Posts Tagged ‘DC Comics’

Media Update 7/6/17

July 6, 2017


Wonder Woman (2017)

I had been wary about seeing this movie because of the horrible job that DC Comics has been doing with their movies as opposed to what Marvel is doing right now. I am not a fan of the darker, edgier tone combined with muted colors and muted acting. Believe it or not, Suicide Squad was actually a step in the right direction. So I hemmed and hawed but heard fantastic reviews not only from Rotten Tomatoes but from independent voices I follow on the Internet. So this past July 4th weekend, I stepped into a theater on a whim and sat down and caught an afternoon showing. I am very pleased that I did. Wonder Woman was never really a hero that I connected with. I connected more with Wonder Girl. Still, it was an iconic character who finally got a live-action movie beyond the pilot for the TV show. Gal Godot was great. I have only seen her in Fast and Furious movies but she poured everything into this role and really embodied a Wonder Woman I felt I could finally connect with. Chris Pine played Steve Trevor with just the right tone. There were laughs, sad moments and plenty of action. It also had a lot to say about gender roles, forgiveness and accepting the flaws in a person and hoping their strengths ultimately win out. I wholeheartedly recommend it but I will probably not be seeing Justice League (at least, that is what I say right now).


Glow

I think it has been well-documented how much I love pro-wrestling so predicting that I would watch this Netflix show would have been a no-brainer. Throw in that I already knew that the show starred Alison Brie and had cameos of some of my favorite wrestlers and I was eagerly awaiting the premiere date. The show is really great and it captures the feel of a fledgling pro-wrestling promotion trying to get off the ground. It also charts a whole lot of actresses who know nothing about the business, learning the art of pro-wrestling. This is great for the viewer who does not know this stuff because they learn along with the cast. For the pro-wrestling fans, there are great cameos from John Morrison, Joey Ryan, Lauren James, The Addiction and more. We watch these ladies train to put on a show while dealing with their personal issues in a very real way. There are also debates on the show between style and substance and also simple story and complex motivation which mirror several different periods in pro-wrestling. All in all this show pays tribute to the real ladies of the first seasons of GLOW and what it must have taken to get to where they could try and elevate women’s pro-wrestling to its place in the mainstream. I definitely recommend it and if you are not a pro-wrestling fan I think you can still get a lot out of it.


Blood Drive

I love a little bit of grindhouse and this show has grindhouse in spades. In post-apocalyptic 1999, oil prices have skyrocketed and resources are scarce due to a cataclysmic event. Society has become brutal as the cities struggle to remain civilized while psychopaths and mutants roam the countryside. Behind it all there is a bigger conspiracy to unravel. In the middle of it all, a determined woman is forced to pair with a cop on a deadly race across the country in a car fueled by blood instead of gas. The show is full of insane characters, brutal violence, and twisted humor. Each episode so far focuses on a new setting and the two main characters trying to escape danger and make it to the next finish line. If they reach the finish line last, they are dead so they must escape cannibals, monsters and the other racers to get there in time. I have only seen a few episodes but so far even the most horrific characters are really amusing. I definitely recommend this if you are a fan of gore and fun action.

Music of the Week:
Stereopony – Hitohira No Hanabira

The Front Bottoms – Funny You Should Ask

Kim Boekbinder – HBIC

Ween – Voodoo Lady

Selena Gomez – Bad Liar

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Women in Combat”
– I started watching Blue Bloods Season 7
– I continued Arrow Season 5
– I continued The Flash Season 3
– I continued Supergirl Season 2
– I continued Agents of Shield Season 3
– I started Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I watched some more Glitter Force

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Top 11 Superheroes That Need a Movie or Show

January 14, 2017

These are a few characters or teams that I feel could use their own show or movie. Some of them have already been animated and some of them already have a television show but they could use more. I purposely left out characters who are confirmed to already have a movie or show in the works.


