — look for new adjectives. No pun intended. Now I’ve got to get back to work on my next book — it was going to be called 14 Days of Asphalt, but now I find myself leaning towards New Other People’s Heroes.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: December 1, 2004

This week was easier than expected for me to choose. New Avengers was good, Monolith is always a treat and G.I. Joe continues to impress, but nothing scored as high on the ol’ fave-o-meter as Y: The Last Man #29. Yorick, the last man on Earth, is dying. Agent 355 is looking for the ring he lost on the crazy premise that it somehow may have kept him alive. Dr. Mann puts all the pieces together. Brian K. Vaughan writes a lot of comic books every month, but none of the others I’ve read even approach how good this one is.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.

20
Apr
11

Classic EBI #87: The Shock of the New

In this week’s brand-new Everything But Imaginary column, I’m taking a long look at the divide between American, European, and Asian comics, and wondering if the digital frontier might not be the place where such divisions disappear.

Everything But Imaginary #395: The Cultural Divide

In this week’s Classic EBI, though, we’re going back to November of 2004, when I was sadly bemoaning the trouble new characters have finding an audience. Some things never change.

Everything But Imaginary #87: The Shock of the New

One complaint you can hear coming from virtually any comic book store is that there isn’t enough new product on the market. Everything is just another endless retread or another X-Men or Batman spin off or something that’s been seen a thousand times before. This is a legitimate complaint, one that I completely agree with, and one that is only midly diminished by the fact that whenever somebody does try something new, nobody buys it and it’s cancelled within 12 issues.

It seems a bit pointless to even dredge it up at this point, but that’s exactly what happened to CrossGen comics. They burst onto the scene in 2000 with a wave of fresh, original comic books, new characters, new styles, stories in nearly every imaginable genre… and then the whole thing fell apart because not enough people were willing to give something new a chance. Excellent comics like Abadazad, Route 666 and The Crossovers are lost to us now. We may never find out how Negation War would have ended. I may weep.

I have to give DC Comics the most credit, out of the Big Two, for being willing to try new properties these days, and for trying to let them find their audience, but sometimes it’s just not enough. It was announced with a whimper a few weeks ago that Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Phil Winslade’s The Monolith will end with issue #12. This is incredibly disappointing to me. It really was, in a way, the perfect “bridge” property — it took place in the DC Universe, so it wasn’t completely divorced from the familiar, but it wasn’t tied or linked to any preexisting DC character or concept, so it was easy enough for someone who’d never read a comic before to get into it.

The concept was smart and simple — a Hebrew golem, a good spirit given life in a body of clay — is found after decades of imprisonment and becomes a personal guardian for a down-on-her luck young woman in New York City. Maybe that’s what killed the book — the protagonist wasn’t really the Monolith himself, but Alice Cohen, the girl he protected.

Whatever the reason, this was a smart, well-done series, and its impending demise is really sad for me. If you can still hunt it down, do so. At only 12 issues for the entire run, it won’t break your bank, and it’s a title worth reading.

Other comics still have a chance. Bloodhound is another new DC property with no evident ties to existing comics. Written by Dan Jolley with art by the ex-Supergirl team of Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs, this book follows Travis Clevenger, a cop who was sent to prison for killing his partner. Cleve is released from jail to help track down a superhuman killer.

Like The Monolith, Bloodhound takes place in the DCU (characters use LexCorp computer systems and Cleve is going to meet Firestorm soon), but it isn’t linked to any old property. Plus, it’s not a superhero comic, even tangentially. This is more of an action drama about a good cop gone bad trying to atone for his sins. It just happens to take place in a superhero world. Fans of Powers and Alias might find something to their liking if they give this one a try.

DC has had better luck, of course, with its Vertigo line. Quriky books like Preacher and Transmetropolitan were allowed to flourish, grow and tell the course of their stories, a trend that continues today with incredible titles like Fables and Y: The Last Man. Even books with tangential links to the Vertigo corner of the DC Universe, like The Witching, are given room to grow. [2011 Update: The cancellation of The Witching was announced shortly after this column was written.]

Over at Devil’s Due comics, the company best known for breathing new life into the 80s nostalgia genre with G.I. Joe and Voltron, they’ve got a few original projects of their own as well. Misplaced, a sci-fi romp, has been around for a while, and last week they launched their new superhero line, Aftermath. (There is a rule in comics that every company has to attempt its own superhero line within the first five years. This is why CrossGen heroically folded after four.)

