Showing posts with label green lantern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green lantern. Show all posts

Saturday, May 28, 2016

We Finally Read "Rebirth" and Here Is What We Think (SPOILERS)

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

A "National Superhero Day" Tour of The Fortress

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.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Geoff Johns Offers Vision of DCU "Rebirth" Didio will @#$% Up Before Issue 1

New day.  Same company.

DC Comics, in a sales death spiral, continues to not fire the people making the same terrible decisions they've been making for well over a decade.  On Thursday, DC Comics released a video of famed comics writer and live-action area liaison, Geoff Johns talking the mysterious "Rebirth" event hinted at by DC Comics Publisher Dan Didio via an obnoxious image released via twitter a couple of weeks ago.

this isn't even no data, this is negative data

This week is a sort of comics retailers meeting in Portland, OR, and DC has to say something to make retailers think the shoddy output and related plummeting sales of their company currently running comic shops right into the ground is due for am upturn.  Knowing that Dan Didio has about the same level of credibility as the Sham-Wow guy (and Jim Lee is, let's be honest, not great at this sort of thing), at least for the public face they put good ol' Geoff Johns out there in front with a video and some announcements about new price points, new #1's and a return to the numbering on Detective and Action Comics.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Imaginary EIC Hat - Rules I'd Implement for Superhero Comics

If you've read comics for any length of time, there are tricks and tropes and storylines we've all seen, and worst and best practices for superhero comics.

Sometimes the worst practice stuff seems to get followed because things happen in the fog of trying to put a monthly comic out in a timely fashion, sometimes it's because you can tell the new writer hasn't done any homework prior to coming on and the editor appears to have a laissez-faire attitude regarding what their writers are doing, and more often than I care to admit, I look at comments online and am shocked by how many people really like the worst-practice stuff and are willing to say so out-loud.

I've considered a few things I find grating overall, considered their impact, and how often these could be used and still feel like, perhaps familiar ideas after a while, but to help keep them a little fresh or maintain their impact, we've given a rate for how often they can be used.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Signal Watch Watches: Justice League - Doom

A few items before we begin.

1.  This movie was based on Mark Waid's tremendous Tower of Babel storyline in JLA that was amazing enough that it was adapted for the movie.  The story was powerful enough that it crept into the entire DCU, and launched us into Infinite Crisis circa 2006.

Oddly, this story is rarely discussed, and Mark Waid is featured not-at-all on the Blu-Ray, and in my viewing, I missed his name, and I was looking for it.

2.  This was also the final work by writer Dwayne McDuffie, who adapted Waid's story.  It shows his trademark ability to translate continuity-heavy DC work into much more workable stories for the 85 minute films.  It also demonstrates his ability to make the dialog sound plausible and build genuine character moments.  And I am going to miss the hell out of seeing his name on motion pictures, television and comics.

3.  On the heels of yesterday's post, I am reminded that there will be no shortage of DCE material for me to enjoy, and the small fee I paid for this Blu-Ray was less than what I'd pay for a tradepaperback.  I believe I paid about $15.

So, yesterday I purchased and read Justice League #6 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee*, and I'd submit to them that they wrote just about the least interesting Justice League story I'd paged through since...  I dunno, maybe the 80's.  While I am torn regarding my loyalty to Mark Waid and my love of the original comics the movie Justice League: Doom was based upon, I can say - Johns and Lee did nothing over 6 issues but demonstrate that they don't know how to put together a compelling story with stakes, character or motivations, nor did they seem to understand that a hallmark of Justice League stories since Grant Morrison took the Pepsi Challenge circa 1997 was a constant ratcheting up of stakes and intensity.  I give you Morrison's insane epic, World War III or, for that matter, Final Crisis.

Friday, December 9, 2011

SW Advent Calendar December 9

...why is Santa so HUGE?  And shouldn't Wonder Woman put on some pants if she's going to sit down in the snow?

So, so many questions...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More New DC 52 Reviews: Green Lantern Corps and New Guardians #1

I know, I know.  September was a long time ago, but the truth is, I needed a breather.  52 new titles is a lot to process.

