Showing posts with label DCU. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DCU. Show all posts

Friday, October 15, 2021

Superman Stuff: Let's Talk That Jonathan Kent News




If you came here because you're under the impression that the character known as Superman - who goes by Clark Kent in his everyday life as a mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper - is now categorized as bisexual:  he's not.  Hang in here with me.  

Let's start by clarifying - at this time, Clark Kent, Kal-El of Krypton, is still into women as far as the comics have indicated.*  The "Superman" in question is - in current Superman comics - the young-adult son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent, one Jonathan "Jon" Kent.  In the comics, as Clark Kent has had to take care of some business elsewhere, Jon Kent has been promoted from Superboy to Superman.  

It happens. I don't make the rules, I just report them.  But, yes, there are now two Supermans.  Mens.  Whatever.  It's less and more complicated than who is and is not a Green Lantern.

I don't think it's any surprise to folks that know me or follow this site where I stand on certain topics.  

In coming issues of Superman: Son of Kal-El, a maxi series based on current events in Superman comics, it seems our guy Jon is finding love with a male reporter.  Jon Kent's sexuality is not an issue for me as a reader.  He's a character reflecting both science-fantasy ideals but also a character who will be defined by many characteristics as a person which will appear in his serialized adventures hopefully for many years to come.

Friday, October 8, 2021

DCU Animated Watch: Batman - The Long Halloween (2021)




Watched:  Part 1 - 10/02, Part 2 - 10/03
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Chris Palmer

I've not kept it a secret that I haven't thought all that much of the narratives of DC Animated films in several years.  There's been some winners, and some mediocre stuff, and a certain bit of leaning in to the "edge-tacular" stuff that was kicked off by Flashpoint.  

Hence, I haven't really wanted to give anyone any money to watch any of the animated features.  I've paid for a Superman and Wonder Woman movie here and there, and I know I caught a Bat-film or two, but none of it knocked my socks off.  Including some adaptations of some favorite stories straight from the comics.

More out of curiosity than anything, Jamie and I decided to check out Batman: The Long Halloween (2021) on HBOmax.  She also read the comic maybe 15 years ago, so we both had a bit of knowledge about what to expect.  

Frankly, for me, it's probably also been 15 years since I read the book, and so my memory of it, while extremely positive, is wound up with Dark Victory and I don't know what happened in what anymore (ie:  was Dick Grayson in Long Halloween or no?).

Monday, October 4, 2021

DCU Animated Bat-Watch: The Killing Joke (2016)




Watched:  10/03/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Sam Liu

Look.  This... should never have been a movie.  I know what DC/ WB Animation was thinking, but I have no idea what DC/ WB Animation was thinking.

Winding it way back, in 1988 I would have been about 13 when I stumbled across The Killing Joke as a comic book.  And, yes, at one point I had a first printing of the comic, which rises and falls in value on a regular basis.  

It's worth noting - Moore and Bolland were commissioned to do the comic en route to the Keaton-starring Batman movie.  Moore now distances himself from the comic as he has all things DC.  It was, I assume meant to be something of the moment and to give people curious about Batman and the Joker and modern comics something they could pick up as a "graphic novel" at B. Dalton Booksellers.  

This was the era just before 1989's Batman movie, and DC was pushing occasional random things out there and making sure to have collections on the shelf of Year One, Year Two, Dark Knight Returns and the ever popular Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told.  A beautifully crafted story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland was a slam dunk - focusing on Batman and the Joker to give it synergy - what could go wrong?

Your answers are multiple choice.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

TL;DR: The New 52 - 10 Years later - from a guy who just buys comics




Polygon recently ran an oral history of the New 52 effort from DC Comics.  It features then DC Co-Publisher, Dan Didio, as well as a number of writers from the era.  It's a fascinating article for a lot of reasons, in part because of what those interviewed considered success and good ideas, and it seems that at least one person seems to have some difficulty separating fact from fiction on a few points.

A lot of talent - writers, artists and editors - seem to have turned down Polygon's request for an interview, some even citing that working on the New 52/ Nu52 was so unpleasant, they'd rather not talk about it.  So the number of voices that you'll see represented are minimal and probably well insulated from being seen as "difficult" or "willing to talk" by the current folks in charge.  After all, it's a tiny industry, and speaking out of turn even about deposed rulers can still label you as a problem.