Now the comic book industry needed another superhero line as badly as I need another Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese, but if they’re going to do one anyway, they got off to a pretty good start. Chuck Dixon (an old favorite writer of mine) kicked things off with Breakdown, an examination of a superhero whose life is falling apart.

Jeff Carey, a.k.a. Paragon, was one of those bright, shining superheroes that beat up on the bad guys and was a media darling, before his high profile and public identity exacted a terrible price on his wife and son. Shattered, he pieces himself back together. Although the first issue doesn’t explicitly say so, one gets the impression that this title will be Jeff’s quest for revenge. Not the happy-go-lucky superhero he once was, is he? In truth, the premise sounds an awful lot like The Punisher, only with superpowers, but the difference here is that Jeff was once a good, decent, likeable man, whereas Frank Castle was pretty much always a sociopath.

So what about Marvel? They’ve got young titles, right? They must have some new properties in there. Let’s see, what’s been around less than a year or two? Excalibur, She-Hulk, Astonishing X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, New X-Men: Academy X, Gambit, X-Men Unlimited, Marvel Age Spider-Man, X-Men Go Hawaiian… ooh, here it is! Runaways.

Here’s a product with no overt ties to any preexisting Marvel property — a bunch of teenagers who find out their parents are supervillains and go on the run. A simple concept, one well-loved, well-executed and well on its way to being cancelled.

Or is it?

In an uncharacteristic show of good sense, Marvel is giving this struggling remnant of the Tsunami line another chance as a “Season Two,” the same trick Wildstorm is playing with Sleeper. Now if only someone could persuade them to do a Sentinel Season Two (it’s loosely connected to the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe, but it’s really a strong standalone comic), I would start giving Marvel a lot more credit for creativity.

I know we’re reluctant to drop money on an untested property. There are a lot of comics, after all. But next time you’re at the comic shop, look over your pull folder and see what you’ve got in there. Look at those 17 X-Men comics, nine of which suck. Then look at some of these new titles you’ve never tried, never heard of and don’t have an opinion about… yet.

And give something new a try.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: October 27, 2004

Solo #1 actually kind of fits into the discussion of new titles, which is what got me thinking along those lines in the first place. While it’s not exactly a new property, it is a new concept, an anthology title that DC Comics deserves a lot of credit for giving a chance. Each issue of this comic will feature a single artist given free reign to tell stories, alone or with writers, with established characters or with worlds of their own. Tim Sale took the challenge first, giving us really good takes on Catwoman, Batman, Supergirl and Superman, along with a few other stories, helped out by the likes of Jeph Loeb, Diana Schutz and Brian Azzarello. The quality of each issue of this title will no doubt depend on how good each featured artist is, but this opening installment was flat-out excellent. Fans of Batman: The Long Halloween and Superman For All Seasons should definitely give this book a shot.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.

23
Jan
11

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 206: Onscreen Geeks

Blake and Erin get together this week to talk up the recent announcements for comic movie and TV projects! Casting for The Dark Knight Rises, new life for the Wonder Woman TV show, images from the sets of X-Men: First Class, Captain America and the Spider-Man reboot, and more! In the picks, Blake loves the new IDW Doctor Who #1, and five years later Erin has made peace with Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 206: Onscreen Geeks

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21
Jul
10

Classic EBI: Demons, Castles, and the House of Mouse

In today’s Everything But Imaginary column, I expend a bit upon something I mused over here Monday — the idea of a storytelling universe where the world is the real star instead of the individual characters. When has it worked? How does it work? Will I try it myself?

Everything But Imaginary #360: Share the Universe!

And in today’s EBI Classic, let’s step back to March 7, 2004, just before a summer where a lot of superhero movies were about to cut loose, and how that made me feel…

Demons, castles and the house of mouse

Sunday evening I got an e-mail from my Uncle Todd. “Hey, looks like the Hellboy movie is number one this weekend,” he wrote. “That should make you feel good.”

“Actually,” I wrote back, “what makes me feel good is that the movie didn’t suck.” Comic book movies, at least over the past 15 years or so, since the first Batman, seem to have fallen into two categories: critical and commercial successes that pundits predict will birth a new breed of comic book readers that never actually show up, or major flops that the comic reading publish wishes people would rather forget but know inevitably will be trotted out as a comparison the next time a comic book movie is made. We’ve been lucky for the last few years. Marvel hit it big with the first Blade movie after 30 years of terrible attempts at movie and television projects, but Wesley Snipes seems to have been a magic charm, because Marvel movies have been, for the most part, very good since then. (Yes, I know some people didn’t like Daredevil or Hulk, but I did like ‘em and it’s my column, so nyeah.)