If you've followed this site for any length of time, you know I'm a Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps fan in concept and in practice, which is why the mediocrity of this summer's outing at the cinema felt like such a kick in the shins.

DC launched 4 Green Lantern titles, including a Red Lanterns titles, which I've already discussed.

New Guardians will feature Kyle Rayner and a medley of the rest of the rainbow array of ring bearers (Black and White seem to be off the table).

While I appreciated the issue (written by Tony Bedard) opening with a riff on the origin of Kyle Rayner and what DC was doing back then*, its weird, context-free, and features no mention of when this was all happening, until a few pages later, they note "oh, now we're in present day".  Its a weird swing and a miss as the issue is trying to be new reader friendly, but instead managed to confuse a GL reader like myself for a page or three.  I can't imagine what a new reader would think was happening.

Its kind of an odd-ball issue as its sort of half a set-up.  In addition to the aforementioned origin pages, we see as rings from several corps abandon their various owners from various sectors and seek out Rayner, leaving most of the owners in a lurch.  And then they show up.  And that's it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Signal Watch Watches: Green Lantern The Animated Series first episode

This evening Cartoon Network debuted the real start of DC Entertainment's all new DC Nation concept, kicking off an hour-long episode of the all new Green Lantern The Animated Series.

The show is the first 3D animated weekly show from DC, and I think it'll fit in neatly with both the other DC programming that's in 2D (such as Young Justice) and the very popular Star Wars: Clone Wars, which is some lovely 3D animation.

The GL of choice for this series is Hal Jordan, whom I guess the studio believed would be every kid's favorite action hero after the summer blockbuster, which...  yeah.  Luckily, the producers of this program (which include Bruce Timm and his style imprinted upon 3D), just sort of went off and did their own thing, more or less.  Honestly, they strayed quite a bit from the comics as well, and that's fine for this GL fanboy.

Not much time is spent on set-up.  Likely the producers were hoping kids had seen the movie or watched other GL material.  Instead, we get a quick overview of the basic GL concept, and then a pair of Green Lanterns grab an experimental (by Oan standards, so...  its really neat) spacecraft that's kind of a Lantern itself, and go off to find out why Lanterns are dying out in deep, deep space.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Here's an ad for Austin Books (its Green Lantern-centric)

This aired on local cable to promote Austin Books and Comics and the Doug Mahnke signing during the release for Green Lantern. I volunteered, but they had no GL costumes in a 54 long.

I think it turned out pretty well!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A few items about DC Comics - newsstand, credits on Green Lantern film, etc...

Comics coming back to the newsstand

Marvel got some ink Monday for mentioning that they are going to be working with retail chains to get their comics back on newsstands.  That's a great move, and its something I've been hoping for for a long, long time.  No doubt as info comes out about the DC Relaunch and marketing efforts associated with the relaunch (which really means very little until sales roll in), Marvel is scrambling to make sure they're part of the newsfeed, too, and don't appear to be lagging.  And, you know what?  They're not.

Yes, they were ahead on the iPad thing, for whatever that's been worth.  But surely the "day and date" digital stuff from DC put a bee in their bonnet, especially after the $2.99 fiasco.

But you may remember this Bleeding Cool post from June 3rd of DC and Marvel books sharing the shelf at Barnes and Noble. Those are floppies, not trades.

DC is about to go on a media blitz advertising the fact that their comics are on sale online and in comic shops, but...  you don't do a wide canvas national TV ad campaign unless you're putting out a product people can buy damn near everywhere, not at $2.99 a pop.

Green Lantern Creators not named

In all the hubbub about the box office for Green Lantern and "mixed"* reviews, the media hasn't noticed that the creators of Green Lantern aren't exactly enjoying the celebratory spotlight of Stan Lee or the up-front credits of Bob Kane and Siegel and Shuster on their character's movies.

Noah Kuttler's discussion of why this is important.  

also, Noah's review and then one from Gerry.

*read: poor

Friday, June 17, 2011

Signal Watch Watches: Green Lantern

So, okay.  Before I am accused of saying that Green Lantern is a good movie, just understand, we're not saying that.  But let's do a few things here.