11 Deadman

There have already been some allusions to Deadman’s origins when Nanda Parbat was mentioned on Arrow. Boston Brand is a deceased circus performer who clings to the land of the living in order to right wrongs and save the day. While I have really only experienced the character during crossover events, I feel like a lot could be done with this character. In death, he is merely a spirit but he has the power to possess people to use their bodies to accomplish his tasks. He is also often a conduit between the lands of the dead and the living. The problem with putting this on screen is how to depict the possession. Frankly, it could be fun to see a bunch of different actors doing an impression of whoever is playing Deadman. I am not sure if the character could carry a movie on his own but a movie teaming up with somebody like Zatanna or some other mystical DC Comics characters could be fun. It looks like he will be in the upcoming Justice League Dark but that is one animated feature. He could also be in a television show with a whole bunch of guest stars standing in for him in each episode.


10 The Shadowpact

While they were not around for long, I always liked the Shadowpact. They were a ragtag group of mystical heroes and anti-heroes who confronted mystical threats. They always kind of struck me as kind of a blue collar superhero team. They all met each other at a magical bar that exists beyond space and time that is owned by formerly retired leader Nightmaster. Probably the most famous character is Blue Devil, a guy who sold his soul for demonic powers and fame. He struggles with the decision and how it might inspire others to sell their soul too. My favorite character from the issues I have read was Detective Chimp. He is an actual chimpanzee who can talk and was also a very intelligent, chain-smoking detective. In fact, two reboots ago, he was somebody that Batman would consult with to help the World’s Greatest Detective figure out tougher mysteries. The problem here is that the team also had The Enchantress in it and Suicide Squad kind of screwed that up. She is not very necessary and Nightshade (another magician) can easily fill her role since she is already on the team. I won’t go into everyone on the team but they would make a good movie.


9 Runaways

The Runaways were a breakout success in comic books that seemed to come out of nowhere not long before the Civil War storyline in Marvel Comics. The Runaways were young superheroes who were struggling with a very difficult truth. Their parents were some of the most powerful yet relatively unknown supervillains in the world. While villains like Doctor Doom and Loki were tearing down cities while loudly proclaiming their intentions, the Pride were villains that controlled things more from the shadows similar to the early days of the Mafia. They were grooming their kids to take over the family business but the kids had different ideas and ran away from home, struggling with not wanting to be villains but also not really wanting to fight their parents. The series deals a lot with dealing with the strong emotions that come with youth and being on the lam with superpowers and/or superweapons. There were also some very interesting gay, lesbian and transgender themes which we haven’t really seen a whole of in superhero stuff so far. There were so many interesting concepts in this book that would be amazing adapted on screen.


8 Green Arrow

A long time ago (at least a decade), a movie was announced as being in development. This was long before press conferences where the big two revealed their movie schedules for the next four years. DC Comics revealed a potential movie that at the time was simply called Supermax. In reality, the movie was a vehicle for the Green Arrow. In it, Green Arrow would be imprisoned in a new state of the art prison for high-profile lawbreakers and would have to escape to survive. It would have had cameos from a whole bunch of DC Comics villains who would be imprisoned alongside him and thirsting for superhero blood. I really wanted that movie to happen but it was canceled a while ago with the new darker and edgier concept that DC has going on. Green Arrow always felt like a more lighthearted superhero. Like Batman, he was a rich man who combatted crime in a costume but he was always a little more snarky. He is also one of the most liberal superheroes around and that is not bad in my book. Of course, we already have the fantastic show Arrow so nothing like Supermax will probably be made but I would actually love to merge the two ideas at some point and allow Steven Amell to have a movie under his belt.


7. The Outsiders

This was a short-lived offshoot of the Teen Titans (who will probably get a movie eventually). Nightwing and Arsenal (two former sidekicks) put together a more pro-active superhero team. They hunt down supervillains before they finish putting their master plan together instead of waiting for them to attack Metropolis or Gotham and having to scramble to defeat them before stuff really hits the fan. It was a cool concept to see these characters not only react to situations but also try and track down villains before their plans were made. That way, the innocent bystanders of the DC Universe were not in danger as much. When the battle occurs in a remote supervillain hideout, the characters can be more free with their wanton destruction. I am sure Lex Luthor probably insures his hideouts anyway. Along with Nightwing and Arsenal there were plenty of young heroes just trying to figure things out. Metamorpho is basically a walking chemistry set. Grace Choi (no superhero codename) is a super strong bartender who does not take any crap from anybody. Thunder could manipulate her density to cause all sorts of havoc. Then there’s a super powerful android named Indigo and Jade who is basically a Green Lantern. The comic also had a positive outlook toward LGBTQ issues and had a fairly light tone. I cannot stress enough how much DC Movies need a lighter tone here and there.