Most of these characters, with the exception of Blade, were at least moderately well-known to the public at large before the movie came out though, and even Blade had the force of coming from powerhouse Marvel Comics. I’d been wondering what would happen if someone made a good movie based on an obscure character from a smaller company.

Enter Hellboy.

Even I, geek that I am, didn’t know a tremendous amount about Hellboy. I’d read his first trade paperback, Seed of Destruction, and a few random other appearances, but I didn’t carry around much knowledge of who he was or what he did. What’s more, I was a little worried about a live-action movie because, even with a great actor like Ron Perlman in the title role, the character’s makeup looked a little campy and I was afraid it would turn people off. Still, it was a comic book movie, and since the mission statement of this little column includes trying to get more people reading comics, I took it upon myself to see the film and determine if it could potentially help.

First, the movie itself. Was it campy? Yeah. Was the makeup a little hard to swallow? Sure. Goofy dialogue and slightly unbelievable romantic subplot? Oh yeah. Nazis as villains? Boy, there’s a twist.

But was it fun?

Absolutely.

While not as tongue-in-cheek as, say, Batman and Robin, Hellboy was a movie that knew it was taking a kind of silly premise and had fun with it. What’s more, the actors looked like they were having fun, and that sense of fun jumped out and grabbed the audience. Joel Schumaker, in directing the last two bat-flicks, took the sillier parts of the premise and played them up, utterly disrespecting the character. Guillermo del Toro (who, not coincidentally, also directed Blade II), had fun with the silly parts but respected the serious parts, the characters, the creators and, most importantly, the fans. I walked out of that movie theater feeling cheerful, ready to see it again and ready to pick up the DVD.

Ah, but the test is whether or not it will get people to read Hellboy comic books. Well, I already had the second trade on order, and I’ll be on the lookout for some stand-alone comics on my weekly trip to the comic shop this Friday, so it certainly scored with me on that account. But I’m an easy sell, I needed to talk to people who don’t ordinarily read comics. So I did. Friends, family, co-workers. And here’s the thing: while not all of them are necessarily going to go run out and start buying the complete works of Mike Mignola, every single person I talked to was aware that Hellboy was based on a comic book. That’s unprecedented. Sure, most of ‘em knew Spider-Man was a comic, but they hadn’t heard of Daredevil and an awful lot of people thought X-Men and Hulk were based on the old TV shows.

So how on Earth did a little niche comic like Hellboy get it right?

Well, part of it may be the fact that the character didn’t have the stigma of a Saturday morning cartoon or an old Lou Ferigno TV show to live down, so people had no expectations. But it’s not like it’s being promoted as “Based on the comic book by Mike Mignola!” or even as “From the same guy who drew those purty pictures for Disney’s Atlantis movie!” I think the real reason is actually very simple: even from the earliest trailers that had me worried about the makeup, Hellboy was a movie that looked like a comic book. Now a lot of the time people say that in a detrimental fashion, but I mean it as the highest compliment. From the garish colors to the freaks in makeup to the incredible amount of energy on the screen to the overriding sense of excitement that the movie generated, even with a character no one had heard of who didn’t have a cape, this felt like the beautiful image people have in their collective conscious regarding superheroes (at least, the conscious of people who aren’t snobbish enough to deride anything with a superhero as being infantile).

Like I asked, will it get more people to read the Hellboy comic book? That remains to be seen. At any rate, I doubt it will pull in huge numbers except possibly from the preexisting comic book reading market. But one thing that is undeniable is that the movie has made people more aware of comic books, and that is a very good place to start.

And what gets me most excited is that there are still tons of comic book properties coming down the pipe. In just a week and a half the Punisher movie will premiere starring Thomas Jane as Frank Castle. I’m a little wary about that one, to be honest – I like Jane (he’s fantastic in 61*, my pick for the second-best baseball movie ever made), but the trailers disturb me. Especially the costume. Look, points to Artisan Entertainment for actually putting him in the skull as opposed to the tank top we had to sit through in the godawful Dolph Lundgren version of the character back in 1989, but couldn’t they have found a way to do it that doesn’t look like he’s wearing a silk-screened T-shirt?