In my opinion, reading the article, it's shocking how little self-reflection has occurred and how little awareness at least Dan Didio has about how it all ended - eg: being shown the door in early 2020 - just as he was gearing up to do a redux of New 52 and literally needed to be stopped.

Well, here's my history of DC's  New 52 publishing adventure as I remember it.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

PodCast: "The Suicide Squad" (2021) - a Kryptonian Thought-Beast Episode w/ Jamie & Ryan




Watched:  08/09/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  James Gunn



Jamie and Ryan take on a hastily assembled mission to watch the rebooty sequel to the 2016 disaster, this time with a heavy dose of what they were trying to do in the first place - get that James Gunn vibe. A wild cast lines up as our anti-heroes take a Caribbean tour and DC throws yet more stuff at the wall, utterly unsure of what they're doing, but with the promise of a whole bunch of nonsense looking you in the eye.




Music:
Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash
People Who Died, Jim Carroll Band


DC Movies and TV

Monday, March 15, 2021

PODCAST: "Superman III" (1983) - a Kryptonian Thought-Beast PodCast w/ SimonUK, Stuart and Ryan




Watched:  03/01/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Richard Lester

Other ways to listen

We assemble the finest trio possible to take on the third in the Salkind's Superman franchise - this one inexplicably very heavy on very adult comedian Richard Pryor. It's a future-shock story of the magic of computers and how they can make a Superman a grumpy gus. Join SimonUK, Stuart and Ryan as they get super excited over the sharp turn the franchise took into goofiness.


Music:
Main Title, The Streets of Metropolis - John Williams, Superman III OST
The Struggle Within/ Final Victory - John Williams, Superman III OST
 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Second Episode of "Superman and Lois"



In the afternoon, before Episode 2 of the new CW show Superman and Lois even aired (on 03/02/2021), the CW renewed the program for a second season.  Those numbers on the pilot must have been really something, because that show cannot be cheap to make, and they didn't even bother to see how the show did Tuesday night when viewers would vote with their feet based on what they'd seen.  My guess is that streaming numbers were very good, indeed - and, I think it was shown on WB owned TV channels TNT and TBS to catch any cable-bound stragglers.

The notion of *why* the show was working for me kind of kicked in during episode 2. And it's both totally obvious based on the premise, but for me - as someone who has thousands of Superman comics, has seen countless hours of TV and movies, read multiple histories of Superman...  it somehow didn't quite resonate til it did.

Superman got to move on.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

So, that "Superman and Lois" pilot on the CW




So, yeah.  After 2 serials, 6 seasons of Adventures of Superman, 4 Christopher Reeve films, 1 Helen Slater film, 4 seasons of Superboy, 4 seasons of Lois & Clark, 10 years of Smallville, 1 Superman Returns, a handful of Henry Cavill movies (3?), and 6 seasons of Supergirl, it's time for one more go at live-action Superman.  

Tuesday February 23rd saw the debut of Superman and Lois, a show about Superman/ Clark Kent and Lois Lane, now well into their lives, married and with two 14 year-old teenage sons (fraternal twins).  

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Forget to Mention It Watch: Return of the Swamp Thing (1989)




Watched:  01/28/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second?
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Does it matter?

We did this one as a watch party, and I often forget to write up watch party movies.  But, yeah, this movie isn't very good.

I...  I don't really think it bears much discussion.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

PODCAST: "Wonder Woman 1984" - a Kryptonian Thought Beast Episode w/ Stuart, Jamie and Ryan

spoiler: the movie was not released in October

Watched:  12/25/2020
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade: 2020's
Director:  Patty Jenkins


Our elite team of nerds comes together to discuss the hottest ticket on HBOmax and at the cinema. Is she a wonder? Has the world been waiting for her? We try to step inside the characters as we ponder what the film did and why, and, does it work? If you WISH someone could get to the bottom of this film - look no further! We're in our satin tights fighting for the right answers! 
Themyscira - Hans Zimmer, Wonder Woman 1984 Soundtrack

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Wonder Watch: Wonder Woman (2017)




Watched:  12/23/2020
Format:  HBOMax
Viewing:  No idea
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Patty Jenkins

Every time I rewatch Wonder Woman (2017), I'm stunned at the complexity and completeness of the character arc for Diana in the film.  But here, at the end of 2020, how much Diana's illusions and how she deals with them being shattered, resonates.  

