Tag Archives: dc comics

A New Artist for Justice League. A New Team for Superman/Wonder Woman.

Jason Fabok will be joining writer Geoff Johns as the regular ongoing artist for Justice League starting in November with issue #36. The issue arrives November 19th.

fabok justice leagueIn other creative team news Peter Tomasi and artist Doug Mahnke will take over as the new creative team on Superman/Wonder Woman starting in November with issue #13. That issue hits shelves on November 12th.

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Sinestro and Writing the Anti-Villain

Writing the anti-hero is a relatively new problem in the realm of comics. It is hard to trace the rise of the anti-hero, most people will point to the Punisher or Wolverine as the source of this focus towards someone else than the champion of justice as protagonist, but it roots potentially go back a lot further, to the original darker versions of Batman. The problem with writing these characters is to make them both approachable but also make their actions seem justified in some way. Regardless as this concept has progressed, there has been not only a shift from hero to anti-hero but also of anti-hero to villain. This is perhaps most evident in recent times, with the massive expansion of comics following the new 52 and Marvel NOW! as we now see the likes of Magneto and Sinestro headlining their own series. The problem of this writing is that it ignores the villain based approach of the character’s past and provides them with a heroic set of circumstances to undertake.

sora02It would seem that the most popular villains are not ones that are truly evil in an absolute sense, but rather ones that made a moral decision which put them on a path to villainy. Generally speaking this choice can be interpreted as one of utilitarianism, that of the greatest good for the greatest number. When Sinestro decided to rule over Korugar as dictator, it was because he believed that this was the best way to protect his people. Equally, many of Magneto’s actions have been ones of creating a safe future for mutant kind or at least of protecting them in some way. It is thus rare that as readers that we get a truly malevolent character that we are supposed to identify with. It is the nature of moral philosophy that there are no right answers, and so some could regard the behavior of Sinestro or Magneto as correct and righteous. There are of course a number of complexities to such questions and as there is no real answer, they can be debated for all of time to no definite end.

It might be well to identify the fact that there are different kinds of villains, and that the ones that tend to gain more fans are the ones who are wrestling with these dilemmas. There is still a problem though, and that is that these characters are still evidently evil. When Sinestro invaded Earth during the course of the Sinestro Corps War (from 2007) he was not doing so as an act of conflicted good will towards his people.  He was trying to destroy the Green Lantern Corps. Granted that he thinks that the Green Lantern Corps is corrupt and therefore evil, but the degree of carnage and destruction which he is willing to impart upon others in the wake goes above an argument of a greater good. The same holds true for Magneto and many of his own decisions, they may be morally correct as the character regards them, but they are also evidently still evil, at least in application.

sora01It becomes a problem therefore of how to write these stories. In the first story arc of Sinestro which just finished in issue #5, there has been a shift of the character away from true evil to a sliver of the moral dilemma which he originally faced. In this sense it is kind of a dialed-down version of the character who acts heroic, an anti-villain. In the past Sinestro is shown to be ruthless, but so far in the series he is shown to be only sometimes argumentative, in most cases either with his Green Lantern daughter Soranik or his Green Lantern protégé Hal Jordan. It is not the Sinestro which some fans love to hate, but rather a falsely heroic version of the character, shoved into a somewhat heroic role in order to act as protagonist. If the character were to revert to some of the previous behavior fans would not be able to read the story in the same way, or at least not those that are drawn to comics because there is a morality to the heroes. That the writers of Sinestro have gotten this far while focusing on worse aspects of the character is admirable, and in fact this series thus far is perhaps the best of the DC cosmic based series since the new 52 reboot. The problem is though that there is still some distance to go, not only for the character but also for his evil acts. Fans will be convinced (fooled?) only as long as Sinestro can keep up the false heroics, but in terms of his history in the DC Universe, how long can that be?

 

Review: The Multiversity #1

multiversity 1 coverFrom the mind of writer Grant Morrison prepare to meet the Vampire League of Earth-43, the Justice Riders of Earth-18, Superdemon, Doc Fate, the super-sons of Superman and Batman, the rampaging Retaliators of Earth-8, the Atomic Knights of Justice, Dino-Cop, Sister Miracle, Lady Quark, the legion of Sivanas, the Nazi New Rechsmen of Earth-10 and the latest, greatest Super Hero of Earth Prime.

The Multiversity is six complete adventures with a bookend framing story that looks at the numerous worlds of the DC Multiverse. This issue begins the adventure, that while interesting, is geared towards die-hard DC fans who might understand the numerous references and nods. For me Morrison runs hot and cold, for this very reason.

While this first issue is good, not knowing many of the references I could really only focus on the story, and to me that was just ok. There’s a big threat, heroes from around the Multiverse are gathered together to battle it, this is the start of that. All of it’s ok, and introduces us to each main character very well. That’s the strength of the issue, introducing us to all of these different worlds, and lots of different characters.