1)  The fact that Green Lantern scored a 20% at Rottentomatoes is a pretty good acknowledgement that 4 of 5 people gave this movie an unfavorable review.  That doesn't mean they were wretching their guts out, but 80% of people who care enough about movies to write about them can all agree that, yeah, that could have been way better.  So lets get a handle on what that rating means.
2)  As someone who consumes a whole lotta superhero media, there are different scales of badness out there, and this movie is nowhere near, say, the un-aired JLA pilot in terms of being just unforgivebly bad.  As someone who has seen Santa with Muscles and watched Manos: The Hands of Fate three times, I will tell you when you've achieved true awfulness. 
3)  I don't know if people had high expectations for this movie or not, but there's a giddiness out there in the zeitgeist about wanting to dogpile on this movie that, and I'm not just saying this as a fan of the comics, but just from a movie-go'er's perspective, I'm not sure it deserves.
4)  The Green lantern mythology is somewhat convoluted even over 50-odd years of comics.  Cramming it into a movie was always going to be a trick.
5)  The CGI is actually quite good in this movie.  I don't know why it looked half-baked on TV and online.  But its pretty amazing, actually, in many parts of the movie.
6)  I can't imagine that 20-odd years of reading GL on an off hasn't given me something of a leg-up on understanding what the hell was going on.  So now you people know how I've felt in the last few Harry Potter movies.

This never happens in the movie

Signal Watch Watches: Green Lantern - Emerald Knights

This is not a review of the Green Lantern movie. I'm seeing that on Friday (today) at 4:15. Its supposedly horrid.

Last night I watched the straight-to-home-video Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, a feature length cartoon done at WB Animation by the core team that Bruce Timm built.

The film inherits character and set design from the feature cartoon Green Lantern: First Flight, a movie we discussed back at League of Melbotis, Volume 1.  Not all of the voice talent returns, and I have to say that I think the set design and illustrative quality is just much, much better this go-round.  And I'll get to that.

Emerald Knights follows in the tradition of the old over-sized Green Lantern Corps issues that would include short story back-ups, which used the fact that the Corps were 3600 strong, somewhat fungible and absolutely expendable to tell all kinds of stories from the tragic to the sublime.  If DC had a secret outlet for writers to try the sort of writing that happens in sci-fi anthologies or episodes of sci-fi shows like The Twilight Zone or Outer Limits that rely on a single episode to tell the story, it was in exploring different story matter than "Hal Jordan and friends save the day", and the pay off was that these back-up stories are better remembered today than what was actually happening in the main stories at the time.  And it gave a home to people like Alan Moore as he kicked around the DCU for a bit.

this is a thing which happens in the movie

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New GL Movie Trailer is Green Lantern Concept in a Nutshell

So, WB/ DC Entertainment released a new trailer for the upcoming Green Lantern movie.

I am not going to be gutsy enough to say "The Green Lantern isn't a superhero", because that's not really true. I spent an hour today reading a reprint of Green Lantern comics where a PACK of GL's were stopping a simple bank robbery in flashy costumes using powers.

But what I would say is that the definition of "superhero" in movie review terms has recently cycled back around to becoming immediately dismissive, and that in showing the beginnings of these character's stories in a movie, reviewers are (falsely, if you ask me) insisting that it's all the same story. Now, I'd be a pretty ridiculous blogger if I suggested that the screenplays aren't finding ways to distill those stories down to certain beats or a formula, but... isn't that just true by the nature of the beast when it comes to movie-making for big-budget pictures?  But I can see how reviewers with no dog in the fight are getting a bit worn out by all-origins, all-the-time with comic characters getting translated to the big screen.

Anyhow, what I do like is that WB/ DCE is savvy enough to see a need to explain to audiences prior to the GL's release that this will be more of a space-action movie with some action occurring on Earth, or at least find a new way to spin GL and how this movie is going to be different from Thor, Captain America and what else they've seen before (and how, honestly, GL fits into the pantheon of comic based characters).

I know the "recruit into a cosmic space-force" is what I find interesting about the Green Lantern on first blush*, and I think its a good call to make it crystal clear that, hey...  this is sort of a space-opera.  Especially as I suspect by a third movie, we'll be going full-on Sinestro Corps War. 

