Thursday, November 23, 2017
Sunday, November 19, 2017
I had no intention of seeing Justice League (2017).
It's not that I don't like the Justice League as characters or concept - I'm a comics guy who tilts toward DC Comics, and once had a complete run of everything from Morrison's JLA run in the 90's to 2011 (I sold if off during the purging of longboxes about two years ago*). My bonfides include significant runs of Wonder Woman, Superman and Flash comics, reasonable Batman-cred, and having had watched the respective movies and TV shows featuring the JLA characters in a wide variety of live-action and animated incarnations (with exceptions which I can discuss but won't do here). I will happily test my DC Comics-Fu against any of you nerds (but not Mark Waid).
I'm on record regarding Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. One of these films was much, much better than the other three. Let's just say 2017 was much better for DC than prior years.
It's no secret those first three movies left me a broken, bitter man. The very ethos of the films was so far afield from the DCU I knew and loved, and the take on Superman so fundamentally broken (and at the end of the day, I'm a Superman guy), that I just didn't want to do it again. I'd watch it on cable or when JimD sent me the BluRay against my protestations.
Then, as of Thursday I guess, trusted sources, such as creators Mark Waid, Gail Simone, Sterling Gates and our own readers including Stuart and JimD saw the movie, and weren't furious at it. They had some nice things to say. So, I got my tickets and I went to a 10:45 PM show on Friday evening.
Let's be honest: Justice League has massive plotting issues, bizarrely genericizes and changes Kirby's Fourth World mythology in a way that makes it feel one-note to audiences who don't know their Granny Goodness from their Mister Rogers while also ruining the epic world building for fans of The New Gods (one of the most important ideas in superhero comics and comics in general).** It has some terrible CGI, I hate the Flash's costume (a TV show should not be kicking your butt in this arena), and not nearly enough Amy Adams for my dollar. ***
After three narrative and character misfires and one absolute gem of a superhero movie (you're my hero, Patty Jenkins), shake-ups in management at DC, a switch of directors, reshoots, a slashing of runtime by nearly an hour... Some combo of people and factors finally seemed to care a bit about, at least, Superman. If nothing else, they got Superman right. And I cannot tell you how much of a difference that made to me as a viewer and what I was willing to deal with and what I wasn't in my superhero epic.
Monday, July 24, 2017
|Ms. Carter at the recent premier of "Wonder Woman"|
Here's to Lynda Carter, who is celebrating her b-day today.
Lately it seems Ms. Carter has been particularly busy, between appearing on the CW's Supergirl as the President of the United States, to performing live (she's a well-regarded singer), to talk show appearances, to her appearance at the UN and in partnership with the Wonder Woman film. And last year she lent her voice to a lounge performer in Fallout 4.
We're always happy to see Ms. Carter get her due. And, of course, we hope she has a great birthday.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Well, this is going to complicate things.
But, yes, I'll absolutely be going to see it. First read about this circa 2001 in a book by Les Daniels.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
It's no secret I'm not a fan of the three prior entries in the shared DC filmic universe (which the kids are calling the DCEU, of DC Extended Universe, which makes no sense, but this train left the station without me).
If you want to extrapolate how much I was dreading the possibility of another weak entry from DC in the current superhero movie bonanza, you can check out my recent post on my love for Wonder Woman as a character and then, based on how I felt about Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, try to figure out how another movie as weak as the prior DC films was going to settle with me.
Of course, as the cinematic debut of The Amazing Amazon (despite 75 years in print and a well-known commodity), Wonder Woman (2017) carried an unreasonable set of both expectations and penalties for movies far beyond this single picture. If it failed, who knew what this meant for Wonder Woman as a franchise, yes,* but, if it failed: what would happen to female-starring superhero movies in general?
With much of the same crew responsible for prior efforts involved in this venture, there was no reason to believe much had changed from the disappointing first three DC filmic installments. And, no, I couldn't trust the trailers. Man of Steel had a phenomenal trailer, and I actually went to see Suicide Squad in part because it had a different director than Snyder and had a fun trailer.