6 Sandman (Wesley Dodds)

Soon there might be a movie based on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and if it makes it through Development Hell, then I think I will be in love with it. However, there is another character involved with DC Comics with the same name who is actually connected. Wesley Dodds is a rich inventor who lives in the roaring twenties. Wesley’s problem is that every night he cannot sleep because of horrible prophetic dreams connected to the Dreaming from Neil Gaiman’s series. These dreams may keep him up but they also push him toward solving or preventing horrible crimes. He wears a suit, a World War I gas mask and uses a gas gun to put his enemies to sleep. In the Sandman Mystery Theater series, he fights extremely evil people. Dodds himself is a quiet mouse of a man but when he dons his mask, he is confident and ready to risk his body and freedom to bring criminals to justice. Along the way, he is helped and hindered by a party girl/flapper named Dian who is often able to figure out a lot of the mystery without Wesley’s help. Together, they are a formidable force. If Warner Brothers wants to go dark and gritty, they should do it with characters and situations built for it instead of tarnishing their bright, shiny symbols of justice.


5 Blue Beetle and Booster Gold

This is pretty much the opposite of the above entry. There is a time for things to get dark and edgy but if Warner Brothers keeps playing the same song, then people are going to leave the party. Suicide Squad attempted to be more lighthearted but it still had muted colors and struggled with portraying villains vs. having characters save the day. Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are two heroes who bring both the best and worst out of each other. A movie starring the two of them has a lot of potential to be very funny while also adding a little variety to the DC Movie universe. Booster Gold is a man from the future who stole a bunch of equipment and traveled to our time to become famous and a superhero in that order. Blue Beetle is an inventor superhero who has a tendency to be a little too serious. Put them together and they are a formidable team that is constantly cracking jokes on each other like a buddy cop movie. Something in the vein of I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League would work. It would be kind of a gentle parody of Batman v. Superman and other offerings in that universe mashed together with an almost improv style of comedy.


4 Squirrel Girl

Squirrel Girl kind of became a meme a couple of years ago as writers dug through the archives and realized that this minor hero had beaten a lot of Marvel’s biggest villains. She has defeated Doctor Doom, Galactus and several more heroes with determination, smarts and being underestimated. The character has a lot of charisma as seen in her own book recently. She has been a babysitter for Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s baby (spoiler maybe?) and has been an asset to a couple of different superhero situations. Lately, she has been going on her own adventures as she has tried to figure out who she is and where the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl fits in. Her character has a similar can-do spirit to Kimmy Schmidt and actually has a similar disconnect from the way things really work. She also regularly breaks the fourth wall in her adventures and pokes fun at a lot of superhero tropes and other things we take for granted. In fact, she literally takes some of this from Deadpool who gifted her a set of flashcards which explain most of the characters in the Marvel Universe. Her movie or television show could be kind of like a PG Deadpool. We all know that the reason Deadpool worked was not because of its rating. A similar thing with the same fast-paced, cartoony action with smart dialogue would definitely work.


3 Static

I was just old enough to be able to watch the animated show Static Shock when I was a kid. I would love to see them reexamine that character since there are tons of issues around starring the character. Static comics put a spotlight on what it is to be a black kid in American cities while also showing what it is like to be a young superhero. Power over electricity and electromagnetism is a powerful ability and I was always impressed with the different ways the character could use that power. He wasn’t like most characters with energy-based abilities which includes the similar Black Lightning. He did not always zap his problems away and instead either used his powers indirectly or thought his way out of a problem. Virgil Hawkins was an inspiration, especially to young black Americans who wanted a hero who looked like them. In addition, his villains were people you would actually meet walking around a city who just happened to have superpowers. Deciding what cause to further through use of those powers was a big theme in the cartoon and, from I’ve read, the comic. Apparently,  there is a live action television show that may or may not be happening and I hope that it stays true to the spirit of the character. Also, please do not cast Jaden Smith.