From the first time I saw this movie, I know I've been saying it's one of the only superhero films to actually understand what a superhero is and what they do.  It's something comics themselves have forgotten as the writers have fallen into the traps of Hollywood script rules - and the movie itself does, in fact, play with those same rules.  But as a character, Diana is pure.  She's not out for revenge against someone who performed an injury of some sort upon her or a loved one.   She's outraged at the world of man and what they allow to occur - saying there's nothing that can be done.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

PODCAST: "Shazam!" (2019) - Xmas Genre Xrossover 2020 w/ AmyC and Ryan

 


Watched:  11/13/2020
Format:  HBO
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  2010's
Director:  David F. Sandberg




AmyC and Ryan say the word and find themselves checking out the heroic adventures of one of comics longest-lasting heroes who finally found his way to the big screen. And, it's a Christmas movie! We discuss the comics, the movie and what makes for holiday cinematic magic! 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Denny O'Neil Merges with The Infinite



I am terribly, terribly sorry to report that Dennis "Denny" O'Neil has passed.  I am often genuinely saddened when I see someone has gone on to their reward, but sometimes it hits harder.

It is difficult to measure the impact O'Neil had on comics, popular culture and culture writ-large.  And I doubt many people outside us comics nerds (and possibly only comics nerds of a certain age) know his name.  O'Neil was one of the giants, someone I "liked" as a kid when I'd read his stuff, but as an adult and went back through the history of DC and saw all he'd accomplished?

O'Neil is one of the creators largely responsible for the version of Batman you know and love.  He revitalized and solidified Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), making them relevant as sounding boards for the issues of the day.  He updated Superman and took on the challenge of turning Wonder Woman into a secret agent (with mixed results).  You may know the long runs on Batman that wound up informing Batman: The Animated Series, or the famous "Hard Travelling Heroes" period of Green Lantern/ Green Arrow.  His run on Superman is actually pretty well written, if unsustainable.  The run on Wonder Woman is flat out wild and strange, and - issues though it may have - it's a fascinating attempt to try to update (and maybe a good cautionary tale for every time the internet tells DC to update Wonder Woman).

I first learned his name, I believe, on the cover of The Question (along with Denys Cowan), and soon I looked for his name in association with a certain level of storytelling I thought surpassed most of what was on the rack.

O'Neil didn't just tell stories that took DC heroes on new journeys and challenged them in new ways, he invented a large number of characters for DC and more.   Those characters were a huge part of comics of my youth from O'Neil and others, and wound up in cartoons, movies and more.  Scroll down this page to see a list of his contributions.

It's odd to see the passing of someone who was part of the second generation to enter comics, the folks who were handing off the torch as I was showing up as a reader.  But O'Neil in particular is going to be missed.  But us comics folk aren't the type to forget a person's contribution or what they did to advance the narratives that inspire and entertain us.  And inspired others to create more on the foundations they built.

We'll miss you, Denny.



Monday, May 25, 2020

PODCAST: "Superman II" (1981) - A Super Film Selection w/ Ryan and Stuart



Watched:  05/21/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown.  A lot.
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Richards Lester and Donner


For more ways to listen.


Everyone loves "Superman II", or at least that's how they remember it. Listen in as two guys who have seen this movie way, way too many times, read too much about it and - frankly - thought more about it than an adult person probably should set about discussing the follow-up to the super-tastic "Superman: The Movie". This one has the big bad-guy fight! But also, weird powers, a shiny disco bed, and will the real Gene Hackman please stand up?