Whatever changed at DCEU's offices (Geoff Johns' rise to power, I'm guessing), I am ecstatic to say: Wonder Woman has made it to the big screen, and I was absolutely thrilled with the movie.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Like most kids of my generation, I grew up with Wonder Woman as the default "superhero for girls". Sure, DC had a wide array of female characters, but a lot of "team" concepts aimed at boys included 1 or maybe 2 girls on the team no matter how big the roster got (see: GI Joe). And on Super Friends, Wonder Woman was the all-purpose female character who was not Jayna of The Wonder Twins of Wendy of Super Marv and Wendy (ahhh, the 70's).
|but at least they gave WW two villains from her rogues gallery|
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
You likely haven't heard of Pete Marston. He was the son of William Moulton Marston - aka: Charles Moulton - aka: the creator of Wonder Woman. Pete passed away today at the age of 87. He didn't have any professional association with DC Comics or Wonder Woman, but he did have a strong affection for the Amazing Amazon.
I am mostly aware of Mr. Marston through the website The Wonder Woman Network, which featured an extensive photogallery of Pete's private museum and a lot of pictures of visitors from all over, including Ms. Lynda Carter.
If I ever wanted to feel like my Wonder Woman collection was a reasonable size, I could always visit The Wonder Woman Network page. Also, Mr. Marston looked so cheery in his picture with Ms. Carter.
While I am very sorry to hear Mr. Marston has passed, I salute him for (a) having an astoundingly great WW collection, and (b) carrying the torch for his parents' legacy, as both are known to have contributed to the character and her mythos. I'm glad he knew Wonder Woman was still beloved as much (or more) in 2017 as any other time.
I just wish he'd been able to see the Wonder Woman movie coming soon.
For a quick gallery of pictures of his collection, click here.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Yesterday was, apparently, the official 75th birthday of Wonder Woman. As part of that event, Wonder Woman was made a Special Ambassador of the United Nations, an icon for new efforts within the UN to speak on behalf of gender equality.
I don't know how much of Wonder Woman's origins most people know, or how hung up they are on some of the more salacious details of creator William Moulton Marston's personal life, or how that played out on the comics page. But I do know that Marston was sincere in his interest to create a strong female superhero, not just with whom little girls could identify, but for little boys to understand that women could do all the things that men can do. They can leap into the fray and they stand as equals (although I'd argue Marston may have had a bit more of an ideal of a matriarchy in mind even more than than just an egalitarian ideal).
|"Wonder Woman" TV star Lynda Carter was in attendance|
Monday, September 5, 2016
So, I was in no rush to ever see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
In summer of 2013, despite the many positives of having a Man of Steel movie even existing, a stellar score by Hans Zimmer and Amy Adams cast as Lois Lane, I never cottoned to the movie, and, in fact, despite the fact my completionist self purchased a deeply discounted BluRay of the movie, it's never found it's way onto the platter for a spin.
But, you know, WB and DCE seemed aware of their problems with Man of Steel. It was a little hard to ignore when adults watching the movie started saying "holy @#$%. Did I just watch a movie where Superman was turning presumably occupied buildings into rubble and started his public career by snapping the neck of the bad-guy? Yeesh." So, despite the return of Zack "I don't understand characters or motivations" Snyder as director and the casting of Jessie "Two Modes of Nebbish" Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, I'd tried to withhold judgment until the reviews hit. And, mostly, the reviews were not kind on many levels. So, I'd stayed away.
But, ha ha ha. One of you (JimD) decided to just send me a copy of the BluRay in the mail. Over the course of two evenings, I watched the movie, trying not to open my computer or look at my phone when the movie got dull (which was more or less 90 of the 150 minutes). I tried to make note of what I liked and didn't like, but - I guess unsurprisingly - the movie offered little to enjoy that was not Amy Adams.
It's not the worst movie I've ever seen. for example - Suicide Squad was just a dumber movie. But BvS:DoJ felt positively adolescent in some ways, and had the storytelling instincts of a five year old relating the events of the day. But it has some interesting stuff in it, too, as far as DC Comics lore.
It's just not a terribly good movie.
Monday, August 15, 2016
I'm buying way, way more in the way of DC Comics these days then I have in a few years. Not as many as I might have been back in the hey-day around 2007 (back when I was practically panic-buying comics, afraid I'd miss something), or even as many as I was in the days before DC's New 52 effort launched, but I'm back up from, like, 3 per month (I was picking up Action, sometimes Superman, Sensation Comics and Wonder Woman '77 when it came out).
But, back then, I was literally picking up about 25 DC titles per month, I think. It was a lot, but I was a Wednesday comics guy, I liked keeping up weekly and monthly with all the ongoing characters and stories, seeing what would happen, good, bad, otherwise, and it was the constant decision-making of "is this comic worth picking up or should I try something else?". At the core of all the titles I read were four characters - Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Batman (in a somewhat managed capacity as there was always too much Batman on the shelf). The rest were usually up for debate.