2 Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)

I fell in love with Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye series. Not only does it portray Hawkeye in a very human and relatable way, it really does a lot of good for his protege Kate Bishop. Kate took over the mantle of Hawkeye for a while for Clint Barton, especially why she teamed with the Young Avengers. She is younger and just as good a shot as Clint is but she comes from an entirely different background. She comes from wealth but tends to shrug off her birthright more often than not. I would love to see something with Kate in it because she is a pretty complicated character in her own right. Also, Hawkeye gets a lot of crap from fans of the Avengers series of movies. I love Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, the kind of blue collar/military hero that is just trying to survive while more powerful heroes rage around him. I would love to see a Hawkeye movie where he mentors Kate and they fight villains together. We already saw a little bit of Hawkeye’s urge to mentor during Avengers II And Civil War with Scarlet Witch but Kate would be snarkier yet more receptive. To me, that would be the best way to do a Hawkeye movie which could lead into a Young Avengers movie or just stand on its own.


1 She-Hulk

Please. Please. PLEASE give me a She-Hulk movie or television show. Jennifer Walters is Bruce Banner’s cousin and she accidentally gets transformed into She-Hulk through a blood transfusion needed to save her life. Unlike Bruce, she does not need to be angry to transform but being angry definitely will transform her more easily. She also is not the bottomless pit of rage and self-loathing that Bruce is and actually becomes a better person through being She-Hulk. Hands down the best part of her is that she is a working lawyer more than she is a superhero. My favorite stories about Jen are when she is actually trying cases and researching the law and making closing arguments and getting this done legally. Punching somebody is at the bottom of her list to do when she can simply get an injunction and end the fight before it even begins. I want to see her try some superpowered cases and deal with villains with legal skills. She could bring in Patsy Walker (from Jessica Jones) as her investigator and there could be cameos from all sorts of great characters. This is probably the whole reason I wrote this list. Give me a She-Hulk show or movie or both.

Media Update 11/12/2015

November 12, 2015


The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

I’m finally getting around to talking about this show. The Colbert Report quickly became one of my favorite shows with its razor sharp parody and near perfect comic timing. So when Colbert was tapped as an obvious replacement for David Letterman who would take over that slot? The immediate announcement was that Larry Wilmore would be taking over the spot. Like Colbert, Wilmore had gotten his start on the Daily Show and was graduating to get his own show. Wilmore was the correspondent they often tapped when they needed a sarcastic black perspective when they weren’t using Jessica Williams. Most of his segments revolved around eventually flummoxing Stewart (and the audience) with white guilt. They were clever but they kind of pidgeonholed him. As host of the Nightly Show (a clever name for the show) he offers his comedic insight about the news as Stewart, Colbert and Oliver did before him. He puts his own spin on it and, yes, he does offer a unique opinion from a black man but that’s not all he does. The only part of the show I don’t like is the second part. It’s a roundtable discussion which doesn’t seem to be scripted and is often too messy and clumsy to be funny but maybe it will eventually find its footing. Definitely check it out after the Daily Show.


Supergirl

I hate Man of Steel. I made that clear when I reviewed the movie over a year ago and I still really hate that movie. When I found out that they wanted to set the Supergirl show in that world, I despaired a little. However, as I also reported here, when I saw the Supergirl trailer I got excited. The costume design of the show is by Colleen Atwood who did design work for Arrow and Flash. The show thankfully borrows as little as possible from the Man of Steel series of movies. They even make a point of not referring to Superman as Superman. The show is paced really well and it just has an overall sunnier disposition and I love that. More than that, I really like all the characters. The action and effects are all spot on. I just got this feeling that I get when I see a good comic book show or movie. I shout “See!? This is what I spent my allowance on all those years. I walked four miles for just a taste of this every Saturday!” I just sat there and smiled.


Ash vs. Evil Dead

I love the Evil Dead movies and Bruce Campbell. There’s such an indy comedy/horror quality to the trilogy that feels like it has a lot of heart without much money. I also loved the movie My Name is Bruce for breaking the fourth wall and portraying Bruce Campbell as an aging, selfish hero. This show felt like it married those two concepts and combined two great tastes. Ash has been through some tough days and it really shows how his character works. He’s only good at one thing and that’s being a hero. Otherwise he’s a selfish jackass who you don’t really want to hang out with. In hero mode, you’re drawn to him and that’s really fun. I also like that, despite the bigger budget, they were able to keep the feel of the Deadites from the movies. The Deadites are probably my favorite horror villains because they have no rules. They just do evil stuff and are constantly showing off new tricks just because they can. I can’t wait for more episodes!