(2010 Note: I rather did like the Thomas Jane Punisher film –and even if you didn’t, if you try to tell me that Punisher: War Zone was better, I will punch you in the spleen.)

Regardless, the Punisher is a much more well-known character than Hellboy and, again, I shall see the film for research purposes. Hellboy surprised me. Maybe this will too. My friend Jenny, I think, has the best attitude about the film. She has decided just to watch the flick and look for references to Garth Ennis’s run in the title. Well… if nothing else, Spacker Dave and Joan the Mouse are in the movie.

Then later this summer we’ll have Spider-Man 2, a film that will be fun, action-packed, true to the characters, a delight to watch and will leave a thousand over-hyped fanboys who went into the film expecting the second coming of Christ complaining about how much it sucked. (You don’t believe me? Let’s lay odds.) Spider-Man has certainly done more to boost comic books in the public consciousness than any film in recent memory, but I seriously think Marvel has bungled their end of it. Aside from launching Ultimate Spider-Man, they haven’t made any real strides to reach out and grab new readers, and that’s what is really needed.

Also this summer we’ll have Halle Berry in Catwoman. Let’s look at a photo of her in the costume. (You’re going to want to click on it to get a full-sized image for the complete impact):

Okay, now let’s talk about something that doesn’t make me want to wretch. This fall we’re going to have a film that, while not actually based on a comic book, does feature superheroes – Pixar’s The Incredibles, a comedy featuring the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson and Jason “No Middle Initial” Lee. Pixar is a studio that has never failed to enchant me – even their weakest film, A Bug’s Life, is head and shoulders above anything almost anyone else is putting out for children, and if nobody has snapped up the rights to do a comic book based on this film yet, they’d better get in gear. (Gemstone Publishing? I’m lookin’ at you, buddy.)

So what else is in the works? Well, there’s been a Fantastic Four movie in the hopper for as long as I can remember, and supposedly there are film versions of every Marvel character from The Silver Surfer to Iron Fist waiting to make waves. Over on the DC side they finally gave Batman to a good director (Christopher Nolan) and a good writer (David Goyer, who wrote the first two Blade flicks and is currently writing and directing the third one). There’s also talk of a new film to resurrect the Superman franchise, but that’s been in production hell for so long that I’ll believe it when I see it. And even then, I won’t believe it unless I see a signed affidavit stating that Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage were not allowed anywhere near the film. (Don’t send me hate mail, I like them both, I just don’t think either of them are right for Superman.)

Robert Rodriguez, who has yet to take my advice about him doing a Madman movie, is set to begin work on a star-studded adaptation of Frank Miller’s Sin City comic book. Even comic book geek-turned filmmaker-turned comic book writer Kevin Smith has announced he’s going to be taking time out of his hectic schedule of not finishing Daredevil: The Target #2 to make a Green Hornet movie for Miramax. The man may not finish writing his comics very often, but no one can deny he loves ‘em, and I expect that movie to be a lot of fun as well.

And not so long ago it was announced that my personal favorite superhero comic, Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, is in the works for a feature film with producer Ben Barenholtz, who has done a lot of work with those delightful little scamps The Coen Brothers (of Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou? fame).

Finally, let’s think about all the great comics that have the potential to be great movies. Special effects have finally reached the point where a Green Lantern movie may be feasible, and I’d do anything to see a great cartoon adaptation of Jeff Smith’s Bone, Doug TenNapel’s Creature Tech or Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid.

So if you’re a comic book fan who loves movies, this is a very good time for you.

But what if you’re a movie fan that wants to get into comic books?

Good question. I’ll see if I can answer it in just seven short days.

Favorite of the Week: March 31, 2004

Much like I expect people who expect too much of Spider-Man 2 to be disappointed with the film, I think the same plague took a chunk out of my favorite title last week, Avengers/JLA #4. After 20 years of buildup, it was inevitable that some people wouldn’t like the book. I, on the other hand, loved it. From the damaged timestream allowing us to see practically every Avenger and Leaguer ever fighting together, to spot-on characterization of Superman, Captain America, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Barry “Flash” Allen, not to mention beautiful artwork by George Perez and Tom Smith, this miniseries was everything I wanted it to be. All comics should be this good.