The downside to all of that is that reading through the issue I knew that a lot of it was going over my head. There’s entire posts (on other sites) explaining all of the details, nods, basically Cliff’s Notes for the first issue. I shouldn’t feel like I need a degree in Morrison to read an issue.

Morrison benefits from the art of Ivan Reis, who is one of my favorite artists. His work is crisp and beautiful to look at. In one issue he has to pull of numerous types of characters, worlds, and more, and does so all with ease. If he was the artist on every issue, his art alone would be a reason to check out the series, but alas he’s not.

While there’s lots of interesting things in the first issue, I think it overall attempts to be too cute at times with its layers, like it’s trying to be Watchmen redux in that manner. For the die-hard fans, I’m sure there’s a lot here that they’ll love, but for those not in that category (like me) the story is really nothing too special. At its heart, it’s a story we’ve seen before, just with different characters and different settings.

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Ivan Reis
Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Movie Review: Batman: Assault on Arkham

Batman-Assault-on-ArkhamBatman, one of the world’s most valiant super heroes, faces a villainous squad of criminals in an epic battle of good vs. evil in the DC Universe Original Movie, Batman: Assault on Arkham. Set in the world of the best-selling Batman: Arkham video game series, this action-packed film takes place between the Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Asylum video games.

Gotham is in great danger when the government assembles a group of villains — code named the Suicide Squad — and forces them to break into Arkham Asylum to retrieve top secret information stolen by the Riddler. Things take a turn for the worse when one of the Squad members (Harley Quinn) frees the Joker, who is intent on blowing up Arkham Asylum and Gotham City. Batman must use his super hero wits and strength to thwart the wicked plans of the Joker and the Suicide Squad.

Batman: Assault on Arkham is interesting in that a good chunk of the movie doesn’t have Batman! The focus is really the Suicide Squad, and when they’re on screen the film sores in awesome. After the first five or ten minutes you’re sucked in, especially as each member is introduced. This is what I’d hope to see in DC’s live action films.

The characters are spot on, exactly as I’d expect them to be, with voice casting and acting that fits it all very well. The only negative thing is things sort of spiral in the film with more and more being piled on as far as characters and the chaos they deal with. It’s still a hell of a lot of fun.

Kevin Conroy voices Batman, and joins forces with several Hollywood greats to bring the legendary characters to life. Adding to the celebrity-laden cast is Neal McDonough as Deadshot, Troy Baker as Joker, Matthew Gray Gubler as Riddler, CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller, Greg Ellis as Captain Boomerang, and Giancarlo Esposito as Black Spider.

Batman: Assault on Arkham has tons of exciting enhanced content taking us in the strange world of Arkham Asylum, the story of Harley Quinn and what’s coming next in DC animated films.

Of all of DC’s animated films so far, this one has been my favorite, full of action, humor, and a solid grasp of the characters. I want more of this.

Direction: 8 Acting: 8.75 Plot: 8.75 Overall: 8.75

 

DC Comics Announces Gotham By Midnight

DC Comics has announced a new series spinning out of the popular weekly series Batman EternalGotham By Midnight.

Strange doings are afoot in Gotham City! Look out, though – Jim Corrigan is on the case in this new monthly series by writer Ray Fawkes and artist Ben Templesmith!

Gotham By Midnight arrives on November 26th.

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Batman v Superman Moves Release Date, Plus 9 More DC Movies

Warner_Bros._Pictures_introWarner Bros. has decided to take a play from Marvel’s book, and has planted the flag for 9 unnamed DC Comics based movies. But while doing so, they’ve also decided to dodge first in their showdown with Marvel.

Up until just a bit ago Batman V. Superman was to open the same day as Marvel’s Captain America 3, May 6, 2016. We all expected one of the studios to change the date, and it looks like Warner Bros. is it. Here’s the new list of film dates they’ve announced via BoxOffice Mojo. We have no idea what is going where.

  • Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – 3/25/165/6/16
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2020) – 6/19/20
  • Untitled DC Film (April 2020) – 4/3/20
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2019) – 6/14/19
  • Untitled DC Film (April 2019) – 4/5/19
  • Untitled DC Film (July 2018) – 7/27/18
  • Untitled DC Film (March 2018) – 3/23/18
  • Untitled DC Film (Nov. 2017) – 11/17/17
  • Untitled DC Film (June 2017) – 6/23/17
  • Untitled DC Film (2016) – 8/5/16

That’s almost two Presidential elections! For comic fans, get ready, there’s a hell of a lot coming down the pipeline.

Batman: Assault on Arkham – Task Force X Clip

Check out an all-new clip from Batman: Assault on Arkham, the next entry in the popular DC Universe Original Movie series. The film is now available to own via Digital HD, and will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 12.

The clip features Amanda Waller giving her initial “pep talk” to the Suicide Squad. CCH Pounder (The Shield, Warehouse 13) reprises her Justice League television series role as the voice of Amanda Waller.

 

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