Music: 

Can You Read My Mind? - Maureen McGovern



Playlist:


Thursday, April 23, 2020

PODCAST: "Superman: The Movie" (1978) a Super Movie Special with Stuart and Ryan


Watched:  04/12/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  oh, you kidders
Decade:  1970's
Director: Richard Donner

Ryan is joined by fellow Superman super-fan, StuartW, as they take on the 1978 superhero film that made the world believe a man can fly. It's a discussion of how lightning was caught in a bottle and set a template that the better superhero films still emulate. It's a geek-out fan-fest as Stuart and Ryan fly high into the movie that maybe both of them have seen way, way too many times.

More ways to listen





Music: - All Songs from Superman: The Movie, OST, composed by John Williams



Ryan's Random Playlist


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Action 252 - First Supergirl - Arrived March 31, 1959!




Action 252 is the first appearance of the second time DC floated a super girl,* but it brought Kara Zor-El to Earth, not from a dimensional wormhole or anything like we get in fancy, modern stories, but from a loose chunk of Krypton that was just hurling through space with a city and an atmosphere.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

It's Superman's Birthday


It's Superman's birthday!

Back in the day the editors of Superman comics decided to be cheeky and said the reason Superman didn't seem to age was that his birthday was on Leap Day.  So, now, we only get to celebrate Superman's birthday every four years, so you gotta take advantage.  Go out there and eat a pint of ice cream or a whole cake in honor of Superman's b-day.  It's only every four years.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Dan Didio Exits DC



Friday afternoon, I saw news that Dan Didio, former writer, promoted to Executive Editor, then promoted to Publisher at DC Comics, was no longer with the company.  No circumstances regarding his departure have been reported from DC or Didio, so at this time, it's safe to say Didio's exit was possibly due to a difference of direction from WB and/ or the head of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences - Pam Lifford, who took over DC leadership when Diane Nelson resigned and the structure of DC Entertainment was folded back into WB.  There are also rumors about the perceived impact of the coming "5G" event and reshaping of DC Continuity, which, frankly... sounded exhausting as a reader.  Other possibilities included workplace issues and the good old fashioned lay-off as ATT goes about restructuring WB.

A lot of artists and writers took to twitter to talk about how Didio had done good by them, with a few popping off here and there.  Honestly, some of what I saw about how Didio is a great guy just sounded like basic human decency or Management 101, which really makes me wonder what the heck it's like actually working in comics when "he said he'd take responsibility for the thing he is responsible for" is the bar for a great humanitarian in comics.  But, still, the expressions seemed sincere, and while I'm aware there's a tendency in creative fields to not burn bridges and overly laud anyone exiting, I'll take these creators at their word.

Longtime readers will know - I am not a fan of Dan Didio. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

100th Birthday of Curt Swan - comic book artist


Today marks the 100th birthday of the late, great Curt Swan.  For those taking any kind of deep dive into Superman as a long-running comic book character, it doesn't take long before you start producing your list of giants associated with the character's creation and adventures - and Curt Swan is top of the list. 

Siegel and Shuster created Superman, but eventually many of the art duties fell to first Wayne Boring, and then as we transitioned into the mid-Silver and Bronze Age, Swan became the primary pencil behind Superman.  For about three decades Swan drew covers and interiors of Adventure ComicsSuperman and Action Comics, and saw the end of his reign with the new era that began post COIE.  In his tenure he created such characters as Supergirl, Titano, Lucy Lane and many more. 

I became familiar with his work through a mish-mash of back-issues and collections of Silver Age comics, and he's very much locked in my mind as one of the best of the best.  It's astounding to see the care put into every panel of his art and how his own style evolved to meet (and often exceed) the times.

More about Curt Swan from Comic Vine and Wikipedia

Sunday, February 16, 2020

DC just canceled the "Supergirl" comic. Again.



Hooo boy.

The Supergirl TV show has run for five seasons on, first, the CBS network and now The CW.  That's roughly 22 episodes (plus) per season with a cast that has shifted, story elements come and gone, and now survived a Crisis on Infinite Earths.  It's a bit messy to explain how the events of Season 1 line up with what's happening now on the show, but one can if they're willing to experience nose bleeds and dizziness.

It's one of the shows I am probably watching now more out of habit than anything, but I don't *dislike* the show.  Every season has an arc and gives the characters arcs of their own to work through.

DC Comics released their solicitations for May comic releases, and announced that issue 42 will be the final issue of this run of the Supergirl comic book series.