(One more 2010 note: It’s interesting, looking back at this column. Some of the movies I discussed here were hits, some of them were flops, some were never made. I completely forgot that Astro City had been optioned, because nothing ever came of it. Oh, and we’re all still waiting for Daredevil: The Target #2.)

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at Blake@comixtreme.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.

15
Jan
10

What I’m Reading: Catwoman #83 & Power of Shazam! #48

All this month, DC Comics is bringing back canceled titles “from the dead” for one-issue Blackest Night tie-ins, and we got two more of them this week.

Catwoman #83: Although Selina Kyle still stars in a monthly book, Gotham City Sirens, she’s the co-star of that title along with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. When I heard that her now-defunct solo series was one of the books that was coming back, I figured we’d get a solo story to go with it. I was surprised, but not unpleasantly.

Writer Tony Bedard brings back the late Black Mask, once the top crime overlord in Gotham City, until he pushed Catwoman one step too far and she put a bullet in his skull. (Catwoman, it should be noted, may be a thief, but she’s no killer. It took an awful lot for her to get to that point.) When he rises from the dead as a Black Lantern, he decides to torture Selina for a while before taking her heart, and how better to do that than make her watch while he tortures her beloved sister? To save Maggie Kyle, Selina, Ivy, and Harley take off to face off against an undead menace.

This was actually a really good issue, although it could have fit in pretty easily as an issue of Gotham City Sirens. The girls are all in character, and Black Mask’s scheme is just sadistic enough to work, if that makes any sense. The book even lays out a plot thread that could easily be picked up by another writer later (or Bedard himself if he does more work with these characters). There are four different artists on this book, and while it is a bit noticeable when the styles shift, it’s not so bad as to ruin the book. And DC gets bonus cool points for getting original series cover artist Adam Hughes back to handle the cover of this one.

Rating: 8/10

The Power of Shazam! #48: I’ve always been a big fan of Captain Marvel and the Marvel family, and when I heard their title was coming back as part of this event, I had two reactions:

1. Woo-hoo!

2. Wait, why isn’t Jerry Ordway doing the book?

Not that I’ve got anything against Eric Wallace and Don Kramer, but Ordway made that book what it was. Not having his involvement in this new issue didn’t feel right, and as it turns out, neither did this issue. It wasn’t a bad story, exactly, but it didn’t really feel like it deserved the title Power of Shazam. Billy and Mary Batson, currently powerless in the DCU, make only a cameo appearance. Instead, the book focuses on Osiris, one of Black Adam’s own “Marvel Family” that was murdered back in 52. Osiris and his murderer, Sobek, have both risen as Black Lanterns, but something about the magic of Shazam seems to maintain the connection between Osiris’s body and his soul. While most of the Black Lanterns are dead bodies being manipulated by rings that have “downloaded” the memories of the host, Osiris seems to be the real thing riding shotgun in his Black Lantern body — and that means he’s going to want to come gunning for Sobek. It’s an interesting conceit, and it helps set this title apart. It’s not just another “heroes face the corpses of their loved ones” story like many of the tie-ins to this series have been. At the same tie, I miss the Marvel Family. I suppose when DC inevitably brings them back, they’re not going to want to do it in a one-shot tie in (that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it, bringing back Captain Marvel in a one-shot that’s only vaguely related to the event whose title it bears?), but somehow, I just feel this book should have had a different title. I dunno, I’m probably just nit-picking. Never mind me.

Rating: 7/10

Also this week…

Secret Six #17 is part two of the three-part story begun in last week’s Suicide Squad #67. I gave this particular book the full review treatment over at Comixtreme.com, so I won’t duplicate my efforts here. You can click on over there to see my full thoughts about the issue. And while you’re there, hunt around the website. There’s plenty of cool stuff there. Besides my own Everything But Imaginary columns and 2 in 1 Showcase podcasts, CX is the home to some of the best commentary, humor, reviews, and forums on the web. Chat about current comic and pop culture events, argue who would win in a fight between Galactus and Ms. Lion, sign up to join in a Mafia game — there’s a lot of cool stuff over there, and I don’t think I give the site enough props around here.

21
Oct
09

Everything But Imaginary #325: Back From the Dead

In January, DC Comics is going to bring back eight canceled comic books for one more issue. Granted, they’re all Blackest Night tie-ins, but I think it’s a pretty cool idea. This week, I look at why those eight books were chosen, and talk about some other comics I’d love to get just one more issue of.

Everything But Imaginary #325

Inside this Column:




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