With Rebirth, I'm picking up a few titles:
Supergirl (not yet released)
All Star Batman
Trinity (not yet released)
and probably the Super Sons title or whatever it's called, which will come out this Fall.
I'll be waiting on word from folks to see if any of the Green Lantern titles are worth it, but I'm not holding my breath. When they quit making the book about the Corps shattering and reforming and shattering and reforming, somebody wake me up and alert me.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Yesterday Ms. Lynda Carter turned 65. Happy Birthday to our ideal Wonder Woman.
Some folks may not know that Carter is a vocalist with several albums out there in the ether. Carter is currently performing with a band where she sings both original songs and some covers. She also appears as voice talent in several videogames, including Fallout 4, where she contributed a song or two as a lounge singer.
Earlier this year she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gracies.
This fall, Carter is scheduled to appear as POTUS on CW's Supergirl TV series.
If you aren't following her on social media, we highly recommend doing so. Her account is a lot of fun.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Saturday, May 28, 2016
I did not love every living word and panel of DC's mea culpa in comic form, but it made me realize how long it has been since I've read a new comic book from DC and didn't feel like I needed to just put it down and walk away. If Rebirth succeeded on any level - it did not make me kind of sad while I was reading it, nor think "well, this is what they're doing these days, and the kids seem to like it, so I guess this is DC Comics now". I got to just mostly enjoy a DC Comic, even enjoy the familiar frustration of "well, now how is THAT going to work?" as I looked at some of what the book was pitching as the new direction for DC Comics publishing line.
It's been a few days, so I really don't think I need to explain what Rebirth is, except to my brother - so, Jason: That New 52 thing I've been whining about the past few years? Turns out sales have been plummeting line-wide for DC since the first year or so, and they've decided that maybe they went too far in the "grim n' gritty" comics direction, and now they're remembering that the idea behind superheroes is that they're a force for positive change. So, starting here, DC is trying to wrap up the New 52 as a direction for the publishing line while remaining basically in continuity. They'll start by renumbering most series (again) and remember that it's kind of a bummer to read about people in tights running about feeling miserable every second of the day, so, maybe stop with the endless Pyrrhic victories and mopey heroes.
The "Rebirth" brand at DC was never one of rebooting. In both Flash Rebirth and Green Lantern Rebirth, continuity remained intact, but DC brought back longstanding characters and principles to characters and concepts that had strayed from the sort of Platonic ideal of those characters. In Flash, we saw the return of Barry Allen full time for the first time since Crisis on Infinite Earths. Wally, Bart, Jay and everyone else would be around, but Barry was our focal Flash - complete with a new backstory that didn't reflect the pre-Crisis DCU continuity (Nora Allen was murdered). Green Lantern saw the return of Hal Jordan to the land of the living, the Parallax storyline transmogrified into epic space opera that spun out the colored rings. Both of these I enjoyed.
Rebirth is not another Crisis. It seems to be retaining the New 52 continuity, so far anyway, and is really not so much an answer as a gigantic question mark both from a story and editorial perspective. Or, rather, a series of questions marks or possible paths for all of us who walked away from DC to consider what teasers from the books we'd be interested in pursuing with our dollars.
Everything from here below contains spoilers. You're on your own if you keep reading.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
About three years ago I did a post where I took a bunch of photos of my collections. But it's been a while, so I thought for National Superhero Day, I'd take some pics and show you where we're at today with the collections of The Fortress of Nerditude/ League HQ/ Signal Watchtower.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
DC Comics details #DCRebirth, we look at Superman and... So many questions (not necessarily in a good way)
|Thank Hera, WW is back in gold. But what's with the blue boots on Supes?|
Over the weekend at something called WonderCon, DC Comics used the Comic Convention platform to do what they used to do back before videogames and movies gentrified CCI/ San Diego - they actually delivered some fairly large comics news.
It's no secret to retailers or readers that DC Comics' line of titles has been in a creative hole of despair for going on 5 years, and sales have taken a related major nose-dive in the past two years despite incentive covers and as much Harley Quinn as DC could print. The ill-conceived Convergence event of Summer 2015 gave anyone on the fence the opportunity to get the hell out of there, and, abandon DC they did.
It wasn't too hard to figure that after DC moved to the new West Coast offices many things would change, that the real-world stresses of moving would put any ability to react to sales issues on the back burner, but, once everyone was settled, they'd immediately begin planning.
The final product of a few months of brian-storming is now revealed: DC Comics Rebirth.
So, what is Rebirth?