*enough so that I didn't find GL particularly compelling when DC decided to get RID of the Corps back in the 1980's and totally eliminate

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Green Lantern Trailer #2 Brings Up a Few Points

Here's the newest Green Lantern trailer, which showed at WonderCon this weekend in San Francisco. In my opinion, its a bit of a step up from the last trailer.

In the era of CGI or in the era of matte-FX, big FX movies have had an issue that's hard to overcome: how do you get a trailer out that shows off your movie when your FX aren't done?

Not to mention, what is the appropriate tone to take with your trailer well before the movie has only been shot, but the storytelling that goes on in editing hasn't been done?

I'll say this: the new trailer, whether you like it or not, is a lot closer to what I think of when I think of Green Lantern comics than what I saw in the first trailer. The first trailer felt more like "what would happen if Ryan Reynolds became a super hero?" than "Ryan Reynolds is playing Hal Jordan, who becomes a Green Lantern", going for half the length of the trailer before hinting at anything... interesting. And then was a montage of confusing imagery that wasn't going to mean much except to veteran Lantern fans, and even then... well, it just wasn't anything all that promising.

I'm still not sold on the movie, but at least someone stepped in to cut a trailer that was more "Epic Space Opera" than "Wacky Summer Comedy". And I can only hope the footage is there, along with the script, to bring the best parts of Green Lantern and its 50-year history in comics to the screen, and not let the usual issues with stars, wayward directors, producers with notes, etc... get in the way.

But, man, I don't even know that its worth it anymore to show trailers much more than two or so months before a film's release. I don't recall the last time I heard anything but comic fans and non-comic fans alike finding reasons that a superhero adaptation was going to be awful, and usually for pretty minor reasons. And, as someone who has talked a lot online for years about comics, movies and the place where they meet... I'm as guilty as the next guy.

But I'm not doing it anymore. The patterns are too obvious.

1) The first images of the costume are released, and even if its an exact replica of the comics, the internets light up, mocking the look. The one exception: Iron Man. But when movies or TV make alterations to make the superhero not look like a crazy person, people go crazy. Yes, I'd like to see a Batman more like the comics in the movies, but deep-down, I know that look basically boils down to the Adam West costume. And did you really think Wonder Woman was going to go live-action in 2011, and they weren't going to put pants on her? How many columns would have been written about a pantless WW had the producers gone that route?

Also, you cannot make an 8-foot CGI Hulk and not get "Shrek" comparisons, but... if you want a bulky 8-foot thing that's green, it really doesn't matter what design you go with. Two similarly sized green things are going to get comparisons. We get it.

2) The first trailer is going to have to cut out some key elements of what you, comic nerd, believe is super-important to explaining the character. The problem is - that's usually too much story for a trailer. Most first trailers are there to give you impressions: who is in the movie, is it a superhero movie, is it funny, etc... And, as I mentioned before, if the movie isn't all practical effects, its going to be pretty short on better CGI. It just might not be ready yet.

3) Some really bad movies have awesome trailers. But cool looking scenes don't really indicate a decent movie. I'm the first to say: Sucker Punch had a really slick trailer. Tron Legacy? GREAT trailer and teaser trailer. People get paid a lot of money to make random footage thrown at them look like a good way to spend an evening and $20. These days I wait to see how things are going at and word of mouth.

4) Every idea for a movie sounds stupid or brilliant, especially superhero-type stuff, depending on who is telling you about it. Superhero comics have taught me one thing: there are no bad ideas, only bad execution. So, do not trust snarky online movie-people, and doubly do not trust snarky people in magazines. Today it seems obvious that all the world will love an X-Man, but before Singer's version of X-Men came out? Man, the press was not sure what to do with this whole "X-Men" idea. I think the press has finally realized - people like Singer didn't bring new ideas to X-Men, those ideas were already there. They just understood enough about the idea behind the comics that they could make that idea work.

Guys who dress up as spiders and bats and refuse to use guns while taking on armed criminals is a stupid idea. Except when it isn't.