Cool Links of the Week:

Seth Rollins Betrays the Shield (Get Well, Seth!)
The Night Crew
How Deadpool Spent Halloween
Join Team Pointless
The Daily Show – Ben Carson

Updates:
– I’m a little disappointed in the MST3K Kickstarter
– I finished Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy. Wow.
– I also finished Bones Season 10 and that was powerful. Should have ended there.
– I’ve been listening to a lot of Harmontown again. It’s so good.
– Blacklist continues to be excellent
– I think Criminal Minds is underrated.

Adaptations

April 1, 2015

When ever somebody comes up with a good idea (or a bad idea really) in one medium, a lot of people try and think of a way to adapt it into another form of media. This has been happening for a long time and will continue to happen and I love it. Except when I hate it or I am indifferent. Adaptations are often very divisive among the more intense sections of a fandom especially when the adaptation changes details from the original work. People seem to either love or hate an adaption based on how much and what has changed from the source material. Quick thought: do you think people were pissed about I Am a Camera being adapted into Cabaret? Don’t research that. I’m certainly not going to. There probably were people who complained but it won Tony awards so probably nobody cared.


Iron Man 3

I love Iron Man 3 but there was a lot of grumbling from some comic book fans around the time this one came out. There is a certain twist at the end of the second act that throws a lot of people who are huge Iron Man fans. Those same fans were upset at how Whiplash was done in Iron Man 2 and so on through the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, I have a friend who can’t help but complain about every single movie Marvel puts out. He says he can’t enjoy them because they got details wrong. Each and every movie he hated, I loved because they were good movies. My thinking is that the movies are part of a separate universe where events came about a little differently. If the movies were exactly like the comics then I would be extremely bored. Instead, I like that they feed me little bits that are like the comic book and flesh out other details to make their own story.


Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

Again, I loved all of the Lord of the Rings movies. I haven’t seen the last Hobbit movie yet but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far. There was some criticism because they left a lot of the stuff out of the books. A lot of that stuff was interesting but I have the extended versions on DVD and those things are already 3 – 4 hours long per movie. I can live with losing a few events and poems so that I can not be watching the same movie for 5 hours. The same goes for Harry Potter movies by the way. So people complained about all of this stuff getting cut out and then they turned around and complained about Return of the King having multiple endings even though that’s how it is in the books. It’s a hard balance to strike when you want to please the hardcore fans and the casual fans and the people who had no clue Lord of the Rings is even a thing.

Which brings me to The Hobbit which decided to go the opposite direction. They threw everything from the book in and then invented a lot of stuff to flesh it out. Some have argued that this was done merely as a money grab. While that may have been the original motivation, I believe that the movies benefitted from the original story getting stretched out. The Hobbit is as chock full of detail as any of Tolkien’s books but he actually left a lot out. There are whole sections where Gandalf disappears and then they end up telling rather than showing what he was doing. It’s much more interesting to see all of that played out. Also in the original book the Dwarves were just extra characters with little personality and it was nice to see them fleshed out a little more. Again, it doesn’t make the source material bad or incomplete, it just makes for a better movie.


Man of Steel

Here is where I might start coming off like a hypocrite. I hated Man of Steel for two reasons. The first reason was that I didn’t think it was a good movie on its own merits. The second reason I didn’t like it was because I didn’t think it was a very good adaptation of the source material. In the comics Superman isn’t an asshole, Lois Lane isn’t a ditz and Jonathan Kent isn’t an idiot. I kind of went into a little more depth on this in my Man of Steel review. Still, apparently they were adapting the jerkier Superman from the recently rebooted New 52 initiative that I haven’t really read any of. That’s fine, I guess, but at least make it a good movie.

Conclusion

There’s more examples to be sure but they all amount to the same basic premise. Adaptations are their own animal and shouldn’t be judged by the original source material. There are exceptions, of course, but as long as the differences between the two aren’t too big then I usually see it as a faithful adaptation. I’m commited to keeping an open mind about things and not letting more negative sections of the fandom piss me off. This is the guy who liked Daredevil talking though so maybe you just wrote off everything I just said.


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