5) That thing you love about your favorite superhero? Or even that one detail you think is crucial? It may not be in the movie at all. That does not mean, super-fanboy, that the movies is going to be awful.

Anyway, these days I'm trying to give superhero movies a lot more breathing room before I start getting cranked up enough to complain too much. I still remember a world before Sam Raimi got an enormous budget and made a lovely ode to 60's and 70's-era Spider-Man comics into a movie. I saw The Phantom, The Shadow, 1990's Captain America, 1970's Captain America, some TV movie Spider-Man, Batman and Robin, TV-era Hulk (its really pretty bad), 1990's TV The Flash... and many of these I like or own on DVD. But we're spoiled in 2011, forgetting that the idea of spending a ton of money on a Green Lantern movie back in the day would have been unthinkable, let alone recreating a recognizable Oa and its occupants.

That doesn't mean every superhero movie coming out these days is good or worth seeing (I can name two Fantastic Four movies you can do without watching), but... these days I think its a wait-and-see game. Don't judge a movie by the first trailer or your initial reaction to a costume if it doesn't match the, frankly, impossible designs created for 2-d drawings of ridiculously proportioned men and women.

Give it a shot, be patient, and wait for the reviews and definitely wait for at least the second trailer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mayor Leffingwell accurately geeks out on Austin as "Green Lantern" of cities

Over at Newsarama, Austin's own Mayor Lee Leffingwell, the guy I actually voted for in our most recent mayoral election, compared Austin to superhero Green Lantern.  And he did it with surprising accuracy fit for a comic geek.

Click here for Newsarama's take.

And our local NBC affiliate

"Austin is the Green Lantern," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "We are a city without fear. We are a city that can create anything we can visualize, through sheer force of will. We are a city with a special charge to shine a light into the darkness and lead the way to a new and better day."

one way to beat I-35 traffic

I now expect to see t-shirts reading "Keep Austin Oan".*

"Lawyers-are-Pigs Guy, you have been determined to possess great will..."

*in the wake of crushing suburbanization and a massive jump in transplants to Austin who were surprised by the laissez faire attitude of our fair city when it comes to letting folks be folks, Austin adopted a "Keep Austin Weird" slogan to encourage and support the creative and technological arts. the slogan has since been endlessly co-opted.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Green Lantern Animated Film Coming in June

WB Animation previously released a Green Lantern movie (Green Lantern: First Flight) which I'd give a solid "B" (they forgot to ever show the actual lanterns at any point in the movie, etc...). With the coming of the live-action, Ryan Reynolds-centric Green Lantern big 'ol Hollywood wanna-be blockbuster en route, WB and DCE are finding all kinds of ways to exploit a supposed GL mania.

One of many outlets will be the upcoming feature-length video coming from the Bruce Timm wings of WB Animation, and it appears to be a sequel of sorts to that GL movie mentioned above. It looks like they are much closer to understanding the GLs on this go-round.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

GL Halloween Costumes Are Astoundingly Bad

If these are our intergalactic saviors, we are in trouble
Well, this just doesn't inspire much confidence or say "Galactic Guardian" to me.  Looks like promo images for Halloween costumes are already making their way to buyers, and costumes from the summer film Green Lantern are making the rounds.

First:  That is not the actual head of the guy on the left.  That dude's head is way out of proportion, and his body is lit and colored much differently than his head.

Second:  Good lord, why did you paint abs onto those sack-like outfits?  Its just a reminder of what is not happening under the flame retardant material.

Third:  The white dots on the fellow on the left make it seem as if he's supposed to be an animal of some sort.

Fourth:  The Sinestro mask looks less like Sinestro and more like "Functionary from a post William Powell Hollywood picture".

Fifth:  I will be very curious to see what kid and/ or party-going adult says "Oh, @#$%, yes.  I'm gonna be Sinestro!".  You know how I would have been Sinestro as a kid?  Jason would have found the GL costumes, and I would want to be Hal, also, and he'd be all like "no, no.  We can't both be Hal.  You can be Sinestro."  And then when the sequel rolled around, I'd be all sad because, @#$%...  Sinestro.